Federal prosecutors want John Rowland imprisoned for 36 to 47 months. Among most observers, eighteen months seems to be a more reasoned approach. But unlike last time he was convicted, I don’t want the guv to go to jail. I just want him to shut up.
I want him to stop turning a profit with schemes like a radio talk show on which he was able to promote his cockamamie ideas and support his like-minded candidates and make even more money hiring himself in all sorts of clandestine positions. And I want him to shut up. Not in prison—home will do.
According to the Department of Corrections website, the average daily cost of incarceration in Connecticut is approximately $95.16 per inmate. That means that Rowland’s eighteen months in prison will cost us $51,000. The cost of supervising an appropriate offender in the community, would come out to about $15,000. Let’s spend the fifteen large and spend the remainder on something worthwhile. It’s the holidays—buy some kids some presents—supply a food bank—$36,000 could make the holidays a lot happier for a lot of people.
For me too—but he would have to shut up.
I don’t want to see him treated like some war veteran when he appears in public. (It’ll still happen in Waterbury, but I’ll give him that one.) I don’t want him serving as a political advisor or a campaign chairman or anything that comes close to world affairs, up to and including engaging in a game of Risk.
His pension? Let him keep it. His house? belongings? Ditto. But he must shut up.
And after the holidays, in January of 2015, I want U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton to say something like this:
“John Rowland, you have been found guilty of a plethora of crimes by which you fed your own coffers and used your influence illegally. But no biggie. If you shut up from now on, you can go home. Also, no rebuttal. No third chances. No talk show. No appeals. No appearances at political fund raisers or party conventions. And no ventriloquism to circumvent the court’s sentence. (I know you’ve already considered that possibility.) You may go.”
Addendum: I note that Chris Donovan, fresh from his own somewhat indirect brush with political ethics is back in the news too, going after Hobby Lobby. I don’t disagree with his opinion, but coming off that whole influence-peddling accusation and his recent demise, he might be better served in joining Mr. Rowland inside the cone of silence, at least for a bit. Of course given the state of politics these days—with the billions being infused into the system by special interests— it might get really crowded in there pretty fast.