One would think that the newly-appointed spokesman for U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett would know that as an employee of the state's top federal prosecutor he no longer wears his partisan hat that he wore for years as a paid staffer for the Indiana Democratic Party and as the publisher of the Blue Indiana blog. Nonetheless, Thomas Cook reacted on his Twitter account to a South Bend Tribune/Howey Politics investigative story over the weekend that uncovered credible evidence that 2008 primary ballot petitions filed by the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for Indiana's Second congressional district were filled with forged signatures with snarky and derisive comments. Cook poked fun at the young reporter for Howey Politics who contributed to the report, Ryan Nees, and deadpanned the lack of credit attributed to him for his role in the McCain petition complaint:
I'm inclined to think the Ryan Nees brand of high school journalism was cuter when he was, you know, in high school . . .You can bet if a Republican appointee in a U.S. Attorney's Office was caught making light of possible felonies committed by a Republican presidential campaign operative there would be immediate calls throughout the Omedia and Democratic blogs for his immediate firing. As we've come to understand, the rule of law only matters when it's somebody on the Right who is supposedly not following it. The Democrats don't even have to fear a simple press release from the Indiana Republican Party calling for an investigation, notwithstanding the Indiana Democratic Party's persistent antics over the past year to make Charlie White out to be a common felon unfit to hold public office and their tormenting of John McCain's presidential campaign in Indiana in 2008 when Cook filed a frivolous complaint to try to keep him off the ballot. It's funny how much ado the mainstream media in this state will make over such trivial matters and, yet, there is dead silence from the rest of the media on this story. The AP wire service picked up a story about Notre Dame switching from sheepskin diplomas but ignored this story. Great.
Among numerous factual inaccuracies, how come I didn't get a name drop for the McCain ballot snafu?
UPDATE: Perhaps my post shamed the Indiana Republican Party into responding to the South Bend Tribune/Howey Politics investigative report on the petition forging scandal involving the 2008 Obama and Clinton campaigns in Indiana. Late today, State GOP Chairman Eric Holcomb told the Star that he'll ask the Justice Department to open an investigation. I would prefer a state special prosecutor made of of one Republican and one Democrat--you know, the same treatment Charlie White got. The Star's Jon Murray reports on the Star blog, Deep Fried Politics:
Today brings a reaction from the Indiana Republican Party. Chairman Eric Holcomb says he’ll ask the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation. In a prepared statement, Holcomb says: “The integrity of every election is of the utmost importance. Hoosiers deserve the peace of mind knowing their votes were counted and their elections conducted in a free and fair way. This weekend’s disturbing news that perhaps hundreds of ballot access petition signatures submitted by the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are fraudulent raises real questions about the integrity of our process and whether or not those individuals should have been on the primary ballot in the first place.”
Holcomb adds: “How deep does this problem go? Is it isolated to St. Joseph County or was it a broader, coordinated effort across the state?”
He also connects the story to the Indiana GOP’s push for a voter ID law a few years ago, saying this allegation in St. Joseph County is a reminder of the need for voting protections.Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker's response to the call for a criminal investigation is essentially that we didn't get caught in the act in 2008 so nothing should come of it regardless of how many crimes were broken, and if there is an investigation, John McCain's campaign should be investigated a second time after being investigated in 2008 as a result of a complaint filed by its PR fack, Thomas Cook.
The only candidate whose ballot access was challenged in 2008 was John McCain [the Republican candidate], who received a formal complaint about his filed petitions. The process was done in accordance with Indiana Election code. If the Republicans want to condemn this process, they’re condemning their own Republican county election board representative, who certified every single one of those signatures before they were sent to the Secretary of State. Both Democratic presidential campaigns had enough signatures to be on the primary ballot well in advance of the filing deadline WITH OR WITHOUT these signatures.
We fully support the current investigation of the activity that led to these alleged signatures, but we would urge Indiana Republicans to remember that this process is bi-partisan in each Indiana county, and there should be a full accounting of all signatures in 2008 filed by all candidates – Democratic and Republican.