Cross post from HatCityBLOG
Back in 2006, angered over the World Cup celebrations and series of pro-immigration marches on his streets, Danbury’s anti-immigrant Mayor Boughton proposed a ridiculous (and probably illegal) city ordinance (known commonly as the “parade ordinance”) that requires any form of assembly over the limit of 25 that interfered with the flow of any form of traffic be approved by “the city.” Failure to do so could result in a fine.
During the debate over the ordinance, Boughton attempted to use the World Cup celebrations as a justification for the ordinance although spontaneous celebration is protected by the first amendment.
I’m re-posting of the following write-up to establish two very important points for people who are not familiar to the activities of Danbury’s dishonest mayor: 1. Boughton has a long history of misleading the public when it comes to immigration (as well as a vast number of other issues) and 2. the local media has a LONG history of not holding Boughton accountable or scrutinizing the mayor activities over the years.
This post is a great example of the local media’s failure to scrutinize elected officials in Danbury area who have used the topic of immigration to divide communities along ethnic lines and cast a dark cloud over a once great city.
…just imagine what this man could do for race relations for the state if elected Lt. Gov.?
Originally posted June 29th 2010
For those who have followed Boughton’s misleading statements to the public over the years, his latest comment regarding the parade ordinance and the impromptu World Cup celebrations is laughable to say the least.
Boughton said while the city does have an ordinance governing parades, the ones that follow soccer matches are impromptu events.
“These are spontaneous celebrations and there is nobody really organizing them,” he said.
Did Boughton just say that the World Cup celebrations were impromptu celebrations that are not covered by the parade ordinance? Is this the same mayor claimed that the parade ordinance could be used to control the World Cup celebrations when he was selling his proposal to the public?
Lets take a trip back in time and see what Boughton said about the World Cup game celebrations when questioned about the parade ordinance by then News-Times reporter Elizabeth Putnam on the local access TV show
Boughton in his own words, June 2007:
PUTNAM: Now the impetus for the parade ordinance however was impromptu celebrations, this does not really address that. Is there a way to address that?
BOUGHTON: I would disagree with that statement that it doesn’t address that. I think this ordinance could be a better tool in the tool box in looking at impromptu celebrations. That wasn’t the whole impetus, that was only part of the impetus and I’ll explain why.
If you’re talking about the parades after the World Cup game that were very controversial that happened in 2006, those are not impromptu parades. We spend a lot of time planning internally for those parades. If you know that is a World Cup game coming up on Sunday…the chief and I probably had two or three discussions/meetings about how many police officers we’re going to bring in…and what type of enforcement activity we’re going to have. So there is planning going on…
PUTNAM: …there’s planning going on with your side…
BOUGHTON: …and there’s planning going on their side as well. Those individuals know that when the game is over that they’re going to be in the streets. We would take this ordinance, in addition to writing tickets for not being properly seatbealted and all the other issues that came up during that time period, we would also cite people for not having the proper permit for not being on Main Street if they’re blocking traffic and/or holding up public safety vehicles so I think this is another tool in the toolbox to do that and I don’t’ necessarily agree with that statement that it won’t do that.
In case you weren’t’ keeping scoring, lets review
LIE number 1: The Mayor says that the World Cup games were NOT spontaneous because he and the chief had “prior planning.”
FACT: What the Mayor and police chief do in terms of addressing traffic concerns has NOTHING to do with the legal definition of prior planning as outlined by the ordinance.
JUST READ THE ORDINANCE!
Sec 11-15 (a):
Parade means any march, demonstration, procession, or motorcade, which the parade permit applicant believes will consist of more than twenty-five (25) persons, animals, or vehicles or a combination thereof upon the streets, sidewalks, parks or other public property owned by or under the control of the City of Danbury, for a common purpose as a result of prior planning that interferes with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic upon said streets, sidewalks, parks, or other public property.
The term “parade permit applicant” MEANS A PLANNING COMMITTEE and NOT AN INDIVIDUAL and definitely NOT THE MAYOR OR POLICE CHIEF.
In other words, PRIOR PLANNING does not mean the following:
The Mets are one game away from winning the World Series. I’m at a bar and tell my buddies that if they win, we’ll run up and down the street and celebrate with the other Mets fans.
NOR does it mean this…
I just graduated from high school and I drive my car up and down the road with my friends, which I’ll probably see for the last time, because I finished High School.
NOR does it mean this…
I’m at my house watching the World Cup games and decide to jump into my car and drive up and down the street because my team won.
THIS is prior planning:
The local AOH plans to hold a St. Partick’s Day parade. a planning committee is formed to organize the event.
The police union plans on holding a demonstration in front of City Hall against the Mayor over the lack of a contract. A planning committee is formed to organize the event.
A group of immigrant rights organizations plan on holding a rally down Main Street to protest Mayor Boughton and the fact that he uses the immigration issue for political purposes. They get together and plan the event.
LIE number 2: When called out on LIE number 1 by an then News-Times reporter Elizabeth Putnam, the mayor fumbled and stated that the celebrants had prior planning because they knew that they were going to go out in the streets after the game.
FACT: Prior planning does not apply to people deciding to celebrate in the streets spontaneously…you would think that a former high school teacher should know basic First Amendment law.
LIE number 3: The ordinance is another “tool in the toolbox” to help the police.
FACT: This so-called “tool” was not needed in the “toolbox” to address traffic concerns that stemmed from spontaneous parades (a.k.a. those pesky immigrants celebrating downtown). They are already LAWS on the books to address the problems that stemmed from the World Cup games in regards to traffic concerns.
From the parade ordinance debate in 2007, here’s Minority Leader Tom Saadi outlining EVERY POINT I just raised in my debunking of Boughton’s dishonest comment:
Even though opponents against the ordinance repeatedly stated that the parade ordinance could not be applied to impromptu celebrations, Boughton stuck to his dishonest statement throughout the parade ordinance debate until it was approved by the council…and he used the topic of immigration and the controversy surrounding the 2006 World Cup celebrations to do it.
They don’t call Boughton the last honest man in Danbury for nothing!
…to be continued.