Fake Sex Offender Notices from Washington GOP

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

The big political story up north this week is the behavior of the Washington State Republican Party. In the opening hours of the first day of the legislative session two weeks ago, Republican legislators attempted to bring to a vote a 116-page crime bill dealing with sex offenders.

From the Seattle P-I:

The 2006 Legislature began Monday with lawmakers saying they hoped to work with one another.

They then launched into partisan attacks. In what Democrats described as a "political maneuver," Republicans, who are in the minority in both the Senate and House, tried unsuccessfully to push through a sex-offender bill.

House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee Chairman Al O'Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, chalked up the Republican proposal to partisan politics. "What they did was they forced us to make a vote," he said. "This is just a political maneuver ... to try to show that we're (Democrats) soft on sex offenders."

Then, proving it was a calculated political ploy to exploit voter fears, the Washington GOP immediately started up the automated robo-calls and TV ads.

Late last week, the Speaker's Roundtable (the political PAC of the Republican leadership) started sending out fake sex offender notices to voters around the state. Take a look:

Fake Sex Offender Notice

Fake? In two ways: First, because they look official and they're not. Second, because they're using the same photo all over the state - and the offender doesn't appear in any of the online sex offender databases. - even though he's from Pierce County.

As The Olympian newspaper puts it:

Surely Democrats and Republicans can come to a meeting of the minds on criminal sentences for sex offenders who prey on children and vulnerable adults. Shame on Republicans for trying to politicize sex crimes. Why does it have to be the Republicans' bill or the Democrats' bill? Why can't the two sides, both of whom want to protect kids, find middle ground?

Or, as one top Washington lefty blog, HorsesAss.org, put it:

It is sick enough to exploit the victims of child sexual abuse for political gain, but to do so based on a lie is doubly unforgivable. ... If the Republicans really wanted to pass some legislation on this issue they would have sat down with the Democratic leadership – which supports much of their proposal in principle – and crafted a bipartisan package. But apparently, they couldn’t give a flying f--- about the victims of sexual predation beyond how they can cynically use them for political gain.

Comments

  • AvengingAngel (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Given the record of Jim West, former Republican mayor of Spokane, you'd think the Washington GOP would want to steer clear of such things.

    After all, Republican West failed the GOP Boy Scout Test: "If you can't be a Boy Scout, you can't be a GOP politician."

  • Caelan MacTavish (unverified)
    (Show?)

    WAGOP message in a nutshell:

    Child molesting bogeymen will come and get you, if you vote for a Democrat!
    BOOOOOOOO!

  • BYounts (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Sounds like an Oregon Environmental Council ad... ok, not really. Don't give the OR GOP any ideas, dude!

  • Becky (unverified)
    (Show?)

    This post gets to me in so many ways. First, these fake notices are very typical of what I observed all the time during campaign seasons when I was politically active in right-wing politics. For example, I have first-hand knowledge of faked newspaper editorials that sang the praises of a candidate and were distributed in fundraising mailings as if they were real, fake political action committees and other groups with great sounding names that signed on as sponsors to lend credibility to biased voter guides, faked letters of support for campaigns that were passed off in advertisements as being real, piles of letters to the editor written by campaigns and submitted by other people in their own names, set up callers to radio talk shows, etc. Much of this was orchestrated or suggested by the national GOP. I don't know whether this goes on in the Democrat campaign circles, but I do know the GOP is ruthless in its shaping of perception to advance its purposes. The attitude that the end justify the means, and that all's fair in campaigns, is rampant, based on my personal observations.

    Second, as for anyone believing that the GOP really wants to deal with the child molestation problem, this is a clear indication that they only care about the APPEARANCE of trying to deal with it - just like they care about the APPEARANCE of ending abortion, political corruption, and excessive government spending.

  • [email protected] (unverified)
    (Show?)

    That mug shot looks like Lars Larson after a long night at El Gaucho.

    Don't blame him. He's just drinking away the sh!tty ratings... KXL's worst in years.

    OMI has the gory details as Paul Allen mulls "All Elvis, All The Time?"

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
    (Show?)

    When I ran for the legislature in 1998, I was alerted by several voters to calls they received in the last few balloting days claiming that I was about to be indicted on campaign illegalities. There was no bit of truth in this, but Republican operatives didn't seem to mind. I did negative campaigning of my own, but it was always well-documented and about issues I believed were relevant to holding the office.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
    (Show?)
    <h1></h1>

    Becky, I second your notice of motion. Issues are not dispensed and administered from Dem.Nat'l.HQ in anywhere near the bedeviled intensity with which that orchestration is conducted from Rep.Nat'l.HQ.

    I noticed the stealth of it last 'time,' when (too late) after the fact of the '04 elections, I learned in 8 key other states a tempest had been fomented with the stirstick of 'same-sex marriage.' It was not a 'federal case' issue. It was not presented as a problem Rep's would solve, only as a problem Dem's would cause; (i.e., not vote for us, but rather vote against that opponent). And in those key states targetted for Republican incitement of public disturbance by false alarm, the Rovian calculus added it as shock motive to get the apolitical (and often non-voting) atavistic moralists, (i.e., demure blue-rinsed church ladies), to vote.

    In each, the furious goading was compartmentalized within the states' borders with neglible media message-spill into neighbor states, (which neighbors were being orchestrated to a different dysfunctional fury -- so mad they would vote blindly, in a rage). That clue as much as any shows the Nat'l.HQ fingerprints: that the Party Line insense deliberately changes at the border

    In an off-hand review of Diane Linn's Commissioners' quorum proviso -- the delivered same-sex marriage licensing here, (to pad Smith and Mannix votes statewide?), which ignited the topic and signaled the rightist cacophony to start, it seemed to me it would have been feasible to instigate it through the office of the Commissioners' attorney who advised them to it in a certain timing window. I made a mental note to keep watch out for that attorney, and then I immediately lost track of him. The sedition and insubordination upsetting the apple carts of states' priorities began in the diverse places at the same time -- in January of '04. In advance of November elections.

    I thought of that rightist psykkk-politics again when today's 'Sex Pervert ON YOUR STREET ! !!' false-fear forced the smell of fascist puke in my nostrils and tortured pig squealings in my ear. In January. In advance of November ....

    <h1></h1>
  • David (unverified)
    (Show?)

    My personal favorite GOP hit piece is one that was sent to the members of a House district that contained my former college (Grinnell in IA) a few days before the 2004 election. The R house member barelly squeaked out a win.

    You can see it here: http://www.grinnell.edu/student/groups/politics/petition/includes/ia_gop_mailing.pdf

  • David (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Btw, the number of total students at Grinnell is about 1300 and of those about 800 or so vote on campus each two years (most of the rest vote out of state or are international students).

  • Alice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    The sex offender mailings were in very bad taste. Probably not libelous, but close.

    Sadly, I believe the debate on sex crimes (treatment vs. punishment) is alive and well. It is clearly a topic on which reasonable people with myriad viewpoints will disagree. It belongs in the political realm, to the degree that sentencing guidelines offer insufficient guidance.

    As the parent of a toddler, I would prefer public hanging for anybody convicted of raping a child under 12 (assuming there is reliable corroboration). With children over age 12, I would give the victim the opportunity to express their preference on sentencing (to give their sense of personal sovereignty a boost): from probation plus treatment to chinese water torture. Unless a psychologist felt it would be harmful to the child.

    What to do with those cases where a child's testimony changes radically, or there is some possible motive for the child to exaggerate or even make a false accuasation. It has happened before and will happen again. How do we prevent the incarceration of someone who is truly not guilty of any crime?

  • Becky (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Alice writes, "How do we prevent the incarceration of someone who is truly not guilty of any crime?" The only thing we can really rely on is evidence directly linking the perpetrator to the victim, just like in any other criminal case.

    I say this with the understanding that some perpetrators are never brought to justice. And like you, I believe these crimes should be capital offenses. But the reason I say this is because many years ago my father was accused by his neice of molestation. There was no question the 5-year-old had been molested. She was clearly injured. The question was who had done it. I knew immediately it couldn't have been my father - after all, wouldn't I of all people have known if he was into little girls? But he went through a year of hell before my cousin finally recanted. Why did she point to my father? Because the man who had really molested her - her mother's boyfriend - terrified her, while she knew my father would never hurt her. In her little mind she felt she would be OK if my father was accused of doing something bad, that he wouldn't take it out on her. She had no idea that she nearly destroyed his life. So we absolutely MUST be careful in these cases. Children have seemingly illogical ways of dealing with things they don't understand. We have to have clear evidence.

    When we do have evidence proving molestation, that perpetrator should never again have the opportunity to harm a child. If not execution, then at least life without parole. The consequences to that child's life are simply too great, and far too frequently these people, when sentences are complete, re-offend.

connect with blueoregon