Ex-Con GOP Aide: No Prison Frills Law “Phony Wedge Issue”


Allen Raymond, a former Republican campaign operative, served three months in federal prison in Loretto, Pa., for dirty tricks in ae 2002 election. Raymond, 40, wrote a book called, “How to Rig an Election.” Prison was a pretty scary place. “I was behind the double razor wire with real criminals,” he tells the Washington Post. “I saw two guys basically carve each other up, although I didn’t hang around to see how it wound up.”

His prison job was tutoring inmates. One day, he found a felon named Mack too agitated to study. A piece of broken gym equipment couldn’t be replaced because of a 1996 federal law called the No Frills Prison Act, which curtailed spending on prison recreation. Raymond was familiar with that law: He’d touted it in ads for candidates who wanted to appear tough on crime. “Alone there in a prison classroom with a rather large, [annoyed] felon who hadn’t been able to relieve any of his stress or aggravation on the weight pile that day,” he writes, “I realized that all the [excrement] guys like me peddle out on the campaign trail actually comes to pass if we get our candidates elected. Our promises, our phony wedge issues, our polarizing rhetoric — it can all come true.”

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/17/AR2008011703582.html

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