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Was Ravenel Busted for 'Crack' Cocaine?

Stranger at Blah3.com wonders out loud if Giuliani's South Carolina campaign manager Thomas Ravenel might be benefiting from some friendly Republican-style string-pulling over his cocaine bust yesterday. News outlets are reporting that Ravenel was arrested after purchasing a pound of cocaine with intent to distribute, while Stranger has some evidence that the South Carolina Treasurer may have in fact been busted for 'crack' cocaine, which he says carry far harsher penalties.

Initial reports stated that Giuliani's South Carolina campaign manager, Thomas Ravenel, was indicted for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. I Googled 'Thomas Ravenel crack,' and got the following hits:

Stranger followed some of the links and found evidence which suggests that the bust may be for 'crack' cocaine, which has him thinking that a cover up may be in the works.

Of those four stories, this one and this one still contain the word 'crack.' The other two have had the word removed.

Since distribution of crack cocaine carries much harsher sentences, there would be incentive for Ravenel's pals to pull strings to downgrade the bust to cocaine instead of crack cocaine. Stranger also points us to the Federal Grand Jury indictment, which makes no mention of 'crack' cocaine, just cocaine.

Ravenel appears to be just another Republican family-values hypocrite. Who's surprised that a guy like that would rise to the top of the South Carolina GOP machine, and might be benefiting from some good-old-boy southern crooked-politics hospitality? Not me.

Yesterday just wasn't a good day for candidate Giuliani, as hilzoy at Obsidian Wings reports:

First, there was the news about Giuliani skipping all the meetings of the Iraq Study Group (well, all the meetings that took place before he finally resigned) because it conflicted with his fundraising:

    "Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said.

    Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.[...]

Then there was his lame justification for missing the meetings: "as someone considered a potential presidential candidate, the Mayor didn't want the group's work to become a political football. That, coupled with time constraints, led to his decision." The problem with this is obvious: if Giuliani felt that way, why not just decline the invitation to join the ISG in the first place, or resign as soon as the problem became clear? And guess what? Greg Sargent does the requisite checking and finds out that Giuliani's excuse doesn't hold water:

    "Rudy himself was saying that he was a "potential Presidential candidate" five months before agreeing to join the ISG. He even openly stated that he'd be actively considering a run during the same year -- 2006 -- that the ISG would be doing its work. So why did Rudy join it in the first place?

    His campaign is now saying that he backed out of his ISG commitment because the fact that he was seen as a potential candidate could politicize his work for the panel -- even though that didn't stop him from signing up in the first place.

    This is just total bull, pure and simple. No polite way to describe it."

Obsidian Wings has a lot more on this, including coverage of Ravenel's arrest.


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UPDATE: See also: Was Ravenel Busted for 'Crack' Cocaine? Wizbang Politics Editor Jim Addison posted this news Tuesday, in a post titled "SC Treasurer indicted for cocaine" South Carolina State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel has been indicted by a federal gr... [Read More]



Comments (2)

Steve Crickmore:

Why would a wealthy real estate developer who's also the State Treasurer of South Carolina and the chair of the Giuliani campaign get involved in cocaine dealing? George Carlin has the answer...
"Cocaine," said George Carlin, "is God's way of telling you you have too much money."

Lee Ward:

The indictment says "intent to distribute" - which means that, at a minimum, the quantity Ravenel was purchasing was larger than that normally purchased for personal use.

The feds will have to prove that he intended to distribute it and not use it all himself. Maybe he was just storing his drugs for the winter -- maybe he intended to give it away as party favors to Giuliani donors.

Ravenel's first court appearance is scheduled for July 7, but I suspect it will be at the trial, or close to trial time, before we know more.


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