Can a City Stop you From Web Linking to Their Site?
By: Warner Todd Huston
Here is an interesting question: Can a city stop a private citizen from putting a link on their website to a city website?
The question arises over a Sheboygan, Wisconsin case where a woman who is often critical of the town mayor was ordered by the city to remove a city website link from her own pages. Yes, you heard me correctly… ORDERED to remove that link. The Sheboygan Press posted the story a week or so ago and it got me thinking about the abuse of power indulged in by this small Wisconsin town.
In a move initiated by Perez, City Attorney Steve McLean sent a cease-and-desist letter earlier this month to Jeni Reisinger, who was among the leaders of a mayoral recall effort last year, officials acknowledged Friday.
The letter, dated Oct. 19, states, “maintenance of this link could be construed as having been authorized or endorsed by the city and/or its police department” and should be removed “until such time as the city were to authorize such a link.”
This has to be a joke, right? A city attorney who has the gall to attempt to force a private citizen to remove a link to public city website should be summarily removed from his position. Further, if he was put up to this outrageous action by Mayor Juan Perez, then this mayor should similarly be removed.
Of course, this city government is being run by a bunch of bumbling nitwits, here. Of that none can deny. But, the situation is galling none-the-less. If this city can prevent people from linking to a public service, then what else can they strong-arm the public over? Can the city decide that, forthwith, all people critical of office holders should receive a “cease and desist” letter? Maybe no one should even be “allowed” to run against them for office from this point onward? The arrogance of this is shocking, to say the least.
The next thing you know, every city will look like the mob infested city of Chicago, run by the criminal enterprise we call the Daley family!
In any case, if the City of Sheboygan is so afraid of people visiting their webpages then why have them at all? Now, if you’d like to go to their sites and ask a few questions, you can see them here:
The officious Sheyboygan Police are here –http://www.sheboyganpolice.com/main.html
Give a shout out and a Sieg Heil to Mayor Juan Perez here — http://ci.sheboygan.wi.us/Mayor/MayorHome.html
Perez’ henchman, attorney Stephen G. McLean, can be visited here– http://ci.sheboygan.wi.us/Attorney/AttorneyHome.html
Now, I hope every blogger adds these links to their websites. Let’s see if the “peopleâ€™s city” city of Sheboygan, Wisconsin can get all of us to stop linking to a public website?