Blackout

The story of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and how he ended up in prison is an extraordinary story that I haven’t been paying close enough attention to until recently. 60 Minutes dug into the story over the weekend (video here) and makes it clear what can happen when people who are supposed to be carrying out justice are instead pursuing political ends (and for reasons that are still somewhat unclear, the broadcast of 60 Minutes was blacked out in parts of Alabama for just the Siegelman story). The whole thing is chilling, and Larisa Alexandrovna has a post that rounds up the reporting done at Raw Story and elsewhere.

Comments

  1. 1

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Too bad for the republican dictators in Alabama “The Internets” save the day and those oppressed people living there can still get the information. I never realized just how much living in Alabama would be like living in Communist China. Must make the wingers proud!

  2. 2

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    Stupid justice department, they should know only republicans commit crimes that should be prosecuted. Democrats should get a free pass.

  3. 3

    ArtFart spews:

    First they came for the Democrats in Alabama, and I remained silent because I wasn’t a Democrat and didn’t live in Alabama…

  4. 4

    GBS spews:

    @ 1:

    Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Stop the parade!

    The politicians and the media know what’s best for the good citizens of Alabama to watch and more importantly, what NOT to watch on the TV. OK. Got it?

    The US Constitution is NOT a living breathing document. The Republicans strangled it to death years ago.

    Don’t you know your history?? The US Constitution was written paper made from hemp by a bunch of long-haired Liberals for God’s sake!!

  5. 6

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    #5 Lee says:

    Marvin, what did Siegelman do that any other Governor (D or R) hasn’t done?

      
    Oh, so others did it siegelman should be able to get away with it? I thought pelosi promised to clean up the culture of corru[ption.
      
    But the bottom line is, was what he did illegal? If he was a republican would you still be defending him using the mantra, others have done it?

  6. 7

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    #3 ArtFart says:

    First they came for the Democrats in Alabama, and I remained silent because I wasn’t a Democrat and didn’t live in Alabama…

       
    And the democrats did nothing except wait for a government program to do for them.
    Don’t worry, if obama gets elected he’ll pardon all the democrat criminals. It’s part of his hope and change program.

  7. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The fascists also railroaded an innocent Wisconsin state employee to prison. It took a federal appeals judge to spring her.

  8. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Republicans pay lip service to “freedom” but the only
    due process you’ll get from them is the Trotskyite kind.

  9. 10

    Richard Pope spews:

    Lee @ 5

    Don Siegelman was convicted by a jury, on a beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard, of various corruption charges for actions committed while he was Governor of Alabama. Sure, it is very easy for a political “Justice” Department to selectively prosecute, or even selectively persecute, and a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich. But a jury conviction is usually pretty hard to obtain, when a defendant has competent counsel (not always the case in real life, but Siegelman’s defense team was very competent), unless the defendant is actually guilty of the crime in question.

    If the issue is simply one of selective prosecution, wouldn’t the remedy be to get an impartial and professional team into the Justice Department, and prosecute all those Republican crooks who have so far gotten away with misdeeds far more serious than what Siegelman was convicted of? Also, to commute Siegelman’s sentence (a la Scooter Libby, perhaps), if his punishment has been greater than other criminal politicians.

  10. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “A Woman Wrongly Convicted and a U.S. Attorney Who Kept His Job

    “By ADAM COHEN
    “Published: April 16, 2007
    “Madison, Wis.

    “Opponents of Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin spent $4 million on ads last year trying to link the Democratic incumbent to a state employee who was sent to jail on corruption charges. The effort failed, and Mr. Doyle was re-elected — and now the state employee has been found to have been wrongly convicted. The entire affair is raising serious questions about why a United States attorney put an innocent woman in jail.

    “The conviction of Georgia Thompson has become part of the furor over the firing of eight United States attorneys in what seems like a political purge. While the main focus of that scandal is on why the attorneys were fired, the Thompson case raises questions about why other prosecutors kept their jobs.

    “The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which heard Ms. Thompson’s case this month, did not discuss whether her prosecution was political — but it did make clear that it was wrong. And in an extraordinary move, it ordered her released immediately, without waiting to write a decision. ‘Your evidence is beyond thin,’ Judge Diane Wood told the prosecutor. ‘I’m not sure what your actual theory in this case is.’

    “Members of Congress should ask whether it was by coincidence or design that Steven Biskupic, the United States attorney in Milwaukee, turned a flimsy case into a campaign issue that nearly helped Republicans win a pivotal governor’s race.

    “There was good reason for the appeals court to be shocked. Ms. Thompson, a 56-year-old single woman, seems to have lost her home and spent four months in prison simply for doing her job. Ms. Thompson … was responsible for putting the state’s travel account up for competitive bid. Mr. Biskupic claimed that she awarded the contract to an agency … because its C.E.O. contributed to Mr. Doyle’s campaign.

    “To charge her, Mr. Biskupic had to look past a mountain of evidence of innocence. Ms. Thompson was … a civil servant, hired by a Republican governor, with no identifiable interest in politics. She was only one member of a seven-person committee that evaluated the bidders. She was not even aware of the [company's] campaign contributions. She also had a good explanation for her choice: of the 10 travel agencies that competed, [the company] submitted the lowest-cost bid.

    “While Ms. Thompson did her job conscientiously, that is less clear of Mr. Biskupic. The decision to award the contract — the supposed crime — occurred in Madison, in the jurisdiction of Wisconsin’s other United States attorney. But for reasons that are hard to understand, the Milwaukee-based Mr. Biskupic swept in and took the case.

    While he was investigating, … Mr. Biskupic informed the media. Justice Department guidelines say federal prosecutors can publicly discuss investigations before an indictment only under extraordinary circumstances. …

    “The prosecution proceeded on a schedule that worked out perfectly for the Republican candidate for governor. Mr. Biskupic announced Ms. Thompson’s indictment in January 2006. She went to trial that summer, and was sentenced in late September, weeks before the election. …

    “[T]he Thompson case was ‘the No. 1 issue’ in the governor’s race …. In a barrage of commercials, Mr. Doyle’s opponents created an organizational chart that linked Ms. Thompson … to the governor. Ms. Thompson appeared in an unflattering picture, stamped ‘guilty,’ and in another ad, her name was put on a graphic of jail-cell doors slamming shut. …

    “According to some Wisconsin politicians, Karl Rove said that their state was his highest priority among governor’s races in 2006, because he believed a Republican governor could help the party win Wisconsin in the 2008 presidential election.

    “Mr. Biskupic insists that he prosecuted Ms. Thompson only because he believed a crime was committed …. Congress has asked the Justice Department for all e-mail messages about the case to help resolve the matter. …

    “One of the biggest weaknesses in the case against Ms. Thompson was that to commit the crime she was charged with she had to have tried to gain personally from the contract, and there’s no credible evidence that she did. So Mr. Biskupic made the creative argument that she gained by obtaining ‘political advantage for her superiors’ and that in pleasing them she ‘enhanced job security for herself.’ Those motivations … describe why Mr. Biskupic prosecuted Ms. Thompson.”

    Quoted under fair use; for complete story and/or copyrigh info see http://tinyurl.com/yntzn9

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Mrs. Thompson can’t sue Stevie Biskupic for malicious prosecution because of prosecutors have immunity. But that Nazi son of a bitch sure as hell can be disbarred.

  11. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The theory behind giving prosecutors and judges immunity from civil lawsuits is to prevent angry defendants from interfering with the exercise of impartial professional judgment by harassing them with countless frivolous lawsuits. I support that concept; it’s necessary to the smooth functioning of our justice system.

    The recourse for abuse of prosecutorial authority is at the ballot box. Before you even consider voting for any Republican ever again, remember that the GOP is the party that railroads innocent people into jail (or worse) without due process of law — for their own self-aggrandizing partisan gain.

    The GOP used to be a mainstream political party. No more. All the respectable Republicans (e.g., Richard Pope) got run off, and the Republican Party is run by Stalinist and Nazi sons of bitches now.

    Remember that when you vote.

  12. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    A case like Mrs. Thompson’s is deeply, profoundly, button-pushing offensive. That scheming Republican bastard should never be allowed to practice law again in any state.

  13. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @10 I beg to differ, Richard. As the Thompson case shows, you can get a petit jury to convict a ham sandwich or an innocent person. And as you well know, prosecutors have a professional and ethical duty to prosecute only people they legitimately believe have committed a crime, and as officers of the court, are obligated to administer justice impartially and not for partisan purposes.

  14. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Some of chimpface’s U.S. attorneys are people barely out of law school whose only qualification for this important office was party loyalty.

  15. 16

    proud leftist spews:

    Richard @ 10
    Have you stepped in front of a jury lately? Have you done voir dire and tried to keep your eyes from popping when you get some of the most twisted views on “justice” that you might ever want to hear? Juries do really stupid things. I am, nonetheless, a supporter of the jury system only because I trust judges even less. Our system is, inevitably and unfortunately, imperfect. And, Marvin Stamn is an idiot.

  16. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Leura Garrett Canary is the United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. She is married to career Republican activist William (Bill) Canary. …

    “Canary … has come under scrutiny concerning the prosecution of Don Siegelman, a former Democratic Alabama Governor, for conflicts of interest. …

    “On June 1, 2007 it became public knowledge that a Republican activist, lawyer Dana Jill Simpson of Rainsville, Alabama, filed a sworn statement suggesting Leura Canary was directed to use her office for political purposes.

    “Recently, … Congress requested documents related to the prosecution of former Governor Don Siegelman …. The DOJ has not … complied with this request.”

    Excerpted under fair use; for complete Wikipedia entry see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leura_Canary

    Roger Rabbit Comment: The Siegelman case stinks to high heaven. It also should be noted that Siegelman was defeated for re-election in a controversial election that is widely believed to have been stolen with rigged voting machines.

  17. 19

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Republican 101 – if a republican is convicted of a crime – as a republican you should defend him by saying – “well Democrats are crooks too.” Because that makes everything okay.

  18. 20

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    #18 Roger Rabbit says:

    Marvin Stamm wouldn’t know what a law is if one bit him in the ass.

      
    If I feel rabbit teeth on my ass not only will I be having roasted rabbit I’ll sell your paws as lucky rabbit feet to unsuspecting democrat children.

  19. 21

    Don Joe spews:

    Richard,

    I don’t think this case is about selective prosecution. There are open issues regarding the judge’s impartiality, prosecutorial misconduct and jury pre-deliberation. It’s not horribly difficult to get a bad conviction if any one of those three isn’t playing by the rules. When you have all three, judge, prosecutor and jury stepping out of line, the odds of an innocent man spending time in jail go through the roof. That’s why we have such rules in the first place.

  20. 22

    Don Joe spews:

    If I feel rabbit teeth on my ass…

    You know what? Given how poorly you did on the jazz history part of my little quiz, I think you should change your screen name to something more appropriate–like, say, Daffy Duck. He had a pretty good relationship with rabbits.

  21. 23

    spews:

    @10
    Richard, you may want to watch the 60 Minutes video before you stick your foot further into your mouth. Laws were broken by the prosecutors during the trial (Siegelman’s attorneys were denied documents that legally they should have had access to).

    @6
    But the bottom line is, was what he did illegal?

    No. What he did was the equivalent of a President rewarding someone with an Ambassadorship because he had been a wealthy donor to a pet cause.

    If he was a republican would you still be defending him using the mantra, others have done it?

    Absolutely. What basis do you have to doubt me on that? Where have a displayed such hypocrisy in the past? Please enlighten me.

  22. 24

    spews:

    @6
    Oh, so others did it siegelman should be able to get away with it? I thought pelosi promised to clean up the culture of corru[ption.

    Siegelman was the Governor of the state of Alabama from 1999 to 2003. Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House in 2006. The fact that somehow the two are related in your head is great evidence that your head needs to be examined – badly.

  23. 25

    Ed Weston spews:

    Looks like a few dug though the story. Siegalman’s trial doesn’t look like justice’s finest hour. Two of the juror’s, including the foreman, seem to be compromised. Why wasn’t he allowed freedom for the appeals process? Shipped though the Federal jail system too various sites? And pretty much held incomunicto from family, supporters, and the much malined media?
    Karl Rove seems like a good place to start asking questions. Only if he allows it though, seems to be problem number one.

  24. 26

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Karl Rove won’t answer to his crimes in his lifetime, because he’ll flee the country with his master to escape prosecution after the election. However, he will answer to them when St. Peter asks him about it.

    If you believe that kind of thing…..

  25. 28

    Ekim spews:

    At least the GOP is honest about one thing. Even a casual glance at the GOP symbol reveals a tell tale symbol of evil: the inverted pentagram, also known as the sigil of Baphomet, the mark of the Satanist and the sign of the Goat. Hmmm… Maybe that explains why Bush was reading My Pet Goat up side down on 9/11.

    (Content plagiarized from http://www.hiddenmysteries.org.....01-05.html)

  26. 30

    Ekim spews:

    So is the GOP leadership a bunch of Satanists? It would explain a lot about their casual disregard for the law and the Constitution. They respect and obey a “Higher Power.”

  27. 31

    Richard Pope spews:

    Lee @ 23

    I actually TRIED to watch the 60 minutes broadcast. The video on the link you provided kept cutting out at about 2:50 into the clip. Perhaps the same phenomenon that blacked out 60 minutes in northern Alabama. If you can find a better link to the 60 minutes segment, I would be happy to watch it. Since the video clip didn’t really work, and there was no article explaining things linked to it, I simply assumed the jury had enough evidence to support the conviction that they returned.

  28. 32

    Richard Pope spews:

    Ed Weston @ 25

    The federal system isn’t too big on allowing convicted defendants to be released pending appeal. Even Scooter Libby was supposed to report to prison pending appeal, before George W. Bush gave him the “Get Out of Jail Free!” card. Nor does this happen too much in Washington on felony convictions either. Some states actually give a constitutional right to be bailed pending appeal — for example, Louisiana guarantees bail to someone sentenced to five years or less, and I think bail is possible in Mississippi for someone who doesn’t have a life sentence. Probably Siegelman would have been eligible for bail pending appeal, had he been convicted in an Alabama state court, instead of a federal court.

  29. 34

    spews:

    @31
    Richard, sorry you’re having trouble with the link. I haven’t had any problems, but it may be getting a lot of traffic today. TPM has a lot of good information and videos about this case as well. Scott Horton at Harper’s has been following it too. I’m still catching up on all of the details, but I don’t assume for a second that just because a jury convicted someone that there was nothing improper about the trial. Hell, some of the Tulia defendants were sent to prison by juries.

  30. 36

    Richard Pope spews:

    Okay, I finally watched the video. I wish I had thought to look at CBS News directly. Instead, I found one copy of the whole thing on YouTube, and it was grainy as all hell. Sound quality was perfectly okay, even the video was decent enough — sort of like my own television, since I am too cheap and principled to pay $50 a month for cable either.

  31. 37

    spews:

    @36
    Yeah, paying for cable TV sometimes feels like buying a truckload of produce just to eat a few apples, but if you have a DVR at least you can eat the tastiest apples on the truck. :)

  32. 38

    slingshot spews:

    This case needs a special prosecuter with broad powers to follow the stinking rats into their plague-infested shitholes.

  33. 39

    Richard Pope spews:

    Jill Simpson was extremely credible in presenting factual issues, and Grant Woods was very credible on presenting legal issues and advocating Siegelman’s case. Even more so, given that both of them are very dedicated Republicans.

    Frankly, I can’t see a case for “bribery”, even if the factual allegations were believable in the criminal case. How do you prosecute someone, based on getting a nice state appointment in exchange for a large contribution to CHARITY?

  34. 40

    Richard Pope spews:

    Roger Rabbit @ 12

    Judicial immunity is not a legal principle found in either the federal or state constitutions, nor in any federal or state statutes. It is merely case law — a legal principle established by judges to protect themselves and prosecutors. Judicial immunity can be modified or eliminated simply by statutory enactment.

  35. 41

    Richard Pope spews:

    On the other hand, most potential claims that would be barred by judicial immunity would be downright frivolous. Do we really want Judge Roger Rabbit to be sued by some nutcase, who refuses to pay child support, because Judge Rabbit says that license suspension by DSHS is indeed appropriate under the statute? Most of the arguments in support of judicial immunity deal with the burdens that would be imposed on judges and prosecutors having to defend against frivolous lawsuits, and do not propose any effective remedy for people like the civil servant lady in Wisconsin, who lost her life savings, good name, time, and probably some liberty as well defending against a totally baseless political persecution.

  36. 42

    proud leftist spews:

    41
    Judges have power, remarkable power, as do prosecutors. Our American system prefers checks on power, appropriately so. On the other hand, as you note, frivolous claims against both judges and prosecutors would inundate our legal system if suits against them were not restricted. Balance, on this issue, is hard to locate. Absolute immunity weighs too much on the side of judges and prosecutors, I think.

  37. 43

    Richard Pope spews:

    One of the biggest problems with federal judges is that they are appointed for life, and can be removed from office only by the extraordinary remedy of impeachment — based upon a House indictment and Senate conviction for a criminal offense (“high crimes and misdemeanors”). Impeachment is done by a Senate court, and based on civil standards, but still requires the finding of an underlying crime.

    So even if a federal judge commits an egregious violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, they can only be publicly humiliated by an adverse finding by the federal judicial “disciplinary” system, but cannot actually be removed from office. Even if other judges take action to strip the offender of their personal staff, courthouse office, and the ability to actually decide cases, they will still draw their regular salary for the rest of their natural life. They can only be removed from office (and their lifetime salary), if convicted of an actual impeachment, which must be based on an actual criminal offense, instead of merely an ethics violation.

    We used to have a similar problem in the State of Washington. In previous times, a judge could be removed from office only by the regular impeachment process (requiring a criminal violation finding — or malfeasance in office — a ground not found in the federal constitution, regular majority of House to impeach, 2/3 majority of Senate to remove) or by a special process where 3/4 of the entire membership of each house of the state legislature can simply remove a judge (or the attorney general or prosecuting attorney for that matter) for any sufficient cause (including incompetency). Keep in mind that voters also have the power to remove a judge from office, at least when the judge’s term ends and they have to stand for re-election (recalling judges is not allowed in this state).

    These procedures proved to be insufficient to deal with bad judges in this state. So in 1980, a constitutional amendment was adopted, establishing what is now called the Commission on Judicial Conduct. This body has the power to discipline judges for judicial ethics codes (which the Supreme Court adopts in this state), and to even remove a judge from office and disqualify them from holding future office (which also requires the Supreme Court to act in cases of suspension and removal from office).

    We need a similar ENFORCEABLE standard of ethics for federal judges. However, this would require an amendment to the United States Constitution. This problem is even more pressing at the federal level, since federal judges serve for life and cannot ever be removed by voters, and Congress cannot remove a judge except by conviction for an impeachable criminal offense.

  38. 45

    Richard Pope spews:

    FricknFrack @ 44

    You at least have to give the SOB credit for being a “good sport” about things. The video was absolutely hilarious! Hopefully, President Barack Obama’s top political aide will be a similarly good sport a couple of years from now, when she or he is tricked into holding a “Free Karl Rove” sign. :)

  39. 46

    FricknFrack spews:

    RP @ 45

    Jeepers, would LOVE to see the day somebody manages to hand Rove, a blight on the planet, his much needed stay in the hoosegow! Just knew you would get a giggle out of the YouTube. :)

  40. 47

    Richard Pope spews:

    Lee — it is unfortunate that you didn’t simply write a story about the terrible injustice that has been committed against Don Siegelman. Your article is the first time any mention of “Siegelman” has been made in any article on Horse’s Ass.

    Instead of focusing on the horrible injustices committed, you introduce us to the Siegelman travesty merely by complaining that two TV stations in Alabama (Huntsville and Mobile) mysteriously blacked out the Siegelman segment from 60 minutes?

    I can’t figure out why that happened either. The explanations seem mysterious and improbable. On the other hand, the Huntsville and Mobile markets only serve about 1/3 of the people of Alabama. I haven’t heard that CBS stations in Montgomery and Birmingham failed to carry the Siegelman segment.

    The Huntsville station WHNT appears to be owned by far-right Republicans. I don’t know about the ownership of the Mobile station WKRG. On the other hand, the WKRG website did publish a statement by Dana Siegelman, Don’s 23 year old daughter, this morning about this situation:

    http://www.wkrg.com/news/artic.....ent/10688/

    But I do appreciate you bringing this matter to my attention, and also insisting that I endeavor to watch the 60 Minutes segment. I actually have more than a casual interest in Alabama politics — my grandfather served as a state legislator and county executive in Alabama about 50 years ago, and was also appointed to the state college board. On the other hand, while I thought that Siegelman was probably singled out for political reasons, I just assumed he was guilty, based on the jury verdict. Now, it looks like the charges were really trumped up, he wasn’t given a fair trial, and the judge who tried him is trying to prevent an appeal by refusing to even provide a trial transcript.

  41. 48

    FricknFrack spews:

    I spent a good amount of time reading about this case yesterday and watching various YouTubes. But now I’m trying to locate the links and there were just too many that I had covered, to figure out where I found stuff.

    Some of the points that stuck out in my own mind, though.

    – As Governor, Siegleman apparently functioned well after the nightmare of Katrina. Certainly didn’t hear the screams from his state like we did from Louisiana. And he was a Democratic Gov in a predominantly Repub state.

    – The so-called “bribe” never landed in HIS own pocket, it went to the for a state lottery for education. When their state had so little money to invest in any ‘extras’ for education.

    – Scrushy, the so-called “briber” had already held the seat on the same state hospital regulatory board about 2 times, under previous administrations.

    – Instead of giving any time to take care of business and close out his affairs, he was manacled at his ankles and yanked out of the courtroom straight to prison like some serial killer.

    – The HUSBAND of the prosecuting attorney was campaigning on Siegleman’s opponent’s behalf, the PA’s HUSBAND was involved in managing THAT campaign. What a conflict of interest!

    This whole story REAKS like a skunk. If they hadn’t had the blackout for those few minutes in Alabama on 60 Minutes, I bet it wouldn’t have received the attention that it has on the ‘nets even. This was a Karl Rove Dog & Pony Show and it stinks to High Heavens!

  42. 49

    FricknFrack spews:

    Oh yes. Here’s Wiki links:

    Don Siegelman
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Siegelman
    “60 Minutes aired an investigative segment on the case called “The Prosecution of Don Siegelman” on February 24, 2008.[15] During the broadcast WHNT in Alabama did not air this segment of the program, but claimed to have had technical issues with the signal.[16]However, Scott Horton of Harper’s Magazine says that he contacted CBS News in New York regarding the issue and claims that he was told that there were no transmission issues, and that Channel 19 had functioning transmitters at the time. [17]. Horton also noted that “This station was noteworthy for its hostility to Siegelman and support for his Republican adversary” [18].”

    Richard M. Scrushy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_M._Scrushy

    WHNT-TV http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHNT

  43. 50

    FricknFrack spews:

    @ 11 RR

    That article on “The conviction of Georgia Thompson has become part of the furor over the firing of eight United States attorneys in what seems like a political purge.”

    Is enough to give NIGHTMARES!
    The poor woman! Will keep following her case. Is it even possible to clean up after so much of the chimpster’s corruption piles of poop have been lobbed around this country? To even HOPE for draining the swamp of the Justice Depts?

  44. 51

    Richard Pope spews:

    FricknFrack @ 48

    Richard Scrushy was originally appointed to the state hospital regulatory board by a Republican Governor, Guy Hunt. I think he was reappointed by another Republican Governor, Fob James, but later resigned because of time constraints. When another vacancy came up, Democratic Governor Don Siegelman appointed him to it. FEC records show Scrushy giving money about equally to both Democrats and Republicans.

    By the way, Siegelman was Governor of Alabama from 1999 to 2002. Republican Bob Riley has been in office since 2003, and was Governor when Katrina hit in August 2005.

  45. 53

    spews:

    @47
    Richard, I’d love to have the time to write about everything I want to write about. As it is now, I get to write about maybe 5-10% of the things that I come across from day to day.

  46. 54

    Richard Pope spews:

    Lee @ 53

    Maybe you could talk Goldy into inviting Dana Siegelman (the Governor’s daughter) to join him on his show to talk about her father’s case.

  47. 56

    rhp6033 spews:

    Pope: I’m a bit confused. Isn’t it the responsibility of the attorney appealing a court decision to order a transcript from the court reporter, and to pay for any costs for it’s transcription? I understand that these costs can be substantial, but in the case of an indigent defendant the cost would be paid by the state. But in this case the cost of a transcript wouldn’t really be a problem, I’m sure the family could afford it, or if not, couldn’t his supporters raise the money? It’s only a few thousand dollars.

    Anyway, why does the judge have to “release” the transcript?

  48. 57

    rhp6033 spews:

    Yep, this thing stinks to high heaven. And the state withholding written witness statements from the defense would be appealable on its face.

  49. 58

    rhp6033 spews:

    And in other news today, they’ve narrowed down the “missing and unrecoverable” e-mails from Cheney’s White House e-mail account to those which would have been written on exactly the days the week before Valerie Plame had been “outed” as a covert CIA agent.

    And Karl Rove is refusing to release any e-mails.

    Apparantly they’ve got a lot to hide.

    Remember that the whole reason Nixon engaged in the cover-up of his attempts to block the FBI investigation of the Watergate burglary was because he knew there was a lot more out there – the entire “Plumbers” program, at the very least. I suspect that if we ever learn the full extent of Karl Rove’s misdeeds, it will (in comparison) make Nixon look like a Boy Scout who farted in class.

    Remember that Karl Rove was the guy who was mentored by Daniel Segretti, the convicted Watergate conspirator, dirty tricks artist, and “Plumber”. Rove must be among those who think that Nixon’s only mistake was in not destroying the tapes while he had the chance.

  50. 60

    Tam spews:

    I am glad to see some attention paid to the Siegelman matter, I have been following it for a while now. The more you read about it, the more disgusting and revolting the ALGOP (and all repubs) will seem to you. Siegelman had a plan to fund education and for that he sits in jail. Yes, it is a little more complicated than that, but not much.

    No matter what the excuse given for the blackout, it is nothing more than bs. No cable company anywhere anytime would have a blank screen for 12 mins.

  51. 61

    FricknFrack spews:

    Richard Pope @ 51: “By the way, Siegelman was Governor of Alabama from 1999 to 2002. Republican Bob Riley has been in office since 2003, and was Governor when Katrina hit in August 2005.”

    Thanks for clarifying – my mistake.

    RP @ 59. “Court reporter died after the Don Siegelman trial.”

    Not sure what is meant by that? Granted, I believe that transcripts may be a bit like the old fashioned shorthand with some personal differences in style. But Court Recorders take classes in order to learn the uniform basics. Does this meant the transcripts would NEVER be expected to be supplied?

  52. 62

    Richard Pope spews:

    FricknFrack @ 61

    I guess the federal judge in question could have a lot to do with how quickly or slowly a new court reporter is made available to transcribe from the prior court reporter’s notes. Doesn’t seem right, does it? But Don Siegelman has really been butt—-ed by Karl Rove and the ALGOP.