Boks Blog Under Fire--Again.

From the LA Times today. Here we go again:

Political animals
9:25 AM, June 5, 2008

Ed Boks, general manager of the animal services department, keeps a blog titled "From Ed's Desk" on the department's home page. (That's Boks in the photo at right.) A week ago today, he posted a list of congressional endorsements compiled by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, a group that seeks animal-friendly policies.

The posting instructed animal enthusiasts to re-elect such politicians as Rep. Jane Harman on the Westside, Rep. Adam Schiff in Pasadena and Rep. Laura Richardson.

Now legally, city officials are barred from using public resources for political purposes, particularly campaign activities. But the blog, which features a photo of Boks smiling and hugging a dog, warns readers that nothing on it "represents the official position of the City of Los Angeles or LA Animal Services unless otherwise specifically noted."

That didn't reassure City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo's office, which said the posting raised legal concerns. "We do not believe an official city web site should link to candidate endorsements," said Delgadlilo spokesman Nick Velasquez.

Deputy Mayor Janelle Erickson said an aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had ordered Boks to remove the post on Wednesday.

The election, of course, was the previous day. Is anyone in the doghouse?

--Veronique de Turenne

You know, I beat down this complaint when it was first made two years ago.

The City does not pay a dime for Boks' blogspot blog. It is a free service by Google. The Chief of police also has (or at least had) a similar blog even before Boks started his.

The LAAS website links to Boks blog, but it is clear Ed is expressing his own opinion and not on an official website.

My personal opinion is that his right to free speech should not be shot down just because many of us are justifiably trying to shoot him down. Shoot him down on something consequential, not for exercising--at no public expense, and not on any Los Angeles department website--his First Amendment Rights.

Besides, his opinion to vote for animal friendly candidates is something the public should see. Maybe a few people were moved to vote for these people by his blog.

If anything, one should shoot him down for all the lies posted on his blog, but not his opinions about who would best support animal friendly politicians.


Anonymous said...

Not a negative word was heard when Boks ordered political posters placed all over every shelter for the state ballot measures and assembly bills he favored. That happened a couple times, CLEAR violations of the law. He championed the items he favored at every forum he could (on city time), and even if the measures were in good faith and beneficial to animals, it all had the appearance of malfeasance and was improper on the face of it.

Ed Muzika said...

Goldwater said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

I say that clear violations of law in the defense of animal rights is no vice, and propriety in the pursuit of the welfare of all living beings, is no virtue.

I am not much interested in toasting Boks for doing something that helps animals.

In fact, we are always after him for not doing enough. Here he doing something.

My priority is to help animals, not to crucify Boks.

Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to learn what the City of Los Angeles deems appropriate and inappropriate. I think Animal Services sorta does the same thing when it comes to it's volunteers and rescue partners.

Thanks for always helping to keep us up to date on what's going on Ed =)

Brad Jensen
Cypress, CA


Anonymous said...

In the scheme of things, if that's the worst thing that could be said about Boks (and it isn't) I wouldn't care much about it.

And Rocky Delgadillo really needs to get his priorities straight. First, clean up your own house, Rock. Then go after REAL animal abusers, not the Masons and Madows of the world, AND find out what actual violations of the law resulting in actual harm are happening in City and County facilities purportedly dedicated to animal CARE.

About 55,000th on your list should be a blog. That's a 2-minute phone call, not a press matter.

Is there one single taxpayer-paid official in this city who can tell what's really important? So far no eveidence to indicate that.

That being said -- Ed, you're quoting Barry Goldwater? Seriously? What's next, the wit and wisdom of John McCain? Sheesh...

Ed Muzika said...

Yes, I wish JFK had said it.

Do you have a Kerry quote-equivalent?

Anonymous said...

His blog says it has nothing to do with the city but it's linked on the city website. The user name he uses is "ed boks is the general manager of animal services." It doesn't say "ed boks" only.

Ed Muzika said...

It doesn't matter.

Your first thought should be if what he did helped the animals. If it did, I applaud him.

The concern should not be monitoring his every slip in order to mock or crucify him, but to monitor his actions as to whether they help animals or not.

When he gives an alleged ex-girlfriend a $20,000 contract, that is something he should be crucified for, but having a link to his blog from the LAAS website? Come on. That is a real stretch.

And, what do you mean by illegal? What law was broken? Cite the code.

If there is no code, then it is an appearance of improprietry, which is not illegal.

The formost criteria for judgement of anyone is the animal welfare/rights world should be, does it help the animals. That is alpha-omega.