Monday, June 12, 2006

FAQ in the Georgia Thompson case

It is not normally my custom to simply print news releases from anyone. I usually leave that to some of the right-wingers, who post Republican Party or Mark Green or Paul Bucher releases, add a comment like "Yep" or "Heh" and call that analysis.

But this one seems worth repeating, as the neocons begin to demand that Jim Doyle get life with no parole (because there is no death penalty yet) because Georgia Thompson was a state employee and he was the governor.

And I doubt you'll see much of this in the news media, either.

I can imagine the well-reasoned responses to this post already: "Doyle flack!" "Apologist!" "Water carrier!" And worse. Have at it. So's your old lady.

This deserves some space.
From the Democratic Party of Wisconsin:

MADISON – Today, verdicts were returned in the trial of Georgia Thompson.

“The facts introduced at trial make it very clear that this case was about one person, and one person only, Georgia Thompson,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Joe Wineke. “It’s long past time for facts to replace rhetoric in the public discourse about this case.”

After months of Republican press releases and speculative reporting, the trial provided a full airing of the facts collected by investigators.

Several important questions that have been raised over the past several months were answered.

7 Key Questions About the Georgia Thompson Trial—Answered:

1. Question: Weren’t the real targets of the Georgia Thompson trial her superiors?

Answer: No.

Fact: Prosecutors at trial made clear that the only person they were interested in was Georgia Thompson.

“The government opened its case against Georgia Thompson Monday, putting to rest speculation the probe into the state employee's role in awarding a travel contract to a major donor of Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign would reach deeper inside the Democratic governor's administration. ‘This case is not about the politicians you're going to hear about,’ U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said in his opening statement…” [source: Wisconsin State Journal, 6/6/06]

Frank Tuerkheimer, a UW- Madison Law School professor and former federal prosecutor: “The very fact that there's a trial tells me that whatever pressure has been brought against her to name names hasn't worked," Tuerkheimer said. "I would infer that there are no names to name." [Wisconsin State Journal, 6/3/06].

2. Question: Did anyone pressure Georgia Thompson to make sure that Adelman got the travel contract?

Answer: No.

Fact: No evidence of any kind has ever been produced before or during the trial to suggest that Thompson was ever subjected to any kind of pressure to award the contact to Adelman. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, there was no evidence to suggest that “any of Thompson's superiors told her to fix the contract.” [source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/3/06]

Fact: The prosecution’s key witness on this point, Ian Thomas, a travel consultant hired by the state, backtracked at trial. Thomas first testified that “Thompson cited political pressure from her bosses”. [source: AP, 6/7/06] But then he contradicted himself, testifying that he “didn't know" if the administration wanted Adelman [source: AP, 6/7/06], and that he couldn’t recall if Thompson said Adelman by name or if she was instead referring to Wisconsin companies in general. [source: WKOW – TV 27, 6/7/06, http://www.wkowtv.com/index.php/news/story/p/pkid/24156]

Fact: Thompson herself testified at trial, under oath, that “she was never pressured by officials appointed by Gov. Jim Doyle to award a state contract to Adelman Travel Group.” [source: AP, 6/9/06]

3. Question: Even if Thompson was not pressured, didn’t she manipulate the procurement process because she knew her bosses wanted Adelman to get the contract?

Answer: No.

Fact: No evidence of any kind has ever been produced, before or at trial, to suggest that Thompson had any knowledge of any contacts or links between Adelman executives and Administration officials.

As the Associated Press reported, “Prosecutors have no evidence” that Thompson knew of any contact or links, an FBI agent “found no evidence” during his investigation, and neither did an investigator with the Wisconsin Department of Justice. [source: AP, 6/8/06]

In addition, “Thompson was not the writer or the recipient of any of the e-mails that discussed the meeting or the sample request for proposals. Neither was Thompson's name mentioned in any of the documents, and they were not obtained from her files, according to Hurley's cross-examination of Department of Justice Special Agent Helen Wasmer.” [source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/6/06] Nor was there any evidence to suggest that Thompson herself had any contact with Adelman. [source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/8/06]

And Thompson herself testified at trial, under oath, that she was unaware of any campaign contributions, and knew nothing about any meetings or emails between Adelman and administration officials. [source: AP, 6/9/06]

4. Question: Even if Georgia Thompson felt no pressure from her bosses and had no knowledge of any contact between Adelman and the administration, didn’t she rig the bid process for other “political reasons?”

Fact: The “political reason” offered by prosecution witnesses was that Adelman was a Wisconsin-based company.

The prosecution’s primary witness on this point was Ian Thomas. Thomas first testified that “Thompson cited political pressure from her bosses”. [source: AP, 6/7/06] But then Thomas testified that he thought "the fact that it was a Wisconsin company” was the political issue. [source: AP, 6/7/06]

Another witness said he thought the “political reason” was that Adelman was “a Wisconsin-based company.” [source: AP, 6/7/06]

Fact: Regardless, at trial, a Thompson superior testified under oath that the awarding of the contract “followed the correct procedures” and that Thompson “’is a person of very high integrity,’ a state employee who routinely works 12-hour days with a goal of saving money for taxpayers.” Said the supervisor: "She's exactly what all you folks should want in a state employee.” [source: AP, 6/9/06]

5. Question: Didn’t Adelman receive the contract because the firm gave campaign contributions?

Answer: No.

Fact: It was shown at trial that Georgia Thompson was unaware of any contacts between Adelman and the administration, including campaign contributions. [source: AP, 6/8/06].

Fact: Furthermore, Adelman failed to win three of the four contracts it bid for. [source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/30/06]

Fact: And travel contract bidder (John Noel, the former owner of Marathon Travel) testified at trial “that his family donated $29,750 to Doyle between 2002 and 2005. Marathon applied for all six contracts but didn't get any of them.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/9/06]

6. Question: Could Georgia Thompson have lost her job if another agency had received the travel contract?

Answer: No.

Fact: Thompson was a civil servant. She couldn’t lose her job for political reasons. [source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/10/06]. She could only be fired for just cause. [source: AP, 6/08/06]

7. Question: Didn’t Governor Doyle meet with Craig Adelman about the travel contract before it was awarded?

Fact: No. Press reports to this effect were simply false and the news outlet that reported it was forced to run a correction. [source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/8/06]

7 Comments:

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Dad29 said...

Doyle---"life without parole?"

I have never advocated that sentence.

40 years, no parole, is fine with me.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Shades said...

"My bosses want Adleman." - Georgia Thompson

Four words that will haunt Doyle all fall...

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger XOut said...

You should put on a hard-hat XOff. You don't want to be unprotected when the shoes start to drop.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger Republican Vigilante said...

Xoff -

Tell your boss to return the check.

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger Terrence Berres said...

' But let's not confuse "not indicted" with "not guilty of anything," OK? '

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger Chris said...

"I can imagine the well-reasoned responses to this post already: "Doyle flack!" "Apologist!" "Water carrier!"


Xoff you forgot "Puppet" ;)

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger Ragnar Mentaire said...

Yellow dog, you are such a toady.

 

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