Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hey Kamala Harris! You Have Mail!

If you are considering voting for California's Attorney General, Kamala Harris, who is running for Barbara Boxer's Senate seat, read this first. Not only has Harris spent her tenure as AG going after those "corporate polluters" and ignoring real crime, she refused to seek the death penalty for any and all murderers while she was the DA in San Francisco.

In addition, she is apparently too busy planning her campaign to answer her mail. A year ago, the AMCHA Initiative wrote her a letter complaining about a California State University math professor who was allegedly using university resources (web sites) to push his opposition to Israel. AMCHA never even got a response, so they have sent Harris a second letter.

Kamala Harris
Attorney General
California Department of Justice
1300 “I” Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-2919

January 29, 2015

RE: One-Year Follow Up of Alleged Misuse of State Resources

Dear Attorney General Harris:

It has been exactly one year since we wrote to inform you of new evidence that we had found regarding the case of California State University Northridge Mathematics Professor David Klein, who has been using the taxpayer-funded CSUN website to host his politically-motivated, antisemitic web page, entitled "Boycott Israel Resource Page", for five years. We, and many other concerned California citizens, are extremely disappointed that you have to date ignored our letter.  Indeed no one in your office has even acknowledged receipt of our complaint.

In our letter, we provided substantial evidence showing that Klein has been in violation of the following state and federal laws:

  • CAL. GOV’T CODE § 8314, which considers it a misdemeanor to use "public resources" to advocate for "personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law."
  • CAL. EDUC. CODE § 89005.5(a)(2)(C), which considers it a misdemeanor to "display" the CSU name or any variant of that name "in connection with" any propaganda or promotional activity "which has for its purpose the support, endorsement, advancement...[of] boycott or of any political...activity or program," without the permission of the CSU Trustees.
  • 50 U.S.C.App. § 2402 (5) and § 2407 (c), which make it illegal for a state agency to engage in anti-Israel boycott activities.

Freedom of speech and academic freedom are essential on a university campus.  However, it is very difficult for us, and for many citizens of this state, to understand how either “freedom of speech” or “academic freedom” applies in the case of a state-employed mathematics professor who has been using the state university’s taxpayer-funded server to promote his own personal hatred of the Jewish state and an illegal boycott against it.

This matter clearly requires legal adjudication, and yet after one year you still have not provided us with answers to the reasonable legal questions we raised.  Given the importance of this matter not only to the Jewish community but to all citizens of the state, we request that you do one of the following:

If Klein is in violation of state law, then please ensure that his “Boycott Israel Resource Page” is removed from the CSUN server and that Professor Klein is appropriately sanctioned for his illegal behavior.

If Klein has not violated California law, then please publicly clarify for us, and for the citizens of California, why the substantial evidence presented in the letter we sent you one year ago fails to demonstrate that Klein has violated state or federal law.

We hope to receive a response from you in the near future.


Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Co-founder AMCHA Initiative

Leila Beckwith
Co-founder AMCHA Initiative

Cc:  CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White
CSU Board of Trustees
CSU Associate Vice Chancellor and Deputy General Counsel Andrew Jones
Senior Assistant Attorney General Douglas Woods
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
California State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg (Northridge)
        California State Assembly Member Matthew Dababneh (Northridge)
California Senator Carol Liu, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education
California Assembly Member Patrick O'Donnell, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee
California State Senator Marty Block, Chair of Legislative Jewish Caucus
U.S. Congressman District 30 Brad Sherman
California Jewish community leaders
I'll let my readers know if Harris responds.

1 comment:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Is Barbara Boxer retiring? What I mostly remember her for is a speech in the late 1980s saying that women's conscience is clear on the Savings and Loan Scandal, but how do men feel when they see the signs announcing substantial penalties for early withdrawal. Has she done anything to speak of since that speech? Oh, well, isn't she from Marin County? How many people from Marin County does it take to screw in a light bulb? People from Marin County screw in hot tubs.