In a bizarre email flame war turned over to The River Front Times this week, state Sen. Brian Nieves (R) insulted a constituent’s beard after being called a “douchetard” in the midst of an argument over who was to blame for an entry on a mailing list.
The exchange started after former city councilman and Wildwood, Mo. resident Bart Cohn replied to a newsletter by saying: “Take my off your mailing list. Freak.”
Nieves didn’t seem to like that, and wrote back: “Who are you? Is there something wrong with you? Are you incapable of communicating in a way that common, decent people do? Tell me this, how did you ever even get on MY Distribution list?”
So began a bizarre back-and-forth in which Cohn kept insisting he just doesn’t want the senator’s newsletter anymore, and Nieves insisting that Cohn explain how he got on the mailing list to begin with.
“I don’t care what you take well to. Take me off your list,” Cohn wrote. “I don’t know how I got on your list. And I don’t sneak. I’ll tell you to your face I think you’re a freak. Now act like a big boy, senator, and remove me from your list as I’ve requested. And stop harassing me or I’ll make an issue of it.”
Nieves apparently took umbridge to the word “issue,” and demanded an explanation. “Are you threatening an elected official?” he asked. “I’m sure your very Big & Bad & Tuff.” He went on to caution Cohn, saying he must be “Very Careful to NEVER Threaten me!”
“I didn’t threaten anyone, you tool,” Cohn replied. “You are such a douchetard its not even funny. Now go do some work on your insane conspiracy theories that everyone laughs about behind your back. You’re a joke!”
That was it from Cohn; the messages that followed from Nieves put the conversation to rest for good.
“Wow,” the senator replied. “Your communications are so thought provoking, well written, and intelligent. Perhaps you secretly want to be on my distribution list because every time you send me a message, your email is recaptured and put on my distribution list. I’m tiring of taking you off every time you email me AGAIN so unless you are in love with me or have some other sort of sick obsession with me (sorry, I’m straight as an arrow) you should probably stop emailing me so that you don’t keep getting put back on the list. Should I type these instructions slower? Are you having a hard time understanding? BTW – I archive ALL questionable emails like yours in case there’s ever any doubt about who got ugly first. Go back to the grade school playground where people you can successfully bully and out smart are playing cuz junior… You are way out of your league with me.”
He added, in an unsolicited follow-up sent hours later: “BTW… You really don’t look good with a beard.”
“I shouldn’t have called him names,” Cohn wrote in the comments on The River Front Times‘s story. “But I’d just had enough of him. He was spamming me left and right with his insane newsletters, I’d just had surgery, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I was shocked he wrote me back immediately, I had expected him just to remove me from his distribution list. And then for him to write me back 5 more times after that… I’ll let the public be the judge of what went down between us.”
Nieves is the same lawmaker who, after winning a 2010 Republican primary, was accused of assaulting his opponent’s campaign manager and forcing him to strip while threatening him with a gun, ostensibly so he could prove he wasn’t wearing a wire. The case was not prosecuted as a criminal offense, and the two settled a civil suit on the matter out of court.