Thursday, October 30, 2008

Van Hollen can't get his story straight

First, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen claimed that "There was no discussion with anybody involved in leadership with the Republican Party (or the McCain Campaign) about this lawsuit before it was brought." Then he said he had "no reason to believe” any of his aides discussed the case with the GOP or the McCain campaign.

This was all back in September, but maybe being on the losing end of a lawsuit has jogged his memory. On Oct. 26, Van Hollen was interviewed for a story on CNN, and when asked whether or not lawyers from the GOP had a discussion in his office the week before he filed the suit, he replied that "I understand that's true." When then pressed if he'd been asked by those lawyers to file the suit, he said "No. They may have asked lawyers in my office to file the lawsuit."

That's a bit of a different story than he was first telling when the whole thing came up back in September.

If there is an appeal of the ruling in this case, I would ask and hope that those handling it take a serious look at this man's various and contradictory statements. There's something seriously amiss when our Attorney General keeps changing his story about whether or not partisan politics had any influence over something as important as election law.

See the interview here (scroll down).


Dustin Christopher said...

I think a lot of people who voted for this guy did so assuming that (R) behind his name on the ticket wouldn't impact his policy decisions. Granted, Van Hollen's done a fine job modernizing the state crime lab and running the day-to-day operations of the justice department. But the sheer volume of politicking he's brought into the AG's office -- the political firings, the orders from national party offices -- is despicable.

I know I'm going to have to weigh his contribution to the justice system against a very heavy millstone of sleaze come the 2010 election.

Emily said...

DC - That's the thing, isn't it. I, too, have been pretty pleased with the work Van Hollen has done to better the day-to-day operations of the justice department and such. But he's doing a damn fine job of negating all that good with this incessant partisan politicking on larger issues.

2010 can't come soon enough.

illusory tenant said...

I'm going to defend the Republican lawyers here and suggest that their party membership doesn't preclude their interest in the proper administration of election law nor does it necessarily cast that interest in a nefarious light.

There, that's my good deed for the day.

Dustin Christopher said...

IT... that's what we call charity work...

mal said...

Read the HAVA law and the VH v. GAB decision.

Van Hollan is wrong not just on the substance of the law, but on the procedures for addressing its implementation and the challenges to the state implementation.

The "...proper administration of election law"? Are you kidding. That is the GAB's sphere. Are you aware of that?

The case, such as it is, is not even ripe yet for US Atty involvement, which is the proper office, not the state DOJ

Read the briefs and decision:

Read the HAVA law , and concentrate on the sections under dispute.

Illusory tenant: Your comments are misinformed and ignorant of the basic facts and disputes of the case. Do your homework.

The DOJ is the proper agency for the administration of elections? That's a good one! Not even Van Hollen is saying that.

Emily said...

mal - To be fair, I'm not sure that's exactly what IT was saying.

IT - Regardless, my main beef (in this post) is that Van Hollen has been changing his story so much, ie: potentially lying. That's not something I think we should tolerate in our AG.

illusory tenant said...

Um, mal, I wasn't defending anybody's position on the merits, and I understand the post is about Van Hollen's apparent waffling, which is of concern.

Anonymous said...

well van hollen has still not addressed the backlog - what is it now, still over 1000 cases? someone should ask for the specific # - so it's hard to see how he bettered the crime lab or day to day operations either

Emily said...

And now The Doyle is displeased with Van Hollen, too.

illusory tenant said...

Sorry, we don't hear about that in Milwaukee. The Journal-Sentinel's top stories are currently "Brewers name Macha as their new manager" (complete with video, poll, and blog) and "Zoo staff anesthetize polar bear, pull him out."

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