Archive for the ‘Lawyers’ Category
This Washington Post editorial, published in the Star Tribune, highlights what passes for liberal logic. First, it’s worth highlighting some of the statements made in the editorial.
The editorial says “Citing ‘insufficient evidence,’ Judge Barry G. Williams on Thursday found Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr. not guilty of all charges in the April 2015 death of Gray.” That’s the Post’s way of saying the prosecution couldn’t prove that Freddie Gray’s rebellious actions didn’t cause his own death.
What the Post omitted is the fact that Mosby’s office conducted their own investigation and that police questioned the thoroughness of that investigation. In fact, this article highlights the rift between Mosby’s office and the Baltimore PD.
Specifically, Detective Dawnyell Taylor said “As I read over the narrative it had several things that I found to be inconsistent with our investigation,” adding: “I thought the statements in the narrative were misquoted.” It gets worse:
The claims in her account underscore a rift between prosecutors and police that began in the spring of last year, when the two agencies worked together on parallel tracks to investigate Gray’s death.
Some police officials believe prosecutors moved too quickly and have questioned their findings, while prosecutors have raised questions about whether police were seeking to absolve the officers of wrongdoing. Prosecutors have accused Taylor in court of trying to sabotage their case.
Here’s Det. Taylor:
Frankly, Mosby’s prosecution of these police officers is a sham. A year before the first case went to trial, legendary law professor Alan Dershowitz criticized Mosby’s office:
The mayor outrageously said we’re going to get justice for the victim, the family and people of Baltimore, never mentioning the defendants. Under our Constitution, the only people who are entitled to justice are the defendants. They are presumed innocent, they need due process of law, and the mayor and the state attorney have made it virtually impossible for these defendants to get a fair trial. They have been presumed guilty.
More than a few attorneys have suggested that Mosby should have her license suspended. Others have said she’s committed an offense that warrants disbarment.
Prosecuting police officers is always difficult and, as former state Sen. Clarence M. Mitchell IV pointed out, it showed “courage to bring charges when it appeared that the police had done something wrong.”
It didn’t take courage to railroad these officers. It took a reckless disregard for the rules of evidence. The fact that Mosby’s office hasn’t convicted the officers of a single criminal count shows that the “$6.4 million settlement” to the Gray family was meant to taint the jury pool. That strategy apparently failed.
In Rush’s attempt to defend Donald Trump’s indefensible statements about banning Muslims from entering the country, he argued that Trump’s ‘policy’ has historical precedent. Specifically, he said “Here is number eight US Code 1182, inadmissible aliens. This law was written in 1952. It was passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress, House and Senate, and signed by a Democrat president. ‘Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by president. Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, the president may, by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.'”
Jimmy Carter did indeed use this law in 1980. It also doesn’t have a thing to do with Trump’s asinine statements because Trump didn’t call for banning people from a specific nation. Mr. Trump called for banning Muslims from the US. That’s illegal, according to Kimberly Guilfoyle, because we “are signatories to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” which prohibits banning “people based on their religious beliefs.”
Some people are scratching their heads, saying that whether you ban Iranians or whether you ban Muslims, the end result is the same. Actually, it isn’t. It’s permissible to ban people from specific countries based on the nation’s national security situation. It would’ve been perfectly legitimate if President Bush had banned granting visas to people from Afghanistan right after 9/11 because he could make a substantive case that they posed a significant threat to the nation.
Indiscriminately banning all Muslims, whether they’re from Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon or Jordan, isn’t legal because we signed onto the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which prohibits that.
If you want to argue that we should get out of that Declaration, knock yourself out. I’m likely to agree with that. If we opted out of that Declaration, then Trump’s ban would be legal. Until we opt out, though, Trump’s hands would be tied.
As for Rush, he should practice what he preaches. He’s constantly lecturing people that “words have meanings.” Banning people based on their religious faith is prohibited. Banning people because they’re from a specific country because they pose a national security risk is permissible.
Early in this video, Alan Dershowitz lavishly praised Megyn Kelly’s opening monologue defending the First Amendment:
First, here’s a partial transcript of Megyn Kelly’s opening monologue:
MEGYN KELLY: Well, last night we had a thoughtful discussion about free speech and American values and why our commitment to liberty as a nation requires everyone to stand up for the rights of those speaking, even if they’re using the most offensive of words. It’s not about aligning ourselves with the words. It’s about defending a core American principle. First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh explained how, not only did the people organizing a “Draw Muhammad” event down in Texas have the right to do it, which some had questioned, but how what they did was actually important and of real value because it was an act of defiance. Defiance towards those radical Muslim fanatics who mean to impose their radical moral code on us, namely that certain figures may not be drawn or parodied upon pain of death. What happened in Texas is that a group said no, you don’t get to control speech in this country, even if a religion finds it offensive. Sure enough, the jihadis showed up with AK-47s and tried to murder everyone there. Now some suggest that the risk from the event is that some of our Muslim nation coalition allies might be less inclined to fight the jihad if they see some private group like this one hold a private event. So private citizens shouldn’t do things even behind closed doors now, lest they cause offense? Because our friends in Egypt might get ticked off. But the fact is we don’t compromise America’s bedrock principles just to make other nations like us more just as we don’t require them to change their values before we fight a common enemy. Otherwise, Egypt’s “We will kill you for leaving Islam” might be a deal-breaker. The bottom line here is that some in this country have been so busy trying how to figure out how to avoid causing any religion any offense, they have forgotten what is offensive to Americans, namely those who would trample on our core ideals. In America, we stand for liberty and freedom to offend, to provoke, to persuade and to defy.
Alan Dershowitz is a Harvard Law Professor Emeritus and author of the book “Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law.” Alan, let me start with you…
DERSHOWITZ: Let me start with you first and applaud your statement. It was fantastic. It is the paradigm for how Americans have to look at our freedoms and our First Amendment. Jefferson would have been proud of you.
That led Professor Dershowitz to make this important historical observation:
DERSHOWITZ: Now, look, everything that the critics of Geller have said could be said about Martin Luther King. Now, I don’t want to make any comparisons between the two of them morally but, from a constitutional law standpoint, there is no difference. Martin Luther King picked some of the cities he went to precisely to provoke and bring out the racists and show what type of violent people they are so the world could see what was wrong with Jim Crow. It’s part of the American tradition to provoke so the world can see.
Here’s one of the things I wrote in this post:
It’s worth noting, though, that radical adherents of Islam react violently when confronted with objectionable depictions of Muhammad but that the vilest representatives of Christianity, aka the Westboro Baptist Church, show up at funerals with disgusting signs. Another thing worth noting is that universities are told to establish “an inclusive and welcoming environment” for Muslims but aren’t told to establish that type of environment for Christians.
The event in Texas verified what I wrote here, namely, that Muslim terrorists react violently whereas the nastiest Christians get is they show up at funerals with disgusting signs.
Thanks to the event in Texas, it’s now clear that the vilest Christians react dramatically differently than Muslim terrorists.
When I first read David French’s article, my first reaction was that John T. Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, should be disbarred, then tried and convicted, then thrown into prison for a very long time. Chisholm is a progressive political hack with a mission to destroy the conservative movement in Wisconsin:
Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.
She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door. “I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic. “I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”
She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee. “I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”
Last night, Megyn Kelly interviewed David French. Here’s the video of the interview:
Here’s the most chilling exchange of the interview:
MEGYN: Who was the judge that signed off on these subpoenas?
DAVID FRENCH: The judge’s name is Barbara Kluka, I believe is how you pronounce her name. She signed off on hundreds of pages of subpoenas in literally one afternoon of work. It was a rubberstamp process. It was not true judicial oversight and the result has been catastrophic to citizens’ rights.
French’s statement might be the understatement of the year. The things that are alleged, if they’re proven in a court of law, should be grounds for termination of the police officers and the disbarment of the judge and the district attorney.
The policeman (policemen?) who ordered Ms. Archer that she couldn’t speak with a lawyer and that she couldn’t speak about the police officers’ actions violated Ms. Archer’s constitutional right to an attorney. Saying that she couldn’t speak about the raid essentially amounts to putting a gag order on Ms. Archer. I’m no lawyer but aren’t gag orders meant to preserve the right to a fair trial?
In this instance, the purpose of the gag order was to protect these thugs’ secrecy. The only people that benefited were the thugs with badges.
This isn’t just about prosecutorial or judicial misconduct. It’s about how the Democratic Party weaponized the district attorney’s office and the Milwaukee police force to intimidate conservatives from speaking about the issues that matter most to them. That’s the heart of the First Amendment’s protections.
Finally, this is the face of pure evil. These Democrats should be destroyed politically. They should all spend years in prison doing hard time. Silencing people who just wanted to support a political issue is despicable.
Technorati: Fifth Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Barbara Kluka, John Chisholm, John Doe Investigation, Prosecutorial Misconduct, Totalitarian Progressives, Democrats, Cindy Archer, Weaponized Government, Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill, Scott Walker, Wisconsin Club for Growth
The Totalitarian Left’s intimidation tactics might’ve reached criminal level. Glenn Reynolds explains in this USA Today special op-ed:
When Vladimir Putin sends government thugs to raid opposition offices, the world clucks its tongue. But, after all, Putin’s a corrupt dictator, so what do you expect?
But in Wisconsin, Democratic prosecutors were raiding political opponents’ homes and, in a worse-than-Putin twist, they were making sure the world didn’t even find out, by requiring their targets to keep quiet. As David French notes in National Review, “As if the home invasion, the appropriation of private property, and the verbal abuse weren’t enough, next came ominous warnings. Don’t call your lawyer. Don’t tell anyone about this raid. Not even your mother, your father, or your closest friends. … This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform.”
Is this un-American? Yes, yes it is. And the prosecutors involved, who were attacking supporters of legislation that was intended to rein in unions’ power in the state, deserve to be punished. Abusing law enforcement powers to punish political opponents, and to discourage contributions to political enemies, is a crime, and it should also be grounds for disbarment.
These thugs with law degrees haven’t earned the right to be called prosecutors. Just like I refuse to call Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or Jeremiah Wright reverend, I refuse to call these thugs prosecutors. Prosecutors theoretically stand for justice. These thugs don’t even pretend to stand for justice.
Ed Morrissey’s post starts with the text of the Fourth and Fifth amendments:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Ed’s commentary is pitch perfect:
The above comes from an old document, written over two centuries ago, that until very recently had legal force in this country. To a large extent it still does, but the actions of Wisconsin’s state government in reaction to a political reform effort, and for that matter, property confiscations in the war on drugs, indicate that the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution have become passé. In its place, we have law enforcement raids that not only seize property while threatening violence against its owners, the targets are denied counsel and forbidden to speak of the seizures publicly.
Thugs with law enforcement badges that “seize property while threatening violence against its owners” are tyrants. Based on Dr. Reynolds’ statements, they’re apparently criminals, too. There’s no disputing that these thugs don’t respect or obey the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
They’re morally reprehensible in addition to being Democrats. The people conducting these sham investigations are Democrats who don’t care about the Constitution’s protections of individuals’ rights:
The basis for this was the campaign-finance reform movement, which sees money in politics as a greater evil than a government empowered to shut down political speech. The John Doe law in Wisconsin shows exactly why government intervention in political speech is worse than any corruption it attempts to prevent. The use of force in Wisconsin got applied to one side exclusively, and intended to shut down conservatives before they could exercise their legitimate political power. It’s even more egregious than the IRS targeting of conservatives between 2009-2013, but it’s the same kind of abuse of power, and it leverages the same kind of campaign-finance reform statutes that give government at state and federal levels entrée to control political speech.
It’s time to a) put these thugs in prison and b) legislate these sham investigations into oblivion.
Government gets its powers with “consent from the governed.” I’m totally certain Wisconsin citizens didn’t give these thugs permission to ruthlessly violate their constitutional protections.
Minnesota Needs More Lawyers!
by Silence Dogood
An article in the SC Times on Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 announced “SCSU, William Mitchell partner on law program.” In this program, students will attend SCSU for three years and then “skip their fourth year” and enroll in William Mitchell law school. After the first two semesters at William Mitchell, “St. Cloud State University will accept credits from the first two semesters of law school, assign them as electives, then grant a diploma.”
According to the article, Kathy Uradnik, a professor and prelaw adviser at SCSU is quoted as saying “The whole point is to save undergrads money.” Essentially, through this program, SCSU is giving away approximately $8,700 in tuition revenue. As a result, unless this program attracts significantly more pre-law students than currently attend SCSU, there will be a net loss of revenue to the university.
St. Cloud State University is in trouble. A 21.8% decline in enrollment since FY10 and a poor decision to enter into a long-term lease with the Wedum Foundation for an off-campus apartment complex, which has lost the university a total of $7,700,000 in the first five years of operation, have left the university with a Composite Financial Index (CFI) for FY14 of 0.07. Given the projected $9,542,000 deficit for FY15 and the commitment of over $8,000,0000 from the reserves to offset the deficit and fund early separation incentives, the CFI will likely go negative for FY15.
This has led to a hastily conceived process to evaluate programs and make recommendations for cuts, which will likely include retrenchment of faculty and staff (The administration announced at Meet and Confer on April 2 that they were considering retrenchment as a solution to the financial debacle that SCSU now finds itself). Budget documents released by the administration call for the reduction of 76 FTE of faculty and 50 FTE of staff. The timeline for this process could only be described as extremely short! Ultimately, $9,000,000 has to be cut from the FY16 budget. Unfortunately, even cutting $9,000,000 from the FY16 budget leaves SCSU with a projected deficit for FY16 of $679,000 and a financial reserve balance of $0! Unfortunately, that is not a typo! The minimum $10,500,000 reserve required by MnSCU is now gone.
So here comes what President Potter calls an “innovative” program that certainly looks like a financial loser. In fact, Professor Uradnik is quoted as saying that although SCSU will be losing a year of tuition from three-plus-three students: “It isn’t always about the money.” Given SCSU’s current financial situation, I beg to disagree. It’s all about the money! Every program at SCSU has been directed to plan for cutting between 5-10% from their budgets for FY16. However, here is a new program that looks like something that is going to result in a financial loss for the university.
In order to be revenue neutral, at a minimum, enrollment in this new pre-law option will have to result in a net increase in pre-law students. For every 3 pre-law students that participate in this 3+3 program, a net increase of 1 FYE student will needed to offset the 25% decrease in tuition revenue. Additionally, if the current pre-law students switch to this new program, there will be an even greater need to recruit more pre-law students to offset lost revenue.
With marketing and advertising, attracting new pre-law students may on its face seem possible. However, Professor Uradnik is quoted as saying that: “The model is becoming fairly common across the U.S.” As a result, the advantage of uniqueness is lost so it looks simply like a program that is going to lose money and lose even more money if this program expands.
According to Professor Uradnik: “The whole point (of this program) is to save undergrads money.” But will this program ultimately save students money? The answer is not quite so simple as saying yes because of the cost savings of one less year of undergraduate tuition. Approximately 10% of students drop out of law school during their first year in law school. For these drop outs, in addition to owing $41,000 in tuition for that first year in law school, students will now have to go back to college to complete their undergraduate degree—potentially eliminating the once saved year of undergraduate tuition. However, when the student now graduates, they are faced with that $41,000 loan for law school tuition. So not all students will actually be saving money!
This program will also significantly limit the ability for students to transfer. A non-trivial number of students transfer law schools during their first year in law school. Unless the new law school has a similar 3+3 program with SCSU, if a student transfers after one semester, they may not ultimately earn a degree from SCSU. As a result, limiting the ability of a student to transfer during the first year will significantly limit the options of these students.
Ultimately, the final question that needs to be answered is really whether we need more lawyers. I have nothing against lawyers. However, recently most law schools have been reducing the numbers of students admitted because graduates are not finding employment, the need for a law degree has declined, and the salaries lawyers command has shrunk considerably. Two years ago, Hamline cut the number of its incoming law school class by half! Additionally, just recently, Hamline and William Mitchell announced that they are combining programs, which reduces the number of law schools in Minnesota from four to three.
A quick review of headlines in the past month:
An article: Drop in Applications Spurs Changes at Law Schools in U.S. News online on March 11, 2015 cites “enrollment in 2013 was down 24 percent from what it was in 2010.”
A second article from U.S. News online on March 24, 2015 cites: “Law school applications are on the decline. A mere 55,700 students applied to law schools approved by the American Bar Association in 2014, according to data from the Law School Admission Council. That’s a far cry from the more than 100,000 prospective attorneys those schools drew a decade earlier.”
Bloomberg on March 19, 2015 published an article entitled: Law School Applications Set to Hit 15-Year Low. The article states: “Law schools keep getting less attractive to young professionals, with schools receiving 6.7 percent fewer applications this year than they did in 2014, according to numbers released by the Law School Admission Council on Wednesday, March 19. The number of individuals applying has also fallen, by 4.7 percent. If the pace continues as it did last year, the number of people who applied to law school for the Fall 2015 semester will hit its lowest level in 15 years.”
Crain’s New York published an article on March 24, 2015 entitled: Poor job prospects, huge debt. Why in the world would anyone want to go to law school?
Quartz on March 10, 2015 published an article entitled US students are fleeing law schools and pouring into engineering.
Considering this information and much more that is easily found, one might reasonably ask why anyone would want to increase the numbers of students heading to law school? As far as I can tell, the demand for lawyers is down sharply, and St. Cloud State looks to lose money on each student participating in this new program. At a time of budget deficit and cost cutting, what could be wrong with creating a program that projects losing money on each student?
Perhaps the thinking by the administration is that what is lost on each student can be made up in volume! And one wonders why SCSU is in such bad financial shape? Silly question!
I didn’t trust Hillary when she said she’d turned over all of her work-related emails to the State Department. That’s just one reason why I don’t believe it when her lawyer, David Kendall, when he said that Hillary’s private emails have been destroyed:
WASHINGTON — An examination of the server that housed the personal email account that Hillary Rodham Clinton used exclusively when she was secretary of state showed that there are no copies of any emails she sent during her time in office, her lawyer told a congressional committee on Friday.
After her representatives determined which emails were government-related and which were private, a setting on the account was changed to retain only emails sent in the previous 60 days, her lawyer, David Kendall, said. He said the setting was altered after she gave the records to the government.
“Thus, there are no email@example.com emails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized,” Mr. Kendall said in a letter to the House select committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
Those statements have more gaping holes in them than a brick of Swiss cheese. First, it’s clever to say that there aren’t any “copies of any emails she sent during her time in office.” Parsing Clinton 101 immediately requires the reader/listener to question modifying words like copies. The next question I’d ask is whether there’s a registry on the Clintons’ private server listing emails Hillary sent in her official capacity as Secretary of State. The next question I’d ask is whether there were any original emails still stored on the Clintons’ private server. The third question I’d ask is what the Clintons’ definition of work-related emails is.
That’s just for starters.
Next, I’d want investigators to determine if there are any emails on the Clintons’ private server from other email addresses other than firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d ask because we know other high-ranking staff had private @clintonemail.com email addresses. It’s important to remember that Kendall didn’t say that there weren’t any emails sent or received by Huma Abedin or Sheryl Mills.
That’s before stating the obvious.
IRS Commissioner Koskinen testified that Lois Lerner’s hard drive had been destroyed, meaning all of Ms. Lerner’s emails were destroyed, too. It isn’t surprising that that’s been updated:
Despite IRS Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly saying under oath in previous hearings that Lerner’s emails could not be recovered, Camus and investigators have been successful in recovering nearly 33,000 emails relevant to the IRS investigation.
“To date we have found 32,774 unique e-mails that were backed up from Lois Lerner’s e-mail box. We are in the process of comparing these e-mails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails. We are also in the process of having the e-mail server hard drives analyzed if there are any readable e-mails that can be recovered from these hard drives. And finally, we are continuing to determine if there are any other sources that may contain Lois Lerner’s e-mails,” Camus said during testimony.
The other lesson people should know in parsing the Clintons is this fundamental rule: the Clintons will always do the right thing…when that’s their only option left. Trusting the Clintons isn’t advised. Trusting a Clinton protector is downright foolish.
That’s why I’d tell Chairman Gowdy to depose Hillary before I’d have her testify. I’d want to question Hillary at length privately before she testifies in public just to paint Hillary into a corner with her own testimony. The lengthier the time I get to question her, the more likely it is she’ll trip herself up.
Technorati: Hillary Clinton, David Kendall, clintonemail.com, Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Email Server, John Koskinen, Lois Lerner, Benghazi Attacks, IRS Investigation, Democrats, Trey Gowdy, Depositions, Republicans, Election 2016
Part I of this series highlighted a timeline of events that led to the termination of Todd Hoffner, the head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Part II highlighted some of President Davenport’s rationalizations for terminating Coach Hoffner. This post will highlight the substantive complaints from Coach Hoffner’s attorneys. This paragraph is particularly noteworthy:
Second, in that same section, the OLA report devotes an entire paragraph to President Davenport’s justification for his reaction to the charges against Coach Hoffner and, specifically, the description of the Pennsylvania State University sex scandal. No comparable explanation from Coach Hoffner is included, nor is the fundamental distinguishing fact that the alleged conduct that MSU Mankato investigated had nothing to do with sexual abuse or similar conduct with respect to MSU Mankato students.
Comparing the Hoffner situation with what happened at Penn State is foolish. According to a footnote in the OLA’s report, Penn State’s high-level administrators, including Penn State’s president at the time, “were indicted for endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. They are awaiting trial.” In Coach Hoffner’s case, he didn’t exercise good judgment. Still, the Blue Earth County judge that dismissed the charges said that “the children acted silly, playful and age appropriate.”
There’s a little bit of hyperbole in this paragraph:
To omit from the OLA’s report even the most basic of facts in this regard is misleading and profoundly unfair. The notion that a person could equate Coach Hoffner with Jerry Sandusky is absurd, and that a person could draw such a comparison exemplifies why that person should not have the authority to make life-changing employment decisions affecting others.
First, Hoffner’s attorneys went a little overboard in saying that President Davenport shouldn’t “have the authority to make life-changing employment decisions affecting others.” That being said, Hoffner’s attorneys are right in saying that comparing Coach Hoffner’s actions with Sandusky’s is absurd. They aren’t close to being similar, much less close to being the same thing.
Jerry Sandusky is serving a minimum of 30 years in prison. According to Wikipedia, which I realize isn’t always the most accurate website, “Specifically, Sandusky was convicted of the following charges and counts: eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault, nine counts of unlawful contact with minors, 10 counts of corruption of minors and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of children. Cleland immediately revoked Sandusky’s bail and remanded him to the Centre County Correctional Facility to await sentencing.”
It shouldn’t be difficult for university presidents to differentiate between a man who was investigated and had charges dropped and a man convicted of “eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault [and] nine counts of unlawful contact with minors…” I’m betting that most high school students could differentiate between the two.
Simply put, this would be a disaster for President Davenport if the MnSCU Chancellor, aka Davenport’s boss, were a principled man or if the DFL-chaired Higher Ed committees took their oversight responsibilities seriously. Since neither is the case, it isn’t likely that this will hurt President Davenport.
That’s the biggest of disasters in this entire situation.
This post about Richard Davenport’s termination of Coach Todd Hoffner highlights the timeline of Mankato State University, Mankato’s investigation that ultimately led to Coach Hoffner’s termination. This post will highlight the OLA’s report of what happened that triggered the investigation:
On August 10, 2012, Coach Hoffner asked a MSU, Mankato information technology staff person to examine his cell phone because it was not working properly. The staff person found a video recording of naked children on the phone and brought it to the attention of MSU, Mankato officials, who turned the cell phone over to the Mankato police. Coach Hoffner was arrested at his home on August 21, 2012. The following day, the Blue Earth County Attorney filed charges against Todd Hoffner alleging that the images of the children were pornographic and criminal.
After reviewing the images, other evidence, and considering the applicable laws, on November 30, 2012, a Blue Earth County District Court Judge dismissed the criminal charges for lack of “probable cause.” In her order, the judge noted that the children in the video were Todd Hoffner’s children, who asked their father to record a “performance” after they emerged from a bath. The judge went on to say
that the context of the video showed that the “children’s performance was not intended to be erotic or pornographic in nature.” She also noted that the children acted silly, playful, and age appropriate.
Despite the fact that charges were dismissed by a Blue Earth County district court judge, President Davenport proceeded with his investigation.
It’s worth highlighting that the judge ruled that “the children acted silly, playful and age appropriate.”
Here’s another situation that might put President Davenport into a delicate situation:
President Davenport also told us that he responded to the allegations against Coach Hoffner with the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) football sex scandal in mind. In that case, a former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was accused of sexually abusing children for more than a decade. In addition, university officials were accused of failing to respond adequately when concerns about the coach were brought to their attention.
The Penn State situation was dramatically different from what happened in Mankato. Here’s one of the report’s footnotes:
In June 2012, former Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and, in October 2012, he was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) imposed severe sanctions against the Penn State football program, including: a $60 million fine to create an endowment to prevent child sexual abuse and help child abuse victims; barring Penn State’s football program from post-season play for four years; and vacating the team’s wins from 1998-2011. In addition, former Penn State officials, President Graham Spanier, Senior VP for Finance and Business Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Tim Curley were indicted for endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. They are awaiting trial.
In the Penn State case, senior members of the administration, including Penn State’s president were accused of lying to investigators and for trying to hide Jerry Sandusky’s actions. Further, they “were indicted “for endangering the welfare of children…”
The underlying allegations included this:
Victims also commonly reported that Sandusky would place his hand on their thighs or inside the waistband of their underpants. Two recounted oral sex with Sandusky, sometimes culminating in his ejaculation.
That’s totally different than the situation at Mankato. First, President Davenport didn’t attempt to cover anything up. Second, he wasn’t accused of lying to investigators. Those things alone differentiate this situation from the Penn State scandal.
I understand that administrators nationwide worried about being accused of covering up a pervert’s lengthy history of child sex abuse. That’s appropriate and justified. What isn’t appropriate or justified is conflating everything into another Penn State.
Few apolitical people know that the Democratic Party has put in place a system that chills political involvement and that buys elections. I have proof that both statements are true. Starting with buying elections, this story proves that the DFL broke Minnesota’s campaign lawss and bought 11 Senate seats:
The Republican Party of Minnesota began filing complaints in October 2012, charging that DFL campaign materials were wrongfully listed as independent expenditures, but the materials were not because the candidates were actively engaged in photo shoots in producing the print ads, thereby breaching the legal wall between candidates and independent expenditures.
For those that want to argue that this is just Republican sour grapes, I’d ask them to explain this:
The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board Tuesday, Dec. 17, fined the Minnesota DFL Senate Caucus $100,000 for wrongfully working with 13 of its candidates in the 2012 election.
The $100,000 civil penalty is among the biggest in state history.
These sitting senators should be kicked out of the Senate for their actions. Further, they should be fined for their actions, as should the DFL Senate Caucus for their actions. Finally, there should be a special election to replace Democrats that broke the law.
If it’s a financial hardship for these Democrats, good. I’m not interested in making their lives comfortable. I’m interested in making examples of them. They’ve lost the right to be called public servants. They’ve earned the right to be called lawbreakers. These Democrats have earned the right to be considered unethical politicians.
While buying elections is a serious thing, it’s trivial compared with the political witch hunt that’s happening in Wisconsin:
MADISON, Wis. – Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.
That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.
Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.
While there’s no doubt Democrats will deny a connection between the IRS-TEA Party scandal and this witch hunt, they’re too similar in intent to ignore. Here’s what John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County prosecutor leading this witch hunt, obtained through his pre-dawn paramilitary raids:
Court documents show the extraordinary breadth of the prosecutors’ subpoena requests.
They sought phone records for a year-and-a-half period, “which happened to be the most contentious period in political politics,” the conservatives note. They note that prosecutors did not pursue the same tactics with left-leaning organizations that pumped tens of millions of dollars into Wisconsin’s recall elections, in what certainly appeared to be a well-coordinated effort.
Among other documents, prosecutors sought “all call detail records including incoming and outgoing calls,” “billing name and information,” “subscriber name and information including any application for service,” according to the conservatives’ court filing.
In other words, these Democrat prosecutors wanted to intimidate people they didn’t agree with. They used tactics third world dictators use to intimidate the citizenry:
Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the dragnet two years ago, and, according to court documents, with the help of the state Government Accountability Board, the probe was expanded to five counties. The John Doe proceeding compelled scores of witnesses to testify, and a gag order compelled them to keep their mouths shut or face jail time. Sources have described predawn “paramilitary-style” raids in which their posessions were rifled through and seized by law enforcement officers.
This isn’t just a fishing expedition. It’s a message from Democrats to Republicans that they’ll use their offices to intimidate their political enemies. It’s a message from Democrats that they’re weaponizing government agencies.
This isn’t just happening in Wisconsin. It’s happened in Texas, too, where a Democrat with a penchant for getting highly intoxicated abused her office to indict Gov. Rick Perry for doing what other governors have done since the founding of their respective states. She indicted him because he vetoed a bill cutting off funding for her office.
It isn’t coincidence that Scott Walker and Rick Perry are considered potential presidential candidates. In fact, I’d argue that Chisholm launched his fishing expedition into Gov. Walker to defeat him so he can’t run for president.
Check back later today for Part II of this series.
Technorati: John Chisholm, John Doe Prosecutors, Political Witch Hunt, Rosemary Lehmberg, Malicious Prosecution, Campaign Coordination, Buying Elections, Censorship, Weaponized Government, Democrats, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Republicans, Election 2014