Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Around the blogosphere...

RR had a nice article today appreciating Chuck Reed's disclosures to the Mercury News. The article reiterates some of the same points made on this blog earlier in the day. Many critics of the request for Chuck to disclose his deductions to run contrary to the American legal tradition of being innocent "until proven guilty". Why should Chuck need to prove that he did not commit a crime? If a real legal scholar analyzed this dispute, however, s/he may end up criticizing that analysis. In the legal world, there is a concept often used called burden shifting. When certain facts are present, the burden may shift to an opposing party in ways that would seem counter to the aforementioned legal slogan. When a patient goes under the knife, for example, and wakes up with a sponge left inside his/her body, the doctor bears the burden of proving that it was not his/her fault. I bring this up not to analogize but instead to illustrate the concept of burden shifting. Mr. Reed made $38,000+ donations to personal, political, and charitable causes. He was then reimbursed with public funds. Charitable contributions are often used as tax deductions. He has entered the world of ethical turpitude. He bears the burden of demonstrating that his hands are clean. This was no Salem-like witch hunt. This was a breach of the public's trust that the public was justified in demanding further inquiry.

Meanwhile, our buddy Tom McE continued the vice-baiting at SJI by going after the Democratic party for accepting Indian gaming donations. Mr. McEnery makes a couple of interesting statements. He lines up the $55K of Indian contributions next to the $128K of party money spent on Chavez mailers in an attempt to lure readers into believing that gambling interests are buying off Chavez. How much money does the local party have in its entire pot, Tommy? I don't know --- but I'm not the one making the allegations. The Dems have more races than just the Mayoral election. Local Dem leaders like Preminger are arguing that the money is being spent diffusely. It is unlikely that a large chunk of the Indian gambling contributions are going to a Mayoral campaign. Their interests reside primarily at the state not the municipal level.

The most notable part of Tommy McE's column comes from his final condemnation:

The questions that must be asked are:
Who solicited this money?
promises were asked or given?

The local Democratic leaders should

The citizens of San Jose have the right to know—in this most
scandal ridden of times in the history of San Jose—just who is buying what. The
Democratic Party, in its mad quest to gain an election win, is in danger of
losing its soul.

Is that how it worked when you were in office, Mayor McEnery? When you received contributions, you were asked to make promises and/or gave them to your donors? Last I checked, that was bribery. And even if they were sneaky enough to make promises re: these contributions, what capacity does the mayor of SJ have to override state law forbidding Indian casinos in our municipality? I may have a viscerally indignant reaction if Kevin Federline made contributions to Cindy or Chuck, but really, what are they gonna do for him? In fact, I'd be more concerned with the fact that one of the largest donors to COMPAC's smearing of Cindy is Dennis Fong - someone who has had business before the Council, will likely have business before the Council in the future, and has admittedly (been pressured into?) brib(ing) a Councilmember in the past. This is vice-baiting at its finest. This is Chuck's recognition that he is losing ground amongst the voters most concerned with "ethics" and trying to deflect attention from his Cheapskate scandal. Just as the national Repubs are trying to scare undecided voters into thinking a vote for a Dem is a vote for Al-Qaeda, Reed makes a desperation ploy to make voters think that a vote for Cindy is a vote for a new red-light district.


At 3:41 PM, Anonymous mr mortar said...

Tom McEnery was a mayor owned by downtown special interests. It is comical that he now is attempting to asymmetrically go after the purchase/sale of elections!

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Phillip s. said...

One of the donors McEnery listed is not a gaming association, just an Indian tribe. Pretty funny that they are automatically assumed to be out to bring casinos to San Jose!


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