Sunday, July 16, 2006

Don't Believe the (Townie) Hype

As the unofficial 4KS criminal law correspondent, I felt like I should have some insight into the upcoming election for Solicitor General. And you, loyal readers, should care, 4ks readers are much more likely to commit a misdemeanor (which is prosecuted by the Solicitor General) than a felony (prosecuted by the DA). Truth is, I'm hardly sure of who I should vote for, much less who to tell other people to vote for.

I can say one thing: Don't just vote for the liberal candidate of choice (Bill Overend) because he is the liberal candidate of choice. Yes, Flagpole likes him, and yes he does have signs up in most bars, and yes, he's the most liberal candidate, but the last couple years of Athens politics have demonstrated that a liberal run amok is just as bad as anyone else run amok. So how will the townie candidate handle misdemeanors? In his words, about speeding: "Enforce a zero-tolerance policy for drivers caught speeding on those neighborhood streets identified as “problem streets” – no reduction in speed for cited drivers, and no reduced fines. "

Which will be the problem streets? The ones where people call in and bitch about speeders. Which will those be? My money's on Boulevard and 5 points, not Rocksprings and Nellie B. If your speeding endangers five points kids is that any worse than endangering public housing kids? I think there's a difference between being a 'townie' and being an '(our part of the) townie', and this ridiculous idea in particular demonstrates a lack of understanding of the difference. If you take the time to vote in this election, take the time to figure out who you really want to vote for, not necessarily who the liberal establishment says you should vote for.


Anonymous crewzin777 said...

First of all the plan really can't be enforced. The number of speeding tickets given out in neigborhoods may be low, but it's not necessarily because of a lack of enforcement. There are several requirements under state law that must be met before speed detection devices can be used on a particular street. I'd venture a guess that the majority of neighborhood streets are not eligible under state law for the use of speed detection devices. Maybe someone with more time (and interest) could look into that.

There are also also problems with notice. How is one supposed to know that the street they are driving on is considered a "problem street?"

7/16/2006 4:09 PM  
Blogger deuce deuce said...

Pineapple, excellent insight. Now can you help me out with the secretary of state, governor, or lieutenant governor primaries?

By the way, I drove through your old stomping grounds, Oklahoma, a couple of weeks ago. I got a guided tour of the Oklahoma City Memorial at 3:30 in the morning. That was something.

7/16/2006 6:25 PM  
Blogger Huevos McGringo said...

first, some cursory research seems to indicates that yes, a municipality does have to request a permit to use speed detection devices on a certain street. however, the requirements to get such a permit appear to be extremely minimal (the permit must list the road and the speed enforced, the speed limit must be approved by the DOT, the device must be used by a certified peace officer). in other words, they can use them where they want as long as they take the time to request a permit.

second, there would be no notice requirement. this guy is not advocating any change in the law. my understanding is that he is merely stating that he, as the prosecutor of moving violations in athens-clarke county, will not use his prosecutorial discretion to indulge reduced speeds as a part of plea agreements.

pineapple, in our private discussions you have used stronger language in discussing the SG candidates. do you perhaps fear libel suit and/or professional difficulties? both concerns would be legitimate, i suppose.

7/17/2006 10:01 AM  
Blogger Huevos McGringo said...

ps- i admit i haven't looked at it too closely yet, but my initial statewide election stances are:

a) cathy cox for gov. i got to talk to her for 20 minutes one time; she's cool. and...
b) anybody but ralph reed for lt. gov. our state has enough recent public embarassments ( without electing this assclown.

7/17/2006 10:13 AM  
Anonymous crewzin777 said...

Straight from the website:
"Enforce a zero-tolerance policy for drivers caught speeding on those neighborhood streets identified as “problem streets” – no reduction in speed for cited drivers, and no reduced fines."

Still a notice issue because people caught speeding on "problem streets" are going to be treated differently than those speeding elsewhere in Athens. No reduction in speed or in fines for those individuals.

The implication by omission is that discretion will be used when dealing with those cited for traffic infractions in areas other than the "problem streets."

7/17/2006 10:39 AM  
Anonymous crewzin777 said...

Here's a quote from another part of the website:

"As your next Solicitor, I will be working with neighborhoods, law enforcement, and the community at large to target residential streets where traffic violations are a problem, and we will institute a zero tolerance policy for people caught speeding in these residential areas."

7/17/2006 10:44 AM  
Blogger Pineapple Colonoscopy said...

I think that the candidates have various strengths and weaknesses, and as I do know who I'm going to vote for I don't feel strongly enough tell anyone else who to vote for. Just think that this one aspect of the campaign should get a little attention

7/17/2006 11:11 AM  
Anonymous John_Parker said...

The permitting process for residential streets (at least as far as the DOT is concerned) is not as easy as it looks on paper -- I don't really think it's a rubber-stamp kind of thing.

Regardless, I think Bill's stupid plan will ultimately be held to be unconstitutional if he actually tries to implement it. I still voted for him. What worries me is if Bill and the Municipal Court Judge* get together and have some exorbitant standard fine scheme set up under pressure from the neighboorhood nazis.

Also, for anyone who's a first-time speeder, state law sets maximum fines for speeding violations, depending on how fast you're going. I'm 99.99% sure no one pays attention to those in Muni Court or in the Solicitor's Office, even now.

7/17/2006 11:40 AM  
Blogger Huevos McGringo said...

yeah, i don't claim to have any real understanding of the speed detection permitting. it could be that there are real constraints.

i still don't see how that is a "notice issue". i understand how it could be perceived that way morally (and perhaps logically), but i don't see how you could legally challenge the SG's inner-office policy regarding plea bargaining.

hell, if the "no cruising" ordinance [which is actually a law, requiring notice...thus the signs posted in downtown ATH] is legal, then this "protecting the children of 5 points & cobbham" policy seems like it has to be. i don't like it at all, but it sounds legal.

your thoughts, pineapple?

7/17/2006 1:40 PM  
Blogger deuce deuce said...

Huevos, I'm glad to hear something positive about Cathy Cox. I have little love for Mark Taylor, but Cathy Cox, in her ads at least, seems to be trying to play on a rather tiresome tough girl country image. It sure would be nice if she spent more time on issues rather than harping on the same ole "I'm the outsider, vote for me" schtick.

Nobody can be in a league of scum like Ralph Reed, but this Casey Cagle character comes off, for lack of a better word, like a real butthead.

7/17/2006 3:31 PM  
Blogger hillary said...

See, I think Overend's going overboard on the speeding thing, but I don't like speeding. What I do like is drinking, and that's an area where he's much more reasonable than the other dudes running.

7/17/2006 8:55 PM  
Anonymous crewzin777 said...

Huevos, my concern on the notice issue is not as a potential legal loophole. I'm more concerned about the lack of equity and fairness in Overend's speeding plan.

But I do think the arbitrariness of who might receive "tolerance" versus "zero tolerance" can be a legal problem. I think that's the issue John Parker is referring to.

Hillary, I doubt any of the candidates are proposing anything to stop or limit you from drinking.


7/17/2006 10:07 PM  
Blogger caddy said...

Cathy Cox rocks. I've interviewed Taylor and he's pretty tiresome - a very, very slightly less conservative sonny. cox may be only slightly left of that, but she seems like she actually might be a refreshing change from the good ole boy network, which still, 95%, does run the state political system. that's my two cents, anyway. in any case, get out and vote, and encourage your friends to do the same!!!!

7/18/2006 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been trying to determine whether it was more valuable to vote for Cox or hold my nose and vote against Reed today. Judging from these poll numbers, the Reed/Cagle campaign is the more competitive.

I guess I'm going to vote as a Republican for the 1st time in my life. Ugh.


7/18/2006 5:34 PM  
Blogger hillary said...

Hillary, I doubt any of the candidates are proposing anything to stop or limit you from drinking.

What? I totally heard that was in C.R.'s literature. "No more beer for Hillary."

7/18/2006 8:39 PM  
Anonymous crewzin777 said...

I think he did have a "no jagerbombs for Hillary" platform. Especially in the "problem bars."

It was in his "Is your bar safe?" flyer.

7/18/2006 8:56 PM  

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