Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spokesman For Alabama Governor Takes Hypocrisy To New Levels

A spokesman for Alabama Governor Bob Riley decried what he called "low-road tactics" when a pro-bingo crowd shouted down the governor and his wife during an anti-bingo rally last week on the State House steps.

Hypocrisy among Republicans is so blatant that it takes a lot for one example to stand out. But Riley spokesman Jeff Emerson definitely managed to stand out with his latest whopper. That's partly because it came roughly on the heels of a report here at Legal Schnauzer about a Riley associate threatening a Christian Coalition leader over gambling issues.

Here is what Emerson said after last week's showdown on the State House steps:

“Threatening tactics, intimidation, shouting down ministers, the use of profanity, all at a peaceful gathering designed to let people who oppose casinos to voice their concerns,” Emerson said. “Alabamians need to pay attention to the low-road tactics they use to attack those who dare disagree with them and their plans to get a no-bid casino bill through the Legislature.”

Notice that Emerson seems to be oblivious to threatening tactics that go in the other direction. One example came in our report on Friday about Dax Swatek, Riley's campaign manager in 2006, who threatened Dr. Randy Brinson because the Christian Coalition leaders supports efforts to tax and regulate gambling in Alabama, with proceeds going to boost the state's Medicaid program.

Here is how a 2007 lawsuit described Swatek's actions:

Not only have negative comments been made about Brinson and the Coalition in the news media, Brinson recently received a personal threat from Dax Swatek during a phone conversation after the April 10, 2007, press conference held by Rep. Marcel Black concerning HB 527. In the conversation Swatek told Brinson he'd "better back off," and said it in a threatening manner sufficient to alarm Brinson. As Swatek represents a powerful gambling interest with an enormous interest in controlling the state's gambling laws, Brinson has taken Swatek's threat seriously.

So you see, the Riley crowd has no problem with low-road tactics--when they are the ones using them.

Speaking of threats, we know a thing or two about them. In the weeks before I was unlawfully terminated from my job at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), I received numerous anonymous comments of a threatening nature on this blog. One specifically threatened my job, and I was fired roughly a month later.

Evidence strongly suggests that those anonymous threats came from someone with ties to the Riley administration. When I file a lawsuit against the University of Alabama Board of Trustees and UAB officials acting in their individual capacities--and that will come in the next six weeks or so--discovery should show conclusively who sent those e-mails.

And I'm hardly alone in being the victim of unlawful treatment at UAB, while Bob Riley has served as ex oficio president of the board. We've written about numerous other cases that involve discrimination or other unlawful acts at UAB.

Has Bob Riley spoken a word about any of those cases? Not that I'm aware of. He only seems to be concerned about the law when it involves bingo.

Isn't that curious?

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