Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Will Rove Serve Hard Time Or Get Off As Easy As Mike Carona?


"America's Sheriff," Mike Carona, was once the crown prince of the California Republican Party and the undisputed heir apparent of Arnold Schwarzenegger-- but that was when Republicans wanted to amend the Constitution so the son of a Nazi Hauptfeldwebel in the German (not Austrian) Feldgendarmerie could become president of the United States. And it was long before Carona, then the disgraced Orange County Sheriff, was sentenced to 5 years in prison on-- what else?-- corruption charges.

Yesterday Carona was finally locked up in checked into Club Fed, a cushy, low security correctional institution in Englewood, a Denver suburb, primarily reserved for white white color criminals. Because he formerly worked as a sheriff, albeit a notoriously crooked one, it is feared that he would be a target if he were sent to a real prison with... you know... real criminals (like himself).
Contact with the outside world will be monitored. His incoming mail will be opened and inspected.

Carona will also be limited to 300 minutes of telephone time a month, which will be restricted to a list of 30 people that must be submitted during his first week.

Inmates are restricted, but have more freedom and perks than federal inmates in higher security compounds.
In fact in a 2006 article, Forbes Magazine named Englewood among the "Best places to go to prison."

Among the perks: pool table, ping-pong and foosball.

During his first week at the prison, Carona will also meet with his unit team, which includes a unit manager, case manager, education representative and counselor. The team is responsible for his rehabilitation, custody changes, and assigning work detail inside the 40-acre facility.

"There are numerous job assignments to meet the needs of the institution and provide an opportunity for you to learn employable skills and positive work habits," reads the inmate manual.

Most work hours for inmates are from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., but other services are available at the Littleton prison to fill in the gaps of the day, including religious activities, psychological services, libraries, a recreational yard, gymnasium, weight room, hobby shop, music room, a wellness center, and library.

The handbook also mentions an arts and crafts program that includes work on leather, fine arts, macramé, pottery and ceramics.

I sure hope Karl Rove doesn't wind up in Englewood. I watch Lock Up Raw and I know where I'd like to see him. Or any of these places. But why should justice finally catch up with Rove? Eric Lipton answered that in Monday's NY Times:
The Bush White House, particularly before the 2006 midterm elections, routinely violated a federal law that prohibits use of federal tax dollars to pay for political activities by creating a “political boiler room” that coordinated Republican campaign activities nationwide, a report issued Monday by an independent federal agency concludes.

The report by the Office of Special Counsel finds that the Bush administration’s Office of Political Affairs-- overseen by Karl Rove-- served almost as an extension of the Republican National Committee, developing a “target list” of Congressional races, organizing dozens of briefings for political appointees to press them to work for party candidates, and sending cabinet officials out to help these campaigns.

The report, based on about 100,000 pages of documents and interviews with 80 Bush administration officials in an investigation of more than three years, documented how these political activities accelerated before the 2006 midterm elections.

This included helping coordinate fund-raising by Republican candidates and pressing Bush administration political appointees to help with Republican voter-turnout pitches, particularly in the 72 hours leading up to the election when Democrats took control of the House and Senate for the first time in a dozen years.

The Office of Special Counsel, a relatively obscure federal agency, is charged with enforcing the Hatch Act, a 1939 law that prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity. Certain members of the White House political staff-- including the top aides at the Office of Political Affairs-- are exempt, as are the president, vice president and members of the cabinet. But the law still prohibits the use of federal money, even by these officials, to support political causes.

The report found that during the Bush administration, senior staff members at the Office of Political Affairs violated the Hatch Act by organizing 75 political briefings from 2001 to 2007 for Republican appointees at top federal agencies in an effort to enlist them to help Republicans get elected to Congress.

Mr. Rove and Ken Mehlman, who was the director of the office until the end of 2003, did not respond Monday to requests for comment.

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At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Bob Hopeless said...

Well, that certainly explains why Rove should face charges. But WHY would Rove ever face charges? The very idea implies that someone (who could actually make it happen) would perceive that he should pay consequences for breaking the law, and how likely is that?


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