Glenwood Springs, CO
Class war in Aspen? Google Lee Mulcahy
Glenwood Springs, CO
Warning: rant to follow, but it's funny. My struggle with the limousine liberals from Winetka involves a battle that artists encounter even in Europe: the privatization of public space. It's one of the central question for our times. Not to mention---has government gotten too big? Are our Constitutional Rights as Americans being stripped by Obama? Should we borrow money from our future to support empire? Whether the Prez is Repub or "Democrat," it's the same result: endless war and no regulation of Wall Street. Is Obama another fraudulent politician? Are his friends, our local war profiteers/art philanthropists really DO AS I SAY crony capitalists, and worse, fascists? These are questions that the Right and the Left are beginning to merge on: petty tyranny and power to the people. It's why the tea party isn't going away, even if Obama loses. And he deserves too. See below or google NDAA or HR347. As for me, the Royal Crowns can't ban people from the community, despite their best efforts. Google lee mulcahy trespassing. LOL: the DA told me he's going for 6 months jail time. Justice, like our government, should not be for auction. The owners of the company that owns the company town will lose either way.-lee mulcahy, artist, aspen
front page--aspen daily news:
Wikipedia pages for town institutions are fair game for critics
Look up Aspen Skiing Co. on Wikipedia and one will find the sordid details of the company’s years-long battle with a former ski instructor who was fired after criticizing it for its pay policies. You’ll also learn about the firing of a singer who sang an unfavorable song about rich people in a crowded bar during aprés ski.
That type of information accounts for nearly half of the entry describing the SkiCo, and was posted by Lee Mulcahy, who is involved in libel and termination lawsuits with the company’s owners Jim and Paula Crown and its CEO, Mike Kaplan. Mulcahy also is banned from SkiCo properties and is facing trespassing charges after he allegedly stepped onto company property to serve court papers for his lawsuit against the Crowns.
But the worldwide web is apparently fair game; the SkiCo might not be able to ban Mulcahy from editing its Wikipedia page but it has removed his posts numerous times.
“He’s been doing it for a while,” said SkiCo spokesman Jeff Hanle.“We have taken it down and it goes back up.”
Mulcahy has taken credit for the material added to the SkiCo entry, just as he has for edits he’s made to the Wikipedia page of the Aspen Art Museum, whose properties he also is banned from. A local judge last month dismissed his lawsuit against the nonprofit and its chief executive. He sued on the basis that his First Amendment rights were violated after he was banned from museum property when he posted signs that were critical of the institution.
AAM spokesman Jeff Murcko said while the nonprofit is not certain who was behind uncomplimentary entries made to the Wikipedia page, museum personnel were first made aware of the “screeds” in February. Earlier this year, an AAM staff member went to the page to update the profile and noticed “weird” attachments, Murcko said.
“We were [like], what the?” said Murcko when the entry was first discovered.
Since then, the AAM regularly monitors the Wikipedia page. That’s much to the chagrin of Mulcahy, who said he finally gave up making edits and attaching newspaper articles chronicling his battle with the museum.
“[They] kept erasing [the posts],” he wrote in an email.“It went back and forth several times and I gave up since they have a staff of 20-plus people.”
As for the SkiCo, Hanle said it’s “not our top priority” to monitor the Wikipedia page and silence Mulcahy in that venue.“We have more important things to do.… We have a business to run and a community to support.”
Company officials, however, do not believe Mulcahy and his war against SkiCo deserve the ink it gets.
“It’s a desperate act by a desperate person,” Hanle said, adding Wikipedia is not a source that’s dependable.“Wikipedia doesn’t have the credibility.... It’s an open forum, you can’t believe what you read.”
Mulcahy said he made entries to AAM and SkiCo Wikipedia profiles to make the public aware of what he believes are injustices created by both organizations, which he characterized as bullies because they’ve banned him from their properties after his speaking out against them. He said the Internet is today’s method of spreading the word, much like the country’s revolutionary forefathers did by passing out pamphlets in town squares that criticized the establishment.
He called the entries “situationist art” and accurate.
“Bullying has occurred since David vs. Goliath,” he wrote in an email.“I try to use humor in my fight with big money so it’s not so personal but it’s about community and big money’s attempt to bully a community member by running me out of town.”
Judge denies SkiCo dismissal motion in ex-instructor lawsuit
by Chad Abraham, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Thursday, October 18, 2012
An Aspen man whose lawsuit alleges that the Aspen Skiing Co. and its owners are violating his First Amendment rights scored a victory earlier this month when a judge denied the company’s motion to dismiss the filing.
Senior Judge Thomas Ossola of Pitkin County District Court upheld Lee Mulcahy’s lawsuit against SkiCo, citing greater free speech protections afforded under the Colorado Constitution compared to the U.S. Constitution.
Mulcahy, a former ski instructor who was fired in 2011 after he distributed fliers to guests in the SkiCo-owned Little Nell hotel and in gondola plaza criticizing the ski school’s pay policies, sued the company and its owners, Paula and James Crown in February. He claims he was fired as retaliation for that move and for discussing instructor unionization.
In addition to firing Mulcahy — the SkiCo maintains he was dismissed for work-performance issues unrelated to the fliers and unionization discussion — the company banned him from all of its properties and from the four ski areas, land it leases from the U.S. Forest Service.
Mulcahy, who is representing himself and who also has an ongoing, separate libel lawsuit against SkiCo CEO Mike Kaplan, argued that the ban from public lands violates his right to free speech.
He wrote in the lawsuit that he and others similarly situated will be “chilled and burdened” in the exercise of First Amendment rights because of the continued threat of arrest on public property.
SkiCo’s attorney, Lila Bateman of Denver, had contended that the lawsuit should be dismissed because Mulcahy’s allegations were not supported by sufficient facts.
Bateman argued that claims under the First Amendment only apply to “state actors” and that SkiCo is not engaged in state action.
“To state a violation of the First Amendment, plaintiff must either allege that SkiCo is a state actor, or that its private property is nevertheless a designated public forum,” says Bateman’s motion to dismiss.
Ossola, though, disagreed, citing a case from the early 1990s involving a Front Range shopping mall.
“While [SkiCo] relies primarily on federal case law to support its position, Article II, Section 10 of the Colorado Constitution provides greater protections for free speech than does the First Amendment,” Ossola wrote in his ruling.
Ossola cited Bock v. Westminster Mall Co., in which the state supreme court held that Section 10 applied to the privately owned shopping mall.
The case involved two members of a political association known as “The Pledge of Resistance” who sought and were denied permission to distribute their pamphlets and to solicit protest signatures in the mall’s common areas.
In ruling that the Colorado Constitution protected the Resistance members’ free-speech rights, the state high court “based its holding on the fact that there was governmental involvement with the mall’s operation and the mall also functioned as a ‘downtown business district,’” Ossola wrote.
Mulcahy’s lawsuit alleges that SkiCo holds much of its ski properties as a tenant of the federal government and that it also owns nearly 50% of the commercial property in Aspen.
When these allegations are construed in a light most favorable to Mulcahy — as Ossola must do by law when deciding the merits of a motion to dismiss — the judge found that, if true, they “could support a free speech claim under Article II, Section 10 to the extent that [SkiCo] may qualify as a ‘downtown business district’ under Bock,” the ruling says.“It is also possible that the level of governmental involvement could further support a free speech claim under Bock.”
Bateman did not return a message about the ruling. Asked for comment, Mulcahy wrote in an email:“The Crowns do a tremendous amount for their kingdom but the problem is greed and abuse of power. Aspen is not Versailles nor is it their feudal kingdom.”
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