Posts Tagged ‘Felons’

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens Found Guilty on All Counts of Making False Statements; Hello Senator Mark Begich

October 27, 2008
Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) leaves the court after hearing the guilty verdict.

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) leaves the court after hearing the guilty verdict.

Well, the jury of 8 women and 4 men has deliberated and has come back to find Senator Stevens (R-AK) guilty on all 7 counts of making false statements (lying on U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms for 1999-2006).

Before entering the courtroom, Stevens told reporters, “Put this down.  I am not stepping down.  I’m going to run through, and I’m going to win this election.”  After hearing the verdict, he allegedly told his wife, Catherine, “It’s not over yet.”

Patti Higgins, the chairwoman of the Alaska Democratic Party released a statement, saying, “He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he did it anyway and lied to Alaskans about it.  Alaskans deserve better from their public officials.  It’s time for us to elect an ethical and honest senator who will move this state forward.”

Judge Emmet Sullivan has not yet set a date for sentencing, but said that it would be after February.  He will then face up to 5 years in prison for each charge; however, it is not expected that he will receive that harsh of a sentence.  Senator Stevens is expected to appeal the verdict, and I honestly think he’ll win his appeal.  I’m surprised that the prosecution was able to pull off a comeback after making numerous mistakes, including a typo in their indictment where their evidence clearly contradicted their accusation.

President Bush could also pardon Senator Stevens.

Although I think he’ll (unfortunately) win his court battle, I think he has lost his chances at retaining his Senate seat.  Say hello to Senator Mark Begich.  Now, if by some weird chance he does win, and then is removed, or the Senate expels him before the election, or he resigns (right – like that’ll happen), Governor Palin would replace him (if he left before Inauguration Day.  If she won the VP seat and he left after that, the new Governor would appoint the next Senator).

I’m sad to see Senator Stevens go like this, but he was a crook, and he got caught, and it’s time for him to go now.

Done Ranting,

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Jack Kevorkian Lives: the Obscure Congressional Candidate Has Started Campaigning

August 5, 2008

OK, so the title was a little cheesy.  Anyway, this is my next segement in my series on the Race for Michigan’s 9th Congressional District.  Dr. Jack “Death” Kevorkian had a town hall-type meeting with about 35 people in Birmingham last week.

He started off by saying, “Okay, so what do you want to know?”  He was asked questions about loss of freedoms.  He was asked about the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgage companies.

Kevorkian replied to that with a fitting libertarian (although he’s running as an independent) response, “What bailout?  You’re kind of sheep-like.  You’ve all been conditioned to think and act like sheep.”

Another person “asked about a scientist who believes that four countries control the equipment that controls weather and climate” (Free Press).  What kind of people were at that meeting!

Kevorkian later went on to say, “I don’t want to be a congressman.  I only want to serve two years. I’m here to educate and inform the public. … You are enslaved, but you don’t know it.  You don’t want to admit it because you’re walking around free, eating good dinners.  As long as you’re comfortable, you’re controllable.”

Again, a very libertarian (although VERY extreme) stance overall.  I’m not sure why he didn’t run as a Libertarian, whether the party wouldn’t let him, or he just didn’t want any political party connection.

I’ll see if I can get a quote from the campaign on that.

Asked if he is fit to serve, Kevorkian had the following conversation with a FOX 2 reporter:

Reporter: In 2006, one of your petitions to be paroled was that you’re gravely ill.

Kevorkian: At the time I was.

Reporter: Are you fit to serve?

Kevorkian: Well, how do I look?

And here’s the full FOX 2 story:

So, there you have it.  Kevorkian is essentially running a libertarian/limited government involvement, independent campaign.

What effect will Kevorkian have on the general election?  That depends on what he emphasizes and how much money he spends.  He’s sure to get some Democrats who supported euthanasia.  He’s sure to get the libertarian vote, but will that come from Republicans who are sick of Joe Knollenberg, or former Republicans who would’ve voted for Gary Peters?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Done Reporting,

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Minneapolis Teen Tries to Sell His Vote on Ebay, Now Faces Charges

July 7, 2008

Well, here’s a story you don’t hear too often.  A 19-year-old from Minneapolis (a student from the University of Minnesota) has been charged with a felony (bribery, treating, and soliciting) in the Hennepin County District Court on Thursday for putting his (presidential election) vote up on eBay.  The bidding started at $10, and he would vote for the candidate of the winning bidder’s choice, or he would not vote at all if that’s what the winner wished.  He said that he would take a picture of his ballot to prove it.

Posting under the name zeprummer612, Max P. Sanders wrote “Good luck!  You’re [sic] country depends on You!”

The Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office received a criminal complaint, and reported the issue to prosecutors, who in turn subpoenaed eBay for the information that lead to Sanders.  Sanders is being charged under a law from 1893 which makes it illegal to offer to buy and/or sell a vote.

John Aiken, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office told reporters, “We take it very seriously.  Fundamentally, we believe it is wrong to sell your vote.  There are people that have died for this country for our right to vote, and to take something that lightly, to say, ‘I can be bought.’  It’s a real shame.  I can imagine the conversations being held in American Legion Clubs and VFWs about whether this is a joke or not.  There are two things going on here in terms of why it’s a crime.  One is the notion that elections should be a contest of ideas and not of pocketbooks — at least not in the sense of straight-out ‘I can buy your vote.’  The second notion is that everybody gets one vote and you don’t get to buy another one.”

Sanders has claimed that it was merely a joke, but I doubt this.  It goes into too much detail about proving that he voted the way the bidder would want for it to be a joke.

Sanders faces a maximum of 5 years in prison plus $10,000; however, the prosecutor’s office has said that they will not push for jail time.  This is actually one case where I do not advocate for the maximum penalty.  I think he should be fined, and possibly jailed, but for no more than a few months.  I would support a ban on him voting however, but Minnesota law does not ban ex-felons (felons who have served their sentence – technically that felony is still on the record) from voting.

At first, I had to debate with my libertarian side if this should be legal.  Then I came to the conclusion that if we allowed for this, it would corrupt the election process.  Of course, that is the reason that we have the Electoral College, and cases like this are prime examples of why we still need it.

The listing got no bids, and Sanders has since removed the listing.

For reference, here’s a map of states and their policies on felons voting (I wanted to do a post on this months ago, but it got caught up in the qeue and I just scrapped the idea for the time being):

Done Ranting,

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Michigan’s Top House Race: Gary Peters vs. Joe Knollenberg (vs. Quacky Dr. Jack Kevorkian)

May 13, 2008

The following post is also being syndicated on Right Michigan, where I was offered a position to cover Michigan’s 9th District:

I would first like to thank Nick for allowing me the opportunity to cover stories on the race for Michigan’s 9th District for his site.

First, what exactly is Michigan’s 9th District?

It’s Oakland, Bloomfield, Southfield, and West Bloomfield townships; parts of Orion and Waterford townships; the cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Rochester, Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Lake Angelus; and the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills (bold indicates where Representative Knollenberg won; italics indicate a close margin; villages were not categorized since they do not vote on their own).  Or, for you visual people, it’s this:

What are the demographics?

  1. 83.1% White
  2. 8.1% Black
  3. 5.6% Asian
  4. 3.0% Hispanic
  5. 0.5% Native American
  6. 0.5% Other

So, how does the district vote?

  • The district has been given Cook Partisan Index of R+0, meaning that the district is more Republican than other average districts, but by less than 1%.
  • The district voted for George Bush in 2004.
  • The district voted for Al Gore in 2000 (although the make-up of the district was different from now).
  • The district has voted for Joe Knollenberg since 2002.

Why is this race so important?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) placed this district in the top 13 districts that they are targetting in their Red to Blue campaign.

What exactly is the Red to Blue campaign?

The DCCC put out this press release explaining the campaign:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today announced the first round of Red to Blue candidates challenging Republican incumbents. This is the second slate of Democratic congressional candidates that have qualified for the competitive DCCC Red to Blue program, the first slate was for candidates in open seats. These candidates earned a spot in the program by surpassing demanding fundraising goals and skillfully demonstrating to voters that they stand for change and will represent new priorities when elected to Congress.

These candidates have come out of the gate strong and the Red to Blue Program will give them the financial and structural edge to be even more competitive in November,” said Chairman Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The candidates for change in our first round of challenger Red to Blue are strong examples of Democrats who represent a commitment to new priorities for the families in their districts.

The Red to Blue program highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country, and offers them financial, communications, and strategic support. The program will introduce Democratic supporters to new, competitive candidates in order to help expand the fundraising base for these campaigns.

Chairman Van Hollen joined Red to Blue co-chairs Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Artur Davis (D-AL), and Bruce Braley (D-IA) to announce the first 13 challenger candidates for change who qualified for the Red to Blue:

Kay Barnes (MO-06)
Anne Barth (WV-02)
Darcy Burner (WA-08)
Robert Daskas (NV-03)
Steve Driehaus (OH-01)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Christine Jennings (FL-13)
Larry Kissell (NC-08)
Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24)
Eric Massa (NY-29)
Gary Peters (MI-09)
Mark Schauer (MI-07)
Dan Seals (IL-10)
Red to Blue was a proven success in the 2004 and 2006 cycles. In 2004, the Red to Blue program raised nearly $7.5 million for twenty seven campaigns across the country with an average of more than $250,000 per campaign. In 2006, the Red to Blue program raised nearly $22.6 million for 56 campaigns with an average of $404,000 per campaign. Red to Blue was also responsible for solidifying the structure of dozens of campaigns and making a real difference for Democrats across America.

Soon after the DCCC put this up on their website, they got some comments about these candidates not being what’s best for the party in terms of stances, but the fact that they’ll be able to raise large amounts of money:

Your only criteria for inclusion seem to be fund-raising ability, not issues.
Isn’t this what scuttled the progress of the party over the years since
you deep-sixed progressive programs and started going to corporations hat in hand?

Soon after other negative comments, the DCCC disabled comments on that press release.

What were the results of the 2006 Election?

  1. Joe Knollenberg (R) 142,290 51.56%
  2. Nancy Skinner (D) 127,620 46.21%
  3. Adam Goodman (L) 3,702 1.34%
  4. Matthew R. Abel (G) 2,468 0.89%

Is this actually close?

For Knollenberg, it is somewhat close, since he was a 14-year incumbent, but he still won by over 5%.

So, who exactly is Gary Peters?

Gary Peters is running against Representative Knollenberg.  He was a state Senator from 1994-2002, when he was term-limited out.  He then ran against Mike Cox for Attorney General in 2002, where he lost the general election.

He was the Michigan Lottery Commissioner from 2003-2007.

He was hired to teach at Central Michigan University, where he was the center of controversy (that’s a way too long story to tell, so just read The Peters Report or my category of posts on him here, or just search “Gary Peters” here on the Right Michigan website).

Who is Jack Kevorkian?

Jack Kevorkian is a doctor who was sent to jail a few years ago for assisting a patient in committing suicide.  Dr. Kevorkian hired attorney Geoffrey Fieger to represent him in that case, but obviously, he lost.  He was sentenced for 10-25 years, but only served 8, after the parole board let him out early due to his kidney illness.  He was expected to die within a year of leaving prison in May of 2006, but instead, he decided to run for Congress, against Joe Knollenberg and Gary Peters.

How will having Dr. Kevorkian running affect the race?

That is somewhat hard to tell.  I have done some calculations.  In 1998, Proposal B was brought before voters to allow for assisted suicide.  Although it failed statewide as well as in Oakland County, it did better than average in the 9th District (33.05%-66.95%).  I did some calculations, and if we assume that only 75% of voters who voted against the proposal vote for Knollenberg in 2008, Knollenberg would still come out with a win just above 50%.  Peters would received around 45%, and Kevorkian would receive 5%.

This assumes that Kevorkian only gets 5%, and I think he will get a little more from the Democrats who are unsatissfied with the direction of the party.  So, if we assume that Kevorkian gets 8%, 2% more from Peters and 1% from swing-Knollenberg-voters (libertarians), we would have Knollenberg with 49%, Peters with 43% and Kevorkian with 8%.  This leaves plenty of room for Knollenberg to lose a few voters who are mad at the Republican party an the Iraq War, but I think Knollenberg is pretty safe this election.

Again, I’d like to thank Nick for allowing me to report on this race.

Next week, I’ll be looking into some of the fundraising of this race.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Toddler Killed by Mom’s Boyfriend with Video Game Controller

April 10, 2008

Last Sunday in York, Pennsylvania, 2-year-old Darisabel Baez was murdered by Harve L. Johnson, Darisabel’s mother’s boyfriend.  And how did he kill her?  He beat her with a video game controller.  Darisabel Baez’s mother, Neida E. Baez, said that she had overheard the beating but did not take any action until she realized that Darisabel was unconscious.  She called 911 on Sunday after Johnson brought Darisabel to her.  She said that she was not moving and was wet, because Johnson had tried to revive her in a bathtub.  Darisabel was pronounced dead on Monday night, after she was taken to the Hershey Medical Center.

Johnson has been charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and homicide (I haven’t seen what degree, but unspecified homicide is automatically third degree, or manslaughter – I’d charge him with second degree, but again, I’m not sure what he’s been charged with).  This was not the first time he had beaten the little girl, according to Dauphin County coroner Graham Hetrick, who said that this was one of the worst child abuse cases that he has ever seen.  Police also said that Johnson did not reveal his motive for viciously beating the toddler.  He deserves the death penalty.  The mother was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, because she did not try to stop the beating, Detective Dana Ward reported.

This is just awful – how could anybody beat this sweet little girl?

I mean – how heartless do you have to be?  I hope this guy gets the death penalty, and honestly, the mother deserves more than just a felony of the third degree.  Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes: Title 18 (Crimes and Offences): Part II: Chapter 43, Subchapter A:

§ 4304. Endangering welfare of children.

(a) Offense defined.–A parent, guardian, or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age commits an offense if he knowingly endangers the welfare of the child by violating a duty of care, protection or support.

(b) Grading.–An offense under this section constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. However, where there is a course of conduct of endangering the welfare of a child, the offense constitutes a felony of the third degree.

If the coroner is right, and the daughter HAD in fact been abused before, then the mother did engage in a course of conduct of endangering the child.  In Pennsylvania, a felony of the third degree is punishable up to 7 years, but a misdemeanor of the first degree can only get her 5 years in prison.

I think she deserves more – her negligence cost her daughter’s life – I’d have charged her as an accessory to the crime.  She is a disgusting mother.

Done Ranting,

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Fake Myspace of Mercades Nichols (the Girl Who Kidnapped and Beat Victoria Lindsay) Shows that People Have No Decency

April 9, 2008

So, I wrote a post earlier today about the beating of Lakeland, 16-year-old Florida cheerleader Victoria Lindsay.  One of the criminals was 17-year-old Mercades Nichols, from neighboring Mullberry.  Warning, the following contains very graphic language:

She is one of the 8 teenagers who committed the kidnapping as well, so she could face as much as life in prison plus 10 years.  A lot of people have linked to her fake Myspace page ( which has now been taken down.  While it was still up, it said: “F*CK YALL! ID DO IT AGAIN!!” or “TO ALL OF YOU HATIN B*TCH *SS N*GGAS SENDING ME BULLSH*T HATE MAIL…F***CK YOU. ILL BEAT YO *SS TO! BRING IT B*TCHES DONT BE JUST SAYIN IT! AND IF YOU GOT SH*T TO SAY TO MY MOTHER THEN F*CKIN SAY IT TO HER. SHELL KICK YOUR *SS TO! ->”

This is just awful.  Why is it that after a heinous crime is committed, some sicko goes out and creates a fake Myspace page saying that she’d do it again if she could.  I’d charge this person with libel – there’s no excuse for it.

I’ve saved a copy of her Myspace page as a pdf (warning, again there is VERY graphic language on the following page): Mercades Nichols’ Fake Myspace.

I’m just appalled at how somebody can act so inhumanely – I’m actually speechless.

Done Ranting,

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Michigan May Give Nonviolent Felons a Second Chance

March 6, 2008

Earlier this week, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano (Democrat) released his outline for a plan that would help onetime nonviolent felons expunge their records.  Here are the stipulations:

  • The crime must have been nonviolent.
  • The felon must stay clean for five years after committing the crime.

As of now, hiring attorneys to get one’s record expunged can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000.  This cost would be put on the county and would cost the county about $400 per expungement, “a good investment in making people employable,” according to an op-ed ( in the Detroit Free Press.

Ficano’s plan would pay the legal records and fees and help the felon by “bringing together representatives [from the] prosecutor’s office, [the] Michigan State Police, and Legal Aid and Defender, [‘the largest provider of free legal services to the indigent in Michigan’] offices” (Detroit Free Press).

So let me get this straight.  You want my tax dollars to go toward expunging some felon, so that I could be hiring somebody convicted of embezzlement, grand theft, or racketeering as my companies CFO?  Or what about an arsonist (I’m not sure if it’s considered a nonviolent crime, but if you burn down your house for the insurance claim, I don’t see how that would be a violent crime).  What about fraud?  I could be hiring a burglar or somebody convicted of theft as my head of security!

The op-ed says that around 1.3 million Michiganders, or 1 in 6 adults, have felony records.  No wonder Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson the Great (Republican) says stuff like, “Everybody should go out and buy a gun. I recommend an Uzi. If you don’t like guns, then I suggest you buy a pair of guard dogs, preferably a pit bull and a Rottweiler.”

When our elected officials go around with plans that would erase the criminal records of criminals at the expense of TAXPAYERS, I wonder if they aren’t being bribed by the felons.  This is ridiculous.  Sure Michigan needs jobs, but we don’t have to completely kill our legal system so that we can hire people.  Felons are prohibited from holding certain jobs for a reason…they’re felons!

Now, if you want to hire somebody who was convicted of embezzlement as your company’s CFO, go right ahead, but you should have the legal right to know that the man (or woman) was convicted of embezzlement.

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