Thursday, December 21, 2006

The relevance of Davison's politics

For identification purposes, Pat Davison is probably best known in Billings as having run for governor in the Republican primary, where he lost (badly) to Bob Brown. It establishes an interesting part of the story -- namely that he was a reasonably respected member of the community who betrayed the trust of those he took advantage of in his investment schemes. Republicans, moreover, are just going to have to take some lumps on this one because he was one of their own.

Montana Headlines will be watching the Gazette closely, however, to see how many times they can mention his involvement in Republican politics in conjunction with this story.

The truth is that at this point, Davison's name is widely known for one reason, and one reason only -- his defrauding of investors and his pleading guilty on federal charges.

At a certain point, the facts that he came in a distant 2nd in a Republican primary, that he was appointed to the Board of Regents by Gov. Racicot, or that he was involved in promoting the Otter Creek coal development disappears into irrelevance in the immense shadow of his crimes. Right now, no-one needs to be reminded of his gubernatorial bid in order to know who he is.

It is hard not to be suspicious that the Gazette will run a disproportionate share of articles on this story over the coming months -- just happening to mention the Republican party in all of them.

When reading the congratulatory article on Democrat State Auditor John Morrison's role in the case, one looks for any mentions of his politics. We are fast approaching the point where it is probably just as relevant for the Gazette to include in each article a reference to "former Democratic Senate candidate John Morrison, who came under fire for being lax as State Auditor in investigating the white collar crimes of his former lover's fiance."