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APRIL 01 2008

1. Rove Looms Large in Siegelman Case
2. The Permanent Republican Majority, Part IV: How corporate-GOP
interests sought to topple Democrats in Mississippi
3. Dissecting the 60 Minutes Scandal
4. Letters, Fax and Email
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Rove Looms Large in Siegelman Case
by John W. Mashek in U.S. News and World Report

There is a distinct aroma attached to the trial, conviction, and
imprisonment of former Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama.
The figure of Karl Rove, President Bush's ultimate strategist, looms
large in this strange case.

Siegelman was convicted last June of taking a $500,000 bribe, though
he claims it was a campaign contribution. He was released from prison
last week by a federal appellate court pending a probe of the matter.
It was a rare move by an appellate panel in a criminal case.

Siegelman is unknown to me. If he took a bribe, he deserves hard
time. But if he was railroaded on what he claims was an "abuse of
power," his accusers should answer for it.

<link to source>

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The Permanent Republican Majority, Part IV:
How corporate-GOP interests sought to
topple Democrats in Mississippi
by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane of Raw Story


...During the mid-90s, a serious of state lawsuits against the tobacco
industry delivered a heavy blow to American business interests in the
South.

Initiated by Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore, they sought
compensation for the costs of smoking-related diseases. Other state
attorneys general joined the suit, and eventually the industry was
forced to settle, culminating in a Tobacco Master Settlement
Agreement that exempted the tobacco companies from liability in
exchange for a $246 billion dollar payment and other concessions –
the largest settlement in US history.

Alabama, however, refused to join the lawsuits. The decision, by the
state’s Republican governor and then-Attorney General William Pryor,
led to a political firestorm.

The conflict was a major factor in then-Democratic Lieut. Gov. Don
Siegelman’s election as governor in 1998. Almost as soon as
Siegelman took office, however, Pryor initiated a series of corruption
investigations against him. After the Bush administration took office in
2001, these state probes were elevated to the federal level at the
hands of US Attorney Leura Canary. As reported in The Permanent
Republican Majority – Part Three, Rove and Canary also helped
promote the Siegelman investigations.

<link to source>
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Dissecting the 60 Minutes Scandal
On Power Line Blog by John Hinderaker

....
The events in question happened in November 2002. Don
Siegelman was the sitting Governor of Alabama, and his race against
the Republican challenger, Bob Riley, came down to a photo finish.
For some days after the election the outcome was uncertain.
Siegelman tried various legal maneuvers, unsuccessfully, and on
November 18, 2002, he conceded that he had lost the election.

Simpson claims that after the election, she was contacted by Rob
Riley, the Republican challenger's son, who asked her to look into a
possible dirty trick by the Democrats. Simpson's story isn't very
coherent, but it can be fairly summarized as follows: Riley signs were
disappearing in Simpson's part of Alabama; it was suspected that a
particular Democratic lawyer was stealing them; the Riley camp feared
that this Democratic lawyer would use the Riley signs in connection
with a Ku Klux Klan rally to be held shortly; they wanted Simpson to
"investigate" this possible dirty trick; Simpson went to the KKK rally;
she saw the Democratic lawyer putting up Riley signs at the rally,
thereby confirming the dirty trick; and she took photos of the lawyer,
the signs and the rally.

On Simpson's telling, she called Rob Riley, the Republican
candidate's son, on November 18, 2002, to report the success of her
mission and the fact that she had taken photos of the KKK rally. She
says that Riley then conferenced others (Terry Butts, Bill Canary, et
al.) into the call. It is in this context that Simpson alleges that Canary
said that the group didn't need to worry about Siegelman, since "his
girls"--two United States Attorneys; is this a bad joke, or what?--would
take care of him. Further, Canary supposedly said that "Karl" had
spoken to the Department of Justice and "the Department of Justice
was already pursuing Don Siegelman."

<link to source>
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Letters, Fax and Email
Editorial by Ester Davis in Mobile Press Register

....
Karl Rove, who wanted a Republican political take-over in Alabama,
didn't like the threat the popular New South Democrat presented. The
witch hunt began.

With the help of Alabama operatives, charges were drummed up.
They picked Mark Fuller as judge, staged a bizarre trial, convicted
Siegelman on bogus charges, and sentenced him to over seven years
in prison. Not allowed to say goodbye to his family, Siegelman's shoes
and belt were removed and he was handcuffed, shackled and whisked
away to prison.

He spent nine months in a federal prison in Louisiana until his release
last week on an appeal bond. A prison janitor, he saw his family once
a month. The eight-hour journey was hard on them.

<link to source>
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John W. Mashek
covered politics in Washington for
Dunnica Lampton
brought federal charges against  
plaintiff’s attorney Paul Minor, a
lawyer who successfully sued
Big Tobacco, alleging that he had
bribed a Mississippi Supreme
Court Justice, Judge Oliver E.
Diaz, Jr.
graphic captured from site

Power Line was the blog that Karl
Rove and Roger Stone used to
attack "60 Minute's" Dan Rather
and his report on George Bush's
"lost year" in Alabama.