Recent events in the Humboldt County District Attorney’s race have reminded me of a far off historical event.
The first written record of a politician begging for public forgiveness was made by the Assyrian Whet-Nidmud the Arithmetically Challenged, the then Minister for Housing and Cemeteries.
He had claimed to have single-handedly killed over 1,000 people while pillaging an enemy city. However a daring expose by the Assyrian Times-Typical revealed he only killed a mere hundred.
The Assyrians took their pillaging very seriously so they tossed Whet-Nidmud into the slammer.
At his trial Whet-Nidmud with his wife (Sheel-Nidmud the One Who Would Do Better for a Husband the Next Time Around) on the stage looking on supportively gave such a tearful, passionate and emotional plea that the people overwhelmingly decided not to execute Whet-Nidmud by slow torture.
They instead tossed him off a ziggurat.
No doubt everyone involved had a warm and fuzzy feeling over this act of clemency (except perhaps Whet-Nidmud).
The event (back to modern times, folks) I spoke of concerns DA candidate Allan Dollison, whose past problems with the California State Bar Association gained wide attention last week.
To sum up: Around 15 years ago Mr. Dollison was found by the Bar Association to have been less than honest with four clients for whom he either did not do the work he was paid for (claiming on forged court documents he did do it) and/or outright abandoned his clients. For the details I would suggest looking over a previous post by the Tuluwat Examiner staff on the subject or the very exhaustive article by Ryan Burns in the Lost Coast Outpost.
It should be pointed out that Mr. Dollison did indeed mention his problems of 15 years ago when he announced he was running for District Attorney. It should also be pointed out John Chiv’s courthouse blog was the first to bring the issue up in the media shortly after Mr. Dollison announced his candidacy.
This is one of those things where one gets to speculate why the “Main Stream Media” (or our local version of it) did not pay attention to the issue for several months. There are two leading theories:
Theory Number One: Dark Masters, Lords of the Mainstream Media, meet in a high grey tower bathed in lightning, dressing in thick red satin robes from head to foot (including gloves and face concealing hoods), chanting to the accompaniment of sinister organ music in a room lit by black candles and with incense befogging the air… determine it is now time to give Mr. Dollison… “The Business.”
Theory Number Two: Somebody on the LoCO staff saw the previous coverage in the other blogs and thought it would make a good story.
My money’s on Theory Number One. I mean REALLY, who would believe a concoction like Theory Number Two? Have we all just fallen off the turnip truck?
Do you know the really surprising part? The LoCO is now a part of the Main Stream Media. How’d that happen?
But today we are talking about Political Forgiveness. This is an entirely separate animal from ethical or spiritual forgiveness. Thousands of tomes (big enough to kill bears with) have been written on the latter subjects and I’m not about to try to duplicate them.
Besides, I’m shallow and narcissistic (according to some) and therefore things like that shouldn’t interest me.
In short, Political Forgiveness is like anything else political: It is expedient and artificial at best.
Mr. Dollison stands somewhat above most wayward politicians; they usually set up public sobbing events with wronged but supportive wives looking on and they promise never, Never, NEVER to be naughty again.
Mr. Dollison, like an adult, explained what happened, how he was made to compensate those he wronged and how he took the remedial steps he was told to take to reinstate his privilege to practice law.
The only people he needs to ask forgiveness of are those he damaged when he dealt badly with them 15 years ago; and himself. His campaign workers and contributors warrant no apology since he was forthright about those issues from the start.
The rest of us, having not been damaged, have no basis for demanding Mr. Dollison do public Mea Culpa’s for our amusement. It’s not as if the rest of us are all that pure of spirit ourselves (except according to some of those who post comments on the LoCO).
He says he is a different person now and has forgiven himself. As for the four former clients he put through the wringer; that’s another matter.
The thing to keep in mind is there is a difference between Forgiveness and Evaluation.
We can accept that Mr. Dollison has been redeemed. But that does not mean we should then ignore what he had done; we should use those events to help evaluate his fitness to be District Attorney.
One can rightfully ask the question: “Can the events of 15 years ago not have any application to today?” Any of us non-lawyers could have been arrested, charged and sent to jail for similar “mistakes”. Should any lawyer with that kind of past have any business running for DA?
One can also rightfully ask the question: “Does the fact he has been clean ever since indicate that all this is old news and conceivably such a chastening experience makes him a better attorney; perhaps a better person?”
That is up to the voter (YOU) to decide.
It might sometimes be obvious who I’d rather see win a race; I can’t help that. But I will never endorse or disapprove of a candidate.
I have made no such conclusion here. Vote for any of the four you want.
I haven’t decided yet myself.
Standard Disclaimer: My opinions are my own and not necessarily those of the Tuluwat Examiner. I am not on the Staff of the Tuluwat Examiner. I don’t even know who these people are. However, I have new information that the staff of the Tuluwat Examiner is using their blog as a cover for their involvement in the illicit international trade of Racing Kangaroos. They raise kangaroos at their headquarters telling local authorities the kangaroos are needed for medical treatment purposes.
They even have a 215 card (it should be noted that the word “marijuana” has been scratched out and the word “kangaroo” written in its place).