Thursday, January 20, 2005

Conyers Gets Back on His High Horse

Yesterday I covered the fact that Ohio AG Jim Petro asked the Ohio Supreme Court to sanction the attorney who filed the frivolous lawsuit challenging the Ohio election results.

Today, our favorite Wolverine, John Conyers (D-MI) responds:

Dear Attorney General Petro:

I write to express my concern regarding your recent request to sanction those attorneys who brought a legal challenge to last year's presidential election in Ohio. In particular, I am concerned that by seeking official censure and fines, you are engaged in a selective and partisan misuse of your legal authority.

Glad you're all about stopping partisan politics John.
As an initial matter, one would be hard pressed to see how the legal challenges brought under the Ohio election challenge statute were "frivolous." First off, it is widely known that the Ohio presidential election was literally riddled with irregularities and improprieties, many of which are set forth in the 102 page report issued by the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff. As a matter of fact, the problems were so great that Congress was forced to debate the first challenge to an entire state's slate of electors since the federal Electoral Count law was enacted in 1877. In short, there is more than an abundant record raising serious, substantive questions about the Ohio presidential election.
See John, we have three branches of government. While Congress may not consider accusations based on hearsay and incorrect statistics frivolous, our court system does.
The Ohio Secretary State also refused to respond to numerous questions regarding the irregularities submitted to him by several members of the House Judiciary Committee, has refused to respond to a single concern set forth in the Judiciary Report, and also sought a protective order to avoid any discovery related to the legal challenges. In short, Ohio election officials have compounded public doubt concerning the election by refusing to provide any sort of accountability and acting in almost every respect as if they have "something to hide."
Don't be ridiculous John. As you know, Ohio's county election boards are bipartisan and the recount process was open and observed by respresentatives of those requesting it. Even the Democratic official you cited in your report as observing tampering stated that she had no reason to suspect foul play. The only people who compounded public doubt were you and your like-minded friends.
I would appreciate it if you would respond to me though my Judiciary Committee staff, Perry Apelbaum and Ted Kalo, 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 (tel. 202-225-6504, fax 202-225-4423) by no later than January 27. Thank you.
On this John, I will take you up on your offer. I will let you know that I am glad that we have a court system that is based on facts, not fiction.

I will let you know that I am disappointed - not that AG Jim Petro is asking for sanctions for a frivolous lawsuit - but that Congress will not sanction you, as you hypocritically embarassed your country in the grandstanding you called a debate.

Yes Rep. Conyers, I will respond to you. And I hope others do too.