Read James Chaffee's response - Page 2


It is openly acknowledged at the Library that there would be no compliance with sunshine or open meetings laws without my lawsuits.  As a matter of fact, at the recent meetings of the Technology and Privacy Committee that was convened to pave the way for implementation of RFID, there was a proposal to use on-line conferencing software in an illegal way.  Commissioner Coulter made a joke that they had better not or they would get sued by me.  Some joke.  There is no respect for what is right, or what is legal, not to mention actual respect for the public.  The only thing that deters them from brazen violations of the law is getting sued.  The only thing that deters them from naked rip-off of the library is what little openness there is.

Yet after all of this time of being successful in creating some semblance of compliance with Sunshine and open meetings laws, if however grudging, their only response is to sue me as a vexatious litigant.  It is the opposite of the three  strikes law.  The concept is that after twenty strikes they want a get-out-of-jail free card.  One would think they would be ashamed that after this long string of illegalities, but they want to blame me for fixing it. 

This vexatious litigant motion is nothing but slander and intimidation in its purest form.  Labeling me as a vexatious litigant has no chance of success.  Such a motion is neither legal, lawful or even valid.  If any responsible authority in City Hall sees this missive, please be informed that the San Francisco City Attorney’s office is in desperate need of adult supervision.

One never knows what a judge is going to do, but even if I were to lose and end up being slandered as a vexatious litigant, it is a small price to pay.  There is a sense in which I lost the battle, but won the war.  There is public attendance at commission meetings, agenda items, public comment (no matter how much they laugh and rattle their M&M’s), and copies of documents under discussion (most of the time).  None of those things were implemented willingly.  The library Commission fought against them just as hard as I fought for them.  Most of the time it doesn’t matter much, but when the staff wants a City Librarian who has an MLS or the pre-school gets kicked out of Bernal Heights, there is a forum for people to speak and the Library Commission's arbitrariness does not go down quite so easily. 

For those who believe that Coke is the Real Thing, Progress is Our Most Important Product, and Military Intelligence knows where the Weapons of Mass Destruction Are, they may also believe that corporate money in the library is "positive."  Everyone else has long ago acknowledged that I was right about the stream of lies that ruined our library and benefited private interests, and continues to do so.

The motion does not make sense without some discussion of the substance of the suits along the way.  The City Attorney in its memo uses the terms "meritless lawsuits over and over again," and "repetitive meritless lawsuits."  What the City Attorney does not mention is that three of those appeals resulted in published opinions.  When the Court of Appeal publishes an opinion, the court is saying that it is a significant point on which lower courts need guidance.  The published opinions went against me, but that is a result of the political climate not the significance of the issue.