• The Shameful Saga Of Don Siegelman.

    A few days ago, former Alabama governor Don Siegelman was re-sentenced on bribery charges and sent back to prison. Siegelman has to serve 78 months in addition to the time he's already served, plus spend the preceding 36 months on probation and pay restitution of approximately $50,000.

    Siegelman's re-sentencing caps off the systemic destruction of the Alabama Democrat party, namely by removing many of the most powerful progressive politicians from the picture. The epic Electronic Bingo Boogaloo saga brushed away many of these figures, with the side benefit of securing the interests of Mississippi gambling concerns and those of the casinos located on Native American lands throughout the state. Today, the state of Alabama is, for all intents and purposes, a one-party state led solely by the Republicans.

    This is also a hard-hitting lesson on why it's important for new administrations to clean house. Without Bush-era holdovers like Leura Canary and hubby Bill Canary, this entire investigation would have fallen apart before it grew legs. Mentioning Karl Rove's name in this mess will surely draw cries of conspiratorial thinking from conservatives, but his involvement in positioning former GOP governor Bob Riley's ascension is recorded, noted and undeniable:

    According to the Alabama RNC source, Rove met regularly with operatives for the Riley campaign. The source’s allegations are confirmed in part by campaign disclosure forms, which show that Windom paid Canary as a consultant between 1999 and early 2001 and later received large contributions from Canary’s business partner, a pattern that is duplicated with Riley and Canary.

    According to public records, Windom paid Canary’s firm $38,022 for consulting and polling between 1999 and 2001. At the same time, PACs associated with Canary’s business partner, Patrick McWhorter, donated heavily to Windom’s campaign, contributing $149,000 in 2001 and another $75,000 in 2002.

    After Windom lost the primary, PACs associated with McWhorter and Canary switched their donations to Bob Riley, giving him $85,000 in the days immediately preceding the November election. After the election victory, Windom emerged immediately as a close confidant of Riley’s, advising him on the appointment of a new Insurance Commissioner, Walter A. Bell, and other matters. Canary also emerged as a key Riley advisor.

    Public records also show that at the same time Canary was consulting for Bob Riley’s campaign, his lobbying group, the Business Council for Alabama, donated $678,000 to the campaign of his client. This was the third largest donation the campaign received, exceeded only by those from the Republican National State Elections Committee, for $2,475,000, and from Bob Riley himself, who contributed $1,070,000 to his own campaign.
    Here's a lovely flowchart provided by Raw Story

    Fellow blogger Legal Schnauzer has been on this case for quite a while, with a volume of detailed and in-depth blog posts to boot. You can follow the "Don Siegelman" tag and read to your heart's content, but here are a few posts that stand out IMHO:

    Judge In Siegelman Case Displays Monumental Arrogance and a Seriously Faulty Memory

    Siegelman Resentencing Serves as a Grim Reminder That His Prosecution Was Bogus from the Outset

    Justice Department Lawyer Has Conflict of Interest In SCOTUS Review of Siegelman Convictions