Friday, November 13, 2009

Where Do They Get These "People"? Another Republican Party Sociopath Behind Bars


Hardly a day, no, make that a minute, goes by when we don’t hear about some new walking, breathing human atrocity in a suit stepping forth from the corporate or political world to exhibit their own, personalized brand of bizarritude. We’ve gone beyond being a tabloid universe. Now, I won’t say that ALL of these wackadoodles are republicans. It just seems that, true to their greedy approach to life, the republicans have amassed the vast majority of them, and, with the Repugs, so much of the insanity seems to revolve around someone’s unresolved sexual issues. Where do they get these crazies? What is it with the republicans and sex? The Great Republican Circus needs a big tent, just to house all the goofballs and the criminally insane.
Now, from the part of the country that brought us Larry “Wide Stance” Craig, Aryan Supremacist compounds, Bigfoot, and Christian Mass murderers comes… Condom Dude! Forget Senator Craig and his fabulous exhibition of closed space tap-dancing. Forget Rep. Gohmert equating being gay to beastiality. Forget Senator Vitters and his diaper-modeling gig. Here’s the latest from the Republican sideshow, as reported in the Idaho Statesman:
Blake Hall, a leading figure in Idaho and national politics for 25 years, was fired Monday as a deputy prosecuting attorney in eastern Idaho and has resigned from the Republican National Committee. Hall, a former member of the state Board of Education, pleaded guilty Friday to stalking a former girlfriend and is serving a 15-day jail sentence. He also was sentenced to a year of supervised probation. A six-month jail sentence was suspended.

Yep, he’s an attorney! It was just stalking, you say? Hey, everyone does that, don’t they? Or, maybe you know someone or have a relative who stalks? But wait... there’s more!
Idaho Falls police reported that witnesses said Hall disposed of used condoms on the lawn of the woman's house. Nineteen condoms were turned over to police, collected on 10 different dates, according to a police report. Both Hall and his lawyer acknowledged the condoms belonged to him, according to a police report.

Apparently, no additional info was offered by the police as to what brand or kind (Ribbed? Glow in the dark?) of condoms were found but, perhaps, that’s in the court transcript. I’m more worried about the feelings of the girl who, maybe, only merited one condom, but, hey, maybe, one merited three! Of course, there are all manner of ways that 19 condoms on 10 different occasions could be divided up. Dare we ask if sheep are involved? Anyway, this is quite a case of an animal marking territory if there ever was one. Does this guy know what they do to cats who spray?

The story goes on to reveal the more “normal” stalking acts involved in the case, like following his ex into restaurants, theaters, ignoring requests to be left alone, etc., even after the ex married another guy.
Bonneville County Prosecutor Dane Watkins Jr. told the Idaho Statesman on Monday that he met with Hall for about an hour at the jail Monday and fired him as the county's chief civil attorney.” [Makes sense to me!] "The bottom line is he just couldn't work for the county, representing the county's interests, when he was being supervised on a criminal conviction," Watkins told the Idaho Statesman. ‘He was a member of the prosecutor's office, and every day we make decisions that relate to this very thing. I just didn't think it was appropriate to preserve that relationship." [No shit, Sherlock! Genius! A master of understatement! Could have brought new meaning to the term ‘jailhouse lawyer’!]

Then, the story takes another sideways turn into a justice twilight zone, perhaps showing that it ain’t what you do, it’s who you know. It started when fellow Republican Watkins only put Hall on paid administrative leave back in September after the local judge banged his little gavel and issued an order that prohibited Hall from contacting the ex. OK. I know. It’s a grey area of legalese. I guess the order should have specified something about hurling loaded condoms over the fence and whatever else happens to be local custom upon a breakup. It gets better (in the heartland of Republican America):
But Hall, 56, will keep his $31,000-a-year job as the civil attorney in nearby Fremont County, according to Prosecutor Joette Lookabaugh [no crude jokes, please], a Republican who hired Hall in January. Lookabaugh said she told Hall he would keep his job "unless or until his ability to do an outstanding job for Fremont County citizens is compromised.

Jeez. Is Hall the best or only candidate for the job? Is there no one else, or is it that his actions are just looked upon as nothing disgusting or unusual? Is this considered “not so bad” in Idaho? Then Ms. Joette goes completely off the rails!
In a news release, Lookabaugh suggested Hall was singled out because of his notoriety. "I understand that political figures are held to a higher standard," she said. "What is disturbing is the fact that often people who have devoted their lives to public service are not given the same benefits, or are treated more harshly, than the public at large. There seems to be a certain amount of political glee in striking down the well-known for any real or perceived foible."

Hey, I’ll admit to a certain amount of glee, but, is this just about a foible? Hall’s actions, admitted actions, were just a foible? A mere personality quirk?! Hey, out here, we all do it? It’s just how we do the breakup thing out here? “Singled out because of his notoriety”? Musta been that damn liberal media, if Idaho has such a thing. State GOP Chairman Norm Semanko issued the following low key and to the point statement Monday: 
"Over the weekend, Blake Hall informed me that effective immediately he has resigned his position as National Committeeman of the Idaho Republican Party. Blake's successor will be chosen by the Idaho Republican State Central Committee. I am grateful for Blake's many years of service to the Republican Party and appreciate that he put the party first by submitting his resignation."

Blake Hall had been a member of the 148-member governing body since 1990. From 1985 to 1989, he was also the Idaho Republican Chairman. Earlier this year, he resigned as the national party's general counsel. He also recently resigned from the Board of Education, after nine years of service. My guess is that the local school board was not one of those that handed out condoms to the local teens. Hall began serving his lenient sentence Saturday, two days before he was required to report to the Bonneville County Jail by Sixth District Judge Don Harding. Said Hall’s attorney, David Leroy, a former Idaho attorney general, "In my opinion, he accepted this severe (!!!) penalty with extreme grace. He was calm and strong."

Judge Harding, saying that he had “never seen a stalking case this extensive where it lasted so long and was such an invasion of privacy," denied Hall's request for work release, a program that would have allowed Hall to spend nights in jail but be freed during the day to continue working, (or pursue other activities, no doubt). Special Prosecutor Jay Rosenthal said Monday that the sentence was appropriate. "I believe the judge recognized how invasive this defendant was in the life of this young lady," Rosenthal said. "He held her effectively prisoner in her own community, and he needed to know what it was like to not be free."

Bottom line: Fifteen days in jail and this wackjob will be out walking the streets again. We can only hope that nothing worse happens. We’ve all heard some horrible stalker stories if not ones that are so bizarre. To me, the question is; what’s the next step for this guy? No restraining order ever stopped anyone. I hate to think that, yet again, some day, a community will be saying “We should have known."

This is page 1 of Blake Hall's long record of political contributions-- thousands and thousands of dollars to extreme right freaks and organizations. Neeldess to say, he was funneling money to notorious characters and shady front groups from Helen Chenoweth to the Freedom Fund. (Click on the list to make it come alive; sorry, donations to Bush-Cheney are on page 2.)

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