Thursday, August 26, 2010

Charles Jenkins: He voted for it before he voted against it

Just to be upfront, this site has endorsed Mike Hough for Delegate in 3B rather than the incumbent Charles "I want you to think I'm Chuck" Jenkins, the O'Malley appointee.

We have a lot of reasons for doing this and we'll begin examining them over the next few days.

Few things ever rate a unanimous vote in the House of Delegates. I suppose you could get the House to unanimously vote to observe July 4 as Independence Day, but some of the cretins from Democrat strongholds would probably balk at that. Last session that did happen. Back in February HB 65, introduced by Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (R-37B). The bill was simple enough, it closed some loopholes in a federal law that encouraged human trafficking. The bill passed on a vote of 130-0. Voting to pass this bill, and rightfully so, was the new O'Malley appointee, Delegate Charles Jenkins.

What did this bill do? I simply required that anyone going through a marriage broker to obtain a wife (or I suppose husband) from overseas had to make available to the broker, who was required to make it available to the potential spouse, 1) a criminal background check, 2) a marriage history, and 3) the number to times the applicant has applied for a spouse. Federal law already requires this information to be provided to the broker, though enforcement is spotty, Ms. Haddaway-Riccio's bill simply ensures the potential spouse received the information.

There are a lot reasons why guys get a wife from overseas via a marriage broker. I guess. But along with the honorable and understandable reasons there is that demographic that lacks the social skills to develop a relationship on the basis of equality. To them finding a bride who, upon marriage, is socially isolated and dependent upon them for their continued presence in the US has an appeal. A woman in this category would be less likely to report domestic violence. There is also a criminal element that uses the law to evade immigration laws for either direct payments by the inbound spouse or to deliver unsuspecting women into lives of prostitution and pornography.

In short, Delegate Haddaway-Riccio's bill imposed no new duty on the applicant for a spouse but merely ensured that the potential spouse received the information. One would think we could all agree that, on balance, letting a woman know that her potential husband was a criminal, a child molester, or someone who thinks slapping girls around is manly is a good thing.

And so it was for a few days in the General Assembly last session.

The bill sailed through the Senate picking up a couple of amendments on the way. When it returned to the House for final passage it passed again. This time with a vote of 139-1.

Who was the sole vote against letting a woman know some very basic information about her potential spouse? Martin O'Malley appointee Charles Jenkins.

So what convinced Jenkins to change his opinion so radically in a two month period. What happened in his life that led him to decide that it was completely okay for a marriage broker to conceal a history of crime and spouse abuse from a potential bride? That a young woman had no real right to know that her American husband had also applied to import a half dozen other women? Or that he was already married?

We just don't know. We can speculate... and I think we can do so with near 100% accuracy... if we simply follow the money. But Mr. Jenkins owes the voters of District 3B an explanation for this extraordinary about face on a bill that did nothing more provide a modicum of safety and dignity to another human being.






2 comments:

Johnson John said...

Making no judgment on the overall merits of your argument, you don't do it any favors by referring to the "O'Malley appointed" Jenkins, since as you well know, any appointee to the General Assembly, from any district, from any party, can only arrive there through an appointment by the Governor.

streiff said...

If you know the history of the Jenkins appointment, that is, his own County Republicans opposed his appointment, you'd know the point that I'm making.

If you don't know the history you probably shouldn't be commenting.

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