Some politicians just want there to be random shortages [WSJ editorial]:
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has subpoenaed the Craigslist website for the identities of people who advertised gas for sale at high prices. Mr. Schneiderman is doing this in the name of a New York law that forbids charging an “unconscionably excessive price” during an “abnormal disruption in the market.”
The “grandstanding” Connecticut attorney general, notes Mike Masnick at TechDirt, is now publicly decrying Craigslist for turning a profit from sex ads. Why is it turning a profit? Well, the ads used to be free, but Craigslist started charging fees after Blumenthal himself (with fellow AGs) demanded that it do so, the idea being that a credit card trail would scare off some illegal users and make it easier for police to crack down on others.
Blumenthal, a longstanding bete noire of this site, is now running for the U.S. Senate seat held by the departing Chris Dodd. More: New York Times on his Senate bid (rough start, “Martha Coakley in pants”).
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley nails twenty property owners and real estate agents over “no kids”, “no Section 8″ language in Craigslist ads [Legal NewsLine]
The grandstanding sheriff of Cook County, Ill. is thrown out of court. More: Eugene Volokh, Citizen Media Law.
Eugene Volokh and Mark Hamblett of the New York Law Journal cover the opinion (PDF) in Gibson v. Craigslist (S.D.N.Y.) A sentence from the plaintiff’s opposition to the motion to dismiss: “For public policy concerns, [Craigslist] must be immediately regulated or shut down.” Earlier: Sept. 7, 2008.
The online service has gone to court seeking a declaratory judgment against South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster. [Citizen Media Law, Jim Buckmaster/Craigslist blog] Earlier here and here.
Dan Bader came to be “embroiled in a messy dispute with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Fair Housing Council of Orange County” when he used Craigslist to advertise a rental unit in his Newport Beach home as “Well suited for professional adults” and “Perfect for 1 or 2 professionals.” As the Orange County Register relates, it never resulted in an actual courtroom loss; the process was the punishment. Bader has a website on the experience: StateGoneCrazy.com (more on Craigslist and the wording of housing ads here, here, etc.).
Things are getting serious, the newest report being that “South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster sent a letter to craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster threatening company management with ‘criminal investigation and prosecution’”. Earlier here, here, etc.
After the much-publicized (and remarkably quickly solved) murder, state attorneys general demand the regulation of Craigslist.