Just a little ways down, I described the DoJ as an extortion racket.

I was referring specifically to their treatment of KPMG and the "deferred prosecution agreement".  I did so pretty safe in the knowledge that it was protected political speech.  But then Captain Ed reminded me of the Austin, TX prosecutor who seems to have decided that the most useful thing he can do with his life is to get Tom Delay, the Republican Majority Leader, thrown in jail. 

Granted, getting criminals thrown in jail is what prosecutors are supposed to do, and granted, Delay may be guilty; I'm not in a position to know, even though I tend to think almost all the "campaign finance reform" laws are violations of the First Amendment anyway. 

But the same fellow is apparantly not interested in prosecuting any of the smaller fry he notices along the way.  He's (allegedly) using his own little variant on the deferred prosecution scheme to coerce companies into making "donations" to his pet causes instead.  Seems to me that's across the line, or would be if he wasn't protected by the supposed-immunity of government agents to their own laws. And so I got to thinking -- isn't that just as much of an extortion racket as the KPMG thing? 

Why, yes.  Yes it is. 

But that thought led to other thoughts.  Obviously, this guy isn't afraid to go after large corporations with this stuff.  He's targetted Sears, for crying out loud.  Unlike the Captain, I live in Austin -- the same county as this prosecutor, in fact.  If I call a spade a spade, and an extortion racket an extortion racket, even if he's somehow figured out how to violate the spirit of the law without violating the letter, might I not be targetted for politically-motivated prosecution myself?  After all, this is an openly political blog, and no doubt a determined prosecutor could find some campaign finance "reform" law I am arguably breaking by running it.  Good enough for smoke and mirrors, at least, especially since I can't exactly afford a high-priced lawyer to defend my case.

I found myself thinking, "Maybe the better part of valor would be to leave it alone and let Captain Ed speak for me."

That would be a chilling effect, wouldn't it?

Why, yes.  Yes, it would.

This entry was published Sat Sep 24 10:43:35 CDT 2005 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2005-09-24 10:43:35.0. [Tweet]

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