Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Softy on Sex Offenders?

I have been researching taxation records for our four governors, Daniels, Pawlenty, Romney, and Huckabee, and I came across two astonishing nuggets. The first nugget is from Romney's record. Romney "vetoed a $75 fee for offenders required by law to register with the state."

This is alarming and almost incomprehensible. Two lines of argument from Romney supporters have been put forth as to why Romney would do this. The first is that Romney ran on a no new taxes pledge and was honoring his campaign pledge. But then what about the other $5oo million of fees he signed into law?

The second argument is from Kevin Madden, Romney’s spokesman, (who) said his boss raised fees by only $260 million and noted that the $75 fee increase for sex offenders was a disincentive for offenders to register, making it harder to track them.

But how can that be reconciled with mandating health insurance for anyone in MA who wants to use the medical facilities in the state? How are all those millions of persons going to be tracked? What about the illegals living in the state? What about persons who move back and forth across state lines to avoid the insurance mandate? Sorry Kevin, your argument doesn't hold water with me. No doubt it will be hard to track sex offenders, but it does not follow that you just roll over and let them be a drag on the system.

The other nugget I alluded to is from Huckabee's record and I will address that later.


BOSMAN said...

"But how can that be reconciled with mandating health insurance for anyone in MA who wants to use the medical facilities in the state?'

It's really quite simple and Madden is correct.

We all want sex offenders to register. DO WE NOT?
Why give them the excuse that the could not pay the fee! Would you like one living next to you with the fee problem?

As to the mandate. If I'm paying for Insurance for my family, I EXPECT and DEMAND others do as well. ESPECIALLY if they can afford it and just want to use emergency rooms for health care needs at the tax payers expense.

Anonymous said...

No sale, Dan.

This is a no-brainer. No sex offender is going to register if it cost $75.

Not only that, it's negligible amount of money to the state.


Anonymous said...

Not only that, your headline stinks, and is misleading.


Anonymous said...

Martha, and if the registration fee is part of their probation? Do they register or do they run? Do we enforce laws or not?

If Huck had vetoed a bill like this I would have written the exact same headline for him, and you would be right there with me blasting Huck on the issue. This is selective outrage.

You and Bosman and other Romney boosters may buy Madden's argument, but there are going to be plenty of other primary voters who don't. It won't just be SoCons who find Romney's veto reprehensible, but law and order types too, and ordinary parents who don't want sex offenders in their neighborhoods and don't want to foot the bill for their crimes.

How many times have Romney boosters sang the praises of increased fees? Particularly for healthcare. Fees are awesome because they make the user pay for services rather than spreading the bill around to nonusers, right? Selected outrage.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I could understand your argument if the objective is to get sex offenders to move out of your state... in which case the fee should be $10,000 dollars or face imprisonment - yea, that's right, get out of my state.

In this case, if the sex offenders are there, you want them registered. I could just hear this interrogation:

police: Mr. Sex Offender, why did you not register?

Sex Offender: Sir, I tried but I could not afford the $75 fee so the state refused to put me on the register.

Revolution 2010 said...

"You and Bosman and other Romney boosters may buy Madden's argument, but there are going to be plenty of other primary voters who don't. It won't just be SoCons who find Romney's veto reprehensible"

Not as "reprehensible" as NOT KNOWING I had one living nest door because he/she couldn't afford the fee to register.

Anyone with small kids as children, nephews/nieces, and grandkids, will buy Madden's argument not yours.

Anonymous said...

Dan, seriously. Fees for sex offenders? You are grasping at straws here to ding Romney on something. It's completely silly, IMO.

I guess we all have some selective outrage. I usually go after Huck and Palin on big issues. Not $75 fees for a very very small group of people.


Anonymous said...

"I usually go after Huck and Palin on big issues."

Like cajones? Gotcha. Ooh, don't forget them conspiracy theories.

Anonymous said...

Dan, when did you get so mean?

I think you must admit that most of my criticism of both Huck and Palin normally centers around bad judgment, and character issues.

I think Palin's foul mouth is a character/bad judgment issue, and bad for the party. I think she and Huck both have major character flaws. For one, they both seem to have an adversarial relationship with the truth.

And BTW - it's not a conspiracy theory to me. It's a pic and story that that don'/can't possibly make sense.


Right Wingnut said...

How did this morphe into a Palin thread?

ConMan said...

A Non-Issue. Especially if you've ever had small kids.

I don't want to make money off of this scum. I do want to know where they live.

John said...

I don't think the sex offender registry is a good idea in the first place, I'll explain why in a post in the future (time is short with exams coming up).

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan,

I heard a rumor that Romney wears argyle socks.


GetReal said...

Sometimes I agree with your criticisms of Romney, but you are way off base here and I'm let down.

75 dollars is nothing, punitively speaking, for what a good many of those people did. Its a lot more important to get them registered and keep tabs on them than collect a paltry fee.

Comparing it to mandated health insurance makes no sense. What's the worst that could happen if someone slips through the cracks by avoiding to buy health insurance? Nothing compared to the damage an undetected rapist or child molester could do.

John said...


Why I don't support sex registry laws.

Anonymous said...

I usually enjoy your posts Dan but this one is a fail. Try again.

Anonymous said...

Another explanation may be that the cost of collecting $75 each from the sex offenders may end up becoming more than (or almost as much as) the revenue that the fee would produce. Among those who have lost jobs and are left doing low-paying work, the $75 fee may be something that they would pay with bad checks and overdrawn credit cards. The costs of dealing with bad checks will require that we pay bureaucrats to chase paper. Assessing an additional bad check fee will only mean that the sex offender writes another bad check. If their lives are already so far down that they just don't care, some may decide that going back to prison for writing the bad check isn't that bad an option. The penalty for not paying this kind of fee means something to the middle-class person who has something to lose. To someone on the bottom, the state may not be able to assess a penalty that makes the person's life that much worse. Furthermore, any time the state is going to collect money, there will need to be audits. Audits cost money, and maybe the revenue from the fee wouldn't even pay for a good audit.

For those who have paid their debt to society in prison and can return to have a stable, successful life, hitting them again and again with another fee accomplishes nothing. For those who cannot become stable, successful citizens, a $75 fee doesn't make their release into society a good idea.

I'd also be interested in whether there was more to the bill than just a $75 fee to register. Sometimes, these kind of fees are tagged on other bills that have their own fatal flaws.

You've come nowhere close to making a legitimate case that this "nugget" is anything but coprolite.

Anonymous said...

This is splitting hairs, in my opinion. I don't think it will help or hurt Romney much. People will ask why he didn't go for the fee; he will give his answer; people will say, "oh," and it will be over. At the end of the day it will probably be a "wash" between those who are outraged by his answer and those who will say, "that makes sense."

I read John's link about the sex offender registry. I'm not convinced that it's a bad idea, but I agree that it probably doesn't help as much as it is designed to do. Most children are abused by someone whom they know. One of the greatest threats to kids now is the lack of stability in the home. Young children are exposed to Mom's boyfriends and Dad's girlfriends. People are marrying less and are inclined to drag more and more people into an intimate environment with their children.

Now, I realize that abuse can and does happen in a regular marriage, but the exposure to abuse is lower, as there are fewer people introduced into the intimate home environment.


Anonymous said...

I think that anyone who believes that all registered sex offenders are really guilty of it should pull their heads out of their ass! Get real, why not set up a fee for cops that beat the shit out of people? drug dealers? speeders? drunk drivers?

Anonymous said...

I just have to say it. Most of you that will read this including the people that make the laws on the S.O.R.B have absolutely no clue! You are all puppets on a witch hunt. Did you know that any one of you could become a sex offender? All it would take is for your daughter, or step daughter, girlfriend.... etc, get mad at you and say you touched her. Then you will become one of those people that your thinking is a menus to society. Get a clue first before you sit there in your office in Boston and start running your mouth. Just because someone was convicted of a crime does not mean they did it. Your problem is that you don't care if there are innocent people charged with a sex crime! Unbelievable- good decent people walking the streets labeled as a sex offender! well no it's not so unbelievable when you have bad cops, and corrupt judges and A.D.A's walking the streets of Northampton! Just Saying....

Anonymous said...

I can't help but to keep reading the postings that the insecure people- probably you- You know who you are, people like Romney, and organizations like the S.O.R.B just to name a few post and talk about. The scariest thing of all of it is that most people- The puppets and the followers in government and the public think that it is the "registered" sex offenders they need to fear. Sit there and think about it for a minute. Do you honestly think that every person in jail should be there? Do you think that every sex offender really did something or was it a child just saying something to get a person out of the house? Maybe the child had a friend that really was abused and said "well if your mad at your step dad tell someone he touched you. He will have to leave the house. I will bet that Most of the registered offenders will never re-offend because they never committed the crime in the first place. I'm not saying ALL of them but I am saying most of them. I would bet that about 80% of all sex offenders have never been caught because most victims never tell. You lull yourself into a false sense of security by regarding registered sex offenders as the worst of your problems. The people you least expect are molesting your children right now. You do not suspect them because you focus only on those you can see. The registering of sex offenders would be justified if every one on it was guilty. I hope people wake up and start addressing this issue I myself want to know where the drug dealers are so I can keep my kids away from them and I want to know where the cops are that beat the crap out of people so I can stay away from them. I know nothing will ever happen to rectify the corrupt judges in the Northampton courts, I mean look he's arrested for being drunk and disorderly and gets away with it, then throws out his sob story of how his opinion has changed and thinks the system failed him. People change your attitude, it could happen to you then what are you going say?