Support the Chris Lambert legal defense fund

November 4, 2021

OPINION by DAVE CONGALTON

Those of us who have followed the tragic story of missing Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Kristin Smart know only too well the tragic twists and turns this case has taken since May, 1996. We know that story in large part thanks to the tireless work of podcaster Chris Lambert, creator of the 10-part series “Your Own Backyard.”

Because of Chris Lambert’s work, the Kristin Smart case now has an international audience and has been thrust into the national media spotlight. His role in bringing Paul and Ruben Flores to trial cannot be overstated.

Many of you will recall what happened in the weeks-long pre-trial hearing in San Luis Obispo last August. Flamboyant defense attorney Robert Sanger, representing Paul Flores, decided to target Chris and his podcast. Sanger subpoenaed Chris and all his research notes from the case, confidential sources whom Chris had sworn to protect.

The defense wanted to question Chris under oath on the witness stand, a shameless and desperate legal maneuver–but it was also a test of the First Amendment.

Chris did not want to give up his research notes to the defense. Nor did he wish to testify in the case. So Chris had no choice but to retain legal counsel, attorneys who specialized in First Amendment issues. Attorneys from Davis, Wright & Tremayne in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. stepped in and saved the day, protecting the First Amendment rights of Chris and exposing the questionable defense tactics.

All good news, but now Chris Lambert has legal bills from what happened in August. He has been reluctant to ask for help, but his many friends and supporters have come together to ask you to donate to a new Go Fund Me page – the Chris Lambert Defense Fund. Every dollar donated goes to paying the legal fees from the pre-trial hearing.

We support the family of Kristin Smart. We support the work of Chris Lambert.

Thank you in advance for any donation you can make!

Dave Congalton is a radio host at 920kvec.com.


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Last Individual

I too support Chris in his efforts in repelling the attack by the likes of this Sanger character. After all, the guy is an attorney. That pretty much says it all. However, I cannot contribute through Go Fund Me. The last time I made a donation through GFM, they charged me a whopping 12.5% fee for my trouble. This is obscene. I refuse to be gouged like that. I would prefer that the bulk (if not all) of my contribution go to the intended purpose. Is there some other mechanism to contribute to Chris’ legal defense fund?


gjoralemon

To “Commonsenseguy,” suggesting that Lambert should have anticipated legal expenses before he started “stirring the pot” makes as much sense as suggesting that families that are struggling should have “saved for a rainy day.” Consider that many of us have been blessed to both support Chris Lambert AND give generously in both time and money to assist struggling families. As far as chicken comments about Dave Congalton, he’s done more good for our community than most and probably hasn’t stopped laughing at your odd comment about his association with the “Hollywood elitist” you believe he hob nobs with.


commonsenseguy

I think is great that you and other’s can contribute to both causes. I applaud that. I also support Mr. Lamberts work and results. Great job. I hope Paul Flores is found guilty and gets life in prison along with his father.


The last time I checked I have a right to my opinion on this or any issue. We should all strive to prepare for the “rainy day” as you put it, always be good stewards of our provisions.


As for “chicken comment” about Dave, just going by his comments and actions over many years listening or reading his words. I think it’s great that he can use his “Progressive Bully Pulpit” position as a radio host and blogger to do good things for the surrounding communities.


I’ve argued and butted heads with Congalton for years and will continue that. Debate and opinions for or against issues is a right we all still have at this point, despite the Progressive push to silence those they don’t agree with. I hope that’s not yours or any here.


805thirdeye

Democracy! This is what it’s all about!!! Healthy, open debate!


As far as “progressive bully pulpit”, point one finger at Dave and the other points back at yourself. He is allowed an opinion and to express it as well!


commonsenseguy

I’m all for a healthy and open debate. Did you not comprehend my last comment?


Dave is a Progressive. No doubt about it. Does he not have a platform through his radio show and blog to express his thoughts and opinions? I never said he was not allowed to share his opinion. More power to him. Again, try to comprehend what you’re reading.


commonsenseguy

Sorry Chris and Dave, but times are hard for many at this time. If there is to be funds raised it should be for the families with children struggling to make ends meet over the last year and a half. The inflation rate has caused the cost of all things to go through the roof. This is something Chris should have prepared for once he started stirring the pot, even in the good he achieved. You put yourself out there, you better be ready for the push back legally, right or wrong.


I feel for you, but I encourage people to help if they do have extra funds, and provide for the families in this county to help with the economic disaster that has been forced on them over the last ten months.


Hey Dave, maybe you count call on some of your professor buddies, or some of those Hollywood elitist you rub elbows with. Just think how good it will make them feel.


kevin rise

Completely agree.


Dave

$26,578.


Dave

Sorry, guy. We’ve raised $26, 578 so far.


But thanks for the snark. Fortunately most people in the county are more caring than you.


Michele

I was happy to see and donate to the gofundme. We get to choose where our hard earned money goes, or what is left of it after taxes are pulled out to support everything under the sun.


commonsenseguy

No need to be sorry Dave. Great job with the funds raised for Mr. Lambert. May you get to $50,000 soon. No problem with your successful venture.


My original point being that there are more urgent needs in our area worthy of funding as well, and I took the opportunity to share my thought. I don’t apologize it that offends.


As for being snarky, I’ve listened to you since the mid 90’s. Again, as for being snarky and condescending to other’s, you’ve have me beat by miles. For someone in your position it seems a little thin skinned.


You have no idea of my care for other’s. Just because I don’t support your “Go Fund Me” venture in this particular case doesn’t warrant a very inaccurate comment like that. It’s shallow thinking and inappropriate at best. I thought you were better than that.


805thirdeye

Guy, I’d like specific examples of your ( commonsense ) care for others in OUR community, please.


As for Dave Congalton, he is doing a job! I don’t always agree with his (attitude), but again, it is his opinion, which we are all thankful to have in the U.S. of A!


commonsenseguy

You want specifics, here they are. Two days a week I’m part of ministry open to any in need for clothing, groceries, toiletries and more. We provide these services free of charge. Many families and homeless are served weekly. We also supply blankets, sleeping bags, and tents for the homeless in our community. Most importantly, a avenue out of that life style.


One night a week I’m part of a Recovery Group that helps to lead individuals out issues with drugs, alcohol, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, We provide a foundation to build their lives on.


One night every two weeks a group of us go the streets and provide water. coffee, and basic needs to those struggling on the streets or living in their cars. There are many in that place.


Three times a year, (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter) I supply all that is needed for a solid meal for six to eight families. That includes hams, turkeys, beef roast with all the trimmings. My sister and daughter help to provide all the baked goods like cookies, cakes, and pies. This is all out of my own pocket with no cost to anyone else.


This last weekend I helped several seasoned citizens in my community with dumps runs, lawns mowed, handyman work around the house and yards where needed at no cost to any of them. I serve in all these areas in addition to working 50-55 hours a week at my job that allows for the provisions needed to help those in need.


I was raised to work hard and be appreciative for what I have. I learned a great work ethic from our parents and to always be willing to help those in need. I come from a family of ten, that struggled to makes ends meet often. I never forgot that and never will. I will always serve other’s in a quite peace. I hope that answered your question


805thirdeye

Yes, it did. Thank you. I come from a place like yourself and wish there were more who could answer this question, when asked, with your integrity.


805thirdeye

How ’bout you create a Dad Patrol like they did in Georgia, to protect and prevent what happened to Kristin Smart, put YOUR money where your mouth is!? Where have you volunteered your time lately, commonsense?


commonsenseguy

See above, thank you. We’re always looking for more help. Do you know how to push a lawn mower, use a screw driver, or any skill which might require a little physical labor?


805thirdeye

Oh yeah, I certainly do! Your assumptions that I do not, made me giggle! Thank you! I come from a mother who maintained & changed her vehicle oil and a father who loved to bake.


IDBOUND

If Chris is withholding evidence that would help the defense ….but due to Chris’s intent to see a conviction of the defendants and to be able to keep his head tilted skyward by not conceding he found evidence that could exonerate the defendants he will withold his findings ….That would be the same as DA withholding pre-trial evidence that would exonerate the defendants which would be just cause for a mistrial or retrial if defendants attorneys found the information that was concealed


copperhead

Quite a bit of difference between him and the DA actually. He is a private citizen, likely classified as a journalist and protected by the 1st amendment. Chris Lambert was instrumental in renewing interest in the case, but he had no law enforcement, subpoena or prosecutorial power. If he gave information to law enforcement or the DA, it is they who would have to produce it, not the journalist.


obispan

I seriously doubt Chris would be withholding evidence from the DA and the DA is subject to discovery from the defense. If they think he knows something that he hasn’t voluntarily disclosed they can subpoena him.


805thirdeye

Come on! Speculate much? Try to get a mistrial much?


Where has Mr. Lambert publicly stated he is “intent to see a conviction”? I’ve never listened to his podcast. Is it in his podcast? Transcripts? Mr. Lambert is a private citizen, journalist (First Amendment), etc. The defense team (led by Sanger) is the one without any values in comparison with the rest of us, here on planet Earth. Have you ever looked into Sangers’ daughters eyes (I’ve seen photographs of her, but her eyes are telling!)? Who is paying the Flores bill? Follow the money. Follow it all the way to Ruben’s connections in the San Pedro area (major shipping port).


Just my speculation though, hardy har-har, haha. See how easy it is to speculate. What if we all speculate without actual proof? Oh, maybe that’s why this is being decided in a court of law.


AGDUDE

Rambunctious, WOW is all I can say.. wow . maybe it might be interesting to see those texts from those two men..even as F up slo da office is they must have a smoking gun sammy!


Slosum

As someone who practices true journalism in an era where advocacy and partisanship dominate the media…. Chris is an island of critical thinking, skepticism and thorough research. And he was never polluted by journalism school! He needs to be supported.


Rambunctious

No witnesses…no body…no weapon…and this man made a case out of that?…if both Paul and his father are innocent or are found to be innocent Chris is going to find himself in some hot water…and rightfully so IMO….right or wrong…like it or not the law is still the law and our rights under the constitution and bill of rights are still in effect….


Kevin Rice

Negative. They are both public persons and persons of interest in this case. Free speech.


Mitch C

I agree with Rambunctious. Can anyone PROVE that Ms. Smart is dead. How would one go about proving that she is dead, when did she die, or how did she die.


derasmus

30 CFR 219.24


Presumption of death can sometimes apply.


Rambunctious

Thank you…its amazing how many people are so willing to ignore our bill of rights due to emotion…even Dave C himself….


805thirdeye

Can anyone prove she is NOT dead?


Ricky2

A trial doesn’t decide if anybody’s “innocent.” It decides a legal point: has enough evidence been presented to declare legal guilt or not. “Not guilty” is a legal finding, not one of innocence.