Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Tears Of A Clown

I think we can officially write-off Republican candidate for attorney general Jeannine Pirro as an up-and-coming national political figure.
Republican state attorney general candidate Jeanine Pirro says she is under federal investigation for allegedly plotting to secretly record her husband, Albert.
Oh, there's a lot more to this story, hang's going to be a bumpy night...
At a packed news conference in Manhattan, a furious and at times tearful Pirro insisted she would not quit the race and blasted the investigation as politically motivated and sexist.
Said investigation stems from a separate investigation of her good friend, convicted swindler and bribe-taker, Bernard Kerik, the disgraced former head of the NYPD, and ersatz-Homeland Security Secretary under George W. Bush. Speaks a lot about how carefully Bush picks his Cabinet (a subject of a later "Marx Brothers" clip...)

Said investigation, involving no less than six Federal and state law enforcement agencies. Said investigation being run by Republican U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, Michael J. Garcia. But wait, there's more!
Pirro said FBI agents had confronted her outside her home late one night to inform her she was under investigation. She said she had hired an attorney to represent her in the case.

But she insisted that prosecutors had no business delving into her troubled union with lobbyist Albert Pirro, who spent 11 months in prison on tax fraud charges and fathered an illegitimate daughter after their wedding.

"Sometime last year, I came to believe that my husband was seeing another woman," Pirro said. "In the midst of matrimonial discord, I was angry and had him followed to see if what I suspected was true. Although I spoke about taping him, there was no taping by me of anyone. There was anger, and frustration, and disappointment."
Fair enough. A woman's home life ought to be private, just like, say, Bill Clinton's should have been kept out of the papers while he was President. But wait, there's more! How do you think her name came up in the Kerik investigation?

On a wire-tap!
Pirro spoke with Bernard Kerik, the disgraced ex-New York police commissioner, about possibly placing a recorder in a room to listen in on her husband, said two people familiar with the situation, who spoke to The Associated Press only on condition of anonymity.

Pirro said Kerik was a friend and confirmed that they had spoken about her marital concerns. And while she said she had ultimately decided against recording her husband, she said none of the actions she'd contemplated taking was illegal.
Now....she's the county prosecutor for Westchester. She's running for Attorney General on the basis of her very solid record as a prosecutor, contrasted with Andrew Cuomo's skimpy record in court.

Pardon me for venting here, but...WHAT THE FUCK WAS SHE THINKING? The law is very specific and very clear: you can only bug or wiretap IF one party to the conversation has knowledge of the tap or you have a warrant. Since she was trying to determine if her husband was cheating on her, it's clear that neither party would know. Further, it's unlikely that a court would issue a warrant.

The taped evidence in damning. She speaks to Kerik about having someone install a video camera and microphone on her husband's yacht. It's clearly not the first time they've discussed it, as Kerik whines that he cannot find anyone who would agree to do this (whether he actually tried is open to discussion: he seems to have gotten how illegal this route was). At the very least, based on this bit of tape, Pirro is guilty of conspiracy to violate of a part of the U.S. Code relating to interception and disclosure of wire, oral or electronic communications.

At the very worst, she took further steps on her own accord to actually install the bug, something she threatens to do in the tape.

Her excuse for all this?
"Placing a recording device on one's property to intercept a conversation involving one's spouse is not a crime," Pirro said in the statement provided to The Associated Press. "That is what is so stunning about this federal investigation. I am being investigated for speaking in anger about doing something that it is lawful to do, and which I didn't do."
And her counterattack?
"There is no way, when I have the opportunity to be the first woman attorney general in the history of this state, that I'm going to be pushed out of a race because somebody wants to delve into the personal lives of my husband and myself," Pirro said. "I'm standing up for myself and standing up for women."
Ah, the gender card! If I was a woman, I'd be highly offended that she'd play the pity card over her own actions, and dragging me into her sordid personal life.

Jeannine Pirro has an ALbatross around her neck, no question about it, and he doesn't even have the charm and political adeptness that Bill Clinton has. That she hasn't divorced his sorry ass already speaks volumes about her weakness as a politician, a candidate, and a woman. That she'd hide behind this weakness is despicable.

Is it possible, however, that the timing of this investigation is suspect, despite the fact that Republicans are running the investigation and it stems from another investigation? Sure.

Pirro's television ads have worked overtime trying to link her to the heritage of Eliot Spitzer as a crime-fighting district attorney who will fight just as hard for women's rights and quality of life for New Yorkers than anyone else. Spitzer might have take offense at that, and forced a leak, as he has cut commercials showing his outward support of Andrew Cuomo, Pirro's opponent.

Too, she angered the state GOP, including its nominal head, state senator Joe Bruno, by creating a ruckus when she was asked to drop out of the race against Hillary Clinton for her re-election.

So, here we have a woman who has promised to pick up the fight for women's rights and quality of life issues, when she herself is an emotionally-battered and cowed wife who's own life needs a little more quality in it. She probably ought to quit now, and retire from public service.

Which is a damned shame, because she's actually pretty effective.