Saturday, September 13, 2008

More Dribbles Out From the Mark Udall Campaign

A knowledgeable someone left the following comment on the "The Ad That Mark Udall Thinks Could Destroy His Campaign" Post:

Mark Udall was charged with simple misdemeanor marijuana possession in 1972. There is absolutely nothing to indicate he was suspected of distributing anything, that's not what he was either initially charged with or convicted of. Your speculation is completely baseless and irresponsible, even by this pathetic blog's nonexistent "standards."

But that's okay, go over the top as far as you like on this, it's broadcasting to your dwindling readership everything they need to know. And not about Mark Udall.
Here's my answer:
1. Your campaign is dribbling the information on this out. When first released months ago, we only found out that Mark Udall had had his car confiscated and was put on a year of probation. Yesterday, in the Denver Post, we are told for the first time that he spent a night in jail and was fined $300. Also, for the first time, we are told that he had some joints and three "small bags" of marijuana. Today on this blog, you tell us that he was charged with simple misdemeanor marijuana possession, but you are withholding the day and place of arrest meaning that nothing you say an be checked. When you actually release hard facts that can be checked, the speculation will stop.

2. I am four years older than Mark Udall meaning that I know what the laws and customs were in 1972. Cars weren't being confiscated from users at the time. Cars were being confiscated from dealers. Mark Udall admits his car was confiscated, strongly suggesting, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary (evidence the campaign could provide, if it chose), that Mark Udall was being prosecuted as a dealer and had the charge plea bargained down, but still couldn't keep his car.

3. The facts also might support an initial charge of DUI, except that I do not recall that cars were being confiscated for DUI, sending us back to drug dealing speculation. In 1972, I was an Army Officer who not infrequently busted soldiers for drug use, a too common problem in the army of that era. The easiest way to do a pot bust is by using one's nose. It would be useful to know what violation Mark Udall had committed to get stopped. What made the cop ask for permission to search the vehicle? Is the smoke pouring out of the Freedom's Watch van a metaphor for the smell escaping from a just stopped vehicle being driven by a congressman's kid? Did multiple joints suggest that he was using as he drove down the road? There are so many unanswered questions. If the Mark Udall campaign wants to "clear the air" so to speak, the best way would be to provide answers. Who stopped him and for what? Where and when was the stop made? Why was the car confiscated? How much pot was confiscated and where was it found? Where and when did the trial occur, or was there a trial? Did Udall get special treatment.

We'll worry about our audience. You worry about the answers.


absurdicus said...

Uh, if you're so concerned, why not look it up yourself? Heck, why not also suggest a car seizure was typical for hunting without a license? It makes about as much sense.

welcome back.

And another thing, Alan is on the Udall campaign, just like Ben Degrow and Ross Kaminsky are on the Schaffer campaign. Keep it straight.

Curious Stranger said...

"I am four years older than Mark Udall meaning that I know what the laws and customs were in 1972. Cars weren't being confiscated from users at the time."

So, were you familiar with these laws and customers as a user, a dealer, a lawyer or a police officer?

A Watcher said...

How about a citizen who pays attention and an army officer who had to know enough law to be able to enforce and administer the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

At various times, I have ordered a soldier to accompany me to the MP station where he was taken into custody; ordered a soldier accused of robbing a taxi driver at knife point into the stockade; been a summary court officer with the power of judge, jury, prosecutor and defense counsel all wrapped up in one; sat on several courts-martial boards as both member and president; been an Article 32 investigating officer (the military equilivant of a one man grand jury); acted as a defense counsel before a board considering discharging a soldier with a less than honorable discharge several times; and issued too many Article 15's as a commander.

It is very hard to do any of that and be ignorant of the law, both civilian and military.

FYI, I must have been a better defense lawyer than prosecutor at the summary court because I found the soldier not guilty. Every recommendation I made as an Article 32 investigating officer to either drop the charges or proceed to courts-martial was accepted. Every soldier whose special courts-martial I sat on was convicted, but that was because the command paid attention to its Article 32 officers and didn't send up bad cases. The robber went to Leavenworth for two years. I have no idea what happened to the soldier that I took to the MP station because I wasn't a member of his command, but I do know that his commander had a solid case with two officer witnesses to pot smoking.

Aren't you glad you asked what my qualifications were?