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Vermont Scouts denied July 4th vendor permit and withdraw

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  • #76
    Does the vendor permit policy (there is one, in fact) require the City Council to consider the national policies of all the organizations that apply? (It does not.)


    But by the same token, is it prohibited? I wouldn't think it would be.

    The initial reaction by the council was to table the permit and discuss it in two weeks at the next meeting with BSA members, but instead the troop withdrew their application and dropped the whole thing. Discussing it in two weeks would have been fulfilling the "follow due process, post public discussions, and allow all sides to be heard" part.

    Comment


    • #77
      The application was for a scout unit to sell water. What's to discuss unless the due process of the permit procedure requires a background check of the organization to see if they comply with whatever rationale they wish to be promoting at the present time. Had a Baptist church made application would they be subject to the same interrogation?

      What were the public discussion supposed to be about, selling water at the parade or some other political agenda that had nothing to do with the permit application?

      It is obvious this wasn't about a vendor permit all along. The unit acted in an appropriate manner.

      Stosh

      Comment


      • #78
        Well... this mayoral candidate in Montpelier may have a point. It is a point about the contents of the Montpelier city ordinance on licensing of vendors, which is not what this thread is really about, but it is a point nevertheless.

        I went to the Montpelier web site and found this, which appears to be the "policy" (technically an ordinance, but generally speaking it is also a "policy") that she is talking about:

        http://www.montpelier-vt.org/upload/...ap09-art14.pdf

        I read it quickly (it is 5 pages long), but what I see there is a lists of requirements for vendors of various types, but nowhere in there do I see a non-discrimination requirement. Maybe other people want to read it and see if I missed anything. And maybe there is something elsewhere in Montpelier's ordinances. But I would think that if the city is going to enforce a non-discrimination requirement in handing out licenses to vendors, that requirement ought to be in the ordinance regarding the licensing of vendors.

        I also agree with her description of the BSA policy on gay adult leaders, as "bigoted," though in this forum I have tried to save that word for special occasions.

        Comment


        • #79
          That’s not what my ancestors fought and died for after July 4, 1776. What about yours?
          Mine? Until 1905-1914 or so, my ancestors were living in Eastern Europe... well, first in Germany, but they were chased into Eastern Europe (perhaps around 1776 or so, I am not really sure) because they were the "wrong" religion. And then of course they were chased around some more, and subjected to various other fun stuff (pogroms, etc.) for the same reason. ("Fiddler on the Roof", though fictional, is not really fiction. It is basically the history of my family and many others in the first decade of the 20th century, right down to the guy at the end saying that when he leaves the village that all the Jews are being kicked out of, he is going to "New York, America.")

          I hope that answers her question.

          Comment


          • #80
            The application was for a scout unit to sell water. What's to discuss unless the due process of the permit procedure requires a background check of the organization to see if they comply with whatever rationale they wish to be promoting at the present time.

            Quoted from one of the articles...
            Guerlain said he does not want any organization that discriminates to get the city’s endorsement
            ...
            Mayor John Hollar agreed with Guerlain’s objection to the policy, stating there was “no justification for it,” but said he would not want to see the council reject the Scouts’ request without allowing them an opportunity to make their case.


            Councilor Tom Golonka said he was concerned the council could be “going down a slippery slope,” if it barred approval to a group based on its sponsoring organization’s politics. He called it “a dangerous precedent” and voted not to table the Scouts’ request. The rest of the council voted to table the request until the June 25 City Council meeting
            .


            Had a Baptist church made application would they be subject to the same interrogation?

            Maybe having a meeting with the council and BSA members would have addressed that.

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by JoeBob View Post
              What is not true?
              The whole "this was a political conspiracy targeting conservatives" thing. That has been completely debunked (except in the world of paranoid conservative talk radio). You said:

              Really? Then it must be bad luck that only conservative groups filing for 501(C)(4) status were stalled and targeted for ridiculous levels of scrutiny.
              It wasn't only conservatives, all kinds of groups were targeted, and not just political groups (open source groups, pro Obamacare groups, etc.):

              http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/us...1&ref=politics

              As for the IG report, it only talked about "Tea Party" groups because that was what the republicans told the IG to do:

              http://thehill.com/policy/finance/30...a-party-groups

              So no, it wasn't "only conservative groups" getting targeted. And no, the White House didn't have anything to do with it.

              Yes, the IRS did mess up with these BOLO lists, but it wasn't a political thing. Though I do agree with you on the missing emails. I think there was some ass covering going on there.

              Comment


              • #82
                Per Hailsmith's Facebook page, after her letter to the editor (which RememberSchiff quotes), she received the following email from the city clerk, John Odum, writing (I presume) in his official capacity:

                From: John Odum <odum.john@gmail.com>
                Date: Sat, Jul 5, 2014 at 1:11 PM
                Subject: very disappointed
                To: Gwendolyn Hallsmith

                Very ugly, classless, and willfully ignorant letter to the paper today regarding the scouts. I'm very disappointed.
                -John

                Her response was as follows, and she makes sense:

                John Odum, for those of you who don't know him, is the City Clerk in Montpelier, an elected position. In this position, he is responsible for implementing the vendor permit policy I discussed in my letter to the editorof the Times Argus (which I also copied to Facebook and my Montpelier mailing list). The letter suggested that if the city wanted to deny vendor permits on the basis of the civil rights policies of the businesses and organizations applying, they should make that a clear review criteria in the vendor policy.

                I think it would be a good idea to conduct that type of qualitative review, which might include other city priorities as well. How much food do vendors buy locally? Do they pay their workers a livable wage? There are lots of things that could be considered, in addition to their track record on civil rights.

                Think about how a civil rights clause in the vendor policy might apply… does the Catholic Church ever apply for a vendor permit? They don't allow women to be priests. According to Maxine, a local woman who used to be a nun, they fire people from jobs with the church if they're openly gay. But if you turn their permit down, you open the debate about separation of church and state. So it’s not a simple question.

                Food vendors that come to town - do we ask them to show the city their affirmative action/equal opportunity policies as part of the application?

                Unless these criteria are actually part of the official public policy, which has been duly adopted through the process of public notice and comment, denying anyone a permit on that basis is, in a word, illegal. Subject to court action...just last year, the U.S. Park service had no choice but to grant a permit to the Klu Klux Klan to march in Gettysburg, for example. New York City lost a case to the Klan back in 1999; cities in Virginia lost parade permit cases to them in the 1980s.

                The Supreme Court has ruled that permit policies that vest government decision-makers with uncontrolled discretion is unconstitutional. They base their decisions on the equal protection clause of the constitution, and other constitutional guarantees like freedom of expression and assembly.

                Despite all that, our City Clerk seems to think that my discussion of the constitutional constraints on his office is "ugly, classless, and willfully ignorant." He is "disappointed" in me for writing it. When I read his note, I had to ask myself why he sent it – what did he think he was gaining by clicking that “send” button? Were other people blind copied on it?

                Given that it was arguably his responsibility to point out the problems with using a city vendor permit to make headlines about the Boy Scouts when Mr. Guerlain originally raised the issue, was it just easier for him to send off a nasty letter to the city's favorite scapegoat – yours truly - than was is to look in the mirror? We all deserve better from our public officials than this.

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Post
                  That has been completely debunked.
                  Eh, no.
                  The NYT can no longer be quoted with a straight face.
                  First I gave you USAToday; now CNN:

                  The IRS admitted there was unfair targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status starting in 2010
                  http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/24/politi...ing/index.html

                  Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Post
                  It wasn't only conservatives, all kinds of groups were targeted,
                  7 Liberal groups and 80 'Tea Party' groups. BTW, the liberal groups passed scrutiny and got their tax-exempt status in time for the election.


                  Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Post
                  Though I do agree with you on the missing emails. I think there was some ass covering going on there.
                  "The IRS has told the House Ways and Means Committee that six other employees who had communicated with Lerner also had hard-drive crashes. They include Nikole Flax, the chief of staff to the acting commissioner and Michelle Eldridge, an IRS spokeswoman, and four agents working on exempt organization cases."
                  http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/p...ails/10695507/

                  That makes it SEVEN convenient hard drive crashes.
                  No body believes that.

                  Right?

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by JoeBob View Post

                    Eh, no.
                    The NYT can no longer be quoted with a straight face.
                    First I gave you USAToday; now CNN:
                    CNN? Really? Probably the biggest example of "lazy journalism" in the country? All they do is parrot what others say with no analysis (Person A says the world is round, Person B says it's flat - I guess that means that the experts disagree on the shape of the Earth). You will never hear CNN say "this is what happened". Just "this is what that person says". At least FOX has a clear agenda they push, CNN has basically given up being journalists.

                    As for dismissing the NYT, it's still one of the best well balanced sources for news in the country. Much better than any of the sources on cable or tv.

                    Look, the IRS messed up in how it handled the BOLO lists, that isn't in dispute. Did the IRS target conservative groups for political reasons? No. Did they only target conservative groups? No. Even the articles you linked too agree with that.

                    I however think you are right about the emails. Lots of questions there: Why doesn't the IRS have a system for automatically archiving their emails (depending on each employee to print and file each email is their current system)? There were seven hard drive crashes, out of how many hard drives (if it's seven out of eight or something like that - that doesn't pass the smell test. If it's seven out of a eight hundred - that could)?

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      ""The Town Council can deny permits for whatever endeavor for whatever reason they like"". (SSScout)

                      ""No, they can't."" (Merlyn)

                      Powers back on, so here we are...

                      Yes, they can, and did. Doesn't make it legal, or right... (see above notes from Ms Hallsmith) .

                      And, as she implies, it should make it easier to " vote the rascals out ". See Scoutmaster Minutes thread>>>

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        ""The Town Council can deny permits for whatever endeavor for whatever reason they like"". (SSScout)

                        ""No, they can't."" (Merlyn)

                        Powers back on, so here we are...

                        Yes, they can, and did. Doesn't make it legal, or right...
                        Well, that's like saying "The Town Council can murder everyone in the room" because they can, even though it's illegal and not right. So I have no idea what your point was supposed to be.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Even if it was seven drives out of thousands it would still be improbable that those specific seven drives were the ones that failed. I still don't buy it. I have had drives crash before. I was in a low-security, non-politically-sensitive laboratory and we had mandated backups. I don't buy the whole lost email thing. I can't prove anything but the 'smell' is overpowering.

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Merlyn: That's exactly right. So long as they( the Council) can be democratically elected, they have shown themselves to be worthy of replacement. At least I would favor that , based on their displayed choices. The BSA Troop has shown them (at least a majority of them) to be more concerned with a perceived discrimination rather than the importance of their local children. As to the discrimination against otherwise worthy adult leaders, well , we're working on that....

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
                              Even if it was seven drives out of thousands it would still be improbable that those specific seven drives were the ones that failed. I still don't buy it. I have had drives crash before. I was in a low-security, non-politically-sensitive laboratory and we had mandated backups. I don't buy the whole lost email thing. I can't prove anything but the 'smell' is overpowering.
                              My point with the "seven drives out of a thousand" comment is how strategic were the failures? If they ask for the emails of eight people, and seven of them had a drive failure, then that doesn't pass the smell test. If they requested the email of eight hundred people, and seven of them had drive failures, then that isn't so improbable. It isn't clear (at least from what I have read) how many people they were requesting email from.

                              I agree there is a foul smell over the whole email thing. I'm not saying the IRS didn't screw up, I am saying that the whole conservative "the White House orchestrated an attack on Tea Party groups via the IRS" line has been debunked. Of course, reality has never stopped the conservatives pundits.

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Merlyn_LeRoy View Post

                                Well, that's like saying "The Town Council can murder everyone in the room" because they can, even though it's illegal and not right. So I have no idea what your point was supposed to be.
                                The point is: corruption can be found wherever one looks. To assume or even think it can't happen is folly. It happens all the time and no laws are going to rein in the lawless.

                                Stosh

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