Saturday, August 26, 2006
Getting a head start
There's an election coming up! That means we get to legislate from the ballot, for no pay, mostly about things we know next to nothing about! Isn't the initiative process grand?
Anyway, I may as well get started complaining about them, because I'm kind of bored. I won't be reading the interesting analysis by folks who care about things, but instead, I'll read right from the Secretary of State's website. This is because I'm lazy. To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure all of these are going to show up on the ballot, but I'll pretend they will. Up first:
Proposition 83! "Sex Offenders. Sexually Violent Predators. Punishment, Residence Restrictions and Monitoring. Initiative Statute." Some important notes from the legislative analyst:
Sex offenses are crimes of a sexual nature.Oh.
The point of this bill seems to be to make sexual offenses more punishable, and sexual offenders more controllable. I expect it to pass handily, because the pro-sex crime lobby doesn't seem to have much clout around here. Maybe the "less prison spending, more education spending" folks might oppose this, since it would put more folks in jail, but those advocates are probably going to make a strategic concession here.
One of the provisions is to slap GPS tracking on every felony sex offender for the rest of their lives. That's an expensive provision. Theoretically, the offender would have to pay fees to cover these costs if she has the means, but sex offenders aren't exceptionally upper class, so this is going to be up in the hundreds of millions per year.
From the argument in favor:
A child is abused or neglected every 35 seconds.First of all, that's an unlucky kid. Secondly, this is an interesting statistic, because you have to wonder how it's measured. While statistics about rapes and such can just be done with a count divided by time, abuse and (especially) neglect aren't events you can count to come up with such a number. If a kid is neglected for his whole life, does that count as one... uh... "neglection"? What about if a kid is neglected, and then cared for, and then neglected again? Does that count as two, even though the kid spent less time neglected?
Secrecy is the child molester's biggest tool.Must... resist... obvious... joke...
The most effective argument against this bill probably won't be the fact that it wastes a whole lot of money and probably won't accomplish a whole lot. Instead, the main opposition will most likely come from the fact that Arnie supports it. And Arnie is a... REPUBLICAN!!! *gasp*
The opponents point to some similar law in Iowa that didn't work. Yeah, that'll convince Californians. By the way, the opponents are a group of defense lawyers, I think. No supporter of fiscal responsibility has the balls to step forward and take over. Oh, well, spending is fun.
The response to the opponent statement doesn't actually address the issues raised in it, and instead just repeats the "IT'LL MAKE THE WORLD SAFER!!!ONE!" crap without explaining how the opponents are wrong about how... well... that won't happen. I suggest you read the statements yourself and decide who is working off of factual reality, and who is working off of emotional highs.
My endorsement is a resounding NO, because it looks like the plan is to spend more money and accomplish nothing of value. While I know such measures are popular around here, I don't think I'll join the fun.
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