A number of folks have asked me why I chose to call this blog Legal Schnauzer. There are several reasons.
Mainly, it's a tribute to Murphy, our beloved miniature schnauzer who was with us for 11 years and helped us survive the worst of our legal nightmare. To my wife and me, our wonderful girl Murphy embodied words such as "steadfast," "loyal," "upright," "true blue," "alert," "honest," and "dedicated."
And "feisty." Don't forget "feisty."
The more I learn about Alabama attorney and Republican whistleblower Jill Simpson, the more she seems like a human version of a Legal Schnauzer. And that's an awfully high compliment, coming from this blogger.
This might sound silly to some people, but my wife and I not only loved Murphy, we admired her tremendously. I didn't know it was possible to admire a pet in that way. But that's how we came to feel about Murphy. And having had her in our lives, I think, has helped us to admire people who stand up for what's right and don't back down easily. Jill Simpson seems like that kind of person.
When Alabama Governor Bob Riley decided to attack Simpson yesterday in an interview with the Tuscaloosa News, I had a feeling Simpson would respond in an appropriate manner. And she did--not only taking the governor down several pegs, but maintaining her own position on the high ground.
Glynn Wilson, at Locust Fork News, reports on Simpson's response today. Here are a few of my favorite Simpson points. To borrow a term from Scott Horton of Harper's, she sort of turns the governor into a "greasespot."
“My best suggestion for him is, instead of running his mouth in the press, he needs to go up there and put his hand on the Bible and raise his right hand and take an oath to tell the truth in front of the House Judiciary Committee.”
“I would ask the people of Alabama to consider that it is easy to say things in the press that may not necessarily be true, but it is entirely a different thing to put your hand on the Bible and agree to tell the truth and take an oath and do it in front of congressional committee lawyers. I took the oath. I strongly suggest they do the same.”
For good measure, Wilson reports some intriguing nuggets about the governor's son, Rob Riley, who once seemed so anxious to make statements under oath before Congress. Evidently, sonny boy is not so anxious to do that these days:
Rob Riley, the governor’s son who was in contact with Ms. Simpson as a Republican volunteer before she split with the Alabama Republican Party for being asked by their paid operatives to do “dirty, untrue research,” has so far avoided making a statement he promised to make before the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.
A report from the committee in the spring showed that the committee had made an attempt to get Rob Riley to make a statement, and that Riley indicated he would. But since then, sources say, Riley has avoided numerous attempts from the committee to get in touch with him.
Jill Simpson's critics might call her a "nut" or a "loon." But when I read her quotes, I hear the voice of a person with a clear conscience. Notice that her statements are succinct, to the point, on target--they get to the heart of the matter.
If Murphy could have talked, I think that's the way she would have sounded. She was so comfortable with her place in the world.
I get the feeling Jill Simpson is content in knowing that she speaks the truth--that she's doing the right thing--even though humans probably can never be "comfortable" in the way that dogs are.
I enjoy the fact that Simpson doesn't seem flustered when people in powerful positions come after her. I suspect that's what comes with having a clear conscience--something the Bob Rileys of the world wouldn't know anything about.