Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Dear Idaho Sheriffs Association Members:

Concerning your proposed amendment to Idaho Code 34-618 to require deputies and jailers to take unpaid leaves of absence if they become candidates against you:

Ask your lobbyist and attorney Michael Kane to read a bill pending in the US House of Representatives. The bill he should read is H.R. 354, the State and Local Law Enforcement Discipline, Accountability, and Due Process Act of 2005 .

In particular, he should read Section 820(c)(2)(B) which states, "A law enforcement officer shall not be...required to resign or take an unpaid leave from employment with a law enforcement agency to be a candidate for an elective office or to serve in an elective office, unless such service is determined to be in conflict with or incompatible with service as a law enforcement officer."

Seems pretty clear, doesn't it, that at least Representative Jim Ramstad (MN-3) and eight cosponsors are against the stunt you are trying to pull? Now we'll see what the House Judiciary Committee has to say about it. I hope that Idaho's state legislators will see your manipulative legislation for what it is: An effort to get the legislature to do your dirty work for you.

But take heart! There may be a glimmer of good news for you in the proposed federal legislation. If the federal legislation passes as written, it won't take effect until two years after the date of enactment or the conclusion of the second legislative session of the State that begins on or after the date of enactment, whichever is sooner. So, if you work really quickly, you may have nearly three years to trample on the civil rights of your deputies and jailers.

Of course, you now have the opportunity to lobby your federal representatives to kill the offending section of the proposed federal law. In fact, why don't you try and have the whole
kit'n'kaboodle killed. Darned pesky federal legislation anyway!

Sadly, I'm sure you will try.

(Addendum: The link to H.R. 354 was replaced on February 27, 2005, at 2: 19 P.M. The original link produced an error message).


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