On Friday, June 21, in this newspaper, Mark Remily, Aberdeen City Council, as identified in the paper, made some untrue accusations about me.
We must all understand how domestic violence arrests may affect you and your family. The law is currently written that if you have ever lived with someone — college roommate, basic training roommate — it is a domestic relationship. For example, if you lived with someone 10 years ago and today you get into an argument and you push your former roommate, law enforcement must arrest you. You will go to jail, career may be over, you lose your gun rights, etc.
After reading the letter, I’m disappointed in Mr. Remily’s mistaken idea of how the legislative process works. First of all, Mr. Remily states Senate Bill 147's “original Senate version was fair.” However, Mr. Remily never cited I was a co-sponsor of the bill! I sponsored this bill because in its original fair state it removed the wording “people who have lived together” and replaced it with “people in an intimate relationship.” When the bill went to the Senate, they removed the new wording of the bill and put in the old wording, which would again require law enforcement to arrest former roommates.
When the bill came to the House, I tried to pass an amendment to restore the bill to its original fair state. My amendment failed. I knew if I did pass an amendment, the bill would have to go to conference committee and be voted on again, so in order to protect roommates from arrest, I added the amendment to change the wording to opposite sex. It passed.
I testified in conference committee about how the opposite sex bill was unfair and based on my testimony the amendment was taken out. I attempted one last time to amend the bill to its original “fair” state. It did not pass, and because the committee could not come to an agreement, the bill died.
Anyone who knows me understands I want all people to have protection under the law. I also do not want people wrongfully arrested because the state Legislature cannot agree on terminology of a bill. I have made a career out of listening to both sides, all the facts and looking at all the evidence, and then making my decisions.
It is my hope that policy makers at all levels of government, local or otherwise, take the time to learn the facts before casting a negative opinion on someone or something based on an emotional response to a “hot button” phrase. I wish to remind all the people I work for that I have served you honorably in Bosnia, Iraq and here in our community for the last 14 years, and I look forward to serving you longer at your behest.
I would like to hear from you; please email me at Dan@kaiserforhouse.com.
Rep. Dan Kaiser, District 3, lives in Aberdeen.