Ashcroft's nephew received lenient sentence for drug violation in 1992.
January 15, 2001 6:49 AM   Subscribe

Ashcroft's nephew received lenient sentence for drug violation in 1992. Sixty marijuana plants. Intent to sell. And he only got probation. Jeez, I hope the Democrats give Mr. "tough-on-drugs" a very hard time about this during the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings.
posted by Potsy (14 comments total)
MeFi user norm has a lot of other instances of 'tough-on-crime' Repubs with similar 'records'
posted by Sean Meade at 8:00 AM on January 15, 2001

Did Ashcroft sentence his nephew himself? Is there any evidence that he called in special favours for him?

If not, then how is it an issue?
posted by Dreama at 8:23 AM on January 15, 2001

Ah, I can answer my own question -- from the Salon article: "There's no evidence Ashcroft intervened on behalf of his nephew, but Alex Ashcroft's connection to the governor was widely known."

No evidence of any wrong doing, just more scattershot mudslinging, bringing up issues that are appropos of nothing in order to try to cast aspersions where none can be cast. Typical and pathetic.
posted by Dreama at 8:27 AM on January 15, 2001

The problem is that this kind of thing is all too typical. Ashcroft lives in a world where the privileged few catch every break, but the unlucky majority get the harshest penalties. That's the kind of system Ashcroft wants to promote. There are thousands of young people in prisons across the country for very minor drug offenses. But not the Alex Ashcrofts of the world.
posted by jpoulos at 9:13 AM on January 15, 2001

Well, you know, when you're dealing with the governor's family, best to err on the side of leniency. You don't want the governor pissed off at you. In other words, the governor doesn't have to specifically request special treatment for his family for them to get it; the system will automatically tread lightly around them. I would imagine there's little an executive can do to really change that; most people are going to be afraid to cross him even if he repeatedly says he wants no special treatment for any of his family members (not that Ashcroft probably went that far).

Just a little reality check here...
posted by kindall at 9:37 AM on January 15, 2001

Dreama: It's an issue because "tough-on-crime" politicians like Ashcroft have created a system in which poor drug offenders serve serious time while rich drug offenders like Ashcroft's nephew are given a get-out-of-jail-free card. During Ashcroft's confirmation, someone should ask him why he supports mandatory sentencing when his own family experience shows that probation can be successful.
posted by rcade at 9:41 AM on January 15, 2001

shades of Traffic
posted by alethe at 11:26 AM on January 15, 2001

rcade: Does the case of his nephew really show that probation can be successful, or does it show that in the particular case, probation, in addition to whatever else intervened in Alex Ashcroft's life, was successful? I'd say that it's the latter.

In either case, I'd hope and pray that John Ashcroft or any potential Attorney General's line of thinking on mandatory sentencing was not swayed by the anecdotal evidence from a single case, especially one which they are unable to examine with detachment and objectivity.
posted by Dreama at 1:36 PM on January 15, 2001

This case shows nothing. There's no evidence Ashcroft made any attempt to intervene in the indictment or sentencing of his nephew. You don't like the sentence he got, go bitch to the DA, the defense lawyer and the judge involved, because they're the ones that worked up this little deal.

This is all just blowing smoke now anyway. Ashcroft has all 50 GOP senators and at least 10 Democrats ready to confirm him. The results are pre-ordained; all that's left now is to see how much heat the haters will be allowed to gin up during the hearings.

BTW, notice that instead of his opposition groups hating him because they found out things about him they don't like, they instead have gone on "opposition research" hunts to find out things about him not to like because they already hate him. The former at least would have some honest beliefs behind it. The latter is just attacking for political benefit.
posted by aaron at 2:47 PM on January 15, 2001

The latter is just attacking for political benefit.

Takes one to know one.
posted by holgate at 5:49 PM on January 15, 2001

And yeah, that's juvenile, but whatever.

Impeachment was always a lost cause, but the GOP leaders dragged out the whole sorry affair because they hated Clinton. And if you suggest that "honest beliefs" motivated Trent Lott and Tom DeLay, then you've mortgaged your brains, your head's full of cotton buds, and there's no more talking to you.

Expect a brief and amusing period of the Dems showing that they can be just as spiteful, petty, vindictive and juvenile as the Republicans have been over the past eight years. Once enough steam's let off, the business of government can continue.
posted by holgate at 5:58 PM on January 15, 2001

Which they were for the past eight years due to spiteful, petty, vindictive and juvenile antics on the part of the Democrats, which goes back to the time in the 80s where the first breaks occurred in their iron-fisted control of Congress. The Democrats had always had complete control of both houses of Congress, going back many decades, and they also had the Presidency more often than not. They had the big-P Power, and they became very comfortable with it over all those years.

But then Reagan comes along, and the GOP soon gets control of one house. Then Reagan gets reelected in a complete blowout. This is where the Dems start getting scared of losing power, and thus start wratcheting up the rhetoric and mean-spirited antics. Thus led to retaliation from the GOP, which led to retaliation from the Dems, ad infinitum ... And it has continued getting worse and worse to the present day.

And as we've seen from the last couple of months, it's going to get even worse, at least in the short term. Even Clinton never needed a complete security lockdown on his inuagurations because there was so much hate out there towards him.

And Impeachment was not always a lost cause. Go read one of the insider books about that time. A lot of things managed to fall into place just perfectly for Clinton's survival. He came much closer to being removed from office than most people think.
posted by aaron at 9:43 PM on January 15, 2001

Aaron: You're too much of a true believer if you think the atmosphere of meanness in American politics is solely the fault of one party. The idea that tough partisan tactics began with Reagan's re-election is laughable -- ever heard of Watergate?
posted by rcade at 10:23 AM on January 16, 2001

Rogers, I know politics has always been rough-and-tumble. But there used to be at least a certain level of civility in Washington. And I believe that much of that civility was because everything was always the same: Democrats were always in control, Republicans were always the minority. That was the way it was, and why act too partisan when you could usually get at least some of what you wanted through gentlemanly means?

But then the balance of power started to shift, and ... well, see above.
posted by aaron at 2:53 PM on January 16, 2001

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