Eight-year-olds, Dude

Erick Erickson of Redstate reports on a county council race in Ohio that features candidate Tim Russo.  The twist: Russo was arrested and convicted in 2001 on charges of soliciting minors for sex – turned out, the minor was actually an undercover FBI agent.

But Russo has an ardent defender in blogger Howie Klein.  Klein calls the 2001 incident “the most boring episode of To Catch a Predator ever” in a cross-posting at both DownWithTyranny and The Huffington Post:

Easily the most reactionary pope since Hitler’s boy Pio, Ratzinger didn’t have a problem with priests raping young boys– as long as they stuck with conservative dogma. When he ran the Munich diocese that was also the birthplace and heartland of the Nazism that he once fully and openly embraced, the future Pope had hundreds of child rapists and mentally unbalanced priests in his ranks and he never said a word beyond, “don’t get caught, boys.”

My mistake – that last paragraph was Klein criticizing the Pope and the Catholic Church for covering up instances of adults taking advantage of minors.  It was written way back in those simple times of late March 2010.

Of course, Klein has a point – no matter how much you agree with someone philosophically, if they do something wrong that has consequences.  Unless, apparently, it’s a political candidate Klein supports:

Russo has the sort of leadership experience Cuyahoga County desperately needs at this dangerous, hopeful crossroads. But local media are doing their best to scuttle his campaign before it really begins. Why? Because in November 2001 he solicited sex from an FBI agent posing online as a minor and was made Pervert of the Day for an entire 24-hour news cycle. Local media want him to pay for that for the rest of his life.

Clearly, Russo has paid for his crimes, but there are a few mistakes which you simply can’t pay off – and soliciting minors for sex is one of them. As Edwin Edwards famously quipped, the scandals which end political careers are getting caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.

Russo has compounded his crime with his own words, sounding more defiant than understanding of the reluctance to embrace him.  “Bottom line, I survived it. Many would not have. That should tell you all you need to know,” he writes – just before asking for donations.

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