When news outlets across the country caught wind of the latest in Attorney General JB Van Hollen’s partisan political agenda after we at One Wisconsin Now busted his office for coordinating with a Republican group on a lawsuit to stop health care reform, Van Hollen and his office received a heavy dose of criticism. Now we learned today that Van Hollen’s office has fired back at said news outlets, and once again, earned a heavy dose of criticism.
After giving Van Hollen and his Justice Dept. an initial ‘thumbs down’ for “mixing partisan politics with their jobs,” the Appleton Post-Crescent received a critical response from Van Hollen’s assistant Kevin St. John:
Kevin St. John, special assistant attorney general, wrote the May 4 letter to Dan Flannery, executive editor of The Post-Crescent. In it, St. John expressed his disappointment over the thumbs-down.
“I’m sure your paper also returns contacts from Republicans and might even take positions that are aligned with many Republicans,” St. John wrote. “But it would be a logical fallacy to conclude that Republicans control your paper or that you are putting party before your principles.”
If that had been his argument in a court of law, St. John would have lost his case. It’s a far-flung analogy to suggest that Flannery exchanging e-mails with someone who happens to be Republican carries the same weight as Taffora communicating with a Republican political consultant on filing a lawsuit about a law that has become a deeply partisan issue.
It would have been better if the Justice Department just let this one go. No one would have even given it a second thought.
For trying to attract widespread media attention over a political criticism, Van Hollen and crew deserve another thumbs-down.