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Archive for October, 2008

In Case Democracy is Still Working, Vote NO on Prop 5

It still hasn’t been reported by our diligent public media that the Wellstone-Ramstad Mental Health Parity Act, successfully repelled for decades by commonsense politicians, was clandestinely rammed through to become law during the Congressional Panic of 2008. In addition to the bailout for Wall Street, the Parity Act simply removed the cap on the amount that can be spent on addiction treatment services. It added nothing to the up-front $750 billion bailout, but its effects will be seen in astronomical spending on addiction treatment services justified as crime prevention, cost-cutting, and compassion. Talk about inverted thought!
California Prop. 5 is one more example of the 12-step syndicate up to its usual gutter oriented programming. Here is a well-written rebuttal that will also explain what the proposal proposes:

The Sacramento Metro Chamber is one of many organizations opposed to the measure, including our regional law enforcement. This measure establishes two new bureaucracies with virtually no accountability, and will cost hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars.Proposition 5 weakens drug rehabilitation programs by allowing defendants to continue to use drugs while in rehab and softens the punishment of many of those accused of child abuse, domestic violence, fraud, identity theft, auto theft and a host of other crimes. This measure would reduce penalties for crimes against business, including property and white collar crimes, and would limit the ability of judges to hold parole violators accountable.

FACTS ABOUT PROPOSITION 5

Click here for full text of Prop 5 Initiative

Proposition 5 shortens parole for methamphetamine dealers and other drug felons from 3 years, to just 6 months.

Proposition 5 is strongly opposed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) because it provides a way for those who kill or maim others while under the influence to avoid criminal prosecution.

Proposition 5 could provide, in effect, a “get-out-of-jail-free” card to defendants charged with crimes. For example, domestic violence, child abuse, mortgage fraud, identity theft, vehicular manslaughter, insurance fraud and auto theft, letting them effectively escape criminal prosecution altogether. If a violent offender is granted a hearing using “the drugs made me do it” defense, the burden of proof shifts to the prosecution to prove that the defendant should be held responsible for his or her crimes.

Under Proposition 5, someone who commits felonies, even violent felonies, and claims “the drugs made me do it” will be referred to country-club like drug centers, not jail or prison. These criminals will receive better medical-care than many hard-working Californians – costing taxpayers millions.

Proposition 5 goes far beyond the drug-dependent individual; it also applies to drug dealers. For example, those found with up to $50,000 worth of “meth” would be treated the same as an individual user. We need to keep focused on helping those who are drug-dependent, rather than dealers profiting off addiction. Prop 5 treats meth dealers the same as an individual drug user.

Proposition 5 changes the law so that paroled felons can keep abusing drugs without being sent back to prison. In fact, under Prop 5 if a criminal tests positive for drugs while on probation or parole they won’t face jail-time or new criminal charges.

Proposition 5 creates an “Express Lane” for drug dealers to get back on the streets and selling drugs to our kids.

Proposition 5 is designed to allow for paroled felons who commit new misdemeanor offenses, not be sent back to prison.

Under Proposition 5, paroled felons and drug dealers who ditch their parole will only receive, if captured, no more than 30 days in county jail.

Proposition 5 is universally opposed by organizations representing rank-and-file police officers, police chiefs, prosecutors and parole supervisors because they know that shortening parole for drug dealers will dramatically increase violent crime rates.

Proposition 5 sets up two new bureaucracies with no accountability, at a cost of hundreds of millions.

Proposition 5 falsely claims that it will save money, but in fact, costs will be shifted from the state to the counties, which may be forced to raise taxes.

Proposition 5 spending will continue forever, and can only be restricted by a future multi-million dollar voter initiative campaign. The Governor and Legislature cannot adjust Prop 5 funding, even in times of budget shortfall or state crisis.

Proposition 5 proponents want voters to think this proposition is about keeping non-violent drug offenders out of the prison system, but that’s based upon a false premise. Today, no first-time offender arrested solely for possession will be sent to prison – ever. The real beneficiaries of Proposition 5 are drug dealers and those accused of crimes such as domestic violence, child abuse, identity theft, mortgage fraud and others.

Proposition 5 undermines successful rehabilitation. Current rehabilitation and drug courts are set up with defined goals and consequences – these two elements are critical to effective rehabilitation efforts.

Some of the crimes that defendants can commit and qualify for “treatment” rather than jail under Proposition 5 are:

-Use of false citizenship documents
-Perjury
-Conspiracy
-Counterfeit of a registered mark
-Selling counterfeit products
-Crimes against elders or dependents
-Arson to inhabited structures or forest land
-Possession of incendiary devices
-Burglary
-Forgery
-Passing bad checks
-Non-sufficient funds
-Possession of counterfeiting equipment
-Theft
-Receiving stolen property
-Hacking and computer crimes
-Embezzlement
-Impersonating a peace officer
-Identity theft
-Possession of counterfeit birth certificate
-Insurance fraud
-Petty theft with priors
-Possession of an illegal weapon
-Felon in possession of a firearm
-Carrying a concealed weapon
-Carrying a loaded firearm
-Statutory rape
-Driving under the influence
-DUI with bodily injury
-DUI with multiple offenses
-Reckless evading a peace officer
-Auto theft

Jack Trimpey



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