Friday, January 26, 2007

When Words Fail Me

Wow. It's not even February yet, and the nominees for the New Hampshire Assmonkey Legislator of the Year award are coming in faster than I ever imagined they would. Look like I've got my work cut out for me up here.

Some of the early entries include:

State Representative James "I *heart* Income Tax, and So Should You" Kennedy (D-Exeter)

State Representative Laura "People on Cell Phones Get In My Way When I'm Doing 90" Pantelakos (D-Portsmouth)

State Senator David "Just Because It's Your Private Property Doesn't Mean the Government Can't Tell you What To Do With It" Gottesman (D-Nashua)

As worthy as these candidates may be for the aforementioned award, they've got an awful long way to go if they're going to beat out State Representative Delmar D. Burridge (D-Keene) for top honors in this category.

(insert standard warning about removing breakable objects from your reach and putting away any loaded firearms before reading any further)

From Reason Magazine:

On Monday, Toby Iselin of Keene, New Hampshire, sent a short, polite email message to his state representative, Delmar Burridge, asking him to support a full legislative debate on a marijuana decriminalization bill that the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, on which Burridge serves, was scheduled to consider this week. "I know you are opposed to this bill," Iselin said, but "I hope you will consider passing it through committee so that all sides will have their chance to speak on it." Burridge responded with predictable prohibitionist bluster, starting with his account of how marijuana killed his brother (who "was smoking a joint before the crash") and moving on to the "family devastation," "severe burns," and "lots of blood and death"—apparently all marijuana-related—that he witnessed as a juvenile probation officer in Philadelphia during the 1970s. "I will vote no on this Bill," he said, "and have lots of very chilling stories to relate to the other committee members so it goes my way." Fair enough. But then Burridge closed his message with what sounds like a veiled threat:

I am copying two members of the Keene Police Department in case you want to change your ways and act legal and save your friends.

You are very passionate in your beliefs and would make a great snitch.

Burridge evidently believes the police should take an interest in anyone who expresses support for drug policy reform. Talk about chilling.

Update: As jf and PoN helpfully note, the full text of the two messages can be found here and here (Iselin's blog).

Two words: Ass. Hole.

The Keene Sentinel contacted Mr. Burridge to give him an opportunity to respond and is fed this line of crap by the so-called representative of the people.

Rather than taunting Iselin, however, Burridge told The Sentinel he only meant to hold him responsible for committing a crime.

That would be the "crime" of asking your elected representatives to allow for open debate on matters before the legislature, apparently.

"It's not whether I agree with the guy or not," Burridge said. "When someone sends me an e-mail, and they say they're doing crimes, felonies or misdemeanors, and they put that in print, I have to respond in a responsible manner."

There's just one small problem with that response.

Iselin never acknowledges smoking marijuana in his e-mail, he said.

Link via Bitter, who adds...

Regardless of your feelings on the drug war, this has got to scare the living shit out of you. Imagine if you are a California gun owner and asked Dianne Feinstein not to vote for an AWB. As things stand now, they would merely laugh at your letter and send you a polite "no way in hell" letter. If Burridge’s attitude prevailed in the party, they would still laugh, still send you a "no way in hell" letter, but the P.S. would read, "We have notified local authorities so they may investigate you for illegal weapons possession. Have fun in prison!"

Here's hoping the good people of Keene have enough smarts to remove this assclown from office at the first opportunity, if not sooner.