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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-01-07 06:04 PM
Original message
Abramoff and Kark Rove Linked to Prosecution of Ex-Alabama Governor and Campaign Finances
Rove Linked to Prosecution of Ex-Alabama Governor
Friday, Jun. 01, 2007,8599,1627427,...

In the rough and tumble of Alabama politics, the scramble for power is often a blood sport. At the moment, the state's former Democratic governor, Don Siegelman, stands convicted of bribery and conspiracy charges and faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Siegelman has long claimed that his prosecution was driven by politically motivated, Republican-appointed U.S. attorneys.

Now Karl Rove, the President's top political strategist, has been implicated in the controversy. A long time Republican lawyer in Alabama swears she heard a top G.O.P. operative in the state say that Rove "had spoken with the Department of Justice" about "pursuing" Siegelman, with help from two of Alabama's U.S. attorneys. ..............

From June 3, 2005 by the Boston Globe
Gambling, GOP Politics Intertwine
Casino Payments Seen as Influential
by Michael Kranish -

WASHINGTON -- George W. Bush gave the nation's gambling industry plenty of reason to fear his presidency. .... He wooed religious conservatives by boasting in a presidential debate about his ''strong antigambling record."

But as president, Bush has not spoken out against gambling. .... as Republican lobbyists and activist groups collected tens of millions of dollars from Indian tribes seeking to preserve their casinos. Now those payments are the focus of Senate and Justice Department investigations.

... White House ... annual sessions over a four-year period that were arranged by antitax crusader Grover Norquist ... After Bush dropped his antigambling rhetoric, lobbyists touted their access, and fund-raising from Indian tribes grew exponentially.

...Norquist('s) ... organization received $1.5 million from tribes and fought a tax on Indian casinos; lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a top Bush fund-raiser who earned millions of dollars in fees as a consultant to gaming tribes; and Ralph Reed ... allegedly used some money from Indian gaming tribes to fund his efforts to close down rival casinos and lotteries

.........Bush worked closely with religious conservatives, especially Reed....

..... Tiguas poured tens of thousands of dollars into the campaign of the Democrat running against Bush in 1998 .... Bush redoubled his earlier efforts to shut down the Tigua casino. ... special appropriation ... for the state's attorney general, John Cornyn, now a US senator, to take legal action against the tribe.....

Abramoff, who helped arrange for the rival tribes to give the money to Reed's group, turned around and offered his services to the Tiguas -- for $4.2 million in fees split between himself and a partner

..... Abramoff and his partner in Indian gaming consulting would receive more than $60 million in fees from six different tribes seeking to advance their gambling interests ... Abramoff also told the tribes to give money ... the tribes gave $3 million, two-thirds of it to Republicans

.... Abramoff and Norquist .. worked (for) ... candidate ... following year, Abramoff and Norquist came to Washington together to lead the Republican Party's national effort to recruit college students. Reed soon joined ...

In 1999, Don Siegelman, the Democratic governor of Alabama, proposed a lottery that would have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into public schools and even provided free college education for most Alabama high school graduates.

Reed, rallying religious conservatives, set out to try to defeat it ... quickly raised $1.15 million .... money came from Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist ... got the funds from an Indian gaming tribe ...At the time Reed raised the money, he was working for Abramoff ... and Abramoff represented the Mississippi tribe.

Siegelman ..."'I don't know how they can sleep at night taking money from the Indian casinos to deny Alabama schoolchildren...."

.... Abramoff, meanwhile, appears to be the central focus ....Bush has not spoken on the matter.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-01-07 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. ABRAMOFF: Gambling, Indians, Rove, Reed and the Republican Money Machine
ABRAMOFF: Rove, Reed and the Money Machine

No one outside Karl Rove is more responsible for George W. Bush's rise in the south than former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, ... he's got some problems coming his way...

.... an Indian tribe with a casino in Mississippi was a source for $1.15 million that Reed helped send to two anti-gambling campaigns in Alabama ...
....Jack Abramoff ... acted as an intermediary for much of the cash.

"Somebody's lying. It's either John Giles or Ralph Reed or both. I think these people are scoundrels," said Siegelman, a Democrat who blames his failure to win re-election on the lottery defeat.....

God and gambling, Christians and casinos, what a powerful pairing, which, when you look at the bottom line, all adds up to big bucks. Big bucks that ran from one Bushie to another, on behalf of God who is against gambling, while Christians make sure casinos don't land in their neck of the woods, as the guys who represent God, the Republicans, cash in big on being consultants.

It's a nifty little racket Rove and Reed, with a lot of help from Delay, Abramoff and even the money man himself, Grover Norquist, have going. The Bushies must be betting God likes gamblers, because they've put it all on the line. .........
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Bush-DeLay-Abramoff Indian Casinos Campaign Money Laundering Operation
Edited on Sat Jun-02-07 05:00 PM by L. Coyote
The Bush-DeLay-Indian Casinos Campaign Money Laundering Operation
(Wampum til theyre dead)
by Laurence A. Toenjes

The largest single flow of monies into the DeLay nexus is from the set of six Indian tribes who hired Jack Abramoff and Mike Scanlon to help promote the tribes interests. .... they managed to extract from the tribes is at $66 million and counting. This is the amount estimated by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to have been paid to Scanlon alone. .....

.... there is enough evidence to draw monetary links among some of these major political players.

Jack Abramoff received at least $21 million in tribal monies during the period April, 2001 to October, 2003, paid to him by Scanlon ....
... Abramoff is a major Bush supporter, listed on the website of Texans for Political Justice (TPJ) as a Bush Pioneer in 2004. The Pioneers are scouts responsible for bringing in at least $100,000 to the Bush war chest.

Reed is listed on the TPJ website as a Bush Ranger, which puts him in the $200,000-plus category. ......

Mike Scanlon at one time was a staff member and spokesperson for Tom DeLay, playing a key role in DeLays earlier successful drive to impeach President Bill Clinton. In October, 2002, Scanlon sent $500,000 to then-candidate for Governor of Alabama, Bob Riley. These funds apparently flowed through the Republican Governors Association and the Republican National State Elections Committee, increasing to $600,000 by the time Riley received them. ......

So many of these corrupt players keep appearing in the "Arkansas Project" effort to impeach Clinton???
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I'm sure we can find more money/corruption links
Edited on Sat Jun-02-07 09:16 PM by demobabe
I remember Abramoff gave money to the Christian Coalition which in turn backed a bunch of Republicans for judges and other positions in Alabama. Symbolman was put in jail by one such judge. All the lawyer had to do was to wave a handfull of printouts from Take Back The Media in front of the judge to inflame her, and it was all over...

Here is the first thing I found... Wikipedia, but will look for more info:

In 2000, Abramoff forced the Choctaws to give the Alabama Christian Coalition of America $1.15 million in installments. Norquist agreed to pass the money on to the Coalition and another Alabama antigambling group, both of which Reed was mobilizing for the fight against a proposed Alabama state lottery.

The Choctow tribe gave the money to Americans for Tax Reform. The money was then funneled to the Christian Coalition of Alabama, which received $850,000, and the defunct Citizens Against Legalized Lottery, which received $300,000.

The Christian Coalition has a policy against receiving "direct or indirect" support from gambling interests. An investigation concluded that the group didn't violate the policy even though Ralph Reed, the conduit for the donation, didn't state it came from a gaming tribe.

Boston Globe has a good article on it:
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-09-07 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #16
32. Lobbying Expenses Reported
Edited on Sat Jun-09-07 07:26 PM by L. Coyote
Client Summary, Lobbying Expenses Reported

The 1999 total was $3,205,000, with Preston, Gates et al receiving $3,120,000
The 2000 total was $2,060,000, with Preston, Gates et al receiving $1,800,000

Industry Profile, 2003 - Total For Casinos/Gambling: $28,518,000

Abramoff lobbying scandal - Preston Gates & Ellis -

From 1994 to 2001, Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds LLP employed Jack Abramoff, a Republican lobbyist later convicted for his illegal activities. <3> Abramoff was hired by partner Emanuel Rouvelas following the Republican takeover of Congress: according to the Seattle Times (1995), although the firm's representatives were half Democratic and half Republican, they "didn't have a conservative, Christian Coalition Republican with strong ties to the new Republican leadership."<2>

Abramoff emerged as the firm's star shortly after joining the law and lobbying firm. A press release claimed Abramoff to have influence with US House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Majority Leader Dick Armey. After Abramoff began to have legal troubles, spokespersons for Gingrich and Armey claimed that Abramoff had fabricated the references, and that they did not know him personally.

Preston Gates reimbursed Abramoff for trips he funded to Saipan; the firm was later reimbursed by Marianas officials. When Abramoff left Preston Gates for Greenberg Traurig in 2001, he took with him a team of lobbyists that formed the core of "Team Abramoff". He also took with him trade secrets the firm had developed for influence peddling ...

2001 - Greenberg Traurig LLP - $1,900,000 total - $2,080,000
2002 - Greenberg Traurig LLP - $1,740,000 total - $1,900,000
2003 - Greenberg Traurig LLP - $1,700,000 total - $1,820,000
2004 - Greenberg Traurig LLP - $1,140,000 total - $1,480,000
2005 - Greenberg Traurig LLP - $...40,000 total - $...840,00

Lobbying and Jack Abramoff - Greenberg Traurig -

In January 2001, lobbyist Jack Abramoff left Preston Gates Ellis to join Greenberg Traurig. Abramoff brought a book of business then worth more than $6 million annually to Greenberg Traurig, according to his own estimates.

In 2000, before Abramoff joined the firm, Greenberg had $3.3 million in lobbying fees. After he joined in 2001, the firm took in $16.2 million in fees. By 2002, that number jumped to $17.7 million, and $25.5 million by 2003.<7> The firm became one of the top 10 of Washington lobbying firms, moving from 16th place to fourth, according to the National Journal. <8>

The firm fired Abramoff in early 2004 and has received praise from federal investigators and members of Congress for its cooperation in the Abramoff investigation. A Greenberg spokesman said that its federal lobbying revenue in 2005 was 1 percent of its total revenues of $860 million.

On July 12, 2006, the Alabama-Coushatta tribe filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against now-convicted Abramoff and his cohorts. Greenberg Traurig was not a named defendant, but the tribe began discussing a settlement payment by the firm later that month. Its lawsuit states that "There was a nexus between Greenberg, the enterprise and the pattern of racketeering." According to the suit, internal Greenberg e-mails showed that Abramoff associate Michael Scanlon, although not a member of the firm, "billed hours to tribal clients through Greenberg and that members of the law firm, including attorneys Kevin Ring, Shawn Vasell, Stephanie Leger, Todd Boulanger and others, fabricated hours and time entries for Scanlon." The suit also says the firm allowed checks sent by the tribe to a bogus Abramoff-linked think tank to be funneled and cashed through Greenberg Traurig.<9>

Greenberg Traurig - From SourceWatch -

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is a Miami-based 1,350-lawyer full-service international law firm "with the fourth-largest number of lawyers in the United States and eighth-largest worldwide." The firm was founded in 1967 by Miami lawyer Mel Greenberg.

Bush-Greenberg Traurig Connections

1. "Represented President George W. Bush in the Bush-Gore 2000 Florida election vote recount."
2. "Personally represents Florida Governor Jeb Bush."
3. "Hired son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on election day 2000
9. Bush still owes Greenberg firm nearly one million dollars....
11. Greenberg Traurig represented Diebold Election Systems... from January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2004.

Companies and organizations that have hired Greenberg Traurig firm ranked by amount spent: 1998-2004

1) Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians $6,480,000
2) Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana $6,120,000
3) Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe $4,270,000
4) Sprenger and Lang $3,580,000
5) Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians $3,160,000
6) Tyco International Ltd. $2,180,000
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #14
33. "detailed glimpse into a sordid subculture of fraud and attempted influence peddling"
Staff Report - U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on Government Reform - 109th Congress
Tom Davis, Chairman - Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member
September 29, 2006

This review of more than three years of Abramoff/Greenberg Traurig, LLP billing records and e-mails offers an unusually detailed glimpse into a sordid subculture of fraud and attempted influence peddling. The questions of primary concern to the Committee in this review: To what extent were executive branch officials influenced by Abramoffs elaborate schemes? And, in view of Abramoffs admitted crimes, what reforms would better protect the integrity and increase the transparency of government processes and decisions?
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-01-07 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. Choctaws spent $13 million to elect Riley, Senate reports
Choctaws spent $13 million to elect Riley, Senate reports
By Phillip Rawls
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY A U.S. Senate committee reported that disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff told a tribal leader that the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians spent $13 million to elect Gov. Bob Riley in 2002.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee issued a lengthy report that quotes William Worfel, former vice chairman of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, as saying that Abramoff told him that Mississippi Choctaw Chief Phillip Martin had spent the money "to get the governor of Alabama elected ....."

"It just obviously can't be true," said Jeff Emerson, Riley's communications director. .... $13 million would have represented nearly every dollar that Riley reported raising and spending ...

Riley's opponent this year, Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, said ... "Thirteen million dollars of Indian gambling money illegally funded into an Alabama governor's race sounds like corruption of the highest level ..."

In the 2002 race for governor, Democratic incumbent Don Siegelman was pushing a state lottery that could affect Mississippi casinos. Riley, the Republican nominee, was opposing any expansion of gambling in Alabama.....

.... Scanlon gave $100,000 in 2002 to four political action committees that contributed heavily to Riley's campaign for governor. The donations to PACs run by lobbyists Joe Fine and Bob Geddie were mixed with many others. The Fine-Geddie PACs contributed more than $625,000 to Riley's campaign for governor. But Alabama's campaign finance laws make it impossible to tell if any of the Scanlon donations went to Riley.

When Scanlon contributed the money, he was doing work for the Mississippi Indians.
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
18. I wonder if the $13 million includes the Christian Coalition money
...or if that is seperate and above and beyond? The article doesn't say.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-03-07 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Where did the Indian Tribal money really go? Fraud, Illegal Campaign Funding, Bush?
The moving of money from player to player was definitely being used to circumventt laws. Delay did this to fund the Texas overthrow. Money moved through the Republican National organizations to Republican state organizations then supported campaigns, circumventing state campaign contribution limits.

A lot of investigation remains in reconstructing what money went where. Certainly, Bush Rangers and Pioneers should be looked at closely, and not just Abramoff and Reed. How was money funneled to Bush? Abramoff and Scalon may be "singing" like birds, but will they sing the truth when if comes to the Big Bird?
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-10-07 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
34. "Let's give the check to Ken Mehlman at the White House," PLUS "massages, hookers, whatever."
Displease a Lobbyist, Get Fired
Ken Mehlman doz a favor for Jack Abramoff
Oct 16 2006 -

Displease a Lobbyist, Get Fired
E-mails show Jack Abramoff's ability to influence White House staffing decisions through his highly placed friends.
By Peter Wallsten, Times Staff Writer
October 15, 2006

... e-mails disclosed in the House report showed that Mehlman was involved in a variety of matters of interest to Abramoff, one of which bore fruit for the lobbyist after he discussed delivering campaign contributions to GOP causes.

Tony Rudy, a onetime aide to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), referred to Mehlman on Nov. 9, 2001, as a "rock star" after Mehlman agreed to "take care of" the Choctaws' jail, despite a Justice Department finding that the tribe's existing jail was adequate.

Several days after that meeting, on Nov. 13, Rudy recommended a $15,000 contribution to the Republican National Committee. "Let's give the check to Ken Mehlman at the White House," ... On Nov. 15, campaign finance records show, the tribe gave $10,000 to the RNC ... Justice Department officials relented and released the money for the jail, giddy Abramoff associates planned to host agency officials in a suite at a Dave Matthews concert.

"I have the suite filling up with DOJ staffers who just got our client $16 million," one wrote. Another replied that the agency officials deserve any reward they want, "opening day tickets, Skins v. Giants, oriental massages, hookers, whatever."

Mehlman, meanwhile, also helped Abramoff with another client, Guam,
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-01-07 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. After Jack ... Riley has some, well, Abramoff issues
After Jack
February 27, 2006
National Journal Group - HOTLINE ON ALL

Such a story may have meant nothing B.J. (Before Jack), but in a post-Abramoff era we were struck by this item ....
....Gov. Bob Riley (R) ... the former 3-term House member is being feted by his old House pals Hastert, Boehner and Blunt. Also check out who from K St. is putting the event on .... Riley has some, well, Abramoff issues.

Abramoff partner-in-crime Michael Scanlon was Riley's congressional press secretary in the 90s. Later, Scanlon's outfit, Capitol Campaign Strategies, gave $500K to the RGA in October of '02, which in turn transferred nearly $2.5M to a soft-money arm of the RNC designed to aid state elections. That same month Riley received $600K from the cmte and the AL GOP took another $600K.

It was during this same time period, of course, that Scanlon and Abramoff were raking in cash from tribes.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-09-07 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
30. Citing cooperation, Judge postpones sentencing for former lobbyist Abramoff and Scalon
Citing ongoing cooperation, district court postpones sentencing for former lobbyist Abramoff and ...
By Susan Crabtree
May 23, 2007

Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his associate Michael Scanlon have bought themselves more time as they cooperate with prosecutors amid renewed Justice Department activity in the case.

On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia postponed the sentencing dates for Abramoff and Scanlon yet again. Abramoff and Scanlon were convicted of conspiring to bribe public officials more than a year ago, but the court has postponed the sentencing of each several times.

A status conference on their sentencing was scheduled for June 5, but the court filed a motion Monday to defer the conference to sometime after Aug. 21.

Mr. Abramoff has been cooperating with government agents and prosecutors, Justice Department prosecutors wrote. The government anticipates that Mr. Abramoffs cooperation will continue for the foreseeable future.

Late last month, the court also put off sentencing hearings scheduled for convicted Abramoff associates Tony Rudy and Neil Volz, a former chief of staff to former Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who is now in jail for his role in the Abramoff scandal. Rudy and Volz pleaded guilty to conspiring with Abramoff to bribe public officials.

In contrast, prosecutors note that the cooperation of William Heaton, another Ney chief of staff convicted in the scandal, is substantially complete. ....
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-09-07 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Ex-Justice Dept. Lawyer Under Scrutiny in Probe
Ex-Justice Dept. Lawyer Under Scrutiny in Probe
Ties With Abramoff Associate in Question
By Susan Schmidt
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 28, 2007; Page A06

A federal task force investigating the activities of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has in recent weeks been looking into whether one of Abramoff's colleagues improperly traded favors with a Justice Department lawyer, sources familiar with the Abramoff investigation said yesterday.

The lawyer, Robert E. Coughlin II, resigned on April 6 as deputy chief of staff in the Criminal Division, citing personal reasons, a department spokesman said. ...

Coughlin had worked in the criminal division since 2005 but was recused from the Abramoff inquiry because of a longtime personal friendship with Kevin A. Ring, one of Abramoff's lobbying colleagues whose actions are under investigation, a law enforcement source said. Investigators are looking into dealings between the two in 2001 and 2002, when Coughlin worked in the Justice Department's Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, the sources said.

Coughlin and Ring were friends on Capitol Hill in the 1990s when both worked as staffers to then-Sen. John D. Ashcroft (R-Mo.), who became attorney general in 2001.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-01-07 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. Siegelman case still troubling: Rove, Gonzales, Riley, Scanlon, Abramoff
EDITORIAL - Siegelman case still troubling

Most Alabamians may not care terribly much that former Gov. Don Siegelman faces sentencing on federal corruption charges in the coming weeks. But all Alabamians should care if the process that may put him in a federal prison was fair and free of politics.

A federal jury in Montgomery found Mr. Siegelman and Richard Scrushy, founder and former CEO of HealthSouth, guilty of corruption in 2006.

Mr. Siegelman came to Decatur on Tuesday to retell a story of political intrigue that helped convict the pair. He came armed with new information to feed the political tapestry woven with readily recognizable names: Karl Rove, embattled U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former state Attorney General Bill Pryor, Gov. Bob Riley, discredited lobbyists Michael Scanlon and Jack Abramoff, and more.

The looming scandal involving Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Rove over the sacking of eight U.S. attorneys who refused to do political investigations has Mr. Siegelman retelling his story with more vigor. ..........
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-01-07 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. PAC Gives $300K to Riley, After Getting $50 Million State Contract
Friday, January 27, 2006
PAC Gives $300K to Riley, After Getting $50 Million State Contract

Eddie Curran at the Mobile Register has a revelatory piece about Bob Riley's re-election fundraising. According to filings with the Sec of State, a PAC called Alabamians for Technology donated $300,000 in December to Riley's re-election campaign.

There doesn't seem to be any speculation that anything illegal took place, but there sure are a lot of unseemly details.

-- The PAC was formed, and largely bankrolled, by executives who benefited from a $50 million state contract.
-- The PAC was formed on Dec 16, 2005 and just three days later gave the $300K to Riley.
-- The PAC had taken $325K which means the $300K given to Riley accounts for over 92% of the PAC's monies.

Culture of Corruption Rules!
Hatched by Dafydd - /

Former Gov. Don E. Siegelman of Alabama was convicted yesterday of bribery, according to the New York Times:

After twice telling a judge it was deadlocked, a federal jury on Thursday convicted former Gov. Don E. Siegelman and a former HealthSouth chief executive, Richard M. Scrushy, on charges that they conspired in a bribery scheme seven years ago. ......

At a news conference after the verdict Thursday, the acting United States attorney, Louis Franklin, praised the jurors for holding Mr. Siegelman and Mr. Scrushy "accountable for what they did." ..........

Yup, sounds good. Darned Republicans and their corrupt culture! Will their perfidy never cease? But still, there was that nagging feeling that it was a little odd ........

Having held most of the state's executive offices, Mr. Siegelman once cast himself as Alabama's first "New South" governor. Considered progressive, he was elected governor in 1998 on the promise to pay college tuition for Alabama students with an education lottery.

... the lottery was a huge bust ... a ballot initiative, the ... campaign cost at least $2 million... which Siegelman personally guaranteed. -- defeated,... by a counter-campaign by religious conservatives ... Siegelman found himself suddenly having to cought up a couple of million bucks......

Therein lies the problem. Helping Siegelman recoup the cost of the lottery campaign was prosecuted as a crime on the premise that a favor was returned. Now return to the top of this post and start a new prosecution.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-01-07 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
6. Bob Riley's Abramoff Problem = Riley's press secretary was Michael Scanlon
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Bob Riley's Abramoff Problem
posted by PoliSciZac | 7:12 AM

..... The whole Abramoff business is pretty sordid and complex. It's been difficult to keep up with all of the details, but it's pretty plain it's not good news for the Republican party, at least at the national level .... Previously I mentioned US Rep Robert Aderholt's (R-Haleyville) tenuous connection to tainted Abramoff money and just yesterday US Sen Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) returned a $1,000 contribution ...

But the Alabama Republicans holding their breath aren't all on Capitol Hill; many are in the Governor's office. During his first term in Congress, Bob Riley's press secretary was Michael Scanlon. After leaving Riley's office Scanlon worked for US Rep Tom Delay (R-TX) and then finally joined the lobbying operation of Jack Abramoff. .. Scanlon has pled guilty to bribing public officials (including congressmen) and defrauding Indian tribes ....

..... Riley penned a fund-raising letter in the late 1990s for the US Family Network which was basically an Abramoff front group.

If this is all the damage to come out of the Abramoff/Scanlon mess then Riley shouldn't take much of a hit. But if there continues to be smoke surrounding the governor's relationship with these two poster children for public corruption....

posted by PoliSciZac | 7:12 AM
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. AP: Records show Scanlon targeted money from gaming for Riley = $75,000
Records show Scanlon targeted money from gaming for Riley
by: The Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Convicted lobbyist Michael Scanlon's records show he had planned to spend $75,000 from one of his Indian gaming clients to help Bob Riley win the Alabama governor's election in 2002.

Scanlon's company ledger shows over eight days in 2001, Scanlon withdrew $75,000 from his company's account and gave $50,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, shortly before the NRCC made a major contribution to Riley's gubernatorial campaign.

The ledger designates .... an expense of $75,000 was for ''Riley'' and that it would be ''per check nrcc,'' ....

The ledger listed the $75,000 under the heading ''Operation Orange,''......

The financial records of Scanlon's company were made public by a U.S. Senate committee that investigated the $66 million Scanlon charged six Native tribes from 2001 to 2003 and deceptions about work that was performed. ..........
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-01-07 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. Josh Marshall = background on Karl Rove, Alabama and William Canary.
June 01, 2007 -- 05:33 PM EDT

... William Canary -- ... he'd talked to Rove about getting the DOJ to take care of Don Siegelman -- is the head of something called the Business Council of Alabama.

The BCoA happens to be the GOP group that brought Rove to Alabama in the early 1990s to help flip the state's Supreme Court to the GOP. My old pal Josh Green detailed the relationship in great depth in this November 2004 article in The Atlantic Monthly ( ).

... Canary knows Rove very well. ... Rove used the vote fraud bamboozlement and charges that his client's opponent was a pedophile to win a court race.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
22. prosecutors are asking the judge to sentence Siegelman to 30 years in prison. Thirty years!
-- Josh Marshall

......Federal prosecutors are asking the judge to sentence Siegelman to 30 years in prison. Thirty years!

Now, given my focus on public corruption in the last few years, far be it from me to call for leniency on crooked pols. But this strikes me as wildly out of line with the sentences I've seen in the last couple years. For some context, Siegelman was acquitted on 25 counts and convicted on seven. With those charges Siegelman didn't pocket any money himself but rather, in the words of the Times, persuaded a wealthy businessman "to pay $500,000 to retire the debt of a political group that had campaigned to win voter approval for a state lottery."

Compare this to Duke Cunningham, perhaps the most brazen and audacious bribetaker in recent decades. Duke to cash payments from multiple federal contractors in exchange for securing defense contracts. Duke got eight years and four months in prison. Duke pleaded out, which probably took some time off his sentence. But nothing Siegelman was convicted of seems even remotely in Duke's league and yet they want to give him a sentence almost four times as long?

What am I missing?
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 04:26 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. You're missing the nature of Alabama courts
They're all Republican. It's a lock down there. Whatever a Republican judge in a lower court rules, it will be upheld by both the Appellate and Supreme Court. I've witnessed first hand the Court of Appeals write decisions that are written around the outcome they wish, with flimsy arguments to "support" their ruling - decisions that would never hold up if seriously challenged. Then the Alabama Supreme Court declines to hear an appeal, and it's all over.

It's vicious down there. You'd think the justice system there was run by a pack of fourth-graders. I mean, literally!

Just watch: they'll do whatever they want to do with absolutely no recourse unless perhaps we get a bunch of press somehow surrounding this. They want his hide, and they'll get it.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-01-07 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. The case was tried as Siegelman sought the Democratic nomination for governor
Former Alabama governor, ex-CEO convicted - Siegelman, Scrushy
AP on Yahoo ^ | 6/29/06 | Bob Johnson - ap
Posted on 06/29/2006 1:26:35 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Former Gov. Don Siegelman and former Health South CEO Richard Scrushy were convicted ... accused of trading government favors for campaign donations when he was governor from 1999 to 2003 and lieutenant governor from 1995 to 1999.

Scrushy was accused of arranging $500,000 in donations to Siegelman's campaign for a state lottery....

The case was tried as Siegelman sought the Democratic nomination for governor, and the trial put him in court during the final weeks of the campaign. He lost to Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley in the June 6 Democratic primary and blamed the charges for his defeat.....

.... defense attorneys said the case was based on the testimony of former Siegelman aide Nick Bailey, lobbyist Lanny Young and toll bridge developer Jim Allen, who they called "scam artists and liars."
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
9. kick Rove and Abramoff
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symbolman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
10. My wife interviewed
Siegelman a few years back, when we were working on a film about Fraudulent elections down there in Alabama, and they STOLE that election, it was a bellweather for the rest of the system, and we've got it all on film.

Riley and pals LOCKED down the courthouse (and I've been in there many times), kicked out ALL the Poll workers, media, etc, and then MOVED thousands of votes electronically from Siegelman's column to HIS. Tried to blame it on a lightning strike in one area, only problem is that there weren't 6500 PEOPLE living in that area, and NO OTHER NUMBERS MOVED.

It was and is the MOST OBVIOUS Voting Fraud ever seen, and it's a FACT. Siegelman went to bed as the winner, and woke up as the loser of the election. When he demanded a recount the corrupt fucks down there threw a Catch 22 at him. In order to Prove Fraud he needed to open the Box, but they wouldn't let him Open the Box, unless he could Prove there was FRAUD.

Cute, eh?

Baldwin county is in my opinion THE MOST CORRUPT Legal system in the united states, and I know first hand. Spent a little Time in their county jail, which has been compared to a South African Prison BY CONGRESS. Oddly enough, while my wife was interviewing Siegelman, I was in the SLAMMER, WHILE doing a FILM about Electronic Voting Fraud.

Small world, ain't it?

ROVE'S fingerprints are ALL OVER THIS. I'm willing to give that fat fuck the cell I was in, let HIM lay on a concrete floor for weeks, while insane people shriek, and the guy next door makes little animals out of his own shit and bites the heads off them. (On a lighter note, there's really nothing funnier than seeing a naked man with a turd in his hand scare the SHIT out of six heavily armed Alabama cops :) )
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Yeah, the vote difference was blamed on a lightning strike...
Edited on Sat Jun-02-07 08:45 AM by demobabe
...on a machine in Magnolia Springs, Alabama. Around 3,000 votes shifted from Siegelman to Riley. Few really odd things here:

1. The machine in question carried about 1,000 votes. Even if ALL 1,000 votes switched from Siegelman to Riley, you still don't have the number of votes for Riley to have won. Doesn't add up.

2. The totals on EVERY SINGLE other race in that election did not change. There was a ZERO difference. If there was a problem with one machine, this would cause the vote totals in ALL races to change. Lightning bolts don't target only one person.

3. The nature of the problem wasn't consistent with a power surge. Lightning bolts would not cause data to be manipulated. Destroyed an unusable is one possibility but not selective data corruption (once again, every race would be affected, not just Don Siegelman).
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Just incredible. This is why controling Justice is so imperative for BUSHco
Without politization of the Justice system, this would not be ignored.

Congress needs to pass some 10-20 year stautes of limitation on public corruption crimes, especially where such actions can unseat the rule of law for an extended time.
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
12. K & R !!!
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
15. K & R
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-03-07 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
20. Conspiracy to violate state election code = "donation of $500,000"
Conspiracy to violate state election code

In Alabama

In 2002, at the "same time that House majority leader Tom DeLay allegedly conspired to send $190,000 in corporate money through the Republican National Committee to candidates for the Texas Legislature," Michael Scanlon, who "was working with Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff on behalf of Indian gaming tribes" and one of DeLay's former aides, made "an even larger donation to the Republican Party," Michael Kranish wrote in the October 1, 2005, Boston Globe.

A "donation of $500,000" in checks from Scanlon's company Capitol Campaign Strategies within weeks "showed up" at the Republican Governors Association as a $600,000 check written by the Republican Party to Bob Riley, "the Republican candidate for Alabama governor."

"One of Abramoff's top clients was a Mississippi Indian tribe, the Choctaws, which hoped to stop or slow the expansion of legalized gambling in neighboring Alabama," Kranish wrote. "Riley opposed the expansion of gambling and thus was favored in the election by the Choctaws. Scanlon, in addition to having once worked for DeLay, also had once worked as a staff member for Riley."

"'It is similar' to the DeLay case, said Melanie Sloan, director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, arguing that that donation's purpose, as in the DeLay case, was to bypass state laws.

"Under Alabama law, a person can give unlimited funds to a state candidate, but a corporation can give no more than $500 per election cycle, according to a spokesman for the Alabama secretary of state. Scanlon's group would have been banned from contributing anything more than $500 to Riley," Kranish wrote.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
21. Did Karl Rove Sic Prosecutors on Former Alabama Gov. Siegelman?
June 2, 2007
Did Karl Rove Sic Prosecutors on Former Alabama Gov. Siegelman?

Any description of the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy that does not include words like tortuous, labyrinthine, or bizarre just doesn't quite capture how strange this case has been. Coming on the heels of Scrushy's acquittal on securities fraud charges, the corruption case against the two men has included allegations of a political witch hunt of Siegelman, who barely lost re-election in 2002 and was running for the Democratic nomination while on trial in 2006. Since the trial, e-mails allegedly between jurors discussing the case have surfaced from an anonymous source and raise questions about possible misconduct, although the court denied a motion for a new trial based on this evidence. A defense motion questioning racial discrimination in the jury selection remains undecided. Allegations that the presiding judge has secret ties to a federal prosecutor through a company in which he was an officer triggered a recusal motion that was denied. Now comes a story in Time (here) alleging that Presidential adviser Karl Rove arranged to have Siegelman investigated by the U.S. Attorney's in the Northern and Middle Districts of Alabama ..............
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-07-07 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
24. The Klu Klux Klan, the Dirty Trickster Attorney, the Web Site, Rove, and the Canary
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-07-07 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
25. Siegelman Filing Says Recommendations "Draconian" a "Life Sentence"
Siegelman Filing Says Recommendations "Draconian" a "Life Sentence"
June 4, 2007 06:28 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala., June 3, 2007 -- Sentencing attorney for former Governor Don Siegelman, Susan James, filed documents in federal court last week outlining Siegelman's objections to the probation officer's presentencing report and says a sentence according to the guideline range would be "draconian."

The government's request for a 30-year sentence is beyond the guideline range and prosecutors have asked the judge to go beyond the guideline range to impose that sentence.

"The government asserts that Defendant Siegelman is deserving of and should receive a sentence of thirty years for the criminal conduct for which he was convicted... The United States asserts that thirty years imprisonment, a fine of $1,000,000, and an order of restitution of $5,239,495 is the most appropriate sentence in this case."

The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines are now advisory and not mandatory for the judge.

James says the "suggested guideline sentence and anything short of probation will violate his Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. In the sentencing memorandum and at sentencing Siegelman plans to argue that other similarly situated individuals with similar charges received substantially less punishment. Further the counts of conviction give the uncontroverted facts do not warrant such a draconian sentence. Additionally, other Governors, including Bob Riley, have received campaign contributions from individuals they have subsequently placed on the CON Board. This was done in the case of Dr. Swaid Swaid who was appointed chairman by Bob Riley after having contributed to the Riley campaign .....................
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AuntPatsy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-07-07 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
26. I still distrust the religious base he coveted with his promises,
Edited on Thu Jun-07-07 11:58 PM by AuntPatsy
they still refuse to understand the harm they helped allow to happen, once again they are pushing for another similar style president for this country and that worries me that they have not learned thier lesson...

I just don't understand thier need to demand this whole country believe in what they do, it is NOT what this country was founded on no matter how much they pretend it was...

Even with the knowledge of this foolish boy king pretended proving to be so devious and evil, they still hold the same agenda and I'm afraid as I said that that will only bring more harm to this country..

I don't want to know what each candidate's personal beliefs are as far as religion, I want to know what they plan on doing about the state of affairs that have gone so far beyond the boundries of honesty and integrity....

Sometimes I think this is why not more are pushing for this administration to be brought to justice for there crimes, they simply don't care about them, they just want them gone so they can infiltrate another of thier pretenders to the throne...

I just get so angry and frustrated that these crimes continue to be so easily pushed to the back burner, this information has been known for so long and yet what is actually being done? Nothing really.

And meanwhile, the real enemy of this country, the corporate interest holders will continue to say anything to appear to appease the once solid bush base...

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-08-07 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Politization of Justice is a particularly difficult conundrum, criminalization is worse
When the very highest law enforcement officials are and represent criminals, there is noone left to arrest them and charge them with their crimes. This situation is akin to cocaine lords controlling banana republics. The constitutional means to correcting such a dilemna are very unsatisfactory, from the perspective of the ordinary citizen, because of the imbalance of powers that result when one branch of government is thoroughly corrupted and one political party is in collusion in the oversight branch.

Nonetheless, the evidence mounts and daily more and more people are aware of the gravity of the situation. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, knows whose side time is on, and now, whose side TIME is on!
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-08-07 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
28. Only in Alabama folks.
Editorials - June 7, 2007
The conference call that never happened
By Bob Martin

Simpson claims she was on a conference call with Bill Canary, president of the Business Council of Alabama, former Supreme Court Justice Terry Butts and Rob Riley, a Birmingham lawyer and son of Gov. Bob Riley, ....

Simpson said she had been troubled by the conference call conversation, and even consulted an official of the State Bar ... She said she ... told several friends about the call, including Mark Bollinger with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, who has given a sworn affidavit.

Canary called the allegations "outrageous" and "the desperate act of a desperate politician." Butts said he did not recall the conversation"it must have been the work of a drunk fiction writer." Rob Riley said he didn't recall making the statement attributed to him, which referred to Siegelman as a "cockroach," and that nobody on the Riley campaign was involved in a conspiracy to bring criminal charges against Siegelman. Leura Canary told The Birmingham News that she didn't know how Siegelman and Scrushy could lay the blame on her for their troubles. She suggested they "look in a mirror."

Siegelman lawyer Susan James' comment was: "That's some powerful stuff," noting that Simpson has sworn under oath to the events.

It should be noted that nobody alleged to have been on the conference call denied the call took place. Perhaps that is because Simpson says she has phone records to back up the date and duration of her phone calls.

Only in Alabama folks.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-09-07 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
29. WA Post: Lawyer Links Rove to Ala. Investigation
Lawyer Links Rove to Ala. Investigation
The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 6, 2007; 9:33 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A lawyer who claims White House aide Karl Rove may have given assurances that federal authorities were investigating a former Alabama governor said Wednesday that she spoke up because she feared justice had not been served.


Siegelman _ who is free and awaiting sentencing June 26 _ said he has been on the opposite side of Rove politically for more than a decade, "so it does not surprise me at all that he has been placed at the scene of the crime, plotting for my political destruction."

Canary and others said to be in on the phone call have denied that any such conversation took place.

White House spokesman Blair Jones on Wednesday evening declined to comment on the claims.

"We have not seen the affidavit," he said. "So we cannot comment on something we have not seen."

Robert Luskin, an attorney for Rove, did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday.


Mark Bollinger, a former aide to a Democratic attorney general and a friend of Simpson's, has signed an affidavit stating that Simpson has told him of the phone call. He said he understands why Simpson waited to reveal details of the call.

"If she had said it in 2002, nobody would have believed her," Bollinger said. That has changed, with President Bush's administration accused of playing politics with Justice Department investigations, he said.
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