Published October 5, 2007
Attorney General Marc Dann's use of the "F" word in attacking a reporter with the Warren Tribune Chronicle grabbed headlines statewide, but it isn't his potty mouth that's cause for concern. Rather, it's Dann's failure to recognize that having a member of his family on the state payroll is a legitimate news story.
The attorney general has been around long enough to know that being on the public payroll local, state or federal means never being able to claim total privacy rights. And when that employee is a young woman who was raised by Marc Dann and his wife, Alyssa, as their daughter, and who is earning $37,000 a year in the Secretary of State's Office, it's news.
Steve Oravecz of the Tribune laid out the facts of Mavilya Chubarova's hiring without editorial comment. For Dann's spokeswoman, Jennifer Brindisi, to contend that the attorney general's verbal assault of Oravecz was simply a father protecting his daughter begs the question, "Protecting her from what?" Incidentally, Brindisi is a former television reporter.
Dann would have been well-advised keep his opinion of Oravecz to himself, because once statewide reporters latched onto the story, they found another interesting tidbit.
According to the Associated Press, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat like Dann, hired Chubarova the day she took office and later promoted her to the new position of constituent coordinator. The wire service quoted Brunner as saying of Chubarova, "She's great. I like Mia's enthusiasm and her creativity."
But the Associated Press story also contained this line: "Dann's office offered Brunner's older daughter a job as well, but she ultimately turned it down, Brunner said."
Now that's worthy of a headline. Democrats playing favorites ... like the Republicans, who were lambasted by Dann during last year's election campaign.
So, never mind the "F" word. It's the "N" word Nepotism that should raise eyebrows.