Monday, April 07, 2008

Props to Biden and Crapo

"Dear Colleague" letters are frequently circulated on Capitol Hill among members offices - one Senator's office will write a letter to another Senator and have a bunch of colleagues add their signatures. I’d like to doff my cap to Senators Joe Biden and Mike Crapo (say Cray Poe) for a recent letter they “co-wrote” to Senators Barbara Mikulski and Richard Shelby, the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science. Biden and Crapo, and all the Senators who co-signed their letter, were writing to request that the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 be fully funded for FY2009.

The relevant legislation “strengthened sex offender registry requirements and enforcement, and increased penalties for child predators.” It includes funding for the Rape Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, sex offender monitoring, crime prevention, and more. It’s no surprise that the Democrat Biden and Republican Crapo would be the ones pushing for this legislation. Biden is a long-time advocate of women’s and childen’s rights; it was one of the reasons I pushed so hard for him in the presidential race. Crapo is one of our senators up in Idaho – you know, the one who’s only questionable restroom connection is his name, not his rap sheet. He’s far too conservative for me to ever vote for, but like Biden, he is a long time advocate of fighting domestic abuse and the like. I may not support, but I do respect him. I’ve also met both of these men, and they are quite gracious.

Many Dear Colleague letters try to garner support by highlighting the benefits the recipient’s home state will receive. Not the Biden-Crapo letter. They pushed solely on the merits – protecting children is something for the whole country. No earmarks there.

The promised post on Dartmouth College, Bishop Gene Robinson, and civil rights martyr Jonathan Daniels will most likely come tomorrow. I've already started writing it.

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