Alabamians go to the polls today to elect a U.S. senator, and throughout the campaign, Democrat Doug Jones has been portrayed as the smart one, with the kind of integrity that would never embarrass us. Given that Republican Roy Moore is a theocrat who twice has been booted from public office -- and has been dogged by allegations that, while serving as a 30-ish district attorney, he pursued a taste for the tender flesh of teen-aged girls -- perhaps that is understandable.
Unfortunately, Jones is an accomplished con artist. He has documented ties to Republican thugs Karl Rove, Jeff Sessions, Bill Pryor, and Rob Riley -- four of the most hideously corrupt figures in postmodern American history. While Jones tends to be viewed as the relative newcomer in the 2017 race, he's been around long enough to deserve the title "swamp creature." He served as U.S. attorney under Bill Clinton in the late 1990s, he ran once before for the U.S. Senate (in 2002) and folded up shop early due to lackluster fundraising.
As both a public official and an officer of the court (while serving as a private attorney), Jones has advanced his career by using taxpayer dollars and taxpayer-funded facilities. Does Jones feel a responsibility to answer questions about his actions in those roles? We have two videos that show the answer is no.
In both videos, Jones dodges tough questions and does it with a tone that can only be described as smarmy, snarky, immature, defensive, insulting, and (perhaps worst of all) elitist. This is a guy who now claims he is a man of the middle class, of the people -- of women, gays, people of color, and others who have faced discrimination. I invite you to listen to both videos -- one at the top of this post, one at the bottom -- and see if those are the words and tone of a man who cares one iota about everyday folks.
I submit that Jones' statements in these videos are every bit as embarrassing as anything Roy Moore ever has said. And you will notice that Doug Jones responds to challenging questions with the mindset of a second grader -- he dishes out insults, but he offers no substantive responses on actions that call his integrity into question.
In fact, there is plenty of evidence -- in the Alabama bingo trial; the Paul Bryant/Alabama Reassurance investigation; the Don Siegelman/Richard Scrushy criminal case; the federal HealthSouth civil case; acts of arson and intimidation against Alabama whistle blower Jill Simpson; career assassinations, unlawful incarcerations, and a wrongful foreclosure and eviction against my wife, Carol, and me -- that Jones has tippy-toed to the edge of criminal activity. A real investigation probably would show that Jones has stepped way over that line.
Let's take a closer look at the two videos:
(1) Rob Riley's ties to Medicare fraud, the investigation of Paul Bryant Jr. and Alabama Reassurance, and snarky comments left at Legal Schnauzer from someone at Haskell Slaughter, Jones' old law firm
a. Asked about the irony of Rob Riley working with Jones on the HealthSouth fraud case, while Riley himself faced documented allegations of health-care fraud related to Performance Group LLC, Jones responded:
It's not my place to comment. You can ask any party [in the HealthSouth case] anything. Based on things I've seen that you've written, I don't think it's worth my time to comment.
b. Asked about an investigation of Paul Bryant Jr. and Alabama Reassurance -- which had been planned after convictions against Philadelphia lawyer and entrepreneur Allen W. Stewart -- but was canceled once Jones became U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Alabama . . . well, Jones really got on a role:
Jones: I'm trying to make sure you understand that I have read your stuff, I have seen your conspiracy theories, and I am not going to answer any of your questions because I don't trust what you will write, period.
Legal Schnauzer (LS): I'm taking it down word for word. . . . I'm asking you, who called off the investigation of Paul Bryant?
Jones: I am not going to respond to any of your questions.
LS: You were a public official then, Doug . . .
Jones: I am not going to respond to any of your questions. . . . I've seen the garbage you write and the way you spin and the way you slant. It's the most disingenuous stuff I've ever seen. . . . It just doesn't matter to me. You're a nothing to me."
Do Jones' non-answers, and his unmistakable agitated tone, indicate he did, in fact, call off the Bryant investigation, which (according to public documents) involved roughly $15 million of insurance fraud? A reasonable person could reach that conclusion. I certainly have reached that conclusion.
c. Asked about snarky comments left at my blog by someone from his law firm, Haskell Slaughter, Jones responded:
LS: Did you write that?
Jones: Of course not.
LS: What is your IP address, Doug?
Jones: My IP address? I have no clue. I just sit at a computer and type. I don't give you the time of day, Roger. I don't read your blog anymore. I think I've wasted enough time with you.
Click (Jones hangs up on me.)
(2) The Alabama bingo trial, and Jones' representation of Ronnie Gilley; Paul Bryant Jr. and Alabama Re investigation; Jones' representation of Don Siegelman, in which he charged $300,000 for a criminal defense that was not performed (Jones bailed out before trial because of his own scheduling conflict) -- and there is no indication that Jones repaid a dime.
a. Asked about his representation of Ronnie Gilley in the Alabama bingo trial -- where Jones bailed out and left Gilley with attorney David Harrison, who has a drug-trafficking conviction on his record -- Jones responded:
Jones: I've made it a policy with everybody, not just with you, that it would not be appropriate for me to comment on Mr. Gilley.
LS: Are you aware that his current lawyer, David Harrison, has a conviction for drug trafficking?
Jones: I don't want to comment at all, one way or another.
LS: But are you aware . . .
Jones: I keep trying to explain, and you ought to understand. There are ethical considerations here. It's no reflection on you and some of the things you've written about me.
b. Asked again about cancellation of the planned investigation of Paul Bryant Jr. and Alabama Re, in the wake of the Allen W. Stewart convictions in Philadelphia, Jones responded:
Jones: I'm not going to comment to you. (Keep in mind, this was while Jones held public office, as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.)
c. Asked about charging Don Siegelman $300,000 for a criminal defense in which he bailed out before trial -- and apparently did not return one dime of the money -- Jones responded:
Jones: I'm not going to comment one way or another on any of those matters.
LS: You're not going to comment with me on any matters
LS: I hope you understand that you were U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, and the investigation of Paul Bryant Jr. involved $15 million in insurance fraud, and it was called off. You were a public official, taking tax-payer dollars, and I'm asking you as a citizen: Did you . . .
Jones: I've got other things to do, and I don't need a speech from you.
LS: It's not a speech, I'm asking you a question.
Jones: You're not going to change my mind.
LS: I'm asking you . . .
Jones: And I'm telling you I'm not going to comment.
LS: You were a public official, and I'm asking you as a citizen . . .
Click (Jones hangs up on me a second time.)
Anyone who thinks Doug Jones will act with integrity -- and be a stand-up guy while not embarrassing Alabama -- does not know the real Doug Jones. These videos represent the unvarnished Doug Jones, in all his "glory." Voters would be wise to give these videos a hard listen before going to the polls today.
For Alabamians, the choice today is between a child molester and a crook. That's really no choice at all.