Archive for felon

Convicted felon to challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham for US senate

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faintingcouch felon south carolina

Who better to challenge a self-righteous South Carolina conservative chickenhawk than a "libertarian-leaning" former state Treasurer, convicted felon, and reality TV show star ("Southern Charm" on Bravo)? How fitting. How entertaining.

How implausible.

Then again, this is good ol' Southern "charm" we're talking about. And what could be more charming than a 51-year-old ex-felon with a 3-month-old daughter married to a 22-year-old fellow state politician? Especially a guy who was busted for dabbling in cocaine who claims "he has the right ideas to save the country."

Why, Ah do declay-uh, Thomas, you're about as confused as a fart in a fan factory. Which makes us Dems as happy as a puppy with two tails.

Get out the mint juleps, the fainting couch, the feather fans, and the popcorn, because a new reality show is about to debut.

Via The Hill:

Reality TV star and former South Carolina state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel is launching an independent bid against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Ravenel, a one-time rising star from a famous political family in the state Republican Party, was forced from office in 2007 following a bust for cocaine possession.

Ravenel will need 10,000 signatures by July 15th in order to qualify.

John McCain's BFF doesn't have a lot to worry about. He easily won his primary against the Tea Poopies, so an independent with a record won't faze him.

As for the rest of us:

get out the popcorn

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GOP candidate for gov. has criminal record: Registered sex offender, manslaughter, rape attempt

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gop disaster zone gop candidate

Who wouldn't vote for a GOP candidate for governor with a criminal record? After all, the "party of family values" has forgiven D.C. Madam client, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA),  for his sins, right? So why let a little attempted rape and voluntary manslaughter in a GOP candidate's past get in the way of stump speeches and fundraising fun? In fact, just such a guy recently spoke at the California state party's semi-annual convention.

So what if he spent years and years behind bars for his crimes? Meh. He's found the lord now, and in RepublicanLand, that's what really matters. All a party member has to do is mention the G word (no, not gun... God), and they expect forgiveness.

Meet Glenn Champ, 48, whose rap sheet reads like a pulp fiction novel. The Los Angeles Times has the story:

Champ's rap sheet is lengthy. Court records show that in 1992, he pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed firearm. In 1993, he was convicted of two counts of assault with intent to commit rape and as a result was placed on the state's sex-offender registry.

In March 1998, he accepted a plea deal on a charge of loitering to solicit a prostitute; later that year, he pleaded no contest to a voluntary manslaughter charge after hitting a man with his vehicle, for which he was sentenced to 12 years in state prison, according to court records... Champ said the assault case "was just for picking up some underage prostitutes" and resulted in a 90-day jail sentence.

But see, that's when Champ turned his life around, he says. "I found the Lord when I got arrested for picking up the prostitutes," he says.

"I was like most people, ignorant in the darkness, in the very dark. I had no peace, had no love, had no joy. And now I do. Praise God for that…. I've grown considerably since I met Christ," he says.

"There was a situation where the gentleman, he was a little bit drunk and was trying to get violent and I left the area as quick as I could and apparently he got in the way. I didn't see him or even know I hit him until about four hours later, till it came on the news," he says.

You know what else he says? This one'll slay you! (Or maybe Champ'll slay you, so keep your distance.) He says that the politicians in Sacramento are the "criminals" because they want to infringe on his gun rights.

No, I'm not kidding.

The California Criminal who was convicted of assault actually said that, and then this: "I know what the criminal mind thinks, and I know how it works and I know how to stop it, and that's something [other politicians] don't get."

What a Champ. Be proud, GOP, he's your guy.

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Former Florida GOP chairman now sells La-Z-Boy recliners

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la z boy recliner vintageAllow me to introduce you to Jim Greer. He became the Florida GOP party head in January 2007, former governor (and recent convert to the Democratic party) Charlie Crist's personal pick.

He was one of the former Florida GOP leaders who said that voter suppression was the reason for a new election law.

He was also accused of stealing a couple of hundred thousand dollars from the Republican party using a phony campaign fundraising operation. Then the Palm Beach Post reported that he was suing them back, saying GOP leaders knew what he was doing and voiced no objection.

But oops, the Tampa Bay Times reported that, despite his protesty indignation, Greer had been sentenced to 18 months in state prison plus one year of probation after he pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and one count of money laundering.

There. Now that you know Greer better, let's see how the former GOP official has been spending his time lately. Via the Orlando Sentinel, we discover what Republican felons do post-sentencing. Talk about a career change:

Jim Greer, the disgraced former chairman of the Florida GOP, is now selling La-Z-Boy recliners for $8 an hour plus commission at an Orlando-area furniture store as part of a prison work release program. [...]

But instead of behind bars, he's now assigned to an Orlando work release facility on Mercy Drive. It has no bars and no prison-like security, although, it is fenced.

Would you buy a chair from this schmo?

And as Not-Quite-Inmate GOP Guy pockets $8 an hour plus commission (minimum wage in the state is $7.79), millions of Americans are out of work, are unable to receive unemployment benefits or a decent living wage (thanks to Greer's fellow Republican pals in Congress), and are struggling just to barely get by, get fed, and get through a day.

but wait there's more smaller

Prior to his snazzy new recliner-hawking stint, Greer pulled weeds and picked up trash for six hours a day. That and the La-Z-Boy gig should spiff his political resumé right up.

Greer's lawyer, Damon Chase, said, "He's in a really good place in life, and his family is doing great."

Too bad the same can't be said for all those law-abiding types whose families depend on them for food, shelter, clothing, warmth, and security.

Greer hasn't quite turned over the proverbial new leaf yet, though. He managed to break the rules while incarcerated for breaking the rules. See, he had a $20 bill in his possession, which is a big no-no; he wasn't supposed to have anything bigger than a $5 bill on him. Hey, no problem. They counseled him a little, and he's a new man, enjoying his "good place in life."

Maybe he could talk a few of his Republican lawmaker BFFs into making life easier for the rest of us.

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The States Plot To Subdue Black Votes - It's Criminal

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No vote

Why are 4.3 million US voters being denied their right to vote? It's not that they lack the proper identification. It's that 31 states have decided that if you've committed a felony, you lose your right to vote -- forever.

Is that fair? Is it right? Well, there's more behind it than just a form of continuing punishment in perpetuity.

The right to speech, to religion, the right to due process and the right to own property are not denied to the formerly incarcerated. So what's really behind this? You probably won't be surprised. Race.

The fear that a felon can't reintegrate into society is the great misconception. Felons are people too. What separates them from us is they're people who made a mistake. We may hate their crime, but we don't have to hate them forever... unless of course, you're a crime and punishment Republican. In that case, take out the fuel and the matches to stoke the flames of fear.

Racial fear.

Consider this: one in three Black men in the US, of voting age, is denied the right to vote by state restrictions for felons. In 2010, that was 5.8 million men. They made a bad decision somewhere in their lives. And they paid for it, whether it was murder or simply drug possession. If you do the time you should be fine. In less than half the states, that's true.

In those places when they're released, they're not whole. They're stigmatized as second class citizens. That opens the door to recidivism, not an incentive to make the best of a second chance. It builds up resentment and a disenfranchisement. Hardly the desired effects of the deterrent of prison.

Isn't it time to let a man or woman pay his/her debt society and welcome them back? Watch this segment from The Cycle. Restoring voting rights isn't a risk. It's a reward for making amends and paying one's debt to society.

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Inmate at federal prison: "A heartfelt thank you to the NRA & all those members of Congress voting with them."

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thank you written

Here's a little something for gun zealots to chew on from a felon who is currently residing in a federal supermax prison in Colorado for bank robbery and weapons charges.

Oh, but he's a very polite bank robber. He sat down and wrote a lovely letter to the Hartford Courant expressing his heartfelt thanks to the NRA for killing the background checks expansion bill. He gushes about how it would now be easy as pie to pick up a weapon at a gun show. He's not legally allowed to do that, of course, but that won't stop him once he's out of prison.

See, he doesn't have to worry himself with pesky little things like background checks since there are so many loopholes left open to him and his fellow criminals to walk through.

What would we all do without the NRA and their BFFs who offer so many people just like Mr. Inmate the freedom and opportunity to so easily obtain killing machines?

Aren't they the best? USA! USA!

Via Think Progress:

During his last conviction, Bornman [the inmate] wrote another editorial denigrating the prison system’s refusal to give him mental health care, despite his multiple pleas for therapy. Bornman warned, “In all probability I’ll commit murder, perhaps even mass murder.”

Here is his Very Special Thank You Note...

Dear Everyone:

As a lifelong career criminal, although I no longer enjoy the right to keep and bear arms, I'd like to take a moment to express my appreciation to the National Rifle Association for nonetheless protecting my ability to easily obtain them through its opposition to universal background checks. [...]

I fully anticipate being able to stop at a gun show on my way home to Connecticut -- where new laws have made it nearly impossible for a felon to readily purchase guns or ammunition -- in order to buy some with which to resume my criminal activities.

And so, a heartfelt thank you to the NRA and all those members of Congress voting with them. I, along with tens of thousands of other criminals, couldn't do what we do without you.

Love,

One of the Snarkier Bad Guys

i owe you one

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Former Fla Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer sentenced to 18 months in state prison

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jim greer elvis

Jim Greer was one of the former Florida GOP leaders who said that voter suppression was the reason for new election law.

Greer was also accused of stealing a couple of hundred thou from the Republican party using a phony campaign fundraising operation. The Palm Beach Post reported that he was suing them right back, saying GOP leaders knew what he was doing and voiced no objection.

Now the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Greer has been sentenced to 18 months in state prison plus one year of probation.

It turns out that in February, he pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and one count of money laundering:

[H]e had created a company called Victory Strategies to siphon to himself and an associate some $200,000 of party donations.

"You're now a convicted felon, sir," Circuit Judge Marc Lubet told Greer Wednesday, adding that he had "egregiously violated a position of trust."

owee

Per the Times, Greer became the party head in January 2007, former governor Charlie Crist's personal pick. Yes, that former governor Charlie Crist, the one who may run again, but this time as a Democrat. In fact, Crist tried hard to convince us he really is a real Democrat. Not that I wouldn't support him if he ended up being the Democratic candidate, but my heart sure wouldn't be in it.

But I digress.

I particularly liked these sentences describing Greer's past:

He was a regular at strip clubs and bars. Both his weddings were lavish. He ...quickly worked to make friends with people he identified as politically valuable... [H]is gatherings typically had some of the area's best snacks and booze. He often dressed as Elvis and belted out songs by the King... He wanted people to call him Chairman. He wanted to drink bourbon only from bottles with personalized labels.

Jim, you sound like a real attractive guy:

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Ex-felon (burglaries, armed robberies, aggravated battery) to be GOP candidate running for Jesse Jackson, Jr. House seat

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gop fail off cliff

Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s House seat is up for grabs. Ex-con Paul McKinley beat his Republican opponent by only 23 votes (!), so by some miracle, he will face off with Democrat Robin Kelly for that seat. Incidentally, she received an F rating from the National Rifle Association:

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And yes, you read my first sentence correctly. McKinley's an ex-con.

Republicans are hiding under tables and putting bags over their heads to avoid being associated with their victorious candidate. Gee, can't imagine why.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

Republican voters are suggesting the 2nd Congressional District replace one felon with another after picking ex-convict Paul McKinley as the candidate to run for the seat recently ceded by former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. [...]

McKinley, a convicted felon who served nearly 20 years in state prison for burglaries, armed robberies and aggravated battery, declared victory. Wallace, however, was not willing to concede, and he called the prospect of McKinley representing the GOP "an embarrassment." [...]

[T]he state's Republican leadership was coming to grips with the fact that its party had just nominated someone with a long rap sheet...

Maybe they should have chosen this guy instead. He sounds way more appealing:

Here is the heart-wrenching segment that Rachel Maddow previewed in the TRMS video above:

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