Pro-torture GOP candidate for president Tim Pawlenty hired Erik Helland– a two-term Iowa state legislator and a field staffer for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign– as the head of his Iowa staff. So what, you query. Big deal, you scoff. Booorrring, you eye-roll.
So this (via Roll Call):
The Polk County Attorney’s office confirmed Thursday that Helland pleaded guilty on Aug. 19, 2010, to one count of operating while intoxicated, first offense, and one count of interfering with official acts. Helland received a suspended sentence, which included three days in jail, 12 months of probation and a $1,250 fine.
He becomes the third staff member or prominent volunteer connected to Pawlenty’s campaign with legal problems related to alcohol. Two of them appear to be on criminal probation.
One already quit.
Wowzers, that’s some hiring record, Timmy. I’m sure you must be very concerned that voters will notice your conspicuously bad judgment. Or your soft spot for reckless drinkers. Maybe you’re just losing touch with them high falootin’ family values. Nah, who cares about trivial things like that?
This is all about avoiding bad press and late-night snickers:
“I think it’s bad for the candidate and it’s a bad news story,” said one GOP campaign consultant. “I don’t think it’s a question of judgment. But it makes you the butt of a lot of late-night jokes … It’s not a trend you want as a candidate. It leads to not being taken seriously.”
See, Tim’s ability to make wise choices has nothing to do with it. It’s all about Letterman and Leno. It is clearly NOT about a felon who was convicted three times for drunken driving, served six months in jail, and is still on probation. Nor is it about another staffer who resigned after being arrested for public intoxication and trespassing because he tried to enter the back door of a house that, oops, wasn’t his.
As for taking TPaw seriously, well, that’s already a joke. Anyone else watch the Republican debate last night?
More details here.