Monday, November 21, 2005

Celebrity defendant acquitted!

Katie writes crows today about Ron Eibensteiner’s recent acquittal on charges of illegal political fundraising. Ron joins the pantheon of wrongly accused but ultimately acquitted celebrities, including O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake, Michael Jackson, and Oliver North. Oh wait, Ollie was convicted, but the conviction was overturned because his public testimony before Congress may have prejudiced his prosecution.

Katie says this is a huge blot on Mike Hatch. Hork! Hork! Hork! Sorry; Spotty had milk come out of his nose. Readers will recall that Mike Hatch learned about a letter written by Eibensteiner thanking a local lobbyist for money sent by the lobbyist’s Florida client to the Republican National Committee. Curious. Curiouser when you know that the same client received a sweetheart settlement with the State on charges of violations of insurance law in Minnesota.

Why was a state party chair writing a thank you to an out-of-state company for a contribution to a national party? Why, oh why, would he do that? Spot will now introduce you to what Louis Nizer called the rule of probability, but Spot calls the rule that it probably happened in the most ordinary way. Some guy named Occam says he conceived the rule first, but pay no attention to him.

The rule says that simple, straightforward explanations are best, and virtually always right. The rule says here that the Florida insurance company’s contribution was for the ultimate benefit of the Minnesota Republicans after being laundered through the RNC.

There is another pol in some current trouble for using the RNC as a laundromat for corporate contributions: Tom DeLay. Now there’s a coincidence for you! Not.


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