19 December 2008

Don't Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out

"An Ohio agency director resigned Wednesday in the wake of a finding that she improperly used state computers to access personal information on the man who became known as "Joe the Plumber" during the presidential campaign.

"Two other officials who were suspended from their positions for their role in the computer search will not be returning to their jobs, an agency spokeswoman said. Department of Job and Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelley said in a statement accompanying her resignation that she won't allow her reputation to be disparaged and that she is concerned for her family's safety.

"This decision comes after a time of pause, in which I realize that I continue to be used as a political postscript, providing a distraction from urgent state priorities," she said in her statement. She could not be reached for additional comment Wednesday night."

Uh huh. This woman did not write this statement. It was orchestrated to get her the hell out of the way and get the "Dem Machine Breaks Privacy Laws For Political Gain" story off the front page. Even national news organizations have continued to keep an eye on this story, much to the chagrin of President-elect Obama's team, which has faced two awkward stories resulting from this state administrator's actons -- comment on her illegal use of state databases for partisan political purposes, or comment on the forgotten story of how Obama says he wants to "spread the wealth around."

Ever since Ms. Jones-Kelley and her subordinates ordered another subordinate to try to dig up dirt on "Joe The Plumber" -- the blue-collar worker from Toledo, Ohio who asked Barack Obama an innocent question that put Obama on the defensive for weeks, she has been denying that she did anything wrong. Now she is playing the victim card. Somehow, she is the victim here. She isn't being used. She put herself in that position and now she's paying the price.

Ted Strickland isn't the worst of governors. But his suspension of Jones-Kelly without pay for a month was not enough. If I had gotten into state records for unauthorized purposes, I would be charged with a crime. She did the same, but thought her state job gave her a free pass. The intrusion was orchestrated, and so was the cover up story.

Good riddance. Don't let the door hit you on the way out of the building, Ms. Snoop.

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