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Friday, November 28, 2008

On Rove, Alabama, and the Scourge of Abramoff

Those of us who live in Alabama have seen our politics sullied by disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

We know that Abramoff funneled $13 million of Mississippi Choctaw gaming funds into Alabama to help Bob Riley claim the 2002 governor's race over Don Siegelman.

So here in Alabama, we have our antennae finely tuned for any new discoveries about the extent of Abramoff's sleaze.

The latest comes from Larisa Alexandrovna at Raw Story, who reports that Abramoff was connected to the White House from the earliest days of the George W. Bush administration.

And who was Abramoff's conduit as Bushies were getting settled in at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Why, none other than Karl Rove.

Hmmm.

Alexandrovna reports that an e-mail dated February 27, 2001, shows that Abramoff had an agreement with Rove's assistant Susan Ralston for access to the White House.

This was little more than a month after Bush had taken office. And long before the Riley-Siegelman battle in 2002.

So what does this information mean for those of us in Alabama? Well, for this Alabamian, it raises these questions:

* Did Rove, and perhaps Bush, know about Abramoff's plans to funnel money to Bob Riley's campaign?

* Did Rove, and perhaps Bush, know about possible plans to steal the 2002 election by having votes for Siegelman mysteriously disappear into the good night in Baldwin County, Alabama?

* Did Rove, and perhaps Bush, know about plans to work through Bill Canary, head of the Business Council of Alabama, to stage a bogus prosecution of Siegelman?

* Did Rove, and perhaps Bush, know about the central roles played by U.S. attorneys Alice Martin and Leura Canary in plans to subvert the justice system and turn Don Siegelman into a political prisoner?

* Did Rove, and perhaps Bush, know about similar plans in Mississippi, which turned attorney Paul Minor and former state judges Wes Teel and John Whitworth into political prisoners?

* Was this e-mail from February 2001 an early signal that all hell was about to break loose in the U.S. Justice Department, with Alabama and Mississippi serving as Ground Zero for massive criminal conduct?

Rove . . . Abramoff . . . Alabama . . . Mississippi.

They go together like bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.

Except these ingredients make for one foul-smelling sandwich.

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