[guest post by JVW]
Once again, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to play that fun game ”Name the Party!” where we provide for you a news item about a politician and challenge you to guess which party he or she belongs to. Today’s entry comes from an Associated Press story about a wayward state politician:
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A newly re-elected Virginia lawmaker hitched a ride from the jailhouse to the statehouse to be sworn in, even as legislative leaders discussed how to throw him out.
Del. Joseph D. Morrissey, who spends his nights in jail because of a sex scandal conviction, was back in his familiar legislative arena Wednesday but with a whole new set of circumstances: Colleagues ignored him, he was stripped of committee assignments, he had to give up his old office, and his desk on the House floor was put in a far corner.
OK, so we have a name (Joseph D. Morrissey), a state (Virginia), a legislative body (House of Delegates, though you have to infer that from reference to “the House floor”), and the outlines of a crime (something to do with sex). Let’s keep playing and go to the third paragraph:
Morrissey didn’t appear bothered by his pariah status and instead brimmed with defiant confidence. He told reporters he wasn’t worried that both parties have repeatedly denounced him and said he doesn’t belong in the oldest continuously operating legislative body in the Western Hemisphere.
“I’m confident in Joe Morrissey and I’m confident things will work out exactly the way they are supposed to,” Morrissey said.
Ah, so close! We learn that both parties have denounced him. Is he a Democrat? Is he a Republican? The suspense is just killing me! Let’s keep going:
Morrissey said he didn’t find out he had won re-election until after he had returned to jail Tuesday night. Morrissey was convicted last month of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Prosecutors accused him of having sex with a 17-year-old girl who worked for him. Morrissey and the teenager, now 18 and pregnant, have denied it.
Prosecutors said nude photos of the 17-year-old were found on Morrissey’s cellphone and allegedly shared with a friend. Morrissey, a bachelor who has fathered three children out of wedlock with three different women, has denied wrongdoing but entered the misdemeanor plea to avoid felony charges punishable by years in prison and automatic loss of his legislative position.
OK, now we know the crime for which Morrissey was convicted. He’s a sexual deviant who has a thing for underage girls. For whatever reason, it appears that he was allowed to cop a plea to a lesser charge to avoid a more severe sentence which would end his legislative career. But still, no mention of his party. Do you have any guesses? Let’s pick up at paragraph seven of the story:
An attorney, Morrissey has a history of fistfights, contempt of court citations and disbarment. He announced he was resigning his seat in December after his conviction, but promptly began running for his old seat as an independent after he said Democrats blocked him from the party nominating process.
Woah! Major clue here! The Democrats have blocked him from the party nominating process. That means he’s a Democrat, right? The version of the story that appeared in my local newspaper ended right here at paragraph seven. Do you suppose that the reporters might have given consideration to the fact that many newspapers wouldn’t make it even that far? Great work, Alan Suderman and Larry O’Dell of the AP. You kept us in suspense all the way until the latter part of the article, and unless we already know how this game generally plays out, we might still be wondering.