Domestic Abuse Victim: I Had ‘Sexual Encounter’ With ‘Sexting’ Former DA

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

New court documents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice show that one of the state’s witnesses against former District Attorney Kenneth Kratz was a woman who alleged that in 1999 she had a “sexual encounter” with Kratz at her home, while he was handling her domestic abuse case against her husband.

There are reportedly five women who have accused Kratz of behaving inappropriately during his time as DA, including several women who claim he sent them sexually suggestive text messages. Another woman claimed Kratz invited her on a date to an autopsy.

Kratz was scheduled for a court hearing on October 8, but resigned before he was due in court.

Kratz, who is now facing charges from the Wisconsin DOJ, is also being sued by Stephanie Van Groll, who originally came forward with allegations against Kratz. Kratz later admitted to sending Van Groll text messages while handling her case, including one that said: “Are u the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA…the riskier the better? Or do you want to stop right now before any issues?”

The new documents show that a confidential informant might have testified on October 8, had Kratz not resigned. The Fond du Lac Reporter in Wisconsin reports:

In the document filed by Thomas Storm, an assistant state attorney general, the confidential informant would have testified about Kratz’s “sexual conversations in e-mails and on the phone,” the sexual encounter, his comments about his ability to influence the custody dispute for her children in a divorce proceeding and her concerns about not wanting to upset him for fear of not getting custody of her children.

Kratz’s attorney Rob Bellin says this is just part of a “smear campaign” by the prosecution, and that “the contact (between Kratz and the unidentified woman) was months after her husband’s case was closed” and his “understanding is she told the Department of Justice that everything was consensual.”

Full coverage of Kratz here.







TPMMuckraker

Jindal denounces victim politics

November 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

One final note from my Jindal interview.  This didn’t make it in the primary story, but I thought it was too interesting to leave on the cutting room floor.   

When I asked the governor about the shots he takes in his book at the media and elites he was quick to make what he described as a "very, very important point.

“I’m not calling on conservatives to claim victimhood, I’m not saying, ‘Poor us,’” he said, noting that he’s “never written a letter-to-the-editor” or “yelled at a reporter or editor.”

“I do worry if we as a country develop this sense of permanent victimhood where everybody is entitled and everybody is part of some aggrieved class,”Jindal continued.

He didn’t mention Sarah Palin by name and there’s no reason to think that’s who he had in mind.  But this viewpoint — an unambiguous discomfort with anything smacking of identity politics — stands in stark contrast to Palin’s m.o. 





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Ben Smith’s Blog

The Conservative Circular Firing Squad Takes Another Victim

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

To paraphrase Doug Mataconis, when William Jacobson has to defend his conservative credentials against the populist conservatives ragging against his site and his chosen co-blogger, you know that the right is in danger of going off the rails.

Well, not the whole right. Just the right side of the blogosphere’s populist purists. They’re running a purge out there folks.




ProfessorBainbridge.com

In wake of anti-Sharia vote, Muslims in Oklahoma claim victim status

November 6, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

“The bottom line: Muslims increasingly feel unwelcome, unwanted and viewed by their neighbors as un-American.” Well, there would be one easy way to take care of that problem: support the anti-Sharia initiative. They say that it’s fantastical that anyone would think that they have any plans to impose Sharia anyway, so why not declare open and wholehearted allegiance to the principles of the U.S. Constitution that are in contradiction to Sharia, such as the freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and equality of rights of all people before the law — instead of yet again claiming victim status?

“Oklahoma Muslims Unsure of Status After Shariah Referendum,” by Omar Sacibey for Religion News Service, November 4:

(RNS) Born and raised in Oklahoma, Sarah Albahadily will wear her headscarf to a Brad Paisley concert and her cowboy boots to mosque. There are two things she says she never misses: Friday prayers and University of Oklahoma football games.

But after seven in 10 Oklahoma voters on Tuesday (Nov. 2) approved State Question 755, a constitutional amendment that prohibits courts from using Islamic law, known as shariah, Albahadily suddenly feels a little less at home in the Sooner State.

“It’s disheartening. Even though it was expected, you still feel the blow,” said Albahadily, 27, as she drove to the Mercy School, a K-12 Islamic school in Oklahoma City where she teaches science.

In many ways, State Question 755 will likely have little impact either in Oklahoma or elsewhere — Muslims quickly point out they never lobbied for shariah law, and many wouldn’t support its use anyway.

What really worries Muslims is the anti-Muslim fervor that fueled it. It’s the same sentiment behind the aborted Quran bonfire in Florida and the opposition to an Islamic community center near Ground Zero. The bottom line: Muslims increasingly feel unwelcome, unwanted and viewed by their neighbors as un-American.

And if that sentiment can be legislated in one state, they say, it could be legislated in another.

Yet rather that retreating from public life, Oklahoma Muslims like Albahadily are vowing to increase their involvement in community affairs and raise their visibility, confident that when fellow citizens get to know them, their prejudices will dissolve.

Albahadily said she would put on a brave face for her teenage students.

“If they see me upset, they’re not going to want to participate in civics or community life. But if I can be upbeat, and say, ‘OK, we’re going to stand firm,’ they’ll respond.”

Less than 24 hours after the polls closed, Albahadily’s mother was organizing local Muslims to meet newly elected lawmakers; local Muslim groups and the ACLU announced a bid to have the referendum declared unconstitutional.

There are an estimated 30,000 Muslims in Oklahoma, which has 3.7 million residents. They describe themselves as well-educated, prosperous and attracted to Oklahoma’s friendliness, slow pace of life and safety.

The referendum was primarily authored by Republican state Rep. Rex Duncan, and sailed through the state’s legislature. In 2007, Duncan made headlines when he refused a copy of a Quran given to lawmakers by the Governor’s Ethnic American Advisory Council. On Tuesday, he won a bid for a county district attorney position.

Muslims say the referendum worsened anti-Muslim prejudice that was already enflamed by the Ground Zero controversy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and frequent visits from Islamophobic speakers like Brigitte Gabriel, hosted by local churches and conservative
organizations.

“It’s really brought the Muslim-haters out,” said Allison Moore, a Muslim activist in Tulsa.

Since the referendum was introduced in June, Moore and other Muslims said, mosques saw an increase in hate mail and threatening phone calls. Children walking home from a Muslim school in Tulsa were harassed by people in passing cars. Some Muslim women left their headscarves at home….

Studies show familiarity breeds solidarity and support, so Muslims say they need to be seen and known now more than ever. But Sheryl Siddiqui, a spokeswoman for the Edmond-based Islamic Council of Oklahoma, said there are limits to how much they can do.

“Muslims in Oklahoma do a phenomenal amount of outreach,” she said. “It’s not on us anymore. There are people out there who still believe Obama is a Muslim.”…

Horror of horrors! How could anyone get that idea?

Jihad Watch

Sanction of the victim?

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(Sasha Volokh)

I imagine there must be a substantial literature on whether sometimes, you should boycott a process you feel is illegitimate rather than trying to ameliorate its effects by participating. For instance, should a democratic political party participate in substantially unfree elections, or should one collaborate with an illegitimate regime? I would appreciate pointers to relevant important literature on the subject.




The Volokh Conspiracy

Barney Frank: I’m a victim of the media!

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Sore winner.


Didn’t Barney Frank win his race?  In this train wreck of a victory speech, Frank spent more time attacking the media and his opponent, Sean Bielat, than most losing candidates do in conceding their races.  Its closest analogue, in my recollection, is Richard Nixon’s ultimately premature “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore” [...]

Read this post »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Rand Paul Head-Stomper To Victim: ‘I Would Like For Her To Apologize To Me’

October 27, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Tim Profitt, the former Bourbon County campaign coordinator for Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul’s campaign, gave the AP a non-apology apology yesterday for stomping on the head of a MoveOn.org activist outside a Senate debate Monday night, saying, “I apologize if it appeared overly forceful.” But apparently his pseudo-remorse was short-lived, as Profitt told local CBS affiliat WKYT today, “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.” (The Lexington Police think otherwise, issuing Profitt with a criminal summons).

And astonishingly, asked if he planned to apologize directly the activist Lauren Valle whose head he stomped on, Profitt said, “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you.” Watch it:

Profitt has remarkably attempted to blame Valle for the incident in which he and another large man wrestled the 23-year-old woman to the ground, telling WKYT, “she was a professional at what she does and I think when all the facts come out, people will see that she was the one who initiated the whole thing.” Profitt has said he restrained Valle because he feared the petite woman represented “a danger” to Paul, and said he stepped on her because “I couldn’t bend over because I have issues with my back.” Meanwhile, Profitt now says he “fears for his safety.”

On a conference call organized by the campaign for Demoratic nominee Jack Conway today, a 60-year-old Conway supporter named Michael Grossman said he was also assaulted by a Paul supporter at the same event. Grossman — who attended the event “simply as a supporter” of Conway — was carrying a sign with Conway’s name on it. Shortly after Valle was attacked, Grossman said he “felt a heavy hand on my shoulder” and turned around to see a “thug” who “happened to be massive.” Grossman said the man tried to “thrust me to the ground” in order to get to Valle and take part in that melee. When Grossman turned around, he said the man “verbally berated” him, called him a “communist” and a “socialist,” and said “you ought to be back in California or New York with all the rest of the scum.”

In her first TV interview since the incident last night, Valle told MSBC’s Keith Olberman that the incident captured on video was actually only the very end of a lengthy altercation she had with Profitt, tea party activist Mike Pezzano, and several other Rand Paul supporters. “It was premeditated” Valle said, saying that Profitt and his compatriots knew she was a progressive activist and not any kind of “threat” to Paul. Watch it:

Rand Paul has disowned Profitt, despite the fact that the campaign ironically ran a full page ad yesterday touting the endorsement of Profitt, among many others. But apparently not all conservatives are prepared to denounce violence against an innocent woman. Right-wing talk radio host Neal Boortz tweeted today, “Wanted: A Rand Paul supporter with a bad back to stand on a Media Matters staffer’s head for a while.”

ThinkProgress

Another Victim of Europe’s Jihad Against Islamo-Realism

October 21, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Europe’s judicial war on speech deemed “offensive” to the tender sensibilities of Muslims, continues apace
American Thinker Blog

Gary Condit: A Tragic Victim of Journalism Malpractice

October 20, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Nine years after her murder, the Chandra Levy trial started Monday in Washington, D.C., and although there may be justice for the victim, there’s little that can be done to even the scales for Gary Condit, the man who was falsely accused of killing her.

Condit, who was a California valley Congressman at the time, was suspected of having Chandra kidnapped and murdered when no evidence supported that claim.

condit

Condit’s problem was that he had a brief relationship with Chandra while she was interning for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons back in 2001. Naturally, when she disappeared, the media assumed Condit had something to do with it.

Why?

Because thanks to Hollywood and the tabloid press, the American public has believed for decades there is a secret Washington underground network for powerful politicians and corporations that enables them to have “troublemakers” removed and “taken care of.”

Oliver Stone suggested in his movie, JFK that the federal government had President Kennedy assassinated. Murder at 1600 told a thrilling fictional tale in which White House officials framed their own president for the murder of a young staffer. John Grisham’s novel, The Pelican Brief pinned the assassination of two U.S. Supreme Court justices on a high-powered white collar Washington law firm.

But does any of this actually happen in real life?

As a former Washington, D.C. prosecutor who tried criminal cases in the nation’s capital and dealt regularly with the FBI, Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police, I’ve never heard of a single instance in which anyone disappeared or was murdered by government officials.

There is no secret, underground Washington network.

Despite the abuse of power we sometimes see in Washington on the House and Senate floors or from the Oval Office, it’s highly doubtful that abuse of power includes kidnapping and murder. This isn’t Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or the former USSR.

This is the mentality, however, that deluded Americans into believing that Gary Condit was guilty – the fictional existence of “they,” as a secret society in Washington. That was the real tabloid story the press was interested in. Gary Condit was just a mere example of what everyone thought was behind the royal curtains of the power elite, and they were excited they’d finally caught one of these devious Washingtonians in the act.

The tabloids crucified Condit, and late night cable news channels followed those stories featuring so-called “experts” who didn’t hesitate to ramble on and on with baseless theories.

In 2002, a prominent criminal defense lawyer from California was quoted once as saying he could “prove” Gary Condit was responsible for Chandra’s murder and that he had her corpse dumped in Baltimore Harbor. In 2001, Dominick Dunne from Vanity Fair reported that he had sources in the Middle East that swore Chandra was sold there as a sex slave.

None of that was true.

It turns out her corpse was lying in Rock Creek Park as the alleged victim of a no-name, common criminal who had a history of violence. So much for the conspiracy theories about the Washington power elite. So much for Baltimore Harbor and being sold into white slavery to Middle Eastern sheiks.

None of that was remotely true, which should make us all take a moment and reconsider the most important lesson that arose out of the Chandra Levy case, that journalism should be based on facts, not theories.

In 2006, I spoke directly with one of the lead detectives from the Washington, D.C. Metro Police Department who was assigned to the Chandra Levy case. I was intrigued when he told me they had “no interest in Gary Condit as a suspect,” and as a result, I pitched that story to several news outlets. To my surprise no one was interested in reporting it.

Maybe that’s because vindication isn’t as enticing as accusation.

The specific accusations that arose from the national media against Gary Condit were so detailed they couldn’t have been anything but pure fabrication or the result of journalists failing to properly investigate. In retrospect, some of them were totally absurd and laughable if the damage they caused to Condit’s life and career wasn’t so tragic.

Supermarket tabloid journalism has infiltrated the landscape of mainstream news convicting people by suspicion in the court of public opinion, and because people want to believe in conspiracy theories, they buy into them.

After all, it’s a lot more exciting to believe that a U.S. Congressman used a secret Washington underground network to have a young girl kidnapped and murdered than accept the more likely reality that she was just another victim of violent crime.

But after a nine-year investigation, U.S. prosecutors and Washington detectives are now saying that is the case. Hopefully, there will be justice for Chandra one way or another. For Gary Condit however, there isn’t much that can be done. After all, sticks and stones may break bones, but words do permanent damage.


Big Journalism

The forgotten 14th victim of the Fort Hood massacre; Plus: Why was Hasan video deleted?

October 19, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Some of us still remember.

Last November, I noted that the unborn child of Fort Hood soldier Francheska Velez was the 14th murder victim of jihadist Nidal Hasan.

At Hasan’s Article 32 trial yesterday, a witness testified about Velez’s searing last words before succumbing to gunshot wounds during the attack:

A pregnant soldier shot during a rampage at a Texas Army post last year cried out, “My baby! My baby!” as others crawled under desks, dodged bullets that pierced walls and rushed to help their bleeding comrades, a military court heard Monday.

A soldier had just told Spc. Jonathan Sims that she was expecting a baby and was preparing to go home, when the first volley of gunfire rang out Nov. 5 in a Fort Hood building where soldiers get medical tests before and after deploying.

“The female soldier that was sitting next to me was in the fetal position. She was screaming: ‘My baby! My baby!’” Sims said.

Pvt. Francheska Velez, a 21-year-old from Chicago, had become pregnant while serving in Iraq. She was among the 13 killed in the worst mass shooting on an American military base.

Sims was one of 10 soldiers to testify Monday at an Article 32 hearing that will determine whether Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan will stand trial on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.

Should have been 14. Not 13.

Flashback: “She would have been a great mom.”

Facebook memorial page for Pvt. Velez.

Previous Fort Hood massacre coverage.

***

I still don’t understand why this isn’t a bigger deal. Why the hell was a soldier ordered to delete crucial evidence of Hasan in the middle of the bloody rampage?

A soldier, testifying at a hearing for accused Fort Hood, Texas, killer Maj. Nidal Hasan, said he was ordered to delete his two videos of the shootings.

Army Pfc. Lance Aviles, present at the mass slayings, said he was directed to delete his videos of the scene by superior officers, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported Monday.

Aviles was awaiting medical processing before deploying to Afghanistan.

He did not say who those officers were or why they wanted him to erase the images captured at the 467th Medical Detachment, the newspaper said.

Michelle Malkin

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