woes, wrote a letter this week that serves perfectly as an exemplar of
their tactics, skills and competence, or, more accurately, of their
shortcomings on all three fronts.
From the legal eagles who brought us Measure A, a proposed city
ordinance unfettered by state law, federal regulations and the U.S.
Constitution, came a legal analysis so moronic that I expected better
even of them.
On Tuesday, Rothenbach believed Measure A's forum foes would be local
resident Tom Bruehl and Rev. Larry Stamper, pastor of Burbank's First
United Methodist Church. Aside from Bruehl's job at Paramount Studios,
and his roles with local civic groups, he volunteers for the Providence
St. Joseph Foundation.
Rothenbach's letter charged that Stamper's and Bruehl's forum
participation would imperil the tax-exempt status of the church and the
hospital charity. Employing logic as twisted as his claims that Measure A
can withstand the legal challenges virtually every expert has opined it
will succumb to, Rothenbach said Bruehl and Stamper opposing the measure
would constitute the foundation and church engaging in "lobbying
activities." With the skill of an elementary school student rifling law
books, Rothenbach cited laws and rulings that forbid "charitable
organizations" from lobbying.
In fact, Measure A's forum opponents won't include Stamper, a former
mayor and councilman, but I'll get back to that. And demonstrating the
same disregard for detail exhibited in crafting Measure A, Rothenbach's
letter got Bruehl's volunteer title wrong. He's a board member, not the
chairman, president or any other kind of officer.
Adding the patina of hysteria seen in everything Rothenbach and
McConkey touch, and their dire concern for innocent victims, the letter
added that the tax deductions of donors to the church or hospital may be
disallowed if the charity-stained pair take part in the forum.
The well-typed, formal letter was utter rubbish, citations based on a
ludicrous assumption, completely out of context, with omissions big as