(Now, this is partly Danbury related since there is a Young Democrats branch starting back up in Danbury and the College Dems are around at Western Ct. State Univ. In any event, it's always great to see young people eager to be involved in the political process so sit back and enjoy this cross post from my other site, ConnecticutBLOG)
With the midterm elections less than eight weeks away, The Connecticut College Democrats held their organizational kickoff event at the University of Hartford. In an attempt to rally young people to get involved in the election process, students from different colleges and universities across Connecticut came together in an impressive show of solidarity and support for the Democratic Party.
The crowd of over 100 was treated to some of the best speeches to date from the various progressive candidates running for federal and state office.
Using their words wisely, each of the candidates running for federal office highlighted on a different topic or concerns which younger generation will be forced to address in the foreseeable future.
Discussing the out-of-control debt the Bush administration is accumulating for the next generation, Ned Lamont used his time to speak out against the rising cost of the war, the effect our present actions will have on the world for decades to come. Lamont also brought up the record-number of people who came out to register before the primary and why it's important for young people to get their friends to register to vote.
Fresh from his national Democratic rebuttal to Bush's weekly address to the nation, Chris Murphy took to the stage and was clearly honored with the show of support from the young crowd.
Technically still a Young Dem himself, Murphy made a point of emphasizing the need for students to get involved in campaigns by volunteering their time towards door knocking, phone banking and helping out in other aspects of the "ground game."
Using Nancy Johnson's latest attack ad, which Murphy described as "something out of Battlestar Galatica," Murphy also drove home the point that the Republicans will do everything in their power to shamelessly smear Democrats at all costs. Based on that analysis, Murphy again stressed the need for the young people to assist in helping the Democrats win the "ground game" which is the key to winning in November.
Of all the candidates who spoke Saturday, Joe Courtney made the biggest impression on the audience and really hit the nail on the head with his detailed analysis of the out of control Republican majority. Calling the Republican-controlled Congress "asleep at the wheel," Courtney energized the crowd with a passionate speech that emphasized why it's critical for the Democratic Party take back control of Congress and bring a sense of check and balance back to Washington.
After the speeches, various workshops were held by the Young Dems to help train students in different aspects of volunteering for campaigns. One of the workshops was on blogging and the impact it has on politics.
I along with the great Spazeboy and MLN's Jon Kantrowitz babbled talked about how to use blogging as a political tool and the different ways one can get involved in the newest form of political communication. It was the first time I ever addressed a crowd on the topic and hopefully I didn't put anyone to sleep.
Big thanks to the College Democrats for inviting me to their event and allowing me to speak to their audience. It was very encouraging to see so many young people eager to get involved in the political process. After leaving the event, not have a great sense that the Democratic Party has a great future in Connecticut.
Here's a video roundup of the main speakers at the event. Enjoy!
The Diane Farrell campaign released a new TV ad targeting Chris Shays, his 14 trips to Iraq, and his loyal support of President Bush's management of the war.
"The evidence is clear from Congressman Shays' own statements. He has supported the war in Iraq since day one," Farrell said. "I couldn't disagree with him more strongly. It's time for new thinking about how we extricate ourselves from a war that has taken the lives of nearly 2,700 American military and exhausted more $300 billion dollars."
"We need a new direction, not only in Iraq , but also on energy policy, on health care, on fiscal policy - you name it. We can't keep electing Chris Shays if we are going to make the changes we need."
Nancy Johnson proves again that she'll do anything for a buck
Time: 11:52 AM
Remember that much-taked about photo-op Nancy Johnson had with Sen. John McCain in Danbury on Monday. Well, what the Danbury News-Times failed to inform the public was what Nancy Johnson had planned to do later in the day.
Johnson attended a fundraiser on behalf which was hosted by associates of former disgraced Governor John Rowland and former disgraced state Treasurer Paul Silvester.
U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson on Monday held a much-publicized fundraiser in Danbury with U.S. Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican and possible presidential candidate in 2008.
But Johnson, R-5th District, also is scheduled to hold another fundraiser across the state line next month that is likely to receive far less attention.
That event, a $500-per-person cocktail party at a hotel near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is being sponsored by several associates of former Gov. John G. Rowland and state Treasurer Paul J. Silvester, both of whom were convicted and jailed on federal corruption charges.
These aren't simple assocaites, these buddies of Rowland screwed the state big time and are the type of grade-A special-interest greedy individuals that will make you sick to your stomach.
But invitations to next month's fundraiser for the 12-term congresswoman in Cambridge, Mass., indicate that its "host committee" includes Ronald C. Kaufman, Anthony Ravosa, and Herbert F. Collins.
Kaufman, a Republican National Committee member for Massachusetts, was the lead fundraiser for the Republican Governors Association when it was headed by Rowland, who appointed Kaufman's wife to direct the governor's Washington, D.C., office.
Kaufman, who worked hand-in-hand with Rowland raising millions of dollars in campaign contributions for Republican gubernatorial candidates across the nation, is also a lobbyist who was paid $500,000 to try to help win federal recognition for the Eastern Pequots.
Ravosa, a former Springfield City Council member who now lives in Glastonbury, is president of the Vince Group, a consulting company that has had ties to the energy industry.
Ravosa, who has been a registered lobbyist in Massachusetts, hosted a fundraiser similar to that planned for Johnson during Rowland's first re-election campaign. The event also was held out of state, in the offices of a Boston law firm.
Ravosa is perhaps best known as the man who put Rowland together with officials from Enron at a meeting he set up in the governor's office in December 2000.
Ravosa also had taken an Enron representative on a tour of Connecticut to inspect sites for a fuel-cell project the company had planned with the state trash authority - one of two deals with the quasi-public agency that collapsed after the corporation's spectacular financial failure.
Enron documents show the company had offered Ravosa an unspecified "success fee" in connection with the fuel-cell project.
Herbert F. Collins, the co-founder and chairman of Boston Capital, a leading investor in multifamily housing and one of the largest owners of apartments in the country, was one of the biggest contributors to Silvester's failed 1998 election campaign.
Silvester as treasurer also had served as a director of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, the quasi-public agency most responsible for dealing with the Federal Housing Tax Credit Program under which Boston Capital invests.
The firm also was a client of the New London law firm Tobin, Carberry, O'Malley, Riley & Selinger, which served as counsel to the underwriters of all nine bond issues the authority sold in 1998.
It seems like the Congressowoman knew her association with Rowland would sound alarm bells so, in a effort to avoid the Connectitcut media, they decided to hold the 500 dollar-a plate fundraiser across the border in Massachusetts that night.
How discreet .
Johnson's campaign were unavailable for comment and who could blame them. They did all they could to keep this shady fundraiser under the radar and they're hopng that this story will go away and they might get their wish simply because papers like the News-Times let things like this go unreported.
One of the major complaints people have about Johnson is her close association to lobbyists and special-interest groups as well as her willingness to accept contributions from these groups at a alarming rate. We've seen this best illustrated by the now famous MoveOn.com ads detailing Johnson's connection to special interest groups.
Under-the-radar events like this from Johnson seems to reinforce those criticisms.
Hers's the report on what happened yesterday from the News-Times
Agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency arrested 11 illegal immigrants from Ecuador on Tuesday who were waiting for jobs near Kennedy Park.
ICE arrived in Danbury at about 6:30 a.m. and targeted the day laborers who wait in and around Kennedy Park for employers to pick them up. The area is a popular spot for immigrants, illegal and legal, who wait for contractors -- often looking for cheap and plentiful labor. At least 100 are there each weekday morning.
Danbury police said that after receiving numerous complaints from residents, police officers began warning the day laborers to stay out of the roadway and in Kennedy Park.
"The daily warnings which were given for a period of over two months were ignored and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency was called for assistance," said Police Capt. Robert Myles. Danbury police helped ICE with the sweep.
The 11 Ecuadoreans were taken into custody, though Paula Grenier, an ICE spokeswoman, said she did not know exactly where they were taken.
The Ecuadoreans are expected to appear before an immigration judge, although Grenier said she wasn't sure when.
Police Chief Al Baker said the department stepped up patrols of the Kennedy Park area earlier this summer after receiving several complaints from drivers about day laborers darting out into traffic.
"We've had some ongoing concerns since mid-summer," Baker said. "I've personally seen it where a person jumps out to a truck they think is going to stop to hire them. There are some real safety and traffic issues there."
Police officers on bicycles usually begin watching the area around 6 a.m., and sometimes patrol cars monitor the area, too, he said.
The arrests occurred Tuesday for no particular reason other than scheduling between local police and immigration officials.
Baker said ICE decided to conduct the illegal immigrant sweep after speaking with him about the safety and traffic concerns.
Perfect. Now we have a situation where 11 people were picked up on Kennedy Park. Now is a perfect time to keep a close eye on what happens down there.
Will this send a sign to the Ecuadorians that they are not welcomed at Kennedy Park? Will illegals become fearful and leave the area? Will those who were arrested be deported? Will this program be sucessful?
There are many questions with few answers. Again, illegal immigration is a concern in parts of the city but whether it's a major concern to all the residents is clearly up for debate. What we can do is take this arrest as a starting point and see what happens.
Is this all a waste of taxpayers money or a sucessful program which will make a difference? Personally, I don't see how picking up 11 people will make a difference and I guess the day-laborers will be in full force by next week.
Operation Return to Sender is the name for a massive sweep of illegal immigrants by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency which began on May 26, 2006.
The campaign has focused on those individuals deemed to be the most dangerous, including convicted felons and gang members, particularly those of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, as well as repeat offenders, some of whom had already been deported. As of mid-June 2006, over 2,000 illegal immigrants have been arrested, over 800 of which were deported.
Although ICE publically says they are targeting criminals, not everyone deported is a "dangerous" criminal. For example, on Friday Sept. 8, 2006 ICE picked up people in Santa Cruz, CA that were brought into the US by their parents years ago. In one case, ICE took a husband and wife at 5AM and left their 19 and 13 year old daughters home alone.
For more info into the program, click here or here.
Word of this program was announced in Tribuna newspaper months ago and I'll have more information on everything later.
Federal immigration officials confirmed Wednesday the five immigrants captured in Danbury earlier this month will be deported as part of a nationwide sweep of former deportees who slipped back into the country.The five men were rounded up in Danbury the morning of June 8. They were held briefly at the Danbury Police Department before agents of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement took them out of the city.
"They were previously deported," said Capt. Robert Myles, public information officer with the police department. The five men apparently came back into the country illegally,
In a blitz that began May 26, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested nearly 2,100 illegal immigrants across the country. More than 800 of them have already been deported.
Officials say the raids have focused on the most dangerous immigration scofflaws: gang members, pedophiles, violent felons and others who sneaked back into the country after a judge threw them out.
In New England, officials say the dragnet, which started June 7, caught more than 150 people, including 75 who had come back after being previously deported.
The five in Danbury were arrested the day after the federal "Return to Sender" operation started.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a network of 35 fugitive teams across the country. The 2006 budget increased that number to 52, and the Bush administration is pushing for 70 by 2007.
The challenge, agents acknowledge, is staggering.
More than 500,000 "fugitive aliens" who have been deported by judges have either sneaked back into the country or never left.
Is this a good use of the taxpayer's money. How much did it cost the taxpayer to round up 11 illegal immigrants and what is the guarentee that they won't be back in the area within six months?
It's Boughton all the time this week as the mayor is milking his visit to Briazil for all it's worth. Aren't we all lucky.
Mayor Boughton did a two for Tuesday today announcing his new "in the know" blog in which he'll report back about his trip to Brazil (nice template. I wonder where I saw that design before).
Now if that wasn't enought, never shy from promoting his crusade against illegal immigration, Mayor Boughton jumps at a chance to talk about illegal immigraton when John McCain came to town yesterday. I wonder if his views had anything to do with the fact that he's off to Brazil today...
Lets break the "illegal immigration mayor" self promoting rant down bit by bit.
Noting the urgency of the illegal immigration problem was a Republican in attendance at the McCain events Monday, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.
His city has largest population of Brazilians of any place in the United States; many of them are illegal immigrants, Boughton said.
Hmm, one must ask themselves, how does Mayor Boughton know that many of the illegal immigrants are Brazilian? If the media would do a quick follow-up question, they would find the many holes in his statements.
Danbury must bear the burden of enforcing housing codes in overcrowded immigrant houses: "you’ll have ten or 15 people living in a three-bedroom house," the mayor said.
Now, he's fine tuned his message from a year ago when he simply stated that illegal immigrants are draining the city services (still waiting on those figures) but lets look at this closely.
Is every overcrowded house is occupied by illegal immigrants? I would argue that even if you kick every illegal immigrant out of the city (which is his real gameplan), you would still have a massive overcrowding problem in the city due to the high price of rent versus the amount of job oppurtunites for all immigrants. If you simply look at the situation from a economic perspective and not as a social issue, it's clear that illegals are not the problem when it comes to overcrowding. People simply can not afford the high price of rent in the area and it's an issue for all residents; legal and illegal. As long as there is a job market for immigrants, people will continue to come to Danbury looking for work.
Also, you noticed how Boughton didn't address advocating making it easier for the city to go after landlords, instead he only targets illegal immigrants. And this comes from a mayor who at one time proposed building a day laborer center for illegals who gather on Kennedy Place.
Boughton said "it has frustrated residents" that Congress has been unable to agree on a solution, either McCain’s proposal, passed by the Senate, which would create a guest worker program and permit illegal immigrants to eventually qualify for citizenship, or the House-passed enforcement-only bill.
"Nancy voted yes on the House bill so voters pretty much don’t see her as the issue," Boughton said.
Now, this is Boughton doing a poor version of political spin. Now, I've seen Nancy Johnson address the xenophobes and the immigrant community earlier this year and not one anti-immigrant person was happy with Johnson's preformance including the outspoken/do-nothing majority leader of the Common Council Pauline Basso. I'll pick on this later.
He added that he opposed McCain's approach because it permitted illegal immigrants to pay a fine to acquire legal status.
"I don’t think we can reduce permanent residency and ultimately citizenship to paying a fine. It should be worth more than that," the mayor said.
Although Boughton says this is a federal issue, he very much knows how he wants the government to approach this issue. He's quick to dismiss McCain's proposal yet many do not know what he would do if in a position to make a change. In fact, he doesn't make a statement on anything regarding ways to tackle illegal imigration and that lies the problem.
What we need in Danbury is new ways to approach illegal immigration and although Boutghon is in a good position to do somehting, he opts to get attention for himself with quotes like this or reports on his new "in the know" blog. Can someone please list me one thing that has changed in terms of illegal immigrantion since Boughton made this issue his rallying cry?
What we need here is leadership, not endless self-promotion. Wouldn't the mayor's time be better spent making sure the ad-hoc committees that he appointed actually meet and get something done? To illustrate my point, here's a list of the ad-hoc committees since the summer Pay particular attention to the ad-hoc committees that haven't met yet, the issues which are pending and the political party who made the request. Is it fair to say the mayor is not doing his job if the ad-hoc committees HE requested haven't met?
Change of ordinance to identify the Danbury Housing Partnership as lead agency to implement plan to end homelessness requested by the mayor; has not met
Public notice registry review committee requested by Council Democrats; has not met.
Conveyance of vacant land at 2 Garry Knolls requested by Democratic Council member Lynn Taborsak; has not met.
Grant agency review committee requested by Council Democrats; has not met.
FEMA fire grant for Fire Department requested by Republican Council member Colleen Stanley; met sometime before the Common Council meeting in September.
Tarrywile Park land exchange inquiry requested by the mayor; has not met.
Sex offender restriction ordinance inquiry requested by the mayor; met but has not reported to the council.
Televised Common Council meetings requested by Council Democrats; has not met.
Tax credit for elderly homeowners requested by Democratic minority leader Tom Saadi and Democrat Lynn Taborsak; has not met.
Request for Sewer Line at 4 Stadley Rough Road by Republican Common Council member Gregg Seabury; has not met.
Permit requirement ordinance for parades and marches requested by the mayor and referred to an ad hoc committee by Saadi; has not met.
Absentee landlords inquiry requested by the mayor and referred by Republican James Johnson; met May 24.
Sewer and water extensions for 20 Eastwood Road requested by Seabury; met June 26.
Sewer and water extension for 60 Forest Ave. requested by Stanley; met June 21.
Kennedy Place review requested by Republican Charles Trombetta; met May 22.
The city has not addressed important city concerns such as the sex offender restriction ordinance inquiry, permit requirement ordinance for parades and marches (which came about because of the World Cup celebrations), televised Common Council meetings, and tax credit for elderly homeowners (although Republican State rep Pauline Basso would have you believe that she's an advocate for seniors).
With all these things that the mayor can be working on in terms of pushing the agenda forward, he rather grandstand and promote his visit to Brazil. Is this right? Are there not more pressing issues that requires the mayors attention (such as the fact that the Common Council doesn't seem to be doing their job)?
Now, read closely and take note of the sections in bold.
To televise or not to televise?
That is the question du jour facing the mayor and Republican Common Council members who are being scrutinized by Council Democrats and some residents for not making the issue a top priority.
Televising the monthly meetings on local cable television would offer residents who can't go to City Hall the option of watching from home. And although the mayor agrees, he said he is mainly hesitant to push the issue to the top of his agenda because of cost.
He estimates it would cost between $80,000 and $90,000 to equip two City Hall meeting rooms and the Board of Education meeting room, in addition to the Common Council chambers.
"It's a priority, but not a top priority at this time," Mayor Mark Boughton said Thursday.
Okay, the mayor and the Republicans cough up two lies gems.
1. Broadcasting meetings is not a high priority:
This simply is not the case. Many citizens (including Republicans) have long wanted Common Council meetings on Public Access. For the Mayor, the issue is a low-priority but for the citizens, it's one of the most talked about issues. Ask anyone on the street about whether or not meetings should be broadcasted and the answer will be yes. Most people simply do not have the time to attend a meeting as most adults arrive home after 6:30 while most meetings start around 7 or 7:30.
One only has to take a look at the Common Council minutes from the past and see that Boughton supporters such as Lynn Waller has spoken out on the need to broadcast meetings for some time. Waller even went as far as criticize the mayor on her show "In Our Opinion" when Boughton proposed the creation of a dog park, portions of which would be paid for by the taxpayers to a tune of aprox. 15,000.
It's interesting to note that since her rant on August 18th, Waller has not spoken about the broadcasting issue which causes one to think that she received "a call" and was told to tone it down. Regardless, her comment is on the record and I have countless amount of video backing up my claim (one word: tivo). Here's a videoclip I posted a while back that tells the story.
Republican Common Council President Joe Cavo is taking his marching orders from the mayor and had this to say.
"I don't mean anything bad by this, but it's not a hot issue," Cavo said. "I don't have people calling me asking for the meetings to be televised. People are more concerned about schools, roads, quality of life issues."
Cavo also is concerned about the cost. He said the city likely would have to hire at least a part-time employee to operate a camera at the various meetings.
"I'm doing some research on what it will all entail. There are so many questions that need to be answered before we make some decisions," he said.
Now Cavo is being dishonest as Waller and several other people have spoken out on this issue in the past. One would only need to go to Cavo's district and I'm sure that people would support the broadcasting of meetings. Also, at least one person has stated that they would volunteer their services to record the meetings so the issue of hiring a person part-time to record the meetings is not accurate (to put it nicely).
Democratic minority leader Tom Saadi, however, fears the issue will never be on the Republican radar despite several Danbury residents who have spoken in favor of televising the meetings, including Lynn Waller, who hosts the Friday night show "In Our Opinion," and Christina Halfar, who has volunteered to record the meeting.
It's not like recording a meeting is like rocket science. Look at the meetings from Bethel on Channel 24. Someone puts a camera on a tripod, gets everyone in the picture and records. There is no zooming and no thrills as the sole purpose of the recording is to RECORD THE MEETING.
2. The costs:
Here's where the mayor and the Republicans, who have been in control of Danbury for too long, moved the goalposts in front of our eyes.
Boughton at first claims that the cost of hooking up City Hall and the Board of Education for broadcasting will costs aprox 60,000 dollars although he never explains where he got this figure from and as far as I can tell, this figure has not been verified by the News-Times. I would strongly encourage any reporter to request that the mayor explain where he got this figure from and/or ask him to provide name of the person who quoted him the ever-changing figure so his claims can be verified.
Now, in a stroke of Republican spin that would put a smile on Karl Rove's face, in Saturday's article, Boughton NOW claims that it will cost between 80-90 thousand dollars to broadcast meetings. Now, I'm warming up to Elizabeth Putnam's reporting and I definately think the News-Times is going in a better direction but this obvious flip-flop from the mayor should have sounded alarm bells.
Again, where did the mayor get this figure from and how did the costs suddenly increase by 30,000?
To get an idea on the TRUE costs of broadcasting, Putnam talked to Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi and he had this to say.
Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi has said that many commuters watch the meeting because they don't want to attend a two-hour meeting after a long day at work. Ridgefield uses equipment the school system no longer needed and pays about $1,000 a year for people to run several cameras.
1,000 dollars per year plus the use of outdated cameras and Ridgefield is on the air YET Boughton and the Republicans are pulling figures from out of the sky. Hell, I'm sure the city could work out a deal with Comcast to use their cameras to record the meetings with no problem but Boughton and the Republicans don't want to look into this because they're stonewalling the public.
Here's a sample of the pro-broadcast comments to the News-Times article.
Let's see...Ridgefield TV $1000, Danbury $80,000 to $90,000...Could the discrepancy be so great because the Republicans don't want the public to see what they are doing?
Danbury Republicans don't want to televise the meetings because they don't want anyone to see how bad and corrupt they are. After all, do they really want us to see how they gave a big developer the right to build 500 condos downtown TAX FREE FOR SEVEN YEARS? Of course not.
Bottom line is if they had nothing to hide they would televise the meetings.
they have a VOLUNTEER ready to run the camera, and I'm sure they could EASILY get kids from the h/s av or even Westconn to do an internship... what gives? they don't need to buy state of the art equipment..
" People are more concerned about schools, roads, quality of life issues."
BUT THEY WANT TO SEE WHY THOSE CONCERNS ARE NOT BEING ADDRESSED. WHAT ARE YOU HIDING???
"Get engaged, attend a meeting, it is called participating!" it's the 21st century. These meetings could be taped and shown on YouTube.
Simply put, Boughton and the Republicans don't want to broadcast the meetings because the less informed the public is, the better it is for them. There is no way that the costs of broadcasting these meetings will be in the range of 80,000 and since the meetings were broadcasted before, the place should still be wired up the video purposes. The city could work out a deal with Comcast and get a couple of camera as it's as easy as someone starting a public access show (that will allow you to have access to the cameras). Ivon from "At Work and Beyond" brought a Comcast camera to the September meeting and recorded everything with no problem (amaazing how fast that meeting went huh).
If the meetings and events were broadcasted, you would have able to witness such hits as:
• Hate-filled anti-immigrant rants of Common Council Majority Leader and Republican State Rep candidate (too funny) Pauline Basso,
• Mayor Boughton gives a SEVEN YEAR TAX ABATEMENT to BRT development while claiming that illegal immigrants are draining city services (without citing one service that has been effected by illegal immigrants).
• Watch as Mayor Boughton announces the formation of a group that will look into what positive and negative impact illegal immigrants have on the community (again, while stating that illegal immigrants are draining the services). I'm still waiting on that group to form (it's been over a year since he made that statement).
The lunacy goes on and on with the Republican-controlled majority and while it’s under the radar, it goes unnoticed until it's too late. In the end, we all lose.
04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school
06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"
On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.
The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.
Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.
Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.