Authors Note: Mike Higby passed away on 4/19/2015. We wrote about it briefly here. We’ll leave up Higby’s entry on the Enemies list for matters of historical record. But we’re sorry to know Higby’s no longer able to hold Gatto’s feet to the fire and inspire our bemused ire. RIP Higby.
Mike Higby is the charlatan behind “Mayor Sam,” one of the most popular blogs in the SoCal political scene. Which is like saying he’s the king bonner-face of nerdville. Since Mike Gatto’s stunning underdog victory in California’s 43rd district, Higby has made it his personal mission to destroy Gatto by any deceptive and shameful means necessary.
Higby made headlines in mid-2010 when he published a pack of treasonous lies against our representative. Gatto responded, as any honorable man would, with a polite letter from his attorney. Higby, in turn, yielded and removed the offensive and misleading posts from his site and explained their publication in a pathetic mea culpa.
Gatto’s swift blow to Higby sent shockwaves of fear through the passive-aggressive cyber-bullysphere, and soon other bloggers were rallying to Higby’s defense. Or rather, they rallied in offense against Mike Gatto, who threatened their impugnity when it came to slandering public officials online.
Perhaps this was all part of Higby’s plan. The notorious muckracker has delighted in embarrassing public officials who work tirelessly on behalf of all Californians. While politicians’ hands are tied by tempest-in-a-teapot scandals in the blogosphere’s echo chamber, the innocent citizens of California suffer. And cyber-thugs like Higby are laughing all the way to the bank, one mouse-click at a time.
After Higby initiated his Internet shakedown of the Gatto campaign, a blog critical of Higby appeared on the scene. The anonymous blogger posted these hilarious real-life photos of Mike Highby, along with some brutally scathing jokes about his obesity and living situations.
But the blog wasn’t all just fun and games. The first lengthy post was an indictment of Higby’s deceitful, hypocritical, libelous, and mean-spirited posts about Mike Gatto, as well as other politicians in Sacramento. In addition to charges of libel, the still-unknown author accused Higby of being a racist, a republican, and of taking bribes from politicians for favorable coverage.
Higby and his gang of cyberthugs accused the Gatto campaign of creating the blog. Of course, they had absolutely no evidence of this accusation, still don’t and never will.
Even still, Gatto tore himself away from the people’s business and indulged them once more as he addressed their smear campaign head-on. “I, my team, my staff, my consultants, my friends, etc. did not put up that blog,” he stressed. “As someone who had to deal with a lot of very nasty and untrue personal attacks, I would never let anyone associated with me make similar personal attacks, in any format including a web site.”
But after the dust settled, Higbygate’s virtual Deepthroat vanished. He never posted again. His volumes of evidence against Higby, proving him to be the racist mastermind of a Sacramento-wide payola scheme would remain sealed, like the Warren report, for future generations to speculate about.
All of this could have been avoided if Higby and his Mayor Sam blog had been honest in the first place. Had they never lied about Mike Gatto, the cosmic chain of events that ended in an online mini-scandal could have been avoided.