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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Governor Was Carded... So What?

The big news making the rounds today is about Washington state's Governor Christine Gregoire being turned away from an Olympia bar because she didn't have her ID with her when she, her compliment of political friends, and police escort went to have a few after an event.

Apparently, this news is so important that some MSM outlets have even posted the story that criticizes the hapless doorman multiple times on their sites, though generally just repeating each other verbatim with nothing new to add:

The stories all state that the governor was a good sport about the incident but the press makes a big stink about it and the stories end with the owner apologizing and saying that his part-time bouncer might need to have some additional training... Really?

Well, aside from trying to figure out why this event being given such wide ranging and prominent coverage when there are better things to cover, (such as the very pertinent complaints raised during the public meetings on the city's efforts to build it's own jail), it is curious that reporters haven't offered any real reasons why bouncers are so cautious that they'd even card your 90 year old grandma or prominent political figures and pat them down before entry.

If you want to know why, just look at stupid political stunts that use the police and justice system to make political points, like Seattle's "Operation Sobering Thought" and other opportunistic police harassment of nightclubs for instance. Such politically motivated stings that employed very questionable tactics and resulted in such shoddy arrests and episodes of harassment that they ended up embarrassing the city repeatedly but cost low-wage security staff countless hours of lost wages, thousands of dollars in legal fees, and the lasting reminder of an an arrest on their record... all so the city could make a political point at their expense.

So, next time the press has a seizure over some poor doorman refusing to let someone in who doesn't have ID, think back to that last shameless "tough on crime" political stunt you supported. After all, why go through the punishment of being dragged through the justice system and being left with nothing but misery, EVEN IF THEY WIN, (none of the people arrested in that sting have been convicted by the way) just for the convenience of some politician, your bar's patrons, or even your butt-covering boss?


Seattle Crime Blogger said...

My thoughts exactly...thanks for shedding some common sense on this matter. It must be a slow news day (as if in reality there ever were such a thing), because I've read more about this "story" than anything else today.

We see these absurd and ineffective "stings" targeting bars and putting those who work in them on extremely high alert, and then the newspapers have the nerve to say the bar's owner thinks his bouncer needs "more training"? Give me a break. The disconnect seen here between historical events - recent historical events, at that - is ridiculous. Thanks for showing that at least some people haven't lost sight of reason.

Packratt said...

Thanks for seeing it too, it's all ridiculous and there are MUCH better things for the press to do than harass some poor working stiff over something they caused by their own senseless sensationalism stirring up senseless calls for more senseless laws that keep the police too busy to deal with real crimes.

It's ridiculous. Big story all over the place when every bouncer I know cards EVERYONE because they are told to... just to play it safe.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the RCW requires all bar/tavern patrons to have ID on their person, regardless of age.

Packratt said...

Actually, I've been looking at the RCWs and LCB regulations on that matter and another similar but very pervasive rumor that "you're required to have ID at all times and must provide it to law enforcement officers on demand".

Both are apparently false, there is no requirement to have identification or supply it on demand while in public and the only recommendations that exist under LCB and RCW is that if a person appears to be under 30 that servers or employees of a licensed establishment should ask for identification... but there is no law in that regard, only that you can't serve to minors or those who appear to be intoxicated.

If you do come across the specific RCW then please do let me know because that would be a HUGE story, that the governor tried to break the law by entering an establishment without an ID when one was required.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment!!

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