First Amendment Coalition (FAC) Notified of Government Retaliation (Part 1)

Is the First Amendment Coalition a coalition of phonies?

Is the First Amendment Coalition a coalition of phonies?


PREFACE:  Americans are led to believe that if a citizen/reporter were under attack by the US government for exposing public corruption, and the newspapers were aware of it, they would be up in arms.

I am about to test that belief.

I want to know if it is true...or is it just a big PR hoax cooked up by the media and government to fool citizens. 

I will start with The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) located less that 85 miles away from me in San Francisco.

The First Amendment Coalition says at their website that they are “an award-winning, nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to advancing free speech, more open and accountable government, and public participation in civic affairs.”

WOW!  Sounds like just what the Dr. ordered.

The FACs Board of Directors and their Advisory Board consists of newspaper publishers, reporters, and attorneys specializing in media.

I contacted them and explained briefly that I was a citizen publisher that was under attack by the government for exposing public corruption.


Karl Olson, defender of First Amendment Rights, or a government propaganda shill in disguise?

The person first said they didn’t know if they got involved in addressing such things.  Admittedly, I was a little taken aback but I pressed on.

When I told her that one of their Board members, Mr. Karl Olson, of Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopczynski was  aware of the matter due to his being the attorney for McClatchy Newspapers in the case of Forte v. Merced County, she retorted with a laugh, and said “Well then, we’d  probably have a conflict.”

It seems reasonable to me that if a board member of the FAC was aware of a citizen/reporter being retaliated against by government for exposing public corruption and doesn’t say anything about it, then he shouldn’t be a board member.

Of course though, the reason why Olson is not saying anything is because there is overwhelming evidence that McClatchy Newspapers (and Olson) have been doggedly working to keep the attack upon me out of the newspapers….exactly opposite to what the FAC is suppose to do.

Let’s see if these First Amendment protectors of citizens’ rights to speak out against government raise an eyebrow about the attack upon me that one of their own board members Karl Olson is helping to orchestrate.

If no one from the FAC responds, then my point is proven.  They are a coalition of phonies.

I suppose I could also go to the Associated Press that has Gary Pruitt as President  who is also on the Advisory Board of  the FAC, and past publisher for 28 years of McClatchy Newspapers…and that has Karl Olson as their attorney in the lawsuit I have against them…or do you think that would be a waste of time?

Oh well!  If you start to see my story making head line news, then I have been proven wrong (gratefully and appreciatively so).




To:  First Amendment Coalition Board Members and Advisory Board

I need someone in the media or academia to bring attention to the matter of me being under attack by the government (CA) for exposing public corruption.

There is now a Petition for Review before the Supreme Court that focuses upon how I was declared mentally incompetent to conceal the false prosecution of me for exposing that I received death threats from a mayor after busting him with the FPPC (which I received national recognition for).

Please do not discount what I present.  Please give me the opportunity to provide the evidence of what I say.

Thank you.

Gene Forte

Publisher/The Badger Flats Gazette


Attached: California Supreme Court Petition for Review



First Amendment Coalition Board of Directors – 2013


  • Evan Hansen, President of the Board, Executive Editor,
  • Carol Melamed, Vice President, Media Attorney, Washington Post, Co. (retired)
  • Mel Opotowsky, Treasurer, newspaper consultant/former managing editor, Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA
  • Melanie Sill, Secretary, Executive Editor, KPCC Public Radio for LA and Orange Counties

Board of Directors

  • Kevin Bankston, Senior Counsel, Center for Democracy and Technology, Washington, DC
  • Bruce B. Brugmann, Editor and Publisher, San Francisco Bay Guardian
  • Duffy Carolan, Attorney, Davis Wright Tremaine
  • Guylyn Cummins, Attorney, Sheppard Mullin
  • Anh Do, V.P., Nquoi Viet Daily News,
  • Hal Fuson, Attorney, Former Executive Vice President, The Copley Press, Inc.
  • Dan Gillmor, Knight Center, Cronkite School of Journalism, University of Arizona, Phoenix
  • Richard Gingras, Head, Google News Products
  • Paul Gullixson, Editorial Director, Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Evan Hansen, Executive Editor,
  • Jay Harris, Former Publisher, Mother Jones
  • David E. Lee, Executive Director, Chinese American Voters Education Committee (CAVEC)
  • Scott Lindlaw, Attorney, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, SF, CA
  • Allen McCombs, Publisher Emeritus, Chino Champion
  • K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal
  • Carol Melamed, Media Attorney, Washington Post Co., retired
  • Steve Montiel, Media Specialist, UC Communications
  • Jim Newton, Editor at Large, Los Angeles Times
  • Karl Olson, Attorney, Ram Olson Cereghino & Kopczynski, SF, CA
  • John Raess, Associated Press, Bureau Chief
  • Rowland Rebele, Newspaper Consultant, Aptos, CA
  • Dick Rogers, former “Reader Representative,” San Francisco Chronicle
  • Arnold York, Publisher, Malibu Times

FAC Board Members Emeriti:

  • Edward Davis, Attorney, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
  • William S. Johnson, Publisher, Palo Alto Weekly
  • Jerry Ceppos, Dean, The Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno
  • Rick Pullen, Dean of the College of Communications, Cal-State, Fullerton
  • Tony Ridder, former Chairman and CEO of Knight-Ridder
  • Dan Day, Modesto Bee
  • Stephen Barnett, Emeritus Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law – Boalt Hall
  • Carole Wagner Vallianos, Attorney, Manhattan Beach
  • Morton I. Levine, Publisher Emeritus, Milpitas Post
  • Barbara Blinderman, Attorney, Moskowitz, Brestoff, Winston & Blinderman; Los Angeles
  • Ray Herndon, Los Angeles Times
  • Martin Weinberger, Publisher, Claremont Courier
  • Michael Hoffman, Training Editor, Ventura County Star
  • Ginger Moorhouse, President, Bakersfield Californian




FAC Board of Advisors

The First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce the creation of a Board of Advisors to provide advice to FAC’s Directors and staff.

Members of the Advisory Board are leaders and experts in areas of importance to FAC, including First Amendment law, journalism, the internet’s impact on free speech, Freedom of Information, philanthropy and the media industry. The initial nine members of the Advisory Board are listed below (in alphabetical order):

Floyd Abrams

Floyd Abrams

Floyd Abrams, partner at the New York law firm Chaill Gordon & Reindel, has been called “the most significant First Amendment lawyer of our age.” He has argued frequently before the Supreme Court, and been at the center of landmark free press cases, including representing The New York Times in the 1971 Pentagon Papers case and in 2005 representing reporter Judith Miller in her effort to protect confidential sources in the Valerie Plame leak case.


Lowell Bergman

Lowell Bergman

Lowell Bergman, a Pulizer-prize winning journalist, is Professor of Investigative Reporting at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Bergman is also a producer and correspondent for the PBS documentary series “Frontline,” and an advisor to non-profit investigative news organizations like the Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica.

Tom Blanton

Tom Blanton

Tom Blanton, is Director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University in Washington, D.C, which the Los Angeles Times described as “the world’s largest nongovernmental library of declassified documents,” including the CIA’s “Family Jewels,” over 700 pages of previously classified documents released to the NSA in 2007. The NSA specializes in the use of FOIA, declassification review, and other legal means to obtain national security records.



Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding dean and distinguished professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. An expert in the areas of constitutional law, federal practice, civil rights and civil liberties, he frequently argues cases before the nation’s highest courts. He is also a commentator on legal issues for national and local media and is author of seven books, most recently, The Conservative Assault on the Constitution.

Rebecca MacKinnon

Rebecca MacKinnon

Rebecca MacKinnon is a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation working on global Internet policy, free expression, and the impact of digital technologies on human rights. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, she served as CNN’s Bureau Chief first in Beijing and later in Tokyo from 1998 to 2003. Her book, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, was published in January 2012.

Dana Priest

Dana Priest

Dana Priest is a two-time Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter for the Washington Post. She won the Pulitzer in 2008 for reporting on unsafe conditions at Walter Reed Hospital and the 2006 Pulitzer for her reporting on on CIA secret prisons and counterterrorism operations overseas. In 2010, the Post published a special report by Priest and fellow reporter William Arkin called “Top Secret America,” detailing the national security buildup in the US following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Gary Pruitt

Gary Pruitt

Gary Pruitt is the new CEO of Associated Press, a job he’ll start in July after a 28 year tenure with McClatchy Company where he currently holds the titles of Chairman, President and CEO. In 1984, Pruitt started as general counsel at McClatchy, the third largest US newspaper publishing company, which includes the Sacramento BeeModesto Bee andFresno Bee. He was named president in 1995. During that time, he also served on the AP Board of Directors for nine years, and he is the former chair of the Newspaper Association of America.

Raymond Pryke

Raymond Pryke

Raymond Pryke is owner and publisher of Valleywide Newspapers, based in Hesperia, California. Pryke immigrated to the United States from Great Britain shortly after WWII. He used the power of the press to fight corruption in the communities his newspapers served, and in recent years has become a generous benefactor of free press and First Amendment causes, of which FAC has been a grateful recipient. In 2011, Pryke also gave the UC Irvine Law School a $1.5 million gift to establish an endowed chair in First Amendment Law.

Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin has written on legal affairs for The New Yorker since 1993. He is also senior legal analyst for CNN, which he joined in 2002 after seven years with ABC News. In 2000, he received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Eliàn Gonzàlez case. His most recent book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, was published in 2007.




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