Saturday, February 27, 2010

Are Troopers personally liable for damages?

Posted Feb. 20, 2010, from the Brattleboro Reformer, Vermont

State trooper ordered to pay damages for faulty blood alcohol content report
The Associated Press

NEWPORT - A judge in a small claims court case is ordering a Vermont State Police trooper to pay a Lowell man $1,200.

The judge found that Trooper David Robillard claimed the blood alcohol content of William Henn of Lowell was above the legal limit for driving during a November 1998 stop when it was not.

The higher reading led to a nine-day suspension of Henn's driver's license. The damages cover Henn's legal expenses and the cost of hiring a driver when his license was under suspension. Robillard claimed the higher reading was valid.

Henn's attorney David Sleigh says it's the first time he's seen a judgment entered against an individual trooper. The state Department of Public Safety says it's going to appeal.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

US Official Retaliation 101

[click here], Rob Kall of interviews the two major subjects of the below post. 1 hour upload.

Justice's Vendetta Against a Whistleblower: Six Questions for Jesselyn Radack
By Scott Horton (about the author) Permalink

The current controversy surrounding the velvet glove treatment the Justice Department gave to torture memo authors John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and Steven Bradbury led me to an interview with Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department lawyer who "did the right thing." Not only did she dispense indubitably accurate advice, she caught the Justice Department in the middle of acts of what might have been criminal obstruction and insisted that they be corrected. What happened? Radack found herself facing trumped up criminal charges, had frivolous complaints filed against her before two bar associations, and was subjected to repeated petty harassment, including being placed on the "No-Fly" List. I put six questions to Jesselyn Radack about her nightmarish experience in the hands of so-called Justice Department ethics staffers.

1. When an American citizen, John Walker Lindh, was captured in northern Afghanistan, FBI agents sought guidance on whether and how he could be questioned and the request was sent to you for an opinion. Can you explain what your job was, and what advice you wound up giving?

Jesselyn Radack

I was a legal advisor to the Justice Department on matters of ethics. On December 7, 2001, I fielded a call from a Criminal Division attorney named John DePue. He wanted to know about the ethical propriety of interrogating "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh without a lawyer being present. DePue told me unambiguously that Lindh's father had retained counsel for his son. I advised him that Lindh should not be questioned without his lawyer.

2. Was your advice followed?

I gave my advice on a Friday. Over the weekend, the FBI interrogated Lindh anyway. DePue called back on Monday asking what to do now. I advised that the interview might have to be sealed and used only for intelligence-gathering or national security purposes, not criminal prosecution. Again, my advice was ignored.

Three weeks later, on January 15, 2002, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that a criminal complaint was being filed against Lindh. "The subject here is entitled to choose his own lawyer," Ashcroft said, "and to our knowledge, has not chosen a lawyer at this time." I knew that wasn't true.

Three weeks later, Ashcroft announced Lindh's indictment, saying Lindh's rights "have been carefully, scrupulously honored." Again, I knew that wasn't true.

3. Later, when the Bush Administration decided to try Lindh on criminal charges in a federal court in Virginia, the judge issued a discovery order. How did you find out about it? What did you learn about the Justice Department's compliance with discovery requests? What did you do about that?

On March 7, I inadvertently learned that the judge presiding over the Lindh case had ordered that all Justice Department correspondence related to Lindh's interrogation be submitted to the court. Such orders routinely are disseminated to everyone with even a remote connection to the case in question, but I heard about it only because the Lindh prosecutor contacted me directly.

There was more. The prosecutor said he had only two of my e-mails. I knew I had written more than a dozen. When I went to check the hard copy file, the e-mails containing my assessment that the FBI had committed an ethical violation in Lindh's interrogation were missing.

With the help of technical support, I resurrected the missing e-mails from my computer archives. I documented and included them in a memo to my boss and took home a copy for safekeeping in case they "disappeared" again. Then I resigned.

4. Once the "disappeared" e-mails resurfaced, what did the Justice Department do to you?

As the prosecution proceeded rapidly, and the Justice Department continued to claim that it never believed at the time of his interrogation that Lindh had a lawyer, I disclosed the e-mails to Newsweek in accordance with the Whistleblower Protection Act and the crime-fraud exception to confidentiality.

A few weeks later, the Lindh case ended in a surprise plea bargain on the eve of a suppression hearing regarding whether statements Lindh made while in custody in Afghanistanthe ones I had advised againstcould be used against him at trialwhich I also advised against.

Afterwards, I was forced out of my job, fired from my subsequent private sector job at the government's behest, placed under criminal investigation without any charges ever being brought, referred for disciplinary action to the state bars where I'm licensed as a lawyer, and put on the "No-Fly" List.

5. I understand the Maryland ethics board concluded that the Justice Department's accusations were meritless in 2005, but now, seven years later, the same charges are still pending with the D.C. Bar Counsel--with which the Justice Department claims a "special relationship." What's going on there?

You would have to ask Bar Counsel Wallace E. "Gene" Shipp, Jr. He personally took over the handling of my case a year and a half ago. The Maryland Bar dismissed the charges against me in 2005. My referral to the D.C. Bar (the same Bar to which Yoo and Bybee would have been referred) is still pending after almost seven years. A number of legal scholars, including Jim Moliterno, have written about politically-motivated bar discipline. The referral was certainly retaliatory. I am disappointed, though, that the D.C. Bar would allow itself to be used as a tool of the Bush Justice Department.

Ironically, from 2005-07, I was elected by the D.C. Bar Board of Governors to serve on the D.C. Bar Legal Ethics Committee, which is separate from the disciplinary arm of the bar. Obviously, the right hand doesn't speak to the left.

6. How can your case be compared with the cases of John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and Steven Bradbury?

I am now the only Justice Department attorney that OPR referred for bar disciplinary action stemming from advice I gave in a terrorism caseand my advice was to permit an American terrorism suspect to have counsel.

Contrary to OPR's own policies, it hastily and vindictively forwarded my case to the state bars in which I'm licensed, absent a finding of "professional misconduct," much less a finding of "intentional misconduct or reckless disregard of an applicable standard or obligation"the benchmark that OPR uses. Instead, OPR referred me to the bar disciplinary authorities for "possible misconduct." Moreover, I was referred based on a secret report to which I did not have access. Finally, I was referred for conduct I engaged in as a private citizen, not as a public servant, after I had left the employ of the Justice Department.

To the extent that OPR holds itself out as an internal watchdog of the Justice Department, that is belied by the fact that David Margolis, a single senior career attorney who has been with the Department for more than 40 years, has the unilateral power to override anything OPR does. Like most career bureaucrats, he obviously has a vested institutional interest in legitimizing Department conduct. Margolis's take-away message is that it's okay to ignore the rules of professional conduct if you're scared or in a hurry, failing to realize, perhaps because he's a government attorney, that stress and deadlines are the status quo for most lawyers.

Although entirely predictable, the Justice Department's decision to give Yoo and his cohorts a pass should offend all lawyers. It is now incumbent upon the legal profession, which is entirely self-regulated, to provide oversight and accountability within its own ranks and to the public.

Scott Horton is a contributor to Harper's Magazine and writes No Comment for this website, A New York attorney known for his work in emerging markets and international law, especially human rights law and the law of armed conflict, (more...)

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My lack of sympathy for Dick Cheney

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Findlaw and Habeas Corpus

The below [found here]

Decisions in Habeas and Privacy Act Cases

| No TrackBacks

Today, the Ninth Circuit decided two capital habeas matters and one case under the Privacy Act.

In Robinson v. Schriro, No. 05-99007, a capital habeas case, petitioner appealed the district court's denial of his habeas petition. The Ninth Circuit reversed in part and remanded for a new sentencing proceeding because: 1) the state courts arbitrarily found that petitioner committed the murder at issue in an especially cruel, heinous, or depraved manner in violation of the Eighth Amendment; and 2) petitioner received ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing in violation of the Sixth Amendment.

In Harrison v. Gillespie, No. 08-16602, another capital habeas matter, the court of appeals reversed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition. The court held that: 1) the state trial court abused its discretion by declaring a mistrial without first polling the jury, as requested by petitioner, in order to determine whether petitioner had been acquitted of the death penalty; and 2) due to double jeopardy concerns, the state could not seek the death penalty at a sentencing retrial, and no such penalty could be imposed by the court.

Finally, in Cooper v. FAA, No. 08-17074, plaintiff brought an action under the Privacy Act based on an exchange of information about plaintiff performed as part of a joint criminal investigation by multiple federal agencies. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants on the ground that plaintiff alleged only nonpecuniary damages, and these were not compensable under the Act. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that actual damages under the Privacy Act encompassed both pecuniary and nonpecuniary damages.

Related Resources

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lawyer Syndicate System Rigging?

Should the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 be used to shut down all three branches of Connecticut State Government for being a corrupt crime organization? Does it operate like a syndicate? Should members of this Official Mafia be arrested and prosecuted using RICO?

[click here] for:

Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

Is there is racism, retaliation, rigging, and a government that is not representing the people run by lawyers?

Attorneys make money within the Judicial Branch, mostly in courts, “serving” clients. Lawyers elected to legislatures serving on Judiciary Committees, are lawyers first, elected officials second. Vetting judges who are in charge of their domain in the Judicial Branch is conflict of interest, plain and simple. When legislators are notified by constituents of police, prosecutorial, attorney, official, and judicial misconduct these legislators are entirely lacking. In the State of Connecticut, it is glaring.

Feb. 17, 2010 Legislative Judiciary Committee hearings were held in Hartford, Connecticut. The main agenda was the reappointment of judges. There are allegations of racism, unfairness, rigged cases, and a system run as a Police State. Most citizens don't have the patience to sit through 6 and a half hours of testimony. There are so many nuggets of proof of the abuse. More information, click:

Feb. 17, 2010, videos from hearings shot by Steven G. Erickson:

State Senator Eric Coleman starts his questioning of a judge about the unfairness of courts and about racism in the above video. If the courts are racist and unfair, they're unfair for all. There should be an honest investigation into how cases are really tried in Connecticut. The investigation needs to be independent and thorough. The abuse has going on too long.

Part 9, Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan re-appointment hearing. He is the administrative and Superior Court Judge Vernon Rockville GA #19 Connecticut, GA 13 Enfield, and is in charge of Habeas Corpus cases in Connecticut. Senior Judge on Civil Cases mediating.

Part 11, Judge Kevin Tierney

[source of below]
By Katherine1 on May 3, 2008 United States of America

The Superior Court in Stamford, CT, which saw the removal of two of its judges a few years ago, faces new charges.

( May 3, 2008 -- A motion is pending in that court to disqualify Judge Kevin Tierney for having out-of-court communications with one of the parties in a divorce case.

Judge Tierney signed a filed a Memorandum of Decision in a divorce case on December 20, 2007. According to the Motion, the plaintiff, husband, Peter McKenna, a retired partner of the prestigious NY law firm, Wachtel, Lipton, Rosen and Katz, knew of this decision before it was signed and filed. The motion to disqualify Judge Tierney
Judicial Corruption in Stamford, Connecticut

included a check Attorney McKenna wrote and mailed to his wife, pro rating the alimony to the very day which it was terminated, five days before Judge Tierney's order was signed, filed and made public.

That decision left the wife destitute. Mr. McKenna received over $1.5 million dollars from his former law firm last year alone as share of profits. His wife, Katherine Saar Copperfield, has been ordered by Judge Tierney to convey her interest in the marital home in Greenwich, CT to her husband, Attorney McKenna, and to pay various bills, and transfer all the assets to Attorney McKenna, which as Judge Tierney found, will leave her with "no cash distribution."

During the trial, Judge Tierney allowed Attorney McKenna to break various laws, including automatic orders, several motions of contempt and misinformation by Attorney McKenna regarding his income on his financial affidavit. In addition, Judge Tierney finalized the trial without conducting a complete discovery of Attorney McKenna.

The Motion which has been made by the wife recites numerous acts of BIAS by the Judge including the failure to credit her for any monies she expended on the marital residence and various other one-sided actions. The wife is seeking the disqualification of Judge Tierney and a new trial before a new Judge.

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Robin Shapiro testifies about Domestic Violence in Connecticut. She tells about her experience with police and in courts

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Melissa Farley director of the Connecticut Judicial Branch, Steven G. Erickson, and Chris Kennedy"

click on links below for related documents

Judiciary Committee Testimony for 02/17/2010

HJ-00052 Linda J. Ares Palermo re Commissioner John A. Mastropietro HJ-00052 Linda Palermo re Commissioner John A. Mastropietro
HJ-00052 Mark Leighton re Commissioner John A. Mastropietro HJ-00052 William Lawler re Commissioner John Mastropietro
HJ-00055 Chris Kennedy re Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan HJ-00055 Steven G. Erickson re Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan
HJ-00055 Steven G. Erickson re Judge Kaplan SJ-00006 Linda J. Ares Palermo re Commissioner Scott A. Barton
SJ-00006 Linda Palermo re Commissioner Scott A. Barton SJ-00006 Mark Leighton re Commissioner Scott A. Barton
SJ-00010 Robin L. Shapiro (formerly Robin L. McHugh) re Karen Nash Sequino SJ-00011 Linda J. Ares Palermo re State Referee David W. Skolnick
SJ-00011 Linda Palermo re Commissioner David W. Skolnick

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Are judges the enablers of the nationwide banking scandal? Would a judge send out law enforcement out to a victim who had millions stolen by banksters and their judge associates, putting guns to his head telling him to be quiet? Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the 2nd video from the bottom:

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The below [found here]

If you offered most Connecticut residents a job for more than $150,000 a year inside the state's borders, they'd gladly accept — and probably wouldn't expect to be paid for driving to and from work.

But most people aren't judges or workers' compensation commissioners.

This elite group of more than 200 public officials stands out among the state workforce of about 50,000 in many ways — in the power and prestige of their positions, for example. But they also have the enviable distinction of receiving mileage reimbursements for daily commuting to and from their courthouses or offices.The 200 or so judges, as a group, received more than $853,000 in reimbursements for 1,496,697 miles — nearly all of them commuting miles — in the most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30.

The 16 members of the Workers' Compensation Commission, as a group, got nearly $76,000 — an average of $4,750 for each commissioner.

Both elite groups get reimbursed in accordance with IRS guidelines at a current rate of 55 cents a mile.

All of the above has relevance during these days of a state budget crisis and extraordinary efforts to scrape up savings anywhere possible to plug multibillion-dollar projected deficits.

But during the recently concluded eight-month budget standoff between the Rell administration and the Democrat-controlled legislature, no one said a word about the $930,000 that taxpayers were supplying to judges and workers' comp commissioners whose annual salaries range from about $145,000 to $155,000.


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Video uploaded Dec. 22, 2009:

If Connecticut eliminated a US Congressperson position, to redistrict for less of them, it means population has gone down. Why is it that judicial branch positions have more than doubled and spending has gone on like no tomorrow with taxpayers’ money?


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Is this what passed for good policing in Connecticut?:

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My email:

To share this post, click on white envelope below.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Legislator Lawyers, Lawyers First?

Chris Kennedy gives overwhelming evidence to the Connecticut Judiciary Committee Feb. 17, 2010. The documents, well over a quarter inch thick given to the committee should compel them not to re-appoint Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan. The majority of the committee members are lawyers working under judges in the Judicial Branch which is ripe with retaliation, favors, and case rigging. These legislators consider the judges with even the worst behavior, friends! So, there is obviously no real representation for our taxation. Legislators who are for the people would not allow abusive judges who are breaking laws to continue to ruin lives, break up families, and put people in jail, not because they are guilty, just because they feel like it. The legislators had already voted Kaplan another 8 years as judge by the time Christopher Kennedy spoke. What a scam!

More information, click:

Vernon Rockville, Connecticut, Superior Court and Administrative Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan up for reappointment Feb. 17, 2010, Hartford. Did he lie through his teeth under oath committing perjury to remain a judge in Connecticut? Did legislator lawyers knowingly allow him to do this?

Should a legislative committee made up of mostly lawyers decide the fates of judges who they are subservient to Judges in a the Judicial Branch, where they make money, pretending to serve their constituents, lawyers, who face disbarment and arrest for going against ANY judge? Should we the people ask for Judges to face election, pandering to us, not corrupt elected officials and their organized crime and police officer friends?

More information:

Steven G. Erickson and Chris Kennedy testify against Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan in front of the Judiciary Committee, Feb. 17, 2010:

Should Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan be investigated for perjury for the below? Should he be arrested? Should he get prison if found guilty?

The above video was sent by email to the Program Review and Investigations committee, before noon, Feb. 18, 2010, asking that someone be arrested. Not all the persons under oath were telling the truth. My allegation is that Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan ... lied, lied, lied ...

Program Review and Investigations Committee membership in Connecticut:

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Text entered into the record for legislators on the Connecticut Judiciary Committee for the hearing on the reappointment of Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan:

Feb. 17, 2010 Attn CT Jud. Cmmt Legislators [Against Judge J. Kaplan reapointment]

To whom it may concern:

I invested 100's of thousands of dollars and years of my life fixing up and obtaining boarded up rental properties. I built a contracting business over 2 decades. I started to raise a family. Citizens who don't have political connections need a courts system that acts in the best interest of the public to do business and to have a life, American style.

I found out that Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan had bias against landlords and self-employed in small claims cases. I informed him of insurance fraud committed by the other party in Haas v. Erickson. I then lodged complaints against Kaplan starting in the 1990's. Kaplan would stick his tongue out at me and make faces at me in small claims cases. I had not a prayer of getting justice. I then asked elected officials to remove Kaplan with legislation. I asked former Rep. Mordasky and State Senator Guglielmo as I lived in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. I asked Sen. John A. Kissel also as I owned a 2 family house in Somersville, Connecticut, fixing it up from a very bad condition, inside and out.

I complained to elected officials and in newspapers about Rockville Court and about the State Police refusing to protect and serve when it came to prostitution, vandalism, teens drinking all hours destroying my property, and teens, prostitutes, and criminal parasites selling heroin and crack cocaine off and near my properties. I was told to shut my mouth and leave the State by Connecticut State Police or be arrested and go to prison. I had no record and committed no crimes. I was being followed around daily by two or even more cruisers. It seemed I was under 24/7 surveillance and found out my telephone calls were being monitored and my emails read to figure a way for police to set me up for a false arrest, imprisonment, and for me to lose my daughter, home, business, and sum total of my life's work for speaking out in newspapers, for pursuing lawyers to sue police for civil rights violations, for trying to remove Judge Kaplan, and for proposing Civilian Oversight of Police.

Since Police wouldn't do anything about crimes being committed. I contacted Rockville Prosector Keith Courier for directly prosecuting prostitute Lana Thompson who moved into my rental properties changing the locks without my permission. She let the water run, left all lights on, and disturbed other paying tenants with no intentions of paying. Lana went to see Keith in high heels, large breasts prominently displayed. Courier told me he'd prosecute me and that I would go to prison if I brought any action against Lana Thompson or evicted her. I did. Courier and police expected me to pay $2000/month for prostitutes that I wasn't sleeping with. I was told that interfering with heroin and crack cocaine dealers was interfering with police and I could be arrested.

Two felon druggie police informants started threatening my life, squatting on each of my properties. One eventually caught me running from my parked vehicle to my door for safety. I was attacked and pepper sprayed my attacker. State Police officers who I had lodged police misconduct complaints arrested only me for resisting being mugged. These officers later committed perjury saying I never asked to make a complaint against my attacker.

After my arrest. Keith Courier refused to make any deals, only for me to plead guilty and to get a year and a half in prison. The trial was held. Judge Kaplan refused to recuse himself telling me I was guilty and going to prison before trial, whereby he rigged my trial and sentenced me to a year in prison in retaliation. Will you legislators remedy my case and consider legislation for compensation? There is no justice in courts in Connecticut. If a Judge as bad as Kaplan is allowed to remain there is no representation for out taxation. Please act so bad judges across America aren't entitled to abuse.

-Steven G. Erickson [address and tel. # snipped]

[click here] for:

Judges, some are public abusers for life


Judge's Narrow Confirmation Reveals Flaws In Evaluation System

By MARK PAZNIOKAS, The Hartford Courant
January 18, 2009

The Senate's confirmation of a Superior Court judge by a single vote last week exposed old tensions over how Connecticut judges its judges.

The case renewed questions about the judiciary's ability to evaluate, monitor and counsel judges whose impartiality and temperament become suspect.

And it laid bare the ill-defined standards and uneven approach legislators employ in deciding when to exercise their authority to end a judge's career.

"What is the measure we will use to throw someone out?" Sen. John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, asked Wednesday night as the Senate debated the fate of Judge Patricia A. Swords. [more]

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Did Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan call Massachusetts judges up, unethically, asking them to disbar Mass Attorney, and former candidate for Massachusetts Governor, Barbara C. Johnson for writing on the Internet about the rule breaking at Rockville Superior Court GA 19 and the questionable conduct of Judge Kaplan? Was Johnson disbarred and jailed until she took items off her website? Do lawyers have the First Amendment Right of Free, Protected, Speech?

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Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan Feb. 17, 2010, Hartford Connecticut, Reappointment Hearing, Legislative Judiciary Committee Room. 44 min 39 sec

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why Judges Suck

The below [found here]

Left and right united in opposition to controversial SCOTUS decision

Much has been made of late about the hyper-partisan political environment in America. On Tuesday, Sen. Evan Bayh explained his surprising recent decision to leave the Senate by lamenting a "dysfunctional" political system riddled with "brain-dead partisanship." It seems you'd be hard-pressed to get Republicans and Democrats inside and outside of Washington to agree on anything these days, that if one party publicly stated its intention to add a "puppies are adorable" declaration to its platform, that the other party would immediately launch a series of anti-puppy advertisements.

But it appears that one issue does unite Americans across the political spectrum.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that the vast majority of Americans are vehemently opposed to a recent Supreme Court ruling that opens the door for corporations, labor unions, and other organizations to spend money directly from their general funds to influence campaigns.

As noted by the Post's Dan Eggen, the poll's findings show "remarkably strong agreement" across the board, with roughly 80% of Americans saying that they're against the Court's 5-4 decision. Even more remarkable may be that opposition by Republicans, Democrats, and Independents were all near the same 80% opposition range. Specifically, 85% of Democrats, 81% of Independents, and 76% of Republicans opposed it. In short, "everyone hates" the ruling.

The poll's findings could enhance the possibility of getting a broad range of support behind a movement in Congress to pass legislation that would offset the Court's decision. Of those polled, 72% said they supported congressional action to reverse its effects. Sen. Charles Schumer, who's leading the reform effort in the Senate, told the Post that he hoped to get "strong and quick bi-partisan support" behind a bill that "passes constitutional muster but will still effectively limit the influence of special interests."

The findings of the poll are a bit surprising considering the fact that the case split the Supreme Court, with the five conservative justices in favor and the four more liberal justices against it. The decision was almost universally hailed by Republicans in Washington, who saw it as a victory for the free speech provided for under the Constitution, while President Obama and prominent Democrats in Washington almost universally derided it as a dark day for American democracy.

However, Sen. John McCain, one of the original sponsors of the campaign finance law struck down by Court's decision and one of its few prominent Republican opponents, may have been prophetic when he predicted Americans would turn against the Court. McCain told CBS's "Face the Nation" that there would be a "backlash" once awareness grew about "the amounts of union and corporate money that's going to go into political campaigns."

Perhaps the new poll numbers show that McCain might have been onto something.

-- Brett Michael Dykes is a contributor to the Yahoo! News blog

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Judge surrenders her law license


She awaits discipline from Supreme Court
Saturday, February 13, 2010
By Paul Purpura
West Bank bureau

Former state Judge Joan Benge, who was removed from office last year because of a ruling she made nine years ago in a personal injury lawsuit, has agreed to surrender her law license until the state Supreme Court decides on a disciplinary review.

The state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to an interim suspension request filed jointly by Benge and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which investigates lawyer misconduct, according to the court's order released Friday.

Benge's lawyers and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel are in discussions about discipline she could receive, said Charles Plattsmier, the office's chief lawyer.

He said he could not reveal whether his office is recommending a specific disciplinary action, but Benge's suspension will remain in effect until the Supreme Court makes a final decision. It is unclear when that will be.

Benge, 53, of Kenner, a former Jefferson Parish prosecutor who was elected to the 24th Judicial District Court in May 2001, could lose her law license.

Her attorneys could not be reached for comment Friday.

Justices removed Benge from office Nov. 23, after finding she based a November 2001 ruling on reasons other than the evidence. The court found she awarded Philip Demma $4,275, despite telling her colleague, then-Judge Ronald Bodenheimer, that Demma hadn't proved his case. In addition, justices found that Benge also decided the case based on political support from Demma's attorney.

Benge inherited a lawsuit Demma had filed against State Farm insurance, in which he claimed he cracked a tooth in a 1998 automobile accident in Metairie in which the other motorist was at fault. Demma wanted a $20,000 award.

The FBI, which was in the early stages of its investigation of the Jefferson Parish Courthouse, known as Wrinkled Robe, intercepted the Nov. 29, 2001, conversation about the case between Benge and Bodenheimer while tapping Bodenheimer's home phones.

The FBI also recorded several phone conversations between Bodenheimer and Demma, in which Bodenheimer agreed to influence Benge on Demma's behalf.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

No Irish Need Have Kids?

I've read transcripts where Chris Kennedy was told by Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan in Rockville Superior Court in Connecticut, You're Irish, there is strife in Ireland I'm taking away your kids, or similar. It would be similarly disturbing if Judge Kaplan said, You're Black, there is starvation in Africa, so I'm taking away your children. If there is almost absolute immunity for judges breaking laws and abusing citizens, they do.

Kaplan as administrative judge oversaw Judge Swords in Rockville Superior Court, Connecticut. A man who raped a 3 year old and admitted it, didn't go to prison, and did not have to register as a sex offender.

Chris Kennedy wrote to Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell's legal counsel, Kevin Rasch. In Connecticut if you complain about judges or State Police misconduct in the State, the citizen's name is given to police for placement on the, arrest on sight enemies list. After writing Governor Rell, Chris Kennedy was facing thirty years in prison for checking the wrong box on a court financial form, arrested on sight.

Target list post link included with this video. (scroll down for link)

Judge Jonathan Kaplan is up for reappointment in Connecticut, Feb. 17, 2010. I intend on speaking for Kaplan's removal next Wednesday. When I tried to have Kaplan removed by Connecticut State Senators Anthony Guglielmo and John A. Kissel, Republicans, I was terrorized out of the property I owned. Peter J. Coukos, a man who was addicted to crack cocaine, had a history of paying for prostitutes, and offered to pay to have sex with children was offered help in obtaining a pistol permit by Connecticut State Police to harass and terrorize my 14 year old daughter, and myself into fleeing Connecticut.

Just one of the threatening messages Coukos left on my voice mail is included as a link.

After spending years trying to have Kaplan removed, vocal in newspapers, Kaplan sentenced me to a year in prison for resisting being beaten up by a police informant on my property. Kaplan rigged my trial, sticking his tongue out at me. I lost everything, and my daughter and I are no longer in contact.

A former candidate for Massachusetts Governor, Attorney Barbara C. Johnson, was critical of Judge Kaplan in a legal blog. Kaplan called Judges in Massachusetts and had Johnson disbarred. Johnson was imprisoned and told to take information off her blog. Johnson had exposed Kaplan's lack of following rules and his retaliatory attitude. Johnson wrote a book and is in exile in Costa Rica.

I have included a link and video of Johnson's story. She tells what is wrong with the entire judicial system in America:

Should abuse of the world occur from Connecticut? If you care about justice, I ask you to leave a message for this committee with a staffer regarding your support for removal of Judge Jonathan Kaplan, link provided. Precedents on how far a state can go abusing citizens, often starts in Connecticut. Please take the time to call to ask Kaplan be removed as judge. Liberty begins with individual actions.

Thank you.
-Steven G. Erickson

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Judicial Branch Rigging Exposed

More information:

Although the video exposes abuse of the public in Connecticut, this is a nationwide problem. What can be gotten away with in Connecticut gives abusers in other states an idea of how far they can go ripping off the public and corrupting the system. It seems the US Constitution does not apply.

Without properly running, ethical courts, there are no checks and balances. Without a venue for citizens to lodge legitimate complaints and to get justice, there is no justice, and citizens are slaves to a Police State.

Links to go with above:

The above video may accuse the Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of obstructing justice and racketeering. Blumenthal calls himself the "People's Lawyer" on his webpage. He is willing to defend the state against lawsuits AND takes complaints of public corruption???!!! Isn't that a conflict of interest? A post on the CT Atty General:

When court workers bilk the public out of money and then pocket the cash, are these thieves arrested and prosecuted? The answer found her:
may surprise you.

A link to the above video was sent to the Connecticut Judiciary Committee legislators by email Dec. 23, 2009, to:;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Will there be any action at the Hartford Capitol in Connecticut?

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Police, Prostitutes, and Railroading Landlords to Prison

Donny Christmas speaks about what happens to landlords in Connecticut. It is all over, but especially in Enfield, Thompsonville, Stafford Springs, etc.

More about Connecticut cops and prostitutes:

More about what is happening all over Connecticut regarding DCF, Police, the Judiciary, Attorneys, and Officials. It is about misconduct and greed, more:

This story involved Judidial Misconduct of Connecticut Judge Scheinblum, Howard of the Enfield Superior Court. It also involves police misconduct.

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Steven G. Erickson testifies at the Hartford, Connecticut, Capitol 2006

Aug. 1, 2006, Connecticut lets citizen spout off on camera about the Connecticut court system. I let Connecticut have it regarding Police, Prosecutorial, and Judicial Misconduct.

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More info, CLICK:

Nancy Lazaryan speaks with her co-host, from many public access broadcasts, that they have done together out of the Minneapolis, Minnesota area.

This or other video clips might be used in our "In the Interests of Justice" documentary series co-produced by Steven G. Erickson and Francis C. P. Knize.

keywords: NCMR the national conference for media reform 2008 June 6 -8 Minneapolis Minnesota MN Dan Rather Amy Goodman Phil Donahue Body of War Bill Moyers Arianna Huffington Post independent media backpack journalists documentary producers Bill O'Reilly Factor Fox News

Other videos on liveleak:

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Barbara Johnson basically describes the pitfalls of the entire judicial system in the US in this hour and 20 minute interview below. Added to this post Jan. 20, 2010. If you want to know why, and how, our US justice does, or doesn't work, let this video play while you surf the net:

[click here] for my Dec. 5, 2009, post on Barbara Johnson talking about her new book, "Behind the Black Robes: Failed Justice". Post includes audio interview from Dec. 4, 2009.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

FBI Domestic Spying?

FBI wants records kept of Web sites visited
by Declan McCullagh

WASHINGTON--The FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes.

FBI Director Robert Mueller supports storing Internet users' "origin and destination information," a bureau attorney said at a federal task force meeting on Thursday.

FBI director Robert Mueller

(Credit: Anne Broache/CNET)

As far back as a 2006 speech, Mueller had called for data retention on the part of Internet providers, and emphasized the point two years later when explicitly asking Congress to enact a law making it mandatory. But it had not been clear before that the FBI was asking companies to begin to keep logs of what Web sites are visited, which few if any currently do.

The FBI is not alone in renewing its push for data retention. As CNET reported earlier this week, a survey of state computer crime investigators found them to be nearly unanimous in supporting the idea. Matt Dunn, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in the Department of Homeland Security, also expressed support for the idea during the task force meeting.

Greg Motta, the chief of the FBI's digital evidence section, said that the bureau was trying to preserve its existing ability to conduct criminal investigations. Federal regulations in place since at least 1986 require phone companies that offer toll service to "retain for a period of 18 months" records including "the name, address, and telephone number of the caller, telephone number called, date, time and length of the call."

At Thursday's meeting (PDF) of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group, which was created by Congress and organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Motta stressed that the bureau was not asking that content data, such as the text of e-mail messages, be retained.

"The question at least for the bureau has been about non-content transactional data to be preserved: transmission records, non-content records...addressing, routing, signaling of the communication," Motta said. Director Mueller recognizes, he added "there's going to be a balance of what industry can bear...He recommends origin and destination information for non-content data."

Motta pointed to a 2006 resolution from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which called for the "retention of customer subscriber information, and source and destination information for a minimum specified reasonable period of time so that it will be available to the law enforcement community."

Recording what Web sites are visited, though, is likely to draw both practical and privacy objections.

"We're not set up to keep URL information anywhere in the network," said Drew Arena, Verizon's vice president and associate general counsel for law enforcement compliance.

And, Arena added, "if you were do to deep packet inspection to see all the URLs, you would arguably violate the Wiretap Act."

Another industry representative with knowledge of how Internet service providers work was unaware of any company keeping logs of what Web sites its customers visit.

If logs of Web sites visited began to be kept, they would be available only to local, state, and federal police with legal authorization such as a subpoena or search warrant.

What remains unclear are the details of what the FBI is proposing. The possibilities include requiring an Internet provider to log the Internet protocol (IP) address of a Web site visited, or the domain name such as, a host name such as, or the actual URL such as

While the first three categories could be logged without doing deep packet inspection, the fourth category would require it. That could run up against opposition in Congress, which lambasted the concept in a series of hearings in 2008, causing the demise of a company, NebuAd, which pioneered it inside the United States.

The technical challenges also may be formidable. John Seiver, an attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine who represents cable providers, said one of his clients had experience with a law enforcement request that required the logging of outbound URLs.

"Eighteen million hits an hour would have to have been logged," a staggering amount of data to sort through, Seiver said. The purpose of the FBI's request was to identify visitors to two URLs, "to try to find out...who's going to them."

A Justice Department representative said the department does not have an official position on data retention.

Disclosure: The author of this story participated in the meeting of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group, though after the law enforcement representatives spoke.

Declan McCullagh is a contributor to CNET News and a correspondent for who has covered the intersection of politics and technology for over a decade. Declan writes a regular feature called Taking Liberties, focused on individual and economic rights; you can bookmark his CBS News Taking Liberties site, or subscribe to the RSS feed. You can e-mail Declan at

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I know what is it like to be domestically spied on for my legal Free Speech expressions. I was held in Connecticut as a political prisoner:

Connecticut Official Scumbag Follies

Election rigging, and violations, in my opinion is a serious breach of the public trust. Are the watchdogs allowing criminal behavior to become commonplace? Is public corruption so mainstream it doesn't warrant punishment? Why should those who are supposed to investigate complaints also are in charge of defending those complained against? It seems there is a lot of conflict of interest with what Connecticut Attorney General Richard "Dick" Blumenthal is involved in.

Blumenthal seems to be for cigarette smoking, calling E Cigarettes dangerous. Cigarettes cause cancer, people fall asleep while smoking, children and families die in fires, and there might be 6000 chemicals in cigarettes. E Cigarettes contain just nicotine and "vapor" not smoke. Taxes are collected on cigarettes but not for E Cigarettes. [story]

Electronic Cigarette which "vapors" and does not smoke

If a citizen writes a blog or in a newspaper critical of Connecticut M. Jodi Rell, that citizen can be put on an arrest on sight target list. Staffers do google word searches and pass on information to the Connecticut State Police of those who are critical of the Governor, police, and/or who try to blow the whistle or expose public corruption. Why isn't Blumenthal doing anything about the gross police misconduct and brutality in the state of Connecticut? Why is jury tampering, trial court case rigging, the manufacturing and destruction of evidence, police officer perjury, and the use of courts to retaliate against citizens tolerated? [story]

What is most wrong with Connecticut Courts? [story]

Connecticut M. Jodi Rell and election fraud? Is Governor Rell not running next election to avoid prosecution? [story]

[click here] for:

Holding Elected Officials Accountable

Note: Videos and other information, scroll down

Steven G. Erickson in 2001 before being a victim on Connecticut's "Target List"

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Prompting A Probe: Bysiewicz Put Her Public Office's Database To Private Political Use

Jon Lender Government Watch

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, now a Democratic candidate for state attorney general, has politically exploited a database of citizens' names assembled at taxpayers' expense by her office: Her 2010 election committee has been sending unsolicited e-mails to thousands of people in that database, promoting her candidacy and seeking campaign contributions, The Courant has learned.

And now Bysiewicz's private political use of her public office's data has come under investigation by the state's current attorney general, Richard Blumenthal. Two staff lawyers in his office are investigating a complaint lodged last October by a Republican political activist who received unwanted Bysiewicz campaign e-mails and charged that she has violated the law by misusing "official state data for a political campaign."

Bysiewicz on Saturday confirmed Blumenthal is investigating her office but denied that anything improper happened. Blumenthal could not be reached for comment.

Bysiewicz gave The Courant a copy of the written Freedom of Information Act request dated Feb. 2, 2009, through which she had her exploratory campaign committee, Friends of Susan 2010, obtain "an electronic copy of the Secretary of the State's current ... database." The database goes back to 1999, her first year in office, and contains the names of 36,000 citizens (and nearly 9,900 e-mail addresses) who have asked Bysiewicz's office for information or help, or otherwise had contact with it.

If you contact Bysiewicz's office with a question, or serve on some citizen committee involved with public voting issues that she supervises, you get put into the database and start getting periodic e-mail newsletters from the secretary of the state's office about current issues.

What happened a year ago, in effect, is that Bysiewicz, the candidate, requested and obtained the database from Bysiewicz, the state's top official in charge of conducting elections and maintaining records of business registrations. And then people started getting a second e-mail newsletter — this one from the campaign committee, Friends of Susan 2010 — some issues of which provided a way for people to donate.

There's nothing wrong with any of that, Bysiewicz said, because the database is a public record that anyone can request — even another candidate, although none has. And, she said, both the official and campaign e-mail newsletters contain an "opt-out" provision, meaning with a simple computer-click recipients can stop receiving them.

Rell Aide Drew Fire For Similar Acts
Beyond the Blumenthal investigation, there are still political questions — such as how another candidate would even know to make an FOI request for the internal database, and what use it would be to someone other than Bysiewicz, whose office dealt with the people in the database.

Asked for what public purpose the secretary of the state maintains the internal office database, Bysiewicz and her deputy, Lesley Mara, said it is used to keep track of how staff respond to constituent requests and to preserve records of how to contact people, including public officials, with whom the office deals.

The investigation comes at a delicate moment in Bysiewicz's campaign for the high-profile office now held by Blumenthal, who is not seeking re-election as he runs for the U.S. Senate. Some critics already have raised legal questions about whether Bysiewicz has actively practiced law in Connecticut long enough to meet the eligibility requirement to serve as attorney general. Those questions are still unresolved, although Bysiewicz insists they are no problem.

The other potential political problem is that Bysiewicz's campaign use of the official data is reminiscent of a highly publicized controversy over a 2006 campaign incident involving Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell's chief of staff, M. Lisa Moody. In that incident, Moody ordered that an official address list of the leaders of arts and tourism organizations statewide be copied onto a computer disk — which she then provided to Rell's re-election campaign committee for use in fundraising solicitations.

Blumenthal investigated that, too, and produced a report saying state equipment apparently was used to comply with Moody's orders. No sanctions were recommended or imposed.

The arts list was a public record containing scores of names — not thousands, like Bysiewicz's. Asked what the difference is between what she did and what Moody did, Bysiewicz said, "We made a formal request" in writing, which documents the transaction with "openness and transparency."

As a result, she said, any questions about what people in her office did on state time can now be answered. She said her staff answered the request as they would any other FOI request, after Jason Doucette, then treasurer of Friends of Susan 2010, sent the FOI letter last February to Mara in behalf of Bysiewicz as a candidate.

At the time, Bysiewicz was considering a run for governor. But last month she shifted her sights onto the attorney general race — where there are fewer competitors — once Blumenthal announced he would seek the seat that will be vacated by U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, who is retiring rather than face re-election as his popularity has plummeted.

Although Bysiewicz's committee gathered much of its money when she was considering a gubernatorial candidacy, she can legally use it to run for attorney general. Last month, before much of the recent negative publicity came out about her eligibility for attorney general, a Quinnipiac University poll showed her with a strong lead over potential competitors. There has been no Quinnipiac poll on the race since.

Citizen's Complaint Spurred Probe
The investigation by Blumenthal grows out of a complaint filed last Oct. 18 with the State Elections Enforcement Commission by Geoffrey Fisher, a former member of the West Hartford Board of Education who also worked from 1989 to 1995 as a legislative aide for the state House of Representatives' Republican Caucus. He recently moved to Florida.

Fisher said that on Nov. 23 and Dec. 5, 2008, he wrote e-mails to Bysiewicz asking: "Is Barack H. Obama II a natural born citizen?" A number of citizens across the country have raised questions about whether Obama was born in Hawaii, as he and officials in Hawaii say, or in Africa; the "Birthers," as Obama's defenders have dubbed them, say he shouldn't be president if he wasn't born in this country.

Fisher asked Bysiewicz, among other things, to write to Obama and request a birth certificate from Hawaii.

In his Oct. 18 e-mail complaint to the elections agency, Fisher said he received no answer from Bysiewicz to his original e-mails, but three months later (and soon after Bysiewicz's campaign committee requested the office database) he started getting e-mail newsletters from both Bysiewicz's office and her campaign committee.

The elections agency said it had no jurisdiction in the matter, and referred it to the state auditors, who brought in Blumenthal's office. On Thursday, Fisher received an e-mail from Blumenthal's office saying it is investigating. One of Blumenthal's investigators, Thomas J. Martin, wrote to Fisher: "Your complaint at Elections Enforcement has been referred to my office for investigation. I am looking to speak to you regarding your complaint."

Mara, Bysiewicz's deputy secretary of the state, said Saturday that she heard weeks ago from Stephen R. Park, a lawyer in Blumenthal's "Whistle Blower" investigation unit, and she expects that this week he will interview her and two other Bysiewicz staffers who handled the campaign's FOI request.

She said the fact that Blumenthal is investigating doesn't mean the attorney general believes there were any irregularities or improprieties. "I do not believe that the fact that they're looking into this is a sign of anything other than that they are doing their job," Mara said.

Although Fisher is the only person to file a formal complaint, others — Democrats, too — have called The Courant to raise questions about Bysiewicz's sending unsolicited campaign e-mails to those who dealt only briefly with her office. Bysiewicz said she has had people send e-mails to "opt out" of receiving further ones, but has not gotten significant complaints.

•Jon Lender can be reached at, 860-241-6524, or c/o The Hartford Courant, 285 Broad St., Hartford, CT 06115.

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