My human rights organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, or AFDI, was back in court Thursday – crossing swords, or in their case, clubs, with the deeply corrupt clique of rich fixers: Judge John Koeltl, Victor Kovner, now lead attorney for New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, or MTA, and smoking his fat cigar behind closed-doors libeler Charles Moerdler, the MTA board member who led the MTA’s ban against issue-oriented ads – that is, the ban on free speech to protect their friends from our anti-BDS campaign. (See ads here.)
The ban came after we won a First Amendment case against the MTA after it refused to run our ad shedding light on Hamas Jew-hatred. Instead of complying, the MTA quickly changed its policy. Behind all this was the members of this clique’s efforts to protect their friends: wealthy Jews who fund BDS initiatives, who are exposed in another series of AFDI ads.
Moerdler as much as admitted this in his libelous attack on us before the MTA board. On a side note, when Charles Moerdler was boasting about and flaunting being a Holocaust survivor (which was simply evil), he neglected to mention that he was the lead lawyer for the Austrian banks that aided the Nazi war machine and profited by selling Jewish assets during World War II. These descendants of Tammany Hall remind me of the deceptions of the ferocious tiger that was killing democracy. In those days, the media went after these destroyers, depicting the Tammany Tiger laying waste in numerous political cartoons. Today, the media wipes their boots.
The bottom line is that we are not close to settling this case. While we won the substantive claim – that the MTA’s refusal to run our ad under the older policy was illegal and unconstitutional (which is why we seek judgment for nominal damages), the court dissolved the injunctive relief that would have required the MTA to run the ad after the MTA changed the policy. We have appealed that decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals because we still want the MTA to run the ad.
The parties and the court agreed that the court would grant our judgment on the constitutional violation when the MTA denied our right to run the ad. Our complaint sought “nominal damages” (typically $1). Under federal civil rights statute, that entitles us to get an award of attorney’s fees and costs as the prevailing party. Those fees and costs are today in excess of $107,000 (not to mention the cost of the distress and damage to our reputations).
We will challenge the new policy regarding no “political” ads, defined by the new MTA policy as no “disputed” social issue ads. The MTA will be hearing from us on that, too.
It’s important to point out how close the political players are. The judge should have recused himself, but he was put there for a reason. Victor Kovner and Judge Koetl are very good friends – and their conduct during these proceedings deserves closer scrutiny. They were practically telegraphing each other and disallowing many of our standard requests, Kovner machinating to rule on the side of Kovner and Moerdler and Co.
Victor A. Kovner, once New York City’s chief lawyer, is now, ironically enough, Victor A. Kovner, a partner in the media and First Amendment practice at Davis Wright Tremaine, one of New York’s most powerful law firms. That he should represent a First Amendment practice while working to successfully shut down the First Amendment in New York City is pretty rich. Kovner has been quietly working behind the scenes to shut our ads down long before this case. Back in September, Obama fundraiser Kovner (now representing the MTA) called on New York City Mayor Red Bill Blasio to “do more” in response to our “anti-Muslim ads.”
Kovner is extremely left-wing. He left the administration of David Dinkins (arguably New York City’s worst mayor ever) when, according to the New York Times, he was “frustrated by the budget cuts that put a progressive City Hall agenda on hold.”
Well, deBlasio fixed all that. These power-brokers are running roughshod over our basic freedoms.
You can just see these greasy, country clubby, cigar-chomping, brandy-drinking 1-percenters patting themselves on the back: “Job well done, friends.” As far as they’re concerned, it’s to hell with the First Amendment and rights of all men.
Judge Koeltl had previously assured us during proceedings that despite these close friendships, he could and would be impartial. And I said at the time that I would reserve judgment. Well, the verdict is in: The corrupt judge lied. He’s just another corrupt, compromised cog in the liberal-fascist Democrat political machine, otherwise known as New York politics.
The New York Daily News headline on this story blares: “MTA, Pamela Geller mull deal tied to anti-Islam ads on NYC buses.” It’s an anti-jihad ad. If you oppose jihad, and even if you oppose the terrorist group Hamas, the media call you anti-Islam. It shows a not-so-subtle support of jihad – and is emblematic of the corruption and moral confusion that reigns in the MTA, and in New York City in general, these days.