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"Behind the Orange Curtain": OC Government Attempts to Silence Local Blogger

by: Andrew Davey (atdleft)

Fri Nov 24, 2006 at 12:24:25 PM PST

(Whoa, this is nuts! - promoted by SFBrianCL)

What is this nation coming to? What is this county coming to? Whatever happened to our First Amendment right to free speech? From today's Register:

... [O]ne county worker is finding out that political blogging - or blogging for Democrats in Orange County - can also generate blowback.

County officials are investigating blogger Chris Prevatt, who works in the county's health care agency and posts commentaries at the site Liberal OC, for visiting the site during work hours.

And what is their excuse for this "investigation"? More on the flip...

Andrew Davey (atdleft) :: "Behind the Orange Curtain": OC Government Attempts to Silence Local Blogger
So what is their excuse? Try this:

Two weeks before this month's election, Prevatt posted an article giving County Supervisor Chris Norby the nickname of "Darth Norby." He criticized Norby for his stance against government-funded ethnic outreach programs and even posted a photo of Norby morphed into the infamous dark lord of Star Wars fame.

Two days later, Prevatt says, health care agency supervisors came to his desk, confiscated his computer and began an investigation.

A Norby aide admits he mentioned the post to a senior county official but did not call for an investigation.

What the fuck is going on with my county government? First, they sit by idly as our "Godfather" Sheriff Carona silences Bill Hunt after he had the courage to not only blow the whistle on "The Little Sheriff", but continue running for Sheriff after Carona decided to keep his old job after all. And now, they are going after another county employee... And this time, he's not even a political appointee...
He's simply a county health care agency employee who was trying to keep our government honest.

Oh, and if they cared so much about county employees avoiding political blogging on county time, why don't they investigate former county employee Jon Fleischman's "work" on Flash Report?

County CEO Tom Mauk denies that the probe into Prevatt is politically motivated, adding that such investigations are triggered by complaints. There have not been any probes into Republican bloggers that Mauk can recall.

Yeah, right! There's no way that Jon Fleischman was able to "post while taking breaks"... If you look at all the long posts he was writing during his period in the Sheriff's Office, there's no way he could have done all those posts during his break time, which by the way, is still county time! Sorry, but I call bullshit here!

So why is the County really going after Chris Prevatt? Perhaps because he posted this scathing critique of Neal Kelley's (in)ability to conduct a proper election? Perhaps because he blew the whistle on all the federal HIV/AIDS funds that were being misused by the County Health Care Agency? Or is it just becuase he's a Democratic blogger, as opposed to the dominant Republican culture (of corruption!!) in the county government? Well, whatever it is, I refuse to stand by and allow my county government to do such a disgusting act of political payback!

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Disclosure... I Know Chris Prevatt (0.00 / 0)
Chris Prevatt is a good friend of mine, and I consider him to be one of the wisest folks in Orange County. He is an amazing truthteller who is never afraid of being honest about what he sees as unethical, or what is illegal, or what is just plain wrong. I wish I had Chris' ability to just "tell it like it is". I wish we had more dedicated watchdogs, such as Chris, to keep our government accountable.

Go show Chris your support. Go to The Liberal OC and write him a comment. Write to the OC Register reporter who broke this story. Let your voice be heard... You'll make Chris proud. ; )

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )

a similar thing happend here in yolo county (8.00 / 1)
with a great local political satire blog called yoloblogger (now erased), whose writer was outed by a UCD young republican trying to get him fired for blogging on the job. i blogged it here and here back in october.

it's nasty business, best to be aware that stuff like this will be used to shut lefty blogs down if they can manage to do so.

I just follwed your linky... (0.00 / 0)
And OMG, that "sophomore econ (or is it bio? Hmmm...) student is SUCH AN ASSHOLE!

It sounds kinda like what's going on here with Liberal OC blogger Chris Prevatt...

That one "questionable post" was written hours earlier, when Chris was at the OC Democratic Party office. However, he couldn't post it then because Blogger was down...
He intended to post it later, but another Liberal OC blogger had already posted Chris' story at 12:14... Hence, the 12:14 timestamp.

But anyways, we all know that the stupid timestamp isn't the reason they're going after Chris... They're going after Chris because he's been telling some "inconvenient truths" about all the shit that our county govt. has been doing. Crap, when did Bush tell Vladimir Putin that it was OK for Russia to annex Orange County? Somehow, I don't feel like I'm in America anymore! : (

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )

[ Parent ]
The problem is that you have to be squeaky clean (4.00 / 1)
They will use any little excuse to mess with you.  Now, blogging from work may come into question.  A 12:14 timestamp seems reasonable anyway given that it's a typical lunch time anyway.  But I doubt that will stop anybody, right?

These people will stop at nothing...

I think?

[ Parent ]
What About Jon Fleischman? (0.00 / 0)
The publisher of the very successful conservative blog, The Flash Report was, until recently, a full time employee of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.  Think he ever did any work on his blog while at the office? 

From March of 2001 through August of 2006, Jon worked as Deputy Director for Public Affairs for the Orange County Sheriff's Department. He was appointed to this post by Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona. 

Good point (0.00 / 0)
The question of Jon's work was a hot topic.  He actually said that Corona was supportive of his blogging, though I think he did say that he didn't use work time or something like that.  Viewpoint discrimination much?

I think?

[ Parent ]
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