GOP “sex offender” offensive is not politics as usual

Rep. Derek Kilmer has confirmed that the GOP’s bogus “Sex Offender Notification” postcards were also sent in the 26th Legislative District.

The postcards were sent into our district as well. Most of the calls that I’ve received (at my home and at my office)have been from people who are angry about the cards — feeling that the Republicans were politicizing the issue of protecting our kids. We have had a couple of folks who called to ask if they could get the address of this sex offender — people who were concerned that it was an accurate portrayal.

My wife and I are expecting our first child in March. Nothing is more important to me than making sure our child — and all of the kids in our state — are safe. I’m offended by efforts to play politics with important issues.

Rep. Kilmer also forwarded me a copy of an op-ed he wrote with Rep. Patricia Lantz, outlining the bipartisan sex offender bills they are co-sponsoring, and explaining the circumstances regarding the Republicans first-day-of-session maneuver, and the “outrageous” smear campaign in its aftermath.

I don’t generally blog on the same topic three posts in a row, but I want to impress upon my friends in the media the seriousness of this incident. The state GOP leadership didn’t just lie about their Democratic opponents… they mailed out a fake “Sex Offender Notification” postcard to tens of thousands of households scattered throughout the state.

Imagine how many parents have been unnecessarily frightened and angered to find this official looking notice in the mail, apparently informing them that a man convicted of abducting and assaulting children has moved into their neighborhood?

This is not politics as usual. This is not just another political dirty trick. This is a new low — at least for WA state Republicans — and it is unforgivably despicable.

My friends in the press have an obligation to inform the public about the truth behind this deceitful campaign. Let the GOP slide under the radar on this one, and you send a clear message to political operatives around the state that anything goes.

UPDATE:
Just thought I’d nip this lame excuse in the bud: yes… these postcards are directly linked to the state GOP leadership.

The postcards acknowledge they are paid for by the Speaker’s Roundtable, which is indeed an “associated PAC” of the House Republican Organizing Committee. The Roundtable’s executive director Kevin Carns and communications director Jennifer Pierson are also the HROC’s political director and communications director, respectively. Both the HROC and the Roundtable rent office space from the BIAW… which is also a major source of its funding.

Both the first-day-of-session stunt and the smear campaign in its aftermath were planned, coordinated, and paid for by the House GOP leadership. There’s no way around that.

Comments

  1. 1

    GS spews:

    Well Well it does look like our neighbor to the North has come to it’s senses! Another Bastion of L bites the dust!

    Conservative Party wins in Canada election

  2. 3

    Lynn spews:

    Goldy,

    Thanks for raising this to the level it needs to be raised. We need to consistently call these clowns out on their bad behavior and make it clear that these Rovian tactics won’t work in this Washington.

  3. 4

    spews:

    You noted:

    they mailed out a fake “Sex Offender Notification” postcard to tens of thousand of households scattered throughout the state.

    Scattered throughout swing districts, that is. You can be damn sure that none of those postcards went to your neighbors in the 37th or mine in the 43rd.

  4. 6

    spews:

    I don’t think the media is going to “get it”. They are conditioned not to criticise the GOP too hard because they want to be seen as “balanced”. It might get a little play on the fringe element, but I don’t think these guys give a shit. They are a bunch of well-fed professionals who have had their edges dulled down. Goldy, I’m not optimistic.

    Like an earlier commentor said: “So what? Is it wrong?” Granted, it was a troll, but how could someone honestly say that Derek Kilmer wants to protect sex-offenders? I’m not hopeful.

  5. 7

    Richard Pope spews:

    In any event, I wonder whether the legislature will approve a “Friends and Family Discount” when all is said and done for this session.

  6. 8

    My Left Foot spews:

    Richard Pope,

    There are valid reasons for your so-called “Friends and Family Discount”, they are detailed in Goldy’s previous posts. But then I guess that by having scared children not turning in family memebers who molest them (because they don’t want daddy or mommy going to jail for life, imagine if you had to make this decision as a child) the Republican party will have just that many more potential voters.

  7. 9

    GS spews:

    The Party of Clinton has finally woke up to Sex Offenses, is the Sky falling, my god it must be!

  8. 10

    Goldy spews:

    Richard @6,

    So… when you call it “Friends and Family”… what are you trying to say? That Democrats support familial child sexual abuse? What does that add to the debate?

    In fact, the Dem proposal is based on advice from professionals:

    “The situation we want to avoid is this: We have an allegation that a young girl — we’ll make her 7 years old — is molested by her grandfather. Her mother brings her in for an interview; the investigation is under way,” testified Russ Hauge, the Kitsap County prosecutor. “Then the mother finds that the grandfather is facing a minimum prison sentence of 25 years. … The next time we talk to the 7-year-old, her story has changed. That is the dynamic we are trying to avoid. We are trying to strike a balance. … We want to encourage reporting.”

    Tom McBride, representing the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, agreed, saying he preferred the approach taken by O’Brien, who had consulted with victim groups and police before writing his bill.

    Now, you may disagree with the analysis, opinions, and real-world experience of the prosecuting attorneys who are trying to put these creeps behind bars, but why denigrate the Dems for a proposal based on expert advice?

  9. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    9

    “why denigrate the Dems for a proposal based on expert advice?”

    Because Republican extremists, and Richard their fellow traveler, are willing to undermine our state’s prosecuting attorneys, the victims, and their families for the sake of scoring a few political points with a cheap smear.

  10. 13

    Bob from Boeing spews:

    Oh, yeah – BellT, as in the old commie pinko, Norm Maleing, in King county.

    Cheap tricks from the R’s — wait unitl the gay baiting starts after the Cal Anderson Bill passes.

    Joe Mc Carthy and J. Edgar would be proud about now.

    But, I think it is too late. Mr Delay and friends have put arsenic in their well.

    And the state has a surplus with the Dems in control.

  11. 14

    ArtFart spews:

    How great it is that McGavick is kicking off his campaign by presenting himself as a champion of “civility” in politics.

    These clowns are nothing more than a bunch of Eddie Haskells who blame their own malfeasance on their enemies. A pox upon all of them.

  12. 15

    GaS spews:

    So, basically, we can conclude that Richard Pope is a scumbag for being an apologist for this sad little maneuver? Easy enough.

  13. 16

    LeftTurn spews:

    Wow the right wing turds have so much to be proud of here in Washington…

    They get their ass kicked when they throw a fit over losing the Governor’s race – suing in a republican district but still getting spanked and told to go home and take it like a man…

    They try to disenfranchise voters in Democratic districts by lying about personal knowledge of the voters’ residence. That move turns out to backfire and creates a huge backlash against republican thugs…

    Now they manufacture a bullshit lie and a bullshit sex offender to play politics with a serious issue, get caught with their hands in the cookie jar…

    Man, these fucking punks will stop at nothing. The best way to think about it is to compare them to the Mafia. They have no morals. They have no regard for truth or justice.

    They’re fucking criminals and need to be treated as such!

  14. 17

    Cougar spews:

    LeftTurn, in a post yesterday, I think RR said something to the tune of the ‘monsters’ on the right. I laughed and thought to myself you could change the n to a b and ‘mobsters’ would be more fitting. You nailed them to their ‘cross’

  15. 18

    For the Clueless spews:

    It’s Republican SOP, take any complex issue (like transportation) around which serious policy makers are trying to craft decent legislation and DEMAGOGUE it for short-term political gain.

    They’ve already got the wingnuts who vote for anything with an R next to it, the “Will Baker” crowd – with this dirty trick they try to capture the gullible “independent” who has a tough time seeing the big picture.

  16. 19

    clay shaw spews:

    the republican longterm objective in ’06 is to be the “strong on national defense” party. look at what they are doing with iran. democrats can’t win on this one. morals and spending don’t work anymore, so republicans have hijacked national defense for their political gain.

    if american voters are stupid enough to go for it a second time around, they deserve what they get. democrats, by and large, are too weak and vacilating to combat these guys. we need a party of howard deans, not just one.

  17. 20

    Robert spews:

    The Rove Strategy: Fear, Smear, if necessary attack “the Queer” (as long as they are not closeted Republicans).

  18. 21

    Commander Ogg spews:

    Belltowner @ 5

    I don’t think the media is going to “get it”. They are conditioned not to criticise the GOP too hard because they want to be seen as “balanced”.

    Fair and accurate coverage Mr. Tower. From the Mainstream Pre$$titutes. Not a chance in hell.

    To Tim Russert: Why Did You Ask Senator Obama About Harry Belafonte?

    Chris Matthews compares Michael Moore to Osama Bin Laden

    Summary: CNN anchor Kyra Phillips misstated a false assertion made by Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell regarding Democrats and indicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Phillips reported that Howell “wrote that … Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats as well as Republicans.” Phillips then said: “Well that’s true, though most of the money went to Republicans.” In fact, Abramoff made no contribution to Democrats.

    I would repect the press a lot more if they would just admit they are lazy @#$%&! who just repeat Republican talking points.

  19. 22

    Libertarian spews:

    I don’t know about the press being pro-Rep. Bernard Goldberg has some pretty interesting things to say in his books about bias in the press, and he doesn’t think our media is very pro-Rep. The guy’s got some intersting things to say.

  20. 23

    LEFT is RIGHT spews:

    Wow. This is a new low even for the ReThugs.

    If they could find one of these offenders who was a felon and registered to vote maybe they would actually have something.

    They are making it easy for the Dems to take the high road and kick some ass this next year. Yea!

  21. 24

    clay shaw spews:

    there will be no election. the “osama tape” is to prep us for the attacks that are coming ( who can really say from where they come ) and martial law will be declared.

  22. 25

    Commander Ogg spews:

    Libertarian, I realize you may disagree, but I do not use the term Pre$$titutes lightly. My “moment of clarity” came during the mid 1990’s, when the Republicans were investigating Whitewater.

    Over and over I heard the same thing from the press, serious crimes, mysterious witnesses, Hillary will be indicted any day now, the President will face serious charges, blah, blah, blah. Turns out it was a lie.

    Flash forward 10 years latter, and what happen. Nothing. Whitewater, nothing. Travel gate, nothing. Presidential Pardons, nothing. Whitehouse coffees, nothing. The Clintons trashed the Whitehouse before leaving, false:

    Audit clears Clinton staff of vandalism
    No ‘damage’ to White House

    Pure, 100% fertilizer.

    Did the whore press apologize to the Big Dog and his wife for this crap? Hell no. All of a sudden, the press develops amnesia.

    Bill Press: When will Republicans apologize for Whitewater?

    It was the Republicans fault that the Clintons were persecuted. We are innocent. We did not do anything but report the facts. Yeah, right.

    http://www.tvnewslies.org/html/lapdog_press.html

  23. 26

    Richard Pope spews:

    Goldy, if you use the Democrats’ logic, then there should be an even bigger “Friends and Family Discount” to encourage reporting.

    Let’s start with the quote from Democrat Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge, about why a 25 year minimum sentence will discourage reporting:

    “The situation we want to avoid is this: We have an allegation that a young girl — we’ll make her 7 years old — is molested by her grandfather. Her mother brings her in for an interview; the investigation is under way,” testified Russ Hauge, the [Democrat] Kitsap County prosecutor. “Then the mother finds that the grandfather is facing a minimum prison sentence of 25 years. … The next time we talk to the 7-year-old, her story has changed. That is the dynamic we are trying to avoid. We are trying to strike a balance. … We want to encourage reporting.”

    UNFORTUNATELY, HAUGE IS BEING SOMEWHAT LESS THAN CANDID.

    Under CURRENT law, if grandpa is a first time offender, he MUST be sentenced to a term of 9 YEARS TO LIFE. This means he MUST spend at least 6 years behind bars, and might very well be leaving prison in a pine box.

    When I say “9 YEARS TO LIFE”, sex offenders now get an indeterminate sentence. The judge must give a minimum sentence of the regular “standard range” and a maximum sentence of life. There is a Indeterminate Sentence Review Board which determines how much of the sentence actually gets served before being released (at least the minimum of course) and can send the person away for life if there are any parole violations.

    To the “Friends and Family Discount” crowd, I will respectfully submit that a minimum of six years behind bars — and the possibility of an actual life sentence — under present law will strongly discourage reporting as it is. Especially if the offender happens to be “grandpa”, who presumbably is of a relatively advanced age already.

    If the Democrats were sincere in their “Friends and Family Discount” logic, they would make the sentence for an “Incest is Best” first time offender (at least first time being caught) to be only a few months, or perhaps a year at the most, and eliminate the possibility of a lifetime behind bars. Or at the very minimum, prohibit such an offender from being incarcerated longer than the victim and the victim’s parents (or at least the non-offending parent) specified as being permissible.

    As I see it, the real meaning of the Democrats’ proposed “Friends and Family Discount” is that child sex predation isn’t nearly as bad when committed by a friend or relative of the victim.

    This is a 180 degree reversal from current law. Under present law, an offender can receive a HIGHER sentence if “The defendant used his or her position of trust, confidence, or fiduciary responsibility to facilitate the commission of the current offense.” RCW 9.94A.535(3)(n).

  24. 27

    Libertarian spews:

    Cdr. Ogg – Good points, all. I have to disagree with you in that I believe the mdeia has a left-of-center view on most matters. I just don’t see CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN and MSNBC as being conservative in their presentations. Fox, I believe is right of center and represents only a small portio of national media.

  25. 28

    Richard Pope spews:

    Actually, I DISAGREE with the idea of imposing a minimum 25 year sentence on any first time offender for child molestation. This is a very serious crime, but the existing sentence starting at 9 years for first offenders is harsh enough in my opinion.

    25 YEARS IS A LOT OF TIME — especially as the LOWER end of an indeterminate sentencing range which could be a maximum of LIFE.

    To compare, let’s take First Degree Murder. (Not Aggravated First Degree Murder, which can merit the death penalty, and has additional aggravating circumstances, such as robbery or burglary being involved.) First Degree Murder is simply the premeditated intentional killing of someone — otherwise known as “cold-blooded murder”.

    Someone who commits First Degree Murder as a first time offender gets a standard sentence of 240 months to 320 months, with a midrange of 23 years, 4 months. Normally, the judges tend to sentence between the low end and the midrange of the standard sentencing range.

    Why should ANYONE get at least 25 years in prison for molesting a child, when they would only get 20 to 23 years for deliberately assassinating the Governor, any other public figure, or the premeditated murder of anyone else?

    While I think that the GOP proposal to give at least 25 years to all child molesters is a bit excessive, especially in comparison to sentences given for much more destructive crimes, the Democrat position is downright hypocritical.

    The Democrats want the same 25 year sentence minimum for child molesters, but with a “Friends and Family Discount” back down to 9 years if the offender previously knew the victim.

    Should we have a similar “Friends and Family Discount” on the more serious crime of murder? How about a “Friends and Family Discount” on domestic violence assault?

    By the way, does anyone remember the horrible injustice of the so-called “Wenatchee Sex Ring” back in the mid-1990’s?

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/wenatche.htm

    There were actually a fair number of Republicans and Democrats who stood up against this injustice and complained about it back then. Times seem to have changed, unfortunately.

  26. 29

    Goldy spews:

    Richard @27,

    So, when you say the Dems are neither “candid” nor “sincere,” what you are implying is that the Dems actually want to protect familial sex abusers from punishment, because we think it is… well… okay.

    As I see it, the real meaning of the Democrats’ proposed “Friends and Family Discount” is that child sex predation isn’t nearly as bad when committed by a friend or relative of the victim.

    See, this is the kind of vilification I react to. You simply refuse to accept that Democrats and Republicans disagree on the best way to achieve a common goal: protecting children from sexual abuse. No… instead, you and your party insist on trying to turn this into a fight over values… that Democrats are somehow less moral than Republicans.

    Frankly, I find this offensive. I also find this dangerous, because kept up long enough, this vilification of the other will eventually lead to violence… since really, what is the harm in killing a dangerous enemy that is clearly less human than the yourself?

  27. 30

    Richard Pope spews:

    I would favor increasing the sentences for the violent rape of a child under the age of 16 years. Present law unfortunately does not make this distinction.

    If someone has sex with a child under 16 years, it is simply called “Rape of a Child”, regardless of whether accomplished by violence or by acquiesence of the victim. The penalties for “Rape of a Child” increase depending on the age of the victim — more time if the victim is under 14 years (Rape of a Child 2), and even more time if the victim is under 12 years (Rape of a Child 1).

    There are also several degrees of “Rape”, which applies to any victim, regardless of age. “Rape” is nonconsensual sex procured through violence or threats of some sort, and the most serious is “Rape 1″, which involves deadly weapons, kidnapping, serious injury, or burglary.

    Presently, the penalty for “Rape 1″ and “Rape of a Child 1″ are equivalent — it is a Level XII offense, with a 9 year to Life standard range under the changes to sentencing laws in the last few years.

    I think it does make a lot of sense to impose a higher sentence on someone raping an underage child if this crime is accomplished by force or violence of some sort, as opposed to mere acquiesence of the victim.

    The GOP proposal is for LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE for these miscreants. The Democrats’ “Friends and Family Discount” plan might cover some of these folks, since they want 25 years to Life for offenders who don’t know their victims — which might cover many of the violent child rapes.

    I think a violent child rapist should be punished somewhat less severely than the 20 to 23 years for First Degree Murder, and much more severely to the 9 years to Life under present law. Maybe something like 15 years to Life would be appropriate for this, and more if the offenders has a prior record.

  28. 31

    Danno spews:

    Actually, the postcard may be a pic of Goldy.

    I think these postcards are “fake but accurate” to quote your fellow moonbat whacko Mary Mapes.

  29. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    30

    Goldy, what do you expect from wingnut liars like Richard Pope? Grandstanding, stunts, propaganda, smear tactics is what they’re all about. Wingers know nothing, and do nothing, about solving real-life problems. They can’t … because they lack the mental capacity to deal with anything more complicated than a bumper sticker slogan.

  30. 33

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    There’s a reason why Richard Pope is the failed politician he is:
    ” ‘gainst fools and knaves, men shut their gates.”

  31. 34

    Richard Pope spews:

    Goldy, how can you say child sex predator is WORSE THAN MURDER when committed by a stranger, but much less serious when committed by a friend or family member?

    If the Democrats think that 25 YEARS TO LIFE is too serious for a first time child molester, then they should stand on that principle, and not come up with their cynical “Friends and Family Discount”.

    Just curious — which do you think is worse: (1) a young child being molested by a stranger, or (2) a young child being murdered by a stranger?

  32. 35

    clay shaw spews:

    this uproar is what it’s all about. the true issues are swept under the rug. this coutry is on the brink of ruination.

  33. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    34

    Richard —

    Why are you against prosecutors?
    Why do you want to tie prosecutors’ hands?
    Why do you want to keep sex fiends on the streets?
    Why do you hate little children?

  34. 37

    Richard Pope spews:

    Wabbit @ 36

    What do you think about the 60 DAY SENTENCE that Vermont judge Edward Cashman gave to a child rapist Mark Hulett, who admitted he raped a little girl countless times when she was between 7 and 10 years old?

    http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?s=4325804

    Is that too big of a “Friends and Family Discount” even for yourself to stomach?

  35. 38

    spews:

    This actually is not new in WA. It was tested out in the swing 47th district in 2004 against Representative Geoff Simpson, where I live. I just posted a piece on this, see link above.

    Trying this out on Geoff Simpson, who was cited for risking his safety for rescuing a child from a murder scene, who has co-sponsored several harsh sex-offender bills, and who was Washington Cops and Sheriffs Association (WSCOPS) legislator of the year in 2003 — was perhaps seen as a good way for the GOP to find out if they could get away with this outrage. If you attack the least likely victim (in that case, Simpson) and there’s no great public outcry — then perhaps you can attack all the Dem. legislators in swing districts…

    Well, the political climate’s different now. They may be wrong.