The Rack n' Roll Billiards Case Takes Another Turn


If you've been following the massive corruption case in Manassas Park, Virginia that I and local political blogger Black Velvet Bruce Li have been reporting the last few months, the case has taken another fun turn.

The city of Manassas Park recently sent the proprietor of the BVBL blog a cease and desist order , calling his posts on the case "false and defamatory." Given that everything he's written thus far has been backed by testimony, videotape, interviews, and court records, the order has all the appearances of a bluff.

The behavior of city officials in this case is really infuriating, though not terribly surprising. After spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in a relentless effort to shut down David Ruttenberg's business, they're now spending yet more taxpayer dollars to threaten a blogger for daring to tell anyone about it.

My archive of the Rack n' Roll scandal here . BVBL's archive here .

NEXT: Nothing to See Here

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. So, at what point does a libertarian call for the National Guard to be dispatched to Manassas Park. Actually I’m surprised no one in the state legislature is using this to score political points. Or is there?

  2. It would be very interesting to have all the facts aired in court, much to the shame of the local govt.

    Does the threat of suit give BVBL standing to seek court action?

  3. I have been wondering what’s kept the guy from suing under the RICO statutes or some other federal action.

    This lunacy can’t start and end with a bunch of local dickheads.

  4. Although this is a significant scandal, this kind of stuff happens more often than you imagine.

    You go down to the city council meeting and mouth off, pretty soon you got the code enforcement people coming around asking why you put in a water heater without a permit.

    Local government has a lot of power and often they ain’t afraid to use it. I’ve seen some serious stuff happen to people who got in the way of somebody’s ambition.

  5. “A lawsuit like this would also give trememdous visibility to this scandal. I’ve become a somewhat notable website for local politics, but my readership is nothing close to the daily circulation of the media outlets which cover the area and I harbor no illusions about my significance outside of the political junkies and the occasionally curious. Having a locality file a lawsuit against a political blogger would probably be a pretty significant story and splash the Rack & Roll Scandal into the public consciousness in a way that I could never do.”

    The “major league media” are too busy agonising over the sex partners (and paternity implications thereof) of dead fat girls, and keeping track of washed-up pop stars’ tattoos and hairstyles to waste any ink or air time on stuff like this.

    You might as well believe that Katie Couric is working on a hard-hitting expose of drug raid murders.

  6. I would guess a RICO action (being criminal, rather than civil) would have to be brought by a federal prosecutor. Seems like he ought be able to sue under a few civil rights violations, but I’m sure there are plenty of obstacles there, too.

  7. Then he should run for sheriff. If the wankers try anything prankish, he can sic the EEOC on ’em.

  8. Anybody ever watch “V for Vendetta”?

    P Brooks’ comment above “The “major league media” are too busy agonising over the sex partners (and paternity implications thereof) of dead fat girls, and keeping track of washed-up pop stars’ tattoos and hairstyles to waste any ink or air time on stuff like this.” reminds me of said movie. The state run media keeps airing meaningless dribble while the authorities are free to abuse their powers as they please. I know, it’s a movie, but it’s not too far off from what’s going down in MP right now…

  9. Truman has to be among the worst because he really believed all the economic claptrap that FDR mouthed because he thought it was what would keep him popular. Even LBJ does not seem to have been so economically illiterate.

    What’s even funnier is that someone as anti-intellectual as HST is so loved by academics.

  10. Somebody took a wrong turn. ^

  11. It would be fun if Manassas Park did try to get a Court Order to shut the blog down.

    BVBL could probably nail them for zillions on a First Amendment suit.

  12. I have not been able to follow all the links. Can you teel me if there is a scanned version of the cease and desist order up on your site (or the BVBL site) that I can read? Thanks, and keep up the good work.

  13. Sorry. I mean “tell me”.

  14. Officers and officials need to be named. Frequently.

    I am contributing to the defense fund.

  15. Be sure you’ve got more than one backup of
    all your database. And be sure you’ve got
    at least one in an undisclosed location,
    where it cannot be identified or seized.
    That’s not paranoia, it’s good common sense.

    And since I picked up the link to this story
    from the puppy blender, you should get lots
    of notice. Cause embarrassment to those twits
    abusing their official powers, and hopefully
    at least one law suit.

  16. Among other things, this story reminds me of the power of the blogosphere or perhaps the perceived power of the blogosphere. In what instances, if any, would the city actually have the right to force a blogger to stop writing about something related to the city?

    Andrew Pass

  17. IF everything is backed up by videotape or other accurate records, Virginia (and most all states) allow rather stiff fines and bar discipline for any attorney who signs a documents using the unsubstantiated threat of legal process to harass or extort someone. This guy ought to look into it.

  18. Billiards is played with three hard balls on a rectangular table covered with cloth, esp. baize, and having raised, cushioned edges: a long, tapering stick is used to hit and move the balls.

  19. Well, In billiards, cue balls are the balls that a player strikes with the cue stick. These are made from ivory, wood, and various synthetic materials. Today, phenolic resin is also used for manufacturing these balls.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.