January 19, 2007
The party of robbers and rapists
Just introduced: HB 1473 "Changing requirements for the restoration of the right to vote for people convicted of felonies"
This bill goes farther than any other felon voting proposal I've seen, allowing all felons to vote, except for those who are under "total confinement in the custody of the department of corrections or the federal bureau of prisons". So criminals with suspended sentences, under house arrest, out on parole, in county jails, even those owing restitution to victims they have robbed, defrauded, beaten up and raped, would be allowed to vote.
Interestingly, all 19 of the Robber and Rapist Vote Act sponsors are Democrats.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at January 19, 2007
10:32 AM | Email This
1. How else are they going to find more votes for Gregoire in '08?
I see Appleton's name on this bill. Wasn't she the State Income Tax sponsor? Totally loyal and will ing to take the hit for the others that do want the income tax, etc.
Who is this McDermott guy from West Seattle? Is it too much of a coincidence? Tell me there is no relaton, please.
When I was taking high school civics and stuff, we talked about felons not voting and what a raw deal that was. It was supposed to be a deterrent for me committing a felony.
Losing the right to vote after committing a felony is not a bad thing and should be kept.
3. Wait--the bill's in English--what gives?
4. Restore their 2nd ammendment rights too.
5. Did somebody read the bill all the way through? Sure looks like it includes several references to "including all financial obligations."
I chuckled at #4...
Yeah, if the Democrats believe in restoring rights so quickly before criminals have paid their restitution then go ahead and give them back their right to own firearms. They've served their sentence, right?
7. If the Democrats restore the felons' right to own firearms, it will eliminate having to do background checks and save a ton of time. Maybe as part of their work release program they could have them count ballots too.
8. Excellent thought Doc-T. You just closed the gun show loop hole.
Jim: "Did somebody read the bill all the way through? Sure looks like it includes several references to 'including all financial obligations'."
Read the bill more carefully. The sections that refer to financial obligations also state that they pertain only to the restoration of rights "not already restored by RCW 29A.08.520" - the section that restores voting rights for felons "not in total confinement in the custody of the department of corrections or the federal bureau of prisons."
In other words, felons not in confinement would have the right to vote restored, even if they still have other outstanding obligations under their sentencing. Rights OTHER THAN voting are not restored until ALL sentencing obligations are fulfilled.
To paraphrase Bob Dole, "Where is the outrage in Washington?" Five cops shot or killed by felons this year (all who would have had the right to vote under this proposal). F-ing outragerous.
Shark: the proper title should be the Party of Robbers, Rapists and Cop Killers."
We are our own worst enemies. We will be the death of ourselves with all of this namby-pamby 'do-gooding' BS. Raise the white flag. Send word to Bin Laden: we surrender.
And again I have to ask, where is our state GOP on this issue?
The dems race to the microphone in unison to protest anything and everything that the GOP attempts to do (locally and nationally) and beats them over the head for every error real or perceived.
And the GOP sits around silently while the dems advance a state tax that will kill local small business people, take our right to initiative off at the knees, and now hand voting priviledges to rapists and murders.
It's simply pathetic and downright embarassing. No wonder the GOP gets its tail kicked in every election in this state.
12. The state GOP has been asleep or partying for some time. The GOP in general have stood by and rung there hands while the crimials had taken over. It is going to be difficult taking control back, because we will lose in the courts that they control when we pass our inititives.
14. If you've done your time have you paid for your crime? I'm no fan of felons, but how long does the state get to punish you? If we're permanently barring people from taking part in civic life then we'd better be really sure our system is foolproof.
"Rights OTHER THAN voting are NOT restored until ALL sentencing obligations are fulfilled."
Yes, that's because none of those OTHER rights have anything to do with getting Christine Gregoire elected in '08.
Mark - "If you've done your time have you paid for your crime? I'm no fan of felons, but how long does the state get to punish you?"
It's not, "have you done your time?" It's, "have you completed your sentence?"
A component of some of the sentencing is payment to the victims - to alleviate their suffering. Is restoration of important rights a signal that the victims are less important than the felons?
There may be a good argument to exclude financial burdens from the mix, but I strongly believe that a felon on parole (and definately NOT work release) has not yet completed their "time", and thus should not have important rights restored.
Try responding to what I said and not some hypothetical point of view with which you disagree. Restricting the rights of anyone who has ever been convicted of a felony, and served their sentence, seems problematic to me. How democratic are we if we exclude a significant (albeit relatively small) portion of the population from voting?
Restitution and fines are as much a part of the sentence as incarceration.
I would go so far as to say that once EVERY ASPECT OF THE SENTENCE IS COMPLETED, that rights be restored automatically, instead of going through the current, rather expensive and cumbersome process we have now.
But ONLY once ALL of the sentence, INCLUDING FINES AND RESTITUTION, is completed.
Anything else is just the dems, shilling for more votes for Christine.
This is no surprise. This is like every other progressive / Democrat scheme. They will offer anything in exchange for votes.
Need victim preferences for your minority? No problem, they secure affirmative action and other racial preferences in exchange for alignment and Democrat votes. Need more power for your Union? No problem, Union leaders comport with Democrats to advise their members to vote accordingly in exchange for Union preferences. In jail, or otherwise oucast for criminal behavior? No problem, Democrats to the rescue, hoping that their compassion and willingness to rehabilitate even a hardeded criminal will pay dividends at the polls.
Democrats are the party of the collective. They will offer any racist collective bargain in exchange for power.
Mark - you misunderstood. I responded to your statement about "If you've done your time have you paid for your crime?". Incarceration time is not the ONLY element of a sentence. You seem to be arguing that once incarceration is completed, the felon should be restored voting rights. This is what I took issue with.
As Hinton points out, the full sentence (including probation, parole, community service, and financial restitution) should be completed prior to restoring voting rights.
Seeing as how some financial restitution would never be able to be repaid in full, I would be willing to hear arguments for ways to mitigate fiancial restitution as a requirement, but not any of the "personal time" elements of the sentence.
On a side note, IMHO, punishment for a crime should never be more for the victim than for the perpetrator.
The only problem I have with barring felons from voting (forever or until completing their entire sentence and then petitioning to have that right restored) is the expansion of "felony" to cover some conduct that probably shouldn't even be criminal. For example, there is a bill up that will make it a crime to give a dog a massage for payment if you don't have a government "pet massage therapist license." I believe a second offense would be a felony (such is often the case for licensing offenses, also known as obscene acts of economic protectionism).
All that said, felons should have to affirmatively petition for restoration of their right to vote.
Historical note: "felony" used to denote a crime punishable by death. Oh, how far we've come.
Rape,Pillage and burn; but don't forget to vote.
Are there any lines the Democrats may cross that would offend enough folk to vote for Republicans?
They rape our pocketbooks, pillage our homes and burn the constitution. Why do folk keep electing them?
I just don't get it.
23. It's rather funny to see this dim-o-wit party wanting to restore the voting rights of felons but just a few years ago, the same party was trying to block the vote of the military folks.
What a bunch of patriots. NOT
1. Dems are elected because most teachers in schools and colleges are secular progressives. Students are not taught to be critical thinkers and do basic research, so they believe the party line. In Seattle, many of the young don't own property or have children, so they are the willing base.
3. There is nothing wrong with redemption, people who have paid their debt to society including complying with all probation terms including restitution should have the opportunty to have their rights restored and become productive members of society.
3. My quarel with Dems is they, in my opinion, are primarily concerned with preserving their power and promoting a secular progressive ideology. This really is a cultural war and this issue like bi-lingual education is merely a skirmish. English is the language of commerce and the sooner people can integrate into the mainstream, the better for them and their life chances. The sooner an ex-con can integrate into the legimate commercial area, the better their life chances and that of their children. I make no apologizes for stating that society would be better off with a strong middle class with strong families. Neither of the initiatives, felon voting and bi-lingual voting is directed to this end. These initiatives are aimed at keeping dems in power and ensuring a permanent victim class that is beholden to them.
4. I am an independent, but I think the state missed an opportuntity for clean government with the bungled case in Chelan. Now, I fear this state will become another cesspool of one party politics and corruption.
A felony is now defined as a crime for which the punishment is more than a year in prison.
Look for the Dems to lower the punishment of all crimes to less than a year so that all ciminals can vote for the Dems.
TE: Your historical note is almost right. From About.com:
"In early English law a felony was a heinous act that canceled the perpetrator's feudal rights and forfeited his lands and goods to the king, thus depriving his prospective heirs of their inheritance. The accused might be tried by an appeal of felony, i.e., personal combat with his accuser, the losing party to be adjudged a felon.... In addition to the forfeiture of his property, the convicted felon usually suffered death, long imprisonment, or banishment. Death was an especially common English penalty in the 18th and the early 19th cent."
The most common definition today in American jurisprudence is a crime which is punishable by imprisonment for more than 1 year, or by death.
Ya do the crime, ya do the time.
Make no mistake, this Mark is no fan of felons, save for the nice lady across the street who used to have a great business selling Horse at 2nd and Pine, before she got busted.
I also believe that if the sentence isn't long enuf to suit you, then change it.
Once out, they should get to vote, and do other things everyone else does. Is not AmeriKa still free, and fair?
I mean, heck DSHS employs them, even when they are serving their community sentence for their felony involving money (no jail time and no time missed from work--are you amazed--sweet, eh?) Yuppers there is a convicted felon working in the Everett Support Enforcement office, who has access to your (yes your, even if you don't pay CS) complete financial records, tax returns, and even your local telephone calling logs, no warrant application required.
So, if they can have all that, then why not let them vote, too.
I support the restoring voting rights to ex-felons. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison, but it sounds like this proposal is "The Oregon Model". You don't vote if you're incarcerated. Sounds reasonable. It's also easy to administrate, by making the rules very clear and easily observed.
Whether one agrees with this particular bill or not, the current rules in Washington State are unjust and immmoral. The rules for restoring an ex-felons voting rights are Byzantine. So complex, in fact, that no one knows how to administer it all. It effectively disenfranchises and additional 15,000 people every year (cummulative).
I support restoring voting rights if:
1. All conditions of probation have been met.
2. All restitution and court costs have been paid.
Isn't the theory that once one has paid their debt to society and the victim (s), then their rights can be restored?
My understanding of secular progressive philosophy which is incorporated into many proposals is that it is not about paying a debt to society or the victim, but the rights of the felon. Undergirding that philosophy is the practical election tool of most secular progressives is a new class of voters keeping them in power.
I believe that the sooner ex-cons are integrated into legitimate commercial and social activities, the better they and their families are. That is a value judgement. My belief is that most social progressives don't care about eliminating the permanent underclass, they care about preserving their power through the votes of individuals they can keep in the permanent underclass. Am I wrong?