Thursday, March 15, 2007

Steve Biskupic: No Worries, Duh!

When Karl Rove and Harriet Miers were looking for the heads of U.S. Attorneys to put on a spike in 2005 and 2006, you can probably guess their reaction when they came to the man heading up the office in Eastern Wisconsin. “Ah, Biskupic!” you can imagine Rove exclaiming, his eyes glazing over in the rapture of the U.S Attorney of his dreams. “Yes, Biskupic,” the non-Supreme Court Justice Miers would say, confirming legally what Rove sensed in his manipulative heart. “He’s a good one.” “Yesss,” Rove would sigh. “He’s a good boy. Good Boy!”

Whether by direction, design or just plain old predisposition, Steve Biskupic has walked the political walk for Junior Bush since he was appointed by the Decider in 2002. Whether it’s going after Democratic alderman for buying themselves groceries, civil servants working for a Democratic governor, contributors to the same Democratic governor and investigating non-existent “voter fraud” (the very definition of an elephant laboring for months and bearing a mouse), Biskupic has been Johnny-on-the-Spot for the Bushies‘ political agenda.

Oh, and never mind those Republicans who happen to find themselves on the knife’s edge of investigation and possible illegality. For instance, Biskupic was supposedly investigating some monkey-business between Scott Walker and indicted former Tommy Thompson cabana-boy Nick Hurtgen. The result? Uh, nothing to see here, everyone move along. He also conveniently bailed from the prosecution of the Republican District Attorney in Winnebago County, Joseph Paulus, who has since convicted of bribery and is now in federal prison. His brother happened to work for Paulus. Maybe the reason Biskupic never goes after Republicans is because, if you swing a stick in his house or his office or his country club, you’ll hit five or six of them. Just guessing here.

In the Journal Sentinel today, Biskupic does an interesting thing; answering a question nobody asked him.

"I received no communication, either negative or positive, from the attorney general's office or the White House regarding the voter fraud cases. The first I learned that there had been criticism was in published reports on Wednesday. During my time as U.S. attorney, the only case that I have been asked to discuss with the attorney general was the civil rights investigation of the beating of Frank Jude, Jr."

Assuming the issue he is trying to address is possible political influence in and on his office, you can file this under the Nixonian category of the “non-denial denial”. First of all, who would have to talk to him about the phony voter fraud investigation? He's done such a good job driving the GOP agenda on his own. Just by picking it up and churning it for a couple of months after the 2004 election, he was doing GOP legwork -- giving the false impression of a problem while the Republicans were busy trying to suppress the vote with voter ID and anything else they can find.

[Aside: I have always found it amazing that Republicans have the nerve to squawk about “voter fraud” after what they pulled in Florida in 2000. They showed such a cynical disrespect to the sanctity of the vote by shutting down the recount, they are the last people who should have anything to say about what is or is not a legitimate election.]

Notice that, in his statement, Biskupic does not deny that political influence has anything to do with his ridiculous imprisonment of poor civil servant Georgia Thompson and his latest indirect attack on Jim Doyle, the Troha indictment. Almost the entire GOP strategy in their failed campaign for governor was to smear Doyle with Biskupic-driven innuendo, as is their current campaign to prevent Doyle from doing anything positive for the state. Although the case i over and the poor woman is in prison, Biskupic’s favorite phrase in the Thompson persecution is that “the investigation is continuing” a fact which wing-nuts celebrate like the rising sun everyday.

And the Troha indictment, as GOP shills brag, mentions Doyle 14 times, without bothering to mention that a Republican Congressman, Paul Ryan, also benefited from Troha’s clumsy and desperate largess (at least he got something from Ryan -- a call supporting the Kenosha casino to the federal agency responsible for the review).

And, what was said by whom to whom about the Jude cops prosecutions? Does he think influence on his office by politicians is acceptable just because it involves the complaints of a black man against white cops? Is there some reason the politicians contacting him would want the prosecutions -- perhaps a safe way to pretend Republicans give a damn or (more likely) to make former DA Mike McCann look bad?

You can bet that Biskupic will continue to be useful to Karl Rove’s Permanent Campaign of personal destruction, dancing around the fringes of Jim Doyle’s employees and contributors for the benefit of the GOP and wing-nut radio entertainment. After the review that Rove and Miers ran on his vote-fraud-wimpy colleagues, resulting in the sacking of eight of them, he can rest easy for now.

But he'll have to find something else to do in January 2009 when there is a New Decider and someone with integrity -- like the excellent Clinton appointment in 1993, Tom Schneider -- will come back in, close down the political sideshows and stop doing the dirty business of the dirtiest administration in U.S. history.


Anonymous said...

Give me a break. Were you upset when slick willie fired 93 US Attorney's? Were you upset when Slick Willie replaced the Attorney who was going to investigate Hillary in Ark? My guess is no. Quit making this out to be more of a deal then it is. Why can'f people on the left focus on real issues and solutions, instead of bashing Bush? I wish the liberal democrats would come up with their own ideas instead of just wanting to investigate Bush. The majortity of the public knows the Democrats motives here.

Mike Plaisted said...

Ah, Slick Willie...I love that kind of talk. It says so much more about the person saying it than it does Clinton.

I've been looking for the figure, but, how many U.S. Attorneys do you think Bush replaced in 2001 and 2002? He may have been a little slower than Clinton [insert "Bush is slower" commment here], but he eventually got all his own people in those offices and dumped all of Clinton's appointments. These 8 that they have purged now are different -- they were fired in the middle of an 8-year term (now, find me some that Clinton fired after 4 years) -- Bush even said this, like he knows -- because they didn't follow the phony "voter fraud" agenda that Biskupic and others have taken up.

First, they slipped something into the Patriot Act so that they didn't have to run the new appointments through Congress.
Then, they lied to Congress about it by saying they had bad performance reviews. Now, they have been prevented from making up a bunch of other lies because of some inconvenient e-mails.

Say what you will about Clinton, Anony, but Clinton and Reno did what they did (after 12 years of Republican appointments) out in the open, so people like you can make up any firing-93-so-he-can-Whitewater-investigator nonsense you want. Gonzales did what he did, at the direction of Rove and Miers, and then lied about it.

People trying to get away with something usually act like that's what they are doing. When they get caught, they get people like you making excuses for them. If you want to be a sucker for this crowd, be my guest. But your comments are too close to the GOP talking points for me to think you believe it. You are just trying to get someone else to.

Xoff said...

As I recall, Slick Willie even replaced the attorney general when he took over.

Harry Walker said...

Here's an interesting question: Why isn't anybody at the Justice Department actually fighting crime or terrorism? Doesn't that bother the President a bit? Crime stats are running up in virtually every city in the country suggesting that maybe the drug trade is going through some kind of realignment or reorganization. Is Justice focused on it? No, they are worried about non-existent voter fraud. Maybe someone should accuse the Al Qaeda terror cells (you know, the ones that the Justice Dept insists are operating within our borders) of voter fraud. Then maybe we could get some of those FBI agents that spend hundreds of hours questioning old ladies who work at the polls out in the street to actually focus on fighting crime and preventing terrorism. Personally, I'm more afraid of the consequences of a dirty bomb explosion or a prolonged drug turf war than I am of the one or two felons who MAYBE voted illegally in the last election.

Matt R said...

Hey Slick Anonymous:

Contrary to your suggestion, the majority of the public does not know what the democrats real purpose is. The real purpose is to stop Bush from appointing friends of Karl Rove into important US Attorney positions and to put the brakes on Speedy Gonzales attempts to overtly politicize local US Attorney offices. These are important offices with real decisions being made about which real people go to prison and for how long. It is no politics; it is above politics. And it is damn important that it remains that way. So you quit making it out to be less of a deal than it is. If it was important enough to cover up, and important enough to lie about, forgive us for thinking we ought to look into it.

Your slick willie argument is nonsensical, but that's gonna happen when you don't know when to stop drinking the talking points. Its a shame some "on the right" pretend not to see the difference between George Bush choosing his own US Attorney's when he started his first term and his firing of 8 of his own Republican appointees for apparently political purposes. The former is traditional, logical, and acceptable. Just like the new president brings in a new cabinet, he brings in new US Attorney's. He can keep some if he wants, but no one expects him too.
However, this latest mess constitutes the politicizing of local offices and corrupts the faith the citizens have in that office and all others. All local offices are now being legitimitely scrutinized to ensure that prosecutors are not unfairly targeting democrats or political oppponents. After all, equal protection is in the constitution and even republicans sometimes pretend to give a *%*$ about the constitution.

And even where there is no bias, US Attorneys are subject to questioning about decisions they have made. For instance why was Pro-Doyle Georgia Thompson prosecuted but Anti-Barrett blowhard Bob "Men's Room" Donovan let go with a fine. Is it because he is a Republican? (Is he a Republican?) Probably not. But who do we ask, Gonzales? And then when he answers, are we supposed to believe him? Apparently not.

Michael J. Mathias said...

I wonder-this thing emerged for Biskupic because in the course of the incredibly bad job the WH did in defending their actions this week, Dana Perino followed by Dan Bartlett both said that there were voter fraud problems here that the local USAT wasn't doing much about. Even if they don't have a problem with him (and what was his ranking?) hanging him out to dry like that was pretty cold-blooded. Biskupic had to say something. JS needs to do more reporting on this.

goofticket said...

All 93 Clinton appointees, QUIT when Bush came into power.

There is an ethical thing about quitting the office, knowing who is your next boss.

I hope the investigations, in Congress bring forth all sorts of problems, all over the nation, like Wisconsin and Biskupic.