Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Mayor Demands Recount of 2020 Election, Citing Outer Space Interference

Trigger warning: Satire ahead.

Santa Clara's Mayor is demanding the County Registrar of Voters bring in Cyber Ninjas to investigate the 2020 election.

The Mayor says that she recently received evidence from the City's pre-eminent fossil fuel advocate, a middle school blogger and a pizza oven, showing that reptile space aliens teleported thousands of ballots to their home planet Remulac and replaced them with new ballots made from Levi's Stadium turf.


The Mayor's candidate, the fossil fuel advocate, lost the election to a candidate who is alleged to have received the most votes. 


"This is what happens when you, quote, 'count votes,'" the Mayor said in an interview with Alex Jones at InfoWars. "I don't care when it happened. There had to be something going on. [The winning candidate] wasn't even in Santa Clara in 1975 and then he wins an election?


"That's not the Santa Clara Way," she continued. "It's clear his family are reptile space aliens. I'm pretty sure when we look at those ballots we'll see the turf fibers in them and I'm confident that by Halloween the fossil fuel industry will have a strong representative on Council leading our greenhouse gas expansion program."


"We're not opposed to reptile aliens," the City Attorney said. "Our City has many communities of outer space origin. But even space aliens have to play by the rules, and those rules say you can't just win elections by getting the most votes. We will be bringing forward an ordinance to keep that from happening again."


When asked for comment, the victorious Council Member replied, "My family comes from Korea, not outer space. I suggest that the Mayor stop eating the mushrooms she finds around town on her pizza."


The City Manager cautioned that Cyber Ninjas might not be available for the recount until 2025. "However," the Manager said, "I'm sure we can find equally qualified vendors on 4Chan."


The Diversion and Confusion Commission plans a listening tour of the City's space alien neighborhoods — sometimes called "apartment complexes" — and will report back to the Council on its findings in July 2027.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Santa Clara's $5.8 Million CVRA Lawsuit and the Delusions Behind It

 With Santa Clara's voting rights lawsuit finally settled, I looked back at more than 10 years of reporting on this issue from the first warning letter the city got from civil rights attorney Robert Rubin in 2011.   

In that jaunt down memory lane, I looked at some notes from the trial in 2018 that never found their way completely into any of my reporting — for space reasons, largely, but also because it might give critics pretext for dismissing our reporting as character assassination.

It's an exchange between Doyle and Judge Kuhnle about whether or not the California Voting Rights Act applies to charter cities. (An appeals court in the Palmdale case ruled that the answer is 'yes, it does.' ) 

In retrospect, it seems like the character — Santa Clara City Attorney Brian Doyle — did all the assassinating himself. 

I regret not publishing the transcript, because this few minutes of conversation captures the delusional thinking that led the City to the worst of all possible decisions every step of the way in the ten year slog to paying out $5.8 million.

Doyle seemed to try to re-litigate the case at the end of an award hearing, which is peculiar — I'm no lawyer but I know better than to argue with a judge about a ruling in a hearing about an entirely different matter.

Here's the annotated transcript:

Doyle: I'd like to remind the court of the city's situation. This case began with the 2011 letter [from Rubin]. I've tried to explain my dilemma. Santa Clara is a charter city. I have to act in accordance with the charter. [for the city council to change the city's election system] they had to adopt a resolution that some members of the city council had been elected with racially polarized voting…asking me to move outside the charter was impossible. 


Therefore, we instituted the charter review committee. [the plaintiffs] instead of joining us in an effort to satisfy [plaintiff's] concerns, they opposed this charter amendment [the failed Measure A for multi-member dustructs]. At what point was the City of Santa Clara to violate its charter to satisfy his [Rubin's] demands…At every single stage I have tried to respect the charter. I think the state made a mistake [in Palmdale].


Kuhnle: Wasn't that issue resolved 100 percent long ago…You don't think it's correct? Are you saying this court should ignore binding authority [appellate court decisions]? I'm assuming you did not advise [your client to do so]. You did regard it as your job [to advise your client of the law]? 


Doyle:  We don't agree with your position


Kuhnle: It's not my position…It's my job to uphold the laws of California including appellate court decisions.


Doyle: I don't necessarily agree


Kuhnle: When a state court of appeal rules, that's binding on all courts…I'm not arguing with you. I'm stating the facts. Your position is that Palmdale is not binding…You, too, have to uphold the laws of California. You feel that you're not bound by appellate court decisions. I find that an unusual view. 


[City's outside counsel] Steve Churchwell: He's not [dismissing] Palmdale… he's saying that he can't tell the city council to do this by resolution. We [charter cities] can't do anything in 30 days, we need at least six months…[back on the subject of the award] There's no damages. What they're calling a settlement is selling the city down the river. Was there any real attempt to settle? No.

Kuhnle: Reasonableness of settlements are not among the Serrano factors [for deciding awards]…I do recall there being a discussion about whether the parties [here] might find a settlement...The back and forth is very interesting but I'm not sure it bears on what's before us today. What I had to do was apply Palmdale.

Doyle: I was trying to explain my position.


Kuhnle: I don't want to get lost in matters not before the court.


Rubin: The  2011 letter was [written] without any expectation of attorney's fees. [A remedy] did not happen in 2012. It did not happen in 2015 or 2016. There was plenty of time. They [the city] controlled the trajectory of litigation at every stage. 


Kuhnle: Attorney fees raises the issue that litigation is very costly. Mr. Doyle disagrees on how the city responds to it …the CVRA applies to charter cities according to the appellate court. 


This wasn't the case that was argued at trial, however.  Churchwell focused on whether or not 85 percent confidence level in statistics was enough to prove Santa Clara's election system discriminated against minorities. The appeal was even more picayune — the definition of "usually."  (Neither of these specious argument successfully distracted from the plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face fact that no minority was ever elected to the City Council.)

It seems that these were small-bore questions compared to the one Doyle really and truly wanted to argue, which appeared to be the inviolable right of charter cities to contravene state law. The City's first briefs also included arguments about the CVRA violating the 14th amendment — a question the federal Supreme Court has twice refused to consider.

It calls to mind Walter Mitty arguing a landmark court case just before he gets run over in the middle of the street by a bus.

Doyle's salary is about $350,000 and Churchwell banked nearly $1.5 million. That's some costly delusional thinking.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Space Laser Shocker — NFL Team, Not European Banking Family, Behind Wildfires

 Trigger warning: Satire ahead. 

Editor's note: It recently came to Observeris' attention that the local Self-Appointed Pundit (SAP) is planning a massive exposé of the San Francisco 49ers. This presumably is intended to deflect public attention from  SAP's upcoming engagement with the criminal justice system. 
When SAP's bombshell was leaked to Observeris, we realized that we had, in fact, already scooped SAP on Feb. 2.

Yesterday Santa Clara's mayor revealed that the 49ers are behind the space lasers that caused the 2018 Camp fire in Northern California, citing research by the Santa Clara City Clerk showing that in all years when there are wildfires, within six months there are 49er games.


The Clerk reported that he had gathered data from "many sources" including QAnon message boards, the Drudge Report and Infowars.


The clerk says that he has also found evidence of Martian lizard people living under 4949 DeBartolo Way in the most recent QAnon code drop, 1234567890qwerty. JFK Junior and Elvis are also likely living there, he said.


"It's a smoking gun — you could see the lasers going up from Levi's Stadium," he said. "But they didn't report these expenditures on their Form 460s. We are taking this abuse of our dark money prohibition to the Fair Political Practices Commission."


"I'd really like to thank our city clerk for bringing this to my attention," said the Santa Clara mayor. "Without his hard work, we would never have known about this. It's just another example of how the 49ers are keeping us in the dark."


"These space lizards are overcrowding our schools," said the council member from District 3.14. "They are shining those laser lights into people's windows and keeping our children from getting a good night's sleep."


The mayor brushed aside questions about why the City Clerk was reading QAnon message boards on city time.


"Our officials are very dedicated to staying informed," she said. "Some of our council members even read newspaperish thingeys like the New York Times, which has nothing to do with Santa Clara."


The Santa Clara city attorney also weighed in. "There is clear precedent for legal action here," he said, citing the 1955 class action lawsuit Doe v Martians. 


"The 9th amendment gives us the absolute right to prohibit the 49ers' use of space lasers," he said. "But the 49er lizards on the city council are blocking legal action on the orders of their Martian overlords."

The city manager proposed hiring a consultant to investigate the stadium lasers and the space lizards, saying that the city is hoping to hire Rudy Guiliani. "He has a lot of experience investigating lizard people and is currently available," the manager said. 


This was quashed by the Council's Reality Party majority. The city attorney objected, saying that refusing to talk about space lizards nesting under the 50 yard-line at Levi's Stadium was abridging his First Amendment rights"