That raises many intriguing questions, including this one: Where is Rob Riley's name in the equation? All of the original reports about the $100,000 transfer from the Poarch Creek Indians to Citizens for a Better Alabama mentioned the former governor's son prominently.
Bill Britt, publisher of the Alabama Political Reporter, has led the way on coverage of the Lee County investigation. But his article in today's issue makes no mention of Rob Riley's role in the questionable transaction. A memo on the deal, which politico.com leaked, also appears to make no mention of Rob Riley.
That is odd because an October 2012 Montgomery Advertiser article, which broke the story, had Rob Riley's name front and center.
This is from an October 23, 2012, Legal Schnauzer post titled "Rob Riley Helped Funnel Indian Gambling Money To Organization That Opposed Non-Indian Gaming."
The son of former Governor Bob Riley was the middle man in a transaction that funneled Indian gambling money toward a campaign to fight non-Indian gaming facilities in Alabama, according to a report yesterday in the Montgomery Advertiser.
Rob Riley, a Homewood attorney, received notification from the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) that it had contributed $100,000 to Citizens for a Better Alabama on June 10, 2010. Records show that the RSLC received a $100,000 check that same day from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
This is from an article we posted the next day, based on information from public records and published reports:
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.
How unbelievable were the statements from Rob Riley, Eric Johnston, and Mike Hubbard? We spelled that out, again citing public records:
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?
Again, why has Rob Riley's name been left out of recent reports when original articles showed he was in the middle of a smelly deal that sent Indian gambling money to an organization that vowed to fight non-Indian gambling?
Alabamians, and all citizens who care about honest government, should be asking that question? They also should be asking this question: Where in the world is the Obama Justice Department, when this case appears to involve serious federal issues?