House Republicans (stupidly) play politics with tragedy

State House Republicans are holding a news conference today at 1PM in Federal Way to call for a “special legislative session to address deficiencies in the state’s sex offender laws.”

What a bunch of assholes.

Or at the very least, what a bunch of idiots. I dunno, perhaps their motives are pure, but coming fresh on the heels of Zina Linnik’s murder, it sure does look like a base attempt to exploit the tragedy for political gain — and given the House Republicans’ recent bogus sex offender postcard escapade, you’d have to be an even bigger idiot to instantly give them the benefit of the doubt.

“Our state has some effective sex offender laws on the books – but others are outdated and incapable of properly protecting the public. Our goal is to identify weak laws, discuss them with the public, and collectively propose solutions,” said Priest. “There are thirteen known registered sex offenders living within five miles of where the news conference will be held – which is a public park. In King County, there are more than 400 sex offenders with no known address. This problem is everywhere and the time to act is now – not later. The forum will help all of us gauge where the public stands and take action accordingly.”

[…] “It’s clear that certain sex offenders are falling though the cracks of our system and the public wants answers and solutions – not excuses. People are demanding action now – and they deserve nothing less. That’s why we are creating a legislative package that we think the public will support,” said House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt.

Yeah, well… we could shoot them all. Cut off their balls. Make every sex offense — no matter how minor, no matter what the circumstances — a mandatory life sentence. No doubt, that’s the kind of “legislative package … the public will support.” And that’s about as comprehensive and thoughtful a package as you’re going to get in a politically charged, two-day special session, coming on the heels of this brutal murder.

Of course, the Republicans know they’re not going to get a special session, and so their grandstanding on this issue is all the more offensive. Most people looked at Zina’s murder and saw a terrible, heart wrenching tragedy. But like our good friend Stefan, the House Republican caucus looked at the murder and immediately saw a political opportunity.

Former WSRP chair Chris Vance recently offered some suggestions to state Republicans on how they might turn around their political fortunes, but he missed the most obvious piece of advice: stop being such a bunch of conniving, mean-spirited, ham-fisted assholes. Playing politics with tax cuts is one thing, but playing politics with the sexual assault and murder of a little girl is simply despicable.

Comments

  1. 1

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    The first law od holes is: When you find yourself in one, Stop Digging!. This simple little ru;le seems to have eluded the Republicans. Just like their mentor, the Commander and Thief, and his little Turd-Blossom, our own local version of the Goon Party is convinced that when you find yourself in a hole, You need a bigger shovel!.

  2. 2

    Bill Anderson spews:

    Actually, they got it right. It’s like calling for stronger gun laws after a shooting. The timing is ripe because the issue is front and center.

    It’s wrong to criticize the timing.

  3. 3

    spews:

    Bill @2,

    Calling for a special session is intentionally polarizing bullshit. The Governor won’t do it, and even if she did, the Dems completely control the committees and the agenda. This is not the way the minority party actually accomplishes something legislative.

    Calling for a special session is nothing but playing games, and they know it.

  4. 4

    michael spews:

    Skip Priest is a good human, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

  5. 5

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    Interesting – most of these laws on the books were written by Publicans or Publican initiatives put forth by Timmy Lieman. Are the Publicans now saying that they screwed up and didn’t write strong enough laws? That’s the response we should give. You idiots had your chance and blew it and that’s just ONE MORE reason why you won’t get elected, in addition to being assholes who would play politics with the death of a young girl. I hope these fucking morons have to feel the pain of the loss of a child someday. Then maybe they’ll realize that playing politics with something like this risks some bad mojo!

  6. 6

    spews:

    Michael,

    I tend to have the same opinion of Skip, but he also acquiesced to the sex offender postcard scheme, so I’m beginning to have my doubts. This is a dumb move.

  7. 7

    rla spews:

    They will be able to make lots of hay with this one unfortunately and it’s something their base is hyper about. I rarely read sound politics but I read the comments to the … article … and am utterly shocked that people say that only the left wing blogosphere is full of hate.

  8. 8

    Liberal hate speech in full effect spews:

    @5RightEqualsStupid says:
    Interesting – most of these laws on the books were written by Publicans or Publican initiatives put forth by Timmy Lieman. Are the Publicans now saying that they screwed up and didn’t write strong enough laws? That’s the response we should give. You idiots had your chance and blew it and that’s just ONE MORE reason why you won’t get elected, in addition to being assholes who would play politics with the death of a young girl. I hope these fucking morons have to feel the pain of the loss of a child someday. Then maybe they’ll realize that playing politics with something like this risks some bad mojo!

    Typical liberal hate speech. Typical name calling like children.

    Where’s the tolerance? Or yeah, look at the haters name, that says it all.

  9. 9

    busdrivermike spews:

    Exactly how would stronger laws have stopped this guy from committing this murder?

    People who think longer prison sentences, and more jails are the answer have simply not been paying attention to the last 25+ years of the effects of the Conservative movement theory being made into reality.

    This is just another example of how every theory the Conservatives have on good government is retarded. The Republicans have no credibility anymore, either locally or nationally.

  10. 10

    spews:

    Bill Anderson and Goldy,

    Good guy or not…when the House Republicans (or anyone else) send out a press-release filled with outrage over sex offenders, they might want to avoid a spokesperson named… um, Priest.

    I’m just sayin’…

  11. 11

    spews:

    This seems like yet another setup for the Speakers Roundtable to use as an election soundbite, just as they did before when they demanded an immediate vote on a bill that most of the legislators hadn’t even received copies of.

    This time it looks like they’re aiming for the Governor, and I’m willing to bet that we’ll be hearing about how she is “soft on child rapists” when she refuses to call a special session.

    The timing on this does seem to be based on Zina Linnik’s murder, but only because it gives an opportunity to capitalize on it.

    Deliberate political polarization on an issue like this can only hurt real debate and real improvement of our laws. Sorry, Goldy, but I have a tough time respecting anyone that is willing to ride a dead, sexually abused girl into office.

    This is an issue where Democrats and Republicans have been able to work together, at least when the Republicans are willing to stop grandstanding and actually try to solve problems.

    The state’s economy is strong, and things are working pretty well here. The Republicans don’t have any real issues where they can show that they would do a better job than the Democrats, so they have to create a bogus impression that we’re somehow in favor of child abuse.

    Just shows how desperate they are, and how low their party leadership is willing to stoop.

  12. 13

    spews:

    We need jail space for serious criminals, like known childrapers. We are taking up too much jail space with mandated sentences for what amount to nuisance crimes — like selling pot.

  13. 14

    spews:

    Goldy @ 6, what evidence do you have that Skip Priest, or me, or any other member of the House Republican Caucus, “acquiesced to”, consented to, or otherwise supported the sex offender postcard scheme? What evidence do you even have that any of us were even aware of it before it happened?

    And how is this different from what you and your progressive friends do when they immediately call for universal health care when a child dies from some untreated illness, or increased regulation when dogs are poisoned by imported food ingredients, or increased gun control or banning of violent video games when students are killed by a deranged gunman? A hundred other examples could be given. The call for a special session is just a process detail, and irrelevant to the larger fact that politicians always, without hesitation, take advantage of a crisis to call for change. It’s just the way the business is done. Attacking the opposition for using exactly the same tactics you do is disingenuous at best. Not surprising, though.

    And Headless Lucy @ 13 is exactly right. I’d love to see the HRC propose decriminalization of drug possession as a way to make more room to keep real criminals behind bars; it would disarm Adam Kline of his main argument against tougher sentences.

  14. 15

    Pedophiles lean left, like most felons spews:

    It’s strange that people on the left believe that pedophiles can be rehabilitated and let back in society but gays are born gay.

  15. 16

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Toby: “Attacking the opposition for using exactly the same tactics you do is disingenuous at best.”

    Well, OK. But since ‘politicians always…take advantage of a crisis..” one can only conclude that your screed, too, is just more of the normal back & forth of political combat, and your whining post merely takes it to another level that would do make even the most obscurantist Trotskyite proud. But where does that get us? Not far, I’d wager.

    It comes down to policy. The GOP mantra of “lock ‘em up and throw away the key no matter what the cost” is an ineffective, backward, and unjustifiably expensive policy, traits not shared by universal health care or effective food regulations.

    Besides, nobody is paying any attention to this kerfuffel except us political junkies.

  16. 17

    Nindid spews:

    The difference Toby?!? The difference is that the bottom line for the Republicans for the past 30 years has been to try and paint anyone opposing them as traitors to our country or in league with child-rapists. This is not about suggesting alternative policy, this is about demonizing your opponents in the worst possible way.

    Go to any right-wing site and you will see the logical results of your party’s rhetoric. The idea that anyone to the left of Tom Delay should be summarily shot as a traitor is not too hard to find. This has been an absolute cancer on our society and is quite literally a step towards ending the republic. You have managed to convince a percentage of the population that people who disagree with them on policy should be shot and killed. You can not have a democracy when you view the person across the table is a traitor or an out-and-out criminal. This is what your party is selling and too many people are buying it.

    Maybe you find stunts that try and give the impression Democrats support child-rapists somewhat objectionable, but until you are willing to stand up and shut this down you have no standing.

  17. 18

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    @15: Most felons are republicans, and gays do not commit a crime by being gay. Don’t you guys ever get tired of destroying straw men? Come on, be a real man, engage in honest argument. Grow a pair.

    But you may have a point. I was thinking that all white collar criminals, no matter how small the theft, should be put down. Obviously they were born that way. Just an idea.

  18. 19

    Right Stuff spews:

    Keeping our children safe goes beyond politics. This should be a bi-partisan effort. OK the Republicans have called for a special session. So what. Time to walk the walk for all of our elected representatives.
    Washington state lags behind much of the nation in terms of how we handle sex offenders.
    To complain like a whinning baby that it’s “not fair” for the Republicans to call for a special session is pathetic.
    If the Democrats were smart, they would immediately join the call, get into session, show the public that they are serious about protecting children from sexual predators, and then, if they want to make a “political” point, can claim bi-partisanship even with a massive majority in the legislature.
    Sometimes the right thing to do is not political. This is one of those times.

  19. 21

    Puddybud spews:

    Amazingly the Moonbat! Moby Trolls attack Toby Nixon when he tells the truth.

    You Go Toby!

    So I guess you Moonbat!s will excuse the Gun Control debate, the Health Care debate, the School Lunch debate, the Tax the Rich debate, the Economy Sucks for Poor People debate, the Tax Oil Companies debate, and the next Politically-led Moonbat! debate?

    So Moonbat!s, so you want some cheese to go along with that whine?

  20. 23

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    Nixon @14 what evidence do you have that you were NOT involved in, aware of or behing the postcard scheme?

    And why is it that the Publican defense for everything is “YOU GUYS DID IT TOO?” Is that the best you can offer? If so, you’re actually making an argument for the status quo Dem leadership since it appears you’re no different. Way to go and keep it up please.

  21. 24

    Bill Anderson spews:

    Goldy@3:

    Thanks for responding to my note.

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable for a minority party to do this…since, as you point out, that have virtually no ability to control the agenda of the actual lawmaking session. Their moves are left to getting their word out. True, there are some minority parties that have, over time, had some success playing behind the scenes. But recently, that hasn’t been the case locally or nationally.

    It might behoove the Dems to hold the session. In essence, they would co-opt the issue from the Repubs and be seen as Clinton was once he co-opted issues after the Rs took congress.

  22. 25

    spews:

    I echo busdrivermike’s thoughts on this. The wingnuts have gotten their way for decades on this. Mandatory sentencing, harsher sentences, three-strikes – lockin’ em up and throwing away the key.

    And still crimes like this happen. This stunt by the R’s is pure and simple grandstanding by a bankrupt minority willing to try anything to sound halfway relevant.

    I’m sure the D’s will humor them and when the discussion turns serious about the effectiveness and cost of the R’s fantasies another little postcard mailing will go out.

    You can almost bank on that. I’d be knocked off my chair if this BIAW-controlled, Esser-led R party can play the game any other way.

  23. 26

    spews:

    Mr. Nixon (and others)

    Yes, we will continue to debate gun control, health care, safe food and other issues. We will even hold you accountable for your public statements and votes on those issues.

    What we will not do is to make obvious political plays like calling for a special session of the legislature immediately after a horrible crime for the purpose of using it as a sound bite for the next Gubernatorial election.

    We will also refrain from calling for an immediate vote on a bill that the Republicans haven’t even received copies of, then accuse them of being soft on child abusers when they refuse to vote on something they haven’t even seen, much less had the opportunity to research.

    We prefer to actually have reasoned debate on issues, then have informed votes. This appears to be one of the differences between Democrats and Republicans.

  24. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 Why should we tolerate you lying assholes? We got where we are by tolerating you. Toleration doesn’t work. Republicans should be jailed.*

    * Just kidding! Ann Coulter gets laughs with this line, so I thought I’d give it a try.

  25. 28

    ArtFart spews:

    I’d like to express a word or two of appreciation to Toby and RightStuff for trying to interject reasoned statements into what we all knew from the beginning would be a thread containing “more heat than light”.

    It’s probably not a bad thing for our elected representatives, and the rest of us for that matter, to use the awareness brought on by this tragedy to think and talk about what can be done about awful people who prey on children. On the other hand, it might be argued that one of the reasons why we haven’t done very well so far is that most of what has been done is a patchwork of ill-considered measures instituted with passion and haste (and sometimes ulterior motives) in the aftermath of a high-visibility case just like this. It’s all too easy to pass some dumb “hang ‘em twice” law that makes everybody feel good but doesn’t accomplish anything of substance in the real world.

    So, if the Legislature does sit down and go to work on this, for the love of God, may they please take their time, do at least as much thinking as talking, and come up with something that actually helps. Otherwise, don’t waste your time and the taxpayers’ money.

  26. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Locking up sexual predators for life isn’t such a bad idea. But, in fact, we’re already doing that with our civil commitment laws that send them to secure treatment facilities after they complete their prison time. Many of these offenders complain they’ll never get out of civil commitment, and I hope to God they’re right.

    So what, exactly, would Republicans have us do, that we aren’t already doing? Linnik’s killer, Terapon Adhahn, didn’t have a clean record but there was little in his record to suggest he would become a serial killer. He raped his half-sister years ago, but was not known to prey on strangers.

    Typically, Republicans want to “profile” people (almost always based, at least in part, on some racial or immigration status component). They want to throw people in jail if they “look” like they might abduct and rape little girls. The notion that you can predict future criminal conduct from appearances or such markers was discredited over 150 years ago, but that doesn’t stop the adherents of the Know-Nothing Party from clinging to their bigotry-based superstitions. The fact Terapon is an Asiatic immigrant is red meat for these numbskulls.

    What we really need is good old fashioned police work in catching these bastards at the beginning of their criminal careers. At this point, Terapon is an accused entitled to the presumption of innocence and a fair trial, and a “person of interest” in several other cases, so all I can appropriately say at the moment is that if he turns out to be a serial killer who sent half a dozen or more children to their graves before being caught, nevertheless I feel the cops did the best they could. Serial killers who target strangers are awfully hard to catch, and I have no criticism of the police.

    The issue raised by the Republican grandstanding is whether we can do more than we’re already doing to prevent these criminals from committing their crimes. You can’t imprison people on the grounds they “might” do something in the future. Our concepts of justice and due process require sentencing that is proportional to an offense which has been committed, which limits a legislative body’s ability to extrapolate from the commission of an offense a presumption that the offender will commit additional and/or more serious offenses in the future, when considering sentencing legislation. I’m not sure that life sentences or lifetime civil commitment for every sexual crime, regardless of its severity, would (or should) pass constitutional muster.

    But if Republicans want to try the “lock ‘em up and throw the key away” approach to sex offenders, then at a minimum they should step up to the plate and say “we’ll pay more taxes to keep them locked up.”

    So far, I don’t hear them saying that.

  27. 30

    Yer Killin Me spews:

    28

    Well said Art. We could use a little less heat and a lot more light around here (well, actually, everywhere).

  28. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @14 Did you, or anyone else in the Republican caucus, publicly repudiate it when it happened? Have you, or anyone else in the Republican caucus, done anything to keep your party or its supporters from employing such partisan tactics? This wasn’t done by some individual acting alone, or rogue party operative. Your party uses these kinds of tactics, Toby. And I don’t see you doing anything to stop it.

  29. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 I don’t believe pedophiles can be rehabilitated, but I do believe that people with pedophile inclinations can’t be removed from society unless they act on their inclination in illegal ways, because of a thing called “due process.” I do believe sex offenders who prey on children should be locked away for life, and I’m willing to pay taxes to keep them out of society. Are you? Or are the taxes required to lock up sex predators something you want other people to pay?

  30. 33

    Oops, felons DO vote democrat spews:

    @18Proud To Be An Ass says:
    Most felons are republicans…

    If so, why do democrats support restoring voting rights to felons and republicans feel felons shouldn’t vote?

  31. 34

    spews:

    re 14: So we are in agreement that child molesters have an affliction that cannot be remediated by any known means. They need to be segregated from society.

  32. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 So the governor calls a special session. Exactly what laws do you want the lege to pass during this special session? What do you want the state to do, that it isn’t already doing? And if it will cost more money, are you willing to pay higher taxes to do it?

  33. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    As long as Republicans continue to exploit tragedies like this to engage in hatemongering against Democrats, the only thing they should get from us is a kick in the balls.

  34. 38

    spews:

    re 14: As you may have noticed, I am not attacking you in any way for your stance on this issue.

    Where we might disagree is on the punishment aspect of their banishment. Ii’m thinking more in terms of something like a leper colony.

  35. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I used to be for bipartisanship. I used to be a big fan of political negotiation, compromise, and accomodation. Not anymore. My attitude changed when rightwingers decided they didn’t want political competition, they wanted civil war, and proceeded to wage it by the foulest means that twisted human minds can conceive. My attitude now is, you bastards wanted civil war, and civil war is what you got!

    You fuckers made a big mistake when you listened to Newt Gingrich back in ’88 when he said:

    “ … [Politics] is a civil war … only one side will prevail … the other side will be relegated to history. This war has to be fought with the scale and duration and savagery that is only true of civil wars. While we are lucky in this country that our civil wars are fought at the ballot box, not on the battlefields, nonetheless it is a civil war.”

    Quoted in David Brock, “Blinded by the Right,” at p. 51.

  36. 41

    spews:

    No privatizing Child molester confinement colonies. Then private interests would want to label more people as molesters — like they do with petty crime — now that regular jails are privatized.

    We are serious about not letting Republicans use this tragedy as a way to suck more public money into the Republican corporate welfare maw.

  37. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Each and every Republican who ran with Gingrich’s ideas is personally responsible for the climate of hatred that Republicans have created in our once-great country. These low-life scumsuckers have turned America into a Northern Ireland. We should — and will — hold them responsible.

    “’ … Gingrich does have ideas,’ John Taylor wrote in Esquire [magazine]. ‘Gingrich essentially is a proponent of social Darwinism, which initially took hold in the late nineteenth century — a time, much as today is, of massive immigration, racial tension, and the absence of compelling ideological differences in politics. Like Gingrich, the Victorian social Darwinists worshiped entrepreneurship; they actually celebrated the unfairness of life.’

    “Newt also introduced a new style of Republicanism, based on confronting and demonizing the liberal culture that supported the big government idea. Newt understood that conservatism thrives only when it has an enemy …. No longer would the Democrats simply be opposed; they would be destroyed. …

    “Newt’s overarching strategy was to portray the differences between the two parties as at root moral, not political, laying the rhetorical groundwork for an offensive …. He used certain outrageously stigmatizing language, long a hallmark of right-wing political organizing, to caricature the opposition as immoral, even evil. ‘People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz,’ Gingrich declared. ‘I see evil around me every day.’ Newt called Democrats ‘sick,’ ‘grotesque,’ ‘loony,’ ‘stupid,’ ‘corrupt,’ ‘anti-family,’ and ‘traitors.’ … Taylor concluded, ‘Gingrich offers up … values … so hysterically partisan, so transparently dishonest, so willfully stupid, that it’s impossible to believe even Newt himself would expect anyone to take it seriously.’ But Newt did take himself seriously, as did legions of other right-wingers across the country ….”

    Brock, op. cit., at pp. 65-67.

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Let the chickens come home to roost.

  38. 43

    spews:

    What we are worried about with Republicans is that trhey lack the will to solve problems. Once they have figured a way to “privatize” a problem — it’s PROBLEM SOLVED!!

  39. 45

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @33 Why do the experts in the American Correctional Association support restoring voting rights to felons who have paid their debt to society?

    The reason, stupid, is to encourage them to be law-abiding citizens in the future. You do that by giving offenders who have completed their time a chance at employment, respect, and participation in society. If you don’t give them that chance, their only option is to return to the underworld.

    We can always count on the wingnut fringe to come up with the stupidest-possible knee-jerk response to every social problem.

  40. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @34 I agree. In fact, I don’t necessarily oppose executing child molesters. Even though most of them never turn into serial killers, the damage they do to their victims often is life-lasting. Execution is not too severe a penalty for the lifetime of emotional pain and psychological dysfunction they inflict on their victims.

  41. 47

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The one thing in our laws that I could see changing is that perhaps Terapon’s rape of his sister should have gotten him a life sentence with no parole. I would support that. But if you support such laws, be prepared to lock away people close to you, because there’s a lot more of this intrafamilial rape going on than is reported or than you can imagine. Most families sweep it under the rug and never report it to authorities. Sending your own son or brother to prison for life is not as easy for most people as some might blithely assume. I’ll leave it to readers to guess whether I’ve had some personal experience with this issue.

  42. 49

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “What we really need is good old fashioned police work in catching these bastards at the beginning of their criminal careers.”

    To expand on my comment @29, a detective who took 30 years to catch a killer who put four dozen women in their graves before being stopped isn’t exactly what I consider to be a role model of efficient police work, and he isn’t much of a congressman either.

  43. 50

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    But when you talk to experienced law enforcement professionals, such as veteran prosecutors, you find they’re skittish about tougher penalties for “funny uncles” who prey on their nieces because they’re afraid it’ll deter people from turning them in. They argue that prosecutors need latitude in charging and sentencing to get the cooperation of essential witnesses. They’re pragmatists who are willing to accept half a loaf rather than no loaf at all, because at least then these predators are identified and in the tracking system.

  44. 51

    Wow spews:

    I think some of you are just pissed that the GOP stepped up, and beat the Demo’s to it.

    If the Demo’s don’t like it, do what you do best, “NOTHING”, and explain that to your voters.

  45. 52

    spews:

    Headless Lucy @ 38

    Thanks, Lucy. I’m not at all sure that I do agree with whatever the HRC is planning to propose at this press conference, since, not being a member of the HRC anymore, I’m not privy to it. I’m certainly not the sort of knee-jerk proponent of “lock ‘em up forever” that people are railing against here. In fact, I’ve spoken out publicly against the one-strike-and-you’re-out proposals. I believe in proportionality in sentencing, and, as bad a child molestation is, it is not as bad as murdering a child. If the punishments for molestation and murder become indistinguishable (in the minds of the criminals, anyway), then we create an incentive for them to kill what is usually the only witness. For if they would get no greater penalty for the murder, why risk having the victim be able to testify against them?

    Your idea of something simlar to a “leper colony” is intriguing, although I’m not sure, given the relative comforts that exist in modern prisons (compared to how they were a few decades ago), what the difference would be between such a facility and a prison. Do you know of any written proposals for such a facility?

    P.S. Once of these days, I need to hear the back-story about your nom de plume.

  46. 53

    spews:

    Roger Rabbit @ 42

    Just so you know, in 1988 I was serving as a state party officer in the Libertarian Party of Georgia. When I ran for office in 1990 and 1992, it was as a Libertarian, not as a Republican.

    I don’t at all subscribe to the kind of attitude you quote @40. I do, on the other hand, on occasion quote Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” And Jefferson was a Democrat.

  47. 54

    spews:

    Toby @14,

    … what evidence do you have that Skip Priest, or me, or any other member of the House Republican Caucus, “acquiesced to”, consented to, or otherwise supported the sex offender postcard scheme? What evidence do you even have that any of us were even aware of it before it happened?

    Um… the fake sex offender postcards were paid for by the Speaker’s Roundtable, the official PAC of the House Republican Organizing Committee, of whom both DeBolt and Priest were officers. Are you suggesting that these committees operate entirely out of the control of caucus members?

    And how is this different from what you and your progressive friends do when they immediately call for universal health care when a child dies from some untreated illness, or increased regulation when dogs are poisoned by imported food ingredients, or increased gun control or banning of violent video games when students are killed by a deranged gunman?

    The specifics of your examples aside… I’m not an elected official! One would think that the House Minority Leader might be held to slightly higher rhetorical standard than some blogger. Calling for a special session one is not going to get is pure gamesmanship. And suggesting that this issue can be adequately addressed during a highly polarized two-day session shows a lack of seriousness.

    Remember, when the legislature last addressed this issue, your caucus attempted to brand Democrats as pandering to sex offenders because they backed the bill that was backed by prosecutors, judges, law enforcement officials and victims advocates. Forgive me for not accepting this press release at face value.

  48. 55

    spews:

    Hi, Goldy. I don’t recall Skip having been an HROC co-chair at the time those postcards were sent; I thought he was appointed to that position later. If he was co-chair at that time, then I withdraw my remark. And, yes, I believe that the vast majority of HRC members have no idea what HROC is doing on a day-to-day basis, including antics such as this. We don’t even know what direct mail they’re sending into our own districts, much less into other people’s districts.

    One thing to keep in mind is that no issue is ever fully addressed in a special session. The real work would be done in work sessions and committee meetings before the actual special session was ever convened. There would be several committee meetings leading up to any special session, and the bills that were agreed to in those committee meetings would be distributed to members in advance. On the day of the special session, you would just have caucus and the floor debates — as much time as any bill gets on the floor. So, again, it’s incorrect to characterize this as the entirety of the issue needing to be “adequately addressed during a highly polarized two-day session”. I do, however, agree that it is quite unlikely that such a session will be called.

    As one who supports SSOSA as a way to get some punishment, treatment, and registration for offenders who would otherwise escape entirely for lack of witnesses willing to testify, and who co-sponsored the bill you mention, I do not excuse the rhetoric back during the debate over Jessica’s law. I honestly was aghast at the bloodthirsty exclamations that pervaded the rally on the capitol steps at which Jessica’s father, Mark Lunsford, spoke.

  49. 56

    Another TJ spews:

    And, yes, I believe that the vast majority of HRC members have no idea what HROC is doing on a day-to-day basis, including antics such as this. We don’t even know what direct mail they’re sending into our own districts, much less into other people’s districts.

    So the voters definitely should not give control of the House to the GOP, at least as long as it’s run in this slip-shod fashion. Why should we believe they can run the state government competently if they can’t even get control of a few punks who work for them?

    I get the feeling this quote will find its way into a lot of campaign literature coming from Democrats.

  50. 57

    Wow spews:

    @ 56

    “I get the feeling this quote will find its way into a lot of campaign literature coming from Democrats.”

    Now worries, just as long as they reference the original quote source as “posted on Horsesass.org”, most people will get the point.

  51. 58

    Another TJ spews:

    Now worries, just as long as they reference the original quote source as “posted on Horsesass.org”, most people will get the point.

    Yep. People will be able to come here and see it for themselves and the context in which it was made (response to a post about the House GOP stepping over the body of a dead child to get to the microphones to exploit her death) and get the point quite clearly.

  52. 59

    Wow spews:

    @ 58

    And then they can surf the rest of the site, and read all the other comments, and get perspective……

    That is if they even type the “horsesass.org”. Just think what they get if they type in .com instead…… LOL

  53. 60

    Another TJ spews:

    And then they can surf the rest of the site, and read all the other comments, and get perspective……

    Absolutely.

  54. 61

    Right Stuff spews:

    @35
    Let’s pass Jessica’s law for one…..
    In terms of payment. Very complicated issue, more than just raise taxes…..
    As a general principle, I don’t have issue with tax dollars spent protecting society. I would pay higher taxes for “true deterent, life incarceration” type sentencing for sexual predators. That’s just government doing it’s job.
    Like I said, this is not a Democrat/Republican issue. It’s a test of our society, our culture, to say with one voice that our children are off limits. period.

  55. 62

    spews:

    I think most political partisans will bury the hatchet on this issue and support a true bi-partisan effort to make quick progress on rounding up child molestors and removing them from society.

  56. 63

    Wow spews:

    Just heard on KOMO that this little girls parents supports the GOP efforts.

    So WHO is exploiting WHO???

  57. 64

    spews:

    As I said @55, Goldy, I withdraw my remark @14 regarding Rep. Priest and the original sex offender postcards. Based on my own investigation this afternoon, apparently those cards were mailed shortly after he became one of the HROC co-chairs. Sorry for my incorrect recollection of the timing of that.

    As for Another TJ @56, I’d be happy to share with you Eric Oemig’s denials that he had any idea what hit pieces the SRC or The Roosevelt Fund were mailing into the 45th District last year. In fact, I bet I can find a similar quote from just about every candidate denying knowledge of the negative mailings their caucus campaign committee was sending out against their opponents. Again, it’s just the way things are done. Plausible deniability. All I’m saying is that in some cases, it’s actually true.

  58. 65

    Another TJ spews:

    Rep. Nixon,

    I should be clear. I didn’t mean to imply either a) that you weren’t telling the truth or b) that it was particularly uncommon. I was just pointing out that you made it pretty danged easy for the Dems to use your words against the GOP. I should have included a [/snark] tag or something like that.

    On the other hand, I suspect you would agree that that particular quote would be pretty good material for the Dems, should they choose to use it, because it’s in a public form that anyone can come here and see for themselves. It’s not a newspaper quote that can be muddied with a He-Said, She-Said “I Was Misquoted” non-denial denial, nor is it a second-/third-hand report. The Dems just have to point to this thread, and you and the GOP leadership are on the defensive.

  59. 67

    spews:

    Toby @55,

    Look, I understand that Skip Priest is one of the more reasonable members of the Republican caucus, and that generally he’s one of the good guys. I’ve also been told (since posting) that his reasons for getting out in front on this are personal; that he is engaged with the Russian speaking community in his district and knows the family personally.

    But asking for a special session is counterproductive.

    I’d also like to add, Toby, that if the Republican caucus has a credibility problem on this issue, it’s their own damn fault. Stupid stunts like the sex offender postcards have cumulative consequences.

  60. 68

    Bax spews:

    Let’s pass Jessica’s law for one…..

    Is that the law that calls for life in prison for certain sex offenses? I know that there’s a group out there advocating for that. I’m all for locking up sex offenders, but it strikes me as somewhat odd that you’d send somebody to prison for life for that, but you wouldn’t for murder.

    Besides, all passing a law mandating life in prison for a first sex offense will do is result in a whole helluva lot more acquittals.

  61. 69

    spews:

    Another TJ @ 65:

    Yeah, but they could just say I’m a disgruntled former representative.

    Or, this isn’t the first time someone has sock-puppeted Toby Nixon on a blog!

    :-)

  62. 70

    Another TJ spews:

    Yeah, but they could just say I’m a disgruntled former representative.

    Perhaps, but you’re disgruntled because you’re not a jerk. There’s a story in that…

  63. 71

    spews:

    So, did anyone else note what the Democrats had to say about the proposal for a special session? Quoting the writer, Andrew Garber, here:

    Gov. Christine Gregoire left the door open to a possible special session.

    and

    House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, also said she’s open to the idea of a special session as long as Republicans are willing to work with Democrats to come up with a solid proposal before the session is held.

    I’m impressed with the open-mindedness of the Democratic leadership in Olympia on this, their refusal to assume that this is just a repeat of the Republican’s 2006 tactics, and their acknowledgement of the seriousness of the issue — particularly of the need to deal with sex offenders who falsely register as homeless or who fail to register at all.

    And I think we can all agree with what Rep. Kessler had to say: “This is the last issue on the planet we should be politicizing.”

  64. 73

    Another TJ spews:

    Can I quote you on that on my endorsement page next time I run for something?

    As prominently as is appropriate/necessary.

    By the way, the story you refer to has already been written.

    Yeah, but I’m a Democrat; I want this on the front page of the PI and the Times, the Spokesman, the Yakima Herald, the top story of every TV station in the state… the whole shebang. Heck, run it in the Nickel ads, Watchtower, whatever. Of course, I know it’s not exactly breaking news that the WA GOP is run by a bunch of freakin’ loons; I just want to make sure that no one forgets, even for a few moments.

  65. 74

    Low Standards spews:

    Goldy said:

    “The specifics of your examples aside… I’m not an elected official! One would think that the House Minority Leader might be held to slightly higher rhetorical standard than some blogger.”

    This is just ripe, and an amazing window into the mind of a progressive.

  66. 75

    Bill Anderson spews:

    Toby @71

    I was going to repeat the same quotes.

    Back to my original comment….Goldy….this is a good thing. I fear that you are encouraging the politicization of the isse much more than the Repubs or Dems in Olympia.

    Sadly, but too often true, tragedy spurs lawmakers into action (action that should have already taken place).

    Please don’t let your politicization stop the process for real, meaningful change. Your constant pointers to the postcards is a perfect example of politicization. It’s like constant Republican remarks about Clinton’s lying to the grand jury. How does that help us now?

  67. 76

    spews:

    So, both the governor and the Democrat House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler are open to the idea of a special session to deal with the sexual predator issue, as well as they should be.

    The D’s blew it last session when they watered down Jessica’s Bill, a stupid mistake in today’s light.

    Besides toughening sentences and using GPS technologies for tracking, the legislature needs to revigorate the State Patrol. Three successive Democrat governors … including this one … have turned that former police agency into a cadre of traffic cops. Detectives have been turned into radar cops. That trend needs to be reversed. The Patrol should be returned to a real police agency and be charged with tracking down sex offenders who are missing from the registration rosters.

    The D’s have just been too soft on criminals.

    Gregoire and Kessler show some brains by being open to the Republican call.

    Protecting our children shouldn’t be a partisan issue, even if it means getting tough on criminals.

  68. 77

    Puddybud spews:

    RightEqualsStupid said: “Ever notice how much the Publicans fixate on child rape?”

    Because Moonbat! judges in the courts give it a pass!

  69. 78

    spews:

    I smell Carl Rove. The republican initiative is part and parcel of a overall national campaign throughout the country to use the sex predator “issue” to polarize voters. Everyone in their right mind is easily disgusted by these sickos. There is no room for politicians to argue about the nuances of composing laws to monitor and punish sex offenders without running the risk of being accused of being soft or protecting the offenders by most of the hysterical right wing or high profile relatives of the victims who demand retribution. Any politician who says “hang em high” is in a win win position given today’s infotainment not in my backyard world. The statistics, prosecutors, and sexual deviant treatment providers have long argued that “one strike your out laws” actually make it harder to prosecute
    offenders. Most of these crimes actually happen within families where loved ones are more reluctant to come forward of be forthcoming if it means “daddy” going to get life.
    Link to a post I wrote last time this issue was in front of the state legislature.

  70. 79

    Mark spews:

    Blah, Blah, Blah……

    Screw politics – where is the serious political will to finally get serious about child predators? How many kids need to be raped and brutalized before this state takes the issue seriously? My vote goes to whomever supports a WA version of Jessica’s Law and also requires GPS monitoring of ALL registered sex offenders.

    Or does this make me a “wing nut”?

  71. 80

    Lazarus spews:

    Mark is right. We need to crack down harder on them predatory Jooz er sex-offenders — forget all the federal gummint studies showing that that a considerable majority of sex offense convictions are first-time convictions and that most released sex offenders never re-enter the system. They’s sex offenders and we gotta bully ‘em all until they go off and commit new crimes so we can lock ‘em away forever.

    At the publik’s expense.

    Mark, you’re not only an ignorant emotional wingnut — you’ve come thoroughlly unscrewed, have flown loose and are lost somewhere out there in the weeds. Maybe someday somebody (Jesus?) will discover you out there and bring you home to reason and rationality.

    Or maybe your response is “Nah.” Kill all the accused (and wrongfully convicted: remember Wenatchee?) and let God sort them out. As HE will you too Mark, you will be judged as you pre-judged others. Hope you’ll find it enjoyable, not to mention the happy and ultra-warm eternal hereafter that follows, Mark…

    [Luke 16:19-ff]

    Mark, it’s not too late. “Repent” means “re-think.” The crime is awful enough and demands justice — but the way you and others, especially mutually and communally, fan the flames of hatred in your hearts will do little but condemn your souls to Hell forever.

    (s) Husband of a victim of rape, whose perp got off easy

  72. 81

    Mark spews:

    Lazarus says:

    Mark is right. We need to crack down harder on them predatory Jooz er sex-offenders — forget all the federal gummint studies showing that that a considerable majority of sex offense convictions are first-time convictions and that most released sex offenders never re-enter the system. They’s sex offenders and we gotta bully ‘em all until they go off and commit new crimes so we can lock ‘em away forever.

    At the publik’s expense.

    Mark, you’re not only an ignorant emotional wingnut — you’ve come thoroughlly unscrewed, have flown loose and are lost somewhere out there in the weeds. Maybe someday somebody (Jesus?) will discover you out there and bring you home to reason and rationality.

    Or maybe your response is “Nah.” Kill all the accused (and wrongfully convicted: remember Wenatchee?) and let God sort them out. As HE will you too Mark, you will be judged as you pre-judged others. Hope you’ll find it enjoyable, not to mention the happy and ultra-warm eternal hereafter that follows, Mark…

    [Luke 16:19-ff]

    Mark, it’s not too late. “Repent” means “re-think.” The crime is awful enough and demands justice — but the way you and others, especially mutually and communally, fan the flames of hatred in your hearts will do little but condemn your souls to Hell forever.

    (s) Husband of a victim of rape, whose perp got off easy

    To quote Caveman from the Geico.com commercial where he is on TV responding to an incomprehensible statement from another guest…..

    “HUH???????”

    What the hell are you talking about?