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Sunday, October 21, 2007

John Goff, the GOP, and Sociopathy

Saturday probably is the slowest blog-reading day of the week, so many readers might have missed a major story that broke yesterday.

The story is of profound importance to anyone interested in justice (especially in Alabama) and methods used by modern Republicans to attack people they perceive as enemies (especially in Alabama). Perhaps most importantly, the story provides glaring new evidence of the sociopathy that is at the heart of modern Republicanism--or at least a significant chunk of what passes for postmodern conservatism.

We've addressed the issue of sociopathy and the GOP previously here at Legal Schnauzer. It's a subject with which I have painful personal experience. But even I was caught off guard by the brazenness at the heart of the story that broke yesterday.

I became aware of the story through Scott Horton's No Comment blog at Harper's.org. And Horton based his reporting on a story in yesterday's Montgomery Advertister.

At the heart of the story is Montgomery insurance executive John W. Goff, who has sued Alabama Governor Bob Riley and others for actions he claims caused one of his companies to collapse. Through the discovery process connected to his lawsuit, Goff seeks to have Riley answer questions under oath about money that allegedly flowed from Mississippi gaming interests into Riley's campaign, through disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Horton wrote about the Goff case on September 23 and said his sources were telling him that the lawsuit was causing serious consternation in the Riley camp.

Goff is a former Riley supporter; he hardly could be described as a "liberal activist." In fact, Goff made a corporate jet available to Riley for trips to Washington, D.C. Now that the two are at odds, Goff wants to ask Riley if his jet was used to ferry Indian casino money back to Alabama for the 2002 campaign.

Horton wrote almost a month ago that Riley had turned to U.S. Attorney Leura Canary to see if she could make the case "go away."

Evidently, he turned to the right person because we learned yesterday that Goff is being investigated by the Justice Department, and he expects to be indicted. The source of any possible charges against Goff remain unclear, but Goff said two of his former employees were subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury in Montgomery last month.

According to Goff attorney Thomas Gallion, one of the ex-employees said her grand jury testimony focused exclusively on a four-year-old legal dispute between Goff and one of his re-insurers. The dispute led the state to file an administrative complaint against Goff in 2004. The complaint, and dispute, have since been resolved, Goff says.

But now the Justice Department is trying to find criminal activity related to the 2004 dispute. And this comes just two months after Goff filed his lawsuit against Riley and others.

And it comes less than one month after Scott Horton reported that Bob Riley had turned to Leura Canary in an effort to make Goff and his lawsuit "go away."

I've chuckled at a few trolls on this blog who periodically comment that Horton "doesn't know what he's talking about" or Horton's "sources are clueless," or some such. Wonder what those trolls will think now.

Horton hit this one right on the button, although I imagine even he didn't think Riley/Canary would be brazen enough to try to have Goff indicted. If the indictment comes, along with a criminal prosecution, the Goff case might make the Don Siegelman affair look like a company picnic.

The kind of prosecutorial abuse that appears to be behind the Goff case almost staggers the mind. But maybe it shouldn't, not when you consider the sociopathic GOP mindset. More on that in a bit.

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