Saturday, November 12, 2005


Cox, Fieger Share Pipe

I could care less what you do behind closed doors in your personal life. If you like to cheat on your wife or smoke crack, go for it. I don't care who you are, if you're a politician, a doctor, a teacher, just as long as it doesn't get in the way of what you do (smoking crack might not fall into that category).

Here's what I don't want to see, anything. This mess with Fieger and Cox isn't really what I expected when Fieger announced his candidacy a couple weeks ago. I expected to get this kind of tripe from Fieger, I didn't expect Mike Cox to show his true colors. Today Mike Cox released a tape of the "blackmail call" that Fieger supposedly ordered through some Cox/Feiger crony out for a book deal named Lee O'Brian. This all smells phony to me and I don't like it.

I guess we've managed to avoid the whole hollywood crap here in Michigan for awhile but the way things are going, it wouldn't surprise me if they released "Cox in too Deep" on DVD next week. It makes me sick. If this is what you want to do with your life, call Entertainment Weekly, not the Free Press.

The sex scandal is a red herring thrown up by Cox to deflect the real problem: some major irregularities in the way he handles campaign contributions to himself and others. Also, Cox has broken the Rules of Professional Responsibility for prosectors (he's acting as Michigan's chief prosecutor when he investigates a criminal matter) by investigating Fieger's campaign contributions while Fieger is running against him. If the Bar Association chooses to investigate, he'll be sanctioned and might have to resign.

Of course, that's probably why Fieger decided to run--he knows the rules for prosecutors and knows Cox would be legally obligated to back off. Instead, our little Boy Scout prosecutor went for the bait like a hungry fish.

There's a story here, Jon, but it's not the story Cox would have us believe when he held his press conference on Thursday and got all weepy with his long-suffering wife. What's worse than cheating on your wife? Using the affair to distract the public from the real issue and further humiliating her by making her play along with the ruse. Think: why would a tough prosecutor like Cox grant an interview the press and be shown crying on TV when he could just say, "this is personal, Fieger is taking the low road but I won't, back off, it's none of your business." These people are lawyers, after all--Cox knows he hasn't lied under oath, which is what Starr got Clinton for.

If Cox wants to use his infidelity as a smokescreen for his cooking the campaign money books, then fair game, I say.
What do you say is fair game, for people to use his infidelity against him or for him to use it in defense?

I don't think this topic should be left off the table, I just don't think Cox should have ever brought it up. The face that this guy was willing to throw his family away just for some lady he knew and then expose it publicly for all to see as some sort of bizarre tool was both stupid and tacky.

I don't know a lot about his money issues, but it seems like drawing attention to himself was a bad idea. If he was worried the press was going to leak his sex scandal, he could have made a public statement, very brief, and left out the whole blackmail thing. I don't like this. He's bringing in a lot of people into this mess that clearly don't belong there. This was a very poor move on his part and I think it will hurt the migop's chances of holding on to the legislature in 2006.
Jon, yes, that's what makes this so interesting--Cox was the state GOP's golden boy and now he's in danger of becoming radioactive. The big question is what exactly IS his relationship with this O'Brien character who held two fundraisers for him and one for his brother? Notice he's never said he doesn't know the guy.

Fieger, of course, is a sleaze and a half, but we already knew that. He has nothing to lose by kicking Cox.

I'm from the "It's not the sex, it's the hypocrisy" school when it comes to sex scandals. Cox's personal life is nobody's business until he makes it people's business; then fair game. Cox made it the public's business in two ways: (1) by writing an AG opinion in 2003 interpreting the odious anti-gay marriage amendment to deliver maximum hurt to gays in Michigan, at the same time he was confessing his infidelity to his wife; and (2) going on TV with a tear-jerker confession designed to distract the public away from his misbehavior in the Fieger investigation and his own support for Markman via his PAC.
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