Friday, August 12, 2005

 

"We don't talk about hypotheticals"

DDN reporter Bill Hershey today tells how Taft may be on the verge of joining a unique and exclusive group:
If the investigation into his unreported golf outings results in charges that end in a criminal conviction, Gov. Bob Taft could become the first governor in Ohio's 202-year history to be convicted of a crime while in office.

In addition, Taft, 63, would join a list of about a dozen other governors convicted of crimes in the post World War II political era, a dubious distinction for the great grandson of a president and the grandson and son of U.S. senators.

"I'm personally not aware of any Ohio governor being convicted of any crime while in office," said historian George Knepper, distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Akron and author of Ohio and Its People.

[. . .]

The minor nature of the possible charge against Taft, however, is almost beside the point, said [Larry] Sabato, author of Goodbye to Good-time Charlie: The American Governorship Transformed.

"His (Taft's) best-known characteristic until recently was integrity," Sabato said. "This would be a terrible blow to him personally and a giant black mark in the history of his family in Ohio."

If convicted, Taft would not be required to give up his office, but Sabato said the pressure on him to resign "will be enormous."
Taft spokesperson Orest Holubec refused to speculate on Taft's future:
As for the effect of a possible conviction, "we don't talk about hypotheticals," Holubec said.
The staff at the Hypothetically Speaking world headquarters feel honored to be ignored by Holubec.

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