Obama record "soft on crime"

One of the perils of being a state senator is the need to vote on the record. Sam Youngman and Aaron Blake of The Hill have looked into Barack Obama's record as an Illinois state senator, and find that he has given his opponents a lot to work with.In 1998, Obama was one of only three senators to vote against a proposal making it a criminal offense for convicts on probation or on bail to have contact with a street gang. In 2001, Obama voted against a measure that would have expanded the penalties for some gang activity to include the death penalty. The bill was vetoed by then-Gov. George Ryan (R ) not long after he had issued a moratorium on the death penalty in the state.Obama, at the time, said the bill would unfairly target minorities, stating, "There's a strong overlap between gang affiliation and young men of color ... I think it's problematic for them to be singled out as more likely to receive the death penalty for carrying out certain acts than are others who do the same...(Read Full Post)