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.