Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bobby Burchfield, Enemy of the First Amendment

By now, you've probably read that incumbent Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA) paid Cynthia Ore half a million dollars for not strangling her.

Hardly a fiscal conservative. Or a tort reformer.

A Republican congressman accused of abusing his ex-mistress agreed to pay her about $500,000 in a settlement last year that contained a powerful incentive for her to keep quiet until after Election Day, a person familiar with the terms of the deal told The Associated Press.

Rep. Don Sherwood is locked in a tight re-election race against a Democratic opponent who has seized on the four-term congressman's relationship with the woman. While Sherwood acknowledged the woman was his mistress, he denied abusing her and said that he had settled her $5.5 million lawsuit on confidential terms.

The settlement, reached in November 2005, called for Cynthia Ore to be paid in installments, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is confidential. She has received less than half the money so far, and will not get the rest until after the Nov. 7 election, the person said Thursday.

More interesting than the typical Republican lo-lifery of Sherwood is the work of his shyster:

Even before Ore settled, the congressman tried to keep a tight lid on the case. His lawyer asked a judge to prohibit disclosure of materials from the case, warning that Sherwood's opponents might try to use the information to harm him politically.

The lawyer, Bobby Burchfield, was especially adamant that any videotaped deposition of Sherwood not be released, saying the footage could be used against him in negative political ads.

Yes, Bobby Burchfield, the same high-billing hack who spouted platitudes in The Weekly Standard about how free speech in political campaigns is "the oxygen of democracy." Seems Bobby has the same grasp on democracy that Representative Sherwood had on Ms. Ore's windpipe.

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