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#1 Aug 18 2014 at 5:01 PM Rating: Default
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So Ars has this story about an indictment in Chicago.

Short version, company that does red light cameras got contract my giving away a condo and and a higher level mercedes. There is no outrage, but there is curiosity. Just how big are those contracts if a condo and a car are the cost of doing business in Chicago?

I personally see it as part of the fun we will enjoy in the pre-election by the end of this year.

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#2 Aug 18 2014 at 5:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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Was this news? Even the Ars story links to a 2013 story about the hinky camera deal. Edit: I suppose the indictment is news. The fact that the contract was shady from the start surprises no one except maybe a remote Laplander herdsman some place.

The red light cameras were a Daley-era thing so I don't see it playing too much into the election unless it's promises to do away with them or something.

Edited, Aug 18th 2014 6:51pm by Jophiel
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#3 Aug 18 2014 at 5:59 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
Was this news? Even the Ars story links to a 2013 story about the hinky camera deal. Edit: I suppose the indictment is news. The fact that the contract was shady from the start surprises no one except maybe a remote Laplander herdsman some place.

The red light cameras were a Daley-era thing so I don't see it playing too much into the election unless it's promises to do away with them or something.

Edited, Aug 18th 2014 6:51pm by Jophiel


I would prolly vote for someone who promises that.
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#4 Aug 18 2014 at 6:10 PM Rating: Decent
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The fact that the contract was shady from the start surprises no one except maybe a remote Laplander herdsman some place.

Is Quinn in jail yet? Wait, it's too early for that, right? Third year of the second term?
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#5 Aug 18 2014 at 6:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, he started by finishing Blagojevich's term so the calendar is all thrown off.

He'll lose re-election this November which I'm not thrilled about but he doesn't deserve re-election either. He's been a pretty unimpressive governor. People from outside the state keep trying to make this sound like a Really Big Deal but it's not. The guy before Blagojevich was a Republican, half the governors in my lifetime have been Republicans and the state legislature will remain firmly Democratic (perhaps even still supermajorities) regardless. Still, "something something Obama something something Republican governor!"
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#6 Aug 18 2014 at 7:24 PM Rating: Excellent
I'm sure Gbaji can tell us what it means
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#7 Aug 18 2014 at 7:32 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
The red light cameras were a Daley-era thing so I don't see it playing too much into the election unless it's promises to do away with them or something.

There was a big front-page investigation in the Trib a few weeks ago that showed several unusual, unexplainable spike in tickets issued from red light cameras on seemingly random days. It caused enough of a stink that Rahm announced that drivers issued tickets on those days could appeal them.
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#8 Aug 19 2014 at 7:52 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Still, "something something Obama something something Republican governor!"
Thanks Obama.
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#9 Aug 19 2014 at 7:55 AM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
The red light cameras were a Daley-era thing so I don't see it playing too much into the election unless it's promises to do away with them or something.

There was a big front-page investigation in the Trib a few weeks ago that showed several unusual, unexplainable spike in tickets issued from red light cameras on seemingly random days. It caused enough of a stink that Rahm announced that drivers issued tickets on those days could appeal them.

An appeal means having to go to court doesn't it.

Doesn't sound like much of a peace-offering. Now if lunch with Rahm was thrown into the deal if you show up for court to appeal your ticket. That would be fun.
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#10 Aug 19 2014 at 8:23 AM Rating: Excellent
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I think they have an automated type process. You request a review of your ticket and someone goes over the video footage to see if it was legitimate and lets you know. I imagine you could appeal past that but couldn't say for sure since I don't have a ticket so I haven't been following along too closely.
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#11 Aug 19 2014 at 9:23 AM Rating: Excellent
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So, while we're on the subject of governors and indictments and all that noise, what about Rick Perry?

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#12 Aug 19 2014 at 9:27 AM Rating: Good
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I think things are not going to go so well for this county DA that brought the suit against Perry.





Edited, Aug 19th 2014 5:29pm by Elinda
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#13 Aug 19 2014 at 9:33 AM Rating: Good
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Cursory search shows the drunk driver should have stepped down. Not sure the extent of the money being withheld and not interested enough to search deeper.
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#14 Aug 19 2014 at 9:37 AM Rating: Good
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Cursory search shows the drunk driver should have stepped down. Not sure the extent of the money being withheld and not interested enough to search deeper.

The drunken DA probably should have stepped down but who knows what she's got going on. That in itself doesn't justify Perry withholding money from the agency. I don't think there are any charges of mismanagement of the agency or misuse of the monies.

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#15 Aug 19 2014 at 10:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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There have allegedly been two other DAs in Texas who were arrested for drunk driving in Perry's tenure, neither of whom was pressured to step down.

This particular DA was looking into some allegations of mismanagement (crony type stuff) of funds earmarked for charity and business development. Plus, you know, Democrat.

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#16 Aug 19 2014 at 11:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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Whether or not the DA "should" have stepped down, that doesn't by itself legitimize the tactics Perry used (they might BE legit but not because she was arrested fr a DUI). Sort of like Palin and Troopergate -- the guy in question might have been a dick but Palin still stepped outside the lines in her attempt to punish him.

But no analysis I've read of the indictments seems especially optimistic of the its chances in court.
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#17 Aug 19 2014 at 12:02 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Whether or not the DA "should" have stepped down, that doesn't by itself legitimize the tactics Perry used
I really can't say I care much either way as far as that, I'm just not particularly fond of drunk drivers. I mean, she got 45 days and 180 day suspended license so that's pretty harsh for a first time offense I guess, assuming she spends the whole time locked up.

Just on that, if I were in charge I'd pressure her (and the other two) to step down as well. I don't think I'd go quite as far as what appear to be sanctions, but I certainly would still make it my business to get them out.
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#18 Aug 19 2014 at 12:25 PM Rating: Decent
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He'll lose re-election this November

I really don't think he will, actually. This is one of the most interesting races this year as far as polling modeling goes and I think the commonly used turnout assumptions are wrong. We'll see, I suppose.
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#19 Aug 19 2014 at 12:29 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Whether or not the DA "should" have stepped down, that doesn't by itself legitimize the tactics Perry used
I really can't say I care much either way as far as that, I'm just not particularly fond of drunk drivers. I mean, she got 45 days and 180 day suspended license so that's pretty harsh for a first time offense I guess, assuming she spends the whole time locked up.
She did do jail time.

Quote:
Just on that, if I were in charge I'd pressure her (and the other two) to step down as well. I don't think I'd go quite as far as what appear to be sanctions, but I certainly would still make it my business to get them out.
Human Resources would pressure you to pressure them into getting help....and to work with her while she's getting help. But that's just HR.

Perry wanted her out. It doesn't seem like any big secret that he wanted this oversight agency gone or at least have it's power reigned in.

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#20 Aug 19 2014 at 12:32 PM Rating: Good
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He'll lose re-election this November

I think this is going to boost Perry in the polls.

This will be seen as a frivolous vindictive lawsuit that is wasting tax-payer money.

edit - haha different gov.

Is Perry even running again or is he second term??

Edited, Aug 19th 2014 8:38pm by Elinda
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#21 Aug 19 2014 at 12:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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Perry isn't running. I think he's term limited. He'll probably run again in 2016 for president though.

I haven't seen any polling indications that Quinn has a chance but, worst case scenario, I'm wrong about the election and he wins. I can live with that.
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#22 Aug 19 2014 at 1:02 PM Rating: Good
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Things are looking grim for the gov election here. The Independent candidate that was a three-way spoiler in the last gubernatorial election had been polling pretty consistently below 15% but. This week he got the endorsement of Angus King our well-loved independent US Senator. I would surmise that any gains he sees from this endorsement will come from the liberal side of things.

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#23 Aug 19 2014 at 2:10 PM Rating: Decent
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Things are looking grim for the gov election here

Nah, it'll be fine. Michaud's going to win by 10 points.
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#24 Aug 19 2014 at 5:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
It doesn't seem like any big secret that he wanted this oversight agency gone or at least have it's power reigned in.


Are you saying he would have wanted this even if the DA hadn't been arrested for drunk driving?
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#25 Aug 19 2014 at 8:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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It was a politically opportunist move, for sure.
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#26 Aug 20 2014 at 12:26 AM Rating: Good
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When this story originally broke, based on the limited information I had, I thought it seemed fair for Rick Perry to take the action he did. Or at least it didn't seem criminal or anything.

But the grand jury got a lot more information than I did, and apparently at least 2/3 (or 3/4?) of them saw fit to indict.

I will say, that I don't like the idea of using the criminal justice system if an abuse of power issue can be reasonably rectified. That is, if they find that Perry can't do this, then they could just force him to release the funding, rather than remove him from office and/or throw him in jail. Like how Obama can't use the recess appointments anymore, but he isn't charged with anything - it was just a legal interpretation disagreement. What if his legal counsel said he could do this? Or what about a hypothetical scenario where they'd run it past the Texas supreme court first, so he wouldn't have to risk his governership by doing it? Although I suppose there's also an argument that Rick Perry's CYA-ness in this case carried it past "legal interpretation disagreement" and into actual abuse of power.
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#27 Aug 20 2014 at 3:13 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Elinda wrote:
It doesn't seem like any big secret that he wanted this oversight agency gone or at least have it's power reigned in.


Are you saying he would have wanted this even if the DA hadn't been arrested for drunk driving?
i'm saying what it says. Interpret at will.


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#28 Aug 20 2014 at 5:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
That is, if they find that Perry can't do this, then they could just force him to release the funding, rather than remove him from office and/or throw him in jail.


The abuse of power, in this instance, was his trying to force a resignation by withholding funds already allocated. "Step down and let me replace you, or your department has no budget."

At least that's the undoubtedly biased interpretation I've heard.
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#29 Aug 20 2014 at 7:24 AM Rating: Good
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At least that's the undoubtedly biased interpretation I've heard.
No good guys scenarios are always fun.
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#30 Aug 20 2014 at 1:25 PM Rating: Good
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It's also kind of eyebrow raising to attempt to defund a department whose stated purpose is investigating corruption, for any reason. Surely the department doesn't have a huge enough budget to warrant cuts for deficit relief purposes.
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#31 Aug 20 2014 at 2:36 PM Rating: Decent
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The abuse of power

Let's not get silly. The Governor of Texas has virtually no power. Probably the weakest seat in the nation in those terms.
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#32 Aug 20 2014 at 3:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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Veto is veto is veto, Vito.
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Veto is veto is veto, Vito.

We have clearance, Clarence.

Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?


50 Ways to Leave Your... Governor?
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#35 Aug 20 2014 at 4:55 PM Rating: Decent
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Samira wrote:
Quote:
That is, if they find that Perry can't do this, then they could just force him to release the funding, rather than remove him from office and/or throw him in jail.


The abuse of power, in this instance, was his trying to force a resignation by withholding funds already allocated. "Step down and let me replace you, or your department has no budget."


It's not a misuse of power, except by an impossibly broad interpretation of the term. He has the legal authority to line item veto funding. It's not misuse for him to use power he is granted. He isn't required to have any reason at all to do this. It's purely a political decision, just like politicians make all the time. Additionally, the thing he was requesting (her resignation) is not outside the scope of governance. If he demanded that she give him a blow job, or pay him money under threat of defunding the PIU, it would be a much stronger case. But IMO, it's a purely political decision to decide not to fund a program run by someone who was just convicted of a DUI.

Making that sort of decision is implicit in the line item veto power he possess. Obviously, if there's more to this than just saying "I'm not funding this department as long as she's running it", then my opinion may change. But if that's the sole cause for the indictment, then this looks completely political. To me, using the legal system to attack politicians who do things you don't like is far far far more of a concern than using the power granted to you by the voters to do the same. If this is the standard for abuse of power, then you could argue for this anytime any politician makes a decision to support or oppose something for political reasons. And this happens all the time. Legislators agree to support bills (or oppose them) in return for support for other bills. It's done all the time. How on earth can that result in criminal charges?

Quote:
At least that's the undoubtedly biased interpretation I've heard.


I think that's an accurate interpretation. It's just a bizarre use of the indictment process to basically influence a political decision. The point I was angling towards earlier was that if Perry was free to defund this agency in the absence of a drunk driving conviction on the person running it, then we're presented with the bizarre concept that the way to prevent the governor from defunding your department is to do something that would result in calls for your resignation. Um... Which is ridiculous.

Edited, Aug 20th 2014 3:56pm by gbaji
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#36 Aug 20 2014 at 6:28 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
To me, using the legal system to attack politicians who do things you don't like is far far far more of a concern than using the power granted to you by the voters to do the same.


I think this is a perfect use of the justice system, for dispute resolution over an injustice, real or imagined. It's all about Checks and Balances, right?
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#37 Aug 20 2014 at 6:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
To me, using the legal system to attack politicians who do things you don't like is far far far more of a concern than using the power granted to you by the voters to do the same.

The point of the legal system is to determine if there's been wrong doing. A grand jury thought there was enough of a case here to proceed. Now, it might fizzle out from there but you can't frame this as "some guy just decided he didn't like Perry and is using the legal system, oh no!".

That said, your statement gave me the giggles since the GOP is busy trying to use the legal system to attack a president they don't like rather than using their actual Congressional powers of impeachment if they thought there was a real issue and weren't just playing politics Smiley: laugh

Oh, go ahead now with your million reasons why that case is so legitimate, yadda yadda...
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#38 Aug 20 2014 at 6:42 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
To me, using the legal system to attack politicians who do things you don't like is far far far more of a concern than using the power granted to you by the voters to do the same.

What Stupidmonkey said


FTFY Smiley: lol
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#39 Aug 21 2014 at 7:02 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
To me, using the legal system to attack politicians who do things you don't like is far far far more of a concern than using the power granted to you by the voters to do the same.
Weird, you've been awful quiet about Boehner doing just that.
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#40 Aug 21 2014 at 10:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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This thread is kinda-sorta electiony enough.

Electoral-Vote.com is back up and tracking the Senate races. I always enjoy his analysis but he goes "dark" between seasons and never promises to come back so thought I'd give a heads yp in case anyone else used to read him.
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#41 Aug 21 2014 at 11:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yay! And since this seems to be our purely political thread du jour, I'll just leave this here as well:



Edited to add: obviously, the big gaffe was implying that Jeebus wrote the Constitution. However I'm interested in what happened in 1884 that ruined America.

The only thing that stands out is the creation of the 8-hour workday as a standard, which I guess was a step toward our current rampant socialism?


Edited, Aug 21st 2014 10:10am by Samira
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#42 Aug 21 2014 at 11:13 AM Rating: Good
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Maybe he means Harry Truman's birth?

Considering there are people that actively believe Jesus was resurrected in America, I'm not at all surprised, shocked, or emotioned in any way that there are people that would believe a religious figurehead wrote the Constitution. Also, not emotioned in any way when people treat the writers of said Constitution as religious figureheads.

Edited, Aug 21st 2014 1:35pm by lolgaxe
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#43 Aug 21 2014 at 11:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
This thread is kinda-sorta electiony enough.

Electoral-Vote.com is back up and tracking the Senate races. I always enjoy his analysis but he goes "dark" between seasons and never promises to come back so thought I'd give a heads yp in case anyone else used to read him.


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The conclusion is that some people do not believe in Rasmussen's polls any more. For these people, we have produced this page, which is generated exactly the same way as the main page and the Senate page, except that first all the Rasmussen polls are temporarily removed from the database.


Smiley: yippee
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#44 Aug 21 2014 at 1:25 PM Rating: Decent
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I had actually forgotten there even was a Senate race here in 2014. Looking at the GOP candidates, Markey may as well be running unopposed.
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Smiley: yippee

Scott Rasmussen is a terrible enough pollster that he managed to get himself fired from Rasmussen Reports. That takes a special kind of terrible.
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#46 Aug 22 2014 at 3:14 AM Rating: Good
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Yuck, looks like 4 more years of quagmire.
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#47 Aug 22 2014 at 8:09 AM Rating: Decent
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Giggity!
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#49 Aug 26 2014 at 8:03 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
To me, using the legal system to attack politicians who do things you don't like is far far far more of a concern than using the power granted to you by the voters to do the same.

The point of the legal system is to determine if there's been wrong doing.


Sure. But when the purpose of doing so is simply to get the indictment, knowing that this will by itself have political ramifications, it's an abuse of said legal system. It's become one of the dirty tricks that the Left uses when it knows it can't win political power fairly.

Quote:
A grand jury thought there was enough of a case here to proceed.


Sure. Which increasingly just means that 9 out of 12 people with limited legal knowledge and presented with only one side of the case decided that the case met the minimum requirements to possibly be true. Grand Juries are basically indictment machines. It's very rare for them to not indict, so it really reflects whether the case was brought to the jury in the first place, not whether there's sufficient evidence to actually hold a trial (which an arraignment process is much much much much much (times like 10000 more muches) better at accomplishing.

Quote:
Now, it might fizzle out from there but you can't frame this as "some guy just decided he didn't like Perry and is using the legal system, oh no!".


Except that's more or less exactly what happened. The "some guy" is a member of the group "Texans for Public Justice" named Craig McDonald. While the group claims to be non-partisan (hahaha! Yeah), they're basically a front group funded by far left political organizations specifically to file legal charges against political enemies (which is mostly Republicans, but the occasional Democrat who's not liberal enough apparently qualifies).

Now, I'm not sure how the grand jury process works in Texas and what levels of decision making occurs between someone like McDonald filing the criminal compliant and a grand jury looking at the evidence and deciding whether to indict, but from the admittedly surface level research I've done, it looks fairly automatic. If someone takes the time and trouble to properly file a criminal complaint, it ends out in front of a grand jury. Which means that all you really need for an indictment is a politician doing something that can be made to appear like it might be illegal to someone who isn't very knowledgeable of the law (well, 9 out of 12 someones) and taking the time/money to file the complaint.

Quote:
That said, your statement gave me the giggles since the GOP is busy trying to use the legal system to attack a president they don't like rather than using their actual Congressional powers of impeachment if they thought there was a real issue and weren't just playing politics Smiley: laugh


I used a broad term, but I was speaking about the criminal justice system, specifically using grand juries to indict political enemies. Which appears to be an increasingly popular tactic being used by an ever more desperate political Left.

Quote:
Oh, go ahead now with your million reasons why that case is so legitimate, yadda yadda...


Which case, exactly? You mean the lawsuit over Obama's executive overreaches? You do understand that lawsuits are how the courts are brought in on such things, right? And that congress (or individual members of congress) can properly sue in cases where another branch of government does something in violation of constitutional rules and/or separation of powers and are arguably the only ones who can. Didn't the Supreme Court just rule against Obama on the issue of recess appointments? Who do you suppose brought that lawsuit? Oh wait! It was Congress. Because that is precisely the correct legal process to use in those types of situations.


Comparing this to our massively broken grand jury process is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

Edited, Aug 26th 2014 7:06pm by gbaji
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#50 Aug 26 2014 at 10:39 PM Rating: Excellent
Liberal Conspiracy
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
The point of the legal system is to determine if there's been wrong doing.
Sure. But when the purpose of doing so is simply to get the indictment, knowing that this will by itself have political ramifications, it's an abuse of said legal system.
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Oh, go ahead now with your million reasons why that case is so legitimate, yadda yadda...
Which case, exactly? You mean the lawsuit over Obama's executive overreaches? You do understand that lawsuits are how the courts are brought in on such things, right?

Smiley: laugh Smiley: facepalm
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Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#51 Aug 27 2014 at 7:13 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Which increasingly just means that 9 out of 12 people with limited legal knowledge
Nine out of twelve people have a different opinion than you, so that means you understand their job better than they do.
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