The Devils in Durbin’s Details

A collection of noteworthy points, details and arguments from the Durbin-Ryan-commutation imbroglio that I haven’t yet had a chance to point out.

* “If Ryan is released early, he will have spent less time in prison than two friends convicted in the case – Ryan’s aide, Scott Fawell, who did the dirty work, and businessman Lawrence Warner, who profited from the dirty deals,” the Sun-Times notes in an editorial today.

* “Let’s also look at one of the main assertions on Ryan’s behalf, that he’s been punished enough in part because his government pension has already been taken away,” Mark Brown writes today.

“What they fail to mention is that he had already collected about $800,000 from his ridiculous $197,000-a-year pension before he was sent off to prison. How many of you can expect to collect $800,000 from a pension in your entire lifetime? Not many. It’s not our fault if he spent it all.”

* Release him from prison? He hasn’t even found God yet. (Me)

* As far as Ryan’s finances go, don’t forget that Winston & Strawn forewent something like $10 million in legal fees to help him out. Isn’t that charity enough?

* One report noted that Lura Lynn has her six kids looking after her. Including the daughter who testified about her husband’s no-show job?

* Durbin says that, if released, Ryan would still be living with “the cloud of his conviction.” If that was appropriate punishment, he would have been sentenced to six-and-a-half years of a cloud. C’mon.

* “Thompson said Durbin was a ‘stand-up guy’.” We know what that means in Illinois politics. For example, when Scott Fawell told the truth and testified against Ryan, he was no longer a stand-up guy. Robert Sorich, on the other hand, is a stand-up guy because he has (apparently) stalled an investigation into City Hall by not cooperating with authorities. You know, by screwing us taxpayers who, apparently, do not deserve the truth of how our money is used. We’re still waiting to see if Tony Rezko will be a stand-up guy.

* “Denise Peterson of Hawthorne Woods, who served on the federal jury that convicted Ryan in 2006 on federal fraud, racketeering and related charges, said a commutation would send the wrong message to politicians looking to abuse the public trust,” the Tribune reports.

“I think that once again politicians are getting special treatment because of who they are, and that’s not how it should be,” Peterson said. “I had a front-row seat, and I understand that he’s guilty and he’s not sorry. He should stay in jail.”

* “I would encourage anyone with a loved one in prison to seek out Durbin personally and explain your situation to him,” Brown writes. “As long as he’s being so merciful, I think he deserves to be inundated with clemency requests.”


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