President Barack Obama has announced 15 recess appointments, sidestepping Republican obstructionism in the U.S. Senate, which is on vacation until April 12.
Hopefully, Obama is just getting warmed up with recess appointments. And he needs to quickly turn his attention to the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, where corrupt Bush appointee Leura Canary remains in place.
Canary oversaw the blatantly political Don Siegelman prosecution and supposedly is under Justice Department investigation. That she remains in place some 14 months into the Obama administration is a disgrace. Obama should toss Canary out on her ear and replace her with Michel Nicrosi, who our sources say is far and away the best candidate for the job.
Our idea has only one flaw: Nicrosi has announced that she is running as a Democrat for attorney general of Alabama. But she only joined that race after U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) scuttled her possible nomination for the U.S. attorney position--and the Obama administration refused to fight for her.
Why did Sessions try to nix Nicrosi? Probably because he's afraid of her. And that's because the last thing he and GOP compadre Richard Shelby want is a tough, competent U.S. attorney in Montgomery, Alabama--someone who might unearth the considerable dirt Sessions and Shelby (not to mention Republican Governor Bob Riley) have left behind in Alabama's capital city.
Our sources say Michel Nicrosi would make an excellent attorney general of Alabama. But she would make an even better U.S. attorney. And her appointment would send a signal that the Obama administration, now that health-care reform has been passed, finally is getting serious about justice issues.
Ground Zero for Bush-era corruption in the U.S. Justice Department was Montgomery, Alabama. Obama could make a profoundly important move by appointing Michel Nicrosi to clean up the cesspool.
It would tell his progressive base that, "We hear your concerns about justice issues, and we will address them." More importantly, it would signal that Obama intends to appoint U.S. attorneys based on qualifications and competence--and he's not going to let the likes of Jeff Sessions keep him from it.
If the Obama administration had chosen to fight for the Nicrosi nomination, she could have been on the job months ago. Now is the time to correct that mistake. And it's time to start cleaning house in Montgomery, Alabama.