Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Never Trust a Costumed Stranger

Within the space of seventy-two hours last weekend, three women were detained and sexually assaulted by armed strangers in official-looking costumes. Two of those incidents occurred in Texas, the other happened in Minnesota. 

The first attack took place on a highway near Carrollton, Texas on Thursday, November 21. An unidentified man wearing what appeared to be a police uniform stopped a woman, handcuffed her, and assaulted her in the back seat of his car. 

Early Sunday morning, a female student at the University of Minnesota was sexually assaulted by a man dressed like a police officer. The assailant, who was driving a black SUV, approached the woman and admonished her that she shouldn’t be walking alone late at night. Beguiled by what appeared to be the stranger’s official attire, the woman got into the vehicle. The driver locked the doors and conveyed the victim to a remote location, where he raped her.

Sandwiched between these episodes of sexual predation by ersatz police officers was one involving an actual cop. During a routine patrol on Friday, November 22, San Antonio Police Officer Jackie Len Neal allegedly stopped a 19-year-old girl, handcuffed her, and raped her in the back seat of his police cruiser. This was not the first time he has been accused of assaulting women during traffic stops.

Neal was arrested a few hours later, but released after making bail. He was immediately put on paid “administrative leave,” and allowed to keep his firearms – professional courtesies that would not be extended to either of the other two accused roadside rapists if they were captured. 

Following the attack by the police impersonator near Carrollton, police officials warned female drivers that if they are suspicious of the individual pulling them over, they should call 911 and then drive to a well-lit area before stopping.
This course of action might defeat the evil designs of a police impersonator. However, if the suspicious stranger is a police officer, a female driver who acts on that safety advice will probably find herself involved in a dangerous pursuit that could lead to criminal charges – assuming that she survives the encounter. 

This is demonstrated by the cast of Arizona resident Dibor Roberts, who was attacked by a sheriff’s deputy during a late-night traffic stop after she tried to find a safe and well-lit area to conduct unwanted business with the uniformed extortionist.
The "assailant": Dibor Roberts at arraignment.

At roughly 10:45 PM on the evening of July 29, 2007, Mrs. Roberts, a 48-year-old nurse and naturalized U.S. citizen from Senegal, was returning from work when she noticed a car driving erratically in front of her. 

After passing the dangerous driver, Roberts noticed police lights in her rear-view mirror. Her initial reaction was relief, since she believed the officer was going to pull over what she suspected was an impaired motorist. Her relief turned to puzzlement and then alarmed suspicion when she realized that she was the target.

Just a few days earlier, Dibor and her husband had discussed local incidents involving police impersonators. They were aware of advice given by police agencies to people being pulled over in dangerous circumstances: Drive carefully to a well-lit, preferably public area, and call 911 if possible to verify that it is a police officer. That was the official recommendation offered by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. That department’s employees included Sgt. Jeff Newnum – who, ignoring another driver who was operating his vehicle erratically at unsafe speeds, had targeted Roberts for a revenue collection encounter on that dark July evening.

Roberts did nothing wrong. She acted in strict compliance with the Sheriff’s official advice, slowing down and proceeding in the direction of a well-lit area. Her behavior was not that of someone trying to flee from the police.

Deputy Newnum, on the other hand, had already lost his composure, informing the dispatcher that he was in pursuit of a “black driver” who refused to stop. He pulled alongside Roberts and attempted a “pit maneuver” to force her off the road, which did nothing to allay the innocent woman’s entirely proper suspicions. After Roberts came to a stop, Newnum erupted from his vehicle with a drawn gun because, he later testified, “I knew I had an angry driver.”

Roberts, who by this time was terrified, frantically tried to explain that she was looking for a safe place to stop. Ignoring her desperate pleas, and no doubt eager to exploit an opportunity to inflict property damage, Newnum took out a baton and shattered the driver's side window, bellowing at her to "Open the f*****g door!" He then seized the terrified woman and dragging her out of the car. As he did so, Dibor's foot came off the brake and her car -- which was still in gear -- rolled forward over Newnum's foot.

Through her window, Dibor had repeatedly yelled "It's too dark; I'm afraid." She was dragged from her vehicle yelling "No, no, no, no," as Newnum threw her to the ground. Her cellphone was taken from her and thrown away as well.
"He pulled me out and the car jerked because I had my foot on the brakes," Dibor explained after the incident.
The "victim": Deputy Newnum perjuring himself in court.

"She took it too far when she ran over my foot," insisted Newnum later under oath. This is a petulant lie of the kind that comes readily to the lips of tax-eaters of Newnum’s ilk. He had needlessly escalated the encounter by threatening to use deadly force. Roberts made no effort to escape after supposedly assaulting Newnum.  

Furthermore, Newnum’s courtroom testimony that Roberts clearly intended to run over his foot contradicted his official report from six months earlier, in which he said it wasn’t clear whether this was a mishap or an act of malicious intent. He likewise equivocated on the witness stand as to whether or not he was injured in that “attack.”

Another key contradiction in Newnum’s testimony dealt with his concerns over Robert’s “threat” to his safety. The deputy claimed that he was worried that he couldn’t see Roberts’s hands, which supposedly justified his decision to approach the car with a drawn gun at the “low ready” position. However, he also testified that when he reached Roberts’s vehicle he saw her hands plainly, and that they were gripping her steering wheel "firmly" – which he said justified suspicions that she might have been impaired.

In his closing arguments during the trial, Yavapai County Prosecutor Glen Hammond insisted that the driver’s crime was that "she did not stop" --
which would mean that Sheriff Waugh had abetted the crime by instructing motorists uncertain of the identity of their pursuer not to stop until they reached a well-lit area. Hammond's position was that Roberts was a criminal because she had obeyed the instructions offered by the Sheriff, and that it was not necessary to prove that she had willfully tried to flee or injure Newnum.

The jury, which apparently was populated entirely by punitive populists, ratified that claim after less than two hours’ deliberation, finding Roberts guilty of two felonies – resisting arrest (which isn’t a crime) and unlawful flight.  (Significantly, the initial traffic violation was dismissed outright, as was a charge of “assaulting” Newnum for supposedly running over his foot.) The trial judge, in what he probably thought was an act of tremendous generosity, dismissed the first conviction and sentenced Roberts to six months' supervised probation. This left an undeserved felony conviction on her record, which meant an end to her nursing career.

Not content to ruin Roberts’s professional life and inflict substantial financial and emotional hardship on this innocent woman and her family, Hammond – offering the last full measure of prosecutorial malice – tried to depict the terrified nurse as the bully in this encounter.

"All he [Newnum] wanted from the very beginning was an apology and [he] left it up to the County Attorney what to do with this case," whined Hammond. "It was a misunderstanding. It has been really tough on him and his family due to a lot of press, a lot of hate mail. He has been called a racist.... He just wants everyone to move forward and" – at this point, dear reader, you may want to find a receptacle for your rebellious gorge -- "let the healing begin."

Bobbing in this slurry of insipid clich├ęs is an unintended confession by Hammond that he had committed malfeasance of office: If this incident was a "misunderstanding," then it wasn't a crime, and shouldn't have been prosecuted as such. In addition, if Newnum really wanted nothing more than an apology "from the very beginning," he should have complied with Dibor's reasonable and lawful request to find a well-lit area to conduct the traffic stop.

An actual peace officer (who wouldn’t be involved in roadside shake-downs in the first place) would have cleared up that “misunderstanding,” rather than escalating it. Jeff Newnum, like practically everybody else in his profession, is a law enforcer who impersonates a peace officer. Such people are immeasurably more dangerous than their imitators. 


Dum spiro, pugno!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

California's Gun-Grabbing Einsatzgruppen

"Intimidate and show power": APPS Agent in full stormtrooper ensemble.


“When you are going to take their guns,” observes Special Agent John Marsh, “they are not happy.” 

“They” are California residents who have been designated as “prohibited persons” by the state’s Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS). Those individuals are said to have “lost” their rights under the Second Amendment. Marsh leads a special APPS paramilitary task force dedicated exclusively to gun confiscation

Agent Marsh (l.) on a gun-grabbing run.

Using gun registration lists, and drawing information out of several other databases, APPS stormtroopers “regularly sweep through California cities” to seize firearms from people the state has designated “prohibited persons,” reports the Fresno Bee.  California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill that will use a $24 million surplus from firearms purchase fees to hire 36 new jackboots for the squad. 

As is always the case with “gun control” initiatives, APPS does nothing to abate violent crime, because criminally inclined people do not register their firearms. California gun owners who comply with the state’s laws are subsidizing a program that is increasingly used to confiscate guns from innocent people on the whim of bureaucrats who aspire to disarm the public at large. 

Speaking of the tens of thousands of Californians who have been classified as “prohibited persons,” California’s proto-Stalinist Attorney General (and presidential pinup) Kamala Harris insists: “They are those people who have been proven to violate the law, and present a threat to public safety.” Harris insists that proactive disarmament of “dangerous, violent individuals … is smart and efficient law enforcement.” 

Harris, predictably enough, is lying through deliberate over-statement. Only a minority of “prohibited persons” are convicted criminals, and not everyone who meets that description is a felon – violent or otherwise. 
Commissarina Harris with confiscated firearms.

A criminal conviction is not necessary for enrollment on the civilian disarmament register. All that is necessary is an official finding by the state’s Welfare bureaucracy that the gun owner is “a danger to himself or others.” This determination can come in the form of a restraining order issued ex parte in a domestic dispute, an involuntary “mental health” hold (a formal commitment proceeding is unnecessary), or conviction for a “violent” misdemeanor, including one issued for the non-crime of resisting arrest. It is estimated that at least 20 California residents are enrolled on the disarmament roster every day. 

According to attorney Chuck Michel, who has represented gun owners in court, “there are 30 different ways you can be prohibited from owning a gun. Most of the people on the list aren’t a threat, and don’t even know they’re on it.”

Clad in black tactical gear and prominently displaying high-powered weaponry, Harris’s firearms confiscation stormtroopers typically carry out raids late at night, or early in the morning. They arrive in overwhelming numbers and, without the benefit of a warrant, seek to intimidate targeted individuals into permitting searches of their property in order to confiscate any firearms that might be found. If the “prohibited persons” refuse to cooperate, the raiders will “seek a warrant and lock down the house until they get results,” explains the Bee.

Commissarina Harris clearly sees California’s gun confiscation program as a template for similar initiatives across the nation. 

“California is leading the nation in a common-sense effort to protect public safety by taking guns away from dangerous, violent individuals who are prohibited by law from owning them,” boasted Harris – who speaks exclusively in collectivist boilerplate, it appears – last January. In a letter to Vice President Biden, she urged him to use APPS as a national model. To that end, California Democratic Congressman Mike Thompson has sponsored the federal Armed Prohibited Persons Act of 2013, which thus far has failed to find traction in the house. 

So far, California is the only state to deploy a dedicated gun confiscation team — but it isn’t the only one to engage in pre-emptive civilian disarmament

In 1999, the Connecticut legislature enacted a measure permitting police to confiscate firearms from any individual believed to pose “a risk of imminent personal injury to himself … or to other individuals.” All that is necessary for the seizure to occur is a sworn complaint “by any state’s attorney or assistant state’s attorney or by any two police officers to any judge of the Superior Court.” The confiscated firearms can be held for up to a year, without any criminal charges or civil action being taken against their owner.  Thousands of firearms have been seized under that provision, which famously did not prevent the Sandy Hook Massacre.

In the Glorious Democratic Republic of Massachusetts, police and prosecutors didn’t even bother pretending that they were enforcing a law permitting the pre-emptive disarmament of Gregory Girard, a resident of Manchester-by-the-Sea, after his estranged wife — who appears to be a temporally displaced subject of East Germany — called health and welfare officials to report that her husband held eccentric political views. Specifically, Mr. Girard believed that martial law, complete with gun confiscation, is imminent. Since it is impermissible for people to believe that government agents will carry out paramilitary raids to confiscate firearms, a paramilitary squad was sent to Girard’s home to confiscate his firearms.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 – which was largely modeled after the German civilian disarmament measures that proved so useful to the National Socialist Regime – prohibited the sale or transfer of firearms to anyone who is “adjudicated as a mental defective” – a term that itself savors of language that was in vogue in Germany circa 1938. 

Germany's "Law on the Disarmament of the People" was enacted by the liberal Weimar Republic in 1920. It was followed in 1928 by another "common-sense" firearms law that centralized enforcement of gun laws. That 1928 law was employed by the successor regime to disarm those it sought to expropriate and, eventually, to annihilate. 

The "purpose" and "goal" of the German gun law, explained the Weimar government's disarmament commissar in 1928, was "to get firearms that have done so much damage from the hands of unauthorized persons" -- a statement that would be a serviceable German translation of Harris's rationale for California's APPS program.

Given that pedigree, it is appropriate to refer to Harris’s “Gun Apprehension” units as einsatzgruppen – that is, paramilitary “special task forces” that operate outside of normal legal channels. 

As is true of all similarly constituted “task forces,” the purpose of the APPS einsatzgruppen is not to protect the public from violence, but rather to enforce the state’s monopoly on aggressive violence. This fact was stated with remarkable clarity by a prominent spokesman for California’s law enforcement rank-and-file: Emeryville Police Chief Ken James, who in 2012 was presented with what we’re assured is the prestigious Joe Malloy Award for his tireless campaign to disarm everybody but the state’s punitive priesthood.

“A gun is not a defensive weapon,” insisted Chief James in a press conference earlier this year. “That is a myth. A gun is an offensive weapon used to intimidate and used to show power. Police officers do not carry a gun as a defensive weapon to defend themselves or their other [sic] officers. They carry a gun in order to do their job in a safe and effective manner, and face any oppositions [sic] that we may come upon. If it was a defensive measure, why did we lose 55 officers nation-wide last year to gun violence — and unfortunately in just the two months of this year so far, we’ve lost two officers to gun violence in the State of California alone? We deal with gun violence on a daily basis.” (Emphasis added.) 

The substance of what this marginally verbal embodiment of arrogant privilege said is that police deal out gun violence on a daily basis – a vision neatly embodied by Harris’s black-clad APPS einsatzgruppen, who are field-testing tactics that will soon be emulated by gun-grabbers nation-wide. 

Dum spiro, pugno!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gary Raney: Rogue Sheriff, Federal Supremacist

Heir to Criminal Sheriff David Updyke: Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney.

David Updyke, the first Sheriff of Idaho’s Ada County, used his office to operate a criminal syndicate that robbed and terrorized people under the color of “law.” Today, a very similar criminal practice is carried out with federal assistance in the name of “civil asset forfeiture,” a procedure in which police confiscate money and property from people who haven’t been charged with criminal offenses.

 In his zeal to protect his federal license to plunder, Gary Raney, Updyke’s most recent successor as Ada County Sheriff, employed illegal means to stifle a proposed bill that would protect Idaho residents against a prospective federal gun grab – and has engaged in criminal retaliation against the sponsor of that bill, state representative Mark Patterson.

Last January, when Barack Obama announced several anti-gun executive orders, county sheriffs across the country publicly pledged not to enforce any new federal anti-gun measures. Among them were nearly all of  Idaho’s 44 county sheriffs. The rank-and-file of the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association (ISA) supported HB 219, a measure sponsored by Rep. Patterson that would make it a misdemeanor for an Idaho law enforcement officer to enforce new federal firearms restrictions. 

Sheriff Raney, who is the president of the ISA, conspicuously disagreed with most of his colleagues.

“I have been asked many times in the past couple of weeks whether I will uphold my oath to defend the Constitution and proclaim an intolerance of federal action against the Second Amendment,” wrote Sheriff Raney in a January 25 op-ed column in the Idaho Statesman. Acknowledging that the Constitution “includes the right to keep and bear arms,” Raney pointed out that “it also includes the `supremacy clause’ that says that every state shall abide by the laws passed by our Congress.”

What this means, from Raney’s perspective, is that if Congress – or, presumably, the president – imposed a gun confiscation measure, he would be duty-bound to enforce it, in the same way mid-19th Century sheriffs and federal marshals were required to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act. 

Affecting a pose of dutiful melancholy, Raney insisted that although he “personally” opposes “some of the gun control measures currently under consideration, my oath requires me to uphold the laws that are passed by our federal and state representatives.” 

“Every Idaho sheriff opposes the proposed gun control laws, but … we would simply have no enforcement role if they were to pass,” Raney added in an separate interview. “Only federal law enforcement agencies would be involved in such efforts.”

HB 219 would not have required sheriffs or other Idaho law enforcement officers to defy federal gun confiscation initiatives; instead, they would merely have been forbidden to participate in them. That bill was vetted by the Idaho Attorney General’s office, which found it to be compatible with both the state and federal constitutions – including the much-heralded “supremacy clause.”
Rep. Boyle.
State Representative Judy Boyle, who was the point person on all Second Amendment-related legislative initiatives, told Pro Libertate that HB 219 “was designed with input from sheriffs and the FOP [Fraternal Order of Police] for two purposes. First, it would protect Idaho peace officers from demands by the Feds that they carry out unconstitutional gun measures; police officers and deputies would be able to point out that they couldn’t enforce federal statutes because if they did they’d face misdemeanor charges. Secondly, and perhaps more to the point, it would protect gun-owning citizens from those same federal laws, and reassure the public that law enforcement agencies in this state would not be collaborating with the Feds. So there were many active members of the FOP and the Sheriffs Association in this state who supported the measure.”

Since HB 219 would simply codify the arrangement described by Sheriff Raney, it is difficult to explain why he organized a lobbying effort that succeeded in pigeonholing the bill in the state Senate – assuming that he was sincere in his public statements. According to Boyle, the focus of Raney’s concern was the possibility that resistance to federal firearms measures would threaten the all-important civil asset forfeiture program, which permits sheriffs to confiscate money and property from people targeted in narcotics-related investigations.

“He told me, `Well, when there are drugs involved we get to go after everything, and we get to keep the money,’ which isn’t exactly how forfeiture works, according to the [drug enforcement] contract with the Feds,” Boyle told Pro Libertate. “They do get to keep a share, but they don’t simply get to keep everything. Besides, whatever you think of the forfeiture program, there is nothing in HB219 that would threaten it.” 

Raney repeatedly insisted on “amendments that would gut the bill” in order to protect forfeiture programs, Boyle relates. When she refused to cooperate, “Raney went ballistic and got [Canyon County Sheriff Kieran] Donahue to help him lobby against HB 219.”  Donahue, it should be noted, was among the Idaho sheriffs who pledged to oppose new federal gun restrictions – while publicly boasting about his efforts to cooperate with the ATF and other federal agencies to “keep illegal guns … off the streets.” What this means, of course, is that if the Feds designate ownership of certain firearms to be “illegal,” Donahue would readily cooperate in efforts to confiscate them. 
State-licensed robbery: Florida police show "forfeiture" haul.
Raney and Donahue weren’t just pressuring legislators to oppose HB 219 as bad policy, Rep. Boyle recalls: “They were also spreading outright falsehoods about the bill.” In addition to claiming that it would “have a huge negative financial impact on sheriff’s offices because of the loss of forfeiture proceeds and funding for task forces,” Raney and his allies tailored their campaign to fit the specific concerns of an individual legislator – State Senator Patti Anne Lodge, whose husband is Federal District Judge Edward Lodge.

“They told Senator Lodge that she would no longer have protection by the US Marshals Service if HB 219 was enacted,” Boyle relates. In an effort to undermine support for the measure within the FOP, Raney’s clique claimed that passage of the measure might threaten federal cooperation with a recently created task force on internet crimes against children. This frantic lobbying campaign provided an unwitting illustration of the extent to which “local” law enforcement has been assimilated by the Feds through grants and other subsidies. 

Although HB 219 passed the House easily, it perished in the Senate without being brought up for a vote.

In May, Rep. Patterson filed a complaint against ISA lobbyist Mike Kane and the group’s executive director, Vaughn Killeen, who had failed to disclose their lobbying efforts against HB 219.  Following an inquiry by Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Kane grudgingly provided an amended lobbying report on May 15 – but in that document he didn’t mention his work on HB 219. After Patterson submitted a second complaint, Kane was compelled to fill out a second amended report and register as a lobbyist.

Six days later, Rep. Patterson sent a letter to Sheriff Raney’s office requesting “the accounting records for the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association” dealing with expenses incurred by the organization’s lobbying effort.

“Sheriff Raney and his lobbyist were working to defeat a bill that had the support of most of their organization’s membership, and had been found to be constitutional by the Attorney General’s office,” Patterson explained to me in an interview. “It would be inappropriate, and perhaps illegal, for taxpayer funds to be used to carry out lobbying activities of this kind – especially in light of the fact that Kane and Killeen had been caught violating the lobbying disclosure law.”

On the day after he sent that letter to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Rep. Patterson received a letter from Raney announcing that “we have initiated administrative proceedings” to revoke Patterson’s Concealed Weapons License (CWL).

“We received information that you were charged with the crime of forcible rape on May 15, 1974, in Hillsborough County, Florida,” stated Raney’s letter to Rep. Patterson. “A search of court records in that county confirmed this, as well as the fact that this charge resulted in your entering a guilty plea to the crime of Assault with Intent to Commit Rape, on July 11, 1974. The court records also show that you received a withheld judgment in that case.”

Patterson – who maintains his innocence -- was never convicted of rape, assault, or any other crime. On advice of his lawyer, he accepted a withheld judgment and a five-year term of probation after spending several weeks in jail, where he was brutally attacked at least twice and constantly threatened with rape. Circuit Judge Harry Lee Coe, who issued the withheld judgment, was (depending on one’s perspective) either notorious or celebrated for his lack of leniency in dealing with offenders. 

Coe’s penchant for imposing maximum sentences earned him the sobriquet “Hangin’ Harry.” Nothing in his record or reputation suggests that the late Judge Coe would go easy on a man accused of raping a troubled 46-year-old woman – if he believed that the case had any merit. 

“I was a twenty-one-year-old who was afraid of being raped and killed behind bars,” Patterson told me. “I took the plea on the understanding that a withheld judgment would give me the chance eventually to clear my name.” A private investigator hired by Patterson’s father exhumed evidence indicating that the accuser – who had demanded money from Patterson – had lied to the police. This led Judge Coe to discharge Patterson from probation “for his own best interest” on July 21, 1976 – three years early.

Florida law specifies that a withheld judgment means that “the court declines to convict (adjudicate guilty) the defendant…. If the defendant successfully completes his probation, he is not a convicted person.” Likewise, under Idaho law, according to the State Attorney General’s office, a withheld judgment “is not a conviction under Idaho law… If a person receives a withheld judgment for a felony, he may still obtain a license because no Idaho or federal law disqualifies him from owning a firearm.”
"Hangin' Harry": Judge Coe.
When Patterson entered his guilty plea in 1974, his attorney explained to him that once he completed his probation, there would be no record of the charge: As a “legal nullity” that charge would never have existed as a matter of law, and he would not have any legal duty to disclose it. (An individual who “had the benefit of a withhold of conviction could traditionally deny having a conviction, even when subject to deposition or while testifying in court,” explains the Florida Bar Association.) 

Patterson received a CWL in 2007, and renewed it in 2012. On both occasions he passed a background check by the Idaho State Police using the FBI’s National Criminal Information Center database, which – unlike every database accessible through a public records request – would contain information about the withheld judgment in 1974. Patterson didn’t disclose the now-expunged withheld judgment, because he wasn’t legally required to do so. In keeping with the law, neither the Idaho State Police not the Ada County Sheriff’s Office made an issue of that omission – until May 22, when it could be forged into a weapon used to retaliate against Patterson for exposing Sheriff Raney’s abuse of office. 

An administrative hearing about Patterson’s CWL was held on August 26. By law, the proceedings of that hearing, and all of the information disclosed therein, is confidential. Patterson was assured that a decision would be made within a week. However, that decision was delayed until October 29 – and during that two-month interval, the legally protected information was provided to Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey.

Immediately after Patterson was informed by Raney’s office that his CWL was being revoked, the representative received an email from Popkey demanding an interview to discuss “a criminal matter in your past.” During that meeting Popkey recounted conversations with Sheriff Raney regarding the dismissed charges from nearly 40 years ago. Although Popkey refuses to divulge his source for that material, it could only have come from either Sheriff Raney’s office or the Idaho State Police – and, in either case, making it public was against the law. 

In the subsequent hit piece published by the Statesman, Raney claimed that his office reviewed Patterson’s background because of a “tip” received from a third party about the long-buried – and legally non-existent – charges against him. He also maintained that the record of the case (as well as a second case in 1977 that ended in an acquittal) was obtained through “a simple public records request – the same type of request anyone in the community can file.” 

This claim is almost certainly a lie.

“During my campaign back in 2012, the Statesman and the Associated Press both did extensive public records requests on me, and they didn’t find those records,” Patterson pointed out to me. “This information was only available through the NCIC, and the only way Popkey could have gotten it was through Sheriff Raney’s office.”

Popkey’s story also quotes Raney -- who has been in office since 2005 -- as claiming that the decision to revoke Patterson’s CWL came as a result of “due diligence” following the anonymous “tip.” However, Raney also admitted that he was “aware of this charge in his history and therefore knew that in order to obtain [a CWL] he must have falsified his application.” That would mean that Raney hadn’t done “due diligence” when he approved Patterson’s applications in 20107 and 2012 – unless, as Patterson maintains, he was not legally required to disclose a decades-old withheld judgment in that application. That omission only became an issue after Patterson began to investigate the possibility that Raney and his underlings at the ISA had violated the law by lobbying against HB 219. Res ipsa loquitir

Representative Patterson is not the only state legislator facing retaliation from Sheriff Raney. On November 12, Raney filed a spurious ethics complaint against both Patterson and Representative Judy Boyle, the latter of whom discomfited Raney by refusing amendments that would have eviscerated HB 219. Raney’s letter claims that Boyle and Patterson improperly used “taxpayer-funded legal advice” to contest his vindictive – and unwarranted – revocation of Patterson’s CWL.

“I sent a letter to the Attorney General’s office last August 1 asking for clarification regarding a number of legal issues relative to the concealed weapons law,” Rep. Boyle told Pro Libertate. “These are questions that many of my constituents have asked, and as a legislator I’m certainly entitled to ask the Attorney General about legal issues of this kind any time I think it’s necessary.” 

Raney insists that Boyle was acting solely on Patterson’s behalf – without explaining his privileged insight into Boyle’s motives. If that were the case, Boyle’s actions would be neither criminal nor unethical. Raney rather inventively claims that this would be a criminal violation of the “Ethics in Government Act.” He also insists that if Boyle “used deception” in obtaining legal advice to which the entire public is entitled, she could face a charge of “theft through diversion” – presumably, because the officials in the Attorney General’s office are paid through tax funds. 

Needless to say, Raney continues to deflect the question that provoked his retaliatory onslaught: Did he and his colleagues illegally use taxpayer funds to lobby against a gun rights law he opposed? 

Unlike Gary Raney, Mark Patterson is not a full-time tax-feeder. Patterson, a 61-year-old businessman with two young daughters, operates a successful business and entered electoral politics out of constitutionalist convictions. He is a product of that portion of the Tea Party constituency that seeks to arrest the centralization of power and the militarization of law enforcement – and to defend the individual right to armed self-defense against those who seek to disarm the public.

Raney, by way of contrast, is a career law enforcement officer who is an unabashed federal supremacist. His opposition to Patterson’s bill was dictated by the necessity of placating the Federal officials who hold his leash – and allow him to devour the property and money of people who have not been convicted of a crime, as long as the Feds get their cut.

As Sheriff of Ada County, Gary Raney is living down to the example of David Updyke, the criminal who was the first to hold that office.  Updyke used that position to operate a stage coach robbery ring in exchange for a cut of the plunder, an arrangement that differs not one whit – in a moral sense – from the variant of highway robbery called “civil asset forfeiture.” He was removed from office by the Ada County Commission following an 1865 stagecoach robbery carried out by some of his “road agents” in Portneuf Canyon during which five passengers were murdered and $86,000 in gold was stolen. 

The following year, Updyke organized a state-licensed “militia” to take part in a punitive campaign against a local Indian tribe. After the crisis ended, Updyke cached the tax-purchased weapons and supplies to outfit another “road agent” syndicate. One of Updyke’s former associates, testifying in a civil trial against the former sheriff, revealed the rogue lawman’s plans to reconstitute his criminal band. A loyal member of the cabal killed the defector, prompting Updyke to flee the jurisdiction. He was tracked to a cabin near Syrup Creek on the western slope of the Sawtooth Mountains by the Payette Vigilantes, a private security organization led by future Idaho Governor William J. McConnell.

Following a brief trial, Updyke and his associate Jake Dixon were found guilty of numerous murders and forced to pay their debt to nature. 

McConnell and his colleagues were not violent or lawless men; they were private citizens driven to armed defense of their property against a state-licensed plunderbund led by the Ada County Sheriff. While not wishing that any similar ill would befall Sheriff Raney, I would suggest that he could profit from sober reflection upon the fate of his notorious predecessor.

(Please be aware that this is an evolving story -- and check here for future updates.) 


Dum spiro, pugno!