Blogs & The 2012 Election

No one who reads or contributes to blogs really ponders the impact of blogging on elections anymore. We’ve known it can make an impact for many years at this point. I’ve seen two great examples of blogging that can make an impact in a race so far this year.

One is Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection and his reporting on the Elizabeth Warren law license problem. His top notch reporting on the issue got this comment from an initial Warren defender:

…I wanted to let you know ASAP that I concede that your discovery this morning answers all of my arguments and is a gamechanger. Your diligence in investigating this matter is commendable.

If you haven’t been following the story, Prof. Jacobson has basically uncovered the Elizabeth Warren has likely been practicing law in Massachusetts in violation of Massachusetts law. Rather than clearing the air, the campaign is refusing to answer any questions about the matter which leaves many wondering if she is, in fact, hiding from a possible crime admission. Talk about a huge piece of original reporting that could very well end up leading to an October surprise moment.

Yes, this is the thorough vetting of the Massachusetts Democratic Party – and the White House for that matter, since she served in the administration. If the Dems blow this race twice with terrible female candidates, it will not reflect well upon female candidates in the future of politics there. I admit being embarrassed for Jane Swift when she started crying during her concession speech.

The second bit of good election-related posting I noticed today stood out because it’s a thoroughly local take on a local race targeting a specific demographic. Great Satan, Inc. attended the NRA endorsement event for Jeff Flake who is running for the open Arizona Senate seat. But what I appreciate is that they highlighted not just that Jeff Flake is backed by NRA, but just how far his opponent would go in pushing gun control. They feature a quote from Richard Carmona that notes his support for training mandates to own firearms. Considering we saw the nightmare of training requirements through Emily Miller’s experience in DC, this is a big deal that isn’t just a happy talking point on safety and education. It can be a true roadblock to owning a firearm, and that has nothing to do with the owner’s ability to shoot.

So, in conclusion, reporting by bloggers is still relevant to elections. And you owe to yourself to check out both of these examples.

7 thoughts on “Blogs & The 2012 Election”

  1. Not only a crime (in some states) to practice without a license but opens oneself up to contempt of court (which can be far more severe than criminal sanctions) and civil malpractice claims.

    These are devastating allegations.

    1. I’ve wondered what the impact would be if it was discovered that she wasn’t active with any bar when she was representing clients. I believe people have requested more records from New Jersey due to the odd timing of her suddenly deciding that the middle of a Senate campaign is the absolute perfect timing for removing herself from their records.

      I find it funny that some of the people defending her initially say it’s not a big deal to be licensed in a state where you have your office, yet they themselves covered their butts by being licensed in Massachusetts. :)

      1. Specifically removing herself from their easy to access over the phone on-line records, when she says the reason was the hassle of getting the required continuing education. Very suspicious indeed, Prof. Jacobson and no doubt others have got their written requests in.

        I don’t know how many of you have lawyers as friends, but being licensed is a really big deal for practicing lawyers. E.g. an Internet friend trapped in Illinois before he could move to better state was constrained by his wife’s criminal defense practice (including the usual vile anti-gun cases). E.g. Arizona was out unless she was willing to retire because they really limit acceptance so they don’t get swamped by lawyers fleeing California.

        Andy B. has a point that most people won’t grok the seriousness of this crime, but it is that and one the legal profession considers to be a major one. And who knows, if the race is very close there just might be enough lawyers and their friends and families strongly turned off by this to make a difference.

  2. I’m always the contrarion I guess, but somehow the accusations, while objectively serious enough in fact, don’t sound like the kind of thing that is going to offend anyone who isn’t already out to get Warren. On one hand it can hurt her slightly, but on the other hand it might energize as many people who will be led to believe that a “technicality” is being blown out of proportion solely for campaign purposes.

    (Please understand; I try to look at political tactics with the same attitude an anthropologist looks at cultures; not in terms of what they should do, ethically speaking, but in terms of what they do do, and what results from that. Having affection for neither the Tutsis or the Hutus helps with that.)

    1. The funny thing is, I’m anti-Warren, but being anti-State, I see no reason why anyone should be required to have a license to practice law. Sure, have Bar Associations hand out “Seal of Approval” licenses, or certificates, or whatever. Sure, make sure that if you are going to represent someone, you have to disclose what your credentials are, or if you don’t have any. Sure, if *I’m* going to choose a lawyer, I’m going to do my darnedest to make sure that he’s a good one, regardless of what certificates he has (and I would almost certainly require State-appointed lawyers to be licensed, because you don’t have as much leeway when council is being appointed to you).

      Having said that, I think Harold is right, too: this kind of thing is likely a big deal to lawyers in general, as well as to those who have Absolute Faith in the Law and in Credentials, and that the Law can do no wrong!

  3. The irony is that Scott Brown is one of the more liberal Republican members in Congress, and he is arguably to the left of many Democrats from southern or western states, especially on social issues. He generally can be counted on to vote party line in tough contests, but he is hardly a GOP-Borg candidate.

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