Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Organizational chaos

I like organizations.

Throughout my life, I've been involved in a number of organizations.

There was the Fairlington Fun Group (FFG), who entertained other kids in the neighborhood.

There was the Independent Republic of New Concord, which was unsuccessful in its attempt to liberate Theodore Roosevelt Island from American rule.

There was the Campus Planning Commission (of Reed College), which was unsuccessful in building a subway system at the small college.

And there was the Ontario Vineyard Village Association (OVVA), which was unsuccessful at a lot of things.

As locals may realize, the latter non-existent entity was a parody of the Ontario Mountain Village Assocation (OMVA), which was extremely successful for years in preserving a dangerous eyesore near some residential areas. Oh, and it got fifty thousand bucks - not quite the $487,000 it wanted.

Of course, while the Ontario Mountain Village Association (which used to have a website - I quoted from it - but the website is long gone) was doing its thing, there were a number of other organizations that were fighting the good fight against evil non-union corporations.

There were the various "smart growth" associations in Blythe, Menifee, and Murrieta. After some delays, two members of Murrietans for Smart Growth were produced - the president of the organization, from San Diego, and one of the founders of the organization, from Murrieta - and the founder had never heard of the president.

What links the Ontario Mountain Village Association, the Blythe Citizens for Smart Growth, the Menifee Citizens for Smart Growth, and the Murrietans for Smart Growth - other than their concern with large non-union stores with no parallel concern of union stores?

All of them are associated with the same lawyer, Cory Briggs.

But Briggs is branching out. His new organization - whoops, I mean a new organization which he just happens to represent - is the Inland Oversight Committee. Liset Marquez of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that the committee seeks an injunction to prohibit the city of Ontario from promoting Christianity via City Council meeting invocations.

And if you want the Inland Oversight Committee members identified to see if they're really the Murrietans for Smart Growth, don't hold your breath.

Members of the Inland Oversight Committee have asked to remain anonymous, Briggs said.

"They are very concerned about retaliation and incrimination because they are taking on institution of government," he said.

This differs from Patrick Greene, another past opponent of the establishment of Christianity in Ontario. When Greene takes action, his name is prominently displayed.

However, the Inland Oversight Committee is not only concerned with the First Amendment.

Earlier this month, with Briggs acting as its lawyer, IOC filed a lawsuit asking for a refund for taxpayers of the $102 million settlement made by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in 2006 with Rancho Cucamonga-based developers Colonies Partners LP.

The Daily Bulletin has posted the IOC's lawsuit against Ontario (see the link at the top of the article). The lawsuit seeks injunctions preventing the city from (in its words) violating the U.S. and California Constitutions. It also seeks attorneys' fees and "[c]osts as authorized by law."

Oddly enough - probably due to some legal tradition - the items sought by the plaintiffs are in a section of the document entitled "Prayer," which includes the words "Plaintiff respectfully prays for the following relief." I'm sure that the IOC meeting got really heated when Briggs explained to the IOC members that such language was necessary.

Incidentally, the prayer includes items A, B, C, E, and F. Don't know what happened to item D - I guess point D asked to remain anonymous.

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