Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Siegelman Tries Again

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman is asking the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review arguments to overturn his political conviction.

He was targeted by the Rove Republican Racket.

The Associated Press reports: "Earlier this month, a three-judge panel from the court upheld five of the seven bribery and corruption charges against Siegelman. Attorneys for Siegelman filed a motion Thursday asking for a hearing from the full court. "

Monday, March 30, 2009

U.S. Attorney Wants Jackpot

In a show down to happen at the State Supreme Court this week in Nebraska, a New York man is demanding his Las Vegas-bound money back from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Cornhusker State which filed a motion to seize it.

Louis Obad was never convicted of a crime. He was driving from NY to Nevada when he was pulled over for speeding. State authorities found $40,000 in his car and a small quantity of pot he was smoking. He was fined and off he went, without his money.

Now, the U.S. government, with no evidence stuck their nose in the situation and wants to keep the man's money as illegal proceeds from drug running. This was after a state court granted the return of the money to Obad. Remind you, the U.S. government has no evidence.

Can you believe in the era of Obama that the Rove Republican Racket is in full force, using fear and intimidation on U.S. citizens? Obad's money is now a target of their wrath.

What if they had found a pair of counterfeit sunglasses?

Here's the full article.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Political Prosecution: Sue Schmitz

From the South, we have posted many stories of the consequences of the Rove Republican Racket. Today's story from Alabama is sad.

Former Democratic State Representative Sue Schmitz, a beloved teacher, was targeted by Republican U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin during the 2008 election cycle. In September 2008, Schmitz won: she was not convicted. This year, she had her second trial.

Schmitz crime was she had set up a job as a community relations person for a social service entity. She earned a total of over $50,000 a year for a three year period. She was accused of doing little if no work while being paid excessively. (Don't we all know people who are overpaid?)

The money used to fund the entity (and Schmitz's position) was federal money so she was happily targeted for fraud by the Rove Racket.

Unfortunately, Schmitz took a gamble and was convicted by a jury in February. Martin was quoted in the media:

After the verdict, ...a statement from Alice Martin, U.S. attorney for the northern district of Alabama. "This guilty verdict should send a strong message to public officials in Alabama. If you choose to violate your oath and serve your own interest, instead of serving the interest of the citizens, you will be held accountable," Martin said in the statement.

Maybe Martin meant to say the Rove Motto: "Instead of serving the interests of Rove's Republican Party, you will be held accountable."

Here's a wonderful background article from 2008:


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Arkansas' Rove Disciple

In Arkansas, the true political intent of the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 can vividly be seen. In December of 2006, the Rove Republican Racket replaced U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins with the illustrious Tim Griffin.

And who is Mr. Griffin? None other than a Karl Rove disciple. He served in 2005 and 2006 in the Bush White House as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director in the Office of Political Affairs. In other words, he was Karl Rove's assistant!

The Arkansas Times posted this tidbit last week

Republicans go about these things very differently. A couple of years ago, when the Bush administration fired a gang of Republican U.S. attorneys considered insufficiently partisan, Bush and Karl Rove replaced them with people distinguished by their eagerness to do dirty work for the party. In Little Rock, Bud Cummins had to make way for Tim Griffin, a former Republican National Committee operative who gained fame, of a sort, in a Republican effort to keep blacks and Hispanics from voting.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama Tosses Aside Rove's "Government of Men"

When Attorney General Eric Holder took his oath of office today, President Obama took direct aim at the former Rove-Bush Administration's politicization of the U.S. Department of Justice. Rove and friends are accused of masterminding the political prosecution of prominent Democratic supporters and politicians across the country after nine U.S. Attorneys were abruptly fired in 2006.

The Boston Globe reports:

President Obama took the time today to hold a...swearing-in for Attorney General Eric Holder, reinforcing his pledge to enforce the law and uphold the Constitution without regard to politics and ideology. "There are few more important jobs in our nation's government than that of attorney general," Obama said. "As president, I swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution....And that's what's always distinguished this nation -- that we are bound together not by a shared bloodline or allegiance to any one leader or faith or creed, but by an adherence to a set of ideals. That's the core notion of our founding -- that ours is a 'government of laws, and not men.'"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The $367,575 Search for the Rove Racket Emails

As readers know, in the ongoing investigation of the nine fired U.S. Attorneys by the Rove-Bush-Cheney Administration in 2006, Congress has been seeking Karl Rove's and other Bush White House staff emails. These suspects inappropriately did not use White House or government issued email accounts.

Rove and Bush staffers utilized either outside email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail) or Republican Party email accounts. (An easy way to circumvent congressional scrutiny or the law.)

The Washington Times posted the following late tonight:

Now comes word from former Federal Election Commission staffer Kent Cooper, who with fellow one-time FECer Tony Raymond launched the popular Web site Capitol Hill Access, [that] the Republican National Committee recently reported to the FEC that it paid computer forensics firm Stroz Friedberg another $25,960 on Jan. 29. "This is the forensics firm that has been looking for 'lost' electronic data, mainly e-mails of Rove," Mr. Cooper noted. "This brings the total paid to Stroz up to $367,575, and that does not include the Covington Burling [legal] payments." The costly search for the electronic mailings began after the RNC informed Congress that it was missing several years' worth of Mr. Rove's e-mails that are sought as part of a wider congressional investigation into the Bush administration.

In other developments, the Rove Republican Racket is under attack with a new TV ad against them. One wonders if the DNC will start focusing on the Rove-Bush-Cheney string of political prisoners.

Here's the link:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Holder Rejects Rove-Bush Political Favoritism

Today, there is a must read story on FOX NEWS about our new U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the four portraits he has chosen for his conference room.

In addition, the politicization of the Justice Department is one of the key issues discussed in the story. If you are too busy to read the whole story (link), here is an excerpt:

Gonzales resigned in August 2007, amid accusations that nine U.S. attorneys were inappropriately fired a year earlier. Since then, the Justice Department's inspector general has issued four reports accusing Justice Department officials of making politically-motivated decisions in the course of their work. Still, at his swearing-in ceremony last month, Holder promised that his Justice Department would be "no place for political favoritism," which he called "a break from the immediate past."....One of the inspector general's reports issued last year focused on hiring practices within [Former Attorney General Alberto] Gonzales' Civil Rights Division. It found that one top-ranking official in the division hired 63 attorneys with conservative affiliations and only two attorneys with liberal affiliations. Holder has since said "reinvigorating" the Civil Rights Division is "a priority" for him. "The notion that the Justice Department would ever take into account a person's political affiliation or political beliefs in making hiring decisions is antithetical to everything that the department stands for and everything that I'm familiar with," Holder said at his confirmation hearing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Self-Serving Remnants

Last night, Dana Jill Simpson posted a piece for OpEdNews.com focusing on the Rove-Bush-Cheney U.S. Department of Justice. Here is a brief excerpt:

Today there are over 700 people in America...that are fighting the Justice Department because they consider themselves political prisoners. They all thought at first they were the only one with this kind of problem but now realize it was a common plan and scheme by the Bush administration. It is time for our nation to accept that our Justice Department lost her way during the Bush Administration and that Mr Karl Rove help[ed] turn the DOJ into a political machine to establish Republican Rule. It appears as a result of that people at the Justice Department forgot their duty is not to a President or to his political party but is to seek Justice for all.... The Obama Justice Department should start looking at cases like Richard Scrushy, Don Siegelman and Paul Minor and start releasing the political prisoners that the Bush Administration captured and held knowing these men were guilty of nothing but standing up for what they believed was right.

She is right: the Obama Administration must review these cases and end the political witch hunts by self-serving remnants of the Bush Administration who still serve as U.S. Attorneys or Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rove's Accordion

In the egregious political prosecution of Democratic donor Paul Minor, an appeal will be heard next week on April 1st. Paul Minor was targeted in 2003 by the Rove Republican Racket and unfairly convicted in 2007 after two grueling trials (In the first trial, Minor was acquitted. See yesterday's post.)

The appeal is actually well written and as the law professors of the White Collar Crime Prof Blog observe:

When prosecutors were unable to secure convictions on the first try, they came back for a second shot. And according to the...filed appellate brief, this time the rulings were different and the defendant had a tougher road....A key issue on appeal is whether there was a quid pro quo and whether the jury received an instruction explaining this aspect of the law. The appellant argues that "[a]t the first trial, the court instructed the jury that the government's case required a finding of quid pro quo, yet it refused to provide that same instruction in 2007." The brief goes on to note that the bribery standards were, however, used for sentencing. And here is the classic line from this brief - "It was as if the indictment was the government's accordion, contracting at trial to allow the government to obtain a conviction, and then expanding at sentencing to inflict the greatest punishment on Mr. Minor."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gross Injustice: Paul Minor

Of the many documented allegations against the Rove Republican Racket, nothing is as awful as the case from the Mississippi Delta: the set up, wrongful conviction, and jailing of Paul Minor.

To summarize, Minor was a major Democratic donor who was targeted in 2003 by the Rove-Bush politicized U.S. Department of Justice, and brought to trial for being literally a secondary co-signer and providing loan gurantees on the election loans of Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver E. Diaz. The political prosecution also went after Minor for providing an apartment to Diaz during his campaign. The Rove Racket went after Minor twice.

Minor was acquitted after the first trial. The Rove Racket came back again and Minor was finally convicted in September of 2007.

This past week, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. decided to weigh in on this gross injustice and wrote a lengthy piece for The Huffington Post:

One of the nation's top trial lawyers, Minor stands convicted on partisan political charges ginned up by Rove's right wing toadies at the Department of Justice. Paul Minor is serving the second year of a breathtaking 11-year sentence for non-violent, white collar crimes he did not commit. Paul Minor's real crime was that he used nearly a half million dollars of his earnings from the 1997 Big Tobacco settlement and a string of other successful lawsuits to fund Democratic candidates for office at the local and national level. Minor was the largest donor to Democrats in Mississippi -- accounting for roughly one-third of all campaign contributions from trial lawyers in the state -- making him a prime target of Karl Rove's master plan to strategically take out key Democratic contributors nationwide using trumped up criminal prosecutions as his primary weapon.

(We note that the Rove Racket also went after Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Diaz--twice! Both times they tried to prosecute him, Diaz was acquitted.)

The case against Minor has huge loopholes. Today, we'll take a look at the apartment that Minor provided to Diaz. This is what Harper´s magazine wrote in 2007 about the apartment:

Diaz states that he used the apartment only on weekends to visit his children, who were separated from him thanks to a recent divorce, that he shared it with another renter, and that Diaz made payments for its use. Diaz’s statements on these points were corroborated by a series of other witnesses. However, none of this was noted in the charges brought by the prosecution. Indeed, the prosecutors also neglected to point out that the apartment was not solely Minor’s–a major shareholder was another prominent lawyer who had made the same sorts of loans that Minor had, and who, unlike Minor, actually had cases in front of the judges in question. The other lawyer, however, makes strong campaign contributions to the Republicans.

The full column by Kennedy is available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-f-kennedy-jr-and-brendan-demelle/free-paul-minor_b_176696.html

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Angering: The Racket in Iraq

When the Bush Administration fired nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006, it was no doubt a political decision. Rove, the alleged "genius" behind the Bush-Cheney Adminsitration, went to great lengths to turn neutral governmental agencies and departments into political brigades.

For those who doubt the politicalization of the U.S. Department of Justice, just take a look at what happened when the Rove Republican Racket took control of the rebuilding and reconstruction of Iraq. Read the link below from The Washington Post. It will anger if not astonish you.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Rove Racket's Lost Emails

Mother Jones posted an enlightening article yesterday on Congressional oversight efforts to have access to emails in the era of Obama. Included is an interesting passage on how the Rove-Republican-Racket covered their tracks. Which leads to the following question: Will Congress subpeona the Republican Party's IT chief?

The handling of White House emails became a controversy during the Bush administration, when it was revealed that millions of internal emails had gone missing due to a lackluster archiving system. Other emails were also lost because Karl Rove and other top White House officials used Republican party email accounts to conduct government business. All of this remains the subject of litigation by two nonprofit watchdog groups, which sued the Bush administration....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Stinging Slap of 2007: Wisconsin

Today, we'll look at the consequences of the Rove Republican Racket in Wisconsin.

Former Milwaukee U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic went after a Wisconsin state employee in 2006 to try to smear the Democratic Governor of Wisconsin, Jim Doyle, who was running for re-election. She was unfairly prosecuted and convicted.

In 2007, the conviction was overturned by a federal appeals court with a stinging slap.

The Wisconsin State Journal wrote in April of 2007:

A federal appeals court last week slapped down a controversial fraud conviction with a swift, blunt decisiveness almost never seen in the legal system. The ruling struck a blow to the credibility of the Milwaukee-based federal prosecutor who brought the case, and to other investigations related to campaign fundraising by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, said former prosecutors and other legal experts.

The investigations have not led to any charges against Doyle or his aides. The federal prosecutor, who was appointed by President Bush, and the state attorney general, a Republican, say they are continuing...."It will be strongly worded," Van Wagner, a Republican, predicted of the judges' written decision. "It's a statement to the government that you never had enough to get out of the starting gate."Donald Downs, a political science professor who teaches criminal law at UW-Madison, said he could only think of one other case in which an appellate court had simply freed a defendant rather than sending the case back to a trial court.

The decision certainly will make it more difficult for U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic in Milwaukee to continue his investigation of the Doyle administration, Downs said. "It's a slap at the prosecution, you better believe it," Downs said. "It's embarrassing." Adding power to the ruling, Tuerkheimer said, was the fact that it was made by a court with two Republican appointees and one Democrat. Judge Frank Easterbrook was appointed by President Reagan, Judge William J. Bauer by President Ford and Judge Diane Wood by President Clinton.

Biskupic's counterpart in Western Wisconsin, U.S. Attorney Erik Peterson did nothing political and focused on the law.

In a profile written over the weekend by the Associated Press and posted by the Chicago Tribune, Peterson, who remained politically neutral and has done his job diligently, was even smeared by the Rove-Bush-Cheney Racket. Peterson today continues serving as U.S. Attorney in Western Wisconsin under the Obama Adminsitration.

The AP writes:

Then-President George W. Bush named Peterson the top federal prosecutor in the 44-county Western District of Wisconsin in June 2006. His counterpart in Milwaukee, now-former U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic, grabbed the headlines after he brought charges against an aide in Gov. Jim Doyle's administration and his name appeared on documents questioning [Peterson's] performance and loyalty to Bush. A U.S. Justice Department inquiry concluded that despite Bush administration denials, political considerations played a part in the firings of as many as four federal prosecutors. Nine U.S. attorneys in all were fired in 2006.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Clear Exception: Siegelman

A column by former Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau Chief Carl P. Leubsdorf is making the rounds today. Carl wrote strongly against Capitol Hill's fixation about going after the past misdeeds of the Bush Administration. That being said, Carl writes:

"[T]here should be one clear exception to a policy of limiting future government action to exposure and reversal of past abuses: the way the Bush team politicized the Department of Justice and sought to manipulate its procedures for partisan purposes. Particularly troublesome examples include the 2006 prosecution that landed former Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama in jail and the 2007 ouster of nine U.S. attorneys who resisted administration pressure to step up probes of alleged election fraud in key states. The House Judiciary Committee has long pursued those matters, and its campaign bore fruit last week with the agreements for former Bush officials Karl Rove and Harriet Miers to testify 'under penalty of perjury.' They will be questioned about their possible roles in testimony conducted in private but later made public."

Alabama's Rove Republican Racket

Want evidence of the repercussions of the Rove-Bush-Cheney machine?

Check out the political games played in a key state in the deep south: Alabama. Since the 1970's, areas once dominated by Southern Dixiecrats have slowly become strong Republican bastions.

Any Democrat or person of law and order who dares try to help the people are getting railroaded, run over by the Racket. Take political prisoner and former Democratic Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

CBS' 60 Minutes did an investigative segment on their news magazine last year. Here is a back ground link to this political persecution:


And the Raw Story has an excellent timeline that lays out the various connections of Rove and the Republican Racket in Alabama:


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rove's Duck and Cover

In an interesting exchange with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Patricia Sheridan, Karl Rove has the audacity to say NOW that that the Democrats are out to get him!

Hello! It was the Rove-Bush-Cheney machine that went after Democratic Governor Don Siegelman of Alabama. 44 former State Attorney Generals (both Republican and Democratic) signed a petition against this gross injustice.

Also Rove wants to testify privately before Congress to preserve Presidential privilege...or more likely to protect his rear appendages.

Read the entire interview at: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09075/955499-129.stm