It’s old news by now, but it’s still relevant and, personally, a bit on the disturbing side. A new group styling itself, “Alamedans for Fair Taxation” has decided that they may want to move forward with a lawsuit against the school district over Measure H. Here’s the odd thing though, it would appear, based on an old post by Eve Pearlman, that the legal “leg” that they are standing on is that:
We have a strong belief that we have a case against AUSD, in regards to Measure H in the context of not being “uniformly” as defined in California Government Code Section 50079 – B or “Out of Town Owner” representation. At this point we are looking for, and interviewing attorneys.
So if they are using the idea that because property owners that live outside of Alameda were unable to have a say in the election, the name “Alamedans for Fair Taxation” rings a little bit hollow. So either they have decided to abandoned that legal line of thinking or they simply like the irony of the name with the legal issue.
One question that has been asked and asked consistently is, who is behind this group? It’s a lot more shadowly than the folks behind Measure H (considering that the folks behind Measure H were never shadowy yet came immediately under a cloud of suspicion) ever were and I have yet to hear some of our more curious residents beating the drum to find out who it is that is funding this effort to not only take money away from our schools and children that a supermajority of voters in Alameda voted for as well as money that will come in the form of defending this lawsuit.
Of course, this is not a done deal yet as the lawsuit has not yet been filed, perhaps it would be a good time to appeal to the better nature of the folks who are seriously contemplating this move. Rob Siltanen has a good anaylsis on this issue, highlights:
…Those who are organizing/considering the legal challenge include businesses that benefit greatly from our tax dollars when they receive local government assistance. (As just one example, how much has Alameda given to PSBA, etc. in the form of grants and subsidies?).
…When a huge majority of the community says yes to something like Measure H, even those who disagree with it should accept it rather than pursue something that would be so very divisive and that would so clearly leave all of us worse off. Arguing against a parcel tax during a campaign is one thing. Trying to overturn/throw out an election result after the fact is another…
In the end, of course, no one except Alameda for Fair Taxation can decide whether to file suit. If they do, I think they’ll find that businesses that turn their backs on the clear will of the community by participating in an effort to overturn the popular results of an election will also have the community turn their backs on them.
While I won’t call for a straight out boycott of the businesses that are supporting Alamedans for Fair Taxation either in spirit or monetarily, I do want to know — on the flip side — who IS supporting our schools and kids by not supporting AFT. That way I can make the very decisive choice of spending my dollars at businesses that support issues that I feel are important. So, I have created this map to track businesses that are supporting our schools and children. If you know of any businesses that should be added to this list, you can email me or leave it in the comments section and I’ll update the map. It’s really important to remember that even though some Alameda businesses are funding this effort, last I heard they had raised $100K for legal fees, there are businesses out there that still do support our schools and they deserve our support and to not be lumped together. So far, I only have some Park Street businesses and would love to round it out with businesses Citywide.
The big question is, these “Alamedans for Fair Taxation” has a similiar opportunity to get organized before the last election too, to raise $100K to fight the parcel tax, wouldn’t that have been a better use of everyone’s elses time and money rather than sitting back on a wing and a prayer that the Measure wouldn’t meet the very difficult 2/3 threshold? According to rumors I have heard, the lawyer taking on this case (freshly graduated from law school in 2002 2004) has deemed this a “slam dunk” case. While the details are fuzzy and few about what legal argument AFT will be using, I can’t imagine that any case that would require overturning the political will of 2/3 of the voting public will be a “slam dunk” in any court of law.