Archive for imprisonment

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

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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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VIDEO: President Obama Speaks on the Death of Nelson Mandela

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President Obama eloquently delivered remarks on the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Here are a few excerpts, transcript courtesy of WaPo:

He achieved more than could be expected of any man.

Today he's gone home and we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth...

His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better...

As he once said, "I'm not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying."

I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life. My very first political action -- the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics was a protest against apartheid. I would study his words and his writings. The day he was released from prison it gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they're guided by their hopes and not by their fears.

And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set...

I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.

To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal and reconciliation and resilience that you made real: a free South Africa at peace with itself. That's an example to the world, and that's Madiba's legacy to the nation that he loved.

We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again, so it falls to us as best we can to (forward ?) the example that he set -- to make decisions guided not by hate but by love, never discount the difference that one person can make, to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.

For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived, a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.

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R.I.P. Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

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Details as soon as I get them, South African president now announcing. (I had the wrong birth year at first, now corrected.) NBC News here.

From CNN News Alert-

Nelson Mandela, a revered world statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of its dark days of apartheid, has died, President Jacob Zuma has announced. He was 95.

The former president battled health issues in recent years, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.

In a nation healing from the scars of apartheid, Mandela became the moral compass.

His defiance of white-minority rule and his incarceration for fighting against segregation focused the world's attention on South Africa's apartheid system, making him a symbol of the struggle for racial equality.

In his lifetime, he was a man of complexities. He went from being considered a terrorist, to an imprisoned freedom fighter, to a unifying figure, to an elder statesman respected worldwide.

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Cartoon by David Fitzsimmons

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Video- Rand Paul Says Obama, Bush Could Have Been Jailed for Drug Use

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Via Taegan-

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Fox News that President Obama and former President George W. Bush could have "conceivably been put in jail" for using drugs.

Said Paul: "Look, the last two presidents could have conceivably been put in jail for their drug use and I really think - look what would've happened, it would've ruined their lives. They got lucky. But a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, don't get lucky and they don't have good attorneys and they go to jail for some of these things and I think it's a big mistake."

The response prompted host Chris Wallace to note, "Actually, I think it would be the last three presidents, but who's counting?"

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