Posts Tagged ‘reports’

Uh Oh: Adachi, Alioto-Pier, Avalos, Chiu, Herrera, Rees, and Yee Call for Election Monitors – Improper Votes for Ed Lee

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

[UPDATE: Word on the street this Election Eve 2011 is that Secretary of State Debra Bowen is sending election monitors to town for Our Big Day tomorrow.]

Candidates Bevan Dufty, Tony Hall, Phil Ting, and Ed Lee took a pass on signing this particular letter, but everybody else is on-board, looks like.

(Sure is odd having the City Attorney calling in the Feds, non?)

Anyway, check it, below.

Open-air voting booth tent, Chinatown, San Francisco, USA – Ed Lee Gets It Done:

Adithya Sambamurthy, The Bay Citizen

Here it is: USDOJ-CASOS-LETTER

“October 23, 2011

The Honorable Thomas E. Perez
Assistant Attorney General
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Attn: Civil Rights Division, Voting Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Transmitted by fax: (202) 514-0293

The Honorable Debra Bowen
CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE
Attn: Election Fraud Investigation Unit
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Transmitted by fax: (916) 653-3214

Re: Request for federal observers and election monitors in San Francisco

Dear Assistant Attorney General Perez and Secretary of State Bowen:

We write to bring to your attention news reports and accompanying videos that may indicate violations of federal and state laws intended to protect voting rights and to assure the integrity of our electoral process.

In light of published accounts in the San Francisco Chronicle* and Bay Citizen** about electioneering activities by the SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011, we request that your respective offices immediately detail federal observers and state election monitors for San Francisco’s mayoral election, which is currently underway.

According to these published accounts, these electioneering activities target Cantonese speaking voters in San Francisco, and may potentially impinge on their federally protected voting rights, and also violate provisions of the California Elections Code and other laws.

These suspect activities include the following:

• Testimony by independent witnesses that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff were completing ballots for voters.

• Testimony and video evidence that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff employed plastic stencils and handled absentee ballots in such a manner as to prevent voters from marking their ballots for other mayoral candidates.

• Testimony that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff, as apparently ineligible third parties, received and collected into plastic bags voted ballots from voters, taking ballots into their possession.

• Testimony and video evidence that SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 staff interfered with the secrecy of voting. If true, these allegations and other conduct may violate the U.S. Voting Rights Act of 1965, and California Election Code provisions pertaining to electioneering, corruption of voting, the Voter Bill of Rights, and other laws.

Given their gravity, the importance of protecting voting rights, and assuring voter confidence in our electoral processes, we believe federal observers and election monitors are immediately warranted, and that further investigation by your respective offices would be well advised.

Sincerely,

Jeff Adachi, Public Defender

Michela Alioto-Pier, Small Businesswoman and Mother

John Avalos, Supervisor, District 11

David Chiu, President, Board of Supervisors

Dennis Herrera, City Attorney

Joanna Rees, Entrepreneur/Educator

Leland Yee, State Senator

cc: U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón

*“Witnesses: Ed Lee supporters mark others’ ballots” by John Coté, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 21, 2011, http://bit.ly/o3rB9C; and “Ed Lee backers said to fill in ballots for others” by John Coté, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 22, 2011, http://bit.ly/mPvarB

**“More Fraud Accusations for Lee Supporters” by Gerry Shih, Bay Citizen, Oct. 22, 2011, http://www.baycitizen.org/sf-mayoral-race/story/mayor-ed-lees-campaign-supporters-1/”

How Consumer Reports Completely Missed the Point About Problems with Apple’s iPhone 4

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

While Consumer Reports monomaniacally jabbers on about the iPhone 4 antenna issue (Gee, didn’t everybody know about that already? And gee, didn’t everybody know about that, as well, already?), let’s review some real concerns:

1. You’re throwing away about $40 a some money (see Comments) each month by signing up for the iPhone/AT&T package as opposed to something else. That is, you’re paying a thousand dollar premium to use an iPhone over a two-year period. (That’s too expensive even for some quasi-billionaire nerds.) Which is fine, just as long as you know. If you’re on food stamps already, you don’t really need an expensive iPhone contract, right?   

2. AT&T continues to be overwhelmed, in certain areas of the country, it seems, so that leads to dropped calls and other bad tings. Didn’t the iPhone 3 also have “signal woes” as well?

Issue number one can’t be fixed by applying duct tape or buying a bumper case, right? Isn’t this a much bigger problem than the antenna issue? Yes. Can’t you fix the antenna issue for about a dollar a month (over two years, added up)? Yep. Don’t most people get bumpers anyway? Yep. So, why would CR pick this particular nit to pick?  

Issue number two can’t be fixed by applying duct tape or buying a bumper case, right? Isn’t this a much bigger problem than the antenna issue? Yes. Maybe CR could have withheld endorsement until Apple officially permitted iPhone users use a different cellular service? Yep.

So the whole idea of withholding a strong recommendation of iP4 over who is going to pay for a bunch of bumper cases does indeed smack of a stunt from CR.

Now, CR, why don’t you get some ads going, so you wouldn’t need stunts to get attention to stay relevant, to stay in business? Or work on getting a massive endowment so your manifest money troubles don’t make you act they way you do?

After all, a little duct tape never hurt anybody, right? Like this passenger plane, for instance. I guess that Piedmont Airlines could have started cancelling flights when this plane had an issue. But instead, they slapped on some tape and kept going with no fuss.

See?

via MobileKenny

P.S. CR: Also, you don’t know much about cars. You think you’re the automotive guru, but you’re not. Why you waste your limited financial resources to buy a bunch of vehicles from dealerships is beyond me… So, yes, you have authority, but the question is whether the general public should have given you that authority.

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Demands Proof of Accuracy for Intelligender Pregnancy Test

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera can’t abide companies that don’t prove their claims. So today he’s going after Intelligender LLC because of its “in-home fetal gender prediction product” that you can get at Walgreens. For the record:

“IntelliGender, the Plano, Texas, creator of the “Boy or Girl Gender Prediction Test,” says scientists isolated certain hormones that when combined with a “proprietary mix of chemicals” react differently if a woman is carrying a boy or a girl. It claims that within 10 minutes of taking the urine test, a woman will be able to tell her baby’s gender. The specimen will turn green if it’s a boy, and orange if it’s a girl.”

The question is about accuracy, primarily.

San Francisco’s Happy Warrior:

As always, follow the action on the Twitter.

Herrera demands proof of accuracy, safety claims by IntelliGender in-home test

City Attorney invokes authority under Unfair Competition Law in seeking evidence for marketing claims by gender prediction test sold in S.F.

SAN FRANCISCO (March 10, 2010) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today invoked his legal authority under California’s Unfair Competition Law to demand substantiation for advertising claims by Intelligender LLC that its in-home fetal gender prediction product, which is sold and marketed in San Francisco, is “totally safe” and over 90 percent accurate.

“California law empowers public sector attorneys to seek proof for marketing claims for products sold to the consumers they’re responsible to protect,” said Herrera. “Intelligender is a product that came to our attention in which some of the advertised claims are dubious, and for which supporting evidence is notably unavailable to potential customers. Women and families interested in purchasing products like this are entitled to see the evidence that will enable them to be better informed consumers.”

According to Herrera’s letter to the Plano, Tex.-based manufacturer:

“The IntelliGender Test purports to accurately identify the gender of a fetus as early as 10 weeks after pregnancy, and well before ultrasound confirmation of fetal gender is available to expectant mothers. However, according to online reviews of your product, it appears that your advertising claim that the IntelliGender Test is ‘over 90% accurate’ is questionable. Additionally, as your product packaging does not identify the contents of the IntelliGender Test, there are concerns about the safety and proper means of disposal of the Test.     

“The San Francisco City Attorney hereby requests that you provide evidence of the facts supporting the advertising claims of IntelliGender listed below, pursuant to California Business and Professions Code §17508, which empowers city attorneys to request substantiation of purportedly fact-based advertising claims. For all claims listed below indicating that scientific methods were utilized, please include full reports of experiments, methods, results, and outcomes, in addition to the CVs and biographies of the clinicians retained to perform these trials and tests.”

Herrera asked that Intelligender provide documentation responsive to his request by the end of the month, noting that we would consider seeking “an immediate termination or modification of the claim,” as state law provides, if the information were not forthcoming.

All the deets after the jump.

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San Francisco’s Judge Vaughn Walker Drags Our Federal Courts into the 21st Century

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Once again, our little town is getting some attention from the Roberts Court – an order just came down from the U.S. Supremes about their temporary ban on broadcasts of Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, San Francisco’s Proposition 8 / gay rights case.

It’s interesting to note that vaunted Vaughn R. Walker, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, was working on this very issue of cameras in the courtroom just few months back.

San Francisco City Hall Examiner Sweet Melissa Griffin makes a point as Judge Walker looks on, as seen last year:

The Future is Coming, of course, so we’ll have federal trials on YouTube sooner or later…

Filling up the void of information comes attorney Ted Olson. Get his punta de vista from this morning below.

UPDATE: And get the text of his opening statement after the jump.

Ted Olson to Make Opening Statement in Prop. 8 Trial/Avail Info

Trial on Unconstitutionality of Prop. 8 Begins in U.S. District Court; Plaintiffs To Testify First For latest information, visit equalrightsfoundation.org

The federal trial over the unconstitutionality of Proposition 8 will begin Monday, January 11 with an opening statement by attorney Theodore Olson, who with David Boies is leading the legal team assembled by the American Foundation for Equal Rights to litigate the case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Opening statements will be followed by testimony from Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, who comprise two couples who wish to be married but who were denied marriage licenses because of Proposition 8.

 –  For courthouse access information, visit:
     https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cand/09cv2292/
 –  For information about remote viewing locations, visit:
     http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/news/watch-prop-8-trial-live/
 –  Visit http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/ for updates regarding
     potential broadcast of trial, photos, any available footage, court
     filings, live tweets from the courthouse and more.
 –  Plaintiff’s case is outlined at
     http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/legal-filings/plaintiffs-trial-brief/

 
Olson and Boies notably represented George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore respectively in the 2000 Supreme Court case that decided the presidency.

At trial, Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, will weigh witness testimony, a multitude of documents and other evidence, and arguments presented by some of the nation’s most distinguished attorneys.

“This unequal treatment of gays and lesbians denies them the basic liberties and equal protection under the law that are guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution,” the plaintiffs’ suit states.

 According to the suit, Prop. 8:
 –  Violates the Due Process Clause by impinging on fundamental liberties.
 –  Violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
 –  Singles out gays and lesbians for a disfavored legal status, thereby
     creating a category of “second-class citizens.”
 –  Discriminates on the basis of gender.
 –  Discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

 
Olson and Boies will also point out the “crazy quilt” of separate, unequal and unconstitutional classifications of people that Prop. 8 has compelled the California government to create:

 –  Opposite-sex couples who have full marriage rights
 –  Same-sex couples who have no marriage rights
 –  Same-sex couples married between May and Nov. 2008 whose current
     marriages are recognized, but who will be unable to remarry if widowed
     or divorced
 –  Same-sex couples married in other states who may petition California
     for recognition.

The defendants have the burden of demonstrating that Prop. 8 is narrowly drawn to serve a compelling government interest. Olson and Boies will demonstrate at trial, however, that the initiative fails to advance even a single legitimate interest. Tellingly, when asked by Chief Judge Walker at an Oct. 14 hearing to identify any harm to opposite-sex marriage that would result from marriage equality, the defendants’ attorney answered “I don’t know.”

The case against Prop. 8 has proceeded with uncommon speed toward trial. In an order issued after the first hearing in the case, Chief Judge Walker stated: “Given that serious questions are raised in these proceedings … the court is inclined to proceed directly and expeditiously to the merits of plaintiffs’ claims. … The just, speedy and inexpensive determination of these issues would appear to call for proceeding promptly to trial.”

“More than 30 years ago, the United States Supreme Court recognized that marriage is one of the basic rights of man,” the suit states, referring to the Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia.

Chad Griffin, board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, noted that near the time when the Supreme Court struck down interracial marriage bans with its 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, a Gallup poll found that 73 percent of Americans did not approve of interracial marriage.

While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown were named defendants in their official capacities, along with other state and county officials, Prop. 8 is being defended in court by a prominent conservative organization, the Alliance Defense Fund. Gov. Schwarzenegger earlier filed a brief that did not dispute the unconstitutionality of Prop. 8, and called for swift action by the courts. Attorney General Brown, the state’s chief law enforcement officer, filed a brief agreeing with the plaintiffs’ position that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional.

The ACLU, Lambda Legal, and National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) are participating in the case as amici (friends of the court) in support of the plaintiffs. The City and County of San Francisco, led by City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart, are supporting the plaintiffs’ team as co-counsel, with a specific focus on the negative impact Prop. 8 has on government services and budgets. Herrera and Stewart led the legal battle toward the California Supreme Court decision that struck down California’s previous same-sex marriage ban.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights Advisory Board, which was announced January 9th, includes Julian Bond, Lt. Dan Choi, Margaret Hoover, Dolores Huerta, Cleve Jones, Stuart Milk, David Mixner, Hillary Rosen and Judy Shepard. For more information, see http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/press-releases/american-foundation-for-eq ual-rights-names-advisory-board/.

Olson is a former U.S. Solicitor General and is widely regarded as one of the nation’s preeminent constitutional lawyers, and has argued 55 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. Boies ranks as one of the leading trial lawyers of his generation, having secured landmark victories for clients in numerous areas of the law. This is the first time they have served alongside each other as co-counsel.

Kris Perry and Sandy Stier have been together for nine years and are the parents of four boys. Perry is Executive Director of First 5 California, a state agency that promotes education and health for children under five. She holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an MSW from San Francisco State University. Stier is Information Technology Director for the Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services Agency. She is originally from Iowa and is a graduate of the University of Iowa. Perry and Stier first tried to marry in 2004, after the City of San Francisco began issuing licenses. They live in Berkeley, CA.

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo have been together for eight years. Katami is a fitness expert and business owner who graduated from Santa Clara University before receiving his graduate degree from UCLA. Zarrillo is the General Manager of a theater exhibition company. A native of New Jersey, Zarrillo graduated from Montclair State University. Having wanted to marry each other for more than two years, they considered options including traveling to other states for a “civil union,” but felt any alternative fell short of marriage. They live in Burbank, CA.

They have issued the following joint statement: “We and our relationships should be treated equally under the law. Our goal is to advance the cause of equality for all Americans, which is the promise that makes this nation so great.”

Source: American Foundation for Equal Rights

Web Site:  http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/

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Sweet Melissa Griffin Stars at New Media Judicial Conference in San Francisco

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

As promised, San Francisco’s federal judges hosted a conference this afternoon at the Old Federal Building that focused on the changing nature of the news media. Check it:

How Blogs, Twitter and Social Media are Changing Legal Reporting

Today’s draw was famous legal commentator Sweet Melissa Griffin, who kicked things off by revealing  to the judges a surreptitious recording that she had just made.

Melissa holding up her small recording device. So tricksy: 

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Click to expand

That led into an interesting conversation covering new media and our courts. (I’ll link to the video after it gets posted – these bits from John Steele and Kimberly A. Kralowec) should hold you until then). Be sure to listen for Judge Susan  Illston talk about how she worked hard to be media friendly when preparing for the Barry Bonds trial and how she wonders just who the media is these days.

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Speaking of which, there was a ton of media there, so you’ll be sure to hear more about this conference in the coming days.

It’s nice to see all the people in the federal court system working on these issues. Hurray!

Sweet Melissa Griffin, Federal Judges to Star at New Media Conference in San Francisco

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Hey, are you a journalist, Blogger, New Media Content Provider and/or a person who  reports on the business of  courts? If so, you are in luck - word comes today from Kimo Crossman about a FREE half-day conference is coming up at San Francisco’s Old Federal Building (Big Blue) in the Tenderloin / Civic Center area on November 4, 2009. And to butter up all you ink-stained wretches beforehand, the 9th Circuit Office of the Circuit Executive is going on about how “old media” is “imploding.” Quelle surprise!

Anyway, it’s called, How Blogs, Twitter and Social Media are Changing Legal Reporting  - A half-day conference focusing on the changing nature of the news media and its coverage of the federal courts.” Whew.

See?

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And best of all, San Francisco City Hall Examiner Sweet Melissa Griffin will be on one of the panels. OMG! U got 2 go 4 sure!!!

SMG adressing the City Club earlier this year:

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In short, it’s going to be on. But space is limited, so register today!

When:   Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009
1 to 5 p.m., reception to follow
     
Where:   Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Ave.
San Francisco, California
     
Sponsors:   U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Public Information and Community Outreach Committee.
     
To Attend:   Journalists, bloggers, new media content providers and others reporting on the business of the courts are encouraged to attend. The event is free but space is limited.

Conference Program

How Blogs, Twitter and Social Media are Changing Legal Reporting  – A half-day conference focusing on the changing nature of the news media and its coverage of the federal courts

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
 
1:00 p.m. Welcome

Hon. Judge Vaughn R. Walker, Chief District Judge
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Hon. Marilyn L. Huff, District Judge, PICO  Committee Chair
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

1:15 p.m. Media Mania and the Courts

With “old media” imploding and the “new media” exploding, just who is reporting on the courts these days and how are they doing it? What should judges and courts expect from the new media? Join a distinguished panel in discussing how court coverage is changing and what that means for accuracy and access.

Panelists:
James R. Bettinger, Director
Knight Fellowships Program Stanford University

Melissa Griffin, Blogger
TheSweetMelissa.com

Hon. Susan Y. Illston
U.S. District Judge, Northern District of California

Kelli L. Sager, Esq.
Davis, Wright, Tremaine
Ninth Circuit PICO Committee

Peter Scheer
Executive Director
First Amendment Coalition

2:45 p.m. Break

3:00 p.m. Blogging, Tweeting: New Media in the Courtroom

Who qualifies as a journalist and does it really matter anymore? Are bloggers the new court reporters? How have courts responded to the challenge of instant reporting via wireless communications devices? Join a judge, a working journalist, legal blogger and Internet law expert in a discussion of new media in the courtroom.

Panelists:
Hon. Jeremy Fogel
U.S. District Judge
Northern District of California

Eric Goldman
Associate Professor & Blogger
Santa Clara University Law School

Jennifer Granick
Civil Liberties Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Howard Mintz
Legal Affairs Writer
San Jose Mercury News

4:30 p.m. Round Up

5:00 p.m. Reception in the Lawyers Lounge, 18th Floor 

The Conference is sponsored by the United States District Court for the District of Northern California and the Ninth Circuit Public Information and Community Outreach Committee. The program will take place at the Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco.
 
Parking
The courthouse does not have a public parking lot.
Public parking lots are available on 735 Van Ness between Turk & Eddy streets (open until 5:30 p.m.), and at the corner of Golden Gate and Larkin streets. The Civic Center Garage is also available on McAllister Street between Polk and Larkin streets.

See you there!

All the attendees with bios, after the jump.

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Latest Polling Shows Jerry Brown Ahead, Gavin Newsom Behind Republican Candidates for Governor

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Jerry Brown this morning  is crowing about this bit from Rasmussen Reports. Would you agree that JB is “decisively beating” (as he puts it) the leading Republican candidates based on these results?

“California Attorney General Jerry Brown leads all Republican challengers in an early look at the state’s 2010 governor’s race. But with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as the Democratic candidate, the three Republicans are competitive.

The latest Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 statewide telephone survey finds that Brown leads former eBay CEO Meg Whitman 44% to 35%. He holds a 45% to 32% advantage over State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and a 44% to 34% edge over Tom Campbell, an ex-congressman and former state finance director.”

California Attorney General Jerry Brown with a loyal friend (bottom left, Dharma the 14-year-old black lab) working at the San Francisco State Building on a state holiday:

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“Brown served as governor of California from 1975 to 1983. Since then, he has been chairman of the California Democratic Party, mayor of Oakland and the state’s attorney general. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976, 1980, and 1992 and for the U.S. Senate in 1982.

Newsom is challenging Brown for the right to represent Democrats in the 2010 governor’s race. All three Republican candidates hold a very modest edge over Newsom at this time, but if Newsom were to win the nomination, the political gravity of the state would likely give him a boost in the general election.

Currently, Whitman has the edge over Newsom 41% to 36%. Poizner leads the San Francisco mayor by a nearly identical 40% to 36% margin while Campbell is ahead 42% to 36%.”

Of course it’s still early yet.