Patterico's Pontifications

8/2/2008

More Evidence Supporting Perdigao’s Allegations

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:45 pm

There is new evidence supporting some of Jamie Perdigao’s less central allegations of corruption connected with New Orleans’s Adams & Reese law firm.

Perdigao alleged ticket-fixing by a local traffic judge who, in addition to his judging duties, was a partner at Adams & Reese:

In May, Perdigao filed a civil racketeering case against his old firm, claiming that Adams and Reese was engaged in various corrupt moneymaking schemes. One of them, the suit claims, involved the frequent use of [Ronald] Sholes, who joined Adams and Reese shortly after his 1998 election to Traffic Court, as a ticket “fixer” for the firm and its friends.

Turns out there’s something to Perdigao’s allegations.

Traffic Court Judge Ronald Sholes regularly intervened outside of his courtroom on behalf of traffic defendants, many of whom had ties to the New Orleans law firm where Sholes practices, records show.

Of 41 documented cases in which Sholes interceded, typically asking a clerk to “look into” a case, 29 were dismissed by either a judge or a prosecutor. Four were found guilty, according to Traffic Court records. Eight other cases are either no longer in the court’s system or are still listed as “open.”

A number of the cases, all concerning tickets written in 1999 and 2000, involved people with close connections to the Adams and Reese law firm, where Sholes has been a partner since 1999. Unlike their counterparts in most local courts, Traffic Court judges may practice law privately.

As we’ve discussed before, some of Perdigao’s subsidiary allegations have been corroborated. However, the major allegations remain mostly unsupported by any publicly produced evidence.

Readers: Tell Me What You Know About …

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 5:24 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

… GOP Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Va), the chief deputy minority whip in the House.

The Politico‘s source says the McCain campaign has asked for Cantor’s personal documents and he may be on McCain’s VP list.

— DRJ

McCain Supports a Homeland Surge and Merit-Based US Attorneys

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 4:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From ABC News, John McCain suggests an Iraq/Giuliani-inspired surge for high-crime areas here at home:

“McCain called them tactics “somewhat like we use in the military.”

“You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control,” he said. “And you provide them with a stable environment and then they cooperate with law enforcement.”

The way he described it, his approach sounded an awful lot like the surge.”

In addition, in what will be music to many ears at this blog, McCain supports a crony-free Justice Department:

“U.S. attorneys will be appointed strictly on the basis of qualifications and not political connections.”

Law and order wins elections.

— DRJ

McCain and Obama: Three Debates

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:51 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via the LA Times, the AP reports Barack Obama backed away from multiple debates with John McCain, making it likely the candidates will only meet in three commission-sponsored debates:

“In May, when a McCain adviser proposed a series of pre-convention appearances at town hall meetings, Obama said, “I think that’s a great idea.” In summer stumping on the campaign trail, McCain has often noted that Obama had not followed through and joined him in any events.

On Saturday, in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the short period between the last political convention and the first proposed debate made it likely that the commission-sponsored debates would be the only ones in the fall.

“We’ve committed to the three debates on the table,” campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday in an interview. “It’s likely they will be the three appearances by the candidates this fall.”

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates has hosted Presidential and Vice Presidential debates since 1988. The first Presidential debate is September 26 at the University of Mississippi at Oxford MS and will focus on domestic policy. The second debate is October 7 at Belmont University in Nashville TN. It will be a town meeting format with questions from the moderator, audience members, and the internet. The third debate is October 15 at Hofstra University in Hempstead NY and will focus on foreign policy.

The Vice Presidential debate is October 2 at Washington University in St. Louis. It will cover domestic and foreign policy.

Moderators for each debate will be chosen this summer. In addition, the Commission on Presidential Debates has made two format changes:

1. In the first and third debates on domestic and foreign policy, the “debates will be divided into 8 ten-minute issue segments; the moderator will introduce each segment with an issue on which each candidate will comment, after which the moderator will facilitate further discussion of the issue, including direct exchange between the candidates, for the balance of that segment. Time will be reserved for closing statements by each of the candidates in each debate.”

2. In the second town meeting debate, “[q]uestions solicited by Internet will be included with those from citizens on the stage with the candidates.”

— DRJ

2008 Pre-Season Coaches’ Poll

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 11:26 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

I can’t wait for college football season to start, which means we need to talk about the 2008 USA Today Top 25 Coaches’ Poll:
(First place votes are in parentheses)

1. Georgia (22)
2. USC (14)
3. Ohio State (14)
4. Oklahoma (3)
5. Florida (5)
6. LSU (3)
7. Missouri
8. West Virginia
9. Clemson
10. Texas
11. Auburn
12. Wisconsin
13. Kansas
14. Texas Tech
15. Virginia Tech
16. Arizona State
17. Brigham Young
18. Tennessee
19. Illinois
20. Oregon
21. South Florida
22. Penn State
23. Wake Forest
24. Michigan
25. Fresno State

There are lots of familiar names in the top 25 but I think it will be tough for any team to emerge unscathed from the SEC, Big 10, and Big 12.

The AP Top 25 comes out August 16.

— DRJ

Obama’s Saturday Morning Press Conference

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 10:34 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama answered questions at a press conference this morning although I doubt much of America was watching on a Saturday. Maybe that’s what the Obama campaign hoped.

Questions covered a range of topics including Obama’s recent shift on offshore drilling, the economy, energy and gas prices, and allegations that both sides have played the race card. One of the headlines from the press conference is Obama’s statement that the McCain campaign is cynical but not racist:

“Obama met with reporters for the first time since the McCain campaign claimed that the Illinois Democrat had “played the race card” by warning that McCain would try to scare voters about how Obama looks unlike “all those other presidents on the dollar bills” – all of whom are white men. [*See Update*]

In the ensuing debate, a McCain spokesman suggested that the Arizona Republican was being painted as a racist. That’s an attempt to shift the campaign’s focus, Obama argued Saturday.

“In no way do I think that John McCain’s campaign was being racist,” Obama said. “I think they’re cynical. And I think they want to distract people from talking about the real issues.”

Obama made some good points but what I most noticed were two things: His halting delivery when he speaks extemporaneously, and his focus on how different his background and race are from most Americans. I don’t think either of these help him.

As The Trail’s Dan Balz said at the Washington Post, the more Obama brings up his race, the more it hurts him and voters’ comfort level with him. I’m an average American – albeit conservative, but liberals seem to think that makes me even more prone to racism – and race isn’t an issue for me. Furthermore, there’s no evidence that race is an issue for most Americans. Why, then, is it such a big issue for Barack Obama?

*UPDATE*: An Obama campaign aide previously admitted Obama’s dollar bill comment was a reference to race.

— DRJ


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