Violent felons will still go free on in mass prison break Senate legislation

April 28, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to legislation being touted today that will result in thousands of federal prison inmates, including violent criminals, being released early:

“The Senate mass prison break bill clearly allows thousands of violent felons who committed assault to be eligible to leave jail early. It’s right there in the bill. Those who commit assault are only barred from leaving prison early if it was a ‘serious violent felony’ under federal law, meaning sentences that carried a maximum of 10 years or more. Everybody who committed assault that carried a maximum of less than 10 years, including under state laws, remains eligible for early release.

“By definition, then, violent felons will still be eligible for early release, including Wendell Callahan, the suspect in the Columbus, Ohio brutal triple murder of a mother and her two young daughters, who was deemed eligible for early release for his drug release under the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act that was retroactively applied by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Callahan had committed felonious assault in Ohio in 1999, but because it only carried a maximum five-year minimum at the time, it is not a ‘serious violent felony’ under federal law, and he still would have been eligible for early release under the new bill.

“This is not surprising. After all, the new bill is neither designed to revisit the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act nor the Commission’s retroactive application of it, it is only supposed to build upon it, letting additional classes of criminals go free beyond those already freed under the prior law. Otherwise then members might have to admit culpability for the acts of those already freed from prison early.

“No matter how many press releases and media events that John Cornyn does with his new best friend Van Jones, the unmistakable result of this ‘revised’ legislation is that more people will become victims of early released criminals, and anyone who votes for the bill will be directly responsible for all their pain and suffering.”

Attachments:

“Columbus, Ohio triple murder suspect would still go free under Senate sentencing reform bill,” By Robert Romano, April 20, 2016 at http://netrightdaily.com/2016/04/columbus-ohio-triple-murder-suspect-still-go-free-senate-sentencing-reform-bill/

18 U.S.C. § 3559(c)(2)(F)(ii)” the term “serious violent felony” means… any other offense punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years or more that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another or that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may be used in the course of committing the offense;” at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3559

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Sen. Dan Sullivan faces backlash for mass prison break support

April 27, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government today issued the following statement expressing disappointment with Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) who on April 22 for supported legislation that will lead to the early release of thousands of federal prison inmates:

“We are disappointed that Sen. Sullivan is supporting legislation that will leave Alaskans vulnerable to violent felons and drug traffickers being released from federal prison early. Americans for Limited Government has praised Sullivan in the for his views on the Internet giveaway and other important topics, and we urge him to reconsider his position as it is a solution in search of a problem.

“In truth, Wendell Callahan who after early release allegedly committed a triple murder in Columbus, Ohio would still have been eligible for early release under the new legislation. There is simply no excuse for kowtowing to President Obama, Van Jones and the hard left on this mass prison break out of some misplaced libertarian fantasy. The truth is, passage of this legislation will result in more crime, more violence and more deaths.”

Attachments:

Columbus, Ohio triple murder suspect would still go free under Senate sentencing reform bill, April 27, 2016 at http://netrightdaily.com/2016/04/columbus-ohio-triple-murder-suspect-still-go-free-senate-sentencing-reform-bill/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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States should follow Nebraska’s lead in eliminating civil asset forfeiture

April 26, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.) for signing LB 1106, legislation that restricts civil asset forfeiture to certain eligible crimes, and only after a conviction of one of those crimes has occurred:

“The state of Nebraska has taken a major stand for liberty by eliminating most of their civil asset forfeiture laws. Civil asset forfeiture has become nothing more or less than government-sanctioned theft of private property without due process. We urge every other state to follow Nebraska’s lead in eliminating this barbarous abuse of police powers.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Americans for Limited Government Foundation releases special report on ICANN and the Internet giveaway

April 21, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government Foundation today issued a special report on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), “ICANN Do What I Want.”

ICANN is poised to take sole control over the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions when its contract with the U.S. Commerce Department expires on Sept. 30, leaving ICANN as the world’s only resolver of website IP addresses and domain names.

The report asks “why the organization, despite having obtained tax-exempt status under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is engaged in quite a bit of lobbying. It told the IRS it would not lobby when it filed for exempt status,” Americans for Limited Government Foundation President Nathan Mehrens wrote in a synopsis of the report.

And, “despite originally telling the IRS that its board would not be compensated other than reimbursements, ICANN has since changed course and the board is well compensated,” Mehrens added.

“If ICANN is pushing the boundaries and thumbing its nose at the Congress now, imagine how it will behave if the U.S. government oversight role is relinquished. This is not an outcome we can afford as there are no do-overs once the relinquishment occurs,” Mehrens concluded.

Attachments:

“Special Report: ICANN Do What I Want,” Americans for Limited Government Foundation, April 21, 2016 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ICANN-Report-Final_04.19.16.pdf

“ICANN do what I want,” By Nathan Mehrens, President, Americans for Limited Government Foundation, April 21, 2016 at http://netrightdaily.com/2016/04/icann-do-what-i-want/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Retroactive sentence reductions still mean early release from federal prisons

April 19, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the U.S. Senate to reject legislation that will result in thousands of federal prison inmates being released early:

“Despite all the tinkering being done to the bill, the key provisions of retroactive sentence reductions remain, meaning early release for thousands of federal prison inmates. Any member who votes yes will bear responsibility for whatever crimes the early-released felons commit afterwards, including any murders. If voting no could just save just one innocent life, would it not be worth it? No member should want that on his or her conscience, let alone their voting record.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Restructuring $72 billion Puerto Rico debt necessary to protect taxpayers

April 15, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to require Puerto Rico to restructure its $72 billion debt and not to bail out unsecured creditors who bet poorly on Puerto Rican debt:

“The United States finds itself in a difficult position in relation to the Puerto Rican debt crisis.  Speaker Paul Ryan, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop and Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy have put together a thoughtful approach to protect the U.S. taxpayers by imposing a tested mechanism for getting the territory’s finances under control and by creating a controlled environment for restructuring Puerto Rico’s unsustainable $72 billion of debt that will keep taxpayers off the hook.

“There is a successful history of Congress imposing financial controls in the past with the most recent example being the successful effort in the District of Columbia to pull the nation’s capital back from the brink of insolvency.  Protecting taxpayers is job one of this legislation, and while the details of the bill need to be worked out through the regular process, any attempt to weaken the power of the imposed financial control board to restructure Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt must be a deal breaker.

“However, the legislation should not be viewed as sacrosanct, and should have a number of important riders added to it that will rein in President Obama’s regulatory overreach which puts our nation’s economy and freedom at risk, and the House Resources Committee and Rules Committee should incorporate riders which rein in this overreach.

“Time is working against the people of Puerto Rico due to the failures of their government, and Congress needs to move forward on the Duffy Puerto Rico financial control legislation provided it meets five criteria:

“1. Protects U.S. taxpayers from bailing out Puerto Rican bondholders and other creditors by preventing unsecured bondholders from cutting in line in any debt restructuring and that restructuring will be mandatory when there are no other funds to pay debts;

“2. Establishes a strong Financial Control Board mechanism empowered to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt and make the changes needed to put Puerto Rico on strong economic footing moving forward, along with defined criteria for when control should be returned to the elected representatives;

“3. Does not establish a precedent whereby states with heavy debt burdens like Illinois and California can use it as a model for discharging their debt onto the U.S. taxpayer by requiring Puerto Rico to restructure its debt when there are no other funds to pay bondholders;

“4. Incorporates key riders to rollback President Obama’s regulatory overreach;

“5. Legally insures that bondholders who were willing to benefit from the higher rates of unsecured bonds will be subject to the commensurate losses. Creditors who made a bad bet on unsecured debt in Puerto Rico must not be allowed to cut the line to get repaid.

“Americans for Limited Government would look favorably upon any legislation which meets these criteria, in particular by protecting taxpayers from bailing out creditors who bet poorly on Puerto Rican debt, and would urge passage of said legislation. If taxpayers are protected and creditors get a real haircut when there are no funds to pay the debts, then by definition it is not a bailout.”

Attachments:

H.R. 4900 (text readable), April 13, 2016 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hr_4900_promesa.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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U.S. Rep. John Fleming’s courage slows down Puerto Rico bailout

April 14, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising U.S. Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) for refusing to let the Puerto Rico bailout advance from the House Resources Committee without objection:

“House Republican leaders’ stunning decision to quell all committee dissent to their Puerto Rico financial bailout legislation runs directly counter to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s promise to return to regular order, which includes committees holding hearings, vetting and amending legislation before sending it to the floor.

“In a bizarre turn, members of the House Natural Resources Committee were read the Puerto Rico bailout bill and according to Rep. John Fleming were then instructed to allow it to pass committee by a voice vote with no amendments and no dissent. Fleming was told to walk away from the vote if he had any objections, an account verified by two other offices.

“Rep. John Fleming has once again demonstrated extraordinary courage in standing up against legislative railroading designed to silence anyone who might have concerns about President Obama’s Puerto Rico bailout plan. Fleming’s shining a light on House leaders’ attempt to turn Congress’ Article I responsibilities under the U.S. Constitution into an executive branch rubber stamp was important as the legislation’s consideration has now been delayed.

“The people of Louisiana should be proud that they elected Fleming, a man who has not forgotten that he represents them — and not the GOP establishment.”

Attachments:

Fleming: Desperation Setting in for Puerto Rico Bailout, April 13, 2016 at http://fleming.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394878

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Senate GOP will own inevitable murders that follow mass criminal release

April 12, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to a Senate Republican aide who told the Washington Examiner in favor of legislation to secure the early release of thousands of federal prison inmates, “You’re never going to eliminate the Willie Horton type of situation, the political ads aside, of somebody coming out [of prison] and committing a crime. It’s the nature of the human being. You’re never going to have 100 percent certainty, that’s never going to happen. But it would be a shame to just not ever do any sentencing reform, any criminal justice reform, because of that”:

“It is stunning that the GOP Senate would consider sacrificing even a single victim in their quest to pander to the far left, Black Lives Matter narrative by emptying federal prisons. These so-called sentencing reforms would put the most hardened major drug dealers on the street early. These are not people caught with a joint or two, but rather those who trafficked tons of marijuana and other narcotics. While the drug kingpin lobby appears to be extremely strong in Congress, if lives truly matter, there is no excuse for Congress to legislate the early release of these most dangerous criminals.

“The results of previous early release programs are being seen through rising crime rates throughout the country and most tragically through the Columbus, Ohio triple murder of Erveena Hammonds and her two young daughters, Breya Hammonds, 7, and Anaesia Green, 10, by a just-released criminal who viciously stabbed them to death.

“Whichever GOP Senate staffer callously accepted the inevitable deaths resulting mass early criminal release should be rooted out and fired from his or her ivory tower, taxpayer-funded job.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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ALG praises Mo. State Rep. Paul Curtman for supporting U.S. Constitutional separation of powers

April 11, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement thanking State Rep. Paul Curtman (R-Mo.) for leading the effort in the Missouri House to urge the Missouri Congressional delegation to adopt U.S. Rep. Ken Buck’s (R-Colo.) Article I supplemental:

“Representative Paul Curtman gets it, and is a fighter for limited government at the state and federal level. He recognizes the importance of reestablishing Congress’ Article I authority to return the power in our government to the people. Rep. Curtman’s courageous decision to lead the charge in Jefferson City urging passage of Congressional legislation that dramatically asserts Congress’ will on more than fifty areas where the executive branch has overreached its authority is an example for state legislators across the nation.

“We appreciate Representative Curtman’s leadership on limiting government both inside of Missouri and beyond, and urge the Missouri House to advance his resolution, H.R. 1256, to urge passage of the Article I supplemental in the Congress. The Congressional delegation from Missouri should follow Curtman’s example and listen to Missourians whose express desire is to reign in the federal government’s fiscal and regulatory abuses, and return to the Constitution’s separation of powers.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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ALG urges Heitkamp, Manchin, Bennet and Donnelly to stand up for 2nd Amendment, reject Obama Supreme Court pick who will overturn Heller

April 8, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) to stand by the 2nd Amendment and reject President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland:

“The decisions that these four Democrat Senators make will likely define their legacies in Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Justice who replaces Antonin Scalia will determine the balance of power on the Court, and there are no do-overs.  President Obama has waged a determined and largely failed campaign against the individual right to keep and bear arms due to the Supreme Court’s seminal D.C. v. Heller decision that affirmed that the Second Amendment is indeed a protection of those individual rights.  The Garland appointment is Obama’s lame duck last chance to overturn Heller and impose some strange collective construct to the clear words written into the Constitution as a primary protection against abusive government that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’

“Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Michael Bennet will not face any other decision more important than the one confronting them with this Obama nominee.  There will be no hiding behind press statements decrying Court rulings if they vote to confirm Obama’s choice, rather than allowing the upcoming Presidential election to decide the future direction of the Supreme Court and indeed the nation as a whole.  Americans for Limited Government urges Heitkamp, Manchin, Donnelly and Bennet to send a strong message to the entire country that our individual rights are not political play things, that Heller is the law of the land, and that they support allowing the people decide through their votes, the future direction of our nation.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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