Firstly, I appreciate (and have received reader feedback that others also appreciate) the banter John and I have had in these exchanges. John quite apparently took the post very seriously. It elicited significant defensiveness, but nevertheless, he responded.
So, thank you John.
Now, to address your latest comment.
I will close out this string of communications by pasting the response I received from DPS on the authority for and frequency of the background checks. The response was:
"We check the names of everyone with a card every 24 hours against in-state arrest records, and the statute generally allows us to do this check. Below is the specific language from ARS 41-1758.03(J) (similar language also in 41-1758.07). Note where it states "periodic" checks are permitted. If a person with a card is arrested for a disqualifying offense, the card is immediately suspended and we notify the employer (or licensing entity). I don't believe these real-time checks are a federal requirement, but I will double check on that."
Here's the language from 41-1758.03 (J)
The division may conduct periodic state criminal history records checks for the purpose of updating the clearance status of current fingerprint clearance card holders and may notify the board of fingerprinting and the agency employing the person of the results of the records check.Here's the similar language from 41-1758.07 (also subsection J),
The fingerprinting division may conduct periodic state criminal history records checks for the purpose of updating the clearance status of current level I fingerprint clearance cardholders pursuant to this section and may notify the board of fingerprinting and the agency of the results of the records check.Now, public policy advocates, political reporters and lawmakers (and many others) know the difference between the words "may" and "shall." The "others" who would pay the most attention to these two words might be the lawyers. So, let's think about them a bit.
Of course, "may" represents permission. "Shall" represents obligation. Does the information John provided in his comment below actually answer the question he claims to have addressed? His first comment included this claim,
And most importantly, everyone with a card, active or extended, who is in contact with kids has their name run daily to insure that they were not arrested for an offense that would not allow them to be in contact kids.
In other words, while we extended the licenses, the holders were still being monitored to insure that they were not arrested for a crime that would preclude school employment.To which, I replied,
Is that process of cross checking the names of everyone with a card with arrest reports codified in statute? How do we know THAT has been adequately funded and that whatever IT programming written to accomplish that task actually works? How do we know it's actually being carried out daily?
Well, apparently statutes give permission for DPS to conduct that cross check.
As to the other questions, consider a role reversal scenario. John is committee chairman. He doesn't like the bill but for some reason agreed to hear it anyway. He didn't agree to support the bill, just to give it a hearing. Do you think he would let it slide without demanding satisfactory answers to the other questions?
So, pardon me, John, that I remain skeptical. The legislature doesn't adequately fund DPS to prevent or adequately clear backlogs on requests for fingerprint clearance cards. So, what assurance do you have that law enforcement officials tell you the WHOLE truth in this situation? We know that law enforcement officials are never evasive, right?
Look, it's no secret that John Kavanagh and I have very little common ground on policy positions. But he's a smart guy who is obviously tenacious. He can come up with all sorts of questions to find a way to justify killing a bill he doesn't like. HB2317, if he wanted to kill it, would have been no different.
Finally, the ethics of journalism and I assume you consider yourself a journalist, dictate that a journalist have verified information before leveling a serious charge against another. I should not have had to prove the legislature innocent. The assumption of guilt is bad policy in both law and journalism.To which, I replied, on that post. It's important to note that John is neither a publisher, nor a journalism instructor. How any one filling those roles would assess this blog is a different question altogether, but he is, in this situation, a consumer. A reader. As such, he is certainly entitled to his highly subjective opinion about the contents.
I will note that assumption of guilt was very clearly NOT something I put forth, at least not to the charge he claimed that I had made. His words, not mine, "the legislature endangering children." I had set forth that I believed HB2317 was the legislature placing a bet, taking a risk. I believe it is clear that is STILL the case. However, the information DPS provided to him gives the appearance the legislature may have tried to minimize the risk associated with that bet.
As to his suggestion that no one should assume THIS legislature guilty when it comes to any question of public policy, I can only laugh.
This legislature does NOT make it a practice to thoroughly vet ideas for implementing good public policy. Rather, they actually simply decide what they think might be a good idea and they look only as far as they need to look in order to justify implementation. I challenge anyone to refute that assessment.
Here's an additional inference I made about John's comments on the December 7 post. It appears John found it disturbing I called him on the bet he and his colleagues made in passing HB2317. Is that not, in fact, what the institution of a FREE PRESS is supposed to do?
More than a century ago, humorist and observer of humanity Finley Peter Dunne wrote [see page 240] that,
Th' newspaper does ivrything f'r us. It runs th' polis foorce an' th' banks, commands th' milishy, controls th' ligislachure, baptizes th' young, marries th' foolish, comforts th' afflicted, afflicts th' comfortable, buries th' dead an' roasts thim aftherward. (emphasis mine)If today, as Mr. Dunne observed in 1903, "Th' newspaper... controls th' ligislachure" the entire December 7th blog post would be moot. There is, however, no newspaper in Arizona controlling the legislature. It's doubtful they even influence lawmaking in our state much.
In today's Arizona, and throughout the United States, newspapers and broadcast media have most definitely been not only co-opted, but bought out and consolidated by corporatists. Just whose interests have those media corporations been watching out for?
Is it a wonder people like John Kavanagh find it disturbing when a humble blogger catches them in the act of taking risks they might later regret?
By the way, the day before yesterday, (December 11) was the third anniversary of the start of the Arizona Eagletarian.