In a hastily-called news conference, Sorrell announced the filing of several new accusations against Dean Corren, last year’s Democratic and Progressive candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
Sorrell had previously charged Corren with violating the state’s public financing law by accepting tangible assistance from the Democratic Party, namely an email blast with an estimated value of $255. Sorrell’s proposed punishment for this crime: a total of $72,000 in fines and reimbursements.
“I have been accused of excessive zeal in this prosecution,” said Sorrell, a brace of assistant and deputy Attorneys General forming a semi-circle behind him. “To the contrary, I have uncovered even more violations by Mr. Corren. Taken together, they paint a clear and unmistakable picture of a rogue campaign.”
Among the new charges against Corren:
— At a Democratic State Committee meeting, Corren sneezed and a party official loaned him a handkerchief. “A tissue would have been within the bounds of the law,” noted Sorrell, “but a piece of haberdashery is clearly a significant gift that Mr. Corren could have potentially used throughout the remainder of his campaign.”
(Warning: more SATIRE… after the jump.)
(Warning: This is still SATIRE.)
— One day, Corren was walking up the Statehouse steps and a Democratic lawmaker held the door open for him. “There’s a reason why violations are said to ‘open the door’ to something,” said Sorrell. “Such an action may appear insignificant, but it raises the question: what other doors were opened for Mr. Corren?”
— On the weekend before the election, Corren was on a busy streetcorner waving to passing cars. A vehicle with Democratic stickers on its bumper slowed down and the occupants shouted “We’re with you, Dean!” Sorrell pointed out that this kind of very public backing would lead other drivers to assume official Democratic support, a crucial benefit in a state with a large Democratic electorate.
— While visiting a Democratic official, Corren was offered a cup of coffee. “Caffeine is known to fuel many a political effort, although myself, I’ve always run on unicorns and rainbows,” said Sorrell without a trace of humor. “Mr. Corren may have had fruitful encounters with dozens of voters while energized by that Democratic Party coffee.”
— By chance, Corren encountered Governor Shumlin while on the campaign trail. Corren offered the Governor a “thumbs up,” and Shumlin returned the gesture. “By initiating the morale-boosting exchange, Mr. Corren was clearly guilty of soliciting an impermissible benefit.”
— At a Democratic Party dinner in October, attendees were served creamed corn as a side dish. “Throughout the meal, participants were exposed to a subliminal reminder of the Corren campaign,” Sorrell asserted, as beads of sweat began to form on his upper lip. “‘Creamed corn’ — ‘Dean Corren.’ It couldn’t be clearer.
“Furthermore, Party Chair Dottie Deans was heard to praise the corn dish as tasty and nutritious, a subtle but obvious endorsement of the candidate.”
If found guilty of these new violations, according to Sorrell, Corren could be ordered to repay all the $200,000 he received in public funding, forfeit all his personal assets, quit his job, and permanently carry a sign around his neck saying “I am a political criminal.” He could also be subject to flogging, waterboarding, bastinado, keelhauling, abacination, pitchcapping, and The Comfy Chair.
“I’ll bet you didn’t realize all that stuff was in our campaign finance law,” Sorrell said with a grim chuckle. “But I checked, and you can take my word for it.
“I hope this puts to rest any notion that I have been capricious or vengeful in any way, and returns the focus back to where it belongs: the fact that Dean Corren is an outlaw who must be brought to justice.”
(Warning: The preceding was SATIRE. None of it has actually happened. Yet.)