Georgia (Thompson) on my mind

Thoughts about the 7th US Circuit of Appeals' of the Georgia Thompson case:

This was a total, humiliating embarrassment for Milwaukee-based US Attorney Steven Biskupic. The poor assistant US attorney who was tasked with appearing to argue the government's case, Greg Haanstad, was like a lamb led to slaughter. The three-judge panel eviscerated the government's case against Thompson.

The fact that the was issued within hours after oral arguments is almost unheard of. It's like a jury returning a verdict in 5 minutes. Almost no deliberation was needed.

The order set Thompson free immediately. She has served four months in a federal prison, because the Republican-appointed prosecutor and federal would not agree to let her remain free while the case was appealed. Too great a threat to society, apparently (unlike Scott Jensen, who's still at large after three felony convictions.)

Some highlights follow below, but you can to the oral arguments yourself. Start at just before the midpoint to hear Haanstad being roasted.

The judges seemed incredulous about the claims that Thompson steered the contract to Adelman Travel for political reasons.

Judge Diane Wood: "...that's a pretty thin sets of facts to show some tight political relationship between Gov. Doyle and the people who own Adelman Travel..."

Later she called the evidence "beyond thin" and noted it would not be unusual for a governor to meet with business executives or attend or speak at a company party.

"There's nothing wrong with those links between Adelman Travel and the administration," Haanstad was forced to admit under questioning by Judge Wood.

Noting that the government did not prosecute Doyle or Adelman executives, Judge William Bauer said: "So the people you think were responsible for all this horsing around are Adelman and the governor, but she carries the sack."

No wonder the from Biskupic's office praised Thompson's attorney, Steve Hurley. Hurley was not bought off by a little flattery. His notes that his client lost her job, her life savings, her home and her liberty, and asks: Where does Georgia Thompson go to get her life and reputation back?

Good question.

Another good question: What about the millions of dollars worth of negative commercials the Republicans ran about the Thompson case, basically calling Doyle a crook? Will we be seeing a "never mind" apology on the airwaves soon?

Final question: Will Chris Lato, former poison pen of the state Republican Party, be on this in his new job at WTMJ radio?

POSTSCRIPT: Considering how Lato couldn't be any worse.


April 5, 2007 - 11:00pm