Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton



Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bingo Gambling Trial Tills Up the Dirt in Alabama's Politcal Process

The bingo trial currently underway in Montgomery is revealing the ugly side of state politics and giving onlookers an up front view to the grimy inner workings of politics, campaigns and the buying and selling of influence.

There is nothing new or unique about the contents of the opening day of testimony in Alabama's bingo trial and no revelatory re-invention of the wheel--it’s the same old you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours and it doesn’t apply exclusively to this trial. Influence buying goes on everyday in Montgomery. There is an ingrained dirty process of persuasion that follows the well-worn path carved out by crooked politicians and jump on my wagon shady deal drivers.

If what we are hearing in the first day of testimony is the gist of the whole trial then it’s much ado about nothing. The statements below, recorded from FBI wiretaps, are the crux of the government’s case. The feds might as well pitch camp on Goat Hill and begin a big roundup of the whole herd of they’re all guilty as sin because promises, cajoling and arm-twisting statements like these are as common as dirt in Alabama.
"We need your help, and I promise you this, you won't regret helping us. We don't forget our friends."
"These guys can talk about what we can do."
"We damn sure support those who support us, and in a significant way."
"You're in the catbird seat."
"You might miss an opportunity to really cut yourself a good deal,"
“I'm going to be very, very supportive of any legislator that is willing to give them that opportunity."
You do us a favor and we can “tie you into our public relations firm” with a very handsome six figure salary.
"We'll get all those bases covered where it's fluid for you and comfortable for you."
"We can be harmful for a lot of folks ... We can be helpful for a lot of folks behind the scenes."
“Do you want an opponent in the primary or not, or would you rather have the rug pulled out from underneath them last minute?”
You could snatch any lobbyist off the legislative halls at any given moment in Montgomery and ask them if they have ever used any of these lines. If they were truthful, an oxymoron admittedly, they would probably say, “Sure we do, all the time. Is that a trick question son?” We all know they do it. It’s the game. The process. It’s the way things work--vote for this and we’ll remember your support with a big fat check next election and a cushy job when you leave office.

There is not a hairs worth of difference between business as usual in Alabama politics and what we are hearing in court this week. 

So far.

So why the big press by the federal cavalry?

Maybe the answer lies somewhere back in the dirt trail leading up to this trial when certain political ‘renegades’ decided they weren’t going to let the people vote on statewide gambling, even after a constitutional amendment cleared a senate committee in early 2010.

Proponents of gambling say the idea of a statewide vote went by the wayside because it would take away former Governor Riley’s chance to roundup some political enemies and payback certain previous supporters who “don‘t forget their friends.”

Like those Indians on the Poarch who thanked Riley with generous tokens of ‘appreciation’ in his 2006 second term gubernatorial run. What the Poarch “rainmakers” did sure seems like a kissing cousin to what McGregor is currently accused of to us. Did it buy some influence? It must have because the only legal gambling in Alabama is Poarch gambling. The PCI were firmly against the constitutional amendment claiming it “would lead to an unchecked expansion of gambling.” Read: don't mess with our profits.

In Riley’s first gubernatorial run, the Mississippi Choctaw Indians gaming system came up with millions of persuaders to sweep Riley into office. It came with scandal, corruption and greed that bears an uncanny likeness to the McGregor trial. It’s still a story of legend in southern politics due to the Jack Abramoff connection.

Riley isn’t talking about any of it. He doesn’t have to according to Judge Terry Moorer who blocked McGregor’s subpoena effort calling for Riley to testify. Not wasting any time, Riley and his gambling crusader sidekick John Tyson, mounted their steel horses and took off for Alaska the day of opening testimony in the bingo trial.

We still wonder why he picked Alaska. The land of Palin. The timing of the trip is just a bit too coincidental with the the start of one of the biggest trials in Alabama history and the GOP presidential race still as dry as dust.

Whatever the outcome is of the ongoing gambling trial one thing’s for certain: one hand washes the other in Alabama politics and both hands are just as dirty as sin.
Photo credit:Sweet Love Vintage
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  1. Boy howdy are they really slinging the mud in that courtroom!
    Senator Jabo Waggoner being called a "lying two-faced son of a bitch"- Senator Beason worked as a consultant for one of the accused Senator Harri Anne Smith to the tune of $10K for 31 days work- Beason griping about a WalMart on Ann St. in the black section of town and how he was going to "try not to get killed going in there"-Beason throwing Bob Riley under the bus said he "regretted voting for him twice" (okay that's the one and only time I ever agree with him!)
    This is so much better watching the tweeters tweet from inside the courtroom than reading articles in the snooze! I am having much fun reading the quips on the dirt, get it? Ha Ha Ha!
    You're on as usual Max!

  2. There's something really fishy about the Beason job......how does a guy with a geology degree, has a small construction & remodeling business, whatever he calls it, qualify for being paid over $3,000 a day as a consultant to Smith's campaign???? That's almost unheard of! Until now that is. Too many flags on that for it to be normal.

  3. I don't think Riley has the backbone for prez but he could be looking to be a certain moose hunter's latest rube.

  4. So who's taking bets on which side will prevail?
    Oh crap, that's illegal isn't it?

  5. Business as usual in Monkeytown.
    The legislators get a lot more on the side than their legislative pay. Not only should they repeal the pay raise, I propose for every getaway, retreat, and other thank you gentlemen here's a little something for you, it should be deducted from their pay.
    Public office is supposed to be public service, for the public interest, not for the benefit of the office holder and their interests.

  6. What's the difference between campaign donations and bribery? Very little in the eyes of the public. It's legalized bribery and influence and this trial might show some unsavoriness, but we're splitting hairs on the intent because it's the same.
    Just because it's legal it doesn't make it any less smarmy.
    Hey Kitty kat, that was Ronnie Gilley who said he regretted voting for Riley twice. I would imagine the senator from Vestavia is not very happy today. I hear he is frowning from both of his faces.

  7. I heard there is a new picture being Tweeted of Weiner sitting naked playing a bingo machine in Alabama.

    Great stuff as always Max.

  8. Would it be too much to hope for a certain bus running into a pair of motorcycles around the great northwest? Nothing serious, maybe just a little nudge that hurts pride more than flesh.

  9. I bet the crooks have a great big Alabama bingo card with legislators names and schemes as the numbers and they all sit around in a room and play. What makes it really sad is that we not only let them do it we encourage it!

  10. No difference from where I sit. It's all pay to play.

  11. BINGOTrial BINGOTrial
    Segall: "You're also interested in statewide office, aren't you?" Beason: "I'm interested in whatever God makes available."

    Funny, I didn't realize politics and divine intervention were so closely intertwined in the literal sense. My bible doesn't seem to have that passage. Maybe someone can point it out to me?

  12. All rise for the best comeback today:

    BINGOTrial BINGOTrial
    Segall: "I'm not asking about our heavenly father, I'm asking about you." #bingotrial
    31 seconds ago

  13. Bingo Bob takes off for Palinhville and leaves the wire wearing snitch Beason to face the music. So far it looks like he's signaled his willingness to bowl over anybody who gets in his way. This guy is first class creep and climber. No wonder he is the star of Alabama GOP. He's got the credentials down pat.
    If this is an example of the best and brightest somebody shot out all the lights and we can still see what the new GOP is up to.

  14. Get the long hook and haul Riley right on back here Judge. It does not pass muster that he was allowed a pass and McGregors lawyers are going to make a fool of your enabling ruling letting Riley slide.
    Who appointed Rep. Lewis to a judgeship? Riley.
    Who was Senator Beason's roommate during session? Representative Lewis.
    The relevancy is glaring.

  15. God wants no part of your shenanigans Senator.
    There is, however, another shall we say, 'lower entity' that might.
    Wiley E. Segall is earning his credentials today.


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