The election is less than a month out, so it’s about time for some political bombs to be dropped. But who would have thought that biggest bomb dropped on Chet Culver in the Iowa gubernatorial race would come from someone other than Terry Branstad?
Well, the proverbial poo-poo hit the fan for the Culver campaign this week when a special prosecutor investigating potentially illegal campaign contributions filed charges against several Culver campaign contributors involved in a Fort Dodge casino project that Culver when to great lengths to support.
Three gambling executives and their attorney are charged with funneling campaign contributions through other individuals to hide the true source of the money. The lawyer is also charged with falsifying documents to cover up the transgressions.
The interesting thing about the press release from the special prosecutor was that it went to great lengths to emphasize that there would be no other charges filed against any other individuals. It really should have just come right out and said, “And, by the way, we’re not going to go after the governor on this one.”
That’s fine. Maybe the prosecutor didn’t think there was strong evidence that Culver or anyone in his administration did anything criminal… at least nothing that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, that doesn’t mean he’s going to get off scott free in the court of public opinion.
Let’s look at the facts. Culver got over $25,000 in campaign contributions from casino executives who tried to hide that the money was from them. Culver then makes the unprecedented move of personally lobbying the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, asking them to approve a new gambling license for the Fort Dodge Group that had just sent him $25,000. No other governor has ever done such a thing because the whole point of the Racing and Gaming Commission is that they are supposed to make decisions free from political influence.
And we are supposed to believe that this large campaign contribution had nothing to do with Culver sticking his neck out for the Fort Dodge casino project?
I, for one, am not buying it.
The only thing that Culver has working in his favor that might make this kind of hard to believe is that only a complete moron would knowingly pull this stunt and think he could get away with it. I mean, we would have to have a governor who is a complete imbecile… oh, wait… maybe that argument doesn’t work in his favor.
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