In a respect, when you’ve seen one set of sentencing letters you’ve seen them all folks in that most everyone had done a good deed or two in their lifetimes as well as positively impacting other lives. With that said, the vast majority of the letters written on behalf of Scott Walker fell along those lines including the one from Walker’s wife Trinity, who wrote a heartfelt letter to Judge Starrett not on Scott’s behalf, “but on behalf of our children”.
She then recounted how she came to know Scott in 2010 as “the hardest working, most driven man I have ever known.” She admits that, “He is a “yes man,” who trusts everyone, which has proven to not always be the right answer…”
Scott is certainly a political creature, which inherently means he is a “yes man”. I also bet Scott knows Nic, a local GOP political operative type whose Twitter account literally overflows with homespun wisdom:
.Grandma used to say to me, “just because someone smiles in your face & pats you on the back, doesn’t mean he’s your friend.” So True!
— Nic Lott (@niclott) July 26, 2014
I mention this because often sentencing letters are truly revealing of a person’s character and it is clear that Scott Walker has many fans here on the coast. Todd Trenchard, Executive Director of the Bacot McCarty Foundation and recipient of a taxpayer funded booze cruise wrote this about Walker:
Although I am not privy to all that has happened to Scott and his life, except through newspaper sources and gossip, I do know that Scott has been a tremendous asset to many coast wide initiatives and organizations.
I know that Scott chaired the first regional board of directors of the MS Gulf Coast YMCA and his efforts and coordination are the reason this organization exists today. I know Scott was a tremendous valuable resource for the Bacot McCarty Foundation as I am the Executive Director of such.
The Scott Walker that Trenchard personally knows is “a generous man, a person that would give you the shirt off his back.”
There are some hard feelings too, which is not unusual in these circumstances. Steve Ryals, Scott’s father in law makes that clear when wrote, “It is hurtful to all of us who know this young family to read what the media has published about them. His name and businesses have been slandered in The Sun Herald, The Mississippi Press, blog posts too numerous to count as well as local TV outlets.”
Not that long ago James Gill wrote about Ray Nagin’s 10 year sentence and the concept of the “double Richard” for the New Orleans Advocate. I thought about that when I read Mr. Ryals and Brent Warr’s letters. Mr. Warr is still clearly bitter about his own scrape with the law. What was interesting is I mentioned letters from Mr Warr because there were two as Warr’s cover letter to Scott Walker was included in the submission to Judge Starrett. That cover letter to Scott, which Warr concluded by observing that “the DOJ is overreaching”, started as follows:
Enclosed you’ll find 4 exact copies of the letter I mailed to Judge Starrett on Friday 4/18/14. The letter was sent U.S. Mail with an American Flag stamp proclaiming “Freedom”. That’s what you and your Father deserve
Finally is the Hancock County to Scott Walker connection as Scott’s partners in Precision Marketing Group, Kirk Ladner and Supervisor Steve Seymour also wrote letters on Walker’s behalf. Seymour disclosed that he had known Walker before Hurricane Katrina and that they had traveled extensively together more recently. Kirk Ladner detailed Walker’s strong work ethic when he wrote:
Scott, Steve and I started working together in June of 2012 so I was able to witness first hand Scott’s work ethic. We worked seven days a week establishing a network throughout the Gulf Coast regions of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana advertising the news of the BP Settlement to businesses with potential loses. Countless late Sunday nights we would be doing paperwork to finish our week to wake up the next day and start another.
Ladner’s letter was heartfelt and my opinion was one of the more effective letters to Judge Starrett in that it conveyed empirical observations of how Mr. Ladner’s business partner conducted his personal life.
The body of work that are these letters asking Judge Starrett for leniency, in my opinion accurately portray Scott as a devoted family man that works hard. They also raise troubling questions that have implications for the elections next year. That is the topic for Part 2, which will analyse those issues raised by the Walker sentencing letters.