Sunday, March 11, 2007

Department of Injustice (Reprise)

Krugman’s recent op-ed piece regarding the politicization of the Justice Department as a key component of the Bush administration’s attempt to create a permanent Republican lock on power sites the Cragan and Shields study -- I posted an earlier version of the research in November of 2004. However, as of March 9th’s reference, the blogosphere is taking note. Here’s an example from Kos. Another from E Pluribus Media. Senator Leahy is also citing the research.

The heart of the study, according to Krugman, is

Donald Shields and John Cragan, two professors of communication, have compiled a database of investigations and/or indictments of candidates and elected officials by U.S. attorneys since the Bush administration came to power. Of the 375 cases they identified, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans, and 298 involved Democrats. The main source of this partisan tilt was a huge disparity in investigations of local politicians, in which Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to face Justice Department scrutiny.
Here's Sen. Leahy's summary of the research:

The study by Dr. Donald C. Shields, Professor Emeritus from the Department of Communication, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Dr. John F. Cragan, Professor Emeritus from the Department of Communication, Illinois State University, found that between 2001 and 2006, 79 percent of the elected officials and candidates who have faced a federal investigation were Democrats and only 18 percent Republicans. The Administration’s track record is not good and it again appears caught with its hand in the cookie jar.
Maybe Krugman will want the latest version of the card deck for a future article (here's a version of an early draft).