|Carol and I are reunited at our former home in|
Birmingham after my arrest for blogging and
a five-month stay in an Alabama jail
(By Michael Donahue)
Now a reader and friend has taken a major step by setting up a GoFundMe page for my wife, Carol, and me -- with the goal of providing desperately needed funds for basic living expenses as we seek to continue our investigative reporting in the face of hurdles that should not happen in a healthy democracy.
Timothy Smith, a liberal Democrat from the red state of Louisiana, set up the GoFundMe page, and we are deeply grateful for his efforts. Tim became aware of our reporting, which already has helped bring down a number of corrupt Alabama officials -- including former U.S. Judge Mark Fuller (who ramrodded the Don Siegelman political prosecution), former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, former gubernatorial adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason, and former University of Alabama legal counsel and Gov. Robert Bentley aide Cooper Shattuck. The Bentley administration itself is teetering because of our reporting about the governor's extramarital affair with Mason -- a story we broke ahead of any other news outlet, seven months before the mainstream media started taking a serious look into the matter.
Tim knows that our reporting is on the verge of becoming a major factor on the national stage. We broke the story of U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor, a homophobe who once posed nude for photos that appeared in the 1990s at the gay-porn site badpuppy.com. We now have come into possession of a second Pryor nude photo, just as president-elect Donald Trump appears set to nominate the Mobile native to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. We also are about to break explosive stories about another Mobile product -- Trump attorney general pick, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
What drove Tim Smith to establish a GoFundMe page for a couple he never has met in person? Here is how Tim explains it on the page:
Progressive journalist (and former UAB Editor) Roger Shuler and his wife Carol need help with basic living expenses.
I'm Timothy Smith, a Democrat living in the very red state of Louisiana. I became interested in Roger Shuler's work back in 2013, when I started reading some of his exposés of the corrupt Republican machine in Alabama.
Most of Roger Shuler's work has been published at Roger's blog, Legal Schnauzer, which he began in 2007. [ http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com]
I recently became reintroduced to Roger's work after a series of stories related to the possible nomination of Mr. Pryor, and the brief gay porn modeling career of a young gentleman described on the gay porn website BadPuppy.com as "Bill Pryor".
Tim has extensive knowledge about the abuse Carol and I have suffered because of my reporting, which never has been proven, as a matter of law, to be false or defamatory -- despite two lawsuits, brought at almost the same time by GOP political operatives Rob Riley and Jessica Medeiros Garrison.
Tim knows that deputies beat me up inside our own home in Birmingham and essentially conducted a kidnapping (with no apparent warrant) that led to my five-month stay in the Shelby County Jail. Tim knows about the wrongful foreclosure on our Alabama home of 25 years, forcing our move to Missouri -- where deputies, during an unlawful eviction at our apartment, broke Carol's arm so severely that it required trauma surgery. From the GoFundMe page:
Here is a brief synopsis of the timeline of events leading to the wrongful incarceration and police brutality against Alabama blogger Roger Shuler and his wife, Carol. Roger was beaten, falsely arrested, and falsely imprisoned for five months due to his expose of corrupt Republican officials in his home state of Alabama. He has never been charged with any crime. Roger and Carol have both lost their jobs, their home and their life.
Roger Shuler, at Legal Schnauzer blog, breaks story about nude, gay-porn photographs in the background of U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor, now considered a possible SCOTUS nominee under Donald Trump. The Pryor porn story starts to get national attention via Above the Law, the No. 1 law blog in U.S.
Less than one week after the Pryor story breaks, Shelby County, Alabama, deputies begin making regular visits to the Shulers' home -- at least four visits in three days.
Because Carol and I have managed to keep Legal Schnauzer alive, even while I was in jail, the general public and many readers probably do not know how badly our lives have been turned upside down. Our survival is a week-to-week proposition, as Tim explains:
Since all of the legal shenanigans the Shulers have suffered since Roger's published exposés of the corrupt Republican machine in Alabama, they have lost their home in Alabama and are currently living in a pay-by-the-week motel in another state.
All donation received are for the Shulers' basic living expenses, including housing, food, medicine, and other basic household needs. The Shulers are in desperate need of our help as soon as possible, and need access to these funds immediately. Please help as much as you are able. Thank you.
My vocabulary does not include the words, it seems, to adequately express our gratitude for Tim Smith's assistance -- and for the help other readers have provided over the almost 10 years of Legal Schnauzer.
We hope you will consider donating at the GoFundMe page Tim set up. And we hope that, together, we can help restore justice to legal and political systems that now are badly broken.
GoFundMe page for Roger and Carol Shuler