Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bob Bennet’s Bizarro World

The Ohio GOP on the indictment and arrest of Dem 50th House candidate John Johnson on sex-with-a-minor charges (from Open):

    We have a history in this party of going after the wrongdoers in the Republican Party, and being aggressive about it," Bennett said at a news conference at party headquarters. "It was Republican prosecutors that went after Tom Noe at both the federal and state level. . . . The difference is that Republicans weed out the wrongdoers while the Democrats just try to sweep these issues under the rug.
OK, a few problems with this. First off, the Stark County Prosecutor whose office indicted Johnson is John Ferraro, past chair of the Stark County Democratic Party.* It’s not clear from news reports whether his office handled the matter internally or, as often happens, asked that a special prosecutor be appointed. In either event, a Democratic prosecutor pushed this case toward indictment.

Second, it's not clear what Bennett would have the Dem Party do. The party didn't know about the indictment against Johnson before his arrest since a secret indictment is -- wait for it -- secret. The Dems heard about the indictment and said, "He's not our guy." What more should we have done?

Third, the Noe case stands in stark contrast. Yes, Republican prosecutors went after him, but only after the Dem-leaning Toledo Blade broke the story and Marc Dann championed it for months on end. The Republican Auditor, Republican Treasurer, and Republican Attorney General -- all caught napping while Noe ran his money machines. All guilty -- of doing nothing.

Yea, in the Johnson case the state Dem guys messed up their facts. Stark is one of those larger counties where the local party puts together its own sample ballot and Johnson was on it. So Bennett got a nice headline on Open. But his actual comments – straight from Bizarro World.

Me thirsty. Me want glass of sand.

*For those aware of my history and curious -- I didn't work under Ferraro. I was gone by the time he took over. I did work with his office as special counsel on one case.