MLK said: "Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere"

End Corruption in the Courts!

Court employee, judge or citizen - Report Corruption in any Court Today !! As of June 15, 2016, we've received over 142,500 tips...KEEP THEM COMING !! Email:

Monday, January 28, 2008

John Grisham on How-To Fix an Election (MORE, CLICK HERE)

If You Can’t Win the Case, Buy an Election and Get Your Own Judge

The New York Times, Books of The Times By JANET MASLIN - January 28, 2008

THE APPEAL By John Grisham (358 pages. Doubleday. $27.95)

“The Appeal” is John Grisham’s handy primer on a timely subject: how to rig an election. Blow by blow, this not-very-fictitious-sounding novel depicts the tactics by which political candidates either can be propelled or ambushed and their campaigns can be subverted. Since so much of what happens here involves legal maneuvering in Mississippi, as have many of his other books, Mr. Grisham knows just how these games are played. He has sadly little trouble making such dirty tricks sound real.

Building a remarkable degree of suspense into the all too familiar ploys described here, Mr. Grisham delivers his savviest book in years. His extended vacation from hard-hitting fiction is over. However passionately he cared about the nonfiction events he described in “An Innocent Man,” his strong suit remains bluntly manipulative, no-frills storytelling, the kind that brings out his great skill as a puppeteer. It barely matters that the characters in “The Appeal” are essentially stick figures. What works for Mr. Grisham is his patient, lawyerly, inexorable way of dramatizing urgent moral issues.

The jumping-off point for “The Appeal” is that a mom-and-pop law firm wins a big Mississippi verdict, triumphing over a chemical company that has spread carcinogenic pollutants. But this victory could turn out to be hollow, because the deep-pocketed corporate defendant isn’t giving up without a fight. The New York-based Krane Chemical swings into combat mode, first by taking stock of these small-town lawyers. The mom and pop are Wes and Mary Grace Payton: nice people, good parents, nearly broke. Krane’s stealth envoys quickly determine that it wouldn’t take much to push the Paytons over the edge.

But the Paytons themselves are little more than a nuisance to Krane. The precedent created by their case is what matters, and the company’s real objective is to make itself safe from similar attacks in the future. In order to arrange that, Krane needs the Mississippi Supreme Court. Another nuisance: Mississippi Supreme Court justices can’t simply be appointed. They have to be elected.

Now the stakes start to ratchet up. So a corrupt senator puts Krane’s greedy billionaire C.E.O., Carl Trudeau, in contact with Troy-Hogan, a mysterious Boca Raton firm that specializes in elections. There is no Troy. There is no Hogan. There is no record of the nature of the business conducted by this privately owned corporation, which is domiciled in Bermuda. For two separate fees, one acknowledged and the other, larger one delivered quietly to an offshore account, Troy-Hogan will do its magic. “When our clients need help,” says Barry Rinehart, Troy-Hogan’s main power player, who radiates the same expensive sartorial confidence that Trudeau does, “we target a Supreme Court justice who is not particularly friendly, and we take him or her out of the picture.”

This multipart process involves choosing a victim and creating rival candidates from scratch. Soon the stealth saboteurs have trained their sights on a justice named Sheila McCarthy. She is not a liberal ideologue, but she can be made to sound like one (“a feminist who’s soft on crime”).

She’s not an operator or a politician. She is unprepared for a campaign fight. And the only special interest group that ever supported her is suddenly a liability. (Anti-McCarthy mailings will trumpet the question “Why Are the Trial Lawyers Financing Sheila McCarthy?”) As Mr. Grisham points out in one of his book’s many moments of indignation, there’s no need for the architects of a smear campaign to answer such a question. All they have to do is keep on asking it.

Meanwhile the covert operators create their own man: Ron Fisk, a political newcomer. “They picked Fisk because he was just old enough to cross their low threshold of legal experience, but still young enough to have ambitions,” the book explains. Fisk is also new enough to be wowed by perks like private jets, which allow him to make so many more campaign stops than his rivals can, and by all the new attention lavished on him by his backers. He barely has time to wonder why they find him so appealing or where all those campaign funds are coming from.

“The Appeal” is clever enough to throw in a rogue third candidate, a clownishly unelectable figure who can draw publicity away from Sheila McCarthy. It also gives her liabilities like a sex life, provides her with an unhelpful zealot as a campaign adviser and underscores the terrible malleability of the voting public. According to a survey cited here, 69 percent of Mississippi’s electorate has no idea that the state’s Supreme Court justices run for office.

And this book has a keen ear for the baloney of biased rhetoric, particularly when it comes from the right. (Mr. Grisham makes no secret of his own political position. He has publicly supported the presidential campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.) “Are you aware that Justice Sheila McCarthy is considered the most liberal member of the Mississippi Supreme Court?” a poll inquires. And once the gratuitous issue of gay marriage has been intentionally shoehorned into the campaign, the voice-over on a television ad can be heard asking, “Will liberal judges destroy our families?”

While the election looms, Krane trots out the phrase “junk science” when it appeals the verdict and attacks the expert testimony of a toxicologist, geologist and pathologist, among others who affirmed the effects of Krane’s toxic pollutant. And Ron Fisk, who finds himself giving many of his stump speeches from pulpits, learns to fine-tune his emphases on religion and family values. The extent to which he rails against sin depends on how close he is to the lucrative casinos of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“I must say that there is a lot of truth in this story,” Mr. Grisham points out in his author’s note. That point is already unmistakable in his book’s gallingly apt examples and its irrefutable tone. Only when he contrasts the difference between the cynical, venal, jaded rich and their noble, self-sacrificing victims does he court sloppiness and caricature. While the book notes that Wes Payton had to budget for each cup of coffee “and was always looking for quarters,” it presents Carl Trudeau, both stereotypically and ungrammatically, as “a hothead with a massive ego who hated to lose.”


Anonymous said...

for further back ground see story on John's pal Scruggs - they know how to do a fix the southern way

Anonymous said...

this is not Grisham's field of dreams this is the real things boys and girls!

Anonymous said...

want to know about the "Fix" ask Cicci N our favorite head Judge who seems very upset and nervous about something?

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2