Domestic Terrorist Bill in WA State
A bill in the Washington State House seeks to establish a Domestic Violent Extremism Commission, led by the Attorney General, Bob Ferguson.
What is Domestic Violent Extremism? Is it the same as Domestic Terrorism? The FBI defines Domestic Terrorism as: Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.
The proposed phrase, Domestic Violent Extremism (DVE) takes aim at words like coercion, threats, intimidation, extremist recruitment and even more subjective areas of speech like online disinformation or misinformation or having anti-government ideologies and other ideologies.
The Attorney General's Office was previously allocated $125,000 to fund a report on Domestic Violent Extremism. This report was showcased during the Government & Tribal Relations Committee by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Included in this report is cause for concern for every Washingtonian that values free speech, press, and peaceful assembly.
The purpose of this report and subsequently HB 1333 is to establish a commission, led by Attorney General Bob Ferguson to build a comprehensive public health and community-based framework for responding to domestic violent extremism.
Including the formation of this Commission, the group leading the presentation, made a number of recommendations.
One of those recommendations was to give a "tool kit" of legal options to change existing regulations, civil and criminal codes to respond to Domestic Violent Extremism.
An objective would also create a taxpayer funded Journalism Fellowship Program to combat misinformation and disinformation. Government teaching journalists?
Another objective includes incorporating a Public Health framework to DVE. It would give Public Health the ability to pro-actively respond to DVE by creating multi-disciplinary teams.
What is a multi-disciplinary team? Will this team of Public Health workers have the power to arrest or bring forth charges? Is this new method intended to skirt local elected county Sheriff's? None of this information was clear in the bill or in the hearing.
ADL mentions in the hearing that they met with "four expert consultants across the country." That they did.
The Raben Group, which is made-up mostly of Democratic Party-aligned lobbyists, who are predominately former members of President Barack Obama’s and President Bill Clinton’s administrations.
Rick Stolz, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute where he built multi-sector coalitions and strategies on immigration, economic justice, and climate justice policies.
Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a professor who has published papers and written or co-authored books about the "far-right".
Lastly, the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP), where the board of directors consist mostly of progressive leftists. Including, Al Gore's former State Finance Director, a liberal political strategist, legal advisor to President Obama, Democrats financial donors, and an attorney who sued power plants for contributing to global warming.
The liaison of ICAP to the ADL is Mary McCord, a Nancy Pelosi appointment as legal counsel for the House of Representatives during the January 6th attack or "insurrection" on the US Capital.
Hardly a group of unbiased moderates. Committee member, Rep. Abbarno and Rep. Low asked some great questions during the hearing including requesting the speaker to talk more about Antifa, Chop & Chaz and the attacks on Asian Americans. The presenter's response is telling and political.
The new catchall from the left is scorched earth politics through their anti-discrimination code of conduct. If you don't think children should learn Critical Race Theory in grade school, they call you racist. If you don't think children should watch an all ages drag show they call you (insert word here)-phobic. If you think that men, pretending to be women should not potty in the girls bathroom - they call you trans-phobic. If you have a different perspective, they say it is misinformation or disinformation. If you cling to your guns and religion, and love your country - you are called a white supremacist. The discussion has become irrational in our country.
(Note: The chair of the committee put forth an amendment to allow the Attorney General to appoint the members of the new commission)
I am not worried about name calling. I am worried the government will compel or require speech. I believe they will use this Commission and bill to criminalize speech, press and peaceful assembly. Free speech was not meant to protect everyday words or discussion, it needs not protected. The speech we must protect can be offensive, strange, uncomfortable, it can hurt your feelings, it can be messy or outright vile - but speech is not violence.
Is HB1333 good for Washington State? You decide.