Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

Killing Atticus Finch… Really?

 


Former long tenured aide and campaign manager Chip Hill exclaims we’re “Killing Atticus Finch!” (a.k.a. his old boss Don Siegelman) in the video shilling for ‘kickstarter’ contributions to continue showcasing this embarrassment to our State. This recent iteration of political campaigning in our Montgomery federal court claimed 138 backers pledging $10,725 of the $125,000 goal as of Mr. Siegelman’s December 15 court appearance before Judge Clay Land of Georgia. I couldn’t find the donor list - perhaps there are no disclosure requirements in campaigns of this sort to dispel speculation it is driven by those who wish to keep political corruption alive and well in our State and nation. No doubt a great deal of resources have been devoted to Mr. Siegleman’s legal defense revisiting the same failed appeal attempt of Mr. Scrushy.

Siegelman is no stranger to political grandstanding of this sort. One of his more infamous (on par with this recent sideshow) stunts was shamelessly dumping a trailer on Goat Hill to ‘show the state of education in Alabama.’ Too bad this effort wasn’t devoted toward the efficacy of using trailers in many instances to not saddle our children with more debt & taxes. In fact, Don is a long established member of the Republocrat politburo. Crony contracts for construction companies to trump up campaign contributions matter more than our students’ future. Similarly, crony contracts to providers of educational materials drive the current Bush, Hubbard, et al ‘Common Core’ blitz. Now a federal prisoner (forecasted to remain incarcerated till 2018, then final discharge 2021) Mr. Siegelman had a much less noteworthy record of actually curbing corruption as Secretary of State [1979-1987] Attorney General [1987-1991] Lt. Governor [1995-1999] and Governor of Alabama [1999-2003] when he actually held positions to address this cancer increasingly retarding our State.

For those unfamiliar with the case, Mr. Siegelman (evoking Nixonian flashbacks) claims he’s done nothing wrong, since most of his fellow politicians have done the same… How can one justify putting all politicians like him in jail? Thankfully Judge Mark Fuller did not succumb to this flawed, immoral reasoning and Mr. Obama has not yet followed the despicable spirit of our worst unelected president in US History - Gerald R. Ford. Sadly, Mr. Ford (himself a beneficiary of ‘quid-pro-quo’ political corruption) set the bar most consider the ‘new normal.’ Many politicians (including presidents) now consider themselves above prosecution for their crimes; transparency and consequences of malfeasance are no longer a constraint nor consideration of the modern politician who only answers to the limited access, controlled ballot box and increasingly unjust courts. In June 2009 Obama’s DOJ correctly requested an impressive INCREASE of his original 7 years sentence to 20 years, which offered further promise Obama may not pardon this case of ‘politics as usual.’ If politicians were indeed afraid those of poor character, integrity and corrupt actions were often placed in prison (like Messrs. Butts, Scrushy, Siegelman, et al) it may clean up the political sewer we currently observe.

As Alabama’s governor he appointed HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to a powerful health care board which plays a prominent role in determining wealth transfers in our State, rife with cronyism. Recently indicted Speaker Hubbard taking money from insurance companies to mandate auto-insurance and protect them from competition/enforce monopoly power over consumers is an example from the other side of the isle. Siegelman championed a State run lottery to further corrupt/distort the ‘third person payment problem’ decaying education in Alabama. Scrushy raised/contributed $250,000 for the lottery campaign. After this ‘down payment’ Siegelman appointed him to the board.

The govt. lottery scam didn’t pass, leaving substantial campaign debt for the failed promise of largess to minions; the same position Gov. Riley found himself in when his Amendment One tax explosion failed. George Will’s February 10, 2012 Washington Post text asserted, “Siegelman and a wealthy Alabamian guaranteed a loan to pay it off, but Siegelman and others raised sufficient money — including another $250,000 from Scrushy through his company — to retire it. Note that half of the contributions involving Scrushy came after his appointment to the board.” In other words, this time Scrushy wanted to be certain he was on the board to redistribute wealth in his favor BEFORE he would pay the remainder after his “earnest money” secured ‘the Don’s offer’ who’d shown he couldn’t deliver on largess promises. Mr. Will, increasingly more the ‘pro-politburo pundit’ (on George Stephanopoulos’ This Week (ABC) political ‘talking head’ program) has joined the chorus of those wanting to decriminalize political corruption.

Indeed, not all campaign contributions are bribes, but the jury which convicted Messrs. Scrushy and Siegelman in 2006 determined it was in this case. Sadly, the bureaucrat included in the same litigation, who had a much more defined money trail of paying for favoritism was NOT convicted. Perhaps this director having to suffer what he’d made so many victims endure while defending themselves against abusive/wrongful takings and other civil right violations under his ‘quid pro quo’ tenure may deter other despicable bureaucrats from doing more of the same. Too often abusers have been aided and abetted by federal judges like Thompson and political hacks like Barron, Bedford, Davis, Ford, Little, Hubbard, Rogers, Riley, Sessions, Sewell, Shelby, et al who care little about our civil rights. Furthermore, it is rare when Thompson can not manipulate the system to discriminate/protect his thugs at ALDoT from trial; another reason to remove a Judge like Fuller who WILL allow trials of this sort under Thompson’s corrupt stewardship. Sometimes a crook (like former Director Jimmy Butts) actually spends time behind bars when justice can somehow result out of Thompson’s dysfunctional district. Until replaced by a jurist who cares about our civil rights, results like the Butts, Scrushy, Siegelman type righteous outcomes will continue to be few - even less likely upon removing Judges like Fuller who will allow juries to hear political corruption cases to help move our State forward.

Praising establishment Republocrat shills like George Will defending current ‘quid pro quo’ corruption to specifically avoid more American politicians winding up in the federal slammer if more prosecution of this type is applied across the board, the Siegelman attack machine relentlessly when after Judge Mark Fuller who presided over the 2006 jury convictions. Asserting ties from Bill & Leura Canary to Karl Rove and business associations which make Scrushy look like a piker, they assert Judge Fuller should have recused himself from the case so Myron Thompson could take the case or play the docket game yet again. With little veracity to these specific claims against Fuller (although a $178 million crony contract which would further entangle some of the powerful players up to the national level is noticeably not mentioned) another way to remove this federal judge became a politburo priority. The gang of thieves in Montgomery and their minions couldn’t allow a federal judge to continue permitting corruption cases going before juries - esp. when ties to the corrupt were connecting back to national level with names like Abramoff in the mix.

Judge Fuller displayed remarkable acumen thwarting efforts to take the case away from him. I have first hand knowledge of Judge Thompson removing cases from competent judges (true ‘Atticus Finch’ types like Susan Walker) who consistently render sound rulings upholding civil rights he didn’t like. Incompetent Congressmen like Riley and now Rogers informed of this malfeasance and corruption by ‘public servants’ in our federal courts have made it clear they will not investigate/impeach this sort of easily verified subterfuge in the court docket. With no Congressional oversight, this is the expected outcome. Yet NOW there’s the hue and cry to impeach/remove Fuller? Clearly the 11th Circuit has also shown no interest in monitoring/disciplining Thompson actions. The US Supreme Court, which showed some promise of improving before Roberts’ installment will no longer provide relief, esp. with newly minted justices like Kagan & Sotomayor in place who also support decriminalization of political corruption.

Opportunity to turn up the heat on removing Fuller ‘suddenly materialized’ on August 29 via a domestic violence charge, recently pleaded to avoid prosecution and remove this misdemeanor arrest from his record. Not willing to chance a sitting federal judge like Fuller may uniformly apply justice on other ‘public servants’ indicted on even greater acts of corruption; the politburo wants the Siegelman outcome reversed and forgotten. Destroying a judge’s career (esp. one who’s shown willingness to discipline ‘quid pro quo’ corruption) means nothing to these political animals; they’ve already destroyed many lives without remorse in pursuit of their avarice. It appears this tactic has proven successful enough to re-run the ‘domestic violence’ play against others who won’t stand on the stage in support of serial corruption in our State…

This opened the floodgate of politburo members fearing uniform prosecution. Some like Rep. Mike Rogers (after shilling for one recently indicted on 23 felony counts of political corruption) were easy to predict along with fellow ‘public servants’ like Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby, Bradley Byrne, Spencer Bachus, et al types wanting to pave the way for blocking future prosecution of BCA political hacks mired in recent indictments. Also easy to predict were Terri Sewell, U.W. Clemon, et al types calling for the impeachment/removal of a judge who allows juries to hear corruption cases; noticeably absent making a call to impeach the worst records on keeping up case loads and disciplining civil right violations in the district.

Fear Alabama may again be a birthplace for sparking a movement to stand against corruption and tyranny is revealed by others wanting to thwart efforts to curb ‘quid pro quo’ corruption in our State and nation. Little surprise over 100 former AGs stand in support of Siegelman’s clarion call for decriminalization of this sort of corruption. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) also joined the chorus of removing this specific judge while turning a blind eye to others much worse, but champions of big govt. corruption. Thankfully Terri Sewell’s hypocrisy to incite protests demanding Judge Fuller resign were as weak in number as is her record on truly caring about and fighting for civil rights in our State. To see so few show in support of Siegelman political grand standing appearance in Judge Land’s courtroom also lends a bit a hope that the hucksters are becoming increasingly less effective.

Even more noticeably absent is any argument Judge Fuller has lost his mental abilities to accomplish his case load, his docket performance has been poor, failure to adhere to the letter and spirit of the Constitution is even worse than others, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that kind of scrutiny and call for removal of OTHER federal judges in the district with worse records than Judge Fuller? I hope folks will remember to request impeachment/removal of other federal judges from this esteemed group of outspoken politicians as the usurpations of power continue in our district and across the nation…

60 Minutes asserting Mr. Siegelman was in the “Wrong Political Party” (as if the party engaged in bribery, conspiracy and obstruction of justice matters) gets at the heart of the matter. Party is not an issue when anyone in the politburo, Democrat or Republican may now be subject to prosecution for their corruption. Fueling fear among the duopoly is $20 million in laundering gambling money (as if the exact type of graft really matters) appears to be small potatoes and will not be contained to just Abramoff criminals. It could be a bad day for many political thieves if they can’t put that disinfectant back in the bottle. Arrogant BCA thugs never dreamed they couldn’t control the process to ONLY remove those getting in the way of THEIR ‘quid pro quo’ deals. Few sincerely doubt Hubbard, Riley, Rove, et al wanted Siegelman gone; not because they cared about chilling political corruption but because THEY wanted to be in control of the wealth transfer in their favor. Easy to understand ‘circling the wagons’ now to protect the duopoly as recent fears of justice (esp. with recent indictments) may apply to BOTH “Wrong Parties” even with the successful campaign to get ‘the intractable Fuller’ out of the way (temporarily at least) by removing his caseload. Give Republocrats credit for that difficult accomplishment.

This is the reason we’ve currently troubled Judge Clay Land to come from Georgia to revisit Siegelman’s continued whiney efforts seeking early release from this jury determination as the appeal again makes it way through federal court. Siegelman genuinely appears to believe he deserves special treatment to be released temporarily while awaiting the appellate case resolution forecasted to be heard next month in the 11th Circuit. Similarly argued appeal of Scrushy’s jury conviction failed, yet we are wasting more court time and taxpayer money for Siegelman, who showed little concern for taxpayers and citizens rights when destroying their lives. It would be a travesty to allow release (esp. after wasting time and resources for him to make the unnecessary 10 day trip from the Oakdale, LA federal prison) for an appeal which already failed under similar circumstances. Not that one of Mr. Siegelman’s character and integrity would miss an opportunity to do more campaigning and spin to make it appear it was a ‘good sign’ Judge Land wanted to see him in person. In fact the request to appear was a ‘clerical error’ according to WSFA’s news report and once found Judge Land gave Siegelman the opportunity to decide. A man unable to see himself for the corrupt politician he is in fact (regardless of the jury determination) without contrition or concern for the burden he’s been and continues to be on our State and nation, Siegelman chose more political grandstanding in Montgomery this holiday season… no surprise there.

Killing Atticus Finch? - shame on you Mr. Hill… that dog won’t hunt with those who remember how your office said “we’d like to give property owners their rights, but it would take too much time,” when making them homeless from the houses they’d paid off/been in their families for decades. Witnessing first hand the harm Siegelman and his minions have done makes it difficult to care yet another of his holidays will be spent away from family, even if his family may not deserve to suffer because Don is evil and shows little sign of saving himself. May Chip Hill and his fellow accomplices find themselves residing in darkness with Mr. Siegelman following their most important final judgment for knowingly supporting deeds of this sort of their own free will. Continued grand standing and wrongfully shrilling this rhetoric instead of heralding those working hard to successfully remove corruption indeed kills the Spirit Atticus represented.

Many thanks to Judge Land seeing through the despicable “Free Don” tactics and may he accept my apology as one Alabamian who applauds the efforts of our few true Atticus Finch type officers of our courts I’ve observed in our State who’ve successfully removed Butts, Scrushy, Siegelman types from positions to do even more harm. The “Free Don” cabal of Democrats and the “Storming the Jailhouse” Republicans in fear of further prosecution of political corruption would ALL be ashamed of wasting this good Judge’s time and effort not to mention taxpayer money -- if they had the requisite level of intelligence and integrity to experience shame.

 

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