On the same day the Today show ran their national news package about Robin Hood of Keene, reporter Matt Caron from WWLP-TV in showed up to the Keene Activist Center toting a video camera. Here’s the report he filed that evening on the local NBC affiliate in Springfield, MA:
In a four minute segment this morning, the major national morning television news program “Today” on NBC featured Robin Hood of Keene! The package by investigative journalist Jeff Rossen was excellent. Thanks to NBC for the coverage!
The “Parking Czar”, Gary Lamoureux has announced he is leaving his position later this summer. Lamoureux had become the “city parking project manager” after retiring from the city fire department, which made him a “double-dipper” – collecting over $90,000 a year in pension payments AND getting a regular paycheck (more than $50,000 per year) for his parking job on top! Don’t forget to count in the sweet government benefits. Must be nice to be in the government gang, huh?
According to the Sentinel story on his resignation by Martha Shanahan, Lamoureux leaves at the end of August and claims that his decision to quit had nothing to do with the city council coming close to eliminating his position. Lamoureux’s legacy will be overseeing the mostly failed lawsuit against Robin Hood of Keene and proposing parking rate and fine increases that have ultimately gone nowhere and have been very unpopular among the people of Keene.
According to the Sentinel piece, Lamoureux will make one final push for parking rate and fine increases before heading off into the sunset to cash his sweet, sweet pension checks.
The Robin Hood of Keene media coverage keeps rolling in. A major national TV news crew was in town today and last week I had the privilege of appearing as a guest on KGO-AM in San Francisco. KGO is what is called a “flamethrower” in the business. It’s the maximum legally allowed 50,000 watts on AM in one of the top markets in the country, San Francisco, with a monster signal that covers Sacramento, Santa Rosa, San Jose, and Salinas.
Also last week, WKBK’s Dan Mitchell had local attorney Kevin Gordon on to analyze the recent Robin Hood Supreme Court decision.
Here’s a sampling of some of the news media Keene activists received in the last day from the NH supreme court’s decision on the Robin Hood case.
- Associated Press (appeared in hundreds of places)
- WMUR (video embedded below)
- NH Public Radio
- WKBK (audio embedded below)
- Union Leader
- Keene Sentinel 6/9: NH Supreme Court sends Robin Hood decision back to Keene judge
- Keene Sentinel 6/10: In Keene v. Robin Hooders case, both sides claim victory
Cool excerpt from the AP story:
“Today’s decision is a victory for First Amendment rights,” said Gilles Bissonnette, legal director for the New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a brief on the case. “The court recognized that government actors cannot sue citizens for alleged torts in an attempt to suppress legal, but unpopular, speech in public places. We must all remember that the First Amendment only means something if it protects popular and unpopular speech alike.”
In a nearly complete victory for Robin Hood of Keene, the NH supreme court has affirmed nearly all of the superior court’s decisions against the people calling themselves the “City of Keene” in the city’s libelous assault on the heroic activists who have rescued thousands of motorists from parking tickets in downtown Keene in the last couple of years.
The victory is nearly complete, with one exception. The supremes ruled that the lower court needed to consider the city’s request for injunction separately from the claims of “tortious interference” and “conspiracy”. Therefore, the supremes remanded only that detail back to the superior court to decide. If you’ve been reading Free Keene for a while, you may recall that the city’s original suit in 2013 asked for a in injunction of a 50ft radius “buffer zone” around each parking enforcer that would preclude the named Robin Hooders from being in that zone. Eventually, they reduced their request to 30ft, then 10-15ft. The buffer zone concept has previously been ruled unconstitutional in other courts and likely will be again when it goes back to Cheshire superior court.
The rest of the court’s twelve-page opinion backs up the lower court’s dismissal of the city’s outrageous case. The claims of “tortious interference” with the city’s “business” of screwing over people shopping downtown and the claim of “conspiracy” were shut down on a free-speech basis:
However, we need not decide whether a viable tortious interference claim can exist under the circumstances present in this case because we agree with the trial court that holding the respondents liable for tortious interference based upon their alleged activities would infringe upon the respondents’ right to free speech under the First Amendment…we also conclude that the First Amendment bars the City from pursuing its claim that the respondents are liable for conspiring to commit the very same tort.
The city’s lies about the behavior of Robin Hooders (they claimed, without evidence, we were “harassing, threatening, and intimidating” the parking enforcers) had no effect on the court’s decision to dismiss. The court’s judges know that telling government bureaucrats how you feel their job is wrong is fully within free speech protections, even if the bureaucrats don’t want to hear it. Further, the court opinion backed up the Robin Hooders’ non-verbal actions as protected free speech: (more…)