Diary

Will the Real Mike Kernell Please Log On

I posted on the David Kernell as hacker story the day the news broke. I was clear we were dealing with allegations and not confirmations and, thus, have stayed out of ongoing coverage of the story to see how it developed.

Many stories dealt with the possible involvement of Kernell’s father, Tennessee Democratic House member, Mike Kernell. As Stacey Campfield, also a Tennessee House member, notes, Kernell is not responsible for his son’s actions. Thus, until the father gets tied to this in a meaningful way, he’s off limits.

Now that Gateway Pundit has reported the FBI is moving specifically to address the chance that David Kernell is the hacker, we can move on to discuss the story. It isn’t speculation or allegation any longer. And while there’s not much more to report on the story of the son’s involvement, the news cycle may have turned up something tying the father to the story in a meaningful way.

Sharon Cobb, a Leftosphere blogger I personally highly respect came to Mike Kernell’s defense. She wrote,

On a personal note, I need to say something about Mike Kernell. Rep. Kernell has more integrity than almost anyone I know. He doesn’t lie, cheat or steal, and helps people whenever he can.If David does turn out to be involved in hacking, Mike Kernell had nothing to do with it. Anyone who knows Kernell, knows he doesn’t even email because he hates computers and is computer illiterate. That’s the irony. Everyone who knows Mike is chuckling because he hates computers.There are very few people I would vouch for, but Mike Kernell is one of them, and if it turns out his son did something wrong, Mike had nothing to do with it. (Emphasis added)

However, today I backtracked a story at the Tennessee ConserVOLiance from Toni at Bear Creek Ledger which referenced Mike Kernell. Unrelated to allegations of hacking, ‘Rep Mike Kernell More Worried About Voting Machines than Dead People Voting’ disputed Sharon’s description of Mike Kernell.

Writing in the Technology section of the NYT in May of 2003, Sam Lubell covered Diebold’s voting machine woes in Memphis and Mike Kernell’s interest in them. Lubell describes Rep. Kernell differently.

Mike Kernell, a longtime Tennessee state assemblyman from Memphis and a technology enthusiast, is concerned about future elections because the new machines are harder to get a look at. (Emphasis added)

The NYT describes Rep. Kernell as a “technology enthusiast”. That would seem to make Mike Kernell a player technologically. Last week, a Tennessee blogger says everyone knows Kernell “hates computers and is computer illiterate.” That would seem to be a problem.

In the best case scenario, Democrats in Tennessee must repudiate one of the two sources of insight into Mike Kernell’s personality and maybe his character. The NYT and the folks Sharon Cobb says know Mike Kernell cannot both be right. Which brings up the worst case scenario. Given the urgency and import of Democrats maintaining a majority in the Tennessee House, how far would they go to prevent one of their own from being outed as involved in a crime for the next 45 days? They have no guarantee they will retain the House which means they can’t afford to let any race be uncontested for any reason.

That sounds like Means, Motive and Opportunity to cover up involvement Kernell the Elder may have in the allegations swirling around his son. It’s time to look at Mike Kernell. Not as a witch-hunt but as a legitimate investigation. I hope Sharon’s friend wasn’t misleading her. I believe she believes her friend is uninvolved. I hope her faith is vindicated. But in the age of Ted Haggards and Bill Clintons, Kernell wouldn’t be the first to deceive those around him. Time to see if there’s any fire to go with that smoke.

Blue Collar Muse