You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Annie, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    If you wrote a novel with this scene in it, the editor would cut it for it being 'too out there':

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-4239133,00.html

    Thursday June 24, 2004 3:31 AM


    By DAVID A. LIEB

    Associated Press Writer

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Democratic group crucial to John Kerry's presidential campaign has paid felons - some convicted of sex offenses, assault and burglary - to conduct door-to-door voter registration drives in at least three election swing states.

    America Coming Together, contending that convicted criminals deserve a second chance in society, employs felons as voter canvassers in major metropolitan areas in Missouri, Florida, Ohio and perhaps in other states among the 17 it is targeting in its drive. Some lived in halfway houses, and at least four returned to prison.

    ACT canvassers ask residents which issues are important to them and, if they are not registered, sign them up as voters. They gather telephone numbers and other personal information, such as driver's license numbers or partial Social Security numbers, depending on what a state requires for voter registration.

    Felons on probation or parole are ineligible to vote in many states. Doug Lewis, executive director of the Election Center, which represents election officials, said he is unaware of any laws against felons registering others to vote.

    A review of federal campaign finance and state criminal records by The Associated Press revealed that the names and hometowns of dozens of ACT employees in Missouri, Florida and Ohio matched those of people convicted of crimes such as burglary, forgery, drug dealing, assault and sex offenses.

    Although it works against the re-election of President Bush, ACT is an independent group not affiliated with Kerry's campaign - federal law forbids such coordination. Yet ACT is stocked with veteran Democratic political operatives, many with past ties to Kerry and his advisers.

    Allison Dobson, a spokeswoman with the Kerry campaign, said there is no coordination with ACT, and of the policy: ``We're unaware of it and have nothing to do with it.''

    ACT plans to spend about $100 million on initiatives to get out the vote for the presidential election, which likely will turn on how well Kerry and Bush can get their supporters to the polls.

    ACT does not believe the felons it sends door to door pose a threat to the public, said Mo Elleithee, a Washington-based spokesman for the group.

    ``We believe it's important to give people a second chance,'' Elleithee said. ``The fact that they are willing to do this work is a fairly serious indication that they want to become productive members of society.''

    Although ACT asks job applicants to cite their criminal history and hires some felons and not others, Elleithee would not reveal how many felons ACT has hired to canvass neighborhoods and register voters. They earn $8 to $12 per hour.

    Elleithee confirmed that felons have been hired in Missouri, Florida and Ohio and said it is possible they have been hired in the other 14 states in which it's conducting its drive: Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

    Ed Gillespie, the chairman of the Republican Party, issued a statement calling the policy ``disturbing'' and questioned the use of felons ``to go house to house and handle sensitive personal information.''

    In response, Elleithee cited Bush's speech Monday in Ohio, in which he applauded government, religious and community-based programs that give a helping hand to felons after they are released from prison.

    ``It seems to me that the president seems to agree with our philosophy that people deserve a second chance and deserve the right to re-enter society,'' Elleithee said.

    Citing security concerns for the public and the felons, the Missouri Department of Corrections in April banished ACT from its pool of potential employers for parolees in its halfway houses in Kansas City and St. Louis, department spokesman John Fougere said. Five ACT employees lived at the Kansas City Community Release Center and two others at the St. Louis Community Release Center earlier this year.

    ``From a public safety standpoint, we didn't want offenders to be in a situation where they would be handling that information,'' Fougere said. Officials also were concerned the door-to-door campaign would put felons at greater risk of false accusations, he said.

    Among the ACT employees in Ohio was a woman convicted of gross sexual imposition. She completed her parole 12 years ago.

    ``If she was still on parole that job wouldn't have been approved,'' said Andrea Dean, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Correction. ``People who have been out of prison and haven't had any other problems with law enforcement, they should be given that second chance to be viable citizens.''

    In Florida, most felons released from prison are not on parole or probation. ``If they're released from our custody and there is no other supervision ... we can't prohibit them from taking a job like this,'' said Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Corrections.

    ACT adopted a policy against employing violent felons this spring, Elleithee said, but he declined to release it or describe what the group considered violent.

    ``We're constantly looking internally to better our hiring practices,'' he said. ``But the bottom line is we would never hire anyone who we felt was a threat to anyone else.''

    At least two felons who were stationed at a Missouri halfway house have since moved into the community and are again employed by ACT ``and are a tremendous part of our team,'' Elleithee said.
     
  2. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    Talk about strongarming the vote!:eek:
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Would you wish to give a convicted felon this information?

    Brilliant, don't you think? :tinfoil: :tinfoil: :tinfoil:
     
  4. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    they're just going to get dead people to "get out the vote" anyway. So why do the Dems waste their energy.
     
  5. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Anyone else think its funny that the group sending sex offenders out to tract is called "Americans coming together"?
     
  6. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    "I scared them with my nudity. Does that arouse anyone down there?"

    Obscure Cartoon reference. Name that Show?
     
  7. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Bad ACTors
    If Dems want honest elections, why did a Soros-backed group hire criminals to get out the vote?

    Monday, June 28, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

    When the Associated Press last week turned up evidence that America Coming Together, an anti-Bush group funded by $5 million from financier George Soros, had hired dozens of felons to go door-to-door and register voters in Florida, Missouri and Ohio, the defensive fire from ACT was swift and predictable.

    First, ACT claimed it hadn't employed violent felons. Then when the AP reported that ACT employees included people convicted of assault and sex offenses, the group admitted it might also have hired felons in 14 other battleground states. It also promised to fire anyone guilty of "violent or other serious offenses." In some cases it won't have to; four felons it hired in Missouri have already gone back to prison, including one for endangering the welfare of a minor.

    That's one reason the Missouri Department of Corrections banned ACT from its list of potential employers for parolees in halfway houses. Noting that the felons would have to handle driver's license information and telephone numbers as part of the voter-registration process, the department concluded that "from a public safety standpoint, we didn't want offenders to be in a situation where they would be handling that information."

    Full Story

    Hey there is that name Soro's, hmmm.
     
  8. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    Sigh. :rolleyes: How the Democrats have fallen.
     
  9. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    That should make all of America think twice before opening the doors to any Democrats!!! :D
     
  10. winston churchi
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    winston churchi Member

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    Politics aside....

    Are these criminals being monitored while going door to door? If not, does anyone not consider the risk of a sex offender? Granted there should be different grades of what offense the person commited....but I was thinking of a man who may have been a serial rapist or a child molester....what if?????

    At the same time, there is a fellow not to far from here whose info is posted in the library that he is a sex offender along with his photo...his offense? He decided on a night of drunkeness (I gather) to expose himself...he is classifed as a sex offender the same as a serial rapist..

    At anyrate....I wouldn't want them at my door....I wouldn't be too fond of a perfect stranger asking for my ss number...that is very strange since the ss number is the combination to everyones life here in the states....
     

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