Call to the Attorney General

LOS ANGELES PUBLIC ACCESS

COALITION


(LAPAC)

David Hernandez, President
P O Box 9158
No.
Hollywood

91609
818-448-3403

 

 

 

December 8, 2008

 

 

Honorable, Edmund G. Brown Jr.

Attorney General of California

California Department of Justice

PO Box 944255

Sacramento, CA 94244-2550                                      BY FEDERAL EXPRESS MAIL

 

 

Attention:Attorney General Brown      Urgent Action Requested

 

Re: Time Warner Public Access Studios and Channels, City of Los Angeles

 

Dear  Attorney General  Brown,

We are writing to you with the greatest sense of urgency.  As the States’ top law enforcement official only you can stop what most certainly will be travesty on December 31, 2008 if Time Warner Cable, who has notified the city of Los Angeles, is permitted to close down all fourteen public access studios and channels on that date.

The Los Angeles City Council has failed to take any action to replace the facilities leaving thousands of public access producers and millions of cable subscribers in the dark, withith  fourteen channels and studios where vital public programming has been produced and cablecast for over 25 years. The Los Angeles City Attorney as failed to take action to protect the public from losing these vital public assets.

The issue has sat in committee for over a year and at this late date the council has referred it to a second committee, just days before the closing is to take place, without the benefit of either a Financial Impact Report or Community Impact Report.

 Page 2

Under the 2007 enacted DIVC legislation, the City will be responsible for establishing the public access facility/capacity as of January 1, 2009, but no actions have been approved  and there has been no proper evaluation and assessments for the financial resources needed to implement and sustain such an operation.

The same can be said for the impact on the public welfare. Without a community impact report, our council members can not determine with any accuracy the full extent of the loss to the community.

We realize the process has started and there will be a resolution at some point but for now, we are faced with the clear and immediate fact that the studios will be closing in less than three weeks with no plan, process or procedure in place and the certaintinty that entire public access will be shut down, harming the residents of the City of Los Angeles.

The studios should not close until the public’s rights have been are secured and replacement of the lost facilities are in place.

Therefore we are respectfully requesting you take the following action on behalf of the residents of Los Angeles:

 FILE FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF under California Business & Professions Code 17200 section 3. The basis for this action is as follows:

California’s unfair competition statute, Business and Professions Code sections 17200-17208, like  its federal counterpart, section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act(15U.S.C  Section 45 et seq), serves as a general prohibition on unfair and deceptive business practices and also as an antitrust law.

 Section 17200 defines “unfair competition” to include any “unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice” as well as “unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading “.There are five potentially distinct theories of liability under section 17200.

1.     Unlawful business acts or practice;

2.     Unfair business acts or practice;

3.     Fraudulent business acts or practice;

4.     Unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising; and

5.     False advertising and related practices covered by B&P 17500-17577

 

The broad purpose of Business and Professions Code section 17200 is “to permit tribunals to enjoin on-going wrongful business conduct in whatever context such activity might occur.”(People v. McKale (1979) 25 Cal.3d 626 In particular the purpose of the “unlawful” practice provision it “to extend the meaning of unfair competition to anything that can properly be called a business practice.

 The U.S. Supreme Court in FTC v Sperry & Hutchinson, 405 U.S. 233, 244(1972), in which the Court held that FTC Act Section 5 could reach beyond “the letter and spirit” of existing trade regulation laws to other wrongful business practices. The Sperry & Hutchinson noted the relevant factors for determining unfairness to be: “(1) whether the practice offends public policy, (2) whether it is immoral, unethical, oppressive, or unscrupulous; (3) whether it causes substantial injury to consumers.

 Page 3

In brief, the court must weigh the utility of the defendant’s conduct against the gravity of the harm to the alleged victim.

 Here, the action of closing fourteen public access studios and channels offends public policy , is immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous and causes substantial injury to consumers who will be prevented from viewing independent programs on the City public access channels. The gravity of the harm to consumers outweighs any benefit to Time-Warner.

 

We are  requesting that you file for a Temporary Restraining Order against Time Warner to continue the service until such time as the City has provided alternative and equal facilities.

 

On behalf of the Coalition, associated listed below, and all  Public Access Producers, Community Advocates and subscribers thank you for the consideration you will give to this vital and time sensitive matter.

 

 

 

 

David Hernandez, Chairman

Los Angeles Public Access Coalition (LAPAC)

PO Box 9158,

North Hollywood, CA 91609

818 448 3403

 

Associates of LAPAC

 

 

 

 

Missy Woodward                                                                                                Leslie Dutton, Producer

Critter Crusades                                                                                                 Full Disclosure Network   

 

Dr. Dan Wiseman                                                                                 Charlotte Laws, Producer

You’re Neighborhood Council

 

Kevin McKenna, Producer                                                                 Dr. Susan Block, Producer

Executive Director IDEAS

 

Charlie Mount                                                                                      Elaine  Brown

CLASSIC ARTS SHOWCASE

  

Lady Cage-Barile, Producer                                                                              Keith Hardine

 

Michael Cohen, Producer                                                                  Shane Devins, Producer 

 

 

               

 

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