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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Poll/ Your Action is Being Requested: Will You Donate Towards Legal Expenses for a Court Challenge Against Virginia HB1190/SB666 if Governor McAuliffe Signs Them Into Law?

I Have Ordered a Virginia Kid’s First License Plate.
Why?
Because All 140 2016-Virginia Delegate’s and Senator’s Have
Decided That I Do Not Have the Right to Own a DMV-Offered License Plate to
Support a Children’s Charity, on MY Vehicle.
Let’s See If the Courts Think I Have No Right to Support a Charity of My Choosing!
- Mary Davye Devoy

Odds are most of you will not care about this specific issue because it doesn’t affect you or your loved one. 

That would be a mistake and I will tell you why, HB 1190-Greason/Simon and SB666-Black are an attack on not only your constitutional rights, but on anyone living with you or the RSO you know.  

HB1190 and SB666 will Prohibit the DMV from issuing to registered sex offenders special license plates relating to children or children's programs or with revenues paid to funds for the benefit of children or renewing the registration for a vehicle that has been issued such license plates. The bill also provides that DMV shall not issue or renew personalized license plates to registered sex offenders if the requested personalization relates to or references children. 

Nearly every legislative battle I have taken up in the last 8 Virginia General Assembly sessions had no direct bearing on me or my family member. I fought against them because it was the right thing to do it was important to our system of justice system, to our Constitution and to society as a whole. 

Each and every year I’ve watched on as right after right of those who are listed on the VSP Registry has been revoked and almost every time I was the only one who showed up to speak out.  

Now it’s your turn. Not only are the rights of those on the VSP Registry being threatened, but now their family members will be. To fight this may seem insignificant, but it is the first step in protecting our basic rights as citizens of Virginia and the United States. 

I do not take this new mandate lightly and I can not take it lying down. 

I have made the trip to my local DMV and ordered a Virginia Family and Children’s Trust Fund: Kid’s First License Plate for my 2001 vehicle with 200,150+ miles. Why? Because SB666-Black has passed through BOTH chambers (House and Senate) of the Virginia Legislature as of February 22nd and it now heads to Governor McAuliffe to be signed into law AND HB 1190-Greason/Simon has passed through the House and will soon pass through the Senate.  

Unless of course the Virginia Governor doesn’t sign these into law (I don’t see that happening) there is no stopping them now. 

It doesn’t matter how long ago the conviction was, what the specific conviction was for or if it even involved a minor or not. 

A Registered Sex Offender (RSO) might simply be a vehicle co-owner and not the primary driver. It does not matter if their spouse, parents or teenage children also co-own the vehicle and use it the majority of the time. Any attachment by vehicle registration will result in prohibition. 

In one of our discussions a Legislator we respect advised us to let these two Bills go “Choose your battles” they said. We explained that while it seems insignificant and paltry, it strikes at the very heart of freedom. It is freedom of expression, freedom of speech and equal protection of the law. It is not simply administrative, it is in fact punitive. If we let this go, then what will be next? 

So the next step is to challenge this new law in Court and I’m willing to do it, I’ve already begun contacting attorneys. I can be the plaintiff in this challenge whereas all the past anti-RSO Bills that have previously become law in Virginia needed an RSO to challenge it. 

I’m willing to be the name, the face and the voice against these two hateful Bills that not one Virginia Legislator voted against but I can’t bear the full cost of a court challenge alone. 

This court challenge isn’t just about VA-DMV Specialty License plates; it is against what will no doubt be a cascading set of laws stripping away more and more  of your Constitutional Rights. This restricts your rights without due process, and it restricts your voice. 

This court challenge is about the continued targeting of a group of citizens who are mandated under threat of law to register publically by the State and submit to whatever restrictions and indignation conceivable. 

I challenge the claim that our State utilizes public-registration is an administrative act, and not a punitive one.

 
These two Bills are punitive not just to the RSO, but to their family members. 

A Specialty Plate is NOT a government certification that the driver is an endorsed representative. 

No other group of Virginians is prohibited from obtaining an offered Specialty Plate. 

No other group of Virginians is prohibited from supporting a charity organization. 

No other group of Virginians is subjected to an unspecified review by the VA-DMV for non-obscene letter/number combinations that may be directed towards a particular segment of our population which can be rejected. 

No Virginia Legislator has ever proposed a ban against anyone convicted of Animal Abuse from owning a Virginia Animal Friendly Specialty Plate. 

The Virginia Legislature just keeps targeting our 22,000+ Registered Sex Offenders (800 to 1,200 new people are added each year) even though they have the second lowest recidivism rate of any crime. 

HB1190 and SB666 will prohibit spouses, parents and children who are vehicle co-owners and drivers from supporting a charity of their choosing (a form of Free Speech) which is child-related including All 4-Virignia Family and Children’s’ Trust Fund plates, Unlocking Autism, Kid’s Eat Free and Cure Childhood Cancer. The Virginia Choose Life and Diabetes License Plates have images of children so they might be included in the ban too, I don’t know. 

This prohibition is because one co-owner has a criminal conviction this is a violation of equal protection for the other co-owner. 

Today what I need to know from all of you is how much support you could provide to help me with the cost of an attorney.  

Bear in mind this will also be a case for me to learn the system, a test case if you will.  

I have heard repeatedly over the years that the only way to change the tide is in the Courts.  

While I believe I have slowed the progression in the Virginia Legislature, I believe this court-challenge is the next necessary step for Virginia 

My hopes are to learn the process with what I believe to be a truly winnable argument and then proceed to other more detrimental issues in the courts. My financial situation is not extraordinary and as such I need assistance. 

I am not a 501c4 (I tried that 2010-2012, it didn’t work) and I am not a business but I can receive personal-gifts.  

I would keep all funds towards this legal challenge in a separate and newly created bank account, I will be transparent with the costs and the donations as I did with RSOL of Virginia when it was not a 501c4 and when it became a 501c4. 

I’ve considered a GoFundMe page and this is what I’ve learned. 

Fees taken from every donation:
1.       With Go Fund Me
·         GoFundMe's fee is 5%
·         WePay's fee is 2.9% + $0.30 per donation
2.      With PayPal
·         PayPal's fee is 2.9% + $0.30 per donation. 

For example, with a $50.00 donation
1.       Using Go Fund Me
·         $2.50 goes to GoFundMe AND $1.75 goes to WePay with the donation being received,                $45.75
2.      Using PayPal
·         $1.75 goes to PayPal with the donation being received,                                                                            $48.25
 
                                That’s a difference of $2.50 going to Go Fund Me fees instead of the legal fund. 

And with a $100.00 donation
1.       Using Go Fund Me
·         $5.00 goes to GoFundMe AND $3.20 goes to WePay with the donation being received,              $91.80
2.      Using PayPal
·         $3.20 goes to PayPal with the donation being received,                                                                          $96.80
 
                                That’s a difference of $5.00 going to Go Fund Me fees instead of the legal fund. 

Plus GoFundMe allows for the public to leave open comments on the page where anyone can attack you, your donors or the reason you’re raising money. 

Knowing all of this, I am now leaning towards NOT using GoFundMe just PayPal.  

But I need your input, a poll of sorts. 

When answering the following, please be honest.  

I do not expect any large donations or anything which would put you in financial difficulty. I know I’m going to be covering a large portion of the legal costs on my own. 

If this first challenge goes well I would like to believe we can continue to challenge Virginia laws down the line. 

I would like to hear from you!
1. Should I set-up a GoFundMe page or just use PayPal?                                                    GoFundMe or PayPal
2. Would you be willing to donate towards this legal fund?                                                     Yes or No
3. How much would you be able to donate?                                                                                 $_______
4. Would you donate once, quarterly or monthly?                                                                      ________
5. Would you be willing to spread-the-word by pointing friends and family members towards donating?                                                                                                                                      Yes or No
 
Please send me an email with your responses. In the email Subject line please use Action Item/Poll so I can keep a running tally and send it to    MaryDavyeDevoy@comcast.net 

Thank you all for your support and I hope you will take a few minutes not only to respond to this request but to support this very important first-step. 

Mary Devoy