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ĎThe least political U.S. attorney 
weíve ever hadí
Politics is the only motivation behind smear of Biskupic

April 18, 2007

The one characteristic about all witch hunts is that there are never really any witches to be found. All of them are invented by the "hunters" who need to create imaginary "witches" to justify their own selfish motivations.

The witch hunt du jour is the one led by national Democrats against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (who theyíre not really mad at). The real "witch" is President Bushís political adviser, Karl Rove, with whom Democrats have been obsessed for committing the most unpardonable of sins - winning two elections for a Republican presidential candidate. So theyíre trying to use Gonzales to get to Rove. Thatís how witch hunts work. As part of their smear, they are trying to hang a bunch of other non-witches. One of them is Steve Biskupic.

Since taking over as U.S. attorney for eastern Wisconsin in 2001, Biskupic has marauded through local governments and found lots of corruption. Three members of the Milwaukee Common Council were sent to prison. A politically connected mega-agency, the Social Development Commission, was exposed as corrupt and its longtime leader went to prison. A prominent state senator was likewise sent to jail. Numerous other investigations were launched. All of this was new stuff. Biskupicís predecessors sleep-walked their ways through their tenures and NEVER investigated political corruption.

One of the cases Biskupic pursued was the trading of state contracts by Gov. Jim Doyleís administration for campaign contributions. That probe resulted in only one measly conviction on a mid-level Doyle staffer, Georgia Thompson. That conviction has since been overturned by a federal appeals court. Thatís all the Democrats need to turn Steve Biskupic into a witch.

In a brazen act of political demagoguery, Wisconsin Democratic Sens. Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold are demanding that the congressional investigation of Attorney General Gonzales be expanded to include Biskupicís investigation of Doyle. They are "demanding" to know if Republican political pressure (translation: Karl Rove) had anything to do with Biskupicís decision to charge Georgia Thompson and pursue Doyle.

Steve Biskupic is the least political U.S. attorney weíve ever had. The notion that heís a Republican pawn is absurd. Itís Steve Biskupic who didnít pursue as many vote fraud cases as Republicans wanted. Itís Steve Biskupic who launched a criminal investigation of a deal involving Republican Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. He would have been more than willing to charge Walker had he found anything illegal. He didnít and thatís why the case was dropped. But the point is that Biskupic was more than willing to dig into a Republican and has never taken marching orders from anyone.

Herb Kohl knows this and so does Russ Feingold.

In their desperate attempt to slime Alberto Gonzales and show that Karl Rove was making political decisions in the Justice Department, Kohl and Feingold are smearing the best federal prosecutor Wisconsin has ever had. The irony is that they are accusing Biskupic of abusing his power for political purposes by conducting a politically motivated investigation.

Let me repeat that. The irony is that Kohl and Feingold are accusing Biskupic of abusing his power by conducting a politically motivated investigation. Thatís precisely what they are doing. Who investigates them?

* * *

Political tidbit No.1: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is endorsing Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination in order to shore up his tepid support among black voters. Barrett carried less than 10 percent of the black vote in his 2004 campaign and is vulnerable to a strong black opponent next year.

Political tidbit No. 2: Republicans in the state Legislature arenít going to try to kill Governor Doyleís big oil franchise fee/gas tax increase. Thatís because they are as beholden to the state road builders lobby as Doyle. After the road builders successfully targeted Republican state Sen. Tom Reynolds for defeat last fall, most in the GOP are terrified of offending them.

* * *

If you get a chance, go on the Internet and check out a photo of a horse named Curlin, one of the favorites to win next monthís Kentucky Derby. He looks like a different species. Heís just enormous. He looks like what Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds looked like a few years ago. Thereís a reason for that. Steroids, believe it or not, are legal in American horse racing (they are banned overseas). All sorts of drugs and medication are banned in thoroughbred racing and lots of cheaters get caught, but steroids are permitted. I think they ought to be banned and one look at Curlin will show that, like Bonds and Sosa, they do make a difference.

* * *

No, Curlin wonít win the Derby. Heís only run three races and that isnít enough seasoning. Iíll get back to you later on who WILL win.

(Mark Belling is the host of a daily WISN radio talk show and a Sunday television show. His column runs Wednesdays in The Freeman.)

 


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