Alabama Governor Bob Riley persists on positioning himself as an anti-gambling crusader, despite a mountain of evidence that Riley's administration actually has been fueled by gambling interests.
The latest news has Riley forming a task force, led by retired Jefferson County district attorney David Barber, to crack down on illegal gambling.
Riley's move comes roughly two weeks after he had announced 12.5 percent proration in the state's education budget. Some legislators have proposed expanding gambling and levying state taxes to help offset budget cuts.
But Riley, who claims to be pure as new-fallen snow on gambling, won't hear of it.
The governor either has turbo-charged reserves of hypocrisy or he considers Alabamians to be complete dolts--or both.
This is the politician who took $13 million of Mississippi Indian gaming money, funneled through disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, for his 2002 campaign. And U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) withheld from a Senate investigation an e-mail that proved Riley's ties to Abramoff.
It also has been reported that a number of Riley's close associates, including his son Rob Riley and former campaign manager Dax Swatek, have had ties to the gambling industry.
We are going to be reporting on these Rob Riley and Dax Swatek gambling connections in a series of posts coming soon.
I can only assume that Bob Riley figures if he spouts the anti-gambling BS often enough, Congress and an Obama Justice Department will forget about looking in his direction when it examines the sordid Abramoff mess.
Obama attorney general-designate Eric Holder doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would fall for that trick.
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