Endorse a proposal grounded in a false proposition that illegal immigrants are flocking to the polls — and which one court after another has found to be in fact an attempt to disenfranchise minorities and the poor in violation of Article XIV, Section 1.
There is no data, however, to show more than isolated instances of so-called impostor voting by illegal immigrants or others.
Experts in election law say most voter fraud involves absentee balloting, which is unaffected by the new photo identification laws. Few people, they say, will risk a felony charge to vote illegally at the polls, and few illegal immigrants want to interact with government officials — even people running a polling place.
Of Arizona’s 2.7 million registered voters, 238 were believed to have been noncitizens in the last 10 years; only 4 were believed to have voted; and none were impostors, plaintiffs stipulate in their lawsuit to overturn the law, statistics the state has not challenged. Nor is there evidence of impostor voting in Georgia, Indiana or Missouri.
Advocates for the new laws do not dispute the figures — just their relevance. ….
Arizona’s new rules were passed as part of Proposition 200, a referendum that denies certain state and local benefits to illegal immigrants. It got 56 percent of the vote two years ago, after Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, vetoed a Republican-backed measure passed by the Legislature.
Rooted in the state’s debates over illegal immigration, the measure is the broadest in the country, requiring a driver’s license, a state photo ID or two nonphotographic forms of identification at the polls. Lawyers for the Navajo Nation and other American Indian tribes say the provision particularly discriminates against Indians, many of whom are too poor to drive or are without electricity or telephone bills, alternative forms of identification.
Invite the Vice President to highlight your fundraiser — the same man who has spearheaded efforts to suspend the right to habeus corpus — a concept dating back to the Magna Carta and enshrined at Article I, Section 9 — and stay silent while your party rammed through a bill aimed directly at the Hamdan and Padilla decisions.
Belong to an administration which has vetoed budget provisions required to adequately fund the Committee for Public Counsel Services and allow indigent persons accused of crimes which they may not have committed to have access to justice — a concept endorsed by the Supreme Court in Gideon v. Wainwright because competent counsel is required to protect the rights enumerated in Article IV through VIII. [http://www.mass.gov/…]
Belong to an administration which, despite tough law-and-order talk, has vetoed budgetary provisions required to raise the salaries of assistant district attorneys — which would allow them to stay on the job and develop the skills they need to effectively prove the state’s cases against the accused instead of taking second jobs as waitresses and bartenders or leaving altogether.
THE WAITRESS who takes your order tonight or the bartender who mixes your Bloody Mary may have spent the day prosecuting a murder suspect. With salaries for assistant district attorneys stuck in the paltry $35,000 to $40,000 range, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley estimates that about one-fifth of his young attorneys are turning to night jobs to make ends meet. On the Cape and Islands, District Attorney Michael O’Keefe estimates that half of his prosecutors are moonlighting.
Attracting talent is not the problem in the state’s 11 district attorney offices. For young lawyers with few family obligations, the importance of the work is more appealing than six-figure salaries in private law firms. The trouble comes later. After four or five years, prosecutors are ready to tackle the toughest cases in Superior Court. But many are also eager to start families, and their salaries remain pitifully low given the job demands. Conley says that three-quarters of his 120 prosecutors earn less than $50,000 annually. During just four years in office, he has watched 100 of them bail out.
Boston Globe, 4/26/06
Belong to an adminstration which has vetoed the funds required to support the Mental Health Legal Advisors, a valued arm of the SJC which provides assistance to the courts and the public on legal issues affecting the mentally ill, so that those persons are not deprived of their 14th Amendment liberty rights as a result of being incapable of assisting counsel or in the course of involuntary civil committment and guardianship proceedings.
All these provisions endorsed by a woman whose website states that she was a valued employee of the Justice Department when her experience as a criminologist consists of being a part-time consultant to a contractor for the the Justice Department and shrugs off the qualitative dfference between compiling pre-existing data for a contractor and working full-time at the DoJ. (WCVB and NECN, 10/6/07)
As she sets her sights on promotion, Kerry Healey has resurrected and even expanded her grandiose claims to criminal-justice expertise originally made during her 2002 campaign for lieutenant governor. Healeys campaign Web site says that she enjoyed a distinguished career as a law and public safety consultant. In a press release issued this week, she claims to be a criminologist and former consultant to the US Department of Justice in the 1990s who extensively researched domestic and gang-related violence. In her campaign-announcement speech last month she said, I worked for the US Department of Justice researching crime. The states official Web site also says that she has authored four books on criminal justice.
Those books are actually co-authored white papers of secondary research (pulling together previous work), written during her roughly 10-year stint as a part-time consultant for Cambridge-based Abt Associates, mostly under an Abt contract with a branch of the Justice Department. She was never a DoJ employee or consultant. She has no education or experience that qualifies her as a criminologist. And by no definition can her career be called distinguished her reports are seldom cited, and she was never invited as a speaker or panelist in the field prior to becoming lieutenant governor. Even Abt executives have offered little praise for Healey.
Boston Phoenix 3/8/06 [http://www.thephoeni…]