Congratulations to The Olympian for publishing the kind of blunt, unwaveringly critical editorial I’ve been looking for since the state house GOP caucus first mailed out it’s fake “Sex Offender Notification” postcards:
Rep. Richard DeBolt owes his legislative colleagues and his South Sound constituents an apology. His feeble attempt at rough-and-tumble politics has backfired, making him look foolish and disingenuous.
[…] His actions are bad for public discourse, and his reliance on falsehoods does not speak well of DeBolt’s character.
He knows better, and he should apologize for his missteps.
At issue are postcards labeled “sex offender notification” that were mailed into a handful of legislative districts represented by Democrats.
The postcards include a photo of a man convicted of sexually assaulting children, a physical description and a headline that reads, “This violent predator lives in your community.”
It’s a lie.
The Olympian goes on to excoriate DeBolt, explaining the truth behind the procedural move the GOP exploited to cynically claim that Democrats are soft on sex offenders, and ridiculing DeBolt’s continued denials that as House Minority Leader, he is ultimately responsible for the actions of his caucus’s own PAC.
As for worrying people that a particular sex offender had moved into their neighborhoods, he said the man in the postcard is a “generic figure,” and people should be scared of sex offenders.
DeBolt is right in one regard. He says the Republicans’ campaign has raised public awareness.
Yes, the public is now aware how low Rep. Richard DeBolt and his political action committee will stoop to stretch the truth and sling a little mud at the opposing party.
He owes his legislative colleagues and his constituents an apology.
Yes. And after this session is over, he should resign.
The only thing I find disappointing about The Olympian’s editorial is that we’re only reading it in the pages of The Olympian. Columnists Thomas Shapley and Nicole Brodeur have weighed in on the issue, but where is the official, righteous outrage from the editorial boards of the P-I and the Times, the two most influential papers in the state? If bloggers like me hadn’t slammed this issue for days, would the traditional media even have picked it up?
The truth is, in Washington state, our journalists and editorial boards simply don’t hold Republicans to the same high standards they hold Democrats. They expect Dems to be more cautious and civil, and when the Dems disappoint, we hear about it. In fact, it never would have occurred to House Majority Leader Frank Chopp, that scaring the bejeebus out of thousands of families by mailing out a fake sex offender notice could in any way be defensible. But Republicans… well, you know… kids will be kids. I’m not saying that Dems never get themselves dirty… but never this dirty.
That DeBolt could not see that the postcard represented a new low for his party, reflects poorly on both his character and his judgement. That our state’s opinion makers did not instantly condemn the postcard for what it is, reflects poorly on our media’s ability to referee our ever disintegrating political discourse.
The MSM can lament all it wants about the coarseness injected into the debate by partisan, foul-mouthed bloggers like me, but until “traditional journalists” start worrying more about speaking the truth, and less about attaining their mythical goal of balance, the blogosphere’s influence will continue to rise… and our political parties will continue sink to new lows.
Don, Was that you picture on the “Sex Offender Notification” postcards?
If sex offenders voted Republican, WASH state Democrats would make sure they were in jail forever. Since these perverts vote Democrat, they are all out in society and their punishment is monthly “sensitivity awareness classes”.
Tree Frog Farmer spews:
More, and more, it becomes clear that to be a Republican, you must be a sick, twisted, and demented soul. DeBolt fits right in. So do you JCH.
tree frog farmer that and names like rabbit you dems seem to have a thing for animals
Tree Frog, Thank you, and good morning from Hawaii. JCH
Thomas Trainwinder spews:
This was a terrible thing to do. But if everyone in politics who did a terrible thing had to resign, we’d pretty much be in anarchy.
jch now you stay of hotel street i dont want to have to come over and get you out of there
the DA WO
No discrimination against Democrat gays, or Democrats who have sex with barn yard animals, or Democrats who wish to marry barn yard animals!!
Teddy Kennedy sitting on the Senate’s Judical Committee is like Andrea Yates [she of 5 bathtub drownings] giving tips on child care!!
YO, Hotel Street [Yes, I remember from 30 years ago!] is on Oahu. I reside on Hawaii [Big Island]. Oahu today looks like LA. Best regards, JCH
Apparently the GOP figures the only way they can win is by lying to or scarying people. Given the intelligence showed by their base, I can see why they think this would work on the 80% of the state that doesn’t drink their koolaid, but you would think at somepoint the would wake up and realize that the only Republicans that can win state wide are moderate to liberal (Dan Evans, Sam Reed), and that pitching your arguments to knuckle dragging biggots doesn’t do anything but guarentee that you are a permanent minority.
BOB from BOEING spews:
Goldy, you are at your best in this sort of prickly politcal issue — excellent post.
I will forgive you the wringing hands over Lotto tickets bought by the too young and the feeble old.
JCH, Keep ’em coming. More of the racist lunacy, please. They are my favorites!
American Osama spews:
Thank you for your support.
keep up the good work
Wouldn’t suprise me if Osama was in US given neglect of homeland security by Bush Admin and his incompetence in tracking him down.
I heard a rumour that while Sheehan was arrested for “illegal possession of a t-shirt” before the SOTU, Osama and Bush held a power chat. They discussed Osama’s next video tape.
I am amazed at JCH’s insight into whom pedophiles and those practicing bestiality vote for, given the lack of any statistics on the issue. Also, it is interesting to note that the Big Island is the only one of the main Hawaiian Islands with a ranching industry. Kind of makes you wonder doesn’t it?
wayne, wonder no more, many prominent people are saying that JCH is a cow fucker, and a repeat and unrepentent chicken rapist.
KentThe Islands of Hawaii are ripe with reports of what they call “The Animal-Human clone buggerer of KentOahu.
JCH’s parents were reportedly unable to get JCH out of their leaky basement to respond to media questions about his alleged Human-Animal clone rape rampage.
18…..Wrong Island!!! Hawaii, not Oahu!!!
JCH, I apologize. You are posting from your parent’s
KentHawaii leaky basement.
17.Parker Ranch is on the Kona side [Wiamea]. Great beef, but your food stamps might not cover the premium cuts. Have you visited? Really beautiful, but your does your welfare cover airfare?
JCH, a question that you need to answer:
What attracts you to the orifices of Human-Animal clones? Why do you, as many accuse, rape them?
If felons voted Republican, do you think Jesse and Hillary would be bitching about “disenfranchised” criminals? There’s your proof!!
JCH, put the Hawaii travel brochure down and answer the damn question!
23, Don, I think most goat fucker and those who enjoy anal “Tookie Williams” sex with barn yard animals are liberal Democrats. BTW, how did the AIDS virus get from African monkeys to black democrats living in Detroit? Du you have something to do with this?
23..Ok, I’ll answer. Your daughter!!! She enjoys the “anal Tookie love” that only African liberal Democrats can deliver!!
Ken In Seattle spews:
Note the Sheehan story on the capitol no free speech zone. The PI story seems disjointed like it was edited with an axe.
The Houston Cronicle story is less mangled by editors than the Seattle PI version?
This is one example I found when I went looking since the PI version seemed a little lite. Usually the stories that are chopped into unintelligible gibberish only happen on the weekends.
Perhaps someone got a promotion?
Thanks, JCH, I knew you could start the lunatic racist postings with a little encouragement!
But that is a repeat. Lets have a new lunatic racist raving!
Don’t let your fans down!
JCH, I apologize. You are posting from your parentâ€™s Kent Hawaii leaky basement.
Comment by Donnageddon â€” 2/1/06 @ 12:59 pm [Er Don, Not a lot of basements in Hawaii. It has something to do with vocanoes, lava, earthquakes, and humidity. Not a really intelligent question.]
I nominate JCH as “Best Friend of Progressive Liberals”.
He does so much for us, we need to honor the
Kentpimply faced virgin teenager!
29..Is your daughter racist? What is racist about my post?
JCH @ 32.. Keep the irony coming!!!
I have a fever for hypocrisy and the only cure is more JCH posts!
Q: What do facts and JCH have in common?
A: Nothing, but he is an entertaining tool of the neocons
A masterpiece of circular reasoning:
1. Democrats are concerned about the disenfranchisement of felons. (This is hardly a big Democratic issue. It can be argued that a felon that has served his or her time, pays taxes and is a citizen should be entitled to vote, but opinions can differ.)
2. Democrats would only be concerned about the voting rights of groups who primarily vote Democratic. (This is JCH’s first mistake, as it is based on the theory that Democrats will only support things in their own self-interest. This is an understandable mistake, as the GOP philosophy is built primarily on greed and self-interest.)
3. Because of 1 and 2 above, felons must vote Democratic. (Of course, given that 2 is false and 1 is at most only weakly true, JCH’s entire theorem fails.)
@ 32 JCH “the best friend a progressive liberal could have” said:
“is your daughter racist? What is racist about my post?”
Lets ask “my daughter”
Wait for it!
Donnageddon\'s Daughter spews:
… uh… I don’t exist….
There you have it, JCH, straight from “my daughter”‘s mouth.
Now, JCH how do you respond to all the charges that you are Kevin Carns?
Follow up question:
When did you stop beating Kevin Carns?
Jesus H Christ, wayne “A masterpiece of circular reasoning:”
When did you equate any post by JCH with “reasoning”?
[“straight from â€œmy daughter”â€™s mouth.”] Er, Don, many on this board, both Democrat and Republican, are quite familiar with “your daughter’s mouth”.
35..Wayne, Total bull shit. Libs only care about those who vote Democrat. Anyobne else is just someone to tax. [Atlas has Shrugged, and the ants are leaving. Let the grasshoppers tax each other!]
35, Wayne writes “felons must vote Democratic.”…….Must? How about “always do”??
Donnageddon\' Daughter spews:
JCH, you feind! Quit touching me in places you would never have the opportunity to touch a female that actually exists.
JCH, I must insist you quit trying to diddle my daughter that exists only in your imagination.
JCH, this is boring! Tell me more the racist ravings the voices in your head talk about!
didn’t the only actually confirmed felons in the 2004 election… vote Republican? I seem to remember hearing that somewhere.
JCH, I am “lib” and all I care about is all the neocon racists being fed rat poison.
Windie, you are correct. After the trial of “Democratic Vote Fraud” 4 actual frauds were found.
They all voted for Rossi.
I smell a trend.
P.S. JCH keep up the lunatic racist ravings!
Felon Voting Disenfranchisement
Reverend Tommy Waites of Montgomery, Alabama, is considered one of his city’s exemplary citizens. A longtime pastor with a particular focus on prison ministry, he was recently named Citizen of the Year by the Montgomery Bar Association. But Reverend Waites was not always held in such high esteem. Originally sentenced to a life prison term, he served eight years in Alabama prisons before earning his release. As a result of his service to the community, he eventually received a pardon from the state, a time-consuming and difficult process to negotiate. He now can vote with fellow citizens and claim other civil rights.
Until last year, the story of Reverend Waites was the exception to the rule. For more than a century, all persons convicted of a felony in Alabama lost their voting rights for life, with only a relative handful able to gain pardons. But as a result of legislation signed into law in 2003 by Governor Bob Riley, most individuals who have completed their sentence are now eligible to apply to have their voting rights restored.
By enacting this legislation, Alabama joined eight other states that since 1996 have adopted reforms of their disenfranchisement laws. The reforms have enfranchised an estimated half-million potential voters and in many respects represent one of the emerging frontiers of the modern-day civil rights movement.
American disenfranchisement policies are extremely broad and can be traced back to the nation’s founding, when the Founders carried over the concept of “civil death”-the deprivation of all rights, dating from medieval times-to people convicted of a felony. When the new nation was formed as an experiment in democracy, it was in fact a very limited experiment-a group of wealthy white males granting themselves the right to vote. Among the excluded groups in the population were women, African Americans, illiterates, poor people, and felons. Current estimates suggest that only 6 percent of the population at that time was granted the right to vote. During the ensuing 200 years, the vote has been extended to all the excluded groups but felons, and we now look back on those exclusionary past practices with a great deal of national embarrassment.
Rooted in Racism
Disenfranchisement policies have served various political purposes, most notably racial exclusion. In the post-Reconstruction period, coincident with the advent of poll taxes and literacy requirements, legislators in a number of southern states tailored their disenfranchisement statutes with the specific intent of excluding the newly freed black voters. They accomplished this by tying the loss of voting rights to crimes alleged to be committed primarily by blacks while excluding offenses held to be committed by whites. Such laws were in place for 100 years before being struck down.
Today, 48 states and the District of Columbia prohibit felons in prison from voting, and 33 states ban people on probation and/or parole as well. In 13 states a felony offense can result in the loss of voting rights even after the sentence has been completed, and often for life. Although these laws have been in place for many years, their impact is now greater than at any point in US history, given the six fold increase in the number of people entering the criminal justice system during the past three decades. Overall, some four million Americans-two percent of the adult population-cannot vote as a result of a felony conviction; the rate for African-American males is a staggering 13 percent.
Regarding individuals who complete their sentence, it is difficult to develop a compelling argument for the denial of voting rights. Americans long have professed that once you “pay your debt to society,” you are free to rejoin the community. But a felony conviction may continue to deny these rights of citizenship decades after a sentence has been completed, even for a one-time, nonviolent offense. (Regrettably, policymakers in recent years enacted a series of collateral consequences of conviction, many tied specifically to drug offenses, that also extend after sentence. These include bans on receiving welfare assistance, living in public housing, and obtaining financial aid for higher education.)
But serious questions can be raised as well regarding the loss of fundamental rights for people currently serving a felony sentence, whether in prison or on probation or parole. Our legal system generally makes a distinction between punishment- the loss of liberty whether in prison or on probation-and the loss of rights. The only exceptions generally conceded by law and policy are those exercises of speech that might conflict with public safety concerns.
If we think of voting more broadly, as a fundamental expression of speech, then disenfranchisement becomes an even greater challenge for a democratic society. Suppose, for example, a legislator proposed a bill to make it unlawful for a probationer to write a letter to the editor or to participate in a protest rally. Surely few policymakers or citizens would find this an appropriate consequence of a conviction. Yet in the 29 states that currently prohibit probationers from voting, such restrictions on political expression are firmly in place.
The traditional goals of sentencing also leave little justification for disenfranchisement and most other collateral consequences of conviction. Other than serving a retributive function, disenfranchisement certainly does not meet the goals of incapacitation or deterrence. Individuals who are not already deterred from crime by the threat of incarceration are unlikely to be swayed by the prospect of losing their right to vote.
Placing a character test on voting eligibility also is reminiscent of past practices that run counter to modern notions of democratic procedure. Once we begin to impose character requirements, voting slips back from being a right for all Americans to a privilege granted by the powerful.
The racial impact of disenfranchisement policies is sometimes justified as an inevitable if unfortunate aspect of a race-neutral criminal justice system: if members of a continued from page six particular racial or ethnic group are more involved in crime, the consequent disproportionate loss of voting rights is merely a result of their activity. Such an argument, though, ignores the compelling evidence of discriminatory racial dynamics in the criminal justice system racial profiling by law enforcement agencies, the racially disparate prosecution of the war on drugs, and glaring inequities in adequacy of counsel as a function of both race and class.
In a more positive vein, the restoration of voting rights can be seen as being in harmony with the rehabilitative goal of sentencing. If an objective of sentencing is to encourage offenders to become less antisocial, then it is in society’s interest to engage offenders in productive relationships with the community. Voting is clearly one means of doing so.
Such a rationale is employed by the many nations (and the states of Maine and Vermont) that do not relate voting rights to criminal punishment and permit even prisoners to vote. By the standards of most democratic nations, American disenfranchisement policies are extreme, as is our excessive use of imprisonment. No other democratic nation disenfranchises former offenders for life; some countries deny voting rights to citizens after they have completed a prison sentence, but this generally is for a limited period of time and for specific offenses. During the past decade, constitutional courts in Canada, Israel, and South Africa have affirmed the fundamental right of all citizens, including prisoners, to be part of the electorate. The Israeli case is particularly intriguing because it resulted from a challenge to the voting rights of Yigal Amir, the man convicted of killing former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
In recent years renewed attention has been drawn to the issue of felony disenfranchisement. This was spurred by the publication of a 1998 report by Human Rights Watch and The Sentencing Project that provided the first state-based estimates of the impact of disenfranchisement: Losing the Vote: The Impact of Felonly Disenfranchisement Laws in the United States. On its heels came the historic 2000 presidential election results in Florida. Florida is among the most restrictive states with regard to disenfranchisement; on that Election Day, an estimated 600,000 former offenders were legally ineligible to vote. Clearly, the outcome of a national election may have been shaped by these policies.
Challenges to disenfranchisement policies have emerged at several levels. Key litigation includes the Brennan Center’s challenge to Florida’s disenfranchisement law based on its racist origins and racial impact. Johnson v. Bush, 214 F. Supp. 2dl 333 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2002). The federal district court upheld the law, and an appeal is now pending in the Eleventh Circuit. Although disenfranchisement laws in New York State are less restrictive than some-only prisoners and parolees are disenfranchised-litigants led by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund are challenging the statute in Hayden v. Pataki, Civ. No. 00-8586 (S.D.N.Y.). The plaintiffs in New York are also raising an argument of voter dilution because large-scale disenfranchisement of minority voters causes communities of color to lose political saliency even though most residents of the communities have not been convicted of a felony offense.
In recent years a broad base of advocates in a number of states has achieved success in enacting legislation to scale back or repeal various aspects of disenfranchisement policy. Much of this activity centers on the states with the most extreme policies: those that disenfranchise various categories of felons even after they have completed their sentences. Since 2000, legislation to substantially expand voting rights to many former offenders has been signed into law in Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, and New Mexico. Connecticut legislators enacted a bill to expand voting rights to felons currently on probation, and several other states have eased the restoration process by which former offenders can apply to regain their rights. Notably, these various bills have been signed into law by both Democratic and Republican governors.
National attention to this issue is also growing among policymakers and within the legal community. Following the presidential election results from Florida, the National Commission on Federal Election Reform chaired by former Presidents Ford and Carter unanimously recommended that states not prohibit voting by people who have completed their sentences. And in 2003 the American Bar Association approved a new set of standards relating to the collateral consequences of a felony conviction that oppose any restrictions on voting rights for non-incarcerated felons.
Interest in disenfranchisement has led to increased activity within the civil rights community as well. The National Campaign to Restore Voting Rights, a collaborative of eight leading national civil rights and civil liberties organizations, is engaged in a multi-year project to support education and advocacy work at both state and national levels.
Disenfranchisement is but one of the many consequences of a felony conviction in most states. Policymakers and practitioners are becoming increasingly aware of the broad range of effects such policies have on the lives and prospects of offenders returning to the community. A reconsideration of disenfranchisement policies forces us to focus on both these [Dems “gots ta gets da criminal vote!”]
On another topic… I am worried about RUFUS.
I haven’t heard him say “Donk” in a few hours.
What’s up RUFUS, you consulting a thesaurus?
JCH @ 50
January 08, 2004, 8:30 a.m.
The Felon Franchise
A partisan prison strategy.
By Peter Kirsanow
Wesley Clark recently told a black audience in Birmingham, Alabama that states should restore the right to vote to felons who’ve completed their sentences. Clark’s not alone. Several Democratic presidential candidates, including frontrunner Howard Dean, also support felon voting.
A cynic may be forgiven for suspecting that the motivation behind such support has as much to do with political expediency as principle. Although polls currently show President Bush with a comfortable lead, strategists from both parties expect the 2004 presidential election to be another close one. While it’s unlikely that the election will be as close as that of 2000, minor shifts in demographics and voting patterns could have a dramatic, if not decisive, effect. This is particularly true in the case of felon voting, a cause championed by a growing number of politicians and interest groups.
The estimates of the number of people who have either temporarily or permanently lost the right to vote due to felony convictions vary, but most agree that the figure hovers around four million. Forty-eight states currently have some form of restriction on the right of felons to vote. The exceptions are Maine and Vermont, which even permit inmates to vote. Thirty-three states disenfranchise felons who are on parole. Eight states deny felons the right to vote for life.
Several recent studies contend that even allowing for their expected lower participation rates, the restoration of voting rights to felons would have shifted the outcome of a number of recent congressional elections. This tantalizes the felon-vote movement. But the movement receives its greatest inspiration from the 2000 election fiasco in Florida. Felon-vote proponents claim that had felons who have completed their sentences been permitted to vote in Florida, Gore would be president today. And they’re probably right.
As David Lampo has noted, a study by sociologists Christopher Uggen of the University of Minnesota and Jeff Manza of Northwestern shows that felons vote overwhelmingly for Democrats â€” at a rate approaching 70 percent. (In fact, this estimate may be low. In some Florida counties more than 80 percent of the felons who voted illegally were registered Democrats.) Therefore, had Florida’s felons voted in the 2000 presidential election at a rate comparable to the rest of the Florida electorate, Al Gore would have won the state by more than 60,000 votes.
Florida again promises to be interesting in the 2004 presidential election. A few months ago, the state’s department of corrections settled a lawsuit by felon-advocacy groups to ease restoration of voting rights for felons who’ve completed their sentences. (Florida bars felons from voting unless their rights have been restored by executive clemency.) Pursuant to the settlement, the state will provide advice and assistance to felons regarding the restoration process. According to the Naples Daily News, Florida officials estimate that nearly 130,000 felons should have their voting rights restored in the near future.
The restoration of voting rights to felons is decidedly unpopular with the electorate. For example, in 1998, more than 80 percent of Utah voters approved a measure to bar inmates from voting. In 2000, the Massachusetts electorate, among the most liberal in the country, voted for a constitutional amendment barring felon inmates from voting.
But overwhelming public opposition has not deterred felon-vote advocates. They’ve simply resorted to a receptive judiciary to achieve their objective. Several recent lawsuits throughout the country assert that state felon-disenfranchisement laws violate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the equal-protection guarantees in state constitutions. Typical among these suits is Farrakhan v. State of Washington, a case that had been dismissed by the U.S. District Court in Spokane, but revived a short time ago by the Ninth Circuit. Farrakhan was brought by minority inmates challenging the state of Washington’s constitutional prohibition against voting by imprisoned felons. The inmates maintain that racial disparities in the state’s criminal-justice system effectively result in a denial of the right to vote on the basis of race. The court noted that while constituting only 3 percent of the state’s population, blacks represent 37 percent of those adjudicated “persistent offenders.” The Ninth Circuit remanded the case to the district court for a full hearing on the issue of whether racial bias in the criminal-justice system, combined with the denial of voting rights to inmates, violates the Voting Rights Act.
The racial-disparity argument is a recurrent theme in challenges to felon-voting prohibitions. Claims of racial discrimination tend to generate greater public concern than complaints that murderers and rapists won’t get to elect the next president. Felon-vote advocates recite the statistic that nearly 1.5 million black men are prohibited from voting due to felony convictions. The Sentencing Project maintains that black men are disenfranchised by state restrictions on felon voting at a rate seven times the national average. The group asserts that at current incarceration rates, in some states as many as 40 percent of black men will soon be disenfranchised. These figures are clearly disconcerting, but for reasons more fundamental than the inability of felons to vote.
As might be expected, the issue has captured the attention of some in Congress. Representative John Conyers (D., Mich.) introduced the Civil Participation and Rehabilitation Act of 1999. The bill had 37 cosponsors and sought to provide federal voting rights to all felons released from prison, regardless of whether their respective states barred them from voting. The bill was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, and went nowhere.
Conyers reintroduced the bill in January 2003. The list of co-sponsors dropped to 25, but still boasted many members of the Congressional Black Caucus along with Democratic presidential aspirant Dennis Kucinich.
The bill’s findings prominently cite some of the racial disparities noted above. The purpose of the findings is to provide Fourteenth Amendment support for overriding state restrictions on felon voting. But franchise qualifications are generally the prerogative of the states. It’s unlikely that a facially neutral felon-disenfranchisement law (without discriminatory intent) that has a racially disparate impact would violate the equal-protection clause. (Such a law’s validity under the Voting Rights Act is another inquiry altogether.)
Most state disenfranchisement laws don’t have blanket prohibitions against felon voting. Distinctions are made between inmates and releasees, parolees and probationers, etc. Some states even differentiate between first offenders and repeat offenders. Most people grasp the reasoning underlying these distinctions: Denying the franchise to a violent repeat offender is a bit different than denying it to a youthful, one-time drug offender. And many find distasteful the prospect of politicians pandering to the interests of criminals. (What might a governor facing recall promise tens of thousands of inmates in exchange for their votes? Pardons? Weekend furloughs?)
States may plausibly deny the franchise to murderers on the basis that they have permanently disenfranchised their victims, or to violent criminals because they generally have high recidivism rates. These rationales may not be exemplars of logical perfection, but they are no less defensible than those for denying felons a number of other rights (certain categories of employment, child custody, firearms ownership, etc.)
On the other hand, a state may decide that certain classes of felons should regain the right to vote because it assists their reintegration into society. Denying an 18-year-old the right to vote for the rest of his life because of a nonviolent crime is unlikely to act as either a deterrent or enhance the integrity of the political process.
As David Lampo notes, these distinctions are immaterial to many felon-vote advocates. Their aim is nothing less than the wholesale restoration of voting rights to all convicts â€” and that suggests an agenda that’s more partisan than altruistic.
â€” Peter Kirsanow is a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Note, Democrat Fags, That felons [criminals] vote Democrat. Game……..Set…….Match!!!!
Richard Pope spews:
Here is an interesting question. Under HB 2661, the so-called “gay civil rights bill”, would a sexual pervert who has not been convicted of any sexual offense be able to get a job in the public schools, child care, or other youth-oriented services without being “discriminated” against due to their perversion?
For example, could the Massachusetts dominatrix in this article get a job as a child care provider or high school teacher under HB 2661? (Bear in mind that the Massachusetts jury actually acquitted her!)
Despite being called a “gay civil rights bill”, HB 2661 goes far beyond mere protection of gay vs. straight sexual orientation. HB 2661 prohibits discrimination on the basis of any sexual practices or perversion whatsoever (although presumably “discrimination” against a convicted sex offender or other convicted felon would still be permissible). HB 2661 also protects transvestism (i.e. cross-dressing), regardless of whether the person actually has any gender identity disfunction, as well as any other sort of sexually expressive (or provocative) dressing or behavior.
It is unfortunate that the Democrats didn’t leave the “gay civil rights” bill in the same form that it was introduced in 2005 (as in HB 1515) and in the previous 20 some odd years — i.e. to only protect sexual orientation. Instead, they added public behavior and public expression to the definition of “sexual orientation”, which broadly expands the coverage.
I don’t know what Tim Eyman has proposed in his recent INITIATIVE — which may very well have anti-gay language that I am not comfortable with.
On the other hand, I have absolutely no problem with a REFERENDUM to allow the people to vote on acceptance or rejection of HB 2661. Since the language in HB 2661 is flawed and overreaching, the people should vote NO on HB 2661 when it appears on the ballot this fall.
richard: Are you seriously saying we should punish people for something they might do?
JCH “The Liberal’s Pet”
Copying and pasting insane rhtoric from other wingnuts wil not pay the rent when you decide to move out of your parent’s basement.
More racist rants!
Your audience demands it!
Richard Pope nas a last name that resembles the leader of a large Christian Denomination that has suffered scandal because of pedophile priests.
ergo, Richard Pope fits the profile of a pedophile.
Lock Him Up!
It is in the interest of keeping America safe!****
**** If you disagree, you hate America, and love Osama. Quit doing that!
JCH claims to be in Hilo, and yet, on the last good day before rain, when it is 86 degrees out, he is spending his time posting a ton of meaningless messages. He is either lying or stupid, although the evidence points to both.
What is your definition of pervert? Heck, JCH thinks he is in a same-sex relationship because he is constantly masterbating, does that make him a pervert?
Simply put, your hypothetical is foolish. Lets say that someone has a bondage fetish that he or she only does with his or hers spouse, should that person be prevented from teaching. After all, there are plenty in your ranks that consider good old oral sex a perversion. It is sodomy, by definition, you know.
And, if we follow your logic, should we agree that someone so perverted as to serve his wife with divorce papers while she lies in the hospital going through cancer treatments should never be allowed to serve the public? Isn’t that a greater perversion than a little S&M? How ’bout a guy that harraases a female assistant with comments about loofahs? Should not that person be prevented from ever presenting his or her face to the public?
We all have our perversions, Richard. Heck, I bet you have a few. But unless you have harmed somebody, or are a reasonable threat to harm somebody, you are asking to prosecute thought crime. I’m sure George Bush agrees, but 95% of the population are smart enough to avoid that pit.
One person’s “sexual pervert” is another person’s … Catholic priest, perhaps. Denying a dominatrix, who’s sexual proclivities run solely to adults, the right to work in the public schools, simply because the way they get their rocks off is outside the mainstream makes no sense. You are essentially allowing discrimination because of what someone might do. There have been a disturbing number of examples of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Do we bar all Catholic priests from working with children because of what they might do?
I hate to see this sort of thing become a wedge issue. Passage of the bill was probably more symbolic than substantive, as an exercise in legislative power. An awful lot of time and effort is going to be spent on it when it is hardly one of the more pressing issues before us.
These threads have turned into a real toilet! Please don’t post entire articles, because nobody cares, but you.
Speaking of the topic at hand, this shows me how long the Traditional Media will wait before they want to report or weigh on a republican scandal.
It’s pretty low for you to compare homosexuals to sex offenders. Sex offenders are much more often hetero. People who crossdress or are transexual are a tiny, tiny percentage of people, and they deserve not to be discriminated against, as they are human beings too.
“Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don’t tell me that this means war, if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist- I really believe he is Antichrist- I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my ‘faithful slave,’ as you call yourself! But how do you do? I see I have frightened you- sit down and tell me all the news.”
It was in July, 1805, and the speaker was the well-known Anna Pavlovna Scherer, maid of honor and favorite of the Empress Marya Fedorovna. With these words she greeted Prince Vasili Kuragin, a man of high rank and importance, who was the first to arrive at her reception. Anna Pavlovna had had a cough for some days. She was, as she said, suffering from la grippe; grippe being then a new word in St. Petersburg, used only by the elite.
All her invitations without exception, written in French, and delivered by a scarlet-liveried footman that morning, ran as follows:
“If you have nothing better to do, Count [or Prince], and if the prospect of spending an evening with a poor invalid is not too terrible, I shall be very charmed to see you tonight between 7 and 10- Annette Scherer.”
“Heavens! what a virulent attack!” replied the prince, not in the least disconcerted by this reception. He had just entered, wearing an embroidered court uniform, knee breeches, and shoes, and had stars on his breast and a serene expression on his flat face. He spoke in that refined French in which our grandfathers not only spoke but thought, and with the gentle, patronizing intonation natural to a man of importance who had grown old in society and at court. He went up to Anna Pavlovna, kissed her hand, presenting to her his bald, scented, and shining head, and complacently seated himself on the sofa.
“First of all, dear friend, tell me how you are. Set your friend’s mind at rest,” said he without altering his tone, beneath the politeness and affected sympathy of which indifference and even irony could be discerned.
“Can one be well while suffering morally? Can one be calm in times like these if one has any feeling?” said Anna Pavlovna. “You are staying the whole evening, I hope?”
“And the fete at the English ambassador’s? Today is Wednesday. I must put in an appearance there,” said the prince. “My daughter is coming for me to take me there.”
“I thought today’s fete had been canceled. I confess all these festivities and fireworks are becoming wearisome.”
“If they had known that you wished it, the entertainment would have been put off,” said the prince, who, like a wound-up clock, by force of habit said things he did not even wish to be believed.
“Don’t tease! Well, and what has been decided about Novosiltsev’s dispatch? You know everything.”
“What can one say about it?” replied the prince in a cold, listless tone. “What has been decided? They have decided that Buonaparte has burnt his boats, and I believe that we are ready to burn ours.”
Prince Vasili always spoke languidly, like an actor repeating a stale part. Anna Pavlovna Scherer on the contrary, despite her forty years, overflowed with animation and impulsiveness. To be an enthusiast had become her social vocation and, sometimes even when she did not feel like it, she became enthusiastic in order not to disappoint the expectations of those who knew her. The subdued smile which, though it did not suit her faded features, always played round her lips expressed, as in a spoiled child, a continual consciousness of her charming defect, which she neither wished, nor could, nor considered it necessary, to correct.
In the midst of a conversation on political matters Anna Pavlovna burst out:
“Oh, don’t speak to me of Austria. Perhaps I don’t understand things, but Austria never has wished, and does not wish, for war. She is betraying us! Russia alone must save Europe. Our gracious sovereign recognizes his high vocation and will be true to it. That is the one thing I have faith in! Our good and wonderful sovereign has to perform the noblest role on earth, and he is so virtuous and noble that God will not forsake him. He will fulfill his vocation and crush the hydra of revolution, which has become more terrible than ever in the person of this murderer and villain! We alone must avenge the blood of the just one…. Whom, I ask you, can we rely on?… England with her commercial spirit will not and cannot understand the Emperor Alexander’s loftiness of soul. She has refused to evacuate Malta. She wanted to find, and still seeks, some secret motive in our actions. What answer did Novosiltsev get? None. The English have not understood and cannot understand the self-abnegation of our Emperor who wants nothing for himself, but only desires the good of mankind. And what have they promised? Nothing! And what little they have promised they will not perform! Prussia has always declared that Buonaparte is invincible, and that all Europe is powerless before him…. And I don’t believe a word that Hardenburg says, or Haugwitz either. This famous Prussian neutrality is just a trap. I have faith only in God and the lofty destiny of our adored monarch. He will save Europe!”
She suddenly paused, smiling at her own impetuosity.
“I think,” said the prince with a smile, “that if you had been sent instead of our dear Wintzingerode you would have captured the King of Prussia’s consent by assault. You are so eloquent. Will you give me a cup of tea?”
“In a moment. A propos,” she added, becoming calm again, “I am expecting two very interesting men tonight, le Vicomte de Mortemart, who is connected with the Montmorencys through the Rohans, one of the best French families. He is one of the genuine emigres, the good ones. And also the Abbe Morio. Do you know that profound thinker? He has been received by the Emperor. Had you heard?”
“I shall be delighted to meet them,” said the prince. “But tell me,” he added with studied carelessness as if it had only just occurred to him, though the question he was about to ask was the chief motive of his visit, “is it true that the Dowager Empress wants Baron Funke to be appointed first secretary at Vienna? The baron by all accounts is a poor creature.”
Prince Vasili wished to obtain this post for his son, but others were trying through the Dowager Empress Marya Fedorovna to secure it for the baron.
Anna Pavlovna almost closed her eyes to indicate that neither she nor anyone else had a right to criticize what the Empress desired or was pleased with.
“Baron Funke has been recommended to the Dowager Empress by her sister,” was all she said, in a dry and mournful tone.
As she named the Empress, Anna Pavlovna’s face suddenly assumed an expression of profound and sincere devotion and respect mingled with sadness, and this occurred every time she mentioned her illustrious patroness. She added that Her Majesty had deigned to show Baron Funke beaucoup d’estime, and again her face clouded over with sadness.
The prince was silent and looked indifferent. But, with the womanly and courtierlike quickness and tact habitual to her, Anna Pavlovna wished both to rebuke him (for daring to speak he had done of a man recommended to the Empress) and at the same time to console him, so she said:
“Now about your family. Do you know that since your daughter came out everyone has been enraptured by her? They say she is amazingly beautiful.”
The prince bowed to signify his respect and gratitude.
“I often think,” she continued after a short pause, drawing nearer to the prince and smiling amiably at him as if to show that political and social topics were ended and the time had come for intimate conversation- “I often think how unfairly sometimes the joys of life are distributed. Why has fate given you two such splendid children? I don’t speak of Anatole, your youngest. I don’t like him,” she added in a tone admitting of no rejoinder and raising her eyebrows. “Two such charming children. And really you appreciate them less than anyone, and so you don’t deserve to have them.”
And she smiled her ecstatic smile.
“I can’t help it,” said the prince. “Lavater would have said I lack the bump of paternity.”
“Don’t joke; I mean to have a serious talk with you. Do you know I am dissatisfied with your younger son? Between ourselves” (and her face assumed its melancholy expression), “he was mentioned at Her Majesty’s and you were pitied….”
The prince answered nothing, but she looked at him significantly, awaiting a reply. He frowned.
“What would you have me do?” he said at last. “You know I did all a father could for their education, and they have both turned out fools. Hippolyte is at least a quiet fool, but Anatole is an active one. That is the only difference between them.” He said this smiling in a way more natural and animated than usual, so that the wrinkles round his mouth very clearly revealed something unexpectedly coarse and unpleasant.
“And why are children born to such men as you? If you were not a father there would be nothing I could reproach you with,” said Anna Pavlovna, looking up pensively.
“I am your faithful slave and to you alone I can confess that my children are the bane of my life. It is the cross I have to bear. That is how I explain it to myself. It can’t be helped!”
He said no more, but expressed his resignation to cruel fate by a gesture. Anna Pavlovna meditated.
“Have you never thought of marrying your prodigal son Anatole?” she asked. “They say old maids have a mania for matchmaking, and though I don’t feel that weakness in myself as yet,I know a little person who is very unhappy with her father. She is a relation of yours, Princess Mary Bolkonskaya.”
Prince Vasili did not reply, though, with the quickness of memory and perception befitting a man of the world, he indicated by a movement of the head that he was considering this information.
“Do you know,” he said at last, evidently unable to check the sad current of his thoughts, “that Anatole is costing me forty thousand rubles a year? And,” he went on after a pause, “what will it be in five years, if he goes on like this?” Presently he added: “That’s what we fathers have to put up with…. Is this princess of yours rich?”
“Her father is very rich and stingy. He lives in the country. He is the well-known Prince Bolkonski who had to retire from the army under the late Emperor, and was nicknamed ‘the King of Prussia.’ He is very clever but eccentric, and a bore. The poor girl is very unhappy. She has a brother; I think you know him, he married Lise Meinen lately. He is an aide-de-camp of Kutuzov’s and will be here tonight.”
“Listen, dear Annette,” said the prince, suddenly taking Anna Pavlovna’s hand and for some reason drawing it downwards. “Arrange that affair for me and I shall always be your most devoted slave- slafe wigh an f, as a village elder of mine writes in his reports. She is rich and of good family and that’s all I want.”
And with the familiarity and easy grace peculiar to him, he raised the maid of honor’s hand to his lips, kissed it, and swung it to and fro as he lay back in his armchair, looking in another direction.
“Attendez,” said Anna Pavlovna, reflecting, “I’ll speak to Lise, young Bolkonski’s wife, this very evening, and perhaps the thing can be arranged. It shall be on your family’s behalf that I’ll start my apprenticeship as old maid.”
BOB from BOEING spews:
Speaking of the topic at hand, need a receipt for pumpkin pie.
Go to costco
Dr. E spews:
Hey momus, are you filibustering?
“If the fixure of Momus’s glass, in the human breast, according to the proposed
emendation of that arch-critick, had taken place, – first, This foolish conse-
quence would certainly have followed, – That the very wisest and the very gravest
of us all, in one coin or other, must have paid window-money every day of our
I think momus is tired of the regulars making him loook like a moron, so he’s trying the tl;dr method to disrupt threads.
JCH: Are you closer to Hilo or Kona? Or are you near the ranch? Kilauea Volcano, Mauna Loa or Mauna Kea? Or how about Punalu’u Black Sand Beach? We love the big island too. Now we visit the big island only. Last time there at Punalu’u, older son went down to some green sea turtles and petted their heads. They seemed to like it. Much to do and still not enough time to do it.
Oahu has become too white and commercial for me. Only redeeming part of Oahu is the Polynesian Cultural Center! I like Hawaiians, not howlies! I am envious of you on the big island!!!!
Pud, Half way from Hilo to Punalu’u and Volcano. Lots of rain, but lots of palms and plumeria. If you visit the Kona coffee will be on me. Best regards, JCH
Don and Windie, If you visit, the locals will take you shark fishing. You will be the chum.
Beltowner, Democrats who marry barn yard animals need to vote and be “protected” from those who would make fun of them!! Bhaaaaaa!!!!!
Would that also include Seattle libs who get ass fucked by horses?
Richard Pope spews:
Here are two more reasons to question the so-called “gay civil rights” bill: Ferenc Zana and Christopher Bistryski.
Looks like the “gay civil rights” policy already in effect in King County is going to be costing us taxpayers something in the seven figures in damages to the family of Mohammed-Imad “Dimitri” Harb (who was murdered with Deputy Zana’s gun and King County’s bullets) and to the young man who Deputy Zana’s “domestic partner” handcuffed at gunpoint and anally raped while the deputy was in the apartment.
Unfortunately for King County taxpayers, the Sheriff’s Office felt it could not do anything to discipline or fire Deputy Zana based on his relationship with Bistryski, since Bistryski was his “domestic partner” and they did not want to be viewed as discriminatory:
“The Sheriff’s Office did as much as it could by warning Zana,” said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart in an e-mail message to the P-I. “There is only so much any employer can do (especially a government employer) to delve into the private life of one of its employees. There is a limit on our authority to control the off-duty relationships of our deputies, like spouses, domestic partners or children. Remember, Chris (Bistryski) wasn’t just a roommate. He was Zana’s domestic partner, much like your wife or girlfriend.”
Records show Bistryski had medical insurance from the county as Zana’s domestic partner.”
I really don’t think much discrimination exists against gay people, and certainly don’t approve of people who discriminate solely based on straight or gay sexual orientation.
But these so-called “gay civil rights” bills really go way too far when they basically prevent employers from firing potential dangerous employees like Ferenc Zana.
Here in Tacoma, we are going to have to pay millions because our police chief killed his wife and himself. Obviously, using your logic, Tacoma should not hire married hetrosexuals. Apparently the only safe people to hire are those who have taken vows of celebacy, which should be great for monastic orders.
Come on Richard, you are smarter than this. Why the fear and obsession?
JCH, Each time on big island we visit Kona Coffee. Been trying to decide where to go for this year vacation, Caribbean or Hawaii. I think you just decided it for us!!! Got to burn some miles and points.
and can you believe that they placed the ‘Hammer’ on the appropriations commitee and on the commitee that oversees his own ‘Abramoff’ situation. Do the RepubliCONS have no shame. (stupid question: answer is absolutely NO). We need to make a concerted effort to completely wipe out the NeoCONS in November. Take over the House and the Senate….and Impeach the ‘Imposter in Chief’!