Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Sleep Well, Bob Ney

Tom Noe Wants to Change His Plea

A major GOP fundraiser charged in a scandal over a state rare-coin investment asked to change his not guilty pleas Wednesday on separate federal charges that he illegally funneled donations to President Bush's re-election campaign.... The filing did not indicate what the new plea will be. [...] If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison on each of three counts and a combined maximum of $950,000 in fines. Those penalties could increase if Noe is found to have used money from the state coin fund to make the campaign donations.
My immediate reaction is that he's decided a plea deal sounds better than five years in the slammer. My second reaction is to wonder whether it's too late for Bob Ney to be replaced on the ballot. Does Jebus love us enough for Noe to take down the entire Ohio GOP with him?
The third question is whether Bob Ney's district cares that they're electing a criminal. Tom DeLay's didn't.

We're talking real pathology here, MEC.
It won't do them any good to vote for him if he has to resign because he's been convicted on corruption charges. (Cf. Traficant, Jim.)
Well, the Ohio congressional primary was May 3. Don't know if he can be easily (or at all) replaced on the ballot.
There is historical precedent for a congressman to serve from jail. Thom Hartmann tells the tale of the Adams presidency brilliantly, with this vignette:

Even members of Congress were not legally immune from the long arm of Adams' Alien and Sedition Acts. When Congressman Lyon - already hated by the Federalists for his opposition to the law, and recently caned in Congress by Federalist Roger Griswold - wrote an article pointing out Adams' "continual grasp for power" and suggesting that Adams had an "unbounded thirst for ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice," Federalists convened a federal grand jury and indicted Congressman Lyon for bringing "the President and government of the United States into contempt."

Lyon, who had served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, was led through the town of Vergennes, Vermont in shackles. He ran for re-election from his 12x16-foot Vergennes jail cell and handily won his seat.

As we know, history occurs the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. So, Ney would fit right in. They could even give him a little electronic voting device to match his ankle bracelet.
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