Have you heard? Jack Conway has passed the election finance complaint filed with his office against Sullivan University off to a special prosecutor, Jim Crawford. The complaint alleges that a Sullivan University employee felt “coerced” when Sullivan managers asked a room full of employees to help defeat Conway.
According to published reports, the complaint is based upon a statute, KRS 121.310, which “makes it a felony for employers to “coerce or direct any employee to vote for any political party or candidate.” [BluegrassPolitics]
Some have even suggested that Steve Beshear was a co-sponsor of that statute when it was passed back in 1974 and modified during his tenure as Attorney General in 1980.
How is any of this political suicide? Here’s how.
The nation is growing more acutely aware, day by day, that the Obama administration, in cooperation with Attorney General Eric Holder, has been conducting business “The Chicago Way”. They look the other way when the Obama administration engages in wrongdoing, and come down hard on their political enemies when it is to their advantage.
Despite Beshear and Conway’s attempts to distance themselves from the unpopular Obama in Kentucky, the mask is coming off. They are behaving in office just like the top echelon of their party, taking a cue from Obama and Holder, doing things in Kentucky “The Chicago Way”.
As Holder has stonewalled his involvement in project “Gun-Walker” by which the ATF delivered guns to Mexican drug lords which were then used to kill American law enforcement, Jack Conway is stonewalling his involvement with regard to the investigation into his brother’s drug case in Louisville.
At the same time, Conway refuses to investigate complaints that the Beshear administration has committed numerous felonies with regard to illegal fund raising from state employees.
But let there be the slightest suggestion that some person “felt” coerced by officers at Sullivan University into supporting Conway’s opponent, Todd P’Pool, then Conway wants to make a grand show of things by appointing a special prosecutor. And that’s where he really screwed up.
I know Jim Crawford. He has a reputation for being a pit bull in the court room. And he appears to be politically connected, as evidenced by the fact that he is the only part time Commonwealth’s Attorney left in Kentucky, which means he draws his state salary and still gets to maintain his own private law practice. Conway probably thought he had just the right guy to ream P’Pool.
But in reality Jim Crawford in one of the best Commonwealth’s Attorneys in the state. He is very hard working, very concientious, very familiar with all of the details of all of his cases and he is smart. In fact he is smart enough to realize that the investigation he has been assigned should be summarily dismissed.
Why? Because the Kentucky Supreme Court has previously declared this statute to be unconstitutional in so far as it attempts to criminalize free speech.
In 2001 the Kentucky Supreme Court in the case of Don Blevins vs. Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, said this about KRS 121.310:
Though the effect may be accidental or coincidental, KRS 121.310(1) places an unconstitutional restriction on campaign speech.
KRS 121.310(1) is inconsistent with the First Amendment and patronizes the employee because it assumes the employee lacks a free will when voting a secret ballot. Free communication of political speech allows employees to become fully informed on the issues and personalities in order to intelligently exercise their right to vote.
Conway has to know about this case. Beshear has to know about this case. And both, being lawyers, have to know that using legal process for political purposes demeans the system of justice, and is a violation of a lawyer’s ethical duties.
Jim Crawford won’t miss this point. I’m sure he will read the complaint carefully. I’m sure he will research the law, carefully, and I am sure that he will soon see that he is being used like a pawn in a political game.
If this case is not dismissed, and soon, I suspect that a federal lawsuit seeking an injunction will be the next step and at that point, Katie bar the door.
Conway cannot escape the taint of what he has done. He is using the power of his political office to chill the first amendment rights of his political opponents, is looking the other way in the face of documented evidence of criminal conduct within the Beshear administration, and hiding behind his desk from those seeking answers to questions about his own involvement in the criminal investigation into his brother.
Hey Kentucky media. Wanna sell some papers? Wanna get more listeners/viewers? Then do your fricking job.
Since when did you lose your interest in protecting free speech, ferreting out corruption or at the very least, following good leads?
Why don’t you try to rehabilitate your reputation, or are you satisfied with the public concluding that you are complicit in this travesty?
Cross Posted From BluegrassBulletin.com