Saturday, March 17, 2012

Scott Walker & Cronies: Too Big To Jail? Can Our System of Justice Hold Powerful GOPers Accountable?

MADISON, WISCONSIN.  America's Founding Fathers wrote a great deal about freedom and equality, but created a document that deeply ingrained economic inequities, institutionalized slavery, and wholly-left women behind.  They were not concerned about equities in outcomes.  These men were the elite merchant-class of the colonies.  They may not have supported economic justice and equity, but they did demand that the rule of law apply to all and this is what justified their acceptance of other inequities.

Today, we have a tiered justice system and levels of income inequality that even this nation's founders could not have imagined.  The first is for the "common folks" and is strict and unforgiving, especially for the poor.  The second is for this nation's elites and it looks the other way, minimizes their criminality, and often will not even hand out minor slaps on the wrists to elite criminals.

Steal a dollar, go to prison; steal millions, they make you king.

Wisconsin citizens should be concerned whether confidence in a dysfunctional justice system is what enabled any crimes by Walker and his associates.  Were they so confident that the criminality known as "Walkergate" would go unpunished that they disregarded the law.  Given how our legal system works (or does not work), would these views be reasonable?

Despite Walker's lies that this growing scandal have nothing to do with him and that he has been told by an unknown attorney of an attorney that heard it from a friend of a friend that he is not a target of the ongoing John Doe investigation (WHATEVER!); setting up a legal defense fund was an act that admitted the investigation is getting closer to him.

And increasingly, it appears from publicly available documents that the crimes here, literally stealing from the citizens of Milwaukee County to empower a radical right-wing agenda, actually go far beyond fraudulently hoisting Walker into the Governor's Office.

 Wisconsin's Walkergate investigation gives a glimpse into GOP strategies nationwide.  Court documents have implicated current chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus and his ties to a voter suppression scandal involving both Americans for Prosperity and former Herman Cain campaign manager Mark Block.  There may be ties to illegal fund-raising too.  And while Priebus denies knowledge, there is reason to wonder if he was directly involved with real-estate bid-rigging under Scott Walker's "leadership" in Milwaukee County.  The probe appears to go far beyond electioneering for one gubernatorial candidate.

Which takes us back to the title of this post.  Suppose the criminality extends to Scott Fitzgerald and the state Republican Party?  What if the illegal activities were regional or national in scope?  Does our justice system have the ability to hold these people accountable?  Are they "too big to jail"?

When was the last time anyone saw a high-level republican politician held accountable?  (crickets chirping).

Glen Greenwald, in his new book, "With Liberty and Justice for SOME" clearly and patiently explains many of the points that underlie this posting.  It's an important read.  Our nation is in peril when its criminal justice system only hold the poor and middle-class accountable.  We have no freedom or liberty if the elite and powerful have a blank-check to stomp on us with impunity.

Many remember following "Plamegate" and an investigation that appeared to have ensnared the Bush administration at the highest level.  Due to breaking news over the 2005 holiday season, an accountability moment for Cheney/Bush was highly anticipated and deemed "Fitzmas".  A smart, tough prosecutor with a successful track-record was involved, he tenaciously went after some powerful people; but in the end, Fitzmas fizzled.

There are many examples through US History where, just like the banksters that were deemed "too big to jail", certain politicians are deemed "too big to jail".  Greenwald's book lays this case out in an easy-to-read yet highly detailed manner.

Scott Walker, by himself, is probably not in the "too big to jail" category;  By himself, he'd make a great scapegoat or fall-guy, but he has ties to KKKarl Rove and national GOP interests that clearly are part of the "too big to jail" crowd.  Hey, KKKarl Rove thumbed his nose at congress, refused a subpeona, and then even gleefully skipped the country for a spell.  And what "accountability moment" did he face for this Contempt of Congress?  NOTHING!

Wisconsin citizens should be very concerned.


Anonymous said...

Time for the US Justice Dept. to consider invoking the RICO Act against the Republican Party. It's near to being an organized criminal enterprise, at this point.

Anonymous said...

Organized Crime - that is exactly what is occurring here. And there appears to be the "Dillinger effect" with the people who support them.