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Kettle Mocks Guthrie with Fake Facebook Page

House GOP Spokesman out of a job, AG's office investigating, Guthrie pledges more charges will be filed.

The "Octo-Guthrie" cartoon posted on a fake Facebook page mocking Rep. Scott Guthrie (Photo via Facebook)
The "Octo-Guthrie" cartoon posted on a fake Facebook page mocking Rep. Scott Guthrie (Photo via Facebook)
The director of policy communication for the state GOP is out of a job and Coventry Sen. Nick Kettle is at the center of an investigation about his use of State House computers to create a fake Facebook page mocking political rival Rep. Scott Guthrie.

Coventry Police launched an investigation into the page in late December after Guthrie, who said in an interview that "more charges will [soon] be filed" with federal authorities, contacted them and said a fraudulent Facebook page was created using his name and a fake email address using his name.

The page was created on Nov. 7. With a profile picture of a heart and Guthrie's distinctive mustache, the fake Guthrie had apparently friended other state leaders and at first glance, you might not realize the deception with innocuous posts like "Merry Christmas everyone!" and "Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday."

But, Guthrie told police, the views in regards to the issues surrounding the Central Coventry Fire District "were opposite views and opinions of his" and he felt "the page was created for the sole reason to 'slander him personally and professionally.'"

Coventry Police got subpoenas and soon were able to confirm that it was Kettle who created the page by tracking the IP addresses used on Facebook to the Autumn Drive address that Kettle lives with his parents as well as a computer at the State House. Other addresses came back, but it was Kettle accessing the page during those times, police said.

Kettle did not cooperate with police or agree to answer questions under advice of his lawyer, Robert Watson, the former top GOP Republican in the Rhode Island House who was stripped of his leadership after he was charged with DUI and marijuana possession in 2011. 

The lead Coventry detective on the case, Kevin P. Harris, reported that Watson told him that he advised Kettle not to meet with police because "it could result in negative media publicity." 

Coventry Police believed there was enough evidence to constitute cyberharassment and turned to the state Attorney General. The initial review by the AG's office determined the Facebook page fell under First Amendment protection, prompting Coventry Police to close the case. 

But it's not over. An attorney general spokeswoman said the AG's office will continue to review the case and Guthrie said Wednesday that there will be more charges filed but could not elaborate because of the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Ousted GOP Spokesman Chuck Newton said in an interview that he helped Kettle create the page when he was asked to do it.

"It was a lapse in judgement," Newton, also the chairman of the East Greenwich Republican Town Committee, said. "I'd probably do it differently if asked to do it over."

Newton said he played a minimal role in the whole thing and simply helped get it set up.

He said Kettle came into the office one day and said "I got this cartoon," referring to a caricature of Guthrie as an octopus with tentacles clutching bags of money and reaching into a bucket of cash labeled "Fire Tax."

"I want to get it out," Kettle said. "How do I do it?"

They turned to the computer. 

"I said 'you can use Facebook,'" Newton said. "One thing led to another."

Kettle told the Providence Journal that he was merely trying to protect his constituents.

"I'm not going to apologize or complain about the rough and tumble politics that is Coventry," Kettle said. "We are dealing with a very divisive issue."

Kettle told the Journal that he was trying to show "who Rep. Guthrie is and what he has done to them in the legislature."

Newton said he hasn't had any contact from authorities and described the situation as "a tempest in a teapot," but Guthrie isn't taking the matter lightly and said he will soon be issuing a press release with more details about.

Jim Sullivan February 06, 2014 at 09:56 AM
John Cheap shots are not needed. I am Chairman of the Republican Town Committee and I will stand behind him all the way
listening February 06, 2014 at 09:57 AM
Politics aside, whether you like Guthrie or the CCFD or not, this was a childish prank and it has no place coming from an elected official.
Jim Sullivan February 06, 2014 at 10:14 AM
I am sorry this is all about politics. In this state there will always be a way to take a Republican down. Granted it might not have been the best move but, the other party have swept things under the rug, and the public did not know. But, I do
listening February 06, 2014 at 10:34 AM
Jim, please clarify. Are you standing behind him just because he is a republican? Or, do you believe in his politics. I realize you are the Chairman of the party, but you can't turn a blind eye if a republican commits a stupid act. I would expect that any chairman, democrat or republican, would use judgment. Beware the leaders you elect to represent you.
Stanley Martin February 06, 2014 at 10:34 AM
Jim, if you stand behind him and his actions then you prove that the entire GOP party is out of touch. This kid needs to go.... If the other side did this the Republican would be flipping out asking for the death sentence. If you can't say that what he did was wrong then I feel bad for you because you obviously are not that smart.
Stanley Martin February 06, 2014 at 10:36 AM
And jim don't throw stones if you can back it up. What was swept under the rug?
Moore & Updike February 06, 2014 at 11:08 AM
Mr Sullivan, what NK did was stupid, and standing behind him would not be the best move. No one did this to Kettle but himself he is the one who started this whole thing with uncalled for accusations, and a mocking Facebook page. DUMB MOVE!!
listening February 06, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Whatever the other party swept under the rug is irrelevant to this conversation. I was always told that two wrongs don't make it right. This kid was out of line and did a foolish thing. Period. Throwing down the democrats or attacking Guthrie is not going to take to focus off of it. Youngsters do foolish things. That is why they need to grow up before they play with the big boys.
Jim Almagno February 06, 2014 at 11:29 AM
I love the "Tax Bill: Fire Auto Tax" on the right side. This is another example of an outright lie used by Kettle, Morgan and Co. to fuel the rhetoric. If either one bothered to actually check, they would know that the right to tax automobiles was restored to the fire districts, statewide, in 2010. This was done by the General Assembly after then Governor Carcieri ended the revenue sharing payments to cities, towns and fire districts that were paid in lieu of collecting auto taxes. Don't believe me? Here is the link to the bill that consequently became law: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText10/HouseText10/H8270.pdf Scroll down to 44-34-6 Fire districts. It's all there. And no, Guthrie was not a sponsor of the bill. The sponsors were Reps Costantino, Melo & Carter. And even though the right to tax autos was granted, it has yet to be done, to my knowledge, by any of the Coventry fire districts. But don't let facts and truth get in the way of advancing the Tea Party ideology.
Moore & Updike February 06, 2014 at 11:44 AM
What I want to know is what GOOD LAWYER signed off on the CCFD board trying to close down the fire district. All the info that came from the state, the court, and the special master seems to say that this will cost us more money. I am all about NOT spending more money, and still having fire protection!
the fishmen February 06, 2014 at 12:14 PM
The poor elderly people that Ms. morgan is trying to protect from higher taxes, will pay much more when the dept. is gone
David Gorman February 06, 2014 at 12:15 PM
This is yet another example of the dirty politics in this town. I have maintained the position from the very beginning of the CCFD debacle that matters were not as bad as they seemed that they were being exacerbated by Political agendas. This story only stands to solidify my position as factual and accurate. The people of Coventry need to realize that they were misinformed and lied to by Nick Kettle. Kettle used deception and distortion to make you, me and many more believe that the Facebook page was actually Representative Scott Guthrie’s. How many private messages were sent to “Scott Guthrie” by his “so-called followers” that were answered by Nick Kettle from his grandfather’s house or at the State House or at his friend’s house on South Main Street? Did Nick respond to those and have private conversations with people that in all reality thaught they were talking with Represnative Guthrie. (Invasion of Privacy anyone). I will say that was crafty by the GOP to devise such a scam. But nonetheless, it was wrong. Kettle and his counterparts, the like of Karen Carlson, Pat Morgan, Richard Polselli, and Jim Sullivan (I am sure there are more) crafted the same “let’s just lie to and deceit the people” scam to take out CCFD. They employed that as a tactic to help publicize their name and push their agenda. Their scam, at least in CCFD was bought by the taxpayers and in the end because of these Dirty politically driven agendas, the people of CCFD could be subjected to a liquidation tax of 400% higher than what they have now and will be without fire or rescue service or any buildings or equipment because of it. Now watch the lie, deny, and deflect comments by the GOP!
listening February 06, 2014 at 01:00 PM
you are right David. Hasn't the judge already put in the order that the district may impose a levy if needed to pay the MERS. If the levy has been ordered for the MERs, the precedent has been set for the remainder of the debt.
THE Reporter February 06, 2014 at 01:45 PM
I think everyone agree's that young men will do stupid things. A young man with GOOD CHARACTER admits he was wrong or that it was not his finest choice ..... But KETTLE IS Not the least bit apologetic or remorseful. EVEN WORSE he is so closed and small minded that he is quoted saying its the ROUGH AND TUMBLE of COVENTRY POLITICS....I am SORRY (see how easy it was i just typed it) is COventry the only TOWN or CITY that has TOUGH POLITICS??? JUST LIKE THE GOP PUT A SPIN ON THE FIRE DEPARTMENT...... KETTLE really means.... we need to have COVENTRY THINKING for our POLITICAL STRATEGIES!EN!!! BUT again POOR KETTLE is the one being attacked by GUTHRIE!!! POOR POOR NICHOLAS KETTLE set up a fake facebook account in Rep. GUTHRIES name, typed posts and messages in GUTHRIES NAME and WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAM (probably learned that move practicing karate)..... NICK KETTLE IS NOW THE VICTIM------ THAT IS DEFINITELY SOME COVENTRY THINKING or COVENTRY's GOP's THINKING >>>> I hope that this is a WAKE UP CALL for everyone who thinks that these REPUBLICANS are fighting in your best interest... JUST REMEMBER 95% of the time GOP is ALWAYS pushing to CUT taxes which always seems great looking in from outside.... BUT YOU should be AWARE the sound proof glass your LOOKING THROUGH keeps you from hearing about how CUTTING SERVICES is ok more then likely because they will not be effected (AKA PATTY MORGAN)... or that there PROBABLY is some other form of ONE HAND WASHES THE OTHER... (NICK should be good at that after all his practice dishwashing) EITHER WAY you are left paying a little less now for a lot less when you need the SERVICES CUT... In CCFD's CASE its 4X MORE NOW and NO SERVICES!!!! THANK YOU NICK KETTLE LETS KEEP COVENTRY THINKING AND POLITICS UP!!!!!! I'M ALL STEAMED UP...... like the back windows after PROM....(probably over Kettle's head)
Steve Fay February 06, 2014 at 01:51 PM
Mr. Sullivan why have you yet to redact your memberships' continual lies and falsifications? I have seen the "Task Force" drops where the information is an out right lie. ex: "There is no lay off clause" in the flyer... yet taken directly from the contract: Page 23 Item 6. LAYOFFS AND CONTRACTING OUT 1314 A. Should conditions require a layoff, employees with the least departmental seniority shall be laid off first. Employees shall be called back from layoff by departmental seniority,the employee with the highest departmental seniority being the first to be called back..... Or Gralinski stating that the figure is $7.2 million to run the district for a year and yet he was rebuffed in court. He then goes out and makes the same statement in public! You say he is not part of your party. Correct, yet he was hand picked by Patricia Morgan and in turn she is supported by you, Kettle, Carlson, Matson, Quinn, Baker, Hadley, Lantz, and Fagan-Perry. The last six just named from the very same Task Force created by Morgan. These people either out right lie in the BOD meetings or condone the lying by not saying a word or following up with logical questions. Do I have a temper as seen before? Your DAMN right when I recognize out right lying! You sir, never correct and in fact allow it! So you should be commended for your stance behind young Nicholas and viewed with the same suspicion when you continually allow these despicable actions to occur!
honestresponse February 06, 2014 at 01:59 PM
Realistic Taxpayer - who are you and why do you hack into people's accounts. I left my contact name, not my first name - so why are you hacking into my account
Stanley Martin February 06, 2014 at 02:44 PM
Mr Sullivan seemed to disappear. Maybe that's a good thing...
Realistic Taxpayer February 06, 2014 at 02:55 PM
Honestresponse, I will not and have not engaged in any illegal or questionable activity. Please refrain from making accusations that I have done so. BTW you may want to check your patch profile. There you may find the answers to your questions and take the appropriate steps to protect yourself. Good day.
honestresponse February 06, 2014 at 04:10 PM
Realistic Taxpayer why are you looking at my Patch profile. Good riddance to you, you troll
Maloderous Rex February 06, 2014 at 04:53 PM
Like it or not, it's funny because it's true. Deal.
Einstein February 06, 2014 at 05:44 PM
To all the Illuminati posting on the Patch (Especially Vespadude)... ARE YOU THINKING OF RUNNING IN 2014 ? Now that we are into 2014, it is already time for anyone who is even remotely considering running for office this year to come forward. Candidates do not officially file their declaration of candidacy until June 23 to 25. However, we are asking potential candidates for the State Legislature to let us know right now, so that we can make them aware of what resources the state GOP can provide. In particular, we want to let them know about TRAINING CLASSES BEGINNING ON FEBRUARY 8 at the R.I. GOP training center in our headquarters. This is the first time we have ever done this so early; instead of waiting until July, when it is too late to do you any good. These classes, running for 5 weeks, will train candidates and campaign managers about door-to-door canvassing; communications & social media; get out the vote efforts; computer resources we are making available; and fundraising; among other things. Top experts from the R.I. GOP (led by Training Director Steve DeNuccio) are conducting these classes, together with Republican National Committee leaders, and top political consultants. We are not mentioning the times and complete schedule of this training, because we do not want people walking in off the street to come to this. We want to send the complete details only to those people even remotely considering a run for office this year. So if you have not already done so, please notify state GOP Chairman Mark Smiley of your intentions. Reply to this E-Mail, with copies to the following: Mark Smiley (state GOP Chair) - MSmiley@rigop.org Mark Dosdourian (Candidate Recruitment Chair) - mdjdosd@verizon.net Dave Talan (state GOP Corr. Secy.) - DaveTalan@aol.com Now let's see everyone get off their fat asses and do something productive, as you all obviously can do a better job than the officials you elected.
Realistic Taxpayer February 06, 2014 at 07:30 PM
Good evening Einstein, or should I say "illuminati", as you like to refer to others, yet you have the answer for everything, would you like to play a game?
Bill Overdeaux February 06, 2014 at 08:29 PM
Hey Harold! Send me one of those GOP applications. I'll run. I believe I will be looking for the Minister of GOP Propaganda slot.
John February 06, 2014 at 09:00 PM
Well Einstein you have proven the right-wing Taliban party is alive and on life support in RI!!
MSceen February 07, 2014 at 09:22 AM
Does anyone remember the " fake " Marie Baker facebook? I wonder who was responsible for that? How about the mailing that looked almost identical to the " task force " mailing? I wonder who was responsible for that? The GOP? Probably not. I guess it depends on who is involved.
David Gorman February 07, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Here is the actual police report. Not sure if anyone posted it previously, sorry for the repost if it was already up, but i just readit and thought I would pass it along. You can read how the "outstanding" Senator refused to cooperate with Police. What a stand-up pillar of the community! His website claims to be "Rhode Island's Whistle Blower" Should probbaly read do as I say not as I do. ~ http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2014/02/05/guthrie-police-report.pdf
listening February 07, 2014 at 10:26 AM
David, it seems a little strange after reading the police report that they ask Kettle to come down, his attorney refuses, and they say OK there is insufficient evidence. What the heck?
harleyrider8272 February 07, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Dave are sure it said "whistle" blower??
honestresponse February 08, 2014 at 09:02 AM
ACLU says, that while the facebook page may be offensive to some, it is political satire. It is an exercise of Freedom of Speech. ACLU is urging AG Kilmartin to cease any investigations. I'm not sure that anyone would have really known about of all this until Guthrie was so "offended". Please, if you are going to be in politics, develop a thicker skin. If the Freedom of Speech (1st Amendment) goes, the next thing that goes is the Right to Bear Arms (2nd Amendment)
RS February 08, 2014 at 09:11 AM
LOL ACLU this is the same group that just fought to get the convicted murderer a sex change operation at taxpayer expense. I don't think the issue is whether or not this is satire or if the puppet Kettle has the right to say it. The issue here is that he misrepresented himself as Guthrie, and he did this on State time and State computers. So yes, the idiot kid Kettle can satirize whomever he wants, but not on my dime......

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