Skip to main content

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, a lot of ink (and no small number of pixels) has been devoted to what impact unlimited, anonymous special interest money may have on our political system.

But in the Kentucky Senate race pitting Democrat Jack Conway, the state’s attorney general, against Republican nominee Rand Paul, we’re getting a look at another potential -- and potentially disastrous -- effect of the ruling that’s received far less attention: a scenario where deep-pocketed corporate criminals take advantage of the new campaign finance landscape to undermine the American justice system.

As ABC News reported this week, "A local millionaire has helped launch a barrage of ads attacking the Democratic candidate – a candidate who, as the state’s attorney general, is prosecuting the businessman’s nursing home for allegedly covering up sexual abuse."

The businessman is Terry Forcht, a "super-wealthy conservative donor" whose vast holdings include a chain of nursing homes that have been the subject of intense controversy in the Bluegrass State. Forcht has donated big bucks to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, a "super-PAC" that has invested heavily to defeat Conway. (As ABC notes, like other conservative donors who are "quietly stoking the GOP’s mid-term election surge around the nation, the extent of [Forcht’s] investment in the 2010 campaign is both vast and, for now at least, largely unknown.")

According to ABC:

[Conway] has been leading an aggressive and very public prosecution of a Forcht-owned nursing home for allegedly covering up the scandalous sexual abuse of an elderly resident. The case was brought after the nursing home allegedly failed to report to authorities, or even tell the 88-year-old victim’s family, that she had been sexually abused by another resident.

State records reviewed by ABC News show that Forcht is both the chairman and the registered agent for the Hazard Nursing Home, where the alleged incident took place. As such, Forcht was to be summoned to appear in a Kentucky court last month, state officials said. Forcht’s company and its administrator have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The case has been big news in Kentucky, with the lurid details of the elderly woman’s abuse played out in state and local newspapers. Conway issued a press release upon bringing the charges, saying he wanted to make a public example of Forcht’s nursing home. The charges, he said in a press release, were intended to "send a message to nursing home operators and administrators that they have an obligation to notify authorities if a resident is abused while in their care."

In jurisdictions all across the United States, judges, district attorneys and sheriffs are elected by the people. This race may be just a harbinger of more blatant attempts to subvert our criminal justice system to come.

Read the rest here [I know how annoying that is and apologize in advance -- AlterNet is a non-profit that feeds me and pays my rent, and this allows me to participate in the community without feeling guilty].

Originally posted to Joshua Holland on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 06:46 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site