Talk:Bradley Schlozman

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Citations needed[edit]

  • http://primebuzz.kcstar.com/?q=node/11608 I don't know how to add this, but some new developments happened that confirm Schlozman's story to some extent. P. Lehey yelled at Schlozman about breaking the DOJ rules on indictments while furiously waiving the DOJ "red book" at him and accusing him of violating DOJ policy. It is noteworthy that Donsanto, the guy who wrote that book and who is known to be a straight-shooter career-DOJ attorney, ultimately seemed to be pleased with the indictment and the WSJ editorial praising the prosecution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.77.91.38 (talk) 21:05, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • appointment as interim U.S. Attorney
  • is he still a U.S. Attorney, with his residency waived, under the USA Patriot act reauthorization section 501?

--Yellowdesk 20:08, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

No, he works back in DC, now, in the EOUSA. See here, a bio of his replacement.
Cite for his interim appt is here
-- Sholom 22:44, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
  • where is he licensed?WRM 02:37, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
  • He stated in testimony in June 2007 he was licensed to practice in Missouri, and that is where he is from. -- Yellowdesk 17:26, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Consider eliminating the section on Texas Redistricting: the link to Schlozman is tenuous on its face. The paragraph is mostly about the redistricting, adding merely that Schlozman was "allegedly" involved. 149.101.1.133 (talk) 17:52, 15 January 2009 (UTC)dbartramr
    • Per the Washington Post: "Bradley J. Schlozman, for example, was a deputy in Justice's civil rights division who helped overrule career government lawyers in approving a Texas redistricting plan pushed by Tom DeLay (R-Tex.)" ([1]) More than "allegedly", though probably not worth more than a sentence or two in a biography. MastCell Talk 22:01, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/13/AR2009011301184.html?nav=igoogle --84.153.107.136 (talk) 03:12, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Recent Edits[edit]

I find myself somewhat skeptical of recent edits by Boxcutterman - this appears to be a single-purpose account. References have been deleted, and some of the edits appear to be from a POV. We do strive for NPOV and the article probably required/s a bit of clean up/organization, but a single opinion piece in the weekly standard by a conservative attorney who was not reappointed to the DoJ because of his involvment in the DoJ mess does not rise to the level of a "heavy criticism" of the Inspector General's report! The doubt the opinion piece casts on the conclusions of the DoJ report is negligible. Bdushaw (talk) 04:53, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

I tend to agree with these concerns. I'll go a bit further. For one thing, the lead section needs to cover the various political-influence controversies. According to the relevant Wikipedia guidelines, the lead paragraph should briefly summarize all relevant aspects of the article subject. In this case, the most relevant aspect (as judged by the available reliable sources) is the existence of various political-influence controversies. Therefore, these need to be covered in the lead, despite repeated removals by Boxcutterman (talk · contribs).

Secondly, we need to use reliable sources. Reliable sources include major reputable news organizations, and major governmental agencies such as the DOJ Inspector General. Opinion pieces in lower-profile partisan journals are not particularly useful sources for an encyclopedia article. Thus, I share the concern over the undue weight being accorded Hans von Spakovsky's article. I'd welcome a response here from Boxcutterman so we can move forward. MastCell Talk 05:04, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

I am admittedly new to Wikipedia. And I don't have a problem with keeping the political-influence controversies in the lead. My concern was that the discussion was not presented fairly or neutrally. Erroneous material keeps getting returned. For example, Schlozman was never nominated to the U.S. Attorney position; he was merely an interim appointment. Thus, he was never subject to confirmation and it makes no sense to say that his "nomination" was in doubt. Also, I reviewed all the testimony and Schlozman testified that he did not hire on the basis of political affiliation; yet the edits continue to conflate political affiliation and ideology, which are very different. Moreover, removing the reference to the fact that the U.S. Attorney's Office -- an obviously very reliable source -- said it opted not to go forward only after considering evidence and using investigative techniques that the IG did not and tends to blunt some of the IG's findings. (At a bare minimum, it deserves to be mentioned in this entry and not simply stricken.) Further, it is a fair point by Bdushaw that the "heavily criticized" comment regarding the Hans von Spakovsky article may have been a bit too strong. But presenting the other side is only fair, particularly when other op-eds by other partisans have also been cited. Partisanship may be in the eyes of the beholder, but recent editorials by the likes of Iglesias and Joe Rich underscore that they are hardly apolitical figures. Finally, the point that the DOJ had definitively stated that Schlozman's actions in the Acorn case were not violative of DOJ policy is pretty significant, yet that point seems to keep getting deleted as well. Boxcutterman (talk) 12:46, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
The article Totenberg, Nina (2007-08-24). "Schlozman Leaves Justice Dept. Amid Questions". National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13920444#. (The reference you removed no longer exists, but it is still a reference - I'm sure there are others.), refutes several of your views - Schlotzman claimed to have had DoJ approval for the ACORN prosecutions, but later changed his testimony under duress. I believe attorneys who had been appointed under the Patriot Act were subject to appointment/Senate approval after the changes to the appointment process were rescinded, c.f., Griffin; their terms became limited; perhaps the article should be more carefully edited to reflect that. Evidence is that Schlotzman did indeed hire on the basis of politics. The IG report is not a partisan opinion piece, but about the most solid reference one could have - more carefully researched and referenced than the usual newspaper article. We do strive for NPOV here; I do worry about a liberal drift in articles such as these. I agree that most opinion pieces are not valid references, and should be used only on rare instances when they serve a particular purpose and are explicitly cited as opinion pieces (one of which would not be the Inspector General's report...). I don't know much about Rich, but Iglesias is a conservative/republican - the fact that the behavior of the DoJ, and Schlotzman in particular, is deplorable is not a "liberal opinion". In my opinion - and this raises an important point about how we are to approach the article, hence worthy of discussion - the statement "presenting the other side is only fair" is problematic. I don't believe we want to structure this article, a biography, by presenting "sides", a point-counterpoint type of structure. Lastly, I'll remind all editors, including myself, that this is a biography of a living person, hence subject to particular care. Bdushaw (talk) 19:16, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I've raised a notice at the biography of living persons noticeboard: [2] Mostly to request a disinterested review of the political neutrality of the article. Bdushaw (talk) 19:35, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
As an initial matter, respectfully, Bdushaw's argument that "attorneys who had been appointed under the Patriot Act were subject to appointment/Senate approval after the changes to the appointment process were rescinded" is simply not correct. Indeed, the indefinite nature of the appointment is what prompted Sen. Feinstein to introduce the "Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act of 2007," which later was signed into law by President Bush on June 14, 2007 (it became Public Law No: 110-34). See http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:SN00214:@@@L&summ2=m&. By that time, however, Schlozman had long since left. Furthermore, I respect that many individuals have contempt for Schlozman's conduct. But that point of view is not at all universal. Indeed, the von Spakovsky article raises many good points about the legal deficiencies and factual distortions in the IG report. A Wikipedia biography of a living individual should not be a forum to simply cite editorial criticisms of the subject. Boxcutterman (talk) 20:15, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
On the first point, I think we are in agreement. From your link: ...the expiration of 120 days after appointment by the Attorney General... - If Schlozman had been a USA when this law was passed, his term would not be indefinite, but would expire after 120 days. To stay as USA, he would then have had to be reappointed by the AG (term lasting another 120 days), or get the President's nomination and Senate confirmation. He was not likely to be reappointed by the AG at that point, and Senate confirmation was certainly not possible either, so he had to depart. I think that was what the NPR article was referring to. It was inevitable that Schlozman's term was to end in a few month's time. Bdushaw (talk) 21:21, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
To be specific about the time line, Congress passed the legislation at the end of March 2007 by a wide margin, Scholzman resigned as USA in April, the President signed the law in June. Bdushaw (talk) 22:36, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad we are in agreement on at least the first point. I would simply add -- since you raised the point -- that Schlozman had to leave not because of any statutory issue but because John Wood had been confirmed as U.S. Attorney by the Senate on 3/29/07. See http://judiciary.senate.gov/nominations/110thCongressExecutive.cfm. Wood had been nominated for that post on 1/16/07. See http://judiciary.senate.gov/nominations/110thCongressExecutive.cfm. Also, I don't know what Nina Totenberg was thinking about when she did her NPR report, but it is possible that she could have just done some sloppy reporting. Boxcutterman (talk) 00:21, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

More specific dates: Todd Graves resigned March 24, 2006, at DoJ request. Per Washington Post Graves said he was forced to resign immediately and was told simply that he should resign to "give another person a chance." President Bush nominated John Wood on January 16, 2007 to replace Graves, per President's activities mid-January 2007. I suppose the idea was that Schlozman was just interim for those 10+3 months. The nomination was a week after Feinstein and Leahy sent their letter to Gonzales expressing concern about the Patriot Act problem. Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee January 18, 2007. Rather odd that there should be all this hurry to have Graves resign to make room for someone, but then have the formal nomination 10 months later, eh? (But this falls in the category of original research, which is verbotten in an article.) Bdushaw (talk) 10:40, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

ACORN Prosecutions and Lawsuits Against Missouri[edit]

The article suggests that Graves had refused to “sign off” on the ACORN voter registration fraud prosecutions which were filed shortly before the November 2006 election. That makes no sense. It was the Missouri NVRA lawsuit that Graves purportedly refused to “sign off” on. Indeed, Graves had resigned in April 2006. The underlying conduct leading to the ACORN prosecutions did not even occur until August or September of 2006. See http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/news2007/davis_carmen.ind.htm. It is entirely illogical to suggest that Graves did not “sign off” on an indictment involving conduct that did not arise until at least four months after he had left office. There obviously was some very sloppy (and flat our erroneous) reporting by Nina Totenberg regarding this allegation. Indeed, we saw just how sloppy her reporting was with respect to the supposed “nomination/confirmation) of Schlozman (refuted above). Furthermore, it is critical to point out that, although Graves purportedly refused to “sign off” on these Missouri lawsuits, his name (along with Assistant Attorney General Wan Kim) appears on the complaint. See http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/nvra/mo_nvra_comp.php. (My edits to the allegations in the complaint are found in paragraphs 13-14 of the Complaint.) It is disturbing that these accurate primary sources were deleted from the prior edits to this article. I will give the editors the benefit of the doubt, but it is clear that these primary sources are more accurate than any secondary source (particulary one which is so easy to prove was inaccurate).Boxcutterman (talk) 11:53, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Your arguments seem to always boil down to either its a big liberal plot, or its sloppy reporting by reporters in the main stream media (Totenberg's a hack!). The argument above amounts to original research and is not appropriate here - you claim we should dismiss the NPR/Totenberg reference (and sundry other references) and go with your logic (which I don't follow)? It seems to me to be well established that Graves was removed for failing to bring voter fraud prosecutions. Bdushaw (talk) 12:10, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Respectfully, there is nothing "well established" about it. It is disturbing that some editors seem to be motivated by something other than the truth, which is particularly disturbing given that this is a biography of a living person. The evidence regarding the reasons for Graves' removal is discussed in the IG report on the firing of U.S. Attorneys. See http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/s0809a/final.pdf. The IG makes clear that Graves was removed because of his refusal to intercede with his brother (Sam Graves, a U.S. Congressman from Missouri) on behalf of U.S. Senator Kit Bond. The dispute involved firing a staffer to Sam Graves. The report makes clear it had nothing to do with voter fraud. Yet you keep insisting on ignoring this and reverting to some clearly erroneous reporting by Nina Tontenberg. When we are dealing with a living person, the truth matters, and libelous comments have no place here. Boxcutterman (talk) 12:50, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
This is a biographical article, but you've misunderstood what that means. It means that we need to stick closely to what reliable sources have said. NPR is a reliable source. If you think Nina Totenburg blew it, then you need to take that up with NPR and Nina Totenburg. As a reputable news organization, they will issue a correction if they have indeed made a factual error. The wrong approach is to come to Wikipedia, assert that Nina Totenburg has reported a falsehood, and demand that we "correct" it on Wikipedia. MastCell Talk 05:53, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law[edit]

I've removed the phrase giving Rich's association to this committee. It seemed irrelevant to the article, whereas Rich's 35 years of experience are relevant. I contemplated removing the sentence altogether, or including the often quoted "The timing of the Missouri indictments could not have made the administration's aims more transparent." This "Lawyer's Committee" claims to be nonpartisan, according to their website, hence the "liberal" label is disputed. Certainly if one is to paint Rich as a liberal unable to be objective in his assessment of the problems at the DoJ, a valid reference is required. Bdushaw (talk) 03:42, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Since Rich had served for the past 35 years, under Democratic and Republican (mostly Republican) presidents, we should probably have an actual reliable source before we portray his comments as politically motivated. MastCell Talk 05:27, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. But the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is well known in legal circles to be a very liberal organization and is portrayed that way in many articles. It is thus appropriate to identify Rich's current employer, without making any editorial comments about the political motivations of the organization. Boxcutterman (talk) 11:53, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
If it is well known then I'm sure you can easily find a reliable reference. You still need to find a reference that, in spite of 35 years at the DoJ, shows Rich has a tendency to be unable to set aside whatever personal political views he may have in his assessment of the problems at the DoJ. I am opposed to including this phrase in the article because it strikes me as irrelevant/extraneous. Bdushaw (talk) 12:15, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
This is silly. How do we get "reliable" sources that call someone a partisan. Heck, everyone in Washington is partisan. You are so easy to dismiss Hans von Spakovsky as a partisan, yet when he recounts in his article the blatantly partisan acts by some of the career attorneys (including Joe Rich in the Noxubee, Mississippi case), you declare it all irrelevant. The edits thus take on a clearly inappropriate POV of a living person. Boxcutterman (talk) 12:50, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes it is silly - I did not so much call HvS a partisan, so much as he published the opinion piece in a partisan journal (I can find a reference for that) and HvS is intimately wound up with Schlozman in the DoJ mess - hardly one to comment on the situation from an objective view. You live in a scary world my friend. With that I will sign off from this article and leave it to others to attend to. Bdushaw (talk) 13:04, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

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