Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey likely is using state funds for "Luv Guv" Bentley's defense to help pave the way for Bellefonte nuclear project, with its ties to Russia

Robert Bentley and Rebekah Mason
 Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is providing a taxpayer-funded defense for former Gov. Robert Bentley in the Spencer Collier lawsuit probably because she is trying to pave the way for a plan to resurrect the dormant Bellefonte nuclear plant in northeast Alabama, says a state political insider. Like much of Alabama's corruption, the shady deal appears to involve Russian interests, from a country notorious for its rampant organized crime.

Bill Britt, editor of Alabama Political Reporter (APR), reported earlier this week that Bentley's high-priced lawyers from Maynard Cooper and Gale of Birmingham are playing hardball on discovery, stonewalling on producing the names of donors to the ACEGOV nonprofit, which has become known as Bentley's "Girlfriend Fund" because it was used to pay his mistress and senior adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason.

Why the determination to stiff the Collier legal team on discovery? Jill Simpson -- opposition researcher, whistle blower, and retired attorney -- says it likely is because Chattanooga real-estate mogul Franklin Haney was a prominent donor to ACEGOV. And he is the money man behind the Bellefonte project.

That brings us to another question that Bill Britt raised: Why is the Ivey administration so doggedly defending Bentley instead of putting the matter to rest? Simpson says it's likely because Ivey supports the Bellefonte project on behalf of what Simpson calls the "Alabama Gang" of corrupt right-wing politicos -- including such luminaries as "Luv Guv" Bentley, former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, former Gov. Bob Riley, and former Business Council of Alabama (BCA) president Bill Canary.

Bellefonte nuclear plant

The money trail can be difficult to follow, so we ask you to follow these bouncing balls:

(1) Haney reportedly engaged the services of Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen to help arrange financing for the Bellefonte project from Qatari interests. The meeting, aboard Haney's yacht, came days before federal agents raided Cohen's office, and it could be of interest to investigators for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The meeting also came before Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations.

(2) Haney has reached an agreement with SNC-Lavalin, a Canadian engineering firm, to finish at least one of two reactors at Bellefonte -- with the assistance of federal loan guarantees.

(3) SNC-Lavalin has a history of working on various projects with Russian interests, via the VEB Bank, which has close ties to Vladimir Putin. reputed mobster Oleg Deripaska, and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort (who has been found guilty of financial crimes.)

(4) SNC-Lavalin is under a criminal inquiry in Canada, related to allegations of fraud on its engineering and construction projects.

Sounds like a quagmire, doesn't it? Jill Simpson seems to think so. From one of several Facebook posts on the subject:

The Mueller bunch, if they question Mr. Haney and Mr Cohen, might want to ask if the $10 million is coming from Mr Haney or from the Russian branch of SNC-Lavalin, a  division that is owned 51 percent by the Russian government and controlled by Vladimir Putin.

The press might want to ask why Jeff Sessions' DOJ guy, Rod Rosenstein (who owes his current job to Chuck Cooper. Sessions' lawyer) and Mueller why they haven't arrested Mr Cohen's co-conspirator, Mr Haney. I suspect they are protecting Sessions, as Mr Haney knows all about the Sessions Alabama Gang of crooks, who have this nuclear deal going with a company that is owned in large part by Putin's government bank. 
Kay Ivey
I don't know about most Alabamians, but I don't want a Russian-backed company, like SNC-Lavalin, putting in a nuclear plant near where I live. The Russian government stole our election, and God only knows what they might do with a nuclear plant.

I am pretty certain Mr Haney is just the middle man in this deal. . . . We still have the dark money connected to Bentley's girlfriend fund. We call it the "Governor of Alabama Pussy fund," suppoted by folks friendly with the Russian government and,in fact partners with Russian bank VEB.

God, these Russians are slick. It's so funny that Kay Ivey is overseeing Bentley legal defense so that Russian dark money from Haney and SNC-Lavalin does not become known to the public. The whole Alabama Gang ticket has been pushing for Haney and SNC-Lavalin (a Russian-government-bank company) gets their nuclear plant.

What could all of this mean for the United States down the road? The picture might not be pretty, Simpson writes:

I have been . . . spending a lot of time tracking the contract Mr Haney has with SNC-Lavalin on Bellefonte. So I thought I would share that Mr Haney has asked the Alabama Gang of GOP politicians to help him get $5 billion in a U.S. government loans to complete the nuclear plant, located near Scottsboro, Alabama.

The company he plans on giving the money to do this has close ties to the Russian government. Its name is SNC-Lavalin. Mr Haney reportedly is working with the Canadian company in multiple places, but that is only half true, as the company also operates out of Moscow and has close ties to the Russian government -- and to Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs. So everyone is real clear, this company will be finishing a U.S.  nuclear plant. That sounds like a security matter that should not be allowed at all.

Also, SNC-Lavalin was awarded a huge Russian Arctic contract that I have been tracking for several years now.

Kay Ivey essentially has been running a 2018 "trust me" campaign for governor, refusing to debate Democrat Walt Maddox and saying almost nothing of substance. Perhaps she should address questions about her support for a Russia-backed project that will place a nuclear plant -- on TVA authorities have said is not even needed -- in the backyards of Alabama citizens.


Anonymous said...

Chuck Cooper?!

A senior Justice Department official and newly released documents yesterday provided evidence of systematic efforts by high-level administration officials last November to cover up and falsify information bearing on the Iran-contra affair.

Assistant Attorney General Charles J. Cooper described how he found himself in a meeting of senior officials who, he later realized, were embellishing a phony story about a November 1985 shipment of arms to Iran, claiming they thought it was a shipment of oil-drilling equipment. Cooper also told how he and two Justice Department associates looking into the affair for Attorney General Edwin Meese III learned that profits from arms sales to Iran had been diverted to the Nicaraguan contras.

But these discoveries, Cooper acknowledged, did not prevent senior administration officials from lying to Congress, falsifying chronologies, misleading the attorney general and destroying key documents.

Anonymous said...

Hell, we might as well start calling Montgomery "Little Moscow."

Anonymous said...

Alabama politicians, especially Bentley and Riley, have been whoring out to Franklin Haney for years.

Anonymous said...

Let's build the reactor in Homewood, next to Rob Riley's house.

Anonymous said...

Jill Simpson must have loved puzzles as a kid because she sure can put them together as an adult.

Anonymous said...

Let's just go ahead and elect Putin as guv of Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny that all these God-fearing, patriotic Alabamians are fine with ooliticians who jump in bed with Russians?

Anonymous said...

That sound you hear is Ronald Reagan turning over in his grave.

Anonymous said...

This should turn the election in favor of Walt Maddox -- if voters are paying attention.

Anonymous said...

If I'm feeble and in poor health, like Kay Ivey, I don't want to do anything that could cause me to spend my golden years in the Big House.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Republicans are greedy. What a shock.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Kay Ivey doesn't want to debate because she's afraid Maddox will challenge her about the Bellefonte scam.

Jim March said...

It would be pretty odd for a single individual to own a nuke plant - he would be the first in the US. It gets downright scary when part of the financing is Russian.

This plant is right on the Tennessee River, a major waterway. It's near Huntsville AL (containing the Redstone National Arsenal), Chattanooga TN, Birmingham AL and not that far from Atlanta GA.

Jill and I have heard worries from people with military contact connections in the area that weapons grade nuclear materials could be harvested off of this critter...including plutonium for suitcase bombs made overseas but loaded up with the bad news locally.

Jim Simpson (formerly Jim March before marrying guess who?)

legalschnauzer said...


Thanks for your insights. This is dangerous stuff, and as you say, the notion of an individual owning a nuclear plants seems preposterous. Don't know how this could pass regulatory muster.

Alabama has had a string of corrupt governors -- Riley, Bentley, Ivey -- who have no problem pressing their lips to Mr. Haney's behind. When you throw Trump and Russian criminals into the picture, plus a Canadian company that is under criminal investigation . . . well, we need a governor and political leaders to protect the public and shoot this thing down.

Kay Ivey and Steve Marshall clearly aren't up to the task.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:04 --

Yes, I think Rob Riley's backyard would be an excellent location for the nuclear reactor.

That would be at 364 Lucerne Blvd. in Homewood.

Anonymous said...

The MSM finally is paying attention to the story, although they aren't touching the Russia part.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Sessions is the one mostly responsible for turning Alabama into Putintown.