Story of Chicagoan Carol Moseley-Braun
pointing toward what a poet has called the rare occurrence of the
expected. Chicagoan Carol Moseley-Braun, 51, the first and only African
American woman senator, may
Predictably, Janet Reno's politicized Justice Department has twice refused IRS requests to impanel grand juries to hear evidence about Moseley-Braun. One would concern possible bank fraud, bribery and other federal crimes from when she was Cook County Recorder of Deeds. The other would involve allegations that she and Kgosie Matthews, her former campaign manager and former fiance, may have diverted $281,000 in campaign contributions to personal consumption, such as (according to a WBBM-TV report in July) almost $70,000 on clothes, $64,000 on travel (Hawaii, Europe, Africa), $25,000 for two Jeeps, $12,000 for stereo equipment, $18,000 for jewelry (she and he spent almost $10,000 in cash at an Aspen jewelry store during a fund-raising trip).
A former federal prosecutor and tax-law expert told WBBM that in 28 years of experience he had never heard of Justice refusing "when you have the Internal Revenue Service as an institution making a request to the Justice Department for grand jury authorization." "Never," said a former IRS supervisor when WBBM asked if he had ever seen a precedent for such refusal.
Matthews has been a lobbyist for the Nigerian government. On one of Moseley-Braun's many visits to Nigeria, she met with the blood-soaked dictator Gen. Sani Abacha, who died in June. In 1996 she disagreed with the Congressional Black Caucus by opposing sanctions against Nigeria. WBBM says the IRS is asking for a grand jury to investigate Matthews for conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud. He owes $250,000 to a travel agency, and no longer lives in the United States.
The conventional wisdom here is that the crucial swing vote is middle-class suburban women, with whom Fitzgerald's pro-life position will be a problem. But on primary night, while Moseley-Braun was warming up her crowd with warnings that pro-life politicians are menaces to womanhood, the gubernatorial primary produced a Democratic nominee, downstate congressman Glenn Poshard, who is pro-life.
Fitzgerald dryly suggested that Moseley-Braun have a debate with Poshard. Democrats are hoping for synergy, with Moseley-Braun helping Poshard in Chicago and he helping her downstate.
You may write to George Will c/o Washington Post Writers Group at 1150 15th Street, N. West Washington, D.C., 20071.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This newspaper article, written in 1998 by syndicated columnist George Will, is provided for non-profit and educational purposes, in accordance with Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act.