Friday, September 25, 2009

Jumping To Conclusions In Clay County

The hanging of census worker and part-time teacher William E. "Bill" Sparkman in rural Clay County, Kentucky found with "FED" scrawled on his chest with felt-tip marker is bad enough, but the left-of-center blogosphere has made matters worse by automatically assuming that the murder was perpetrated by anti-government crazies motivated by right-wingnuts like Michele Bachmann who have portrayed the census as a socialist plot.

That may well turn out to be true, which would make Sparkman's death a federal case, but two other possibilities leap to mind: Clay County is a corrupt, violent and grindingly poor place. Earlier this year a circuit court judge, the county clerk and three election board officials were indicted on corruption charges. Clay also is awash is drug dealing and there is widespread marijuana cultivation in the national forest near where 51-year-old Sparkman's decomposed body was found.

So let's kinda wait and see how this one plays out, okay?

Photography by The Associated Press

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