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Posts Tagged ‘Sins of Commission’

Stop the California Coastal Commission’s attack on coastal families

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

If ever there ever was a time in California to stop the abusive practices of the California Coastal Commission, that time is now.  Two dangerous bills AB 226 and AB 291 are in committee and must be stopped.

AB 226 (RUSKIN) would greatly expand the Coastal Commission’s enforcement authority by allowing the Commission to act as both prosecutor and judge and impose civil penalties and allow the Commission to retain the penalties it assesses to augment its own budget.

Even more sinister, AB 226 creates dangerous motivation for the Commission to seek civil penalties as a way to augment its budget, and would strip alleged violators of due process afforded by the courts.

AB 291 (SALDANA) grants Coastal Commission staff the authority to deny permit applications without a hearing. AB 291 gives Coastal Commission staff the power to halt processing of a permit application if the Commission staff asserts that any violation exists on any property for which a permit is filed.

In other words AB 291 presumes an applicant is”guilty until proven innocent” by giving the Commission staff the ability to refuse to process a coastal development permit application until staff is satisfied that the alleged violation, whether related to the permit application or not, was cured. Families with homes will be prejudiced by arbitrary delays.

If there is one thing the California Coastal Commission does not need it is additional enforcement authority.  30 years of court records clearly shows the CCC abuses the power they already have! The triple c doesn’t need more power ... they need reform… and it is well past time that the California legislature reform the California Coastal Commission.

The following letter explains why-

There are two bills in the California legislature, AB 226 and AB 291, that grant more broad sweeping legal powers to the California Coastal Commission to intimidate citizens and the people he presents in his documentary film project, “Sins of Commission.” I saw it at a showing at a private home. It is a powerful call for reform of the California Coastal Commission, which evidently fears its exposure in the film as an autocratic, appointed board with special powers and no meaningful oversight.

Those of us who support public access to and preservation of the California coast, as I do, may not be aware of the aggregation of powers by the CCC. I witnessed it in action recently, as it attempted to subvert the Brown Act (transparency in government) and as it refused to even read the opposition arguments submitted by an NGO and by 84 citizens who wrote individual letters, before it “permanently voted” to approve the filling of a swimming pool that cost the state nothing and served the handicapped, the chronically ill, children, and the public for over 50 years. I also look down on a private beach club’s two story buildings and tennis courts on the beach across PCH from where we live that were approved by the CCC apparently without meaningful mitigation.

The CCC now uses special legislative powers over a swath of land five miles inland from the coast to further its objectives, in concert with other state agencies and commissions. In so doing, Richard Oshen documents, it legally intimidates and financially breaks private citizens with landholdings inside the designated “coastal zone,” even when they seek rational, small improvements on their properties. He shows how a CCC board member, however, holds property in the zone that is not subject to the same rules. He also presents a powerful indictment of the CCC’s powers over local control by munipalities that would protect against the wildfires we have experienced during an extended drought. Even large cities, such as San Diego, and wealthy towns, such as Malibu–both severely affected by wildfires–have been unable to defend against the CCC powers in concert with other state entities.

These bills need opposition. The CCC needs reform, oversight, to operate according to democratic rules of procedure, and to return to its mandate to protect the coast. Please contact your state representatives and urge them to oppose AB 226 and AB 291. Please circulate this email to conservationists and supporters of private property, local government, and open democracy.

I am circulating this letter in my role as a private citizen, not as a member of any group. As a historian of religions, an environmentalist, and a community development worker, I am supporting Richard Oshen’s film as a private act of conscience. I do not express the views of any group with which I am associated. They are solely my views.

Thank-you,
Jean Rosenfeld

Thank-you, Jean for your kind words.

A now… a little foot tapping music while you’re making that phone call.

Take it away maestro~

Attorney General Withdraws Subpoena for SINS OF COMMISSION

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

I received the news yesterday. I was disappointed to learn the court granted the CCC their summary judgment. I am glad the state dropped its subphoena for SINS OF COMMISSION…but not relieved… if you know what I mean. To know the coastal commission can subphoena a work print and demand raw footage of an unreleased documentary film any time they want, in violation of the 1st amendment,and that too is OK with the courts in California invites very careful consideration by those who oversee such stuff.

I’m in the process of ramping up efforts to complete SINS OF COMMISSION and find the best way for the film can reach the people of California and United States.  Currently, distribution consists of well worn unfinished DVD copies being passed hand to hand underground by the people along the coast of California who know there is another side of the CCC story that isn’t being reported in the news or on TV - except by this film.

Sadly for all of us, the judge let the California Coastal Commission worm their way out of their day in court thanks to a scheme that guarantees no citizen of the state will ever have a fair trail against the state sanctioned thuggery of California Coastal Commission and other agencies like them.

California Courts seem to routinely make the wrong call on coastal commission cases when it appears the CCC is going to  lose, and I am not the first observer to arrive at this conclusion.

I refer to the California Sate Bar Journal Volume 54, No. 1 January/February 1979. In the article, “YOU CANT WIN THEM ALL - OR CAN YOU?”,  an interesting point was raised by the author then, that ought to be reexamined now.

Is it possible for any lawyer (let alone a single client) to be right 88% of the time?

-Michael M. Berger

Let that sink in for a second.  Is it possible…. for any  lawyer….(let alone a single client)….to be RIGHT 88% of the time?

The statistical implication is that trial lawyers are wrong almost all of the time.  How can that be?

That’s 9 times out of 10 times up at bat! That ought raise some eyebrows whether you are a baseball fan or not, and seriously put into play the “honesty” of the recent CCC win into some major league big doubt.

To further understand the screwball math,  one must understand coastal commission modus operandi. Simply put, the triple C can (and does) change-up, alter, amend, and/or create new rules at whim.  The other well know fact is that courts routinely bend the rules for government agencies.

For instance, in South Coast Regional Com v Gordon 18 Cal,3d 832 (1977) the author cite 2 new rules were established - that has startling ramifications. Mr. Berger continues,

Our judicial system is premised on the idea that lawyers-as officers of the court-deal forthrightly with the courts before whom, they practice and the parties whom they oppose…In order to preserve the integrity of litigation as a dispute settling mechanism.

-Michael M. Berger

Take a stand against the California Coastal Commission’s skulduggery.

Support SINS OF COMMISSION. I urgently need your help to finish the film and get it to the people. ALL donations are tax deductible and confidential when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor The INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation. Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and bingo…you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

Thank you in advance for your support,

SINS OF COMMISSION sheds more light on California Coastal Commission

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

The California Coastal Commission vs. Its Critics

The “most formidable player” in California land regulation demands a documentarian’s raw footage

Thank you Brian Doherty and REASON MAGAZINE for clearly, and eloquently illuminating how the California Coastal Commission’s mission has morphed over 30 years into a land grab of immense proportions and far beyond what any reasonable person one would think of as the protection of California’s coast.

Hopefully readers now begin to see just how dangerous two new bills, AB 226 and AB 291, now being considered in the California state legislature are.  If they pass, the result will be like giving steroids to a bull in a china shop. That bull may only be in the coastal zone now but it can easily rampage up the street where you live and ransack your property in the blink of an eye- unless you take some mighty quick action.

Armed with the potent new powers prescribed in AB 226, a well documented power-abusive commission will have more even more broad, sweeping power to tax and fine.  In the case of AB 226, the California Coastal Commission will have the power to levy $5,000-$50,000 “administrative civil penalties” without having to get a court order .

It is unfortunate for the people of California that government views going to court to secure permission to levy a fine on people an inconvenience like a sand trap on a golf course.

This is a brazen broad-daylight attack on our rights… so why does the California legislature continue to endorse thuggery when it should be stopping it?  Where, then, have all the safeguards gone that protect our families, and friends?

California’s government failed to protect people’s property in the past, and won’t protect it now. Instead it will resort to dirty deeds perpetrated on helpless people by a state-sponsored, steroid-induced coastal Czar who has reigned unrestricted over people’s lives for 29 years,  who said on-camera he is not a civil servant, and thus not bound by the constitution nor term limits.

Call your representatives now. STOP AB 226 and AB 291 while they’re still in committee.

After you make the call consider helping SINS OF COMMISSION with a generous tax-deductible donation. Help us help you…or if you prefer, you can just pay them… it’s your choice- but we’re the ones offering a 501c3 deduction… not them.

ALL donations are tax deductible and confidential when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation. Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and bingo…you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

Thank you in advance for your support,

Richard

SINS OF COMMISSION - KSCO AM - SATURDAY SPECIAL Audio File

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

NOW - Listen to this!

If you missed KSCO’s spectacular SATURDAY SPECIAL radio show hosted by MZ, broadcast last Saturday on AM 1080 - you can hear it right here right now.

If you think SINS OF COMMISSION is making a difference in California- help keep it going.

Critical time California.

2 diabolical bills, AB 226 and AB 291 are in the works and if you think the people along the coast in California are the only ones going to suffer, you are are in for a big surprise, and a rude awakening.

Now, more than ever, is the time to contribute to SINS OF COMMISSION. If you’ve been thinking about doing it, hoping someone else would - waiting for summer, wait no longer - summer is almost over.

ALL donations are tax deductible and confidential when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation. Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and bingo…you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

Thank you in advance for your support,

Richard

SINS OF COMMISSION - KSCO AM 1080 - Adds Distinguished Guests

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

When SINS OF COMMISSION filmmaker Richard Oshen takes to the airwaves on Michael Zwerling’s SATURDAY SPECIAL, August 8 on KSCO AM 1080, he will be joined by two prominent guests in the struggle for human rights in California.

Terry Gossett is President, and a founding director of Californians for Property Rights, an educational public benefit corporation. Terry has been a director of a number of technical, financial and community organizations. He currently consults for the aerospace industry in program management and simulation of manned and unmanned aircraft systems.Terry and his wife, Bee, have lived in Moss Beach since 1998.

Damien Schiff is a staff attorney for Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), the oldest and most successful public-interest legal organization that litigates for property rights, limited government, free enterprise and a balanced approach to environmental regulation, in courts across the country. Mr. Schiff obtained his law degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law, and his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University.

This is going to be an eye-opener of a show for a lot of people, says Oshen. SINS OF COMMISSION is a powerful film because it takes people behind the veil of secrecy surrounding the  California Coastal Commission to reveal how the commission operates, and what they do behind the scenes for the first time.

In NOLLAN v. CALIFORNINA COASTAL COMMISSION, (483 U.S. 825) The Supreme Court of the United States called the coastal commission’s practices an “out-and-out plan of extortion.”

In a controversial 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that a requirement by the CCC was a taking in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments… and yet it is inconceivable to think that there is a bill currently on the table, AB 226, that proposes to grant this already power-mad commission even more enforcement power?  If you live in a home along the coast of California… or anywhere else in America - don’t miss this show.

SINS OF COMMISSION - KSCO AM 1080 - Saturday 08-08-09 - 10 AM

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

SINS OF COMMISSION, the first documentary film expose of the California Coastal Commission in its history, takes to the airwaves this weekend on SATURDAY SPECIALKSCO 1080 AM, (Santa Cruz - San Francisco).  MZ, Michael Zwerling, maverick owner of KSCO and KOMY hosts the 2 hour radio show August 8 from 10 AM to 12 PM.

4 and 1/2 years ago, Filmmaker Richard Oshen lived inland and didn’t know anything about the California Coastal Commission. Like most Californians he figured they had something to do with the beaches or the water.

When close friends called him to document an inspection of their land by the coastal commission, he thought he would just show up with a camera, film the inspection for about an hour or so, hand the tape to his friends, and be done.

It didn’t happen that way, says Oshen.  Instead, he stepped into a shadowy world he never knew existed. The California Coastal Zone is like a parallel universe , he says. You think you are still in California, you think you are still in America… but the reality is anything but.

California’s dirty little secret.

Saturday’s show promises to be an eye-opener.

The scary thing about the whole thing is that I have observed the California Coastal Commission treat human beings living along the California coast as enemies of the state.

-Richard Oshen, filmmaker

It has taken this long to get to this point because the Triple C controls the mainstream media covertly or overtly preventing anything critical of them from getting out. Now, for the first time, the people get to hear the other side of the California Coastal Commission story…the side of the story the commission doesn’t want you to know…

This is a very crucial time for California. Two new bills coming down the pike,  AB 226 and AB 291, are very troublesome because they will give a well documented, historically proven, power mad commission… more power.  Does this sounds like a bad idea for the people of California - or what?

For more information about KSCO and Saturday’s show click SATURDAY SPECIAL

A word about how to listen to KSCO live–

Click this link http://www.ksco.com/listentips.cfm, download a file called kscolive.m3u to your desktop– you should get live feed at that point.

SINS OF COMMISSION needs your support to complete the film, and get it out.

ALL donations are tax deductible when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation. Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

All contribution information is confidential.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Richard

Filmmaker Defends First Amendment Rights Against California Coastal Commission

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Filmmaker Richard Oshen’s documentary film SINS OF COMMISSION www.sinsofcommission.com has been subpoenaed by the primary star of the film, the California Coastal Commission.

The film, the first behind-the-scenes look at decades of alleged government corruption and malfeasance by the highly secretive Commission, features a first time in-depth, on camera interview with Peter Douglas, the Commission’s executive director of 20 plus years, as well as with former Commission members.

The sweep of the subpoena includes “all visual and/or audio recordings…as well as Mr. Oshen’s unpublished “Sins of Commission DVD.”

-David Greene, The First Amendment Project

The filmmaker believes the Commission is determined to stop the release of this film and is doing everything in its power to stop it, and Oshen sees the subpoena as the first step.

It’s a sad commentary for America when a government commission at the heart of an investigative documentary film, can summon a work print and raw footage of the film that they believe is exposing their decisions.  If they have nothing to hide - what are they afraid of?

-Richard Oshen, SINS OF COMMISSION producer/director

Oshen believes that the reporter’s privilege, based on the First Amendment and the Liberty of Speech Clause of the California Constitution, applies to him and all documentary filmmakers, as well as print journalists.

Other courts have found that the reporter’s privilege applies to documentary filmmakers, most notably in Silkwood v. Kerr McGee and the same constitutional privilege of press applies to SINS OF COMMISSION - even though the documentary film lacks a distribution deal or a filmmaker, like Richard Oshen, has not previously produced a documentary film.

The First Amendment Project is defending Mr. Oshen and SINS OF COMMISSION and set forth objections in a letter to the CCC. David Greene, staff attorney and executive director at First Amendment Project says the Supreme Court of the United States recognizes the privilege based on the broad protections for Freedom of the Press, extends to documentary filmmakers.

The litmus test is whether the information sought was obtained during the course of gathering information for dissemination to the public - which Sins of Commission was.

Constitutional protection afforded a documentarian to shield his journalistic work product from subpoenas benefits not only that documentarian, but the public in general.

-David Greene, The First Amendment Project

He added that without these protections, news gatherers of all kinds would be discouraged from investigating, and the public would ultimately suffer by being denied access to important information.

For more information, contact David Greene at The First Amendment Project (510) 208-7744 or Richard Oshen 909 547-6262, sinsofcommission@gmail.com

SINS OF COMMISSION withdraws from West Hollywood International Film Festival

Friday, July 10th, 2009

SINS OF COMMISSION, the first documentary film to penetrate the veil of secrecy surrounding the California Coastal Commission, withdrew from the West Hollywood International Film Festival late this afternoon.

“Irreconcilable differences prevent us from participating”, said Richard Oshen, writer, director, and producer of the debut film from Pacific Coast Highway Productions, Inc.

I am deeply saddened the people of California must wait longer to see SINS OF COMMISSION. I am 100% committed to bringing the film out, and I hope I can do that very soon. Each day we are delayed people and environment suffer in California.

Richard Oshen, SINS OF COMMISSION, writer, director, producer

“I wish everyone associated with WHIFF 2009 the best of luck”.

Time for PETER DOUGLAS to take a hike

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

California Coastal families, farmers, and ranchers are not enemies of the state and deserve equal protection under the law.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

-Thomas Jefferson

We celebrate our Nation’s Birthday in a few days. It’s a good time to reflect on what we Americans stand for…and what we don’t.  At a time we are fighting tyranny overseas, let us not forget to stand up to tyranny in our own backyard.

There is a concept in America we call “term limits”. They apply to everyone in office, including  Peter Douglas, Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission. Can anyone name someone besides Mr. Douglas who has reigned in office as long as Sir Peter?

In a Monarchy, kings reign… in a democracy, elected officials serve the people - all of the people for limited terms.

-Richard Oshen filmmaker

Amendment 22 to the United States Constitution ratified February 1951, specifies term limits for the President of the United States. Seems that Mr. Douglas thus declares himself to be above the constitution. Like the rights to property Mr D despises, he seems to view the constitution as a petty annoyance.

In a 1997 speech at a conference in Monterey…Peter Douglas called for the U.S. Constitution to be amended to make courts the “arbiters” in what he called the “debate” over property owners’ rights. That seems to be the issue right there, Mr. Douglas:

Property rights is not a debate. It is the LAW OF THE LAND.

Me thinks this is the trouble in a nutshell. Did Mr. Douglas or did he not take a Civil Service oath to defend and protect the constitution of the United States? If he did, he hasn’t done a good job of it… if not it is a charade on scale unparalleled in California, possibly the nation, and must not be permitted to stand any longer.

In my 90 minute interview with Peter Douglas for SINS OF COMMISSION, Mr. Douglas makes a bold, provocative statement on camera that he is not a civil servant - Question: If Mr. Douglas is not a civil servant, then who or what does Peter Douglas serve?

I was appointed on a seven to five vote. And there have been at least 11 attempts to get rid of me over the years because people don’t, for whatever reason, uh, can’t control me. And I’m (Stammers) the only non-civil service employee of the Coastal Commission. Everybody else is civil service.

- Peter Douglas, SINS OF COMMISSION

If he is not a civil servant…all the more reason to to send him packing. Especially after the Ramirez Canyon travesty SHAME ON YOU!

Time to break up the CCC’s corrupt fiefdom, especially with so many overlapping regulatory agencies in the state. It seems to me the resource agencies can be streamlined - trim the fat, and become much more efficient thus saving an already overburdened budget, and WE the people, lots of money.

The commission’s little scheme works like this: The governor selects 4 commissioners, the speaker 4 and legislature 4 then, they in tern, keep anointing Peter, over, and over, and over again. If that isn’t a racket, a shell game…what do you call it? I call it time for Term Limits. You serve a term, or two -just like the president… then thank you , and buh-bye!

Protection of the environment and protecting our human rights guaranteed under the constitution  ought not be at odds with each other, they support each other, and need each other to survive. Douglas has cunningly put them at odds and uses it to wage class warfare.

-Richard Oshen, Filmmaker

People are inseparable from the land…although the Triple C is trying real hard.

Billion Dollar fires that need not be.

Americans have the constitutional right to own property, Mr. Douglas. ALL their property…and to be secure on that property.

Property Rights is not a privilege like a drivers license - it is an inalienable right.

Mr. Douglas, it seems, does not like the idea of we the people owning land at all, yet he owns land…and a house.

Property and property rights are what separates free men from serfs and indentured servants.

Take away the right to own land and be secure on it and people can never be secure.

Once upon a time, thirty plus years ago, it sounded like a good idea to isolate the CCC from the politics of politics.The point is, over time, that seemingly “good idea” to isolate a regulatory commission from our democratic electoral process contributed mightily to its corruption and, along the way, made it subservient to its political patrons - not the people of the state of California.

-Richard Oshen, Filmmaker

Combining all three branches of government into one entity for “expediency” is a Kangaroo court. It is what the coastal commission has become: writer of its own laws, enforcer of the laws they write, judge, jury, and executioner. That is not America.

Who protects the people?

Not the government of California - and certainly not the attorney general of the state.

The attorney general is litigating the people on behalf of the Triple C to the tune of upwards of $ 2 billion dollars per year. They are using our own money to fight us.

Where are the CCC’s checks and balances? The answer, sadly, for all of us is…there are none.

A dysfunctional coastal commission handsomely benefited the big picture plan of certain self-interest Non Governmental Oragnizations to such a degree it appears the CCC is their de facto enforcer - the legal muscle in the service of the elite ones who secretly contribute to them - not the people of California.

Tom Hayden tried to break up this little PONZI SCHEME back in1988, but it was soundly defeated by the same elitist interests that still pull the CCC’s strings today.

Last year Senator Denise Ducheney introduced a bill that would prohibit the commission from appealing itself. Which to this writer, sounds like a very normal thing to do - to prevent a commission from appealing itself  It too was squashed by these same NGOs and their elite supporters.

Where is the legislative oversight?

There is much more to it….the politics of fire…the devaluation of property,  destruction of the family farm, more open space than we can afford, the destruction of infrastructure from lack of property taxes, people living in fear of retribution if they speak out. The CCC is not the STASI.

When the governor of our state tell us education must be sacrificed because there is no money left, and you cast your eyes up to dark billowing clouds of smoke, and expensive leased aircraft zooming overhead, when a fleet of weed-wackers could have prevented all or most of it - you begin to see the huge scope of the disaster by these Pirates of California.

The tyranny by small imperceptible changes that has been obscured for the last 30+ years comes into focus and once seemingly isolated dots connect.

-Richard Oshen, filmmaker

Yes, well past time for Mr Douglas to go - but to go not because someone is anti this, and someone else is pro that, but because no one is above the law.

It is time we, the people of California get down to the business of determining the Coastal Commission’s next chapter post  Douglas and whether we repair or replace the California Coastal Commission.

It is time for a change in California.Time to breathe fresh air into a stale decadent demagoguery.

General Motors held on to their self righteous beliefs to the very end. We cannot afford to.

The future of California hangs in the balance.

SINS OF COMMISSION needs your help. A work print of the film and “other” material is being subpoenaed by the California Coastal Commission. I believe this is an egregious violation of our 1st Amendment Rights.

If you’ve ever considered making a donation to help the film finish or want to defend freedom of speech, now is the time. All donations made through our fiscal sponsor, The International Documentary Association, a 501 c3 non profit, are tax deductible.

Please click the link on the navigation bar, or you may send a check by mail:

The International Documentary Association
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017

attention: Fiscal Sponsorship

Please mark your check “for the account of Sins of Commission”

Thank you.

California Coastal Commission- Sins of Commission- What’s At Stake

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

These are my thoughts on something very un-American… Censorship.

The California Coastal Commission is demanding I produce a work print and raw footage from a film not yet finished. I say this is a violation of the First Amendment.

I wrote my guild, The International Cinematographer’s Guild, the American Society of Cinematographers, the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, and Screen Actor’s Guild alerting them to the gravity of my situation.

What world our world be like if the government censored ON THE WATERFRONT

or FAHRENHEIT 451 -


or any other controversial film.

What happens to the least of us inevitably happens to the most of us - over time.

The suppression of free speech through intimidating legal efforts such as serving you with a subpoena and demanding a copy of a film … and additionally requesting all of your production records is an interesting story of overreaching abuse of power on their part. This story needs to be told to the largest possible audience. It appears that another chapter in the Sins story is being written.

-Jim L

It is vitally important to a free American process that controversial films like SINS OF COMMISSION exist.

The California Coastal Commission doesn’t think so - especially when they are the focus of investigation. Why? because they don’t want you to connect the dots like we did to a crumbling California economy due to fires like the Santa Barbara Fire, and other destructive, anti-people policies.

They don’t want the people of  Californians to ask questions like, why hasn’t anyone taken a weed-wacker to the overgrown brush?

They don’t want you to find they play a big role in destroying infrastructure along the coast,  because if we improve water lines, and sewers, or put in a new high school in Half Moon Bay for instance, that would mean more people might move there.

Can it be that the California Coastal Commission doesn’t want people to live along the coast?

It will be interesting to see if California Coastal Commission trumps the United States Constitution or not.

Given California courts record involving the Triple C and recent attempt to go squash the filming of an inspection by a commission on private property - jury is out on this one as they say.

I’m intending to vigorously defend our right to free speech, and free press - and invite everyone to join me.

I believe the CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION’s request is unconstitutional and believe I have a right to politely, and firmly refuse to comply on the basis of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Support SINS OF COMMISSION, documentary film, and Freedom of Speech with a tax-deductible donation to our fiscal sponsor the International Documentary Association, a 501 c3 non profit foundation dedicated to promoting and preserving documentary film.



 
 
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