Wednesday, January 09, 2008

More Rosenthal scandal, anyone? No thank you, I'm full.

Let's just go to the story:

New e-mails released Tuesday show District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal sent and received racist jokes and strategized with political consultants and colleagues about his re-election campaign on his county e-mail account.

Also within the correspondence obtained Tuesday by the Houston Chronicle were numerous sexually explicit images. It was unclear, however, if Rosenthal ever forwarded those files.

The latest batch of 730 e-mails was met with concern by Harris County GOP leaders, who had already successfully pressured him to abandon his re-election bid.

"It's time for Chuck Rosenthal to pack his bags and leave," said county GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill.

Rosenthal declined to comment late Tuesday.

Rosenthal has hit Bush's trifecta. The only way anyone will ever be able to feel sorry for him now is if he shoots himself.

The scandal is blowing back to assistant DA -- (and filed candidate for Chuck's job) Kelly Siegler, whose husband sent much of the naughty e-mail in question:

Also included within the e-mails is heavy traffic between Rosenthal and Sam Siegler, Rosenthal's physician and the husband of Kelly Siegler, who is running for district attorney.

In one e-mail from Sam Siegler to Rosenthal, an attached video shows women having their breasts exposed after men forcibly pulled down their blouses in public. The video called the act "sharking."

And the story goes on. And on.

Now let's be clear: we've all gotten nasty crap like this in our inboxes. Some of us have even forwarded -- and originated -- some of it. I just got this howler (VNSFW) over the holidays, to use myself as an example. But I'm not the Harris County district attorney, either. In fact I won't ever be able to be a candidate for public office, having blogged many of my coarser opinions under my birth name.

No great loss to public service, you're thinking. And hey, you're right.

Of course this isn't about me. This is about elected officials who use their taxpayer-funded time and computers in the most unprofessional of circumstances, to say nothing of the hypocrisy demonstrated in the self-righteousness they proclaim publicly by wearing WWJD bracelets and standing up in Second Baptist Church to declare their close relationship with the Almighty.

And it's also now about candidates for the same public office who haughtily dismiss the hijinks:

"He cusses like a sailor and his sense of humor is crude, to put it mildly," (Siegler) said. "It's his computer and what he does at work is his business. He's the boss."

She declined to comment on whether Rosenthal should resign but said the revelations wouldn't affect her campaign.

"I would hope the voters are more concerned about qualifications of their DA than some inappropriate e-mails."

Oh trust me, Kelly; we are.

Rhymes with Right calls for Rosenthal's immediate departure and not because of nasty e-mail but because the DA was also using his work computer for campaign-related activities, which of course is a violation of election law.

Whatever. It's long past time for Rosenthal to move out -- of his office, of the newspaper headlines, and probably out of town.

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