Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Why has Alabama political pipeline produced such awful candidates for Senate special election? That question can be answered with two words: Karl Rove

Mo Brooks, Roy Moore, Luther Strange
The primaries in Alabama's special election for the U.S. Senate are less than a week away (next Tuesday, August 15), and a member of the mainstream media (MSM) is complaining about the poor slate of candidates from both parties. That's ironic because the MSM has a lot to do with the dismal political climate in Alabama.

Kyle Whitmire, of, wrote a piece yesterday, titled "What's Wrong With Alabama's Political Pipeline?" Whitmire's been around long enough to know the answer to that question is easy; it can be summed up in two words -- "Karl Rove."

If you want to go beyond a two-word explanation, you can add these phrases: (1) "Jack Abramoff"; and (2) "Complicity of the lazy, compromised, right-wing media."

Yes, Kyle Whitmire belongs in category No. 2; he's part of the problem that leads him to whine.

Whitmire is correct that the field is dreadful. The GOP field is led by the "Three Stooges" -- Roy Moore, Luther Strange, and Mo Brooks. Perhaps Donald Trump could join them to form a Mount Rushmore of the dysfunctional political right. A new poll shows that Strange -- the darling of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (and yes, Karl Rove) -- might not even make a runoff. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

On the Democratic side, recent polls show that an unknown from Mobile is leading, only because he has a familiar name -- Robert Kennedy Jr. The best-known candidate among the Democrats is Birmingham lawyer Doug Jones, who happens to be one of the biggest political phonies of the modern era. Jones tries to con black voters with his supposed civil-rights bona fides, but the reality is that he sucked up to the Riley Political Machine to make money off a HealthSouth civil case, and he helped cover up insurance fraud involving University of Alabama honcho Paul Bryant Jr., creating a toxic Tuscaloosa culture that would eventually fuel the Megan Rondini rape case.

If there is a candidate of competence and hope in the field, it probably is Democrat Michael Hansen, who is running as "an unapologetic progressive." Good for him. I just wish he was running as an unapologetic liberal because I get tired of seeing the "L word" used as a pejorative.

Says Hansen: "Democrats in Alabama have a clear choice this election. They can select a centrist that’s indistinguishable from the pack, or rally behind a candidate with real energy. As an unapologetic progressive, I’m talking about pocketbook issues that cross party lines. health care, wages, and the environment resonate with real voters and that’s how I’m winning.”

I like the sound of that, partly because it's a clear shot at Jones. Unfortunately, Hansen is openly gay, and that's generally not part of a winning recipe in Alabama. Still, I would like to see him make a runoff, with those races set for Sept. 26 -- and the general election on Dec. 12.

As for Rove, he ushered in what I call "The Modern Era of U.S. political corruption" by joining with Tom Donohue and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to turn state courts in the Deep South from Democrat to Republican. That started in 1994 with the race for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme court, between Democrat Sonny Hornsby and Republican Perry Hooper. The race, brilliantly chronicled in a 2004 Joshua Green article at The Atlantic, served as a precursor to the Bush v. Gore presidential race of 2000. In both, the Rove candidate first appeared to have lost, setting off a chain of recounts, challenges, and dubious machinations that led to the Rove candidate being declared the winner.

An even more disturbing scenario came in 2002 when votes for Democratic incumbent governor Don Siegelman disappeared overnight in heavily Republican Baldwin County, turning the race in favor of Rove's candidate, Bob Riley. Jim Gundlach, an election expert from Auburn University, said it was virtually impossible for the Siegelman votes to disappear without human tampering. In other words, substantial evidence pointed to the election being stolen -- a Rove-related scenario that also was present in Hornsby v. Hooper (1994), Bush v. Gore (2000), and Bush v. John Kerry (2004).

The 2002 Siegelman-Riley fiasco was the race where GOP felon Jack Abramoff admitted to spending $20 million in an attempt to beat Siegelman because Mississippi Choctaws feared gaming competition from a possible Siegelman-supported lottery in Alabama.

When polls showed Siegelman likely would beat Riley in a 2006 rematch, the Bush Justice Department -- with Rove's fingerprints in all sorts of unlikely places -- decided to prosecute the Democrat in a "bribery" case that was brought more than a year after the five-year statute of limitations had expired. The trial, which by law could not happen, wound up with a conviction, largely thanks to bogus jury instructions from former U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, who went on to be forced from the bench after facing assault charges for beating his wife in an Atlanta hotel room.

What three lessons has Karl Rove, over roughly 23 years, taught candidates who might run for office in Alabama?

(1) If you are a Democrat, or non-Rove Republican, the race likely will be stolen from you;

(2) If that doesn't dissuade you from competing, you likely will face trumped-up criminal charges that could ruin your career and your life; and

(3) If that doesn't work, your financial backers are likely to face prosecution, too.

Kyle Whitmire is surprised that Alabama has a lousy field of candidates for the upcoming special Senate election? Gee, why would any semi-competent candidate choose to run for public office in that environment. It's obvious the "political pipeline" is clogged with raw sewage, and who wants to swim around in that?

As for Alabama's MSM, it has trumpeted political prosecutions at every turn. Just consider the esteemed Mr. Whitmire. He has written multiple times that the Siegelman case was properly decided, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. In making such assessments, Whitmire has shown no indication that he has any knowledge about relevant law that was supposed to govern the case.

A strong argument could be made that Alabama corruption, starting in the mid 1990s, has infected our national political culture. In fact, it likely led to Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, leaving us with an unqualified and unstable Donald Trump in the White House, at a time when tensions with North Korea could lead to nuclear war. One must not forget that Trump's presidential campaign seemed to pick up steam when he received the endorsement of former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions via a major rally in . . . Mobile, Alabama.

We long have referred to Alabama as "Ground Zero" for GOP-related political skulduggery. One reason involves geography; the state is smack in the middle of the band of Southern states (from Texas to North Carolina) that consistently vote "red" in presidential elections. Insiders like Rove know that if the Republican Party ever lost Alabama, the rest of the South likely would follow, leaving GOP prospects extraordinarily dim. That's one reason a Democrat like Don Siegelman, who consistently beat GOP opponents at the ballot box, was such a threat.

Now, we have Trump and North Korea tossing threats back and forth -- and one could argue we reached this point via a trail of political corruption that runs right through Alabama.


Anonymous said...

Alabama politics is a dumpster fire. I agree with that. Not sure I agree that Karl Rove is the cause of it.

Anonymous said...

Roy Moore, Luther Strange, Mo Brooks. That's the kind of candidates you get from a party that has proven it can't govern.

Anonymous said...

Roy Moore, Luther Strange, and Mo Brooks also represent a party that has no ideas, beyond tax cuts for the wealthy and "build a wall."

Anonymous said...

Rove's plan wasn't just to abuse Don Siegelman. It was to make any legit Democrat running for public office to think twice about doing so. That's why people like Sue Schmitz were prosecuted. As you note, it's worked to perfection.

Anonymous said...

@10:24 --

Luther Strange has an idea. It's to take Mitch McConnell's money and do whatever Mitch McConnell says.

Anonymous said...

I blame Alabama voters for a lot of this. Potential candidates see that many voters in the state fall for con artists and demagogues, so they figure, "Why bother trying to convince voters who have plugs in their ears."

Anonymous said...

Alabama politics have been dirty for a long time, but it went to an all new level with the Siegelman case. First, Bill Pryor (a Jeff Sessions protege) ensured that the 2002 election would be stolen, and then Rove/Canary/Riley ensured Siegelman would be prosecuted. No wonder the DOJ is stonewalling on records connected to that case.

Anonymous said...

Republicans can't compete in the marketplace of ideas, so they try to make sure they have no competition. Pretty bold stuff there, Mr. Rove.

Anonymous said...

Alabama should be embarrassed that this is the best it can come up with.

Anonymous said...

Same state that keeps sending Dick Shelby back to Washington.

Anonymous said...

Donald Trump endorsed Luther Strange, and some Republicans see that as a positive? This is the same president who is doing his best to start a nuclear war with North Korea?

Tell you everything you need to know about GOP.

Anonymous said...

I would say Karl Rove lit several of the matches that started the dumpster fire in Alabama.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see what happens with this Robert Kennedy Jr. character. Apparently, he doesn't want to disclose his employer. Strange way to build trust with the public, Mr. Kennedy.

Anonymous said...

"(1) If you are a Democrat, or non-Rove Republican, the race likely will be stolen from you;"

I'm glad you included the above in your report. Gary White was a non-Rove Republican, and he's still in prison, all because he would not provide false testimony about Siegelman and Richard Scrushy. Alice Martin and her henchmen wanted certain answers from Mr. White, and he refused to provide them because they weren't true. He was prosecuted as a result.

Hard to believe that Donald Watkins praises a criminal like Alice Martin on his Facebook page.

Anonymous said...

Since the beginning of the illegal and unlawful investigation by Sessions and Pryor to politically destroy the election of Governor Jim Folsom, Jr. [D]; immediately thereafter followed even more extensively the political assassination of Governor Don Siegelman's [D] political future by same with the addition of characters Bill Canary and Karl Rove.

Is there not any shame among any Alabamians in positions of authority and power outside their comfort zones; beyond those pre-determined as being plebeians, the common [little] people, troublemakers, and crazies, etc anything to discredit their evidences.

Anon. August 9, 2017 11:28 AM. "Alabama...been dirty for a long time,...." True complacency among "we the people" bear responsibility; but what of the ethical and moral standards advocated by state's media when they themselves are mute, when made available runs from the very evidences which would avoid the State of Alabama its corruptions and its national embarrassments; but they, similar thinking to Watergate 1973 President Nixon's tape March 1973; "I DON"T GIVE A SHIT......COVER UP OR WHATEVER ELSE YOU HAVE TO DO TO PROTECT THE.......PLAN. STALLING AND COVER UPS HE SAID WERE THE MAIN INGREDIENTS. One is left to imagine had the Alabama media had the courage to the public where would I state be now ranked in national politics instead of #1 in corruption.

Anonymous said...

@4:17 --

Like you, I can't figure out why Donald Watkins would suck up to the likes of Alice Martin and Jeff Sessions. As I understand it, some of Mr. Watkins' legal and financial entanglements have been resolved, but not all of them. With Sessions in the Trump admin (for now) and Martin running for state AG, Watkins might figure it's wise to be Mr. Sweetheart to them. I can't imagine that Watkins actually has much respect for Alice Martin as a lawyer or a person.

e.a.f. said...

well that doesn't look like a great group. those pictures remind me of used car sales men or litigation lawyers. oh well.

As I understand it Democrats and Republicans have to run in these primaries to decide who gets to represent their parties. As a Canadian I don't know if just any one can place their name on the ballot, and if they can't why don't they. Its not like there is a great choice from what I'm reading. Is placing your name on the ballot have a financial cost attached to it? Just wondering because with the people who might run, gee I'd put my name on the ballot just to see if there was enough dissatisfaction in the state to get myself elected. Hey the job comes with a great benefits plan especially the health care plan for senators.

Anonymous said...

Due to issues I post this anonymously. But since I turned 18 I have been a "fixer" for a certain gaming interest in Alabama. I will freely admit I have done some highly illegal things in the last 30 years. But one thing I have done was gain massive amounts of factual information via video (hidden), recordings (Alabama is a "one party" state, and pictures. Upon reading your blog I can honestly say the theories you have formulated are 70% spot on. The other 30% will indeed put a lot of political movers and shakers in Alabama in prison. And after much soul searching (and anyone who knows me can tell you I lack any amount of a soul) I have decided to shake up the system a little. I have video of Rob and Liberty having a roll around in a hotel bed, audio of his dad accepting a multi million dollar payoff from Mississippi gaming interests, and the first one that will come out before this special election is of "Big" Luther taking a cash payout from a certain coal company chairman to quash the superfund in north Birmingham. But that is the tip of the iceberg that will sink Luther. Sure it is illegally gained video of him and Jessica which no court in the nation would allow into evidence. But the media will eat it up. Sure this will insure Roy gets elected. But then again Roy is not as clean as he wants his sheep to believe. He has quite a few "skeletons" buried deep in his "closet" that would turn the sheep into rabid wolves. And he knows I have that to hold for my "rainy day bailout". Sure I could have released this to Don (and I deeply regret I did not) when he was being railroaded. But the timing was not optimal mainly based on Alabama getting a lottery. If the good old boys in Montgomery got their hands on a large cash influx like that we all know it would be wasted. Plus at that time I was neck deep in (a small mistake on my part) that would have gotten me the needle and selling out those who helped that small mistake vanish would have backfired on yours truly. And I am not going to end up like an associate did in Mississippi did when he made a minor mistake which turned into a major problem when his "friend" started singing like a song bird due to the pressure of disposing of a judge and his wife. Which is the main reason I have always flown solo. 3 people can keep a secret if 2 are dead was something I lived by for over 30 years. Now it is time to try and make amends. So stay tuned. You will be laughing once the crap hits the fan.

legalschnauzer said...

@1:01 --

Sounds like you've lived an interesting life. If you get to a place where you are able and willing to talk, I'd be glad to provide my contact info.

legalschnauzer said...

@1:01 --

Interesting story about Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Dixie Mafia. Perhaps this has some ties to your experiences?

Anonymous said...

I am at a place and time when I am ready to talk. And Judge Sherry was not killed due to Pete's claim he took the cash. It was due to his opposition of casino's coming to Biloxi. 500k was a drop in the bucket of the potential casino's would bring. Roughly 5-19 million a year skimmed. Tax free, unreported, and known to the gaming commission since they are all bought and paid for.

legalschnauzer said...

My contact info is and (205) 381-5673.