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January 28, 2010

Cleta Mitchell, for when you need your lawyering done right — far right

Cleta_Mitchell I happened to be reading George Will's column in today's WaPo in which he celebrates the Supreme Court's ruling abolishing limits on corporate campaign spending, and who was mentioned as "Washington's preeminent campaign finance attorney" but Cleta Mitchell, who was the lead witness for the proponents at yesterday's Board of Elections and Ethics hearing on the proposed referendum on the marriage-equality bill.

I hadn't previously picked up on Ms. Mitchell's other associations, though it doesn't surprise me. I can't say that someone as obnoxious as she (who had a hand in the big GOP to-do over ACORN) would be out of place in a Democratic National Committee meeting, since I had a chance to observe Harold Ickes during the contentious May 31, 2008 DNC Rules Committee meeting concerning the disputed Florida and Michigan delegates. But Ickes was merely being a ruthless political hack. he was like the assassin played by Max von Sydow in the movie Three Days of the Condor, who comes upon Robert Redford's character but doesn't kill him because on that occasion Redford is not his designated target and, after all, the hit-man is a professional.

Cleta Mitchell, on the other hand, appears to be a true right-wing believer. She has that charming combination of malevolence and arrogance that prompts her to say, "No one could possibly assert" something that I am in fact asserting. But Dick Morris once worked for Bill Clinton, so who knows? After all, fifteen months ago I was opposing Peter Nickles's confirmation as D.C. Attorney General, and now he's submitting fabulous briefs defending same-sex married couples. So keep an eye on this talented counselor. If you want a tough lawyer at your table who can radiate polite nastiness while confidently declaring a marvelous stream of falsehoods, and Cleta Mitchell is available, then I'd say dig deep and pay her retainer.

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