Archive for December, 2009

The politics of prosecution in the Age of Obama

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Legal ethics require that a prosecutor’s highest priorities are fairness and justice, not getting a conviction. As an “officer of the court,” a prosecutor is supposed to act without regard to political or other outside interests. But ever since President Obama took office, politics has played a lead role in many prosecutions affecting citizens rights to protest and seek redress and even their right to vote. Democratic prosecutors, including many directly in the chain of command in the President’s Department of Justice, have systematically abused the criminal process to insulate their allies from prosecution and accountability, deny justice to political opponents and their sympathizers, persecute political opponents and their sympathizers, and intimidate citizen journalists seeking to shine the light on Democrats’ sinister actions.

The Obama Administration set the tone shortly after taking office. The Justice Department dismissed a voter intimidation case that had already been won against the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and an elected member of Philadelphia’s 14th Ward Democratic Committee. The latter was a credentialed poll watcher for Obama and the Democratic Party when the violations occurred. The message was clear. Obama supporters who are willing to commit election fraud, steal government funds or engage in other wrongdoing can do so with the confidence that Obama’s “got their back.”

Here is St. Louis, SEIU members took that message to heart this summer when trying to snuff out dissent against the President’s health care proposals. Only hours after the Obama White House told supporters to “punch back twice as hard” against critics, SEIU members savagely beat Kenneth Gladney, an independent vendor of patriotic flags and anti-Obamacare buttons, outside a packed town hall meeting in Mehlville. Another person there assaulted Kelly Owens, a woman with a video camera who was documenting the crimes, breaking the camera when smashing it against Ms. Owens’ face.

Democratic prosecutors in St. Louis County did their best to protect their Democratic allies and deny justice to the victims. First they sandbagged, hoping no one would notice the lack of action. When citizen bloggers refused to let the controversy die, prosecutors reluctantly filed minimal charges, announcing them the day before Thanksgiving, when they hoped no one would notice. And even then, the charges that were filed were mere ordinance violations for what videotapes demonstrated were clear felonious violations of state law. The prosecutors never even contacted the victims or other eyewitnesses, or even examined a victim’s hospital records to ascertain the extent of the injuries inflicted.

Kelly Owens, victim of assault at town hall

Kelly Owens

The less publicized case – the assault on Owens – is perhaps the more egregious cover-up. There the target of the violence was the evidence of the other assaults that Ms. Owens was gathering. That case should have included a count of obstruction of justice in addition to the assault charges. But this was justice that the Democrat prosecutors wanted to help obstruct. If the defendants plead guilty quickly, constitutional protection against double jeopardy will prevent any revisions of the charges, and the defendants will be able to escape with mere wrist slaps. Once again, Democrats abusing their prosecutorial trust will have had the criminals’ backs.

James O'Keefe

As lax as Democrat prosecutors are against their allies, they have been lightning fast in bringing or threatening spurious criminal charges against dissenters from party policies. This corrupt strategy is called ‘SLAPP” suits – Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation. Major targets of criminal SLAPP suits and threats are James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, the two young citizen journalists who documented their own private “sting” of corrupt activities of ACORN, a major organizational supporter of Obama and recipient of millions of dollars of federal grants. O’Keefe and Giles videotaped ACORN officials in multiple offices willingly offering technical assistance in setting up a child prostitution business. In Maryland, prosecutors threatened charges against the two for violating that state’s wiretapping laws, while ignoring the blatant ACORN conduct. This was the same kind of retaliatory prosecution that was filed against former White House aide Linda Tripp after she released recordings of White House intern Monica Lewinski discussing her sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton. California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) may be planning a similar whitewash. A San Diego ACORN official was taped telling a local Democratic club meeting that he had been in communication with Brown’s office and assuring the crowd that “the fault WILL be found with the people that did the video — not ACORN.”

In similar SLAPP activity, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in response to Republican demands for a hearing on “Climategate,” the recently leaked University of East Anglia emails that impugn the credibility of scientific findings on global warming, stated that she plans to focus instead on the computer hacking that discovered the emails.

Democrats’ abusive SLAPP prosecutions are related to their overall campaign to suppress patriotic dissent. This summer, in addition to inspiring the physical attacks described earlier, the party coordinated verbal attacks designed to demonize citizen dissent. The Democratic National Committee fired the first major salvo, airing a television ad depicting town hall audiences as “angry mobs.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused the protesters of trying to sabotage the democratic process. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer published an op-ed piece calling the protests “un-American.” The same day, former Sen. Jean Carnahan (D-MO) characterized Obamacare protesters as “hordes that take up pitchforks,” accusing them of “mob hysteria” and “remarks that border on treason.” Treason!

Last month, a network of liberal groups known as Velvet Revolution started an ad campaign offering $100,000 (recently increased to $200,000) for dirt on Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donahue, in retaliation for the Chamber’s opposition to climate change and health care legislation. Fast forward to today, when Reid took the senate floor to compare Republicans (but not Democrats) who oppose Obamacare to lawmakers who opposed abolishing slavery or allowing women to vote.

Perhaps the most disturbing threat came last month, when the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee distributed refrigerator magnets with their slogan, “Silence GOP lies.” They call anything that disagrees with them a “lie,” but the key word is “Silence” (the verb, not the noun). Not debate, not counter, not refute, but silence! To put that in full context, the accompanying fundraising letter ominously concludes, “We want change–and we won’t let anyone stand in the way.” These people are dedicated to the use of force.

These aren’t just the words and actions of bloggers or commentators, but of the ruling party and high-level members of the government. The threat couldn’t be more real.

Force. Intimidation. Abusive litigation. It’s the Democratic (Party) way.

Poll says Missouri opposes Obamacare by 21 points

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Missouri showed the second-lowest support for the Obamacare among the 10 states polled by Public Policy Polling, whose clients are predominantly Democrat. In results released today, the pollster reported that only 34% of Missourians favored the Democrat health care plan, while a solid majority (55%) opposed it, a 21-point gap.

Maybe that’s why likely Democrat senate nominee Robin Carnahan refuses to take a stand on the bill.

Opponents outnumbered supporters in nine of the ten states. The exception was Maine, where Obamacare was up by a single point, a statistically insignificant margin.

The only polled state where Obamacare fared worse than Missouri was Arkansas, where only 29% favored the plan and fully 60% opposed. The proposal is a major reason Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) is trailing all announced Republican challengers in her expected 2010 reelection bid. Tom Jensen of PPP described Lincoln as “the most likely Senator up for reelection next year to lose.” Considering scandal-plagued Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) is also up then, that’s saying something!