Stumbo opens mouth and his brain falls out
Practically since he's been in office, Attorney General Greg Stumbo has demonstrated his lack of professionalism at every opportunity.
No real prosecutor would have handled the merit system investigation the way he did. Most prosecutors prefer to try the case in court, not in the press, but Stumbo did exactly the opposite. He wasn't interested in getting a criminal conviction against anyone in the Fletcher administration; he merely wanted to inflict the most political damage possible. His office's constant leaks to the press of anything that looked bad on Ernie Fletcher or his government had to give real, professional, credible prosecutors indigestion.
As we have documented here previously, the statewide media have trouble with the terminology they use to describe the agreed court order that dismissed misdemeanor charges against Fletcher with prejudice. The Herald-Leader and the Courier-Journal have both called that order a "plea deal" or "plea bargain" when this is absolutely incorrect. Fletcher pleaded not guilty from the start and never wavered from that assertion.
Proving he knows about as much as prosecuting criminals as Secretariat did, Stumbo himself has referred to the agreement as "a plea bargain."
One shouldn't be surprised when the Herald-Leader turns to Greg Stumbo to get reaction to a Fletcher campaign radio ad that proactively addresses the merit system investigation. After all, stories by Jack Brammer and Ryan Alessi the past couple of weeks have shown that the Herald-Leader clearly is unhappy that Fletcher appears to be cruising toward renomination and they're ramping up their anti-Fletcher stories as a result.
Maybe we should be grateful in this instance, though, because this story gave Stumbo an opportunity to show his incompetence, and he readily obliged.
Stumbo also said that "to say the charges were dropped is also a misquote."
Hey Greg -- do you even know what "dismissed with prejudice" means? We didn't think you did.
Stumbo also said that "you have to consider the source" in reference to the ad. Well, that's what we do when we ponder anything you say. After all, if it comes down to an integrity contest between you and Ernie Fletcher, the governor will win hands-down every time.
Fletcher's never-changing contention was that some staff members made mistakes regarding hiring practices but there was never any criminal intent. When Fletcher determined the depth of those mistakes, the offending staff members were fired, which was a completely proper reaction.
Stumbo obviously doesn't know how to keep a case from being tried in the press, doesn't know what a plea bargain is and doesn't understand the concept of "dismissed with prejudice," and he proved all of that when he gobbled up Brammer's invitation to dicuss the new Fletcher radio ad.
That squishy sound you heard was Stumbo's well-pickled brain hitting the ground when he opened his mouth.