Thursday, September 29, 2022

Football great Brett Favre is the big name in Mississippi scandal, but the misuse of funds intended to feed needy children stretches in multiple directions

Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre has been seen as the central character in a welfare scandal that has rocked Mississippi politics. But Favre is not the only sports figure engulfed in the scandal, and it extends east toward Alabama to include Birmingham-based law firm Balch & Bingham, according to a report at

Writes Publisher K.B. Forbes, who also serves as CEO of the Consejo De Latinos Unidos (CDLU) public charity and advocacy group:

Walter H. Boone, a Balch & Bingham partner in Mississippi, obviously outraged, tweeted about the latest corruption scandal involving football great Brett Favre, the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and millions diverted from feeding hungry children to fund Favre’s pet project: a state-of-the-art volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi, where Favre’s daughter studies and plays…volleyball. (Breleigh Favre recently transferred to LSU.)

The “scheme to defraud the government” has rocked Mississippi and angered decent and  professional people like Boone. 

Mississippi Today broke the story about texts between then-Governor Phil Bryant and Favre in the scheme that diverted and allegedly laundered millions for welfare nutritional program resources to a not-for-profit entity called the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC). MCEC then funneled the money illegally to pet projects, like Favre’s Volleyball Stadium.

What about other sportsmen who join Favre in the muck? That includes a big name in wrestling -- Ted DiBiase Sr., known as "The Million Dollar Man" in his grappling days. From news reports last May:

Ted DiBiase and his sons Ted Jr. and Brett DiBiase have been sued by the state of Mississippi as the state seeks to reclaim $24 million dollars of misused federal funds meant for welfare. . . . The funds were meant to “address the multiple needs of inner-city youth” despite DiBiase Jr. possessing no qualifications to provide those services in relation to the federal grant called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF.

 Meanwhile Boone's outrage seems to be misguided. Writes Forbes:

Although Balch’s Boone appears to be outraged, the reality appears to be the House of Balch is divided. Working down the hall from Boone is Balch partner Lucien Smith, who was Governor Bryant’s former Chief of Staff and served as the Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party until he was ousted by current Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves. Bryant was seen as a Balch stooge at the time he served as Governor. Speaking of welfare, Balch & Bingham appears to live off of corporate welfare and contractual cronyism in Mississippi. According to the State of Mississippi, Balch has obtained over $27.8 million in 72 contracts. How much of Balch’s $27.8 million was obtained through cronyism and favoritism? Should there be a criminal forensic audit of Balch?

As for Boone, how might he alter his public statements? Forbes offers several suggestions:

Balch partner Boone has a right to be outraged at Favre for allegedly taking advantage of resources for poor, hungry children.

But Boone should also be outraged at his own firm, which targeted poor African American children in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal. He should be outraged that his firm refuses to apologize for former partner Joel I. Gilbert’s criminal misconduct. He should be outraged that Balch lost tens of millions in fees to win a $242,000 judgment in the Newsome Conspiracy Case. He should be outraged at the alleged criminal and unethical misconduct surrounding Balch and its sister-wife Alabama Power.

In the meantime, Favre should repay the State of Mississippi and make a heartfelt apology to the residents of the Magnolia State.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Matrix LLC reportedly was in the middle of deceptive efforts to promote Big Power, including Drummond Company, Alabama Power, and Balch & Bingham

"Environmentalists" protesting in a video that promotes Big Power.

In the summer of 2013, starting in Arizona,  "dark money" from non-profits began flowing into public-relations campaigns to promote the interests of large utility companies. At about the same time, such a campaign popped up in Alabama. 

According to a post yesterday at, the Alabama effort, featuring a video called Behind the Mask, was the work of the Matrix LLC consulting firm. And it appears to tie together some of Alabama's most powerful corporate and legal entities, writes Ban Balch Publisher K.B. Forbes:

The video from 2013 was originally a “smear and fear” piece but now it is irrefutable evidence that the Three Stooges (Alabama Power, Balch, and Drummond Company) appear to have utilized Matrix’s alleged dirty deeds,  actors, and questionable mouthpieces to attack perceived enemies. . . . 

Sources state the video was allegedly produced and created by Matrix, the obscure political consulting firm, on behalf of PACE, Partnership for Affordable Energy, an alleged AstroTurf entity that media called “in effect a subsidiary of Matrix.”

Behind the Mask made ample use of deception, reports Forbes. It's primary purpose apparently was to portray Big Power as being under attack. But what was really going on? While portions of the video seem to praise the work of environmentalists, the real purpose, it seems, was to target environmentalists -- and perhaps anyone  who might seek to hold Big Power accountable -- The video could have important evidentiary value as federal investigators reportedly examine the fallout from the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal and related events. Writes Forbes:

The alleged Matrix video called “Behind the Mask” is a wonderful piece of evidence that has Alabama Power attorneys, alleged Drummond agents, and Balch partners all tied together, arm-in-arm, in a chorus line.

And who were the targets of this high-end “smear and fear” production?

Nelson Brooke, the Black Warrior Riverkeeper who co-founded the tiny environmental group known as GASP, and the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Ironically, last month Brooke and the Southern Environmental Law Center SELC) won a major federal consent decree against Drummond Company.

What does the consent decree mean? Forbes quotes from an SELC press release that tells the tale:

In a major victory for the health of the lower Locust Fork and the Black Warrior River, a federal judge in Birmingham has granted the request by Black Warrior Riverkeeper to approve a consent decree requiring Drummond Company to clean up its abandoned Maxine Mine site. The approval was finalized after a May filing. The mine, which was the largest underground mine in the state, produced tons of coal per year after opening in the 1930s but has sat abandoned since operations stopped in the 1980s.

 How does deception play a role in Behind the Mask? Forbes cites several examples:

Alabama Power Chairman and CEO Mark A. Crosswhite’s most-trusted advisor, white-collar criminal defense attorney Mark White, is in the video talking about utility rates and the controversy surrounding the “return on equity” perspective.

Really? A criminal attorney spinning yarn about utility rates?

 Here is another oddity:

Catrena Norris Carter comes out as an alleged “outraged” board member of the League of Women Voters in Alabama, calling for more transparency regarding utility rates and billing. She has the foolish audacity to say on the video that it is “unfortunate that once again the poor and underprivileged get  preyed upon.”

 Perhaps the strangest oddity of all involves, of all things, face masks:

There is the group of fake environmental protestors, the actors and smear campaigns that we wrote about in 2018. These actors are all wearing face masks,  years before COVID-19 became a global pandemic, to obscure their identities.

The video scoffs at the fake environmentalists, with the narrator saying, “And then you have these people…”

These people were staged actors that were falsely but intentionally portrayed as environmental activists.

Where is all of this headed? It's likely too soon to say. But if investigations are about connecting the dots, this latest news seems to provide plenty of dots for examination.

(Note: You can view the Behind the Mask video by clicking on this link and scrolling to the end of the Ban Balch piece. The video is the last item and can be viewed by clicking on the arrow.)

Thursday, September 8, 2022

After his resignation from a federal judgeship, Abdul Kallon surfaces in Seattle -- a U.S. location that is about as far as possible from Alabama scandals

Abdul Kallon

A federal judge who resigned his lifetime position in the wake of long-running Alabama scandals, has landed -- in of all places -- Seattle, according to a report at Under the headline "Sleepless in Seattle: Kallon Demotes Himself and joins Perkins Coie," Publisher K.B. Forbes writes:

Former Federal Judge Abdul K. Kallon has fled Birmingham and gone to one of the farthest places away from the cesspool of Jefferson County, Alabama: Seattle, Washington.

Kallon joins Perkins Coie as a partner, according to a news release.

In April, he announced his abrupt resignation; Kallon cited the usual “family time” excuse. According to media at the time, his wife obtained a job out of state but no one has been able to verify the fact.

As we asked in June:

Did Federal Judge Abdul K. Kallon agree to a secret deal to keep Alabama Power “unmentionable” during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial because of his past financial agreements and possible embarrassing personal behavior

On June 23rd, published an indepth report on Kallon’s alleged financial and personal behavior that was a bombshell, causing shockwaves in the legal community.

Watkins ties Kallon's resignation to the legal travails of Birmingham businessman Jonathan Dunning, who became the target of a federal criminal probe and wound up receiving an 18-year prison sentence. In Watkins' view, Dunning was railroaded, partly because Kallon and his former law firm, Bradley Arant, were deeply involved in Dunning's financial activities but mostly managed to escape scrutiny. 

Forbes picks up on a number of issues raised in the Watkins piece:

Did any or none of The Three Stooges (Alabama Power, Balch, and Drummond Company) have damaging information on Kallon and controlled him by figuratively squeezing his testicles?

Or was Kallon offered a deal in the alleged ongoing federal probe of obstruction of justice involving Alabama Power Chairman and CEO Mark A. Crosswhite?

Resign and cooperate sounds a lot better than refuse and be prosecuted.

Kallon may be sleepless in Seattle, having possibly tossed a future U.S. Supreme Court appointment down the toilet because of his alleged interactions with The Three Stooges.

Now he is far away. Farther away. Farthest away.

“Thanks be to God,” he says, he thinks, he prays.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Tiny CDLU, with its history of drawing attention from "60 Minutes" and Congress, may be set to spark a probe into a number of dark corners in Alabama

Congressional investigators reportedly are in the early stages of an inquiry into matters tied to the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal and what has become known as the Matrix Meltdown. If it turns into a full-blown probe, the primary driver will be a tiny public charity and advocacy group called Consejo De Latinos Unidos (CDLU). And it will not be the first time CDLU has drawn the attention of Congress. In terms of journalism, you might call CDLU "The Little Engine That Could."

In fact, the group has engaged in such investigative work for about 20 years. At the forefront has been president and CEO K.B. Forbes, who also publishes the blog from his base in Birmingham. The CDLU Web site states: "Forbes authored nine investigative reports, spurred three Congressional hearings, and worked coast to coast to improve health care for all."

In short, Forbes and his work are well-known to Congressional insiders. Perhaps his most high-profile work involved a look at hospitals' price-gouging of the uninsured middle class. That story led to a segment on CBS' 60 Minutes, with Dan Rather interviewing Forbes.

Title of the 60 Minutes segment was "Hospitals: Is the Price Right?" From the 2006 piece:

Most Americans know that if you get sick enough to go to a hospital, it's going to be expensive. But you may be surprised to learn that hospitals all over the country charge their highest prices, by far, to those who can afford it least — the 46 million Americans who don't have health insurance.

Hospitals charge uninsured patients two, three, four or more times what an insurance company would pay for the same treatment. And, when the uninsured can't pay, they often find themselves the target of collection agencies or in bankruptcy court.

As for a Congressional probe that would focus on Birmingham, Forbes reports that Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite likely will be at the center of it

[Last week], we learned that U.S. Congressional investigators are beginning inquiries. Can this get any worse?

When Mark A. Crosswhite was appointed Chairman and CEO of Alabama Power in 2014, he told media he was pleased to be the final decision maker.

The multiple final decisions he has made appear to be a complete and utter cluster.

Instead of firing and distancing the utility from the alleged racist and embattled law firm Balch & Bingham after the criminal convictions in 2018, he embraced his former employer, subsidizing them with lucrative legal services.

Instead of terminating the Oompa Loompa of Alabama, Sloppy Joe Perkins, and his Matrix agents, after secret million-dollar contracts were exposed in December 2021, Crosswhite allegedly continues to generously fund the obscure political consulting firm, showing unwavering loyalty.

Mark White, Crosswhite’s most trusted advisor and a white-collar criminal attorney, was allegedly in utter panic [recently]. Sources claim his firm is having an anxiety attack over the alleged multiple criminal investigations caused by the Matrix Meltdown.

Now investigators are asking, was White the one who brokered the secret deal with disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town that kept Alabama Power “unmentionable ” during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial?

In a sense, a Birmingham-based probe could intersect with the most high-profile Congressional investigation in recent years. Writes Forbes:

Crosswhite allegedly made another catastrophic decision in 2020. During the 2019-2020 election cycle, the single largest contribution from Alabama Power Employees Federal PAC went to the Rule of Law Defense Fund, the entity that launched robocalls the day before the insurrection mob of January 6th that marched to and desecrated the U.S. Capitol.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Dueling two-state lawsuits over Montgomery-based Matrix LLC have settled, but fallout from North Birmingham Bribery Scandal might still be brewing

The two-state legal battle over Matrix LLC has settled, but fallout from the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal might be far from over.

That's from a report at Under the headline "They're All Losers! Matrix Meltdown Settles; Criminal Probes Heat Up," Publisher K.B. Forbes writes:

The fat lady hasn’t sung yet.

The Matrix Meltdown is over in civil court according to a court filing yesterday afternoon.

The Matrix Meltdown was an embarrassing fight that spilled raw sewage and, the alleged criminal and unethical behind-the-scenes details of the obscure political consulting firm and their agents.

The explosive deposition with Jittery Jeff won’t happen.

The civil war between Sloppy Joe Perkins and his once-protégé Jittery Jeff Pitts may be over for now and the Three Stooges (Alabama Power, Balch, and Drummond) can breathe a momentary sigh of relief. But the irreparable damage is done.

What could be on the horizon? Forbes goes down the list:

The criminal probes related to the Matrix Meltdown are only heating up.

Florida investigators allegedly are working with federal authorities on possible civil rights and money laundering violations involving ghost candidates, tax-exempt entities, and intentional voter confusion and suppression efforts.

At the same time, federal investigators are allegedly looking at the secret million dollar contracts given to Sloppy Joe by Alabama Power that do not require an invoice.

The U.S. Department of Justice is allegedly probing the 18 tax-exempt entities that laundered over $50 million that Sloppy Joe outlined in a now deleted post on

And they’re all losers because of this fight that caught them with their panties down.

Who might be the biggest loser at the moment? Forbes awards that title to Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite:

[Crosswhite] may have forced [Perkins] to settle after embarrassing allegations were published that Crosswhite allegedly spied on his boss and his then-girlfriend.

But the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal isn’t over. The rebirth is alive. And Crosswhite knows it.

As we correctly stated, national media are digging deep into Alabama and North Birmingham with a lengthy exposé published just this morning by

David Roberson’s $75-million civil lawsuit continues in the dark, in a secret Star Chamber.

And federal investigators are allegedly looking into obstruction of justice allegations involving Alabama Power and Crosswhite during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial, where Alabama Power was “unmentionable. . . .”

Crosswhite’s problems appear to have expanded exponentially because of those closest to him.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

In a rarity, U.S. Judge Abdul Kallon officially gives up lifetime post as punches keep coming for those caught in fallout from North Birmingham Bribery Scandal

Abdul Kallon (From

Abdul Kallon officially stepped down yesterday from his lifetime appointment as a U.S. judge in the Northern District of Alabama, according to a post at Federal judges hardly ever give up a lifetime post that brings prestige, power, perks, and the possibility of higher office. But Kallon did just that, reports Ban Balch Publisher K.B. Forbes, who also serves as CEO of the Consejo De Latinos Unidos (CDLU) public charity and advocacy group. Writes Forbes:

The stench from the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal still stinks and those involved are dropping like flies. The carcasses are piling up.

Presiding Judge Abdul K. Kallon officially resigns today citing the usual stock-in-trade b.s. excuse of “spending more time with family.”

Forbes has been keeping track of those who have taken a hit in the scandal, and his scorecard must be filling up:

Disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town was forced to resign and fled in the middle of the night after inappropriate photos of him drinking libations with the embattled CEO of Alabama Power Mark A. Crosswhite were published. Town, too, left to “spend more time with family.”

Two Assistant U.S. Attorneys allegedly turned in their resignations in April, a day after Kallon announced his resignation.

Mike Tracy, CEO of Drummond Company, abruptly retired a year after the trial. Tracy was facing criticism for firing ex-Drummond executive David Roberson and ending Drummond’s funding of Roberson’s favorite charity, an organization that helps children with autism, six-months after Roberson was found guilty.

William “Bo” Lineberry, the Balch partner who set up the money laundering entity in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal known as the Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE), committed suicide days after Kallon’s retirement announcement.

The fallout at Balch has come in several forms:

Balch & Bingham, Alabama Power’s sister-wife, appears to have lost millions of dollars in fees as money-making partners exit the firm and clients terminate the embattled firm.

Forbes finishes out the scorecard -- as it exists for now:

Trey Glenn was forced to resign as an EPA Administrator after being exposed as a Balch stooge.

Matrix, which dropped a reprehensible mailer that discouraged poor African-American residents from having their toxic and contaminated property tested by the EPA, appears to have collapsed. Matrix founder Sloppy Joe Perkins is involved in a horrific and ugly legal fight with once-protégé Jittery Jeff Pitts, exposing dark if not criminal secrets.

Alabama Power’s CEO Mark A. Crosswhite allegedly spied on his boss and his boss’ then-girlfriend. With baggage accumulating, Crosswhite is allegedly on his way out and sources claim he is under federal investigation for alleged obstruction of justice.

With ex-Drummond executive David Roberson and Ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert sitting in the federal big house, how many more could join them?

Will Southern Company step in and mop up this mess or is it too late?