Blog Archives

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Situations teach us things…

Joel Pett in the Lexington Herald-Leader:

So what do we learn? Nothing?

– and –

Mike Keefe in The Denver Post:

So who will the GOP run? No one?

– and –

Mike Luckovich, Creators Syndicate:

So whose budget plan supports Seniors best? Are you old?

– and –

Clay Jones in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star:

So how hard is it for a woman to manage her own body? Did you ask the conservatives?

…and I couldn’t resist an extra cartoon, off theme, for Easter:

From Mr. Fish on Truthdig.

The Denver Post has called Bennet (D) over Buck (R)…

I went to sleep late last night not knowing the results of this one in Colorado. The Denver Post and the NY Times both called it for Bennet this morning.
clipped from www.denverpost.com
Updated: 11/03/2010 08:30:04 AM MDT
Appointed U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet will be elected to the U.S. Senate after pulling ahead of challenger Ken Buck this morning.
Long after most Coloradans — including the candidates and their supporters — had gone to bed, returns from Denver and Boulder moved Bennet past Buck and into the lead, 47.5 percent to 47.1 percent.
A recount would be required if the difference between the two candidates’ vote totals is less than one-half of 1 percent of the highest vote total, or about 3,900 votes based on current tallies.
Bennet leads by nearly 7,000 votes with an estimated 30,000 still to be counted in Boulder County.
The result carries implications for the balance of power in the Senate — which, with the Democrats’ loss of the House, looms crucial for President Obama’s ability to continue his agenda. Although Republicans needed a net gain of 10 seats to assume the Senate majority, late returns had them narrowing the gap but falling short of gaining control.
blog it

Bob Barr’s comment on Ken Buck.

What happens when a former U.S. attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003 comments on a Colorado Senate candidate? The truth will out.

This from the Denver Post:

Buck’s reprimand was no youthful indiscretion

An ugly episode nearly nine years ago involving a reprimand against Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck, while he was serving at the time as an assistant U.S. attorney in Denver, continues to shadow the candidate — as well it should.

When an assistant federal prosecutor is reprimanded by the Department of Justice for improperly disclosing internal government deliberations about a pending case to a defense attorney, it is not something that can or should be sloughed off as a youthful indiscretion.

Buck’s opponent in the GOP primary, Jane Norton, had raised the issue of Buck’s 2001 reprimand during this summer’s primary battle, but its importance was largely lost in the heat of that contest. Moreover, because the incident involved an investigation of improper firearms sales by a then-licensed gun dealer in Aurora, the important ethical aspect of the matter was obscured by the emotionalism that almost invariably attaches itself to Second Amendment issues. This is unfortunate, because the episode raises legitimate concerns about ethics, professionalism and loyalty in one of the most sensitive of public jobs — that of a federal prosecutor.

The basic facts of the case appear largely undisputed. In 1998, an investigation was presented to Buck, serving at the time as one of the top assistants in then-U.S. Attorney Henry Solano’s office. The investigating agency, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, believed a firearms dealer in Aurora was engaged in the sale of guns to so-called “straw buyers,” in violation of federal law. Buck declined to pursue the prosecution, and the ATF apparently did not at the time appeal that decision to Solano.

Shortly thereafter, Tom Strickland, Solano’s successor, decided to review the gun case — as was his prerogative as a U.S. attorney. He elected to present the case to a grand jury, which returned an indictment against Greg and Leonid Golyansky and Dmitriy Baravik. And that’s when the trouble began.

There obviously was disagreement within the U.S. attorney’s office over the decision to pursue the case against the alleged firearms violators, something not unheard of. Normally, such internal opinions are kept within the four walls of the prosecutor’s office. This is not only ethical and professional, but pragmatic as well. If word were to leak out — especially to a defense attorney — that questions about the strength or weaknesses of the government’s case had been raised internally, this would almost certainly provide grist for defense arguments to the judge and the jury; and would at least indirectly pressure the government to settle the case more favorably to the defendant.

Yet this is exactly what Buck did. He revealed to a defense attorney the fact that there was an internal government memorandum outlining possible weaknesses in the government’s case. Buck did this, even though by his own admission he had not seen the internal memo. Not surprisingly, two years later the case was finally concluded against the three defendants on terms far less favorable to the government than it likely could have obtained had the defense not been tipped off by Buck.

Buck’s clearly improper communication to a defense attorney about a pending prosecution was not only contrary to ethical and professional standards that govern attorneys; it also represented an act of disloyalty toward his superior — U.S. Attorney Strickland.

Strickland sent the matter of Buck’s improper communication to the appropriate Justice Department office in Washington, and a formal letter of reprimand was issued in December 2001. Buck resigned shortly thereafter.

It is important to note that the U.S. attorney who gave Buck the reprimand was a Republican, John Suthers. This was not a partisan effort to “get” Ken Buck. Nor are the questions the incident raises those of an everyday, “off-the-record chat” between a prosecutor and a defense attorney, as Buck now characterizes the incident. To continue to belittle this incident serves only to reinforce the concerns that were the basis of the 2001 letter of reprimand in the first place.