April 4, 2011

"Gov. Scott Walker is pushing for an additional $1 million during the next two years to crack down on Internet predators who prey on children..."

Does Wisconsin really need 33 people investigating internet pedophiles?
Protecting children has been a priority for Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who requested the extra money and staff.

"We can only speculate the number of cases in a given year are going to increase," [said Jenniffer Price, who oversees the Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children unit]. "The more investigators we have to investigate, the more cases will be worked."
So it's Van Hollen's pet project. I'm skeptical. If you're making cuts everywhere, there should be a strong presumption against expanding anything. I express this opinion out loud, and Meade defends Walker. I'm all "Don't be such a Walker whore," and he coins a term:
Street Walker.


garage mahal said...

I express this opinion out loud, and Meade defends Walker

No way!

Jay said...

"We can only speculate the number of cases in a given year are going to increase,"

Yes, a government worker speculating that more funding is required.

I'm shocked.

tim maguire said...

Child porn is common on the internet, but child predators are largely bogeymen. Outside of family relationships, it's extremely rare.

This is today's The Man Who Was Thursday--"pedophile chat rooms" are little more than a bunch of cops trying to entrap each other.

YoungHegelian said...

About a year ago, Germany busted a pedophile ring and arrested 120 people.

How many credit card records did they searched through to find those people.

Only a mere 22 million.

Government is never more intrusive than when they're trying to do the right thing.

WV: cabless -- Laureen, the cable girl

Ann Althouse said...

From the article: "Agents can spend hours searching for child pornography images and the department lacks server space to store predator's computer files for analysis, Price said."

I hope they are careful who they hire for this job. The employees are engaging in behavior that's damned similar to that of the offenders they are supposedly tracking down.

Freeman Hunt said...

ICAC, which includes the work of officers from 164 affiliated police agencies across the state, investigated 480 cases in 2010, more than double the 233 cases investigated in 2008, said Jenniffer Price, who oversees the unit.

Are there more cases, more detection of cases, or more taking over cases from local law enforcement?

Had ICAC not taken over McCollum's case, three detectives would have to work the case solely for four months to review all of the images found, Hardel said.

If that is true, and if this ICAC has a more efficient way of doing the same work, perhaps it would save money over time. Can a local police department afford to have three detectives working exclusively on one case for four months? (Maybe they can. I don't know, so it's a real, not rhetorical question.)

TMink said...

I am with you on this Althouse. It is time for cuts, so cut. If you understand that government is a parasite that curtails our freedom and success, you cut.

Using government for neat ideas is the basis of the entire problem.


James said...

Perhaps JB Van Hollen intends to catch more Democratic mayors.


RACINE - Mayor Gary Becker has been arrested on multiple felony charges related to attempted sexual assault of a child and having child pornography, according to a state agency.

Becker was taken into custody at Brookfield Square Mall in Brookfield on Tuesday afternoon. He was arrested on charges of child enticement, possession of child pornography, exposing a child to harmful materials, attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and misconduct in public office, according to the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation.

A complaint made to the Racine Police Department several weeks ago led to the arrest, according to Lt. Jim Dobbs, a department spokesman.

At a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday morning, Dobbs said that city police then contacted DCI, which took over the investigation.

Upon his arrest Becker was transported to the Kenosha County Jail, where he remained until early Wednesday evening. He was released about 5:30 p.m., a little more than an hour after sister-in-law Jean Becker posted his bond, which had been set at $165,000 cash.

MadisonMan said...

To be fair, there are plenty of people out there who need good paying jobs!

Carol_Herman said...

Well, if politicians have to reward people, isn't it true some of these people are rich in computer skills?

The pedophiles aren't local.

And, a million dollars won't expose the ways in which they tackle "getting dates" on the Internet. Where there are even legitimate dating services getting $500 a pop.

I think Walker picked this because the headline has "pedophiles" in the title. The same way Shirley Abrhamson has been going after Prosser.

Shirley Abrhamson reminds me of Bella Abzug. Who made her way into politics,when it became "famous" for women getting elected. She war large hats. And, stood on street corners in her lower east side district, talking to anyone who came by.

In politics you have to shake hands with lots of dogs. Or people walking them. And,you have to hope you're not bitten about the ankles.

Anne said...

"Does Wisconsin really need 33 people investigating internet pedophiles?"

Maybe we should ask the Kloppenburg crowd, they seem to think we need to ensure pedophiles are taken off the streets. They are, after all, making a huge stink about one right now.

Or do we follow Prosser's lead and mete out justice fairly? Which is where Ann is leading. Isn't there enough intrusion by law enforcement already. And cutting spending needs to be done across the board, or else this whole fight with the unions looks like corruption by the Republicans. And the unions will win points.

rhhardin said...

Put out an ad for the 33 jobs and jail everybody who applies. No budget needed.

A history of child sexual abuse, which did not exist before the 70s, Ian Hacking (.pdf). Child abuse in general (not specifically sexual) didn't exist before the 60s.

(The essay appeared in Critical Inquiry in 1991, probably now in one of his books as well.)

Other new moral crimes since I was a kid in the 50s, drunk driving and vicious dogs, both isolated problems if they came up at all.

Just a data point.

Sociologist Joseph R. Gusfield's general route to political power:

1. Define a public problem.

2. Take ownership of it.

If it didn't exist before and exists now, somebody's making money on it, is a good guess.

You need old guys around to point out what didn't exist before.

Gabriel Hanna said...

$1 million to fight hobgoblins. The turd sandwich / giant douche dichotomy is ever with us.

peter hoh said...

If you've got to spend hours looking for something on the internet, then it's pretty damned rare.

traditionalguy said...

Maybe Walker knows something about Wisconsin predators that we don't know.

MadisonMan said...

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children!!!

Alex said...

Just more proof that the new gang is the same as the old one. There is no libertarian gang. SPEND SPEND SPEND!!!

edutcher said...

You guys do have fun together.

I'm surprised WI has that many perverts. You're all so polite, SEIU has to ship in people from CA to intimidate the locals.

Agree with those who say if you're going to cut, cut, so I'm on Ann's side on this one.

PS I do like Street Walker, though.

Beth said...

Conservatives cut stuff liberals want, and fund stuff their base wants. Then they claim they cut the budget. The only difference b/w the two is liberals want to raise taxes to pay for their stuff and conservatives still believe they can magically cut taxes and keep spending.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil 3:14 said...

The desire to DO SOMETHING!!! is just overwhelming isn't it.

Stay on message

Sixty Grit said...

I think all the drumming drove poor Gov. Walker around the bend. Dude, you can't afford that kind of nonsense.

David said...

Very bad idea, for so many reasons, practical, moral, fiscal, political.

But it's for the children, right?

LarryK said...

Watch the term "Street Walker" go viral now...

Meade, your quick tongue is going to backfire on you!

ken in sc said...

There have always been child abuse-sexual and non-sexual, wife beaters, and drunks. It was not a legal problem in the past but a moral problem. In the south, the Ku Klux Klan addressed these issues. That's how they maintained their tenuous public support. A known wife beater would receive a midnight visit and be found in the morning tied to a tree with welts on his back. They would send out warnings, a little white slip of paper with red letters saying, “The KKK is watching you.” I have seen these slips.

William said...

Those bastard demonstators will probably appropriate the Street Walker meme. Look for them to show up in torn fishnets and cheap perfume with "Will Service Millionaires Cheap" placards. But just let some underage kid appear in that demonstration and Walker will be over them like white on rice.

hombre said...

Typical Republican. Every good idea has to be offset by a bad idea.

(As compared to Democrats, who apparently have no more good ideas.)

hombre said...

Beth wrote: conservatives still believe they can magically cut taxes and keep spending.

A remarkable misapprehension of what conservatives believe or, perhaps, just a typical liberal misstatement based on wishful thinking.

Either way, ridiculous!

Freeman Hunt said...

It is unclear from the article whether they want more staff to find more pedophiles (i.e. scouring chat rooms) or to provide the technical expertise to process the evidence for existing and future cases referred from local law enforcement.

ICAC agents are specially trained to investigate child pornography and reports of people who solicit children on the Internet for sex. ICAC attempts to be proactive by working undercover to catch Internet predators in the act, but often investigates information uncovered by local police departments, Price said.

The Wausau and Merrill police departments, which are members of ICAC, also have officers who have advanced computer forensic training. The two departments investigate many of their own crimes, but sometimes, the cases are more complex than they can handle.

If the idea is to provide centralized technical expertise for the use of local enforcement, that might make sense. Otherwise you might have to hire technical people for each local department for crimes they rarely see.

If it's the other, I would be interested in seeing some stats on exactly how many children are victimized by people they met on the Internet. I would think it would be extraordinarily rare, though I could be wrong, and hiring more people to focus on that would make less sense.

TMink said...

Beth, if you exchange the word Republican for Conservative, I completley agree with you. That is why I left the Republicans.

But conservatives are small government types who want less of everything from our government. There are not many of us.


Coketown said...

Who's going to be the candidate to run against Walker taking on the pedophiles? Step right up. Don't everyone volunteer at once.

Children's safety is a platform being reproach. He could have stripped unions of collective bargaining rights under the pretense of children's safety and gotten away with it.

Pogo said...

When crying poverty, the plan to spend on this looks foolish.

But it seems strange to me for the Democrats complain the Prosser let a pedophile go, and then to criticize looking for pedophiles.

No, not strange.
I mean 'consistent'.

Beth said...


You are correct. But, aside from the far-left and far-right fringes who make up 3rd party voters, liberals break for Dems and conservatives break for GOP candidates when the curtain closes. I assume there's a lot of us, left and right, who are disappointed with the results, but don't see any real alternatives. There is no "Tea Party," after all. It's a GOP interest group. And there's no real liberal interest group that doesn't eventually cater to corporations.

lawyapalooza said...

When you're crying poverty, it's pretty damn hard to justify this (by the way, earning more than twice that of beginning teachers, who have degrees):

Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.

Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker's administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.

How did Deschane score his plum assignment with the Walker team?

It's all in the family.

His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association, which bet big on Walker during last year's governor's race.

Aggle said...

Now he's really going to piss off the Local Internet Predators Who Prey on Children Union.

hombre said...

How did Deschane score his plum assignment with the Walker team?

It's all in the family....

Oh, please. Get serious. The Democrats invented patronage.

Pogo said...

Driving home through the middle of Wisconsin yesterday, I must have heard the same internet child predator PSA on local radio stations a dozen times.

"One in seven children online...."

You just know that number is total bullshit, another idea meant to become a fact merely by repetition.

lawyapalooza said...

"Oh, please. Get serious. The Democrats invented patronage."

So far we have one overpaid position based on sleeping with Randy Hopper, and now this based on donations. Not only did they get jobs for which they were not qualified, they got huge pay raises from the prior job-holders. You want to stick with the "Democrats do this" argument? Excellent. Tell that to Hopper and the others when they are unemployed in a couple months.

MayBee said...

I say now is not the time (although it isn't my state).

Frankly, if 14 year old girls would stop trawling online for hookups with older guys, much of the problem would be solved.

James said...

LOL...reminds me of when Jim Doyle appointed the then Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller's daughter as his chief legal counsel. The only problem was that she not licensed to practice law in Wisconsin.

Governor Doyle's Lawbreaking Legal Counsel

lawyapalooza said...

Agreed regarding the Miller fiasco. Ridiculous.

roesch-voltaire said...

Great this will give Walker more opportunities to hire his supporters like , Brian Deschane who has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions, but has already been given a raise and earns over $81,000 per year.

gs said...

Add this report and the news about Brian Deschane to Walker's intention to sell state utilities in a no-bid process, and tomorrow's election suddenly doesn't seem so pivotal.

Phil 3:14 said...

I'm waiting for garage, FLS, RV etc to note

Well its good to see that Althousians don't reflexively support any and all Republican programs/initiates

The Crack Emcee said...

Fuck that - there are other ways to fight crime that have nothing to do with snooping on people. My suggestion is obvious:

Bust psychics and homeopaths across the land for fraud.

Check their computers to dismantle the psychic mafia. (The websites where they share information on the marks.) They're all hooked up with crooks in other fields. When I got on Google and checked the people in my wife's diaries, I found fake shamen and the like who were wanted or had been busted for everything from domestic violence and child molestation to large scale embezzlement and land swindles.

These people (law enforcement) are either stupid or not serious.

hombre said...

lawyapalooka wrote: You want to stick with the "Democrats do this" argument?

Dems give away the farm to public employees unions and the UAW in exchange for political contributions and have entire cities like Chicago that run on political patronage and you're pissing your pants about a couple of jobs.

We're not talking about good government here. We're talking about Dem hypocricy, like yours.

I repeat, "Get serious!"

Ralph said...