Foothill Cities

I posted a blurb a while ago about the Foothill Cities blog in California. It seems these folks exist to keep an eye on and report the various comings and goings of their local government. Since, for some reason, that sounds vaguely familiar to me I have enjoyed reading their work.

Especially interesting is a little dustup they were involved in with the City of Pomona, California, over some apparent discussion about their City Manager. Ultimately, the City Attorney wrote to the bloggers and told them to knock it the hell off. (Page one and Page two)

The bloggers responded, hard. While really don't know where to begin, I especially enjoyed this language from their very well-spoken attorney: "As a preliminary matter, I respond to your letter's repeated chastisements of our clients for maintaining their anonymity. In the Internet era, Publius and Centinal carry on a well-established American tradition of using pseudonyms while criticizing, challenging and questioning those in power. Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson all used pseudonyms. It is often because of overbearing threats and intimidation by public officials that individuals rightly choose to keep a veil between themselves and the government." [Emphasis Added]

Well said. I couldn't agree more. Keep that in mind the next time you criticize someone for posting anonymously.

Also, while we're at it, here's another little blurb about another City Manager who doesn't like bloggers. The City Manager says: “They have no merit, even though the Constitution allows them. I don’t have time to engage in unproductive discussions.” Can you see the arrogance? Criticism and investigation are unproductive.

Just leave us alone to do our business, right? Does anyone else see a pattern here?

My two favorite quotes:

"[T]he underlying attitude of many local officials right now is far from where it should be because they aren’t used to anyone paying them much attention."


"At some point it will be impossible even for people like [the City Manager] to deny that there are some pretty productive discussions going on online."

Oh, one more thing. If you want some online discussion of local-type bloggers, here are some really good links.

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