Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jennifer Bruner Videos Are Everywhere.

Make no mistake, the videography of Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in itself had a political component. When a case is being decided on motion to the court like this, standard procedure is to simply depose a witness and provide a written transcript to the court. A video dep is generally taken when a witness can't make trial. The video is shown to the jury in lieu of live testimony.

On the other hand if your witness is a statewide elected official from the opposite who happens to sit on the apportionment board and may have stepped in brown applesauce, it's nice to have commercial-ready footage.

The media has been working to get the video released, and now they have it. The ABJ posted exerpts on YouTube and ohio dot com. Akron News Now has their own video embed up, with more detailed commentary.

Here's the Youb of the juiciest bit, where State Sen. and counsel for the SummitCo Republicans throws documents at Secretary Brunner. For some reason the sound is out of sync with the video. Hey, no one accused the ABJ of being television people:

If you don't want to wade through a bunch of video, here's a second key excerpt from the deposition. In this we learn that Dem Chair Wayne Jones first let Brunner know "there were problems" with the Party's second choice Brian Daley, and that he suggested attorney and Coughlin supporter Don Varian as an alternative. This starts on page 46.

    Do you know how Mr. Varian's name came to Mr. Farrell?
    MR. COGLIANESE: Objection. Answer if you can.
    A. Yes.
    Q. How is that?
    A. I suggested it to him.
    Q. And how did you come to know Mr. Varian?
    A. Several ways. Wayne Jones had indicated that he would be a good board member. I also saw his name on the list of the executive committee for the Republican Party in Summit County. And I also independently knew of him to be well thought of in the legal community in Summit County.
    Q. Well, let's back up. Mr. Jones, Wayne Jones, is a Democrat, right?
    A. Correct.
    Q. You're -- it's your testimony that you've seen a roster of the Summit County Republican Party Executive Committee with Mr. Varian's name on it?
    A. I believe it was in the information that both Scott Sigel and Mr. Simon sent to me that we received on the 29th or the 28th. And it --
    Q. Was Mr. Varian being on the executive committee important in your decision to name him to the --
    MR. COGLIANESE: Before you answer that question, it sounded like --
    A. I started to say --
    MR. GRENDELL: I'm sorry.
    A. -- and if I'm mistaken, it may be that he was on the central committee list. I'm not -- I'm not positive.
    Q. When did you talk to Mr. Jones about Mr. Varian possibly serving on the Summit County Board of Elections?
    A. I think it was when -- yes, it was when I was in Akron for a voter forum on the 27th of February when he indicated to me that he thought that there were problems with Mr. Daley's recommendation.
    Q. So you had a conversation with Mr. Wayne Jones in which he indicated to you that he thought there was a problem with Mr. Daley's recommendation two days before you notified the Summit County Republican Party Executive Committee that you were disapproving of Mr. Daley for the appointment to the board of election?
    A. Senator, that question was exceedingly long. Could you re –
    Q. Well, let me back it up. You said you talked to Mr. Jones on the 27th of February.
    A. Correct.
    Q. And you know you sent your letter to Mr. Arshinkoff on the 29th of February 2008, advising him that Mr. Daley's recommendation was being disapproved. I just want to get the dates right. Mr. Jones on the 27th disapproved; Mr. Daley on the 29th?
    A. Sure. The nature of the discussion with Mr. Jones was that he thought that Mr. Daley had a lot of problems, that there would be information coming to me. And, of course, my response was, well, if -- if I can't appoint Mr. Daley, meaning if there are enough problems with him that I don't feel that it's appropriate to appoint him, I'm running out of time. What other Republicans are there?
    Q. But you never bothered to talk to Mr. Daley about Mr. Jones' concerns; isn't that correct?
    A. Well, Mr. Jones really did not get into any specifics with me about Mr. Daley.
    Q. Well, you just said that he told you there was issues about him and problems. I mean, did you bother to call the person who Mr. Jones was making statements about --
    A. Well --
    Q. -- to verify if it was true?
    MR. COGLIANESE: Objection to the form of the question and to the argumentativeness of the question.
    Q. I'll withdraw the question that way and try it differently. Mr. Jones talked to you on the 27th. It apparently affected your decision to appoint Mr. Daley; is that correct?
    A. No, that's not correct.
    Q. Okay.

They then wander off into a thicket of paperwork together and don't re-emerge for a hundred pages or so.

Ed Esposito has a reaction post up. As Ed notes, the upshot of all this is it makes Brunner look like the hyperpartisan the ORP has tried to paint her as. Up to now the charge didn't fly beyond the righty blogs. But she's going to take a hit on this one, and the bleeding is just starting.

All in all, not a great week for a Profiles in Courage victory lap.