Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Boss Mann, Another Biskupic, Their Aides and the Deficiencies of Immunity

If you have read my post Grass Root Politics, Republican style , you may remember that our little "14th Best Small Town in America" has been rocked by a bit of a scandal. Our former Mayor is the latest to fall. The events in this case as published compelled me to write the following:

December 18, 2004

The Elkhorn Independent

To the Editor:

I have lived in Elkhorn for 10 years or so, yet my business is elsewhere and I have little knowledge of local affairs. Perhaps this provides me some perspective in the way that one must be a little distant from the wall to see around the corner.

I see a second big splashy front page article, replete with photo of Paul Ormson and describing fraudulent campaign contributions of $25,000.00 or so. Yet when the story of the millions extorted by Robert Mann broke, as I remember this was worth a few paragraphs tucked away on page 3 or 4.

I read again that Mr. Mann is yet to be charged in these matters, there is minimal reference to a vaguely described immunity. I would not like to think that this “limited immunity” is less so due to the indictment of one who is clearly a small player in this drama. How much “cooperation” is really required to clean up these details?

I don’t condone the actions of Ormson, but to me it doesn’t seem to be much of a stretch that he may be the proverbial deer caught in the headlights of some big orange trucks here. Yet it is he who gets turned against. There is certainly some interesting methodology being employed around these parts, both by U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic and by this newspaper.

Perhaps you will find room on page one when messrs. Biskupic and Mann are finished adding up just how valuable the “cooperation” of Mr. Mann is.


cc:Steven M. Biskupic United States Attorney
Office of the United States Attorney
Eastern District of Wisconsin


I don't think we'll see this one in print, and maybe I should hope we don't.


update...Dec. 20th....I have learned a valueable lesson here: give it 24 hrs. In my zeal I went too far in this letter. I must remember that a reader will interpret my words in any number of ways. In the last sentence I refer to the value of Mr. Mann's cooperation. I meant objective value to the investigation and did not at all intend to suggest a monetary consideration. Nevertheless I can clearly see that this intent may be misconstrued, and that should it appear in a local paper it may anger principals and lookers on to the case more than I would care to . I have called the editor of the Elkhorn Independent and asked that the letter not be published.

As for Mr. Biskupic and his staff, I still stand behind the letter and fervently hope that they are more experienced in determining what is intended and what is not.


At 3:48 PM, Blogger Bullock said...

Sequoit-don't be so hard on yourself. I re-read the last sentence of your original letter as well as your original post. Yee-ah, there were some key words there-'added up' that could have caused some damage- especially with a U.S Attorney.
One common problem to all of us who seek answers from our elected officials on events such as these-we don't have the resources and commonly, the time, to hunt down, pursue, interview, etc. all the parties involved in any particular event like our law enforcement, media and public officils do. Nor do we know the personal agendas and histories of of our local media publishers and editors. The smaller the the newspaper/news station the more raw and vociferous an argument can become.
Take a deep, cleansing breath and rewrite that letter again, maybe this time addressing the'status' of Mr. Mann's 'cooperation.'And, see when the next Elkhorn City Council meeting is. Who knows, you might find someone with the same questions as you.

At 9:18 AM, Blogger sequoit said...

The editor also encouraged me to write another letter, perhaps I will. This is a very big fish in a very small bowl. This is a one golf course town and at times I, Mr. Mann and his sometimes very large cronies share the back nine, if you get my drift.

You know how these things happen, often the underlings feel more threatened than the big guy, and often they are correct in that the demise of Mann Bros. would find Robert Mann in business elsewhere and them on the street.

I was reading a lot about gun control this weekend and I saw that one of the principle means of avoiding being the victim of a homicide is to not make enemies. I'm not worried about this blog, at this point it's inconsequential and most people dismiss these things as crackpot anyway. The local paper is another story however. It's a classic High Noon enigma, and I'm not sure I want to be a hero quite yet.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger JD said...

"I'm not sure I want to be hero quite yet"

Sure you do. ;)


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