Libertarian Fights for Open Government

Here’s an interesting item about New Jersey Libertarian John Paff and his crusade to enforce the laws that require government meetings and discussion to be kept public and in the public record.

A little unusual to think of a Libertarian as a stickler for the enforcement of laws, but this makes sense and (as long as it doesn’t go too far) can produce positive media attention.

John Paff makes it his business to ensure that local governments adhere to open public meeting laws.

The volunteer advocate picks towns around New Jersey, often at random, to see if their governing bodies are complying with state laws. And after two years’ experience, he has found they often do not. Paff then starts a dialogue with the officials in question, and if he gets no results, the matter often winds up in court.

Paff, who chairs the Open Government Task Force for the Libertarian Party of Central New Jersey, recently visited two area communities, Monroe and Milltown, and said that in both cases he found violations.

His findings in Monroe led him to file a lawsuit in late September against the Board of Education, which he claims is not specific enough when informing the public that it is going into closed session during its meetings. The suit is similar to one Paff has pending against Lawnside Borough in Camden County.

Paff said the Monroe board approves the same resolution at every meeting before going into executive session, but the resolution only states that “personnel, negotiations, legal and student matters” are to be discussed. He said it does not include enough details for the public to know what subject is being discussed behind closed doors, something he said can and should be done under the law.

The board, he said, can still keep the actual discussions and negotiations private while providing information regarding the nature of a given discussion.

“I’m suing to require the board to be more detailed and say, for instance, that they’re going into closed session to discuss [as a hypothetical example] a settlement offer received in Smith v. Board of Ed., or a contract negotiation with the janitors’ union, etc.,” Paff said.

Board of Education Attorney Bertram Busch said that the board filed a response to Paff’s lawsuit on Nov. 13, but Busch would not speak of the specifics of Paff’s lawsuit.

“We disagree with his allegation, but since this matter is pending in court, I do not want to say anything else,” Busch said.

Paff said he has moved for a summary judgment and expects the case to be decided on Jan. 5.

Paff has been studying the Open Public Meetings Act for several years, and he has learned how to determine whether a governing agency is not exercising good discretion with the law.

“The Libertarian Party is trying to open this up,” he said, “because the Democrats and the Republicans are not.”

Paff contends that the major political parties have a vested interest in keeping information from the public. Closed-session discussion, he said, should be limited to matters that would undermine a council or board’s ability to function.

“They should open as much as possible, so that people can participate meaningfully in the process,” Paff said. “They [often] don’t tell you what lawsuit they are talking about.”

“What Monroe [Board of Education] does is they say that it is [related to] legal issues,” Paff said. “That can be anything with the Board of Education. Everything has a connection to legal issues.”

Monroe’s school board still goes into closed session in the same manner, Paff said, adding that this is why he is seeking a ruling.

Paff said a November visit to Milltown revealed a similar situation with the Borough Council, though it is not expected to result in a lawsuit. In reviewing council meeting minutes from a closed session, he made note of a couple instances in 2005 when he believes the council discussed matters in closed session that should have been part of the public meeting.

For example, he found that the council on July 25, 2005 discussed a “wild cat problem” in town and the fact that the borough administrator was talking with Franklin Township’s animal control office to remedy the problem.

Paff, in a letter to the mayor and council that describes specific parts of the open public meetings law, said he believes the public should have been informed of and able to witness discussion on the wild cats and the desire to work with Franklin Township to resolve the matter.

“The only matter they needed to keep confidential was the council’s strategy as to how to negotiate the intended agreement with Franklin,” Paff wrote.

Paff didn’t find any resistance to his suggestions, at least not from Mayor Gloria Bradford.

In a response letter to Paff, Bradford wrote that his comments will be taken into consideration, and that his letter was forwarded to the borough clerk and business administrator.

“Although we take pride in the conscientious manner in which we manage public information,” Bradford wrote, “we are always looking for ways to improve.”

Paff said the vast majority of towns he investigates are out of compliance with the open public meetings act.

In Milltown, he was at least pleased with some of what he found. The borough, he said, keeps better meeting minutes than most other towns he visited recently, and it files them in a binder with regular minutes.

“They promptly acknowledged my letter and appear to take the matter seriously,” Paff said of Milltown officials.

His goal is to raise the public’s awareness of its right to an open government, Paff said, adding that the effort is not seeking change through punitive measures, but through open dialogue.

“I honestly think that the Milltown council did not know,” Paff said. “This is the way that they had been doing it for years and nobody ever said anything to them.”

Paff said he has filed successful lawsuits against the Perth Amboy City Council, the Franklin Township Redevelopment Agency and the Union Township Council, all on open public meetings issues.

On open public records issues, he has sued Edison, the state Department of Labor, West Milford Township and Plainsboro Township. With assistance from attorney Richard Gutman, of Montclair, he has won them all, though the Plainsboro suit is now in front of the Appellate Division.

“I don’t like to file lawsuits,” Paff said. “I only do that if I have to. If I give them all of the reasons and they don’t care, then I do what I have got to do.”

Secrecy is fertile ground for corruption, Paff said, adding that one reason public meetings often receive low attendance is a lack of openness with the public.

“I go to a lot of meetings and there is always some councilman or woman who is up there saying that there are only four members in the audience and people don’t care,” Paff said. “The reason people don’t go to meetings is because the meetings are not meaningful and then, in closed session, they hash out the good stuff.”

19 Responses to “Libertarian Fights for Open Government”

  1. Donny Ferguson Says:

    “A little unusual to think of a Libertarian as a stickler for the enforcement of laws…”

    I have to disagree. Libertarians believe strongly in the strict enforcement of laws that protect lives, liberty and property.

    Kudos to Mr. Paff for taking the time and effort to keep government open to the people it is supposed to serve.

  2. Mike N. Says:

    A little unusual to think of a Libertarian as a stickler for the enforcement of laws

    I am a bit surprised that Austin said this. I agree with Donny Ferguson’s response.

  3. Jason Gatties Says:

    Yup…Donny stole my thunder. I was about to say pretty much the same thing.

    Oh well

    chews tobacco

  4. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home[s] Says:

    Good News
    Bad News
    CAlifornia’s ground breaking Ralph M. Brown Open Meetings Act is now over a half a century old.
    Even after five decades there is still no ‘Penalty Phase’! In 2006 the faulting entity might be embarassed, but not financially held accoutable.

  5. Joseph Knight Says:

    John Paff is the epitomy of an ideal activist. He has the tenacity of a bulldog. I remember his excellent work on civil forfeiture. We need a few thousand more just like him. GO JOHN!

  6. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home[s] Says:

    Here’s another one!

    FLASH:
    First Amendment and Open Government News

    Vol. 16, No. 21, December 20 , 2006

    ‘Tis the Season to Support CFAC

    In lieu of a Commentary this week, we pass the hat to you: Our friends, allies and supporters. Gifts to CFAC are fully tax-deductible (we’re a 501©(3) organization). You can contribute by credit card on our website, by calling us (415-460-5060), or by sending a check to:

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    Why give to CFAC? Despite our small size, CFAC mounts an effective resistance to excessive and unnecessary government secrecy.

    Through litigation against government agencies, legal counseling of activists and journalists, educational programs, oversight of new legislation, and all manner of agitation (both high-profile and low) in support of greater public access, CFAC makes a big difference.
    —In 2006 CFAC sued Governor Schwarzenegger for access to records of meetings conducted by his top aides, and we sued the state Judiciary to establish that courts, despite their exemption from public access laws, cannot refuse all requests for public records. Both suits were successful.
    —Last month CFAC sued Santa Clara County to establish a public right of access to digital parcel maps (GIS) and other computerized data that the county sees as proprietary. Our objective is to unravel monopoly control by government agencies over information that is produced with public funds.
    —And CFAC is readying another suit for filing next week against a county board of supervisors. Another in a series of Prop 59 cases, the suit will argue that the sunshine ballot measure, enacted overwhelmingly in 2004, strips local governments of a popular method for denying public record requests.

    CFAC’s free Hotline service, which provides comprehensive answers to legal questions submitted at our website, served more people in 2006 than ever before. So popular is this service that we have added lawyers and created a new capacity to answer legal questions in Spanish.

    Our 2006 Free Speech and Open Government Assembly raised the bar for First Amendment conferences. Featured speakers included Arianna Huffington, Dan Ellsberg, NSA General Counsel Robert Deitz, Judith Miller, and Brian Sun, lawyer for atomic physicist Wen Ho Lee—-plus dozens of top experts on law, public policy and journalism.

    To those of you who have already contributed to CFAC this year, we thank you again and ask that you give more, if you can.

    To those of you who haven’t given this year, please do so now, as generously as you’re able.

    2007 promises (threatens?) to be a challenging year. With mainstream media subject to extraordinary financial pressures, responsibility for vindicating the public’s right to know increasingly will fall to organizations like CFAC.

    With your help—-but only with your help—-we can meet that challenge.

    Thank you in advance for your generosity, and best wishes for the holidays!

    Peter Scheer
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    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    NATIONAL FIRST AMENDMENT AND OPEN GOVERNMENT NEWS————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    New York Times
    U.S. to declassify secrets at age 25
    It will be a Cinderella moment for the band of researchers who study the hidden history of American government. At midnight on Dec. 31, hundreds of millions of pages of secret documents will be instantly declassified, including many F.B.I. cold war files on investigations of people suspected of being Communist sympathizers. After years of extensions sought by federal agencies behaving like college students facing a term paper, the end of 2006 means the government’s first automatic declassification of records.

    Slate.com
    What was Alberto R. Gonzales thinking?
    Ever since the Nixon administration, Justice Department guidelines have required the attorney general’s approval of all subpoenas of journalists or of their phone records from third parties. The most recent iteration of the guidelines don’t give journalists a complete bye. But by directing prosecutors to cool their jets before issuing a subpoena—exhausting alternative sources of information before issuing a subpoena, encouraging prosecutors to negotiate with reporters beforehand, and avoid subpoenas that fish for information—a truce of sorts between the feds and the press has been maintained.

    Los Angeles Times
    White House accused of censorship
    A former National Security Council official said that the White House tried to silence his criticism of its Middle East policies by ordering the CIA to censor an op-ed column he wrote.

    Washington Post
    White House contests Post on providing visitor logs
    The Bush administration asked an appeals court to overrule a federal judge and allow the White House to keep secret any records of visitors to Vice President Dick Cheney’s residence and office. To make the visitor records public would be an “unprecedented intrusion into the daily operations of the vice presidency,” the Justice Department argued in a 57-page brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

    Associated Press
    ACLU: Government seeks ‘secret’ document
    After demanding that the American Civil Liberties Union turn over a classified document it had been given and prove it had destroyed every copy of it, the government agreed to make the document about photographs of detainees public.

    Sacramento Bee
    Leahy wants answers on Bush terrorism policies
    The next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said that he’ll subpoena documents and testimony on U.S. terrorism, detainees and domestic-surveillance programs if Bush administration officials don’t cooperate once Democrats take over in January.

    Davis Wright Tremaine
    Copyright Office grants six exemptions to Digital Millennium Copyright Act
    Six new exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) make it easier for cell phone users to switch providers, film professors to play DVD clips in their classrooms, and CD users to detect self-installing software that may be infected. The exemptions—which also renew three nearly identical predecessors—took effect November 27. In granting them, the Copyright Office largely ignored calls from consumer advocacy groups for broader immunity.

    New York Sun
    Statute of limitations passes in probe of leaks to N.Y. Times
    A key legal deadline has passed, raising doubts about whether criminal charges will ever be filed in an investigation of leaks to the New York Times about planned federal raids on Islamic charities in America.

    Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press
    HP to pay $14.5 million settlement in ‘pretexting’ scandal
    Under a settlement approved by a California court, technology giant Hewlett-Packard Co. will establish a fund for prosecuting future privacy crimes and make changes within its corporate governance to improve the company’s legal and ethical standards. The settlement, which was announced by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s office, also provides that HP pay civil penalties for its role in a boardroom leak investigation that led private investigators to obtain reporters’ phone records through a ruse.

    Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press
    National security interests stop release of detainee photos
    Saying their release would threaten national security, a federal judge this week ruled that detainee photographs taken at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Earlier this year, The Associated Press requested photographs identifying past and present detainees, as well as information on each detainee’s weight and height.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————STATE AND LOCAL FIRST AMENDMENT AND OPEN GOVERNMENT NEWS—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Yahoo!Sports
    BALCO leaks exposed
    The FBI has targeted a defense attorney for leaking confidential grand jury information linking Barry Bonds and other world-class athletes to alleged steroid use, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

    East Bay Business Times
    Media groups want documents unsealed in antitrust case
    A San Francisco alternative weekly and a media advocacy group asked a federal judge to unseal documents in an antitrust case involving MediaNews Group Inc. and the San Francisco Chronicle. Oakland-based Media Alliance and the San Francisco Bay Guardian want the release of public court records connected to a suit filed by local real estate investor Clinton Reilly that challenges the partnership between MediaNews and the Hearst Corp, which publishes the Chronicle.

    San Francisco Chronicle
    Ruling on campaign disclosure, tribes can be sued for late gift reports
    California’s Indian tribes, which have poured millions of dollars into political battles, lost an effort to be protected from campaign disclosure laws when the state Supreme Court ruled they can be sued for violations despite their status as sovereign nations.

    San Mateo County Times
    Council urged to follow law in talks with 49ers
    As Santa Clara explores the idea of the San Francisco 49ers building a football stadium to boost the city’s entertainment district, some legal experts caution that officials could be close to violating open meeting rules. In question are a series of informal, private meetings that team officials recently had with council members.

    San Bernardino Sun
    Records yield a few surprises
    When The Sun asked this month to see a copy of an agreement between a school district and a union, district officials searched for the document and realized the contract does not exist. Although the situation might seem bizarre, it’s not rare for government entities to make such discoveries while hunting for public records, some experts said.

    Editor & Publisher
    Santa Barbara News-Press’ lawsuit against ‘AJR’ reporter draws criticism
    A lawsuit filed by publishers of the Santa Barbara News-Press claiming that an American Journalism Review writer defamed the newspaper’s owners in a recent article has drawn harsh criticism from newspaper industry leaders, who said such an approach is counter to journalistic practices.

    Press-Enterprise
    Trustees plan closed meeting: groups protest
    The Corona-Norco Board of Education plans met in private to discuss its search for a new superintendent, but attorneys for two groups advocating open meetings said state law does not justify the closed session. The board plans to meet with its search consultant to talk about the timetable and process for the search, the district’s needs and the qualities it expects in a new superintendent.

    Fresno Bee
    Fresno City Council wants answers on shopping sprees
    Several Fresno City Council members want to know why $60,000 in taxpayer money was spent on shopping sprees charged to Fresno Convention and Visitors Bureau credit cards. The council members also want to know how the public’s money will be safeguarded in the future before more city funds are given to the bureau in April. The questions come in the wake of embezzlement allegations against a former bureau bookkeeper.

    North County Times
    Council members say immigration fight not over
    We’re not ending our fight against illegal immigration and its effects on Escondido, several City Council members said. The council decided to stop efforts to defend in court its controversial ordinance punishing landlords for renting to illegal immigrants, citing rapidly rising legal bills and uncertainty over whether the ordinance could ever be enforced in cooperation with the federal government.

    Porterville Recorder
    Council wants to change the law
    A legislative request by the City Council, which could lead to elected officials doing more of the public’s business behind closed doors, is considered a longshot – by public interest watchdogs and the assemblyman supposed to sponsor it.

    Press-Enterprise
    District to review aquifer contract
    A proposed aquifer-sharing pact between the Pechanga tribe and a Temecula-area water district will be discussed behind closed doors. The Rancho California Water District closed session follows an open committee meeting in which board members spent about 45 minutes examining a draft agreement that is aimed at increasing the reliability and amount of the tribe’s future water supply.

    Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
    Most county supervisors’ calendars out in the open
    San Bernardino County’s top elected officials have different views about just how public the job of a public official ought to be. When asked for copies of their calendars, the offices of Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus and Supervisor Paul Biane, have declined to provide them. Another two, however, made their calendars available to a reporter upon request.

    Modesto Bee
    MID’s Serpa puts forth questions to be answered
    Mike Serpa, after a year on the Modesto Irrigation District Board of Directors, still insists the utility is not making clear its true financial picture. Serpa called for an outside audit that would include examination of the impact of current policy to limit requests for information to one hour of staff time, including requests made by board members.

    Contra Costa Times
    City works to prevent misuse of resources
    Now that the dust has settled from the contentious Pleasanton mayor’s race between incumbent Jennifer Hosterman and Councilman Steve Brozosky, city officials are taking stock of the lessons to be learned. It is safe to say that this year’s election raised several issues that never had been considered before in Pleasanton, City Manager Nelson Fialho said. And other cities may soon start to examine the potential problems of city-issued computer equipment to elected officials and the vagaries of e-mail retention systems.

    Opinion & Editorial

    Santa Cruz Sentinel
    As We See It: Federal shield law overdue
    The contempt of court case against two San Francisco Chronicle reporters hasn’t been noticed as much as other First Amendment cases, but the action by a U.S. District court could become a major blow to the protection of the people’s right to know.

    San Francisco Bay Guardian
    Unseal the court files
    The lawsuit that seeks to stop the monopolization of daily newspapers in the Bay Area isn’t just a business dispute. Real estate investor Clint Reilly argues that he would be personally harmed by the deal (which gives him standing to sue), but in reality, this is about the future of mainstream news media in one of the nation’s largest and most politically active markets. If the Hearst Corp. and Dean Singleton’s MediaNews Group have their way, it’s entirely possible one corporate entity could effectively control every single significant daily paper in San Francisco, southern Marin, the East Bay, the South Bay, and the Peninsula.

    =================
    CFAC IN THE NEWS
    =================

    Listing, on Google, of recent news stories about or involving CFAC, with links to original articles.
    ——————————————————————————CFAC HOTLINE Q & A——————————————————————————
    The Hotline is CFAC’s online legal information service. Questions from reporters, government officials, civic activists and the occasional crackpot are answered by media law specialists Roger Myers and Rachel Matteo-Boehm at the San Francisco Office of Denver Law Firms, Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP.Have a legal issue? Submit your question here.
    ——————————————————————————-

    Tracking E Coli and the CPRA

    Q: I’m a reporter tracking down the causes of an E coli outbreak. The California Department of Health Services isn’t releasing info because it considers its investigation ongoing. Are health investigations exempt? I’m not sure how release of information might jeopardize a scientific investigation. How should I phrase my request to get the documents as soon as possible?

    Also—as part of this request I’d like to get my hands on epidemiological surveys: Basically lists of what people ate before they got sick. These are part of the investigation, but they are also personal medical records. I’m worried they will try to keep all of the investigative records private. Even the lab tests looking at the DNA of the E. coli – these were government tests done in the public interest with taxpayer money (and so should belong to the people of California) but you could also make the case that because those bacteria came out of an individual’s feces those test results belong in the patient’s file, rather than the public record. I can ask them to redact personal information. Is there anything else I can write to head off the patient privacy argument?

    A: The California Public Records Act (“PRA”) provides that public records are presumptively open to the public, unless exempt from disclosure under the PRA. The PRA exempts from disclosure “[p]ersonnel, medical, or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Gov’t Code § 6254©. As you noted, to the extent that the records you seek contain this type of information, the California Department of Health Services can properly withhold such information from the public. (As you also noted, though, the fact that a document contains information tangentially related to an individual’s medical condition does not automatically qualify it for exemption under the PRA, particularly where you have already offered to accept versions of documents with personal information redacted.)

    Moreover, it sounds like the department is stating that such records are being withheld not because they contain medical or other private information, but because they are a part of an ongoing investigation. If so, it may be that the agency is taking the position that they can properly assert the exemption found under Government Code section 6254(f), which exempts investigative files in the possession of certain agencies. The public agencies entitled to assert such exemption, however, are those with a general law enforcement mission (the attorney general, the Department of Justice, state and local police organizations), and any state or local agency engaged in an activity with a “correctional, law enforcement or licensing” purpose. Gov’t Code § 6254(f). This exemption would not seem to apply to the CDHS.

    You might want to try contacting the agency again and submitting a written PRA request. The PRA requires agencies to provide you with the documents requested, or notify you that your request has been denied, within 10 days. Gov’t. Code § 6253. You might also want to remind them that if the written request is denied, the agency is obligated to back its denial by citing an exemption in the PRA or other state or federal law allowing it to withhold the records you seek. Gov’t code § 6255. This might allow you to better determine whether the agency can properly assert exemptions to withhold the records you seek.

    High School Yearbooks and the CPRA

    A: I would like to know if Student Yearbooks held by a school district are considered public records. I recently contacted a District about it and was informed they would not allow me to review the yearbooks.

    Q: The California Public Records Act (“PRA”) provides that public records are presumptively open to the public, unless exempt from disclosure under the PRA. Government Code section 6254(k) exempts from disclosure “[r]ecords the disclosure of which is exempted or prohibited pursuant to federal or state law.” Section 49076 of the California Education Code specifically prohibits access to pupil records: “[a] school district is not authorized to permit access to pupil records to any person without written parental consent or under judicial order” except in certain situations.

    The Education Code defines “pupil record” as “any item of information directly related to an identifiable pupil, other than directory information, which is maintained by a school district or required to be maintained by an employee in the performance of his or her duties whether recorded by handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm or other means.” Educ. Code § 49061(b). The Education Code defines “directory information” as the “pupil’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous public or private school attended by the pupil.” Educ. Code § 94061©.

    The school district may be taking the position that in addition to information that would be considered directory information under the Education Code, yearbooks also contain other information (e.g., photographs of students) that relate to identifiable pupils and are maintained by the school district or are required to be maintained by an employee and that they are thus pupil records that may not be disclosed absent parental permission.

    You could try contacting the school again and submitting a written PRA request. The PRA requires agencies to provide you with the documents requested, or notify you that your request has been denied, within 10 days. Gov’t. Code § 6253. You might also want to remind the district that if the written request is denied, it is obligated to back its denial by citing an exemption in the PRA or other state or federal law allowing it to withhold the records you seek, Gov’t code § 6255, and that if you are forced to litigate this matter, you are entitled to attorneys’ fees if you prevail. Govt. Code § 6259(d) (“The court shall award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the plaintiff should the plaintiff prevail in litigation filed pursuant to this section. The costs and fees shall be paid by the public agency of which the public official is a member or employee and shall not become a personal liability of the public official. If the court finds that the plaintiff’s case is clearly frivolous, it shall award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the public agency.”).

    =============================================
    ASKED AND ANSWERED

    Do you find these questions and answers helpful? If so, you
    should also consult “Asked and Answered” on CFAC’s Web site,
    a compilation of past Hotline questions and answers.
    =============================================

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  7. Trent Hill Says:

    Im exhausted. After reading all that, I think I need a cigarette.

  8. paulie cannoli Says:

    So why did you read it all the way through? No scroll bar?

  9. Trent Hill Says:

    It WAS interesting. Just long.

  10. khatores Says:

    So…now Monroe is going to go into closed session and be really vague about what they’re discussing, when they’re discussing a lawsuit against their going into closed session and being really vague about what they’re discussing.

    This has the potential to be like infinite mirrors…

  11. Chris Hickman Says:

    Too bad Libertarians don’t fight for accountability from crooks like Stephen Van Dyke and Allen Hacker.

  12. paulie cannoli Says:

    Chris, I really don’t think Van Dyke is a crook.

    From what I’ve heard from both Steves (Gordon and Van Dyke) the people bitching the most are non-contributors, with very small contributors in a few minority of cases.

    I’m thinking probably and hopefully the site will be out – with any luck, soon – and will be pretty amazing.

    But if it never comes out or comes out sucky how much did you actually lose?

    From my standpoint the free service that Hammer of Truth provided – and, I hope will again – was worth the $25 I sent and then some, even if it never comes back out again.

    Of course, I hope it does come back out but in the meantime, other than lack of graphics, this place here is just as good.

    I guess I could have gone out to eat or maybe got a second pair of pants instead. Maybe a lap dance. Oh well.

  13. torah Says:

    Maybe all the money to pay for HOT went to L. Ron Hacker’s Articulate Management.

    Maybe Hacker’s managing the HOT re-implementation. Maybe there’s a secret plan to launch HOT and form various PACs to raise funds for the secret plan.

  14. Chris Hickman Says:

    It doesn’t matter who contributed. I did contribute, but even that doesn’t matter at this point. The bottom line is that up to this point, over $12,000 has been embezzled, fraudulently obtained, however you want to describe it. SVD has publicly lied about libertymix being done multiple times now, and still hasn’t explained why it isn’t or when it’s coming.

    When libertymix is released and HOT is back AND I receive my first ad revenue check from being a blogger, I’ll be more than happy to publicly apologize for doubting him. Until then, as far as I’m concerned he has been tried and convicted as a crook by his actions and is just as bad idealistically as Allen Hacker, if only about 5% as bad fiscally.

  15. Chris Hickman Says:

    Now Stephen Van Allen Hacker has delinked the applicable TPW thread from his 12/14 announcement placeholders. Maybe he got tired of people finding the thread and asking when “the coming days” would be. I don’t blame him, it’s hard to rip off hundreds of people and keep a clear conscience when they keep reminding you about it.

  16. Roscoe Says:

    Why doesn’t someone take HoT to Small Claims Court in whatever state they are in if they think they’ve been ripped off?

  17. bambino Says:

    Interesting comments.. :D

  18. Helga Says:

    I hate spammers! (

  19. toscana Says:

    E grande io ha trovato il vostro luogo! Le info importanti ottenute! ))

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