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Sunday, February 10, 2008


This blog isn't really about politics, except when it applies to civil rights and police accountability. As such, we weren't going to put any endorsements out there in regards to the national elections and/or primaries.

But, the more we thought about it, the more we started to think about how the race might impact the issues of civil rights and police accountability. While the office of president generally doesn't do much to impact police departments on a local level directly, there are some things they do that have an effect on the powers that the police wield and the kind of oversight that goes with that authority.

Generally speaking, we consider Hillary Clinton's history closely tied with her husband's legacy in regards to law enforcement and as an aspect of her campaign focus.

Given stories like this, which demonstrate the Clinton campaign's support of police departments involved in questionable raids, and no mention of civil rights enforcement on her platform means we cannot support Clinton. (not to mention her husband's expansion of the federal death penalty and raids like Waco and the Elian debacle as well, these are concerns because she is likely to have similar people on her cabinet that Bill did... though, to be fair, Bill Clinton did increase the DOJ Civil Rights Division budget better than both Bush presidents did).

We also view McCain under the light of being a republican, and that the DOJ Department of Civil Rights, which monitors of 'color of law' abuses which include police misconduct and detainee abuse, budgets always suffer under republican led presidencies. Since there is no mention of civil rights on his platform, we cannot throw our support behind him.

This leaves us with Barack Obama, who has specificly pledged to strengthen the civil rights enforcement branches of the DOJ and work on sentencing disparities. Though much of his focus is on voting rights issues, we feel that the effects of strengthening the civil rights enforcement divisions of the DOJ will help address issues of rampant police corruption and detainee abuses, such as those that occur here in Seattle which have been investigated by the DOJ Civil Rights Division.

Therefore, we endorse Barack Obama. It's that simple, if civil rights, police accountability, and respecting the concepts of due process and human rights are important issues to you, there is only one candidate that comes close to addressing these issues at this point in time. Vote for that person if you like the idea of keeping and restoring your constitutionally protected rights.

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