Thursday, October 13, 2016

An Uncivil War

Well, the bombshell hit, and although there apparently was not an arrest, there was embezzlement. Spending twenty-three thousand dollars on a credit card registered to a municipality that the municipality did not know they had is, no matter how you slice it, thievery. And it is very likely going to cost her the election in a month's time, even though she is vowing to fight on.
Preston, true to form, blamed the Democratic party for bringing this up now. But there's a simpler and more accurate explanation. It's her own party that's been doing it to her--or rather, a very ambitious fellow office-holder that has clashed with her several times since he took over in January.
The Republican party around here for two decades was controlled by the late Senator Thomas Libous. Libous was (justly) convicted on federal charges related to a corruption probe, and then died of cancer shortly thereafter. By default, Preston become the area's leading Republican, but the DA apparently isn't content with a secondary role...It isn't generally known, but Libous was very opposed to Preston running in the special election for executive in 2011. Although she won, and rewarded many party hacks with jobs, she has never been a favorite of the "establishment," and one reason she is tottering now under the assault is that she has few allies in the party. Libous' death left a leadership void, and the DA intends to fill it.
Which is why this whole mess started with a cryptic announcement by the DA last week that he was recusing himself from any investigation involving Preston. Since there wasn't one at the time, people naturally started asking questions, and the credit card scam was the answer. The DA has been a thorn to Preston over the heroin response issue, and some other minor things, as well. The timing of this leak strongly suggests it was done with the intent of rendering her either incapable of winning or even to make her resign. The two other major Republicans in the area both have latent legal concerns that I am sure will ensure that they follow the DA's lead in party matters.
This is why I think Cornwell is responsible for this becoming public now. Preston may believe it's coming from Democrats, but they derive no real benefit from it other than the county executive's seat, and honestly, they were already likely to get that. No, this looks like a Night Of the Long Knives undertaken by the DA.  It's a gamble; if Preston wins anyway, she's in office for four more years, and the war will be on.
But that's unlikely . Even the densest yahoo knows that Preston was caught with her hand in the cookie jar. and most Republican-leaners with consciences are aware of the flaming hypocrisy on display. There are people who did jail time and have had lives and credit ruined by the county for welfare fraud amounts a tenth of what Preston charged to a municipal credit card that the municipality in question didn't even know they had till the bills started coming due.
There are calls for Preston's imprisonment. I think that should be a decision for the special prosecutor that has been appointed. But Cornwell looks like his coup has won. And few even suspect his hand behind it all.
This guy bears watching. It isn't everyone that knifes their own party people in the back in the interest of gaining control of the party apparatus.

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