Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Clowncil and Friends - Obama is talking TO YOU.

Memorandum to the City Clowncil and their "friends":


This also covers one of your historically favorite places to violate the law - the California Public Records Act.

Got info? Give the old dead Republican Mayor a call at (213) 785-6098 or email to mayorsam@mayorsam.org Why? Because your President said to, that's why.

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

January 21, 2009
SUBJECT: Freedom of Information Act

A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency. As Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, "sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." In our democracy, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which encourages accountability through transparency, is the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open Government. At the heart of that commitment is the idea that accountability is in the interest of the Government and the citizenry alike.

The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears. Nondisclosure should never be based on an effort to protect the personal interests of Government officials at the expense of those they are supposed to serve. In responding to requests under the FOIA, executive branch agencies (agencies) should act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation, recognizing that such agencies are servants of the public.

All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.

The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take affirmative steps to make information public. They should not wait for specific requests from the public. All agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government. Disclosure should be timely.

I direct the Attorney General to issue new guidelines governing the FOIA to the heads of executive departments and agencies, reaffirming the commitment to accountability and transparency, and to publish such guidelines in the Federal Register. In doing so, the Attorney General should review FOIA reports produced by the agencies under Executive Order 13392 of December 14, 2005. I also direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to update guidance to the agencies to increase and improve information dissemination to the public, including through the use of new technologies, and to publish such guidance in the Federal Register.

This memorandum does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.


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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Q: What about transferring detainees to the U.S. mainland where they could face trials for their alleged crimes?

A: This option has been discussed often but is unpopular with U.S. communities where they might be settled, including military base prisons in Kansas and California. There is a "not in my backyard" response to such a move. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican, has been particularly vocal of his opposition to Guantanamo detainees being moved to Fort Leavenworth's military prison in his state. Brownback has invited Obama to visit the high-security facility to make his case of how unsuitable he deems it for Guantanamo prisoners.

January 22, 2009 9:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Pretty freaky when NIMBYism now includes your local high security prison!

January 22, 2009 9:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Thank you Mayor Sam for posting the Obama administration's commitment to truly open government and document disclosure.

This Mayor and this Council are the opposite. They stubbornly refuse to disclose documents that are clearly public records. This Mayor and this Council are not prepared to change. Instead, they wrongfully withhold documents, force the public to sue the City to obtain documents that should have been immediately produced, and stonewall judge's orders to produce documents.

We need new amendments to the Public Records Act to force these arrogant public officials to comply with the law or face personal financial consequences.

January 22, 2009 10:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Suggest they move the Gitmo detainees to the old Home Depot building in Sunland/Tujunga.

January 22, 2009 11:49 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This, as the scheduled closing of Gitmo, are largely symbolic.

President Obama does not have the auhtority to change the Freedom of Information Act. All this does is give encouragement that maybe, just maybe, researchers and the public at large will not have to face costly litigation to enforce FOIA through the courts but lawful closures of information will still remain under FOIA.

Similarly, the likely loophole in torture of handing a suspect over to a government without protective laws against torture will remain.

Only 893 campaign promises to go...

January 22, 2009 4:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:49: you have a point there.
Check out the Daily News editorial advising the activists who stopped Home Depot from moving in and making a viable business/ city tax producer in this terrible economy, to put as much effort into finding and helping another store move in. They've given their community and the whole city a NIMBY, anti-business reputation which we can't use now.

They advise city officials to help with this, but I've read that AnVil is actually doing that, going around very actively to recruit big box stores and convincing them that L A is not so unfriendly in most areas. But it's rough right now.

Interesting comments there, including from Joe B and Abby Diamond, some activists who insist it's their community's business only. Joe B says they'll have no problem attracting a good store, others think the town's a dump and no Target or such will move in.

We'll see. But it does affect all of us when one area gives L A an even worse business rep than it has.

January 22, 2009 5:04 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

When you insist that the rules be followed, that is not giving LA a bad rep. No corporation should think that they are exempt from the rules everyone else has to follow. HD sought special privileges and attempted to shred the Community Plan for it's own purposes. That is just not right.

Whatever tax revenue HD would have provided would have been offset by the loss of tax revenue from the other stores that would have been driven out of business, and the increased costs of police presence and road maintenance (due to the heavy trucks HD needs to constantly restock it's store).
HD would have been a zero gain, and our community would still be spending our dollars in other cities (retail leakage) since we are underserved with general merchandise stores in our area.

January 22, 2009 5:56 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

I also never said that we'd have no problems attracting a store.We will
attract a store/development, but it is not going to happen overnight, and
not without some hard work on everyone's behalf.

January 22, 2009 5:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Which moron congressmen are concerned about Gitmo detainees being imprisoned in their districts?

It's one thing to fear that rapists or burglars would escape and terrorize the nearby neighborhoods, but if a war criminal escapes he isn't going to run into the local town and molest school kids or rob the 7-11.

January 22, 2009 8:29 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Just more fear mongering from what's left of the GOP.

January 22, 2009 9:14 PM  

Blogger Gava Joe said:

Open the gates at Gitmo and let the fellas migrate into Cuba. I'm sure Raul Castro would know how to handle this simple dilemna. Maybe the prison could be re-opened as a sort of gritty-themed bed and breakfast? Maybe a few of the more presentable detainees could be trained to serve as domestic help for George and Laura Bush in Crawford or Dallas TX? There are a multitude of alternatives to simple release of these guys, but above all under no circumstances should they be sent to Kansas. That most certainly would qualify as cruel and unusual punishment.

January 24, 2009 4:26 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Home Depot's lawyers and PR firm created the rumor that Sunland-Tujunga is causing a bad rap for Los Angeles business. They tried every which way to discredit the opposition, and that is mild compared to some of the other low-ball tactics they used. It didn't work. They pulled out of the project after spending many millions of dollars on nasty PR instead of following the usual or normal city process for entitlements.

It's amazing really, how you stupid people can bring Home Depot into any topic. You keep trying to discredit the smart folks up there who actually do something to help their community - I wonder what you do other than post smart ass remarks.

January 24, 2009 12:17 PM  

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