Monday, January 23, 2012

H.R. 3796

As reported on the very useful site ‘Congress-Courts-Legislation’, Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI), ace enabler of SO Mania legislation, has just introduced H.R. 3796, entitled ‘The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2012’. The text of the Bill is here .

This is an interesting Bill if for no other reason than it is only one page in length.

But let that not deceive.

In Sec. 2 the Bill calls for 20 million tax-dollars per year for each year 2013-2017 for ‘Sex Offender Management Assistance’ program (Sec. 126 of the original AWA) which helps States offset the costs of complying with AWA’s requirements and for the Jessica Lunsford (et al) Grant program that helps States monitor SO’s electronically (Sec. 621 of the original AWA). The text of the original AWA is here.

In Sec. 3 the Bill calls for 46,200,000 tax-dollars per year for each year 2013-2017 for federal assistance to States and Tribes (and other jurisdictions) in helping States and jurisdictions deal with violations of AWA’s registration requirements (AWA Sec 142 (b)).

This is what used to be called in the bad old days of Cold War weaponry a MIRV’ed Bill: it has multiple warheads that are independently targeted (to satisfy multiple independent constituencies, client groups, and god-knows what parasitical cottage-industries and secretly-remunerated groups have managed to get their names on Sensenbrenner’s master list) and solve various problems with prior Mania legislation.

 In my estimation, this would include first: the problem of States’ objections to the cost of maintaining AWA, let alone tracking down all of those instant ‘fugitives’ created overnight by AWA’s sweeping simplification of the classification system (AWA Sec. 111) and the declaration that any AWA-eligible person who “travels in interstate commerce” must also register or face hefty fines and up to ten years imprisonment (AWA Sec. 141).*

States that comply with AWA (and almost a year after the last ultimate final deadline date to do so, only 15 States – and a larger number of Tribes and US Possessions – have done so) don’t lose 10 percent of their Byrne law-enforcement assistance grant monies and they get to divvy up the 10 percent that non-compliant States forfeit. Nicely, as of this writing, Sensenbrenner's own Wisconsin is not listed as one of those 'compliant' States and so this Bill serves to seduce his own State.

No doubt the States did their own math and realized that it was going to cost a bundle (of money they don’t really have any more) to administer AWA and deal with the very probable court-challenges and so on. And they also figured that a measly 10 percent of monies forfeited by other States wasn’t going to come near covering the costs either. So now Sensenbrenner is fattening and sweetening the pot. Whether it turns out to be enough of a sweetener is an interesting question.

Second, there are all sorts of non-governmental organizations  - termed “private entities” – that are slyly included in AWA as eligible for funding (AWA Sec. 519). Among these are various organizations, named after this or that victim and often headed up by relatives of the deceased (upon whom be peace), that now – and as a result of their own deliberate and strategically calculated actions – constitute part of the underlying web of groups hooked on government tax money to continue pushing their concerns and – far more lethally – their ill-considered agenda and legislative and policy demands.

Third, there are all manner of persons who have been hired to carry out the AWA vision. From persons who will go out and annually verify SO address information to highly-paid attorneys and assorted ‘experts’, this is an employment angle – and in an election year.

Fourth, there are the advanced-level established ‘advocacies’ themselves, which now constitute a network of connections with the assorted gender and victim ‘bases’ – nobody knows how big (or small) they really are – which automatically count for a great deal in a difficult election year.

As the Congress-Courts site observes, there are no reports or evidence that any of this machinery works at all. Indeed, there is a new Study  – not by a government agency – that indicates almost none of this stuff works at all.

I would add that AWA (Secs. 631, 634, 636, 637, and 638) specifically mandated Reports by the Attorney-General’s office as to the effectiveness of the AWA program and the whole SORNA scheme. One of them – Sec 634 – required in 2006 a major AG Report by 2011 at the latest that was not only to be made to Congress but was to be made “through the Internet available to the public”.

Granted that the entire Beltway apparatus is now so soused and indentured to political ‘bases’ that it would be hard to accept pro-Mania findings at face value without further analysis, yet it would still be something to see such a Report. I can’t find it – although I am no computer genius – and yet the deadline was “not later than” 5 years after the passage of the AWA, which would have been July of 2011.

Curiously, too, Sensenbrenner’s Bill here makes no effort to ‘justify’ itself with ‘Findings’ or with information from any of those Reports made either to the Congress or to the public or both.

The Bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. By amazing coincidence, Sensenbrenner sits on that Committee. An associate who also should be familiar to the SO anti-Mania community is Rep. Peter King (R-NY) who chairs the Homeland Security Committee (which got last year’s Sensenbrenner funding Bill). King had in earlier years before his Chairmanship been trying to get public money for NY/NJ-based advocacy groups and get them access to the NCIC as well.

All in all, I’d say that what’s going on here is – predictably – the effort to both pander to bases in an election year and also reassure those bases that you, the indentured politician, are going to keep ‘producing’ according to the terms of the deal you struck with them.

It is for this reason, I think it can now be said with great confidence, that the SO Mania was never interested in actual realities about the problem it sought to address and the problematic-group it pretty much created (The Sex-Offender) to help justify the deals made.

Thus too, even if the amount of funds requested are ultimately reduced (I doubt they will be denied altogether) the pol can go to his/her clients and say that he/she did his/her best and is still very much committed to the original deal.

 The SO Mania police state as pork – but when ever was it not?


*This Congressional use of the Commerce Clause (Article 1, Sec. 8, Clause 3) of the Constitution to justify all manner of interference in interstate activity (it also covers commerce “with the Indian tribes”) has been used over the years as a Congressional pretext or excuse for regulating all sorts of State and private and Citizen activities: the key is how you define ‘commerce’, which in Congress’s view is as expandable a term as ‘sex offense’, ‘harm’ and so on and so forth.

Apparently, SO’s or putative SO’s who travel across State lines for any reason whatsoever will ‘discourage’ potential victims (women and children, mostly) from conducting their own interstate  ‘commerce’ and thus the AWA is, they would like you to agree, justified ‘in the Constitution’.

You can see here for a short but professional discussion of the overall Commerce Clause problem.

Interestingly, in light of points I have been making on my other site but also on this site, this increasing use of the Clause was the grounding of the major civil-rights legislation of the early 1960s. But, I would say, you can thus quickly see how the expansion of that first Phase of the Civil Rights movement to include – after 1970 or so – all manner of victimization of all manner of persons not on the basis of Race but rather Gender or ‘victimhood’ has wound up not so much ‘extending civil rights’ but rather creating the precedent for police-state type regimes (the SO Mania Regime being the first major effort along these lines) and also for getting the feds into the baaad habit of imposing themselves very deeply, especially with the Sovereign police power, in numerous ways.

Which, by the by, is a mirror image of the government’s approach to foreign policy, where it has also become rather ‘invasive’ and ‘impositional’ on the most slender and dubious grounds, including later-proved-nonexistent ‘outrages’ and ‘crimes’ (think of Saddam’s nonexistent WMD and ‘child-molesting’ and Libya’s nonexistent Viagra-crazed troops raping numberless opponents of Quadaffi’s government as  a matter of policy).


I can see two other points relevant here.

First – and I’ve mentioned it many times before – is that there are now large numbers of people in a matrix of assorted advanced-level advocacy groups and cottage industries that are hooked on this Mania for either cash or status or a sense of some ‘meaning’ and ‘purpose’ (and this last is a good thing, if wisely and intelligently sought). None of these types are going to want to ‘let go’ and all of them may well be concerned that the Mania – and the government cash that fuels it – is starting to fade in the national attention.

Second, and more ominous: once the ‘aura’ of this Mania fades then all sorts of things are going to start coming to light. Specifically, things that were done – ‘in a good cause’ – that were not legitimate or were dishonestly spun and done. Neither the ‘advocates’ nor their political enablers want this to happen, and thus the ‘press’ has to be kept up so that there is much less chance of this Tire being Kicked. One thinks of that member of the Central Committee who blurted out in Lenin’s day: What happens if the masses find out what we’ve really done?

Given the nature of human dynamics, and especially given the fact that it has become axiomatic in the Advocacy Age that either a) untruth in a good cause is Good or b) there is no truth anyway … then you can presume some skullduggery. And given the large amounts of cash involved, you can presume a whole lot of skullduggery. Perhaps even rising to the level of criminal actions.

So Sensenbrenner may well now be trapped into continuing to feed this thing with tax money or else the lid will come off a whole lot of stuff neither he nor his colleagues would like to have exposed.

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