Read the footnote
Posted by Indiana Democratic Party | 06/22/2011
Yesterday, after countless attempts to delay the process, indicted Secretary of State Charlie White took the stand before the Indiana Recount Commission and tried to explain why he shouldn’t be removed as Secretary of State for committing vote fraud.
All he succeeded in doing was proving our case that he bought a new place where he intended to live with his new wife, but he registered to vote using the address of a house he hadn’t owned, lived in or voted from in three years.
Why did White start a new life elsewhere but continue to use his old address?
His new house was outside the Council district he represented at the time, a position that paid him $1,000 a month. After his vote fraud came to light, White resigned from the Council and repaid the money he fraudulently collected after he moved out of the district.
To hear White tell it, he stepped down and gave back the cash out of the goodness of his heart.
Here are White’s exact words from the transcript of yesterday’s proceedings: “Then just from a moral sense, unlike others who haven't locally, when they didn't live in their district, I decided No. 1, pay the money back for that period of time that I was gone, and No. 2, pay a little bit extra to help defray the costs of Attorney Doug Church's legal memo that said I was a de facto member serving in good faith, and counted my votes, told me not to pay the money back, and they view it as a gift to this day…”
Perhaps White never thought anyone would ever see Church’s memo. Here’s what it actually says in a footnote on the first page:
“A discussion of whether White failed a residency requirement to serve on the Town Council is omitted from this memo, because (1) White has admitted that he was not eligible to serve on the Council; and (2) Indiana statutory and case law and Fishers ordinances provide that Mr. White was ineligible to serve on the Council.”
The footnote continues:
“A discussion of White's compensation is omitted, because he has agreed to return all compensation paid to him by the Town since he became ineligible to serve.”
This is a far cry from the sympathetic story White tried to tell yesterday. (You can read the entire memo on our website by clicking here.)
The facts are simple: He started a new life at a new address but registered elsewhere to keep his Council seat. He got caught. He resigned. He gave the money back. He’s been indicted on seven felony counts because of his actions, and he’s fighting both to keep his job and stay out of jail.
The conclusion should be just as simple: White should be removed from the state’s third highest office for failing to abide by the election laws it’s his job to enforce.
The Recount Commission, comprised of two Republicans and one Democrat, will announce next Wednesday afternoon whether White has to go.
The evidence is clear. White’s intent is clear. The only thing left is to restore integrity to the Secretary of State’s office by showing him the door.