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Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:24 PM

Ex-Attorneys General Back Siegelman (More Than 100 Sign Friend of Court Brief)

Source: Wall Street Journal

MARCH 1, 2012, 5:59 PM

Ex-Attorneys General Back Siegelman

More than 100 former attorneys general are backing one of their own — Don Siegelman, Alabama former governor and attorney general, who was convicted in 2006 on corruption charges.

Siegelman was convicted in 2006 based on allegations that a donor gave $500,000 in contributions to a state lottery campaign that Sigelman favored in exchange for a seat on a state health care-board. After years of appeals, he’s looking to the U.S. Supreme Court a second time hear his case.

On Thursday, the group of former attorneys general led by former New York AG Robert Abrams weighed in with a friend of the court brief. According to the brief,

This case is about the criminalization of First Amendment freedoms — the giving and receiving of campaign contribution — based on an indefinite standard that will significantly alter the liberty of constituents to contribute to political campaigns without fear of criminal liability and the desire of citizens to run for political office in a system that largely depends on private contributions.

The brief was backed by 113 former top state lawyers, including some who also served as governors, such as Michigan’s Jennifer Granholm and Wisconsin’s James Doyle.

Read more: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/03/01/ex-attorneys-general-back-siegelman/#

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ex-Attorneys General Back Siegelman (More Than 100 Sign Friend of Court Brief) (Original post)
Hissyspit Mar 2012 OP
babylonsister Mar 2012 #1
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2012 #2
Auntie Bush Mar 2012 #3
asjr Mar 2012 #4
wial Mar 2012 #5
MACARD Mar 2012 #9
pnwmom Mar 2012 #12
dotymed Mar 2012 #14
trof Mar 2012 #15
pnwmom Mar 2012 #23
mimitabby Mar 2012 #22
pnwmom Mar 2012 #11
cstanleytech Mar 2012 #13
pnwmom Mar 2012 #24
coffeenap Mar 2012 #6
OnyxCollie Mar 2012 #7
Judi Lynn Mar 2012 #8
McCamy Taylor Mar 2012 #10
L. Coyote Mar 2012 #16
avaistheone1 Mar 2012 #17
bvar22 Mar 2012 #18
girl gone mad Mar 2012 #20
saras Mar 2012 #19
pnwmom Mar 2012 #25
saras Mar 2012 #26
pnwmom Mar 2012 #27
midnight Mar 2012 #21

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:27 PM

1. WOW! Rec'd! Progress! And I love you, Hissyspit!! nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:43 PM

2. Hot damn.

And when he is finally freed, I hope he instigates the mother of all lawsuits.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:54 PM

3. ((( Great news! )))

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:30 PM

4. I hope something good comes from this.

I lived in Huntsville when he was governor and think he was railroaded.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:31 PM

5. I'm confused though

I'm all for Siegelman getting justice at long last, but I thought progressives didn't like the idea money is speech? How is money protected under the first amendment? Maybe under current corrupted law, and maybe that helps in the short run, but should we be celebrating?

In other news, please check out Move to Amend and the continuing effort to fix the US Constitution so this never ever happens again.

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Response to wial (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 01:18 AM

9. I Agree I 2 am Confused

We can't live by a Double Standard Just as much as Republicans are guilty, When Our Democrats play that Game we can't support it.

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Response to MACARD (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 02:53 AM

12. You are confused because you don't know all the facts.

The donation didn't go to Siegelman or to his campaign. It just went to a fund to improve education in the state. And there was no evidence it was part of any exchange.

And the appointment was merely a reappointment of someone who had been given the job by a previous Republican governor. This was a Rovian plot to get rid of a popular Democratic governor. It stinks to high heaven.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 08:49 AM

14. Exactly,

and it was an individual, not a corporate donation that was not targeted at re-election, but at education. Also the donors board reappointment was an unpaid position. Yes, it is a double standard but only when applied to a Democrat.
Of course we must remove all money from politics, until we do so, we cannot allow the repugs to do things that are legal yet imprison Democrats for doing the same things.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 09:51 AM

15. No, it was a fund to promote a statewide referendum on a state lottery.

From the brief before the U.S. Supreme Court:

The allegation, again, was that there was an unlawful connection between Governor Siegelman’s appointment of Scrushy to the C.O.N. Board, and Scrushy’s raising of contributions for a referendum campaign that Governor Siegelman supported.

Scrushy was the CEO of one of Alabama’s, and the nation’s, leading healthcare corporations. He had served on Alabama’s C.O.N. Board through appointment by three previous (Republican) Governors. Several seats on the Board are reserved by law to health care provider representatives. [5a, 640 F.3d at 1165 & n.5

One of Governor Siegelman’s initiatives, during his campaign and his administration, was a State lottery, with the proceeds to support education. Other States had instituted such programs with great success.

Under Alabama law, creating such a program would require a vote of the people. There was, therefore, an issue-advocacy or referendum campaign on the question. Governor Siegelman raised contributions to a fund supporting the pro-lottery side of that referendum campaign. [4a, 640F.3d at 1165].Scrushy raised and made substantial contributions to the lottery campaign. And Governor Siegelman re-appointed Scrushy to the C.O.N. Board

http://www.votelaw.com/blog/
Scroll WAY down to "Siegelman files petition in US Supreme Court (with court docs)"

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Response to trof (Reply #15)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 12:52 AM

23. So what? You're splitting hairs. The money was intended to help education,

not to line Siegelman's pockets or fill his campaign coffers.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 04:47 PM

22. no kidding!

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Response to wial (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 02:51 AM

11. This isn't a double standard. The fact is

that the appointee had already been appointed by a previous governor. All Siegelman did was reappoint him to another term. There was no real evidence that there was any tit-for-tat. Also, none of the money went to Siegelman's campaign or to Siegelman -- it just went to help education in the state. Should that really be a crime?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #11)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 08:02 AM

13. "Should that really be a crime?" Maybe.

I am not weighing in on the issue of the guilt or innocence of Siegelman in this case though but rather if such donations might be a crime and I can well imagine atleast one potential way a politician could actually use this to their advantage.
For example the politician could claim a program was a huge success or not losing money but it could be that thats only true thanks to that "donation".

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 12:54 AM

24. Transparency in campaign donations would solve that problem. n/t

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:50 PM

6. Fantastic news!

This took so very long, but it is great news!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:55 PM

7. K&R. nt

 

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 01:06 AM

8. He has been waiting so damned long for justice. Surely hope this will help. n/t

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 01:38 AM

10. But..but...he is a Democrat. The SCOTUS only protects the rights

of Republicans and their contributors. And if they cross Karl Rove on this one, he has the blackmail info to pay them back.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 11:03 AM

16. Has Ted Stevens weighted in yet? DOJ gave Stevens a get-out-of-jail card, but

Obama saw fit to retain the corrupt Bush USA who railroaded Don. Go figure.

DOJ could end this overnight.

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Response to L. Coyote (Reply #16)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 01:52 PM

17. +1

 

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Response to L. Coyote (Reply #16)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 02:22 PM

18. THAT is the part that twists the knife in my back.

The very FIRST thing on Eric Holder's list after getting the appointment to Attorney General
was getting corrupt Republican Ted Stevens out of jail,
and cleaning up his record.

But former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman can't even get his calls returned.

"Siegelman?... Never heard of him."



You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their excuses.
[font size=5 color=green]Solidarity99![/font][font size=2 color=green]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/center]


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Response to L. Coyote (Reply #16)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 03:55 PM

20. Exactly.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 02:58 PM

19. It's all about realpolitik. Siegelman is less wrong than nearly all, but still wrong

 

The system is profoundly corrupt, and all the lawyers are defending it, because they KNOW it can't lose. It's too big. If it lost, for real, and the same standard was applied across the board, our entire system of funding government, not just elections, would have to be radically restructured. And there ain't any way in hell THAT's going to happen right now.

In the interest of fairness, they are arguing that he should get as much of a pass as everyone else does, and not be held to principles that everyone else violates, many much worse than him, to the point of simple cash-for-action transactions. And in the interest of fairness, they should win.

But it's an oligarchic system, not a democratic one. Even in a fantasy world where all pay is directly proportional to work, there's still no reason that someone who works harder, or longer, or is gifted at something, automatically acquires any sort of moral superiority to dictate how others should behave. And having stronger influence on who gets elected and what their policies are, simply because of one's money rather than one's persuasive power, is exactly that.

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Response to saras (Reply #19)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 12:58 AM

25. Why was he wrong? He merely reappointed someone who had been appointed by

previous governors. And that person gave a donation to a fund to support a measure intended to benefit public education.

There was no proof of tit-for-tat -- that the appointment was an exchange for a contribution. And the contribution didn't financially benefit Siegelman personally or his campaign.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #25)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 02:54 AM

26. My point was that he was no wronger than anyone else playing that game, and probably less

 

but that doesn't make the game as a whole any less wrong.
Appointed by partisan governors? neh.
Initiatives and referendums publicized by private funds? neh.

Within the system, he was quite moral and legally correct.


He's wrong because he's helping an oppressive system function. So he's not a Dené or Sentinelese. Some of us just aren't lucky.

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Response to saras (Reply #26)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 04:24 AM

27. He shouldn't be in prison now simply for being part of the system,

playing by the same rules everyone else always has.

There hasn't ever been a case of another politician being criminally convicted for what he did. This was a partisan attack, pure and simple.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 03:55 PM

21. Thank you MR. Doyle for signing this friend of the court brief for Mr. Siegelman....

Is it normal to spend four years in appeal?

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