Charles Manson had a smuggled cell phone in prison. CBS has truly creepy audio of Manson singing in a sicko call to the outside world. The Weekly explained the ugly game by legislators Mark Leno and Tom Ammiano, who head public safety committees in Sacramento -- and refuse to make smuggling cell phones into prison a serious crime. They're letting prison gangs like Mexican Mafia order murder and mayhem via cell phone.
So cloak the prisons, right? No, the telecom industry, greedy bastards, say that cloaking would interrupt some signals on streets next to prisons and lose them business. The me-me California prisons guards, CCPOA, insist they need to "call home" (guards and their families should get 2-way radios). So people have to die for these selfish jerks:
As we wrote on November 11:
The two chairmen of the state's Senate and Assembly Public Safety Committees, Democrats Mark Leno and Tom Ammiano of San Francisco, respectively, are widely seen as among the California Legislature's furthest-left members. They are following a standing policy of opposing laws that create new felonies -- until California's prison-overcrowding problem is reduced.
But prison overcrowding won't be reduced unless Schwarzenegger and the Republican minority in the Legislature agree to significant new taxes to create extensive programs that move prisoners from cells to rehab, or agree to raise taxes to build significantly more prisons -- or, alternatively, agree to release large numbers of state prisoners.
With only a handful of legislators on either side willing to negotiate over such major battleground issues in the severely divided Sacramento Statehouse, nothing moves.
"We have shot-callers in our prisons directing killings on our streets," says [State Senator Alex] Padilla's chief of staff, Bill Mabie, "so it is getting very similar to what was happening in São Paulo, Brazil, and it isn't very far-fetched that we could have coordinated actions directed on our streets -- ordered from several prisons at once just like what happened in Brazil."
In a previous effort to crack down on cell-phone smuggling into prisons, Padilla and former Republican state Sen. John Benoit of Riverside County tried to persuade the senate Public Safety Committee to agree to make smuggling a cell phone into prison a felony in California. Padilla and Benoit failed in that try.
Alex Padilla, a Democrat from Los Angeles, and John Benoit, a Republican from the Inland Empire, actually tried to do something right. Real weirdos in Sacramento.
I see that the Los Angeles Times stumbled upon this scandal, in a front page story today, giving a verrrry light touch to the nasty business Leno and Ammiano have been up to for the past few years while people died.
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A really big culprit here is Big Telecom and the incredibly out of touch Federal Communications Commission. The FCC buckled to the telecom giants, insisting on not allowing the cloaking of prisons so cell phone signals can't get in or out.
20122011, California will try a pilot program of partial cloaking, in which only approved phones will be able to call in or out.
It's outrageous this isn't in place now, yesterday, last year.
We'll try to work up a list of the dead, the massive drug deals, the horrors, ordered via cell phone from California prisons, while the Worst Legislature in the United States did nothing.