And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:
Too Hard to Hide
The New York Civil Liberties Union is asking the federal government to stop subjecting corporate executives accused of breaking the law to the "media spectacle" of a prep walk after arrest. The group specifically objects to the way 78-year-old Adelphia Communications Corporation founder John Rigas was walked before cameras after his arrest last month on securities fraud charges. In a letter to U.S. Attorney James Comey, the Civil Liberties Union says, "A corporate executive, with no apparent history of violence, offers to surrender to authorities...but is instead physically arrested and manacled and paraded before an array of television cameras." In a letter of his own, Comey admitted a distaste for such media events, but explained that it's difficult for arresting agencies to maintain a press blackout when media reporters and cameras are everywhere.
Protecting Convicts Instead of Kids?
The Indiana Civil Liberties Union is challenging a Michigan City parks rule that imposes a lifetime ban on convicted child molesters. The ICLU filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court. It says the city ordinance violates the constitutional ban on double jeopardy -- punishing the same crime twice. Michigan City officials adopted the ban Aug. 1 after a man who did time for child molesting allegedly was caught taking pictures of children in the park. The man denied the allegations.
Upstaging 9-11 Commemorations?
And the New York Post is reporting that an all-star cast of New York Democratic politicians may upstage the official Sept. 11 commemorations with a paid TV commercial the day before. The New York State Democratic Party is paying for an ad showing about 40 Democrats as they recite Lincoln's Gettysburg address -- the same speech New York Governor George Pataki will recite at Ground Zero the next day. A spokeswoman for the Democratic Party insists the Gettysburg address was chosen before Pataki plans to recite the speech and says the ad is "An opportunity for our Democratic officeholders to express condolences in a nonpolitical way."