What's In A Title?
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California April 25, 2001For a beautiful navy blue T-shirt with "J.A.I.L." on the back and www.jail4judges.org large and visible over the pocket, imprinted in a bright yellow-gold lettering, send your check payable to J.A.I.L. for $11.95 plus $4 S&H. (Discounts on volume quantities.) Wear them to your next courthouse function and watch the reaction.What's In A Title?Six years ago I ran for a two-year elected position on the ballot for an office within my political party, the name of which party is not relevant to the point here being made. I spent no money for my election, and two re-elections. This election privileged me to use the title "Representative," and I became "Representative Ronald Branson."With my elected title I made the best of it. I prepared and printed professional looking stationary just like Congressional stationary, and I included the "Rules & Bylaws" under "Committees" to which I had been appointed. I also identified my position as "Secretary, 38th Assembly District," to which I had been further elected.With this elected title and stationary, I began to "kick butt." I got on to the County of Los Angeles, (Supervisor Michael Antonovich in particular) about the removal and rehiring of Judge Henry Patrick Nelson from the Los Angeles County Court system for repeated and habitual acts of judicial misconduct, the grounds of which were openly spelled out in the media newspapers. Under heat of facing public removal, Nelson agreed a few days prior to his facing a disciplinary hearing, to take an "unrevokable retirement" from the County of Los Angeles to circumvent his disciplinary hearing.We all thought that that would end the career of corruption of Judge Nelson, and alleviate the complainants who had filed charges against him. However, the County of Los Angeles re-hired disciplined Ex-Judge Nelson secretly through the back door, gave him a raise in salary while also still paying this miscreant Nelson a hansom judicial retirement. In other words, he was rewarded for his misconduct. Even now the taxpayers of the County of Los Angeles are forking out two huge salaries to Ex-Judge Nelson to defend other Los Angeles County judges accused of judicial misconduct, and he is still generating complaints of unethical behavior with complaints to the State Bar.My "Representative" stationary got their attention, which would have otherwise been ignored. Supervisor Antonovich wrote a letter to County Counsel instructing them to get in touch with, "Assemblyman Ronald Branson and address his concerns." When County Counsel called me, their first question was, "Mr. Branson, are you a State Assemblyman?" I answered no, I am a Representative for the 38th Assembly District. The results of the substance of my complaint was, that they justified their re-hiring of Ex-Judge Nelson, saying, "Nelson is doing a very fine job of defending judges."On another occasion I was traveling Highway 14 when a California Highway Patrol Officer pulled me over, observing that my tag were not current. I showed him the documentation that I had indeed paid for the new tab, but had not yet received it in the mail. He then proceeded to cite me. I pointed out that under the California Vehicle Code, that no law enforcement office may cite a person who has paid for, but has not received the instrument required, he responded, "Take your argument before the judge and he will dismiss the citation, I'm just doing my job." I told him to go do his job somewhere else, that he was violating the law.Due to paperwork I had filed, they brought me before an honest to goodness judge and prosecutor, not a traffic commissioner. I made my argument, and the judge took a recess. During the recess, not even calling the court to order, he came out with a law book in his hand and said to the prosecutor, "Mr. Branson is right, this court has no jurisdiction, I am dismissing this case." I said, "Judge, may I have your decision on the court record." He refused. He knew I would likely sue the Highway Patrolman for willful violation of State Law, and that I would have a prima facie case against him with his decision. Well, he was right.I filed the paperwork with the State of California making my claim against their officer for his willful violation of State Law. They monkeyed with the claim, letting time pass, and eventually denied the claim saying that this officer was following departmental policy and was just doing his job. Therefore, he did nothing wrong. Upon hearing of this CHP "policy" for the very first time, I revised my claim, directing it at the California Highway Patrol for maintaining a policy of instructing their officers to willfully violate California Law; the very law that governs their conduct.As Representative, on stationary I asked the CHP Commissioner to produce the policy they relied upon that instructs their CHP Officers to willfully violate state law. They first denied the request to provide the policy, but due to pressure, they eventually sent me a piece of paper for the sake of sending a piece of paper. The paper said nothing about CHP policies, much less that officers are to violate the law. Of course, I knew they had no such written policy, and that if they did, the certainly would not send it to me to hang themselves.As to my claim against the CHP Department, they denied it saying that my claim was past the six months requirement. So that is why they would not tell me anything on the former claim until after the six months had past. So as a "Representative" ferreting out crime in government, we now have it on record that the CHP has a stated policy (though they cannot produce it in writing) that instructs their officers to commit acts that violate the law!My third incident involving use of my title as a representative was in relation to a complaint I had filed (prior to the LAPD scandal now public) with Internal Affairs against an LAPD officer for refusing to allow me the use of sanitational fixtures, i.e., a toilet, during incarceration. I was placed into a cell having no toilet, floor drain, nor water. When I stated that I had to use the toilet, I was told that I would get to use the toilet as soon as I gave a Social Security Number. That was impossible, since I have none. I told the officer that if he wanted me to ramble off some random numbers to him in order to use the bathroom, I would accommodate him. I asked what the nexus was between a Social Security Number and use of a toilet, [i.e., was this religious harassment against those with conscience, or do that somehow think that those who object to being numbered like branded cattle never urinate or have a bowl movement.] After being ignored, and the passing of time making matters worse, eventually I was forced to repeatedly use a flat floor for a toilet with no containment because I didn't have "the Number," creating a "Health and Safety" violation, and an unsafe environment. After all, isn't government so very concerned over Health and Safety violations?The response from Internal Affairs after a "full investigation" was that they found that the officer had done nothing wrong, and that the matter was now closed. What's more, an LAPD Sergeant came out and said to me, "Mr. Branson, if you don't quit calling yourself a representative, I'm going to have to arrest you." I then showed him my election certificate that says, "Certificate Of Election - I, Conny B. McCormack, Registrar-Recorder/ County Clerk of the County of Los Angeles, State of California, do hereby certify that at the Election held on March 26, 1996, Ronald Branson was duly elected a [Political Party Committee] representative of the 38th Assembly District." For the last six years I have been duly elected and re-elected as "Representative for the 38th Assembly District," and have served all the public very well, regardless of Party, and not just in my Assembly District.Yes, titles open doors and get attention. But what they see after they open the doors they may not like, but that is quite another matter.I AmRepresentative Ronald BransonAuthor/Founder JAIL4Judges
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