Prominent Alabama Republicans this week said they did not know that funds used to fight non-Indian gaming in the state came from Indian gambling sources. A check of public records shows the Republicans almost certainly were lying.
A $100,000 check that went to an Alabama anti-gambling organization in 2010 originated with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and was funneled through the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), according to a report in the Montgomery Advertiser. The same article showed that Indian gambling money, via the RSLC, played a prominent role in the Republican takeover of the Alabama Legislature in 2010.
Three key Republicans connected to the story--Homewood attorney Rob Riley, conservative lawyer and activist A. Eric Johnston, and House Speaker Mike Hubbard--said they had no idea the RSLC took money from gambling sources. But a simple check of public documents on the Web shows the GOP trio either was lying or was stunningly out of touch.
The Alabama denials are even more hard to swallow in light of recent reports that two Las Vegas casino moguls--Steve Wynn, of Wynn Resorts, and Sherman Adelson, of the Las Vegas Sands, gave more than $625,000 to the RSLC in recent months. Another report shows that Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, of Las Vegas, has given $165,299 to the RSLC.
We are supposed to believe that Riley, Johnston, and Hubbard were utterly in the dark about RSLC's ties to gaming? It's not a new development, by the way.
Records at campaignmoney.com show that RSLC received $15,000 from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians in 2003, followed by a $25,000 donation in 2005. Jack Abramoff, a former GOP lobbyist and now confessed felon, represented the Choctaws at the time. In 2006, the RSLC received $100,000 from Harrah's Casino Hotels.
We learned about this after a Web search lasting about five minutes. But Riley, Johnston, and Hubbard are not capable of learning about RSLC's ties to gaming that go back roughly 10 years? These guys can't afford Internet service?
The RSLC was founded in 2002, and we know it took gaming money in 2003. That means RSLC's roots have been fertilized with gambling cash pretty much from the outset. But GOP insiders in Alabama don't know that?
The obvious connections do not stop there. Ed Gillespie took over as RSLC chairman in 2010, and he has ties to . . . well, we will let Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne explain it, from a 2006 column:
When journalists would raise questions about Abramoff's role as a lobbyist-fundraiser just a couple of years ago, Bush's lieutenants played down his influence peddling and proudly claimed Abramoff as one of their own.
On an Oct. 15, 2003, CNBC broadcast, journalist Alan Murray asked Ed Gillespie, then chairman of the Republican National Committee, about fundraising by "people like Jack Abramoff, who represents Indian tribes here," and another lobbyist whose name I'll leave out because he has not been implicated in any scandals. "Are you going to sit here and tell us that their contributions to your party have nothing to do with their lobbying efforts in Washington?"
"I know Jack Abramoff," Gillespie replied. He mentioned the other lobbyist and insisted: "They are Republicans; they were Republicans before they were lobbyists. . . . I think they want to see a Republican reelected in the White House in 2004 more than anything."
What do we know for sure?
* Ed Gillespie, now the chair of the RSLC, was mighty happy to identify himself with Jack Abramoff in 2003;
* Abramoff's client, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, gave money to the RSLC in 2003 and 2005;
* The RSLC now is awash in gambling money from Las Vegas casino magnates.
We know all of this, but Rob Riley, Eric Johnston, and Mike Hubbard were clueless? Excuse me while I attempt to suppress a guffaw.
You nailed 'em, LS. Everyone knows they are liars, but you proved it. Good job.
So the RSLC took gambling money from its earliest days, but Rob Riley claims ignorance? What a joke.
Thanks for proving that the gutless SOB is a liar.
Wow, the RSLC took money from the MS Choctaws? Wow, I say, wow. Great reporting from the Schnauzer.
The World Series starts tonight, and LS hits a grand slam early. This post kicks ass. Sharing right now.
Somebody finally exposed these suckers. Can't believe it.
The Montgomery Independent has a new story out about all of this. Not sure if it's on their Web site, but Bob Martin wrote it, with a lot of good stuff.
I'm starting to think Rob Riley is dirtier than his daddy. And that's saying something.
The long history of the "protected-from-law-enforcement" Rob/Bob Riley corruption is staggering. I recall Rob paid a $10,000 campaign ethics fine for basically money laundering. He was moving money into his father's campaign for a congressional seat; this was a couple decades ago! Not to mention, Crimsonica, Triad Mgmt, Paragon Source, HealthSouth, Performance Group, Siegelman, Scrushy and the list goes on. He has been assisted by his father ex-governor Bob Riley every step of the way. What a terrible shame to raise your children with no ethical responsibilities and zero morals. Great reporting Mr. Schnauzer.
You are absolutely right about Rob Riley's ties to money laundering. I wrote about this back in January 2010:
Oh, here is another piece I did on Rob Riley's fine from the FEC:
Hmmm . . . the RSLC has been taking money from at least one of Jack Abramoff's gambling clients, and Rob Riley is ignorant of that.
Remember this NEXT election 4 years from now when Gomer Riley "thanks we forgot thangs" about him...and he runs for president.. Don't get too close to the family!!! Remember that threat? I was so embarrassed when he would get on television and say "I THANK THANGS are looking up for Alabamer!" Wonder why someone working for him did not tell him to say "think instead of THANK and things instead of THANGS." Go back and listen to some of his speeches online, close your eyes and you'll swear GOMER PYLE!! He was a shame and disgrace for this state.. my family and friends in other states laughed their heads off at Gomer Riley.x
Don't forget Ralph Reed--that Christian from hell $ his money laundering machine-(using the FDIC as a slush fund)
However, the contest over whether the Justice Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will have to pay for the Hollands' legal expenses may not be over.
That's reason he was never arrested because he was in competition with the Bush/Rove DOJ as to who was the more criminal.
Nobody wants to be associated with the criminal- Ralph Reed.
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