Indiana Democratic Party's Paid Mouthpiece Compares White To Weiner

According to Jennifer Wagner, a paid spokesperson for the Indiana Democratic Party, Secretary of State Charlie White's battle to fend off a partisan hit job initiated by her party is no different than disgraced former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal. The Star actually published this drivel on its editorial page today:

White has attempted to turn his failure to properly register to vote and his illegitimate service on the Fishers Town Council into an intricate personal tale: It wasn't his fault he broke the law. Life just got too complicated to focus on the details . . .
Not long ago, the nation watched another bizarre personal story unfold after New York Congressman Anthony Weiner accidentally unleashed a now-infamous photo that he had intended to send privately to a Twitter follower.
It took Weiner three weeks of similarly embarrassing stories and pressure from fellow Democrats before he resigned . . .
At a tearful media event, Weiner told reporters that "I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do: to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible, so today I'm announcing my resignation from Congress."
Weiner's choice of words could not be more directly applicable to White's situation: The distraction that he has created makes it impossible for him to do his job.

Apparently Wagner is too young to remember the ordeal Evan Bayh endured while serving as Secretary of State when Republicans launched a legal contest challenging his eligibility to run for governor--a legal battle he ultimately won. One passage in Wagner's column sticks out and begs for a response.  "The attorney in me could devote this column to debunking White's story, but I don't practice law for a living," she writes. "I practice public relations, a field where White's win tally is pretty dismal." If Wagner learned anything in law school, she would have learned how to read and comprehend the findings of fact and conclusions of law decided by a unanimous Recount Commission comprised of two Republicans and one Democrat. She was in attendance at the hearing, but for some reason she insists on stating falsely in her column that White "broke the law." She would have also heard the commission's chairman remind those in attendance of the law as established in the Evan Bayh case decided by our state's Supreme Court, which found Bayh eligible notwithstanding the fact that he continued to vote in Indiana elections after moving to Washington, D.C. to work for a law firm where he remained for nearly two years before returning home to run for Secretary of State.

White has maintained his innocence of breaking the election laws from the outset, and the Recount Commission unanimously agreed with White on that point. Weiner, on  the other hand, initially denied sending sextings and blamed it on a computer hacker and a prominent conservative blogger, Andrew Breitbart. Only after irrefutable evidence surfaced that Weiner had not only sent a sexting to the woman in question but many others as well, including a porn actress, did he finally acknowledge that he had lied, apologized and eventually resigned from office. There is absolutely no comparison of White's actions to those of Weiner. To borrow a phrase from Rex Early, that dog won't hunt, Jen.

Wagner apparently doesn't practice public relations any better than she practices law. Many Democrats were less than pleased of some one's decision at the state party to peddle a story to the news media on the eve of Tuesday's Recount Commission hearing questioning Wheeler's impartiality based on an allegation that he had served as one of the hosts of a fundraiser at his law firm for White at which a large contribution was made to White's campaign from the firm's political action committee. What the person peddling the story on behalf of the party neglected to mention was that the firm had made a similar contribution to White's opponent, Vop Osili, a fact that left the reporters, including WTHR's Kevin Rader, with egg on their face after running the story. Wheeler further denied he had hosted or attended the event.

The Democratic Party made a bad miscalculation in going after Wheeler based on the faulty assumption that their appointee to the commission, Bernard Pylitt, would side with the Democratic Party in its efforts to oust White from office. That miscalculation blew up badly in their faces when Pylitt did the right thing and applied the facts and law as they were presented to the commission rather than base his decision on press releases put out by the Democratic Party. Even Pylitt was upset that the issue of which member had given what to whom had been raised in an attempt to impugn the integrity of the commission's proceedings. Pylitt has contributed generously to Democratic Party over the years after all. He went out of his way at Tuesday's hearing to explain that the commission's finding that White had not broken the law had nothing to do with partisan politics.

Yes, someone had a very bad week in public relations. It's your client, Jen, that had the bad week. Get over it. No amount of spinning and reinventing of the facts is going to change that. Not even your own party's commission member is buying your drivel. It's particularly sad, though, that the Indianapolis Star would give space to you on its editorial page to spread a load of crap after your client's horrible missteps this week. Will your client be offering an apology to Wheeler?