Monday, February 15, 2010

Brad Bumsted Writes About Mike Veon's Trial Defense

Brad Bumsted, the Tribune-Review's State Capital reporter, wrote a critque piece over the weekend on the defense employed for Michael Veon et al in their misuse of public funds trial, aka Bonusgagte. Mike Veon brought in an attorney friend who uses theatrics to bewilder the juries facing him.

Dan Raynak is throwing up that is part rope-a-dope, part David Copperfield, part blame-everyone-else and, most of all, let confusion reign.

Prosecutors believe they can win if they keep jurors' eye on the ball -- the specific counts of corruption against the former powerful legislative leader. On a daily basis, Raynak is trying to take their eyes off that ball.

Distraction is the name of the game for Raynak, a powerful and commanding presence in the courtroom. Dauphin County jurors will either love him or hate him

One image is hard even for Raynak to erase:

Displayed on an oversized screen for the jury was a color photo of Veon and his staff, each with a big cigar in hand, attending a fundraiser in his district while taxpayers picked up the tab for staff travel.

Bumsted highlights in his piece a parade of witnesses that will surely tilt the preponderance of evidence in the state's favor. He makes the case that Raynak will have a hard time convincing a jury there is a conspiracy to convict Michael Veon et al. SOP agrees that it will be hard to sway the jurors everyone is lying except Michael Veon.

Veon shouldn't take that assessment personal. It is what it is. There are parts to Michael Veon that really want a person to root for him, but there is little "Kazoo" saying "He's guilty". Only time will tell whether the Johnny Cocoran in Dan Raynak will prevail.

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