Monday, September 5, 2011

points from the county fair

We, me and my volunteers, spent 6 days at the Columbia County Fair talking about accountability and fairness in government. Here are some lessons and updates from that experience:

1) I have written a few new pieces for the blog since breaking the anti-corruption booth down. Here is my article about how corruption could be addressed if the political will existed. Here is a list of things on the blog for people who have not been following my case up until now.

2) It was great to talk to people. Thank you to everyone who stopped to chat a bit. Thank you to the hundreds of you who stopped to sign a petition or leave your email for the mailing list. Thank you to the 800 of you who took a flyer. Thank you to the hundreds that came back to check out the blog. I guess more people know what that white dog on a red sign means now.

3) Thank you to all the volunteers who took a shift in the booth. No way I could have covered 6 days by myself. And you guys were more effective at getting signatures than me anyway. Kind of better to have someone else tell the story.

4) I met a lot of interesting people. For example, I found out about this case: Here is an article on a recent and somewhat similar case in the same federal court where I filed my suit.

This suit in Troy was much cleaner and simpler than mine. Similar in the free speech issues, the abuse of zoning authority to squelch speech. Dissimilar in that I argue that I was targeted for reporting criminal activity in town government, activity which is ongoing and unpunished. Mine is not simply a free speech issue. I also want the court to do something about the the underlying problem of illegal activity and make it possible for this stuff to be punished in the future.

Also, you will note, the art center won a judgement against the city even though the center DID IN FACT have the wrong doors, swinging in, not out. In my case, there is no similar problem.

Again, they did have a zoning problem. They still won. I have no zoning problem. I think I should win too, more clearly than in the case cited above.

5) We ran out of large and extra large shirts. I should have known!

6) I heard a lot of stories about corruption in the county. Not too many people were shocked to hear the county is not being run in the public interest.

7) I was right next to the Republican table and yet only one elected official stopped by to hear what I had to say. Hundreds of other people heard me out. One did listen: Holly Tanner. She's a professional. She listened. Thank you. And Eugene Keller, candidate for District Attorney, he's got my vote. I know one's a Republican and one's a Democrat but I like both of them and not too many others so far.

I'm non-partisan. I want good government and don't see either party doing much to stop corruption. Step up, folks.

That'll have to do it for now. Thank you again for stopping by to hear me out and read my blog. If India can have an anti-corruption movement, so can New York. Thanks again.

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