NY Times: WA’s felon disenfranchisement laws “morally outrageous”

It’s great to see an editorial board finally expose WA’s disenfranchisement of ex-felons for the national disgrace that it is. Too bad it wasn’t a WA state paper. From an editorial in Monday’s New York Times (Dickensian Democracy):

Stripping convicted felons of the right to vote is a slap at America’s democratic ideals. Many states are backing away from this policy, understanding at last that voting rights are in fact basic human rights that should be abridged only in the rarest circumstances. That lesson has yet to penetrate the state of Washington, which has created a form of disenfranchisement that is straight out of “Oliver Twist.”

Last week, an article by The Times’s Adam Liptak introduced us to a disabled woman named Beverly Dubois who lost the right to vote because she could not pay about $1,600 of charges that were assessed in connection with her marijuana conviction. The debt is growing rapidly because of the interest charged by the state. Ms. Dubois, who served nine months in jail, has paid her debt to society. But until she settles the one to the state, she is stripped of her rights as a citizen. Disabled in a car accident, she can send in only $10 per month. At that rate, she is likely to die before paying off the debt.

Several states permanently marginalize ex-offenders by saddling them with unfair charges and fines that are supposed to help pay for public defenders, drug tests, halfway houses and other “services.” But Washington leads the pack in dunning impoverished offenders. People who commit certain crimes are even charged for having their DNA registered in the offender database.

In addition to devastating poor families that can barely feed themselves, these fees push ex-offenders even further into the margins of society. And Washington’s policy of stripping people of their right to vote until they can cough up enough money to pay these unfair charges is morally outrageous.

Lets be blunt. WA’s felon disenfranchisement policy is modeled on post-Reconstruction laws, specifically designed to deny African Americans the right to vote. And it works: about a quarter of all African American males in WA state are denied the franchise due to felony convictions. WA’s felon disenfranchisement laws are clearly racist in impact, if not in intent.

Republicans can come up with all the moralistic arguments they want, but there is absolutely no social benefit to further marginalizing ex-felons by denying them the right to vote… indeed, none other than the American Correctional Association recommends changing these laws so as to restore the franchise upon release from prison.

The truth is, the state GOP opposes changing the law because they’ve done the math: African Americans disproportionately vote Democrat, and the law disproportionately disenfranchises African Americans. I guess the only thing that’s really changed since Reconstruction is party allegiance.

Comments

  1. 1

    Goldy spews:

    Rick @24,

    I said what I said:

    WA’s felon disenfranchisement policy is modeled on post-Reconstruction laws, specifically designed to deny African Americans the right to vote. And it works: about a quarter of all African American males in WA state are denied the franchise due to felony convictions. WA’s felon disenfranchisement laws are clearly racist in impact, if not in intent.

    Historically, felon disenfranchisement laws were expanded, post-Reconstruction, with the specific intent of disenfranchising a disproportionate number of African American voters. WA’s law is based on those laws, and indeed, does disenfranchise a disproportionate number of African American voters, whether intentionally or not.

    I am not now discussing the larger issue of whether our criminal laws disproportionately target African Americans.

  2. 2

    Rick spews:

    Goldy – according to your words: “about a quarter of all African American males in WA state are denied the franchise due to felony convictions” Are you saying that these felony convictions by themselves are racist because of an undesired secondary consequence, or do felony convictions disenfranchise everybody who has one?

  3. 3

    Larry the urbanite spews:

    Janet, thank you for your stinging rebuke of the Bush Administration and the Republican congresscritters for the mess we are currently in in Iraq, the GWoT, Katrina, flu preparation, poorest people in the country getting poorer, lobbying abuses, etc. It’s been 6 yrs since 100% Republican control, so, according to your logic, anything law on the books that is bad is all their fault.

    PWNED!

  4. 4

    Janet S spews:

    Proud – who has the majority? If dems want to change this, they can. Just like the gay rights bill, which was opposed by repubs (wrongly, in my opinion). My confusion – why is this the fault of the party that is NOT IN POWER?

  5. 5

    Richard Pope spews:

    I would bet that nowhere near 25% of adult black males in the state of Washington are convicted felons, much less disenfranchised due to not having their voting rights restored based on non-completion of their sentencing and financial requirements.

    This 25% figure might be correct in some southern states, where voting rights are never restored to convicted felons — like Florida, where only a pardon from the Governor can restore voting rights. Also, the black felony conviction rate (as a percentage of the black population) tends to be higher in southern states, where a significantly higher percentage of black folks live in poverty than is the case in Washington.

  6. 6

    headless lucy spews:

    Janet S., re # 26: There may be some political timidity on the part of many Dems. as it is not a politically popular position to champion the voting rights of felons.

    Can’t you just see all the tut-tutting and what’s this world coming to crap that would emanate from the GOP about this issue. Would the tut-tutting be based on a moral stand the GOP is taking? Not in this lifetime. It would be just another opportunity for your side to a) continue to disenfranchise black males, and, b) seem like moral paragons for doing it.

    This is the nasty little game that Republicans have perfected.

    Oh, by the way, Janet S., why are Republicans always announcing their moral opposition to publically funded abortions when the 1976 Hyde Amendment has forbade that for 30 years. Taking the moral high ground on a non-existent issue?

  7. 7

    Richard Pope spews:

    Statewide, infants born to African American and Native American mothers are 2.7 times more likely to die in the first year of life than white infants… (1999)

    In King County, “Infant mortality which is 2.5 times higher in African Americans and 1.5 times higher in native Americans compared to whites.”

    http://www.metrokc.gov/exec/sp.....parity.htm

    WTF is this? It’s obscene. …

    Comment by noemie maxwell— 2/28/06 @ 7:50 am

    Infant mortality rates tends to escalate dramatically when the mother has been abusing drugs or alcohol during pregnancy or has chosen not to have adequate prenatal care during pregnancy. The same thing applies to women who choose to have children earlier in life — like in their teenage years.

    I think almost all of the higher infant mortality rates in black and Indian populations can be explained by the higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse by mothers in those communities, and by women in those groups choosing to have children at any earlier age.

    What percentage of crack babies and fetal alcohol syndrome babies are black or Indian, as compared to the overall percentage of babies that are black or Indian? What percentage of babies born to teenage mothers are black or Indian, as compared to the overall percentage of babies that are black or Indian?

  8. 9

    BabyBush spews:

    No doubt you Sky are the product of said rape and a great example of why we need continued access to legal abortion. DUH!

  9. 10

    Janet S spews:

    You all need to figure out what is a state issue and what is a federal issue. Felon voting rights is a state issue. If you strongly believe in it, then fight for it. But don’t go blaming the other party for blocking it, when you don’t have the guts stand by your convictions.

  10. 11

    headless lucy spews:

    re 30: So , Richard Pope, your first act in solving this problem would be to make it MORE difficult for these young women to get an abortion and to deny any public funding for the abortins? What are your plans for making sure these children get proper medical care after they are born.

    Excuse me if I doubt that an invisible hand will be looking out for them. I do know that Richard Pope’s will be invisible in that effort.

  11. 12

    vancouversucks spews:

    30.

    Birth and infant health stats, when corrected for contemporaneous drug abuse trends, still leave anomolous results attributible to lack of health care. (By the professionals not the pundits)

    Richard, Richard. How unkeen of you.

  12. 13

    Richard Pope spews:

    Beverly DuBois was convicted in Stevens County Superior Court No. 02-1-00048-1. Stevens County voted 61.93% to 35.22% for Rossi over Gregoire. Just goes to show that a lot of these convicted felons come from areas that Rossi carried.

  13. 14

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Let’s review: The state GOP, as an offical policy, opposes this change to the law, but some dems are agitating for a change to this law, but pointing out that the GOP, as an offical policy, is opposed to this confuses you, right, Janet S.?

    And you dare to infer we libs have no “grasp on reality”? Please.

  14. 15

    Voter Advocate spews:

    The reason for these laws is clearly one more Republican attack on voters.

    A study from 2002 published in the American Sociological Review found that7 senatorial elections would have been overturned in favor of the Democrats if felons and ex-felons had had the franchise, out of some 400 Senatorial elections from 1978 to 2000. This could have had an impact on the partisan balance in the Senate because of the advantage of incumbency, which these seven Democrats would have had.

    But, I think the intent of disenfranchisement laws such as we have in WA is, additionaly, cleary racist and sadistic in intent. It is the result of mainly white, mainly guys taking out their insecurities (so there’s probably a sexual motivation here) on mainly minority, mainly men.

    Aside from winning elections, it is just one more example of Republican penis envy.

  15. 16

    Janet S spews:

    I’m confused – aren’t the dems in charge of the state, and haven’t they been the dominant party for many, many years? So why is this a repub problem? If the dems wanted this fixed, they would do so. So, Goldy and the rest of you moonbats need to direct your energies to your buddies in Olympia.

    I find it amazing that something so blantantly fixable by the dems gives all you guys another opportunity to slime the other side. Do you not have any grasp of reality?

  16. 18

    headless lucy spews:

    re 6: Who do you think you’re fooling , Michael? There’s a reason no one from the Nixon, Reagan, or Bush administrations lives here.

  17. 19

    spews:

    It puzzles and saddens me that Washington’s law in this regard is so regressive. I don’t consider our governance to have racist intent here in WA — and yet we have this absolute disgrace — one quarter of all the people in an entire demographic category. It’s sick. It makes me wonder if there is intent to disenfranchise here — at least among those who actively oppose more just laws.

    Washington’s high school graduation rates reflect profound inequities, as well:

    http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_27.htm

    Graduation rates are significantly lower for African-American students (53%), Latinos (47%) and Native Americans (47%). Graduation rates are higher for white (70%) and Asian-American (77%) students;

    And so do infant mortality rates:

    Statewide, infants born to African American and Native American mothers are 2.7 times more likely to die in the first year of life than white infants… (1999)

    In King County, “Infant mortality which is 2.5 times higher in African Americans and 1.5 times higher in native Americans compared to whites.”
    http://www.metrokc.gov/exec/sp.....parity.htm

    WTF is this? It’s obscene. And it’s just the beginning. These disparities are in every area of life. They belong to all of us — not just the people who are dying, incarcerated, disenfranchised, failing to be educated, exposed to environmental toxics, poor, etc. Shame on us!

  18. 20

    Goldy spews:

    LeftFace @10,

    “Restitution to victims”…? Oh… you mean like the $1,670 in fines and fees Beverly DuBois owes the state? She’s permanently disabled, and pays $10 a month towards this “debt to society,” but with interest it is now up to $1,900. She was a regular voter before her 2002 conviction, and now she’ll never be allowed to vote again. Never.

    That’s nuts… simply nuts.

  19. 21

    Libertarian spews:

    That was a waste of time sending that lady to prison for pot. Marijuanna should be legal.

  20. 22

    Cougar spews:

    Fair and Reasonable restitution is in the eye of the beholder. A person living on SSI that has very limited income will spend their lives trying to pay a $1000 ‘restitution’ whereas the people giving out and demanding a ‘fare’ restitution usually can just right the $1000 check and move on. Is this a fair and equitable system? We disenfranchise the people that live in the poverty level and actually give a simple ‘slap’ on the wrist to the more affluent felons. Maybe there should be a law of ‘intent and compliance’ for the poorer folk to pay off their civil fines, ie, if the ‘felon’ has served their time and are compliant in paying a monthly payment towards the fine, let them have their right to vote.

  21. 23

    Righton spews:

    ken, speaking of punitive fees…

    how come i get nailed for building permit fees, cell phone tax fees, cable franchise fees, restaurant taxes for sport stadiums, gas taxes for tunnels to be built, waterfront nude art, etc.

    Fees hit all of us, esp the productive HA

  22. 24

    Ken In Seattle spews:

    While the tip of the iceberg (and the most damaging to the political process) is voter disenfranchisement, the other catagory that WA stand far ahead of any other state is the punative fees. I know a guy who is developmentaly disabled and physically disabled who was picked up for shoplifting a sandwich near the end of the month (SSI)

    His sentance was time served in the county jail but during his initial questioning he admitted that he had taken a sip from a beer that was passed around behind the homeless shelter he went to for breakfast and that he occasionaly took a toke on a joint if anyone offered.

    He was assigned by the court to mandatory drug and alchohol classes which charged a fee that combined equaled 55% of his SSI check. He lost his apt and shifted to a cardboard lined crate down by the river in an attempt to make the payments. He lasted almost 6 months coming by my place to shower and sleep on the floor when it was freezing out.

    Then he fled to Idaho and transfered his ssi check so he could live in a cheap motel and work in a disabled workshop there.

    This is also the result of the repub desire to not appear (soft on crime) as well as the Dem urge to rehab alchoholics (which all alchohol counselors I have spoken to, insist that you’re an alchoholic if you ever drank a single beer.)

    That is a lethal combination which brought us the draconian smoking ban and will further devastate the poor in this state.

  23. 25

    Michael spews:

    @8 Ok, that is 5 (actually 4, has West even been indicted on anything?) If you want to disenfranchise 4 people for their crimes but disenfranchise a couple million liberals, knock yourself out.

  24. 26

    Righton spews:

    a. You lefties hardly can use the word “moral” ..(party of vices)

    b. Law predates signficant afr-amer pop in the state.

    c. Will you exempt rural counties where no black live and thus none disenfranchised

    d. Do we overturn ever rule etc that adversely impacts african americans, even if said law is not intended to be racially disparate?

  25. 27

    LeftFace spews:

    I agree with Chuck. Once a felon both serves his/her time and makes complete restitution to victims, it seems reasonable that they can vote again. The argument that restitution is somehow a poll tax is ridiculous. Felons have earned a certain stigma in society as a consequence of their actions. Prospective employers are not required to ignore the fact that someone was convicted of embezzlement and then somehow must offer them a job handling money because they have served their time.
    I think folks on the right are making too big of a deal in banning all felons. But folks on the left are too by wanting zero restrictions on felon voters.
    Do your time, make complete restitution to victims and then vote again. Seems reasonable, doesn’t it?

  26. 28

    Daddy Love spews:

    There was already a court case arguing this. In Farrakhan v. Washington, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals No. 01-35032 Filed July 25, 2003, the court ruled that the Distrcit cour’s ruling against Farrakhan’s claim that felon disnfrachisment was a violation of the Voting Rights Act as amended 1982 was flawed in that the DC ignores evidence of discrimination within the criminal justice system that can be relevant to a Section 2 “totality of circumstances” analysis. They remanded the case back to district court ordering teh DC to consider such evidence. Apparently it didn’t go well in that second go-round (I’m still looking for the decision) because after that, the plaintiffs’ request for a 9th Circuit rehearing en banc was denied and subsequently their appeal to the USSC was denied cert (the court refused to hear the appeal).

    If I can find the re-decision in District Court I’ll rpovide it.

  27. 29

    Cougar spews:

    Michael, you are correct! The party of Abramoff, Cunningham, Enron, Worldcom, Agnew, Nixon, West, and YOU! The party of felons…

  28. 30

    Chuck spews:

    I dont oppose felons, as long as they have paid their debt to society (both in time served as well as financial obligation). It is an uphill swim for a felon after release. They have to tell any potential employer that they are felons resulting in instant low paying job if any at all.

  29. 31

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Goldy, this is a black mark on our state’s honor. This is an issue our sane and even more Democratic state legislature should take up immediately after the ’06 election.

  30. 33

    LauraBushKilledAGuy spews:

    I think you miss the bigger point Goldy. Rethugs don’t want ANYONE voting. The fewer voters the better. Look at what they spend their time doing. They want to purge voter lists. They want to stop motor votor laws. They want to make it harder to register. They want to stop felons from voting. Anyone see a pattern here?

    Rethugs want a dictatorship not a democracy.

  31. 34

    Zappini spews:

    A couple of us from Washington Citizens for Fair Elections attended a recent Justice Works / ACLU event on their efforts to automatically restore voting rights for ex-felons. They’re advocating the Oregon State model, which is no voting while incarcerated.

    We’ve invited Justice Works and the ACLU to do a presentation to our group. Stay tuned for the announcement.

    Meanwhile, we’re drafting resolutions in anticipation of the party caucuses. Restoring voting rights is one of the resolutions. We’ll briefly discuss this stuff at our meeting tonight.

  32. 35

    BOB from BOEING spews:

    It is called a poll tax when voting is tied to any money interest or transaction. why is it not? — in these cases.

    Let;s sue in federal court.

  33. 36

    spews:

    Excellent post.

    I understand denying a person the right to vote while they are in prison, but when a person gets out, they should have the same rights as anyone else.

    The GOP doesn’t understand that their policy of vote supression on racial lines IS A BIG REASON why black folks don’t trust Republicans.

    Shoot, after Katrina, Jim Crow, Tuskegee, why should black folks trust the government?

  34. 37

    ArtFart spews:

    Hell’s bells son, what makes you thing they do? Or for that matter, how many white, yellow, red, purple or green people who have two brain cells to rub together trust the mess we have now?

  35. 38

    Richard Pope spews:

    VancouverSucks @ 33

    Free medical care is available to pregnant women and for children in low income families through Pregnancy Medicaid and Children’s Medicaid. The “lack of health care” is almost completely attributable to mothers who do not choose to take advantage of these programs. Often because they are too zonked out on drugs or alcohol to bother seeing a doctor — or perhaps afraid the State will take their kid(s) away if they do, and the doctor reports their substance abuse.

    Headless Lucy @ 32

    Why don’t we see Planned Parenthood and other liberal “charitable” organizations making a push for women with alcohol and drug abuse problems, and pregnant teenagers (especially in those groups with the highest teenage pregnancy rates) to have abortions? Isn’t this because the liberals fear loss of their demographic base if this happened?

    If some conservative advocated promoting abortions for women with drug and alcohol abuse, or for pregnant teenagers — especially in the areas most impacted by these problems — they would be accused of racism and “genocide”.

  36. 39

    Michael spews:

    @69 Do you realize the each of those people had plead innocent in their own criminal trials, but the criminal court determined that they could not be taken at their word and convicted them anyway. So then Bridges turns around and decides that not only should their original vote count, but in addition to that, they should get to deduct a vote from one side or the other, effectively giving them 2 votes.

  37. 40

    Donnageddon spews:

    PuddyBud “I NEVER SAID MY FOLK ARE WORSE THAN WHITE PEOPLE!”

    Well, duh. Unless you consider “your folk” to be pasty white NeoCons

    In that case “your folk” are worse than everybody… at anytime.. anywhere.

  38. 41

    timman spews:

    Leave it to Goldie to play the race card when it does not apply. Shame on Goldy!! Number 10 has it absolutely correct!

  39. 42

    Puddybud spews:

    And David, I NEVER SAID MY FOLK ARE WORSE THAN WHITE PEOPLE! You inferred me saying that. It is a fact most serial rapists, killers, big time crime people are WHITE!

    What I asked Noemie in response to her “It’s one of the central fallacies of conservatism, in my opinion – confusing the decisions of private morality with public responsibility.” What does my public repsonsibility have to do with someone’s choice to spread ‘em? Their private morality is costing me tax dollars because we collectively support women who have 3,4,5,6,7 or more children by the time they are 25. And that’s the public’s responsibility? Shit no!

    I almost fell in love with a 24 year old woman with a six year old daughter and an eight year old son. I was 23. She had a big house too. She was 16 when she had her son! We had a mutual friend Kim, who introduced us. Debbie was BEAUTIFUL. I would have done her in a heartbeat. But I listened to the still small voice. You know, the one Elijah didn’t hear until the end of his sojourn when he ran away and God said he had thousands who hadn’t bent their knee to Baal! That still small voice lead me to my sister. We talked about it. In the end I told Debbie I couldn’t date her. Our mutual friend Kim was pissed at me. But I said I wasn’t ready for a pre-made family at 23. I waited 9 more years before number one son was born! So my personal morality is my public personna of responsibility too.

  40. 43

    Puddybud spews:

    David: Many of your points are exactly what I am saying about the donkocrats who run the city asylum. PacMan and I asked looselips many moons ago about how Headstart and other early learning progrmas programs destroy the black family. Looselips dared not go there. I would have buried looselips like GBS has eviscerated JCH.

    Yet when I call whites for their largesse and point out that many of ills my people bring as problems upon themselves I am a racist. Phuuuut to you David. You have no clue what you spew out of your ASS!

    You want our votes but you provide nothing for us! You got our votes for 50 years and what does a poor inner city black woman have to show for it? Nuthin!!!! Why doesn’t inner city schools preach abstinance? Most white city mayors, hell even the black ones are so insulated from the poor masses they don’t have a clue what happens on the Rainier Valley. I bet you don’t either.

    Don’t you get it? You are coming to the argument from the white side of the tracks. I come from the black side of the tracks. I speak from experience. You speak from what? Nuances, Innuendoes, Someone else’s studies?

    I viewed it first hand growing up. I saw how the black guys hit upon my sister. My sister lost her virginity in college to her future husband! She’s proud of that fact that her friends were getting pregnant in high school and she didn’t.

    You have nooooooooooo idea what you are talking about except from other people’s studies or anecdotal stories. You haven’t lived on our side of the tracks, and would be living in fear if you did today. Your high faluting politicos on the donkocratic side, “friends” of the black man, claim to want to help us but do nothing. Shit even Jesse Hi-Jackson or Tawanna Al Sharpton won’t touch this subject either. So don’t come on ASSes talking about what Richard Pope said. He said there is a higher propensity. He didn’t attribute all of the ills to drugs and alcohol. Yet what is your lily white ass doing to combat the problem? Do you volunteer at the City Missions? Or, upon the end of the work day do you run to the ‘burbs glad to get out of downtown Seattle like most ASSHeads here?

    Think man. Hell man, wake up and stop smelling the burnt Starbucks double tall latte with XYZABC additives!

  41. 45

    GBS spews:

    Personally, I’m a little nervous about letting felons vote. Afterall, wasn’t it proven in Judge Bridges courtroom that 4 out of 5 felons deposed voted for Dino Lossi? And the 5th threw away their vote on a Libertarian?

    Yeah, I’m sure that can be backed up with public records from the court.

    I guess criminals really are dumb.

  42. 46

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    “…the law disproportionately disenfranchises African Americans…”

    What the fuck does that mean? That they don’t do the crimes they’re convicted of? That jails are full of innocent people?

    Where’s your data goldy? Every study that has EVER been done says your full of shit. As usual…

    If ya wanna stay out of jail, don’t break the fucking law. Problem solved.

  43. 47

    David spews:

    Whoops, I guess this blog software doesn’t let you make HTML bulleted lists. Here’s the bottom half of the previous post, formatted to be readable:

    Puddybutt, I’d like to see you explain how your view of black women accounts for some of the other findings from the studies you so helpfully cited:

    * “Adequate access to health care services can have a significant effect on health care use and health outcomes. Lack of health insurance is a barrier to receiving services. Compared with white women, black women are twice as likely and Hispanic women are nearly three times as likely to be uninsured. Furthermore, blacks and Hispanics are much more likely than whites to lack a usual source of care and to encounter other difficulties in obtaining needed care.” (I’m sure it’s a personal failing on their part.)

    * “Black women are less likely than other women or men to have access to life-saving therapies for heart attack. . . . Black women are less likely than others to be referred for cardiac catheterization.” (But that’s because of their own bad choices, right?)

    * “The cancer death rate among blacks (both men and women) is about 35 percent higher than it is for whites. . . . Between 12 and 29 percent more white women than black women are stricken with breast cancer, yet black women are 28 percent more likely than white women to die from the disease. . . . Vietnamese women in the United States have a cervical cancer incidence rate of 47.3 per 100,000, which is more than five times greater than it is for white women (8.5 per 100,000). Hispanic women also have elevated rates of cervical cancer.” (Definitely a matter of personal behavior.)

    * “Nearly 70 percent of all infant mortality and approximately one-third of all handicapping conditions are associated with low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams, or about 5.2 pounds). Minority women, particularly black women, are at relatively high risk for giving birth to low birthweight infants, both prematurely and at term. Maternal mortality and infant mortality among black women are 5 and 2.5 times greater, respectively, than the national average. . . . Augmented prenatal care does not reduce [low birth weight] in poor black women.” (Bah, it’s completely attributable to mothers who do not choose to take advantage of these programs.)

    * “Hispanic and black Americans are substantially less likely than others to have a usual source of health care. In 1996, more than 75 percent of white Americans had an office-based usual source of care, compared with about 58 percent of Hispanics and just over 63 percent of blacks.” (Ooh, how irresponsible!)

    * “For people who do not have either public or private insurance, cost can be a substantial barrier to health care access. In 1996, more than 70 percent of white women had either private or public insurance coverage, compared with about 58 percent of black women and 54 percent of Hispanic women.” (Who needs universal health care, when we can dump on poor folks who can’t afford it?)

    * “Receipt of certain major procedures by hospitalized adults varies by race and sex. . . . [B]lack women had a significantly lower rate of therapeutic procedures than white women for nearly all female reproductive system diseases. Also, blacks in general had a significantly lower rate of therapeutic procedures than whites for several common cancers such as cancer of the colon, bladder, cervix, and breast.” (Are people like Puddybud making these decisions?)

    * “Women are less likely than white men to be recommended for kidney transplants.” (Because . . . )

    There is a strong correllation between household income and health (call it causation if you want, Puddybud). And racism in our everyday lives isn’t hypothetical. Don’t be so quick to blame racial disparities in health care, education, prison, etc. on people with darker skin supposedly being worse people than white folk. It’s a lie.

  44. 48

    David spews:

    As usual, Puddybud, you have jumped in with an overabundance of sound and fury signifying nothing. You have, once again, missed the point and gone off on a tangent so you can feel all full of yourself. Oh, well.

    Let’s recall the comment that I called Richard Pope out on:

    I think almost all of the higher infant mortality rates in black and Indian populations can be explained by the higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse by mothers in those communities, and by women in those groups choosing to have children at any earlier age. (emphasis added)

    Note, Puddybud, I was not arguing with the established and depressing facts that black (and other minority) women have higher infant mortality rates, and the other inequities and injustices that noemie maxwell pointed out at 7:50 this morning (post #19), right here in King County. To the extent your links back up those statistics, you are making her point.

    What I took issue with was Richard Pope’s racist insinuations at #30 that black women are generally alcoholics and teenage mothers, and that all the differences are explained by that conclusion. Sentiments which he compounded at #35, saying

    The “lack of health care” is almost completely attributable to mothers who do not choose to take advantage of these programs. Often because they are too zonked out on drugs or alcohol to bother seeing a doctor – or perhaps afraid the State will take their kid(s) away if they do, and the doctor reports their substance abuse.

    This to you makes Richard Pope “a friend of the black man”? Certainly not a friend of the black woman. Nor are you, if you think the answer to the problems you see is to say it’s all because (your words) “a 14 year old spreads her legs, accepts a white sticky load and gets pregnant“—so you can call it Someone Else’s Problem and not have to bother trying to make anything better. A real paragon of society, you are. (Oh, right, it was guys like you “predatory cock hounds” who got her pregnant.)

    And I have no problem saying you ARE a racist (a self-hating black man, perhaps) when you claim that “there is something intrinsic to being African American or Native American or Latino, etc.—in isolation from social factors and intractable to social change—that results in individuals making bad choices.

    I guess it’s a bad choice to be poor. Must be because they’re black. Oh well, can’t be helped—it’s just intrinsic to their skin color.

    I’d like to see you explain how your view of black women accounts for some of the other findings from the studies you so helpfully cited (e.g., the AHRQ brief):

    • “Adequate access to health care services can have a significant effect on health care use and health outcomes. Lack of health insurance is a barrier to receiving services. Compared with white women, black women are twice as likely and Hispanic women are nearly three times as likely to be uninsured. Furthermore, blacks and Hispanics are much more likely than whites to lack a usual source of care and to encounter other difficulties in obtaining needed care.” (I’m sure it’s a personal failing on their part.)
    • “Black women are less likely than other women or men to have access to life-saving therapies for heart attack. . . . Black women are less likely than others to be referred for cardiac catheterization.” (But that’s because of their own bad choices, right?)
    • “The cancer death rate among blacks (both men and women) is about 35 percent higher than it is for whites. . . . Between 12 and 29 percent more white women than black women are stricken with breast cancer, yet black women are 28 percent more likely than white women to die from the disease. . . . Vietnamese women in the United States have a cervical cancer incidence rate of 47.3 per 100,000, which is more than five times greater than it is for white women (8.5 per 100,000). Hispanic women also have elevated rates of cervical cancer.” (Definitely a matter of personal behavior.)
    • “Nearly 70 percent of all infant mortality and approximately one-third of all handicapping conditions are associated with low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams, or about 5.2 pounds). Minority women, particularly black women, are at relatively high risk for giving birth to low birthweight infants, both prematurely and at term. Maternal mortality and infant mortality among black women are 5 and 2.5 times greater, respectively, than the national average. . . . Augmented prenatal care does not reduce [low birth weight] in poor black women.” (Bah, it’s completely attributable to mothers who do not choose to take advantage of these programs.)
    • “Hispanic and black Americans are substantially less likely than others to have a usual source of health care. In 1996, more than 75 percent of white Americans had an office-based usual source of care, compared with about 58 percent of Hispanics and just over 63 percent of blacks.” (Ooh, how irresponsible!)
    • “For people who do not have either public or private insurance, cost can be a substantial barrier to health care access. In 1996, more than 70 percent of white women had either private or public insurance coverage, compared with about 58 percent of black women and 54 percent of Hispanic women.” (Who needs universal health care, when we can dump on poor folks who can’t afford it?)
    • “Receipt of certain major procedures by hospitalized adults varies by race and sex. . . . [B]lack women had a significantly lower rate of therapeutic procedures than white women for nearly all female reproductive system diseases. Also, blacks in general had a significantly lower rate of therapeutic procedures than whites for several common cancers such as cancer of the colon, bladder, cervix, and breast.” (Are people like Puddybud making these decisions?)
    • “Women are less likely than white men to be recommended for kidney transplants.” (Because . . . )

    There is a strong correllation between household income and health (call it causation if you want, Puddybud). And racism in our everyday lives isn’t hypothetical. Don’t be so quick to blame racial disparities in health care, education, prison, etc. on people with darker skin supposedly being worse people than white folk. It’s a lie.

  45. 49

    Puddybud spews:

    looselips@everywhere: What are you adding to the conversation besides bullcrapola? That’s all you know mr. wrestling coach! Now the wrestling season is over we have to read your DRIVEL (alter ego maybe?) appear on ASSes!

  46. 51

    headless lucy spews:

    noemie: Puddy wants us to watch out for March 19th. We’re going to get ours then, according to NOSTRAPUDDWHACKUS.

  47. 52

    Puddybud spews:

    Noemie Maxwell: Are you black? Have you a sociology degree in inner city studies? What are your credential to speak to this. Entering dj mode. Man as soon as I typed that my skin crawled!

    Noemie wrote: You seem to be inferring that there is something intrinsic to being African American or Native American or Latino, etc. – in isolation from social factors and intractable to social change — that results in individuals making bad choices.

    Puddy responds: The studies show exactly this. When WIC is available inner city peeps don’t utilize it.

    Noemie wrote: That’s racist – and has been shown in research going broad and deep to be untrue.

    Puddy responds: My links and URL are not racist, they are studies done by your peeps looking at the socioeconomic indicators for my peeps.

    Noemie wrote: There are behavioral differences along race lines. Of course there are. They don’t account for all – or even most – of the differences in infant mortality and incarceration. Perhaps they don’t account for any statistically significant portion of these ills (I don’t have that knowledge and don’t know if anyone does – as innumerable confounding factors would need to be untangled to determine it). But – regardless of the amount of correlation between behavior and demographically-identifiable impacts on health, prosperity, enfranchisement or freedom – arguments that social and political reform are uncalled for have no credence.

    Puddy responds: Your kind (moonbats) have been in charge of cities for what time immortal… or the last 100 years. What programs have your kind implemented to assist my peeps in better prenatal care?

    Noemie wrote: Individuals who make bad decisions have personal responsibility for those. But that has nothing to do with public responsibility. Public and private responsibility are different things that conservatives confuse all the time. It’s one of the central fallacies of conservatism, in my opinion – confusing the decisions of private morality with public responsibility.

    Puddy responds: So it’s my responsibility when a 14 year old spreads her legs, accepts a white sticky load and gets pregnant? What planet are you from?

    Noemie wrote: Any statistically large differentials in individual welfare along color lines are whole-culture and whole-society problems. That is because personal decisions happen within the environment of law and policy — they do not happen in isolation.

    Puddy responds: Since these “issues” occur in inner cities, what are the donks doing about it? Or, what have they done in the last 50 years about it?

    Noemie wrote: Plus, correlation does not equal causation.

    Puddy responds: Sure it does. There are many studies determining causation and there correlation coefficients are well documented by libruls. Need more URLs Noemie?

    Noemie wrote: Behavior being sensitive to social change, we all have a moral obligation to work toward a social environment in which all people, regardless of their backgrounds, have a roughly equivalent opportunity in life.

    Puddy responds: Yes, you are a socialist librul. No matter if my peeps don’t take responsibility for their actions the socialist says, Puddy it’s your fault too. That’s BS!

    Noemie wrote: You can insult people and use invalid logic all you want – that might feel good to you or intimidate some people or help you hang on to a skewed world view based on hatred or fear. But it won’t change the reality that we all live and die in.

    Puddy responds: Sorry Noemie, I know my peeps. There is no fear or any crap like that. It’s reality. I grew up in da inner city! I watched some beautiful black girls fall to predatory cock hounds, who left their loads and left them with child!

  48. 53

    Puddybud spews:

    Sex predators not checking in? You mean looselips didn’t register upon becoming a Seattle School employee?

  49. 54

    spews:

    #30, et al.

    You seem to be inferring that there is something intrinsic to being African American or Native American or Latino, etc. — in isolation from social factors and intractable to social change — that results in individuals making bad choices.

    That’s racist — and has been shown in research going broad and deep to be untrue.

    There are behavioral differences along race lines. Of course there are. They don’t account for all — or even most — of the differences in infant mortality and incarceration. Perhaps they don’t account for any statistically significant portion of these ills (I don’t have that knowledge and don’t know if anyone does — as innumerable confounding factors would need to be untangled to determine it). But — regardless of the amount of correlation between behavior and demographically-identifiable impacts on health, prosperity, enfranchisement or freedom — arguments that social and political reform are uncalled for have no credence.

    Individuals who make bad decisions have personal responsibility for those. But that has nothing to do with public responsibility. Public and private responsibility are different things that conservatives confuse all the time. It’s one of the central fallacies of conservatism, in my opinion — confusing the decisions of private morality with public responsibility.

    Any statistically large differentials in individual welfare along color lines are whole-culture and whole-society problems. That is because personal decisions happen within the environment of law and policy — they do not happen in isolation.

    Plus, correlation does not equal causation.

    Behavior being sensitive to social change, we all have a moral obligation to work toward a social environment in which all people, regardless of their backgrounds, have a roughly equivalent opportunity in life.

    You can insult people and use invalid logic all you want — that might feel good to you or intimidate some people or help you hang on to a skewed world view based on hatred or fear. But it won’t change the reality that we all live and die in.

  50. 55

    Puddybud spews:

    Wow, no comments from the moonbat front for over 1.5 hours. When confronted with superior logic, they shut up! Yippeeeeeeee!!!

    Even rugratASS and cluelessASS have nothing to say. Oops… they never had cogent thought on ASSes anyway!

  51. 57

    Puddybud spews:

    Well looselips@54 you tell me? The Week of March 19 will be an eye opener for ASSHeads like you!!!!

    Looselips; care to comment on my posts or are you in standard moonbat mode today?

  52. 58

    spitintheocean spews:

    If you follow this logic , felons would be permitted to purchase handguns and sex predators will not have to check in .

  53. 59

    Puddybud spews:

    Puddybud has posted truth in the last six posts. RugratASS, lookie here more congruent thought from Puddybud!!! Oh no, there goes another stupid theory from the ASS of rugratASS!

  54. 60

    headless lucy spews:

    Puddwhack: I thought PacMan was the soul brother and you were his white compadre. Kind of like Starsky and Huggy Bear.

    Hey, Huggy, what’s the word on the street!!??

  55. 61

    Puddybud spews:

    Janet, I agree with you. The Donks are in charge of the prison… oops the govnur, legislature and state house here in ASSHeadland! Yet, the moonbats decry the WA Republicans as being the roadblock? What a bunch of BS from the kings of BS ASSHeads! I remember moonbat ASSHeads saying over the past months they owned the Socialist State of WA, so why don’t us who think right leave. I remember moonbat ASSheads writing that this is a blue state getting bluer. I remember moonbat ASSHeads writing Bellevue was moving donkocratic. I remember moonbat ASSHeads writing the only felons who voted, voted for Dino “Lossi”. Hmmm… What does that say for moonbat ASSHeadland? So the felon problem identified by the NY Slimes is in your moonbat friends hands ASSHeads, plain and simple. You can’t deflect this on the Feds or local Repubs. You are the guilty party here!

  56. 62

    Puddybud spews:

    Windie: There can be two debts to society; the law for jail time and the law for restitution. Many felons pay their debt in jail time but don’t pay their debt due to the restitution fines. When the restitution is paid in full, let them vote. Until then, their debt is not fully paid! There can be mitigating circumstances but these can’t be the overriding issue. If someone destroys property and part of their sentence is financial restitution, have they paid their part of the fine?

  57. 63

    Puddybud spews:

    Oh, no more info David:

    “Nearly 70 percent of all infant mortality and approximately one-third of all handicapping conditions are associated with low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams, or about 5.2 pounds). Minority women, particularly black women, are at relatively high risk for giving birth to low birthweight infants, both prematurely and at term. Maternal mortality and infant mortality among black women are 5 and 2.5 times greater, respectively, than the national average.”

    http://www.ahrq.gov/research/minority.htm

  58. 64

    Puddybud spews:

    Hey Richard, it was the nasty Republicans who: “According to the researchers, the notable decrease in 1991-1992 in the proportion of U.S. women who received no prenatal care followed the implementation of federal and state programs in the late 1980s that were designed to reduce barriers to prenatal care.” Damn they cared about poor peeps? ASSHeads must be in denial!

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/.....i_n8757253

  59. 66

    Puddybud spews:

    ASSHeads: I luv how you all speak for the minorities. That’s why MLK, Jr. feared the progressive white man. You don’t care a hoot on this issue. I wuz expecting the great RevMan to say sumtin but this must be one of those issues he’s mute on! Once again the white peeps on ASSes speak about sumtin they have no clue about. That’s the librul way. You ASSes have no clue about how we lived on the other side of the tracks but you make tracks when it’s time to step up to the plate to help my people! Why is that?

    So here goes. David, again, I am surprised at you! Richard is right about young black women not getting prenatal care when it’s critical to get it. If you are whom I think you are, you need to research the web bud. Google “Black Women No Prenatal Care” and you will see their mortality rates are higher for my people than yours.

    For instance: http://community.michiana.org/.....nmort.html

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the infant mortality rate for babies born to women living in households with incomes below the poverty line is 60% higher than for babies of nonpoor women. CDC concluded that poverty raises infant morality rates as much as smoking during pregnancy or inadequate prenatal care.

    Adolescents may eat less in an attempt to conceal pregnancy. Compared with white mothers, more African American mothers gain too little weight during pregnancy.

    Other women may not realize the importance of a nutritious diet on their baby’s development.

    Fewer African American women get into care during their first trimester.

    For example, infants born to women who are unmarried, very young, or over age 35 are more at risk.

    When a pregnant woman takes a drink or a drug, her unborn baby does too. Babies exposed to drugs or alcohol are at high risk for low birth weight, premature birth and death.

    More than three fourths of infant deaths are caused by babies being born too small or too early.(4) In Indiana in 1992, twice as many black babies (12%) as white (6%) were born at a low birth weight.(8)

    Black women between 30-34 delivered low birth weight babies at a rate three times greater than white women.(7)

    You all can read the rest!

    David, before you accuse Richard Pope of factual statements, clean out your ASS before attempting to shit on him! Good job Richard! You are a friend of the black man!

  60. 67

    Voter Advocate spews:

    I think you have something there, windie. Most felons who lose their right to vote cannot pay off their fines plus interest, and, even if they do, the procedure for regaining their civil rights is difficult. Why not just lengthen their sentences and forego the fines?

    The state doesn’t recover much of the fines anyway, and dooming persons to third-class citizenship for the rest of their lives is callous and senseless.

    But it does keep people from voting, a major goal for Republicans.

  61. 68

    Voter Advocate spews:

    The PI has a story about the KC Council instructing Ron Sims to submit a new design for the KC logo, incorporating the image of Martin Luther King, who the council nominated to be the namesake for the county in 1986.

    The measure for the new logo was approved 7-2, with Republicans Jane Hague of Bellevue and Kathy Lambert of Woodinville voting no.

    I wonder what their reasoning was. Do you Republicans just enjoy being racists, or what?

  62. 70

    Who cares about Felons spews:

    You are such an asshole Goldy. Is it too much to ask felons to fully pay their restitution and comply with probation etc. before restoring their full rights? Afterall, they are felons. They get TV, three square, free healthcare and all kinds of other privledges, and many of them never fully pay their fines, restitution, civil claims, etc. yet somehow, they should still have their sacred right to vote. Yoo hoo Goldy, nobody fucking cares about felons. They are felons. If they wanted all kinds of special love, they should have thought about that before they committed the crime, or at least after they pay all of their fines.

    I know, I know, you guys need all the voters you can get as the country swings to the right. I’m sure you wanted to save Tookie too, but only for his vote.

  63. 71

    LauraBushKilledAGuy spews:

    In all seriousness, this discussion is simply beyond the ability of most republicans to comprehend. The fact is, we will see most of these convicted felons again. Like it or not, we don’t have the money to incarcerate them forever, nor should we in most cases. So they’ll be back. They’ll be our neighbors. They’ll be the guy serving our food, washing our car, cutting our hair. They’ll intigrate back into society to the degree we let them. So how is it smart in ANY way to say to them, we don’t want you to be a full participant in our society? If anything, we should do everything we can to get them to buy into our way of life which includes voting. At least until the republicans get their way and just start appointing presidents the way that they did Baby Bush.

  64. 72

    David spews:

    Richard Pope speculates,

    I think almost all of the higher infant mortality rates in black and Indian populations can be explained by the higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse by mothers in those communities, and by women in those groups choosing to have children at any earlier age.

    I think you’re wrong. How about you provide some reputable scientific evidence, if you want to throw around accusations like those? “Truthiness” isn’t enough.

  65. 73

    Nindid spews:

    Sky @36 If you want to push for life imprisionment for rape cases I might be willing to listen.

    But prohibiting all people who have paid their debt to society from ever actually re-intergrating is foolish, counter-productive and just plain stupid from both a moral and public policy standpoint.

  66. 74

    Seeking the truth spews:

    So that fact that a felon can petition to have their rights restored did not come up?

  67. 75

    LeftFace spews:

    It seems to me that convicted felons have disenfranchised themselves by their actions. I’m all for giving someone a second chance after they have served their time and paid full restitution. Anything short of that is a slap in the face to the victims. What about the victims of these felons?? Seems the left is obsessed with the perpetrators and has zero compassion for the victims. Not good.