Coastal Santa Barbara [location of Neverland] is part of California's 23rd congressional district, which is held by Democrat Lois Capps;
the inland is part of the 24th district, which is held by Republican Elton Gallegly.
In the State Assembly, Santa Barbara is in the 33rd and 35th districts, which are held by Republican Sam Blakeslee and Democrat Pedro Nava, respectively.
In the State Senate, Santa Barbara is part of the 15th and 19th districts, which are held by Republicans Abel Maldonado and Tom McClintock, respectively.
I shall also approach Karen Bass, Speaker of the California State Assembly and champion of the anti-paparazzi law.
[Update: these names may have changed since the last election.]
Dear [name of politician] ~ I’m writing to you in your capacity as [office] of [district] where I live. I am your constituent. Address City, State, Zip Email Address Telephone Number PetitionOnline.com Petition 9/22/2010 http://www.PetitionOnline.com/MJJ2010/
Around July-August of 2010, a small number of MJ advocates formed a group, California Anti-Defamation Legacy Law, whose main goal is the protection and preservation of his and other deceased person’s legacies’ and of course the vindication of Michael Jackson in mainstream media. Whatever your personal feelings about Michael, few would disagree that for the last half of his life, Mr. Jackson was the target of persistent and perverse media bias that violated every principle of responsible journalism.
We initiated an online petition on September 22, 2010 using PetitionOnline.com and have over two thousand endorsements, so far, from those who believe an anti-defamation legacy law should be put in place. On February 6, 2011 we changed the petition site to Change.org and, at present, have greater than three hundred signatures.
We’re dismayed that, even after his death, old foes persist in impugning the reputation of an outstanding American entertainer, father, son, brother and friend. Regrettably, new foes have emerged. For example, U.S. Congressman Peter King’s slanderous attack on Mr. Jackson was a disgusting example of a widespread problem that’s not easy—but not impossible—to address under our First Amendment.
There is no evidence that Michael Jackson was a pedophile. The FBI’s recent disclosure of their ten-year effort to confirm this accusation found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Many searches of his homes, his possessions, 16 computers and his life found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. A jury of his peers found him not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing in his interactions with children.
Mercy was not shown to Michael Jackson in his lifetime. We would like to correct this injustice for the sake of his memory and for his children. However, ours is more than a Michael Jackson project, because there are countless other deceased public and private figures who are also regularly defamed. A quick Lexis Nexis search of “defamation of the dead” was ran by Catherine Coy, founder of the Vindication group MJTruthNow, and it produced over 1,000 law journal articles that have addressed how those still living (heirs of the deceased) can be hurt by these attacks but have no legal remedy. (I have enclosed three relevant articles)
We feel strongly that the time has come to consider a law prohibiting defamation of the dead. We’re seeking a California legislator to champion this effort. With your initial indication of interest, I can provide you with more solid information about the problem and, more importantly, discuss the practical aspects of your support of this cause. We’re cognizant that your time is limited because so much effort must be directed at campaign efforts. We’re hopeful that if we support your efforts, you’ll be interested in this worthy goal.
Since October 28, 2009, MJTruthNow has enrolled Michael Jackson advocates by approximately 50 per day and is growing exponentially. This is before we have even begun marketing our cause. Conservatively, there are millions of Michael Jackson advocates in California and the United States; multi-millions throughout the world.
We understand that defamation laws are written by each state, although state law is subject to the rulings of the U. S. Supreme Court, which has set the constitutional standards under the First Amendment. If any state would be sympathetic to such a law, it strikes me that California—the base of the motion picture industry—might be at the top of that list. We’re confident that if we could find one or more legislators interested in this subject, many in the entertainment industry would also support it. We have discovered that there are five U.S. states, Colorado, Idaho, Georgia, Louisiana, and Nevada that already have criminal statues regarding defamation of the deceased.
Would you kindly consider my proposal for a law against defaming the dead and let me know if this problem, long unaddressed until now, resonates with you.
Dear [name of politician] ~ I’m writing to you in your capacity as [office] of [district] where I live. I am your constituent. Address City, State, Zip Email Address Telephone Number
I’m writing to you in your capacity as [office] of [district] where I live. I am your constituent.
City, State, Zip
PetitionOnline.com Petition 9/22/2010 http://www.PetitionOnline.com/MJJ2010/
Revised Edition of CCoy’s letter by: MJ Brookins
Sample Letter 3 to CA Legislators
Dear Assemblymember/Senator (name):
I am writing to express concern over the general lack of integrity, responsibility, and accountability on the part of our news media in all of its forms: print, broadcast, and electronic. There has been a deterioration of truth and unbiased objectivity in the presentation of news. There has even been a shift in what is considered news. Specifically, this letter addresses the media’s treatment of those who are deceased. The coverage of Michael Jackson’s sudden death in 2009 is a perfect example of a press out of control. While the media’s treatment of Mr. Jackson during his lifetime was the most aggressive and egregious misuse of the power of the press that has ever been seen in our country, it is even more disturbing that it continued denigrating him after he had passed on. Although Mr. Jackson is a widely known celebrity, the same treatment can befall anyone in our country whether they are a celebrity, a politician, an average citizen, or even a child.
Journalists hide behind the First Amendment while they exploit people for entertainment and profit. Freedom of speech is a right that we enjoy in our country, and to lose any part of that freedom would be a travesty. However, with freedom comes responsibility. The California Constitution actually addresses the issue of responsibility, as follows:
ARTICLE 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
SEC. 2. (a) Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press.
Words are powerful, and leave their affects long after they have been uttered. It is reprehensible to continue to damage a person’s reputation by promoting rumor, innuendo, gossip and sensationalism as fact after they can no longer protect themselves.
I am asking you to initiate a bill that would make it unlawful to defame a person who is deceased. Slander and libel are not protected expressions of speech under the First Amendment while a person is living. The same protection should be extended to a person after they are deceased. The loved ones of someone who has passed on should not have to live with the continued defamatory stories that can so easily be paraded as fact.
Although a high profile celebrity is named here as an example of media out of control, the damage of the press extends to every citizen, regardless of fame, wealth, or social standing. It is time to take a stand against irresponsible journalism and fight to protect the rights of those who can no longer fight for themselves. Please consider this issue worthy of action.
Email Address: Cadeflaw_group@yahoo.com
Petition Site: http://www.change.org/petitions/protect-and-preserve-the-legacy-of-those-deceased-those-left-behind-can-still-be-hurt
| Last Updated 01.19.11|