Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo!

Dear Senator Leahy:

I admire your career and work on the 2007 Open Government Act and hope that its detractors will stop stonewalling. Has the Secret Senator who placed it on hold been identified? What is the current status?

Update: Found.

Next door to you in New Hampshire we face an issue of first impression:


Are the emails to and from an individual state representative subject to FOIA if that legislator is not in a quorum setting, but if said emails are:

a) made using State time and resources on her state email address.
b) made on her private email address but addressing a public issue.

Obviously the legislatures did not enact FOIA laws so that State Legislators could hide their work on these matters on private emails, then provide the taxpayers a gussied-up version in Committee.

You see, most of the citizens of North Country are appalled at State Representative Martha McLeod for her actions after the tragic double homicide in Franconia involving Liko Kenney, Bruce McKay and multiple-felon Gregory W. Floyd. For more on Floyd, read the ATF/Sullivan post. Representative McLeod -- now running for State Senator -- tried to sneak failed HB 1428 Bruce McKay Highway past her constituents and the Franconia Recovery and Reconciliation Committee as noted in KingCast v. McLeod et al., Grafton County 08-E-192.

The essence of this portion of the case boils down to the position of Colorado legislators and Courts, and of KingCast and of Knox County Law Director John Owings and Chief Deputy Law Director Mary Ann Stackhouse (Political Knoxville story) that such emails are subject to FOIA, versus the State of New Hampshire, which is vigorously trying to shield all of that. I have produced the relevant quotes in the comments section for your review and will telephone your office shortly.

Best regards, Christopher King, J.D.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ethics and split hairs guide the KingCast v. Martha McLeod email issue.

Every lawyer knows that they have an ethical obligation to address adverse law and opinions when they file a brief or Motion, particularly if they are already on actual notice that the adverse law is going to be argued. But none of the lawyers for Respondents even mentioned the adverse law clearly cited in Petitioner KingCast's Complaint, as noted this morning in the Kwame Kilpatrick/Martha McLeod post.

To wit: Respondents argue that the individual legislators are only part of a "public body" and so they don't have to produce any emails because RSA 91-A deals only with "public bodies." They then cite United we Stand America, Inc. v. IRS, 359 F.3d 595 (D.C. Cir. 2004) and Banks v. Lappin, 539 F.Supp.2d 228 (D.D.C. 2008) in support.

The problem is, Petitioner had already noted in Tennessee that other lawmakers view things differently under virtually the same exact wording. Emails to one individual commissioner, clearly not sitting in a quorum situation, are subject to the Act, period. A copy of the County Attorney's opinion, and of other applicable law will be provided to the Court prior to Oral argument. Here's the Political Knoxville story:

"Law Director John Owings and Chief Deputy Law Director Mary Ann Stackhouse cited Tennessee Code Annotated 10-7-301(6) in offering that opinion, which defined public records as all documents, papers, letters, electronic data files, and similar material “made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any governmental agency."

When asked if that included a constituent’s letters or emails to a commissioner, Owings replied, “If it is in connection with the transaction of official business, then the answer is yes.”

Owings also stated that, in the case of email, it wouldn’t matter if such communication was sent to the commissioner’s government account or to any private account the commissioner has.

“If [an email] relates to the transaction of official business, it wouldn’t matter if it were sent to an official Knox County account or a private account. It would be public record, in my estimation,” Owings said.

Turns out the Mayor was sanctioned for shady expenditures.

So regardless of what anybody has to say good, bad or indifferent about Martha McLeod, Kelly Ayotte, Christopher King, or KingCast, we are going to split hairs, and there will be an adjudication of this issue, which must be heard before the Court and not dismissed outright. Contrary to Respondents' naked assertions, there most certainly is a colourable case here and the New Hampshire public has a right to see and hear a full adjudication on this. For another analysis again read the Colorado case in the comments.

KingCast Memorandum in Opposition to Respondents’ Motion to Dismiss part trois; McLeod and Kilpatrick, two peas in a pod.

Dear Representative McLeod: In case it was not already clear, I find you less than trustworthy in any measure and respectfully request per RSA 91-A that you forward me any and all emails to and from your private email account in which you discuss HB 1428 Bruce McKay highway with any non-family member constituents.

Dear Senator Gallus, take a look at this, willya?

Just a couple of corrupt and deceitful, lying government employees sucking the lifeblood out of the American Democratic process. Carefully review the case law in the beginning of the comments section, where the State tried to slip totally irrelevant law involving an ecstasy drug dealer into play in this case, only to get confronted by the cold, hard facts.

As to that dirtbag Kilpatrick the AP story in today’s Boston Globe read in pertinent part:
“At a time when this city needed transparency, accountability and responsibility, you exhibited hubris and privilege at the expense of the city,”

-Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner, sentencing Kwame Kilpatrick to four (4) months of hard time in jail.

Note that Kilpatrick’s emails and text messages provided the backdrop for his downfall, and they were indeed released, as noted in the Huffington Post http://tinyurl.com/56n83g and, well, everywhere…… contrary to the cited law of Respondents at p.11 of their Memorandum in Support of Dismissal.

That case law is not even on point, however. First of all, the general principle was to “treat every email as if it were subject to disclosure,” as noted by the NH School Board Association webstie. Moving on to an analysis of the case law, then:

United States v. Forrester, 512 F.3d 500 (9 Cir. 2008) involved reasonable expectation of privacy in emails. Respondent wrote: (“persons have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the content of their emails”) but that case found that a criminal defendant in a drug case (ecstasy) has no reasonable expectation of privacy. Nor does a deceitful legislator. Here is the relevant headnote….(see comments for that and four (4) distinct sets of acts of material malfeasance and deceit by Respondent McLeod)....

Dear Attorney Frydman and State Representative Martha McLeod: It's after 1 July 2008, so give me the HB 1428 Bruce McKay Highway emails now.

Dear Counselor and Honorable Ms. McLeod:

In my Petition for Declaratory Judgment I noted that you all were charged with constructive knowledge that HB 1408 -- initiated before HB 1428 -- codified and ratified into RSA 91-A on 1 July 2008, compelled disclosure of all emails on public issues to and from the McLeod state email address.

You in turn, in your Motion to Dismiss, now claim that the applicable law of the case is that of the older RSA 91-A. While I still believe that version of the law compells disclosure, I'll ask you one more time: Please provide a copy of any and all emails to and from State Representative McLeod's public and private emails that concern the properly-failed HB 1428 Bruce McKay Highway. There. Now the Court will analyse this case under both versions should you refuse to provide the requested materials yet again. Now you as counsel have an ethical obligation to take that to your client, so she can now "see" my request, a fact that will become relevant in the next paragraph.

Furthermore, you all claim that Representative McLeod will swear that she never saw any of my requests for information, but that kind of logic is mere sophistry: If she provides the emails one can clearly see that she saw them. Not to mention the Certified U.S. Mail version I sent to her public office #7007 3020 0001 6051 6691 and to her private residence #0307 3330 0001 3502 8015 that she refused to accept. She cannot just absent herself from the Democratic process like that, with all due respect who in the hell does she think she is, counselor? I don't help pay her salary so that she can ignore emails, and it should not take a process server to give her hard copies of such emails. What you are doing, and what you are arguing, is patently absurd and if the Court lets you get away with it there is indeed no hope for New Hampshire in its entirety, much less North Country.

Have a nice day.
Very truly yours/Christopher King/KingCast.net

Friday, October 17, 2008

KingCast tells misguided Martha McLeod: if Sarah Palin gives up her emails so too will you, my friend. So too, will you.

I'm writing a Motion for Expedited hearing on the TRO issue because I don't want Defendant McLeod to claim she destroyed any of these records. I can't believe this pathetic example of a State Representative is actually going to waste taxpayer monies in defending her attempts to keep her emails about properly-failed HB 1428 Bruce McKay Highway hidden. Sorry Martha, as I told you in KingCast v. McLeod, Grafton 08-E-192 (original and as amended) and as noted by AGs from several states, you're gonna' give me those emails one way or another, as noted in today's MSNBC story.

A small victory: Copies of the requests themselves
Msnbc.com did receive from the governor's office copies of all the public records requests filed since she was inaugurated, and the replies from the governor's office. Palin took office in December 2006, after seeking office on a platform of clean and transparent government. [KingCast says, yah, get this:]

The price quotes reveal that Palin's office has repeatedly tried to charge different news organizations the cost to reconstruct the same e-mail accounts of the governor, her senior staff and other employees. Each time an e-mail is requested, the office quotes the same cost of $960.31 for 13 hours to recover and search each employee's e-mails.

NBC's price quote for e-mails sent to Todd Palin: $15 million.
******
That cost figure is all absurd; the State of NH has already provided documents like these at a minimal cost in the Franconia investigation. Also note that Kelly is dealing with a similar request from me on various public records requests, most notably the requests for information on the criminal investigation of Louis A. Copponi on Laurie issues, oh, yah. It all goes to Kelly's troopergate problem with Carey Carlberg that's gonna' cost taxpayers an arseload of loot.