Friday, August 06, 2010

Gov. Manchin Issues Statement Regarding Federal Probe

West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin's Office has released the following statement after the conservative blog, WestVirginiaWatchdog.org and the Associated Press reported that federal investigators had requested documents and information from West Virginia officials earlier this week:
STATEMENT FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

"The State of West Virginia was served this week with two federal subpoenas.

"Neither subpoena was directed to Governor Manchin or the Governor's Office. No individual in the Governor's Office was served with a subpoena.

"The Governor has directed State officials to fully cooperate and comply expeditiously.

"Governor Manchin wants to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible.

"The State has not been informed that Governor Manchin or any other state employee is under investigation."
It's still early to see what's happening here, but I can't help but recall how the WVGOP and current Republican Senatorial candidate Mac Warner's brother, former U.S. Attorney Kasey Warner, helped defeat WV State Senator Oshel Craigo (D) in 2002 amid allegations of a "pending federal investigation".

Is the WV GOP playing from the same playbook that they used in 2002? The timing of this "investigation" seems fishy to me.

Check out how Gary Abernathy described the 2002 events to the State Journal and see if they don't sound similar to the current situation.
Gary Abernathy, former state Republican Party executive director under Kris Warner [Mac and Kasey's brother], wrote a book called "Elephant Wars: Why Fight the Democrats When We Have Each Other," in which he provides a behind-the-scenes account of Republican politics in West Virginia.

In the book, Abernathy describes how he got a tip that Craigo was the subject of a federal investigation.

"Kris told me he thought the information was legitimate, and we did a series of press releases on the subject, which became a big media story," Abernathy writes. "Of course, the fact that Kris' brother, Kasey, was the U.S. attorney whose office was doing the investigation brought howls of protest from the Democrats suggesting that Kasey was tipping off Kris for political purposes.

"I never witnessed any such communication between the brothers, but I also knew well who my chairman's brother was," he continues. "If Kris told me a tip seemed legitimate, I couldn't deny feeling safer about doing a press release on the subject. The investigation itself never did seem to yield any results, but the publicizing of it no doubt led to Craigo's defeat."
Could it be that the WV GOP still has friends working in the U.S. Attorney's Office?

Let me be clear, if misdeeds occurred, then those responsible should be punished to the full extent of the law. However, if the U.S. Attorney's Office is being manipulated for political purposes, then those responsible should face serious consequences as well.

(If you saw the classic 1991 film "True Colors" starring John Cusack and James Spader, then you know what I'm talking about.)

-- Cross posted at WVaBlue.com

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