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The Republican Governors Association is continuing its assault on democracy with yet another ad attacking Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen for daring to offer legal services to the accused:

The spot is very similar to their last one, a revolting effort to paint Sheheen (who is running against South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley) as some kind of dastardly fiend for, you know, helping criminal defendants exercise their constitutional rights. Here, the ad accuses Sheheen of "reducing" the jail time of a "sex offender who abused a minor" from "10 years to 38 days."

Of course, this is also known as "how the system works," and Sheheen didn't "reduce" anything. He negotiated a plea deal with prosecutors, who had to sign off on this agreement. (And according to The State, it's likely that the alleged victim did so as well.) What's more, as Sheheen points out, Haley's been accused of multiple ethics violations during her time in office, yet of course she's never hesitated to seek legal representation.

Nor should she, because, again, this is how our adversarial system of justice is supposed to operate. And that's why so many in the legal world have reacted with extreme hostility to the RGA's despicable ads, even including Republicans. That includes attorney Robert Luskin, who is defending none other than Chris Christie—the chair of the RGA—in the Bridgegate scandal; the South Carolina Bar Association; the American Bar Association; and former state Attorney General Charlie Condon, who describes himself as a supporter of Haley's. But as Condon points out, was John Adams unfit to serve as president because he defended British soldiers accused of perpetrating the Boston Massacre?

The RGA probably thinks so. And even more sadly, the fact that they keep running ads on this theme suggests they believe these attacks are working with voters. But the good news is that the RGA is even running ads in deep red South Carolina in the first place. If they didn't fear that Sheheen might unseat Haley, they wouldn't bother. Make no mistake: This will be a very difficult race for Democrats to win. But there's a real chance that Sheheen, and those who stand on the side of justice, will earn the last laugh here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  These idiots are all attorneys. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, TDDVandy, Matt Z

    They're eating their babies - what cannibals.

    If you acknowledge it, you can change it.

    by Raggedy Ann on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:17:09 AM PDT

    •  repubs (0+ / 0-)

      This writer fails to understand the mentality of the repubs and the southern voter. from their point of view everyone accused of a  crime needs to go to jail.

      Guns wars and wal marts is the cry of the south and really much of the cry of America.

      300 million guns in America and counting.

      Americans actually think the more guns and wars they have the safer they are.

      The terrorists who plotted 9/11 wanted exactly what occurred to happen. American super power overreaction and wars with Muslim nations that would cause a faster destruction of the American empire.

      Now the repubs and the south want to go to  war with Russia. that war mentality is a low level of consciousness development.

  •  Our Legal System (0+ / 0-)

    Is very problematic for the political right wing.

    They are naturally authoritarian and have views about government and power that don't allow for much subtlety. This manifests itself in various ways:

    • Richard Nixon or Chris Christie or whatever GOP Father Figure of the moment claiming, "I'm the executive, so I am the law. If I do it, it's not illegal!"
    • All sorts of wild claims about "activist judges."
    • "Tort reform."

    These views aren't even necessarily coherent, but really just boil down to, "We want to get our way by whatever means necessary and we don't want anyone -- including the courts -- to stop us."

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:18:31 AM PDT

  •  The ads are disgusting (0+ / 0-)

    But this is bipartisan.

    Both Republicans and Democrats have tried to criticize opponents because of their clients in legal work.

    You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

    by trumanesque on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:20:26 AM PDT

    •  Oh, really? Care to back up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, serendipityisabitch

      that statement with some facts, links, cites?

      I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

      by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:53:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are welcome (0+ / 0-)

        http://www.hoover.org/...

        xamples here are not hard to find. Washington “superlawyer” Robert Bennett won the praise of conservatives, and liberal scorn, for successfully representing former Reagan administration Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger during the Iran-Contra affair, ultimately obtaining a presidential pardon for his client in 1992. A few years later, he became a conservative bête noire, and a liberal hero, for his muscular defense of President Clinton against Paula Jones’s sexual harassment accusations. Similarly, former Clinton White House Counsel Jack Quinn was heavily criticized for his successful efforts, during the Clinton administration’s final days, to obtain a presidential pardon for fugitive financier Marc Rich. Indeed, feeling was running so high against Quinn that an article in National Review attacked conservative commentator and former Washington, D.C. United States Attorney Joseph DiGenova for his representation of Quinn, on account of Quinn’s representation of Rich.

        A spate of President Bush’s lawyer nominees have been opposed because of clients they have represented while in private practice, or because of positions they have advanced on a client’s behalf.1 In this regard, during his confirmation hearings, Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson was closely questioned by senators about arguments regarding such hot-button issues as affirmative action and women’s rights, which he had made for clients while in private practice. President Bush’s nomination of Harvey L. Pitt, another highly respected Washington lawyer, to be chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission was opposed by conservative activists because he represented New Frontier Media, an internet distributor of “adult” (some would say pornographic) materials. The nomination of Eugene Scalia (son of Justice Antonin Scalia) to be the solicitor of the Department of Labor met with opposition from labor groups because he has represented companies, such as United Parcel Service and Anheuser-Busch, seeking to block adoption of certain ergonomics standards. The nomination of Jeffrey Holmstead as an assistant EPA administrator was opposed by a number of environmental groups, in part because he represented “polluters” in private practice.

        and here http://uchicagolaw.typepad.com/...

        You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

        by trumanesque on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:58:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah! Supporting your crap with (3+ / 0-)

          citations to a right wing think tank.  Just what I expected.

          I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

          by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:17:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Those are all recitations (0+ / 0-)

            of facts in the news record; are you saying that Holmstead wasn't attacked because he represented "polluters" for example. When you're proven wrong, the decent thing is to say thank you , since you just learned something.

            Unless you think it's a figment of my imagination that Clemens and his law firm were attacked for their legal work on behalf of the House in defending DOMA for another example, (second link).

            You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

            by trumanesque on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:24:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You don't seem to understand the difference... (4+ / 0-)

              ... between trashing a criminal defense lawyer because the lawyer because he or she defends alleged criminal and opposing the appointment of an attorney with close ties to a particular industry to a government post that involves regulating (or policing) that same industry.

              •  No, they understand perfectly (2+ / 0-)

                What they understand is any way you can blame a Democrat for doing something even REMOTELY akin to what a Republican does muddies the waters and provides cover for Republican sleaze merchants. IOKIYAR at its finest (worst, really).

                GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

                by ontheleftcoast on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:11:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I note that this gentleman has successfully (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ontheleftcoast

                  managed another threadjack, and gotten the topic totally off Haley and Shaheen.

                  He's good, I must say. ;)

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:10:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  That's even more offensive (0+ / 0-)

                You're saying that an attorney is not going to faithfully do his work because in prior work, he represented "the other side" during prior employment.

                You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts. "I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."- Truman

                by trumanesque on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:12:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  these ads call for a strong response, along (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    the lines of Republicans' 'unAmerican' assault on the American legal system.

  •  These ads make me want to bite people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    Just really get in there and bite

  •  These ads are conceptually quite similar to the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    codairem

    1988 Willie Horton ads, and they'll probably succeed in SC.

    •  That was just a Dukakis fail. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sure even he would tell you that if he could turn back time, he'd be able to parry those ads pretty easily. He was just flustered, like Kerry was in 2004 by something equally easy to parry.

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:10:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In comparison, note how the President (0+ / 0-)

        handle the Reverend Wright situation in 2008.

        "Drudge: soundslike sludge, islike sewage."
        (-7.25, -6.72)

        by gougef on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:15:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Dukakis himself... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gygaxian

        ...admitted as much over the weekend talking to Steve Kornacki. I believe his words were, "Don't ask me why I didn't."

        What he went on to talk about says - regrettably - a lot about timorous Democrats today: that many are "still haunted by the ghost of Willie Horton," and the charge of being "soft on crime."

        I'd use a metaphor different from "ghost;" it's more like adults remaining intimidated by someone who was big, bad and scary when they were children, but who is now a doddering old man, harmless to them except for that childhood fear they can't seem to outgrow.

        After more than 25 years, it's time they did.

         

  •  The response to these ads (0+ / 0-)

    should be to point out the times that Nikki Haley herself has called a lawyer over her various transgressions.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:59:00 AM PDT

    •  Since the ads are from the RGA - a group whose (0+ / 0-)

      current and recent membership rolls have a not-insignificant dependence on criminal defense lawyerin' - I'd be tempted to take a poke at her and them… using an argument that Nikki Haley won't or can't even fight her own political fights.

      Disclaimer: I'm neither a political consultant nor do I play one on or near a TV :)

      Dear Media: a camo hat and assault rifle doesn't make one a militiaman any more than plaid pants and a fancy driver makes one a golf pro.

      by here4tehbeer on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:24:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Since the Civil War there have not been two... (0+ / 0-)

    ...so different visions of what America should be.

    One data point is the political polarization IMO put on steroids by the election of Obama which re-energized the racists that now act like the cornered rats they are.

    The Repug Governors are another data point.

    The advent of the libertarians and the religious right, which together with the racists, are the base of the Repug party, makes the Democratic party look like safe ground in spite of all its imperfections.

    There is a slow motion war going between the two visions of America.  If their vision prevails America will become as popular as North Korea.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:01:10 AM PDT

  •  I don't think it's out of bounds at all. (0+ / 0-)

    There are many jobs that are necessary in our society, but which legitimately call into question someone's claim to represent us at the highest levels.  Nobody doubts that capitalists are necessary to capitalist society, but we're totally comfortable impugning them when they run for office, and rightly so.  My comments on Daily Kos are, if I do say so myself, integral to our democratic society, but if I ran for Congress I couldn't complain if someone use them against me.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:09:55 AM PDT

  •  Evil defense lawyers strike again! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Krush

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:13:42 AM PDT

  •  cause (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, TDDVandy

    I don't think the RGA is doing anything other than pandering to their bigoted voters.  To them, Black people do most--or all--crime, need legal aid--and belong in jail.  Simplistic hatred has always been used to win votes, it's just that now it's out in the open--with pride.  I certainly hope there really is a hell.  Anyone remember a play--Steambath--by Bruce Jay Friedman (?)--in it, strangers realize the steam bath Puerto Rican"boy" is really the Angel who decides their fate for eternity.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:14:32 AM PDT

  •  why are they politizing (0+ / 0-)

    this at all

    It was his job. That is what he was paid to do.

    it makes them look immature and silly

  •  Cheap, dishonest and shows no understanding of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian

    legal rights. After all John Adams defended the British soldier accused of murder during the Boston Massacre and won. Would be even worse if it was through the public defender program.

    However the goal of this type of ad is to influence the low information voter prone to emotional appeals to their weak minds so it may work.

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:48:12 AM PDT

  •  The prosecutors ought to be the ones ashamed (0+ / 0-)

    It's the prosecutors who ought to be ashamed by the plea deal mentioned in the ad. Going for a 10 year sentence against someone, but then settling for just 38 days?

    I think in some cases prosecutors settle too easily for such measly penalties, simply because they don't want a potential loss in court to hurt their win/lose record, and a plea deal counts as a win.

    While in some cases the state saves money on a plea deal even if it's a weak sentence, I've seen other cases on real life crime shows where it's simply absurd what deals prosecutor negotiate. Like one where the prosecutor agreed to zero jail time to an alleged murderer while the jury was deliberating, and then after finalizing the plea bargain the jury returned a guilty verdict that would have sent the person to jail for decades. Leaving aside how strong/weak of a case you have, how is it in any way justice to agree to give a murderer zero jail time from a prosecutor's point of view?

  •  The Bridges of South Carolina. (0+ / 0-)

    South Carolina has over 8000 bridges throughout the state.
    Chris Christie is head of the Republican Governors Association.
    I'd be watching those bridges on election day.

    The line between genius and insanity? Genius understands that it has a limit.

    by Joeklahoma on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 12:19:12 PM PDT

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