Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Response to Diane

One of the more thoughtful 9-11 Truth activists writes:

Screw Loose Change has been pouring scorn (here
and here) on NYC-CAN’s ballot initiative. The SLC folks assume that the NYC government’s legal challenges are valid and irrefutable, and that we stupid “troofers” just didn’t even bother to look at the election law, or hire a lawyer.


That's a reasonably fair summation of the way I look at things. Oh, I'm sure they bothered to look at election law and may have hired a lawyer. Although, again, the question is how thorough they were given the specific objections raised, like the fact that the Commissioners could not, by NY State Law, be out-of-state residents. That strikes me as pretty basic.

She responds:

First off, last I heard, the ballot initiative does indeed deal with the funding question, about which I heard lots of discussion back in 2007/2008. The funding is to be accomplished by raising money from private sources. And, from what I remember hearing last year, Pepper has claimed that he already has a bunch of rich donors lined up. So the funding may be a non-issue.

If the funding is to come from private sources, this also implies that the commissioners aren’t, properly speaking, government officials. Hence Pepper might be able to argue that some aspects of New York State election law, such as the residency requirement, are not applicable. (I have no inside info on whether Pepper actually intends to make such an argument, nor do I have any idea how well it might hold up in court. I’m just guessing here.)


Funding via pixie dust is not a viable option, and I doubt very much that the rich donors exist. After all, if they had sugar daddies, why were they constantly begging for money to hire petition-gatherers and a lawyer to represent them? The amount of money required for those things is peanuts compared to the proposed $50 million price-tag for the commission.

And the bit about how the private funding means that the commissioners aren't government officials is so much hand waving. Remember this commission is supposed to have subpoena power and the ability to place witnesses under oath, which implies that lying to the commission would be perjury. How can you have those powers without being part of the government?

The latest update on the status of the ballot initiative was posted by Orphia Nay at JREF:

The court-appointed referee will begin a line-by-line review of the disputed signatures on Wednesday, September 9, and is scheduled to complete the review by Friday, September 18. If the referee and court accept at least 3,996 of the disputed signatures as valid – meeting the requisite number of 30,000 signatures – and if 15,000 of the 28,000 signatures from the September 4 submission are deemed valid, the only remaining hurdle to getting the referendum on the ballot will be the ongoing court case over the legality of the petition.


Update: According to NYC-CAN, the 30,000 signature requirement hurdle has been cleared:

In a last minute decision, lawyers for the City of New York have conceded that the New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN), a group comprising 9/11 family members, first responders and survivors, indeed did submit over 30,000 valid signatures to put the referendum for a new 9/11 investigation before the voters of New York City this November.


But:

NYC CAN must deliver its memorandum of law in response to the City’s motion for summary judgment by Monday, September 21. The City will be given an opportunity to reply before the referee’s decision is made on Monday September 28. Fast-track appeals will likely follow no matter who wins. A final decision will have to be made by September 30.

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