July 8, 2005

2nd Congressional District (OH) Candidate Press Releases on London Terror Bombings

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 4:52 pm

BizzyBlog Reports, You Decide:

In the interest of informing the voters in Ohio’s Second Congressional District and the other interested people around the country, I am posting verbatim, and without comment, the press releases issued in the immediate aftermath of the London terrorist bombings yesterday by candidates Paul Hackett and Jean Schmidt.

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HACKETT DEMANDS POLICY REFLECT REALITY
Tragic Events Show to the Contrary What the American People Have Been Told.

Paul Hackett, 43, is a U.S. Marine Corps Major who volunteered to go to Iraq and is now a candidate for Congress in Ohio. He is the first Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom to seek a Congressional bid, and returning from Iraq on March 18th of this year after a standard Marine Corps tour, he is the most credible person in the political arena to comment on how to complete the mission there.

“Today’s tragic events in London show us that contrary what the American people have been told, Al Queda is not on its last legs,” stated Hackett. “My heart goes out to those affected and their families. And I have the sincerest respect for all those in uniform who are responding to the emergency situation.”

“I learned first-hand what our real challenges are in Iraq. Vice President Cheney said recently that Al-Qaeda is in its ‘death throes.’ An organization capable of carrying out coordinated operations to devastating effect is not in its death throes,” said Hackett.

“If elected, I will be the only member of Congress who has actually taken up arms and fought in Iraq in the war on terror. I’m a Marine Corps Combat Veteran. I’m not soft on defense and I’m not soft on terrorism. I am hard on an administration that has not had the courage to put forth an Iraq and terrorism policy that reflects reality. In Washington I will have the knowledge of reality and work on viable solutions to the war on terrorism,” finished Hackett.

Major Paul Hackett rejoined the Select Marine Corps Reserve with the 4th Civil Affairs Group on July 23rd, 2004, and Participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom II, 1st Marine Division, in Ramadi, Iraq. He also participated in the invasion of Fallujah, in charge of the Fallujah Liaison Team. He was also proud to play a role in the Iraqi Elections on January 30, 2005.

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SCHMIDT DENOUNCES TERRORIST ATTACKS IN LONDON

SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – Republican candidate for Congress Jean Schmidt today denounced the terrorist attacks in London as “cowardly” and called on the United States to stand strong with Tony Blair as his nation deals with the situation unfolding there.

“I stand with Tony Blair and the people of London,” said Schmidt. “The United States should support the British government in any way we can and help them in their search to bring to justice those responsible for these attacks.”

The attacks in England took place amidst the backdrop of the opening of the G8 summit of world leaders taking place in that region. President Bush and other world leaders joined Blair at a press conference this morning to show their support for Blair and the British people.

Schmidt, who has repeatedly stated during the campaign that she stands with President Bush on the war on terror, stated “this further demonstrates that the enemies of freedom are out there and we cannot let our guard down. Our brave men and women are fighting these elements overseas and it is times like this we are reminded that if we do not fight them over there, we will be fighting them at home on our own soil. We must work to fight terrorism both at home and abroad,” she said.

Schmidt’s dedication to enhancing national security is demonstrated by her announcement yesterday, prior to the bombings in London, that she was beginning an television ad campaign in the Second District in which she encourages people to stand with the President on the war on terror and to “support our troops who are planting the seeds of democracy in places where others said it could not happen.” The ad campaign, taped several weeks ago, begins running tonight and compliments the message she has been promoting for the past few months when speaking with groups across the Second District.

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Others posting on one or both of these press releases:
- Eric Minamyer–Hackett politicizes London bombings
- Porkopolis–With All Due Respect Major Hackett
- Weapons of Mass Discussion–Hackett Update
- Project Logic–Paul Hackett See Terrorist Victory in London

Go to Pre-Election Collection.

Elliot Spitzer: Sore Loser, Legal Tyrant

At the second item in this post a few weeks ago, BizzyBlog asked “Do you see now why Elliot Spitzer prefers press-release intimidation over real trials?”

The question arose because of the acquittal of former Bank of America broker Theodore Sihpol on 29 of 33 counts (the jury hung on the other 4 counts–more on that in a moment). Mr. Sihpol forgot to read the part of The Spitzer Survival Guide that demands that anyone he targets roll over, pay a lot of money, not admit to guilt about anything, but allow Elliot to display a scalp and claim credit for “cleaning up corrupt business practices.” Instead, Sihpol and the legal team he had to force his former employer to pay for whipped Spitzer’s butt in court.

Poor Elliot is not happy, and Sihpol, the first (and I believe only) person in the two-year investigation to face trial on criminal charges relating to the mutual fund trading scandal, is feeling his wrath:

Former Bank of America Corp. broker Theodore Sihpol, whom a jury last month had acquitted of helping a hedge fund trade mutual funds illegally, will be retried on four counts on which the jury deadlocked, lawyers told a New York state court Thursday.

The jury had on June 9 deadlocked on one count each of fraud and scheming to defraud, and two counts of falsifying business records, leading New York Supreme Court Justice James Yates to declare a partial mistrial.

It acquitted Sihpol of seven counts of grand larceny, the top charge, and 22 other counts. Sihpol had faced up to 30 years in prison. The vote on the other four counts was 11-1 to acquit.

So, Sihpol was one vote away from acquittal on the four remaining counts — and Spitzer is going through with a new trial?

Any other prosecutor would cut his losses, let it go, and allow Sihpol to get on with his not-guilty life. Instead, we have an abuse of prosecutorial discretion, a disgraceful waste of New York State taxpayer dollars, and an inevitable diversion of legal resources away from other more meaningful cases.

Sihpol’s retrial is purely a personal political vendetta. Elliot Spitzer wants to go into his New York gubernatorial run with a spotless record, and Sihpol, this nuisance, this ingrate who doesn’t appreciate the wonderful things Spitzer is doing for the world, stands in the way.

Spitzer should have resigned his post when he declared his candidacy back in December. Sihpol’s lawyers should insist that a retrial be denied until he does.
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UPDATE: The pass that Spitzer gets from the business press is breathtaking. The sub-headline at the link about the new trial says:

Sihpol gets new trial for charges related to late trading of mutual funds after jury deadlocks

A reader unfamiliar with the case up to this point and who didn’t read on would think that Sihpol asked for the new trial. Zheesh.
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UPDATE 2: Don Luskin at poorandstupid.com takes note.
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UPDATE 3: Proud Outside The Beltway Traffic Jam participant.
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UPDATE 4: The Wall Street Journal editorial page chimes in (link requires paid subscription):

… Mr. Sihpol’s defense was that he was merely executing trades ordered by others that he thought were perfectly legal — and the jury agreed. It’s hard to see what important legal principle is worth the time and expense of another Sihpol trial.

All of which suggests that the vindication that Mr. Spitzer is seeking here is probably his own. Mr. Sihpol’s real “offense” is that he refused to roll over and cop a plea the way most of Mr. Spitzer’s business targets have. And his acquittal has proved to be a major embarrassment for the attorney general who wants to be seen as the peerless prosecutor as he runs for governor in 2006.

Mr. Spitzer also has other late-trading prosecutions on his calendar — against individuals from Security Trust Corp. and Canadian Imperial Holdings — and the conclusion of the Sihpol jury that late trading isn’t even a genuine crime is not a good precedent for that case. On the other hand, as former New York AG Dennis Vacco noted last week in a statement assailing the Sihpol retrial, “Prosecutors know that on retrials the evidence doesn’t get better. . . ”

Mr. Spitzer has built a reputation as a tough-guy prosecutor willing to take on the rich and powerful. In retrying the non-powerful Mr. Sihpol, he merely seems vindictive and petty.

SEEMS?