Attack Cory Briggs’ Ideas But Leave The Man Alone

Brian Brady Brian Brady 14 Comments

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I think Cory Briggs’ enviromental lawsuits are bat*** crazy but the KPBS/inewsource “expose” is a fishing expedition because he’s challenging the Tourism Marketing District (TMD) tax.  The TMD is a crony capitalist weapon, aimed at stifling competition, in a market which sorely needs competition.

Cory Briggs is not someone I revere but smearing the man’s name, for anything other than being an enviro-wacko, is a cheap, tawdry, two-bit trick. There was a time when I thought that Republicans were better than this.   Today is not one of those times.

I’m interested in defeating Briggs on the “gridiron of ideas: because I think our ideas are superior to his.  Attacking his reputation is an admission of defeat on that gridiron.

UPDATE:  In the comments below, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith explained that he did not question Briggs.  He requested information from a city contractor (Helix) about a potential conflict of interest.  I was misinformed about the inquiry.

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Comments 14

  1. How does inewsource reporting that Cory Briggs’ wife worked on projects and EIRs that he later sued over have anything to do with the TMD or Republicans?

  2. Brian,

    Why would you accuse these two reporters of fabricating stories and having an ulterior motive to promote crony capitalism? Yes, we are surrounded in our culture by Orren Boyles and Wesley Mouches, but these two investigative reporters are neither.

    Their stories raised a concern that a lawyer who has sued the city many times over environmental work during the past 10 years had someone on the inside of the city’s primary outside contractor doing its environmental work without anyone disclosing that to the city.

    Whether it turns out that the arrangement was just fine or not, don’t you think that should be looked into?

    Jan Goldsmith

  3. Post
    Author

    “Why would you accuse these two reporters of fabricating stories and having an ulterior motive to promote crony capitalism?”

    Because that’s what it looks like. Let’s start here:

    The first story had to do with trust deeds. I know a little bit about them so I pointed out that the reporters made hasty generalizations with an intent to suggest fraud. Naturally, they’re wrong and that story didn’t bite.

    The next day, a completely different accusation (the alleged potential of conflict of interest) comes out, from the same news source. This looks like a fishing expedition.

    “Whether it turns out that the arrangement was just fine or not, don’t you think that should be looked into? ”

    If you have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, I sure do, but when I read your question as written, it looks like a fishing expedition. I don’t think that you (or any City Attorney) should go on fishing expeditions against political foes.

    I want to be clear: I’m not accusing you of this, but telling you that to the voter without a law degree, this has the appearance of a political fishing trip.

    Kudos to you for responding here, Jan. I wouldn’t expect you to litigate your case here but your questions and explanations are appreciated.

  4. I have some concerns about the reporting of the Briggs stories, particularly the liens one. It’s extremely difficult to understand, seems incomplete and has been refuted pretty effectively by Briggs without a response.

    But this conspiracy theory is, as you say, batshit. The reporters thought they had a story. Maybe they were wrong. I bet they don’t even know about TMD or the lawsuit.

    Sometimes journalists swing and miss. That’s all.

  5. To clarify, I do think it’s possible Goldsmith fed the reporters a tip or two. But that’s also normal journalism.

  6. Brian,

    Let me see if I understand. A lawyer makes his living suing public entities based on the inadequacy of their environmental documents and his wife is a rather high ranking employee in the company that writes those documents. She is also an officer in the man’s law firm and your problem is with the reporter that uncovered these facts?

    I agree with you that prosecutors are not supposed to go on “fishing expeditions,” but investigative reporters certainly should. There isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a standard of “reasonable suspicion” when chasing down a story. If there was, Richard Nixon would have finished his term in the White House.

  7. Scott,

    I am not so sure that Mr. Briggs has “refuted pretty effectively” the allegations concerning the liens. He has explained that the liens are commonly used as a payment guarantee, but he hasn’t explained why the liens were for significantly more than the value of the property. I believe this part of the story still has quite a bit left to be told.

  8. No, Scott, the reporters came to me for the first time a few days before their stories ran. They already had the information. They say they worked on the stories for 5 months. They enlightened me about the environmental work. They learned of the connection with Helix Environmental last fall by googling her name and then investigated.

    My request for full disclosure went to Helix, not Cory Briggs. There are conflict of interest protections in their contract. Some of the questions I have asked Helix are why the city wasn’t told of this connection, what steps were taken to keep her off city projects and away from city files, what city projects did she work on, etc. There is also a document that is part of a separate lawsuit that contains some info bearing on this that we want to ask questions about.

    We have not filed a lawsuit. We have not accused anyone of improprieties. We have asked for a full explanation.

    Cory Briggs is not my political opponent. He is a lawyer who has sued my client a lot. There are obligations of a lawyer that might apply, but I haven’t seen a basis for any accusation at this point. My questions have been addressed to Helix, not Cory. Helix is the one who contracted with the city and has an obligation to explain. They have indicated they will cooperate.

    There are too many politicos getting ahold of this and spinning speculation as conclusions without asking questions. I would rather ask questions and figure out what occurred before reaching conclusions.

    Jan Goldsmith

  9. Post
    Author

    “My request for full disclosure went to Helix, not Cory Briggs.”

    Thank you for the explanation, Jan. I was under the impression you were questioning Briggs, not Helix. To answer your earlier question:

    “Whether it turns out that the arrangement was just fine or not, don’t you think that should be looked into? ”

    I think you should question any city contractor, about their performance, if you are unclear about a possible impropriety.

    I was clearly misinformed and appreciate that you explained it here.

  10. Brian,

    Recent disclosures show that Cory Briggs’ wife was Vice-President of his (their) law firm and never disclosed that information to her employer, an employer who was well paid to prepare documents that were meant to prevent the type of law suits that the Briggs’ law firm makes their living on.

    In light of those disclosures, do you still believe the news media is simply “on a fishing expedition” and that everyone should just “leave the man alone?”

  11. Maybe the Briggs’ are redefining marriage in a left-wing conspiracy to bring down society?

  12. According to the stories in inewsource, it appears that the Briggs’ only refer to themselves as “married” when it serves their interest to do so.

    Whether or not they ever officially got married, there is certainly a conflict when the Vice President of a law firm that makes money by suing over the inadequacy of documents also gets a paycheck from the company that prepares those documents.

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