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The Political Landscape:

Rep. cites CdM incident in talk on cyber-bullying

Linda Sanchez mentions ACLU lawsuit from CdM High in hearing on prosecuting Internet bullies.

October 13, 2009|By Brianna Bailey

U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood) on Wednesday evoked the case of Corona del Mar High School graduate Hail Ketchum during a congressional hearing on cyber-bullying.

Ketchum was at the center of an ACLU lawsuit against Corona del Mar and the Newport-Mesa Unified School District earlier this year, after three varsity athletes from the school posted a video on a social networking website, Facebook, in which they graphically described raping her in the back of a pickup truck.

Sanchez told part of Ketchum’s story to a House Judiciary subcommittee during testimony on the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act this week.

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The legislation would give prosecutors more authority to prosecute people who use the Internet to harass, belittle and threaten. The act is named in honor of a 13-year-old Missouri girl who hanged herself after a cyber-bullying incident involving the social networking website MySpace.

“If Bobby posts a video on his Facebook page that harasses and threatens to rape and kill Ashley, that video isn’t private. It’s not buried on Bobby’s profile page somewhere. It’s public. It appears when any of Bobby’s Facebook friends log in — right there up front on their home page, so they can’t miss it,” Sanchez told the subcommittee. “This story isn’t just a hypothetical. It happened to a brave young woman named Hail Ketchum-Wiggins, who lives in Southern California, near my congressional district. And similar bullying incidents are happening every day to young people across our nation.”

DEVORE SLIGHTLY AHEAD OF FIORINA IN NEW POLL

The latest Rassmussen Reports poll shows Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer well ahead in a 2010 ballot box faceoff with either Assemblyman Chuck DeVore or former Hewlett Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina.

But male voters, it seems, prefer DeVore.

The survey found likely voters would favor Boxer over DeVore by 9 points in a 2010 matchup, or 46% to 37%. Fiorina fared slightly worse, trailing Boxer by 10 points in the poll, or 49% to 39%.

Male voters would give DeVore an advantage in a matchup with Boxer, because women would prefer Democrat Boxer by double digits in either race, according to the poll results.

VAN TRAN is NAMED LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR

The Apartment Assn. of California Southern Cities on Wednesday named Assemblyman Van Tran its Legislator of the Year.

“It means so much to me to be recognized for my work in Sacramento supporting property owner rights and the needs of small business — two things that are constantly under assault in the Capitol,” Tran said in a written statement. “Instead of acknowledging the need to reduce state spending, the Legislature continues to offer gimmicks, fees, taxation, regulation and litigation. We need to reduce regulation, reform litigation, lower taxes and start creating jobs in California if we want businesses to return and thrive.”

The association lobbies to protect the rights of rental property owners.


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