Drudge is highlighting this ABCNEWS.com report, Dean’s Trooper Accused of Abuse: What Did He Know About Abuse Allegations; When Did He Know It?
In his presidential campaign, and as governor of Vermont before that, Howard Dean has taken a tough, zero-tolerance stand on domestic violence, accusing the Bush administration of not being committed to the issue. Yet Dean said he had no idea that one of the men closest to him was repeatedly abusing his wife.
Dennis Madore, the state trooper who headed Dean’s security detail for nine years, was “a classic abuser,” according to Jerry Diamond, a Dean supporter and former Vermont attorney general who was the lawyer for Madore’s wife, Donna, when she filed for divorce in 1997.
“There were years of abuse in which she had been struck, had been pushed, shoved in front of the children, both physical and emotional abuse in front of the children,” said Diamond. He said the abuse occurred both before and while Madore worked for Dean. Madore later admitted five separate instances of abuse.
Court records show that Madore’s lawyer, Phil White, also a close friend of Dean, was first made aware of the abuse allegations on March 7, 1997.
On May 23, 1997, Dean inserted himself in the case, filing a three-page affidavit at White’s request for use in a custody hearing, in which he described Madore as “a firm but gentle disciplinarian” and a “wonderful parent.”
According to Diamond, it was a highly unusual move. “I’m sure that there are very few cases on record where a governor might have done that,” he told ABCNEWS.
There may be more to this story than meets the eye but this doesn’t strike me as particularly damning. It looks like Dean was a little too trusting of the guy whose job it was to take a bullet for him for nine years. If I had been otherwise inclined to vote for Dean, this wouldn’t change my mind.