Tag Archives: grand jury indictment

Hastert scandal drips with irony

If you think for a moment about the scandal involving former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, you come away scratching your head at the incredible irony.

A grand jury has indicted Hastert on charges that he spent money illegally to keep someone quiet about an alleged sexual encounter between Hastert and the then-student at the high school where Hastert was a teacher and a coach.

That part of it is weird enough.

But consider the context of the time he was selected to become speaker of the House of Representatives.

* The House had impeached President Clinton for lying to a federal grand jury about an extramarital dalliance he was having with a White House intern.

* The then-speaker, Newt Gingrich, who railed incessantly against the president for his moral failings, resigned from public office after it was revealed that he, too, was fooling around with a woman who wasn’t his wife.

* Up stepped Rep. Bob Livingston, who was set to become speaker. But oops! He dropped the effort because he also was involved in an extramarital affair.

Man, sex was in the air.

Then came the Boy Scout, Denny Hastert. He was chosen to become speaker — and the first person, after the vice president, in line of succession to the presidency of the United States of America.

I guess they didn’t vet him at all, let alone thoroughly.

Thus, the irony.

Here we go again, Gov. Perry

Rachel Maddow is no fan of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

There. I’ve stipulated what many folks know already about the liberal commentator for MSNBC.

That all said, she noted Friday night that Perry is about to break another “glass ceiling” for Republican presidential candidates. He’s about to become the first candidate under felony indictment to seek his party’s presidential nomination. He’ll make his announcement on June 4.

The Texas Tribune has posted a fascinating analysis on the pluses and minuses of a Perry presidential campaign.


You remember the indictment, yes? A Travis County grand jury indicted Perry in 2014 on charges of abuse of power and coercion when he tried to get the Democratic Travis County district attorney to resign after she pleaded guilty to drunken driving; if she quit, he’d then let the DA’s Public Integrity Unit have the money appropriated by the Legislature. She didn’t quit. So Perry vetoed the money.

The grand jury said that sequence constituted an indictable offense.

Hey, that doesn’t matter. He’s going to run for the presidency a second time, hoping that all will be forgiven from his first — and disastrous — run for the White House in 2012; he actually lasted only a few days into 2012, as he dropped out of the race in January of that year.

Will the indictment hold him back? Will it matter to GOP voters who are looking for a right-wing darling to embrace as an alternative to squishy moderates such as Jeb Bush, Rob Portmand, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham or Chris Christie? All of those guys — and the others who already have declared their intentions to run or are about to declare them — will seek to paint themselves as hard-core conservatives.

Perry, though, is the real thing … he says.

He’s got this chink in his conservative armor, however. It’s immigration. You see, as the governor of a border state for a bazillion years, he has this idea that we really ought to have immigration reform. He also favors something akin to President Obama’s DREAM Act, which grants amnesty to illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents, when they were children. And … he also favors granting in-state college tuition waivers to those very illegal immigrants.

That area is where I happen to agree with the former governor.

The rest of it? No thanks.

Plus, he’s got that indictment matter to settle before he thinks about taking the presidential oath on Jan. 20, 2017.

Something tells me it won’t come to that.