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Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court of the United States’

California Coastal Commission - Time to follow the money

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

[Last] week’s Supreme Court ruling that corporations are protected by “free speech” rights and can contribute enormous sums of money to influence elections is a de jure endorsement of the de facto dominance of corporations over our lives.

Truthout

Homer Simpson discovers corporations have more rights than he does.

To say money has always influenced politics along the California coast would be an understatement.  Just a glance at the way the legislature turns a blind-eye to coastal commission shenanigans or how the judiciary rubber stamps rulings consistently in favor of the CCC and the story can be told. 

When one ponders the implications of corporate citizenship, take into consideration the plethora of  PAC’s and non-profit corporations that wield a mighty big influence on coastal politics.

Well-known orgs like the venerable Sierra Club have also helped the California Coastal Commission eviscerate people’s rights along the coast of California.  The CCC is the de facto enforcer… the legal muscle for the corporate thugs.  We are just now beginning to discover the pathological relationship that existed between some environment groups like EDC who will sell-out the environmental for cheap.

Last year, SINS OF COMMISSION requested an accounting by the state of California to see which non-profits gave money to infulence the California Coastal Commission at a time way before the US Supreme Court blessed corporate citizenship last week. So far those documents have not been forthcoming.

The danger of foreign loot loading into U.S. campaigns, not much noted in the media chat about the Citizens case, was the first concern raised by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who asked about opening the door to “mega-corporations” …

Truthout

Corporations will now have more rights than people.

Tara Malloy, attorney with the Campaign Legal Center of Washington D.C.

Under current laws, human-people, as opposed to corporate-people, may only give $2,300 to a presidential campaign. But hedge fund billionaires, for example, who typically operate through dozens of corporate vessels, may now give unlimited sums through each of these “unnatural” creatures.

Truthout

And there you have it.

If corporations are the new citizens… what happens to us people? 

In the meantime, think about supporting SINS OF COMMISSION a flim about, by, and for the people.  Help to finish the film and get it out.  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 - a very worthy non-profit foundation concerned about preserving people’s rights to Freedom of Speech through documentary films.

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 Oshen

 

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



 
 
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