Rocky Anderson Speaks in SLC: NSA, CPD Lawsuit, Justice Party updates

rocky anderson

Rocky Anderson, 2012 Justice Party candidate for POTUS, Salt Lake City Utah mayor (2000 to 2008) and current co-lead council for the “Our America Initiative coordinated” lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates (see below) spoke at the River Sky Revival event in Salt Lake City on Saturday evening, February 21st.

Mayor Anderson began his remarks with a brief review of the NSA’s activities during the 2002 Winter Olympics. He repeated concerns he initially raised in 2013 regarding what he saw as a series of “felonies” involving the NSA’s interceptions of email and text communications within Utah during that time.  See, for example, Russia Today’s article, “Former-Salt Lake City mayor wants to sue NSA over 2002 Olympics surveillance” and prior IPR coverage, “Rocky Anderson’s May Day Speech.”

In his remarks last night, Mr. Anderson stated:

“The courts don’t even ask anymore, “Show me; Let me do an in-camera review. Let me see the documents.” Now they take the word of the Executive Branch and say, “Okay, it is up to you to make that decision. So you, the perpetrator of these human rights violations, these war crimes, these crimes against humanity, these invasions of the privacy of millions of United States citizens, we will leave it to you to decide whether we can pursue cases against you.”

“So torture victims have tried to get into the courts; they have been thrown out because of the State Secrets Doctrine. Victims, including lawyers and journalists challenging illegal surveillance; the District Court says, “Yeah, it’s clearly unconstitutional, a violation of the Fourth Amendment and a violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.” Goes up to the Court of Appeals and in a two-to-one decision . . . so that means one person, one judge, made all of the difference on this . . . and they said, “You were not able to show us that your conversations were subject to surveillance, even though you showed us that your conversations were chilled – you couldn’t really talk to these people because of your fear that they were going to be subject to surveillance — but you cannot show us that yours was though, and the reason that you cannot show us is that we are not going to let you find out because of the States Secrets Doctrine.” So the Courts have taken themselves right out of that system of checks-and-balances.

“There is only one body in this country that is going to restore our Constitutional Republic. — Do you ever feel like you are boiling frogs and you are in this pan, and all of these things are happening, and you’re not seeing it even though it is right in front of you, and it doesn’t seem cataclysmic so you are not compelled to go out into the streets and do anything about it? It has all happened in dramatic fashion and in unprecedented ways during the Bush and Obama years, and it is going to continue going on unless one body stands up and does something about it; and that body is . . . We The People.

“It is our responsibility; it is our great opportunity because, thank goodness, we are still able, in most instances, to gather together, to talk together, and to plan together. Now maybe the NSA is listening in on all of our conversations and seeing all of our emails, but we cannot operate from a place of fear. We have got to operate from a place of resistance.

. . .

“You cannot wait to just elect the right people and you cannot go to sleep between elections. A lot of people thought we were electing the right person and when he got into office and one of the first things he said was, “We’re going to look forward, not backwards. We are not going to hold these rich and powerful people accountable.” Whether they were on Wall Street or whether they were in the lawyers offices justifying torture in ways that if they had been at Nuremberg, they would have been on the docket, they would have been held liable, and many of them would have probably have faced execution, certainly conviction for those kinds of crimes that have been committed in our name.

. . .

“I want to devote the rest of my life to helping restore the Rule of Law and the other fundamentals of our Constitutional Republic. I want to see ways that we can effectively organize to turn the climate crisis around, because so much hinges on that, not just for us but for our future certainly; and also equally vital to the course of human affairs, our continued existence, is Nuclear Disarmament and the end of nuclear proliferation.  Those are grand issues but there are ways that we can all make a difference.

. . . .

“Don’t ever let down. Between elections is a time to be organizing. I thank you all. Keep up the good work.”

APPLA– USE.

In comments made subsequent to his address, Mayor Anderson indicated that he expected the lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates would be re-filed in Washington DC “within the next two or three weeks.” (The initial lawsuit against the CPD, DNC and RNC was filed by Governor Johnson in the Washington DC Circuit court on 21 September 2012 . it was dismissed in January 2014.  See for example wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_on_Presidential_Debates and prior IPR coverage HERE).

Additionally Our America Initiative has announced a series of meetings to discuss the process of preparing to file CPD lawsuit.  Currently scheduled between 17 March and 14 April 2015 are: Albuquerque, Austin, Chicago, Columbus, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, New York, Newport Beach, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Seattle, and Washington, DC although “Additional locations may be available upon request.” See:  www.ouramericainitiative.com/meetings.html)

A letter from Governor Johnson posted this URL states:

. . .

“Our America Initiative is coordinating the filing of a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, DC, to challenge the exclusionary and monopolistic practices of the Commission on Presidential Debates.

“Over the past several months, we have worked diligently to assemble the appropriate set of plaintiffs: Libertarian vice-presidential nominee Jim Gray, the Libertarian Party, the 2012 nominees of the Green Party, the Green Party — and myself.

“We have also assembled a nationally-recognized legal team who will handle the litigation: Rocky Anderson, former Salt Lake City mayor, presidential candidate and respected public interest attorney, and Bruce Fein, a nationally-known constitutional lawyer who served as Associate Deputy Attorney General and General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission under President Reagan.

“It is now essential that we bring key supporters and advocates such as you into the effort. Our America cannot fight this fight without the help, and frankly, the funding that you can help bring to the table. To begin that conversation, we have scheduled a series of private, invitation-only briefings around the country at which members of our legal team and I will share our strategy, our legal arguments and the budget — and seek your counsel, input and support. ”

An email with the above text provided to IPR also contained the following concluding paragraphs:

“To find the briefing nearest to you, and to let us know if you can attend, please go to www.ouramericainitiative.com/meetings.html.

“If it isn’t possible for you to attend, I hope you will consider making a financial contribution toward our legal challenge. We don’t have the bottomless pockets and special interest sponsors that the Republican and Democratic national parties have. Every dollar is key to our success.

“You can make your contribution by simply going to www.OurAmericaInitiative.com.

“We look forward to seeing you, and to moving forward together to put real issues on the nation’s agenda in 2016.”

Governor Gary Johnson
Honorary Chairman
Our America Initiative

The OAI Presidential Debate Lawsuit donation page as of 11:00PM Eastern time 22FEB2015 indicates that “$3,458.00 has been raised from 83 donors with a current goal of $100,000.00.”

debate page 22FEB2015

Prior goals have included $30,000 in February 2014 and $200,000 in June 2014.  See. “Johnson CPD Lawsuit Fundraising Goal: $30K in February, $200K in June.”

8 thoughts on “Rocky Anderson Speaks in SLC: NSA, CPD Lawsuit, Justice Party updates

  1. paulie

    Thanks for the report!

    I had not noticed this before:

    The OAI Presidential Debate Lawsuit donation page as of 11:00PM Eastern time 22FEB2015 indicates that “$3,458.00 has been raised from 83 donors with a current goal of $100,000.00.”

    That shows how off base the folks talking about OAI diverting resources from the LP and raking in lots of money for huge salaries are.

  2. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Paulie,

    The opacity is a concern. Last year at this time they were posting on their website donations of over $25,000.00 with a goal of $50,000.00.

    See, for example,

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140518003916/https://www.ouramericainitiative.com/presidential-debate-commission.html

    by June of last year they had raised the goal to $200,000.00. As far as I know there was no accounting of the amount of money raised by OAI during the Columbus convention.

    So, while the folks “talking about OAI diverting resources from the LP” may be “off base,” IMO there is something off base in the reporting of how much has been donated and where it is going coming out of OAI (at least compared to what I saw on the Audit Committee last year for the LP).

    I also note they have (as far as I can tell) removed the disclaimer that donations cannot be earmarked or refunded and may be used for overhead expenses.

    Joe

  3. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Not sure what you mean by scare quotes, but . . .

    IMO the drop in membership/funds for the national LP is NOT an effect of the activities or existence of OAI, or CATO, or Rand Paul or anything external to the organization. Indeed competition SHOULD make “us” stronger, not weaker.

    A mirror would be useful in terms of fixing what needs fixing/what would result in massive increases in both membership and donations.

    The shrill tone of fundraising letters, the disfunctionality of the staff, bitter in fighting, 1800s technical level of the website, apparent misuse of past funds, timidity in stands for Liberty (fear of loss, concern for how it looks over purity of Principle (for example the fight over the preamble), etc, etc have resulted in a mismashed brand.

    That has zip to do with OAI.

    >>You may not be taking into account various things like changing the lawsuit team,<< I take that into account, at least as best I can, based on limited information. I gotta wonder how the pre-new-legal team (announced on January 7th of 2015) donors feel about their past donations going down a black hole of a wasted legal effort. My impression is (in part based on conversation with Rocky) that the new team has started over from scratch and that the earlier legal work, including that done for the first DC case and the CA case (both now dismissed) will not be used, at least not in full, in the new complaint. I don't know that for a fact. Mayor Anderson was understandably not going to share the full strategy until it is filed, but I am saying, at least for me as a potential donor, I need more transparency before choosing to send funds in. I am not at all, for example, currently interested in funding what (seemed to me (partly based on the FEC reports as well as my experiences with Ron, Joe Hunter and others, at least) to be rather excessive overhead and wasteful spending on various printed materials that wound up being hauled to the dump. This is nothing unique, BTW. I stopped giving to United Way and the BSA for similar reasons. I like to know where my donations (and volunteering of time) are going, and feel a responsibility to manage them in a way that maximizes their positive impact.

  4. paulie

    These are “scare quotes.”

    null

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes

    gotta wonder how the pre-new-legal team (announced on January 7th of 2015) donors feel about their past donations going down a black hole of a wasted legal effort.

    Can’t speak for all of them, but speaking for myself, it’s not high on my list of regrets in life.

    I am saying, at least for me as a potential donor, I need more transparency before choosing to send funds in.

    That’s understandable. Your money is your own until and unless you decide to donate it. I’m not faulting you for being cautious.

  5. paulie

    Actually a lot of wikipedia articles get taken down because they decide the subject is not worthy or there is not enough sourced material in the article.

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