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Author Topic: Deadbeat Dad Contest Bad for Kids  (Read 5135 times)

VeronicaGia

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Deadbeat Dad Contest Bad for Kids
« on: Oct 13, 2004, 05:28:22 AM »
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,135219,00.html

FYI - Mike Cox, AG for MI, was a custodial parent who never received support from his wife.  So he's on a rampage.....


Deadbeat Dad Contest Bad for Kids
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
By Wendy McElroy

On Oct. 1, Michigan launched a new crackdown on "deadbeats"— noncustodial parents who are behind on paying child support. The overwhelmingly majority of "deadbeats" are dads.

Custodial parents cheered; father’s rights groups objected. Children were caught in between. But Attorney General Mike Cox doesn’t seem concerned about keeping children as non-combatants in the war between their parents.

In conjunction with the website PayKids, a site Cox established to track down deadbeats, Cox announced a contest in which children are to draw pictures "that clearly convey the message of encouraging the payment of child support."

The contest’s prize: "The first 250 submissions will receive a $10 gift certificate to Domino's Pizza….And, the winner, will have their rendering reproduced into a billboard in a prominent location…"

The contest encourages custodial parents— who, it should be noted, are overwhelmingly mothers — to discuss the issue with children and assist "in crafting the message and visual representation."

Radio host and fathers' rights activist Glenn Sacks comments, "[C]ustodial mothers are encouraged to coach their children to make designs critical of noncustodial parents behind on child support. And it doesn't take much imagination to figure out which noncustodial father many mothers will be encouraging their children to denounce."

Richard Farr, founder of the family oriented Krights Radio, asks, "Are kids expected to draw pictures of so-called ‘deadbeat dads’ going to jail?….This contest and the billboards [currently] dotting the Michigan landscape with imagery of jails, handcuffs and conviction send a scary message to young children. The contest should be called off immediately."

When Mike Cox took office in January 2003, he vowed to crack down on "deadbeats" and established a Child Support Division. Prior to this, the Attorney General's office assumed no direct jurisdiction over the issue.

With aggressive enforcement, the question of "when does it go too far" naturally arises. With some voices calling for government to withdraw from family matters altogether, Cox seems poised to become a poster boy for government’s reckless disregard for children’s welfare.

A child is half mother, half father. What emotional impact does it have on children when a government official urges them to denounce half of who they are? How will it impact a child’s relationship with a noncustodial parent when his or her denunciation is posted for the world to see? And if Cox lives up to the threat posed by the handcuffs portrayed on billboards — if he throws a "deadbeat" parent in jail--will the child live forever with a terrible guilt for having participated in that process?

When a divorce lands in court, children should be insulated as much as possible from adult decisions like alimony and support payments. They should not be bribed with pizzas into becoming part of a legal enforcement process against one parent.

Fathers' rights advocates quickly responded to the contest by directing outrage toward Domino’s Pizza, the contest’s corporate sponsor. Krights Radio spearheaded a boycott campaign; one father suggested the contest slogan "I sold my dad for a Domino’s Pizza."

Domino’s Pizza responded with equal speed to the complaints that were pouring in. Tim McIntyre, vice president of communications, informed Farr, "Domino's consumer web site, now contains an open letter to all Domino's customers, letting them know what happened…It can be found on dominos.com through the weekend [10/10]."

McIntyre explained, "We were not informed about this contest in advance, nor did we endorse use of our company name in conjunction with it. We are…incensed that this was done without our prior knowledge or consent….We have asked the Attorney General to remove our brand name in association with this contest, and have let him know that we are working actively to distance the good name of Domino's Pizza from this program."

Calling Domino’s withdrawal "an unprecedented move by a major international corporation," Farr expressed "respect" for the company.
Nevertheless, he believes it is still "confused concerning issues of the child support enforcement industry."

If so, the confusion is understandable. Government agencies have conducted a concerted and nationwide campaign against "deadbeat dads," which has voiced only one side of the issue.

Consider Michigan’s PayKids site. On the right is a photo of smiling children; on the left, a list of "most wanted" deadbeat dads with a changing photograph. (Although the word "parent" is used, only men seem to be listed as "Wanted" or "Captured"; in numerous visits, only men’s photos were displayed.) In between the two is the photo of a smiling, hugging mother.

The nonprofit PayKids Foundation was created by Cox in order to co-ordinate a public awareness campaign about unpaid child support. But Farr believes the whole PayKids initiative is based on "a false premise and erroneous information."

For example, the top five "Most Wanted" are listed as owing from $224,000 to $40,000 thousand in unpaid support. But Farr points to a Michigan Family Independence Agency study that "showed 87 percent of arrearages are owed by those earning less than $10,000 a year." He claims "that most parents who don't pay child support are deadbroke, not deadbeat."

Wherever truth lies between these polar opposite views, it is difficult to see how encouraging children to turn against their parents is a proper government function.

Wendy McElroy is the editor of ifeminists.com and a research fellow for The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. She is the author and editor of many books and articles, including the new book, "Liberty for Women: Freedom and Feminism in the 21st Century" (Ivan R. Dee/Independent Institute, 2002). She lives with her husband in Canada.
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Kitty C.

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Way to go, Wendy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: Oct 13, 2004, 06:07:08 AM »
'A child is half mother, half father. What emotional impact does it have on children when a government official urges them to denounce half of who they are? How will it impact a child’s relationship with a noncustodial parent when his or her denunciation is posted for the world to see? And if Cox lives up to the threat posed by the handcuffs portrayed on billboards — if he throws a "deadbeat" parent in jail--will the child live forever with a terrible guilt for having participated in that process?

When a divorce lands in court, children should be insulated as much as possible from adult decisions like alimony and support payments. They should not be bribed with pizzas into becoming part of a legal enforcement process against one parent.'

Are you reading this, FM?  Any part of this you DON'T understand?  Let us know, please, if you don't.  We'd ALL be more than willing to help!
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

MYSONSDAD

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SWEET FIND....
« Reply #2 on: Oct 13, 2004, 06:41:46 AM »
I wonder who will post and blow this apart...

sweetnsad

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RE: SWEET FIND....
« Reply #3 on: Oct 13, 2004, 06:49:10 AM »
Hm...this should get interesting....

Astro

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RE: SWEET FIND....
« Reply #4 on: Oct 13, 2004, 06:56:52 AM »
I'm just wondering how much outrage would be expressed if a "Deadbeat Moms" campaign were started.....  Can you imagine the media coverage if that were the case.  *sniff*


MYSONSDAD

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Not a bad idea! Another article from Michigan
« Reply #5 on: Oct 13, 2004, 07:14:26 AM »
Should we? Tempting, but we have too many good ladies on this board. Would never insult them with that type of bias, all but one...

This from a Michigan paper:

http://www.detnews.com/2004/metro/0410/13/c01-302103.htm
"Children learn what they live"

Astro

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RE: Not a bad idea! Another article from Michigan
« Reply #6 on: Oct 13, 2004, 07:47:20 AM »
LOL  It is tempting--but I would never denigrate the good people of this board either--my comment was just a kind of "what if" to show the huge disparity in views. :)

When someone hears the word "deadbeat" I would be willing to bet that 99% of the people automatically attach "dads" to the end of it.  From your link:

“We’re disappointed that certain groups chose to cloud or distort the message we were trying to convey,” said Randall Thompson, an office spokesman. “And that is that, while there are a lot of good parents out there, there are others with the means to pay child support but don’t over many years. They’re called felons.”

The real distortion is that the common public will think most NCP's are deadbeats---and the vast majority of NCP's are dads.  The cloud is the one hanging over NCP's that is perpetuated by these campaigns that are not thought out enough to do some real good....

sweetnsad

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RE: Not a bad idea! Another article from Michigan
« Reply #7 on: Oct 13, 2004, 07:57:21 AM »
My gosh, this is a disgraceful way to have parents pitted against each other...especially at the hands of their own children!

I, for one, have NEVER allowed my dd to know anything that went on or goes on between her dad and I.  Especially anything about cs or visitation fights, etc...


Kitty C.

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RE: Not a bad idea! Another article from Michigan
« Reply #8 on: Oct 13, 2004, 08:07:11 AM »
You would NOT be insulting me, MSD.  I am not a stereo-type, only a mother and SM who cares.  If billboards were constructed showing NCP moms who failed to pay, THEY know who they are.....and if guilt or the drive to get a job (or a better one) to financially support their children prompts them to get off their dead backsides and do something, then it's worth it, in my book.

I KNOW that the campaign would not be directed at me, and those of us who know the truth probably won't have any problem with that, but that's JMO..............
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

jilly

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RE: Deadbeat Dad Contest Bad for Kids
« Reply #9 on: Oct 13, 2004, 08:51:24 AM »
I read an earlier article about Dominos saying they had not been informed of this campaign and did not authorize the use of their name.  

Im an in-house paralegal for a large manufacturer. Part of my job is maintaining and enforcing our trademark rights, especially with regards to improper use of our trademarks or counterfeiting. Dominos has numerous trademarks. I guarantee you that as soon as they became aware of this campaign they had their trademark attorney send a cease and desist letter for infringement and unauthorized use of their trademark. After all, what's the first thing a NCP does when they have the kids for the weekend and they get home on Firday night? They call Dominos Pizza because they don't feel like cooking! LOL (That was a joke for those who are sarcastically challenged!) Now would they REALLY want to piss off their largest customers??!! LOL

 

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