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Too much beer to blame for blogger’s felony charge for fake email

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Late-night drinking shenanigans often lead to embarrassing but funny drunk texts. But for one New Hampshire blogger, his alcohol consumption and shaky choices might end up with him in jail.

The Concord Monitor reports 28-year-old Carl Gibson turned himself in last week after he was identified as the person behind a hoax email discouraging GOP voters from the polls.

Gibson reportedly sent out an official-looking email claiming a Republican candidate for the New Hampshire State House was withdrawing from the race. He wrote that 19-year-old Yvonne Dean-Baily was dropping out of the race just days before the election to focus on her college studies.

According to the Concord Monitor, Gibson admitted to circulating a bogus press release to reporters because he “probably had one too many beers.”

He said the email was a prank and didn’t think it would be taken seriously.

But the New Hampshire State Attorney is taking it seriously and is charging Gibson with two crimes – one of which is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of seven years. He’s charged with “voter suppression for knowingly attempting to induce voters to refrain from voting.”

The other charge, a misdemeanor, is for distributing a false document.

The whole fiasco is filled with all sorts of duncery. Gibson, who identifies as a blogger and Democratic campaign volunteer, used to volunteer on the campaign for the other candidate in the race. Dean-Bailey faced former state Rep.Maureen Mann.

Gibson was identified as the author of the fake email through electronic information containing his name. A warrant was issued for his arrest before he turned himself in.

While Gibson said the whole thing was just supposed to be a funny joke, he seems to have not learned his lesson. The New Hampshire GOP told the local Patch.com crew that Gibson took credit for sending out another hoax press release in 2011 that claimed General Electric was returning $3.2 billion to the U.S. Treasury.

In his IMDb bio, Gibson brags about the stunt, saying, “the hoax wasn’t confirmed until 30 minutes after the release was distributed by The Associated Press, causing General Electric’s stock to temporarily drop by $3 billion.”

Gibson’s stunt is landing him in some pretty hot water, but his crime was all for naught. Dean-Bailey won the special election for that district.

Gibson will be arraigned on June 22 at Concord’s district court.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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