I know that Eugene Kane has avoided jumping on the Lee Holloway as martyr bandwagon and remains critical of Holloway in his latest column. But he admires the way in which Holloway has slipped and slided:
But I must admit a grudging respect for the way Holloway has "played" the system. Rather than concede to what he perceived as an unfair investigation, Holloway put up a wall of successful legal maneuvers to frustrate his opponent.
Kane's respect is apparently enhanced by the fact that Holloway is a serial evader:
For much of his public career, Holloway has managed to evade all sorts of traps and landmines, everything from failed recall movements to voter fraud investigations to angry confrontations with colleagues and citizens.
How much of Holloway's support is due to the fact that he is seen to be fighting off the Man? In the black community as in the community at large, the words "OIC" generate anger, but not always for the same reason. For many African-Americans, "OIC" is associated with the persecution of black politicians. It seems that what is important is, not whether a guy is a crook, but that he is our crook.
Before you become incensed at me (for suggesting this) or at the black community (for harboring this attitude), let me point out that this is not a new phnenomenom and it wasn't pioneered by African-Americans. For years, poor Irish and Italian communities had the same attitude about their own crooked pols. That's most of the political history of places like Chicago, Boston and New York.
Kane points out that Holloway hasn't been "charged with any crime, no matter what your favorite talk radio squawker might suggest."
That's true, but what he is being investigated for could very well be a crime. Eugene makes it sound like Holloway's flaw is not knowing that, as he puts it, "cutting corners" isn't tolerated anymore.
But until there is a thorough investigation, we don't know that cutting corners is a fair characterization of what Holloway did. As I have said before, this isn't just about sloppy paperwork. It's about voting to give money to a group that seems to have been paying you for nothing and covering up that fact.
I don't know that Holloway is guilty of anything. I do know that there are questions that still beg for answers and that, if the worst turns out to be true, his ability to feint and dodge around the system will get no respect from me.