Monday, July 6, 2015

Notorious GOP felon Michael Scanlon stood up for Rob Riley's "integrity" during campaign-finance probe

Michael Scanlon
Alabama Republican Rob Riley was on a political hot seat when the U.S. Senate launched a wide-raising investigation of fund-raising practices during the 1996 campaigns. That was the year Rob Riley engaged in activities that sound a lot like money laundering in order to help his father, Bob Riley, get elected to Congress.

The investigation lasted 10 years, finally closing down in 2008, after the Federal Election Commission fined Rob Riley and his father's campaign $10,000 for making and accepting excess contributions. At the heart of the controversy was Triad Management Services, a Virginia-based consulting firm devoted to keeping the Republican majority in Congress, according to its promotional materials in 1995 and '96. Carolyn Malenick, a former fund-raiser for Oliver North, was president of Triad.

According to a number of press reports, Rob Riley likely avoided criminal charges only because Republican Fred Thompson (R-TN) headed the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and it decided there was insufficient evidence to take the investigation any further.

Who stood up for Rob Riley's "integrity" during this tumultuous time? It was Michael Scanlon, his father's press secretary. That's the same Michael Scanlon who was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison for his role in a public-corruption and fraud scandal involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Michael Scanlon standing up for your integrity? That's a little like having the late John Holmes vouch for your virginity.

According to a 1997 Associated Press story, Michael Scanlon was aghast at the notion that Rob Riley would intentionally circumvent campaign-finance laws. From the AP report:

The son of Rep. Bob Riley, R-Ala., contributed $1,000 to four different political action committees that later donated identical amounts to Riley's campaign, federal disclosure records show.

Robert R. Riley Jr., a Birmingham lawyer, contributed another $1,000 to a fifth PAC that donated $500 to his father's campaign the following day, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Rob Riley
A spokesman for the congressman insisted Thursday that the transactions were "absolutely not'' intended to circumvent federal law that limits individual contributions to $1,000 per candidate per election.

``To say that Rob wrote the checks to the PACs and the PACs wrote the checks to the campaign is incorrect,'' said Mike Scanlon, press secretary to the freshman Republican.

Scanlon didn't stop there; he was just getting warmed up. Here is more from AP:

Scanlon said the congressman's son wrote the five PAC contribution checks and mailed them together in late April or early May to Triad Management Services Inc., a Washington-based firm that advises conservative donors who want to contribute to conservative PACs and candidates.

``Whatever transpired between Triad and these PACs, we have absolutely no idea about,'' said Scanlon. ``That's between Triad and the political action committees.''

Scanlon said the younger Riley wanted to help conservative candidates and sent the PAC checks to Triad ``under the assumption that there was a very good possibility that none of the money would come back to Bob Riley's campaign.''

Is Michael Scanlon a trustworthy source on this subject? Well, to answer that question, we highly recommend an article at titled "How Rob Riley Learned to Launder Political Money."

We also recommend that you view the following scene from Casino Jack, a Hollywood film about the Abramoff scandal. This scene features Kevin Spacey as Abramoff and Barry Pepper as Scanlon:


Anonymous said...

Isn't this like having Bernie Madoff vouch for your investment strategy?

Anonymous said...

How much was Rob Riley's involvement in this scandal covered in the Alabama press?

legalschnauzer said...

My research on this isn't extensive, @9:28, but based on what I've been able to find, I don't think it was covered at all. If anyone has more information, please feel free to update us.

Chuckles said...

A reference to John Holmes at Legal Schnauzer? Never thought I would see that!

Wayne said...

Exactly my thoughts Chuckles. But it was funny. The Riley's are crooks and everybody knows it.

Anonymous said...

Whatever became of Michael Scanlon? Whatever became of John Holmes, for that matter?

legalschnauzer said...

I don't know what Michael Scanlon is up to these days. He seems to have an extremely low profile online now--in fact, it's pretty much nonexistent, except for news of his past exploits. As for John Holmes, he took his giant (ahem) and went to that wonderful porno theater in the sky. Seriously, he died, and I think the cause was AIDS.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is an anonymous comment that was sent to a different post. I believe it was meant to be connected to this post, so I'm republishing it here:

Anonymous said...
It is difficult to believe any investigation could last 10 years. Also difficult to believe is the Abramoff association with the late Gus Boulis. It's curious to think three men in this same case had been held in prison for three years awaiting a trial. What is this country coming to? By the time they finish investigations half the witnesses have grown so old or died? How incredible that they're just now dealing with Gus Boulis's murderer. And how incredible is it they hold people in jail for 3 years awaiting investigations?
July 6, 2015 at 9:43 PM

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for mentioning the Boulis case, @9:43. Looks like the final trial is winding down now:

Was Abramoff ever implicated in the Boulis murder? How about Scanlon?

Sounds like it wound up being a mafia case, but you wonder about political figures possibly being involved--and getting off the hook.

e.a.f. said...

Must be something wrong with the system down there. In Canada a cabinet minister over spent by $20K, didn't "man up" on it, got sentenced to jail. Of course he is out on "bail" pending an appeal.

3 yrs waiting in jail. I don't get it. if there are ties to a community and they aren't a danger to society, ie. kill or main someone the next day, release them. it saves money, its better for society in general. All the people kept in jail in the U.S.A. must be making some people very rich.