Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Wrong-way Mikva is seated

I know uber liberal Abner Mikva has a long list of credentials: White House lawyer to Bill Clinton, federal judge, legislator, and more. So he's supposed to have judgment and wisdom, right?

Well, he wrote one of the most unwise and off-base op-eds I've read in years on June 13 in the Sun-Times defending Governor Rod Blagojevich for all the bad press he's getting on the hiring scandal. Here's a sample.

Those are the facts. But you wouldn't know it by reading or listening to the media. The emphasis there is on vague allegations that "some" employees have been hired improperly. There are "lists" of open positions that have gone through various persons in the governor's office. But there are no specifics as to whether such positions are "exempt" or Rutan-covered, or evidence that people whose names may be on lists were actually treated differently than anyone else. Every administration has the right to fill certain positions with people they think will best help them implement their agenda. And for those positions where politics cannot be a factor in the selection of a candidate, there is no prohibition against anyone making recommendations for the jobs. There is, however, a very clear testing and interview process that must be used to select the best candidate. The newspaper stories over the past few weeks do not offer any evidence that those processes were violated.
The stories did have specifics and evidence, Abner. But if you don't believe me, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, just two weeks after the Mikva defense, released the Lisa Madigan letter where he refers to evidence of "endemic hiring fraud" in the Blagojevich administration and the existence of "credible witnesses" to prove the allegations.

Today, Abner got an appointment from his beloved Governor. He was named head of Illinois Human Rights Commission, a post that pays at least $40,000 according to previously published reports. We know that because Blagojevich gave another seat to the sister of state Senator Carol Ronen, his most loyal supporter in the General Assembly.

We're not saying the wacked-out op-ed and appointment are linked. We are saying we hope Mr. Mikva's wisdom and judgment improves in time to hear his first case on the commission.

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