Human Rights Commission director was regulating 'hate speech' - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, December 6, 2019
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Human Rights Commission director was regulating ‘hate speech’

MARTI BUSCAGLIA DIGS DEEPER THE MORE SHE EXPLAINS HERSELF

Pro-tip for Marti Buscaglia: She may want to just stop talking to the press. She’s not making it better and now that there’s an official investigation into her conduct, it’s time for her to just clam up for a bit. In fact, taking a quick vacation to Hawaii would be advisable.

Buscaglia, the executive director of the Alaska Human Rights Commission told a reporter on Friday that she simply wasn’t sure:

Was the “Black Rifles Matter” truck decal free speech or hate speech?

Since she wasn’t sure, she took action to regulate it as hate speech in a parking lot on A Street that is leased by the State.

Buscaglia left her calling card — her official business card showing the authority vested in her by the State of Alaska — on the truck belonging to Brenton Linegar, who owns a small plumbing firm that had a contract to do repairs on the building. It was a heavy-handed message to a private citizen to get off the parking lot of the State of Alaska.

Buscaglia, whose agency has an official Facebook page, then took a photo of the back of the truck and decal and posted it on Facebook with a provocative comment meant to shame the truck owner: “In what world is this OK?” she wrote.

Under the Seal of the State of Alaska, Buscaglia was doxxing the owner of the truck — publicly shaming him on Facebook. That wasn’t enough for her. She decided to hurt his business by sending an email to the owner of the building asking him to ban the plumbing company from doing work.

Buscaglia — or her staff — felt the immediate backlash from Alaskans on Facebook, and the sting of their comments led her to remove the post from the official State page.

She offered an explanation that “it offended many gun owners who felt we were against the second amendment and the right of citizens to own guns. Please know that is not the case. Our concern was with the connotation of the statement to the Black Lives Matter movement. We know some of you were offended by the post so we removed it.”

Buscaglia was showing her confusion: Gun owners on Facebook weren’t offended by the agency’s action due to the Second Amendment. It was the First Amendment they were concerned about.

After all, this is a state agency with a mission of enforcing fines and penalties on people for their behavior. The agency had, on Thursday, suddenly expanded its mission from regulating behavior in hiring and housing to regulating speech on public property — a massive scope expansion.

[Read: Human Rights Commission vs. First, Second Amendment]

As the Human Rights Commission public relations nightmare started blazing, Buscaglia’s phone started to ring. By Friday, the news media had taken notice.

She told the Associated Press: “I think the line between being protected by the First Amendment and hate speech is very fine. And frankly, I wasn’t sure which one this was.”

HATE SPEECH A NEW REGULATORY AREA FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION?

The U.S. Supreme Court has, on multiple occasions, shown that whatever hate speech is — and that is an elastic term — it’s protected by the U.S. Constitution.

The Court has said, at least six times in recent years, that even offensive speech is protected. Those protections do not necessarily include lewd, obscene, libelous or “fighting” words — “those which by their very utterances inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”

[Read: Dunleavy investigates bureaucrat’s attack on gun-loving plumber]

However, even that speech has strong protections. Rappers and hip hop artists have been threatened with with obscenity or outright censorship efforts, and rap lyrics made a name for themselves in the 2015 Supreme Court case Elonis v. United States, when the Court was asked to decide whether a song was a real threat because it contained lyrics that appeared to threaten the rap artist’s ex-wife. His conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court.

But at the Alaska Commission on Human Rights, there is such a thing as hate speech, and Buscaglia is on the lookout for it, and has shown a willingness to use the authority of her office to punish people who she thinks is violating some kind of law. A law that doesn’t exist is being enforced.

 

Buscaglia later told KTUU that her business card contained direct phone access to her and she had hoped to receive a call from the truck owner to learn more about the bumper sticker.

“I wrote it on my business card expressly for the purpose that I expected the person to call me when they got it,” she said. “It has my direct line on there. The connotation that if you pull into the human commission parking lot and you see a truck with that sticker, you would wonder what’s going on.”

That’s not what her note said. It said “Please do NOT park this truck with that offensive sticker in this parking lot.”

Along with her business card was one from Kendall Rhyne, chief probation officer for the State of Alaska.

Buscaglia claimed she was just trying to start a conversation with the truck owner. But was she? Or were those cards meant to add authority and intimidation to the handwritten note?

In any case, she may not have started the conversation she wanted to have. Linegar, the truck owner, took the matter to his friends on Facebook, asking them if there’s something he didn’t understand about the Black Rifles Matter sticker.

FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTS POLITICAL SPEECH

The purpose of the First Amendment is to protect the public from people like Marti Buscaglia, those who appoint themselves philosopher kings to sit on high and decree which political speech is protected and which must be removed from the public square — and from government-owned parking lots.

As a person who had a career in newspapers, Buscaglia evidently never grasped the rule of law provided by the Constitution. She is now the agency chief in charge of enforcing — or abusing — its protections.

And it’s taken a plumber to point out the problem with the situation.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • 3 features to remember about social justice warriors:

    .

    1. SJW’s always lie.
    2. SJW’s always project.
    3. SJW’s always double down.

    .

    I recommend to anyone engaging with them the excellent resource the excellent “SJW Attack Survival Guide” with the cardinal principle being: NEVER APOLOGIZE EVER. You will just be confessing guilt.

    • What is amazing is that the ED of Alaska’s HRC doesn’t understand the difference between elementary school civics and Social Justice dogma.

      But of course Democrats have had dominant control over education for the last 2 generations and hijacked it to the left. This is the result.

      What is most disturbing to me is the attempt to ruin the plumber’s business. That should be a punishable crime. What if it worked?

      • Not to mention she is a “journalist”, which we all know have been leaning hard left for a long time and don’t bother with facts.

        • She’s the furthest thing from being a journalist, she’s more of an activist and should not be working for the State of Alaska as head of the Human Rights Commision when she is in clear violation of protecting those rights.

      • Absolutely Right!
        Abuse of power SHOULD be punished.
        Those in power do not hesitate to mete out punishment. They must be reminded, from time to time, that therules THEY enforce applies to THEM as well.

  • In light of current state budgetary problems due to over government, this is a commission which should be eliminated, with all it’s expensive staff, entirely. What direct accomplishments do they have to support the need for and cost of their existence?

    • This is especially true as the duties of the Commission are largely redundant of the duties of the EEOC. The elimination of any duplicative State government service should be under serious consideration. If the Executive Director can concern herself with the minutiae of a random truck decal in her building’s parking lot, I would suggest that she and the Commission simply do not have enough real work to justify the Commission’s budget.

      • Well said! And clearly she is not a gun owner!

  • Great reporting as usual Suzanne. Sincerely appreciate the thoughtful reporting.

    • Mr. Linegar, it’s a shame that you have to go through this process. If you seek redress for a state official attempting to circumvent your 1st amendment right, as well as tortuously interfering with your plumbing contract, please consider suing Marti Buscaglia individually, named as a defendant in your legal action. You could sue the State of Alaska for violation of your rights, but a suit against Ms. Buscaglia will get a lot if attention by everyone. Best of luck to you and sorry you got wronged by this idiot executive director.

      • Please sue we need to defend ourselves agianst these idiot people that think they have the power to do anything to anybody i am so angry that this happened by a goverment official that is supposed to protect our rights and how about the parole officer was he going to put you in jail

    • If I need a plumber, I know who to call.

  • Ah alas… they always show their colors in the end, don’t they? She just can’t shut her mouth and her “excuses” are lame. Her scrambling is pathetic and sophomoric. Her best bet would have been to just say she was wrong. People can most always forgive that. Gun owner, no gun owner, black guns, black people…it matters not. What she did is a threat to everyone. Anyone with a bumper sticker, a screen-printed hoodie or t-shirt, etc. should be worried about people like this in positions of power – especially at the Human Rights Commission. The irony is such I had to re-read what I just typed! And then to further ask the building owner to ban the company? Good Lord lady, what were you thinking? The social justice warriors are so whipped up they can’t stop and think. I personally think a review should be conducted on every decision made and every case submitted to this agency under her tenure. If you can’t park in a public lot with a bumper sticker without her panties getting in a wad, what has happened to cases submitted that don’t fit her narrative? Did they end up in the shredder? Was something that may have leaned in favor of something that wasn’t “liberal” enough and fit her likes and desires compromised by her lack of “knowledge” or concern for the rights of ALL people?
    .
    The only answer is for her to go. Her time is up and her true colors exposed. The Governor has no choice now. Gov. Walker fired a H&SS employee for less (Rogue tweet about the President). DOC person I’m not sure. Haven’t heard his/her story yet. Was he/she complicit or did she just grab the business card for the “threat” factor?

    • She is probably already burning books.

  • I read that Black Rifles Matter) was started by a black man to let other blacks know about their 2nd amendment rights.

      • Sounds like the landlord needs to evict the government agency for harrassing one of their lawfully employed contractors! Surely her village is missing an idiot. These people only want one thing, CONTROL. YES I think a lawsuit is in order, any Pro Bono lawyers handy?

  • Thank God for plumbers!

    • I would be more inclined to thank James Madison for writing and proposing the first 10 Amendments to our constitution…
      Without the Bill of Rights, neither free speech or the right to bear arms would exist.
      Funny point in U.S. history is that Madison started the “Democratic-Republican” Party which was considered the first “opposition” party in America…and look where they both are today.

  • Great article, probably the most comprehensive and “real” one I’ve read so far. I think the irony being left out of this entire fiasco is that the founder of Black Rifles Matter is a black man from Philadelphia who is a wonderful speaker and activist. How is it hate speech if the person who founded the group and profits from sales of merchandise like the sticker is in fact black?

  • At this point, it can’t be more clear: Marti Buscaglia is not fit to be the Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission for the State of Alaska. Her political proclivity and personal agenda is defined to include blind hatred and intolerance of another’s point of view and protected speech. She is also a despicable bully, using the resources of the government to address her position. She is beyond the bounds. It is interesting to note, as an aside, that her resume includes former publisher of the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, the wacky Left-winger’s rag in Fairbanks. Dermot and Terrence Cole must he so very proud of Ms. Buscaglia, for trampling on the rights of others that they disagree with, then pounding it to death with their ever so boring writings. I hope the Governor fires this woman and sends a clear message to all, that the swamp is still being drained of slimy creatures who lurk in nasty cesspools, waiting to extinguish the rights of non-government workers.

    • What worries me is the fact that she even works for this administration.

    • Amen Marla. It isn’t only the rights of non-government workers that are being stomped on. She stomped on everyone’s rights that don’t align with her thinking. Government workers included.

  • I one of our businesses that’s regulated by the State of Alaska we’ve had inspectors that tell us to make a change. When asked where in the regs that requirement is stated we often get the “We feel” response.

    Take note that many of these inspectors/regulators have never worked in the real world which should be a requirement. Education does not count as experience.

    • Excellent point!

  • “Deep State” on parade. Eliminate this department and apply the savings to the Alaska State Trooper budget or better yet, the budget gap.

  • Alaska’s “Bonfire of the Vanities” SJW version? Pop your corn and find a comfy seat. The next few years are gonna be entertaining…

  • In 1956 when I Russia’s Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev said, “We will take America without firing a shot. We do not have to invade the U.S. We will destroy you from within….” To think that it will never happen, well now to see Khrushchev’s words coming true. Please Americans support our Governor as he weeds out this menace!

    • Ed,
      I agree with you on your quote from Khrushchev, as we see these same thoughts currently with Putin as president of Russia.
      Only today, the threat is more a “cyber” threat as more and more of U.S. technology contracts are now outsourced to foreign IT companies.
      NetCracker is a Moscow based company with an office outside of Boston that does work for the Pentagon as well as GCI.
      “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind,” said Putin, reports RT. “It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

  • My best advice to her is to resign before she’s terminated and seek employment in Portland.

  • So Suzanne, what is her direct phone number that is on the card? I can’t make it out.

  • I called the commission and filed a complaint. Turns out recording gives her number as well. Thus a message left to her as well.
    Something that came to mind during those messages. Alaska has the strongest protection on privacy in our State Constitution of any State. She violated his right to privacy as well with the picture, my understanding, that included his License plate number as well.
    Black Rifles Matter has only to do with a description of a rifle. So that is not “racial” in any way. Now as to hate speech, Black Lives Matter organization calls for killing cops. That is HATE SPEECH and yes PROTECTED SPEECH! No matter how vial that is to me, SCOTUS has protected that vial speech.
    This will be an interesting week or so!

  • The most horrific thing about this is that this woman felt Justified in her actions. Which were by the definition of the laws she was meant to regulate a ‘hate crime’. She interpreted someone’s free speech based on her narrow bigoted mind set. Then based on her hatred, acted in a manner designed to hurt that person, both personally and professionally. This was made even more egregious in that she used the political office which she holds as a bolster for her actions. At the very least she should be prosecuted and due to her position in government be subject to the highest penalty offered under the laws she was meant to regulate.

  • How did Kendall Rhyne get involved? Did he just wander over and volunteer to leave his card? Did Marti ask him to participate? 2 high level state employees tell a private citizen to move his truck using their official business cards. Conspiracy, harassment. But then Marti goes on with the FB post, defaming his business and emails the building owner to use another contractor. Again, using her state position to harass the truck owner. The only hate speech here is Buscaglia trying to destroy the plumber’s business.

  • WOW! Nice try. My one simple question. Why is she still there?

  • Is there a way to email Human Rights Commission Executive Director Buscaglia and the Commissioners? We do not do social media. The AK website only gives phone contact information for the Commissioners or “file a complaint.” We are new property owners to Alaska and we love that our friend who lives there full time connected us to Must Read Alaska.

    • I’d give them a call. They can ignore an e-mail, but you can really make your case by phone. More calls they get, better the outcome can or should be!

    • Go to the State’s website and search for a state employee. http://alaska.gov/whitepages/
      .
      She is one (for now). Put in her name, and her email, etc will pop.
      Firstname.lastname@alaska.gov

  • Free Speech is under assault.

    Sadly, there are a lot more Buscaglias and Rhynes entrenched within Alaska state government.

    It seems like most of them work for state agencies that are not critical for our state to function.

    Yet these agencies are still draining our budget.

    Please take note, governor Dunleavy.

  • For those upset about the Governors actions to investigate, here is what Ms. Buscaglia said last year about how she handles complaints to her office:

    “First we get the inquiry. The investigator assesses whether there has been an act of discrimination under Alaska Statute 1880. If so, then they draft a complaint. Once the complainant signs that, then the respondent is served and asked to provide a position statement,” explained Commission Executive Director Marti Buscaglia. “Then it comes to me, as the head of the agency, to decide whether I’m going to send it through mediation or straight to the investigations process. We offer mediation on almost every case unless it’s a public policy issue or if it’s a very egregious complaint, for example, certain types of sexual harassment I wouldn’t send to mediation.”

    Are her actions egregious? Using your official position to threaten a persons livelihood and condemn his work? Yes, they are. She was willing to condemn a man, his workers, and his business without any due process. This abuse deserves a penalty equivalent to that she tried to wrongfully impose on an innocent person. In her position, she makes decisions that can ruin peoples lives. She has shown she lacks judgement. Remove her from her position, she has failed to uphold the higher level of behavior someone in her position should be required to have.

    Her history also demonstrates a willingness to offer lame excuses for her own blatant disregard of truth (lying on resume), yet a very judgmental viciousness in condemning those she disagrees with (hunters, gun rights advocates, etc).

  • Lets not forget her sidekick. This was probably not their first time to abuse their authority.Fire them both.

  • Wow. The State of Alaska Thought Police. Many things come to mind, but right off the bat I wonder the cost of this commission to the State, and in times of tight budgets perhaps we don’t need fund the thought Police.

    The idea Ms. Buscaglia draws a state salary and rides that to a state retirement is really disturbing to me. Don’t we need officers of the Peace far more the “Thought Police”

    • Steve, well said. Question arises, it is a criminal offense both Federal and State to violate another’s civil liberties. Thus if a person has a complaint they can go to a lawyer and/or to the Federal government.
      I agree, the money spent on this office may very well pay for what another 8-10 State Troopers or maybe 5 or more DA’s?

  • And frankly, I wasn’t sure which one this was. Her job is not to know? And then commit restraint of trade because she wasn’t sure? You can be sure if it was a bumper sticker endorsing pro life she would not have been offended.Is there room in her job for personal bias? Wasn’t some one just questioned about her personal beliefs during her job interview. Didn’t we just read a story about that? Is this commissioner going to sue the plumber for libel also?

    • She may very well find offense in any and everything, especially pro life if she is pro choice.

  • If Commissar Buscaglia acted under color of law, Brenton the Plumber might be looking at a generous, early retirement.
    .
    Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242:
    “Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States,…shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both…”
    .
    Ninth Circuit Court noted in “United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299, 326 (1941)”:
    “Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with the authority of state law, is action taken under color of state law.”
    .
    Abuse of power, conferred by state law, is an action under color of law. [West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 49-50 (1988)].
    .
    Then there’s Anderson v. Warner, 9th Circuit, June 26, 2006, No. 04-15505; 2006 DJDAR 8188; the Ninth Court held three requirements for acting under color of law:
    (1) acting or pretending to act in the performance of official duties;
    (2) acts were intended to, and did, influence behavior of others;
    (3) conduct must be meaningfully-related in some way to official duties.
    .
    Good luck, Brenton the Plumber!

    • My understanding is that if two or more people “conspire” that it is a federal felony that is in it self another violation. ?

  • Buscaglia said “I wrote it on my business card expressly for the purpose that I expected the person to call me when they got it,” if that was her express purpose then why didn’t she write call me at the number on the front of this, my government supplied business card? Instead she wrote “Please do NOT park this truck with that offensive sticker in this parking lot.” Then she went and posted her opinion on a government website on a government supplied computer, and tried to get the plumber fired.

    I’m guessing that when she wrote “In what world is this OK?” she never thought about the irony that what she was doing is not OK in this world.

    • Well said. Leftists usually fail to see the irony in their thoughts and deeds. If they do succeed on “seeing” them in their own mind, they ignore those thoughts and justify their actions in the name of “social justice”.

  • “Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation or custom willfully subjects any person, in any state, territory, commonwealth, possession or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or Laws of the United States… May be imprisoned and fined, or both, under this title…
    18 United States Code Section 242

    This is a Federal Felony, maybe someone needs to tell those who left their cards in an attempt to intimidate a citizen in the pursuance of their First and Second Amendment Rights. Of course if both were actually there and participated together then it is a conspiracy and that is covered under Sectio 241 of the same title except now it’s 10 years and a $10,000.00 fine or both.

    Yep, we need more government to pay more ignorant people to harass we citizens. Socialism at its finest moment folks. This is straight up Marxist ideology to denegrate people in pursuance of their rights to implement behavior modification and control. See “cognitive behavior modification” for details on how this is accomplished. Or did you think all these moves were simply coincidence? The same commissions of other states were the ones filing suits against the baker and florist. The baker won and they set him up again after the Surpreme Court upheld his position. That is the measure of these critter’s resolve. They are out to persecute you for how you think, act or believe and they will use any reason to achieve their goals.

    Like bad politicians they need to be run out of town and the only way to do that is to turn up the heat and keep it up politically. Letters, phone calls, emails… contact them so much they puke when they hear your name. Oh don’t forget personal visits… be sure to take friends!

    Time to hoist the black flag and start slitting throats… euphemistically speaking of course 🙂

  • Oops, the internet remembers all:

    Marti Buscaglia, the outgoing publisher of the Duluth News Tribune, no longer is destined for a new job as publisher of the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif.

    N. Christian Anderson III, the sitting publisher of the Register, said Wednesday that Buscaglia withdrew after it came to light that she had misrepresented her educational credentials on her resume.

    https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/2249888-resume-claim-costs-publisher-new-post?amp&fbclid=IwAR1aXccMLiMEErGHo4NcmglGdBvGucuU9uhvSGY2–30YGZkOSCynuQa0LU

    • “Buscaglia’s resume incorrectly claims she earned a Bachelor of Arts in advertising/communications from the University of Lima in Peru.”

      Was this correspondence course work, a U.S. citizen living in Peru and attending school or a foreign immigrant from or transit in Peru before coming to US?

      Were these credentials also incorrectly used in her Alaska job application? March in Alaska has many areas of very thin ice that can be the downfall of over-confidence.

      • I’d like to hear the answer to the issue of her current resume and what she claimed to get her this job.

  • Oh ya Oldsarg, this one has been floating around for awhile. I’m sure the Governor’s office is “reviewing” the credentials she used to get this position. Although Gov. Dunleavy didn’t initially hire her, he sure should be the one that fires her; bogus resume or not.

  • Welcome to the progressive paradise. Here in Canada the various HRCs are constantly trying to impose their agenda on citizens through their insane rulings with no actual thought. I hope the plumber and his employer are able to work through this and the self righteous twit has to answer for her actions.

  • It’s refreshing to see so many in support of the contractor and constitutional rights/freedoms.

    These two and people like them need to go.
    Shame, shame, shame!!

  • I just spent some time reading the statutes, AS 18.80, setting forth the jurisdiction and responsibilities of the Equal Rights Commission. I do not see ANY provision that authorizes Ms. Buscalgia to engage, within the scope of her employment, in the acts described here. In particular, the statutes in no way permit her or her agency to “police” free expression.

    This is a fairly straight-forward case. Ms Buscalgia should be terminated for misuse of her position, incompetence and perhaps criminal activity. And we haven’t yet seen if she has misrepresented her qualifications. There are many Alaskans with college and graduate degrees and the necessary intelligence that would welcome the privilege of serving Alaskans within the bounds of the law.

  • Ms. Buscalgia and Kendall Rhyne need to be terminated ASAP due to their abuse of power. Anyone else in their department that supported them and furthered their agenda should go as well.

  • The Director is still on her Job??? She should have been immediately fired from this position

  • All of my guns are black except for one that has a wooden stock, which is brown. I don’t discriminate against any of them. I believe “all guns of color matter.” If I had a bumper sticker stating that and had parked in “her” parking lot, I’m sure it would have been overlooked … just saying.

  • If Buscaglia knew enough about the owner of the truck to slam their business to their client, she knew enough about how to contact them directly without abusing her office. If she wanted to start a conversation, she would have reached out to them directly, not to their clients or to her official State audience.

  • Is this woman still employed? It’s been long enough to have an investigation into Russian Collusion.

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