Republican operative Andy Parrish, whose well-paid failure at Minnesotans for Marriage to persuade citizens to vote for the marriage restiction amendment is a matter of election history, has started a blog.
To attract interest, he has been engaging in an aggressive campaign of trolling on twitter.
Even before the first post went up, Parrish has repeated one particular troll for the last three days, asking Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie whether he agrees with a proposition in an article the MN SOS retweeted from the Voting News, McDonnell calls for automatic restoration of voting rights for felons:
Gov. Bob McDonnell used his annual State of the Commonwealth Wednesday to tout his transportation funding package, unveil additional education reform proposals, and call for the automatic restoration of voting rights for nonviolent felons. McDonnell said he supports proposed legislation for a constitutional amendment that would automatically restore civil rights, such as voting rights, to felons convicted of nonviolent offenses who have served their time. Currently applications for rights restoration must be made directly to the governor who then decides whether to restore rights on an individual basis.
“As a nation that believes in redemption and second chances, we must provide a clear path for willing individuals to be productive members of society once they have served their sentences and paid their fines and restitution,” McDonnell said, garnering his only standing ovation of the night. “It is time for Virginia to join most of the other states and make the restoration of civil rights an automatic process for non-violent offenders.” He noted that he has restored voting rights to more nonviolent offenders than any previous governor.
McDonnell may get his wish on this account as two Republicans in the House of Delegates — Greg Habeeb of Salem and Peter Farrell of Henrico — are pushing legislation for automatic restoration.
Parrish asked if Ritchie agreed with Governor McDonnell's proposal here first, then here, then here, then here, then here (adding journalists twitter handles to the question), then here, then here, then here, then here, then here, asking different variations of the same question for the last three days.
Perhaps Parrish should spend less time pestering people on twitter and more time discovering what Minnesota's law is concerning the restoration of voting rights for "ex-cons."
One friendly conservative who'd worked to pass the Voter Restriction Amendment tried to help Mr. Parrish out in the middle of that:
But Parrish keeps trolling.
John Rouleau is right. The Minnesota Council of Non-Profits website notes in Voters With A Prior Felony:
In Minnesota one cannot vote while serving a sentence as result of a felony conviction. Once the full sentence, including parole and probation, has been completed, known as “off paper”, the right to vote is automatically reinstated. If a person resides in Minnesota and is “off paper” his or her voting rights are restored, even if the felony conviction was in another state. If unclear about his or her status, the person should check with their parole officer.
It is a felony to register to vote before civil rights have been restored. A person should not register to vote until he or she has fully completed terms of sentence, including parole and probation, even if their civil rights will be restored by Election Day.
Thus, Minnesota's law already conforms to the change that Virginia's Republican Governor is proposing. Governor McDonnell's request would bring the Commonwealth of Virginia's law in line with most other states.
Parrish's followers who don't click through--or who like Parrish don't understand Minnesota's law--might be led to think that the Republican operative is on to something here.
Nope: Andy Parrish is simply being an aggressive attention-seeking troll. It's no wonder that elected officials he harasses don't answer--nor would the news people he drags into this nonsense respond either.
Well, maybe there's former Republican Party of Minnesota communications director Craig Westover:
Guess they work in a pack, although Westover doesn't seem to have engaged in other Parrish pre-launch trolls of DFL electeds this weekend.
Photo: Bluestem thought cold weather deterred zombie trolls, but apparently not.
If you liked reading this post, consider throwing a donation our way: