Safer is better at Sumter jail by jennyyingdi

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 Saturday, January 30, 2010                                                                    The Daily Commercial                                                                                                   A11

             OUR VOICE

Safer is                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dan
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Walters
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sacramento Bee

better at                                                                                                                                                                                    Lawsuits
Sumter jail                                                                                                                                                                                  battle
                                                                                                                                                                                             renewed
H
          ITS AND MISSES is a weekly
         opportunity for the Daily

                                                                                                                                                                                             G
                                                                                                                                                                                                      overnors and other
         Commercial’s editorial board                                                                                                                                                                 California politicians
to share with readers its views on                                                                                                                                                                    come to the Capitol
                                                                                                                                                                                             and eventually go away, some
recent decisions handed down by                                                                                                                                                              to other political venues and
government or activities by local                                                                                                                                                            some to obscurity.
residents and organizations.                                                                                                                                                                     As they come and go, how-
                                                                                                                                                                                             ever, thousands of interest
   Hit: This one goes to the Sumter                                                                                                                                                          groups and their professional
County jail. The county’s new                                                                                                                                                                warriors remain, fighting and
                                                                                                                                                                                             re-fighting battles for decades.
expanded facility recently installed                                                                                                                                                             None of those conflicts is
cameras for video conferencing                                                                                                                                                               more enduring than “tort war,”
between visitors and inmates.
                                                                                                         OT H E R V O I C E S                                                                the struggle over the rules gov-
                                                                                                                                                                                             erning injury lawsuits waged
   This allows for more and safer vis-
its.
   Hit: Literally. Sort of. The
                                                              Obama back in campaign mode                                                                                                    by trial lawyers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 While some of their clashes
                                                                                                                                                                                             are obvious, others are less so,
                                                                                                                                                                                             involving surrogates and side

                                                              O
                                                                         h, good grief! We’re back in                                             ing to wait until Obama was
Groveland council made it illegal                                        campaign mode again.                                                     halfway through his speech before          issues, and for the most part,
                                                                         When everyone demanded                                                   he even mentioned his failed 2009          it’s been a stalemate.
for people to shoot their guns in the                                                                                 Ann                                                                        In 1975, then-Gov. Jerry
                                                              President Barack Obama’s Plan B a                                                   top priority of improving health
air during celebrations. The fear was                         week ago, after he lost his fili-                       McFeatters                  insurance.                                 Brown signed the medical mal-
the falling bullets might hit some-                           buster-proof 60th vote in the                                                           The president also is still not giv-   practice law, capping pain and
                                                              Senate and thus quick passage of
                                                                                                                      Scripps Howard News                                                    suffering damages, that person-
one.                                                                                                                                              ing us specifics for how new jobs
                                                                                                                      Service                                                                al injury lawyers hate.
                                                              any health-care-overhaul plan, his                                                  will be created by small businesses
   Shooting pistols at the heavens is                                                                                                                                                            In the waning months of his
                                                              first reaction was to hire back his       Obama independents.)                      that can’t get loans or afford             governorship, Arnold
a scene that belongs in a western,                            2008 campaign manager. So much               Beset with the worst economy           employee health insurance. As for          Schwarzenegger has decided to
not 2010 Groveland.                                           for insisting that he’s tired of the      since the Great Depression, two           his claim that he’s helped 2 million       go on offense, embracing
                                                              24/7 campaigning that goes on in          wars, a failing infrastructure, public    Americans keep their jobs, there’s         major changes in tort law as
   Hit: Lake County kids. But only if                         Washington.                               distrust of institutions, a catastro-     no way to prove or disprove that.          part of his economic stimulus
you bring in pocket change to help                                After 29 assertions in his State of                                                 Obama isn’t even specific about
                                                                                                        phe in Haiti, a $12 trillion national                                                package and saying he wants
                                                              the Union speech that he will                                                       how he plans to get Republicans to
children in Haiti.                                                                                      debt and falling poll numbers,                                                       to short-circuit “frivolous law-
                                                              fight, fight, fight for jobs, jobs,                                                 work with him. (His fabled beer            suits that kill jobs.”
                                                                                                        Obama is working on ... falling poll
   Schools are participating in the                           jobs, he went to Tampa, Fla., where                                                 summit may have worked with the                The proposals include tight-
                                                                                                        numbers.
                                                              he said, “I ran to fight for people.                                                Boston police officer, but a few           ening up on class-action law-
Kids Helping Kids project. If each                            ... I’ve been fighting all my adult          Obama’s challenges are huge. But
                                                                                                        at least he should be relieved that       brewskis are unlikely to seduce            suits that can often generate
youngster brings in at least a quar-                          life. ... Change never comes with-                                                  Capitol Hill Republicans into vot-         big payouts to lawyers and
                                                              out a fight.”                             he did not appoint the philander-
ter, the local project would raise                                                                      ing John Edwards as attorney gen-         ing for his policies and cheering,         their clients, restrictions on the
                                                                  The current “change” he’s talk-                                                 “Yes, we can!,” at the drop of a           size of punitive damages, and
$10,000. That’s enough to send                                ing about seems to be changing the        eral.
                                                                                                           We all acknowledge that Obama          presidential signal.)                      shielding sellers of defective
45,000 meals to the island.                                   chant from “Health-insurance                                                            Obama also is promising that           goods from liability if they are
                                                              reform now!” to “A job for every          is a great speaker. It’s a pleasure to
   Miss: And we’re certainly pleased                                                                    listen to him talk to us as adults.       he’ll work to end the policy of            “mere conduits of a product.”
                                                              American!” Nice work if you can                                                     “don’t ask, don’t tell” which is used          The proposals are long-
with this one. A report that a torna-                         get it.                                   It’s even impossible to find a GOP
                                                                                                        legislator who will (publicly, at         to drive openly gay service men            sought goals of the Civil Justice
do skipped by Lady Lake early                                     As supporters cheered him in                                                                                               Association of California, the
                                                                                                        least) say he/she doesn’t personally      and women out of the military.
                                                              Tampa, he said he will rein in the                                                                                             business-backed anti-trial
Monday was false. The National                                deficit by asking Congress to pass a      like the president.                       But, once again, there were no
                                                                                                           However, it should be noted that       specifics on how or when he’ll do          lawyer lobby. Its centerpiece
Weather Service confirmed that the                            partial budget freeze, spend billions                                                                                          crackdown on class action suits
                                                              on a second stimulus (a/k/a jobs)         Senate Democratic leader Harry            it.
report was wrong — no tornado, but                                                                      Reid yawned as the president gave             Obama told the happy, clapping         is aimed largely at the so-called
                                                              bill, help students pay off college                                                                                            “strike suits” filed against
definitely a winter storm. And                                loans, put $8 billion into high-          his whither-the-country speech.           crowd in Tampa, “I have never
                                                                                                                                                  been more hopeful about our                newly minted technology
Florida winter storm at that.                                 speed rail, raise defense spending        And Justice Samuel Alito shook his
                                                                                                                                                  future than I am right now.”               firms when their stock prices
                                                              and cut taxes for working families.       head, apparently muttering “not
   Miss: This one goes to Leesburg’s                                                                                                                  We are reassured that at least         fluctuate.
                                                                  Shades of Ronald Reagan, who          true,” when Obama, a constitution-
                                                                                                                                                  there’s one person who believes                John Sullivan, who heads
Christian Worship Center. But not                             solemnly promised to increase             al lawyer, condemned a Supreme                                                       the group, said California law is
                                                              defense spending, balance the             Court ruling as “opening the flood-       that. Or who says he does. And
for anything bad or wrong. The                                                                                                                    who, in year two of his presidency,        “the perfect tool for filing a
                                                              budget and cut taxes! But, hey,           gates to special interests.” At least                                                class action lawsuit,” and such
church held a mortgage burning cer-                           Reagan was very popular and had           he didn’t shout, “You lie!,” as has       is ready to fight.
                                                                                                                                                                                             suits mushroomed after federal
emony last weekend. We’re sure that                           the support of Reagan Democrats.          happened before to this president.                                                   tort law was overhauled in
                                                                                                                                                  Scripps Howard columnist Ann
document is one they won’t MISS.                              Today, there is no such thing as             But Obama’s silver tongue aside,       McFeatters has covered the White House     2005.
                                                              Obama Republicans. (Lately, there         I am tired of hearing no specifics        and national politics since 1986. E-mail       Not surprisingly, Sullivan’s
   Hit: Well, we’ll just have to wait                         don’t even seem to be that many           about a health-care plan and hav-         amcfeatters@nationalpress.com.             archenemy demurs. “In this era
and see. Crews were busy shooting a                                                                                                                                                          of Wall Street profiteering, it’s
full-length film in Fruitland Park.                                                                                                                                                          sad that Gov. Schwarzenegger
   It’s called “The Old Livingston
                                                                                                            YO U R V O I C E                                                                 is proposing restrictions on
                                                                                                                                                                                             Californians’ legal rights when
                                                                                                                                                                                             they’re needed more than
House: A Teenage Adventure,” and                              Dems do the work,                         laws and benefitted bankers. Arabs
                                                                                                        added insult to injury when they
                                                                                                                                                  “Political Appointee” from their
                                                                                                                                                  personnel records by becoming per-         ever,” said Christopher Dolan,
it’s an adventure story involving                                                                                                                                                            head of the lawyer lobby. “This
teens and an old house. And — bet                             GOP gets the credit                       took Americans hostage and
                                                                                                        released them one minute after
                                                                                                                                                  manent federal employees who
                                                                                                                                                  helped pave the way for the                idea of an explosion of frivo-
you didn’t figure this one — a map.                              When Richard Nixon was presi-          Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.            impeachment of Bill Clinton which          lous lawsuits is a fiction, (but)
                                                              dent, the United States controlled           Democrats went after Reagan            was more pay back for Nixon.               class actions remain a crucial
                                                              more than ninety percent of the           because of his illegal actions in            With all of the cards stacked in        deterrent to dangerous prod-
                                                              world's wealth and set the price of       Nicaragua and he was saved only           his favor, George H. W. Bush still         ucts, workplace abuses and
                                                              oil purchased from the Arabs              by the Congressional purjuries of         managed to become the worst pres-          consumer rip-offs.”
                                                              because the United States was their       Colonel Oliver North and Admiral          ident in American history and                  What are the tort package’s
                                                              major customer.                           Poindexter.                               almost succeeded in turning our            chances?
       The newspaper of choice for Lake                                                                                                           country into a dictatorship with the
                                                                 When Democrats forced the res-            Pope John Paul II worked behind                                                       “Although there has been no
       and Sumter counties since 1875                                                                                                             help of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.
                                                              ignation of President Nixon,              the scenes to stir up the Polish peo-                                                movement by the Legislature
Letters                                                       Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger,      ple. When Gorbachev saw that the
                                                                                                                                                     The rancor of the Republicans           on this package so far, we
Letters are limited to 350 words on a single issue of                                                                                             continues with unprecedented               expect them to take action on
                                                              with Republican consent, told             opposition to Russia was more than
public concern. They must be original, signed with                                                                                                opposition to President Obama by           these bills before the end of the
                                                              Arabs to raise the price of oil.          it could financially cope with in a       voting as a unit in Congress.
the full name of the writer. Letters should be type-                                                                                                                                         special session,” Aaron McLear,
                                                              Jimmy Carter was the unfortunate          hostile world, he decided that the        However, many Democrats have
written and include the writer’s address and tele-                                                                                                                                           the governor’s press secretary,
                                                              Democrat to follow Nixon and              Berlin wall would come down,              sold their souls by accepting legal        said.
phone number for verification. Letters will be edited
                                                              Republicans vowed to make his a           which the Republicans claimed as a        bribes from special interest groups.           Don’t hold your breath. The
for length, grammar and clarity.
                                                              failed presidency.                        victory for President Reagan.             May God help us. The Republicans           Legislature’s Democratic major-
No open letters, form letters or copies of letters to            The increased price of oil caused         President Reagan appointed             and some dishonest Democrats cer-          ity is symbiotically welded to
third parties will be published. Writers are limited to
two letters per month.
                                                              much turmoil with the American            Attorneys to the Attorney General's       tainly don't intend to do so.              the trial bar.
                                                              economy. Interest rates in excess of      office. Vice President George H. W.                        Raymond L. Lohsl
              Letters may be e-mailed to:
                                                              sixteen percent destroyed Usury           Bush advised them to remove                                               Leesburg   dwalters@sacbee.com.
           letters@dailycommercial.com
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