• By devancrean

     On Monday September 30, I attended the free and public screening of the film The Reformers at The Grange in Castle Rock. Following the film there was a question and answer session with two of the union-backed Douglas County School Board Candidates, Julie Keim and Bill Hodges. This was the only portion of the evening that I filmed, as I respected the filmmaker’s request not to record his movie.

    Once the evening concluded I walked out to the parking lot to my car. I heard someone saying, “Excuse me” several times. It was not until I heard my name that I turned around to see Julie Keim running after me. I stopped and she said that she had noticed me filming and said that I needed to know that, “You do not have my of Bill’s consent to film.” To which I responded that this was a public forum and she is a public candidate, I have every right to film.

    She did not care for that response and told me that I “need to provide her a full copy of the footage should you use it for anything.” I told her that I did not need to do that. She also did not care for that and said that, “You can and willprovide a full copy and if you do not I will speak with an attorney.” I told her that she should discuss that with my employer. She then said, “I will because you’ve been doing this a lot lately, and I am not happy about it.” I said “okay” and continued to walk to my car.

    There was also a woman standing near us that saw the whole incident. She approached me afterward and asked who I worked for, so I told her and explained that it is a blog she can find online. She responded that she would definitely check it out because she was “on my side.”

    There are two things that make this whole situation ironic. The first is that I am a Douglas County resident – I live just a few minutes from where the screening was held – and a registered voter. In verbally assaulting me, Ms. Keim was attacking a member of the very community she seeks to represent on the school board.

    The other irony is that we had just finished watching a film in which the filmmaker not only talked about how the current board is allegedly silencing the voices of concerned parents and teachers in the district, but how he had been forcibly removed from a school board meeting he was filming. Now, the film maker, Brian Malone, was removed because he violated the rules of filming during the meeting. Nonetheless as he was being removed, he continued to film and said that this was “a public forum, so he had every right to film.” Those were the exact words I said to Ms. Keim.

    Opponents of the current board were appalled by Mr. Malone’s removal. He was also faced charges, which were later dropped. Ms. Keim seems to have been appalled as well, as she has the video clip of the removal on her campaign website. Yet, she attempted to do the same exact thing to me by intimidating and threatening me with legal action. Also, while I was filming Mr. Malone sat nearby and smiled at me. He clearly had no problem with my filming the event as he made sure to duck under the camera when he needed to walk by me – twice.

    I find it bewildering that Ms. Keim, who has entered a very public and highly contested school board race, would not want to be filmed. More so, that she would chase me down in the parking lot to not only express her displeasure, but threaten legal action upon me. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a camera on in time to capture the moment, due in part to the fact that I was simply in shock by her actions that were certainly unbecoming of a candidate – especially one for a school board.


    Posted by Dana West @ 6:50 pm for Candidates, Denver area politics, Education |

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