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Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 13:16:16 -0800
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: a blizzard of tinsel (fwd)

>Coming Attractions
>Sunday, November 30, 1997; Page C06
>The Washington Post 
>IF ATTORNEY General Janet Reno decides this week, as expected, not to
>seek an independent counsel to investigate the telephone calls the
>president and vice president made from their government offices to raise
>funds for last year's campaign, you can expect a blizzard of tinsel from
>both sides. The outlines of the unedifying arguments are already clear.
>The White House will say that the president and vice president have been
>cleared of any wrongdoing and that a year of suspicion and investigation
>is enough. Time to get on with the country's business, including, of
>course, passage of campaign finance reform, and anyone who refuses to do
>so is recycling a dead issue for partisan advantage.
>Republican and other critics, for their part, will say the inquiry was
>rigged; that Ms. Reno went in the tank for her boss; and that she was
>able to give him a clean bill of health, insofar as she did, only
>because the questions she asked -- such as which phones did they use in
>soliciting the funds -- were so narrow. Had she only broadened the
>inquiry, as she should have, she would have had no choice but to seek an
>independent counsel, and the matter would still be open. The other day,
>with only preliminary reports to go on, Sen. Arlen Specter, a member of
>the Judiciary Committee, was already writing to say that "it is
>disturbing to hear reports of such a limited focus, particularly when
>there is substantial evidence of wrongdoing that meets the . . .
>threshold in the independent counsel statute."
>But both sides in this argument are playing games. The White House says
>that if the threshold for naming an independent counsel isn't met, it
>will have been found clean. Clean is of course a relative term. Ms. Reno
>is in fact making a narrow and technical decision, as she should, and as
>most of her critics have urged be made in the application of this
>statute in the past. The decision has to do with criminality. It has
>nothing to do with the rest of what is at issue in this case -- the
>unseemliness of the money-grubbing in which the president and vice
>president engaged; the hypocrisy of the president's saying on alternate
>days and sometimes in alternate sentences in the same speech that he's
>proud of what he did even as he deplores the wreckage left behind; the
>continuing possibility that others involved in the fund-raising even if
>not the president or vice president did break laws; the continuing
>indications that at least some policy decisions were traded for campaign
>funds; and the contemptuous trashing at the highest level in both
>parties of what were already only the frailest of protections against
>the selling of the government. If that's a working definition of clean,
>you wonder what is dirty.
>As to the preachy Republicans, it is of course they who have spent the
>whole year trying simultaneously to pump up yet suppress the
>investigations of last year's fund-raising. They denounce the president
>for having taken part in a system of fund-raising that at the same time
>they seek to protect. They're after him, not it, and it's hard even for
>them to be sanctimonious in both directions at once. There's a bill up
>there, McCain-Feingold, that ought to be fixed in a couple of important
>respects, then passed. It wouldn't end the abuses, but it would limit
>them. The Republicans are determined to block it even as they deplore
>what, in its absence, the president was able to do. He, meanwhile, aware
>that they'll likely keep it from passing, embraces what amounts to a ban
>on his own past behavior. Each party gets the behavior of the other as
>an issue, and the law remains permissively the same. Is that a great
>prospective outcome, or what? 
>Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness 01
B.A.: Political Science, UCLA;   M.S.: Public Administration, U.C.Irvine 02
tel:     (520) 320-1514: machine; fax: (520) 320-1256: 24-hour/day-night 03
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ship to: c/o 2509 N. Campbell, #1776 : this is free speech,  at its best 06
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_____________________________________: Law is authority in written words 09
As agents of the Most High, we came here to establish justice.  We shall 10
not leave, until our mission is accomplished and justice reigns eternal. 11
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