Minuteman group leader arrested for double homicide
Saturday, June 13, 2009 Time: 2:03 PM
Surprise, surprise. Shawna Forde [pictured at top right], leader of the Minuteman American Defense group (M.A.D.), a group known for patrolling the border, and is dedicated to "Defending America's Borders" was arrested for home invasion and the double homicide of a 29 year old male and 9 year old girl.
An act of unspeakable violence from a leader of a xenophobic group? Why am I not surprised
Three people have been arrested in connection with last months deadly double homicide in Arivaca that left a nine-year-old and her father dead. One of the people arrested for the homicide is the National Executive Director of the Minuteman American Defense group (M.A.D.), a group known for patrolling the border, and is dedicated to "Defending America's Borders" according to their website - http://minutemenamericandefense.org/ Jason Eugene Bush, 38, Shawna Forde, 42 and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 43, were all taken into custody and charged in connection with the murders of 29-year-old Raul Flores and 8-year-old Brisenia Flores. Both were killed during an alleged home invasion. According to authorities, Bush, Forde, and Gaxiola broke into the home of the Flores family just after midnight on May 30th. At the time, the mother, father and daughter were home. The invaders reportedly shot the three members of the Flores family, killing the father, Raul, and the daughter, Brisenia. The invaders then left the scene.
The mother survived the shooting, called police, and found a gun. Sheriff Dupnik says the three returned moments later to make sure everyone was dead. At that point, the mother shot and injured Bush, and the three fled the scene.
The trio has been charged with two counts of First Degree Murder, one count of First Degree Burglary, and one count of Aggravated Assault.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says, "Jason Bush was in fact the shooter of all three of these people under orders from Ms. Forde."
Sheriff Dupnik adds, "To just kill a 9-year old girl because she could be a potential witness, to me, is one of the most despicable acts I have ever heard of."
"If you look at her history closely, and you know what we know, she is at best a pyschopath," says Sheriff Dupnik referring to Forde during a press conference Friday.
UPDATE: From Arizona, here's local news coverage of the horrible crime.
Hmm, an anti-immigrant xenophobic, described by police as a pyschopath, was involved in a despicable act of violence AND is a leader of a anti-immigrant group that's actively involved in tea-parties?
Hmm, let me think...didn't an anti-immigrant/hate gorup just hold a "teabagging" party in Danbury this weekend. Well, yeah BUT "those folks" would NEVER EVER advocate any form of violence around here...I mean Elise Marciano, her deranged ilk/supporters are such peace-loving people and all...
See how the governor's budget proposal will effect you!
Friday, June 12, 2009 Time: 8:38 PM
As Gov. Rowland-Rell and the Republicans continue to spin their ridiculous rhetoric regarding their unlabanced budgets that target the middle-class, today, the Senate Democrats launched a new interactive Google budget map, which highlights how the governor's proposed budget will impact every municipality in the state.
Since MOST people haven't taken the time to actually READ the governor's UNBALANCED proposal, maybe this map will serve as a wake-up call.
Senate President Don Williams had this to say about the new feature:
We need to make cuts, as Democrats already have, but we must also make investments in health care, education, public safety, transportation, and other critical needs for our families,” said Senator Williams. “We are committed to using a balanced approach to balance the budget and we will continue to work with legislative colleague and Gov. Rell to reach a budget agreement.” Democrats in the legislature have proposed more than $2 billion of spending cuts. Governor Rell is also proposing significant cuts — but a large proportion of these will directly impact children, small businesses, education and public health.
For those who think the governor's plan is so "wonderful" for the city, go to the map, click on Danbury and see what Jodi has in plan for us.
Better yet, I'll just cut to the chase:
Governor Rell's budget cuts would:
Reduce many state education grants by 10% from their current funding level
Reduce special education service grants by 10% in all municipalities
Eliminate state funding for internet access, and filtering of "adult" content in all public libraries and K-12 schools in Connecticut
Eliminate or reduce by 40% the amount of state funding given to local health departments and health districts
These cuts would come on top of other cuts in municipal aid or flat-funding of programs that our cities and towns rely on. The Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) grant, which is the largest portion of state aid for local education in Connecticut, would be flat-funded for the two year budget. In addition, other programs such as the PILOT (Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes) Grant, which helps cities and towns make up for tax losses for tax exempt properties such as state property, hospitals and universities, have been reduced as well. These cuts, along with elimination of funding for our libraries, will put a strain on our municipalities.
When you hear the Republicans in the legislature (and the conservative talking-heads in the local media) LIE to your face about how GREAT their budget proposals are while chastizing Democrats, just keep this in the back of your mind.
Boughton, who was a social studies teacher at the high school for nearly 14 years before entering politics, said he knows for a fact there were “internal candidates who were discouraged from applying” for the job. “That’s a problem,” he said. “I know these individuals and I know they are capable of leading that school.”
As I stated in my initial post, I felt it was irresponsible for any member of the media to allow an elected official to make such an accusation without:
allowing the person accused to the quote, an opportunity to respond to the charges.
Since it seemed that Perrefort was not going to publish a follow-up to his initial article, I decided to take things into my own hands.
Last night, I attended the Danbury Board of Education meeting and interviewed chairwoman Susan Podhajski and School Superintendent Sal Pascarella. In the following audio clip, I gave Podhajski and Pascarella an opportunity to respond to the mayor's accusation.
The Board welcomes Public Participation and asks that speakers please limit their comments to 3 minutes. Speakers may offer objective comments of school operations and programs that concern them. The Board will not permit any expression of personal complaints or defamatory comments about the Board of Education personnel and students, nor against any person connected with the Danbury Public School System.
This can't be for real. The Board of Ed will NOT allow any form of criticism about the Board of Ed a member(s) of the Board of Ed and/or a member(s) of the school system?
Based on this bizzare wording, I guess any expressions of praise about board personnel, personnel and students, nor against any person connected with the Danbury Public School System WILL be allowed.
UPDATE: Post has been updated to more accurately reflect my position that the BOE is restricting members of the public from criticizing members of the Board of Ed or anyone connected with the Danbury School system.
If you're not doing anything on Tuesday nights, check out the local access show "Spotlight On" at 9 PM.
Hosted by Bob Brought Jr., most of the episodes focuses on historical video footage ranging from the 1940-70s. When it comes to HOW Brought gets his hands on this footage...well, I'm not going to give away his secret. Lets just say that watching his archive of historical stuff as pretty cool.
Here's an episode from 5.13.09 where he shows footage of pre and post flood Danbury.
Once Bob sets up a website, I'll provide everyone with a link where you can watch his past shows...
Unfortunately, to the anger of many, this latest screw-up from the city clerk has yet to be reported by the News-Times...and trust me, they are well aware of Natale's latest fiasco.
During last month's Democratic Town Committee meeting, Minority Leader Tom Saadi addressed this situation, the News-Times failure to report on the topic, and why the latest act of incompetence from the City Clerk further underscores the fact that the position should be eliminated.
NOTE: Here's a copy of the state statue I'm talking about in the video clip (note the portion in BOLD):
Connecticut State Statue Sec 7-191(D): Charters, charter amendments and home rule ordinance amendments: Hearings; draft and final report; public notice; referendum; effective date; filing of copies with Secretary of the State; file maintained by State Library.
Not later than fifteen days after receiving the final report, the appointing authority, by a majority vote of its entire membership, shall either approve the proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments or reject the same or separate provisions thereof. Not later than forty-five days after a vote of the appointing authority to reject such matter, a petition for a referendum thereon, signed by not less than ten per cent of the electors of such municipality, as determined by the last-completed registry list thereof, and filed and certified in accordance with the provisions of section 7-188, may be presented to the appointing authority. Not later than thirty days after approval by the appointing authority or the certification of such a petition (1) the proposed charter shall be published in full at least once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality, or (2) the portion of the charter or home rule ordinance being amended shall be published at least once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality with a notice that a complete copy of the charter or home rule ordinance and amendment is available in the town clerk's office and that a copy shall be mailed to any person who requests a copy. The town clerk shall mail or otherwise provide such copy to any person who requests a copy.
In closing, the News-Times has a responsiblity to report on topics such as this. If everyone is so outraged over the school board's 3,000 dollar trip to Arizona, then people should be just as outraged over the city clerk's screw-up which cost taxpayer's of this city 5,000.
A judge has dismissed a case against four immigrants caught up in a controversial Fair Haven raid, saying the feds trampled on their rights.
Judge Michael W. Straus of U.S. Immigration Court in Hartford threw out the cases against four immigrants swept up in the June 2007 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid. He ruled that government agents were in “egregious violation” of the immigrants’ Fourth Amendment rights.
For four individuals, the judge’s decisions marks an end to a two-year legal battle that began when Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents swept into Fair Haven, arresting 30 immigrants on charges of allegedly being in the country illegally. The raids prompted rallies and accusations from New Haven’s mayor on down that the feds were terrorizing the immigrant community and retaliating against the city for its immigrant-friendly policies, a charged the feds denied.
Attorneys from Yale Law School have been representing 17 of those 30 immigrants. The attorneys have argued that ICE agents violated their clients’ rights by entering their homes without permission and questioning them illegally. ICE has denied the allegations.
But Judge Straus agreed.
“In considering all the evidence in the record, this Court finds that the Respondent’s Fourth Amendment rights were egregiously violated,” he wrote.
And for those who say that ICE aren't liars...
In one decision, Straus wrote, “Here, the raid was conducted in the early morning hours while some of the occupants, including a young girl, were sleeping. Agents forcibly entered, without warrant or consent, into a private home and then into a private bedroom. The agents failed to ask preliminary questions that might demonstrate probable cause or at least reasonable suspicion. “
ICE agents told a different story of what had happened. They claimed that they had asked consent to enter, and followed appropriate procedures.
However, the agents submitted their testimony by affidavit only. Government lawyers refused to call them to the stand or make them available for cross-examination.
The government’s decision may have worked against ICE in the end, since Judge Straus found a number of “evidentiary omissions” in the affidavits.
The holes in the affidavits were ultimately less damning than the refusal to put the agents on the stand. “The deficiencies in the Government’s threadbare submission are exacerbated by their categorical and unexplained refusal to offer or make available agents to testify in open court.” wrote Straus.
The respondents were thus unable to confront and cross-examine their accusers. “This due process requires,” Straus wrote. “Functionally, the upshot is that the Court can give but scant, if any, weight to these [affidavit] submissions.”
Straus wrote that the “scant evidence” presented by the government amounted to “unsubstantianted hearsay, and, at points, hearsay upon hearsay.”
“We’re all very happy with the ruling,” Anant Saraswat, a recent Yale Law graduate who has been working on the case, said Sunday.
Yale pursued a difficult strategy in seeking to suppress evidence on the grounds that it was collected in violation of Constitutional rights. This is the first time that Judge Straus has issued a favorable ruling on such an argument, Saraswat said. “It’s pretty rare.”
Hmm, lets see. Yale law students claim the ICE violated immigrants constitutional rights...AND WIN.
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.