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July 27, 2005
Stupid Republican Tricks

The Illinois GOP has ignored one of the cardinal rules of politics, which advises people to stay out of the way when their opponents have begun to self-destruct. Instead of allowing the federal investigations into Mayor Richard Daley's administration to continue as apolitically as possible, the Republicans may have transformed Daley from an albatross to a political martyr:

The Cook County Republican Party is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an indictment and conviction of Mayor Richard M. Daley, whose administration has been buffeted by scandal.

"The arrogance of Richard Daley is appalling," said Gary Skoien, chairman of the county party. "We hope this reward will inspire someone with critical knowledge to come forward." ...

The reward follows last week's announcement by federal prosecutors that they had charged two City Hall officials with rigging the city's hiring system to get around a 1983 court order that bars officials from hiring employees for political reasons.

Up to this point, the investigation had uncovered some unsavory conduct that may eventually reach the mayor himself. If it had, it would have been viewed as a reasonably independent and credible case, hopefully resulting in an indictment if Mayor Daley truly broke the law. In Illinois, that could have put a lot of wind in the sails of the mostly moribund Republican party, which has so much trouble competing in the Land of Lincoln that it had to import Alan Keyes to run against Barack Obama for the Senate.

Unfortunately, the GOP has decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once more by making this a political football. What possible good will it do the investigation for the Republicans to buy witnesses? Will it make the charges more credible, or simply allow the public to write off the entire effort as a smear campaign?

Does this really take so much effort to analyze? If so, it might explain why the Illinois GOP have had so much trouble in recent years.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 27, 2005 3:03 PM

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