The New York Times sat on a Pulitzer prize winning story about Bush's violation of FISA for over a year because the editors didn't want to influence the 2004 presidential election. Thanks to Sen. Pat Roberts, the Senate Intelligence Committee sat on its Phase II report for nearly 4 years. Phase II of course, told us that the Bush Administration--including the President himself--knowlingly distorted evidence and knowingly relied on bad evidence to push for the Iraq War in Fall 2002-Spring '03. Why the delay? The purported need to take the politics out of the decision. The commission set up to investigate the intelligence regarding WMDs was delayed, you guessed it, until after the 2004 election. Bush stated at the time that politics needed to be taken out of the equation, so the delay was necessary to avoid a blame game. I could go on and on with examples.
But the point here is this: by delaying a decision on Ellis' complaint against state Rep. Walker, LG Herbert is in effect siding with Rep. Walker and more importantly, depriving the voters the ability to make their decision based upon important information. Here's a more elegant version by the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board:
Herbert says he has gathered information about the job-offer charge, but he has delayed making a decision to refer the matter to the attorney general until after the primary. Herbert issued a statement, saying, in part, "I am concerned that any action on my part at this time could influence participation in or the outcome of the June 24 primary election."The claim that delaying an investigation or report helps remove political machinations is a farce. In fact, the opposite is true: political machinations cause the delaying of an investigation or report. The idea that ensuring that politically damaging information is released after its ability to cause political damage is sound public policy is simply laughable. Now if only more reporters would have the gall to point this out to elected officials who seek to delay.
That may be so. But Herbert should not let that influence the timing of his passing information to the attorney general. Voters know what they know. Justice delayed is justice denied.
If Walker wins the primary despite the controversies, any delays of the investigation by Herbert simply leave his candidacy under a cloud longer. If he loses, the issue of his being a legal candidate becomes moot.
Herbert should do his duty and let the chips fall.