View Article
24
The Mike Easley affair had so much foreplay and so little climax that everybody was left frustrated.
 
His enemies gripe that he got a slap on the wrist. His lawyer says he was “trashed” by The News & Observer. The N&O’s editor fervently defends the coverage.
 
After nearly two years of big investigations, blaring headlines and breathless anticipation, it all came down to Easley’s campaign failing to properly report one helicopter flight.
 
Yes, the former Governor did a lot of things that don’t look good and that his friends regret. But the crime, in the end, was a campaign reporting violation.
 
Speaker-to-be Thom Tillis said “this is a sad day,” but got in a partisan dig: “I have been here [in the capital] for four years, and I have seen four high-ranking Democrats go to jail or receive convictions….”
 
Hold the mayo, Mr. Speaker – and all the powers-to-be. Think about this.
 
You are now assuming positions of power and prominence. Moving into a world where a hyper-vigilant media – not to mention hostile Democrats, campaign-reform zealots and various freelance bloggers and watchdogs – will scrutinize your every move.
 
A world where the campaign-reporting laws are strict, fast-changing and apparently confusing. And where, by the way, making a mistake is a felony.
 
The old saying is that a DA can indict a ham sandwich if he wants. He apparently can indict you for not reporting a ham sandwich, too.
 
Welcome to Raleigh. Hope you all know a good lawyer.
 
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |

Comments

Carbine
# Carbine
Wednesday, November 24, 2010 9:28 PM
The evidence against Easley was overwhelming. If, in the opinion of the prosecutors who handled the case, it wasn't enough or the right kind to secure a conviction, then we have some serious re-writing of the laws to do. A $170K discount on a prime piece of real estate? If he took it, and the evidence is incontrovertible that he did, he's guilty. Yet he not only gets out of jail free, he gets to keep the fruits of his criminal behavior. Ditto for the free car, the free flights, the free house repairs, Mary's unearned income, etc.

These weren't "mistakes" or "reporting errors." These were deliberate manuevers by a greedy, arrogant, criminal to enrich himself at others' expense. If what we know for a fact about his behavior doesn't add up to at least a decade in the slammer, our laws are an ass. There is no justice in North Carolina.
Brunette
# Brunette
Thursday, November 25, 2010 11:20 AM
Easley was not indicted or convicted of making a mistake. His acts were purposeful, not accidental. Nor was he the victim of a hyper vigilant media or campaign-reform zealotry. If he were a victim of anything it was his own arrogance, and given the possible charges and the evidence supporting them, I would say his legendary luck held out.

Some wonder whether 'luck' had anything to do with his lawyers' availing themselves of GS 163-278.29. After all, this statute, which many believe confers immunity to anyone who is “compelled to testify” before the State Board of Elections, was not deemed applicable to previous politicians who appeared before that board. In those previous cases, Chairman Leake read a prepared text to each witness before she/he was sworn in, the gist of which was that the person testifying was doing so on the understanding that the testimony was NOT being compelled.
However, Leake chose not to read that text to Easley before the former governor gave testimony.

Out then, went all that evidence. What was left does look small, and Easley’s attorneys have made the most of what amounts to the former governor dodging multiple bullets on a technicality. Democratic party consultants and politicians will likewise craft a narrative along the lines you have here – that any unwitting misstep can land a well meaning public servant in prison. But that’s not what happened here, and Mike Easley and Ruffin Poole and their attorneys know it well.


dap916
# dap916
Saturday, November 27, 2010 5:51 PM
The title of your post is "Who's Next?"

Um...Who's next for WHAT ? Getting away with breaking the law? I mean, c'mon, Gary. NO WAY I believe you honestly believe what you've written here on the Easley thingy. If I didn't know better (well, at least I think I know better), I'd say you are trying to set yourself up for some kind of lucrative position withing the democratic party apparatus either here in NC or nationally...or some other involvement government related like lobbying or consulting or something...but, nah....

The easiest way to get away with breaking the law is to become a politician first and a law breaker next. Whatcha think of what will happen to that great elder statesman Charlie Rangel? Nada...or near nada? I mean, let's be honest....you can not pay your taxes or shade the truth on them and become a cabinet member and have the ear of the prez. You can be an ADMITTED communist and be selected as a czar for Obama. I mean, politics has become something all about power and influence and immunity from laws that normal citizens are held accountable to. Not today's lawmakers...not today's politicians...and no, I'm not dumb enough to think it is just now that Obama and the dems came into power...but, to be honest, it's gotten exponentially worse since then.

Post Comment

Only registered users may post comments.
Copyright (c) Talking About Politics   :  DNN Hosting  :  Terms Of Use  :  Privacy Statement