It has been ten months since Mike Hatch lost his bid for governor and yet he continues to furnish Minnesotans with evidence that voters made the right collective decision. It was disclosed yesterday that in a March ruling Judge Lawrence Collins admonished Hatch for his misconduct in two civil trials in which Judge William Leary accused Hatch of improperly telephoning him and threatening Leary with negative news coverage if Leary failed to acquiesce to Hatch’s demands. (Just the type of behavior one looks for in an attorney general.)
Because the facts were too obvious to argue (Hatch admitted that he had, indeed, telephoned Judge Leary and tried to have him removed from the case), Hatch retreated to that old liberal standby that his actions were simply misconstrued. Uh-huh, sure they were. Mob bosses (with whose bullying tactics and bellicose threats Hatch has much in common) often resort to the same defense insisting that – honest to God – they weren’t threatening anyone when they ominously warned someone that it would be a shame if anything happened to the individual’s nice family. Similarly, in no way was Hatch threatening Judge Leary when he mentioned exposing him to news coverage. Hatch was simply implying all the nice stuff he was going to share with the media. That’s precisely the type of nice-guy stuff we all associate with Mike Hatch.
In an episode that was otherwise entirely devoid of any humor whatsoever given the seriousness of the charges against a sitting attorney general, Hatch provided an hilarious postscript by outrageously claiming yesterday, “I only wish that the decision was issued before the election, because I believe it repudiates the accusations made in the Swift Boat commercials.” This from the individual that kept Judge Collins’ order secret for nearly half a year after its issuance! Why, if the order were so exculpatory, did Hatch keep it secret for so long?
The obvious answer is the correct one. Hatch understands the ruling for what it clearly is: a judicial admonishment of the then highest law enforcement officer for interfering with justice.