In The World Of The Internet, A Candidate Needs To Get Their Biography Straight

Today’s Houston Chronicle posted a story about Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. Ms. Davis seems to have forgotten some of the details of her life story. The problem with that is that in the age of the internet fact-checking is very easy for anyone who takes the time to do it.

When she did her filibuster for abortion, Ms. Davis claimed to have been a struggling divorced teenage mother poverty-stricken and living in a trailer. Actually, she was 21 when she divorced and lived in a trailer only for a few months. She remarried and her husband paid for her education. Curiously enough, they were divorced shortly after the final bill for her law degree was paid.

The article reports:

“My language should be tighter,” she told the Morning News. “I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail.”

In a statement released to the media Monday, Davis said that “the truth is that at age 19, I was a teenage mother living alone with my daughter in a trailer and struggling to keep us afloat on my way to a divorce.” She also clarified that she didn’t officially file for divorce until age 20 and that it wasn’t finalized until the following year.

Does it matter? I am sure no one cares exactly how old she was when she got her first divorce or about the details of her personal life, but were the facts altered in order to create a specific image? I understand that politics is about image and that the truth is often stretched. However, this is not simply a stretch–this is misleading.

In the end, the voters will make the decision, and since Texas is historically a red state, even without this deception exposed, Ms. Davis is not the favored candidate. But hopefully, her experience should remind candidates that it pays to get the facts right–especially about your own biography.

Enhanced by Zemanta

It Is Too Soon For This, However…

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted an article discussing whether or not Ted Cruz would be eligible to run for President in 2016. The article describes Ted Cruz as “one of the most brilliant constitutional lawyers ever to serve in the Senate.” The question arises because Ted Cruz was actually born in Canada.

The article reports:

Cruz was born in Canada, but his mother was a lifelong American, born in Delaware. (His father was a political refugee from Cuba.) So under federal law, Cruz was born an American citizen by virtue of his mother. His family moved back to Texas, where Cruz grew up, and lived his entire life except the years he spent in New Jersey attending Princeton, Massachusetts attending Harvard Law School, and Washington, D.C., clerking for Chief Justice William Rehnquist at the Supreme Court and later serving in the Bush administration. So this former Texas solicitor general was born an American citizen and has spent almost all his life in America—usually serving his state or nation. 

It would be better to report, “Some constitutional experts say he would be ineligible,” or more accurate still, “A small minority of constitutional experts say he would be ineligible.” But no one can make the unqualified claim that the Constitution declares Ted Cruz is unable to run for president.

The entire discussion is a typical pre-emptive strike by the Democrat Party and the media on someone who might eventually be a Republican candidate for President. The old guard of the Republican Party has stood by as the media and Democrats have destroyed some of their most qualified people. It’s time for them to wake up and fight back. There are many smart, gifted, and capable Americans who will never run for office because of the way the media treats conservative candidates. It’s time for a change on the part of reporters and on the part of the Republican Party.

Enhanced by Zemanta

I Have Totally Mixed Emotions On This

On Wednesday, the Daily Caller posted an article detailing some close ties between vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz and President Obama. Among other things, President Obama was a guest at the moderator’s wedding in 1991. The article reports that Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.

The article at the Daily Caller goes on to detail a rather close relationship between President Obama and Mr. Genachowski which has continued over the years.

The article reports:

Genachowski’s friendship with Obama would continue through the campaign trail in 2008 and into the White House: He aggressively fundraised for Obama in 2008 as a campaign bundler, and served on the presidential transition team before winning his appointment to chair the FCC.

It should be mentioned that Martha Raddatz and Julius Genachowski divorced and are now married to other people.

I do find this a little unsettling. I think ABC could have found a moderator without a direct connection to the President, but I am willing to watch the debate and hope that Ms. Raddatz is fair and objective.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Should Political Candidates Be Held To The Same Laws As The Rest Of Us ?

Yesterday a website called Legal Insurrection posted an article about the law practice of U. S. Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren.

William A. Jacobson, the writer of the article, reports:

I confirmed with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers by telephone that Warren never has been admitted to practice in Massachusetts.  I had two conversations with the person responsible for verifying attorney status.  In the first conversation the person indicated she did not see any entry for Warren in the computer database, but she wanted to double check.  I spoke with her again several hours later, and she indicated she had checked their files and also had spoken with another person in the office, and there was no record of Warren ever having been admitted to practice in Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, the article also states:

Regardless of where she was admitted, Warren consistently since the late 1990s has held herself out as having her professional address for legal representation at her Harvard Law School office in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Warren was listed as “Of Counsel” on Travelers’ Supreme Court Brief, listing her Harvard Law School office as her office address:

I called a lawyer I know and asked if this was normal practice. I was informed that the average lawyer would be disbarred (or worse) for practicing law in Massachusetts without having been admitted to the bar in Massachusetts.

The article further states:

There is no requirement that a law teacher be licensed to practice law in Massachusetts in order to teach or publish on topics related to law.  In fact, a law teacher need not even be a lawyer.  Once that law teacher starts acting a lawyer, however, the normal licensing rules apply.

The question becomes whether Warren was “practicing law” at her Cambridge address, or doing something that does not constitute the practice of law.

A person practicing law in Massachusetts needs to be licensed to do so.  Superadio Ltd. Partnership v. Winstar Radio Productions, LLC, 446 Mass. 330, 334, 844 N.E.2d 246, 250 (Mass. 2006)(“As a general proposition, an attorney practicing law in Massachusetts must be licensed, or authorized, to practice law here”).

As a lawyer, she would have known that she had to be admitted to the bar in Massachusetts to practice law in Massachusetts.

The article concludes:

I detail above the facts and law which lead me to the conclusion that Warren has practiced law in Massachusetts without a license in violation of Massachusetts law for well over a decade.

I expect Warren will disagree, and I welcome a discussion of the facts and the law.

I doubt that will happen.  Instead, and similar to how her campaign tried to demonize me and the Cherokee women who questioned her supposed Native American ancestry, I expect Warren’s campaign will attempt to deflect these serious issues by attacking the messenger.

Warren should disclose the full scope of her private law practice.  Perhaps there are facts not publicly available which will demonstrate that Warren was not engaged in the practice of law in Massachusetts when she earned $212,000 from Travelers, plus other fees from others who sought out her legal expertise dating back to the 1990s.

The voters of Massachusetts are entitled to know, before they vote, whether one of the candidates for Senate has not been following the rules which apply to everyone else.

Massachusetts voters have a choice in November between a man who legally practiced law in this state for a number of years and a lady who seems to have very little regard for the law.

Enhanced by Zemanta

It Sounds Like A Good Idea– But It Just Doesn’t Work

Yesterday Michael Barone at the Washington Examiner posted an article about the recent dust-up about Elizabeth Warren‘s American Indian heritage. I live in Massachusetts and this story has been rather widely reported here.

The point of concern is not whether Elizabeth Warren is Native American or not–I really don’t care. The question is whether or not someone who may be 1/32 Native American can use that fact to be given special consideration when applying for education or employment opportunities.

The article notes:

Let’s assume the 1894 document is accurate. That makes Warren 1-32nd Native American. George Zimmerman, the Florida accused murderer, had a black grandmother. That makes him one-fourth black, four times as black as Warren is Indian, though the New York Times describes him as a “white Hispanic.”

What’s wrong with what Warren did? Capehart seems to understand that. “The implication in these stories is that Warren used minority status to advance her career,” he writes.

Well, yes. When she was hired, Harvard Law School had just denied tenure to a female teacher and was being criticized for not having enough minorities and women on its faculty.

Of course Harvard and Warren say her claim to minority status had nothing to do with her being hired. And if it did, no one is going to say so. Nothing to see here, just move on.

Quotas really don’t help anyone actually succeed–they may open a door for someone, but if a person is not academically qualified to take advantage of an opportunity, opening a door for that person does not help anyone–it simply puts an unqualified person in a position that a qualified person could fill. We need to remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “A man should not be judged by his skin color but by the content of his character.” A person should be given opportunities based on his (or her) abilities, not race or sex. 

America has made some serious mistakes in the way certain groups of people have been treated. As Americans, we need to acknowledge that, stop doing it, and learn from our mistakes. We can’t redo the past, and discriminating against the majority of Americans will not change the past.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Massachusetts Senate Race

Scott Brown, Republican U.S. Senator represent...

Scott Brown, Republican U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts, at a U.S. Senate campaign event on December 31, 2009, in Plymouth Massachusetts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Senate race in Massachusetts is going to be interesting. Scott Brown took the seat in a special election in 2010 after the death of Senator Kennedy. He was embraced by the Tea Party and traveled the state extensively to win votes. Senator Brown has not voted in line with the wishes of the Tea Party, but has definitely been his own man. I have not always agreed with his votes, but will be voting for him again–he is an honest man, and I believe he is trying to vote in the best interests of Massachusetts and America.

The other candidate for the Senate seat is Elizabeth Warren, currently a law professor at Harvard. Ms. Warren has made a few misstatements in her campaign that may be a problem for her.

Today’s Boston Herald reports:

Despite claiming she never used her Native American heritage when applying for a job, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign admitted last night the Democrat listed her minority status in professional directories for years when she taught at the University of Texas and the University of Pennsylvania.

Other than the fact that the statement calls into question Ms. Warren’s basic honesty, it really is no big deal.

The Herald further reports:

The Herald reported Friday that embattled Harvard Law School officials touted Warren’s Native American heritage — she reportedly has ancestors from the Cherokee and Delaware tribes — as proof of the faculty’s diversity.

The Warren campaign has said the U.S. Senate candidate never allowed Harvard Law to claim her as a minority hire. Warren herself has said she could not “recall” ever listing her Native American background when applying for college or a job.

It really is no big deal whether or not Ms. Warren was hired because of her racial background or not–it is a concern, however, that she feels necessary to lie about it during the campaign.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta