Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Historically, I have held little brief for governors of Alabama, may they rot in hell.

But I do have sympathy for a recent occupant of that seat. Don Siegelman, a Democrat, was governor for one term, ending in 2003. He would have had a second term except that the Republicans stole his re-election bid. He is now sitting in federal prison doing seven years, apparently because Karl Rove wanted him there, suborned the U.S. attorney’s office in Montgomery and railroaded a jury into convicted him of a relatively minor charge a series of judges dismissed more than 100 counts.

Apart from trying to improve Alabama’s abysmal education system and bringing new auto manufacturing to the state, Siegelman, as I read it, solicited a contribution from someone he later appointed to a state board. The money was not for Siegelman’s pocket (or his freezer, for that matter) but for a campaign the governor backed to establish a state lottery to fund education.

Acknowledging that a federal prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich and an Alabama jury to convict someone named Siegelman (his wife and kids are Jewish, though he is not), I have to wonder about this one. You could find hundreds of George Bush appointees in federal offices who were put there after their occupants made contributions to his campaign.

This is known as politics.

What goes beyond politics is the performance in office of Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzalez and George Bush. And that is the crime.

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