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Voter fraud rationale: Not just me


Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White’s petition asking the court to reverse his conviction on voter fraud and other charges has some of the same irrelevant – and borderline zany – accusations he made before his trial.

Notably, a good portion of the petition his lawyer filed has a defense of “they did it, too” and, incredibly, “I got away with it before.”

White, of course, was found guilty of claiming a residence where he didn’t truly live for voting purposes – an address that also allowed him to be elected to the Town Council in Fishers. But White claims he isn’t the only politician who didn’t live where he said when he ran, and he names plenty – including several who ran in other states and would not be covered by the Indiana law White was convicted of breaking.

Among the others named in his petition: Former Sen. Birch Bayh and his son, former Sen. Evan Bayh; Sen. Dan Coats; former Sen. Richard Lugar; former Vice President Dick Cheney; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; Daniel Sigler, the special prosecutor who presented the case against White; former Gov. Mitch Daniels; Gov. Mike Pence; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey; 2011 Fort Wayne mayoral candidate Eric Doden; and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann.

Perhaps most bizarre, he also named himself, in his 1992 campaign for state representative while he was attending college.

White’s motion also makes other allegations against Sigler and the Allen County prosecutor that are irrelevant to his appeal, not to mention grammatically challenged:

“Sigler also has the benefit of getting work from Karen Richards as a special prosecutor previously against Republican Mayoral candidate Matt Kelty. Who he indicted and pushed and gained a plea deal over matters that typically would result in a fine levied by the county or state election board.”

Actually, the state election board has no authority to fine mayoral candidates, and no appointed board can levy a fine for criminal perjury.

White also blamed his attorney, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, for ineffective counsel; and the judge, for directing the jury to continue deliberations overnight and into early the next morning.

Heath volunteered

Speculation around the Courthouse is that Allen Superior Court Judge Stephen Sims drafted fellow Judge Dan Heath to replace him in Family Court, but Sims said that wasn’t the case.

Sims received a call in late February from Heath, who wanted to meet and talk about the job. But Sims was out of state and arranged to meet two days later after his return. When Heath arrived for the meeting, Sims said, he carried his letter of application. He had already decided.

The speculation may have started because Sims previously did speak with Judge Wendy Davis, who handles criminal cases, about the job. But she decided against making the move.

Tracy Warner, editorial page editor, has worked at The Journal Gazette since 1981. He can be reached at 461- 8113 or by email,