Washington Post columnist David Broder last week cited New Jersey's freshman Gov. Chris Christie as a role model for Pennsylvania's Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett, who similarly boasts of a platform to limit government and fight crime.
But Broder got the Christie story completely backward in his Sept. 2 column. The columnist described Corbett, Pennsylvania's attorney general and also a former U.S. attorney there, this way:
His claim to fame is that his investigations of corrupt legislators have so far sent several of them to jail. In this race, he has modeled himself on Chris Christie, the freshman governor of New Jersey, promising, as Christie did, to oppose new taxes and shrink state government.
Far from limiting government, Christie wasted vast amounts of taxpayer funds to help himself and his cronies. Look no farther than his scheme as U.S. attorney to connive with Solomon Dwek, a big-time bank swindler and brothel operator, to crush political opponents with criminal charges timed to explode at the beginning of the 2009 Christie campaign.
The Christie-and-Dwek tale recounted below illustrates why we need more investigative reporting in politics as this year's election season heats up. Pundits seldom deign to discuss obvious dirty tricks, much less the deviltry from unwarranted criminal charges against political targets to destroy them and their families as part of an election strategy.
This is a huge nationwide problem, as indicated by the Bush White House's notorious purge of eight of the nation's 93 presidentially appointed U.S. attorneys for political reasons after the 2006 elections. The unprecedented mid-term firings were preceded by DOJ Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson's email to Karl Rove advocating "loyal Bushies" in those jobs.
Both the Bush and Obama DOJ then proceeded to keep business-as-usual by whitewashing their internal investigation of DOJ. First, Bush's DOJ appointed Nora Dannehy, a secretly compromised prosecutor, to lead the nationwide probe, as the Justice Integrity Project reported earlier this summer.Then Bush's DOJ limited Dannehy's investigation to essentially one of the fired prosecutors.