Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lola Sherman keeps them honest

Daniel Shinoff and MiraCosta College trustees just don't get it.

Attorney Daniel Shinoff boasts that he's an expert in the Brown Act. (The Brown Act says public entity boards must keep all meetings open except in specific circumstances.)

But Shinoff apparently hasn't been urging his clients at MiraCosta College to obey the Brown Act.

Here's the point, Dan: The issues in the MiraCosta debate are serious public issues, not a private matter between trustees.

You and Richart and the majority trustees have threatened the minority trustees because they discussed Richart with the media. But you and the majority trustees don't seem to want to discuss ANYTHING in public.

Thank goodness that Lola Sherman of the San Diego Union Tribune was present at a recent meeting to represent the public's right to hear the debate. How else will the public know whom to vote for if they don't know what the board members say and think?

Sure, there might be some personality clashes as a result of the $3 million investigation you and Victoria Richart masterminded, but this is not some sort of couples counseling. These are public officials making decisions, and the majority seems to have made some very bad decisions.

< Minority bloc MiraCosta College Trustee Jacqueline Simon

I think the majority board members simply want to threaten the minority in private, out of earshot of the public.

Stay strong, Gloria, Judy and Jacqueline! Elections are coming, and help is on the way.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ninth Circuit Denies Full Immunity for Web Service

Ninth Circuit Denies Full Immunity for Web Service in Case
April 10, 2008

On April 3, 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley, et al., v., LLC that merits consideration by online services generally. (Roommates) was sued by the housing council for violating fair housing laws, but the company had successfully argued at the district court level that, as an interactive computer service, it should be immune from liability for the content posted by its users under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). The Ninth Circuit, en banc, held that the website was not entitled to this immunity because it "materially contributed" to the "development" of unlawful content. Most notably, as a condition to registering for the site, users were required to create a profile by selecting from pre-populated answers to various unlawful, discriminatory questions about their housing preferences.

Under Section 230(c), "[n]o provider . . . of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." The statute makes clear, however, that immunity does not apply if the service provider also participated as an "information content provider," that is, a party "responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development" of the offending content.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Patrick O'Toole goes looking for a friend--and finds one!

Patrick O'Toole, head of the Public Integrity Unit in the San Diego District Attorney's office, has been having a hard week. He's been trying to convince a juror that when Steve Castaneda asked how much a condo would cost, that proved he intended to buy one. And that even though O'Toole didn't uncover wrongdoing during his lengthy investigation, Castaneda should be convicted of perjury FOR SAYING HE DIDN'T INTEND TO BUY A CONDO, WHICH HE, IN FACT, DID NOT BUY.

So you can see how O'Toole would be going around scouting up someone who would make him look professional.

O'Toole found Martin Garrick, R-Carlsbad, who agrees that O'Toole needs not one, but TWO, grand juries to help him find public officials who might say something he disagrees with during grand jury proceedings.

Martin Garrick is the sponsor of the two-criminal-grand-juries-for-San Diego bill, who apparently thinks that San Diego prosecutors have done such a fine job with the Public Integrity Unit and cases such as the indictment by a grand jury of the innocent 15-year-old brother of murder victim Stephanie Crowe, that we really should skip preliminary hearings more often.

After all, who needs a judge deciding if prosecutors should go to trial?

Garrick and O'Toole seem like petty, malicious versions of Don Quijote, tilting at people who oppose their favorite politicians.

They say a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Maybe Martin Garrick thinks there are too many ham sandwiches walking around free.

Or maybe he needs another grand jury to investigate Cheryl Cox?