Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Did Mitt Romney attempt to commit a Class C felony in Des Moines?

ABC News/Yahoo Iowa Republican Debate
Time and Place: 10 December 2011, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa
Perry: "... I read your first book and it said in there that your mandate in Massachusetts, which should be the model for the country — I know it came out of the reprint of the book, but, you know, I’m just saying, you were for individual mandates, my friend.”
Romney: “You know what, you’ve raised that before, Rick. and you’re simply wrong.”
Perry: "It was true then, it’s true now…”
Romney: (extending his right hand) “... Rick, I’ll tell you what, 10,000 bucks, 10,000 dollar bet.”
Perry: (no hand extended) “I’m not in the betting business...”
I'm not in the betting business either, so I don't know if the offer of a high stakes bet is the same, in the eyes of the Iowa legal system, as actually shaking on that bet, but wouldn't the drug dealer who offered to sell you $10,000 worth of cocaine be guilty of something even if you said, "No thanks"? 
If Rick and Mitt had exchanged palm sweat on this "friendly" wager, would they have both been dragged off to a Des Moines hoosegow by the local constabulary on felony charges? Probably not, but it seems they would have been guilty of breaking the following Iowa law:

Iowa Gambling Laws
725.7 Gaming and betting -- penalty.
  1. Except as permitted in chapters 99B [bingo] and 99D [racetracks], a person shall not do any of the following:
     b. Make any bet.
  2. A person who violates this section is guilty of the following:
     d. Illegal gaming in the first degree if the sum of money or value of other property involved exceeds five thousand dollars. Illegal gaming in the first degree constitutes a class "C" felony.
Reading farther down in the gambling laws to section 99B.12 "Games between individuals" there is an exception for bets when "a. The gambling is incidental to a bona fide social relationship between all participants."  Provided that: "g. No participant wins or loses more than a total of fifty dollars or other consideration equivalent thereto in one or more games or activities permitted by this section at any time during any period of twenty-four consecutive hours or over that entire period. ..."

I would love to see the trial where Willard "Mittens" Romney tried explaining to an Iowa judge that $10,000 is exactly the same as $50 to a man of his means.

UPDATE at 10:15am on 12/20:
I probably should have Googled "Romney Class C Felony" before I posted this, because it seems that EVERY liberal blog beat me to some variation of this post on December 11 or December 12 when I was on vacation from TV and computers. Sorry. I didn't watch the 12/10 debate live and I'm just catching up.  I'll leave this up because I like my last line.

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