Quick Takes: Pence Engages in “Unprofessional Cronyism”

In case you’ve forgotten, Mike Pence is still the Governor of Indiana. In that capacity, he recently appointed a woman named Amy Jorgensen to serve as a judge on the Hammond City Court. The Mayor of Hammond, Tom McDermott, is not happy.

McDermott said what concerns him most, however, is that Jorgensen has said previously that she has “never used her law degree” from Valparaiso University School of Law.

“She admits she’s never practiced law, and she’s going to be a judge? This is unprofessional cronyism, and I have no confidence in this appointment,” McDermott said. “This lady ran Sylvan Learning Centers.”

You might be wondering what qualifications Pence saw in Ms. Jorgensen that convinced him she was qualified to serve as a judge. Perhaps I failed to mention it…she is the St. John Republican Party Chairperson.

* I’m old enough to remember when Richard Nixon said, “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.” It seems that history is repeating itself. Today, president-elect Trump said, “The president can’t have a conflict of interest.”

* Do you remember when the press woke up to the fact that Trump played them after he teased that he was going to make a big announcement on his birther claims about President Obama? Instead we were all subjected to an infomercial about his new hotel and endorsements from a whole string of supporters. Following that debacle, we were assured the press had learned their lesson. That is precisely why I take this reporter’s words with a grain of salt on how he felt about getting played at Trump’s meeting with television news execs and anchors yesterday (I apologize in advance for the “R-rated” language).

“I have to tell you, I am emotionally fucking pissed,” another participant said. “How can this not influence coverage? I am being totally honest with you. Toward the end of the campaign, it got to a point where I thought that the coverage was all about [Trump’s] flaws and problems. And that’s legit. But, I thought, O.K., let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. After the meeting today, though—and I am being human with you here—I think, Fuck him! I know I am being emotional about it. And I know I will get over it in a couple of days after Thanksgiving. But I really am offended. This was unprecedented. Outrageous!”

If being angry means that reporters wise up and stop giving this con man “the benefit of the doubt,” then perhaps they need to stay mad.

* The presidential popular vote continues – and reminds us that a lot more Americans chose Clinton than Trump.

* Finally, today President Obama commuted the sentences of another 79 individuals and reached a bit of a milestone.

As one of the people who has benefited from this initiative, I’d encourage you to take a few minutes to listen to Ramona’s story. It provides a powerful statement about the need for criminal justice reform.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.