If you don't read LITA-L you've been missing out on some classic legal decisions. On Wednesday 2 list members posted links to pages about Lawrence Lessig running for congress under the subject "Lawrence Lessig for Congress?" One was Lessig's campaign page, the other, a pointer to the Facebook group "Draft Lessig for Congress." There were no follow-up messages, there was no discussion, nothing more than 2 list members pointing to a few web sites under a subject that ended with a question mark. 7 hours later, LITA-L readers were told to:
"discontinue this discussion. Our legal counsel has advised that "the Internal Revenue Code prohibits ALA from supporting or opposing a candidate for public office. Treasury regulations define the phrase "candidate for public office" as meaning "an individual who offers himself, or is proposed by others, as a contestant for elective public office.""
Most surprising, this message closed with this warning:
"I will be removing all messages on this topic from LITA-L. Please do not continue this discussion."
By now you're probably thinking of all the lawyer jokes you know, but don't finish that thought! The punch line came yesterday afternoon:
"And then in today's American Libraries Direct, which is surely more directly connected to ALA as an organization than lita-l, we see a similarly informational blurb, "Lessig considers a run for Congress" -- Read More