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California

CA: City sues over election partly decided by sex offenders at state hospital

Coalinga City Council is suing Fresno County to overturn an election decided partly by the sex offenders in a state hospital.

Voters rejected a penny sales tax increase by just 37 votes in November. 127 of those ‘no’ votes came from inside the walls of Coalinga State Hospital, where some of the state’s sex offenders are actually legal voters. Full Article

Related

http://www.fresnobee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/political-notebook/article184847643.html

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  1. David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

    Coalinga State Hospital Report

    I spoke with Mike St. Martin, a CSH “Hosprisoner” locked-in California’s sex offender treatment program, and for more than a decade AFTER serving his prison term, this evening. He told me that the City of Coalinga is suing Fresno County for allowing Detainees to register to vote as Coalinga residents. It seems that Coalinga had a measure on the November election ballot to raise sales taxes by one percent to help pay for police, etc. but that the measure lost by thirty-seven votes. The problem? There were well over one hundred votes cast against the measure by voters warehoused in CSH. Now, they’re hopping mad and trying to get them struck from the voter rolls. Mike is, understandably, concerned that they will prevail in the Fresno County Superior Court and has asked for the support of any attorneys or fine legal minds to help ensure that this doesn’t happen. Keeping in mind that civilly committed Detainees retain their voting rights, then this is a fundamental Constitutional issue. In the past, when Mike tried to register to vote in the county he was convicted in, San Diego, he was told that he would have to register in the county where he currently resides which is, of course, Fresno. Clearly, if Coalinga is successful in barring them from voting in Fresno County then they will be effectively disenfranchised. I have provided a link to the story and a video clip as reported by one of the local t.v. stations. The Mayor is angry but I found his indignation good for my soul. Mike would like to get some feedback on the legal issues involved and is hoping that some organization, such as the ACLU, will back this cause. He can be called at 541-292-5898 Mike St. Martin ______ http://abc30.com/business/city-sues-over-election-partly-decided-by-sex-offenders-at-state-hospital/2832015/

    • Don't Tread On Me

      Have you ever heard “give them enough rope they will hang themselves”? Slowly but surely they will add enough consequences and violate our rights enough that eventually they will paint themselves into a corner. They will have no choice but to admit that SOR is retribution and ongoing punishment. When that happens the courts will have no choice other than side with us. Public opinion will not matter. Judges are legally mandated to decide on the side of what is legal. I’m getting the popcorn…

      • HOOKSCAR

        Don’t forget the drinks. This is going to be an interesting year in 2018.
        Now, as the residents at Coalinga go, do they not get their mail there? I am sure that it would be sufficient proof of residency.

      • Tim L

        Oh what a tangled web they weave…..
        So the city annexed the hospital for tax revenues then it bites the police state benefactors in the hand.
        Locked up is locked up, hospital or jail same same. Just do not go claiming it is NOT. Retributive punishing. The deception is fading quickly. BTW I saw Justice Souter on a PBS broadcasts state he made the wrong choice in Kansas v Hendricks. He now recognized civil commitment as punishment.

        • David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

          Tim, thanks for mentioning that it was the city of Coalinga that annexed the hospital grounds in the first place in order to collect taxes, including sales taxes on items which the Hosprisoners pay in the first place. I had forgotten to include that point. Also, that David Souter quote is gold. I had not heard that. Thanks!

    • Eric Knight

      I have no doubt that ACSOL will take a very close look at any attempt to suppress the rights of the involuntarily restrained citizens, as such a move will undoubtedly reflect elsewhere in the country.

      • David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

        Eric, I hope you’re right. They need all of the support they can get. This is a very big issue for us, I would say. It communicates volumes about the intent of these “regulatory” civil commitment laws and how we are supposed to be regarded (in society’s estimation) when we are off-paper. They simply cannot distinguish between the two conditions.

    • steven cerniglia

      This statement is in response to Coalinga City Mayor Nathan Vosberg’s public comments regarding several issues related to the defeat of the City of Coalinga’s efforts for a tax increase, and the roll that the Patients of Coalinga State Hospital played in that defeat. I will be addressing several issues in response to Mayor Vosberg’s ignorant and uniformed statements that he made to the public via the press on December 27, 2017 and the Councils frivolous lawsuit regarding that election defeat.
      The first thing I would like to address is Mr. Vosberg’s public medical diagnosis, without a medical license of the voting patients at CSH. Mr. Vosberg, there is a very big difference between mental illness and mental incompetency. We have not been deemed mentally incompetent. As we are mentally competent to make our own medical decisions regarding medical and mental health treatment, we are just as competent to vote in any election for any issue that we competently believe affects our lives here at Coalinga State Hospital. We are no more mentally incompetent to vote in an election than any other citizens of the City of Coalinga who has unfortunately been inflicted with a mental illness, but who nevertheless lives next door to you in your community. Are you really telling those of your constituents that they too are not mentally competent to vote, simply because they are not locked up? The mentally ill citizens of the City of Coalinga should be demanding an apology from you Mr. Mayor.
      Second of all Mr. Mayor, prior to you being sworn in as Mayor, you took an oath to uphold the Laws and Constitutions of both the State of California and the United States of America. As with your lack of a medical license, you obviously don’t have a Law License either or you would know that the voting patients at Coalinga State Hospital have a Statutory and Constitutional right to vote in any election, and in any City or County that we reside in, upon completion of our punitive parole period. Your novel approach to your frivolous lawsuit is to get the Courts to deem the patients at Coalinga State Hospital as “Non-citizens” of the City of Coalinga. Perhaps if you had a law license, you would know that upon the arrival of each sex offender at CSH, the hospital is statutorily (by law) required to register us in this county as a registered sex offender. That in itself makes us your fellow Coalinga citizens and part of the City of Coalinga Community. I realize that prior to this institution being approved and built within the City of Coalinga, and your Councils annexation of said facility, the only thing you and your council were seeing was dollar signs for the City. The purpose of your annexation of this property was to increase Coalinga’s population. Well Mr. Mayor, job well done. That increased population are very people you now purport to be “non-citizens.” Perhaps next time you should hire someone with a real Law license to advise you of the consequences of your own actions, and then maybe you wouldn’t feel the need to go on Television and cry about the Constitutional consequences and actions of your less desired Coalinga Community.
      Next, let me briefly describe why we, your fellow citizens at Coalinga State Hospital feel it is important to be part of the electoral process as registered voters of the County of Fresno, and City of Coalinga.
      Just as the outside Coalinga community play in integral part in the financial and economic stability of this community, so does this inside Coalinga community play. Even though we don’t have the ability to physically support the community services that we all desperately need and rely on, we do financially support those services on your behalf and on the behalf of the entire Coalinga community, including fire and police services, to which we don’t utilize do to our incarceration.
      We also contribute to the Coalinga economy by paying our fair share of sales tax whenever we purchase products, not only from the institutional store, but when we purchase items from local merchants outside the institution. We also support and contribute to the Coalinga community whenever the hospital seeks outside medical services for the patients at CSH, which with the substantial aging community of patients is I’m sure a very large contribution of monetary compensation to your medical professionals and institutions in the community. And let us not forget the monetary contributions that our families and friends make to the Coalinga economy when they drive hundreds of miles to visits us; they buy your gas; they stay in your motels and hotels; they buy groceries and food at your stores and restaurants; all of which help pay for your community emergency services, pave your roads and other infrastructure projects in Coalinga. Let us also not forget the salaries of the thousands of employees here at CSH that our tax dollars and our families tax dollars help pay for; employees who also contribute to your economy by renting and buying homes; buy groceries and food at your stores and restaurants and so on.
      So Mr. Mayor, as much as you would like your constituents out in the free world to believe that we are just a bunch of locked-up lunatics and vegetables; we are not. We are tax- paying and voting citizens of the City of Coalinga and County of Fresno. We did not ask to be brought to your community and we are not happy to be part of your community. But your reality is that we ARE a part of your community, and as such it would be more prudent to work with us rather than against us. After all, you are an elected official and as you know, 37 votes are 37 votes.

      • steven cerniglia

        By the way. An addendum to my comment above. If anyone wishes to contact me regarding this issue or any other issue, please feel free to contact me at (559) 934-1228. I am starting my 22nd year under this criminal law, so I might have some opinions (lol) or insight. Thanks for caring.

      • David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

        When Mike St. Martin tried to register to vote in San Diego County, the county of his commitment, he was told that he would not be able to do so because he didn’t actually live there. To me, when combined with the fact that CSH internees retain their voting rights, that is all that is needed to know that the Coalinga City lawsuit is completely invalid. As for fire services at CSH, it seems that the only service they provide to “hosprisoners” is to constantly harass them through the constant invocation of “fire codes” in order to seize their few pieces of personal property such as books and even disallow the display of Christmas trees during the holidays. I say this on the eve of CSH preparing to seize all patient electronics, also unconstitutional.

        • steven cerniglia

          David, everything St. Martin told you is true. To expound on my comment, when patients arrive at CSH, part of the admitting process is that each person must sign the Sex Offender Registration form that CSH fills out for purposes of registering each person’s residence as Fresno County and/or the City of Coalinga. The lawsuit will not prevail. There is a hearing on the lawsuit on April 16, 2018. I am in the process of finding a lawyer to represent us at this hearing, as I already know that CSH will not voluntarily transport any patient to the hearing. If you or anyone reading this knows someone who might help, we would appreciate the assist. Thanks.

  2. Nicholas Maietta

    I am curious if these so-called sex offenders are required to register as sex offenders because they are locked up inside a facility. Officials do not want to call this a prison but that is exactly what it is. And the sad thing about it is whether they are registered as sex offenders or not there are not any prison so why are they being blocked or having their votes not counted? So here’s the deal: if State officials keep calling a hospital but they treat it like a prison eventually it will become legally declared a prison because of how they treat their inmates. That’s exactly what they are they are inmates. As one of the person stated officials are hanging themselves because Society has given officials too much rope.

    • David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

      Nicholas, the hosprisoners are all registered as sex offenders in the city of Coalinga in Fresno County. This suggests not only that they “live” in Coalinga but that they are distinct from those in prison who are not registered in the county of their imprisonment.

      • AJ

        I would add that if they list only CSH for SOR purposes, it means one of two things. Either it’s their correct, current, and *sole* address; or they are all in violation for FTR their “other” addresses. Does the City really want to admit they are actively aiding and abetting a massive FTR scheme? 🙂

        I still maintain that what’s lost in this whole argument is the mass of voters who simply didn’t care. To go after the responsible voters at CSH fails to address the problem: low voter turnout.

  3. Eric

    Our Constitution does say, “Only the pure, undefiled, and self-righteous shall be allowed to vote,” Right?

    • RM

      That would mean that NO ONE can vote as every person has sinned.

    • David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

      Also, it’s pretty obvious from the results were getting that there is no minimum I.Q. requirement, either.

  4. A "Hospital"

    I’ve never been in one of these so called “hospitals” (and never plan to be). But I’m going to guess that Coalinga is as much a “hospital” as Sharper Future is “treatment.” The amount of doublespeak in the “sex offender” industry is troubling, but at the same time also somewhat amusing.

    • David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

      You’re absolutely correct. I could go on for hours about “sex offender civil commitment” (and I have, over the years) and would encourage everyone to look into it further. They are, in most cases, no different from us but even more unlucky. That they are damned with the term “sexually violent predator,” even when there is no hint of violence in their past, is an enormous injustice.

  5. stephen

    I’ve always said these laws need to be fought for Campaigning and Election reasons.

  6. mike r

    Hey Tim, do you happen to have a link to the following?
    BTW I saw Justice Souter on a PBS broadcasts state he made the wrong choice in Kansas v Hendricks. He now recognized civil commitment as punishment.
    Yeah I can’t seem to find it….

  7. J

    This should be simple. Go to the Megan’s website and see if the residents there use that as a (Temporarily or Permanent) address. I’m sure you’ll find it to be Permanent. Case settled!

  8. AJ

    This story made my day! Too, too funny.

    The city chose to annex the facility, but only wants the benefits of doing so. Given SCOTUS has decided civil commitment is still freedom (riiight…ok, Mr. Justice, you give a go for a week and let me know if you still feel that way!), and given they are not on parole, and further given they have but one residence in the State of California (validated by IDs and/or bills, I’m sure), where exactly will the City argue they should vote other than “not here”? I see the City losing on this, maybe even by summary judgment.

    But, let’s step beyond the argument about whether or not Coalinga prison…er…residents should be allowed to vote and dig into the details of the vote itself. According to available data (http://votersedge.org/ca/en/ballot/election/area/63/section/measures?election_authority_id=10), only 1,127 eligible voters (23.1% turnout) bothered to cast ballots regarding this initiative. Can someone please explain to me how it’s the fault of the engaged voters inside Coalinga that the measure failed? What about the 3,751 apathetic voters who didn’t bother? That over 3/4 of the City’s voters just didn’t give enough of a sh!t to cast a vote is the fault of the Coalinga voters (who represent only 7.3% of eligible voters)? Umm, no. Heck, even the turnout inside Coalinga was paltry (127 of 360, or 35.2%).
    =====
    “Initially we didn’t know how many votes came from where and so I was like ‘Hey, this is the vote of the people,'” said Coalinga mayor Nathan Vosburg.
    —–
    I guess RCs, “freely” living at Coalinga aren’t people.
    =====
    The City reaped the benefits of the annexation for 12 years, but now cry foul? Ha! They made their bed, now they’re having to sleep in it. And from how it reads, it’s gonna hurt a lot: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/political-notebook/article183558536.html. Ahh, I’m warmed by schadenfreude.

    • kind of living

      @ AJ ,,,,, ,, your right its funny as hell , they seem to be trying to have there cake , hahaha! love it , and they don’t know that other people did not vote against a rise in sales tax , I mean real people that have to stand at a check out counter in CA , and feel the wallet pain would be like hell no LE you need to spread your hustle fool ! hahaha ! and to get it from the very people that they jam up out on the street is just wrong ! how come everyone else has to tighten there belt , but not ever LE ??? I mean they are even laying off fire fighters out here , cutting programs to the bone , but LE is the BIG PIG in the room , and in the mean time police are beating people to death , shooting unarmed , drilling our kids into the street , beating our ladys in jail and on the street , I just cant see any reason why 6 pack Joe and Jane might not feel like voting for anything to further empower LE

      • AJ

        Somehow I suspect voter turnout at the Coalinga facility is going to spike. 🙂 What better way to exercise what few true freedoms they have than through the ballot box?

  9. cool CA RC

    Can we say “Another WIN for RC?”

  10. Tim Moore

    I get that if the inmates (patients) voted for the tax, there would be no issue.

  11. kind of living

    Hahahahahaha!!!! , of course they will snivel over there stupid ass LE , hahaha ! well all I can say about this is Vote your ass’s off , everything against LE and anything they are trying to do , good pay back for all their lying , and hell yes I would love to see Janice and team get in the middle of this as well , if any of these people are getting mail , and have no home , Guess what ? IT IS THERE HOME ! hahaha ! but vote ! vote ! vote ! stupid ass one cent tax to help an already over blown police budget , and who is it that these cops work for anyway ? it sure as hell is not for RC’s , nope! , they work for witch hunters , leaving RC’s to fend for them selfs , and when we do protect our self’s they are right there to arrest the RC , I know because I have been there , and it cost me more than just a bunch of bucks , it left my wife alone at night in fear that those thugs would come back while I was locked up , cops come from their hood sniffing around lookin at you like the trash they forgot to carry out the week before , hell yes people vote against anything LE wants , Rock The Boat ! , This story is great because it shows that even on a small scale it can have a positive out come ,

  12. stephen

    If they can vote they should start a law suit to be able to run for office.

  13. David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

    Listen to this talk radio segment on CSH and their voting rights and get mad all over again. Mike St. Martin is one of the callers into the show.

    http://www.kmjnow.com/podcasts/

    • AJ

      Wow, so many elements of their arguments to shred….sometimes they made some sense, other times they were so far off it was maddening. Some observations:
      1. The DJs claim CSH is its own precinct. If so, then the city has validated it as a voting bloc. But then it makes me wonder, who is representing that precinct on the City Council?
      2. For their lives, they couldn’t stop calling them “prisoners”…hmm, isn’t that strange how the public sees it for what it is? Kind of like ML.
      3. What if CSH were instead a college? Would the City still claim they don’t deserve the right to vote and they’re not “real” voters?
      4. The DJs maintain the CSH voters always and only vote against police. Yet that’s not true, as 1/3 of the votes were FOR the tax proposal.
      5. A quick Google Maps display of Coalinga city limits shows one thing: they annex the cash cows, but skip the crappy parts. The prison, CSH, and the airport, all significantly “out of town”, are part of the city. CSH is farther from the rest of the City than the City is wide or long!
      6. The DJs maintain it’s the CSH voting bloc that is deciding and impacting what goes on in the City. No, it’s the apathy of the 75% who chose not to vote. As the one CSH resident said, the City tried to pull a fast one with an off-cycle vote, when turnout sucks. They’re mad because it didn’t–and no longer will–work. I wonder if the CSH voters would have been blamed if it passed? Doubtful!

      Such hypocrisy and crooked government. It’s awesome their plans derailed.

  14. Dustin

    I would also point out that legislators who keep writing more and more SO laws for the sake of getting votes will eventually be bitten by the very voters they covet as their proposals get more and more draconian and more and more friends and family members of registrants are affected by them. Perhaps if the friends and family members gather in opposition to those proposals and protest them at city hall or the state capital, maybe some of those idiots will rethink their positions. Probably not, but worth a try.

    If nothing else, those legislators will learn the extent of their efforts when they or their family are accused of a sex offense, given the accusation=guilt sentiment that is prevalent nowadays.

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