Thursday, November 13, 2008
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE?: Notice of Plazabum.com Website Threatening Persons Engaged in First Amendment Protected Activity
SHERIFF DAVID SHOAR (right) AND PLAZABUMMER MICHAEL GOLD (left) AT MICHAEL GOLD'S FLAGLER COLLEGE GRADUATION
Dear Sheriff Shoar:
1. There's a small group of people posting hate speech on several local Internet websites associated with your former campaign manager, MICHAEL GOLD. MICHAEL GOLD has bragged on the Internet of his association with you (photo attached), even claiming you attended his recent graduation from Flagler College because he is a close friend of yours (although I am informed that you were in fact the Commencement speaker). Plazabum.com was started two days before Christmas, 2006, for the express purpose of running homeless people out of town. GOLD's letter in the December 23, 2006 St. Augustine Record made clear Plazabum's purpose of harassing the homeless. Plazabum soon branched out into desiring to run dissenters out of town and attacking them anonymously, as on the St. Augustine Record’s “Talk of the Town” message boards, which Morris Communicaitons ordered, taken off the Internet due to the frequently abusive and obscene postings by local government officials and businesspeople, posting anonymously..
2. On Plazabum.com, MICHAEL GOLD is joined by present and past city and county government officials, government contractors and businesspeople (and their families, friends and entourages) in practicing anonymous hate speech, intimidating persons who have reported environmental crimes by the City of St. Augustine and other wrongdoing by public officials. Plazabummer’s often-incoherent Internet remarks range from the juvenile to the racist, sexist, misogynist, misanthropic, homophobic and obscene, and includes threats to blacklist, run out of town and do bodily harm to persons who report government wrongdoing to law enforcement authorities. These threats and other retaliation for reporting government wrongdoing may constitute federal felonies, including civil rights violations and obstruction of justice. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. Sections 241, 242, 1505, 1512 and 1513, among other federal laws. Do you endorse this Plazabum website? Are city and county computer resources and staff time involved?
3. On Plazabum.com, MICHAEL GOLD and other persons acting in concert with him are daily going about their "special project" -- intimidating First Amendment protected activity, violating civil rights, committing hate speech. Plazabummers give the world the false impression that St. Augustine is a homeless camp. Are MICHAEL GOLD and his friends helping wreck our tourist economy by their negative Internet publicity? Would any rational person reading the Plazabum website come away from that experience wishing to visit St. Augustine?
4. On Plazabum.com, St. Augustinians daily watch in horror as a few of our city and county government officials, business leaders and friends hound dissenters electronically. Thanks to Plazaum.com, tourists (and potential tourists) around the world are reading by Plazabum's threats of violence, obscenities, vulgarities and crudities, invasions of privacy, and falsehoods, all of which are emitted by putatively "anonymous" posters. Persons who disagree with the Plazabummers are hounded and harassed. Not one constructive thought for making St. Augustine a better place was ever posted on Plazabum (which is curiously silent on the proposal for a St. Augustine National Historical Park, National Seashore and National Scenic Coastal Highway, to help celebrate our 450th anniversary).
5. You and I both know exactly who many of these Plazabummers are, Sheriff Shoar. Good and decent people agree that these Philistines on Plazabum are terrorizing First Amendment protected activity in our community, not unlike an electronic Ku Klux Klan (KKK) on steroids. One of the Plazabum crew (CHARLES NUSBAUM), is a City of St. Augustine website contractor. NUSBAUM until recently had a radio program that practiced hate speech. Recently, NUSBAUM was apparently kicked off WFOY-AM radio for indecency, after having allegedly used two of the "seven dirty words" banned from the airwaves by FCC and the United States Supreme Court .
6. Are MICHAEL GOLD and other persons posting on Plazabum.com considered "untouchable" due to their associations with you and WILLIAM B. HARRISS (whom you publicly reported as your very first reported campaign contributor in 2004)?
7. Has SJSO already taken sides with the Plazabummers? Has the Plazabum.com group already embroiled you and the SJSO and SAPD in possible civil rights violations and obstructions of justice? Has SJSO been further embroiled by allegedly sending law enforcement personnel to the home of a lady engaged in First Amendment protected activity, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, while refusing to take any actions whenever threats are posted on Plazabum? Exactly what do you plan to do to prevent the SJSO from being embroiled in further civil rights violations?
8. Months ago, I read about "The Marketplace" Christian fellowship of government and business officials (in a front page article in Folio Weekly), quoting you.
9. Sheriff Shoar, have you and others in "The Marketplace" ever invited anyone to address hate speech issues and calm down the community members who hurl invective anonymously (e.g., the obscene "anonymice" on Plazabum.com)? Will it do so? More particularly, have you or any other leaders or members of "The Marketplace" ever spoken to MICHAEL GOLD and his friends about their racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobic and libelous remarks (including repeated racist remarks about Commissioner-elect J. Kenneth Bryan and persons whom they have never met), which recently have verged over into incitements to do bodily harm to persons engaged in First Amendment protected activity (e.g., reporting wrongdoing to federal and state law enforcement)?
10. Again, I sincerely appreciate your apology for the tasteless t-shirt you distributed several months ago and your pursuit of corruption involving indicted St. Johns County Commission Chairman THOMAS GLAIZE MANUEL. It is my sincere hope that you will now speak out (both publicly and privately) against the unChristian hate speech fostered and encouraged since 2006 by your former campaign manager, MICHAEL GOLD, et al.
11. You and "The Marketplace" might wish to invite Plazabummers to "try Christianity" (or other religious or ethical beliefs of their free choice). Failing that, a good tonguelashing of your former campaign manager, MICHAEL GOLD, may be in order. What do you reckon?
12. By this E-mail, you and the SJCS and SAPD are on notice of Plazabum's inciting violence against named individuals. Sheriff Shoar, as to Plazabum.com, "What Would Jesus Do? (WWJD?) Will you take official action before someone is hurt or killed? I look forward to hearing from you today.
With kindest regards, I am,
Clean Up City of St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084