Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton



Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder

Monday, November 15, 2010

Governor Bentley's Communications Director Stephen Bradley's Modus Operandi

Stephen Bradley's past business dealings read like a character in a John Grisham novel gone off the rails.

The following AP/Huntsville Times article from 1999 illustrates the lengths and deception one man will go to to achieve his own agenda. With an accompanying cast of two convicted felons, Richard Scrushy and former Alabama governor Don Siegelman, (involved by way of his brother Les Siegleman initially) the article describes the clandestine meetings and exclusive "war room" maneuvers that went far beyond the norm in bringing the Honda plant to Lincoln, Alabama.
Both former Alabama governors (incoming Siegleman and outgoing James) along with the Alabama business recruiters were purposefully kept in the dark, at Bradley's behest, until the deal was secured. Why?

Honda has been an economic boom for Alabama and supplies many good paying jobs, but would anyone have ever thought otherwise? We understand why Honda's side wanted confidentiality, but why all the secrecy and shenanigans recruiting the company?

We suspect that it all boils down to money in some key players pockets first and foremost and those means are supposed to be justified by the ends: Honda's significant contribution to Alabama's economic engine after it located here.

Just because it turns out good doesn't mean the process wasn't really bad.

And this one smells.

Big time.

Three of the men involved in this, years forward and unrelated to the Honda deal, have been convicted of corruption and bribery or seen members of their administrations convicted. Fob James probably fell out of favor with the shadow government of the Big Mules for his positions against racism and discrimination. One long-time Alabama political insider tells us he paid for it in part by being soundly defeated by Siegleman in the Democratic primary of 1998, among the other reasons that contributed to his political demise.

The Big Mules don't like those who don't play by their rules and they see to it that antagonists to their interests are marginalized, as evidenced by Bradley's coded comments about James in the article below.

Siegleman was eventually credited with bringing Honda to Alabama, but since this article clearly defines who really brought them to the state, was Sielgeman allowed the public accolade so that the real players were able to walk away with fistfuls of cash unquestioned? What other "favors" and shadowy characters may have been involved in this scheme that were as secret as the "war room" discussions next to the Delta Airlines baggage claim area in 1998?

Eleven years have passed since this story was published and we know what happened to Scrushy and Siegelman--we also know what became of Stephen Bradley. Governor-elect Bentley made him and the special interests he represents key players in his transition team. Therefore, in our opinion, this story has current relevance.

What's that old saying about polecats and their spots...?
Marbled polecat. Like other members of Mustelinae, it can emit a strong smelling secretion from anal sacs under the tail when threatened. (There's the basis for a really bad joke in this, but we'll resist for now.)
The writing is on the wall suggesting the same ol' Big Mule train will drive the direction of Alabama's government for the next four years, but it really should be a part of a Grisham-like novel on industrial espionage and the pervasive fundamental corruption that continues to write the coal blackened history of Alabama.

Mr. Grisham, are you listening?

Alabama's `Bingo' key to decision by Honda
The Associated Press
Huntsville Times
May 10, 1999

Recruiting operation reads like spy novel

BIRMINGHAM - The recipe to attract a Japanese auto maker to Alabama to build a massive manufacturing plant near Lincoln included one helicopter, one videotape, *changed locks, briefcases and lots of secret meetings.
*(Editor's note--there were only three keys to this room after the locks were changed, Bradley & Henshaw probably had two of them, but who had the third?)

The project, called "Bingo" by Alabama's lead industrial recruiters, sounds a bit like a spy novel.

The mission was so classified, recruiters at first didn't even know what company they were dealing with. It prompted them to change the locks on their Birmingham war room at the Alabama Business Center, making only three keys.

Honda had picked Alabama as one of four possible sites for the $400 million plant as early as January 1998, though state recruiters didn't know it. The company's California law firm hired site-selection expert Harry Henshaw of Cleveland, who brought in Birmingham's Porter, White and Co.

Attention initially focused on the Southeast and Texas, but soon expanded to other areas. Honda wanted a rural site with at least 1,000 acres, preferably close to colleges and big cities. Too many tornadoes scratched Texas and the Plains states off the list, and the possibility of earthquakes eliminated Washington state.

Henshaw said 150 sites in 26 states were analyzed. Sites in 20 Alabama counties were examined, including ones near Decatur, Florence, Ashville and two in Talladega County.

After settling on a short list, Henshaw's team contacted recruiters in four states. The name of the company was not divulged.

"The consultant let us know early on that to even be speculating could cause us to no longer be considered," said Ted vonCannon, president of Birmingham's Metropolitan Development Board.

As Alabama's gubernatorial election neared last November, lobbyist Steve Bradley urged recruiters to keep former Gov. Fob James in the dark about the project. They listened.

"There were those in the James administration who were supportive of economic development," Bradley said. "Fob James was not one of them."

A few days after Gov. Don Siegelman's election, Bradley approached the governor's brother, Les Siegelman, who would act as a go-between for the project.

By this time, those concerned were holding regular 7 a.m. strategy sessions in a meeting room at the Birmingham airport.

They included Neal Wade, president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama; vonCannon; Bradley; Greg Barker, project manager for the Metropolitan Development Board; and industrial recruiters Mike McCain of Anniston and Calvin Miller of Talladega County.

The group still didn't know the name of the company.

In early December, Alabama was required to submit a proposal, and Don Siegelman was recruited to write a letter and make a video for the mystery company a month before he took office.

The tape also showed officials from JVC, Boeing and Mercedes-Benz cheering Alabama, along with shots of the state's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

The proposal was delivered in leather briefcases with the word "Alabama" on them.

As Honda and its consultants continued visiting sites, HealthSouth chief executive officer Richard Scrushy let them borrow his company's helicopter. Henshaw also borrowed a Mercedes M-Class for two days.

Alabama recruiters didn't find out who was behind "Bingo" until March, when they gathered with Honda officials at a Birmingham hotel.

Record Number: MERLIN_1437595
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  1. I highly doubt any average Joe voter would know about this story because it never ran in the Birmingham papers. It's not the only story Max.
    Keep digging. You're on the right trail.

  2. No industrial recreational happens in this state without certain James Bond want to be's well immersed in the mix. Look at Decatur, 1998 signaled their big development push and isn't it interesting that "Bardley" lobbies for Decatur Morgan and many of the companies that were a part of the Synagro contamination are all intertwine with his presence? Who do you think was instrumental in the Decatur industrial push?
    Toxic terror indeed.
    Good job bone head Bentley, it didn't take long for you to be "sot down" and given your orders.
    How long are you going to keep on with this "Governor of everybody" bs and expect us to believe it?

  3. This character and his mule train comes after our side too. Remember Sparks and his stance on coal during the election (Drummond and AP had to be pleased)...now it's a WWB and Fultondale's Mayor:
    "Big Mules and Blue Dots dining together, with some over-the-mountain rah-rah and Birmingham city mixed in? What on earth could be the occasion?"


  4. LEFTEM--

    We saw that story too this morning and promptly lost our breakfast.

    Archibald is the only journalist, that we are aware of, that has taken on the Mules. He's been loudly silent on Bentley's transition team members though. ???

    We have to wonder if the BBA darling, Birmingham News Editor Siddall has anything to do with that.

    From the comments to our postings it seems people are paying attention, informing themselves and connecting the dots. That makes all the hard work very worthwhile. Kudos to you all.

    Bradley refers to our site as "private club spew." I guess that makes all of you "spewettes." He's such a warm and fuzzy type isn't he?


  5. Max, you hit the mark when you called out Sparks and the dems for their coziness to the special interests of the mules and straying far away from some of the dem party national platform issues: environmental concerns and big business beaters.
    But they all thought it was about healthcare and anti-Obama rhethoric, because they allowed the right to define them and ticked away from the other core issues of our party. Sparks was a one issue dog without a backup bone who sounded like a republican every chance he got.
    If Alabamians had any real knowledge of what is happening in this state they may revolt against the cloaked in special interests right-wing hiding under God mules they just elected.
    John Rogers shooting off this morning about why they lost:
    "Listen, what happened Nov. 2 was a mugging, an alley butt-whipping, and part of it was the anti-Obama mood you saw in the country and in Alabama, but also I admit part of it was our fault as a state party," Rogers said. "We had no plan, no ideas and we did stupid things that really sent a message to voters that we were as a party out of touch."
    What they really did was send a message to voters that they don't have a clue what the real dem issues are, but that they can be bought and deliver the message of the right in Alabama.

  6. What I would like to know is what was the process for choosing the transition team members? Did they nominate themselves or was one key person responsible for the barn door being swung open for all of their buddies?

  7. Bentley hasn't even been sworn in yet and he's already got Mule sh*t all over him. Bet his dry cleaning bill is going to be through the roof of the barn, but he won't have to worry about shoes now that a blacksmith will be tending to that need.
    Bet he really like corn on the cob too.

  8. Let's see if I understand this correctly.
    One man can control the entry of company into Alabama and get around two governors, the Alabama biz recruiters with the deplorable Richard Scrushy right in the middle of it and no bribery of some kind was committed???
    And this is the kind of man our soon to take office new governor takes up with???

  9. He's done a hell of a lot more than that and then some. Brad's a real piece of work that has a lot of bones in his closet.

  10. "So dark the con of man..."


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