Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the day “June 2, 2012”

Why Won’t Florida Let Eligible Voters Vote?

By EOM Staff

In 1998, Florida felt the need to start purging its voter rolls of felons.  Felons are prohibited from voting in Florida.  A company named DBT was contracted for this service at a fee of $2,317,800, replacing a company that had previously done it for $5,700.

When the purge began, Florida specified exact matches on names, birth dates and gender to identify voters as felons.  However, Emmett (Bucky) Mitchell, a lawyer for the State Elections Office who was supervising the purge, requested that DBT loosen its criteria for acceptable matches.  DBT representatives warned Mitchell that this would yield a large proportion of false positives (mismatches).  Mitchell believed that it would be up to each county elections supervisor to deal with this problem, even though the State Elections Office would oversee the process.

In February 2000, DBT Vice-President James Lee said that the state “wanted there to be more names than were actually verified as being a convicted felon.”  In Apri 2000, he said that the state had given DBT the directive to “add to the purge list people who matched at least 90% of a last name.”  DBT objected, stating again that this would result in even higher numbers of false positives.  The state responded by ordering a shift to an even lower threshold of an 80% match, allowing names to be reversed (someone named Thomas Scott could be taken to be the same person as someone named Scott Thomas).  Additionally, middle initials were deleted, the suffixes Jr. and Sr. were dropped and some nicknames and aliases were added, all to increase the number of ineligible voters on the list.

Mr. Lee again told state officials that the rules for creating the purge list would mean a significant number of people who were not deceased, not registered in more than one county, or not a felon, would be included on this list.  He made suggestions to reduce the numbers of people on the list who were actually eligible to vote, but was told “forget about it”.

The first list provided to the Divsion of Elections in April 2000, contained the names of 181,157 persons (supposed felons).  Only half were later identified as actual felons.

Here are some of the errors:

Thomas Cooper, DOB 9/5/73, crime – unknown.  Conviction date January 30, 2007 (on a list developed in April, 2000)!

Johnny Jackson Jr., DOB 1970, crime – unknown.  Mistaken for John Fitzgerald Jackson who was in jail in Texas at the time.

Wallace McDonald, DOB 1928, crime – fell asleep on a bus stop bench in 1959 and prohibited from voting 41 years later!

Randall J. Higgenbotham, DOB 8/28/60, crime – none.  Mistaken for Sean David Higginbotham, DOB 6/16/71.  First and middle names don’t match and dates of birth don’t match.

According to research done by the Palm Beach Post, a major problem with the purge list is that blacks accounted for 88% of those removed from the voter rolls.  However, at the time, blacks made up only 11% of Florida registered voters.

Demographically, blacks tend to vote for Democrats.  Remember, this was a hotly contested state in the 2000 election.  And remember this – George W. Bush won that presidential election by just 537 votes.

I wonder how many votes Al Gore would have won by if people who were actually eligible to vote hadn’t been denied that opportunity.

The state of Florida stole the election from Al Gore.  And now they are trying to steal the election from President Obama.

Stay tuned – we’ll have more on Florida’s latest voter purge (against “non-citizens” who are actually citizens).

As a side note – DBT will no longer be involved in purging voter rolls!


Modesto Wants to Make Camping in Your Own Backyard Illegal

By Emerson Drake

I know it sounds crazy but that is what they intend to do Tuesday night at the City Council meeting.  It’s Item #20 on this weeks agenda.


If the City Council has their way, if you want to campout in your backyard with your kids for two nights you’ll have to go to City Manager Gregg Nyhoff to get a permit.  And as we all know permits are a fund-raising mechanism and as a result cost money.  Does anyone possibly believe this makes sense?

Councilman Joe Muratore of NSP2 infamy has been leading this attack on the homeless since he was elected. But now he and his cohorts are willing to punish all of Modesto’s citizens in order to “put the hammer down” on a few.

Children have been camping out in their backyards for as long as I can remember and longer. My grandsons have been occasionally camping in the backyard for years .  A sleeping bag is considered illegal by the Council’s new ordinance.

This Crazy Ordinance makes relatives visiting in RV’s illegal

The following is taken directly from the City’s website…

4-12.701. DEFINITIONS.

Unless the particular provisions or the context otherwise requires, the definitions

contained in this section shall govern the construction, meaning, and application

of words and phrases used in this Article.


“Camp” means to place, pitch or occupy camp facilities; to live

temporarily in a camp facility or outdoors; to use camp paraphernalia.


“Camp facilities” include, but are not limited to, tents, huts, vehicles,

vehicle camping outfits or temporary shelter.






“Camp paraphernalia” includes, but is not limited to, bedrolls,

tarpaulins, cots, beds, sleeping bags, hammocks or cooking facilities and

similar equipment.


“City Manager” means the City Manager or designee.


“Establish” means setting up or moving equipment, supplies or materials

on to public or private property to “camp” or operate camp facilities.


“Maintain” means keeping or permitting equipment, supplies or materials

to remain on public or private property in order to camp or operate camp



“Operate” means participating or assisting in establishing or maintaining

a camp or camp facility.


“Park” means the same as defined in Modesto Municipal Code Section



“Private property” means all private property including, but not limited

to, streets, sidewalk, alleys, and improved or unimproved land.


“Public property” means all public property including, but not limited to,

streets, sidewalks, alleys, improved or unimproved land and parks.


“Store” means to put aside or accumulate for use when needed, to put for

safekeeping, to place or leave in a location.


It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to camp, occupy camp

facilities, or use camp paraphernalia in the following areas:

(a) Any public property; or

(b) Any private property.

(1) It is not intended by this section to prohibit overnight camping on

private residential property by friends or family of the property

owner, so long as the owner consents and the overnight camping is

limited to not more than one consecutive night.





(2) Nothing in this Article is intended to prohibit or make unlawful,

activities of an owner of private property or other lawful user of

private property that are normally associated with and incidental to

the lawful and authorized use of private property for residential or

other purposes; and provided further, nothing is intended to

prohibit or make unlawful, activities of a property owner or other

lawful user if such activities are expressly authorized by the City’s

comprehensive zoning ordinance or other laws, ordinances and


(3) The City Manager may, as provided in Section 4-12.705 of this

Article, issue a temporary permit to allow camping on public or

private property in connection with a special event.

A violation of this section is a misdemeanor. In addition to the remedies set forth

in Penal Code Section 370, the City Attorney may institute civil or administrative

actions to abate a public nuisance under this Article.



It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to store personal property,

including camp paraphernalia, in the following areas, except as otherwise

provided by resolution of the City Council:

(a) Any public property; or

(b) Any private property without the written consent of the owner.

A violation of this section is a misdemeanor. In addition to the remedies set forth

in Penal Code Section 370 the City Attorney may institute civil or administrative

actions to abate a public nuisance under this Article.


The City Manager may, in his or her discretion, issue a permit to establish,

maintain and operate a camp or a camp facility in connection with a special event.

A special event is intended to include, but not be limited to, programs operated by

the City departments, youth or school events, marathons or other sporting events

and scouting activities. The City Manager may consult with various City

departments, the health officer and the public prior to issuing any temporary

permit. Each department or person consulted may provide comments regarding

any health, safety or public welfare concerns and provide recommendations

pertaining to the issuance, denial or conditioning of the permit. A reasonable fee,

to be set by the City Council shall be paid, in advance, by the applicant. The fee

shall be returned if the application is denied. In exercising his or her discretion to

issue a temporary permit, the City Manager may consider any facts or evidence

bearing on the sanitary, health, safety and welfare conditions on or surrounding

the area or tract of land upon which the proposed temporary camp or camp facility

is to be located. 

 Did you catch the reasonable fee line?

In Other Words It’s up to the City Manager if Relatives can Visit Legally..!

Modesto is out of control and it’s up to the citizens to take control back.

I understand we have a problem with some of our homeless population but if they intend on punishing all of us to place handcuffs on a few, well they have another think coming.

I’ll be at the city council meeting with a sleeping bag to protest this intrusive law which attempts to place unconstitutional limits on what we can do on our private property.

I hope to see you there.

“What they do to the least of us they do to all of us and this is a perfect example.”

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