Some stories may not be that consequential in the grand scheme of things. But they win out on sheer comedic value.
As an example, take this article from today's Independent Record, of Helena Montana. The article is about one Shawn Vasell. We discussed Mr. Vasell in a post a few days ago over at TPMCafe.
He was a staffer passed back and forth between Jack Abramoff and Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) during the period in which the two were deep into the pay-for-play game. As the Post described Vasell's job history in those years, Vasell "served as client manager on the Mississippi Choctaw account, and shuttled between jobs in Burns's Montana office and Abramoff's shop. Vasell was registered as a lobbyist for the Choctaw and Coushatta tribes in 2001, joined Burns's staff in 2002, then rejoined Abramoff's team as a lobbyist for the tribes in 2003."
Well, the Independent Record reports that Vasell is now in trouble with the law, if of a rather less serious type than that currently bubbling up around his former colleague, Mr. Abramoff.
According to the paper ...
Vasell, 32, of Arlington, Va., was charged in June with four counts of breaking state big game laws: illegally possessing big game, hunting on private property without permission, hunting with someone else's license and hunting without a license, better known as poaching.
The alleged crimes were committed on Nov. 26, 2004, Stillwater County records show. The incident was the subject of a lengthy essay and photo display on the now-defunct personal Web site of Billings resident J.R. Reger. Vasell is accused of illegally using Reger's hunting license when he shot a mule deer buck around 3 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving last year.
According to the Web site, Vasell committed the alleged crimes with Reger and his brother, Mike. All three were photographed posing with the allegedly poached buck. In one photo, Vasell poses alone holding up the head of his trophy with the hunting rifle leaned against the animal's body.
I must confess that I've fished once or twice with an out-of-date license. So, I guess, he who is without sin, and so forth ... But if you go down further into the article you'll see that Vasell's lawyer is suggesting that his client may himself have become the victim of liberal Montana game wardens who've been spending too much time in the left blogosphere.
Speaking of Vasell's lawyer, Mark Parker of Billings, the paper reports ...
He also implied that the wildlife investigators were tipped off to the alleged crimes "because people like to make a mountain out of molehill with Mr. Vasell" for political reasons.
"If you blog around the Internet, you'll find that this has been the matter of some political quibbling,'' he said. "There seems to be a political component of this that we haven't quite fleshed out."
Reminds me to nail down that story about Abramoff and the poached elk ...Late Update
: A pdf copy of the website
that brought Vasell to grief. Apparently part of the problem was that Vasell shot the deer from the window of a pick-up truck