Stopping the felon vote: a solution in search of a problem?

Thank you Columbia Watch for um, watching the Columbian, and pointing me towards yesterday’s excellent editorial on “Illegal Voters.” It turns out that 31 convicted felons illegally voted in Clark County.

That might sound shocking, but it’s only 0.0001799 percent of the 172,277 votes cast in this county, or one illegal felon in every 5,556 voters overall. If those 31 illegal ballots were voted in the same proportion as the whole of Clark County […] 16 of them favored Republican Dino Rossi and 14 went for Democrat Christine Gregoire.

Okay, so their math sucks (they need to slide that decimal point over a couple notches,) but the rest of the piece is still on target. The editors point out that with all the talk about better procedures to purge felons from the rolls, there is a simpler and more societally beneficial solution.

What this state really should do is what 36 others have done: Allow felons the automatic right to vote after serving their time. But, unfortunately, one or more members of the state House Rules Committee didn’t cotton to a bill that would have done just that, so it died quietly without a floor vote earlier this month.

As Kimsey said, allowing felons who have served their time the automatic right to vote would make things administratively easier, obviating the need for much of the paperwork that’s now required to keep them from voting.

But more important, Kimsey’s right when he says, “If part of the rehabilitation process is getting people reconnected with society, and someone is released from incarceration and wants to take the time and effort to register and cast a ballot, is there a more positive engagement than that?”

Before we devote any more time, money or resources towards preventing felons from voting, we need to sit back and ask ourselves: “what exactly is the problem that we’re trying solve?” Clearly we should do whatever is reasonable to prevent people from voting illegally… but does society actually gain anything from making it illegal for felons to vote?

No less than the American Correctional Association has called for ending the practice of withholding voting rights from parolees and those who have finished serving their terms. Studies show that these laws serve no correctional purpose, and may contribute to recidivism.

Unfortunately, the continuing partisan rancor over November’s extraordinarily close gubernatorial election makes it impossible for legislators to address this issue during the current session. Perhaps next year we can have a reasoned debate over a policy that disenfranchises 25 percent of WA’s black males, dangerously disengaging a large segment of our population from the civic mainstream.


  1. 1

    Mr. X spews:

    Great summary on a big issue – of course, your trolls will no doubt argue why Jesus wants to permanently disenfranchise all of those damn criminals (even though Scalia himself couldn’t cite you a constitutional provision that strips a fundamental right such as voting from them), and that that whole forgiveness/turning the cheek thing is for them durn French churches…

  2. 2

    zip spews:

    Not so great summary on a lame issue, Mr. X. Don’t bother signing up for Goldy’s planned “reasoned debate”.

    Goldy, you seem to have conveniently forgot about the restitution/fines part of the felon voting question. There is one very good reason why the state must use every reasonable tool available to get the restitution paid after the jail time is served: It’s the victim’s right.

    Withholding voting rights until the court-ordered restitution is paid to the victim is not too much to require. Unless you think the criminal’s right to vote outweighs the victim’s right to have the state enforce court-ordered restitution.

  3. 3

    Dubyasux spews:

    zip @ 2

    Why stop at fines/restitution? If you’re gonna do that, then disenfranchise everyone who owes back taxes. That would kick a few Republicans off the rolls, I’m sure!

  4. 6

    Diggindude spews:

    When they walk out the prison gate to freedom, they should have the piece of paper in their hand, restoring their voting rights, and a copy should be on its way to the s.s. office for distribution. A great way to eliminate one more piece of the problem.
    Victims rights, can be addressed, if this person fails to make the required restitution. If the ex-con, is free enough to leave the prison, he should be free enough to vote.
    The time and money wasted this year chasing shadow voters,
    Would probably make a huge dent in the budget deficit.

  5. 7

    Dubyasux spews:

    zip @ 4

    You’re right … I forgot … silly me! In your rightie world, God wants you to make the other guy pay all the taxes.

  6. 8

    Nindid spews:

    Does anyone really think that many ex-felons who have has been locked up for x years to come out and suddenly get all motivated to pay their restitution just so they can vote? I am going to jump out there and make the assumption that the state has better ways of compelling restitution.

    What is more is that the professionals who deal with these issues every day say it negatively effects recidivism rates.

    So a guy who isn’t going to pay his restitution is not suddenly going to do it because he can’t vote, but a guy who wants to rejoin society and make good is denied. Seems pretty clear to me on a pragmatic level – if you are just going for vengence then perhaps not.

  7. 9

    Unkl Witz spews:

    I am amazed by the logical gymnastics that occur to these otherwise “smaller, cheaper government is best” folks on this issue this particular year. Suddenly, they want no stone unturned and no expense spared to keep felons off the voting rolls. And, God forbid, if one felon slips through and votes, they want prosecution and retribution.

    I just can’t help but think their moral indignation regarding this “problem” is mainly fueled by the fact Rossi lost the election. In fact, I’d bet my SUV we wouldn’t be hearing a peep from them if Rossi had won by a few votes.

  8. 10

    Dubyasux spews:

    In terms of basic fairness, we have to consider that felons are treated unequally with respect to restitution. Some courts order it, some don’t, and restitution awards are all over the map. We have felons coming out of prison who committed identical crimes, yet one gets to vote and the other doesn’t, simply because restitution was required in one case but not the other. It’s totally arbitrary. If you’re going to take away voting rights based on nonpayment of restitution, then it seems to me there needs to be reform of the restitution system to establish standards and create uniformity so people get similar treatment for similar crimes. I’m surprised the denial of voting rights on this basis hasn’t been thrown out by the courts on equal protection grounds.

  9. 11

    Dubyasux spews:

    UW @ 8

    As a matter of fact we DIDN’T hear a peep from them while Rossi was ahead. Earlier this week, I was talking with one of the Democratic attorneys, who said the GOP game plan is to get illegal votes for Gregoire before Judge Bridges but fight to keep illegal votes for Rossi out of evidence. This convinces me their election contest has nothing to do with finding out who won, and the GOPers are unwilling to abide by a fair result — they’ll do whatever it takes to get what they want no matter how dishonest it is.

  10. 12

    prr spews:

    Dubyasux @ 10

    Stop your blathering about the GOP being dishonest. They are politicians, they are all crooks.

    You might want to take a closer look at the stranglehold the Democrats have on this State if dishonesty is actually a topic you have an issue with.

    Or does it only apply when someone plays a maneuver from an alternative party to your own?

  11. 13

    Nindid spews:

    prr @11 I have noticed this line – ‘they are all corrupt, etc” – coming out of the mouths of my Republican friends more and more recently. Though, I suppose there is no other refuge considering the series of scandals from the pattern of corruption, deception, and fraud coming from Republican and Republican allies over the past 5-6 years.

    Are there corrupt Democrats… sure. Point them out and I will condemn them. Funny though, I bet the list I could provide on Republicans might be a bit longer and go a lot deeper then yours.

    Petty Arkansas land deals that lost money are SOOOO ’90’s. If you are not stealing in the billions its just not worth the effort.

  12. 14

    Dubyasux spews:

    prr @ 11

    Sorry, pal, but your thinly disguised attempt to put Democrats in the same basket with Republicans by saying “they’re all crooks” doesn’t cut it. You’re full of it.

  13. 15

    Steve spews:

    If a felon has served his time we should make every effort to bring them back into society. Requiring them to pay off fines is a poll tax. Are people who don’t pay parking tickets not allowed to vote? What about unpaid child support? There are lots of people who have debts. What about bankrupcy?
    Again and again we lament low voter turnout and lack of citizen involvemnet in government. Instead of making people who are felons political pawns in the desparate attempt of Rossi to overturn a legitimate election we should be complementing them for participating in the political process.

  14. 16

    zip spews:

    Don @ 6

    I do appreciate the conversation but unfortunately the last few weeks have had me on the worst schedule imaginable and it does not appear that it will let up soon. Suffice to say that I’m right, not rightie. I’ll check in occasionally to lob a few comments your way.

  15. 17

    Seattle Liberal spews:

    I just wish all felons were white. Not only would 25% of WA blacks not be disenfranchised, as Goldy astutely points out, but I would just feel better knowing that every black criminal was free, able to vote and able to elect our leaders. Where is Marrion Barry when you need him? Heck, even someone like Charles Rangel would be great. That way we could get the draft reinstated and blame Bush for it at the same time. While most of you may want to give credit to Jim McDermott for that beutiful piece of legislation (and subsequent slander of the President), remember he was only the co-sponsor and Rangel was the sponsor! Support the draft! Support Rangel! Let felons vote! Go Democrats!

  16. 19

    Nindid spews:

    David Duke @16 Hmmm… did you miss the part of the English language where the prefix (ex) was described?

  17. 20

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    Seattle Liberal@16:

    (well, at least you have the urban irony down pat)

    If felons were white then black criminals could run around free?

    What does any of this have to do with the draft, Rangel, or McDermott?

    I think there was an attempt at humor in there somewhere, but I’m not quite finding it.

    Perhaps you should return to being earnest, and leave irony to professionals.

  18. 21

    Dubyasux spews:

    Faux-Liberal @ 16

    We have a draft, and it was instituted by the Republican administration. Just ask the people who were kept in service after their enlistments expired if we don’t have an involuntary draft. BTW, at the rate Bush is going, he will need a broad draft or we won’t have a national defense. With policies like that, it’s no surprise enlistments are declining drastically. Now that potential recruits realize the enlistment contract is a one-way door, they are thinking twice. Don’t blame this stupidity on us Democrats, it’s 100% a GOP show.

  19. 22

    Black and white, sorry no grey spews:

    The issue isn’t about wether or not fines have been paid, it’s about the felons showing that they want to rejoin the ranks of civilized and responsable people in making responsable decisions.
    Breaking the law and voting before such time shows they are not ready, try to skew the lines all you want but the law was put there for a reason.

  20. 23

    Dubyasux spews:

    No Grey Matter @ 21

    Nope, sorry, it’s grey. Our state has a very confusing law, and lacks an effective system for canceling the voter registrations of felons. Under these circumstances, the state has to share the blame. I understand your moralizing about criminals — I’m not fond of them either. If you want to take away their voting rights as added punishment, that’s one thing. But that’s not the reason they are denied voting. Felons who can’t pay restitution are treated differently from felons who aren’t ordered to pay restitution, and this discrimination is random, not based on the crime they committed. Also, as has been pointed in the posts above, if you go the judgmental route then people who owe taxes or child support shouldn’t be allowed to vote either, because they also have failed to meet their responsibilities to society. There are arguments both ways, and I can see people going one way or the other, but at least be consistent. Let’s not have two classes of felons, voting and nonvoting, based on purely arbitrary reasons.

  21. 24

    jcricket spews:

    Those of you who claim “the law is put there for a reason” should read up a little on history.

    Alexander Keyssar wrote about this in his “The Right to Vote” book. It’s an excellent read on the history of voting laws and all the failed attempts to supress universal suffrage.

    The rationale for disfranchising felons is so flawed and so thin. In the nineteenth century, these laws were passed first as part of the criminal codes. They were seen as a kind of punishment. By the late nineteenth century, it was clear to many people that it made no sense as punishment. It didn’t fulfill any of the normal objectives of punishment. It wasn’t a form of retribution; it didn’t deter crimes. People do not say: “I’m not going to hold up a gas station because I’m not going to be able to vote.” It didn’t rehabilitate anyone. The argument then shifted to a bizarre notion that it was necessary to protect the “purity of the ballot box.” This was based on the rather dubious assumption that somehow people who had committed other crimes might be more likely to commit electoral fraud.

    By the 1960s and early 1970s, most courts and many people involved in this had begun to think that the whole thing was groundless. In fact, a number of states were in the process of getting rid of such provisions, and perhaps many more would have had it not been for a U. S. Supreme Court decision in the early 1970s that overturned a California Supreme Court decision to get rid of California’s law disfranchising convicted felons. And the grounds on which these laws were upheld were that the Constitution expressly permitted felon disfranchisement in a clause of the 14th Amendment which tacitly allowed states to disfranchise people “convicted of rebellion and other crimes.”

    This was passed in 1868 right after the Civil War, and most people, including myself, think that this was aimed at Confederate rebels. It was not aimed at somebody who stole a car. But based on that phrasing, the Supreme Court in an opinion written by Justice Rehnquist upheld these laws. So I think the rationale is terribly flimsy.

    Right now it is producing a remarkable racial skew. Particularly in those states where the disfranchisement is permanent, it is affecting a large number of people. The latest figure I saw was that 4.5 million people had been disfranchised because of this. (emphasis added)


    My personal feeling is that only incarcerated felons should be denied the right to vote. Once they are out, even if on parole, they should be allowed to vote. Ability to pay back debts should not stand in the way of an individual’s right to vote (just like it doesn’t for anyone who isn’t a felon). I see no logical rational for that. It’s not going to encourage faster payment of debts, and it’s makes it far more difficult to track who does/not have the right to vote after serving their jail time.

    If the felon violates parole and is sent back to jail, they lose their right to vote again.

    Fairly simple.

  22. 25

    bmvaughn spews:

    Sorry Goldy… 31/172277 is not 0.0001799%, it is in fact 0.01799%. Of course, it’s an accuracy rate any bank would be proud of.

  23. 26

    Black and white, sorry no grey spews:

    Boy you liberals love the personal attacks then sit back and re-affirm the point that you made that has little to no merit. I agree that if a court judges that a dead beat dad is a felon that he shouldn’t be allowed to vote, but since no court has made that distinction lets try sticking fact and not what you’d like the world to look like.

  24. 27

    Goldy spews:

    BM @25,

    Do you actually bother to read my posts before criticizing? Did I not point out their math error?

    Okay, so their math sucks (they need to slide that decimal point over a couple notches,)

    What part of that didn’t you understand?

    And besides, it really doesn’t change the point of the editorial, as much as you might like to distract us from the substance.

  25. 28

    Nindid spews:

    BW @26 In case you missed it, the original editorial and the original post were talking about ‘the way the world should be’ so I don’t see your point.

    The only difference here is based on restitution, which seems to be a bit of a mess. If you know something about the topic jump in.

  26. 29

    Mark spews:

    GOLDY: The ACA’s actual statement talks about automatic restoration of voting rights after they’ve completed their SENTENCE, which one would believe includes the restitution portion of the sentence. It also requires the completion of community supervision, so it isn’t just part of your exit papers from prison.

    DUUUDE @ 6

    “Victims rights, can be addressed, if this person fails to make the required restitution.”

    Ahh… so the felon’s rights should be addressed immediately, while the victims’ can wait? No wonder it took Republicans to come up with the whole victims’ rights program in the first place.

    Do you even have a clue as to how much restitution is owed? And how much is UNPAID?

    DUBYASUX @ 10

    Do a bit of research before you comment about something you know nothing about. First, there are mandatory fines for all felons. Second, there is court-ordered restitution. Third, there are the actual expenses — typically medical expenses — to help the victim. It is far less arbitrary than you think. There is flexibility, however, “in the interest of justice” that allows for all or part of the fine to be waived (and the expense to be picked up by us the taxpayers).

    STEVE @ 15

    Requiring the payment of a penalty for the CRIME one commits is not a poll tax. It is merely part of said penalty. Parking tickets, etc. are totally different in that there is no direct cost to the state or anyone else if I’m 5 minutes late getting back to my car. Crime victims’ compensation pays for the medical services needed by the little old lady who was brutalized for the $15 in her purse.

    QUESTION FOR ALL: Do any of you actually have an idea of how much restitution is ordered, how much is paid/unpaid and how long it takes to collect? Do you know how much the state pays out just to help crime victims — beyond what their private insurance and/or public medical assistance pays?

  27. 30

    Black and white, sorry no grey spews:

    Mark @ 29

    Well said! Don’t expect it to sink in though they fight real hard for those felons, and then claim that most of the felons are Republicans isn’t that an oxy-moron?

  28. 31

    prr spews:

    Nindid @ 13

    Here is your list of corrupt politicians in Congress

    Abercrombie, Neil (Democrat, Hawaii District 1)
    Acevedo-Vila, Anibal (Popular Democrat, Puerto Rico At Large)
    Ackerman, Gary (Democrat, New York District 5)
    Aderholt, Robert B (Republican, Alabama District 4)
    Akaka, Daniel K (Democrat, Hawaii Senate)
    Akin, Todd (Republican, Missouri District 2)
    Alexander, Lamar (Republican, Tennessee Senate)
    Alexander, Rodney (Republican, Louisiana District 5)
    Allard, Wayne (Republican, Colorado Senate)
    Allen, George (Republican, Virginia Senate)
    Allen, Tom (Democrat, Maine District 1)
    Andrews, Robert E (Democrat, New Jersey District 1)


    Baca, Joe (Democrat, California District 43)
    Bachus, Spencer (Republican, Alabama District 6)
    Baird, Brian (Democrat, Washington District 3)
    Baker, Richard (Republican, Louisiana District 6)
    Baldwin, Tammy (Democrat, Wisconsin District 2)
    Ballenger, Cass (Republican, North Carolina District 10)
    Barrett, Gresham (Republican, South Carolina District 3)
    Bartlett, Roscoe G (Republican, Maryland District 6)
    Barton, Joe (Republican, Texas District 6)
    Bass, Charles (Republican, New Hampshire District 2)
    Baucus, Max (Democrat, Montana Senate)
    Bayh, Evan (Democrat, Indiana Senate)
    Beauprez, Bob (Republican, Colorado District 7)
    Becerra, Xavier (Democrat, California District 31)
    Bell, Chris (Democrat, Texas District 25)
    Bennett, Robert F (Republican, Utah Senate)
    Bereuter, Doug (Republican, Nebraska District 1)
    Berkley, Shelley (Democrat, Nevada District 1)
    Berman, Howard L (Democrat, California District 28)
    Berry, Marion (Democrat, Arkansas District 1)
    Biden, Joseph R Jr (Democrat, Delaware Senate)
    Biggert, Judy (Republican, Illinois District 13)
    Bilirakis, Michael (Republican, Florida District 9)
    Bingaman, Jeff (Democrat, New Mexico Senate)
    Bishop, Rob (Republican, Utah District 1)
    Bishop, Sanford D Jr (Democrat, Georgia District 2)
    Bishop, Timothy H (Democrat, New York District 1)
    Blackburn, Marsha (Republican, Tennessee District 7)
    Blumenauer, Earl (Democrat, Oregon District 3)
    Blunt, Roy (Republican, Missouri District 7)
    Boehlert, Sherwood (Republican, New York District 24)
    Boehner, John (Republican, Ohio District 8)
    Bond, Christopher S ‘Kit’ (Republican, Missouri Senate)
    Bonilla, Henry (Republican, Texas District 23)
    Bonner, Jo (Republican, Alabama District 1)
    Bono, Mary (Republican, California District 45)
    Boozman, John (Republican, Arkansas District 3)
    Bordallo, Madeleine Z (Democrat, Guam At Large)
    Boswell, Leonard L (Democrat, Iowa District 3)
    Boucher, Rick (Democrat, Virginia District 9)
    Boxer, Barbara (Democrat, California Senate)
    Boyd, Allen (Democrat, Florida District 2)
    Bradley, Jeb (Republican, New Hampshire District 1)
    Brady, Kevin (Republican, Texas District 8)
    Brady, Robert A (Democrat, Pennsylvania District 1)
    Breaux, John (Democrat, Louisiana Senate)
    Brown, Corrine (Democrat, Florida District 3)
    Brown, Henry (Republican, South Carolina District 1)
    Brown, Sherrod (Democrat, Ohio District 13)
    Brown-Waite, Ginny (Republican, Florida District 5)
    Brownback, Sam (Republican, Kansas Senate)
    Bunning, Jim (Republican, Kentucky Senate)
    Burgess, Michael (Republican, Texas District 26)
    Burns, Conrad (Republican, Montana Senate)
    Burns, Max (Republican, Georgia District 12)
    Burr, Richard (Republican, North Carolina District 5)
    Burton, Dan (Republican, Indiana District 5)
    Butterfield, G K (Democrat, North Carolina District 1)
    Buyer, Steve (Republican, Indiana District 4)
    Byrd, Robert C (Democrat, West Virginia Senate)


    Calvert, Ken (Republican, California District 44)
    Camp, Dave (Republican, Michigan District 4)
    Campbell, Ben Nighthorse (Republican, Colorado Senate)
    Cannon, Chris (Republican, Utah District 3)
    Cantor, Eric (Republican, Virginia District 7)
    Cantwell, Maria (Democrat, Washington Senate)
    Capito, Shelley Moore (Republican, West Virginia District 2)
    Capps, Lois (Democrat, California District 23)
    Capuano, Michael E (Democrat, Massachusetts District 8)
    Cardin, Ben (Democrat, Maryland District 3)
    Cardoza, Dennis (Democrat, California District 18)
    Carper, Tom (Democrat, Delaware Senate)
    Carson, Brad R (Democrat, Oklahoma District 2)
    Carson, Julia (Democrat, Indiana District 7)
    Carter, John (Republican, Texas District 31)
    Case, Ed (Democrat, Hawaii District 2)
    Castle, Michael N (Republican, Delaware District 1)
    Chabot, Steve (Republican, Ohio District 1)
    Chafee, Lincoln D (Republican, Rhode Island Senate)
    Chambliss, Saxby (Republican, Georgia Senate)
    Chandler, Ben (Democrat, Kentucky District 6)
    Chocola, Chris (Republican, Indiana District 2)
    Christian-Green, Donna (Democrat, Virgin Islands At Large)
    Clay, William L Jr (Democrat, Missouri District 1)
    Clinton, Hillary Rodham (Democrat, New York Senate)
    Clyburn, James E (Democrat, South Carolina District 6)
    Coble, Howard (Republican, North Carolina District 6)
    Cochran, Thad (Republican, Mississippi Senate)
    Cole, Tom (Republican, Oklahoma District 4)
    Coleman, Norm (Republican, Minnesota Senate)
    Collins, Mac (Republican, Georgia District 8)
    Collins, Susan M (Republican, Maine Senate)
    Conrad, Kent (Democrat, North Dakota Senate)
    Conyers, John Jr (Democrat, Michigan District 14)
    Cooper, Jim (Democrat, Tennessee District 5)
    Cornyn, John (Republican, Texas Senate)
    Corzine, Jon S (Democrat, New Jersey Senate)
    Costello, Jerry F (Democrat, Illinois District 12)
    Cox, Christopher (Republican, California District 48)
    Craig, Larry (Republican, Idaho Senate)
    Cramer, Bud (Democrat, Alabama District 5)
    Crane, Phil (Republican, Illinois District 8)
    Crapo, Mike (Republican, Idaho Senate)
    Crenshaw, Ander (Republican, Florida District 4)
    Crowley, Joseph (Democrat, New York District 7)
    Cubin, Barbara (Republican, Wyoming District 1)
    Culberson, John (Republican, Texas District 7)
    Cummings, Elijah E (Democrat, Maryland District 7)
    Cunningham, Randy “Duke” (Republican, California District 50)


    Daschle, Tom (Democrat, South Dakota Senate)
    Davis, Artur (Democrat, Alabama District 7)
    Davis, Danny K (Democrat, Illinois District 7)
    Davis, Jim (Democrat, Florida District 11)
    Davis, Jo Ann (Republican, Virginia District 1)
    Davis, Lincoln (Democrat, Tennessee District 4)
    Davis, Susan A (Democrat, California District 53)
    Davis, Tom (Republican, Virginia District 11)
    Dayton, Mark (Democrat, Minnesota Senate)
    Deal, Nathan (Republican, Georgia District 10)
    DeFazio, Peter (Democrat, Oregon District 4)
    DeGette, Diana (Democrat, Colorado District 1)
    Delahunt, Bill (Democrat, Massachusetts District 10)
    DeLauro, Rosa L (Democrat, Connecticut District 3)
    DeLay, Tom (Republican, Texas District 22)
    DeMint, James W (Republican, South Carolina District 4)
    Deutsch, Peter (Democrat, Florida District 20)
    DeWine, Mike (Republican, Ohio Senate)
    Diaz-Balart, Lincoln (Republican, Florida District 21)
    Diaz-Balart, Mario (Republican, Florida District 25)
    Dicks, Norm (Democrat, Washington District 6)
    Dingell, John D (Democrat, Michigan District 15)
    Dodd, Chris (Democrat, Connecticut Senate)
    Doggett, Lloyd (Democrat, Texas District 10)
    Dole, Elizabeth (Republican, North Carolina Senate)
    Domenici, Pete V (Republican, New Mexico Senate)
    Dooley, Cal (Democrat, California District 20)
    Doolittle, John T (Republican, California District 4)
    Dorgan, Byron L (Democrat, North Dakota Senate)
    Doyle, Mike (Democrat, Pennsylvania District 14)
    Dreier, David (Republican, California District 26)
    Duncan, John J Jr (Republican, Tennessee District 2)
    Dunn, Jennifer (Republican, Washington District 8)
    Durbin, Dick (Democrat, Illinois Senate)


    Edwards, Chet (Democrat, Texas District 11)
    Edwards, John (Democrat, North Carolina Senate)
    Ehlers, Vernon J (Republican, Michigan District 3)
    Emanuel, Rahm (Democrat, Illinois District 5)
    Emerson, Jo Ann (Republican, Missouri District 8)
    Engel, Eliot L (Democrat, New York District 17)
    English, Phil (Republican, Pennsylvania District 3)
    Ensign, John (Republican, Nevada Senate)
    Enzi, Mike (Republican, Wyoming Senate)
    Eshoo, Anna (Democrat, California District 14)
    Etheridge, Bob (Democrat, North Carolina District 2)
    Evans, Lane (Democrat, Illinois District 17)
    Everett, Terry (Republican, Alabama District 2)


    Faleomavaega, Eni F H (Democrat, American Samoa At Large)
    Farr, Sam (Democrat, California District 17)
    Fattah, Chaka (Democrat, Pennsylvania District 2)
    Feeney, Tom (Republican, Florida District 24)
    Feingold, Russell D (Democrat, Wisconsin Senate)
    Feinstein, Dianne (Democrat, California Senate)
    Ferguson, Mike (Republican, New Jersey District 7)
    Filner, Bob (Democrat, California District 51)
    Fitzgerald, Peter G (Republican, Illinois Senate)
    Flake, Jeff (Republican, Arizona District 6)
    Foley, Mark (Republican, Florida District 16)
    Forbes, J Randy (Republican, Virginia District 4)
    Ford, Harold E Jr (Democrat, Tennessee District 9)
    Fossella, Vito (Republican, New York District 13)
    Frank, Barney (Democrat, Massachusetts District 4)
    Franks, Trent (Republican, Arizona District 2)
    Frelinghuysen, Rodney (Republican, New Jersey District 11)
    Frist, Bill (Republican, Tennessee Senate)
    Frost, Martin (Democrat, Texas District 24)


    Gallegly, Elton (Republican, California District 24)
    Garrett, Scott (Republican, New Jersey District 5)
    Gephardt, Richard A (Democrat, Missouri District 3)
    Gerlach, Jim (Republican, Pennsylvania District 6)
    Gibbons, Jim (Republican, Nevada District 2)
    Gilchrest, Wayne T (Republican, Maryland District 1)
    Gillmor, Paul E (Republican, Ohio District 5)
    Gingrey, Phil (Republican, Georgia District 11)
    Gonzalez, Charlie A (Democrat, Texas District 20)
    Goode, Virgil H Jr (Republican, Virginia District 5)
    Goodlatte, Bob (Republican, Virginia District 6)
    Gordon, Bart (Democrat, Tennessee District 6)
    Goss, Porter (Republican, Florida District 14)
    Graham, Bob (Democrat, Florida Senate)
    Graham, Lindsey (Republican, South Carolina Senate)
    Granger, Kay (Republican, Texas District 12)
    Grassley, Chuck (Republican, Iowa Senate)
    Graves, Sam (Republican, Missouri District 6)
    Green, Gene (Democrat, Texas District 29)
    Green, Mark (Republican, Wisconsin District 8)
    Greenwood, James C (Republican, Pennsylvania District 8)
    Gregg, Judd (Republican, New Hampshire Senate)
    Grijalva, Raul M (Democrat, Arizona District 7)
    Gutierrez, Luis V (Democrat, Illinois District 4)
    Gutknecht, Gil (Republican, Minnesota District 1)


    Hagel, Chuck (Republican, Nebraska Senate)
    Hall, Ralph M (Republican, Texas District 4)
    Harkin, Tom (Democrat, Iowa Senate)
    Harman, Jane (Democrat, California District 36)
    Harris, Katherine (Republican, Florida District 13)
    Hart, Melissa (Republican, Pennsylvania District 4)
    Hastert, Dennis (Republican, Illinois District 14)
    Hastings, Alcee L (Democrat, Florida District 23)
    Hastings, Doc (Republican, Washington District 4)
    Hatch, Orrin G (Republican, Utah Senate)
    Hayes, Robin (Republican, North Carolina District 8)
    Hayworth, J D (Republican, Arizona District 5)
    Hefley, Joel (Republican, Colorado District 5)
    Hensarling, Jeb (Republican, Texas District 5)
    Herger, Wally (Republican, California District 2)
    Herseth, Stephanie (Democrat, South Dakota District 1)
    Hill, Baron (Democrat, Indiana District 9)
    Hinchey, Maurice (Democrat, New York District 22)
    Hinojosa, Ruben (Democrat, Texas District 15)
    Hobson, Dave (Republican, Ohio District 7)
    Hoeffel, Joseph M (Democrat, Pennsylvania District 13)
    Hoekstra, Peter (Republican, Michigan District 2)
    Holden, Tim (Democrat, Pennsylvania District 17)
    Hollings, Fritz (Democrat, South Carolina Senate)
    Holt, Rush (Democrat, New Jersey District 12)
    Honda, Mike (Democrat, California District 15)
    Hooley, Darlene (Democrat, Oregon District 5)
    Hostettler, John (Republican, Indiana District 8)
    Houghton, Amo (Republican, New York District 29)
    Hoyer, Steny H (Democrat, Maryland District 5)
    Hulshof, Kenny (Republican, Missouri District 9)
    Hunter, Duncan (Republican, California District 52)
    Hutchison, Kay Bailey (Republican, Texas Senate)
    Hyde, Henry J (Republican, Illinois District 6)


    Inhofe, James M (Republican, Oklahoma Senate)
    Inouye, Daniel K (Democrat, Hawaii Senate)
    Inslee, Jay R (Democrat, Washington District 1)
    Isakson, Johnny (Republican, Georgia District 6)
    Israel, Steve (Democrat, New York District 2)
    Issa, Darrell (Republican, California District 49)
    Istook, Ernest J (Republican, Oklahoma District 5)


    Jackson Lee, Sheila (Democrat, Texas District 18)
    Jackson, Jesse Jr (Democrat, Illinois District 2)
    Jefferson, William J (Democrat, Louisiana District 2)
    Jeffords, James M (Independent, Vermont Senate)
    Jenkins, Bill (Republican, Tennessee District 1)
    John, Chris (Democrat, Louisiana District 7)
    Johnson, Eddie Bernice (Democrat, Texas District 30)
    Johnson, Nancy L (Republican, Connecticut District 5)
    Johnson, Sam (Republican, Texas District 3)
    Johnson, Tim (Democrat, South Dakota Senate)
    Johnson, Timothy V (Republican, Illinois District 15)
    Jones, Stephanie Tubbs (Democrat, Ohio District 11)
    Jones, Walter B Jr (Republican, North Carolina District 3)


    Kanjorski, Paul E (Democrat, Pennsylvania District 11)
    Kaptur, Marcy (Democrat, Ohio District 9)
    Keller, Ric (Republican, Florida District 8)
    Kelly, Sue (Republican, New York District 19)
    Kennedy, Edward M (Democrat, Massachusetts Senate)
    Kennedy, Mark (Republican, Minnesota District 6)
    Kennedy, Patrick J (Democrat, Rhode Island District 1)
    Kerry, John (Democrat, Massachusetts Senate)
    Kildee, Dale E (Democrat, Michigan District 5)
    Kilpatrick, Carolyn Cheeks (Democrat, Michigan District 13)
    Kind, Ron (Democrat, Wisconsin District 3)
    King, Pete (Republican, New York District 3)
    King, Steven A (Republican, Iowa District 5)
    Kingston, Jack (Republican, Georgia District 1)
    Kirk, Mark (Republican, Illinois District 10)
    Kleczka, Jerry (Democrat, Wisconsin District 4)
    Kline, John (Republican, Minnesota District 2)
    Knollenberg, Joe (Republican, Michigan District 9)
    Kohl, Herb (Democrat, Wisconsin Senate)
    Kolbe, Jim (Republican, Arizona District 8)
    Kucinich, Dennis J (Democrat, Ohio District 10)
    Kyl, Jon (Republican, Arizona Senate)


    LaHood, Ray (Republican, Illinois District 18)
    Lampson, Nick (Democrat, Texas District 9)
    Landrieu, Mary L (Democrat, Louisiana Senate)
    Langevin, Jim (Democrat, Rhode Island District 2)
    Lantos, Tom (Democrat, California District 12)
    Larsen, Rick (Democrat, Washington District 2)
    Larson, John B (Democrat, Connecticut District 1)
    Latham, Tom (Republican, Iowa District 4)
    LaTourette, Steven C (Republican, Ohio District 14)
    Lautenberg, Frank R (Democrat, New Jersey Senate)
    Leach, Jim (Republican, Iowa District 2)
    Leahy, Patrick (Democrat, Vermont Senate)
    Lee, Barbara (Democrat, California District 9)
    Levin, Carl (Democrat, Michigan Senate)
    Levin, Sander (Democrat, Michigan District 12)
    Lewis, Jerry (Republican, California District 41)
    Lewis, John (Democrat, Georgia District 5)
    Lewis, Ron (Republican, Kentucky District 2)
    Lieberman, Joe (Democrat, Connecticut Senate)
    Lincoln, Blanche (Democrat, Arkansas Senate)
    Linder, John (Republican, Georgia District 7)
    Lipinski, Bill (Democrat, Illinois District 3)
    LoBiondo, Frank A (Republican, New Jersey District 2)
    Lofgren, Zoe (Democrat, California District 16)
    Lott, Trent (Republican, Mississippi Senate)
    Lowey, Nita M (Democrat, New York District 18)
    Lucas, Frank D (Republican, Oklahoma District 3)
    Lucas, Ken (Democrat, Kentucky District 4)
    Lugar, Richard G (Republican, Indiana Senate)
    Lynch, Stephen F (Democrat, Massachusetts District 9)


    Majette, Denise L (Democrat, Georgia District 4)
    Maloney, Carolyn B (Democrat, New York District 14)
    Manzullo, Don (Republican, Illinois District 16)
    Markey, Edward J (Democrat, Massachusetts District 7)
    Marshall, Jim (Democrat, Georgia District 3)
    Matheson, Jim (Democrat, Utah District 2)
    McCain, John (Republican, Arizona Senate)
    McCarthy, Carolyn (Democrat, New York District 4)
    McCarthy, Karen (Democrat, Missouri District 5)
    McCollum, Betty (Democrat, Minnesota District 4)
    McConnell, Mitch (Republican, Kentucky Senate)
    McCotter, Thad (Republican, Michigan District 11)
    McCrery, Jim (Republican, Louisiana District 4)
    McDermott, Jim (Democrat, Washington District 7)
    McGovern, James P (Democrat, Massachusetts District 3)
    McHugh, John M (Republican, New York District 23)
    McInnis, Scott (Republican, Colorado District 3)
    McIntyre, Mike (Democrat, North Carolina District 7)
    McKeon, Howard P “Buck” (Republican, California District 25)
    McNulty, Michael R (Democrat, New York District 21)
    Meehan, Marty (Democrat, Massachusetts District 5)
    Meek, Kendrick B (Democrat, Florida District 17)
    Meeks, Gregory W (Democrat, New York District 6)
    Menendez, Robert (Democrat, New Jersey District 13)
    Mica, John L (Republican, Florida District 7)
    Michaud, Mike (Democrat, Maine District 2)
    Mikulski, Barbara A (Democrat, Maryland Senate)
    Millender-McDonald, Juanita (Democrat, California District 37)
    Miller, Brad (Democrat, North Carolina District 13)
    Miller, Candice S (Republican, Michigan District 10)
    Miller, Gary (Republican, California District 42)
    Miller, George (Democrat, California District 7)
    Miller, Jeff (Republican, Florida District 1)
    Miller, Zell (Democrat, Georgia Senate)
    Mollohan, Alan B (Democrat, West Virginia District 1)
    Moore, Dennis (Democrat, Kansas District 3)
    Moran, Jerry (Republican, Kansas District 1)
    Moran, Jim (Democrat, Virginia District 8)
    Murkowski, Lisa (Republican, Alaska Senate)
    Murphy, Tim (Republican, Pennsylvania District 18)
    Murray, Patty (Democrat, Washington Senate)
    Murtha, John P (Democrat, Pennsylvania District 12)
    Musgrave, Marilyn (Republican, Colorado District 4)
    Myrick, Sue (Republican, North Carolina District 9)


    Nadler, Jerrold (Democrat, New York District 8)
    Napolitano, Grace (Democrat, California District 38)
    Neal, Richard E (Democrat, Massachusetts District 2)
    Nelson, Ben (Democrat, Nebraska Senate)
    Nelson, Bill (Democrat, Florida Senate)
    Nethercutt, George R Jr (Republican, Washington District 5)
    Neugebauer, Randy (Republican, Texas District 19)
    Ney, Bob (Republican, Ohio District 18)
    Nickles, Don (Republican, Oklahoma Senate)
    Northup, Anne M (Republican, Kentucky District 3)
    Norton, Eleanor Holmes (Democrat, Distict of Columbia At Large)
    Norwood, Charles W (Republican, Georgia District 9)
    Nunes, Devin Gerald (Republican, California District 21)
    Nussle, Jim (Republican, Iowa District 1)


    Oberstar, James L (Democrat, Minnesota District 8)
    Obey, David R (Democrat, Wisconsin District 7)
    Olver, John W (Democrat, Massachusetts District 1)
    Ortiz, Solomon P (Democrat, Texas District 27)
    Osborne, Tom (Republican, Nebraska District 3)
    Ose, Doug (Republican, California District 3)
    Otter, C L ‘Butch’ (Republican, Idaho District 1)
    Owens, Major R (Democrat, New York District 11)
    Oxley, Michael G (Republican, Ohio District 4)


    Pallone, Frank Jr (Democrat, New Jersey District 6)
    Pascrell, Bill Jr (Democrat, New Jersey District 8)
    Pastor, Ed (Democrat, Arizona District 4)
    Paul, Ron (Republican, Texas District 14)
    Payne, Donald M (Democrat, New Jersey District 10)
    Pearce, Steve (Republican, New Mexico District 2)
    Pelosi, Nancy (Democrat, California District 8)
    Pence, Mike (Republican, Indiana District 6)
    Peterson, Collin C (Democrat, Minnesota District 7)
    Peterson, John E (Republican, Pennsylvania District 5)
    Petri, Tom (Republican, Wisconsin District 6)
    Pickering, Charles “Chip” Jr (Republican, Mississippi District 3)
    Pitts, Joe (Republican, Pennsylvania District 16)
    Platts, Todd (Republican, Pennsylvania District 19)
    Pombo, Richard (Republican, California District 11)
    Pomeroy, Earl (Democrat, North Dakota District 1)
    Porter, Jon (Republican, Nevada District 3)
    Portman, Rob (Republican, Ohio District 2)
    Price, David (Democrat, North Carolina District 4)
    Pryce, Deborah (Republican, Ohio District 15)
    Pryor, Mark (Democrat, Arkansas Senate)
    Putnam, Adam H (Republican, Florida District 12)


    Quinn, Jack (Republican, New York District 27)


    Radanovich, George (Republican, California District 19)
    Rahall, Nick (Democrat, West Virginia District 3)
    Ramstad, Jim (Republican, Minnesota District 3)
    Rangel, Charles B (Democrat, New York District 15)
    Reed, Jack (Democrat, Rhode Island Senate)
    Regula, Ralph (Republican, Ohio District 16)
    Rehberg, Denny (Republican, Montana District 1)
    Reid, Harry (Democrat, Nevada Senate)
    Renzi, Rick (Republican, Arizona District 1)
    Reyes, Silvestre (Democrat, Texas District 16)
    Reynolds, Tom (Republican, New York District 26)
    Roberts, Pat (Republican, Kansas Senate)
    Rockefeller, Jay (Democrat, West Virginia Senate)
    Rodriguez, Ciro D (Democrat, Texas District 28)
    Rogers, Hal (Republican, Kentucky District 5)
    Rogers, Mike (Republican, Michigan District 8)
    Rogers, Mike (Republican, Alabama District 3)
    Rohrabacher, Dana (Republican, California District 46)
    Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (Republican, Florida District 18)
    Ross, Mike (Democrat, Arkansas District 4)
    Rothman, Steven R (Democrat, New Jersey District 9)
    Roybal-Allard, Lucille (Democrat, California District 34)
    Royce, Ed (Republican, California District 40)
    Ruppersberger, Dutch (Democrat, Maryland District 2)
    Rush, Bobby L (Democrat, Illinois District 1)
    Ryan, Paul (Republican, Wisconsin District 1)
    Ryan, Tim (Democrat, Ohio District 17)
    Ryun, Jim (Republican, Kansas District 2)


    Sabo, Martin Olav (Democrat, Minnesota District 5)
    Sanchez, Linda (Democrat, California District 39)
    Sanchez, Loretta (Democrat, California District 47)
    Sanders, Bernie (Independent, Vermont District 1)
    Sandlin, Max (Democrat, Texas District 1)
    Santorum, Rick (Republican, Pennsylvania Senate)
    Sarbanes, Paul S (Democrat, Maryland Senate)
    Saxton, Jim (Republican, New Jersey District 3)
    Schakowsky, Jan (Democrat, Illinois District 9)
    Schiff, Adam (Democrat, California District 29)
    Schrock, Ed (Republican, Virginia District 2)
    Schumer, Charles E (Democrat, New York Senate)
    Scott, David (Democrat, Georgia District 13)
    Scott, Robert C (Democrat, Virginia District 3)
    Sensenbrenner, F James Jr (Republican, Wisconsin District 5)
    Serrano, Jose E (Democrat, New York District 16)
    Sessions, Jeff (Republican, Alabama Senate)
    Sessions, Pete (Republican, Texas District 32)
    Shadegg, John (Republican, Arizona District 3)
    Shaw, E Clay Jr (Republican, Florida District 22)
    Shays, Christopher (Republican, Connecticut District 4)
    Shelby, Richard C (Republican, Alabama Senate)
    Sherman, Brad (Democrat, California District 27)
    Sherwood, Don (Republican, Pennsylvania District 10)
    Shimkus, John M (Republican, Illinois District 19)
    Shuster, Bill (Republican, Pennsylvania District 9)
    Simmons, Rob (Republican, Connecticut District 2)
    Simpson, Mike (Republican, Idaho District 2)
    Skelton, Ike (Democrat, Missouri District 4)
    Slaughter, Louise M (Democrat, New York District 28)
    Smith, Adam (Democrat, Washington District 9)
    Smith, Chris (Republican, New Jersey District 4)
    Smith, Gordon H (Republican, Oregon Senate)
    Smith, Lamar (Republican, Texas District 21)
    Smith, Nick (Republican, Michigan District 7)
    Snowe, Olympia J (Republican, Maine Senate)
    Snyder, Vic (Democrat, Arkansas District 2)
    Solis, Hilda L (Democrat, California District 32)
    Souder, Mark E (Republican, Indiana District 3)
    Specter, Arlen (Republican, Pennsylvania Senate)
    Spratt, John M Jr (Democrat, South Carolina District 5)
    Stabenow, Debbie (Democrat, Michigan Senate)
    Stark, Pete (Democrat, California District 13)
    Stearns, Cliff (Republican, Florida District 6)
    Stenholm, Charles W (Democrat, Texas District 17)
    Stevens, Ted (Republican, Alaska Senate)
    Strickland, Ted (Democrat, Ohio District 6)
    Stupak, Bart (Democrat, Michigan District 1)
    Sullivan, John (Republican, Oklahoma District 1)
    Sununu, John E (Republican, New Hampshire Senate)
    Sweeney, John E (Republican, New York District 20)


    Talent, James M (Republican, Missouri Senate)
    Tancredo, Tom (Republican, Colorado District 6)
    Tanner, John (Democrat, Tennessee District 8)
    Tauscher, Ellen (Democrat, California District 10)
    Tauzin, Billy (Republican, Louisiana District 3)
    Taylor, Charles H (Republican, North Carolina District 11)
    Taylor, Gene (Democrat, Mississippi District 4)
    Terry, Lee (Republican, Nebraska District 2)
    Thomas, Bill (Republican, California District 22)
    Thomas, Craig (Republican, Wyoming Senate)
    Thompson, Bennie G (Democrat, Mississippi District 2)
    Thompson, Mike (Democrat, California District 1)
    Thornberry, Mac (Republican, Texas District 13)
    Tiahrt, Todd (Republican, Kansas District 4)
    Tiberi, Patrick J (Republican, Ohio District 12)
    Tierney, John F (Democrat, Massachusetts District 6)
    Toomey, Pat (Republican, Pennsylvania District 15)
    Towns, Edolphus (Democrat, New York District 10)
    Turner, Jim (Democrat, Texas District 2)
    Turner, Michael R (Republican, Ohio District 3)


    Udall, Mark (Democrat, Colorado District 2)
    Udall, Tom (Democrat, New Mexico District 3)
    Upton, Fred (Republican, Michigan District 6)


    Van Hollen, Chris (Democrat, Maryland District 8)
    Velazquez, Nydia M (Democrat, New York District 12)
    Visclosky, Pete (Democrat, Indiana District 1)
    Vitter, David (Republican, Louisiana District 1)
    Voinovich, George V (Republican, Ohio Senate)


    Walden, Greg (Republican, Oregon District 2)
    Walsh, James T (Republican, New York District 25)
    Wamp, Zach (Republican, Tennessee District 3)
    Warner, John W (Republican, Virginia Senate)
    Waters, Maxine (Democrat, California District 35)
    Watson, Diane E (Democrat, California District 33)
    Watt, Melvin L (Democrat, North Carolina District 12)
    Waxman, Henry A (Democrat, California District 30)
    Weiner, Anthony D (Democrat, New York District 9)
    Weldon, Curt (Republican, Pennsylvania District 7)
    Weldon, Dave (Republican, Florida District 15)
    Weller, Jerry (Republican, Illinois District 11)
    Wexler, Robert (Democrat, Florida District 19)
    Whitfield, Ed (Republican, Kentucky District 1)
    Wicker, Roger (Republican, Mississippi District 1)
    Wilson, Heather (Republican, New Mexico District 1)
    Wilson, Joe (Republican, South Carolina District 2)
    Wolf, Frank R (Republican, Virginia District 10)
    Woolsey, Lynn (Democrat, California District 6)
    Wu, David (Democrat, Oregon District 1)
    Wyden, Ron (Democrat, Oregon Senate)
    Wynn, Albert R (Democrat, Maryland District 4)


  29. 32

    prr spews:

    Dubyasux @ 14

    You should take a look at the current budget proposals and supported by your local democrats before you start running your mouth, dipshit

  30. 33

    prr spews:

    Back on the subject….

    Let’s look at what your are proposing.

    Some scumbag goes and and kidnaps a child, beats them to within an inch of their life, then rapes them… abusing every orifice in their body, then leaves them for dead.

    By some stroke of luck, this attacker is apprehended, arrested, tried and convicted: After serving their time, you feel that it is appropriate that this piece of filth should have the same rights as their victim after release?

    No Fucking way.

    If you are sentenced to a felony, you loose, end of subject.

  31. 35

    Dubyasux spews:

    No Grey Matter @ 26

    No one gets prosecuted for nonsupport because prosecutors don’t use the criminal statute anymore — it’s too costly — they use contempt proceedings instead.

    How many times do you think a court should hold a deadbeat parent in contempt before their voting rights are taken away?

  32. 36

    Dubyasux spews:

    Mark @ 29

    Really, Mark? Judges have complete discretion in regard to superimposing fines and/or restitution on top of jail time. BTW how long have YOU been a lawyer?

  33. 37

    Dubyasux spews:

    prr @ 31

    I didn’t know Tom Daschle is still in Congress. I thought he lost! I wonder how many other errors are in your list? Where did you get this list from, the BIAW? haw haw

    By the way, if you think they’re all corrupt — prove it, one by one. The burden of proof is on you.

  34. 38

    Black and white, sorry no grey spews:

    Dubyasux @ 35

    You are the one worried about it maybe you should contact you representative, as for me I’ll keep obeying the current laws and expect the state to enforce them, that isn’t too much to ask as far as I am concerned.

    By the way according to you r logic @ 34 I must be winning, hence the name morphing (calling.)

  35. 39

    jsa on beacon hill spews:


    You are using a somewhat fallacious argument by picking the most heinous crime imaginable and tying it to voting rights.

    In your hypothetical and grueling example, such an individual is a monster. Monsters do not deserve to live among civilization. Their voting rights are rather irrelevant. As long as the person remains a monster, she or he is not fit to live among men. I am comfortable with that person being incarcerated to the end of their days (doing labor to pay their board and restitution to their victim, of course).

    If I try to supplement my income by putting a few kgs of BC marihoochy in my trunk and bring it over the line, I have killed, raped, or damaged nobody, there is no restitution to be paid, and I am also guilty of a felony.

    Monsters are easy. Even a soft sappy liberal like me doesn’t like them.

    Try your argument again and say why I should be denied voting rights permanently because I am taking advantage of fluctuations in commodity values between Vancouver and Seattle.

  36. 40

    marks spews:

    Wsux Don @ 37

    I am reminded of the old “How can you tell a politician is lying? Their lips are moving” joke. I think in this case, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence (one probably can’t convict based on that alone) that a congressional candidate who runs a campaign and gets elected is either nuts, corrupt, or both. I am not sure I could tell the difference between the two, anyway…

  37. 41

    Mark spews:

    Dubyasux @ 36

    It is clear that your only knowledge of the law is from your experiences as “defendant.”

    It is true that judges have some discretion in the area of fines & bail forfeiture within guidelines, but that is only part of the equation.

    “…[R]estitution ordered by a court pursuant to a criminal conviction shall be based on easily ascertainable damages for injury to or loss of property, actual expenses incurred for treatment for injury to persons, and lost wages resulting from injury.” [Translation: You break it, you buy it]

    There is also a STANDARD fine assessment for victim compensation of $250 or $500, depending on the crime.

    Any other restitution isn’t even in a judge’s control because it is a “debt” created automatically when the state cares for the crime victim.

    Check out RCW 7.68 and 9.94A for a little light reading.

  38. 42

    Mark spews:

    JSA @ 39

    Because you’re not just smuggling a little weeeeed in your grungy backpack for personal use. And, unless you plan to consume your entire shipment yourself, you ARE hurting other people — both directly and indirectly.

  39. 43

    jsa on beacon hill spews:


    I’m sure you believe that. I can certainly tell you don’t know much about smuggling. People who put weeeeeeeed into grimy backpacks tend to get caught. Professional smugglers tend to be rather clean-cut, boring looking people. One fellow I know who made a good living at this wouldn’t merit a second glance at the local sports bar.

    So once one commits a felony of any sort, whether that is murder one or insider stock trading, you are automatically beyond redemption. Is this your point?

  40. 44

    Mark spews:

    JSA @ 43

    “So once one commits a felony of any sort… you are automatically beyond redemption. Is this your point?”

    No, not at all. And so I should clarify that it was a bit of an overreaction to your belief that bringing vast quantities of illegal drugs into the U.S. (supposedly for distribution) “damage[s] nobody.” You can’t be that naive…

    Question back at you, though… You seemed to recognize that there IS a line at which a person doesn’t deserve to “live among civilization.” Where do you draw said line?

    And, if a criminal were to shatter an old lady’s jaw, do you think that the criminal deserves to be “made whole” (with voting rights, etc.) before they have made their victim (barely) “whole” by paying for the medical treatment?

  41. 45

    GS spews:

    I have never seen such a corrupt election as this governor’s race, and a great example of this is the very reconciliation books that Goldy has said were available. I heard today that one of the previous year’s book, I believe it was the yr 2000 book, was no where to be found. It must have been full of yrs gone by King County fraud. This election was a model of what – It is a model of continuing fraud! and as they look back, they will find continual volumes of fraud. Has this political corruption been going on for years? Yes in King County that is true. Your tax lying happy queen will soon fall to the corruption of this King County election dept. It will not and cannot stand as an example (other than pure currupt BS) of a pure election! I have never seen such Tax happy rights grabbing people in my days! It will be their demise! Look forward to the next election! You will make your own bed! SPAM TAX and all!

  42. 46

    Dubyasux spews:

    marks @ 40

    You don’t have to be nuts to run for Congress. It helps, but it’s not strictly necessary. A masochistic streak is sufficient.

  43. 47

    Dubyasux spews:

    marks @ 40

    BTW, when you say congressional candidates are either nuts or corrupt or both, I assume you’re including Republicans as well as Democrats?

  44. 48

    Dubyasux spews:

    Mark @ 41

    I have no experience as a “defendant,” and you have no experience dealing with facts. Your law isn’t so hot, either. I’ll give you credit for knowing how to find things in the RCW, but this doesn’t imply you understand what you’re reading. A brief legal lesson is in order.

    It’s true that RCW 9.94A.753(7) requires the court to order restitution if the victim receives crime victim benefits, but you overlooked that RCW 7.68.120(5) gives L & I discretion to waive restitution to L & I “in the interest of justice, the well-being of the victim, and the rehabilitation of the individual.”

    You also mischaracterize the crime victims fund asssessment as a “fine.” RCW 7.68.035 calls it a “penalty assessment,” and it’s in addition to and separate from any fine or restitution.

    If you feel like doing some light reading, check out RCW 9.94A.030(34) which defines “restitution” as “damages,” and RCW 9.94A.550 and 9.94A.030(34) which make it clear that a “fine” is part of the sentence, i.e., imposed as punishment for committing the crime.

    The perp may also be liable for court costs, incarceration costs, and other monetary obligations. These are called “a sum of money that is ordered by a superior court … which may include restitution to the victim, statutorily imposed crime victims’ compensation fees …, court costs, county or interlocal drug funds, court-appointed attorneys’ fees, and costs of defense, fines, and any other financial obligation that is assessed to the offender as a result of a felony conviction,” which further makes clear that the crime victims fund assessment, restitution, and fines are different things.

  45. 49

    Dubyasux spews:

    Say, Mark, you aren’t going to nominate me for a Nobel Peace Prize in Law, are you? :D

  46. 50

    Dubyasux spews:

    Mark @ 44

    “Question back at you, though… You seemed to recognize that there IS a line at which a person doesn’t deserve to ‘live among civilization.’ Where do you draw said line?”

    Although this question wasn’t directed at me, I’ll answer it anyway. This is not something you can codify. It has to be evaluated case-by-case. That’s what God gave us reasoning faculties for. And reasonable minds may differ over a particular case. Let’s take a well known example. Egil Krogh, who served prison time for a Watergate felony, was reinstated to practice law in Washington state. His crime arguably was a very serious one as it consisted of subverting the Constitution and rule of law in our country, yet the state supreme court forgave his transgressions and allowed him to be a lawyer again. So far as I know, since being readmitted, he has been an honorable one. On the other hand, I don’t think any amount of good behavior should get any of the Manson Family killers out of prison, ever. They can carry on their Christian ministries within the walls, where there is plenty of need for their services. In their case, it is open to them to ask God for forgiveness when they see Him.

  47. 51

    Dubyasux spews:

    GS @ 45

    And I have never seen such a lying pack of hounds as Dino Rossi, Chris Vance, Mary Lane, and Tom McCabe — not to mention the likes of John Carlson, Kirby Wilbur, and Stefan Sharkansky.

  48. 52

    Mark spews:

    Dubyasux @ 48

    OK… You’ve got to be at least a wannabe lawyer based on how you twisted not only what I said, but what the law says. (Though your nick seems to indicate that you’re not exactly “Of Counsel at Perkins Coie” material.)

    Now, why don’t you specifically answer my questions:

    1. In RCW 9.94A.550, does it not refer to the term “fine” and to specific guidelines for them?

    2. Did I not specifically comment to you @ 29 that there was an “in the interest of justice” provision for waiving all or part of restitution?

    3. Other than my mistyping of “penalty assessment” as a “fine assessment,” where is the error in my RCW 7.68.035 reference?

    4. What is the point of your last two paragraphs? You just restate, in different language, things I’ve stated earlier. YOU were the one who oversimplified @ 10 and I was the one that said that the “financial obligations” included all or some of: fines, bail forfeiture, standard penalty assessments, restitution, etc. In fact, RESTITUTION (to which you referred in 10) is NOT set at a judge’s discretion. It is based on actual expenses and if a court doesn’t order it, L&I can claim the debt anyway.

    And here are your bonus questions:

    How much restitution is ordered each year?
    How much of that money is so far UNPAID?
    How much money do WA taxpayers spend on treating victims when criminals won’t pay restitution?

  49. 53

    Mark spews:

    Dubyasux @ 48

    “… RCW 9.94A.550 and 9.94A.030(34) which make it clear that a “fine” is part of the sentence, i.e., imposed as punishment for committing the crime.”

    So that means you’re 100% onboard with the idea that felons NOT get their voting rights restored until they’ve paid their fines — completed their sentence?

    What, if anything, do you have against insisting that criminals pay restitution to their victims before they get voting rights restored?

  50. 54

    prr spews:

    JSA in Beacon Hill @ 39

    let’s face it. if you are stupid enough to cross an international border smuggling dope, than yes, you are a felon, and as such you should loose your voting rights…for good.

    Trying to rationailze the levels of a felony is just pathetic.

    As an FYI, with high quality clones available and hydroponic kits as abundant as they are, if you choose to grow for your own personal consumption, do so. The risk is certainly less than trying to cross a border.

    Additionally, with the freedom and loopholes available to medical Marijuana use on the West Coast, there is no reason for you not to be recognized a a patient and if you have the green thumb to harvest, to be a licensed primary care giver.

  51. 55

    jsa on beacon hill spews:


    I don’t really want to debate legalization with you. It’s tangental to the issue of voting rights. If you want me to agree that smuggling dope across the border from BC is dumb, yeah. I’ll do that. Don’t ever smuggle dope across the border kids. Washington-grown marijuana is not that much more expensive, benefits your local grower, and your odds of being busted anywhere on the West Coast for personal consumption are pretty close to zero.

    Now, back to the point. A key concept of American criminal justice is that of rehabilitation. If you commit a crime, you should do your time, learn to mend your ways, and hopefully go on with your life (reasonably) free of sin. Some people are beyond rehabilitation. That is a sentencing issue. We can debate sentencing some other time.

    What social goal is being served by punishing felons forever by stripping their voting rights? If it’s supposed to be a deterrent to commiting crimes, we can debate that I suppose. If you feel that we should not be rehabilitating criminals, you’re allowed to have that opinion. Chinese law is really cool that way. Criminals are punished. Once you are imprisoned, the fact that you are a criminal is imprinted on your ID card for the rest of your life. (imagine if every time you had to break out your driver’s license at the store, the bank, etc. the words “CONVICTED FELON” appeared on it. It’s a good excercise).

    Me personally, I like China. The people are nice, folks work really hard, the crime rate is comparatively low, and unless you’re bound and determined to make trouble, you probably won’t be thrown in jail for being a disagreeable loudmouth. I decided though that I didn’t really want to live there. Maybe you should try a year or two someplace reasonably civilized like Guangzhou or Shanghai. It might be more to your liking.

  52. 56

    prr spews:


    Firstly, I am responding to your question. So don’t start this panzy, I don’t want to debate with you on a question I just asked (or is axed in beacon hill’esque?) you?

    You wanted a response, you got it.

    However, you bring up a great point. We are dealing with reality here not concepts, correct?

    Current reality is that a convicted felon, who has not his voting rights restored, cannot vote. If you are a 3rd time convicted felon, you are done permanently. Sounds fair to me.

    So stop your fucking bitching.

    From the sounds of it, you may want to visit fantasy land as that appears to be more to your liking.

  53. 57

    jsa on beacon hill spews:


    I don’t ever talk to you that way. I’d appreciate it if you’d return the favor. You seem to be quite literate, so I’ll assume you’re not in grade school. Act like it for a change.

    You seem to be mixing two questions. One is “should felons who have not had their voting rights restored be able to vote?”. Of course not! I think we agree here.

    The other question is “Should commiting a felony permanently strip you of your voting rights?” This is the question I was asking. I gather your answer is no, but I’m having a hard time nailing down why other than you seem to be a rather vindictive person.

    Lighten up guy, it’s a nice day outside. Go get some fresh air if you’re not feeling well.

  54. 58

    jsa on beacon hill spews:


    Since you’re fond of inferring, I won’t say I’ve never partaken, but at my age it’s probably a once or twice a year thing at parties. If you want to discount what I say because I’m a big old pothead, you’re welcome to do that.

  55. 59

    prr spews:

    JSA @ 57

    Your right, you have not spoken to me in that manner. I am wrong and I apologize.

  56. 60

    prr spews:

    jsa @ 58

    Obviously, I had a mispent youth as well.

    I am happy to say. Now that I am all grown up, it has no place in my life at all. However, I do not begrudge people who do partake. With the liberal medical laws, it’s very easy to get perscriptions and I think that that is appropriate

  57. 61

    jsa on beacon hill spews:


    Again, this is a mixed question. Should someone who smashes an old lady’s jaw go to prison for a good long time? Yes. That goes without saying. Judging by the sentencing guidelines in that little altercation on Capitol Hill last year ( the sentences for egregious assault are probably not as long as I’d like.

    Does beating up an old lady to the point where her jaw is smashed make someone an irredeemable monster? I’d say no. Worthy of a very long prison sentence? Sure.

    Is there some goal served by stripping the person’s voting rights after they’ve done their time? I don’t see it, and mark me as being very much against beating on old ladies, small children, gay men, flaming right-wingers, or anyone else.

  58. 62

    marks spews:

    Dubyasux @47

    Of course I do! Now, having used that much cynicism, I would still say Congress is the best system for a legislative branch of government. Aside from occasionally trampling on the separation of powers and/or demeaning federalism in an extraordinary session, they usually take years in order to really screw something up.

  59. 63

    Mark spews:

    JSA @ 61

    What I asked was, “… if a criminal were to shatter an old lady’s jaw, do you think that the criminal deserves to be ‘made whole’ (with voting rights, etc.) before they have made their victim (barely) ‘whole’ by paying for the medical treatment?

    A big “time out” from playing with the rest of the world is only part of the consequences of committing a crime. Don’t you think that a criminal should have to also pay for a victim’s medical expenses and/or material losses?