Monday, November 10, 2008

That Bad Smell Under the Radar

That grassroots campaign that organized local units to spearhead the GoPerv drive to control of Congress under Newt Gingrich led to deep penetration at the town level by powers of the right wing. I see it here in the operation of our local government, as in the refusal to allow poll watchers to view our recent election returns. In Dallas, some prosecutions are being reviewed, government prosecutions that have focused largely on Democratic office holders and candidates.

The ongoing investigation of the House Judiciary Committee stated in its majority staff report back in April that an extraordinary degree of politicization within the Department of Justice had developed since 2001.

A study published in February 2007 by Professors Donald Shields and John Cragan found that federal prosecutors during the Bush administration have investigated Democratic officeholders far more frequently than their Republican counterparts. The study identified 375 investigations or indictments of candidates and elected officials brought by U.S. attorneys from January 2001 to December 2006. The study's authors found that of the 375 cases they identified, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans, and 298 involved Democrats.

The authors noted that the greatest disparity in investigations or indictments involved local politicians, where Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to be subject to criminal investigations. An updated report based on a sample of 820 reported cases and investigations determined that during the Bush administration, 80 percent of federal public corruption investigations have involved Democratic officeholders, and only 14 percent have involved Republican officeholders.

A review of the 375 cases reveals that one of the cases studied was the investigation of former Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill. The study concluded that there was a 1 in 10,000 chance that the over-representation of Democrats was by chance, thereby concluding that selective prosecution of local Democrats across the country had taken place. There has been very little, if any, reporting on this dynamic, national story in this newspaper.

The dirty tactics the right wing employs have been responsible for a huge overturn of our constitution, as well as of local functioning governments. The results have been catastrophic.

The Department of Justice has been particularly impacted by politicization at the expense of the Rule of Law. The purpose of the DOJ is to carry out the laws Congress passes. Instead of functioning as it should, the present DOJ - like much of the executive branch - is at loggerheads with its own purpose. The laws have been pushed aside while the executive branch pursues purely political purposes.

That 71 days left looks awfully long, and dangerous to our country.

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