Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Activist Matt Osborne and his ties to Doug Jones campaign -- plus his actions in Dry Alabama false-flag project -- raise red flags here at Legal Schnauzer

Matt Osborne
About a week after my "arrest for blogging" in 2013, Alabama activist Matt Osborne contacted my wife, Carol, and asked if he could come to our home in Birmingham. Carol gave the OK, and Osborne and a friend named Melissa Brewer showed up at our door with "supplies" (canned goods, cat food, over-the-counter meds, etc.) -- and they took photos and videos of the area in our basement where Shelby County deputies had beaten and abducted me.

I had been online friends with Matt for a while, generally sharing his liberal views and keeping up with his writings at various Web sites -- mostly Osborne Ink and Breitbart Unmasked. I saw him as an important Web-based voice -- a talented, intelligent guy, who was pugnacious enough to do battle with underhanded conservatives, such as the felon poser, and gay-sex troller Ali (Akbar) Alexander and his nutty National Bloggers Club.

For about four years, Carol and I have assumed Osborne came to our home in good faith, from a genuine intention to help at a time of crisis. But I started to have doubts about that when Osborne contacted me in October 2017 -- about six weeks before the Doug Jones-Roy Moore U.S. Senate special election -- and informed me he was connected to the Jones campaign in some capacity, suggesting I should retract a post about a Russian-bot attack on the Moore campaign's Twitter account.

Why did Osborne's ties to Doug Jones alarm me? Well, I've known since spring 2008 that Doug Jones is a shady, ethically challenged guy -- mainly because of his lawyer-tribe ties to despicable Republican thug Rob Riley, the oily son of former Gov. Bob Riley. In fact, I was cheated out of my job at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where I had worked for almost 20 years, after I reported on the dubious reasons Rob Riley joined Jones in a lawsuit against HealthSouth -- a story that originated with Sam Stein, of Huffington Post.

For the record, I don't think it's a coincidence that UAB concocted a bogus scheme to fire me -- falsely claiming I was blogging at work, contrary to the words of their own IT expert (Sean Maher) who had examined my work computer activity -- not long after my report on Jones, Riley, and the HealthSouth case. My blogging likely was seen as a threat to Jones and Riley's share of what would become $51 million in legal fees from the HealthSouth case, money that probably helped fund Jones' U.S. Senate campaign in 2017.

I also learned that Jones is a world-class backstabber, with a string of victims that include former Gov. Don Siegelman, late VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor, and Dothan developer Ronnie Gilley. Also, it became clear that Jones was prone to look the other way at the crimes of moneyed elites, such as University of Alabama honcho Paul Bryant Jr., whose company was tied to a massive insurance-fraud case in Pennsylvania.

In short, Doug Jones is a "bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling," and I've come to believe anyone affiliated with him has a shaky moral compass, poor judgment, a strong case of naivete -- or a combination of the three.

Doug Jones
My concerns about Osborne's actions involving Carol and me grew with recent reports that he was a central figure in "Dry Alabama," a disinformation project designed to boost Doug Jones in the Senate race by falsely claiming Roy Moore supported a statewide ban on alcohol -- never mind that it's hard to see how a U.S. senator could provide political muscle on a state issue such as alcohol sales and consumption.

What about specifics that might lead us to have qualms about Matt Osborne? Let's consider:

The "RogerS" scam

Evidence suggests my arrest, at least in part, was driven by a narrative involving a mysterious character called "RogerS." Here's how we explained it in a post dated July 13, 2015:

Members of a right-wing bloggers' club concocted the notion that I was encouraging a federal lawsuit against them, and other conservative figures, and they wrote about it obsessively in the days leading to, and following, my October 2013 arrest.

At the heart of the matter is a commenter at a progressive Web site who goes by the handle "RogerS" and appears to have a fair amount of knowledge about legal matters--in fact, he was encouraging liberal activist Brett Kimberlin to file a federal RICO lawsuit against members of the bloggers club and other individuals on the right. When Kimberlin did, in fact, file a RICO suit, I wound up in jail roughly one week later. Coincidence? That's hard to say, but let's look at what we do know.

In certain corners of the blogosphere, it became popular to suggest that "RogerS" and Roger Shuler (me) were one and the same--even though I had nothing to do with the comments in question, I was not aware of any possible federal lawsuit, and I have no clue about the identity of "RogerS." Still, evidence suggests I might have paid a high price--loss of my freedom for five months and eventual loss of our home-- for something that did not involve me.

As for the National Bloggers Club, it operates under a media umbrella created by the late right-wing publisher and provocateur Andrew Breitbart--and its president, Ali A Akbar, has a criminal history and admitted connections to former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove. Akbar also has a history of trolling for gay sex on adult Web sites.

Where did RogerS originate? We've explained that, too:

"RogerS" apparently made his first appearance in a September 18, 2013, post at the progressive blog Breitbart Unmasked (BU). Interestingly, that was one day after I broke the Bill Pryor gay-porn story. "RogerS" commented about a possible lawsuit that Kimberlin was planning against a number of individuals connected to the Breitbart Network.

Another commenter on the same post replied: "RogerS is one of two very cool people in Alabama . . . Everyone should read his latest: A very "stiff" portrayal of a federal judge." That's the first sign I can find of connections forming between "RogerS," Roger Shuler, and the Bill Pryor story--and it came from a commenter at a liberal Web site.

So, RogerS grew from Breitbart Unmasked, and BU's editor at the time was . . . Matt Osborne. Let's consider a few of the questions that poses:

Ali Akbar on Grindr gay-sex app
(1) Is RogerS even a real person? Could he be a "false flag" that Osborne -- or someone connected to him -- created? After all, "Dry Alabama" proves Osborne has a taste for false-flag operations.

(2) Was RogerS created to antagonize Ali (Akbar) Alexander and his right-wing blogging loons and scare them into having me falsely arrested -- probably with the assistance of the Alabama State Bar?

Matt Osborne's in-home visit while I was in jail

Was Osborne's visit to our house, while I was locked up, an act of good faith, or one with ulterior motives?

Well, we know my arrest, on the surface, was driven by a bogus defamation lawsuit that Rob Riley and his lobbyist "gal pal" Liberty Duke filed against me. We know Rob Riley and Doug Jones have been aligned in the legal tribe for more than 10 years. And we know Matt Osborne has been aligned with Doug Jones at least since 2017.

Could Osborne's alliance with Jones date back to 2013 and beyond? Could Jones, or someone tied to him, have directed Osborne to go to our house as a ruse, designed to assist Rob Riley's arrest scheme -- and perhaps stand up for Bill Pryor's "honor"?

Why would someone want to have access to our house just days after my arrest? I can think of all kinds of reasons, most of them dark and disturbing. I like to think that Matt Osborne would not go along with such a scheme, but we now know he engaged in deceptive election practices on Doug Jones' behalf, so what would keep Osborne from entering our home under false pretenses -- designed to assist Doug Jones and his lawyer pal, Rob Riley, perhaps in their shared desire to abuse the reporter who outed Bill Pryor as a closeted gay? By the way, Jones long has professed his undying respect for Pryor.

Matt Osborne has proven he engaged in dishonest activities that deceived Alabama voters -- a false-flag scheme to benefit Doug Jones. I see no reason why he would not engage in a false flag directed at Carol and me.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if Osborne's response still is, "Well, the other guys were doing it, so we had to do it." I'm not sure that flies when it comes to breaking laws.

Anonymous said...

So, Osborne came to your house a few days after right-wingers caused your arrest, and the two of your had never met. We know now that he's into false-flag operations, so I would call all of that a little suspicious.

legalschnauzer said...

I thought, at the time, it was a genuine effort to help. And I still thought that until I learned in fall 2017 that Osborne was aligned with Doug Jones, who undoubtedly was involved in my arrest and the theft of our home or knows who was.

If Osborne had been aligned with a true progressive, I would not have thought anything about it. But Jones is a DINO with a history of stabbing legit Democrats in the back, so that make Osborne's actions -- possibly on Jones' behalf or at his direction -- concerning.

Anonymous said...

This story has gone silent for the past month or so. Glad to see you bring it up. I wonder where it stands.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:35 --

The last word I heard was that the Alabama AG's office and Doug Jones had asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate. The FEC is not known as a strong enforcer, and I doubt Jones really wants an investigation because I suspect it would reveal he knew about these capers all along.


Anonymous said...

That whole RogerS episode is bizarre. That he appeared at the liberal blog the day after you broke the Bill Pryor-BadPuppy story is more bizarre.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:01 --

Yes, and who controlled the liberal blog (Breitbart Unmasked) at the time? Matt Osborne.

Anonymous said...

Matt Osborne makes progressives look bad, like we have no more ethics than the standard right winger.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:36 --

That's because he's aligned himself with Doug Jones, who isn't a progressive and has no ethical standards. I saw Matt as a bright guy, with an important liberal voice in the South, when it appeared he was mostly a blogger, writer, and researcher. I applaud his work in those areas. I didn't realize he was a political activist, campaign con man until he made his ties to Doug Jones clear. His actions on the activist front are what concern me, and I believe they made leave him in deep doo-doo.

Anonymous said...

I predict Doug Jones will sell Matt Osborne down the river, along with other Dry Alabama participants, except for the big money guy (Hoffman?)

legalschnauzer said...

@1:19 --

Agreed. Osborne would be wise to get ahead of the game and share what he knows about Jones with authorities.

Anonymous said...

Robert Mueller has indicted several individuals in Russia with committing fraud against the United States by tampering with our elections in 2016. I don't see why that same law wouldn't apply to someone on U.S. soil, like Matt Osborne -- or maybe Doug Jones if he knew what was going on.

legalschnauzer said...

Osborne has said he checked with someone and was told his actions were lawful. I think he might have gotten some bad legal advice.