Politics has no place in Gang Legislation

Gang Legislation is about protecting our residents from criminal street gangs, it has nothing to with “racial profiling” as the ACLU would have you believe.

Almost as quickly as the Senate Democrats in Washington State removed the 2/3rd’s requirement for increasing taxes, they once again have gutted, strike that…killed legislation that would help cities and counties combat criminal street gangs.

Yakima-area lawmakers tried to get tough on gangs at the Legislature this year, but they were turned back at the last minute by powerful Democrats who worried the proposal amounted to racial profiling and would penalize innocent property owners.

Rep. Norm Johnson, R-Yakima, said Monday that a measure that would have given citizens and law enforcement another means to fight criminal gang activity “was systematically dismantled in the Senate” last week, becoming “a victim of politics.” …


I ask you, when will our legislators in Olympia, namely the Senate Democrats realize that we do indeed have a gang problem in this state?!  Back in 2007 the City of Sunnyside adopted the first ever gang legislation in the state.  It had many of the provisions Rep. Johnson’s bill had, and gave our police the tools they desperately needed in order to address the gang problems in our city.  I say ‘had’ because almost immediately the State Legislature took notice of Sunnyside’s actions, and before the year was out, legislation had passed through both houses creating a new Criminal Gang Activity Law.  The problem is that in order to get it passed Republicans allowed the Democrats to gut it! – It had none of the nuisance language that ours had, it also didn’t allow the police to create ‘special event areas’ – it was basically a law that for the first time in Washington’s history identified what a Criminal Street Gang was and basically nothing more.  They also ‘preempted’ any current lower level legislation, which meant the City of Sunnyside had to change it’s law to meet the State’s standard.

Now jump ahead to 2010, Rep. Norm Johnson, R-Yakima and Rep. Charles Ross, R-Naches introduce legislation that would put back some of the teeth that the original bill had in 2007.  It passed the House by a vote of 90-6, it passed the Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee (with the removal of the nuisance procedures and gang injunctions) – However, even with those items removed, it still might have been a decent law for the books; however, I’ll bet you can guess what Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D-Spokane) and her cronies did?  That’s right, they killed it.  They allowed it to die in the Senate Rules Committee, and when calls were put to their offices, they didn’t even have the common courtesy to return them.  According to the Yakima Herald, calls to Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown’s (D-Spokane) office were not returned.

Winston Churchill said, “A politician thinks about the next election – the statesman thinks about the next generation.” – If you ask me, these ladies and gentlemen in Olympia need to start acting like statesmen instead of politicians!

Hopefully, this year, we can send a strong message to Olympia by giving a few of them their walking papers!

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James A. Restucci is the author of this blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Internal License.

4 Responses to Politics has no place in Gang Legislation

  1. EagleWatch says:

    I agree with you, Jeanine, that our legislatures – near and far – have “lost their way”. One of ways that manifests itself in the substitution of political correctness for rational thought. And you’re right, it probably wasn’t the driving force here, merely the feel-good tool used to kill a “harsh” bill that demanded blame be assigned rather than socialized.

    On a secondary note: If Nancy Pelosi is a right-handed, white American male of European extraction, I’d say Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell has been effectively repealed.

    On a tertiary note: the power structure looks like it does because of the votes of all those of other descriptions.

  2. TVNews says:

    Jeanine is siding with the evil, hateful conservatives? I thought I felt a disturbance in The Force ™.

    The Politically Correct Goon Squad will stomp on anything that even remotely resembles something outside the boundaries they arbitrarily set on the rest of the world. They will do so regardless of how much damage they do in the process.

    It’s all about the cause and things like common sense, facts, etc, cannot be allowed to interfere.

  3. jeanine says:

    This piece of legislation dying in committee is not about political correctness, as some may posit, but further evidence of the dire straights our state is in. Largely this has nothing to do with politics and more to do with what, you said at the end, Jim. That our legislators have lost their way; they have begun to concentrate on their own advancement, rather than the benefit of the people they represent.

    Our legislators HAVE managed to increase their paychecks, but have turned their backs on recognizing that by increasing their pay, they have turned their backs on the people and the needs of the people. Gang legislation is one more example of this. By not passing this legislation, the legislature has denied the citizens of Toppenihs, Sunnyside, Seattle, etc., basic safety and they have also denied the peace officers in this state not only the tools to protect the public, but the tools to protect themselves. Unfortunately, the current weapon of choice for local gang members is to go after the police and the innocent.

    In recent weeks, Yakima County has been beseiged by gang violence. Over the weekend, occupents of a car opened fire on a Sheriff’s deputy when he attempted to pull the vehicle over after a report of suspicious behavior. That same night, in Yakima, suspected gang members opened fire on a car, at random, on 16th and Washington. The passenger was hit several times and died. These are just some of the reasons that gang legislation needs to be passed; however, one of the harsh realities of the failure of this bill, is that even if it had passed, it is unlikely that it would be funded.

    On a secondary note: right-handed, white American Males of European extraction are already a special interest group. They are called our entire government. The patriarchy.

  4. EagleWatch says:

    Ah yes … political correctness. I figure I don’t have long to wait before I, as a right-handed white American male of European extraction, belong to the only non-special-interest group. At which point, we will constitute, by definition, the only special-interest group. Just a thought.