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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Louisiana reader Tim Smith sets up a GoFundMe page to help with our basic living expenses as we seek to keep investigative reporting alive at Legal Schnauzer


Carol and I are reunited at our former home in
Birmingham after my arrest for blogging and
a five-month stay in an Alabama jail
(By Michael Donahue)
We have stated here many times that Legal Schnauzer is a community effort, that readers have provided tips and documents that proved critical in our investigative reports; they have provided financial support via PayPal and the Donate button in the upper right-hand corner of our blog; and many readers have become friends, providing emotional support at times when we needed it most.

Now a reader and friend has taken a major step by setting up a GoFundMe page for my wife, Carol, and me -- with the goal of providing desperately needed funds for basic living expenses as we seek to continue our investigative reporting in the face of hurdles that should not happen in a healthy democracy.

Timothy Smith, a liberal Democrat from the red state of Louisiana, set up the GoFundMe page, and we are deeply grateful for his efforts. Tim became aware of our reporting, which already has helped bring down a number of corrupt Alabama officials -- including former U.S. Judge Mark Fuller (who ramrodded the Don Siegelman political prosecution), former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, former gubernatorial adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason, and former University of Alabama legal counsel and Gov. Robert Bentley aide Cooper Shattuck. The Bentley administration itself is teetering because of our reporting about the governor's extramarital affair with Mason -- a story we broke ahead of any other news outlet, seven months before the mainstream media started taking a serious look into the matter.

Tim knows that our reporting is on the verge of becoming a major factor on the national stage. We broke the story of U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor, a homophobe who once posed nude for photos that appeared in the 1990s at the gay-porn site badpuppy.com. We now have come into possession of a second Pryor nude photo, just as president-elect Donald Trump appears set to nominate the Mobile native to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. We also are about to break explosive stories about another Mobile product -- Trump attorney general pick, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

What drove Tim Smith to establish a GoFundMe page for a couple he never has met in person? Here is how Tim explains it on the page:

Progressive journalist (and former UAB Editor) Roger Shuler and his wife Carol need help with basic living expenses.

I'm Timothy Smith, a Democrat living in the very red state of Louisiana. I became interested in Roger Shuler's work back in 2013, when I started reading some of his exposés of the corrupt Republican machine in Alabama.

Most of Roger Shuler's work has been published at Roger's blog, Legal Schnauzer, which he began in 2007. [ http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com]

I recently became reintroduced to Roger's work after a series of stories related to the possible nomination of Mr. Pryor, and the brief gay porn modeling career of a young gentleman described on the gay porn website BadPuppy.com as "Bill Pryor".

Tim has extensive knowledge about the abuse Carol and I have suffered because of my reporting, which never has been proven, as a matter of law, to be false or defamatory -- despite two lawsuits, brought at almost the same time by GOP political operatives Rob Riley and Jessica Medeiros Garrison.

Tim knows that deputies beat me up inside our own home in Birmingham and essentially conducted a kidnapping (with no apparent warrant) that led to my five-month stay in the Shelby County Jail. Tim knows about the wrongful foreclosure on our Alabama home of 25 years, forcing our move to Missouri -- where deputies, during an unlawful eviction at our apartment, broke Carol's arm so severely that it required trauma surgery. From the GoFundMe page:

Here is a brief synopsis of the timeline of events leading to the wrongful incarceration and police brutality against Alabama blogger Roger Shuler and his wife, Carol. Roger was beaten, falsely arrested, and falsely imprisoned for five months due to his expose of corrupt Republican officials in his home state of Alabama. He has never been charged with any crime. Roger and Carol have both lost their jobs, their home and their life.

September 2013
Roger Shuler, at Legal Schnauzer blog, breaks story about nude, gay-porn photographs in the background of U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor, now considered a possible SCOTUS nominee under Donald Trump. The Pryor porn story starts to get national attention via Above the Law, the No. 1 law blog in U.S.

Less than one week after the Pryor story breaks, Shelby County, Alabama, deputies begin making regular visits to the Shulers' home -- at least four visits in three days.

Because Carol and I have managed to keep Legal Schnauzer alive, even while I was in jail, the general public and many readers probably do not know how badly our lives have been turned upside down.  Our survival is a week-to-week proposition, as Tim explains:

Since all of the legal shenanigans the Shulers have suffered since Roger's published exposés of the corrupt Republican machine in Alabama, they have lost their home in Alabama and are currently living in a pay-by-the-week motel in another state.

All donation received are for the Shulers' basic living expenses, including housing, food, medicine, and other basic household needs. The Shulers are in desperate need of our help as soon as possible, and need access to these funds immediately. Please help as much as you are able. Thank you.

My vocabulary does not include the words, it seems, to adequately express our gratitude for Tim Smith's assistance -- and for the help other readers have provided over the almost 10 years of Legal Schnauzer.

We hope you will consider donating at the GoFundMe page Tim set up. And we hope that, together, we can help restore justice to legal and political systems that now are badly broken.


GoFundMe page for Roger and Carol Shuler


24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good to hear about this. No one should be put through what the Rethugs have put you guys through.

legalschnauzer said...

Memo to "Davy Hay":

If you have a comment you'd like to make, you can make it to me directly. You have my email address and phone number. Otherwise, your comments will not see the light of day here. They might see their way to the Alabama State Bar. But I'm not sure the person commenting actually is you. You are a sorry lawyer, but I don't think even you would be stupid enough to leave the comments I've seen under your name.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 9:22. Bravo to Mr. Smith.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if this will help, but I guarantee there is not another story like yours on GoFundMe.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks, @10:17. In terms of my arrest for blogging, and spending five months in jail, I'm not sure that's ever happened to anyone else in U.S. history. Also, I'm not sure another woman, other than Carol, has had her arm shattered by a deputy during an eviction where the cops did not even have legal grounds to be on the property.

Anonymous said...

Your hypocritical censorship is noted. Free speech for Roger, not for anyone who visits the blog. That's some journalist!

Anonymous said...

God bless you and your wife.

Baby Jesus rains golden rain of glory on you.

The righteous die and are with the Lord Our God.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you just get a job like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

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legalschnauzer said...

@12:50 -- How do you know we don't have jobs?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:32 -- It's my blog, and I set the standards around here. I'm not obligated to publish a comment you send that is void of facts, law, reason, coherence (but does include foul language, lies, threats, etc.) If you are intelligent enough to produce a comment with some thought and meaning, which is based in reality, it will get published. If you aren't, your stuff goes in the garbage.

If you want to make the rules, start your own blog -- if you are capable. Otherwise, buzz off.

Jim Ross said...

Just he wrote, the danger is that people will think one standard for Roger, a whole different standard for everyone else. Sad.

Look, we're tired of people telling us what we can read and think. That's over. I would hope that you have enough confidence in your positions to actually let people disagree with you here. We'll never agree with you on all the facts. But you can't just censor us and call us liars. We agree with you on more things than we disagree.

Sort of sad what had happened here. I don't know what you aren't publishing but it concerns me.

Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention a new blog about Roger...

Anonymous said...

Oh, you have jobs? Who is paying you? You always ask that of other who post here... Why don't you come clean, Roger? Hiding anything?

Anonymous said...

"It's my blog! Wah Wah Wah!"

Sounds like a cowardly baby to me.

Anonymous said...

It's your blog?

Then fuck you, and fuck your blog.

legalschnauzer said...

@5:33 -- Showing your class I see. Yes, it's my blog, and I set the rules. What about that is hard to understand? People with some class and intelligence and honesty . . . their comments almost always get through. People like you, who are stupid and have no class or honesty, their comments get deleted. It's pretty simple.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:49 -- You are calling me a cowardly baby while you hide behind your anonymous screen.

I'm sure you aren't smart enough to see the irony in that.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:47 -- If you want to know, give me a call, (205) 381-5673.

legalschnauzer said...

Jim Ross --

Much of what I write here is based on facts and law. Particularly when it comes to cases in which I am involved, they aren't matters where there can be disagreement. I've lived it, and I know the facts; I've researched it, and I know the law. I'm not going to invest the time and effort it takes to produce such posts, and then turn around and let some charlatan try to attack it when they know nothing about the facts and the law.

If someone knows their stuff and can show me I'm wrong, that's fine -- I would even welcome it. But to let someone take the lazy way and throw out baseless assertions . . . that's not going to happen. If you want your comments posted here, you have to earn it -- by showing intelligence, honesty, class, inquisitiveness, etc. You need to add something of value to the discussion. You also earn major points, when you want to sound like an expert countering me, if you ID yourself and your affiliations (if any). If you want to sound like an expert, we (my readers and I) deserve to know your credentials. I'm not big on people hiding behind the anonymous screen while making weak efforts to debunk posts that I've spent a lot of time and effort writing.

Bottom line: People know who I am, and while I'm not perfect, I generally know what I'm talking about here. I'm not going to turn this blog over to unknown commenters who don't know what they are talking about and don't have the courage to put their names out there.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:46 -- You've started a new blog, all about little ole me? Gee, I'm honored.

Could you please send me a link? Would love to see what you've come up with.

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot, @5:33. Whose blog did you think it was?

Anonymous said...

The courts have disagreed with you many times, and it is more likely your own understanding fell short.

Anonymous said...

@1:00 --

Show me where my "understanding" fell short. A vague generalization like that in your comment does nobody any good. It doesn't advance anyone's understanding of the issues we deal with here. Pick a case I've written about, any case (involving me, or someone else) and show me how the judges ruled correctly.

Again, this is not a matter of disagreement, even with judges. They either follow the written law or they don't. Show us one example where I've shown they got it wrong, but you can prove they actually got it right. If you can do that, you've accomplished something.