Sunday, January 29, 2012

Star Discusses Charlie White Case Without Discussing The Law And How It Has Been Applied Differently To Other Politicians

The Star's Carrie Ritchie has a story this morning telling you a lot about who Charlie White is, the fact that he is facing trial on seven criminal charges arising out of an allegation that he improperly voted at his ex-wife's home for a very brief period of time and that he steadfastly maintains his innocence, but it is devoid of any discussion of the law that would provide any perspective to the newspaper's readers of the oddity of his predicament and why he is justified in believing he is innocent. That would have required a discussion of multiple other prominent Indiana politicians who have and are committing far worse transgressions, if they are to be described that way, than Charlie White is accused of doing.

Sen. Mike Delph and Fishers Town Council President Scott Fautless, to their credit, stood up for White in the story unlike numerous other hypocritical politicians like Gov. Mitch Daniels, who have called for his resignation. Yet Ritchie's story chose not to include the explanation for why Delph believes White is innocent of the charges because that would have meant discussing what other politicians do that is no different than what White did. The close as she comes to addressing the legal issue is a mention by Fautless that White didn't commit theft by drawing a Fishers Town Council salary because he was a "de facto" member of the Town Council who continued to serve his council duties, even if he lived outside his district for a period of a few months.

Many municipalities have local ordinances, for example, requiring their employees to live within the city. An employee discovered to be living outside the city is forced to give up his or her job. No employee has ever been charged with theft for drawing a salary for a job they were performing. Former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Patrice Abduallah used an abandoned home as his registered voting address instead of the address he actually lived outside the district for nearly four years. He was permitted to resign, never repaid any of his salary and faced no criminal charges for his actions.

The fact remains that after a full blown hearing, a bipartisan Recount Commission unanimously concluded White was legally registered to vote at the time of his nomination as secretary of state and, therefore, was eligible to hold the office to which he was elected. The media reacted with scorn to the decision because it was not the outcome they wanted. They reacted with triumph when Marion Co. Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg, a Democrat whose daughter had first made the public case for White's removal from office, when he reversed the Commission's ruling by ignoring decades-old case law on White's side, including the most notable case brought against former Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh. The Star has never bothered to discuss the large holes in Rosenberg's ruling that will likely be overturned by the state's Supreme Court.

I have examined each of the criminal charges brought against White. The grand jury which brought those charges was either totally ignorant of the law or under a complete misapprehension of the law because of misinformation provided to them by an out-of-control special prosecutor determined to bilk the case for all its worth at taxpayers' expense (I believe the latter to be the case). As White pointed out, one of the special prosecutors, Dan Sigler, did the exact same thing as he accused White of doing. In fact, he stopped his work during the middle of the grand jury proceedings to run back home and change his voter registration when it dawned on him that he was asking the grand jury to indict White for the exact same thing he was doing at that very moment--voting at a place other than the place he should have been voting. The media scoffed at White's suggestion that Sigler had violated the law, and the Allen Co. prosecutor refused to investigate the allegations. The media has similarly dismissed allegations White has made against others, including Gov. Mitch Daniels and Sen. Richard Lugar. Daniels lives in a new home that he built in Carmel after being elected as governor, but he is registered to vote at the governor's residence in Indianapolis. Sen. Lugar sold his home in Indianapolis more than 35 years ago but has continued to vote at that same home since despite neither having an ownership nor a possessory interest in it. One of his aides matter-of-factly acknowledged that he stays in hotels when he visits Indiana.

The conspiracy of silence among the media in this state about the total unfairness in the way White has been singled out and turned into a pariah is the real troubling aspect of this story. Nothing surprises me much these days. A court hearing was held in Georgia this past week where unequivocal evidence was offered to the court proving that Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen and that he is holding office in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Even worse, there was compelling evidence proffered to the court that he was using a dead person's social security number and that he has presented to the public as a an authentic birth certificate one that a number of document experts have concluded is a bad forgery. The national news media completely ignored the hearing or only derisively mentioned it as another "birther" lawsuit. It's sometimes hard to believe this is the United States of America.

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