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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Did GOP's Luther Strange Commit the Same "Crime" That He Alleges Against Democrat Lowell Barron?


Lowell Barron
The Republican attorney general of Alabama has indicted a prominent Democrat for alleged violations of ethics and campaign-finance laws.

Public records, however, indicate the Republican AG has committed the same "crime" he is alleging against a Democrat. It all suggests the political prosecutions that plagued our state during the George W. Bush years have not gone away--their point of origin simply has shifted from the U.S. Department of Justice to the state attorney general's office.

AG Luther Strange accuses former state senator Lowell Barron, in an April 19 indictment, of illegally transferring $58,000, plus title to a 2007 Toyota Camry, to former campaign staffer Rhonda Jill Johnson.

According to press reports, the charges stem in part from Barron listing his payments to Johnson as "administrative" expenses. But a review of Luther Strange's 2010 campaign expenditures show that he made 14 "administrative" payments to MDM 27 Holdings Inc., a company owned by his former campaign manager, Jessica Medeiros Garrison. (Strange's campaign expenditures, from 6/10/2010 to 10/23/2012, can be viewed at the end of this post.)

The administrative payments, when combined with three "consulting" payments, total $207,015.26 to MDM 27 Holdings.

If it is a crime for Lowell Barron to transfer $58,000 or so to a former campaign staffer, wouldn't it also be a crime for Luther Strange to transfer more than $200,000 to a company owned by a former campaign staffer?

We have a hard time finding a distinction between Barron's "crime" and Strange's "non-crime." If anything, Strange's actions look more fishy than Barron's. Strange's payments to Jessica Medeiros Garrison are almost four times those involved in the Barron case. And deception appears to be involved in Strange's payments, which went to a holding company rather to Garrison directly. Barron made the payments directly to Johnson, and he reported them as required by law. If deception is part of this alleged crime, it's hard to see where any was present in the Barron case.

Barron once was one of the state's most powerful politicians, spending six terms in the state house before losing his 2010 race. He reportedly maintains a sizable campaign war chest and is expected to attempt a political comeback in 2014.

Is that the real reason the attorney general's office targeted Barron? Is this another case of a Democrat being indicted for standard political behavior in the Deep South? Joe Espy, Barron's attorney, touched on those issues in a recent report at al.com:

Barron's attorney, Joe Espy, said there was no denying the transactions took place between Barron and Johnson because they were a part of Barron's campaign finance disclosures. The issue is the interpretation made by Strange, Espy said, that laws were broken in those transactions.

"How could we dispute the transactions not taking place when we publicly disclosed them?" Espy said "Sen. Lowell Barron and his campaign publicly disclosed every transaction we're talking about. We don't dispute them. We said, 'Hey, we ran a campaign, these are our expenses and we paid this lady.' That's about as simple as I can make it.

"Does it take two years to bring charges against a man who is not a public official . . . who has publicly disclosed everything they bring out? Does anything address your common sense and tell you something is wrong? Every smell test I know, it does not pass."


19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obama’s New Political Reality Is Bad News for Dems in 2014

Forget background checks and gun control, divisions within the GOP on immigration, and Republican intransigence on negotiating a budget deal with the president. The current triple play of Benghazi, the IRS and now the Justice Department’s seizure of journalists’ phone records has the potential to be a political game changer for 2014.

It’s hard to overstate the potential significance of the past week. What we are witnessing is nothing less than a dramatic reversal of the nation’s political narrative — from how bad the Republican brand is and how President Barack Obama is going to mobilize public opinion against the GOP in the midterm elections to whether the Obama administration has become so arrogant that it believes it can stonewall Congress and the public.

By Stuart Rothenberg

http://blogs.rollcall.com/rothenblog/obamas-new-political-reality-is-bad-news-for-dems-in-14/

Anonymous said...

This story is right on target!!! Luther had to take care of his babies moma!! I don't see any difference! !

Anonymous said...

Luther may have more problems with the huge $17,500 payment he masde to a company that did not exist at the time - Alabama Politics, Inc. - AFTER the 2006 election that he lost. The sole incorporator of Alabama Politics, Inc. when it DID begin to exist - weeks AFTER Luther wrote them a check - was Jessica Medeirtos Garrison.

Five months after the windfall check from Luther Jessica gave birth. Less than two years after that - and with her baby still in diapers - she divorced her husband and the supposed father of her child while making big bucks as Luither's campaign manager. Curiously, Luther hired her as campaign manager for a statewide campaign even though she had never managed a campaign before.

Molli said...

Great reporting, as always. I do not see Luther indicting himself (LOL) but I certainly believe Espy will use this data in the courtroom. I still can't get over that at least 3 grand juries were pooled before Loser Strange got his eureka moment in order to indict Barron. His reputation of fishing in many ponds (grand juries, judges, etc.) before he locates his man made, self-stocked lake is beginning to take shape. Stay on this bottom feeder L.S.

Anonymous said...

I'm hearing Rhonda Jill Johnson maybe is getting screwed even worse than Barron on this. She merely took payments that were due to her for campaign work, and they were properly declared in required documents. She also paid taxes on them, I'm told. So how on earth does this woman wind up indicted?

Anonymous said...

Luther Strange is starting to make Bob Riley look like Abe Lincoln--and that is hard to do.

Anonymous said...

Dear Molli,

I must object. By comparing Luther Strange to bottom feeders, you are giving us a bad name. I am a bottom feeder . . . I know bottom feeders . . . I am friends with bottom feeders . . . and Luther Strange is no bottom feeder. "Subterranean feeder" might be a better term for him.

Anonymous said...

Subterranean

awesome word for the MOFOs

Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing this documentation, LS. It's a true public service.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible Jessica M. Garrison got paid through a holding company in order to hide her cash from the IRS? If so, she's a true-blue Republican.

Anonymous said...

How did Dumbass Luther get elected to public office, especially in a position for which he is utterly unqualified?

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that a number of veteran asst. AGs have left the office because they can't stand working under Luther. They know he's a joke, and they don't want their reputations tarnished by being associated with him.

Anonymous said...

@8:16, you are providing some highly interesting information. Thank you, and I'm sure LS is taking note.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 9:58--

I certainly am. This story is just getting warmed up.

Coyote Lane said...

The Angelina Jolie story proves how coo coo this nation is.

Your reporting, LS, has at least prepared the Alabama community with the truth, a resource of value that can't be measured.

In June the "Robed Roaches", IE Supreme Court, to hear the case about genes and patenting the life source that can't ever actually be reproduced or copied.

Chief Justice Roberts has of course now remarked now that Hollywood Jolie mutilated herself.

But America can via the fake news and other fraud that is all we have here, sink further into the abyss .. look at how the hidden monies are kept wherever but, in our growing a healthy economy.

GOP or POG: Grand Ole Party or Political Oligarchy Government.

Either way We The People not corrupted thoroughly, lose.

Where is your Pulitzer prize!

I heard Gilad Atzmon speak last evening (05/14/13). The Wandering Who of course is being rewritten, always is the way it is with writing.

It's not Zionism, it's "Jewish Power" that those who have been programmed to believe they are Jew, are chosen to be superior to the masses that aren't Jewish.

Gotta heal our insanity before we can think about how to fix our insanity. We have a serious problem!!

Anonymous said...

http://backbonecampaign.org/flushthetpp

When the People Lead, the Leaders Follow

The Backbone Campaign specializes in the creation of spectacle imagery, innovative messaging and political theater. Most of our work involves what we call Artful Activism, in which we engage progressive activists and organizers in the strategic use of creative tactics such as festival arts, flash mobs, music and other theatrical forms of nonviolent direct action.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone needs to email the group Anonymous and they check everything.. THE BEST HACKERS in the USA.. I'd love to see all the messages of the HEADquarters between big Luther and the mistress and BIG BINGO BOB and his friend. I thank thangs then would not be too purty!

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone needs to email the group Anonymous and they check everything.. THE BEST HACKERS in the WORLD.. I'd love to see all the messages of the HEADquarters between big Luther and the mistress and BIG BINGO BOB and his friend. I thank thangs then would not be too purty!

Anonymous said...

Coyote please explain how Angelina's story is Coo Coo..