Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hatch ‘Corrects’ Lam Error By Disparaging Another U.S. Attorney — Will Russert Repeat It?

Last week on Meet the Press, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) tried to disparage the record of U.S. Attorney Carol Lam:
HATCH: She was a former law professor, no prosecutorial experience, and the former campaign manager in Southern California for Clinton, and they’re trying to say that this administration appoints people politically? Of course they do. That’s what these positions are.
In fact, as Rachel Maddow found, Lam had more than 14 years experience as a prosecutor, and was neither a law professor nor a former campaign manager.

In response, Hatch sent a letter to Meet the Press host Tim Russert asking him to correct the record. Hatch said that his attack was meant not for Lam but her predecessor, Clinton-appointed U.S. Attorney Alan Bersin.

I would appreciate your help in correcting a mistake I made on your show last Sunday, April 1, 2007.

My comments about Carol Lam’s record as a U.S. Attorney were accurate, but I misspoke when making the point of discussing politically connected U.S. Attorneys. I accidentally used her name, instead of her predecessor, Alan Bersin, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton.

Hatch’s “point” is that Bersin was an unqualified, “politically connected” appointee. In fact, Bersin was arguably well-qualified for the position:

– Graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University

– Served as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University

– Received his J.D. degree from Yale Law School

– Served as a senior partner for 17 years at the Los Angeles law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, where he “specialized in complex RICO, securities, commercial and insurance litigation before state and federal trial and appellate courts”

– Special Counsel to the Los Angeles Police Commission

– After stepping down as U.S. Attorney, Bersin served as Superintendent of Public Education in San Diego City Schools, the nation’s eighth largest urban school district, and was named California’s Secretary of Education in 2005.

Now, the question is: this Sunday, will Tim Russert simply read Hatch’s statement disparaging Bersin’s qualifications? Or will he state the full facts about Bersin’s record?

No comments: