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Latest City Hall indictment going too far?

Jon Keller notes there's nothing in the indictment against Timothy Sullivan that alleges he personally benefited from the actions he's alleged to have taken.

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Nick Gillespie & Todd Krainin
When Everything Is a Crime: Harvey Silverglate on the Overregulation of Ordinary Life
"That's what causes change: the people in power begin to get hurt by their own system."
https://reason.com/archives/2016/06/15/harvey-silverglate-overregulation/

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This is like the police investigating other officers in Internal Affairs. They only go after certain officers!

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But there is no mention in the indictment of Sullivan or his co-defendant receiving anything for themselves. They are accused only of pursuing wages and benefits for others, i.e. union workers.

If Marty Walsh placed Mr. Sullivan in a city job, large wage, health, dental, guaranteed pension, while forcing film crews to "hire union," he is guilty as sin. Time for Police Commissioner Mousey Evans to step up. I placed the handcuffs on men with less probable cause and some of mine are doing life. Who is buffoon "Jon Keller" to be quoted? Haha! As Keller's, WBZ channel 4 continues to plummet in the ratings, he also appears on the once respectable Channel 2, appearing as a sarcastic "moderate" each Friday on a program called "Beat the Press." Hard to watch (all liberals) but Keller claims to have gotten his start on Boston radio. We only had AM radio in the patrol cars in those days but I thought Keller was a flunky print journalist at the joke TAB newspaper brought onto WBZ to help David Brudnoy when David acquired the AIDS virus. At least Brudnoy had integrity. He died too soon, I was sorry to see him go. Also, could anyone in the media let me know how many subscriptions the Globe lost on the fake Trump front page? I socialize with some of the drivers who say it has been terrible. The female answering the fake Dorchester number in Manilla, Phillipines, told me there were "many, many" cancelations. I would love the truth. Is anybody listening, Adam? There's no reply at all. (Genesis/Phil Collins)

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Though there are some opinions I don't share with you, I fully agree with your disgust of "media personalities" the likes of Mr. Keller, who are put forth as though they were a font of sagely advice and opinion on politics, law, or any other topic.

The implication corporate media would like us to perceive is that these people "know what they are talking about", when in fact, their mission is really about disinformation.

Keller, Hiller, Rooney, Clintons, Egan, Leung... oh, the list is endless! — there's something Fishy about all of them!

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You forgot Barnicle and Braude from that list. No matter how many times they are fired or disgrace themselves they continue to hold jobs in the local media establishment. Tells you how crooked and incestuous the political-media establishment is. They have to keep their PR operatives writing bylines no matter what.

The same people as self anointed journalist authorities sneer at bloggers for daring to cover stories and ask questions they wouldn't dare. Criticizing doing actual journalism they themselves won't do!

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Thanks Elmer and Happy 4th! I wasn't a fan of Mayor Menino but he brilliantly hired every unemployed Boston reporter to be a paid "spokesperson" from the Boston Police to Weights and Measures. Better insulation that Owens-Corning!

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Or was it Muldoon?

Jokes aside, no one is listening to you.

Have a great weekend, Fish.

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As Keller's, WBZ channel 4 continues to plummet in the ratings, he also appears on the once respectable Channel 2, appearing as a sarcastic "moderate" each Friday on a program called "Beat the Press." Hard to watch (all liberals)

Not to digress from the main story- but there are weeks where "Beat the Press" is a ridiculously tough watch- particularly when the other panelists are afraid to say anything that Callie Crossley might find as a microaggression- I wonder how awful the show will be when Emily Rooney fully steps away from WGBH

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I enjoy watching "Beat the Press", and Crossley is a knowledgeable journalist. But she insists on turning everything, and I mean EVERYTHING into a racial issue. Somebody could say "I didn't like the salad dressing at that restaurant" and she will absolutely find a way to make it a racial issue. Sometimes I wonder if she simply does it on purpose. It's really to bad because it detracts from her otherwise fine journalism.

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And I'm off topic?

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Just read almost all postings by "thezak."

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Extortion or something involving "bad faith execution of official duties" seems a better accusation to me than one that hinges upon the person personally benefiting from the act.

In this scenario it seems pretty clear the corruption was extortion to benefit a 3rd party (union buddies) rather than themselves personally. Still corruption and still a horrible abuse of official authority.

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Because how dare they? You know we are all buddies trying to keep hard working job creators from keeping wages manageably low. I mean, how can any company make a profit if they are forced to pay for retirement and health care. It is much more fair to pay "competitive" benefits. Lazy people that work only one job and can't save enough to retire can collect food stamps and section 8. Forcing the company that paid them wages for 30 years to support them is unreasonable. Then all tax payers can share the burden instead of poor businesses.

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Im all for unions organizing, but this sort of thing is extortion plain and simple. The worst claims of Marty's opponents are coming true.

He's got to hang for this. Otherwise he's going to drive the city right into the guttah.

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I am a huge bleeding heart liberal who supports unions. But even I can see the huge illegal line where city officials "mysteriously" fail to issue a permit to a group that did all the proper things. Then, once the extortion demand was met the permits magically got cut.

How can you not see this is a problem? Given your word salad response that was 99% off topic (poor people! bad corporations! food stamps! OMG !!!) to the question at hand I'm thinking that even you can't really defend the actions here.

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Like "if you don't testify that your boss said/did such-and-such, you're going to federal bang-me-in-the-ass prison!"
Now that's "textbook extortion".

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So you have evidence that the non-union company they wanted to hire does not provide any of those benefits?

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because unions

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You keep posting pro-union stuff on news stories which specifically lay out why this particular piece of union promotion was illegal. Do you honestly not understand the issue?

No-one is being prosecuted for supporting unions in a legal method here. You are acting like the AG is suing the City for paying a public service union or something.

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I think that unions are being persecuted (not prosecuted). When you call me names and insult my intelligence because of my opinion, you provide evidence of this view.

If Boston Calling was pressured to hire more minorities or women, then would anyone be indicted? Why is it ok to shut unions out? This is a prevailing wage state, so they wouldn't be getting higher wages.

This case is not legally sound. I believe if they win it it will be overturned on appeal. To prove that the union hires received a benefit from this they will have to prove that they either did not do any work or that they actually did work that was unnecessary. It will not be extortion if all they prove is that they didn't want to hire those particular people.

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If a member of the Mayor's staff had withheld permits for the Boston Calling festival until more women or minorities were hired, absent any law that required said staffing, would there have been indictments?

I think this is a witch hunt on the part of Ortiz, but the permit issue is the crux. Just asking for more women, minorities, city residents, or union members is not a problem. It's how the pressure is applied that will be the subject of the court proceedings.

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The recent Supreme Court case merely stated there must be both a quid and a quo. Here the quid was "You want this license we are already legally required to issue (because you have shown you meet all necessary requirements)?" The quo was "you hire a bunch of workers from x." Whether the workers hired under compulsion worked or not is beside the point legally.

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My God, you're still defending this. Look, most of us are NOT union workers and your continued old, sorry talking points (because that's all they are) are nothing but noise. Most of us don't by the b.s. any more (thankfully).

Many of us work for private companies that do very well by us and the community around us.

By painting all non union shops with such a broad brush many of us just tune you out. I have worked for 40 years so far in non union companies and don't recognize anything you mention.

I don't even know what the hell you're going on about elderly people on foodstamps.

What is your experience in the private sector?

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But it seems that the real b.s. is that unions are the problem. Unions are not perfect but this country has very far away from respecting workers rights. Anyone can see that when the private sector reduces job benefits and retirement benefits a growing number of people don't have enough to support themselves when they are too old or sick to work. The safety net that people fall into are government funded social supports.

So did some editing to improve my "noise", not that you are open to listening. also I think you meant "buy the b.s." Like the way you buy the b.s. that you would get Saturday, Sunday and the 4th of July off without unions just because your boss thinks you are so awesome!

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Really? What are the highest paying sectors in the Boston economy? Biotech and technology companies where there are basically zero union workers. And yet these people are somehow (IDK, magic?) getting paid enough money to actually gentrify many parts of the city and Cambridge especially.

Or are you making the argument about lower skill / lower wage workers? If so, that's very specific argument vs. your basic 'private sector is evil' panacea.

Which union are you in BTW? I think that's a relevant piece of info to understand your perspective.

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Because it doesn't make much difference the way your mind is made up. Since I have not used my anomynous status to make personal attacks or threaten anyone, I think I am entitled to keep it.

I realize that would not be impossible to out me if you worked at it, but I find it is good basic troll test.

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I'm was just curious about the union and I can't imagine that if you were say that your a member of, for example, the SEIU or the BTU how I would possibly then dox you (if I wanted to, which I don't). Your anonymity is yours to keep. Context can be helpful to understand people is all. For example, I'm not in a union nor is my wife nor are any of our extended family. We're all pretty comfortably middle-class white collar workers so lack your laser like focus on unions as a necessary bulwark against the private sector.

You appear to be very willing to write people off as having their minds made up while also making lots of huge blanket statements and tolerating no dissent. Maybe Venezuela is the union driven paradise you'd prefer to live in?

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Read the Panama Papers to see the difference. When corrupt officials siphone government funds into private offshore accounts and oil companies reduce their tax exposure by creating fake debt to off shore companies the public suffers. Can you fix the problem by privatizing oil? Apparently not. Especially if you keep embezzling money into off shore accounts.

Corruption screwed Venezuela not unions. Were some of those thieves union members?I'm sure. Because union members are people and some people steal.

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Because they are high paying. If biotech started slashing wages and benefits, the workers might think about organizing. If the bosses treat their employees well (good wages and benefits) there would be no need for unionization. That's been the history of unions and unionization.

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may do that.

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I was trying to think of a scenario in which the tech sector organized.

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then train their foreign H-1b visa carrying replacements. If that doesn't get some unionization going I don't know what will.

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subsidies which come in multiple form. The groundhog day discussion every local government has at tax rate setting time is "how do we attract more business". I know lets lower rates or develop credits as lures.

Who did you work for? I want to know if my tax dollars subsidized your employer.

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Jon Keller is clearly not a lawyer nor spoke to one before writing this. A person does not have to personally benefit from extortion under the Hobbs Act to be guilty of committing it. A third party can be the beneficiary of the alleged ill-gotten gains obtained by the person. That's what is alleged here. There is a Supreme Court case on this exact topic that decided the matter - U.S. v. Green, 1956 (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/350/415/).

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He might tell you that there is a new precedent.

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The McDonnell case applies to what constitutes "official action" by a government official. It does not apply to who benefited from alleged extortion, which is what Keller's point is based on.

That having been said, you are correct that the new definition outlined by SCOTUS of "official action" will be highly relevant to these indictments. It might ultimately be what saves Brissette and Sullivan. As always, the specific facts will be determinative.

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Your link shows this

Obstruction of interstate commerce or an attempt to do so through the wrongful use by a labor union or its agents of actual or threatened force, violence or fear, in an attempt to compel an employer to pay "wages" to members of the union for imposed, unwanted, superfluous, and fictitious "services," is a violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951.

In that case, it is alleged that union members were doing unneeded work or not working.

In the the Boston calling case they are alleging that they were forced to hire workers that were not their own choice. They are not alleging that the union people did not work or did work that was unneeded.

I still haven't seen any information that said these union workers were traded for people at the same pay same skill level. That why I keep bringing up the info about the volunteers.

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The indictment specifically alleges that Boston Calling was forced to hire "additional" workers from the union. Boston Calling already had a contract in place with a non-union company for workers at the festival. That is a specific allegation of extortion to hire workers who were not otherwise needed. Read the indictment if you haven't, it's clear as day that is being alleged.

But regardless, the case I cited above is particularly relevant to the issue of who benefits from the alleged extortion. It does not have to be the person who committed it, it can be a third party. That's why I brought it up, because Keller does not understand what the law on this issue actually states.

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But I would bet the defense attorneys would note that the first thought was to just can the original company and go with Local 11, with Local 11 supplying exactly the number of employees needed. If the organizers got the contractors to supply 9 less workers, the same staffing level would have resulted. I would be hard pressed to see how the prosecution could prove that the goal was excess staffing of the event.

To be fair, I haven't read the indictment, only the press release for the U.S. Attorney's Office, but I don't see how the indictment would say anything different.

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It is clear that the person that benefits can be a third party. They are not alleging that the union members didn't work ( or did unneeded work that failed to benefit Boston Calling), only that they planned to get the work done without them. That's why it isn't extortion.

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A federal grand jury indictment is easier to get than a Tom Brady acquittal from Patriots fans. There are rules but no judge. The jury is run by the US attorney. Here is the law. You heard what John Doe testified to. Subject A broke the law. If you're called to testify you may be the target or maybe not. You have no one there to protect your Constitutional rights though you are told that you can plead the 5th. That grand jury subpoena will cost you a minimum of $5 grand in legal fees for an attorney that can't represent you in the room. For the person testifying you must ask am I John Doe or the subject? If your testimony doesn't help the government you will be forgotten or perhaps left with a veiled threat from the justice department that you may be recontacted to clarify prior testimony. They will remind you that people go to jail for perjury. You can tell the truth but it doesn't matter if your version of events clears subject A. The prosecution can proceed with an indictment even without the free ham sandwich from the sitting grand jury. The grand jury proceedings are secret unless the government finds it useful to leak information to the Boston Globe in an outside the grand jury effort to send a threatening message to interested parties.

Government can be used as a weapon.

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If he said, "We'd like you to hire union, but if you dont, that's ok ean here's your permit" then he's doing his job.

If he said or implied "We'd like you to hire union. If you do, your permit is approved. If you don't, well then, your permit may be tied up and you never know..." then that's absolutely not fine whatsoever.

And if the wording was more vague, but the permit was tied up till they hired union, and miraculously granted immediately after, then I'm a cynic and I 'm glad he was indicted.

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