ERICKSON: A trial and an election

April 25, 2014 

Let me start this column with an admission that I was wrong on something. That particular something is named David Cooke, Macon Judicial Circuit district attorney. I still would not have supported him over my law school classmate and friend Greg Winters, but Cooke has impressed me. I misjudged him. He has turned out to be a very good DA.

He also deserves thanks for bringing to an end that which started under his predecessor: the Stephen McDaniel trial. With the death penalty off the table, there was no reason for a show trial. Cooke steered this to a good conclusion.

It is worth noting that during the past three years there have been a lot of complaints about how the district attorney’s office and the Macon Police Department conducted themselves in the investigation. In our need to know everything at every instance, we forget that sometimes we cannot know everything. Sometimes, we should not know everything.

This month’s issue of Garden & Gun magazine, a favorite in my household, has a big story on a string of silver thefts in the South. Something like $12 million in silver heirlooms, plates, cutlery and other items have disappeared from Buckhead homes and other prominent communities. Gone are priceless silver sets made by Paul Revere, cups that belonged to King George and more.

In the story, more than one victim of the crime refused to give details to the magazine for fear of putting the case against the alleged silver thief in jeopardy. Sometimes, there are details that should not be public.

We now know, thanks to this paper’s fine reporting in the past few days, that the same situation existed in the McDaniel case. It turns out some of the things demanded of Greg Winters, Police Chief Mike Burns, David Cooke and others had actually been done, considered, investigated or otherwise handled in the case. These men were willing to risk criticism from an impatient community to ensure that justice was not just done, but done right. The men and women who developed the evidence in this case, carried it forward and prosecuted it have done an outstanding job.

During the past several weeks I have been mentioning candidates I would be supporting. I had wanted to sit out the U.S. Senate race. I have a number of friends running and hate to pick sides. But most of us will cast votes in the race and I have decided to vote for Karen Handel in the Republican primary.

While I think U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston is one of the nicest and profoundly decent men in politics, I just think we can vote for someone a bit more solid than him on fiscal issues. I am friends with Paul Broun and, frankly, my heart is with him. If I could will one person into the Senate, it would be Paul Broun because he would never disappoint on his votes. But I cannot will anyone into the Senate and want someone I know will be better on fiscal issues than Kingston.

I am going with Karen Handel. I know her and like her. I know she is a pro-life conservative. I admire her life story. She left home at 17, went to college but did not finish and wound up working in George H.W. Bush’s White House. She chaired the Fulton County Commission and, unlike the other Republicans running, has already once won statewide office in Georgia. Karen Handel also neutralizes the “War on Women” nonsense the Democrats would otherwise use. I hope you will consider her.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.

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