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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Y'all Politics Serves Up Some Rubbish

I generally try to avoid the right-wing blogosphere. There might be some thoughtful right-winger types out there, but they haven't come to my attention.

What did come to my attention recently was a blog called Y'all Politics, which apparently is based in Mississippi. Don't know much about Y'all Politics, but it seems to be the handiwork of a fellow named Alan Lange.

Based on a recent post about the Paul Minor case, Mr. Lange is one of those who does not let the facts get in the way of a good right-wing storyline.

Lange goes after Larisa Alexandrovna and her recent in-depth piece on the Minor case, which was published at Raw Story and Huffington Post.

This was the latest of several excellent long-form pieces that Alexandrovna has written about the Minor prosecution, which saw a successful trial attorney and Democratic financial supporter (Paul Minor) and two former state judges (Wes Teel and John Whitfield) wind up in federal prison for crimes they did not commit. Alexandrovna not only has provided valuable insight about the Minor case, but she has shown how it ties into the Don Siegelman prosecution in Alabama and the broader Bush Justice Department scandal, currently the subject of a Congressional investigation.

Alexandrovna is right on target with both her facts and her analysis. I know because I've invested a major chunk of time in researching and writing about the Minor case, which resulted in a series of roughly 25 posts we called "Mississippi Churning." Our Legal Schnauzer work on the Minor case can be viewed here.

Y'all Politics dismisses Alexandrovna's work as a "puff piece" that is "pro felon." Lange, or whoever the writer might be, provides no facts to back that up.

What does the writer provide for us? A link to the indictment in the Minor case, by golly. The message? If the government indicts you, you are guilty. What a very American concept?

And oh, the writer provides us with a scene in which Paul Minor evidently was intoxicated. We get no clue as to the source of this story. And we certainly get no indication as to why it is relevant. Are people convicted and sent to federal prison for being intoxicated at some point in their lives? If so, we really are going to need more federal prisons. That building binge should help pull us out of the Bush economic tailspin.

If Mr. Lange wrote this piece, his most charming sentence comes when he notes that Ms. Alexandrovna "ain't from around here." Nice to know that xenophobia is alive and well in the Deep South.

Mr. Lange reminds me of that old lawyer's tale: If the facts are in your favor, pound on the facts; if the law is in your favor, pound on the law; if neither one is in your favor, pound on the table.

Mr. Lange appears to be one heck of a table pounder.

The law is this: You cannot have a bribery or honest-services mail fraud conviction in the Minor case because the underlying state court cases were decided correctly. Minor's clients won those cases because the facts and the law were on their sides, and by law, that means the cases were not decided because of loan guarantees the judges received from Minor. (Such financial favors are legal under Mississippi law; I don't think they should be legal, but they are. And they are common practice in many states.)

The facts are these: U.S. Judge Henry Wingate, a Reagan appointee, intentionally gave the jury improper instructions, and those bogus instructions virtually ensured that the defendants would be found guilty--contrary to the actual law.

Ms. Alexandrova is providing critical insight on one portion of the evolving Bush Justice Department story, which someday is likely to be known as the worst scandal in our nation's history. Y'all Politics, in the meantime, apparently will keep its head firmly buried in the Mississippi Mud.


Anonymous said...

I am Merrell Williams, perhaps best known for entering the Mississippi hunting grounds and via a misguided Attorney General and his staff, let them manage to heist documents and intellectual property and overlook a standing TRO from a Kentucky Bench Order. Of course, they still maintain Mike Moore can trump another State's Order, and it's a shame, but they have swamp law in Mississippi joined at the hip by the political appointments and those who are in favor at the time. Scruggs is a businessman who once had a law license, but Minor is a lawyer who, sadly, got mixed up with this group - of course it is always a thing of mystery, how it is swept under the rug - Mississippi is simply different, and the power shifts, the morality changes with each generation.

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