It is with sadness that we announce Heroic Media Group, LLC will be closing our doors for good.
This comes not by our decision, but as a necessity brought about by a few bad actors who have chosen to slander our good work for their personal gain.
We sought to reconcile in September and again formally in October. This only served to embolden these people and necessitated further legal action on our part. In February, we issued a formal demand letter through our legal counsel hoping their harassment and slander would cease. Regrettably, their behavior only grew worse. Having no other recourse, we directed our attorneys to file a formal complaint with the court which we must now pursue.
Let it be known that ours was a small woman-owned business that formed to serve not only small businesses, but also good people who stepped up to run for local, state and national offices. We believe that candidates not beholden to corporations are free to serve their constituents and our work was offered freely through in-kind donations for services. We knew we were taking a heavy loss to do this work, but never expected to be subjected to harassment for doing so and certainly not by some of the very same candidates we had helped in their 2016 races.
“…we feel strongly that addressing this behavior is necessary and the last service we can provide to help ensure no other volunteer, activist, or candidate must endure the same behavior we have faced over the last year. This ends now.”
As lifelong volunteers, Democrats, LGBT and civil rights activists, we have been appalled by the behavior of some who represent themselves as Democratic Party leaders and yet made statements about our company and our work.
Our concern was that this behavior by a few would be damaging to the reputation of our company and its officers and could reflect negatively on the candidates with whom we were working. Therefore, we made the decision to handle the ongoing matter privately to prevent undue influence on their elections. As a result, the damage to our business and our operating capital has been devastating.
There is no place for coercion, harassment, intimidation or threats in any lawful, civil society.
While we close our business, we feel strongly that addressing this behavior is necessary and the last service we can provide to help ensure no other volunteer, activist, or candidate must endure the same behavior we have faced over the last year. This ends now.
We thank you for your support and patience as we transition through this final process.
And for the many witnesses who stepped up quietly to offer support, copies of emails, video, photos, text messages, and witness statements – we thank you. You recognized what was wrong and for you, that mattered more than personalities or titles. We could not do this without you.
~ Heroic Media Group, LLC
Our interview with Hard Lens Media on our civil defamation case. https://youtu.be/UJJeXdYg2lg
Watch this carefully as defamation laws are in place to govern proper campaign activity as well as general public interaction. No, your first amendment rights do not absolve you of adherence to these laws.
What Action We Took:
- 1 Call to County Party Chairman Bissett to reconcile what appeared to be a misunderstanding, a call which he grossly misrepresented and used to his advantage, September 2017 (Meeting minutes from District Chair Ruth Scifo show admitted retaliation and that this was due to comments made by K. Barber. Additional emails correspondence from Chairman Bisset support this.)
- 2 Calls, emails with CC to Bisset to county party secretary to verify propriety of Vote Builder usage and confirm the false nature of Bisset’s false accusations, October 3, 2017. Report Received. (Note, the IP address and data tower for Heroic Media Group and K. Barber is located on Three Oaks Rd in Cary, IL not in Algonquin.)
- Submitted to an independent audit to review our billing practices. This auditor was consistently rated as the top forensic auditor in the State for NFP auditing. See the report here
- Client/Witness Affidavits obtained (October 2017 – present)
- Witness statements and documentation (September 2017 – present)
- 1 call, 1 email to the State Democratic Party Vote Builder administrator, requesting he cancel the account, September 2017, neither the call nor the email was returned.
- 2 Calls to Chairman Madigan’s office tasked with managing harassment complaints, 2018. No calls have been returned.
- 1 Cease & Desist delivered via certified mail, October 2017 See here
- 1 Demand letter delivered via certified mail, February 2018 See here
- 1 Complaint filed April 18, 2018 See the full complaint here
Criminal Complaint: 18LA000135 HEROIC MEDIA LLC, ET AL VS BISSET, MICHAEL, ET AL http://caseinfo.co.mchenry.il.us/pca/
- Police report April 23, 2018 filed against State Senate Candidate Nancy Zettler for cyber stalking/harassment by electronic means, Village of Cary Police: 18-2426 (Here is what Illinois State Law says: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=095-0849)
- We reached out to State Senator Melinda Bush for assistance and direction as she has championed recent legislation concerning party employees and sexual harassment. Her chief of staff directed us to her website for private citizen activist. We were also directed to the Illinois Chairman’s Association for assistance.
- Illinois Democratic Party Chair’s Association posts an article, “An Argument to Protect Your PCs” from Chair Zahorik about the importance of protecting PCs. This was the organization we were directed to for assistance.
July 20 – Our first Court appearance. Details to follow.