Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Tale of Two Lawyers

[UPDATE:  WAR's confirmation FAILED!]

On the one hand, we have Wayne Anthony Ross, affectionately known as WAR.


We heard, just today during his confirmation hearing, that he was so generous to the Menard children that he gave them their first guns.  If I was the parent of those children, I would have kicked him out.  But that's just me.

From ADN, we have these words—words that have been recorded by National Public Radio in Alaska.  Yet, WAR is today denying he has ever said them:
It seems to me the most important thing that can be done by the Senate is not argue with legal or illegal but to appoint somebody to represent Juneau.

And he is further quoted from his own letter in support of repealing an ordinance that would
insure that gays and lesbians would be protected from discrimination (bolding is mine).
I am in favor of repeal of the measure. I see nothing involving civil rights in this matter. We all, heterosexual or homosexual, have certain rights. This bill seems to give extra rights to a group whose lifestyle was a crime only a few years ago, and whose beliefs are certainly immoral in the eyes of anyone with some semblance of intelligence and moral character...

It is a shame that you folks don’t have some causes you could become involved in that are of benefit to society in general. Instead, you support degenerates...

[Instead of supporting anti-abortion causes] you collectively contribute $5,000 to the cause of sexual perversion.

If there were any doubt that WAR was 'in the tub' with Governor Palin, there are these exchanges.  Ross, who apparently doesn't "like people taking shots at courageous women," offered, "She's been shot at so much, she doesn't want to reach out."  During a Senate hearing, Representative Ramras asked WAR about Palin's multiple ethics complaints and pointed explicitly to the recent ethics complaint about Palin wearing Arctic Cat gear during official duties:
RAMRAS: She was wearing Arctic Cat gears and leathers--

ROSS: She was provocative. She looked really good didn't she?

RAMRAS: Yes...[beat]...Well no, not to a lot of Alaska she didn't. To a lot of Alaska she looked like a walking billboard.

So, WAR thinks people are beating up on the Governor, and he would like everyone to know he thinks she looked darn sexy in her Arctic Cat gear, ethics be damned.  He's been giving her poor advice, telling her that appointing three Senate replacements at once was legal, and telling her that the Senate Democrats ought to vote in public, and telling her that the whole Senate should really get a chance to vote on a Democratic seat replacement.

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And then, we have Rex Butler.

Rex doesn't go by his initials, he goes by his reputation as a hard-hitting, fair attorney.

From the Anchorage Press, we learn that:
Rex Butler [is] a colorful Anchorage defense attorney who wins the respect of miscreants and cops alike and has a client list that's a who's who of high-profile Alaska crime.

Butler loves this work, he says, because he loves to help the people that the world turns their backs on. He's a smooth, polite, church-going family man. He's also stylish. And unflappable. And dogged.

"He can be a ferocious cross-examiner," says Sergeant Dave Koch of the Anchorage Police Department. "It can be uncomfortable."

Butler can be courtly, too - but not necessarily in court. When his clients' futures are on the line, he goes to war, he says. "This is a fight. It's a battle."

Recently, ADN reported that Rex has taken on not only Sherry Johnston's case but advocacy for Levi Johnston, who only wants to share in parenting the child he recently had with Governor Palin's daughter.
Levi Johnston's lawyer is bristling at suggestions from Gov. Sarah Palin's family that the 19-year-old is a deadbeat dad. "I wish that Sarah Palin's father would get his facts correct, quite frankly," attorney Rex Butler said Wednesday.

Palin's father, Chuck Heath, claims in a story being published Friday in Us Weekly magazine that the unemployed Johnston isn't financially supporting the infant. He said he wishes Johnston would take some money from the interviews and buy diapers for Tripp.

Butler told The Associated Press that Johnston was not paid for the interviews and is tired of the Palin family's characterization of his client.

Heath was "trying to make the young man look like a deadbeat father, and, you know, they may have a rude awakening one day if he tries to get custody," Butler said.

"They don't want to share his child with him like they should," he said.
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So there you have it.  On the one hand, we have someone who defends a nutcase who throws freezing cold water on Iraq "war" protestors and supports his defense by saying that his client was only expressing his own first amendment rights; someone who was overheard saying that men should be able to 'rape' their wives.  And on the other hand, we have someone who is taking up the fight against Palin's bully pulpit from which she is trying to "wooten" Levi Johnston (and possibly Levi's mother).

At this moment, the debate over Ross's confirmation vote still rages.  I only wish I could vote.
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