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National Journal: “The Scales Of Justice”

May 31st, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

Is this a news article or opinion piece?

How a Missouri Republican operative interacted with the Justice Department in pursuit of a partisan agenda.

By Murray Waas

In the closing weeks of Missouri’s tight 2006 U.S. Senate race, the U.S. attorney in Little Rock, Ark., took the unusual step of revealing that his office’s investigation into possible state government contracting abuses in Missouri had found no evidence of wrongdoing by Republican Gov. Matt Blunt.

Separately, less than a week before Election Day, the interim U.S. attorney in Kansas City, Mo., brought voting-fraud charges against four employees of the activist group ACORN, which registers low-income people who typically vote for Democratic candidates. Justice Department guidelines discourage prosecutors from bringing criminal charges so close to an election.

Although the actions of the two U.S. attorneys were unconnected, they shared a common denominator: Mark (Thor) Hearne, a Republican Party operative who had served as national election counsel for the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign and played a behind-the-scenes role in both cases. Hearne’s role provides a window into how a Republican activist was pushing Bush administration officials — and perhaps in some cases working in concert with them — to use the Justice Department for partisan purposes. Read more…

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