Since Monday’s disorganized bingo/corruption rant, we’ve had some more time to think.
Also, there’s this:
Alabama Sen. Paul Sanford says that, shortly before he was elected last year, a lobbyist representing electronic bingo interests offered him $250,000 if he would commit to voting yes on a bingo bill.
Sanford identified that lobbyist as Jarrod Massey, whose clients include the Country Crossing electronic bingo casino in Dothan.
Meanwhile, a second state senator told The Birmingham News on Monday that Massey offered him a ‘substantial’ campaign contribution in return for a yes vote on “any bingo bill” that came before the Senate in the current legislative session, which began in January. The senator said he considered the offer by Massey to be a ‘bribe.’
Massey’s lawyers in a statement Monday said the allegations were ‘completely without basis in fact and solely an attempt to scare our legislators from voting on the bingo bill.’
Denton held a news conference Sunday night, where he said four FBI agents visited his Montgomery hotel room the night of March 30. He said the agents asked why he changed his vote and whether he received anything for the vote. They also asked whether he had talked with country singers George Jones and Randy Owen, who are involved in the Country Crossing development, and whether they offered him anything, such as a guitar
Oh, and also this:
A federal prosecutor probing state lawmakers’ handling of a gambling bill is herself under investigation for her role in the failed corruption case against former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, records show.
Brenda Morris, a trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section, worked as a lead prosecutor against Stevens.
Morris was identified as ‘senior litigation counsel’ in the Alabama investigation in a recent letter to state officials.
A federal judge threw out the Stevens case, held Morris and others in contempt for their handling of it and named a special prosecutor to investigate the government’s prosecution team. The Department of Justice also opened an internal investigation.
‘In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case,’ U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said when he threw out the Stevens case about a year ago, as quoted by the Associated Press.
This is mostly unrelated, but he likes gambling and it’s funny so…:
The man known as the pro-gambling candidate in the Democratic race for governor has decided to gamble with his looks. On April Fool’s Day, he had a Birmingham barber shave off the mustache and restyle his hair with a shorter cut and a part that moved from the middle to left side.
On Saturday, he switched his glasses from dark frames to light wire ones.* …
So far, the 57-year-old candidate said he’s been getting a lot of favorable comments about how he looks younger with the gray mustache gone.
‘It’s Ron with a new look, but the same heart,’ he said.**
So, we guess you’re wondering who’s winning and losing here. Glad you asked…
Winner: Governor Bob Riley
“Hey look I said gambling causes bad things and it looks like my trying to stop the gambling caused those bad things I talked about to happen see this is important and it’s not just all about me serving my Mississippi Indian Gambling masters while doing a special ‘Make-it-rain’ dance because I’m not just a puppet and I’m not just working for my legacy — maybe — because gambling causes bad stuff to happen when you publicly oppose it for a year and a half!”
Losers: Alabama Democratic Party
This is an issue overwhelmingly identified with Democrats, the votes in the Senate were overwhelmingly by Democrats, and it is going to be overwhelmingly hard for the Democrats to spin this to their favor in the fall. Sure, there’s Harri Anne Smith, but the Republicans booted her ass off their ballot last week for acknowledging that Bobby Bright was a better Republican than Jay Love. However, you can be sure as Bradley Byrne claims he cleaned up the two-year college system when he just watched the feds do it — probably while eating an apple — that the ALGOP will spin the move with Smith as an example of their party’s sterling ethics in the fall.
Oh, and warning to the crew that cleans up the House and considers putting out hits on Alvin Holmes: If this investigation turns up a ping or two on Democrats in the Senate, Mike Hubbard will multiple-orgasm on the chamber floor.
For the rest of the session.
And you can’t stop it.
Check Robert’s Rules…
Winners: Republican gubernatorial candidates not named “Bradley Byrne.”
Given the number of senators who took gambling contributions who voted for the bingo bill last week, that whole gambling-money-in Byrne’s-PAC thing should be leaped upon by Republican opposition looking to toss mud all over the Ethical White Knight image Byrne has attempted to craft for himself.
A month ago, we would’ve said this most benefits the terror of the Greenville area, Flaming Shit-Cloud Death Classification: Tim James, but given that his campaign has been shown recently to be too behind too dumb to concentrate on catching up, this plays into the hands of… Robert Bentley.
Holy fuck shit.
Loser: Bradley Byrne
Byrne’s “Don’t Back Down” promise to clean up the State and fuck people who are in unions campaign theme had already been undermined by his “I’m a giant pussy!” press conference earlier this year, but it’s especially hard to run as the ethics candidate when you are probably about to get butt-wiped by your primary opponents for having the slightest evidence of a “tie” to a federal investigation that is gripping the State’s political leadership.
Then again, Tim James campaign could release a statement saying that the PAC is inaccurate because it doesn’t show him as being as competitive of a candidate as they think he is.
Winner: Paul Sanford
Rejoice Huntsville voters: Your state senator is not only white, but ethical!
Loser: George Jones
It’s going to be hard to win a high-speed chase by the feds if you’re trying to get away drunk on a lawn mower.
And talking on that dern cell phone…
Winner: Luther Strange
We think his new attack ad is rather bland and punch-less (Give specific examples of Troy King incompetence, Tall-Boy. There are plenty!). But even though T.K. didn’t get prosecuted by the feds, trying to tie the AG’s attempted takeover of Riley’s Bingo Legal Lynchteam to these allegations of legislative corruption — at least in the the minds of ornery Republican voters — doesn’t seem like it’d be too difficult.
Also, the contempt in the Senate right now can easily be harnessed to power Luther’s new Deathatron Machine inside the Vulcan statue…
Luther Strange for Attorney General 2010: Troy King is bullshit, and ‘Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…!’
Loser: Troy King
“No, this doesn’t make me look like a slave to corrupt in-state Gamblords! I’m not trying to shove this under the table as it escalates! I don’t look like an incompetent ass! I’m wearing such nice boots! And … and Australia should have totally killed that guy…!”
Winner (kind of): Artur Davis
“Yeah… I could totally jump on this to show how I’m going to bring a new and better day of governmental leadership to Alabama as probably the closest thing to an actual, electable Montgomery outsider*** in this gubernatorial race … and you know, this totally shits all over my primary opposition’s GAMBLING WILL SAVE US ALL! platform…
“But, um, I’m just going to sit here and get eviscerated on healthcare reform by elected-for-life black members of my own party — you know, the same group of people who think ‘black political leadership’ is sucking air while sitting in an elected position and who oppose my campaign because actual fucking progress might mean that they could have to get up and do something to help improve the needy areas they represent instead of getting re-elected again and again by preying on the fumes of the civil rights movement and the disaffection of the people they’ve done nothing meaningful whatsoever to help in their umpteen years on the job…
“Yeah, I know my Harvard bud Obama gave me the road map for how to get elected, but to me and my staff, doing nothing except being bland and taking the abuse seems like the best campaign strategy when the odds are against us …”
Loser: Ron Sparks
After the mustache and this — what is left?
Also a loser: Probably this federal investigation
Oh, it’s served its purpose, but regardless of Mike Hubbard’s grasping explanation that this doesn’t matter, it probably helps explain why the holy hell the feds would be so goddamn dumb in how they’ve spread the word about this investigation.
Word to keep in mind for later: “Fubar’d”
Winner: Political whoring
When Riley makes that next elected run he says he won’t make, he’ll be sure to talk about how he took on corruption and such.
You know, by manufacturing this horseshit gambling issue that has distracted from doing anything meaningful the State’s real problems in a proactive way — probably because being a proactive governor who deals with real problems isn’t something a Republican would do — so he can be Governor Pretend Cowboy in his last days on the job.
That’s real Alabama leadership…
Losers: Things that matter
PACT just sitting there, no one in a position of actual influence willing to really fix it before it bleeds out…
Don’t worry: We’ll just toss some tax credits at it and make it all better…
*At this point, we began to believe that Ron Sparks wasn’t so much a gubernatorial candidate but some sort of avant-garde hillbilly sketch comedy project that has taken on a life of its own.
**And the same distant second-place finish in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Provided Mexican Don Siegelman doesn’t make too many gains.
***No, Tim James, you’re not a Montgomery outsider because your daddy was Governor. Shut up, and go be responsible for the deaths of a field of livestock somewhere…