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Michael Moore and Underpants
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In case you haven't heard, Michael Moore is back in the news again, this time for breaking Federal election law, albeit in a pretty stupid way:

During Moore's 60-city tour of college campuses and arenas he has been getting habitual non-voters on stage to pledge they will vote in the next election.

In exchange for promising to vote they receive gifts of potato crisps and noodles, among other small items.

Like underwear. Cute.

Problem is, it's against the law, as this Slate article points out, referencing the Voting Rights Act of 1965:

Whoever knowingly or willfully gives false information as to his name, address or period of residence in the voting district for the purpose of establishing his eligibility to register or vote, or conspires with another individual for the purpose of encouraging his false registration to vote or illegal voting, or pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both

But this is Federal law and Michigan Republicans are urging state officials to prosecute under a Michigan law that forbids the same thing. But Michigan prosecuters aren't biting.

It sounds like Ashcroft easily has grounds to charge Moore, but doing so would probably only make him look like an idiot, even though Moore is breaking the law.

Now I'm not slavishly attached to laws, and I think a little civil disobedience now and then is a good thing. If the law in question is a bad one. If some civil purpose is achieved in doing so.

But the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a good law, isn't it? I mean, we don't want people being bribed into voting, do we? So breaking the law isn't some cute form of's stupidity.

I don't have a problem with Moore churning up interest in politics or getting pledges from college students that they're going to vote, but giving out prizes was just dumb, and he should have known that.

I'm reminded of a prostitution sting in Austin, TX when I was a student there. I read in the paper that they prosecuted one hooker for receiving "half a can of beer and a bag of Skittles" in exchange for sexual contact.

That seemed pretty silly, and so does prosecuting Moore for handing out underwar and noodles for promises of voting. But if anything, it continues to reinforce my view of Moore as a certified bonehead.

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