And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:
Sending Out Bitter E-Mails?
An Atlanta television station reports that outgoing state School Superintendent Linda Schrenko sent a bitter e-mail filled with expletives to a reporter seeking an interview. According to WSBTV, Schrenko said in her e-mail, "Now I am leaving office and I ain't coming back, so all of you unbiased media types just go f--- yourselves and make my day." She closed the e-mail saying, "And yes, I am just a bitter, has-been politician and I love it." The e-mail also says the state Board of Education — at the direction of Gov. Barnes — had drained Schrenko's department of millions of dollars in order to create education related agencies outside her control. Schrenko has gone underground and won't comment on the story. The television reporter said he tried to contact her in person after getting the e-mail but was told by Schrenko's secretary that the superintendent preferred to let the e-mail speak for itself.
Juror Rethinking His Conviction
A juror who helped convict James Traficant on racketeering charges says he now thinks the former Ohio Congressman is innocent — and is showing it by volunteering for Traficant's re-election campaign. Leo Glaser says he changed his mind about Traficant's guilt after Virginia business executive Richard Detore testified before the House Ethics Committee that government prosecutors tried to pressure him into lying. Glaser stopped by Traficant's campaign office earlier this week and offered his help. Traficant was expelled from the House after his conviction on 10 counts, including bribery and racketeering. He was sentenced last July to eight years in prison. The Youngstown Democrat has appealed and is running for re-election as an independent.
Sweetening Up Life for Victims?
And finally, inmates serving life sentences in a Canadian prison want to make life sweeter for crime victims by starting a chocolate factory and donating the proceeds to a crime victims' charity. Rene Durocher, an ex-convict who works with prisoners in Stony Mountain Penitentiary near Winnipeg, said he wants to train up to eight of the 508 inmates to make and sell boxed chocolates to the public. The money would go to help victims of crime, but Durocher admitted he does not know how Canadians would feel about eating soft-center chocolates made by criminals doing hard time. The government has not yet received a formal proposal for the chocolate factory.