Thursday, September 10, 2009

How to silence a critic—Lies and dirty tricks

What do you do if you’re an important congress person and someone is writing a negative blog about you? They expose your stupidity and corruption. You can legally close them down, but you can find underhanded ways to cause them problems. How about libelling that person so that it looks as if he/she is a convicted felon? Sure it’s illegal to publish that kind of information about someone, but we can’t sue the government and corrupt people aren’t bothered by a few lies.

So I can’t prove that Rep. Todd Tiahrt was involved in this incident, but it seems an odd coincident:

While applying for a job last week, I was surprised that I got turned down for having a felony criminal conviction. I was surprised because I don’t have a felony conviction. I was arrested and charged with misdemeanour theft and one felony count of theft, in 1980. But those charges were dropped. So I was surprised to see that these charges were listed on a Kansas Bureau of Investigation report as having resulted in convictions.

Any felony charge would prevent me from taking a number of jobs I have been interested in. So I was very upset when I realized that potential employers were getting this report that said I was a convicted felon.

When I contacted the KBI, they explained that the got the report from the Kansas Courthouse where these charges were filed. When I contacted the courthouse and went through several secretaries of various offices, I was finally told they couldn’t comment on the report unless I had the case number. Why would I have kept the court case file numbers to cases that had been settled 29 years ago? And how did the KBI get this misinformation without the case numbers?

I still don’t have answers to all of this. I assume some clerk made a mistake. It just so happens it could cost me my career and reputation. The KBI promised they would check on the matter as they told me they want their reports to be accurate and had no intention of sending out misinformation on people. That is about the only good news that came out of this mess. I haven’t found a lawyer willing to sue the State of Kansas for libel against me, even though that is clearly what they did.

“It’s hard to sue the State of Kansas,” one lawyer told me.

So my best bet is to physically go to the courthouse where these charges were filed and straighten this mess out myself. I may still have to hire a lawyer to get these addle minded in-breads to cooperate with me. So far the KBI told me that the county court has simply ignored their requests for more information

It doesn’t surprise me that someone working for the State of Kansas can be that incompetent. That just goes with the political territory here. It also shows how ridiculous it is to hold a 30 year old conviction against someone when the people in charge of the files can’t even keep up on them.

“Those cases are very old,” a spokesperson at the courthouse told me as if I were trying to dig up ancient records.

But these charges normally stick to a person for life. Obviously a person who would commit a felony theft in his/her mid 20s is not likely to remain the same type of person 20 years later. People change. They usually mature between their twenties and fifties. But don’t tell our politicians or the ignorant people who support a lifetime punishment for a youthful mistake.

As I said before, I can’t prove Republicans did this on purpose, but it sure wouldn’t surprise me if they did.


Carolyn Marie Fugit said...

Did you get a copy of the report from the potential employer? You can contact the company who did the background check. Which is all searched by SSN and name match so why a case number would be needed is ... odd to say the least.

It's really amazing how often background check companies mess this stuff up, and getting it fixed is difficult (at best) and doesn't always work. I remember watching ChoicePoint getting yelled at by a Congressional committee because a woman with no record was denied employment because ChoicePoint said she had a conviction. She got it fixed, eventually, but it would later reappear.

Even more frightening is these companies that can't do proper background checks for employment are the same ones purging voters from state voter files for felony convictions.

Les said...

Salamander: I looked you up on Wikipedia and learned that "the skin of salamanders secretes mucus"

You have degenerated from just a skin secreting mucus to a blog that secretes mucus.

With that thought in mind, I say on the the Senate for Todd Tiahrt.