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Norquist: ‘Conservatives May Have Wanted More Incarceration Than Was Necessary’

Decisions regarding corrections shouldn’t be “trusted to bureaucrats,” activist tells PJM.

by
Bill Straub

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May 29, 2014 - 12:03 am
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WASHINGTON – As a young man Grover Norquist, the conservative activist and noted anti-tax crusader, used to travel down to the local courthouse to watch the trials that were taking place.

A bit later, as part of what he characterized as a “do-gooder” program, he had the opportunity to visit and speak with prisoners incarcerated in local correctional facilities.

Now the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform finds himself involved in another reform effort as one of the signatories for Right on Crime, an organization looking to reduce prison costs by, among other things, developing alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.

“I’ve always been interested in the subject,” Norquist said during a break in the Right on Crime conference held in Washington last week. “Conservatives may have wanted more incarceration than was necessary in the past, so what we’re trying to do is find out about what works.”

Norquist, who spends a substantial amount of time judging the efficacy of various governmental programs, said corrections shouldn’t be viewed differently from the Defense Department or any number of other programs – it needs to be operated efficiently and be held accountable for its spending practices.

“It’s important to focus not on what we want but what we should do based on the data. The question should be, ‘Are you reducing crime?’” Norquist said. “We need to measure outcomes. Is crime going down, not how much are we spending.”

Decisions regarding corrections shouldn’t be “trusted to bureaucrats,” Norquist said. Instead, he said, “we need more of a focus on cost-effective, measured outcomes.”

Reforms advocated by Right on Crime – reserving prison primarily for violent and serious offenders while working with nonviolent offenders to reduce recidivism – “has worked in Texas and other states across the South,” he said. “It has cut crime and cut government spending. It’s based on solid conservative principles and it’s what good governance is all about.”

“We’re making real progress state by state,” he said.

Right on Crime, an organization founded by the conservative Texas Public Policy foundation, met in Washington this month to exchange ideas on ways to reform what supporters maintain is an inefficient criminal justice system.

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Top Rated Comments   
PJM, please don't call Grover a conservative. He's a Muslim Brotherhood agent who works at maligning and marginalizing anti-Jihad activists. He's also an open-borders radical who's pushing for unrestricted third-world immigration into the USA as well as amnesty. He's no more conservative than John McCain.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who is Grover Norquist?

Frank Gaffney appears on the Blaze TV to discuss the underlying threat Grover Norquist poses in advancing the interests of Islamists in America.

Grover Norquist & Co. Build Islamist Influence in GOP

How the GOP Came to Embrace the Muslim Brotherhood Lobby
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Conservative icon Michelle Malkin has written frequently of Norqust’s shady connections to jihadists. “If any Democrat activist had such shady connections, conservatives would be on him like white on rice. Instead, Norquist has gotten away with smearing his critics — most notably, former Reagan official Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, one of the most decent and patriotic Republicans I’ve had the honor of meeting — as hatemongers… The conservative movement cannot afford to be associated with race-card-playing apologists who refuse to cut their lucrative ties to terrorist sympathizers.
[http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/grovermustgo/]
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
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But crime IS going down, is it not? Maybe we're doing some thing right. And the problem with "low level offenses" is that they are often pled down from high-level ones. Not that the whole system isn't screwy.

I admit to being bleeding-heart on one issue. I don't care what the prisoner did, once he is locked up he is our responsibility, and that means we have a 100% obligation to protect him from other inmates, and not by putting him into some sort of inhumane solitary. I don't care how much it costs; the government - any government - has two basic functions, protection and justice, and the latter includes humane (I didn't say coddling) treatment of prisoners. Everything else is discretionary.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I don't care how much it costs; the government - any government - has two basic functions, protection and justice, and the latter includes humane (I didn't say coddling) treatment of prisoners."

Agreed. Pink uniforms, no conjugal visits, no TVs, no porn, are all fine. In fact, they are all common sense and should not be the subject of lawsuits.

But basic safety is an obligation that is not negotiable.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
PJM, please don't call Grover a conservative. He's a Muslim Brotherhood agent who works at maligning and marginalizing anti-Jihad activists. He's also an open-borders radical who's pushing for unrestricted third-world immigration into the USA as well as amnesty. He's no more conservative than John McCain.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Grover has Gone Native.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a feud between the Frank Gaffney - Robert Spencer - Pamela Geller - Michelle Malkin wing and Grover Norquist. In other words the "Sky is Falling" clique on the right is battering the reasonable, mainstream view expressed by Norquist. The democrats never eat their own this way. This is why republicans can't elect a president anymore. People who support the feud against Norquist are a big reason that we have had two terms of Obama, and next up will be either Clinton or Warren.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I rather think he is the one changing policy.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fed up with Norquist and his love for Islam.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why does PJM soil its reputation with this self-appointed poser and Muslim Fifth Columnist?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Norquist has it exactly right. It is crazy to imprison non-violent drug offenders in facilities where they will learn little but how to become hardened violent criminals. The amount of money we spend keeping these people in prison greatly exceeds any plausible amount that would be spent on counseling and rehabilitation outside of prison walls ... not to mention the fact of the numbers of lives ruined (in the millions) is simply crazy. Today's practices ares primarily the result of the puritanical impulse of far right wingers, coupled with a failure by lawmakers to examine in detail what we are doing as compared to what we need to be doing.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, he's right on this particular issue.


He's still a threat to our country.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
the comments on this article needs to go viral; Norquist has to be exposed. His wife is also a muslim. That's is why Robert Spencer and Pamela Gellar would not speak at CPAC last year, because they were asked not to talk about Islam, even though Robert won an award. Alan West obvioulsly caved in and agreed not to speak on anything about Islam
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
So judging by your comment you're an anti-Muslim bigot, then.

There is no "exposing" to be done on Grover Norquist - he is what he is, he doesn't hide the fact that his wife is a Kuwaiti (a staunch, non-Islamist American ally in the Middle East, by the way) and a practicing Muslim, and that he opposes your kind of brainless anti-Muslim bigotry in the USA.

btw - Norquist is a Methodist.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please comment on the statement about CPAC.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, he's a non-brainwashed adult who understands what Islam is about.

It's not really difficult, either. A basic knowledge of history and current events, and a normally functioning brain, and it's pretty clear.

BTW, with few exceptions, Methodist = slightly left of center to extreme liberal.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The koran demands that all muslims be bigoted and way worse toward everything not muslim so don't preach your anti-muslim bigot BS.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
You must be a brain dead leftist to believe that it is okay for someone to pressure conservatives into silence on the threat of islamist extremism. Norquist is a crony corporatist and has nothing to do with conservatism. The only reason that he champions lower taxes is because he hates to part with his ill gotten gains. He uses the Republican Party to push his own agenda, sort of like George Soros does on the left. Exposing his evil motives is not bigotry but patriotism.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who is Grover Norquist?

Frank Gaffney appears on the Blaze TV to discuss the underlying threat Grover Norquist poses in advancing the interests of Islamists in America.

Grover Norquist & Co. Build Islamist Influence in GOP

How the GOP Came to Embrace the Muslim Brotherhood Lobby
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Grover Norquist? What's that mendacious money man trying to pull now? Spring members of the Muslim Brotherhood?

On February 11, 2014, ten influential national security practitioners– including former Congressman Allen West, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, former Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Schmitz and others– sent a letter to American Conservative Union board member Cleta Mitchell, urging her and her colleagues to take action against Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan, two ACU members who have for years been running influence operations against conservatives on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes. [http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/grovermustgo/]
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Conservative icon Michelle Malkin has written frequently of Norqust’s shady connections to jihadists. “If any Democrat activist had such shady connections, conservatives would be on him like white on rice. Instead, Norquist has gotten away with smearing his critics — most notably, former Reagan official Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, one of the most decent and patriotic Republicans I’ve had the honor of meeting — as hatemongers… The conservative movement cannot afford to be associated with race-card-playing apologists who refuse to cut their lucrative ties to terrorist sympathizers.
[http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/grovermustgo/]
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Michelle Malkin is no "conservative icon" - she was kicked off Fox News Channel years ago for her wacky, angry fact-free bloviating.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Malkin founded the popular conservative blog "Hot Air" and the Twitter curation site "Twitchy." She's sold both to Salem Communications and has reduced her appearances on Fox News Channel as she works on a book.
"There’s no question that Michelle Malkin is beloved by the tea party and the conservative grass roots,"
Her last Fox appearance was 7 months ago.

Bloviate much?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
She was kicked off Fox News Channel back in 2007 as a paid contributor, because of bad on-air behavior. She has not been a paid Fox Contributor since. I couldn't stand her, ever, and always turned off FNC whenever she appeared. Apparently FNC concluded that she PO'd more than she pleased amongst their target audience.

FNC has been culling the angry wackos from time to time, not just Malkin but also others like Glenn Beck. FNC caters to mainstream conservatives, not to the angry desk pounders like Malkin and Beck and those who love that sort of thing. Guys like Hannity are every bit as conservative as Malkin, if not moreso, but he's actually got a pleasant on-air personality. Conservatives are far better served by happy warriors than by angry cranks like Malkin.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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