Letter: A miscarriage of justice?
When presidents take office, they normally appoint different United States attorneys since they want the attorneys to carry out presidential priorities. The eight who were fired by the Bush administration apparently didn't believe the law was a tool to penalize Democrats. (Think of Carol Lam fired for investigating Republican corruption.) What priorities do the attorneys who weren't fired share with the administration? How are they loyal "Bushies"?
Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle was first elected in 2002 when he beat incumbent Republican Scott McCallum. When Doyle ran for re-election in 2006, his opponents spent $4 million on ads trying to associate him with Georgia Thompson, a state employee who had been sent to prison on corruption charges.
Georgia Thompson was a quiet, unassuming woman, described by her co-workers as apolitical, hard-working, and intensely private. She graduated from Madison East High School in 1968. After working in the travel industry for 27 years, she became a state employee in 2001 when McCallum was governor.
In 2005 Thompson was a member of a panel reviewing bids for a travel contract worth $750,000. The final two for deliberation were Adelman from Wisconsin and Omega of Virginia. The contract was awarded to the local Adelman Travel. With convenient timing for the 2006 campaign, the U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic charged that Thompson had manipulated the panel to benefit the governor so that Adelman received the contract. Adelman had donated $10,000 to Doyle's campaign. With no evidence showing personal gain, Thompson was convicted in late September; Adelman and Doyle were not indicted.
After four months in prison the U.S. Court of Appeals heard Thompson's appeal. Judge Diane Wood said, "Your evidence is beyond thin." Judge William Bauer said, "So the people you think were responsible... are Adelman and the governor but she carries the sack." The court ordered her immediate release.
For her defense, Thompson had sold her condo, and drawn out her pension money. It is estimated that she spent $300,000 to regain her freedom. She has her job back and Biskupic, whose name had been on an early list of attorneys to be fired, still has his job.