21 March 2007

KingCast explains why Nashua Selectman David Rootovich wins the New Hampshire First Amendment Trifecta.

When we brought KingCast and Justiceforkids to New Hampshire, the First Amendment was quite dormant. Since then we/prevailed against restrictive, viewpoint/content-based public comment restrictions at the Nashua School Board that were initiated by fired Superintendent Julia Earl. But before we could finish that, we worked with Alderman Fred Teeboom who sent a simple email to Aldermanic President Rootovich, who changed a policy that forbid naming of names in Aldermanic meetings within -- get this -- 48 hours. So he wins by at least a furlong.

And bringing up a distant third? Well it would be Attorney Ted Comstock and the New Hampshire School Boards' Association, which as noted in this post, is waiting until May to address their recommended viewpoint-content based restrictive policy unless we sue them first. Here's the correspondence file where I issue them a failing grade.

Meanwhile, NH AG Kelly Ayott's response to a request for legal opinion is encouraging, but slightly off-track because it deals with the Right-to-Know Law more than the First Amendment straight up, no chaser.

PS: That's the real Seabiscuit, or the little engine that could, proving you can, in the words of Boston writer and financier John Feloni, "[Go] from douchebag to darling!"

1 comment:

Christopher King said...

You read the Right-to-Know link -- authored by Attorney Ayotte -- and it is readily apparent that the NHSBA policy is inimical to it.

"For our government to remain of the people, by the people, and for the people, while protecting individuals' privacy, it is essential that the people have reasonable and open access to the information that will inform the people what their government is up to and how it is performing.

Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public's right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.

An integral part of the constitutional right-to-know is the protection of the freedom of speech and press guaranteed by Part 1, article 22 of the New Hampshire Constitution:

Free speech and liberty of the press are essential to the security of freedom in a state: They ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved."