Bill Mandates Convicted Sex Offender Sit on Washington State Crime Policy Board

Bill Mandates Convicted Sex Offender Sit on Washington State Crime Policy Board

By Steve Pomper

Washington State Capitol, Olympia, WA. (Credit: Wikicommons, Bluedisk Source

Remember the days when we merely rolled our eyes, chuckled dismissively and promptly forgot the looney ideas some political folks come up with? Well, with the leftist extremists having hijacked so many (to use a “woke” word) spaces, i.e., media, academia, politics—the Swamp, sports, stamp collecting, whatever over the past decades, we continue to ignore them at our nation’s peril. 

First, you don’t have to be a subject of the vainglorious Dictator (Governor) Jay Inslee’s Washington, the Ever-Green State (I guess it’s more accurately a blue green), to empathize with this issue. If you’re from a blue state, city, or county, or blue jurisdiction in a red state, you’ve likely got one or more extremist, cop-hating political officials in your state or local government. Here’s one of ours.  

Since Washington State Rep. Tarra Simmons (D-Bremerton) entered the legislature in 2021, she has sponsored several leftist extremist bills (translation: anti-law and order). But first, to be fair, let’s pause to recognize that this woman has overcome some momentous life challenges and achieved impressive personal and professional goals.

Washington State Representative Tarra Simmons (Source)

According to Simmon’s state government bio, as a young woman, she faced many serious obstacles. These led her to drug addiction and crime. However, as bad as these obstacles were for her, we should remember many people have had similar hurdles and didn’t resort to committing “drugs, theft, and firearms offenses,” for which she was sentenced to 30 months in prison beginning in 2011.

Courageously, following her incarceration, she went back to school, excelled, earned a law degree with honors, and was eventually elected to the state legislature.  

But her experiences, instead of leaving her contrite, humble, and reasonable, seem to have cultivated a vendetta against the traditional criminal justice system—and the people of Washington State. 

Overcoming these hardships doesn’t absolve her of the toxic leftist, anti-law and order extremism she champions. Simmons sponsored HB 2177, which would mandate a sex offender be appointed to the state’s sex offender policy board (fox-henhouse?). Reportedly, there are no restrictions to the kind of convicted sex offender they could appoint. 

But that’s not all of her malicious legislative mischief. Simmons is also sponsoring HB 2030, which would make it legal for all convicted criminals to vote and run for office even while in prison. Why? You know, because racism.

As reported by KVI 570 Seattle radio host Ari Hoffman at The Post Millennial, “Washington Democrats are attempting to pass legislation that would allow felons, including serial killers, to vote, serve on a jury and even run for office while incarcerated.” Guess who sponsored HB 2030? Who else? Rep. Simmons. 

During legislative testimony, according to Grace Deng at the Washington State Standard, Rep. Sam Low (R-Lake Stevens) asked, “Would Gary Ridgeway’s [Green River Killer] rights be restored?” Deng reminded readers that Ridgeway was “a serial killer who murdered at least 49 teenage girls and women in Washington.”

Rep. Simmons replied, “Yes, they would.” 

Before her election, Simmons also benefitted as an ex-convict selected for a state advisory board by no less than Dictator Inslee, who appointed her to the “Washington Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission….” (Yes, non-Washingtonians can stop wondering. This state is a freakin’ clown show run by freakin’ clowns). 

According to TJ Martinell at The Center Square, “[HB 2177] would require a convicted sex offender be among the members of the State Sex Offender Policy Board [SOPB], which would also be renamed ‘Sex Offense Policy Board.’” [link added] This is a typical leftist extremist semantic deceit, which shifts the emphasis from the criminal to the crime.

It seems nearly every anti-cop legislation the extremists pass inevitably needs revision or revocation. This will likely also be the case here. For example, what if a convicted rapist on the SOPB reoffends? Don’t think it couldn’t happen. It happens all the time. I predict eventual revision or revocation here, too, despite that the leftist extremists will probably fight it.      

Revision similarly happened (and keeps happening) in Washington State after leftists in the legislature passed so-called police reform laws (translation: anti-cop legislation). Since their passage, dictator Gov. Jay Inslee has been forced several times to “fix” what wasn’t broken in the first place. 

Former member of SOPB, now with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), James McMahan, described the original conception of the board formed in 2008: “[I]t was envisioned to be a ‘small quiet, ad hoc board of experts who can dispassionately and with education and experience recommend to the legislature’ policies for public safety. It doesn’t feel like an ad hoc board anymore.”

Martinell also wrote, “Some critics say it strays from the board’s original purpose of allowing neutral voices to make recommendations.”

McMahan described (what I call, the rolling corruption of) the board’s original intent, which was objective analysis. He said for years, the board met primarily about “projects assigned by single legislators…” rather than choosing their own. He said he had to resign because doing SOPB work and keeping up with other responsibilities became impossible.

Simmons says hers is “an effort to ‘diversify’ the number of backgrounds represented on the board.” The moment I read that, the woke expression, lived experiences popped into my head.

I read on and soon found this: “The first state legislator to be formerly incarcerated, she [Simmons] said her background brought ‘some lived experience that was missing here.’”  

Not to be outdone in woke-speaking, defense attorney and SOPB chairman Brad Meryhew, who represents accused sex offenders, ticked off his own lefty checklist: “One of the things that we try very hard to do on the board is to facilitate as many diverse voices as we can at the table. We invite to the table many stakeholders, including those impacted by these policies.” How can he “invite” future victims who haven’t been “impacted by these policies” yet, but will be?

Another proponent of placing sex offenders on sex offense policy boards, Washington Voices Alex Mayo is concerned about focusing “solely on punishment.” He prefers to focus on “healing and prevention,” which is so often leftist-speak for not requiring offenders to take full responsibility for their actions. 

We shouldn’t forget that sex offenders have one of the highest recidivism rates despite what appears a recent push to downplay sex crime re-offending. Sex crimes are distinctive and especially malicious crimes that not only steal a victim’s immediate sense of security, but also can rob victims of their peace of mind for the rest of their lives.  

As I mentioned earlier, you might say, “The legislation will never pass.” But we’ve said that before, haven’t we? With the leftist extremist, never shows up a lot quicker than it used to. Just think about some of the “unthinkable” policies, laws, and even lawbreaking we’ve seen enacted and committed by political officials over the past decade and especially during the past few years. For example, some blue cities don’t allow cops to enforce certain crimes against certain people or enforce other crimes at all.

Take these two seemingly unrelated crimes: Camping in a public park or on a sidewalk (pedestrian interference) and a Graffiti Nuisance Code (not what you think). This (Seattle) city ordinance demands victims clean the property damaged by a criminal within ten days or pay a fine per day that it remains uncleaned. 

Good luck getting camping laws in blue jurisdictions consistently enforced against the derelicts, but it’s open season on the good citizens who’ve been victimized by graffiti so often committed by those derelicts camping in parks and on sidewalks.

In response, some lucid people are fighting back. In California, in 2022, some lawmakers sought to reverse Prop 47 in an effort to “make crime illegal again.”   

But not legislators like Simmons. According to the Kitsap Sun, in 2022, she also proposed a bill “to remove fatal drive-by shootings from a list of ‘aggravators’ that require a life sentence for people convicted of first-degree murder.”

I mean, what’s the big deal? So, you kill someone while shooting your firearm out a car window. Why should you spend the rest of your life in prison for that? After all, that would deprive you of the opportunity to drive by and kill more people—Sorry, I mean, to turn your life around.  

Having successfully emerged from her rocky early-life, one of her self-described missions, understandably, is to “help formerly incarcerated people re-integrate into society.” Laudable? Sure. But isn’t she going too far? Helping ex-cons rebuild their lives is one thing, but to give convicted sex offenders a say in state policy regarding sex crimes is an obvious overstep. 

But this is not surprising from a representative who, according to OANN, was one of the “Democrats in Washington [who] gave first priority to a new proposed law that calls for the labeling of violent sex offenders to be based on the ‘person first’ principle. The goal is to destigmatize sex offenders by ceasing to define them in terms of their offense.” [link added]

And speaking of the proliferation of the smarmy phrase “lived experience,” I’ll tell you what, if that man-bunned staffer from the Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry Committee, speaking in a hearing had said, “lived experience,” as seen on Jesse Watters Primetime, one more time, I think I would have disintegrated into my shoes. 

Normal people don’t talk like that. Then again, the people he works for want to exchange the clear, descriptive term “sex offender” for the clumsy phrase “people who have committed a sex offense.” It just slides off the tongue, right?   

Yes, people deserve a chance to reform and to reenter the community after paying their debts to society. Still, the primary concern must remain with past and future rape and other sexual assault victims—not with the criminals.

As Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer wrote in a recent editorial, “In a state largely under one-party control, lawmakers have gone too far. Have they forgotten about the victims of crime? I haven’t.” Well, I haven’t either, Sheriff, but it sure looks like Simmons and her allies in the legislature have.

Sex crimes are some of the worst crimes any person can commit against another person, with some of the longest-lasting impacts on their victims—some of them children—physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Don’t only pay attention to what the federal government is up to. Keep tabs on what your state and local politicians are cooking up in their caustic cauldron. It’s likely, right now, some woke warrior is preparing some lunatic legislation fit to make you disintegrate into your shoes.