Friday, October 24, 2008

Tim Kaine Has Instituted a New Program: "Leave No Felon Behind"

Governor Tim Kaine has nullified the Virginia Constitution by restoring the voting rights back to convicted felons. This essentially means that Kaine has virtually given not only the right to vote back to felons, but has allowed to sit on juries.

Between January 2006 and January 2007, 729 felons had their voting rights restored by the Governor. Since January 2008, the Governor has restored voting rights to 758 felons. Wow, this exceeds Kaine's personal record. Here is another scary statistic: Of those who had their voting rights restored by Kaine, 31 of those felons have been subsequently convicted of other crimes after receiving this right.

This is just a slap in the face to every law abiding citizen who votes, but it has also provided Virginia with a reputation for being a dangerous place to live. The sad fact is now that these felons are allowed to vote, they will be able to decide the punishment for criminals.

Tim Kaine has outdone himself as Virginia's worst Governor. In 2009, we will be able to restore dignity back to the Governor's Mansion.

Kudos to Del. Bill Janis for providing us with the statistics.


Craig said...

I find it striking that you have an issue with restoring voting rights to people who have served their court appointed sentences and become eligible, under law, to have their voting rights restored. Our criminal justice system is based on the idea reforming offenders so that they might reenter and participate in society in a positive fashion. This includes the ability to participate in democracy by voting.

I could go on to further question your motives in declaring this a slap in the face of law abiding citizens, I happen to be one, but suggesting that your motive might be fear of more voters voting Democratic might offend you.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Gov. Warner reinstated voting rights for more felons than Gov. Kaine has -- 3,414 to 2,576, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.
And for what it's worth, Virginia is one of just two states to permanently bar felons from voting. That would include Ed Matricardi, the "dangerous" former executive director of the Virginia Republican Party.

Anonymous said...

Craig, quit whining. You must consider yourself to be a noble, altruistic sort of fellow, but you are just a simple bedwetter. Who made it the highest value that every single person should have an equal right to vote. Pure democracy after all is five hungry dogs and 4 chickens voting on what the dinner menu is.

Anonymous said...

It is ignorant and/or irresponsible for the GOP to assert that restoring the right to vote to those who have been convicted of felonies and have served their time in some way undermines the Virginia Constitution. After all, it is the Virginia Constitution itself that gives the Governor this power.

Is this the type of leadership we can expect from the Frederick/Janis VA GOP? And for crying out loud, at least take the time to proofread your posts.

Anonymous said...

This post is another reason why real America thinks we're a bunch of narrow minded bigots, out of step even with what we preach. Last time I checked, in Virginia, it was Deomcrats who instituted poll taxes and nasty laws like life-time vote bans for anyone convicted of any felony. None of this sounds Christian to me.

CG2 said...

I find it truly amazing that the Virginia GOP Caucus would want to formally associate itself with the juvenile tripe that passes for political discourse on this blog.

Honestly, aren't there any grown ups in charge over at the Caucus?

In this case, once again, instead of initiating an informed debate regarding what Virginia's policy should be regarding restoration of rights, the blog's authors use such patent hyperbole and misstatements of fact and law, that it obscures any reasoned argument in favor of Virginia's almost uniquely draconian policy (which as more and more misdemeanors get made into felonies becomes increasingly onerous and out of touch with reality).

The facts are these:
1) The Constitution doesn't say, as this blog implies, that no felon can (or should) ever vote again. It says: "No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority."

The constitution has been interpreted to deprive the General Assembly of the authority to pass legislation defining or limiting the Governor's discretionary authority or to codify any policy regarding whose rights should be restored and whose should not.

Thus, each Governor continues to have sole and complete discretion to restore the rights of felons according to whatever standard he or she chooses, and no Governor who does so violates the constition or its intent.

2) In 2000, the legislature, concerned about the lack of policy direction to the Governor, passed legislation, HB1080 (40-0 in the Senate and 95-4 in the House), giving circuit courts the authority to forward to the governor with a positive recommendation applications for restoration of rights from folks (other than those serving time for certain specified violent crimes/ drug offenses/election law felonies) who had been out of jail and clean for more than five years and demonstrated civic responsibility. The law also included a mandate to the corrections department that every felon get at the time of release information on the process for restoration of rights. Because of the constitution, the ultimate decision is still the governor's, but the idea behind the legislation was to get more cases before the governor for consideration.

Passage of this legislation can be construed fairly as putting on record in favor of restoration of rights leaders of the VA GOP Caucus who voted for it including:
Delegate Kirk Cox, Delegate Phil Hamilton, Delegate Dave Albo, Delegate Terry Kilgore and Speaker Howell, among others on the House side, and now Lt. Governor Bolling, now Chief Deputy Attorney General Bill Mims, and Senator Steve Martin among others.

So, I'd argue that the program in place is a truly bi-partisan program in which Governor Kaine is exercising his discretion in line with the policy direction that the legislature voted overwhelmingly to give to then Governor Gilmore and all of his successors in office.

Craig said...

Actually, to be clear, I can't recall the last time I wet the bed but I would say a thoughtful read of my comment and post on my own blog would reveal anything but whining. Not to mention the fact that when I post and comment I do so in the open, under my own name, and not hiding behind anonymity. Perhaps that is because I try to work with facts, common sense, etc. as opposed to resorting to childish ad hominem attacks.

Noble and altruistic? Not really, but I certainly strive to be a better person every single day.

Jeffrey G. Myles said...

What do you say about Gov. McDonnell, who has surpassed Gov. Kaine in restoring rights and now supports proposes to make it automatic for nonviolent felon?

Is Gov. McDonnell also a terrible chief executive?