Mirkarimi for sheriff?

Just received your voter recommendations. I am a registered Libertarian although I consider myself a rational anarchist like Murray Rothbard. Your recommendation of Ross Mirkarimi for sheriff is wrong. I loved that guy back when he was supporting great causes like his opposition to the KUSF radio takeover. Once he put his hands on his wife, that guy lost all of my respect. Cannot believe you guys would hang your star on a wife beater for sheriff.

Hi Lawrence,

  Good to hear from you. I share your admiration for Murray Rothbard, who was surely one of the most insightful libertarian writers we've seen.

  Ross Mirkarimi didn't beat his wife though. He grabbed her roughly by the arm. That's all. She forgave him, and wanted the matter dropped. I suspect the experience of being on the "wrong end of the law" when the powers that be tried to go after him with criminal charges anyway has made him a better sheriff with even more respect for due process and the rights of defendants than would have otherwise been the case. His main opponent, Vicki Hennessey, has the backing of the law enforcement unions, and the third candidate, John Robinson, has not, to my mind (talking to him personally by phone and reading his ballot statement) really articulated a good reason for running and wanting to replace the sheriff. I would not support Mirkarimi for Supervisor, where he (a co-founder of the Green Party in California, although he has since defected to the Democrats) was definitely part of the "progressive" camp, but those same leftist qualities make him more desirable for a law enforcement position.

  Even if we may not see eye to eye on this though, you're certainly welcome to get involved and take part in helping decide next cycle's LPSF voting recommendations. We meet the 2nd Saturday each month (including tomorrow) from 3-5pm at the main library in the 4th floor community meeting room (you can find info on LPSF.org if you forget).

Love & Liberty,
                              ((( starchild )))

Grabbed her by the arm roughly enough to cause bruising. I guess that's ok then? I have been married 35 years. And that is not ok. Especially from a guy that is supposed to protect us. I live on Potrero Hill where gunfire is so common place that I ignore it. The government is not protecting us. It is putting us in harms way.

Of course it's not "ok" Lawrence, but I also think Ross Mirkarimi more than paid the price for what he did. When I compare the seriousness of that heat-of-the-moment incident of misbehavior by one individual to the seriousness of practices like incarcerating innocent people as a matter of public policy, in my mind there is no comparison whatsoever.

  I don't know about you, but personally I'd rather have somebody grab me by the arm hard enough to leave some visible bruising than spend a day in jail. And under the pretrial detention practices that Ross Mirkarimi has made some effort to reform, not just one innocent person, but thousands of innocent people are each spending not just one day in jail, but many days. If I were in the country as an undocumented migrant and was arrested for some minor crime, I'd far rather have a few bruises on my arm than be turned over to ICE and deported.

  No argument on the government putting us in harm's way rather than protecting us. Among other things, it is failing to protect us against its own propensities for holding people in cages when they have not been convicted of any crime, and for prosecuting people for things that aren't real crimes (like immigration, drug sales, creating alternative currencies or running online forums based on them, and prostitution).

  Ross Mirkarimi isn't the ideal sheriff by a long shot (for reasons that have nothing to do with the overhyped New Year's incident), but compared with the other candidates in the race, I believe he's more likely to "get it" when it comes to important issues that sheriffs have an impact -- such as abuses that are far worse than the bruising Ross caused his wife, committed on a daily basis by cops and prison guards who are rarely held accountable for their actions.

  In this Information Age, it's easy to allow our priorities to be dictated by what the media pay attention to. The whole Ross/Elana scandal and its aftermath probably got at least 100 times more press in this city than the far, far more important scandal of pretrial detention has. But as a political party (and as individuals), I believe we should seek to avoid allowing our sense of proportionality to be skewed by media sensationalism.

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))

Very well said Starchild....thank you for that.

Michael Denny
Libertarian Party of San Francisco