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The Massachusetts equivalent of the John Edwards trial is now underway. [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-12 04:28 AM
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The Massachusetts equivalent of the John Edwards trial is now underway.
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Edited on Fri Nov-30-12 04:52 AM by No Elephants
As you recall, the John Edwards trial was prosecuted by a Democratic Adminstration against a Democrat. Here were the facts-allegedly.

Mellon, an incredibly wealthy, elderly woman called Edwards's peeps after he was embarrassed publicly over using campaign funds to pay for some expensive haircut.

Stupid move, perhaps, but, on the other hand, image during a campaign is important to a campaign, or why did John McCain's campaign spent a small fortune on the appearance of Sarah and her clan? (Oh, and speaking of John McCain, he unquestionable did violate campaign law, using his own wife's assets, and got away without being prosecuted because he gave back the money after the election was over--and his wife was not prosecuted, either.)

In any event, Bunny called and said that she did not want her Johnnie to be embarrassed publicly that way again. So, anytime there was a problem with paying for something from campaign funds, they should just ring her up and she would pay.

And, so, when John needed money to support Hunter financially through her pregnancy, and using his personal funds would have created a problem with his wife, they took Mellon up on her offer.

On her cancelled checks, in her own handwriting, are notes such as "antiques." And her personal attorney of many years was in on it. (Disguing campaign donations as payments for antiques would be illegal. Disguising a gift to a friend you want to help as payments for antiques is probably not illegal.)

What did the elderly Mellon think the money was for? No one knows, except that the above facts suggest that she and her attorney both knew she was not donating to his campaign fund.

Did she give the money hoping he would get elected? Probably.

Would she have given him the money anyway, just because she loved John Edwards and did not want him to suffer between a rock and hard place (no pun or disrespect to Elizabeth Edwards intended). Probably.

And, as we all know, Edwards was acquitted, which, IMO, is exactly what should have happened (except that the McCains, who were unquestionably aware of that they were donating to McCain's campaign, should have been prosecuted).

But, the D of J spared no expense on the flimsy case against Edwards--the same D of J that concluded it did not have any basis to even write a damned letter to the bar associations of Yoo and Bybee, whose legal opinions retroactively covered Bushco's torturing asses, setting a horrible precedent, destructive of the rule of law.)

So, what is the Massachusetts prosecution about? Nothing anywhere near as gossip-worthy as the Edwards case, I'm afraid.

Tim Cahill was Massachusetts State Treasurer and, as such, he had oversight of the Massachusetts lottery, among other things.

Cahill had been a Democrat, but he ran for Governor as an independent against the Democratic nominee, Deval Patrick.

Over 50% of Massachusetts voters are registered as independents, but most of them vote very reliably Democratic. And, while Massachusetts has had its share of Republican Governors (sob), an Independent candidate for Governor of Massachusetts is a real long shot. I don't think anyone was surprised that Cahill lost that election, least of all Cahill.

Someone was running political ads against Cahill, suggesting that he had been mismanaging the lottery. Soooo, Cahill had an advertising firm run ads about how well the Massachusetts state lottery was managed.

Did candidate Cahill hope to benefit from those ads? Maybe. Just as Candidate Edwards hoped to benefit from keeping Hunter and their baby hidden.

But, Cahill says that, as Treasurer, he had a duty to maintain the confidence of the lottery ticket-buying public in the lottery. Do people who buy lottery tickets care about much about lottery management besides getting their money if they win? I have no clue, but I tend to doubt it.

The lottery ads never mentioned Cahill or "the state treasurer." And Cahill's campaign was running its own ads defending Cahill personally against political claims that Cahill had managed the lottery poorly. And, as Cahill says, if he had only defended the lottery in his own political ads, without having the lottery defend itself, he would have been condemned for that, too. So, damned if he did and damned if he didn't, he took the route he thought served the lottery best and had it defend itself, too. Besides, the ads were generic and can be used again and again, as long as the state has a lottery.

Bottom line, I don't think anyone can really can say that Cahill was acting improperly in having the lottery defend its reputation, even if candidate Cahill also benefited. All big businesses that cater to the general public spend a fortune on advertising, public relations, charity, etc. to maintain and enhance their goodwill; and we don't say the executives are misusing company money, even though the good reputation of the company does enhance their own resume and social standing as well.

And, regardless of what can be said--talk being cheap-- a crime has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Clearly, there is reasonable doubt on the facts described above.

The ad campaign cost the lottery about a million and a half dollars, which might otherwise have gone to state purposes, including education. However, I am guessing the state will spend at least that much prosecuting this case (as was certainly so in the Edwards case--and that was the money of Mellon--who was not pressing charges, btw).

In both the Edwards case and the Cahill case, I think the real misuse of taxpayer money is an administration using taxpayer funds on a criminal case that is almost guaranteed to lose in court under the "reasonable doubt" standard."

I don't know if somone is trying to look uber fair by prosecuting fellow Democrats (but not Republicans) or if pollitical or personal grudges are involved, but I object to using taxpayer money for these cases.
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