Email the FOGWatch Tipline

If you know about a public agency or government contractor that has not been complying with Florida’s public records laws let us know. Your email will be kept confidential. Just give us the tip and we’ll take it from there.

Open government is no accident. Your tips matter. If you need help gaining access to records let us know that as well. We’re not a law firm so we can’t offer legal advice, but we may be able to point you in the right direction.

47 Responses to Email the FOGWatch Tipline

  1. Lee Johnson says:

    Mr. Chandler, I applaud your efforts to root out corruption in Florida government where ever it hides. I would like to speak with you personally about information we have gathered over the past several years concerning government corruption in Lake County, Fla. and involves officials at the State and Federal level. It involves the theft of tens of millions from our low income housing program and quite possibly as much as hundreds of millions when our government construction projects are taken into account. We have 8+ file boxes of evidence/ documentation. We believe this will be the largest corruption story ever told in Florida. I can be reached at 352-455-4228. Thank you.
    Lee Johnson
    Tavares, Fl. .

  2. FritzMuffknuckle says:

    This isn’t a tip of a violation, but you might be interested in the article below if you haven’t already heard about this story involving watchdog Robert Bradshaw.

    Is Tallahassee Police Department Violating City Watchdog’s Free Speech?
    http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/is-tallahassee-police-department-violating-city-watchdogs-free-speech

  3. terri wolfe says:

    Pasco County School Board , Zephyrhills City Council ,”Officer Rob P” are the good ole boys Steve Van Gorden was set up, incomplete file was given van gorden,+ twisted altered file given to press by school board, people interviewed by board said their words were changed , twisted and lies added before releasing to press, when he told press the charges were true he thought it was about a text to his girlfriend after he was told she was having affair with Officer Rob { the one charged with scaming hrs from ZPD in 2009}he had no clue of false charges as they are missing from his copy of his file pasco co school board had copied for him.he is innocent of press accusations, major corruption here, need help

  4. Diana Iwaskewych says:

    North Port Police Dept not only I believe, violated my daughter’s civil liberties but smashed her eyebrow into the corner of the police car causing great pain and suffering and leaving a beautiful woman with an approx 1 1/2 ” scare forever, very close to gouging out her eye!Then they proceeded in the paperwork to document a huge coverup. I have all the reports. They sent the paramedics away (against their own advise) and wouldnt let them take her to the hospital and then stood around and laughed and chatted while my daughter was in need of medical care. Been trying to find a lawyer to bring a lawsuit against these demons. Also jailers in Sarasota county brutilly beat her up…have pictures of all injuries….can you help?

  5. Steven Lee says:

    COMMUNITY ALERT about NORTH PORT POLICE:
    June of 2012 my friend was driving home when weaved a little on the Road from taking a bite of his Taco. An Office turned on his lights to pull him over. He was about 50 Feet or so from his home so he pulled in his Drive way. The Officer JAMES FORTUNO of the North Port Police approached him and told my friend to come down to the end of his Driveway, soon other North Port Police officers arrived.
    Officer JAMES FORTUNO had my friend do a field Sobriety /Alcohol test; you know walk a straight line, fingers on your noise etc…Officer JAMES FORTUNO requested my friend to do a specific test. My friend asked the officer if he could do that same test. He wanted to see if the office could do what was being requested of him; this got JAMES FORTUNO very upset and pissed off.
    My friend PASSED the entire test including the Breath Analyzer test. This got Officer JAMES FORTUNO more pissed off. Officer JAMES FORTUNO and the other Officers that responded to the call (those names to be released soon) grabbed my friend and spun him around in a dance while yelling STOP RESISTING, STOP RESISTING.
    My friend never resisted, he has no previous record or charges he’s an upscale person in the community that has dedicated his time and knowledge to help people with health issues.
    JAMES FORTUNO and his gang of NAZI COP FRIENDS then ATTACKED my friend, they beat him, kicked him, pushed his head in the pavement, (etc.) JAMES FORTUNO and his gang of NAZI COP FRIENDS need to pay the price for this cruel beating.
    This notice is to EXPOSE JAMES FORTUNO and his gang of NAZI COP FRIENDS and all other NORTH PORT POLICE that take part in such BEATINGS, HARRASSEMENT or MISTREATING of the People. This is Police BRUTALITY, DOMISTIC ABUSE and JAMES FORTUNO and his gang of NAZI COP FRIENDS should be indicted on CRIMINAL CHARGES and FIRED with NO PAY. These are not Police Officers hired to PROTECT and SERVE the People of North Port; they have ABUSED the position of being an officer, they need to be prosecuted like anyone else. We the PEOPLE have the power to do this.
    This PUBLIC ALERT is for EVERYONE in NORTH PORT, be aware of the North Port Police tactics and ALL POLICE regarding dangerous games they play with the citizens. You need to be on alert of what your police are doing in your community. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW INCLUDING THE POLICE
    If you get pulled over by any NORTH PORT POLICE or any POLICE consider the following:

    1.Be CORRUPATIVE and POLITE. You have a right to ask questions, if they dodge your question or get upset call for a supervisor or another police officer or call a friend or family member to come to meet you. You have a right to know why you got pulled over.

    2. Have VIDEO camera or Voice Recorder to record what’s taking place. You have a right to do so per 18 U.S.C. 2511(2)(d) Start keeping a recorder or video camera in your vehicle.

    4. Pull in to a BUSY public area with LIGHTS where others are around. Make it clear to the officer you did this for your safety, or call the police & have them inform the officer you’re driving to a safe place. Program the city Police number in your phone.

    5. If they want to SEARCH your vehicle ask them why. You have the right to know why and you have a right to refuse by saying NO. Ask if you’re being retained or arrested if neither then you have the right to go.

    6. If they ask you to step out of the car, ask why, otherwise STAY IN YOUR CAR. If you have to get out have your recorder or video camera with you or make sure you have someone to video recording or be a witness. Also if the red/blue lights are on most likely the dash board camera is on, ask if the camera is recording, if so stand in front of the police car to be recorded.

    7. If the officer harasses you, threatens you or grabs you to start this tactical type training dance and they start yelling STOP RESISTING you need to SCREAM for help, plea to others around to HELP YOU, We are our Borhers Keeper, call the SHERIFF they have AUTHORITY, or DEFEND yourself because the Police have no rights or reason to beat you when you’re COPERATING with them. You have a RIGHT to DEFEND yourself when your being abused.

    BE SAFE, BE WISE, BE SMART, you have RIGHTS. The Police are PUBLIC SERVENTS hired to PROTECT and SERVE, not to BEAT US.
    Remember: There are good Police Officers out there. It only takes a few bad cops like JAMES FORTUNO and his gang of NAZI COP FRIENDS to make other Officer’s Job that much harder. This needs to be EXPOSED to stop this type of tactical training. We are not the ENEMY, but it seems like they are, therefore we need to be prepared to protect ourselves.

    • Diana Iwaskewych says:

      Steven Lee,
      Thanks for your report! Here’s three more names for your list: OFFICERS: ERIC STENDER, URBINO,R., AND LITHERLAND,J.

      We are seeking a “go-after-um” attorney (s) for a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against the gang of Nazi (North Port) Police within this department. We are currently aware of scores of citizens (and taking names) who have a strong interest in joining this class action and who want justice and house cleaning brought against this gang of corrupt, Nazi deranged, criminal thug liars for all damages, including, but not limited to: corruption, extreme police brutality, illegal arrest. fraudulent and corrupted police reports, fabricating and providing false information, covering-up of evidentiary truth, conspiring to defraud, pain and suffering, violations of civil rights, unconstitutional and inhumane actions and neglect of immediate emergency care. They are nothing more than demonic thugs, and “brutal beasts” who gang up on the people who pay their wages and then proceed intentionally and maliciously to write fraudulent, corrupt reports to cover-up their lies, brutality and thuggery.

      CHECK this out: OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY AN INSIDER IN THE DEPARTMENT and found on the website called “LEOAFFAIRS.COM (11/03/11) listed under North Port Pd. (Have this on hard-copy in case this ALSO disappears).

      (COPIED AND PASTED)

      “Cover-UP”
      “It is unbelievable the culture of corruption at this department. Cover-up after cover-up after cover-up and nobody has the guts to say anything. The moderator of this site must be somebody connected because most anything that is exposed is deleted, to include my last post about the latest shooting (another cover-up). Public records will be pulled to include: all sworn statements, reports, digital messages, email, copies of hard drives in patrol cars, personal cell phones downloaded (because they are used for official police business) FSS 119. Good Luck you know who you are.”

    • law abiding citizen says:

      Mr Lee, It entertains me that you fail to mention in your rambling nonsense that your friend plead guilty to all charges and the entire event was caught on video. The video is evidence that can be viewed at any time. If your friend wasn’t acting like an idiot he wouldn’t have had any problems.

  6. Steven Lee says:

    Mr. Chandler I’m new to this blog and I appreciate what you’re doing.

    We need more people like you to get on board and step up and help expose the Corruption of the system. I’m not a reporter but if there is something I can do to help let me know.
    I notice nothing in this blog is being reported about the Bank Fraud and Foreclosures taking place.

    I cannot believe how corrupt these Judges are. I don’t know how they can go home and sleep at night knowing they are a party to the crime. The banks have no right to foreclose, they have no legal standing, they’ve submitted altered documents with the courts, these Judges are allowing this which in mind is contempt on the Court. It’s well known the Banks did not BORROW us one PENNY.

    The Judges fear if they give your home back that the banks will crash, this is so wrong, in fact it would help balance the budget because this all goes back the Central Bank… the Federal Reserve, this is another topic for another day.

    All the debts are discharged against the people; everyone needs to check out HJR 192. I could go on and on about the bank Fraud instead I want to discuss how we need to establish with in each county in Florida a team of people that can step up and help those people in Foreclosure.
    There are people that are part of these groups that if an animal is in trouble they make a call and these people that make up this Animal Rescue group to come out to help rescue that animal.
    We need a HUMAN RESCUE TEAM that we can call and have support from THE PEOPLE for THE PEOPLE that are in FORECLOSURE.

    We need to create a watch dog site so the people have a place to come to and get expert help regarding their foreclosure, a new site recently was created called His Advocates any one can join this for free by going to http://www.HISAdvocates.org. This is great but I feel we need to establish a more local group that is county supported so help is provided within the local level.
    No one should be losing their homes. It’s well documented according to the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank in their own publications Modern Money Mechanics that the banks do not use any of their money or depositories money, they create a DEBT out of THIN AIR, the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank stopped printing this manual shortly after the truth was exposed.
    There was also a case on this back in 1968 known as the Jerome Daly Case http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi/noframes/read/113358

    Sorry, I could go on and on about this. The people need to wake up to what is going on and open their eyes to what they (The Government) does to create deception or to turn things around or even terminate people when they have too much information, such as what happened to this Judge that sat on this case.

    This could be why many of these Judges today are not doing their Job and keeping the Oath they took. The people need to understand we have ONE PERSON in every COUNTY of the United States, which by the way is not the United States of America as the people think it is, it the UNITED STATES INC, this is another topic for another day. Any way this ONE PERSON can STOP these FORECLOSURE case, this ONE PERSON could STOP the OBAMA HEALTH CARE being enforced up on the people, this ONE PERSON can STOP the PRESIDENT from entering into his or her COUNTY and this ONE PERSON could go the PRESIDENT COUNTY and tell him what to do… this ONCE PERSON is our SHERIFF… knowing this I ask what the heck is OUR SHERIFF DOING to PROTECT WE THE PEOPLE. We need people in offices to be there for the PEOPLE and not just for the PAY. Everyone needs to check Richard Mack out here > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLJgPuNAh60

    I know I’m going off my point regarding Foreclosure, but I also wanted to make other points so the People reading this get enough information that I hope would open their eyes and minds to do their own research.

    Keep up the good work and think about how we can get something started to meet the current issues at hand and that is The People losing their home illegally by the courts.
    Maybe WE the PEOPLE need to File Liens on these Judges and sue the County for all the values of the homes they have taken away from the people.

  7. luke byrne says:

    I have daytona beach police in a serious lie. On police report they told the homeowners kid if we say he broke the door you all can get a new door. They did. They originally triedvto write it up as burglary of an occ dwelling. 2 counts of it. I take it very serious when police hype up a report trying to put 2 PBL S ON ME .
    Ive been everywhere state atty . Police internal. Public defender. Trying to get my evidence they say its gone ..im vrry vrry vrry frustrsttrated
    Need guidance.
    Gonna take it bsck in for post conviction relief.

  8. How about doing a story on the Family Courts in Florida I have several cases that really need to be addressed call me 862-CORRUPT also doing a documentary on this.

    http://lawlessamericaflorida.posterous.com/the-documentary-the-discarded

    A group of single dads met in Washington DC on April 20, 2012 to protest the Corrupt Family Courts in this Country this is my statement that day in the steps of the US Supreme Court
    http://youtu.be/fBq2r5y-mww Supreme Court DC

    A must see
    http://youtu.be/2ytNK_jYf3Y Congressional Testament

    Lawlessamerica.com

    https://www.google.com/search?q=glen+gibellina+12th++circuit&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.yahoo:en-US:official&client=firefox
    https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox&tbo=d&rls=com.yahoo%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&sclient=psy-ab&q=glen+gibellina+family+courts+justice&btnG=

    • EVERY THING THATS BEING SAID IS ONLY ON THE TOPIC OF CHILDREN, ITS ABOUT RACKETEERING ON ANIMALS TOO WITH THE SAME PRINCIPLES.CORRUPT COURTS. THEFT. CHILD AND ANIMAL ABUSE TIDED IN TOGETHER. TO GET A FREE SEARCH TO STEAL ANIMALS THEY SAY CHILDS IN DANGER TO GO IN WITH OUT SEARCH WARRENT.HEY PETS ARE OUR KIDS TOO.SOME MEDICAL REASONS FOR OUR CHILDREN.I FEEL THIS SUBJECT SHOULD BE ADDED TO CIVIL COURTS CORRUPTION.JURY TRIALS.DEFENCE.
      SHAR OR LOOKINGTHRUWOLFEYES 352-544-8122
      WHATS WRONG COMMISSIONERS JERKING A BIT.LETS GO MAKE THE EARTH THUNDER. WE ALL GOT TO GET IN ON THIS.

  9. I really appreciate all the work you and your team do and would love to help out in whatever way I can. As a student in Orlando, Florida I believe a good place to do a bit of an audit would be at the UCF Police Department. I have personally been hounded many times while on campus and often wonder how often my information is put through different LEO databases based on my encounters. While I respect the Police and the work they do I believe that they over almost all others have to have some kind of oversight.

    • Let me know how I can help. I deal with many LE agencies and they generally do not fare well in audits of their compliance with Florida’s Public Records Act. There are some notable exceptions, but most do not like answering questions or being scrutinized.

      • bahman1993 says:

        Hey, thanks for the fast reply. I was speaking in general terms about the UCF and other University Police Departments. I helped out with a local campaign for Sheriff and was able to meet a lot of politicians from the area. Many of the LEOs in the area look at the UCF Police as just glorified security guards with guns and arrest powers. It just scares me that they are actual police officers with full police powers over a large school yet seem to be very unprofessional when questioned about their policy (or anything else for that matter). I think they would make a good target for any audit you could do if you ever pass through the area.

        Please contact me directly via email or FB for more information about my own circumstances, I don’t want to post them in such an open area. I’m sure anyone could use the public records law to look me up if they’re curious enough though, lol.

      • bahman1993 says:

        Just got more of a chance to check out your site. The records from the private prison were very cool to read through. Enlightening to see some of the corporations higher ups call you an “asshole” in an email. I was also please to see my hometown’s police (Port Saint Lucie) were not one of the audited organizations that gave you trouble.

  10. Mike says:

    Pinellas county commissioners requested the records including profit reports from its ems contractor paramedics plus which works under the county branded name Sunstar paramedics. Paramedics plus refused to turn over such records citing they were a private company. Ems in pinellas county is a hot issue due to tax shortfalls. This would be a good case to pursue due to the publicity.

  11. WELL EVERY ONES GOING TO WASHINGTON DC ON THE 5TH. I WANNA GO. ALOT CORRUPT CASES IVE BEEN WORKING ON TO HELP PEOPLE. IS THERE ANYONE WHO CAN HELP ME GET THERE, ILL BRING YOUR CASES TOO.352-544-8122 plz call me.

    • OK, EVERY ONE GOES TO WASHINGTON DC, SOME MAIL FILES IN LACK OF FUNDS. WHAT IS IT EVERY ONE SEEMS TO THINK WERE GAINING.BESIDES A JURY TRIAL IN CIVIL COURTS.WHAT.YOU ALL ARE FOCUSING ON MEN AS BEING THE SUBJECT. SHOULD BE CORRUPTION IN CIVIL COURTS.

  12. i want all my records for animal control in hernando county.and then some on others to, racketeering they got going on, a lot fraud upon the courts,

  13. none of us are going to get justice.we all get our hopes up to get let down all the time over there corruption.

  14. NEVER CHARGED ONCE..THIS WHAT HAPPENED.NEVER GIVEN DEFFENCE.
    1.GAVE ME 26 TICKETS FOR WOLF HYBRIDS NO VACCS/COUNTY ORDIANCES SAYS THEY DON’T GET VACCS, 2006. TOO YOUNG IF DOGS. UNDER 8 WKS, HAVE TO BE 4 MONTHS. PLUS WERENT DUE TILL THE 1ST JAN.PROVEN

    2, JAN 12 TOLD I HAD 60 DAYS TO GET ALL TAGS. I DID B4 30 DAYS. COUNTY ATTY CHANGED THE 60 TO 30; OVIOUS.PROVEN.

    3, COUNTY ATTY WRITES ON FINIAL JUDGEMENTS WHAT EVER HE WANTS, JUDGE NEVER SAID, DRAGS ME TO COURT SAYING I WAS IN CONTEMPT,PROVED THAT/NO DEFFENCE. I NEVER WAS.
    THEIR TACTIC IS ,,IS TO GO BEFORE A DIFFERANT JUDGE SO THE NEXT JUDGE THINKS WHATS WRITTEN IS TRUE,

    4. 933.20 HAVE TO HAVE INSPECTION WARRENT. THIS IS HOW ‘YOU’ CAN HELP MANY CASES. YOU HAVE TO HAVE ONE OK’D BY OWNER IN ORDER TO TRESPASS, IF NOT, EVERY TIME WENT ON YOUR PROPERTY WITH OUT ONE. $250,000 IN YOUR POCKET. NEVER HAD ONE,TARRORIZING ME.

    5.THEY CAME HERE, NO INSPECTION WARRENT STOLE 13 PUPS, TRESPASSED/LIED ABOUT CONDITIONS. FRAUD PHOTOS OF SOME ONE ELSES ANIMALS.PERJURY,SUPPRESSED EVIDENCE.NO DEFENCE.LIES/

    6. MARCH 25TH 2006 JUDGE SCAGLIONI ORDERED TO TAKE ALL MY ANIMALS WITH OUT NO CHARGES.SHOT 29 OF MY ANIMALS IN MY BACK YARD NOT ATTACKING, NOR HAD A BITE RECORD.WITH A SHOT GUN WRECKLESSLY.

    7.MADE ME TARE MY RV DOWN WITH BARE HANDS,IN BACK YARD NO SEEN BY ROAD BEHIND PRIVACY FENCE,LIED ON PHOTOS,NO DEFENCE./SPECIAL MASTERS

    8.SEPT 2, 2007 ANIMAL CONTROL /COPS GPS’D MY CAR. BROUGHT CHICKENS HERE, BROKE IN MY HOME, TRESPASSED , NO WARRENT. CHASED THE TWO JUDGE SAID I COULD HAVE OUT OF MY HOME, CHASING OUT OF MY YARD.TOLD ME TO LOAD FEMAL UP, OR ID GO TO JAIL/NO TICKET OR WRONG DOING. CHISELED GARAGE DOOR TO BREAK IN. WROTE ON REPORT SEPT 3RD 2007, WHEN IT WAS SEPT 2 2007.HID ME OFF DOCIT WOULDNT GIVE ME A COURT DATE, WOULDNT LET ME HAVE HER BACK./JUDGE SCAGLIONI

    9 JAN, 2008 CAME HERE POISENED NIKO.

    10 MARCH 2010 PUT LAW SUITE TO SUE FOR 11 MILLION/DENIED/DAMAGES/MIRRIT SR

    11.SEPT 28 2010 THEY PLOTTED OUT SHEEP ATTACK, NEVER WAS SHEEP. ALL A HOLX.2 ATTYS AGAINST ME. FRAUD A.C. REPORT LIES.TO RUIN MY 11 MILLION DOLLAR LAW SUITE,JUDGE FOUND MY 2 HUSKYS NOT GUILTY. COUNTY ATTY JON JOUBEN SORE LOOSER, TOOK ME BACK TO COURT .JUDGE HITZMENN. HE HAD THE NERVE TO ASK ME HOW I WAS DOING OUT SIDE.

    12,MARCH 20 2011. SAME WITNESS’S, SAME EVIDENCED. PUNISHED ME WITH NO EVIDENCE.JUDGE TOMBRINK

    13.MAY 20 2011 SET FIRE TO ALL I OWNED. MY RV, PACKED WITH EVERYTHING, LEAVING TOWN, RV BURNED, NEW SILVERADO TRUCK, CAMERO , FIREBIRD, SCOOTER, MY HOME, ETC/ TAG WAS ALSO MISSING. FIRE MARCHELL LIED SAID STARTED AT REFRIG. BUT ALL RUBBER ON TIRE AT REFRIG WAS ON RV. ON PASSENGER FRONT NO RUBBER ON TIRE WHERE IT STARTED.
    PLEASE I NEED HELP FOR SO MUCH GOV FRAUD IN CIVIL COURTS./CONSPIRACY/TREASON , FAILED DUE PROCESS,DBLE JEOPERDIED ME/COLOR OF LAW,ETC

    14, THEY WERE SELLING MY ANIMALS IN THE FLORIDA LUPINE ASSOC FOR 5 THOUSAND EACH .2006/MELISSA KONDRATICK.
    352-544-8122.HM 352-293-5866 CELL. LOOKNTHRUWOLFEYE@ATT.NET

    • DENNIS PURDY X CHIEF OF POLICE HAS BEEN FIGHTING COUNTY OVER WHAT THEYVE DONE.A.C. HERNANDO COUNTY WONT GIVE US ANY RECORDS. NOT HIM OR ME.
      THE COMMISSIONERS KNOW OF THE FRAUD THATS BEEN GOING ON. SO DOES OUR NEW SHERIFF.

  15. AETA, TERRORIST COUNTYS THAT STEAL OUR ANIMALS FOR THEIR PROFIT.

    By Will Potter

    The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act pushed by animal industry groups, corporations, and the politicians that represent them ostensibly targets underground, illegal actions committed in the name of animal rights. It’s been in the works, in various forms, since the passage of the Animal Enterprise Protection Act in 1992: proponents say AEPA didn’t go far enough, and they need this sweeping legislation to crack down on illegal actions by underground groups like the Animal Liberation Front.

    But underground activists won’t lose much sleep over this legislation. Their actions are already illegal (and they know it). The government has already labeled them the “number one domestic terrorist threat.” And yet they continue to demonstrate that heavy-handed police tactics will not deter them.

    Legal, aboveground activists have been the ones most concerned about this vague and overly broad legislation. And as we’ll see, it’s not just animal rights activists that should worry.

    You can download the final version of AETA that the president signed on November 13th, 2006, and the AEPA, and follow along with me as we see exactly how this “Green Scare” legislation operates.

    WHAT WOULD QUALIFY AS “TERRORISM”?

    Let’s start at the very top, with the offense section of the legislation, and take it apart in chunks.

    (a) OFFENSE.—Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce, or uses or causes to be used the mail or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce—
    (1) for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise; and

    Hold up, we already have a problem. AEPA, as amended in 2002, said you must have the “purpose of causing physical disruption to the functioning of an animal enterprise.”

    It’s a minor tweak. Blink and you might miss it. But there’s arguably a significant difference between “physical disruption to the functioning” of a corporation, which implies rattling a business to its core, to a looser standard of “damaging or interfering” with its operations. The change subtly widens AETA’s potential scope.

    So, the government must prove that someone has the purpose of “damaging or interfering with” an animal enterprise, and the government must also show that

    (2) in connection with such purpose—

    the individual does one of a few things:

    (A) intentionally damages or causes the loss of any real or personal property…
    (B) intentionally places a person in reasonable fear…
    (C) conspires or attempts to do so

    We’ll take a look at these one by one. But first, it’s important to note that right off the bat this is a drastic expansion of the original law. After the “purpose” clause just mentioned, AEPA simply said it targeted anyone who “intentionally damages or causes the loss of any property (including animals or records) used by the animal enterprise, or conspires to do so.” That’s it.

    Now, to be clear, that language—explicitly wrapping up activity like stealing animals from a fur farm or vandalizing offices—doesn’t fit most reasonable people’s concept of “terrorism.” It’s vague and overly broad. In comparison to AETA, though, it seems straightforward.

    VANDALISM=TERRORISM?

    Let’s go through the three clauses that spell out ways activists can be targeted by AETA. The first says the law targets anyone who

    (A) intentionally damages or causes the loss of any real or personal property (including animals or records) used by an animal enterprise, or any real or personal property of a person or entity having a connection to, relationship with, or transactions with an animal enterprise;

    Here we start to see one of the most sought-after expansions of the law: it not only targets activity against an “animal enterprise” (a term defined so broadly that it includes any business that “uses or sells animals or animal products”) but it also targets activity against any person or business with any connection to an “animal enterprise.”

    Proponents of the law say this change was desperately needed to go after so-called “tertiary targeting” where activists don’t just target a specific business or organization, they target anyone doing business with them. That’s not a novel concept. Anti-apartheid activists, for instance, did the same thing with their divestment campaigns. Applying similar strategies to “animal enterprises,” though, could be labeled “terrorism.”

    When supporters of AETA talk about the importance of expanding the law to include “tertiary targeting,” they usually mention it in the context of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. SHAC activists managed to cripple Huntingdon Life Sciences by targeting the businesses that do business with HLS. Supporters say that this “tertiary targeting” is a “loophole” in the original legislation.

    What they casually fail to mention, though, is that six activists from SHAC were convicted under the original legislation, and are now sitting in federal prison. Did their “terrorist” campaign involve anthrax? Pipe bombs? A plot to hijack an airplane? Nope. They ran a website. They posted news about the campaign—legal actions like protests and illegal actions like stealing animals from labs—and unabashedly supported all of it. They were never charged with breaking windows or gluing locks or sneaking animals out of labs: they merely supported actions like that on their website.

    Even if you think this is “terrorism,” which most people probably would not, then it has already been targeted under the original law. This new clause broadens the scope of legislation that is already overly broad.

    SCARE-MONGERING EXPANDS THE SCOPE OF THE LEGISLATION

    The second part of the offense section targets anyone who

    (B) intentionally places a person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to that person, a member of the immediate family (as defined in section 115) of that person, or a spouse or intimate partner of that person by a course of conduct involving threats, acts of vandalism, property damage, criminal trespass, harassment, or intimidation

    The biggest problem here is the use of amorphous term “reasonable fear.” The word “eco-terrorism” is batted around recklessly by industry groups, in a scare-mongering campaign that has included full-page ads in major newspapers and even stooping so low as to call a children’s movie “soft-core eco-terrorism for kids.” They are doing everything they can to create this fear through scare-mongering: that’s the point. In light of this political climate, it’s impossible to discuss “reasonable fear,” because industry groups are throwing all their weight into making the unreasonable seem reasonable—into making the public afraid of non-violent activists, so they can push a political agenda.

    Here’s a very likely scenario: A group of activists holds a loud protest outside an executive’s home or office on a daily basis, as part of a national campaign. Activists yell and chant as people enter the building. Some wear masks or bandanas (which are increasingly common at protests, because activists fear being “blacklisted”). There have also been illegal actions like “vandalism” and “property damage” in the name of the same cause (which has been the case in every social movement, ever).

    Activists clearly intend to “interfere with” the operations of animal enterprise. Toss in the climate of fear that industry groups have created, plus the raucous nature of the protest and the fact that it’s part of a coordinated campaign, and suddenly this First Amendment activity becomes “terrorism” under the law (through a “course of conduct” involving harassment, intimidation, vandalism… whatever they can get to stick).

    Another scenario: Coordinated undercover investigations of factory farms and other facilities have become increasingly common in the animal rights movement. These investigations take various forms, but they frequently involve sneaking into the facility (“criminal trespass”), perhaps breaking locks or doors to do so (“property damage”), filming the animals’ living conditions, and sometimes taking a few animals out of the facility. The objective here, activists argue, is not to harm anyone, but to reduce harm. It’s not to cause suffering, but to alleviate suffering. Still, considering that the FBI has labeled such actions as the “number one domestic terrorist threat”, could a business owner argue that they instill a “reasonable fear” and amount to “terrorism” under AETA? Through scare-mongering, the unreasonable becomes reasonable.

    PENALTIES FOR NON-VIOLENT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN A “TERRORISM” BILL?

    The penalties section of AETA is like a Christmas list for industry groups, making the penalties in AEPA look tame by comparison. AEPA spelled out that an individual who causes less than $10,000 in economic damage could be imprisoned up to six months, and someone who causes more than $10,000 in economic damage could be imprisoned up to three years.
    Earlier versions of AETA, though, started out with penalties for non-violent civil disobedience, and worked their way up.

    (1) for an offense involving exclusively a non-violent physical obstruction of an animal enterprise or a business having a connection to, or relationship with, an animal enterprise, that may result in loss of profits but does not result in bodily injury or death or property damage or loss–
    (A) not more than $10,000 and the length of imprisonment shall be not more than 6 months, or both, for the first offense; and
    (B) not more than $25,000 and the length of imprisonment shall be not more than 18 months, or both, for a subsequent offense; [emphasis added]

    That’s right: “non-violent physical obstruction,” also known as civil disobedience, could earn an activist 18 months in prison, plus fines, in a terrorism bill. This was one of the biggest concerns I raised when I testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the legislation. In the final version, the phrase “exclusively a non-violent physical obstruction” was removed. But the first segment of the sentencing section still spells out penalties of

    (2) a fine under this title or imprisonment not more than 1 year, or both, if the offense does not instill in another the reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death and—
    (A) the offense results in no economic damage or bodily injury; or
    (B) the offense results in economic damage that does not exceed $10,000;
    [emphasis added]

    Remember, we’re looking at a terrorism bill here, one that industry groups say is needed to combat “violent” animal rights “extremists,” and we’re only dealing with non-violent crimes that don’t even “instill” a “reasonable fear.”

    One explanation for this sentencing provision is that it could be intended to target acts of “conspiracy.” (For instance, if a group of activists conspired to vandalize a cosmetic testing facility but their plot was foiled, and resulted in no economic damage or “reasonable fear”).

    But disturbingly, on the floor of the House on the day AETA passed—just hours after a ceremony breaking ground for the new MLK memorial—Representative Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia, acknowledged that this “terrorism” law could still target non-violent civil disobedience. “… there are some who conscientiously believe that it is their duty to peacefully protest the operation of animal enterprises to the extent of engaging in civil disobedience,” he said. “If a group’s intention were to stage a sit-in or liedown or to block traffic to a targeted facility, they certainly run the risk of arrest for whatever traffic, trespass or other laws they may be breaking…

    “To violate the provision of the bill, one must travel or otherwise engage in interstate activity with the intent to cause damage or loss to an animal enterprise. While the losses of profits, lab experiments or other intangible losses are included, it must be proved that such losses were specifically intended for the law to be applied.”

    In other words, those “who conscientiously believe that it is their duty to peacefully protest” through civil disobedience could be labeled terrorists. But only if they intended to make a difference.

    The penalties go up from here, predictably, and you can take a look for yourself. What’s most important to note is not the specific amount of years in prison, but the fact that the penalties revolve around money. They operate in terms of corporate property and profits. That’s what this bill is about. It’s not about stopping “violence,” because violence hasn’t taken place. It’s about classifying “non-violent physical obstruction,” crimes that do not “instill in another the reasonable fear of serious bodily injury,” and property crimes as “terrorism,” in order to demonize and silence dissent.

    FIRST AMENDMENT “PROTECTIONS” ARE WINDOW DRESSING

    Lawmakers have attempted to silence pesky activists who have spoken up for their First Amendment rights by paying lip service to their concerns. Namely, they tacked a note onto AETA that says the definition of “economic damage”:

    (A) does not include any lawful economic disruption (including a lawful boycott) that results from lawful public, governmental, or business reaction to the disclosure of information about an animal enterprise

    This is no safeguard. For instance, undercover investigators and whistleblowers may cause financial loss for a company beyond the losses related to “lawful” third party reactions. Companies may argue that salaries for undercover investigators, increased internal security, and extensive employee background checks are added costs of doing business because of activists.

    The other First Amendment “protection” in the bill is even more absurd.

    (e) RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section shall be construed—
    (1) to prohibit any expressive conduct (including peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstration) protected from legal prohibition by the First Amendment to the Constitution;

    The fact that lawmakers note the legislation doesn’t prohibit conduct “protected from legal prohibition by the First Amendment” shows that they realize it is vague and overly broad. That truth is that no bill could blatantly prohibit First Amendment conduct or it would get tossed out immediately. This clause is a red herring to distract from the content of the bill, and the politics behind it, and ease public fears. But simply proclaiming “this legislation is Constitutional!” doesn’t make it so.

    MUCH BIGGER CONCERNS REMAIN

    We’ve walked through the specifics of the bill, step by step, but that can only take us so far. Laws don’t exist in a vacuum: they have to be put in the broader post-9/11 political context in which we all live.

    *AETA chills free speech. Even if we buy the rhetoric of industry groups and lawmakers that this legislation won’t directly target First Amendment activity, the damage is still done. This legislation will impact all animal activists, even if they never enter the courtroom. It will add to the chilling effect that already exists because of “eco-terrorism” rhetoric by corporations, lawmakers and law enforcement.

    Through my interviews with grassroots animal rights activists, national organizations, and their attorneys, I have heard widespread fears that the word “terrorist” could one day be turned against them, even though they use legal tactics. This legislation will add to this fear and distrust, and will force Americans to decide if speaking up for animals is really worth the risk of being labeled a “terrorist,” either in the media or the courtroom. That’s not a choice anyone should have to make.

    *AETA puts all activists at risk. Animal rights activists have been among the first victims of this terrorist scaremongering, but if it continues they will not be the last. Changes in the Supreme Court seem to have revitalized the anti-abortion movement, which, unlike the animal rights movement, has a documented history of bloodshed. Some anti-abortion organizations, like the Thomas More Society, have already raised concerns that this legislation could become a model for labeling other activists as terrorists. The word terrorism should not be batted around against the enemy of the hour, to push a partisan political agenda. Public fears of terrorism since the tragedy of September 11th should not be exploited for political points.

    *AETA puts the general public at risk. Targeting property crimes and other non-violent activity as “terrorism” wastes valuable law enforcement resources. According to Congressional Quarterly, the Department of Homeland Security does not list right-wing terrorists on a list of national security threats. Those groups have been responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, violence against doctors, and admittedly creating weapons of mass destruction, but animal rights activists still top the domestic terrorist list.

    With the threat of another terrorist attack constantly looming, scarce anti-terrorism resources should be used to combat true threats to national security, not protect corporate interests.

    *AETA is not about the crime, it’s about the politics behind the crime. All of the actions targeted by this legislation (with the exception of First Amendment activity) are already crimes. The problem that law enforcement agents have encountered is not that there’s a shortage of statutes available, but that they just can’t catch underground activists. This legislation won’t solve that. It will, however, stray into the dangerous territory of prosecuting intent. This bill is not about crimes (or First Amendment activity) but about the beliefs of the individuals, and the social movements, behind them. Conservative lawmakers who opposed hate crimes legislation because it mandated disproportionate sentences based on ideology should logically oppose AETA on the same grounds.

    *AETA is a solution in search of a problem. You probably have noted that I have not focused on the clauses of this legislation dealing with significant bodily injury or death caused by activists. Those provisions are each problematic, but they are also, in some ways, non-issues. It’s unlikely that even illegal, underground activists like the Animal Liberation Front would be impacted. Their actions, such as releasing mink from fur farms, spray-painting buildings, and even arson, have not claimed a single human life.

    It’s clear that the government already has sweeping powers to harass and prosecute the animal rights and environmental movements. The SHAC 7 were convicted under AEPA, the original law, for running a website. And environmental activists have been rounded up as part of “Operation Backfire” and charged with serious property crimes, including arson. It’s simply dishonest for business groups and Department of Justice officials to say their “hands are tied” in light of this massive government repression.

    CONCLUSION

    Industry groups have pushed this legislation for years, and they finally got it in the final hours of a Republican-controlled Congress. But just as AEPA only briefly sated their appetites, this legislation will only control their hunger for so long. The objective of animal industry groups, corporations, and the politicians that represent them is not to merely prevent vandalism and theft: it is to neutralize a threat to their profits and their power. To silence dissent. This legislation must be rejected in its entirety because if it is not, industry groups will push for even more, and other post-9/11 political opportunists will follow the trail they have blazed.

    Will Potter is an award-winning independent journalist who focuses on how lawmakers and corporations have labeled animal rights and environmental activists as “eco-terrorists.” Will has written for publications including The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News and Legal Affairs, and has testified before the U.S. Congress about his reporting. He is the creator of GreenIsTheNewRed.com, where he blogs about the Green Scare and history repeating itself.
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    About “Green Is the New Red”

    Will Potter is an award-winning independent journalist based in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Green Is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege. This site is about how animal rights and environmental activists are being targeted as “eco-terrorists,” and what that means for our safety and freedom. First time visiting? Here’s an introduction to the Green Scare.

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    • ALTHOUGH THIS ARTICLE STATES THE FBI HANDLES IT, I HAD A PHONE CALL BACK ON THEM, THEY SAID THEY DIDNT IN THE TAMPA OFFICE.I SAID THIS IS BULLSHIT, THERES SO MUCH CORRUPTION HERE, KNOW ONE CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.I SAID THEN WHERE DO YOU GO. THEY STATED ATTORNEY GENERAL OF FLORIDA. ATTY GENERAL OF FLORIDA DOESNT HANDLE THESE MATTERS , NOR GIVE A CRAP.THEY STATED ETHICS. I SAID IVE BEEN TO ETHICS, ITS ALL THE GOOD OL BOY SYSTOM,THEN HE SAID THE FDLE.THING IS, KNOW ONE HANDLES THE CRIMINALS IN OUR SYSTOM.ITS DISCUSTING OVER ALL THE TERRORISM THEY DO TO PEOPLE, SO MANY FRAUD REPORTS AND LIES,SO MUCH PAPER WORK FRAUDLY. ITS SICKENING.ROB YA FROM ALL YOU HAVE.
      IM SORRY MY GRANDFATHER,FATHER AND BROTHER WENT TO WAR FOR OUR CIVIL RIGHTS AND CONSTITUTION , GODLY RIGHTS, AND WE DONT GET CRAP AND SUFFER OVER IT. WHY DONT THEY HAVE OATHS, ‘WE ARE GONNA LIE AND BE CORRUPT TO WIN CASES AND DESTROY YOUR LIFE’ THEN THEYD BE TELLING US THE TRUTH FOR A CHANGE!

  16. CAN YOU HELP THIS FAMILY? THIS IS HEARTBREAKING!

    https://www.facebook.com/JusticeTheseKidsWereTakenForMoney?ref=nf

    We are MOTHERS WHO WANT OUR CHILDREN BACK, and we are fighting the world of organized crime and corruption that runs CPS/SS/FAMILY COURT… thank you, please help us help each other…

    sincerely, deborah parks
    863-934-0761

  17. I KNOW I JUST GOT THE FBI ON MINE. READ WHAT AETA ACT IS. IF IT RELATES TO YOU, CALL FBI. I JUST GOT THEM TO HELP ME. ON SO MUCH CRAP THATS BEEN DONE TO ME.

  18. To all my FOG advocates……..
    Use Rule 2.420 for Judges and Judicial branch information requests.
    Public access to records of the judicial branch is governed by court rule rather than Chapter 119. See State v. City of Clearwater, 863 So. 2d 149 (Fla. 2003). Pursuant to case law and Rule 2.420, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, judicial records subject to public disclosure are limited to those made or received pursuant to court rule, law, or ordinance, or in connection with the transaction of official business.
    In response to your certified letter to Court Administrator Walt Smith, our policy on providing emails to requestors is to:
    1. Have the IT Dept determine how many emails fit the requested criteria;
    2. Have Monica Ausborn’s supervisor review the emails to see if they comport to the public record criteria set forth in Rule 2.420;
    3. Redact any confidential (by law) information contained within the public record emails; and
    4. Burn the public record emails to a disc (CD) for you to pick up and review.
    In order for us to comply with your request, we will require you to pay 75% of what we estimate the cost of preparing and creating the disc for you. We will then let you know that the disc is ready and the final cost to you and you can bring the balance payment when you pick up the disc. Alternatively, we will mail you the disc for an additional charge.
    In your November 16 correspondence, you have asked for “all of Monica Osborne (sic) email correspondence from the date of January 1, 2012 through the present.” Be advised that this is a very large time frame to search. During your requested time period there are 15,940 emails sent by or received by Monica Ausborn. All of these emails will need to go through steps 1-4 above. We would estimate the cost of providing this to you as follows:
    $124.56 for 3 hours of IT time at the hourly rate of $41.52 (Item #1 above)
    $2,456.06 for 48.3 hours of Monica Ausborn’s supervisor’s time at the hourly rate of $50.85 (Item #2 above)
    $3,020.63 for 159.4 hours of secretarial time at the hourly rate of $18.95 (Item #3 above)
    $15 for the disc
    $5,616.25 for the total estimated cost. 75% or $4,212.19 is due from you prior to us beginning this effort.
    In the alternative, you can modify your public records request by either providing us with:
    1. a shorter timeframe (i.e., new dates with less days than 1/1/12 through 11/13/12); or
    2. a key word list that you want the email to contain; or
    3. any other way you can narrow the request to limit how many emails meet your criteria, thus reducing your cost.
    We will proceed with your public records request once we have received your payment of $4,212.19 (75% of estimate) payable to the State of Florida, or your modified request.
    As always…FOLLOW THE MONEY
    Glen Gibellina, Lawless America Florida Facebook @ Actof Courage
    Lawlessamerica.com

  19. FBI ON VACATION HERE. THEY DONT DO CRAP.SO TELL ME, WHERE DO WE GO. WHEN THEY DON;T ABIDE LAWS, STATUES, ETC.MAKES YA WANNA GET JUSTICE OUR WAY.

  20. KNOW ONE REPLYS IN THIS SITE TO ME.I DID BEAT 2 BEST ATTYS IN TAMPA TWICE.
    352-293-5866

  21. Isabella says:

    Good Morning Joe,
    I am within weeks of putting in a civil complaint against my Towns – I am pro se and indigent and requested 17 tapes of Town Hall Meetings which I need -I asked for them to be certified.
    I received an estimated charge of $217.00 – this included $30 for administrative time that it took to process the tapes which in my mind means that my Town has charged me $108,50 per hour!

    The Town Clerk earns over $70,000 a year and I have to pay them $30 over time

    This Town is out of control – you should test them! y Town if 5/8ths of a mike long

  22. Isabella says:

    South Palm Beach – two years ago the clerk limited my time to listen to these tapes to 2 -3 hours day 3 times a week and one time they did not allow me in the Town Hall for 9 days running. She also called the police on me twice for simply asking her questions about the tapes. She has a button to press and the police who are literally only feet away come in.

    It so intimidated me that I was petrified to go back and listen to the tapes in case I was arrested for some trumped up charge and put in jail – I am a tough cookie but this Town is out of control and blatantly targets me.

    They changed our Towns Government with an unconstitutional Ordinance, Maliciously Prosecuted me of course was dropped and have violated my freedom of speech rights for years whilst allowing their friends to abuse whomever the wished,
    They have also run this TOWN with multiple violations to our Charter.

    The have run this Town with illegally constituted committees and boards since 2003.

    The same “cabal” have run this Town as their own little fiefdom for decades.

    l was also threatened with arrest for trespassing without probable cause at a Town Hall Meeting – what was I doing? standing up for my civil right of freedom of speech – I told the Chief to arrest me- but he did not.

    I have some videos of how they treated me

    They despise me because I will not go away I will fight them till the last breath in my old body goes! I am a “party of one”

  23. Isabella says:

    FYI: Also they tried to charge me $146 for me to inspect the own Managers personnel file. The Town Clerk stated that it contained 500 pages and that it would take 6 hrs to redact what had to be redacted!

  24. Dan says:

    I was so pleased to find your site! You folks are doing a great service, and I hope you’re able to keep doing the good work.
    Thanks,
    Dan

  25. Larry Murray says:

    I would very much like to send you an email, but I cannot figure out how to do so. To what address do I send an email regarding Public Records issues in the Monroe County School District?

  26. Jim Lunsford says:

    I too would like to send you an email, but am unsure as to how to do so. I would like your assistance in helping me to obtain two dash cam videos of my own harrassment by Holly Hill, Florida “police officers.” I am rather leery of walking into the police department, as would be understood upon viewing the two videos. My intent is NOT to sue (that only hurts the citizens) but to expose on YouTube. Being homeless means my “pull” is substantially less than the average citizen. Please feel free to email me. Thanks, Jim “Hippy” Lunsford

    • Jim Lunsford says:

      Sorry, found your email listing in an earlier post after I had submitted this comment. An email begging your attention has been sent. Thanks for all you have done to date, and to any assisstance you can provide we homeless in Daytona Beach, Holly Hill, areas of Volusia County, Florida.

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