Monday, July 21, 2008

Walsh gets both bump, pressure from Miktarian case

No one wants to put politics into the murder of Twinsburg Police Officer Joshua Miktarian, but the truth is that it's going to be a political issue whether we like it or not.

Sherri Bevan Walsh is up for re-election on the November ballot against challenger Nancy Mercurio Morrison.

As was the case with today's indictment announcement, Walsh gets the face time with the press because of her role in prosecuting suspected cop-killer Ashford Thompson. She also gets the hard questions that follow .. and the community scrutiny that goes with a high-profile case like this one.

Everyone is watching Walsh's every move on this one and will be for days to come.

While the trial is likely to take place well after the November 4th election, the case's court hearings and developments will each draw big media turnouts, beginning with this Friday's arraignment in Akron. Each time, Walsh most likely gets a mention and/or a quote or some face time.

Is it fair in an election year?

The media's coverage of Walsh's actions when it comes to the Thompson case does not necessarily trigger an argument that Morrison deserves equal media time. That's because Thompson's case is a genuine news event instead of a political one, so the fair time guidelines won't apply.

Still, if you're Morrison, how do you possibly hope to generate enough buzz for your campaign against an incumbent who's getting all the headlines and name recognition whether she wants them or not?

Ten years ago, local prosecutor Allison McCarty successfully prosecuted Doug Prade, and that courtroom victory has become a regular part of McCarty's campaign as a judge. You can bet that if McCarty had lost that case or plea bargained it .. that her future judicial opponents would have lit her up with criticism.

Walsh is now under the same magnifying glass. Get a death penalty conviction and she'll forever be able to say that she "got justice against a cop killer." Still, if she gets anything short of a death penalty, especially a plea bargain (not likely), and Walsh can expect that Morrison and/or others are waiting in the wings to criticize that "she let a cop killer off the hook."

Again, neither Walsh nor Morrison asked to be in this position, and today's press conference was in line with what I'd have expected from Walsh in a non-election year too. It's what comes with the case.

Still, when a case like this arrives just three-plus months before election day .. the political ramifications are hard to miss as they're unintentionally thrust out there.

Anyone else see the same thing? Got a different take on this?


Anonymous said...

Eric, Both you and I know for a fact that Alex is giving her another free ride AGAIN. Why? Our party is simply out of money, period. Why? Because we had to re-elect an out dated thinker and doer. Are you tired of the "you know Ray Bliss said" quotes yet? I was a long time ago. No, Wayne Jones was not trying to take over our party. The democrats took it over a long time ago. How? Look at the voting records of all of Alex's inner circle and you'll see democrat until they met Alex and guess what? They became Republicans.

Ben said...

Is it fair?

Yeah...your running for an elected office. Sometimes you cant control the events that shape the race.

And yes, anonymous, Alex is giving Walsh a free ride.