|Luther Strange and Roy Moore|
Some recent polls had Strange missing the runoff, despite the endorsement of Donald Trump. That's because Strange has enough ethical baggage hanging over him to sink the Lusitania.
The spotlight already is shining on that baggage, especially Strange's temporary appointment to the Sessions seat by Robert "Luv Guv" Bentley, the disgraced ousted governor who apparently gave the position to "Big Lutha" in exchange for soft-peddling an investigation on Bentley's sex- and finance-related wrongdoing.
But the spotlight figures to get even hotter between now and Sept. 16, especially since Strange's baggage appears to go way beyond the Bentley deal. In fact, Strange's biggest ethical problem might, appropriately enough, involve dirt -- lots of real dirt. Strange's ties to that scandal might be in the early stages, but we've seen reports that "Lutha" has dirt under his fingernails, and federal investigators are poking around. For good measure, the scandal appears to have some connection to Jessica Medeiros Garrison, Strange's one-time campaign manager and mistress.
As for Doug Jones, he received a high enough percentage of votes yesterday to avoid a runoff and advance directly to the general election. As a staunch liberal, I generally support just about any Democrat with a pulse and three or more brain cells. But Jones is a dismal candidate and an even worse human being, as I will be showing in a series of posts between now and general-election day.
Jones is little more than a whore for the GOP's Riley Political Machine. Jones teamed with Rob "Uday" Riley (son of former Gov. Bob Riley) to help gather more than $50 million in attorney fees from a civil case against Richard Scrushy (codefendant in the Don Siegelman criminal case), HealthSouth, and related entities.
Rob Riley became part of the plaintiffs' team, even though he had blatant conflicts of interest, according to a 2008 report from Huffington Post's Sam Stein. In fact, Stein quoted two sources who suggested that Riley's insider knowledge from the Siegelman/Scrushy criminal case helped force HealthSouth's decision to pay $445 million, one of the largest settlements in securities-litigation history.
We picked up on that theme in a piece that showed Jones is happy to ignore right-wing conflicts if there is enough money on the table. From our 2011 post:
The other co-liaison counsel in the HealthSouth case -- Jones' chief local assistant -- was Rob Riley, the son of former Republican Governor Bob Riley. Why did Doug Jones need Rob Riley on the lawsuit team? Probably because Riley had inside information about former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. And that information probably came from Riley's involvement in a Republican conspiracy to conduct a political prosecution against Siegelman and Scrushy, a scheme that Alabama attorney and whistleblower Dana Jill Simpson revealed to the world.That's enough, for now, about Doug Jones. Even if he were a good Democratic candidate, Jones likely wouldn't stand a chance in the general election. Given that he's mostly a phony and a con artist -- touting his "civil rights" bona fides while the record shows he has little regard for the rule of law and equal justice -- Jones surely will get swamped by Moore or Strange in December.
Should progressives be concerned about Doug Jones' willingness to make money by jumping in bed with a member of the Riley clan? What about Jones' apparent determination to now push tainted nominees to [the] Democratic [Obama] administration?
Regular readers know that Bob Riley has ties to GOP felons Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon. And yet Doug Jones, who now seems to have the Obama administration's ear, is comfortably aligned with Bob Riley's son.
If it came down to Strange or Jones, I wouldn't vote for either one. I'd write in the name of a dead armadillo. We have reason to hope that, regardless of what happens in the Senate race, a "dirty" scandal will finally chop "Big Lutha" down to size.
We've seen signs that the "dirty" scandal hits real close to home for Mrs. Schnauzer and me. We will spell that out in an upcoming post.
Meanwhile, folks who voted yesterday for Luther Strange should think twice about how much dirt they are willing to stomach.