Don Henley, one of our favorite musicians here at Legal Schnauzer, wrote a blistering tune a few years back called "I Will Not Go Quietly."
The song, which features snarling backing vocals by Axl Rose, has been rambling around in my head today after reading about the latest shenanigans from the Bush Justice Department.
In a perverse sort of way, you have to give it to the Bushies. Voters soundly repudiated their policies and tactics on November 4, but does the corrupt Bush crowd care? Heck, no. They are heading out the door, but they are not going quietly.
Here in Alabama, we learn today that Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford has been arrested on a variety of federal charges related to sewer-bond deals when he was president of the Jefferson County Commission.
The charges were not a surprise. The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Langford over the sewer-bond transactions, and it was well known that he was the subject of a criminal inquiry. Arrested along with Langford this morning were Montgomery investment banker William Blount and prominent lobbyist Al LaPierre.
Blount is a former state Democratic Party chairman, and LaPierre is former executive director of the state Democratic Party.
We had a decidedly mixed reaction to news of the arrests. Langford, who is black, is a wildly creative, unpredictable leader. Substantial evidence seems to suggest that he has a history of handling money in a careless way.
Is it hard to believe that Langford might have played fast and loose with the law on the sewer deals? Not really.
But here is where the trouble comes in. The case is brought by U.S. Attorney Alice Martin, who should be the poster child for political and race-based prosecutions in the Bush Department of Justice.
She brought the first case against former governor Don Siegelman, which was promptly tossed out of court. She brought a sloppy, absurd case against Huntsville businessman Alex Latifi, which also was tossed. She has gone after a parade of black Democrats, including Jeff Germany, Chris McNair, and E.B. McClain.
Scott Horton, legal affairs contributor for Harper's magazine, has called Martin perhaps the most corrupt and crooked public official in the country.
Did we mention that Langford is black? Did we mention that he, Blount, and LaPierre are all prominent Democrats?
Even though Alice Martin surely will be ousted not long after Barack Obama becomes president in January, she's still pushing forward with cases that drip of political, even racist, motivations.
But it's important to note that Alice Martin is not the only person who will not go quietly. Take your humble blogger for example.
Republican henchmen in Alabama cheated me out of my job at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and I have no intention of going quietly. In fact, a GOP money man who also happens to be a big donor to UAB is probably painfully aware that I'm not going quietly.
Mr. Money Bag's name is William Cobb "Chip" Hazelrig, and I was in Jefferson County Circuit Court this morning to follow his appeal for a conviction on drunk driving and other traffic charges:
UAB and the Influence of a Drunk-Driving Republican
Why would Hazelrig appeal? Gee, he was only going 112 mph in a 55 zone. Gee, his license has only been suspended five times, not including this most recent incident. Gee, he only has some 20 traffic offenses on his record, most of them serious in nature.
I've identified Chip Hazelrig as a "person of interest" in my unlawful termination. Giving $5 million will buy an awful lot of influence at a university. And several of Hazelrig's GOP buddies have been portrayed in a quite unfavorable (and truthful) light here at Legal Schnauzer.
Did some of those buddies encourage Chip Hazelrig to use his clout at UAB, costing a certain blogger his job? Well, we are building a significant amount of evidence to address that question. And we will be laying it all out on this blog.
In the words of Don Henley, "I Will Not Go Quietly."
Speaking of which, let's check out this video of the Henley rocker. The video is goofy, but the tune is a hum dinger:
There is more detail on Bill Blount. Blount is also a licensed attorney. He stands to lose his law license from all this.
Though Bill Blount was a Democrat, The Blount Family is very rich and plays both sides of the fence. Winton Blount was the Postmaster Genral under Nixon and his son Wynton was Chairman of the Alabama GOP, ran for Governor as a Republican in 1998. Much of the Blount Family's old plantation home in Montgomery is now the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Blount Cultural Park. Dick Cheney's friends at KBR and Montgomery Mayor Emory Folmar profited greatly from the development of the land.
The extended family of Republican Attorney Luther Strange are partners in the Blount-Strange Ford Dealership in Montgomery. Like The Drummond Family who switched from backing Siegelman to Riley, they are known to switch parties and donate across party lines depending on who will deliver the results they want.
Thanks for the info, Supablogga. Very interesting. Didn't the GOP go after Bill Clinton's law license? I seem to recall that as part of the motivation behind the Whitewater investigations?
Just received word from a reader in Montgomery who says Bill Blount is not related to the Winton Blount family.
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