[fla-left] [news] State restores Watergate figure's civil rights (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at freenet.tlh.fl.us
Mon Oct 16 04:08:17 PDT 2000

forwarded by Michael Hoiover

> [Moderator's Note: This is interesting because it details the
> process that convicted felons currently must use to have their
> civil rights restored in Florida; this was a recent topic of
> discussion on the list. It's a lot easier for a Colson, who's
> wealthy, or at least affluent, and white, to navigate his way
> through the process than it is for someone who's poor and black.
> One thing that didn't change after Colson became "born again" is
> his right-wing politics; Colson is a leading figure on the
> Religious Right and a member of the Council for National Policy.
> According to the Institute for First Amendment Studies
> http://www.ifas.org/ , "Clothed in secrecy since its founding in
> 1981, the Council for National Policy is a virtual who's who of
> the Hard Right. Its membership comprises the Right's Washington
> operatives and politicians, its financiers, and its hard-core
> religious arm. The Hard Right utilizes the CNP's
> three-times-a-year secret meetings to plan its strategy for
> implementing the radical right agenda. It is here that the
> organizers and activists meet with the financial backers who put
> up the money to carry out their agenda." The CNP undoubtedly will
> have a lot of influence on Shrub's administration if he's elected.
> I wouldn't be surprised if Marvin Olasky, the guru of
> "'compassionate' conservatism" was a member. Other CNP members
> with Florida connections include Rich DeVos, the owner of the
> Orlando Magic. To learn more visit
> http://www.ifas.org/cnp/index.html ]
> State restores Watergate figure's civil rights
> An executive order in Florida allows Charles Colson to vote
> decades after the Nixon scandals.
> =A9 St. Petersburg Times, published October 10, 2000
> TALLAHASSEE -- In the 1970s, Charles Colson made headlines as the
> loyal aide to President Richard Nixon during the Watergate
> scandal.
> Colson once wrote: "I would walk over my grandmother if necessary"
> to ensure Nixon's re-election.
> Nixon eventually resigned and Colson went to federal prison,
> disgraced.
> Now, in a quiet way, Colson has been given back some of his
> dignity by the state of Florida, more than a quarter of a century
> after Watergate.
> Gov. Jeb Bush and three members of the Florida Cabinet issued an
> executive order Monday that restores Colson's civil rights,
> including his right to vote. Colson has a home in Naples. He is
> the founder of a Virginia-based prison ministry program and the
> author of several books, including Born Again. There was no
> hearing required to restore his civil rights and no fanfare.
> Charles W. Colson, DOB: 10/16/1931, was among the 22 names listed
> on the executive order that was approved Monday.
> "The irony here is that here's a guy who made the headlines and
> now he's an afterthought on the bottom of the list," said Terry
> McElroy, spokesman for Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford.
> Crawford, Attorney General Bob Butterworth and Secretary of State
> Katherine Harris signed the executive order. Bush's acting general
> counsel signed for the governor.
> The approval of the governor and three Cabinet members is
> required.
> Comptroller Bob Milligan, Insurance Commissioner Bill Nelson and
> Education Commissioner Tom Gallagher did not sign the order.
> Colson has an unpublished phone number in Naples and could not be
> reached for comment. He will be 69 next week.
> An attorney, Colson began serving as special assistant to Richard
> Nixon in 1969. The New York Times described him in 1974 as one of
> the "guys who fix things when they break down and do the dirty
> work when necessary."
> Colson set up a White House "plumbers" unit that engaged in
> illegal acts, and he was accused of trying to cover up evidence in
> the Watergate burglary.
> He served seven months in federal prison for obstruction of
> justice.
> His prison experience led him to form the Prison Fellowship
> Ministries program that offers Bible studies and Christian
> counseling to prisoners around the nation and world.
> Colson has won several religious and humanitarian awards since his
> own prison term.
> When he worked in the White House, power was a major element in
> his life.
> "Today, I could care less about that kind of stuff," Colson told
> an interviewer in 1996. "The taste for power is gone. ... I want
> to serve my Lord."
> The restoration of civil rights for convicted felons follows a
> routine process, according to the governor's office.
> Applicants are reviewed by the state's parole commission before
> being placed on a list that is sent around to the governor and
> Cabinet officers.
> If the applicant gets no more than two objections after 20 days,
> he or she is placed on a final list for restoration of civil
> rights.
> That list is distributed again to the governor and Cabinet, and
> the governor's signature, and the signatures of three Cabinet
> members is needed for the executive order.

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