Where is Jesse Burchfield?

That was the very popular 4 foot banner we had printed up for our Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers Cookout last Saturday. There it was up on the wall with all our "poster trophies" from political battles past.

We had the Dartmouth Review photo of us up at the campus April 1, 2005 voting with our official NH Restaurant Guest Slip ballots for two Dartmouth Trustee candidates - who won. A Dartmouth Alumni was at our event and loved that one.

There was the Weare tax map # 406, lot 21 of David Souter’s mother’s house on 8.08 acres assessed at under $105,000.00. Boy did people like the part where we super-imposed our warrant article to take his mother’s house by eminent domain right over the map. Welcome back from la-la land for the summer Dave.

Just down from those items was our favorite set of copies of sworn affidavits from two NH Municipal Association employees stating that Rosie McNamara who stole 2.4 million from the town of Ashland – insured by the this same Municipal Association – was really a great employee and completely trustworthy. NHMA paid Ashland $660,000, Rosie pled guilty to stealing $111,000.000 then bragged she took one million. Do that math taxpayer.

Which brings me to a dude named Jessie Burchfield, who is supposed to have made off with a ton of Senator Cohen’s US Senate campaign money.

The year-long "audit" (Why does "audit" sound like the word "stall" in this case?) of former State Senator Burt Cohen’s missing campaign funds from his run against US Sen. Judd Gregg, has according to the scant-to-non-existent press reports of this story, finally come to a close.

Wow! Republican campaign official Chuck McGee will probably finish his prison term for jamming phones at Democrat headquarters before we ever get a glimpse of what happened to Burt’s stash of cash.

So inquiring minds must use the power of logical observation to keep their several ounces of gray matter exorcised. Here goes:

Cohen has hired a Democrat-friendly law firm, Perkins Cowie LLP, with offices all over the country to represent him. This may mean he has less to fear of information about what happened with his missing campaign funds becoming public and the firm will likely go that extra mile to help another Democrat in trouble. This would be a smart move if there is more to the story than just this Burchfield character running off with $170,000.00 in the beginning of the Cohen campaign last June.

Our boy Jessie Burchfield, according a quote from Cohen in a rare news article, was known as quality campaign help in past elections in Florida – none of which have press stories mentioning anyone named Burchfield retrievable through the web or anywhere else I can find.

This gets interesting once you discover Jessie Burchfield has hired celebrity criminal attorney, Geoffrey G. Nathan, to represent him in these difficult times - difficult for Cohen that is.

Cohen is out $170,000.00 in what appears to be a self-funded campaign. So if I am reading the tea leaves correctly he will have spent at least that much auditing his own books and being represented by the powerhouse DC law firm. To this point with almost no press coverage about this strange affair Cohen has done pretty well. Most people hardly even noticed what an incredible fool he has made of himself so far in his failed attempt at running for a US Senate seat, now for the tricky part.

Cohen already had his suggestion rebuffed: it was that the "dog ate his homework" when The Bank of America took issue with a claim he made back in March 05, that they had lost his bank records and that was why he could not file complete Federal Election Commission reports. This means there are real records to go by. So what is the hold-up?

Why does Jessie Burchfield, if that is a real name, walk around in broad daylight and not share a room with Chuck McGee? I would like to see at least a picture of Jessie in the papers. Forgive that foolish dream. I forgot this is New Hampshire and the press is very forgiving of certain public officials.

And the celebrity attorney Burchfield hired? Is the "celebrity" part of the formula what Cohen fears the most? For instance, if the facts of the missing money get out, Burchfield has a person adept at media manipulation and positive spin. Attorney Nathan is no stranger to Hannity and Colmes. (Wouldn’t that be great!)

I guess we will have to wait for the purported FBI investigation to conclude to find out what happened with Burt and Jessie - if there is an investigation. My guess is there will be a quiet whimper in some NH paper in a Saturday edition under a half-page of above the fold color shots of Chuck McGee getting out of jail for what in comparison was a college prank.

Ed Naile
Coalition of NH Taxpayers