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Silicon Valley News Notes

Filter Up

It seems somewhat odd that Jim Cogan would sign on to a campaign opposing porn filtering in the city's libraries, considering the fact that his boss, Councilman Pete Constant, is the one spearheading the move for just such porn filtering. Cogan, who is Constant's chief of staff and is planning to run for City Council in 2010, was one of 150 members who signed on to the "Books Not Filters" Facebook page, a letter-writing campaign to oppose Internet filtering in the libraries. It's not the first time Cogan, a Democrat, has been out of step with the conservative Republican Constant. Fly recalls Cogan using his Facebook page to show his support for the November BART tax measure, which Constant had campaigned against. At the time Cogan said that because BART was a ballot measure, he was free to express his opinion. Otherwise, he said, he would keep his mouth shut when he disagreed with his employer—especially about issues that were coming before a council vote. Cogan may have to open his mouth now—to eat his words. Constant's porn filtering item is coming before the council in April, and Cogan is spending this week reviewing Constant's memo on the plan. Cogan admits he is walking a fine line on the porn issue. However, he defends his "Books Not Filters" membership, performing rhetorical backflips to portray his position as somehow aligning with Constant's interests. "I'm not opposed to my boss's proposal," Cogan says. "I hope my being on the group would let them know that we, and especially I, am open to hearing their concerns."

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