Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Monday, August 05, 2002
 
Grasping at Stems

Bill Simon announced a particularly audacious attempt recently to salvage his failing gubernatorial campaign.

"I am sure now that Davis' people are busily making new ads, and I hope they do," Simon said. "Because if they want to attack me now for a bad verdict and take the side of a convicted drug trafficker ... then Davis is welcome to choose that side."

Let's look at the sequence of events here:

  • 1981: Paul Hindelang convicted of importing marijuana. Begins a prison sentence.

  • 1986: Released from prison, Hindelang starts Pacific Coin, a pay phone company.

  • 1998: Simon & Sons pay $16.5 M for 39% share of Pacific Coin. Simon & Sons now claim they were defrauded by Hindelang's failure to disclose his background - an admission that $16.5 M was invested without a minimal investigation of the company and its officers. Any due diligence check would have revealed the felony conviction, which is a public record.

  • 2000: Having gone into debt on a failed plan to make an IPO, Pacific Coin comes under the control of its lender.

  • 2002: A jury rules for Hindelang in a fraud suit against Simon & Sons. Simon now can't remember the investment, although Simon & Sons is his family company, he has been an executive in it since its founding, he claimed losses related to the Pacific Coin investment of $1.2 M in his tax returns which show an income of 3.3 M, and evidence in the case includes a 10 page memo discussing the investment with several marginal notes in Simon's handwriting.

  • Simon now claims that criticism of his family's Pacific Coin deal would be "[taking] the side of a convicted drug trafficker".

I guess if patriotism isn't available as your last refuge, you can always give the War on Some Drugs a try.



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