Remember the old television commercials: "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen"?
That's the way it is in Alabama with David Bronner, head of the Retirement System of Alabama (RSA).
Our fair state has a tendency to rank low in quality-of-life surveys where you want to rank high and rank high in quality-of-life surveys where you want to rank low. But the RSA is one of the best organizations of its kind in the country, and that is thanks largely to Bronner.
The CEO of the RSA is one of the most powerful people in Alabama. And you could make a strong argument that he is the smartest hombre in the state, certainly when it comes to financial and political matters.
So his editorial in the current issue of the RSA monthly newsletter is worth exploring.
Two points Bronner makes jump out at me:
* He makes it clear that he does not think much of U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, who oversaw the Don Siegelman case. Thanks to Scott Horton, of Harper's, we know why: Fuller tried to help a political crony pull off a scam of the RSA (which failed). Also, Bronner evidently was not fond of Fuller's handling of a case involving RSA and that noted cathedral of corporate ethics, Enron.
* Bronner says he is not a buddy of Siegelman's, but he says Siegelman was no different from any other governor he has worked with or against. "Siegelman put nothing in his pocket from contributions to the lottery campaign," Bronner writes. "I do not know of any governor who did not have third parties pay for TV, radio, and newspaper ads on constitutional issues brought before the voters."
* Bronner doesn't mention it, but you would think this applied to Bob Riley's failed tax-reform campaign in Alabama (which I supported). Wonder who paid for that? And did they benefit from their association with the Riley camp?