Scott Gessler: Most “Forgiving” Secretary of State Ever

UPDATE: Fort Collins Coloradoan now up with a good story, with this quote from political science professor John Straayer of Colorado State University:

“This just doesn’t seem like the best exercise in judgment. One would think the secretary would instead go to great lengths to keep his distance so as to avoid any appearance of partisanship with respect to the fine reduction.”

Not so much it turns out! Meanwhile,

Gessler spokesman Richard Coolidge said Gessler is doing nothing improper.

“The Larimer County Republicans are angry and frustrated having to pay the largest fine ever imposed in our office’s history. This is a way for them to relieve those frustrations,” Coolidge said.

“Frustrating” for who, again? Everyone else who obeyed the law?

—–

We talked a couple of weeks ago about the decision by Secretary of State Scott Gessler to dramatically lower the fines owed by the Larimer County Republican Party–in the wake of years of failure to file required reports, as well as the resignation and criminal prosecution of former chairman Larry Carillo. Gessler was roundly criticized by editorial boards in Denver and Fort Collins, the Coloradoan writing, “Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s forgiving approach when it comes to campaign finance fines is harmful to the public process surrounding elected officials.”

According to this invitation we just got, Gessler’s approach is a little more than “forgiving.”

Not a joke–Secretary of State Scott Gessler, after acting in his official capacity to slash the fines owed by the Larimer County Republican Party from almost $50,000 to under $16,000, will host a “Retire the Debt” fundraiser in two weeks for the same Larimer County Republican Party. We have no doubt that it’s all technically legal, if only because nobody ever contemplated a Secretary of State doing something so spectacularly, magnificently, in-your-face stupid.

Like a judge reducing the defendant’s bail, and then posting it?

120 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    At moving goalposts.

    Political speech is no longer required to be meant as factual statements.

    Politicians no longer have to maintain any appearance of ethics.

  2. Kool-Aid Man says:

    At least we should never have to worry about him attaining higher office.  sheesh.

    • BlueCat says:

      this invitation graphic will make a nice addiion to the ad reminding everyone of what a sleazeball he is.  

      • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

        If Gessler even intends to run again. I wonder if he has any higher political aspirations at all, or is just in there for four years to fuck the system as hard as he can. Brazenly.

        Manning the dunk tank to raise money for fines he already lowered. It’s truly sick.

        • Middle of the Road says:

          This is just sickening. Never mind it’s a political bonehead move of massive proportions. It’s just so ethically and morally slimy. And I would love to see if he would have done the same for a County Democratic Party that owed these kinds of fines…oh wait, there is no Democratic County Party in this state that even comes close to this kind of massive incompetence, fines and penalties.

          Well, if Dems ever decide to be as grossly fiscally irresponsible as Larimer County Republicans, I feel confident Scott will be right there to protect the “political process” by reducing their fines by 2/3rds and then holding a fundraiser to retire the rest of the debt.  

  3. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Gessler doesn’t just make a mockery of his job. He revels in doing so.

    He should just put a boot in the lobby of his office and require all Democrats to lick it.

    The thought of three more years of this is close to unbearable.

  4. pay your taxes! says:

    He also certified English-only ballots for 16 Colorado counties.

    http://www.9news.com/news/poli

    Big ups to Mike Coffman on that too!

    Gessler does a good job of making it sound like his hands were tied by the Feds, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that the quote from his spokesman is pure lip service. Gessler could have fought harder to make sure people weren’t disenfranchised or left with the choice of either not voting or possibly voting for something or someone they don’t support.

  5. Middle of the Road says:

    In every single aspect, you may color me unsurprised and completely disgusted.

    Can’t wait to hear Ali defend this one. Really, literally, cannot wait.

    • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

      I mean I guess I’d be a hypocrite to discourage it really, but you and Ali are two of my favorite Polsters. It’s kinda bummy when you fight.  

      • Middle of the Road says:

        Disagreement isn’t fighting. It’s called a discussion and sometimes they get heated. Feel free to let Ali respond because I would like to hear from him. If it upsets you to read our exchange, feel free not to reply and to ignore us both. I think he owes this thread a response in light of prior comments.  

        • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

          But I think it got a little out of hand the last time, above and beyond the usual heated-ness of disagreement between otherwise generally nice people, and the point here is that Gessler is a shithead, so it doesn’t really need to turn into Larimer Republicans vs. Larimer Dems. I mean, do your thing, neither of you needs my permission obviously, just filing my sad emoticon in advance ’cause I like all my limbs attached, so once the brawl starts I’m high-tailing it back to the Jams Fest thread.

          I actually am curious to see his reply here, but not because I think he needs to defend Gessler just because he defended the county party the last time. It’s on Gessler to respect his office and he is apparently failing to do so.

          • Middle of the Road says:

            DON’T get involved. Don’t read it. Don’t reply. I appreciate you feeling this deep urge to insert yourself into this conversation. But I didn’t ask you what you thought. I asked Ali and I’d like to hear from him.

            Because Ali thought Larimer County was being unfairly punished and also stated he thought Gessler would be “fair”. Well, this is an interesting version of fair, reducing fines by 2/3rds and then participating in a fundraiser that is being put together NOT by Gessler but by the Larimer County Republican Party to retire debt by using Gessler in a dunking tank as a way to raise funds.

            So, this isn’t just on Gessler. This is on the County Party that Ali has repeatedly defended and I would like to hear his take on it. That is all.

            Feel free to reply yet again. I’m done here and waiting to hear from Ali and that’s who I will be replying to from here on out.  

          • Ralphie says:

            Not everyone wants to be queen of the prom.

            I know that’s hard for you to understand, but please at least try, OK?

            • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

              (Ask things nicely, I mean?)

              • BlueCat says:

                and he can handle it.  He knows perfectly well how most Dems and progressives feel about some of his GOP friends, such as Doug Bruce, and some of his political views, such as that TABOR is a great thing.  I’ve got to agree with MOTR here.  This is a political blog.  Heated debate is par for the course.  If you can’t stand the heat… you know the rest.  

                • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

                  I’m almost as bad at being the knight in shining armor as I am at being prom queen. I can handle the horse, but the armor doesn’t fit, and it’s sweaty, and I’m short one damsel in distress.

                  It’s just that I’m not ready to declare civility dead yet, even on the Internet, and I think the last time the Larimer stuff got brought up things turned very uncivil in a way really unpleasant for the sense of community that I rather enjoy here. But I’ve said my piece and nobody is obliged to give a damn how I feel about it.

                  • Gessler is taking a big risk by keynoting this fundraiser

                    While it is a major statewide position, a successful SOS maintains a non-partisan identity

                    Scott Gessler is my friend and I think he’s a good guy, but I agree with everyone above that this one will come back to bite him (and no – he should not participating in fundraisers for Larimer at this point)

                    • BlueCat says:

                      He first tries to excuse himself by saying it was his staff, not himself, that determined the fine.  Of course he was then forced to admit that the final decision in such matters is, in fact his.  He went on to propose that Democrats upset with him over this are invited to come take out their frustrations by taking shots at dunking him, in other words by themselves contributing to retiring the debt.

                      Sorry Ali.  This guy doesn’t deserve your friendship.  He has no sense of ethics. He is not a “good guy” even if he’s nice to his mom and dog and all that kind of thing.  

                      He clearly doesn’t see his role as serving all the people. He has no intention of using his position for anything other than purely partisan purposes and therefore should never be trusted to oversee election fairness and legitimacy.  He is a cancer in the office of SOS.

                      PS to PC.  That wasn’t too painful for you, was it?

                    • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

                      No, I have no problem with posts like this. I love friendly bickering, I even love Ralphie, but I hate to see people that I like seem genuinely upset and angry at each other, and not be able to do anything to make them happier.

                    • Bluecat – your points are very good

                      First – Scott Gessler should take OWNERSHIP of any fine levied – that is what the Secretary of State does – yes, it’s unpopular, but it is the law and that’s what makes SOS an important job

                      Second – I agree – it was in bad taste to suggest that critics could dunk him – he should have shared his email and directed people to send their comments in for feedback

                      Is he still my friend?

                      Yes.

                      And with that, as a friend, I am going to personally write this…

                      ——

                      Scott Gessler (I know either you or someone on your team is reading this) – you are and always will be my friend. With that said, as your friend, I highly suggest you pull out of this upcoming Larimer fundraiser and direct any feedback to be sent to your SOS email.

                      With love and peace – ALI

                    • BlueCat says:

                      How on earth are we going to get a good profanity laced screaming match going this way? PC wasted a boatload of angst on this.

                      Still think Gessler is completely unworthy of your loyalty but I know arguing that with you is a lost cause.

                    • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

                      What am I going to do if something else comes up?

                      Fuck, I have GOT to start budgeting. I can’t angst as much now that I’m not a teenager anymore.  

                    • Girl – I’m argued out!

                      I only come to CPols because it’s an addiction that I can’t give up!

                    • SXP – I think that’s the first compliment I’ve ever received from you

                      Today is a magical day.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      now that you have become a Democrat, your Republican friends are just as loyal to you as you are to them.  

                    • I have tons of people who love me and I’m blessed – that’s what matters :)

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      And I do think your loyalty to folks is why I admire you so much. It’s a quality sorely lacking in many folks.

                      And you know I love ya. :)

                    • BlueCat says:

                      generous, loyal heart stabbing you in the back.  That’s all. But you are right.  You are blessed because of who you choose to be every day regardless of the choices inferior others may make. Proud to know you.

                    • Middle of the Road says:
                    • BlueCat says:

                      I’m not very big on watching all the 9/11 memorials but it’s nice to see the effect the remembrance of the day seems to be having on our blog. I’m sure we’ll get back to being hard on each other, cynical, sarcastic, etc. soon enough. Today, it feels pretty good here.

                    • That might be the nicest compliment I have ever received – that one I’m never forgetting – thank you

  6. Gorky PulviczekG Pulviczek says:

    … what the requirements for recalling Mr. Gessler are?  How many signatures, how soon after the election (probably 1 year), anything else?

  7. Meiner49erMeiner49er says:

    Maybe they should just follow their own advice and cut their spending for the next year or so!  I wouldn’t mind if they skipped 2012.

  8. Republican 36 says:

    What if a public official, a judicial officer or executive branch administrator, imposed a fine on a defendant but reduced it by two thirds the total amount and then held a fundraiser to help the defendant pay off the fine.

    What would you or any member of the public suspect?

    Most people would be suspicious that a fix was in the works all along.

    What do you think?

    • of having “good optics”.

      He is a more than worthy Republican follow-on to a number of past Republican Secretaries of State, which is to say that at his most innocent he’s a blatant partisan hack.  And every time CP winds up doing a diary on him he advances his claim for the all-time title.

      To answer your question: if this was a Democrat, Republicans would be screaming for his resignation and criminal prosecution right now.  As it is, I’d be amazed if Gessler got so far as to cancel his appearance at the fundraiser and would fall off of my chair if he did that and then issued an apology for the bad judgement call.

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      No one doubts that.

      While this is an outrageous thumb of the nose toward the very notion of accountability, it shouldn’t surprise anyone. This is what Gessler has spent his career doing, helping Republicans evade responsibility.

      The question is, after everyone is done gasping at Gessler’s brazenness, what will he do next after he realizes he can get away with anything at this point?

      • BlueCat says:

        office as a position in the service of all Colorado citizens but as a position purely in the service of his own party.  If you aren’t a Republican he isn’t your SOS and doesn’t pretend to be. He isn’t interested in fairness. He’s pretty much said as much himself.  Many on the right who post here sadly seem to think that’s as it should be for a Republican SOS.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        Because without that, then it does not damage him and that leaves him free to continue to pull this crap.

  9. 20th Maine says:

    You people should get the Razzie this year for shittiest acting.

    Did Bernie ever fine a Democrat?  Did Beuscher ever attend a Dem. fundraiser of any kind?  Did he ever reduce a Dem’s fine?  Your collective apoplectic reaction has more to do with his party registration than it does his appearance of conflict.

    Sec. of State is a politically elected office.  As long as his actions are fair and consistent, it’s not a problem.  Govs, sheriffs, SOS’s, etc. all appear at blatantly political events that would make it ‘appear’ that they are/might/could favor some over others.

    But it’s a lot different than actually favoring some, like a Dem. Adams Co. assessor would do.

    Gessler fined the crap out of Larimer, though the law allowed for a much higher fine.  So he’s like every other SOS and the FEC.  (For those of you keeping score, don’t forget, it was the CDP that had a seven-figure fine reduced down to a fraction for cheating against Allard).

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      the fine was pennies on the dollar, worse than a foreclosure sale. Gessler is not just attending a fundraiser, he is going an extra mile to make it successful

    • sxp151 says:

      is a really shitty excuse.

      What you have here is “But Johnny’s mom might have let him if I wish really hard!”

      You can’t write laws against this behavior because Republicans don’t even understand what it means to have ethics.

      • 20th Maine says:

        Your post was nonsense.

        Are you sure you don’t coach Coastal Carolina football?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

        Really.  If you were trying to say ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right…’ than just say it.  It would have been a poor argument for you to make, but at least it would have made sense.

        • sxp151 says:

          You are claiming this is OK because other Secretaries of State have done it.

          No other Secretaries of State have ever done this.

          Therefore, you are wrong.

          • 20th Maine says:

            to make your point clearly.

            No other Secs of State have ever levied a fine that big.  True.

            But every Sec. of State has attended a political fundraiser benefitting those they are charged with policing.  For that matter, every SOS has received benefits from those they are charged with policing.  

            Crazy.

            • sxp151 says:

              doesn’t mean it’s hard to understand. Maybe you’re just a little thick?

              No Secretary of State has ever done anything in the ballpark of this. It doesn’t surprise me that you’re lying about this, because you are an unethical person.

              The difference between Gessler and an ethical person is that an ethical person does not help pay off the legally assessed fine. It’s like a cop hosting a fundraiser for a drug dealer he busted. UNETHICAL.

              Unethical means “bad.”

          • Awen says:

            Or to be more precise, the elections division did, and it’s a fairly common occurrence. I can remember several instances while Buescher was in office, but the most notable was the fine levied against the Colorado Independent Auto Dealer’s Assn, originally levied at $504,500 and reduced to $8,475. Gessler was the association’s registered agent who failed to file the reports over a period of several years.

            Did Buescher (or to be more precise, the person in charge of the elections division) ever reduce for a Democrat? Probably, since it’s allowed in the rules – you can appeal a fine and it is frequently waived, especially for first-time offenses.  

    • BobMoore says:

      I am not aware of any previous secretary of state who headlined a fundraiser explicitly scheduled to pay off a fine his/her office set. Nor am I aware of another SoS doing so when his office has a pending fine waiver request from that same group. The LCRP still has a pending waiver request for a major contributor report that should have been filed in August 2010 but didn’t get done until 11 months later. So Gessler is helping the party raise money to pay a fine that his office is still determining.

      • 20th Maine says:

        the degree of conflict that bothers you Bob?  This fundraiser is specific to a particular fine.  How much worse is that than Beuscher attending a fundraiser for a Dem candidate, Dem caucus PAC, Dem county party? – any of whom or whose members he had previously fined or may potentially fine in the future?

        It’s ok to be a litte conflicted but not somewhat conflicted?  Is that your argument?

        • sxp151 says:

          No.

          We’re saying it’s like a judge paying off a fine he himself levied against a crook, and your response is “well yeah, but a judge might go to a party with people who may someday break the law.”

          Do you realize you sound dumb?

        • BobMoore says:

          I guess it’s easier to put put words in someone’s mouth than to listen to the actual words. Nothing “bothers” me. I’m merely pointing out some things unique to this situation. And I do think headlining a fundraiser to raise money for a fine that your office will soon levy qualifies as “unique.”

    • BlueCat says:

      give us examples of Bernie Buescher taking similar actions. Yes SOS is a politically elected office but those so elected are obligated to be scrupulously fair and even handed since the legitimacy and fairness of elections is their special responsibility.  

      • 20th Maine says:

        examples of Buescher waiving or reducing fines?  You can look it up on the SOS site as easy as anyone else.  Don’t be lazy.

        They all do it.  I have long argued that most of those fines should be levied b/c a lot of other people work hard to make sure they are following the law.

        Nonetheless, every Sec. of State is inherently conflicted.  But I have seen little evidence that it has ever led to wrongdoing by them.

        • BlueCat says:

          You did. It’s your job to back it up.

          • 20th Maine says:

            me that SOS is an elected office, as you claim above?  Even though it’s common knowledge, I’d like you to go to the trouble of finding the state constitution online and then cutting and pasting the appropriate section onto this thread.  

            • AristotleAristotle says:

              … the obscure actions of an elected official aren’t “common knowledge.”

              Put up or shut up.

            • Mr. Toodles says:

              http://law.justia.com/constitu

              Section 1. Officers  terms of office. (1) The executive department shall include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, and attorney general, each of whom shall hold his office for the term of four years, commencing on the second Tuesday of January in the year 1967, and each fourth year thereafter. They shall perform such duties as are prescribed by this constitution or by law.

              Section 3. State officers  election  returns. The officers named in section one of this article shall be chosen on the day of the general election, by the registered electors of the state. The governor and the lieutenant governor shall be chosen jointly by the casting by each voter of a single vote applicable to both offices. The returns of every election for said officers shall be sealed up and transmitted to the secretary of state, directed to the speaker of the house of representatives, who shall immediately, upon the organization of the house, and before proceeding to other business, open and publish the same in the presence of a majority of the members of both houses of the general assembly, who shall for that purpose assemble in the house of representatives. The joint candidates having the highest number of votes cast for governor and lieutenant governor, and the person having the highest number of votes for any other office, shall be declared duly elected, but if two or more have an equal and the highest number of votes for the same office or offices, one of them, or any two for whom joint votes were cast for governor and lieutenant governor respectively, shall be chosen thereto by the two houses, on joint ballot. Contested elections for the said offices shall be determined by the two houses, on joint ballot, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

              Your turn

              • BlueCat says:

                And now from 20th Maine……crickets.

                • 20th Maine says:

                  20th Maine:

                  Buescher waived or reduced hundreds of fines during his tenure and it’s easily verifiable.

                  Aristotle:  

                  If it’s easily verifiable…

                  then you won’t mind providing us the proof…

                  You all consistently criticize some on here for not using “the Google” to find universal and easily accessible info that would dispell whatever crazy notions you think they have.  Evolution, for example.  Yet you won’t apply the same intellectual standards to yourselves.

                  I believe most of you are almost as smart as you claim to be, but you’re lazy.  If you don’t know that every CO Sec. of State regularly reduces or waives fines, then you should be doing a lot more listening and a lot less talking.  Some of you claim to be involved in the political process but this proves otherwise.

                  Since I couldn’t paste a URL with the search findings, I can only leave you with the URL to the Penalty Search page on the SOS site.  And since no one here will strain to click on the search button, I’ve pasted dates and resolutions of the penalties I found under Buescher’s term:

                  http://tracer.sos.colorado.gov

                  4/21/2010 Waived

                  1/20/2011 Waived

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                  • sxp151 says:

                    It’s not about whether Buescher ever reduced a fine, it’s about showing preference to clear lawbreakers in your own party, then paying off the fine for them.

                    Your list of hundreds of dates gives no useful information to back up your lying bullshit claims. What you did is not an argument, it’s a filibuster.

                    And the reason you did it is obvious: you can’t find even one example to support your claim that Buescher ever did ANYTHING unethical, much less anything remotely approaching Gessler’s level.

                    Face it. Gessler is a sleazy crook, and you’re dumber than the shit I scooped out of 152′s diaper this morning.

                    • 20th Maine says:

                      someone stole your identity and made you looking like a fucking idiot.  Change your password asap.

                      I quoted Ari questioning my claim that Buescher and others reduced and waived fines.  And he wasn’t the only one.  

                      Maybe you can find where I said that Buescher ever did anything unethical.  (Hint – You won’t find it).  

                      Buescher indeed waived and reduced fines of other Dems.  And he has in fact attended Democrat fundraisers.  My point, of which you can find ample quotes above, is that none of those actions are unethical.

                      Stick to numbers and leave the reasoning to others.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      We’re talking about THIS. Stop wasting grownups’ time, and either put up or shut up. (Since I know you can’t do the former, I’m hoping for the latter.)

                      You don’t just make yourself look dumb, you make all Republicans look dumb. You’re in a hole. Stop digging.

                  • AristotleAristotle says:

                    It isn’t that we’re too lazy to look this up ourselves; it’s simply a matter of intellectual honesty.

                    If you make an assertion, YOU back it up. Exactly like in court, or in college. It’s completely unfair, not to mention truly lazy, to place that onus upon anyone else.

                    It’s simple, and it’s a fair way to judge who is a good contributor here, and who is blowing smoke. This is the internet, after all; there is absolutely no reason to take anyone at their word.

                    If you don’t like it, maybe you should spend your time at Colorado Peak Politics instead.

                    • 20th Maine says:

                      You and others continued to question my claim that Buescher has reduced or waived fines for campaign finance violations.  Only after I post the citations does everyone claim to have already known that it happens all the time.

                      So which is it?  Is everyone having fun with me by making me research common knowledge?  Or did everyone really not know that it’s standard practice for an SOS of either party to reduce or waive fines?

                    • AristotleAristotle says:

                      … all I’ve done is referee this debate, specifically, throw the yellow flag when you resisted calls to back up your claims. I’m here to remind you of what the rules of fair debate are.

                      You should go back and read my exact posts. I never mentioned Buescher or Gessler.

                    • 20th Maine says:

                      disagree whether or not my claims were common knowledge.

                      Based on the timeline of posts around here, it appears that my claims were not common knowledge before my citation then were common knowledge afterwards.

                    • AristotleAristotle says:

                      Did you go to college? And if yes, did you graduate with a degree?

                    • AristotleAristotle says:

                      Just in case you think I’m setting you up for a “gotcha.” I’m actually trying to gauge if you’re familiar with certain standards.

                    • 20th Maine says:

                      I don’t hold a political blog to the same standards as a college term paper.  I don’t expect you to post the citation every time you imply that Obama got more votes than McCain in ’08.  Not even the first time with subsequent ibids.

                    • AristotleAristotle says:

                      The ibids and all that. Also, the “common knowledge.”

                      But how about citing examples when claiming the controversial actions of one elected official are substantially the same of someone else who held the same office without controversy?

                      Listen, 20th – you’re free to have lower standards yourself, but you’re still going to be held to higher standards when making NON-common knowledge claims. There couldn’t be anything more fair in the world than this.

                  • BlueCat says:

                    none of the naked dates clickable.  We all know lots of stuff gets waved and fines get reduced routinely.  Many of us have seen traffic fines for speeding reduced to something nonsensical like driving with a damaged tail light.  What we are asking for is a direct link to an equivalent action, such as Democrat Bernie reducing a large fine for failure to properly file over a long period levied against a Democratic County party followed by being the star attraction of a fundraiser specifically tasked with raising funds to offset the already reduced fine. Something as blatant as that.

                    But in honor of 9/11, and in recognition of the fact that this isn’t going anywhere,  peace be with you, Maine.

                    PS: I did some searching myself and didn’t find anything that quite fit the criteria but I doubt we’d even agree on the criteria so, again, peace on this day.  

                    • 20th Maine says:

                      What work?

                      examples of Buescher waiving or reducing fines? You can look it up on the SOS site as easy as anyone else.  Don’t be lazy.

                      They all do it.  I have long argued that most of those fines should be levied b/c a lot of other people work hard to make sure they are following the law.

                      Nonetheless, every Sec. of State is inherently conflicted.  But I have seen little evidence that it has ever led to wrongdoing by them.

                      by: 20th Maine @ Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 12:15:24 PM MDT

                      [ Parent | Reply ]

                      -

                      I didn’t make the claim

                      You did. It’s your job to back it up.

                      by: BlueCat @ Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 12:17:22 PM MDT

                      [ Parent | Reply ]

                      Like I told sxp, I have never claimed that Buescher has done anything unethical.  In fact, I’ve made the contrary argument.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      since you have a lot of trouble with direct arguments and seem to think that spamming the thread with lots of irrelevant text means you’re winning.

                      My analogy: Judge X serves on the trial of his brother, finds him guilty, reduces the fine, then pays it off himself.

                      Your defense: Yeah, but Judge Y also has a brother! And Judge Y has found people guilty! And Judge Y has reduced fines! And Judge Y has paid bills!

                      Please, for the love of God, get this through your thick skull. It’s not the individual actions that are unethical, it’s the combination. How can you possibly be too dumb to understand this?

                    • 20th Maine says:

                      than your analogy.

                      Gessler and Buescher have both fine and then reduced or waived many of those penalties.  Both have been part of efforts to raise money for those same candidates and both have been on the receiving end of efforts by those candidates & officials to raise money.

                      You could have skipped all the rest of your drivel and just looked at my response above to Bob Moore for the remainder of my argument.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      Find a single example of Buescher raising money specifically to pay off a fine for a Democratic party. Everything else you say is filibustering.

                      You brought up Buescher. Find one example. Not three hundred examples of something totally different. One example relevant to this discussion.

                      Or should I save you the trouble and point out that it’s impossible, since only a Republican would be sleazy enough to do something like this and only a complete moron would try to defend it.

                    • 20th Maine says:

                      a lifetime of solitary confinement.  It is dark, empty, frustrating and mind-numbing.  

                      No one here would even admit that BB generally gave waivers and reductions.  Afer all, that was the only claim I made until my response to Bob Moore.

                      And in my response to him, I acknowledged the extra step Gessler has made but still questioned the faux outrage because of it.  You should read it sometime.  I think it meets your personal word count limit.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      which has been your strategy all along. Keep doing it in your own little self-imposed torture cell until your ears bleed from your own stupid dishonesty.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      Not or myself and certainly not for sxp, that is.

                      I understand, Maine.  You haven’t been able to find anything that happened on Buescher’s watch that could be compared, apples to apples, with Gessler’s sleazy behavior. I also looked, including at the same site your link accesses before I ever saw it in your post, and I couldn’t find any such thing either. So I understand your problem. You can’t produce what doesn’t exist and you can’t admit it doesn’t exist. Kind of backed yourself into a corner.

                      So, as I said, go in peace.  I promise not to ask any more embarrassing questions on the subject. If I missed something in my own research, I’m sure you would have produced it by now quite gleefully so I’m, if anything, even more satisfied that the truth is obvious.  Please don’t trouble yourself further on my account on this solemn day.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      I do feel a little embarrassed about leaving an “s” out of “embarrassed”.  Other than that, I’m good.

    • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

      Reason doesn’t go over well here, though.

  10. sxp151 says:

    With bail, the defendant might still be innocent and get the money back.

    This is a judge finding his brother guilty of embezzlement (“Sorry Phil, I know you didn’t mean to, it’s a crappy law anyway”), assessing the minimum possible fine (“Is this OK, Phil? I gotta fine you something or they’ll come after me”), then paying off the fine himself (“We cool now, Phil? Say hi to mom for me”).

      • PERA hopeful says:

        Apparently there is the more to the story: Judge’s brother was later arrested for another crime, Judge knows that the case will come before him, and Judge is soliciting funds so he can pay off the old fine PLUS the fine he might levy against his brother for the next offense.

        “Let’s see… I raised enough money to pay off Phil’s fine and have $32.50 left over, so I guess I have to fine Phil $100 and suspend $68.50 of it.”

  11. sxp151 says:

    We are often told that ideally, politics should be bipartisan. Let’s use the best ideas from both parties!

    This thread helps illustrate why this is moronic. Not one Republican is even willing to say this looks fishy (let alone being the most unethical thing I’ve ever seen a Secretary of State do).

    Democrats occasionally do unethical things, and other Democrats call them on it. Compare the shitstorm of criticism from Democrats over Andrea Merida to the weaseling sliminess from Republicans here.

    The two parties are not different because they have different ideas. They’re different because one of them has rational and ethical people in it and the other does not.

    • BlueCat says:

      quite as blanket as that, sxp, but right after reading your comment guess what I found?

      WASHINGTON — An internal memo sent around the Wisconsin Department of Transportation went public this week, sparking controversy over its instructions that employees should not tell state residents they can receive free photo identification for voting unless they ask.

      The memo in question, sent out by former Republican state Senate aide Steve Krieser, the executive assistant of the Department of Transportation, is causing backlash across the state because of legislation signed in May by Republican Gov. Scott Walker requiring voters to show valid photo ID when going to the

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

      I’m sure Maine can tell us how everybody does this kind of thing.

      • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

        Further into the story it becomes clear.  If you are looking for contrition from these guys…you’re going to be waiting awhile. I, like you, await a response from 20th…or any repub who would care to defend this little gem.

  12. Mark G. says:

    Are these fines for being politically active?

    Are these fines for exercising First amendment rights?

    Sounds like an attempt by government to control thought, speech and action?

  13. Mark G. says:

    Face it, SOS is an elected office therefore it is political in nature. If you want things to go your way, you had better win the next election.

    Democrats should mandate their next nomination sign a no waiver pledge. I am sure they will, with one caveat. No waivers for right of center causes, unlimited waivers for left of center causes.

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