Wednesday, September 27, 2017

With beatdown from Roy Moore in Senate runoff, Luther Strange's political career tumbles -- adding to the list of politicos that our blog has helped bring down

Luther Strange and Mike Pence
That sound you hear this morning -- timber! -- is Luther Strange's political career falling in the forest. The other sound you hear is from members of our Legal Schnauzer staff patting themselves on the back.

Strange's loss to Roy Moore in yesterday's Alabama GOP runoff for a seat in the U.S. Senate marks the sixth major political/legal figure that our little blog has helped take down. And that doesn't count a federal judge who might have been denied a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court because of our reporting.

Does our staff deserve a pat on the back? Given that our hard-hitting and accurate reporting on Alabama corruption has caused us to be cheated out of our jobs, our home of 25 years in Birmingham, our savings, almost all of our personal belongings -- and also led to my unlawful arrest and incarceration, plus a shattered arm and bogus criminal charges for my wife, Carol -- well, I'd say we deserve some congratulations, even if it is self-applied. (Also, financial support, via the PayPal button on the upper right side of the blog is much needed and greatly appreciated.)

It doesn't take our staff long to congratulate each other. There's only Mrs. Schnauzer, myself, and a third member of our team whose identity will remain under wraps for now. But his contributions to our work here cannot be overstated. We hope to introduce you to him someday.

As for the political pelts hanging from our wall, let's take a brief look at each one, in more or less reverse order:

( 1) Luther Strange -- By almost all accounts, Strange's political demise grew from his decision to accept an appointment to Jeff Sessions' Senate seat from hideously corrupt Alabama Gov. Robert "Luv Guv" Bentley. Strange apparently accepted the appointment in exchange for having his state attorney general's office go light on Bentley. It was such a blatant quid pro quo that it even made many Alabama conservatives want to wretch. But here is a key point to remember: Bentley would not have been radioactive if we hadn't broken the story of his extramarital affair with top adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason. It's possible the mainstream press never would have picked up on the Bentley story if we had not broken it. Without our reporting, Strange does not make a devil's deal with Bentley -- and Strange might have beaten Moore in yesterday's runoff. Goodbye, Luther.

(2) Robert "Luv Guv" Bentley -- How many one-man blogs (plus two staff members) have taken down a governor? I can't think of any -- and make no mistake, Legal Schnauzer took down Bentley, who resigned on April 10, 2017. We reported on both the affair with Mason -- and its financial implications -- well before anyone else. Attorney Donald Watkins picked up on the story, at his Facebook page, not long after we broke it. But it was roughly seven months before the mainstream press took serious notice.

(3) Cooper Shattuck -- The former chief legal counsel at the University of Alabama resigned in December 2016. That came just eight days after former Bentley security chief Wendell Ray Lewis filed a lawsuit naming ACEGOV, a nonprofit that Shattuck formed, apparently to funnel money to Mason. We were among the first news outlets to report on Shattuck's role in forming ACEGOV and its central role in the Bentley scandal. We were the only news outlet to report on Shattuck's own problems with sins of the flesh, and those revelations likely weakened his position as top lawyer at the state's flagship university.

(4) Rebekah Caldwell Mason -- Mason was the first casualty in the Bentley scandal, resigning as senior political adviser in March 2016. She left with these words: "My only plans are to focus my full attention on my precious children and my husband who I love dearly." The old "I want to spend time with my family" excuse. It never seems to go out of style.

(5) Mike Hubbard -- The former House Speaker was convicted on 12 felony ethics charges in June 2016. Bill Britt and his team at Alabama Political Reporter played the lead role in breaking and reporting that story, but we played an important supporting role by providing analysis that readers were not likely to find in the mainstream press.

(6) Mark Fuller -- The former U.S. district judge, who butchered the Don Siegelman case and sent two innocent men (Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy) to federal prison, resigned in August 2015 after a wife-beating incident came to light. A number of news outlets reported on the wife-beating story, but we had earlier broken a story about court records that showed Fuller's divorce from his first wife involved allegations of physical and emotional abuse. That helped establish a pattern of abusive behavior -- making it hard for the mainstream press and judicial establishment to ignore the story -- and it probably played a key role in Fuller's forced resignation.

Finally, we have . . .

(7) Bill Pryor -- The U.S. Circuit Judge widely was considered the front-runner as Donald Trump's choice to fill the late Antonin Scalia's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The seat, however, went to Neil Gorsuch, of Colorado, with Pryor fading badly to third. Several knowledgeable observers have said they believe our reporting on Pryor's ties to 1990s gay pornography via cost Pryor a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court. Who am I to argue? With the RussiaGate investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller closing in, it appears doubtful Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Pryor's No. 1 booster, among other things) will be around long enough for Pryor to get another chance.

Speaking of Jeff Sessions, perhaps he will be the next name we can add to our list. Wouldn't that be interesting?

In summation, our "Little Blog That Could" has helped take down, or greatly reduce the influence of, a U.S. senator, a governor, a governor's senior adviser, chief counsel of Alabama's flagship university, a House speaker, a U.S. district judge, and a U.S. circuit judge who appeared headed for SCOTUS.

I'd say Legal Schnauzer, in spite of everything our team has been through, makes a difference in trying to bring a sense of integrity to Alabama public life. I like the sound of that, and we are deeply grateful for our readers, sources, and supporters who have made it possible.

We might be a team of three, but it takes a village to bring down sons of bitches like Luther Strange. We come from a village of smart, tough cookies -- and, together, we have more sons of bitches in our sights.


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

You're a one-man cleanup crew, Schnauzer. Maybe you could get a job as head of the sanitation department.

Anonymous said...

Hey, LS, maybe you can have all of these crooks stuffed, with their heads mounted in your den.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:24 --

Good idea. I need to get a den first.

Anonymous said...

As my great grandfather would say in his native dialect. Grazie! Grazie! Grazie! Mr. Shuler!!!!

Anonymous said...

Seems you are having to twist things quite a bit to get Luther Strange on your list.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:33 --

There are a few degrees of separation between Strange and Bentley. But hey, the rules of this game are elastic, allowing for creativity.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work!!!! Just because you don't see comments, does not mean people are not reading your posts!

Anonymous said...

Schnauzer, you're going to tear ligaments in your shoulder from patting yourself on the back. Might need surgery like Carol had.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what Cooper Shattuck did with the $350,000 contract Bentley gave him for state legal work? Is that still valid, even after Bentley resigned? Was Shattuck paid in a lump sum, and if so, did he keep the money? Is he still being paid, at various intervals? Is the state getting any services in return for the $350,000. If he took the money and is doing no work for Kay Ivey, or the state in general, doesn't that amount to white-collar theft?

legalschnauzer said...

@12:19 --

All good questions. I think the primary contract was for @325,000, plus a second contract for $75,000, which was totally related to Bentley impeachment. Here is URL to post I wrote on the subject. Below that is key section from the story, explaining details about contracts:

According to a State contract review for February, Shattuck will pull down $325,000 in legal work for the state between now and January 2019. One contract is for legal work related to the Deepwater Horizon matters and issues with the Gulf State Park Enhancement Project, a State-run hotel and convention center that will compete with private businesses along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Billing at $195/hour this contract is good for $250,000 of state money from DWH funds until January 2019. A second contract for Shattuck (again at $195/hour) is related directly to the governor’s office dealing with Bentley’s possible impeachment. The contract states that the nature of the work is to provide “advice, counsel and other related legal services on all matters involving the Governor’s Office…on an as-needed basis.” Bentley’s friend will be paid $75,000 for this work through September 2018.

Anonymous said...

Aboard the Eliza Battle Captain Marshall instructed John and Thomas Yancey to attach a microphone to Nannie Dee to record the Generals clandestine visits. They could only find a large antique microphone, which they attached to Nannie Dee's abdomen , and covered it with wood putty. Dr Foreman ,upon seeing their handiwork, reported to Captain Marshall that Nannie Dee appeared to be pregnant. Ms Chappelle , while editing the ship's newsletter, overheard parts of their conversation. The crew was awaken by John and Thomas Yancey hawking the ship's newsletter which contained the headline; NANNIE DEE PREGNANT WITH GENERAL' S LOVE CHILD
During the morning war briefing Bob Yancey read Mike's latest message. The General incoherent _._. Trying to sing "Joy To The World
_ _ ._ Jeremiah was a Democrat _ . . Charlie beat me Guy was a good friend of mine. Mary Mac replied that the General appeared to be love sick. Admiral Tyron replied that the message contained the CDQ distress code .Mike is giving us a coded message. Sheldon added that the message flows : Jeremiah to Democrat to Charlie to General to Guy. Captain Marshall filled in the missing words to translate the coded message. Jeremiah Denton lost to Democrat Shelby who switched to Republican party. Charlie Graddick beat the General but was disqualified which lead to guy hunt. The Victoria's plan is to fabricate a reason to disqualify Moore and replace him with Strange who will lose to Jones who will switch parties, giving the Riley Machine a replacement for Sessions.

Anonymous said...


Looks like did a puff piece on Melissa Strange, mainly to attack your reporting on Lutha's affair with Jessica Garrison. And guess when it ran? Yesterday, Sept. 26, on election day. Sounds like somebody was desperate to squelch problems cause by Le Affair Garrison.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:34 --

Wow, I hadn't seen that. Thanks for sharing. Maybe the work of Jessica Garrison, sort of like her deal with Marie Claire? It does look like that affair story was creating a problem for the Strange campaign.

Anybody have insight on I don't know much about them; need to do some research.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Karl Rove didn't care enough about Luther Strange to bother stealing the election. Rove probably went, "Meh."

legalschnauzer said...

@12:32 --

Things must be sizzling aboard the Eliza Battle. Love this last sentence:

"The Victoria's plan is to fabricate a reason to disqualify Moore and replace him with Strange who will lose to Jones who will switch parties, giving the Riley Machine a replacement for Sessions."

The mind wonders: What could they come up with to disqualify Roy Moore?

e.a.f. said...

it takes a village to raise a child. it takes only a couple of very determined journalists to take down politicians. Congrats!

So what is Luther Strange going to do now for a living? He is without a pay cheque from the government. Its rather funny that some of these Republican politicians like to tell people they need to work, they need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, while they themselves spend most of their time at the public trough.

to disqualify Roy Moore, most likely his record as a judge. that he ignores the law. they might disqualify him for still living in the 1800s, riding a horse to go vote. poor animal, they ought to call the SPCA, saw the pic on one of the other blogs, either Crooks and Liars or Politico. They may deem him mentally unfit to occupy the seat once he has won it. I don't even know the man, living in Canada, but from what I have read on line, Roy Moor is not a prize of a politicians, except if you still live in the 1800s. Drawing a gun at a public fourm, omg oh right he's white so the police won't shoot him.

The Republicans, in the Senate and party won't want Roy Moore. He will do nothing to advance Trump's agenda and one could say he is right of the freedom caucus in the senate. He's a loose cannon. he will have to go. The party would most likely prefer the Democrats to their own politicians, because he will play by party rules. They do have that tax cut for billionaires coming up and they may well want to run a repeal for the ACA if McCain dies. They won't know how Moore would vote, but I can bet they can made "an accommodation" with the Alabama democrat.

legalschnauzer said...

e.a.f. --

Thanks for a great comment. It had me laughing and thinking at the same time -- and that's a good thing, for me. Love your line about Roy's horse. Hate that the poor animal has to be tied in with that ding bat. And yes, can you imagine any black public figure whipping out a gun at an event like that? Cops and/or security would fill him with bullet holes in about 3 seconds flat. Hope everyone lets this line sink in. So true:

"So what is Luther Strange going to do now for a living? He is without a pay cheque from the government. Its rather funny that some of these Republican politicians like to tell people they need to work, they need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, while they themselves spend most of their time at the public trough."

Anonymous said...

Do not know what but it will come from pike county alabama

legalschnauzer said...

@4:58 --

You are referring to something to disqualify Roy Moore? Why Pike County? It's the one where Troy is the county seat, right? Much food for thought. Thanks.

Robby Scott Hill said...

According to General Wesley Clark, the true measure of leadership is how well leaders treat their own people. I am the Seventh Cousin of Paul Bryant, Jr. & Bush 41, 8th cousin to Bush 43, a cousin to Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama Supreme Court, as well as my State Representative Kerry Rich. Kerry & I are both descended from Sir Richard Rich, who served His Majesty, King Henry 8th. I was pretty much thrown to the wolves by most of my cousins. Nobody offered me any help after I asked for it & like His Majesty, King Henry VII, I intend to do something about it after these guys kill each other off. My best days are ahead of me & Alabama's Elected Officials are about to hear back from Robby Hill.

Robby Scott Hill said...

I held back at their request, because my beloved grandmother, great uncles & my parents were still alive, but now, they have gone to be with God & my dear, dear cousins never speak to me. They have left me to sink or swim like James T. Kirk left Khan on Ceti Alpha V. I owe this so-called family nothing. I am free to run candidates against them, even me, myself, I may run against them. All is fair in love & war. Kerry's daughter is hot by the way, but she is on a Latino kick, according to her online dating profile. I like the Latinos too. In Laredo, the Latinas scream my name, Oh Roberto, Roberto, Lol.

Anonymous said...

I love how you didn't post my comment last night. You REALLY are a pussy. It is so embarrassing. You started out strong. They wanted to follow you. But your legacy is ruined because you became so desperate. But that is no surprise. Given what happened to you. A few points: 1) I am not a coward. I just choose not to give you the satisfaction of knowing who I am. Speaking of, did you see one of my people today? They reported that you might have made them at one point. Maybe they were being cautious. 2) Regarding my miss-spelling. I apologize, English is not my first language. I am not where you are, but I do have people there. 3) We are coming for you. It is almost over. We have some comprising footage of you in prison. Did you think that law enforcement was going to protect you? Did you think that video wouldn't be leaked? Also, we have cameras in your house. Footage of know.. and your wife. Very uncomfortable. Any way...the cats are inside right?

Robby Scott Hill said...

I saw the Marfa Lights when I was driving between El Paso & San Antonio last night. They followed me & I felt a conmection to them. I had a dream afterwards while asleep, that God will bless us like He did Joseph & make us leaders of the People of Alabama. Our best days are ahead of us. Vaya Con Dios Mi Amigo said the spirits of those disembodied Spanish Conquistadors. They knew I am a De Guzman, the direct descendant of Alonzo Perez De Guzman, Hero of Gibraltar, whom God used to capture the Fortress from the Moors. His Blood flows through my veins & His God will Bless us many times Mi Amigo. Vaya Con Dios!

legalschnauzer said...

Rob --

Thanks for some fascinating and insightful comments. I would love to see you run for public office someday. I also would love to see you practice law. The profession desperately needs people with integrity. May your travels be smooth, and may better days truly be ahead.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:11 --

We've published 32,603 comments in the history of Legal Schnauzer, and yours is without a doubt the nuttiest, zaniest, funniest one ever. I normally don't publish a comment with so much nonsense, but its LOL factor was so high I had to run it -- and I hope it gives readers a taste for the kind of loony tunes that some commenters churn out. I'm not exaggerating when I say I was afraid I was going to wake the neighbors from laughing so hard at your comment.

Thanks for a classic!

Anonymous said...

Roy Moore is back in the news!

This time he was punked big time by Sacha Baron Cohen and his Pedo Detector wand!!

Anonymous said...