A federal judge in Tacoma, Washington foiled a local man’s attempt on Thursday to gain access to strip club workers’ personal information for what he described as religious reasons, KIRO-TV reported.
“I would pray for those dancers by name,” David Van Vleet said after his petition was U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton. “That is one of many protected reasons.”
Van Vleet filed a request with the public auditors’ office in Pierce County earlier this month to view the entertainment licenses for 70 dancers and managers at a Parkland strip club. Dancers are required by state law to obtain a $75 entertainment license before they can begin working. The licensing information includes the workers’ real and stage names, as well as their pictures, physical descriptions and birthdays.
“I was trying to do something for the public good,” Van Vleet told KIRO.
Auditor Julie Anderson subsequently notified 125 employees at the club about Van Vleet’s intentions, telling the Bellingham Herald that she did so because of “the nature of their work.” Barring a court order, she said, she would have to comply with his request under the state’s public records law.
In response, two dancers, who identified themselves as “Jane Doe 1” and “Jane Doe 2,” filed a complaint saying that giving their information to Van Vleet could endanger them.
“I feel I could be harassed by Mr. Van Vleet or other people with nefarious intentions,” one of the women said in the complaint. “I could suffer the loss of my other job and relationships because of the disclosure.”
The Tacoma News Tribune reported that Van Vleet, a civil engineer by trade, represented himself at Thursday’s hearing. He told Leighton that he would not release the dancers’ information and that the Public Records Act granted him access to their records.
Leighton did agree that the law did not contain any provisions blocking the release of dancers’ personal information to the public, but still granted a preliminary injunction stopping Van Vleet. A hearing regarding a permanent injunction on the issue is scheduled for Dec. 15.
“He essentially silenced 7 million people in the state of Washington to protect 70 peoples’ so-called right to privacy who dance on a stage naked,” Van Vleet said after the hearing.
Watch KIRO’s report on Van Vleet’s request, as aired on Thursday, below.
Intel official who briefed lawmakers on latest Russian meddling targeted for ouster by Trump White House: CNN
During a discussion on the war on the intelligence community being waged by the Donald Trump's White House, CNN host Victor Blackwell stated that sources speaking with the network stated that the intel official who briefed lawmakers for both parties on new efforts by Russia to meddle in U.S. elections could be on the way out.
Speaking with contributor Lynn Sweet, Blackwell asked about the so-called "purge" being conducted by the White House.
"It sends the signal once again that President Trump is not a respecter of the United States intelligence services with the bigger issue that a permanent director has not been in that office since last summer when Dan Coates was forced out," Sweet explained. "This is a key position, subject to Senate confirmation and Trump hasn't seen fit to have a permanent director for months now."
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews suggests four more years of Trump might be better for Democratic Party
As Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared headed for a decisive victory Saturday in the Nevada caucuses, MSNBC host Chris Matthews pondered whether President Donald Trump's re-election might be better for the Democratic establishment than the Vermont senator's multiracial, multigenerational movement taking over the party.
"I'm wondering if Democratic moderates want Bernie Sanders to be President?" said Matthews. "Maybe that's too exciting a question to raise. Do they want Bernie to take over the Democratic Party in perpetuity? Maybe they'd rather wait 4 years and put in a Democrat that they like."
‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ co-host says Democrats and the media are ‘the agents of Russia’ — not Trump
"Fox & Friends Weekend" co-host Pete Hegseth falsely claimed Friday that the media and Democrats are agents of Russia, because they are allegedly attempting to delegitimize President Donald Trump.
"Every single media member in that clip, every single Democrat that parrots what they are saying — they're working together. They are the agents of Russia," Hegseth told "Fox & Friends."
His comments came after the president's favorite morning show aired a montage of media outlets and Democrats discussing a recent report that Russia was trying to help Trump get re-elected.
"This is what Russia wants," Hegseth said. "They want to sow discord, and misinformation and delegitimize our republic — destabilize it — because they are not our friends. And they know that when we're strong, they are in a worse position."