David Hunter needs to sue the C-O-B and council members for what are by now obvious First Amendment violations

Enough’s enough already on this ridiculously restrictive and censorious local government organ known colloquially as the closed-group “City of Burbank” Facebook site.

When Vice Mayor Rogers uses it tonight as an official city council channel of communications and resident-input vehicle, and yet they still ban admission to the residents they don’t happen to like, it’s high time for the courts to get involved on free speech and equal access grounds.

Local activist David Hunter complained to the Leader last week that he’s not being allowed entry to this group. Nor are others. He makes a great point in his letter to the editor about this blatant act of political blockade, and we think that something formal really does have to be set into action now about that problematical little page. Run as it is by the mayor and his family, Hunter and other similarly affected parties need to visit an attorney soon and take legal action against both them and our cahoot-ish city government.

This Facebook group — named as it is the “City of Burbank” — is clearly being run under the aegis and approval of the city itself. It’s become an active agent of the city, if that wasn’t the intention from the beginning. By allowing entry to only select, pre-approved individuals, a First Amendment and prior restraint line has been crossed repeatedly with the participation of these city officials in the performance of their duties. It can no longer remain “closed.”

This intermingled, phony third-party City of Burbank site has become more than just a problem for Albano and the C-O-B. It’s become a local outrage, and we think most judges would agree that a city named site run by city people talking about city business must be open to all. It’s become a clear third-party front and agent for the city council and city government.

They’d surely ask why it wasn’t.

[Correction: Yes, we got the two Davids mixed up on the first go round. Blame the Leader’s paywall, which can be hard to consistently get around.]

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “David Hunter needs to sue the C-O-B and council members for what are by now obvious First Amendment violations

  1. I think you may be getting my name mixed up with another person. I did not write the Leader regarding the COB Facebook group. I’ll look into who did but it wasn’t me. Don’t see it online. I have been sparring with Rogers on it off and on all day.

  2. Twas David Hunter. I am familiar with Mr. Hunter’s anger on the issue but missed his letter until now.

  3. There’s all kinds of hypocrisy from the admins on that “group.” I’ll post something linked from my blog about Talaria that brings up Bob and Jess or Measure B and posts get nuked — but accusations and lies about Gordon, Sousa and Guillen are left up without intervention. Golonski lapdogs are lurking everywhere and I am consistently attacked by Prince Charming… errr Will Rogers… who can’t stop saying I called him a moron at council. Never happened. Bizarre and entertaining and sadly addictive. But I agree with Mr. Hunter and I would love to see this thing shut down or force Jess to re-name it to Burbank Clown Car or something more appropriate.

    • semichorus

      I thought they said no election politics at that site?

      Guess it’s just the politics they don’t like. As a now clear third-party agent of the city and council majority, the censorious nature of this “We Love Burbank” site named after Burbank constitutes a pretty major and ongoing set of First Amendment violations.

      You can be sure that if Mike Nolan opened his own Facebook “City of Burbank” webpage, Albano wouldn’t just run, she would positively leap to have it accused of squatting on the city’s legal turf. And rightly so.

      You can’t just name your own stuff after a city. If I started the “City of Burbank” bookstore and stocked it with nothing but incendiary Marxist and revolutionary-anarchist material the exact same thing would happen.

      So Rogers can call people “nutballs” eh, but if someone calls him a “moron” (if they do) then that’s beyond the pale? Or indicative of insufficient character? Got it.

      It’s not so much hypocrisy that rules these people. It’s the almost complete lack of self-awareness. And it’s such bad faith, isn’t it, this blatant censorship?

      Knuckleheaded Burbank as usual. Anyone can see it, even if they can’t.

      • Anonymous

        Here is Will’s latest rant re: the Cusmano Paypal donation desperation kerfuffle, on Jess’ fb group. Poise and statesmanship personified. Also a beautiful demonstration of the Rogers inability to correctly use the English language (“Oft-inexperienced” um, Will, one either is or isn’t.)

        Will Rogers This is rich. The hypocrisy peaks out yet again, and the dupes just lap up the nonsense.

        When a candidate receives a donation they don’t want accept, the standard practice is to meet the letter of the law by reporting the income. But on the later “outflow” pages of the same report one notes that a check has been rejected or returned, or perhaps simply converted to an immediate charitable contribution.

        It’s that simple, and it takes place dozens of times – if not hundreds of times – every election cycle throughout the state.

        Surely being a “CFO” (wink, wink) of his Mom’s company, Juan Guillen knows about all this. That’s why he is his campaign’s own treasurer. So he literally input the donation receipt as income on his form, and now claims he “didn’t know” about the donation?

        Of course, Gordon is NOT his own campaign’s treasurer – that’s always been one of the co-founders of SBN. You know, the group that interviewed candidates to issue endorsements? (One wonders if the candidates were also expected to be interviewed by Juan’s Mom to see if she might endorse someone other then Juan.)

        But again, this SBN founder entered the donation as revenue received, but somehow the campaign team and the candidate “didn’t know” about the receipt of the cash?

        It’s not only all a scheme by the developer to wrongly and falsely paint the towers of integrity as hypocrites, two of the most earnest (and oft-inexperienced) candidates are supposedly in on it, too!

        Really, how can this not be seen as anything less than hilarious. It’s also fun to imagine what today’s Gordon/Guillen defenders would be saying within seconds of seeing ANY OTHER candidate report these donations. Just let the fiends TRY claiming “they didn’t know!” One would be gathering the rope, while the other cackled over the opportunity to kick the chair out from under a political foe, and the familiar cheerleaders on the side would be chanting, “Guillotine! Guillotine!.”
        Like · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs · Edited

        Moron!!!!

        • semichorus

          I’ve never seen an “outflow” page of a local campaign report detail a rejected donation. The candidates usually just don’t accept them. Converting it to a charitable contribution would also constitute acceptance.

          The Cusumanos donate to almost everyone to hedge their bets, so I don’t have much concern with it or them. There are worse big-business entities to worry about (such as the big Mall collection that was taken up for Golonski a few years ago). But I wouldn’t put it past them either to use PayPal as a fucking up tactic to innoculate their preferred candidates from criticism about a “Cusumano” donation.

          But whatever, the red-herring tactic there at the end is classic Rogers. I never know who he’s talking about when he does that can-you-imagine thing. It’s just hackneyed, hyperbolic “otherness”: the very same thing he ridicules in his targets.

          One of the things he always leaves out is that the targets of the critics’ criticism usually ARE dealing in bad faith! No matter how awkward and un-slick those critics may be.

          Such as that censorious little Facebook page he’s part of. Or, soliciting and facilitating illegal $50,000 donations from the city. Such silly, hypocritical fools they are, yes.

          No matter who they are, it’s always the same script with that guy.

  4. BURBANK Bill

    Will sure has a hard on for Juan guillen. Dude ,you beat him the last election.. get over it.. the Rick Caruso wannabe Cusamano donating to Gordon and guillen is nothing new., when Hillary Clinton ran for re-election for ny senator,Rupert Murdoch of all people donated to her campaign. Yes , it’s called hedging your bets. Semi is right

  5. chad

    Pretty jaw dropping stuff. Unstatesmanlike to say the least and disappointing that an elected official can’t rise above it, even just a little bit, and take a higher road.

  6. Anonymous

    You really ARE bewitched by that group.

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