Giving credit where credit is due

Politics is a sport of one team versus another. It’s rather easy to take potshots at members of the other team, especially when they make mistakes – and we know they all make mistakes. Much harder is when the guys on the other team do something good. If we, as a society, believe in the very best government that we can have, it behooves us to recognize and applaud when someone does the right thing, even if they play for the other team. A couple of kudos are in order.

Those who follow this blog regularly know that I support restoration of voting rights for convicted felons. Last week, Governor Bob McDonnell announced his plan for restoration of voting rights for those convicted of non-violent felonies. (The procedure for those convicted of violent felonies and drug offenses remains virtually the same.) The process reduces the waiting period from three years to two before a felon is allowed to apply. In addition, the governor has promised a 60-day turnaround period on all completed applications. While I have concerns about the ability of some felons to meet the criteria – the full repayment of restitution may be difficult, for example – the procedure as laid out is clear and concise. While the proof will be in the number of felons whose rights are restored – former governor Tim Kaine restored rights to a record 4,402 during his term –  I applaud the governor for streamlining the process.

Another issue I support is payday lending reform. The fight there has moved to a new arena over the last couple of years as car title lending has proliferated. Last week, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed suit against a such a lender in Hampton, alleging that the company was charging interest rates of 300% or more, in violation of the 12% allowed by law. According to this article, the AG’s office has negotiated settlements with other such lenders in the past, resulting in $461,000 in refunds to more than 2,600 borrowers. Say what you will about why people go to such lenders, they should operate within the law and the AG’s office is charged with making sure that they do. I applaud General Cuccinelli for pursuing this.

Now see? That wasn’t so hard 😉

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