Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Journal "reports" on APS Character Counts!

Normally, I try to leave reporters out of the fight.
I hold editors responsible newsworthiness decisions.

In this case, link, I hold the reporter responsible, if for
nothing else; the content. It is (deliberately) misleading.
The average Journal reader of this article will probably come away believing APS is doing an ok job on character education. They are not.

Read the resolution by which the APS School Board unanimously adopted Character Counts! as the model for character education, link.

Take a look at the search of the APS website for "character counts!", link.

If you ask APS Director of Communications Rigo Chavez for a public record indicating that the District has spent even one penny on any concerted district wide effort, he will admit there is not one.

Carole Smith who is apparently being paid to be the district wide coordinator, admits that there is no district wide effort to coordinate; the "... emphasis looks different at every school."

Tell me that the District's effort for Character Counts! is not an abject failure by any honest measure.

The most glaring omission in the piece was the subject of role modeling. How can you investigate and report up character education and not investigate and report upon role modeling?

Character is taught by role models.
Character is taught by personal example.
Character is taught only by personal example.

There used to be a role modeling clause in the standards of conduct that applied to administrators and board members.
It read;

In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
The statement was important because it represented our promise that we would not expect more of students than we expect of ourselves. If we really want students to grow into adults who embrace character and courage and honor, someone has to show them what it looks like.

The role modeling clause was removed by board members who did not want to be held honestly accountable to the same standards of conduct that they establish and enforce upon students; the Pillars of Character Counts!, a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

The leadership of the APS has no intention of being held honestly accountable to any standard of conduct higher than the law. The law, being the lowest standard of conduct among civilized people. There is ample evidence that they have no intention of being held honestly accountable even to the law.

The leadership of the APS has no intention of being held honestly accountable to any standard of conduct that requires them to tell the truth.

They have abdicated as role models of the Pillar of Character Counts! and reporter Hailey Heinz didn't report it. (Neither has she investigated and reported upon the cover up of corruption in the APS Police Department, nor upon the denial of due process to whistle blowers.)

The buck stops on the desk of Kent Walz who either
encouraged her, or allowed her to write a story that saves

School Board President
Marty Esquivel
any embarrassment over the fact that he cannot look voters in the eyes and promise them that he will hold himself honestly accountable as the senior-most role model of the student standards of conduct even for the few hours a day he holds them accountable to those same standards.

There just might be a few "nut job" voters out there who think that the character and the courage necessary to step up to as a role model of honest accountability to the student standards of conduct, are important qualities in a school board candidate.

cc Hailey Heinz upon posting.

photo Mark Bralley

Whistle blowing requires a whistle

APS Assoc Supt Ruby Ethridge blew the whistle on the bully in Supt Winston Brooks. She blew the whistle by means of emails to a number of people.

She is taking some heat for the "manner" in which she blew the whistle; mass emailing. Though electronic, it is fundamentally no different than blowing an actual whistle. The idea is that a number of people will hear you, and maybe some of them will help.

The idea in any mass mailing is the hope that you will hit upon someone who isn't potentially complicit or complacent in the conspiracy to keep your complaint under wraps.

There is nowhere in the APS where a complaint against an administrator or board member is guaranteed due process. Brooks has the authority, and has exercised the authority to close complaints against himself.

So where was Ethridge supposed to have complained?

To the School Board? That is in fact, quite logical.
The Superintendent reports to the Board; they hire him.

School Board President Marty Esquivel has no right to be upset that the complaint was brought to him. His upset was that the whole thing was not handled in secret. He is running for re-election to the school board. He does not want his handling of the allegation to be used against him in February. His handling; sweeping it all under the rug.

To the Journal? The Journal is holding the rug up while Esquivel sweeps. Brooks, Esquivel, and Journal Editor Kent Walz are thick as thieves. Walz just gave Brooks a Dixon Award, does anyone really suppose he will investigate and report upon credible allegations of a hostile work environment, created by his crony?

To the court system? It looks likely that we will see how she fares there. But things have a way of disappearing. What ever happened to the federal law suit against Brooks and school board heavy hitter Paula Maes?

Tax dollars, lots of tax dollars, will be spent by APS/Modrall to litigate exception to the law for both Brooks and Maes. Ethridge's row to hoe is going to be a tough one. Modrall is one of the most powerful law firms in the state, and enjoys an unlimited budget by means of a large bore pipeline to tax dollars for education.

To Silentwhistle? The School Board's Audit Committee is required by School Board Policy to provide review and approval of every single whistleblower complaint. Marty Esquivel and the rest, have yet to review a single complaint.

He too was in on the Brooks' Dixon Award.

He goes down with Brooks, he hired him.
He extended his contract, twice.
He gave Brooks a half million dollar golden parachute.

To the APS PD? Maybe she should have gone to APS Police Chief Steve Tellez. He is currently the subject of a vote of no confidence from his rank and file, and happens to be the person most responsible legally, for the fact that evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators, has still not been surrendered to the DA for prosecution.

He hasn't responded to either of two emails asking when he expected to complete the now 3 1/2 year long investigation of public corruption in the leadership of the APS Police Department.

To any internal APS office? Been there done that.
Lost my tee shirt.

Bottom line is that there really is no place within APS where a legitimate complaint is guaranteed due process.

So Ethridge blew a whistle in the hope that someone would hear it, and that someone would do something.

A person drowning calls out to everybody within earshot.

There is no indication that her call was heard. She has been exiled to Siberia and likely, will think twice about rocking the boat again.

There is no impartial investigation underway.
The investigative final report will not require hiding,
it will simply be, never created.

photos Mark Bralley

Monday, November 29, 2010

The foundation comes first

In order to build anything, you begin with the foundation.
The best wall built on a shoddy foundation, will fall.

What is the foundation of government? in particular
government of the people and by the people?

How can the people control the spending of their power and
their resources, without knowledge of both?

The fountain that fills the pool of public knowledge
is transparency.

Transparency is fundamental; it is foundational.

It has to come first.

It has to come next.

It has to come before everything else.

Even if we have to fight to make it so.

Transparency is the foundation for open government.

It's worthy of a fight.

Berry still hiding from the press.

I have nothing new to report; the news is that there is no news. The circumstances remain the same.

Chris Huffman Ramirez thinks he has the authority to determine who is, and is not, a member of the press , and therefore entitled to equal treatment under the law. He is exercising that "authority" to discriminate against bloggers.

Huffman-Ramirez speaks
for Mayor Berry.

He has told me straight out;
if I have any questions to ask Mayor Berry, I will ask them through him.

In the absence of any
indication to the contrary,
Mayor Richard Berry is
in tacit agreement with,
and in full support of,
of the authority he has usurped.

His failure to intervene, is manifest support for Huffman-Ramirez' prejudice against bloggers.

It is reasonable to conclude that; Mayor Richard Berry
does not recognize bloggers as members of a free press.

photos Mark Bralley

The Governmental Restructuring Task Force; feckless?

The Governmental Restructuring Task Force, link, is
finishing up. What impact their work will have, both in the
short and long term, is debatable and not a done deal by any stretch, link.

They were charged with creating a plan to make government more efficient.

Their plan does not include, nor did they ever discuss;
making government more efficient by making it more
transparently accountable to the people.

They once promised they would have an open and honest discussion about transparency, then reneged.

There is a fundamental reform; transparent accountability.
It has its limits. We need to define them clearly, unequivocally
and rather immediately. And then start enforcing them by
means of due process.

First, we must expose the ethically redacted truth.
Only then we will decide what to do about it.

No reform measure can be trusted if it cannot be seen;
transparency precedes reform. Transparency is the
foundation upon which all reforms rest.

The fundamental governmental efficiency is transparency.
The Governmental Restructuring Task Force would
not even talk about it.

The Task Force tried once to survey state employees, and
then did nothing when Gov Bill Richardson blocked the survey.

Yeah, I think "feckless" is fair.

Brooks' "happy place"

When the Journal editors finished writing their editorial for
this morning's paper, link, they were apparently satisfied
enough with their conclusion to print it;
they hope APS Supt Winston Brooks finds his "happy place".

They illustrated the editorial with a couple of examples of the most recent unhappiness; the Ethridge affair (including School Board President Esquivel's inappropriate email exchange) and Brooks' new hybrid SUV.

The editors still will not deal with the ongoing cover up of the corruption in the APS Police Department, the ongoing denial of due process for whistleblower complaints, and the ongoing ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Brooks can stonewall his way out of the Ethridge mess; he can roll up the windows on his SUV and the poor example it sets, but he can't explain away the APSPD cover up, the due process denial, and the role modeling scandal.

"Happily" for him, Kent Walz and the rest of the Journal editors don't expect him to, not even in light of the upcoming school board election.

They will ignore the fact that nobody is talking about any kind of independent investigation of credible allegations of a hostile work environment for APS employees. They will ignore the fact that a hostile work environment manifests itself in the fundamental failure of any organization, in particular educational institutions whose success depends on creative thinking and problem solving. What better way to suppress them than creating an environment that is hostile to them?

They will write, or have written, stories about SUVs and
emails, and will ignore the fact that one in ten Albuquerqueans
are APS students on track to drop out of high school.

So what does Brooks have to be unhappy about?

The Journal editors needn't be concerned that Brooks
cannot find his happy place; they have given him one.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Taking it to the limit, if not now, then when?

There is a limit on governmental transparency.

It is ethically defensible.

We are not yet there, but we will get there.

Which begs a question;

Why not by the close of business on the first day
of the next legislative session?

As opposed to the last day. Or worse, as opposed to
not getting around to it ever.
When the question is will you tell the truth,
the answer must be yes, and it must be immediate.

Anything else means, no.

It means no, and politicians and public servants do not get to answer that question with any response that means "no".

Not unless we let them.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Brooks' new ride

The Journal this morning, link, reported the back story about how APS Supt Winston Brooks came to get a brand new $28K hybrid SUV to tool around in, while at the same time we're trying to figure out how to make scarce dollars stretch as far as possible.

It turns out that the vehicle was bought for a maintenance worker who might need to drive up to Sandia Peak in inclement whether. Unfortunately, when the vehicle arrived, it was discovered that his ladder wouldn't fit into his new ride.

The solution; swap vehicles with the Supt who was already driving an SUV large enough to carry a ladder.

It all makes sense up until you wonder how it came to be that the District bought an expensive rolling tool box which was too small to hold all the tools. By any objective standard, the purchase was a $28K screw up.

The Journal's coverage, of course, stopped short of identifying the senior administrator(s) and purchasing guidelines responsible for buying an SUV for a purpose it did not fit.

Journal covers APS public forum, finally.

The Journal, though in attendance at more APS Public Forums than can be counted; they have never found it particularly newsworthy.

Journal reporters have sat an listened to credible allegations made during public forums, that the leadership of the APS has

  • abdicated as role models of the student standards of conduct,
  • are hiding evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators, and
  • are denying due process to hundreds of whistle blower complaints against administrators, and not reported a word of it.
and has never printed a word.

But let there be a public forum where the participants are praising the leadership, and suddenly the Journal is all over it, link.

Rio parents question Ethridge reassignment.

Assoc Supt Ruby Ethridge alleged that Supt Winston Brooks has created a hostile work environment. The next thing she knew, she was banished from the administrative digs at 6400 Uptown Blvd and found herself reassigned to the beleaguered Rio Grand High School.

et al, say it is not a punishment at all, and certainly not retaliation for voicing a legitimate concern about Brooks' leadership style. This despite the fact that Ethridge will take home $45K less next year. Assuming Ethridge continues to work for the District, and does not own it as the result of a "settlement agreement" with the District; it is difficult to cast a $45K pay cut as anything but a demotion. But expect APS' million dollar spin machine; the Communications Department will give it their best shot. Though Brooks' spinners claim this in not a "demotion" in retaliation for alleging Brooks' misconduct, it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck.

The parents at RGHS are justifiably concerned that Rio is becoming a dumping ground for senior administrators that Brooks want to get rid of. The Journal reports, link,

"I hope he isn't thinking in his own mind that this is a dumping ground for disgruntled employees," said former state Sen. James Taylor, who is on the school's instructional council.
APS Executive Director of Communications admitted to the Journal that, the Rio position was one no one else wanted;
"That position has been open for the entire school year and no one has applied".
She went on to point out though,
"Ruby is an excellent choice for Rio Grande High School at this point."
The Journal reports;
Esther Rivera, an active Rio Grande parent, said she has always been impressed with Ethridge, but she also resents the implications of the transfer.
"For Winston Brooks to sort of use this school like Siberia — 'Ruby, we're going to send you to Siberia' — that really is indicative that this is a man who doesn't do things based on student needs. He's not making decisions based on the best fit for the school," Rivera said. "That really is very demeaning to the community."
The biggest stink in the whole situation wafts up from under the carpet where Ethridge's allegations have been swept.

Though bullying violates school board policy; the anti-bullying policy will be enforced only on student bullies. Like APS student and adult standards of conduct in general, students are held accountable to a higher standard of conduct than the adults who establish and enforce the higher standards upon them.

No one, including the Journal, is talking about beginning any independent investigation of Ethridge's allegations.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Are you ready to rumble?

Governor Elect Susana Martinez stands at a turning point in history. The culture of corruption in Santa Fe will end, or not, on her watch. We will leave the well established path, or continue upon it.

We needn't wait four years to evaluate her effect.

The effect will be known on January 18th, 2011,
Put Up or Shut Up Day
in New Mexico.

One cannot end corruption and incompetence without exposing corruption and incompetence. One cannot expose corruption and incompetence without exposing the individually corrupt and incompetent.

Expect some push back.

Does Martinez have the character and the courage to actually pull the trigger on the careers of a bunch of corrupt and incompetent politicians and public servants?

There is an indicator; transparency.

If she can prove she is willing to shine sunlight on every aspect of the spending of the people's power and resources; she will have proved that she is willing to let the chips fall where they may in the full exposure of the culture of corruption.

If she doesn't push transparency to the limit, her hesitation is indicative of something. If she isn't willing to explain, defend, deny or even acknowledge her reservations, we are left to conclude that she too is willing to compromise on transparency, and by extension, willing to "grandfather in" formerly corrupt and incompetent politicians and public servants. Since grandfathering in the corrupt is itself corrupt, there can be no grandfathering in, in a genuine end of a culture of corruption.

When our government is as transparent to us as the law will allow, the culture of corruption will evaporate.

A culture of corruption provides temptation to moral weakness. Transparency eliminates temptation and eliminates corruption.

Accountability is fatal to corruption and incompetence;
100% accountability is 100% fatal.

For as long a politicians and public servants control the redaction of the public record and public meetings, the culture of corruption is enabled.

Until deliberative meetings are webcast to a searchable archive, the culture of corruption is enabled.

Casinos don't get ripped off nearly as often as government.
It isn't because they hire human beings with super human character. It isn't that their employees are more able to resist temptation,
it is because their employees are delivered from temptation by transparency.

If there is no way to steal, there is no temptation to steal.

If there is no way to be a corrupt politician or public servant,
there is no temptation to be corrupt.

There are at least two kinds of legislators; those who are willing to fight for transparency limited only by the law, and, those who are not.

If you subscribe to the thinking that avers;

if you're not part of the solution,
you are part of the problem,
then those who are not willing to fight for transparency,
fight for secrecy and obscurity. It is a fight they cannot win

We allowed secrecy and obscurity to thrive in government
only though our inattention. We have the high ground in
any open and honest battle over the principle.

Legislators who obfuscate transparency measures, even by
doing nothing, in fact, especially by doing nothing,
will continue to win, by continuing to not lose.
They can never win, they can only not lose.

They win, until the day the house is divided, the day that
everyone has to pick a side.

I believed at one point, link, that Senator Tim Eichenberg promised that the Governmental Restructuring Task Force, would talk about transparency. They never did.

The responsibility was not his alone; there are seventeen other members of that Task Force, any one of whom could have said, let's talk about transparency.

There is a line where transparency and obscurity divide. That line needs to be clear and unequivocal. There needs to be due process (speedy and fair) to decide inevitable disputes when the line doesn't apply clearly.

The power is ours, the resources are ours, and the truth about their spending is ours. It is our prerogative to establish the policy and the process which guarantees our access to the ethically redacted truth about the public interests; our power, our resources, and their public service.

"They" win as long as they can avoid an open and honest discussion. Stonewalling, though dishonest on its face, is demonstrably effective in avoiding confrontations on transparency.

It hides nothing. When the question is
do you promise to tell the truth?

any answer except yes means, no.

"They" will not promise to tell us the truth
because they don't intend to tell us the ethically truth.

We have lost control over the spending of our power and resources. If we don't know the truth about the spending of our power and resources, we have no control over the spending of our power and resources.

That control was usurped not given. The usurpers do not
intend to give it back. They do not intend restore control
to the people by holding themselves honestly accountable
to the truth. It is time to identify them and call them out.

It is time to divide the house; those for transparency and
those against it.

Let's draw a line and pick sides.

I cannot think of a single good reason that this battle
must be not begin in the very first minute of the very first day
of the very next meeting of our legislature.

Let there be a clash on the steps of the Roundhouse between
  • those who would hide the truth about the spending of the people's power and resources, and about their public service, and
  • those who are willing to gather their torches and pitchforks and carry them in defense of government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Let's get it over with,
let's rumble.

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Journal eds opine; stakeholders entitled to the truth

I agree with the basis of the Journal editors' upset, link.

They believe, if a politician or public servant, in this case
Las Vegas Public Schools Supt Richard Romero,

is put on paid leave, the people paying for the leave deserve to know why.

Closer to home, we don't know if APS Assoc Supt Ruby Ethridge's allegations against Supt Winston Brooks are justified.

We still don't know why the last APS CFO is sitting at home on paid leave. Or why he actually extended his contract while his was on already on paid leave.

Heck, we still don't know why APS Police Chief Gil Lovato spent six months on paid leave, or why the evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators has not been turned over to the DA even after 3 1/2 years.

Journal readers will never know.

What is the effective difference to stakeholders between school boards who won't tell the truth, and newspapers who would print it, even if they did?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

School Police not part of the take down at Eldorado High School

There are two kinds of police officers stationed at Eldorado High School; APSPD and APD. One police force is a publicly funded private police force accountable only to the leadership of the APS. The other is accountable, albeit indirectly, to the people.

They don't play well together, link.

An APD cop was recognized recently, link, for the identification and arrest of a EHS student making bomb threats.

The participation of APS police officers is not mentioned.
One could conclude they are being dissed and their
participation deliberately ignored, or that there was no
participation to ignore in the first place.

Perhaps they were stationed somewhere else,
standing between the leadership of the APS and dissidence.

Journal witnessed Brooks blow up

The Journal coverage of the allegations made by Assoc Supt Ruby Ethridge; that Winston Brooks has created a hostile work environment for his subordinates, is giving the allegation short shrift.

The Journal was there
when Brooks blew up
after a meeting with
Charter School leaders
and the Secretary of
Public Education
Veronica Garcia, link.

Journal reporter Andrea Schoellkopf, seen here at the meeting was there to cover the meeting, link. It is beyond credulity that she was unaware of the blow up, which would exonerate her failure to report upon Brooks use of profanity and what seemed to be a deliberate physically bumping into, as Brooks stormed out of the meeting.

Serious questions of the Journal's ability and/or inclination to furnish fair and balanced coverage of the leadership of the APS, will hang over their "coverage" of the candidates and issues in the upcoming school board elections February, 2011.

photo Mark Bralley

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ACLU-NM; thanks, but no thanks

I believe it is fair to say;

the New Mexico Civil Liberties Union, link, is aware than APS School Board President Marty Esquivel is employing a publicly funded private police force; a Praetorian Guard, to deny my right to exercise my constitutionally protected human rights to free speech, to petition my government, and to run for political office.
Esquivel and I are co-equal candidates in APS School Board District 4. He, I, and anyone else who runs in District 4 are co-equal.

One of us doesn't get to abuse his power and influence by limiting participation in the debate on APS property.

A politician or public servant who accepts control over our power and resources, does so with our implied trust. That trust is betrayed when they are used against us; against the public interests. That our power and our resources are used to deny our civil rights is the ultimate umbrage against those who entrusted their power and their resources to their government.

I asked the ACLU-NM to step up.

They declined.

Why not? I asked.

I have not been extended the courtesy of a response.

photo Mark Bralley

Will allegations against Brooks be investigated?

With Assoc Supt Ruby Ethridge exiled to RGHS, the question of her allegations against Supt Winston Brooks remains unsettled; is he a bully; has he created a hostile work environment?

I would be willing to bet that Ethridge has been ordered to keep her mouth shut about her allegations.

So the likelihood is; an independent investigation of credible allegations of Brooks misconduct will never be done; not by the leadership of the APS (the School Board is absolutely responsible for the Superintendent's conduct) nor by the Journal, up to its ears in a cover up of the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Ethridge banished

Assoc Supt Ruby Ethridge has been banished from the
castle keep at 6400 Uptown Blvd for alleging that APS
Supt Winston Brooks
is a bully who has created a hostile
working environment for his subordinates.

She will join two other associate superintendents who have
been reassigned from their digs in City Centre to the hinterlands at Rio Grande High School;
Assoc Supt Diego "Dickie" Gallegos
and Assoc Supt Linda Sink.

Probably most remarkable global aspect of this situation, is that half of APS' leadership team can be reassigned to RGHS with no loss in effectiveness or efficiency in administration.

"... associate superintendents Raquel Reedy, Diane Kerschen and Eddie Soto will share the duties created by the vacancy."
Which begs a question; how lean and mean was APS' senior administration in the first place, if three administrators can do the work of six without missing a beat?

APS critics need to "get a life"

A woman in Wichita read about allegations that APS Supt Winston Brooks is a bully. The Journal reports, link, that she took the time to email APS Board Members to inform them about Brooks' misconduct in a school board meeting in Wichita a decade ago.

School Board President Marty Esquivel "lost it" with her in the resulting exchange of emails. At one point, he found himself writing

"You sound like a nut job, so stop e-mailing me."
He has written as much to me;
"downright nutty", "You’re acting nutty.","You are lucid, at times, and then downright nutty."
He tends to call people nuts instead of responding directly to their questions and concerns. He says I am nuts because I think he should be telling the truth to stakeholders,
  • about his abdication from senior most role model of the student standards of conduct, and
  • about corruption in the APS Police Department, and
  • about the denial of due process to hundreds of whistle blower complaints.
He wrote to the woman; "get a life." He wrote the same to me;
"It seems to me that there are probably more productive things to do with your life.
Until he told me to stop; I was in the habit of sending to Esquivel a link to any posts I wrote about him that were critical. He had the opportunity to respond and rebut everything I have ever written. He wrote;
I don't communicate through blogs. Sorry." and

"Don't waste your time with cowardly posts. If you have something to say to me, be a man."
Well, I tried that too. I went to public forums at school board meeting and addressed him "man to man". He had me arrested and banned me from board meetings.

When he told me he had no intention of responding to my posts by means of comments, I offered him another opportunity;
You wrote... I am not going to engage with you through posts on your blog.

Fair enough, then you name the time, the place, the participants, and ALL of the rules, save two; it will be on the record, and it will be candid, forthright, and honest.

I would appreciate a meeting at your earliest opportunity.
That meeting of course, was never arranged. he wrote;
"I am too busy, sorry.
There isn't a single member of the leadership of the APS who is willing to sit still and agree to respond to legitimate questions candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

Esquivel has trouble distinguishing between the message and the messenger; the question and the questioner. Or perhaps he can distinguish between them and chooses deliberately to kill the messenger rather than respond to his questions.

The question is; does Brooks have anger management issues, and do those issues create a hostile work environment for his subordinates. Those were the allegations made by an APS senior administrator before she was banished from 6400 Uptown Blvd.

It doesn't make any difference who asks a legitimate question or why. The legitimacy of the question is self evident. Any effort to question the questioner amounts to nothing more than a red herring whose purpose is to deflect attention from the fact that the question is not being answered.

Esquivel said;
"I have details about this person and things she was saying, and feel that her motive was malicious and she had an ax to grind."
Esquivel will also argue, he knows details about me. He tried to use the threat of publicizing those "details" in an effort to get me to stop asking questions in public forums, link.

He says, I too am malicious and have an ax to grind. Assume, for the sake of argument only, that my motives are malicious and that I do have an ax to grind; my questions about role modeling, public corruption and denial of due process, are still legitimate questions; questions Esquivel won't answer.

The Journal of course, missed the point entirely. Instead of standing up and demanding an impartial investigation of a hostile work environment for APS employees, it reports selectively in an effort to protect Esquivel and Brooks.

The did not mention in their report, for example, that Brooks had a blow up much more recently than a decade ago, link. It happened after the NMPED meeting on charter schools. It is alleged that Brooks used foul language with a principal and then battered him on the way out of the room.

The allegation would be easy to investigate and report upon; the room was full of witnesses.

It will not be reported upon now, for the same reasons the Journal and Kent Walz did not investigate and report upon it then.

photo Mark Bralley

Monday, November 22, 2010


Rupert Murdoch creates 'iNewspaper' - with the help of Steve Jobs Link

Report on the fight, or join in the fight?

I once watched a documentary film; the end result of a photographer filming his reporter getting his ass kicked.

It illustrates an interesting dilemma which is not the subject of this post.

There are a number of members of the free press who write about politics. If they do, they write also about the difficulty they encounter getting the truth out of politicians and public servants.

They report upon the ass handing as if it is not their own.

The true journalist's compulsion to report the story without becoming part of the story, is why they are doomed to report upon the ass handing they are taking over open meetings and public records, and not upon their victory over pols and public servants who think the truth is theirs to distribute as they see fit.


Walz Esquivel

Journal Editor Kent Walz
and school board candidate
Marty Esquivel
are not
unknown to each other.

Most recently, they worked together to bamboozle the NM FOG Board of Directors into giving APS Supt and bully Winston Brooks, their Dixon Award, for his service as a "champion of transparency".

There is the appearance of a conflict of interest; on the one hand, as a Journalist, Walz has the obligation to fully inform voters in anticipation of an election.

On the other hand, he's one of the good ol' boys, and they cover each others' asses.

As a candidate for a seat on the school board, Esquivel can expect to be asked some questions. He should expect to be expected to answer candidly, forthrightly, and honestly.

It doesn't make any difference who asks a legitimate question or, why.

It simply matters that the question is legitimate.

1. Are you willing to be held honestly accountable as a role model of the standards of conduct you establish and enforce upon students; for even those few hours a day you hold them accountable to them? Will you hold yourself honestly accountable as a role model of the Pillars of Character Counts? the nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct unanimously adopted by the board, as the APS student standards of conduct?

2. Are you willing to give whistle blower complaints the due process promised by School Board Policy; the review and approval of individual complaints by the School Board's Audit Committee?

3. Are you willing to tell stakeholders, the ethically redacted truth about the public corruption in the APS Police Department?

Is he willing to tell the truth at all? Will he raise his right hand and promise to tell the truth, the whole ethically redacted truth, and nothing but the truth? about the public interests and about his public service?

Esquivel does not intend to answer these questions, and
Kent Walz
does not intend to ask them.

Esquivel has ordered his Praetorian Guard to arrest me
if I try to ask them, and there we are.

No questions, no problems.

Mark Twain first advised;
never pick a fight with a man who buys his ink by the barrel.
As a corollary;
When running for school board, it never hurts to know a man who buys his ink by the barrel, and isn't opposed to letting it stay there.

photos Mark Bralley

Sisneros ignores legitimate question

Phil "the bean" Sisneros is a Public Information Officer. He doesn't take the "public information" part all that seriously.

There is little point in asking him even the most legitimate of questions if the answer to that question reflects poorly on him, or on his boss Attorney General Gary King.

I asked him, via email, for the approximate cost of charging the Attorney General's Office with the responsibility for the impartial redaction of public records. That as opposed to, allowing politicians and public servants, who have the most to hide, to redact their own records.

He did not respond.

It could be that my email never reached him.

Or it could be that I have pissed him off by asking inconvenient questions like;

did you work on AG King's campaign during office hours?

and now he is ignoring me.

Reason enough to ask, to whom to public information officers owe their loyalty?
to the people or to the pol or public servant?

There is the appearance of a conflict of interest, and
there is consequent damage caused by that appearance.

The control of information by people who may have
reasons to hide it, who may need to cover their own
and their boss's backsides; is nonsense on its face.

The situation exists for no reason except the insufficiency
of citizens willing to stand up in opposition; to walk their talk;
to retake the control over power and resources that are
fundamentally their own.

The ethically redacted truth is being hidden from the people
because the people are not willing to stand up and demand
to be told the truth.

"All that is necessary for public corruption and incompetence
to thrive in our government, is for good people to do nothing."

Edmund Burke derived

You can't have government of the people, and by the people, and for the people, without the people.

And you can't have the people unless they know the truth;
the whole ethically redacted truth, about the spending of
their power and their resources.

photos Mark Bralley

Victories for public forums

A handful of victories have been won by people who insist upon exercising their constitutionally protected human rights to free speech and to petition their government, in the presence of politically powerful bullies who would rather they stayed silent.

The ACLU has a few wins under its belt, link.

The victories are transitory. There is no reason to expect politicians and public servants who have lost in court, to modify their future behavior. No consequence falls upon pols and public servants who violate citizens rights; no fines levied on them personally, no jail time. They don't even have to say they're sorry.

Marty Esquivel is a lawyer; hell, he claims to be an "open government" lawyer. He knows the restraining order he served on me is illegal. He knows he has no authority to order the APS Police Department to enforce his illegal order, and it didn't stop him from doing it; it didn't even slow him down.

He knows his order banning me from participating in the upcoming school board forum won't stand up in court. If he could count on any court supporting his order, he would have gone there to get one. He didn't. He didn't because he knows no honest judge would stand behind him. And he did it anyway.

He did it anyway because he is unafraid of any consequences.

His outrageous and egregious abuse of power is not even going to be made public. His cronies at the Journal will see to that.

It's too bad that newspapers don't stand for re-election as newspapers of record. If they did, Kent Walz et al, would pay for betraying the trust of their readers.

photo Mark Bralley

Editorial outrage is selective

Journal editors are in a bit of a dither this morning, link.
They think the investigation into corruption in the Office
of the Secretary of State
is taking too long;

"... it's past time for a defendant and taxpayers in a nation built on laws to see a little justice delivered."

"Regardless of who is responsible for this case dragging on, the public deserves better."
The scandal in the leadership of the APS, link, has been going on for three times as long; and the Journal editors, if their record is any indicator, could not care less.

A publicly funded private police force has been charged with investigating it own corruption. They have been at it since February 2007. Statutes of limitation on criminal misconduct have expired and still, not one shred of evidence or testimony has been turned over to the District Attorney's Office for prosecution.

The truth about the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS is legitimate fodder for the political discourse surrounding the upcoming school board elections.

It will not be discussed at all.
Thanks to Editor Kent Walz,
who is yet to offer any good
and ethical justification for his
failure to investigate and
report upon credible evidence
of a standards and accountability
debacle in the leadership of the APS.

There is, in truth, only one
reason to not investigate and
report upon the scandal, and that is if there were no scandal.

Walz won't say, "there is no scandal; there is no cover up of corruption in the APS Police Department".

Apparently, he doesn't have the stomach for a baldfaced lie.

So he will continue to pretend that there is no problem.
His newspaper of record will hide the record rather than illuminate it.

Between them, cronies; Winston Brooks, Marty Esquivel,
and Kent Walz, the outcome of an election will be manipulated.

Voters will cast their ballots oblivious to the scandal.

frame grab Mark Bralley

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lujan subject to January challenge

The House elects the Speaker; it isn't necessarily the Representative "elected" in the party caucus.

He could be challenged by any legislator of either party who can put together a large enough coalition of votes.

Or he could be challenged by the people.

If enough hundreds of people showed up at the Roundhouse on the morning of the election, carrying signs and chanting

"new blood, fresh eyes; new blood, fresh eyes;
new blood, fresh eyes; ..."
maybe there would be.

Maybe there would be Roundhouse government of the people,
by the people, and for the people

Do you trust legislators in caucus?

Politicians claim a right to caucus; a meeting to decide
your interests, and from which you are expressly banned.
They don't even keep public records of votes.

The people never voted to allow politicians and public servants to be the deciders when it comes to the limits of transparency. Control over that power was usurped.

The limits of transparency are the prerogative of the people, not of politicians and public servants.

Bottom line; do you trust the legislature when it meets in secret?

And, if you don't, why do you allow it?

Money well spent

In light of the budget deficit, we need to examine more closely than ever, the justification of every expenditure.

There is one justifiable expenditure in particular that is not getting much attention; governmental oversight.

We have agencies in government that are supposed to protect our interests while they are in the hands of our government.

Their failure illustrates that they are incompetent or
they are out gunned.

It is possible to impose casino security on the spending of our power, our trust and our treasure.

It is possible to make it (nearly) impossible to betray the public trust and get away with it.

That kind of security needs to be our first funding priority.

Though it will be cost effective, it is payable upfront.

Exactly the same can be said for the robust webcasting of
deliberative meetings, to a searchable archive; an integral
aspect of that casino like security.

We need facilitation

It takes a very special skill set to lead a discussion; if the goal of that discussion is to extract the accumulated knowledge and experience and synthesize a useful consensus.

That skill set, though integral with good chairmanship, is not automatic. Some committee chairs cannot run efficient and effective discussions.

They are chairs none the less.

The funding of facilitation, would be money well spent.

Lujan wins by "acclamation"

The oft reviled Representative Ben Lujan has been selected as the Democratic Party's candidate for Speaker of the House.

He reports that he was selected by "acclamation"; (a noisy or enthusiastic expression of approval for someone or something; implying some degree of unanimity).

In the Journal this morning, reporter Sean Olson writes;

"Lujan said after the closed-door caucus Saturday that he, as well as (the very same) Democratic floor leaders, ultimately were chosen by acclamation. However, that was only after Lujan won a head-to-head vote against Cervantes."

"The vote counts were kept secret, even from caucus members."
(emphasis added)

What dynamics play in a room where people take a vote and then allow the results of the vote to be kept secret from those who voted?

The retribution and retaliation that follows challenging Speaker Lujan are widely documented, accepted and even taken for granted.

Is this the manner in which the people want their business done?

photo Mark Bralley

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Somewhere, there's a list

There is a list of all of the
Democratic legislators

who voted to retain
Rep Ben Lujan
Speaker of the House;
a position of power
he has abused previously, link.

If those legislators are proud
of their votes for Lujan,
why are they hiding them?

If they are ashamed of their votes for Lujan;
why did they cast them?

I have a right to know whether my representative voted
for or against more of the same hamfisted leadership
we are accustomed to.

How am I to hold her accountable,
if she won't tell me how she voted?

The terms of public service, including setting the line on
transparency, are the prerogative of the people, and
not of politicians and public servants.

photo Mark Bralley

School Board debate to be held behind police cordon

APS' District Relations Committee is scheduled, link, to schedule what will likely be the only televised debate between candidates in the February elections.

They will schedule it to be conducted deep within their castle keep at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

Though I have every right to participate in that debate, I will not be allowed to. Standing between me and the free exercise of my constitutionally protected human rights to free speech and to petition my government, Marty Esquivel and his Praetorian Guard.

Esquivel wrote the order
that mobilized the publicly
funded private police force
to deny me access to school
board meetings.

It is signed by the Guard's
current commander
Steve Tellez.

Recently, the recipient
of a no-confidence vote
from his rank and file.

Currently, hiding public
records of evidence of
corruption in the APS
Police Department.

Currently, unable to
conclude a 3 1/2 year long
investigation of allegations
of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators.

Currently refusing to surrender evidence of felony criminal misconduct into the hands of District Attorney Kari Brandenburg for her prosecution.

Currently enjoying Journal Editor Kent Walz' belief that none of this is at all newsworthy.

An ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools is not newsworthy; not even in light of the upcoming school board election.

photos Mark Bralley

PIOs don't get to ask questions

Public Information Officers are not entitled to ask questions.

They cannot ask,

Why do you want to know?
They don't get to ask,
Who are you to be asking?

If Public Information Officers work for the public, then their obligation is to respond to any legitimate question about the public interests, including their public service, by answering candidly, forthrightly and honestly. We do not employ them to spin the truth on behalf of their proximate boss.

We have "proof" (by means of the following post) Chris Huffman-Ramirez has been authorized to sift through the press, and decided which will he will "credential"; credential in addition somehow, the credentials provided already in the First Amendment;

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ..."

He thinks he can invite the press that have his personal stamp of approval, and exclude everybody else. I speculate that he has been given the authority to order to the Albuquerque Police Department and its officers, to enforce his decision.

be informed of opportunities offered to the (legacy) press.

He is undoubtedly, not the only PIO who thinks they have the authority to filter the exchange of information between the people and their government.

If Director of Constituent Services Tito Madrid is to be believed (the following post);

Mayor Richard Berry
is in the loop.
and grants his tacit approval.

Which begs a question;
who is Richard Berry,
to think he can wield
our power and resources
against our free press?

photo Mark Bralley

Friday, November 19, 2010

Berry disses bloggers

I have a response to my questions;

  • who has Mayor Richard Berry authorized to decide who is and who is not the press, and
  • according to what criteria?
I have repeatedly accused Mayoral Spokesman Chris Huffman-Ramirez, of being a public servant assuming the authority to "credential" the free press, and then refusing to confirm it writing.

He takes it upon himself to decide who is and who is not protected by First Amendment rights to a free press; in particular, equal protection under the law.

Huffman-Ramirez says the legacy media; newspapers and radio/tv, enjoy more protection than bloggers. They are entitled to invites to press conference, bloggers are not.

Huffman-Ramirez would never admit that he assumes and exercises that authority.

I have received a belated email from Director of Constituent Services Tito Madrid. He is the first member of the Berry administration to answer the questions. He wrote;
Chris Ramirez serves as the Mayor’s Director of Communications and he has the authority to determine who receives press advisories.

The criteria you cited is still valid.

I have shared your concerns with the Mayor.

And there you have it;

1. Chris Huffman-Ramirez is authorized to decide who and who is not "the press" and therefore entitled to equal treatment under the law.

2. The criteria are still valid; "the press own printing presses and broadcast licenses", and

3. Richard Berry
knows about it.

photos Mark Bralley

Richardson Interchange a big f u

At a time in his political life when Big Bill could not get elected dog catcher, he would like to spend a few ten thousands of tax dollars for a ceremony and a plaque proclaiming his greatness.

I dare him to stand up and take it.

Let's have that ceremony.

Tell us the time, and the day, we know the place,
where you will stand up and accept
your reward.

Let us come watch.

photo Mark Bralley

Life isn't fair

KOB TV ran a piece on Rio Grande High School. The NM Public Education Department has decided that, though many students missed up to three weeks of school due to the scheduling snafu; three make up days would balance the books.

KOB interviewed a parent and a student, link.

The parent said, it isn't fair that students lost three weeks of school and would be given only three make up days to recoup their losses.

The student said, it isn't fair that students will have to attend three extra days of school, in as much as it was not their fault that adults screwed up their schedules.


Apparently she thought she was going to get to miss three weeks of school, scot free.

Brooks honors APS Police Department

APS Supt Winston Brooks made some time in his busy schedule to meet with the entire APS Police Department, link.

Brooks claimed he had never had the opportunity to talk to the entire APS PD; a publicly funded private police force that is not accredited, certificated, or certified by anyone except the leadership of the APS. For whatever good they do, the APS PD amounts to a Praetorian Guard covering up administrative and executive misconduct.

The APS PD is currently "investigating" allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators. Their investigation of their own internal misconduct has been going on for more than three and a half years; long past the expiration of statutes of limitation on criminal misconduct.

The current Chief Steve Tellez has not responded to multiple emails regarding his intention to ever close the case, and surrender public records to public knowledge.

His predecessor, APS Chief Bill Reed indicated that the investigation was done, save "finishing touches", months ago.

The investigation is being kept open to use technicalities, loopholes, and legal weaselry to hide the truth from stakeholders.

I am assuming that Brooks took Tellez aside to thank him in private for his support in the ongoing cover up. Tellez is apparently willing to take a hit for being incompetent and unscrupulous in order that Brooks will never have to explain why it has taken 3-1/2 years to complete a simple investigation, and why, evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators has not been surrendered to the DA for prosecution.

It was Tellez who agreed to allow the APS Police Officers to enforce Marty Esquivel's illegal restraining order that prevents me from attending board meetings and challenging the leadership of the APS on their cover up of the APS PD corruption, the denial of due process to whistle blowers, and the their abdication as role models of the student standards of conduct.

Tellez was the target recently, of a no-confidence vote by the rank and file, most of who are decent men and women often embarrassed to follow orders requiring them to participate in the denial of the constitutional rights they once solemnly swore to defend.

Also in private, Brooks must be expressing his gratitude to Journal Editor Kent Walz for the fact that the Journal is willing to ignore the cover up of the corruption that was first reported in the Journal in February 2007, link.

Brooks must also be very grateful that Walz and his cronies at the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government gave him an award for being a "champion of transparency" while at the same time hiding public records in plain violation of the NM Inspection of Public Records Act.

photo and frame grab Mark Bralley

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brooks' own words prove Ethridge's allegation

KOAT TV has managed to secure a copy of the email exchange that led to the Brooks blow up. Neither they, nor their news partner; the Albuquerque Journal has released an ethically redacted version of the public records they hold. Interesting how the whole "hiding public records" thing works.

The Journal did publish some excepts from Brooks' side.
Among them, this, link;

"I have little time for this kind of behavior and
certainly do not want to place my complete trust
and confidence in a person who (has) made these
types of allegations."
So far as we know; the "type of allegation" in this case,
is a credible allegation of a "hostile" work environment.

How much more hostile can a work place be, than a place
where people who file legitimate and credible complaints,
are branded "untrustworthy" and "no longer worthy of

How trustworthy is Winston Brooks?

Ask him to point to the time, the day, and the place where he will stand and answer legitimate questions about the public interests and about his public service.

Ask him if he willing to hold himself honestly accountable
as a role model of the Pillar of Trustworthiness;
the current APS student standard of conduct in situations
such as these.

Ask him to point to the time, the day, and the place where he will stand and explain why he is not accountable as the senior most, administrative role model of the APS Student Standards of Conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts.

Ask him to point to the time, the day and the place where he will explain why evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators, has not been turned over to the District Attorney, and why the independent investigation into the corruption in the APS Police Department has not been surrendered to the public record.

Ask him to point to the time, the day and the place where he will explain why more than 300 whistle blower complaints, some complaints against him personally, are being denied due process.

When the question is;
do you promise
to tell the truth;

any answer except yes,
means no.

Stonewalling means no.

And while we're at it,
could we also ask for the time,
the day, and the place where
Kent Walz
will stand and explain;

why none of this is newsworthy.

photo and frame grab Mark Bralley

APS' "hostile work environment" to be investigated

That's the good news; there will be an investigation of Asst Supt Ruby Ethridge's allegation that Supt Winston Brooks has created a "hostile work environment" for her, and by logical extension; every other employee of the APS.

The bad news is that the "investigation" will be done by one of Brooks' subordinates, he will be found "innocent", and the results will be kept secret from stakeholders. He will claim, it is a personnel matter.

Ethridge's chances of prevailing in court are slightly better, though if there is anyone who can suck the justice out of the Justice System, it is APS/Modrall and their unlimited budget for litigation against the public interests.

The last time an independent investigation was done of APS' hostile work environment, the Council of the Great City Schools auditors wrote;

APS has a "culture of fear of retribution and retaliation ..." (emphasis added)
Since a hostile work environment ultimately impacts students, it is worthy of a real investigation.

One would look first to the Journal for that investigation. They have a couple of "education" reporters, either of which could determine in short order, the veracity of the current complaint.

They won't of course, because Journal Editor Kent Walz has no stomach for investigating and reporting upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

His preference for the diametric opposite, is illustrated by the effort that he and School Board President Marty Esquivel went to, to get Brooks a NM Foundation for Open Government Award as a "champion of transparency" at the same time Brooks was, is, making a mockery of NM FOG's impotence in getting him to surrender the public records of an impartial investigation into corruption in the APS Police Department.

His diametric opposition to any real investigation is further highlighted by his refusal to investigate and report upon the fact that hundreds of whistle blower complaints, some against Brooks specifically, are being deliberately denied due process. It is further illustrated by the fact that he won't tell readers that both Brooks and Esquivel have abdicated as role models of the APS student standards of conduct.

Yeah, there will be an investigation; just not much of one, and it won't be done by our "newspaper of record" even in the face of the upcoming school board elections.

frame grab Mark Bralley

Internet news gathering a rough road

The New Mexico Independent, link, has announced that, due to a lack of funding, they are throwing in the towel.

NMI was one of a hand full of websites that New Mexicans scoured daily in their search for the information they need to participate meaningfully in the political process.

Their demise will highlight the paucity of sites where readers can find relatively objective reports on current events.

A model where comparatively small site owners can make a living as Journalist's, remains to be articulated.

It seems clear that newspapers are on their way out, as the internet presence continues to grow, albeit as a conglomeration of independents.

There is not consensus over the absolute neutrality of the NMI. There is consensus I think, that their presence will be missed.

"Big R" naming hits road block

The highway interchange at I-40 and Coors needs (?) a name. A few of Governor Bill Richardson's cronies think it should be named after him.

Local radio talk show host Jim Villanucci started a bit of a rebellion yesterday when he started soliciting names of people and groups more deserving of recognition than Richardson; there were many.

Apparently there is a meeting this morning at the Unser Museum, where the naming will be discussed. Villanucci was begging people to show up and end the nonsense. Isn't it enough that a choo train engine has been named Big Bill?

Larry Barker did a piece on the wholesale naming of various edifices after after each other by a bunch of political insiders, link.

Even Journal editors are stirred up, link.

There is an oft used expression offered to folks who've over stayed their welcome;

"Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!"
I always wondered what that would look like. This situation may be illustrative; being stripped of this "honor" for the lame duck Governor could well be,
the door hitting him in his ass on his way out.

Go Villanucci!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mayor Berry says, questions about transparency are "ridiculous".

The words did not come out of his mouth, they came out of the mouth of a man who represents that he speaks for Mayor Berry, Chris Huffman-Ramirez, Mayor Berry's spokesperson.

I am trying to find out; who in city government has been given authority to issue "press credentials", under what authority, and according to what standards?

The first person I asked was Huffman-Ramirez who refused to respond (candidly forthrightly and honestly). I asked him first because he was the first one to represent the supposed authority to "credential" bloggers, or not.

Though I did not ask him that question again, his latest response to me began

"... I have already responded to this exact question."
In fact, he did not respond; he gave me no name,
cited no authority, and pointed to no standards.

What he did do was to stonewall the question. It would
appear that, to this public servant, stonewalling counts
as "a response".

Then I went to Tito Madrid, another top level constituent "servant". My ombudsman.

He did not respond in any manner at all.

Then I emailed the questions to the Mayor, Richard Berry, and received no response from him either.

So I emailed Huffman-Ramirez and asked him how long I had to wait for a response from Berry before reasonably concluding that he was not going to respond.

To which Huffman-Ramirez responded with the above and;
"I'm not going to further entertain your ridiculous questions. If you have questions regarding city business, legislation, or services I'm happy to help. But asking the same question over and over is a waste of my time." (emphasis added)
There is no such thing as transparency if it comes at the whim of some middle level bureaucrat accountable to no one but his boss. There is no such thing as transparency when it comes at the whim of a man so clueless as to argue that,
only people who own printing presses or broadcast licenses, enjoy the protection of the press expressed in the First Amendment.

So I sent a email back to Ramirez-Huffman reading;
I didn't ask the same question. I have never asked you before; how long do I have to wait for your response before concluding you aren't?

The question before that was also a question I have never asked before; how long do I have to wait for his response before concluding he isn't.

You seem to have a problem understanding my emails, or, an unwillingness.

I assume the question to which you are referring - what is the name of the person who has been given the authority to determine who is entitled to "press credentials" and by what standards is a question you have not responded to except by stonewalling.

Citizens should not be expected to accept stonewalling as a response to a legitimate question. You have not answered the question. Point to your response, or admit to your lie.

Summon the character and the courage to tell the truth, or accept the consequences for your failure. Since, Mayor Berry will not respond, it is reasonable to hold him accountable as well.
To which he responded;
"Since you like to pretend you are a journalist,
go find some real news to cover."
Well gosh, Chris, I think a mayor that thinks
he has the authority to decide who and who isn't protected
by the First Amendment, is real news.

For the record, I have never claimed to be a journalist;
I claim to be a member of the press, and therefore fully
entitled to equal treatment under the law,

by the Mayor, and

by his subordinates.

photos Mark Bralley