Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, currently in prison, received a birthday present from CBS, but many Alabamians were denied the chance to see it. by Mike Foster
Monday, February 25, 2008
Is It Dangerous to be a Democrat in Alabama?
Last year the MSM finally started asking the question that many of us in Alabama (Democrats as well as Republicans) have been asking for months: is Siegelman in prison for accepting a bribe or for being a Democrat? CBS' 60 Minutes aired a report taking a hard look at this case.
Fifty two former state Attorneys General are pushing congress to investigate. Grant Woods, former Republican Attorney General of Arizona said, "I personally believe that what happened here is that they targeted Don Siegelman because they could not beat him fair and square. This was a Republican state and he was the one Democrat they could never get rid of".
Where There's Trouble There's... Karl Rove
This all began back in 2000 when Siegelman made an enemy of Karl Rove for supporting Al Gore instead of "fellow governor" G. W. Bush. The Republicans were determined to win the Alabama governorship for their party in 2002 and evidently were willing to do so at any cost. Siegelman himself describes the theft of that election in a candid interview in September of 2004.
Alabama News Censorship?
When the 60 Minutes program was aired it just so happened that WHNT channel 19 in Huntsville had "a technical problem with CBS out of New York". However, CBS in New York said it was not true and that it was likely an editorial decision at WHNT. Later, WHNT changed their story and said that there was a problem with a receiver at their local station. Many people across Alabama did not get to see 60 Minutes' birthday present to their former governor.
Make a Wish
It looks like this story is really starting to break now, with whistle-blowers suddenly appearing right and left - and it is about time. The treatment of Governor Siegelman has been shameful. When he was convicted he was put in leg-irons, immediately sent to prison and then saddled with a gag order. Even today, 20 months later, he is unable to appeal the conviction because the trial transcript has yet to be released.
It is encouraging to see non-partisan support for investigation into what may have been just another day at the office for Karl Rove.
Did you like this article? If you did, Thumb It! 15
thumbs so far
The views expressed
in this article are those of Mike Foster only and
do not represent the views of Nolan Chart, LLC or its affiliates.
Mike Foster is solely responsible for the contents
of this article and is not an employee or otherwise affiliated
with Nolan Chart, LLC in his/her role as a columnist.
Posted By: Walt Thiessen
Date: 2008-02-26 05:54:22
That's a truly awful story...not the way the author wrote it, but what actually happened. It apparently involves electronic voting that was secretly changed in the dead of night to swing an election, a vendetta by Bush administration political operatives, and quite possibly some of the most corrupt arm-twisting since Watergate. To all Republicans who still support President Bush, I urge caution. You may be supporting a criminal conspiracy.
After watching the video link, I just sat here shaking my head. Once again, it is clear to me that government is far too powerful and needs to be cut down to size. Also, the people behind the machinations need to be held accountable for their crimes against society and against their political opponents.
Thanks for your comments, Walt. I agree with you, after anyone looks into this case it just seems so unbelievable. It makes me lose all faith and all hope that "any" government can work for any length of time. And some people scoff at the concept of a society with "no government" - yet this case reveals the blatant injustice which has been the modus operandi of this government for so very long, and it makes me seriously think that not only would we not be worse off with no government, but that we would be much better off.
Siegelman had broad bipartisan support. Of course there are those that would disagree with me, but when you talked to the actual people, instead of the party hacks, you would learn something surprising: in a State full of Republicans he was a Democrat that was well liked.
He was not perfect, but he certainly did not deserve what happened to him. Yes, it truly is an awful story.
The Alabama GOP leadership, instead of distancing themselves from Bush and Rove, are defending them.
WHNT has issued an apology for the interruption of the 60 Minutes broadcast. They rebroadcast it, and it is also available online.
It was sad to hear, though, how Siegelman watched the "60 Minutes" segment. According to The Associated Press, Siegelman gave canned fish to other inmates so he could get the chance to watch television. source
Vince Kilborn, a lawyer for the former Democratic governor, said the defense was never told of written testimony by Nick Bailey, a former Siegelman aide whose testimony was crucial to the government. source
Alabama whistleblower: Ask Rove to swear before Congress he never met me. source
It's a yarn spun so wildly, it sounds like it should be in a John Grisham novel rather than a sworn affidavit to a House Judicial Committee. source
I wish we'd have more focus on getting the former gov out of prison instead of this FCC investigation of a local station. I really think it was just an untimely technical problem. WHNT re-aired the program twice.
I'm afraid there is way too much emotional zeal out there - it tends to strike out against anything and everything. It will eventually bite us in the butt.
I hope we don't see local stations become scape-goats. Many of us feel that the MSM is unfairly biased - and I think we have good reasons to feel that way. But local stations are not to blame. Why doesn't the FCC investigate "FOX News" instead of picking on a small-fry? It seems that even the FCC is playing the "political game". And all those people who bombarded WHNT with unfounded accusations are playing right into their hands.
Again I say, we need cold, hard logic and sound reasoning. Emotional zeal is counter-productive.