The family of a father and two sons who were slain in San Francisco last year can go to state court with a claim that the city is to blame for failing to turn their alleged killer over to immigration authorities when he was arrested earlier as a juvenile, a federal judge has ruled.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera had asked U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to rule on the claim herself after dismissing the rest of the suit last month by Tony Bologna's widow and daughter. But Illston said Friday that the remainder of the family's case - that the city's negligence caused the killings - belongs in Superior Court because it is based on state law and challenges San Francisco's policies.
Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were shot to death near their home in the Excelsior district in June 2008. Edwin Ramos, 22, is charged with murdering them.
Ramos, a native of El Salvador whom prosecutors describe as a member of the MS-13 gang, was arrested twice as a juvenile, for an assault in October 2003 and an attempted purse-snatching in April 2004. Juvenile courts sent him to a shelter after the first incident and to the city-run Log Cabin Ranch in the Peninsula hills after the second.
Case records don't show whether police or juvenile courts knew that Ramos had entered the United States illegally. But under juvenile authorities' interpretation of the city's sanctuary policy at the time, they would not have passed that information along to federal immigration officials. Federal authorities learned of Ramos' status later but did not take him into custody for deportation proceedings.
The family's lawsuit says the city was responsible for the shootings because its policy allowed Ramos to go free.
Last month, Illston rejected the family's claim that the city's actions violated the shooting victims' constitutional right to due process of law. She said the city might be held to account if it knew Ramos posed a specific threat to the Bolognas, but not for releasing someone who allegedly endangered a large segment of the public.
Herrera's office urged Illston to address the negligence claim as well, arguing that it was governed by the same legal standard: a requirement that the plaintiffs show city officials knew the Bolognas were in danger and had a duty to protect them.
But Matthew Davis, the family's lawyer, said Monday that California law makes it easier to hold government officials accountable for allegedly harboring illegal immigrants or preventing police from reporting them to federal authorities.
As stated earlier, batshit lunatic DA Kamala Harris announced to the surprise of no one that her useless office would not seek the death penalty in the case. Mayor Greaseball weighed in on the subject, taking time out from his Gubernatorial fundraising - to visit the city he is allegedly the mayor of - to preside over a City Hall flag raising today to mark the anniversary of independence for Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Mexico!
You can't make this shit up.
(W)e at long last got to ask him about District Attorney Kamala Harris' controversial decision last week to not seek the death penalty in the trial of Edwin Ramos, the alleged killer of Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons, Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16.
You'll recall Ramos, an illegal immigrant, was never turned over to federal authorities after being picked up on other charges as a teenager. That policy has since been reversed by Newsom - and now undocumented youth are turned over when they're arrested for felonies - but the issue is expected to be a big one in the mayor's campaign for governor.
Anyway, Newsom is backing Harris' decision.
"I can sit here on the sidelines and provide punditry, but none of us are privy to the facts of the case so I defer to her judgment," he said.
Asked whether he expects the Ramos case - and the fact San Francisco isn't seeking the death penalty - to be problematic for him on the campaign trail, he said, "I don't look at issues like this as campaign issues. This is about human beings, about real people. It's not about politics."
We'll see about that.
First of all, the "facts of the case" simply do not matter to a heartless bitch like Harris. He could have murdered half the city and she'd still be making excuses. (Still you gotta admire her for sticking to her convictions... no matter how fucked-up, sick, twisted, evil, racist, and wrong they are!) (Actually, "convictions" is probably not the right word in this case...)
And Speaking of Newscum, this little tidbit is good for a laugh... and a shiver...
"I did not have sex with that woman... Gavin did... but I was next."
"President Clinton's record of achievement as president and as a senior statesman is inspiring to all Democrats," Newsom said in a statement. "I am truly honored that he will join me in October."
UPDATE: We asked Newsom today about the endorsement and he called it "a big deal" seeing as how it's coming early and during the primary campaign rather than the general election.
He said his ties to Clinton go back several years. The former president campaigned for Newsom during his first run at mayor in 2003, and Newsom returned the favor by endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. Newsom and the Clinton Foundation have partnered on a number of initiatives including Bank on San Francisco, which helps low-income people get bank accounts, and anti-obesity campaigns.
Newsom is far behind his expected challenger for the Democratic nomination, Attorney General Jerry Brown, when it comes to campaign fundraising and poll numbers. We asked the mayor if he thinks Clinton's endorsement will give his campaign a much-needed boost.
Newsom said the reason he's far behind in fundraising is that he's been focused on town hall events rather than dialing for dollars, which he said will change now that he's staying close to home in anticipation of the birth of his daughter.
"It's not that we've been struggling - it's that I've had a hard time doing both," he said.
This development led to some predictable - though still hilarious - comments from the peanut gallery...
"...this is too easy...I won't even go there..."
"Ah, yet another reason not to vote for Newsom."
"His sexual mores are the same as Gavins.
His economics are the same. Thanks for NAFTA jerk..."
"The First Black President meets Emperor Snortin'?"
"Is this a good endorsement for Newsom? It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."
"Cool. Clinton will piss away some more political capital on a candidate who won't even carry his home town. He will go down in flames. (Yeah, insert your favorite joke here.)"
"Bill Clinton's worst lapse of judgment ever, and I mean ever. Of every decision he has ever made in his life, this is the worst."
"I wonder what facet of Gavin's career has so impressed him."
"I don't want Newsom bending over California like he bent over his campaign manager's wife..."
"Great........first strategy meeting, tonight at nearest Hooters!"
"$50 says the stains on Newsom's suit match those on Monica's dress."
"I will never forgive him for passing NAFTA and effectively butt-raping every American working in the manufacturing sector."
"I'd say this means a lot of influential Democrats think Boy Gavin represents the future of the party. And boy is that bad news."
"My incredulity is only exceeded by my disgust. These two self-adoring pols deserve each other. As we all know, Mr. Bill didn't do his wife much good. I doubt that he can convince the public that Newsom is worth a damn. Newsom epitomizes all that has gone wrong with San Francisco in the modern era."
"Sorry, I mostly agree with Gavin Newsom but I cannot vote for him for supporting Illegal IMMIGRANTS. He supports gang activity, by harboring them in San Francisco, and keeping them there rather than deporting them. You can get away with murder in San Francisco if you are an ILLEGAL. Sorry Gavin, unless you can change that answer for me NO, I don't want you doing that for the entire state of California.""Bill - please stick to freeing journalists instead of pumping up a lousy, absentee mayor who is not going to win the Governor's office."
"Clinton was all about the new economy, remember? Ship mfg. overseas, bring in NAFTA, create puff jobs in Silicon Valley with phoney finance, and presto, abra kadabra, appearances work, temporarily."
Though some suggest that Clinton's support of Newsom is a case of "my enemy's enemy is my friend..."
"I watched the 1992 Democratic Primary debates, and Jerry Brown came after 'Teflon' Bill with everything but an ax. Brown was very disturbed that Clinton was doing such a good job at diverting attention from his indiscretions. Given the emotional cripple that Bill Clinton is, it's not surprising that he will back a poser like Gavin Newsom just to get some payback."
"Bill Clinton would raise money for a monkey in a dinner jacket if it ran against Jerry Brown. (A monkey in a dinner jacket could probably beat Newsom anyway.)"
One quick thing to remember about Bill Clinton coming to San Francisco to endorse Mayor Gavin Newsom for guv. Yeah,yeah, much will be said about how it is political payback for Gav endorsing Hillary Clinton for prez in the Democratic primary last year.
But it's not like Bill and Hill have a lot of love for Gavin's soon-to-be rival, CA AG Jerry Brown. As we've mentioned in our past chats about California endorsements, there may be a little bad blood between Jerry and Bill going back to 1992, when the two squared off in the Democratic primary....hmmm...Tsongas.