Given Obama’s visit to Georgia today, let’s hope no Democrats of note get arrested. It has been known to happen, including down Georgia-way.
After blogger Andre Waters at Georgia Politics Unlimited broke the news that the Political Director for Georgia’s Democratic Party, Ali Rashad Richey, had a somewhat lengthy arrest record dating from 1998 when he was 17, intermittently through 2010, conservative blogs seized the opportunity to, in the words of Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, “punch back twice as hard” at Democrats, notorious for attacking Republicans and conservatives over even the slightest misstep.
Documentation for the arrests can be found through a name search of the appropriate Dekalb and Fulton county databases. Whether or not he was compensated contractually as a consultant during a brief stint in jail, as is being alleged, is likely an issue that will have to be addressed by the party at the state or local level. In the end, Georgia media may have more to say about this case, should they ever get around to mentioning it. At this point, it doesn’t appear as though they have shown any interest.
A sampling of the blog coverage can be found at the link above, as well as the Nice Deb blog, the Batesline blog and the RightWingNews blog. While claims of “recidivist,” and “criminal” are technically accurate, they are arguably over-the-top, as a close reading of the record and case disposition seems to suggest Richey has had some troubled periods in his past, more than it portrays someone on the road to becoming a career criminal likely to do time in prison.
There appear to have been some domestic issues, a loss of driving privileges, altercations with police during investigations, with the more recent charges primarily based upon probation violations. Most were disposed of rather routinely, including many of the simple battery charges by police. Based on unrelated general discussions with police officers, they often characterize that type of offender as a nuisance, perhaps with a problem with authority or self-control. Without comment from Richey, we can’t know the precise nature of any altercation.
When reached, Richey had no comment, deferring to Georgia Democratic Party Communications Director Eric Gray, who called Breitbart News, stating he couldn’t comment on “personnel issues.” Richey did return a call to our unidentified phone number after we placed a call to him, and he was polite and otherwise cooperative, while declining to comment for this report.
While Richey’s past run-ins with police may not bode well for him if he’s contemplating a run for office, they do appear to qualify him as a card carrying Democrat–at least in the view of many right-side bloggers. Given the dated nature of the more troubling offenses, Richey may get off with embarrassment, and without some number of days in jail this time.