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Asst. Attorney General's Secret Blog Against Gay Michigan Student President

Anderson Cooper Interview
Since April of this year, a conservative government official has been anonymously targeting a man he calls a "radical homosexual activist" -- blogging about his activities, disparaging his personal life, staging demonstrations outside of his residence, and naming and criticizing his known cohorts. There's nothing shocking about that, right? What if we were to tell you that the aforementioned official is Andrew Shirvell, a Michigan assistant attorney general, and that the aforementioned "activist" is University of Michigan senior and Student Assembly President Chris Armstrong?

Shirvell, who received his bachelor's from UM and was appointed to an assistant attorney generalship by Attorney General Mike Cox in 2007 (PDF), has anonymously blogged about Armstrong since the latter's inauguration as student assembly president last spring. Under the alias "Concerned Michigan Alumnus," Shirvell regularly posted to the Chris Armstrong Watch blog up until as recently as September 23rd. As evidenced in that most recent post, Shirvell has gone so far as to post and comment on screencaps of Facebook pages belonging to Armstrong and his friends, who are as young as 19-years old. Featured among the many posts are a photoshopped image of Armstrong alongside a swastika, references to him as being "racist," allegations of encouraging underage drinking and even claims of his having hosted an "orgy."

Armstrong, for his part, has remained largely tight-lipped, but did tell CNN that he has hired an attorney. Unapologetic and emphatically pointing to Armstrong's support of gender-neutral housing for transgender students, Shirvell told Anderson Cooper that he had been well within his First Amendment rights to write what he had. Attorney General Mike Cox had this to say in a statement: "Mr. Shirvell's personal opinions are his and his alone and do not reflect the views of the Michigan Department of Attorney General... But his immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office are clear."

Tags: andrew shirvell, AndrewShirvell, Chris Armstrong, ChrisArmstrong, college, cyberbullying, facebook, gay, libel, michigan, politics, socialnetworking, students, top, transgender, universityofmichigan, web