MARYLAND’S “REPUBLICAN” GOVERNOR DOUBLES DOWN ON FASCISM
|| By FITSNEWS || In case it wasn’t abundantly clear by now that the “Republican” party is not the party of limited government, we have a refresher from the state of Maryland …
“Despite recent gains around the country, civil asset forfeiture reform suffered a setback in Maryland when Gov. Larry Hogan (R) vetoed a bill that would have placed restraints on the state’s civil forfeiture regime,” The Cato Institute’s @Liberty blog noted.
What’s “civil asset forfeiture?” When government steals your property (i.e. houses, cars, money … anything) without first convicting you of committing a crime. Or in many cases, stealing because someone committed a crime using your property without your knowledge.
This website has repeatedly railed on civil asset forfeiture at both the federal and state level. It’s simply wrong – a violation of our most basic liberties. Not only should it be outlawed, it should be eliminated.
Unfortunately the Maryland law – which would have capped seizure amounts at $300 and added other property protections for private citizens – was shut down by the state’s “Republican” governor.
Hogan’s logic in vetoing the law? That it “would greatly inhibit” his state’s war on drugs …
In case it’s not clear what’s happening here: Hogan is preserving one attack on freedom in the name of expanding another.
“Civil asset forfeiture is not merely susceptible to abuse; civil asset forfeiture is abuse,” Cato’s Adam Bates wrote. “Under no circumstances should someone be forced to forfeit their money, property, or even their home to the government on suspicion alone.”
We concur wholeheartedly …
Shame on Hogan for embracing one form of fascism in the furtherance of another …
Stealing people’s money to pay for bloated BS Governance is not necessarily a R/D ideology a much as it is bureaucratic need. I would bet most State employees couldn’t give a rat’s behind about which Party is running things as long as their budget, jobs, and productivity is left alone.
“productivity” or lack there of?
FITS: shouldn’t you be sending this ad spammer a bill?
I don’t know how one of my comments gets flagged as spam and not this Kathy/Amanda or whoever posts it? I am guessing because they don’t have Disqus and no spam filter on this site?
Agree this spammer needs a bill!
Many other Disques blogs have a span filter that knocks the into the round file, promptly. It’s not rocket surgery any more.
I’m Conflicted. Civil forfeiture can be a useful tool, but there are abuses.
1. There is a heavy burden to recover property especially if you’re from out of the area.
2. Police often allow illegal activities to continue until it is an advantageous moment to recover more property to fund police operations.
3. Preventative policing is not encouraged because it doesn’t result in forfeitures that can fund operations.
See, no confusion. It’s basically abusive from day one?
You are ALWAYS ‘conflicted’ -ya phony hypocrite. You are either bi-polar or a plant from the ‘left’. :)
I’m not a “phony” hypocrite. I’m completely legitimate. ;-)
If evil spirits or persons threaten me in this place,
Fight Water by Water and Fire by Fire,
Banish their souls into nothingness,
and remove their powers until the last trace.
Let these evil beings flee,
Through time and space.
I’m so relieved that you’re not an atheist.
The world is too complex to explain it by random chance. Intelligent design is the only logical explanation. My understanding of the supreme being may differ from yours but there is an intelligent force behind the development of the universe.
The supreme being is God. His son Jesus was crucified buried, and rose from the dead. What is so hard about that ?
Yeah, where’s the mystery?
The world is too complex to explain it by random chance.
random chance is pretty complex.
Ha! As you know Euwe in computer programming, randomly generated information is really random. Random chance can be complex.
So who is behind private property seizure laws, rule, guidelines, etc.?
The world is complex and intelligent design. I believe you have every right to your beliefs and hope you find comfort in them (genuine, no sarcasm). I also hope that you respect the beliefs of those who prefer science and facts – equally – without judgement. As they say in Vikings (paraphrasing), “maybe one day our gods can be friends.”
I’m conservative, but I don’t let my ideology dictate facts.
you’re wrong. In fact, you’re lying. Most civil forfeitures are never disputed as parts of plea agreements by the criminals. Many of the “abuses” we hear about have back-stories involving plea deals, lack of proof-of-ownership (possession of stolen goods, surrender to avoid charges), and other shady/ illegal issues. Of course, all the little sociopaths see themselves as “victims”, and they love to tell stories. LE is often prohibited from revealing the truth because of privacy laws and issues.
(1) simply isn’t true. The burden is actually heavier on LE, and the costs of the hearings is high.
(2) Police wait until they have a STRONG case. It’s wrong to arrest a person without a solid case. That means taking time to properly investigate. The real world isn’t like TV…. crimes aren’t solved in an hour.
(3) Preventative policing is not encouraged by a public who doesn’t want to fund the COST of proactive policing, and because our legal system precludes real preventaive policing.
(4) Again, not enough funding to provide services.
(5) Actually, LACK of policing creates what you describe. Baltimore.
Here comes our local Brownshirt to tell us how if he can’t “legally” steal people’s money and property all hell will break loose and society will devolve in to Baltimore, Mogadishu, or some other third world hellscape.
Ride down highway 301, 441, I-95, I-4, or the Turnpike in Florida with a bag of cash and a broken taillight then get back to us.
I frequently find myself in agreement with you on various topics but on this one, go to YouTube and search for “Tennessee Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws”. Then get back to me and tell me there’s nothing wrong, with a straight face.
Maybe in SC.
Hmm….I’m thinking you have found the sarcasm button on your computer. I agree with some of what you say, but it doesn’t fit your “profile” ;)
I don’t think this alarms people as much as it should because most people see this occurring when cops find drugs on a person, in a car, or in a house and that property is seized. I think this is wrong without a court of some standing rendering a verdict in the case pertaining to the seizing.
Most people are not upset or see no reason to protest the action since most have not been violated by these seizures. If we want to maintain some semblance of freedom in this country, it is time to put an end to these “instant seizures.”
I will bet that 99% of the time the car owner was aware of what the car was being used for.
And maybe the owner/driver is not always aware of of what his passengers have on their person. The seizure laws at the very least need some modification.
Yes they should include something silly like legally proven guilt.
The “passenger had dope on him and I lost my car” thing is an urban myth. At any rate, the forfeiture laws have been heavily modified since the early days.
I disagree it is an urban myth. The passenger panics and tosses it in the car he is riding in, who is at fault?
The passenger (unless the driver decides to cowboy up and take the rap, which happens once in blue moon due to gang involvement, promised support later, etc.). Keep in mind that the key here is “lose the car” part. It’s much harder to do that these days without a dealer-level charge to hook on with. I guess if the passenger was as big as Chris Christy and had a pound or three of MJ in his pants and was able to chuck in the back seat it could happen, but only if the driver played along and didn’t dime him out. the controls are much, much better than they were back in the horror story days when LE agencies were abusing the shit out of the forfeiture statutes.
Want to lose your car because your brother leaves his bong in the trunk?
Silliness. Doesn’t happen.
Mike, I’m pretty much pro LE but being from Florida I have to politely disagree. My friend was speeding to make an appointment to purchase a vehicle to surprise her husband. She had made the poor choice of being honest with some corrupt, dishonest, POS who actually tried to paint her as a drug kingpin in an attempt to score money for his dept. to win favor with the Chief. Eventually, it all came out, but most people just walk away because they are intimidated. This is just one anecdotal story but I’m sure not the only.
I hear ya, and don’t doubt your story. I would be willing to bet, though, that it wasn’t very recent, wasn’t a large agency, and that (at least) there was dope or a large amount of small-denomination cash in the car. As I said, there have been very real problems with the system- you can’t give executive agencies (like LE) as much authority and discretion as the early forfeiture laws did without expecting problems. There’s now better court guidance, more (and tighter) federal oversight, and in most states, much better oversight by local prosecutorial agencies. It’s like most issues, the anecdotal horror stories get all of the press, but in the vast majority of cases it WAS drug dealers losing their shit, not Grandma’s Buick getting seized by the overzealous Barney Fife local cop.
Correct on points except the drugs. The bag full of waitress tips was his “evidence”. Google Police corruption,Lake County Fl and the case may even pop up, I don’t want to say much more. Sounds like Law has changed since the late 90s, haven’t followed just glad to be out of there.
Oh yeah…the 90’s were the heyday of forfeiture-mania. Things are much tighter now. I hate that your friend got hassled – hopefully the asshole cop eventually got his full dose of karma. Most do, eventually.
Maybe not in SC.
Throw a bag of smack through the window of the sheriff or DA’s car, or his house – call the DEA about the crime of possession and see if it’s seized.
It would have to be a pretty big bag to meet thresholds in most states…don’t hurt your backs…
How much heroin would he have to have in his car to have it impounded in South Carolina?
I was being sarcastic, but your question is valid. Complicated within the confines of this discussion, but here’s my crack at the nickel answer… it depends.
In most states with civil forfeiture, there’s either a bright line weight standard or other requirements (such as evidence of distribution / trafficking). The amounts can also vary by the type of dope (for obvious reasons). What most folks don’t know is that most of the real issues in civil forfeiture on the federal side of the house, and don’t always deal with dope. The US DOJ fixed that earlier this year by reigning in the federal seizure of bank accounts and requiring that there be criminal charges.
At the state level forfeitures aren’t controlled by the feds. Here in SC, the statutory limit for civil forfeiture of a conveyance such as a motor vehicle (pursuant to §44-43-520, SC Code of Laws) used to transport heroin is only 2 grains (about 130 mg), but this is where it gets tricky. Forfeitures don’t actually happen at this level of seizure, because either the AG’s office or local Solicitor must bring the civil action (as is the case with criminal charges, the LE agencies do not get the final say). While they don’t *always* require criminal charges (as the feds now do), they usually do. More importantly, they usually require “dealer” charges (possession with intent to distribute, trafficking, etc.), which require much higher weights.
Sorry for the rambling, but the seemingly simple “2 grains” answer isn’t really accurate. In reality, for a civil forfeiture case to move forward (at least here in the Redneck Riviera portyion of SC) the vehicle must belong to the operator, who possessed the dope, was criminally charged, and likely possessed a dealer-level weight.
In South Carolina can any other criminal or civil case trigger a State seizure of private property?
(Out here in Taxifornia guy I know lost his big screen, his junky Corvette, other household goods for having a big bag of pot. The County and State never were able to seize his house and small farm because it was in his father’s name. But that was “drug related”, too.)
Some of the game laws (illegal nets, night hunting, etc.) allow seizure of vehicles and equipment.
There are a couple of forfeiture statutes beyond the dope stuff, but I’m not that familiar with them all. There are some pretty tough ones attendant to hunting / game law where one could end up donating a gun or boat to the state pretty quickly, and there’s a rarely used one that allows for vehicles (and certain other property) used during the commission of a crime to be seized and forfeited to the state. I know, too, that the tax man *always* has a way to seize bank accounts (as do counter-terror feds, post 9/11).
In those latter cases, there is almost always a judge involved … Except in the cases of the IRS. Those thieves have their own legal staffers acting as if they were real “judges”.
Better than drugs: child porn = bigger headlines.
Up in Connecticut the Gruberment will seize your real property if In Their Opinion, your property is not generating enough tax revenue. (Subject of Supreme Court decision, finding for the City, State.)
Out here in Taxifornia the State can and does seize private property for back taxes, drug busts, polluting your own real property, failing to clean up other people’s real property and being in the wrong political party (no kidding) … without convictions of any crime.
This multipart series is a real eye opener for those who think their local deputies patrolling the nearby interstates are doing nothing but good.
It is a racket and full of crony capitalism.
Oh, right after Gov. Hogan vetoed that bill, less than 6 months on the job, he headed to Japan to ride bullet trains and find out they are too expensive for DC to Baltimore. That was in WaPo, too.
Fuck The Police!
…’cause 911’s a joke in your town…
Your William Drayton update:
What kind of police state, invasive mind control, religious theocracy is it that uses men with guns to insure that a woman can’t have an abortion?
Nipple discrimination. Where is Al when we need him ????? LOL
Damn right!!!!! Down with nipplists!!!!
Years ago, I used to enjoy reading the old Matt Helm spy stories by Donald Hamilton. The author was apparently a no nonsense kind of guy on many levels and he used to convey what were apparrntly some of his personal thoughts via the musings and words of his character, Helm.
I recall in one book, Helm was in an urban setting and observed a junkie sitting on the sidewalk. He noted how it was funny that people who would never think of giving the guy enough money fof a sandwich, would gladly advocate for the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep that same man from having the means to inject substances into his own veins, by way of cops, courds, prison cells, and guards.
I miss Hamilton’s writings.
RIP Donald Hamilton.
When nitwits overuse words like “fascism” for every perceived slight perpetrated by the government, it either becomes cliche or makes the author appear silly (both, in this case). The early problems attendant to civil forfeiture laws (and there were real issues) have been addressed by the courts long ago. Zero tolerance? Out. Innocent owner defense? Yep. Due process and guaranteed access to the courts? Covered. SCOTUS guidance? Got it.
These facts won’t stop the usual blathering on here about Aunt Ethel’s car getting seized after her nephew drops a single MJ seed under her seat. Facts don’t play too well on this site…
Why does Fits support this drug shit all the time?
Hogan’s logic in vetoing the law? That it “would greatly inhibit” his state’s war on drugs …
Read more at https://www.fitsnews.com/2015/06/05/more-limited-government-gop-hypocrisy/#rOQ4h1YoyyqHFzxY.99
Please explain the usefulness of the War on Drugs. Cost benefit analysis please.
It lets us tax everyone more! Taxes are good I love them sooooooooooooo much! LMAO!!! LMAO!!!
It gives Big Brother an excuse to abridge everything from freedom of movement, to weapons possession, to privacy, and more to save us from drugs and drug dealers. As that excuse plays down, now we arm and create terrorists and terrorist groups for yhe same benefits.
If drugs were legal you’d go back to getting high instead of bothering everyone here?
Fascism is as Fascism does. The theft of private property Without Due Process, without a Judge or Jury involved, IS Fascism. All “progressive” Fascists have eventually brought about the destruction of private property rights. Noted nitwits: the Nazis’ track record, Mussolini’s, FDR’s, Woodrow Wilson’s … Red China, the Soviets … Cuba … Most recently, Cypress and Greece and the IMF … and the IRS … Oh Bummer?
True enough, but you said the magic words: Due process. It’s there now (in the early days decades ago, not so much).
I hope you are right Mike. I remember things I heard/read not so long ago, maybe a decade past, where “due process” was absent.
LOL – I don’t know who you are, but facts do not seem popular here in the comment section. The jokes are far better.
You’re such a fucking douche. You quote Cato, glowingly, on civil asset forfeiture, but you refuse to acknowledge that Cato is basically backing TPA, rightly. You’re getting paid by a bunch of protectionists, you hack.
Yeah, FITS is all about thugs not losing profits from criminal acts when they get caught.
These forfeiture laws are nothing but legalized stealing by govt. Nothing more, nothing less.
Exactly. The bureaucratic answer to poor results is always more money.
Hypocrisy is the only word to describe the GOP. They’re for limited government — unless they want the government to intervene on THEIR issues or to benefit THEIR benefactors or for THEIR constituents.
There is very little difference between Parties. The key differences are where are they going to spend our money? What strings are attached to get a portion of our tax dollars back to the states? It’s a bunch of wedge issues with strings attached. I keep hoping for a strong Independent, but if Independents gain power for any length of time, as Libertarians big and small, they will likely do the same thing. Tea Party has proven that in a short period of time.
“There is very little difference between Parties.” The Democrats have plenty of problems of their own, but they don’t make a fetish of “limited government” only to ignore the concept the moment it conflicts with their interests.
Yeah – the big difference there, when Republicans spend, it’s called “their interests” but when Democrats spend it’s called a “fundamental right”
Interesting how that works.
What about the guy in Montana who had over 350k in cash taken from him because he couldnt PROVE it wasnt drug money. He was a farmer on his way to buy a tractor.