Joe Ryan, 52nd US Congressional District write-in candidate
By Joe Ryan 10/22/2008
As many of you reading this already know, I was arrested (actually kidnapped) at the 52nd district candidate's debate. If you get your information from Michele Clock of the Union-Tribune, then you don't know the truth. Here's some facts:
1. I was arrested after I walked onto the stage with the other three qualified candidate's for the 52nd district seat, announced my presence to the assembled voters, and I began to participate in the debate being held. I did not disrupt anything, I merely exercised my constitutional right right to be included in the debate.
2. The Union-Tribune deceived the public again. Michele Clock wrote, that Joe Ryan was protesting being excluded from a "public forum". While it's true that the debate was a public forum, Joe Ryan did not object to being excluded from the debate on that basis; rather Joe Ryan insisted that he had a constitutional right to be included in the debate, because the debate was being held at a government facility. When the government gets involved, they may not discriminate against one candidate in favor of another.
3. I was in contact with Grossmont College personnel throughout the day of the debate, trying to get them to acknowledge and follow the law, but they obfuscated, and played games all day; then they finally claimed (around 5pm) that the school had no control over the event whatsover. I informed Grossmont personnel about the existence of a legal advisory that had been issued by the Chancellor office of the California Community College system that indicated they were breaking the law, but they refused to acknowledge that a debate that only included candidates favored by the Chamber of Commerce, 'supported' any candidacy. Amazingly, Dana Quittner, secretary for the president of Grossmont college, insisted that my rights were completely fulfilled by the fcat that I could use the debate facility myself, on some alternative evening, sometime in the future.
4. I e-mailed every member of the Grossmont College Board about the problem I was having with the college staff, and only one responded (Tim Carruthers). Tim tried to be helpful. He contacted Dana Quittner for me, after Dana spent most of the day avoiding me. However, Dana Quittner did not respond in a good faith manner, and she boldly lied to me about activities Grossmont personnel had engaged in. Dana Quittner actually insisted that no resources or college personnel were involved in any way with the debate setup and preparation. That's so dishonest it's laughable! Grossmont employee, Henry Migala spent the whole day preparing the facility for the debate and making other debate arrangements; and he undoubtedly had help from many other Grossmont College district employees. Henry Migala was still hard at work at 8:00pm (supervising the arrest of Joe Ryan). Does Henry Migala work for free? Did the Chamber bring its own lighting system for the building? Who handled their debate facility application? The law says the college district may not use any resources to support partisan activity; so it's pretty obvious why Dana Quittner has to lie like a rug about the college districts role in the debate preparation. You would think you were dealing with a member of the San Diego media, but sadly, our government lies to us without shame too. Here's the pertinent text of the legal advisory that the chancelor's office sent to community college superintendents and presidents from an attorney working for the state (Steven Bruckman).
Use of District Resources for Partisan Purposes
The use of District resources to support or oppose ballot measures or candidates is restricted. The fundamental reason for the restriction is that public money may not be used for partisan activities. Put another way, resources that have been obtained for the district's support for all taxpayers must not be used "to take sides". Therefore, district employee time, equipment, supplies, or other public resources may not be used in advocating for either side of a ballot measure or to support or defeat any candidate. Legal Advisory 04-05, California Community Colleges chancellors' office.