From the LA Times today. Here we go again:
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.