Friday, September 22, 2006

Thompson Heads to Prison...Alone

This is really no surprise. The defense was hoping for probation, but that was highly unlikely considering the press surrounding the case. The prosecution recommended 2 years, and Thompson got 18 months.

What will likely go unreported in all of this is the fact that Thompson still didn't roll over on anyone else. While that fact doesn't surprise me, it should surprise those who still subscribe to the theory that Thompson was in cahoots with her superiors, including all the way up the ladder to Governor Doyle.

When the case went to trial back in June, legal experts took that as a sign that Thompson was working alone. If there was someone to pin this on, they said, Thompson would've done it before trial.

According to UW-Madison law professor Frank Tuerkheimer: "The fact is, the sentences are so tough in the federal system, the best way to get any sort of a break on the sentence is to plead guilty and cooperate. Very few defendants are willing to roll the dice. Even some with very excellent defenses are just not willing to take a chance, because trials are kind of random."

At the time, though, some GOPers still held out hope that Thompson was just a risk taker, willing to roll the dice in court.

As we all know now, Thompson lost her case. Then she almost immediately lost her job. Considering it was supposedly "job security" that made her rig the bidding process (an amazing charge considering the high level of job security that's inherent in the state's civil service system), the loss of her job meant that she really had nothing to gain from staying quiet anymore.

But, yet, she stayed quiet.

Now she has been given prison time -- and she still hasn't named anyone!

Some die hard GOPers will probably argue that Thompson could've tried to plea down her sentence, but Biskupic just wouldn't budge, but that line of thinking is completely ludicrous. If Biskupic had a chance at a bigger fish, particularly getting close to Doyle, he would've given Thompson probation in a heartbeat.

Getting a big fish is what most federal prosecutions are all about -- the fact that this one appears to be starting and stopping with Thompson means that the prosecution didn't have the case they thought they had at the start.

Since Thompson has absolutely nothing to gain from staying quiet, and very much to gain from speaking out, why is she choosing silence?

Could it be that there's just nothing to say?

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or...

Bisupic doesn't need her. He has enough information to get the bigger fish. Until the verdict was read, Thompson's lawyers thought she would be found innocent, so I doubt they even offered anyone up. After the conviction, when Biskupic already has his conviction that DID tie political connections from Doyle to the case, he didn't need what she had to offer.

THe questions is - will Biskupic try and take anyone else down prior to the election?

September 22, 2006  
Anonymous Jim Jones said...

Anonymous,

Good analysis. The only thing missing was a reference to space aliens. The *real* question is - where are the space aliens? They're less of a logical reach than what you've got now so they'd improve your argument.

September 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,

I forgot - just for kicks - she rigged the bidding. Nobody influenced her, she just thought it would be fun.

What about those aliens?

September 22, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

I don't think Thompson believed she was doing anything wrong. Her actions weren't egregious enough to undoubtedly point to a broader conspiracy, despite how ominous "rigging the bidding" sounds.

And the fact is a prosecutor isn't going to pass on a material witness -- even if the case against others is solid, it's unlikely Biskupic wouldn't want to add to it by getting Thompson on the stand. And considering how long it has been without any further charges in the case, I think it's pretty clear that Biskupic's case against others isn't that strong, if a case even exists at all.

September 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Georgia inflated her score, tried to influence others and complained of political pressure - that is why she was found guilty.

While Doyle was not named as a co-defendent, the prosecuter made clear that the pressure came from all areas of the Administration, including Doyle.

Only highly partisan Dems rationalize this case with Doyle having clean hands. I believe regular people feel Doyle was involved.

September 22, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

The prosecutor did not make clear that "pressure came from all areas of the Administration, including Doyle." In fact, the prosecutor made clear that the case was about Georgia Thompson and no one else.

There has been absolutely no one else besides Thompson implicated in the case, and Thompson has not named anyone else despite having absolutely no reason to remain silent and all the reasons in the world to speak out.

Only highly partisan GOPers can rationalize Doyle's involvement in this case in spite of all the evidence that Thompson was acting alone -- there isn't a shred of material evidence that says otherwise, including Thompson herself.

This case is as good as closed -- the GOP just needs to deal with that and move on with explaining to the public why they should vote for Green (rather than just against Doyle), something they've spent very little time doing, thus far.

I'm not sure if you're the anonymous commenter who visited back in June when I was writing about the Thompson case, but here's what that person said so confidently at the time:

1. "Teh investigation is still ongoing. Georgia Thompson was just the beginning. Biskupic did not have to show his whole hand to get a conviction. How many more people will be willing to hold out for Doyle? Not many is my guess..."

2. "Biskupic said today that the investigation is continuing. If the there is nothing else to this case - why would he announce that he still going? ... The investigation in NOT over."

3. "She may have tried that angle, but Biskupic didn't offer a plea that kept her out of jail, so she rolled the dice - and lost. Now Biskupic will get the same information from her, plus he has his conviction which will certainly influence others involved to be much more weary of locking horns with Biskupic.

"There were multiple references in testimony that Georgia felt political pressure from above. While she denied it, the jury clearly believed all the others. Where did this pressure come from? The food chain is short and Marotta is in the crosshairs.

"At first he stated he never discussed the contract with Adleman. Then the FBI lists multiple phone calls between Marotta and Adleman..oops.

"Then today, Doyle comments that he does not know if Marotta talked to Adelman or not - the CYA is starting.

"Biskupic holds all the cards and Marotta almost out of chips..."

4. "I don't know what Biskupic has or doesn't, but from what I have seen, there is just too much out there for this thing to be over."

Any of that sound familiar?

Here we are over 3 months later and absolutely nothing has happened with Biskupic's "continuing investigation." Die hard GOPers can keep hoping that something will, as this anonymous commenter did so confidently over three months ago, but it's all going to be for not. In the end, it's just best to move on.

September 23, 2006  

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