In the words of Yogi Berra, the recently deceased baseball great: “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
We’ve followed the incredible case of Dr. Annette Bosworth extensively this year. She was convicted of twelve felony counts of petition fraud for circulating petitions that were signed at her medical office by patients (and her sister), while the doctor was in the Philippines on a medical mercy mission.
I don’t defend Dr. Bosworth signing that affidavit, stating that she witnessed those signatures, but I also don’t see criminal intent. Her attorney advised her it was lawful and all the signers were legitimate voters who truly wanted her to run for the U.S. Senate. Talking about felony fraud in such a case seriously misses the forest for the trees.
Bosworth wasn’t sentenced to prison time, thankfully.
But she lost her medical license.
Let’s hold people accountable, but not with an over-the-top vengeance likely to scare the average citizen away from political participation altogether. That’s been my message to South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.
What about déjà vu?
Today, in a Pierre courtroom, Annette’s husband, Chad Haber, will be arraigned on felony charges for signing as the circulator on a petition with two signatures affixed when he was with his wife on that medical trip.
AG Jackley loudly proclaims that this is not his indictment; it was filed by a county prosecutor. But anyone who didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday knows how these things tend to work.
Haber challenged Jackley last election and the feud is well known and long-running. Being a prosecutor requires judgment, something Jackley lacks . . . as he will no doubt prove in court.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.