Thursday, January 13, 2005

HB 1677 Is Very Much Needed

Just as I was getting ready to move on, Maura at Democracy for Virginia pulls me right back in. Mind you, it wasn't her finally coming clean about who's funding her posts on Del. Cosgrove (disclaimer: joke) that prompted me to write this. Although, I must say, you have to admire those Nigerians; their tentacles are far reaching. (disclaimer: joke) Oh, and in case you're wondering, my posts on this topic are still for sale. (disclaimer: joke ... unless you're the rich widow of a recently deposed Nigerian dictator, in which case, let's talk) [Disclaimers courtesy of Del. Cosgrove who kindly illuminated for us the pervasive problem of online readers not being able to read and form an independent thought at the same time, not to mention the *real*, palpable, well-documented problem of the Internet misinformation fueling the confusion on HR 1677.]

What merits our continued attention is the Delegate's planned withdrawal speech (emphasis mine):

"The motion to strike will include an explanation that the reason that it is being stricken is in large part because of the misinformation that has been propagated on the Internet about what the intent was here," said Cosgrove....

"The misinformation has fueled the confusion on what should be a fairly straightforward piece of legislation that is still something that I think is very much needed," Cosgrove said.

Unfortunately, my suspicion that the Delegate still thinks this is a good bill has been confirmed.

I think it would be very counterproductive to allow the Delegate to get away with blaming the bill's withdrawal on unsupported allegations of the misinformation that has been propagated on the Internet. I can't speak for other bloggers, but as far as I'm concerned this is not about the reliability of the Internet. It might be a side story, but it's one quite low on the priority scale.

Let's keep the focus on what's important here: HB 1677 and its effects on the people of Virginia. Actually, Maura brings up an interesting point. She says:

I'm not taking Cosgrove's defense personally. He's a politician, and he's got to sa[v]e face.

His desire/need to save face is irrelevant, and shouldn't be allowed to serve as a justification for the Delegate blowing off his constituents and leading them on a wild Internet chase. Politics shouldn't be about the politicians; it should be about the product of their work.

All the Delegate has to do is serve the people of Virginia and address the issues of HR 1677:

  • Why does a bill aimed at reducing liveborn mortality exclusively apply to women who experience a fetal death?

  • What is the legal basis for presuming pregnant women [even those who deliver a stillborn/baby that is dead] guilty of a crime for having an unattended delivery?

  • Where is the Chesapeake Police Department legislative package containing a request for this bill? [If such a request does not exist, why did the delegate make it up?]

  • Is the existing program (programs?) aimed at preventing the death of liveborn neonates as a result of abandonment working? If it isn't, why not, and what modifications are needed to make it work? Are those modifications incorporated in HB 1677?

  • Why is Del. Cosgrove, an elected public official, in the employment of the people of Virginia, and accountable to them, withdrawing a bill he thinks is beneficial for his constituents, and very much needed because of the Internet? Isn't this dereliction of duty on his part?

    I don't know the procedure involved in withdrawing a bill, but I was wondering if other Delegates are allowed to ask questions, and demand an explanation from Del. Cosgrove? Also, is it possible to get a transcript of Del. Cosgrove's actual withdrawal speech? Contrary to the Delegate's unsupported assertions, we Internet propagators of misinformation (disclaimer: sarcasm) do so love fact-checking a primary source.


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