Barrett’s son exploited

Perhaps I need to add a few paragraphs to an earlier post I’d written about how teens need adults to be protectors and not perps.  I really don’t like to drag family into a discussion about public figures, but former Democrat state rep Matthew Barrett’s son was used as a human shield, not for war mind you, but for deflecting criticism that belonged squarely on Barrett’s own, adult, shoulders for displaying at least one photo of a topless woman to a Norwalk High School class.  What shocked me was that Barrett’s wife and Barrett’s son were required to play along with the charade that was originally presented to law enforcement officers.

Nevertheless, I’ve already posted a blog entry that Barrett is no longer in jeopardy of having any punitive action taken against him.

This passage from this Norwalk Reflector article is what really made me wide-eyed in disbelief:

“Barrett’s son spoke to Norwalk police in the presence of his parents and said he was responsible for downloading the photos, but his father refused to let him say what Web site he had used to find the pictures.”

The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram corroborates:

“During questioning, Barrett and his wife, Wendy, sat with their son as he described downloading pornography off his father’s laptop computer and putting it on a memory stick to move to another computer in the family’s home.

“In a separate interview, Barrett’s wife said she had caught her son looking at Internet pornography in the past, but when police asked the boy what kind of Web sites he had visited to get the photos found on the memory card, Barrett refused to let his son answer.

” ‘Don’t. I don’t want him to answer,” Barrett can be heard saying during the interview. “Don’t. Don’t answer, please.’ “

The women depicted in the photos were contacted by investigators who discovered their identities via the laptop computer that police confiscated from Barrett.  The women willingly co-operated with the investigation of Barrett when they learned to their own alarm that a 13-year-old son had been made a scapegoat by his parents.  It wasn’t until after police had made contact with the women and knew their stories that Barrett hired an attorney and owned up to the deception.

Wow.  Yet, frustratingly, in our society, children are often casualties of adults’ exploits.

In Barrett’s wake: Janik wants the job

The Lorain Morning Journal reports that an assistant prosecutor in Lorain County is interested in being appointed by the Democrats to the 58th Ohio House District seat left vacant by Matthew Barrett. Thomas Janik once ran unsuccessfully in a Democrat primary for Oberlin Municipal Court judge. Janik would be willing to run in November to retain the seat against opposition from Republican former Huron County Commissioner Terry Boose.

As an assistant prosecutor, Janik’s boss is Dennis Will, who is widely respected. I’ve met Janik in person before. When he was running for election, I happened to answer the door when he knocked at the home of my former in-laws. On that occasion, Janik clearly appeared to be uncomfortable, like a shrinking violet. His name recognition isn’t all that strong in Lorain County, let alone in Huron County (where half the voters of the district live). I wonder aloud if Janik is as conservative as the voters of the 58th District. Barrett definitely played up his conservative credentials when he ran in 2004 and 2006, yet Barrett wasn’t able to win that first time around. If Janik can’t come up with key endorsements by Ohio Right-to-Life and the NRA, forget it.

Janik would have the daunting task of trying to pull off the win while starting at zero and only having until November. On the flip side, the timetable isn’t as short as one might ordinarily think, given that today would have been primary election day in any non-Presidential election year. The fact that the primary was held in early March this year contributes to the mirage that a lot of time has elapsed. The Republican, Terry Boose, though, is much more widely known and more widely respected than Barrett’s opponent in 2006, so I think the climb really is steeper for Janik.

There are two upsides for a Janik candidacy: 1) Though a minority of 58th District voters live in Lorain County, Janik can tap into a vibrant Democrat fundraising machine that exists in Lorain County that can probably raise more money than what the Democrat Party in Huron County can raise. 2) If Janik loses in November, he’d likely still have employment he could return to with the Lorain County Prosecutor’s office.

Of the names mentioned so far, I still think retired former Huron County juvenile court judge Thomas Heydinger makes the most sense. He has Huron County name recognition; by virtue of his service in the judicial branch, he’s a blank slate on the issues so that he can define himself however he wants; he doesn’t have to vacate office to accept the state rep appointment; and if he loses in November, he can return to retirement in January without having to scurry to find employment.

Originally, it was reported that Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch, Huron County Commissioner Mike Adelman, and Huron County Auditor Roland Tkach weren’t interested in the state rep job, but apparently, they’ve been persuaded to submit their resumes and be screened by a Democrat selection committee headed by State Rep. Ron Gerberry. Why they would be willing to vacate office for a state rep job that would be much more difficult to get elected to, I don’t know, for they wouldn’t be able to resume their former duties in January if they were to lose to Terry Boose in November, which I think is likely. I’ve already postulated that Dan Metelsky is a poor fit for the 58th District.

PBD’s open letter to Marc Dann

It’s a must read.  You can read Psychobilly Democrat’s letter here.

Hold your horses!

PETA must hate people like me.  I’m not a vegetarian, let alone a veggan.  I have leather shoes, a leather softball glove, and a sheepskin leather jacket.  I’m sure the sheep and cows didn’t die of old age when their hides were tanned to be crafted into the accessories I have now.  I think I’ve mocked animals too, with my bad impersonations and bad imitations of animal noises.  I’m sure any animal watching me would be offended by my behavior (especially when I do the chicken dance).

But when PETA calls attention to the cruelties in today’s horse racing industry, I agree.  To tell you the truth, I’m appalled by horse racing.  I do think it is cruel to animals.  It might not be as cruel as cock fighting or bear baiting or bull fighting or whatever it was that Michael Vick was having those dogs do when he got in trouble and couldn’t play football anymore.  Still, I think it’s cruel.

It wouldn’t bother me one bit if horse racing were outlawed (dare I set foot in the state of Kentucky ever again?) for an additional reason.  I strongly disapprove of gambling.  If horse racing is a sport, and the horses are athletes, why don’t the horses have locker rooms with shower stalls and flush toilets?  Why don’t sports reporters ever interview the horses?  Don’t tell me that horses don’t talk, because I remember Mr. Ed reruns on TV.  So it’s not really a sport after all.  It’s just a gambling venue.  Hey, if you want to lose money, you don’t have to bet it on horses.  You can just give it to me.