Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Getting a differing view of Denny Hastert than we ever saw while in office

His official portrait that hangs in the Capitol building makes J. Dennis Hastert appear dignified, gavel in hand and Eagle-topped staff at his side.

This 'Hastert' is ancient history
Fitting in with the image of Hastert as the almighty and powerful Speaker of the House who gets tagged in all stories about him as the longest-serving Speaker of the Republican political persuasion.

AND FOR THOSE who are putting the local spin on the story, one of only three Illinoisans who ever rose to that exacted title (which was the position that Rahm Emanuel himself once fantasized about holding someday – until those mayoral dreams popped into his head).

So exalted that there was serious speculation that a statue of Hastert ought to be erected on the grounds of the Statehouse in Springfield, along with statues of many political figures of significance who happened to come from Illinois.

So how far a fall it will seem come Tuesday, which is the day that Hastert will make his first public appearance since it was learned he faces a criminal indictment in U.S. District Court.

He’s going to have to show up to the federal court complex and make the perp walk, getting grilled by television types who act as though Hastert will give a serious answer to any of their shouted-out questions about whether he really had sexual contact with those teenage boys who were students of his back when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School.

RELATIVES OF ONE boy who has since passed on claim it happened, but that they were intimidated by Hastert’s public status as a politico into thinking no one would believe them.

Now, way too many people are eager to believe just about anything.

Even though the criminal charges themselves don’t relate to anything even remotely sexual.

It seems that one person tried to pressure Hastert to pay $3.5 million in order to keep their mouth shut about all of this. Some $1.7 million was actually paid, and nearly $1 million of those payments allegedly were withdrawn from Hastert’s bank accounts in violation of federal financial regulations.

THE SAME REGULATIONS that were enacted to try to keep drug dealers from being able to spend their ill-gotten gains freely.

Hastert is in a position where it’s legitimately his money he was paying to keep someone quiet. I’m sure his attorneys will try to emphasize that Hastert himself is somehow the victim.

He, after all, is the one who appears to be blackmailed. It also seems that the payments began after Hastert got out of office because that was when he became a highly-paid lobbyist.

What’s the point of extorting someone who doesn’t have any money to pay?

THERE WILL BE others who will go out of their way to turn this into a sordid sex scandal, and who probably will be disappointed that the statute of limitations is long passed on any chance of prosecuting “the coach” for what he may, or may not, have done some four decades ago.

Although it should be noted that any such charges would have had to be brought about by the state’s attorney for Kendall County – where local officials seem in shock that any such thing could ever have happened.

Meaning this case would not likely get the vociferous prosecution that those people are fantasizing about. Although I’m sure that when Hastert has to make his initial court appearance on Tuesday, it’s going to feel like the most humiliating experience he ever has endured.

And the longer these criminal proceedings linger, the more this is going to feel like a full-fledged crime taking place.


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