Right on, Kurt. I’m 99.9% sure congressman DeSaulnier will do nothing, but it’s still good to make the point for the record, and it will be interesting to see his office’s response (even if most likely just a form letter). Precisely what does the relevant portion of 40 USC Section 5104€(3)(A) say?
* * *
On an unrelated matter of lobbying those in power, I (virtually) attended the San Francisco Police Commission meeting yesterday, and during public comment asked about asset forfeiture (aka “policing for profit”), referencing the Institute for Justice report at Policing for Profit 3 - Institute for Justice.
One of the commissioners (John Hamasaki) subsequently mentioned my comment to police chief Bill Scott following the chief’s report, and asked whether this was happening in SF! Chief Scott responded in part that the SFPD does not seize assets in this manner, but that “there is asset forfeiture that’s not administered by us”, and “there is an asset forfeiture distribution” he said, “that is distributed by federal authorities”. (Translation: local agencies are probably benefitting from this federal theft.)
During subsequent public comment later in the meeting, I thanked the commissioner for asking about the issue I raised, and noted that what the chief said is exactly how it often works: Local law enforcement agencies, facing legal or political limitations on their ability to seize assets themselves, rely on the Feds to do it for them, and then the Feds give the local agency a cut of the proceeds.
When asked by the head of the Police Commission (former SF Supervisor Malia Cohen) if he wanted to put the issue on the agenda for their next meeting, since it was not on yesterday’s agenda, Hamasaki declined without giving a reason. I just called and left a message asking him to reconsider, and said I’d like to discuss the issue with him. I also called and spoke with commissioner Petra DeJesus, who previously spoke at an LPSF meeting at my invitation last year (having been in my observation the most pro-reform voice on the Police Commission over the years). She said she is willing to put the matter on the agenda, but that she already has a full plate and only 2 months left in her term (she said she’s been on the commission a long time and isn’t seeking reappointment), so advised that John might be the best one to move the matter forward.
Calls and emails from other libertarian activists encouraging him to do this would be most welcome – the commissioner’s number (he is a criminal defense attorney) is (415) 525-4245, and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the questions I think we’d like to see answered:
• How much asset forfeiture is taking place in SF?
• Where are the money and assets going (which local agencies are benefitting, and to what tune)?
• Who are the victims? (Their names, contact info, alleged offenses or justification on which their property was seized)
• Which federal agencies are seizing property in the city?
• Are the SFPD or other local agencies in any way cooperating with the Feds in these seizures, or enabling them?
• Who has challenged forfeiture in SF (victims or other advocates on their behalf) and what has been the outcome of these cases?
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
On Jan 21, 2021, at 10:40 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Nice! Let us know what you hear back!
From: Kurt Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2021 3:52 AM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; ‘Sandra Kallander’ email@example.com; ‘d b’ firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Cc: ‘Starchild’ firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Speaker Pelosi’s violation of federal law
I have notified Congressman Mark DeSaulnier that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has apparently violated 40 USC Section 5104€(3)(A).
She has ordered the Acting Sergeant-At-Arms to install metal detectors at the entrance to the House Chamber in order to screen everyone, even Members of Congress (who are legally exempt) for weapons.
I have asked him to initiate proceedings to have Nancy Pelosi expelled from Congress for cause.
I have also asked him to investigate whether Speaker Pelosi and the Acting Sergeant-At-Arms have conspired to violate federal law.