With strange new developments continuing to unfold every day in the ongoing “spygate” scandal hanging over Sen. David Vitter’s flailing gubernatorial campaign, unanswered questions are piling up. Vitter’s habitual fear and hostility when it comes to accountability are only being magnified by his campaign’s failure to address the scandal with transparency and honesty. Here are just five of the most pressing questions:
Who was the target of Vitter’s bungled spy operation, and why?
With every new development of the spy story that comes to light, a different motive and target is put forward. Was Vitter’s hired gun targeting Sheriff Newell Normand, who declined to endorse him? Were they after John Cummings, a private citizen who supported his opponent? Or was former police officer Danny Denoux the intended mark? A slew of options, and none of them good.
How far is Vitter willing to go in spying on private citizens who disagree with him?
Hiring bungling amateurs from out-of-state to spy on Louisiana voters who happen to disagree with him, and paying $130,000 for the services, suggests a relentless approach to surveilling and intimidating the very voters he is meant to serve.
Why does Vitter suddenly think breaking the law is “silly”?
He himself remains adamantly unwilling to answer for his own crimes. For a Louisiana lawyer who pretends not to understand the state’s criminal code, he suddenly developed a very cavalier attitude about what constitutes important crime. As Scott Angelle pointed out, Vitter seems to want one set of rules for himself, and another for everybody else.
Why are journalists and bloggers being targeted and intimidated by operatives on Vitter’s payroll?
Local journalist and blogger Jason Brad Berry, whose work investigating new claims arising from Vitter’s notorious “serious sin” caused such damage to Vitter’s campaign near the end of the general election, was targeted and harassed by the same operatives trained on Sheriff Normand. What was he on the verge of finding that led Vitter’s team to lash out so clumsily?
Why did Vitter duck yesterday’s senate vote on an internet spying bill?
Vitter begged off appearing in front of Louisiana voters at debates throughout the general election, hiding behind his obligations in Washington. With his senate colleagues debating spying legislation, was it inconvenient timing for Vitter to take a stand? Is spying at that level likewise “no big deal”, in his estimation?