Nice Job, Tara
Most of us had to go to work this morning to support the leeches in our society, so we missed the interview with Paul Thurmond on WTMA. Thankfully, WTMA makes podcasts available on their website. The interview starts around the 18:00 mark on the podcast. This may be a bit disjointed as we are worn out from a tough day at work.
We had a bit of an exchange with Tara Servatius via email earlier this week. We expressed our dissatisfaction with local talk radio and the kid glove treatment given to Republicans and she called us wimps for not breaking one of our prime security directives and making an appearance on her show to rebut Thurmond in person. We had fun exchanging barbs with her.
Just a note to Tara – You are now known among some members of the CTL team as WTMA’s resident sexist. Why? You kept referring to “the blogger” as “he” and “him” and “the guy”. We have a few of those, but the part of the crew that makes up the “she” and “her” and “the gal” section took umbrage and they are busy sulking over your errant assumption. Don’t worry, though. They will get over it. You know how chicks are!
Our overall assessment of Tara’s interview is a positive one. She seemed to go after Thurmond quite a bit harder than we have come to expect from local talk radio. We were pleasantly surprised.
Thurmond’s first priority was making sure everyone listening knew we “went after him” and he whined about it for a bit. He seems a tad thin-skinned and should probably toughen up if he plans to stay in politics for very long. We thought Tara did a fine job of defending us since we couldn’t do it ourselves. We didn’t expect that, but we appreciate the kind words.
We call out thugs of all stripes and, to be quite honest, we considered Paul Thurmond an elected thug when we read the language in his bill. Rest assured, Paul, when you do something super-duper we will give you credit just as quickly as we dinged you on this one. Hell, most of us voted for your imperfect bill writing butt. That might be subject to change next time around, of course.
Thurmond also complained that we didn’t call him. Yeah, well, that isn’t what we do. We would explain it yet again, but Thurmond made it very plain he has never “looked at” the blog. Yeah, okay. We point out the issues and ask some of those ten to twenty thousand folks who hit the blog everyday to make the calls. They rarely disappoint us.
Thurmond tells us his bill is aimed at “businesses” who post mugshots. For most of those sites that is their sole business. They make money from it, one way or another, or they wouldn’t bother to do it. Instead of aiming his bill solely at that industry he chose to follow what appeared to be the path of least resistance and just lumped EVERYONE into the business category via his poorly worded bill.
At two points in the interview Tara said, “This could be me. Are you willing to put a blogger, or me or someone from the Post & Courier in jail for posting a mugshot?” On both occasions Thurmond ducked the question by claiming no one ever wrote a perfect bill. How about just a decent initial effort, Paul? That would be nice and would keep the heat down a bit.
Tara then presented Thurmond with an example, we believe it was Glendell Gladden. She referred to Gladden several times in the interview and for good reason. He has had two murder charges and an attempted murder charge dismissed by the 9th Circuit Solicitor and is now charged with yet another murder. Yet again, Thurmond failed to answer the question posed and decided to offer his own example. “Suppose you were wrongfully arrested for DUI?” Seriously, Paul?
Thurmond then addressed our issue with charges being pled down or changed. He stated anyone who had charges changed would be re-indicted, thereby resulting in another booking session and a new mugshot for the new offense. Gee, that’s great! Except it isn’t.
Let’s say CTL, or Tara Servatius, or Average Joe posted a mugshot on the original charge. Once a new charge is issued the original charge is dismissed. This usually happens months or years down the road. Not everyone can track these cases full time – not even us. According to changes in other statutes we have featured recently, the records for the charge which was dismissed must be done away with. So the thug comes after you because you still have his mugshot for the Aggravated Mopery charge up on your feed or your blog, but that charge was dismissed and replaced with the charge of Scrote Being Stupid in Public. Under this poorly written bill you are liable for that oversight of not switching the mugshot. Hello county jail! Maybe that example is a bit simplistic, but you get the idea.
Thurmond pointed out, correctly, his bill only deals with mugshots. He failed to mention the recent changes to the other statutes we have addressed in these pages. When the effects of all of these efforts are put together citizens have to ask who they are designed to protect – citizens, criminals or solicitors? A concerted effort to hide public records from the public only serves to make the public suspicious of your motives.
Another issue is the ill-advised attempt to make public information suddenly private information. You can’t just flip a switch these days and expect all that information to disappear. Unless a worldwide EMP suddenly kills all electricity on the planet forever, that information will be available for all time somewhere on the interweb. Any decent sleuth can track it down.
Other states like Georgia and Texas have passed similar ill-advised legislation. We suspect it won’t be too long before one of them ends up before the Supreme Court after a lengthy and costly legal battle. And who makes money from lengthy and costly legal battles? Lawyers, of course!! When it comes to 1st Amendment issues the lawyers being paid by the state don’t usually get their way with the Supremes. Oh, snap! We just played the 1st Amendment card. Yep. Interesting the lawyer in the legislature doesn’t even seem to have considered it.
Tara pointed out she wants to be able to post mugshots on her feed, or WTMA’s feed to inform the public, but she was afraid this proposed legislation would cause problems for them. Thurmond stated yet again this bill was only aimed at mugshots, not “print media” or restricting Tara’s ability to discuss her opinion. He should have clarified the “print media” comment. In the context in which it was used we believe “print media” means records other than mugshots. Once again, we have pointed out the disconcerting changes directed at those records via changes to 17-1-40 and other statutes.
A caller then pointed out the problem with the bill classifying citizens as a business for simply posting a mugshot. The caller asked if the parents of Marley Lion would be considered a business if they put up mugshots of the thugs who murdered their son. Thurmond said the issue would vetted. Um….okay. We guess that’s it then! Done deal. Not.
A reader pointed out to us that WCSC is on the bandwagon. Can’t expect any tough questions from them.
Let us put this as plainly as we know how. Thurmond kept telling Tara about the client he got some money for because she was falsely accused of shoplifting and Thurmond sued the store. This client couldn’t get her mugshot removed from Mugshots.com without paying a few hundred dollars. Is that right? No, it isn’t. Unfortunately, it brings us back to a central point in this argument – you can’t wave a magic wand and make public information private. You can’t wave a magic wand and make a private citizen a business and then punish them for their speech, expressing their opinion or commenting on the news of the day. You can’t wave a magic wand and suddenly make yesterday’s news tomorrow’s secret. The state legislature is not a magic wand.
Laws requiring government agencies to expunge certain information cannot be applied to private citizens. If that was the case a ton of folks would be doing time for calling OJ a murderer after he was found “not guilty”.
Thurmond went off on a tangent at one point, so we will follow suit. About midway through the interview Thurmond attempted to rehabilitate Scarlett Wilson’s image with the voters by pointing out her support for S 19, an amendment to 17-15-55, which dealt with repeat offenders out on bond who offended again. We should point out that bill wasn’t proposed until December of 2012, after nine months of CTL calling out the solicitors, judges and the system for those failures. Unfortunately, the true penalty of an additional prison term was removed from that bill prior to it reaching the Governor’s desk. That wasn’t Wilson’s fault, of course. We believe it was proposed by Democrat Gerald Malloy of Darlington.That castrated version passed with the help of the Republicans and was signed into law by Republican Governor Nikki Haley. So, basically, nothing changed with regard to bond court. See how effective the legislature can be? Sheesh!