Friday, May 6, 2011

The Charlie White Report: Much Ado About Nothing

Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White
Yesterday I read the White report cover to cover.  I have to wonder what all the fuss was about.   Calling it an "investigatory report" is being charitable.  No witnesses were talked to in preparation of the report.   The report just refers vaguely to publicly available documents  and discusses how the applicable law might be applied.  The report makes clear that there may be evidence out there that might override the assumption that White violated the law.  An example might be White's ex-wife and husband who were never called to testify before the grand jury even though it was their house White claimed to be residing at.  Why didn't the prosecutors call them?  Probably because their testimony would have likely contradicted their case  Remember prosecutors get to pick and choose what evidence they present to the grand jury.

Secretary of State Charlie White was vilified for getting access to the "confidential" report, but he has rightfully been cleared by the Inspector General of misconduct, a fact the media barely reported.  It is clear  that there is nothing in it remotely "confidential."  It should have never been determined by the Public Access Counselor to be work product or agency deliberative or advisory material.  Then Secretary of State Todd Rokita had no constitutional or statutory authority to investigate voter fraud.  He was simply responding to public pressure to do something, probably because Rokita for seven plus years had left the inaccurate representation that he has authority over elections and is the "chief election officer" for the state, a fact the Indianapolis Star wrongly ridicules White for disputing.    In fact, the Secretary of State's role in elections is extremely limited, acting as a repository for some candidate filings and sitting on the Recount Commission. That's it.

Maybe it is time to simply stop assuming White is guilty and give the man his day in court.

To view Advance Indiana's take on the subject, click here.


Advance Indiana said...

Carrie Ritchie's story in the Star today is a complete mischaracterization of the report. Nowhere does she mention Rokita's failure to conduct any investigation being looking at the documents that had already been posted on Internet blogs to make the case he violated the law. That's not an investigation, and it should never have been characterized as such to shield it from public disclosure.

Ben said...

Paul, Really? For a man who is a champion for justice I find your endorcement of White to be very disturbing. The man admitted on camera that he voted in the wrong location. What more do you need?

Paul K. Ogden said...


White didn't admit voting in the wrong location. You're talking about his saying he was in the wrong precinct to remain on the council...that's a different issue. He was never charged with being on the council when he didn't live in the right precinct to serve. The only charge related to that is one of "theft" and that's unlikely to go anywhere. It would require showing he didn't do any work and took money for being on the council.

If White wasn't living at his ex-wife's house when he changed his registration to there, then why in the world didn't the prosecutors simply call the ex-wife and her new husband and ask them if White was living there? The reason why is that their testimony would have contradicted the prosecutors and supported the fact White was staying there and was registered exactly where he should have been.

You do know that the prosecutors filed conflicting charges, don't you? One charge is White committed fraud by living at the condo and voting at the ex-wife's house. Then another charge is that he committed a felony (mortgage fraud) by living at his ex-wife's house instead of the condo.

Why are the prosecutors' given a pass for their obvious agenda to get this guy, regardless of the evidence?

artfuggins said...

As in other infamous cases like Bill Clinton, the coverup is often worse than the original misdeed. The deception by White, Rokita and others is very troublesome.