Libertarian Party Lobbies Against S-757
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Tim O’Brien
DEARBORN. The Libertarian Party of Michigan announced today that the party’s SpeakOutMichigan.org web-based lobbying utility will be used in an effort to persuade state legislators to vote against Senate Bill 757 which would incarcerate non-custodial parents who are behind by any amount on their child support payments until the arrearage has been fully paid.
“This bill is positively medieval,” said LPM chair, Stacy Van Oast. “It is bizarre that just as we are entering the 21st century our legislators propose to bring back the debtors’ prisons of the middle ages.”
The senate bill, now under consideration in the house, would require that anyone arrested for back child support post cash or bond equal to the entire amount in question in order to be released pending a court hearing.
“The overwhelming majority of people who have the money to put up the bond would certainly have used it to simply meet their obligations. This bill is founded on the vicious, mean-spirited notion that non-custodial parents who have the means are, nevertheless, deliberately denying their own children.
“The effect of this legislation will be to jail parents who, through illness, loss of employment, or some other cause, have fallen on hard times. But these kinds of circumstances always affect the ability to support a family — even one that is still intact,” she observed. “Throwing such a person into debtor’s prison will only exacerbate the problem.
“And that’s not even taking into account the cost to taxpayers and the impact on our already overburdened criminal justice system,” she continued. “How many muggers and rapists shall we let out in order to make room for the so-called ‘Deadbeat Dads’?”
SpeakOutMichigan.org is an Internet site that permits users to write their state legislators using either a pre-written letter, their own letter, or a combination of the two. By simply entering a home address the system will automatically determine which are the user’s legislators and direct the e-mail to them. Though sponsored by the LPM, the site is non-partisan and may be used by voters who belong to any political party — or no political party at all.
This is only the second time the LPM has used its high tech e-mail lobbying tool. The first effort, to persuade legislators to bring back stalled “concealed carry” legislation, drew well over 1,200 users.
The party expects its Internet based lobbying efforts to continue to grow.