Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

House passes bill to outlaw GOP dirty tricks

The state House unanimously passed a bill today to outlaw the mailing of fake sex offender notification postcards. HB 3238 reads as follows:
Sec. 1. The legislature finds that attempts to unduly alarm the public using fake sex offender notifications is reprehensible and disgusting. Our world is a scary enough place without opportunistic individuals or groups using phony boogeymen to scare children and other vulnerable persons. It is the intent of the legislature to protect our communities from the very real threats posed by violent sex predators and from those that would seek to exploit those threats by terrorizing the population with bogus notifications.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 9A.84 RCW to read as follows:(1) A person is guilty of distributing a false sex offender community notification bulletin if, with the intent to alarm, harass, or intimidate any other person, he or she distributes information, designed to resemble a sex offender community notification bulletin knowing that it is not a sex offender community notification bulletin. (2) Distributing a false sex offender community notification bulletin is a class C felony. (3) For purposes of this section, "sex offender community notification bulletin" means a bulletin created by law enforcement for the purpose of notifying the public about a registered sex offender under RCW 4.24.550.
Even Representative DeBolt, leader of the GOP caucus, voted for the bill, which passed with 97 yeas and one representative excused. The state Senate ought to act quickly to send the legislation to the Governor's desk so it can be signed into law. Carl over at the Washington State Political Report has some thoughts about DeBolt's support for HB 3238.

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