Thursday, March 20, 2008

Elephant Wars: Tim Grendell's Limbaughian Brief

In case you were afraid that l'affair Arshinkoff would fail to sully absolutely everyone who comes in contact with it, we now have State Sen. (and attorney for the SummitCo Repubs) Tim Grendell's brief to peruse. And oh, it's a document.

The open question here is whether anyone in this controversy will perceive the narrative at work against him or her and take pains to avoid confirming that narrative. Let's review. Alex Arshinkoff is under fire in his party in part for bullying party members who won't get in line. So he uses his position on the Board of Elections to bully employees to put Team Coughlin's petitions under a microscope (allegedly) Arshinkoff accuses Wayne Jones of spearheading the drive to get rid of him, so naturally Jones stick his nose into Alex's reapointment. The ORP has been accusing SoS Jennifer Brunner of being "hyperpartisan" since the day she took office, and she utterly fails to handle the process with the delicacy needed to avoid the label.

Our next contestant is Tim Grendell. He's a high profile conservative Republican. The natural narrative is that he is using the lawsuit to embarrass a Democratic elected official. Does he treat an elected official with due respect in deposition? He does not. Does he write a sober treatment of the facts and law before the Court? No, he writes this:

    Secretary Brunner's mistreatment of Section 3501.07 and her powers and duties there under threaten the delicate balance statutorily designed by the Ohio Legislature to provide for a fair and balanced elections process in Ohio. That bipartisan balance is totally destroyed when the Secretary of State is allowed to conspire with members of the opposing political party, her party, to defeat the recommended competent appointee of the other political party based on anonymous, secret, unsigned, unswom [sic], unverified, or hearsay-ridden materials invited for submission by the Secretary of State and solicited and submitted by the opposing political party.

    In this case, the extremely competent former TRW, Inc. Director - Finance, Mr. Brian Daley, is the victim of such political chicanery, guilt by association, politics, and Secretary Brunner invited political witch hunt. Like Mr. Alex Arshinkoff, Mr. Daley fell prey to Secretary Brunner's manipulation of Section 3501.07 and the predafory, [sic] political assassination efforts of the local Democratic Finance Chairman, Wayne Jones and other Democrats, which actions were taken, at Secretary Brunner's specific invitation and with her blessing. But, the political chicanery did not stop there. As Secretary Brunner freely admits, Democrat Finance Chairman Wayne Jones, not the Summit County Republican Executive Committee, recommended Donald Varian for appointment to the Summit County BOE Secretary Brunner did no even contact the Summit GOP Executive Committee. Secretary Brunner and her staff also did not scrutinize Mr. Jones' recommended appointee, Donald Varian, in the same way that they investigated Alex Arshinkoff and Brian Daley. Secretary Brunner appointed Democrat Wayne Jones' personally recommended appointee, thereby obliterating the bipartisan and political party balance of the Summit BOE prescribed by Section 3501.07.
Holy thesaurus, Batman! Daley isn't just competent, he's "extremely competent." Brunner isn't merely accused of violating statute, but of "obliterating" it. Not just political assassinations. Predatory political assassinations. Clearly this is the most super egregious, horribly wrongnessful, extra mega bad thing ever. Good God, there are guys on Little Green Footballs capable of prose more cogent and less overwrought.

This is not merely the bad writing that lawyers tend to do (satirized in one of the post labels below.) This is bad political ranting and to see it in a brief before the Supreme Court of Ohio is an embarrassment.

And what's best, it worked. The Beacon ran excerpts of the brief in today's story on the case. Will they do the same with Brunner's reply? We'll see.


Anonymous said...

Obviously you miss the point, prof. Your dose of Coughlin Kool-aid worked.

Pho said...

Pray, what point would that be, brave anonymouse? If the point is that Brunner looks partisan in this instance, I've conceded it twice. If there's another point it's more lost in Gredell's godawful writing than anything I might have drunk.