patflannery

A mugshot is what they seek

Thanks for the link, WhoIsWatchingTheWatchers. It is from SDOG's own web site and posted Saturday May 30. Here is the relevant paragraph: "Because the City already spent the illegal BID taxes it levied and collected for FY 2013-14, today SDOG’s board also voted to dismiss a pending lawsuit challenging those taxes. The dismissal was without prejudice, meaning those legal issues may still be pursued in the future. The new lawsuit will cover the same issues and more, including the advisors’ conflicts of interest, and will be filed in the next few weeks." You say: “it was posted several days before the latest iNewsource story but was never mentioned in it, like iNewsource was intentionally not wanting to report the real reasons for dismissal”. You are right, it was posted Saturday May 30 while the iNewsource story was posted the following Wednesday June 3. A reasonable assumption must be that iNewsource was aware of it because they said they had tried to get an interview with Mr. Briggs before publishing their story. Surely they would have checked SDOG’s web site, the subject of their report, before publishing. The fact that an alternative explanation to the damaging one they published, was available from the subject’s website but not reported, damages iNewsource's credibility in attributing SDOG's withdrawal of its lawsuit against the City to fear of Judge Pollack and not mentioning its legal strategy outlined on the plaintiff’s web site. I must however compliment iNewsource on providing us with links and copies of just about every other document relevant to their reports. In that area they do an excellent job because without those source documents we the public would not be able to follow this story as closely as we can. But thank you Mr./Ms. WhoIsWatchingTheWatchers (I’m a Mr. btw) for the link to that important post on SDOG’s web site. Too bad iNewsource did not provide it for balance.
— June 5, 2015 2:16 a.m.

A mugshot is what they seek

Dorian, as you suggested I carefully checked back over both yours and Mr. Racino’s reports on this and note that your differences seem to focus around Ian Trowbridge’s initial filing for charitable trust status which was stamped received by the AG’s office back on July 5, 2011. Somehow a second SDOG “initial filing for charitable trust status” became necessary and was marked received by the AG’s office March 10, 2014. Nobody seems to be able to explain what happened in between. Did the AG’s office simply lose the one it received on July 5, 2011? It certainly never referred to it again. The dispute between you and Brad Racino seems to arise out of different interpretations of this. You wrote “Regarding San Diegans for Open Government, the news organization claimed the nonprofit skirted a requirement to register the group as a charitable trust with California's attorney general.” You quoted Mr. Racino: "Although it formed in 2008, San Diegans for Open Government did not provide the state attorney general’s charities division with five years’ worth of state or federal filings until April 2014, after the division threatened to revoke the group’s tax-exempt status". You then challenged Mr. Racino on that by writing “Documents filed with the attorney general show otherwise.” That seems to have infuriated Mr. Racino. I checked the bundle of AG documents published by Racino to see if he had deliberately not included the July 5, 2011 filing. He had included it. He just didn’t refer to it in the narrative of his report. He didn’t even refer to it in his sharp response to you. Instead he chose to highlight the documents dated April 4, 2014 by writing “Notice the stamps on the top right for all five year's (sic) worth of filings, received April 4, 2014.” Racino wrote to you “I don't think we could have made it any easier.” I can only say that he could have made it a lot easier for this commenter if he had referred to and acknowledged that Ian Trowbridge had duly made the initial filing for charitable trust status and got a “received” by the AG’s office dated July 5, 2011. That is the vital part that was missing and caused the fight between you reporters. Sometimes we commenters have to get into the fight ourselves to figure out the truth.
— June 4, 2015 1:04 a.m.

A mugshot is what they seek

Sometimes we the public have to try to figure out the truth from two different reports of the same set of facts by two competing news organizations. This is one of them. It is difficult in such circumstances to avoid the appearance of wanting to get into the fight between the news organizations. That is not my intention here. My only motivation is to try to understand this important public matter. Thank you for your welcome clarifications but I am still troubled by the AG’s March 27, 2014 letter to SDOG which said in part: “The captioned entity is now registered with the Registry of Charitable Trusts and has been assigned the registration (“CT”) number set forth above. Because the captioned entity has been operating as an unregistered entity in California in previous fiscal years, it is delinquent in filing reports with the Registry of Charitable Trusts. In order to complete the Registry file and clear the delinquent status, please submit the following, together with a copy of this letter.” That seems clear enough. Its CT File Number CT02051 did not become effective until that date. The question for me therefore is not whether SDOG is blameworthy in not filing annual RFFs, which is the subject of the fight between you and Brad, but rather SDOG’s status as a charitable entity at a time when it filed certain lawsuits claiming to be such. This question is far greater than whether you, Brad or even the AG is at fault here. If a court subsequently rules that SDOG did not have standing to file certain lawsuits, irrespective of who is at fault, then some very important public issues may be in jeopardy, the Convention Center for example. Any clarification you or Brad, with the far greater investigative resources available to you than to a member of the public, irrespective of motives, can bring to our understanding of this difficult public issue would be greatly appreciated. We are all united on one thing: we all care about and love our wonderful city of San Diego.
— June 3, 2015 12:36 a.m.

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