Tags: Standing | for | Martha

Standing Up for Martha

Tuesday, 17 June 2003 12:00 AM

The federal indictment of Martha Stewart is sleazy, unfair, and smacks of political payback. The federal government hopes that you’ll just glance over the news headlines, figure she must have done something wrong, and go on with your day. Without noticing what has really happened. Without asking for details or, even more shockingly, questioning the actions of federal prosecutors at all.

Well, it’s time you did.

Here’s the bottom line Scary Thing about what’s happening to Martha: She’s not charged with insider trading –

Let me see if I can unravel the absolute absurdity of the situation for you.

As you all probably know, the feds launched an investigation to root out suspicions of insider trading – an investigation which actually cleared Martha, as evidenced by the lack of an indictment. So, instead she is being accused of obstructing the investigation that proved her innocence. [www.marthatalks.com] Is that Mr. Orwell I hear?

Last time I checked, in this country someone was innocent until proven guilty. We supposedly are free to shout our declaration of innocence from every mountaintop if we so choose. Even Martha Stewart has that right.

Despite the existence of that rather important little constitutional right, the feds had their Big Important Press Conference and huffed and puffed that this was a case about

Martha was and is being publicly raked over the coals during this investigation. Is she, because of her position, expected to say nothing? Is she required to remain silent because her particular protestations of innocence may affect her company?

Think about it: When anyone protests their innocence it is meant to influence family, friends, co-workers, the community. Who, really, wants to be thought of as a crook, especially when you

But think a little further – are we to allow the federal government to send a message that if any one of us is charged with a crime we had better not declare our innocence?

This is why what’s happening to Martha Stewart should immediately concern you. Much of our law is determined by what

There is another factor that must be considered, as well. Many of you will not like this, but if I’m known for anything, it’s fairness. I was appalled, as I know many of you were, when the Bill Clinton administration seemed to be using the powers of the federal government to punish people he perceived to be his enemies.

Frankly, it’s in the nature of government to abuse its power, to seek to become larger and more controlling. It does not matter which party is in charge, or who is in the White House; it is the nature of the beast itself to use power, and abuse it if given the chance.

In this case, it must be noted that Martha Stewart is one of the largest donors to the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates. She has given, to my dismay, thousands of dollars directly to people like Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, as well as over $125,000 in soft money to the Democratic Party itself. The sad details can be found at http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/index.asp.

While this is a site you should use often, in this instance type in “Stewart, Martha” and you too will see that she has given over $150,000 to Democratic Party causes during just the past few years. While many of us do not like this fact, we should like less a government that feels it has the right to use the Federal 800-Pound Gorilla to nail you if it doesn’t like your politics.

So, as Kenneth Lay is lounging on some yacht somewhere after helping to destroy the investments and lives of untold numbers of people, and as the bankrupt WorldCom giant (now called MCI) just “won” the multimillion-dollar contract to build a wireless network in Iraq, despite having disguised $3.8 billion in expenses as fictitious earnings, Martha Stewart has a personal loss of half a billion dollars and faces years in jail.

Of course, Enron and WorldCom have contributed to Democratic

Even if you don't like the fact that Stewart supports the Dems, it would be the height of hypocrisy to be appalled and angered with the Clinton abuse of government power (remember Marc Rich?) but give a free pass to the Bush administration because we like him and this administration’s policies.

Federal prosecutors are not intended to be anyone’s attack dogs, and certainly not at the expense of the Constitution. Make no mistake – the federal witch hunt of Martha Stewart is specious and stinks of payback and opportunism. With apologies to the woman under fire, none of this is a good thing. For any of us.

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The federal indictment of Martha Stewart is sleazy, unfair, and smacks of political payback. The federal government hopes that you'll just glance over the news headlines, figure she must have done something wrong, and go on with your day. Without noticing what has really...
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Tuesday, 17 June 2003 12:00 AM
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