January 10, 2007

How the Bush administration's policies affect the average citizen

From Mr. Populist at DailyKos, the upshot:

This electronic dragnet at Departments of Motor Vehicles in every state was Bush's interpretation of his executive powers under the Patriot Act. This is Bush's idea of fighting domestic terrorism.

And the details:

I went to renew my driver's license on November 27th 2006, and just yesterday, on January 4th 2007, was I able to get my license renewed.

An outstanding warrant from 1984 in Massachusetts popped up the federal crime database, at the Missouri DMV and I was refused a driver's license.  What's relevant is I've never been arrested for a crime in Massachusetts and when I gave that information Missouri DMV clerk, she looked look at me as if to say, "Yeah right, you and 1001 other criminal deadbeats who jumped bail."

She refused to renew my license. So did her supervisor. They wouldn't give me any details on the crime I had allegedly committed  Crime doesn't pay, especially when you when you've never committed it.

Finally, a month and half later I was allowed to renew my driver's license but only AFTER the refusal to renew my driving license, triggered a daisy chain of events happened, between November 27, 2006 and January 4 2007:

After spending 40 hours of being put on hold by various electronic answering services in nearly every Boston area municipal court. I simply wanted to know what the charges were that I allegedly failed to appear in court to settle. All of those phone calls were long distance and are going to cost me a small fortune..

After lobbying two state representatives, one in Missouri and one in Massachusetts

After turning myself in, at my local municipal police station and demanding they arrest me on an outstanding warrant in Massachusetts.

After spending an entire afternoon in a holding cell of that same municipal police station, while the cops checked 3 different national databases for warrants in my name and came up empty handed. When I kept insisting there was a 1984 warrant out for my arrest, the local cops looked at me like I was insane, and told me to go home because they couldn't arrest me.

After spending two weeks on needles and pins wondering what the warrant was all about and if I'd ever get a driving license again. I'd talked to 40 people in two dozen government agencies and nobody would reveal the nature of the criminal charges against me.

After nearly over an hour on the telephone with the Cambridge court clerk who my attorney had to threaten to take to court to get her to check the dead warrants files in the basement morgue of the Cambridge court house for my 22 year old bench warrant.

After that same court clerk took a week to find an outstanding warrant with my name on it for the crime of Posting an Illegal Handbill in Central Square in Cambridge in 1984.

After sending a registered letter the Chief Clerk of the Cambridge Court informing him that the warrant was a mistake.

After getting a letter back from the Chief Clerk of the Cambridge acknowledging the 1984 warrant for posting illegal handbills was a clerical error that happened from mistakenly entering my name on a warrant. I was a witness for the defense on a handbill case in 1984 in Cambridge, not the defendant!

\After driving for 40 days with an expired driver's license, and risking arrest by my local municipal police for actually committing a real crime.

After that, and only after all of that crap and a few hundred dollars later, I could now renew my Missouri driver's license, but only after being assessed a $25 late fee added to the cost of the renewal of my driving license. The late fee was one last kiss-off slap in the face, from the bureaucracy that was the cause of the problem in the first place.

All of this loss of time and money was a result of an administrative decision by the Bush administration to require the state motor vehicle registries to deny driver's licenses to anyone who had an outstanding warrant for any trivial misdemeanor dating back to Civil War Reconstruction.

H/T Alabama Ass Whuppin'

Posted by binky at January 10, 2007 11:29 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Liberty | Pure Unadulterated Snark | You Can't Make This Stuff Up


Oh good lord.

Posted by: kcb at January 11, 2007 04:50 PM | PERMALINK

I know. Talk about guilty until proven innocent.

Posted by: binky at January 12, 2007 09:20 AM | PERMALINK
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