Virginia Delegate Rob Bell (R-58th) hails a set of laws directed at sex crimes against children he walked through the Virginia Legislature at the height of the Sandusky scandal. If they were so essential, why did it take Governor McDonnell months to "sign" them?
In fact, if they were anything more than gimmicks, if they solved any threat to public safety, why weren't they passed as emergency legislation? And why did their effective date pass without fanfare? Instead, last Friday, they provided a photo op for Bell's campaign for Attorney General.
Over the last two years in Virginia there have been 215 adults convicted of these vile crimes, and only 10 cases have resulted in life sentences. The median sentence overall was only 13 years. I believe the only sure way to keep other children safe is to keep these convicted sexual predators locked up for the balance of their lives. - Delegate Bell's AG campaign E-mail
And who was Attorney General over the past two years and in the years just preceding? Who was governor during those same two years? And when did either Cuccinelli or McDonnell ever mention mandated reporting for public and private college employees before the Sandusky scandal? Or condemn the Republican Pennsylvania Attorney General's foot dragging in the Sandusky case?
Then again, who was Attorney General of Pennsylvania when the Sandusky case was slow-walked through the legal system? McDonnell Republiclone Governor Tom Corbett, that's who; shameless in his failure to act on the abuse at Pennsylvania State University.
What difference do these new laws make at all? They may change the venue of confinement but little else. In effect they will make no difference in how long these contemptible souls are removed from society. It is all window dressing.
None of these new laws would have been possible without the focused leadership of Governor McDonnell, who has been an invaluable partner in addressing sex crimes since his time in the General Assembly. - Delegate Bell
So, where was the fight? Must have been resistance from Republicans in the legislature. It sure wasn't from Democrats. Let's understand this: Bell is claiming passage required skilled leadership and, by inference, backroom arm twisting and maneuvering by him and the Governor.
Poppycock. Truth is, Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett did more to move these bills through our legislature by his failure of character than our Governor or Bell ever did. Bell proposed four bills that never faced serious challenge because no legislator would dare swim against the tide of shock and revulsion in the moment. And that is all this was: a ploy to play on popular sentiment whose moment passed before Bell or McDonnell gained any traction from it at all.
It wasn't the lack of laws that abetted Sandusky's heinous crimes; it was the lack of character of everyone involved from the university locker room to the Republican Attorney General's office. Now we have Bell's pitiful little claim that he fought the good fight for Virginia. Easy to see whose shadow he is boxing.
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