I’ve talked about it before; I sympathize with the Steve Bannon contempt of congress case that is happening at the end of July 2022 more than other cases because it’s personal for me. I don’t communicate with him a lot, be we occasionally do. He has shared some of my articles on social media, and we have exchanged text messages on occasion, so it’s more personal to me to see what is happening to him than it would be if I didn’t know something about the person himself. As I watch him go to federal court every day and the judge lecture the defense about not making a circus out of the case, it is bewildering to think that Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress in 2012, yet no punishment ever came his way. But because Bannon is a member of the Trump White House, he is being treated like a criminal, guilty before proven innocent, just by association. And all this has made me think of the case of George Lang several years ago, who was facing jail time just for knowing John Boehner, who was poised to be speaker of the house, and the Democrats wanted to sink him through his friends. George, of course, was found innocent, but it was scary for sure. We could all point to misconduct in court proceedings that were purely politically motivated and shake our heads. But we often don’t say much about it because we fear that injustice being turned in our own direction, so we just move along and try to ignore it. Yet, I see the same thing happening to Roger Reynolds in Butler County, where political rivals are accusing him of corruption in his office. And I just don’t see it in any of the indictments, for which a 6th came out just recently to add to the pile, intent on knocking him out of office. It’s an election year, some rivals want Roger out as a political character, and they’ll do what they must do to sink him.
Believe me; I’d rather talk about a million other things than this case, which I’ve discussed in detail. I’d prefer to leave all this mess to the courts to decide but based on a ridiculous article by Jennifer Edwards Baker from Fox 19 about the details of the 6th indictment against Roger Reynolds, which now involves Lakota schools, the issue is so preposterous that we just can’t ignore it. Obviously, the prosecution in the case against Roger, much like the case against Steve Bannon, doesn’t have much to go on, so they are prosecuting the case in the court of public opinion through reporters who might sway public sentiment ahead of upcoming elections. And that is the entire goal of the proceedings. And we can’t ignore the case because it could be any of us falsely accused. It’s not that I love Roger Reynolds. I think he has been an excellent auditor. But he’s made political enemies over the years, which is all part of the blood sport of politics. I think he could handle many things better regarding social interactions, but I recognize that he’s an A-Type personality, as is Sheriff Jones, and a clash among those types of people is bound to happen. I see it as more of a human resource problem than a legal one. If those two people have problems, they should resolve them in some other way than in political tricks ahead of elections and wasting the time of courts for personal vendettas, which is clearly the case with this indictment against Roger involving Lakota schools.
The Fox 19 article says many things that could easily be misconstrued, leaving out all the relevant factors, such as all the axes to grind among public employees, especially those who handle money. The indictment indicates that Lakota schools were due to get back $750,000 from the auditor’s office. Roger suggested to the treasurer Jenni Logan that they spend that money on the Four Bridges Golf Course in a partnership. A whole series of emails between Jenni and the school attorney show an interest in Roger’s proposal. Ultimately, they decided it probably wasn’t a good idea, so the concept was rejected. That was back in 2017, a long time ago. So why is this story coming out now? Jenni is retiring on August 1st, 2022, and this is something for the road that fits into the motivations of Sheriff Jones and his political needs regarding putting someone else in the seat of the Butler County Auditor. So, they completely made up the word “coercion” in the indictment and tried to build a case that forced Roger to prove he wasn’t guilty of it due to pressure from public opinion, rather than proving that Roger actually used coercion in any way during the proposed spending of the money. When people see $750,000, they might think that’s a lot of money, but in reality, within the budget of Lakota, it’s much less than 1% of their expenditures and is actually about 11 or 12 teachers. Teachers make a lot of money, despite what the unions say about compensation. I can easily see how Roger would suggest that Jenni spend the money on something more useful, like an elevated lifestyle for the students of Lakota, rather than just blowing it on more activist teachers. Jenni must have thought the idea a good one because she pursued it through emails which are part of the case. But she did so voluntarily. That is not coercion; it’s a discussion among professional adults.
All this doesn’t change my opinion of Roger Reynolds. As I indicated, I could tell stories all day long about court cases that were purely intended to destroy a political rival and had nothing to do with actual justice. I mentioned a few here based on personal experience. But it’s quite common as a practice. I’m all for law and order, but justice should be blind. What is going on with Roger Reynolds is that laws are being applied against a political rival instead of uniformly applied. It’s an abuse of authority, but it’s not Roger doing the abuse. It’s the accusers, not the recipient. I’ll still be voting for Roger Reynolds in the upcoming election. All the people participating in the investigation against him should be trying to work with Roger instead of getting rid of him over their personal problems they might have. Destroying people’s lives is not the way to solve a problem. It might be common, but it’s certainly not right.
The courts are not private playgrounds to bully people into fight resolution that might have been settled on a playground when everyone was kids. As adults, judges, attorneys, and media bottom feeders are not replacements for fists to the face. When the courts are abused, as they are clearly being abused in this Roger Reynolds case and the case of Steve Bannon, that gives politics and our justice system a bad name, and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves, as far as I’m concerned, all six of these indictments against Roger Reynolds are political witch hunts. If I had been Roger, I would have handled things differently, where there was no question as to blurred lines. But social mistakes aren’t against the law. Intent to commit a crime is, and to assume intent where there clearly isn’t any evidence, just for the political theater of altering an election is despicable at best and gross abuse of authority at the very least.