Proving Intent, Knowledge and Good Faith?
Posted by bsflag2007 on Thursday, February 1, 2007
Once upon a time I was on the Board of a condominium association (I’ll never do that again). We had a problem with someone stealing the potted plants out of the hallways/public areas. Amazing but true.
We also had a self-appointed enforcer of all rules great and small. He didn’t seem to find any contradiction in his endless reporting of his neighbors for leaving their newspapers in front of their doors past noon and his own parking in the handicapped parking spot — but since we didn’t have any handicapped residents, he insisted he wasn’t hurting anyone.
This gentleman was also endlessly fascinated by the fact that I had in my possession a set of master keys (left over from when my company built the building). He cornered me on many occasion’s to insist that I use my keys to look inside other people’s homes for the missing plants or evidence of other “crimes” – like his newspaper (which seemed to disappear on a regular basis).
He burst into a Board Meeting one evening to report yet another complaint and insisted we should enter the “suspect’s” home to search for evidence.
He then announced that if I gave the keys to the group – “we” could enter the condo and I wouldn’t have to worry about being sued. The lawyer who was there explained that would only make all of us vulnerable to a lawsuit.
With some pride he began waiving the Condominium Documents – “it says here that the Board cannot be held liable for actions taken in ‘good faith’ “.
He said all we had to do was “just say we did it in good faith”.
Now there’s a plan — just lie about good faith – “just say” you did it in good faith.
Sadly, some of the other Board members were willing to entertain the notion — if only to shut the guy up.
If you don’t need this concept explained – then you’ll understand the problem with the legislation proposed by Barack Obama and Charles Schumer (d-ny) with the support of our own Ben Cardin.
The Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007, calls for “penalties of up to $100,000 and five years in prison for those convicted of KNOWINGLY communicating false information on the time, place and manner of elections, voter eligibility and rules, a candidate’s party affiliation, and endorsements.”
Though this is not a new problem — you all may remember the recent election and the various “oddities” including the “Democratic sample ballots” which could have tricked some folks into voting for Ehrlich/Steele —- there is an endless list of examples of “dirty tricks” which are clearly intended to confuse or misdirect certain groups of voters in the hopes of giving advantage to a specific candidate – not just in Maryland (maybe even less in Maryland than other places).
I can see it now —- witness for the defense….. “You say the election wasn’t changed to Wednesday? I really didn’t KNOW that. Steele is a Republican? Say it ain’t so! I thought everyone had to show their passport to vote! I’m actually dumber than a bag of rocks. Can you prove I’m not?”
Verdict: not guilty.