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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Trusted Strange Aide Jessica Medeiros Garrison Rivals Her Boss On Gambling-Related Hypocrisy


Luther Strange gets a victory hug
from Jessica Medeiros Garrison
Who is the bigger hypocrite, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange or his trusted aide and former campaign manager Jessica Medeiros Garrison? Looks like this one is going to be a close call, but we will strive to come up with an answer.

We know that Strange takes hypocrisy on gambling issues to monumental dimensions. After all, this is the guy who has tried to shut down non-Indian gaming facilities, such as VictoryLand in Macon County and Center Stage Alabama in Houston County, while taking a $100,000 campaign contribution from the Poarch Creek casinos. This also is the guy who used the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) to help obscure the donation via a PAC-to-PAC transfer.

That brings us to Jessica Medeiros Garrison. She made news here last week when we reported on a press release she issued in March 2010, calling for Strange's GOP primary opponent, incumbent AG Troy King, to return any campaign funds he had received from gambling interests. That seems curious--some might say hypocritical--when you consider that Garrison now works for the very organization that helped launder gambling funds for Luther Strange in the same campaign.

What are we talking about? Before we tackle that question, let's see just how worked up Jessica Medeiros Garrison became over Troy King's campaign funding. This is from her press release, and the full release can be viewed at the end of this post:

“Gambling interests have propped up Mr. King's campaigns, back to 2006,” said the Luther Strange campaign manager, Jessica Garrison. “If he sticks to his pledge of returning direct contributions from gambling interests, he needs to return at least $190 thousand. If he gives back all of the contributions he has accepted from PACs which have received money from gambling operators, slot machine manufactures and their lobbyists, King needs to return nearly $400 thousand to keep his public pledge.”

Jessica Medeiros Garrison, it seems, tried to hold Troy King to a standard that she was not willing to meet herself.

Garrison now serves in an "of counsel" role with the large, downtown-Birmingham law firm Balch & Bingham. But her primary role seems to be serving as director of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). What is RAGA? It is an affiliate of RSLC, the organization that helped funnel Indian gaming funds to the Luther Strange campaign.

Translation: Jessica Medeiros Garrison called for Troy King to distance himself from any organization that dealt with gambling funds; Garrison herself subsequently joined an organization that . . . deals with gambling funds.

That's not all. During the 2010 campaign, Garrison took a fairly personal shot at Troy King. From her press release:

Garrison also called on King to release all loan documents related to a $300 thousand loan to his campaign disclosed in January.

“At a time when so many Alabamians are having trouble getting bank credit, it is inconceivable that any lender would provide an unsecured loan to a campaign,” Garrison said. “Given the questions raised by these documents, we know a reputable bank such as ServisFirst would have required King to guarantee the loan. Considering recent questions raised about a $500 thousand bank loan to Ron Sparks' gubernatorial campaign, it would only make sense for Mr. King to disclose how he was able to qualify for so much money or to explain who helped him secure the loan."

For now, we will call the hypocrisy race between Jessica Medeiros Garrison and Luther Strange a dead heat. More importantly, our research indicates the two of them have a few personal issues that might merit a public airing. If it was important for Troy King to "disclose" and "explain" certain financial issues, perhaps it is time for Garrison and Strange to address questions for which Alabamians deserve answers.

We soon will find out if Garrison and Strange are willing to follow the forthcoming path they recommended for Troy King.


35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Big Luther - ICEBERG DEAD AHEAD!

Anonymous said...

Luther's campaign manager went to work for the same Republican outfit that helped launder gambling money for the campaign? Gee, that doesn't smell bad in the least?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Jessica does in her "of counsel" role at Balch & Bingham. I've heard of "partners" and "associates" at law firms, but "of counsel" is a new one to me.

Pistol Pete said...

I'm not a big Troy King fan, but Jessica Garrison actually makes him look good. So does Luther.

Anonymous said...

Before this story hit Jessica had thoroughly debriefed Luther. Then she debriefed him about the STORY.

Anonymous said...

Luther Strange's campaign slogan for 2014 against Troy: Luther Strange: I May Be An Adulterer, But At Least I Like WOMEN

Anonymous said...

Word is that this is Luther and Jessica's fave song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bwW07sCwoY

Anonymous said...

@8:38--

I think the term "of counsel" means JMG doesn't do much of anything for Balch & Bingham. I'm betting she works pretty much full time for Luther, and the B&B gig is mostly for show.

Anonymous said...

Fron what I understand Jessica is not under anyone at Balch. She has been exclusively under Luther since 2006.

Anonymous said...

@8:50--

Hah, hah! Love me some Paul Anka from yesteryear.

Anonymous said...

Since joining with Luther for the first time in 2006, Jessica has been Luther's Head Aide. She has served under Luther for years, and is so dedicated that she has often spent the entire night with the Attorney General making sure that his needs are met.

Anonymous said...

So Jessica hasn't debriefed anyone at Balch?

Anonymous said...

Is that Luther's wife, Melissa, in the background of your photo?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 9:08--

I believe that is Melissa Strange. She's partially obscured by a camera, so it's a little hard to tell.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Jessica go to work for Bradley Arant? Wouldn't that be the natural fit, with Luther's background and all?

Molli said...

From Wikipedia:
"According to published data from one website, the average annual base salary for Of Counsel in the United States was listed at $216,019 (with salary varying depending on size/reputation of the firm, location of the firm, and the attorney’s years of experience."
"The title of "of counsel" carries with it particular ethical responsibilities. For instance, for the purposes of a conflict of interest, a legal relationship sufficient to permit the title of "of counsel" is also able to create conflicts."

legalschnauzer said...

Molli:

Thanks for that info. You enlightened me quite a bit on the term "of counsel." I wonder if it means, in part, that the lawyer is not on a partner track, for whatever reason.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the fact that Balch's largest client (by far) is the Alabama Power Company AND the fact that Luther is SUPPOSED to represent ratepayers AGAINST APCO a HUGE conflict of interest here?

Molli said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Of_counsel

She probably gets paid for little work. Much like Luther getting paid for "Education in India". LOL!! These folks just pass money around their circle. Money buys loyalty and silence I suppose.

jeffrey spruill said...

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA)?

*

Wouldn't that be an organization that this hypocrite at one time belonged?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_McDonnell#Attorney_General_.282006-2009.29

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/mcdonnell-cuccinelli-ope_n_3058446.html

Anonymous said...

When are you going to break the "personal relationship" saga concerning these two? Enquiring minds want to know!!!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that Luther-Jessica "hug" look a LOT like the Clinton-Monica "hug" in 1996?

Anonymous said...

Jessica is no stranger to gambling controversy. Just ask her business partner.

http://arc-sos.state.al.us/cgi/corpdetail.mbr/detail?corp=452191&page=name&file=

http://www.queensda.org/newpressreleases/2009/october/betting_it_all_10_21_09.pdf

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 11:18--

You've uncovered some very interesting information here. The individual listed in the incorporation docs is "Erik Davis Harp" (with a "k"). In the press release about the gambling indictment, it is "Eric Davis Harp" (with a "c"). Are you sure this is the same guy? Any ideas what type of business Margaritaville LLC was involved in?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:56--

Tying up a few details on the story. Hope it won't take long.

Anonymous said...

Case #1:09-mj-01023, New York Eastern District.

ORDER FOR WARRANT FOR ARREST OF PROPERTY as to All funds on deposit at wachovia bank in account number 1010130668592 held in the name of Joseph Fafone, Sr., All funds on deposit at Wachovia Bank in account number 3000106323170 held in the name of Joseph Fafone, Sr., All funds in deposit at the bank of america in account number 4970639727 held in the name of Erik Davis Harp.

Anonymous said...

And if there's still doubt:

http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResultDetail/OfficerRegisteredAgentName/forp-f97000003039-a8549109-e02e-4eb2-ada3-a1907358fa7c/harp%20erik/Page1

http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20040101/NEWS/401010313

Anonymous said...

If I'm Luther and Jess, I don't like the sound of this . . .


We soon will find out if Garrison and Strange are willing to follow the forthcoming path they recommended for Troy King.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is an article about the Eric Davis Harp case. It says the gambling operation brought in $587 million over 28 months. That's a lot of green.


http://www.gambling911.com/gambling-news/rochester-region-center-online-gambling-arrests-020710.html

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 12:52--

That adds a lot to this interesting picture.

Anonymous said...

Harp was involved in Crimsonica.

Anonymous said...

Where's JR Ewing when we need him..He took down 2 Governors and 3 Senators...maybe John Ross can help...The only thing John Ross wants their heads above his fireplace..LOL..

David in s. Alabama said...

Luther Two Squaws' wife could hire Troy King to file divorce action claiming adultery, aleination of affections and loss of consort, excessive online gamblimg, excessive use of oxicotin? If she dos't kn ow to do this she could arrange to meet Jufge Mark Fulle;s wife for tea.

Anonymous said...

Jessica Garrison and her company, MDM 27 Holdings, Inc. received over $260,000 from Luther Strange's Campaign Account according to his 2010,2011, and 2012 campaign reports: $33,245.07 to Jessica Garrison for Administration, Food, Transportation, Lodging, Postage, and Fundraising; $196,727.99 to MDM 27 Holdings, Inc. for Administration (6/24/10 -12/13/10); and $31,000 to MDM 27 Holdings, Inc. for Consulting (1/4/11 -11/30/11).

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 2:16--

Very interesting information. MDM 27 Holdings Inc. is a new one to me. Need to learn more about that. I have a Strange-related post up today (4/29/13) and think I will share your info on that piece.