Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just Say No to a Special Prosecutor

The GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the Obama administration's dealings with PA Democratic Senatorial candidate Joe Sestak.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Darrell Issa, who has been pressing this issue for months, called for a special prosecutor in April. He alleges that the White House may have violated anti-bribery provisions of the federal criminal code as well as prohibitions on government officials interfering in elections and using federal jobs for a political purpose if it made the offer.
In my opinion, this is another case of much ado about nothing. Appointing a special prosecutor is usually a big waste of money that results in an endless witchhunt. Here's the situation as I understand it.

The administration supported Arlen Specter for Senate and wanted to get Sestak out of the way, so they allegedly offered Sestak a "White House job." Is this a type of bribe? Sure it is. But why should we care? This is a matter of Democratic party politics. The president, as leader of the party has a right to try to influence who the party has as its candidates. He also has the right to give out jobs as political patronage. But according to the critics combining the two things is somehow illegal. I find that laughable. If it is technically illegal it shouldn't be. That's how the system works. Bribery by way of handing out politically patronage jobs has long been institutionalized. People are routinely rewarded for major campaign support with positions such as ambassadorships. There's no good reason that I can see why this particular instance should be criminalized. The GOP is making a mistake that will probably come back to bite it in the future, when Democrats look for similar ways to criminalize Republican job offers.

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