America Has Political Prisoners Too!

Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman was sentenced to over seven years of prison and a $50,000 fine in June of 2006 for allegedly appointing someone to a state board position in return for contributions to a referendum campaign; the man had been appointed to the same position by three previous governors. Furthermore, it certainly isn’t uncommon at all to reward allies with ambassadorships. While on the surface this seems like just another corrupt politician, Siegelman may not be the one at fault. Siegelman was the first governor to endorse Al Gore in 2000 and was seen as a growing threat to the Republicans. Now, there is a growing belief that Karl Rove masterminded a plan to frame Siegelman and eliminate his growing threat to the GOP.

The story begins with Siegelman’s re-election bid in 2002, in which he was slated to win by a close margin, but then a recount showed that he had actually lost by a few thousand votes. However, this recount was committed with only Republican election officials present. Requests for another recount were rejected by then-Attorney General William H. Pryor, Jr., a Republican. James H. Gundlach, an Auburn University professor, has said it is highly likely that a from of voter fraud was present:

His paper, “A Statistical Analysis of Possible Electronic Ballot Box Stuffing,” presented at the 2003 annual meeting of the Alabama Political Science Association, makes a firm case that through “relatively simple statistical techniques” one can “identify apparent systematic electronic manipulation of voting results.”

“I make the case that this is an extremely suspicious vote,” he said in a phone interview on July 11, adding that he still stands with his findings to this day and that statisticians at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that his paper was the “strongest statistical evidence of election theft they’ve seen.”

“Computers do not accidentally produce different totals,” he stated in the paper. “Someone is controlling the computer to produce the different results.”

Continues after the jump

Now Republican lawyer Dana Jill Simpson is claiming that Karl Rove was behind the criminal charges as well. She reports that Governor Bob Riley was worried about another election bid from Siegelman and called in Karl Rove to handle the situation. MSNBC’s Dan Abrams had Simpson on his show (which was curiously blacked out in Alabama) where she claimed she had met with Rove to discuss the neutralization of Gov. Siegelman’s threat. However, Rove is saying they have never met as Simpson explained:

Since Karl Rove has said that, and he feels so good about saying that, what I want him to do is go and swear in front of the United States Congress and swear what he is saying is true. … Karl Rove has refused to do so. … I met with Karl Rove probably three times. … I also talked to him multiple times.

Simpson claims that she overheard one of Karl Rove’s aides saying Rove had convinced the Department of Justice to pursue Alabama’s most powerful Democrat in a highly Republican state. She also claims that the son of Siegelman’s competitor in the 2002 election, Rob Riley Jr., told her that his father had contacted Rove in order to persuade him to convince the Department of Justice to take down Siegelman. Simpson also says that Riley Jr. predicted which judge would take Siegelman’s case who would “hang him” because of a pre-existing grudge. Riley Jr. was also able to name the charges which Siegelman would eventually be convicted of. Furthermore, the case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Leura Canary whose husband had run the Riley election campaign.

Siegelman is now incarcerated at a federal prison camp in Louisiana without the option of bail until appeal, which is an obvious decision as this man is clearly a threat to society. The appeal cannot go forward until the transcript from his 2006 trial is available, which Judge Mark Fuller has been accused of suppressing. Recently, 52 former state attorney-generals, Republican and Democrats alike, are calling on Congress to investigate this fishy ordeal. The former attorney general of Arizona, Grant Woods, says the case should never have gone to trial.

“The prosecutor’s gotta look at it and say, ‘Hey, is this the sort of thing that we’re really talking about when we’re talking about bribery?’ Because what the public needs to know here is there is no allegation that Don Siegelman ever put one penny in his pocket. You do a bribery when someone has a real personal benefit. Not, ‘Hey, I would like for you to help out on this project which I think is good for my state.’ If you’re going to start indicting people and putting them in prison for that, then you might as well just build nine or ten new federal prisons because that happens everyday in every statehouse, in every city council, and in the Congress of the United States

Karl Rove and other White House officials were subpoenaed to appear before Congress to testify, but refused to appear. Not only that, but the Justice Department refuses to release hundreds of documents related to the case. There is no reason for the Court of Appeals to hold this man; Congress needs to order his release until an appeal can be arranged. Furthermore, those behind this scandal must be held accountable as it is one of the most blatant forms of corruption in our self-proclaimed democracy.

The changing of the guards: Bay Minette, election night – [Baldwin County NOW]
Rove Linked to Alabama Case – [Time]
Did Ex-Alabama Governor Get A Raw Deal? – [CBS]
Jailed governor’s daughter accuses judge of delaying appeal – [The Raw Story]

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4 Responses

  1. Karl’s watching us right now.

    Be careful.

  2. I think Karl just peeked in through my bedroom window…..perv

  3. it’s safe to say that if you don’t want Karl keeping tabs on you, clear this website from your browser history

  4. […] the committee to testify about his role in framing former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman for bribery (“America Has Politica Prisoners Too!”). Siegelman was beginning to have growing influence in the Democratic Party, being the first […]

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