Posted Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010, at 10:44 AM
Pat Doyle reports out a potentially damaging story for Tim Pawlenty -- a man that the governor helped pardon in 2008, Jeremy Giefer, was allegedly carrying out "hundreds" of sexual assaults on one woman before and after the pardon. We even get this analysis from Larry Sabato:
"Could it hurt him?" Sabato asked. "To some degree."
Well, that's not terribly helpful. Sabato puts this in the context of
Mike Huckabee's pardon
of a man who later killed a police officer -- a hard-to-explain call, the kind of call a governor makes if he's careful about these things. In this case, he and two panelists were impressed that Giefer remained faithful to the woman whom he'd started a relationship with when she was 14, so they pardoned him. The important difference between Huckabee/Dukakis and Pawlenty: Giefer was already out of prison when he was pardoned, so the governor's action didn't
a new crime.
For what it's worth, I found this story on my usual search of stories about 2012 candidates; after I posted it, a number of reporters noted that the DNC was pushing the story today. If I encounter a story because a partisan is trying to get it covered, I say so; in this case it's obviously newsy that Democrats want this out there.
UPDATE: Palwenty spokesman Bruce Gordon comments:
The Governor has consistently opposed pardons for sex offenders and believes sex offenses are heinous. However, the Board made an exception in this case and voted unanimously to pardon this 1994 conviction because it involved sexual conduct between two people who became husband and wife, maintained a long-term marriage, had a family together, and because the defendant completed his sentence many years before seeking the pardon which his wife and others supported. Obviously, had this new information been available to the Board at the time of the pardon request, the pardon should not and would not have been granted.