Saturday, March 18, 2006

Harris Will Quit Race

This isn't news... It's a prediction.

Much as our bad angel thinks it would be delicious watching Katherine Harris Spend It All and continue embarrassing herself throughout this year's Florida senatorial campaign, London bookies should be giving odds that some day soon that Katherine Harris will announce she is withdrawing from the race after all.

You heard it here first. We have no inside information. We know of no news you don't. We know nothing more than you do. In fact, we know less, since we didn't watch her appearance on the fairly unbalanced Faux News network. (We've blocked all of our commercial cable news channels with the parental Obsenity Control.)

The political tea leaves, however, are clear. What they say is, "Stick a fork in Katherine Harris' candidacy. It's as good as history."

What's that? You want a reality-based, logical reason for such a wild prediction? Since when do facts or logic have anything to do with Republican politicians?

Okay, okay. There are plenty of reasons to predict Harris will drop out. Try on some of these for size:

1. Karl Rove, the political operative.

The part-time Florida panhandle resident and full-time diseased "brain" for Bush will do everything he can to keep the Sunshine state in Republican hands. He knows Harris' wagon is already heading over the cliff.

2. Karl Rove, the probate judge.

Harris is promising to put $10 million of her "inheritance" from her recently deceased father into the campaign. Ten million, ten billion, or ten cents, it doesn't matter. The way things work in estate planning land, she's very unlikely to be putting her mitts on her father's money for several months. And that's assuming everything goes right.

3. Karl Rove, the tax accountant.

What if things go wrong? For example, what if the IRS, perhaps after reading emails from Rove, suddenly decides there is a pressing need to audit the estate and trust tax returns of a discrete set of deceased citizens -- say, the parents of all former state election supervisors now serving in Congress? Then, you could could be talking Jarndyce versus Jarndyce.

A thorough and searching IRS audit -- or the threat of it -- likely would last just about as long as Harris finds herself on the wrong side of the Bush brothers and the Republican establishment.

4. Karl Rove, the business manager.

But Katherine's a millionaire in her own right, you say. Indeed she is. Associated Press reporter Brendan Farrington writes of Harris' disclosed wealth:
"According to her financial disclosure statement filed last year, her worth before the inheritance was somewhere between $7.8 million and $37 million.

Somewhere between $5 million and $25 million of that is stock in a company owned by her husband, Anders Ebbers, according to the disclosure form. The form also indicates that in 2004 she sold between $5 million and $25 million in stock from the company founded by her grandfather, citrus and cattle baron Ben Hill Griffin Jr.
It's one thing to be rich. It's quite another to be liquid. Selling $10 million worth of stock or other assets in an on-going business has tax and other ramifications. It's a bit more complicated than having a Saturday yard sale. Usually, it requires time, effort, and money for professional analysis, advice, the filing of certain required disclosure forms, the payment of taxes, etc. etc.

5. Karl Rove, the prosecutor.

If that weren't enough, Harris' implication in the receipt of criminal campaign donations is far from resolved, even though she claims that federal prosecutors have assured her she's innocent. Sorry, Katherine. Prosecutors just don't do that, as news reports reveal:
[Convicted defense contractor] Mitchell Wade ... has pleaded guilty to bribing a California congressman.

Wade acknowledged giving illegal contributions to Harris in her 2004 congressional re-election campaign.

"The authorities say that I could not have known; I did not know," Harris told [Faux News entertainer Sean] Hannity.

That's not what federal prosecutors in the case said. The U.S. Attorney's Office from the Washington district said only that Wade didn't tell Harris or another congressman, Virginia Republican Virgil Goode, leaving open the question of whether they knew or could have known some other way that the money was illegal.

The U.S. Attorney is a subordinate within the U.S. Justice Department. That would be the same Justice Department headed by a guy who says George W. Bush is above the law.

Any time the Bush Administration wants to commence a comprehensive, thorough, slow, and expensive investigation of someone for criminal misdoing, it can -- and it will. Simply convene a grand jury, unearth every scrap of paper, computer file, and cosmetics case Katherine Harris has touched since the day after the U.S Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush as president, and see what stains turn up on her blue dress.

Or, almost as good, threaten to do so.

6. Karl Rove, employer of political advisors.

One day after her appearance on the Faux News network, campaign strategist Ed Rollins "and others" recommended to Harris "she should probably get out." Why not? Rollins and all the others who want to stay on Karl Rove's good side have done so. As the St. Pete Buzz figures it --
At last count, Harris has had four chiefs of staff, three district directors, three press secretaries and a number of lower-level employees.
Besides Rollins, who might the "others" be who told Harris to quit? Answer: Karl Rove.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

The only problem is that the last statewide poll said that Jeb, the most popular Republican in the state, would lose to Nelson at this point in time, so it's unlikely anyone wants to get into the race and spend the money to lose other than Cruella.

Oh, I'm still bloggered, but am proceeding with my conversion.