Friday, February 12, 2010

Obama Nominee Carla Hayden is Unfit for Administration Post; Dionne Mack-Harvin May Go to Jail for Following Hayden's E-Rate Advice

Dionne Mack-Harvin may be going to jail, along with some members the Brooklyn Public Library Board of Trustees.  Ethics charges may be brought against the attorney members of the board as a result.  Why?  For E-Rate fraud and conspiracy to commit E-Rate fraud.

Dionne Mack-Harvin obviously chooses to allow the matter of a potential $2.5M fraud to drop by ignoring it.  I have asked her for an interview and the production of documents that may reveal the truth, but she has chosen not to respond.

Here is something she cannot ignore:  people who defraud the E-Rate program go to jail.  People who conspire to defraud the E-Rate program also go to jail.  Dionne Mack-Harvin may be guilty of both, in my opinion.

And who may be ultimately responsible?  Carla Hayden, President Obama's choice for the National Museum & Library Services [IMLS] Board, and former American Library Association [ALA] President.   Carla Hayden's ALA recommended, on her orders as ALA President, the very means the Brooklyn Public Library used to defraud the federal government.  And now Carla Hayden is nominated to be a member of the same federal government she advised libraries nationwide to defraud.  To this day the ALA makes the same recommendation.

In 1997, a publisher was held liable for a crime committed by someone who read a book it published on how to commit crime then who followed that advice and killed three people.  Similarly, Carla Hayden published advice on how to circumvent the E-Rate law, libraries follow that advice, and some may now face criminal charges.

I do not blame the Obama administration one iota for nominating Carla Hayden.  I am hoping, however, that people will consider the evidence I am bringing to the fore, connecting the dots as it were, about the unfitness of Carla Hayden to serve in the post for which she was nominated.  I hope Carla Hayden withdraws from the offer or is otherwise prevented from forcing her past actions and inactions on the entire nation.

What is E-Rate?

What is the E-Rate program?  Please read "Overview of the E-Rate Program" in the "Information" filing in U.S. v. Rowner, Case No. 08 CR-20047-01-02 CM/JPO (D. Kan. 23 April 2008).

US v. Rowner E-Rate Fraud

US v. Rowner.  What is that?  That is the case where people were found guilty of defrauding and conspiring to defraud the E-Rate program.  That is the case that supports my speculation that Dionne Mack-Harvin and members of the board of trustees may go to jail.  Here are media clips on the matter:

Look at the specific offenses committed:  please read "Plea Agreement Pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(B) [Benjamin Rowner] (07/10/2008)" from U.S. v. Rowner,

Public Libraries May Be Committing E-Rate Fraud

Bearing that in mind, consider how public library directors and public library boards of trustees may be acting in substantially the same manner so as to obtain substantially the same goal.  Consider $2.5M may have been fraudulently obtained by the Brooklyn Public Library.  Consider $0.5M may have been fraudulently obtained by the Brownsville Public Library.  Consider they are the tip of the iceberg.

The American Library Association Aids and Abets E-Rate Fraud

Consider further the role of the American Library Association [ALA] in this fraud.  The ALA actually recommends taking action that it is aware may be illegal, but couches that action with language about checking with local attorneys:

Again, we must caution, however, that the options described above are untested in the courts and in the FCC, and there is no guarantee that they necessarily would be deemed legally sufficient.  Libraries considering these or other options, therefore, must consult their own legal counsel for an analysis of any specific policy. 

See:  "Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Legal FAQ," American Library Association, 20 October 2009, emphasis in original.  

What makes this really bad is the ALA took on itself the responsibility of guiding libraries on the proper response to US v. ALA, and that response is to violate the spirit of the law, if not the letter of the law, then tell libraries to get their own legal advice.  

ALA President Carla Hayden

Who initially made this recommendation at the ALA?  Former ALA President Carla Hayden.  She was the ALA President when US v. ALA was decided.  She promised the ALA would guide libraries on how to respond to the law:

In the wake of the CIPA decision, the priorities of the association are to:
  • Provide libraries with authoritative information regarding their choices and CIPA requirements, as they evaluate options and make decisions regarding the new legal requirements.  ....
In order to accomplish these goals, a variety of long and short-term efforts will be pursued by ALA, its committees, divisions and offices. These activities include:
  • Providing information on options available to libraries, including the choice of either applying or not applying for federal funds subject to CIPA provisions....

See : "CIPA Decision Response: A Statement from ALA President Carla D. Hayden and the ALA Executive Board," by Carla D. Hayden, American Library Association, 25 July 2003.

She later restated her responsibility: "'The ALA is committed to providing practical, real-life assistance to our members, as well as developing best practices and ideals for the profession,' said ALA President Carla Hayden."

But guidance was never delivered.  Instead, recommendations were made to skirt the law with the "caveat" to hire lawyers in case the ALA recommendations are wrong.   The ALA recommended the very means the Brooklyn Public Library used to skirt the law:  "The Internet terminals could then offer adult patrons the option of Internet access with the filter enabled or disabled.  ....  Upon the patron's assent, the terminal could provide unfiltered Internet access."  When I called the FCC, I was specifically told allowing patrons to unfilter computers for themselves violates the law.  In seven years since 2003 when US v. ALA was decided the ALA cannot call and make the same determination?  The Brooklyn Public Library uses this ALA means to evade the law.  It knows it is wrong as it says in writing something different that it allows in practice:  "adults may request that the filtering technology be disabled, and they need not explain the reason for the request."  Requesting unfiltered access is legal; clicking an on screen button to obviate the requirement to request access violates the law.

In addition, notice Carla Hayden gets top billing from the White House as a "veteran of the Chicago public library system."  As CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini exposed:

Online pornography is so clear and evident at Chicago libraries that we could actually see a patron looking at porn simply by standing on a city street and looking through the window. ....  [T]here are no guidelines against viewing pornography at Chicago libraries.  Even convicted sex offenders can use those computers to access sexually graphic images.

Worse, the Chicago public library system actively covers up crimes by not calling the police.  Oh yes, they have a policy to call the police, but the practice is otherwise:

The 2 Investigators obtained three years of internal incident reports from Chicago public libraries.

They reveal sex crimes ranging from flashers to inappropriate touching, and sex acts in bathrooms and men viewing child pornography online.

One-third of the offenses involve people masturbating while at computers.

Other reports include a registered sex offender caught masturbating, another sex offender and his friend trying to take a boy's picture and a man looking at porn while carrying a knife and handcuffs.

"A lot of parents let their children go to the library and do their homework and they have no idea what is going on up there," Hanson said.

Police are called in some cases, but not others.

A couple disrobing in a locked bathroom stall was arrested, but some men caught masturbating in plain sight were simply asked to leave for the day.

"Maybe some people make light of things, but what happens when a child gets abducted and gets killed?" Hanson asked.

Now here comes the stiff arm, the same stiff arm I expect from Carla Hayden:

We repeatedly tried to get an interview with Chicago Public Library officials. Instead, a spokesperson gave us a statement saying the library policy "... Is to call the Chicago Police Department when anything criminal happens."

Also, when staff members fail to properly handle incidents and don't call Chicago Police, they are retrained.

CBS 2 Investigators talked to registered sex offender Michael Connelly about viewing pornography in a Chicago library.  He says what he did was legal.

The source of the above quotations is "How Safe Are Our Kids In Public Libraries?  Convicted Sex Offenders Have Free And Legal Access To Pornography At Chicago Libraries," by Dave Savini, CBS, 21 December 2006, now available in archived format.

What could be worse than not calling the police?  How about thwarting the police, by covering up for a registered sex offender, no less:

The officer then stated he is a registered child sex offender. I had seen this man many times before in the library but had no clue. [Connelly] was later released and not charged with anything because [I was told that] although viewing obscene material in public is against the law, it is perfectly legal in a library -- in plain view of children and adult patrons.

The police were not allowed to retrieve the sites [Connelly] was looking at due to privacy issues with the library, so there was no way to prove that the images were of minors. ....

There are multiple reports of people fondling themselves, [of fondling] children, and even child abductions by these predators in our libraries. There are laws already in place to prevent these things from happening but are not being enforced inside of a library because of the first amendment right of "free speech."

Source:  "IFI's Smith Interviewed for Chicago's CBS Investigative Report on Criminal Activity in Neighborhood Public Libraries, by Illinois Family Institute, 21 December 2006, emphasis added.

Besides all that, Carla Hayden has been a fierce critic of the USA PATRIOT Act:

Hayden was so vocal in her fight against this part of the Patriot Act that U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft personally telephoned her and promised to declassify reports related to FBI surveillance. Undaunted, Hayden was instrumental in leading the ALA to team with the American Booksellers Association for a signature drive and petition to Congress to revise this section of the Patriot Act. For this effort, Ms. Magazine named her one of its ten Women of the Year for 2003.

Source:  "Carla D. Hayden," by Carol Brennan,, undated.

Be that as it may, her opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act is shared by a variety of organizations.  So that does not concern me as much as her activities for which the ALA is the lead organization, such as in advising on filtering public libraries.

Liberty Counsel Missed One

Liberty Counsel published a report "document[ing] the beliefs, words and actions of more than 100 radicals that Obama has hand-picked to 'change' our nation."  See "Liberty Counsel Report Documents Obama’s Radical Nominees and Appointments," by Liberty Counsel,, 27 January 2010.

I read the report only so much as to see if Carla Hayden is in it, and I take no stand on it otherwise.  Hayden is not in the report.  Liberty Counsel missed one!  See, "Obama's Appointees and Nominees," by Mathew D. Staver, Liberty Counsel, undated (circa 27 January 2010).  This report has 72 pages and 862 footnotes—and I thought I heavily linked my research!  I urge Liberty Counsel to consider investigating what I have reported, then add Carla Hayden to its list.

Carla Hayden in the IMLS:  The Fox Minding the Henhouse

This same Carla Hayden has just been nominated by President Barack Obama to have a big say over what goes on in American libraries.  Now the ALA solution of do nothing and skirting the law is coming to the United States government.  Now the Chicago Public Library anything-goes policy is coming to the United States government.  It is like the fox minding the henhouse.

As library law expert Mary Minow has noted, "[U]nder ... the Children's Internet Protection Act, ... the library and IMLS may come to an agreement to bring the library into compliance."

Under Carla Hayden, the IMLS will never bring any library into any compliance.  She was the ALA President at the time the ALA lost US v. ALA and she promised to provide guidance to libraries.  Not only did she not do that, but she advised libraries how to skirt the law.  She then used CYA language to protect the ALA.  Carla Hayden will never bring any library to comply with any filtering law.  She must not be allowed to join the IMLS.

Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors

Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors is a book that advises how to be a hit man.  Someone read the book then murdered three people.  Paladin Press, the publisher of the book, was sued for "aiding and abetting" the murderer.  Rice v. Paladin Enterprises held the publisher liable for the triple murder.

On the night of March 3, 1993, readied by these instructions and steeled by these seductive adjurations from Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors , a copy of which was subsequently found in his apartment, James Perry brutally murdered Mildred Horn, her eight-year-old quadriplegic son Trevor, and Trevor's nurse, Janice Saunders, by shooting Mildred Horn and Saunders through the eyes and by strangling Trevor Horn.

Libraries are readied by Carla Hayden's instructions and steeled by her ALA's seductive adjurations from "Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Legal FAQ," the substance of which is reprinted on many library web sites.  As a result, children remain exposed to the very harms the law was enacted to stop.

As I read through the case, I found further similarities, and I urge others to take a look as well.  For example, see this:

However, while even speech advocating lawlessness has long enjoyed protections under the First Amendment, it is equally well established that speech, which, in its effect, is tantamount to legitimately proscribable nonexpressive conduct, may itself be legitimately proscribed, punished, or regulated incidentally to the constitutional enforcement of generally applicable statutes. 
[T]he First Amendment does not necessarily pose a bar to liability for aiding and abetting a crime, even when such aiding and abetting takes the form of the spoken or written word.

The cloak of the First Amendment envelops critical, but abstract, discussions of existing laws, but lends no protection to speech which urges the listeners to commit violations of current law.  ....  It was no theoretical discussion of non-compliance with laws; action was urged; the advice was heeded, and false forms were filed.

In this E-Rate matter, the false forms filed would be any of these.  "Action was urged; the advice was heeded, and false forms were filed."  This is the very documentation I have asked the Brooklyn Public Library to produce but it has remained silent.

Also, like Paladin Enterprises, Carla Hayden and the ALA intended to assist libraries in skirting the law.  Oh you just have to read the Rice case for yourselves.  The similarities are striking.


Carla Hayden is unfit for the post to which she was nominated.  She promised to guide libraries on following E-Rate law.  Instead, she recommended skirting the law (by advising libraries to allow adults to unfilter computers for themselves) while advising libraries to get their own attorneys.  As a result, some libraries have been skirting the law as the ALA recommends.  Some libraries go further than the ALA recommends, like the Brownsville Public Library which illegally obtains E-Rate funding for Internet access but does not filter "adult" computers.   The result is libraries nationwide continue to endanger children by the very means the E-Rate law was designed to curtail and the US Supreme Court approved.  And it can legitimately be laid at the feet of Carla Hayden.

Carla Hayden must not be confirmed to an administration post having control over libraries nationwide, unless the anything-goes Chicago Public Library is your model library, and unless advising people to skirt a law that protects children is your own goal.  Given that a publisher that published information on how to commit crimes was held liable for the crimes committed thereby, Carla Hayden may similarly be held liable for E-Rate fraud in some future case.

Regarding the Brooklyn Public Library, it appears the library is acting in a manner that may result in the jailing of several of its members along with the return of huge amounts of money fraudulently obtained.  The recent US v. Rowner E-Rate fraud and conspiracy jailings strengthen this opinion.  If Dionne Mack-Harvin continues to evade my request for an interview and the production of documents, I will consider following up on this other request: 

Anyone with information concerning violations of the E-Rate program or other related anticompetitive conduct is urged to call the Antitrust Division's Chicago Field Office at 312-353-7530 or visit
Dionne Mack-Harvin may go to jail for following Carla Hayden's E-Rate fraud scheme that has become standard ALA policy.  Incidents like this will only increase with Carla Hayden in the IMLS.

That's my opinion, backed up with reliable sources.  What is your opinion?  Are people supposed to accept defrauding the federal government just because it the local public library that is doing it?  Should the ALA continue to advise libraries to skirt the law?  Should ALA policy become national policy?  Please comment below.

Best Wishes to President Clinton

President Clinton is recovering from a serious heart procedure.  I wish him a speedy recovery, and it will be important for him to continue to follow his cardiologist's advice as the years go on and despite his feeling better. 

It was President Clinton who signed the Children's Internet Protection Act into law in 2000.  President Clinton, get well soon.



  1. Your ignorance of what the CIPA does and does not require is truly astounding.

  2. Look, Carla Hayden does not support the jailed Cuban librarians or oppose certain book burning:

    "The Abandoned Librarians; Castro's Judges Burn Books 'Lacking Usefulness,' by Nat Hentoff, The Village Voice, 27 January 2004.

  3. Carla Hayden's nomination has been or is being help up. See "Obstruction as a Political Strategy," by Dan Pfeiffer, The White House Blog, 6 May 2010:

    "Carla Hayden, who has been nominated to be Member, National Museum and Library Services Board (Library), has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day."

  4. The hold on Carla Hayden's nomination is still in place, fortunately:

    "You Really Got A Hold On Me," by NPR, NPR, 2 June 2010.

  5. Bad news as IMLS will now have a member who is unfit for doing real work, but perfect for driving political policy harmful to America's children based on her experience as ALA president, as described in detail in my original blog post.

    The fox is now minding the henhouse:

    "Enoch Pratt CEO Hayden Confirmed to U.S. Library Board," by Rachel Bernstein, Baltimore Business Journal, 23 June 2010.


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