Copyright © 2007 Ken Mease
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In loving memory of Joni
President Jeffrey Blayne was the only candidate in history who had gained the commitment of a complete cabinet before an election. Most pundits considered it politically very risky but, after an extremely close election, it had proved to be the difference. He called it “the most diverse cabinet in history.” And, indeed, it was. He had considered as many voting blocs of American society as possible...ethnicity, race, geographics, religious affiliation, sex, sexual orientation...even foreign influences.
Almost two years ago, the Democrat Convention in San Francisco had become a shambles of divisiveness. Seven candidates had all garnered enough votes in the state caucuses and primaries to give none of them a clear nod for the nomination. Jeff Blayne, who had served one term as governor of New York, and who then became New York’s junior senator, had expected exactly that to happen. He was also very much aware that New York’s senior senator, Mallory Wilson, was planning some kind of coup to capture the nomination. Four years earlier, she was elected to complete the unexpired term of her husband, Brad Wilson, who, after serving two years in the Senate, was found guilty of malfeasance in office and for lying to a grand jury concerning illegal campaign funds, along with other improprieties unbecoming a U.S. Senator. Media coverage of the Senate hearings left the impression that he was being unfairly targeted by Republicans. He was found guilty of a felony, was fined $100,000, was temporarily disbarred from practicing law, was forced to return most of the illegal campaign funds, and was given a suspended sentence. The felony conviction simply meant that he could no longer hold public office. Although he was reinstated to the bar a year later, the whole process backfired on the Republicans when Mallory was elected to fill his unexpired term.