Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Indictment: More questions than answers

UPDATE: Tomorrow's front page story.

Anyone who has been waiting for something insightful from me on the indictment of Georgia Thompson is going to have to wait awhile longer. I don't know enough about it to offer anything profound. There are a lot more questions than answers today.

I was surprised, to say the least, that the grand jury issued indictments against her in connection with the awarding of a state travel contract. I did not expect anything to come of the investigation.

To state the obvious, it appears the investigators are hoping the charges will pressure her to implicate someone higher up in the chain of command. Whether that will happen -- or whether there is someone to implicate -- I don't know.

Neither do the Republicans, who are already connecting the dots right to the governor himself.

There is, of course, no evidence that the governor had any involvement or knowledge of any improprieties in awarding the contract. It would not surprise me to find out that he didn't even know a travel contract was being awarded until after the fact.

But it would shock me to find out that Jim Doyle had anything to do with illegal activity or condoned it, as Scott Walker is quick to suggest.

Politically, that may not matter. If someone, anyone in the Doyle administration is convicted of breaking the law, his opponents will hang it around his neck. That's politics.

But in the meantime, there is a legal system and little things like due process and the presumption of innocence, even for Georgia Thompson. I had never heard of her before the stories about this contract ran. We have all learned in the last 24 hours that she is a civil service employee, not a political appointee, who began work in the state DOA under Secretary George Lightbourn in the McCallum administration. That makes it all more puzzling, and also suggests that it might be prudent to let this play out before jumping to any conclusions.

Cory Liebmann asks, Are only Republicans innocent until proven guilty?


At 11:31 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Are only Republicans inncocent until proven guilty? What about your non stop rants about Tom Delay????

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Xoff said...

I have always used "indicted" to describe Tom DeLay. And I have not written about DeLay because some mid-level staffer in his office was indicted,but because the man himself has been charged with serious crimes.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Shades said...

At least your assessment of politics is correct. The timing could not be worse for Doyle. Only two things can happen - GT flips and someone higher up gets nailed or she waits for a trial or a plea. Niethr of the latter will happen before the election unless she gets squeezed very hard. After all, it is not like she will lose any pay while this is pending. Most likely, this is a hangover that will not go away in '06.


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