VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 26   |   JUNE 29 – JULY 5, 2011


Anonymous bullies in our midst

The First Amendment remains one of our most cherished rights

CAVE CREEK – There are people on a bullying spree against Sonoran News and our advertisers and it points squarely at Cave Creek Unified School District and/or the political action committee (PAC) supporting the 15 percent budget override.

The chosen language is the giveaway: “negative, divisive and controversial publication” and “negativity and divisive rhetoric.”

We present facts the school district and PAC don’t like. It’s not because the facts are misrepresented that makes them unhappy but the fact that they are not misrepresented in a manner that suits them.

So, a person, or group of people, has embarked on a campaign of sending letters, anonymously, to each of our advertisers in an attempt to bully them and threaten their businesses if they continue to advertise with us.

This is also something a small group led by a 14-year-old student who picketed us last year threatened to do.

Some speculate the letters could be initiated by City Sun Times in an effort to gain market share.

The letters are anonymous, so they could be from Venezuela Dictator Hugo Chavez for all we know.

However, what the letter proves, through statements such as, “You are probably already learning that citizens in our community are turning away from the negativity and divisive rhetoric that comes from this ‘publication,’” is, love it or hate it, people read Sonoran News, including whoever drafted the letter.

That is what exposes people to our advertisers.

And, it appears their efforts are backfiring, as our advertisers are contacting us and providing us with evidence that most likely will reveal who is mailing these letters, which could subject them to both civil and criminal charges ranging from interference with a contract to threatening or intimidating.

However, if it is CCUSD and/or anyone associated with the district involved in this campaign, they may want to consider reading two of this week’s articles regarding U.S. Supreme Court opinions issued on Monday with respect to the First Amendment.

Better yet, it might be a good history lesson to read the entire opinions (one is 68 pages and the other 92 pages), including the majority as well as dissenting opinions.

While the letter tells our advertisers, “Please consider your advertising options carefully. Your business depends on it,” if these are school affiliates involved in this anonymous bullying campaign, perhaps it would be best they study these two U.S. Supreme Court opinions.  (Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett and Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Assn.)

Even justices Antonin Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor, who are ideological opposites, at least agree that the First Amendment is one of our most cherished rights.

And, freedom of speech and freedom of the press is not only for the purpose of presenting ideas with which everyone agrees.

readers love sonoran news