Saturday, December 29, 2007

Jim Rowen's psychological disorder

Jim Rowen wonders if conservatives suffer from a malady he found in the pages of the Washington Post, Empathy Deficiency Disorder. To test his pop psychology theory, he asks his conservative readers to comment on the story (as a Rorshach test) of an elderly woman who lost a large sum of money as "lost property" to the state of Wisconsin. The state can find no record and the woman is now suing the bank. What Rowen misses in his one-sentence summary is this from the original article,

{Willie Floyd } hired a lawyer, Tarena Washington Franklin, who said she was directed to bank officials in Louisiana, who told her that the money had been given to the State of Wisconsin as unclaimed.

"I checked with the state, and it was not there," Franklin said. "That money has to be somewhere, and we couldn't get any answer from them. We filed a lawsuit to get their attention."

Franklin noted that the check does not have an expiration date.

"What they're doing, it's unjust," Franklin said of bank officials. "It will clearly be unjust enrichment for the bank if they are allowed to keep the money."

Joshua Stubbins, a local lawyer representing the bank, filed a written response to Franklin's lawsuit. He said a cashier's check that is uncashed after five years is presumed to be "abandoned" under state law. He added that the bank "did not willfully or negligently commit a wrongful, illegal or inappropriate act," and that the case should be dismissed.
Yes, it's a horrible story. Let's add a few details not in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story. The bank is correct in stating what happens to unclaimed money. For years State Treasurer Jack Voight (Republican) worked hard to make sure people like Willie Floyd found out when the state claimed their property, taking out newspaper ads and travelling the state with his lists to educate the public about Wisconsin's unclaimed property law. Voight was the first state treasurer to do so, and if Voight were state treasurer today I have no doubt he would have personally combed through every record to find Floyd her money.

Unfortunately Voight did not spend enough money to get re-elected in 2006 and was replaced by the inexperienced Dawn Marie Sass (Democrat) whom the Journal Sentinel reporter shockingly does not quote in the story.

I confess this story moved me. I propose that if Dawn Marie Sass does not personally reimburse Floyd for the money seized by the state of Wisconsin, she gets tossed out on her ass as quickly as state recall elections allow. Furthermore, I strongly suggest that anyone who helped Sass get elected be publicly horsewhipped and driven to the Illinois border never to return. I want to thank Rowen for bringing this story to my attention and when he starts the recall petition he can count on my public support and the pledge of the first $25 towards his efforts.