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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-25-09 10:41 PM
Original message
Legal Schnauzer: Why Did The 11th Ciruit Cheat Don Siegelman? Here Is My Guess...
Mark Crispin Miller: We know the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals cheated Don Siegelman and Richard Scrushy when it refused to follow the law and overturn their convictions. But why did the appellate court act corruptly in this case? Our guess is that the conservative court is trying to keep a lid on perhaps America's premier Republican sleazepit--Montgomery, Alabama:

http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2009/07/why-did-11th...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why Did the 11th Circuit Cheat Don Siegelman? Here Is My Guess

We have shown that the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unlawfully on multiple grounds in the Don Siegelman/Richard Scrushy case. And we have posited that such judicial butchery almost had to have been done intentionally.

So we are left with this question: Why did the 11th Circuit cheat Siegelman and Scrushy?

Our best guess? Montgomery, Alabama, could be described as the "base camp" for Republican corruption during the George W. Bush administration--and going back even further, at least to the mid 1990s. An honest ruling by the 11th Circuit would have focused attention on trial judge Mark Fuller, U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, and their home base of Montgomery. The 11th Circuit, which is dominated by Republican appointees, clearly did not want that.

What we have, in our estimation, is an attempted judicial coverup. And it seems unlikely that the 11th Circuit acted in a vacuum. The court's bogus ruling probably was the result of significant external interference, meaning our federal courts are more poisoned and politicized than many of us can imagine.

An honest ruling by the appellate court would have shown that Fuller and federal prosecutors in the Siegelman/Scrushy case are corrupt political hacks. And it's possible that might have gotten the attention of a Justice Department that now is controlled by a Democratic administration. Granted, the Obama DOJ has shown no sign, so far, of having a spine. But in theory, an honest ruling from the 11th Circuit would have spelled out the myriad ways Fuller acted corruptly--possibly prompting investigators to look into some very dark corners of Montgomery, Alabama.

What might a serious investigation turn up in Alabama's capital city? Let's consider a few storylines that have strong connections to Montgomery:

* In the mid 1990s, Republican political consultant Karl Rove initiates a campaign to take over Alabama state judgeships. Rove's success, fueled with dollars from pro-business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, leads to similar efforts in other states. Rove's compadre in this initiative is Bill Canary. And Canary's home base is . . . Montgomery, AL.

* Republican Bob Riley wins the 2002 governor's race with the help of votes for Democrat Don Siegelman that mysteriously disappear overnight. It later is disclosed that Riley's campaign is aided by millions of Indian gaming dollars that are laundered through disgraced GOP consultant Jack Abramoff. Riley's home base for the past eight years or so? Montgomery, AL.

* Attorney/journalist Andrew Kreig reports that Fuller's company, Doss Aviation of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was awarded $300 million in federal contracts from the time Fuller began presiding over the Siegelman case in 2005. Scott Horton, of Harper's, reports that a 2002 filing shows Fuller is president of Doss Aviation, and his address is listed at the federal courthouse in . . . Montgomery, AL.

* Attorney and whistleblower Jill Simpson reveals that she was told U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) owned and controlled Doss Aviation out of the Federal Courthouse in Montgomery. Doss mail was forwarded to Shelby's Senate office, but it originally was sent to . . . Montgomery, AL.

* Time magazine reports that lobbyist and landfill developer Lanny Young, a key witness in the Siegelman case, makes allegations of money laundering and bribery against U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and former Alabama Attorney General William Pryor (who now just happens to serve on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals). These allegations, which are largely ignored by the Bush Justice Department, appear to have their genesis in . . . Montgomery, AL.

* Let's not forget George W. Bush's extensive connections to a certain central Alabama city. While in the National Guard, Bush reportedly drilled at Maxwell Air Force Base in late 1972 and early 1973. He also worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of Winton Blount, a family friend. Jill Simpson has stated that Alabama lawyer Thomas Gallion told her that Bush was in regular touch with him throughout the Siegelman case. Gallion's office, and Maxwell Air Force Base, are in . . . Montgomery, AL.

We probably are only scratching the surface here. The mind spins with what might be revealed from a serious investigation of actions in Montgomery over the past 10 to 15 years.

Did the 11th Circuit know this when it cheated Siegelman and Scrushy? The answer is almost certainly is yes.

Was the appellate ruling designed to keep a lid on the boiling vat of GOP sleaze that has been brewing in Montgomery for a long time?

Sure looks that way from here.

Mods - Posted in entirety with permission.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-25-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for posting.
Sound like reasonable hypothesis to me.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 01:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. It's not just Montgomery
In Alabama, there's more than enough corruption to go around.

There's the stuff up north around Huntville -- where many of the Project Paperclip Nazi rocket scientists were settled, where NASA is deeply embedded, and where much of the "missile defense" boondoggle goes on. Lots of lobbying money from there finds its way to Alabama politicians.

There's the Gulf Coast, which has a wild piratical history that runs from the 19th century riverboat gamblers, to prohibition-era bootleggers, to Contra-related cocaine smuggling, and back to gambling again.

There are the sweetheart deals with industry, such as the ThyssenKrupp deal which Governor Riley boasted of landing and which has a number of dubious provisions. And there are Alabama's own energy companies, particularly Alabama Power, that have their own networks of influence and covert dealings.

There are the right wing religious machinations, such as whatever-the-hell it was that Ralph Reed was running through the Alabama Christian Coalition on behalf of Jack Abramoff's tribal casinos.

And all of this is built on a basis of Alabama's highly traditional culture, where all the politicians of both parties seem to have grown up together, gone to the same colleges, and typically have a great-grandfather or two in common.

So yeah, there's a lot to keep a lid on there -- but Montgomery is only the tip of the iceberg.

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #2
15. $3.6 Billion, ExxonMobil, and Pissing Off BIG OIL.
There is a story little told, from before the 2006 prosecution,
before the illegal campaign contributions to Riley from Abramoff and his felonious pals,
before the 2002 AL election theft stole victory from Dems in the middle of the night.

Siegelman's administration sued BIG OIL. ExxonMobil committed fraud and underpaid Alabama
in a contract for natural gas pumped from Mobile Bay. Alabama won that litigation, and a
jury awarded the state a judgment against ExxonMobil of roughly $3.6 billion. Not chump change!

Is that where it starts? This incident is certainly a BIG possible!
Or was this gambling corruption? Or just felonious politics?
How about defense contractors corrupting politics? Possible.
Or, it it another case of "ALL OF THE ABOVE"? Your opinions?

============================
ExxonMobils Alabama Paydirt
Scott Horton - Nov 4, 2007 - http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/11/hbc-90001584

Back in 1904, Ida Tarbell published what ultimately was to be seen as the seminal work of the muckrakers, The History of Standard Oil. It appeared first in nineteen installments in McClures Magazine, a rather less successful competitor of Harpers, and shortly after the last installment appeared, Tarbell published the work in book form as well. In her work, Tarbell exposed the dark underside of corporate deal-making, the series of interlocking directorates and manipulations which had allowed John D. Rockefeller to build the oil leviathan and dominate the American market. Tarbell demonstrated that Rockefellers success came not so much from business acumen (though she never contested that he had plenty of that) as through a thorough understanding of how to game the system. John D. Rockefeller was a power unto himself. Politicians around the country were made and broken to suit him.

But Tarbells disclosures fueled the drive for antitrust legislation and a fairer and more competitive business environmenta drive which was, in its time, championed by progressive politicians of both parties, but particularly by Theodore Roosevelt. By 1911, Standard Oil was broken into thirty companies.

But over time, like the liquid-metal monster in the Terminator series, Standard Oil pulled itself back together again. It was aided in this process by a change in attitudes across the political spectrum, but most particularly it was aided by Americas campaign finance system in which politicians standing for election require increasingly larger sums of money to pursue their campaigns, and support from the corporate till is essential. The final act of rebirth occurred when the two principal surviving pieces of the company, Exxon and Mobil, merged at the close of 1999. The resulting behemoth, ExxonMobil, is the largest publicly traded integrated petroleum and natural gas company in the world. It is also the worlds largest petroleum and natural gas company by revenue, with revenues of $377.6 billion in fiscal year 2006.

The State of Alabama believes that it was victimized by ExxonMobil. According to the states complaint launched by the Administration of Governor Don Siegelman, ExxonMobil committed fraud and underpaid the state in a contract dispute over natural gas pumped from Mobile Bay. Alabama won that litigation, and a jury awarded the state a judgment against ExxonMobil of roughly $3.6 billion. Not chump change .....

...... http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/11/hbc-90001584 ..............

=================
FROM: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
3. Damn, I hate it when I put typos in the subject line.
Pooey. :D

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givemebackmycountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
21. Don't worry about it - if your name is on the post, I'm reading it...
Typos or not.

Your contributions here are immense.

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Well, that is much appreciated. Thank you.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-27-09 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
26. Admin can change that by adding font size code to the form.
DU has horridly small font in the subject line form if you lack youthful vision!
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
4. Is there any hope?
My hope would be to find the DOJ performing a quiet, yet very lengthly and thorough RICO investigation.

That when it is complete, those involved won't know what hit them.

My fear is that hope is all that it is, just a word, and nothing else.

I'm never one to just give up, but the illusion of this country of ours makes me incredibly sad.



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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. From Obama/Holder? Sounds a bit too audacious.
I would hope that Siegelman/Scrushy might find some way to go after the Doss money. They might be able to make a civil case in a Colorado court. Being screwed by a Fed circuit is pretty well-screwed.

But as usual, too much drama for Obama.

--
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 03:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Scrushy really is a criminal
He really should be in prison, in my opinion, but not for the Siegelman case. He stole billions of dollars in the HealthSouth case. But he managed to pollute the jury pool in Birmingham by giving a heap of money to a big, African-American church, and self-producing a half-hour daily tv show preaching "the word of the Lord." He's a phoney and a conman and a scumbag and deserves to be in prison. The governor, not so much.
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 05:36 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Criminal or not...
...he may be able and willing to bankroll a legal counterattack that could get far enough to force Holder to take action.

--
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-27-09 03:44 AM
Response to Reply #10
24. good point
But he soon may be poor.

Richard Scrushy was hit with a staggering $2.88 billion civil judgment in a suit brought by HealthSouth Corp. shareholders, one of the largest findings ever from the era of massive corporate scandals.

The plaintiffs said that the former chairman and chief executive helped artificially inflate HealthSouth's earnings for at least six years through an accounting scam uncovered in 2003.

But after six years of legal wrangling over the fraud at the rehabilitation chain, the question is, does Mr. Scrushy have any money left to pay the judgment?

Lawyers said Thursday's judgment appears to be the largest financial penalty ever levied against a single executive. Damages against individuals typically run in the millions of dollars, not billions of dollars, they added.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124533875598827811.html
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-27-09 06:04 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. It would be great if it worked like that.
Guys like Scrushy should have every dollar they ever took tracked down. But I'd be surprised if there wasn't a lot of financial insulation purchased with that much money.

--
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LAGranny Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. The reason Scrushy and Siegelman were tried as co-defendants
..is directly linked to Scrushy's unpopularity with many Alabama citizens. The Prosecutors wanted to "tar" the most popular Governor the State of Alabama had ever elected, with the same "brush" of Scrushy's being utter loathed by many Alabamians. It is an perfect example of how "jury pools" in Alabama can be "polluted." Scrushy was never the target. Governor Siegelman was the target.
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ControlledDemolition Donating Member (901 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
6. K&R. Still reading. n/t
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ControlledDemolition Donating Member (901 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
7. "...meaning our federal courts are more poisoned and politicized than many of us can imagine." n/t
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ControlledDemolition Donating Member (901 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 02:24 AM
Response to Original message
8. Great post Hissyspit. Thank you. If I could I'd recommend again. n/t
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
11. K&R
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 07:40 AM
Response to Original message
12. Rec'd. nt
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
13. This is such a glaring example of what should & shouldn't be...
that ignoring it will forever highlight the problems of "not looking back".
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elizfeelinggreat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
14. k & r
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
16. Thanks for keeping up with Siegelman news. Recommended.
:hi:
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cachukis Donating Member (232 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
18. Keep it going
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
19. Why aren't his fellow Dems undoing this injustice? My guess is election fraud.
They were unwilling to confront it in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Why not?
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Agreed, mod mom, but also because these characters are really down home
mean and very cliquish. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, senators from Alabama, are just the tip of the iceberg.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
23. Recommend highly. Thanks for posting this.
"Granted, the Obama DOJ has shown no sign, so far, of having a spine."

And that about sums it up folks. I've given up hope that any President or AG will ever again take on the Powers-that-Be. The object lessons provided by JFK, MLK, and RFK are potent reminders of who calls the shots in Merka. And it ain't progressive populists.

L.Coyote highlighted one of the prime movers behind Siegelmann's fall from grace.

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