Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stolen Tomato Paste and Docs Shake Feds

With eight years of dirty tricks and loose laws under their belts, agents of the Rove Republican Racket in the FBI have mastered the art of deception.

Now comes the case out of the Central Valley of California that has shaken the reputation of the FBI and federal prosecutors.

In an undercover operation started in 2006, the feds targeted the so-called "Tomato King," Frederick Scott Salyer. Salyer is the heir to one of the largest agribusinesses in California.

The feds filed 20 charges of mail and wire fraud last February. But yesterday, his defense team struck back hard.

The Salinas Californian reports:

The defense motion is potentially the most damaging counterattack in one of the biggest prosecutions ever against the nation's food industry. Legal experts say case law is clear that the government cannot encourage an informant to steal documents it can legally get for it-self, nor can it acquiesce in such conduct by knowingly accepting the documents. "By the time Manuel's efforts were complete, he had conducted more than 40 illegal searches over a period of 18 months with the complicity and participation of [FBI Special] Agent [Paul] Artley, viewed many thousands of documents and had surreptitiously taken and delivered to the FBI well over a thousand private documents, computer printouts, e-mails, tomato paste samples and other proprietary information," Segal wrote. Manuel became an informant in August 2006 after federal agents searched his home and, in return for his help, the government allowed him to defer a guilty plea to an unrelated crime, work off his prison time and continue receiving his $200,000 salary from Sal-yer, said Segal. The defense accuses Artley of directing or encouraging Manuel to take evidence against Salyer without a search warrant.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No One Would Stop Them

For over 16 months now, our blog has posted stories about the Rove Republican Racket, the web of political operatives headed by Karl Rove that turned the U.S. Department of Justice into a political arm of the Republican Party.

Using the dishonest "Honest Services" crime to lock away Democrats and other political opponents, the Rove-Bush-Cheney Administration's DOJ hacks consistently engaged in prosecutorial misconduct or other unsavory practices to bring fear and intimidation into the political process.Some of those practices backfired.

Now the mainstream media are picking it up.

Titled "Judicial System Takes a Hit," Michael Hiltzik, a Los Angeles Times business columnist, (pictured) wrote a piece over the weekend about the prosecutorial misconduct in the Broadcom back-dating case, which was staged in the heart of Republican country: Orange County, California.

The  judge in the case chastised the prosecutors for a "shameful campaign" to intimidate witnesses and obtain unjustified convictions. 

Hiltzik's column has a revealing quote from a legal expert on why the renegade Republican prosecutors have consistently broken the rules to jail opponents:
"In the post- 9/11 years, a lot of prosecutors got emboldened to go as far as they could and play as dirty as they could, figuring that no one would stop them," Bennett Gershman of Pace University law school, the author of a legal text on prosecutorial misconduct, told me. "Judges seem to have become emboldened by what they see the prosecutors doing."
 Amen, Brother Gershman!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Silicon Valley's New DA Under Fire

The Queen of the Rove Republican Racket in the Silicon Valley, Dolores Carr, narrowly lost her re-election bid in June. As readers recall, she spurred a boycott of a sitting judge after the judge had lambasted prosecutorial misconduct in Carr's office.

Now the incoming prosecutor is under fire by Carr's friends for his own prosecutorial misconduct.

The San Jose Mercury News writes:
The prosecutor who narrowly won the race for Santa Clara County district attorney has been flagged for misconduct by an appellate court for the second time in his career — though in both cases the panel found the errors "harmless" and upheld the underlying criminal convictions.

The 6th District Court of Appeal this week found that Deputy District Attorney Jeff Rosen violated a judge's order in a 2008 trial by disclosing to a jury that a man on trial for rape had a criminal background. Nine years ago, an appellate court found Rosen erred in a different case — also by divulging evidence that could bias the jury against the defendant, despite orders from a judge not to do so.

Rosen's political opponents Thursday seized on Wednesday's decision by the appellate court as proof that the prosecutor who will replace first-term District Attorney Dolores Carr in January is unethical — and a hypocrite to boot for attacking Carr's ethics during the contentious campaign.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Katrina Killers and the Cover-up

We have focused extensively on corrupt prosecutors, unethical U.S. Attorneys, and renegade law enforcement officers.  The Rove Republican Racket inspired a generation of arrogant and incompetent attorneys and officers of the law.

The Rove-Bush-Cheney Administration's biggest domestic failure was the response to Hurricane Katrina.

But even more troubling were the alleged actions by six police officers (pictured) after the hurricane hit.

But now, under the era of Obama, justice is being sought. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:

Six current or former New Orleans police officers were charged in a sweeping federal grand jury indictment Monday that accuses four of the men of shooting unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge several days after Hurricane Katrina and all six of them of plotting to cover up what they knew was an unjustified attack. The charges, unsealed Tuesday, are the culmination of a two-year probe by the federal government, the third investigation into the hugely controversial events that took place on the bridge on Sept. 4, 2005. The first inquiry, led by police, found no wrongdoing by officers. A state grand jury convened to look into the matter charged seven officers with murder, but the case later fell apart.

Since the fall of 2008, federal investigators have been in charge of Danziger, and earlier this year, prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice broke the case wide open, showing their hand through a series of guilty pleas from officers who acknowledged the bridge shootings were unjustified and that police had conspired to cover them up. The indictment charges the rest of the officers involved in what prosecutors have termed a "bad shoot" and the alleged coverup that followed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stunning Defeat for "Race War" Alabama Governor

Alabama Governor Bob Riley, a Rove Republican,  has made it a cornerstone of his last year in office to target African-Americans and their jobs by using his Gestapo to shut down a local government-backed casino in the heart of the Blackbelt: Greene County, Alabama.

We wrote about Riley's Race War earlier this month.

Riley is working with a left-over Bush appointed U.S. Attorney to chill free speech and intimidate casino operators, Democrats, and African-Americans (which they like to call "Negroes" or worse down in backwards Alabama.)

Yesterday, Riley was handed a stunning loss: his hand-picked successor for Governor,  Republican Bradley Byrne, lost! Amazingly, Byrne lost in a run-off after having won a plurality in the first round of voting in early June.

The racist assault on Greene County has obviously backfired but the economic damage has shaken Alabama.

This week, Riley had the audacity to send a mobile "unemployment" office to Greene County.

Today's Tuscaloosa  News writes
The arrival of the industrial relations department with its mobile Career Center is in response to the recent raid on Greenetrack by Gov. Bob Riley's Task Force on Illegal Gambling. The task force, with the aid of the Alabama Supreme Court, removed more than 800 electronic bingo machines from Greenetrack and about 375 people lost their jobs at Greene County's largest employer. Luther W. “Nat” Winn, president and CEO of Greenetrack, said he was insulted by the Career Center's arrival in Eutaw, a move he believes was orchestrated by Riley and his administration. “Greenetrack employees signed up for their unemployment ... the day Bob Riley's task force put them out of a job,” Winn said. “And if Bob Riley wants to help the people of Greene County, then he needs to send them jobs with comparable wages to what they were making at Greenetrack, along with benefits.”

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Targeting Protestors in Santa Cruz

With the Patriot Act in hand, U.S. Attorneys from the Rove Republican Racket love to call political opponents terrorists or corrupt.

In Santa Cruz, California a few animal rights activists were targeted by over-zealous federal prosecutors, but the case was dismissed on Monday.

Although prosecutors want to target these activists again, we suspect the four protestors aren't high-paying Republicans.

The San Jose Mercury News reports:

A federal judge on Monday dismissed the indictment against four animal rights activists accused of a violent protest at the home of a UC Santa Cruz researcher more than a year and a half ago, but attorneys involved in the case estimated the legal battle is far from over. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald White, who heard arguments on the motions to dismiss the case a month ago, sided with the activists in a 14-page ruling issued Monday. "...(T)he indictment fails to allege the facts of the crimes charged with sufficient specificity," the judge's ruling stated.

Joseph Buddenberg, Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope and Adriana Stumpo were arrested in February 2009 and charged with interfering with animal enterprise - a violation of a federal law - and conspiracy. Attorneys for the four filed motions this spring that challenged the indictment, stating in court documents that the allegations were too vague and failed to outline the criminal behavior the group is accused of taking part in. "The reason the indictment was so sketchy is because the government didn't want to put it out there in public that these people are accused of being terrorists for picketing," said Robert Bloom, attorney for Buddenberg. " ... It's not a crime to picket. Nobody has committed a crime in this case."

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Serious Fault" with U.S. Prosecutors

As you most likely know, Roman Polanski, the famed film director (pictured) who has been under house arrest in Switzerland, was not extradited to the U.S. today.

Although Los Angeles County prosecutors and U.S. State Department spokesmen are attempting to say  the Swiss let a sex offender off the hook, the truth is the Swiss let Polanski go because U.S. prosecutors failed to turn over documents.

The decision was not based on the merits of the case. It was based on prosecutorial negligence.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

In its decision Monday, the Swiss Justice Department said it could not exclude the possibility that the extradition request was "undermined by a serious fault" because the U.S. had failed to turn over certain documents. Specifically, the Swiss wanted to determine whether the 42 days Polanski had already spent in a Los Angeles jail would have been considered sufficient time served for having sex with a minor. Also, Swiss authorities said that until 2009, the U.S. had not filed any extradition request against Polanski "for years," even though it knew he had bought a house in Switzerland in 2006 and was a regular visitor there. That gave the director a reasonable expectation that he was not under threat of arrest and deportation from there. "Roman Polanski would not have decided to go to the film festival in Z├╝rich in September 2009 if he had not trusted that the journey would not entail any legal disadvantages for him," the Swiss justice department said.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nevada's Feud

The Rove Republican Racket like all Republicans want to be  the "most" law and order officials in the country.Without a tough "law and order" persona, the Republicans would feel naked.

In Nevada, where Republicans and Libertarian Ron Paul freaks control the desert outside Las Vegas, a feud between two lawmen has gone ugly and has gone national because of a well-written piece in The Wall Street Journal.
PAHRUMP, Nev.—Like a scene from a Western movie, the two top lawmen here are settling their scores in public. In May, a Nye County sheriff's deputy arrested the district attorney. The sheriff, Tony De Meo, alleges that the D.A., Robert Beckett, was misusing public funds. According to Mr. De Meo, public money had gone to supporting the local cheerleading squad, led by the D.A.'s wife, and to make a family friend's car payments. No charges have been filed, in part because Mr. Beckett, the D.A., refuses to charge himself.

Meanwhile, Mr. Beckett appointed a special prosecutor to investigate possible abuses of power by the sheriff's office and other public officials. Mr. Beckett claims that arresting him was part of an effort to sabotage his re-election. Mr. Beckett ended up running last among five candidates in the Republican primary. 

Read more here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Alabama's New Race War

If there is one thing the Rove Republican Racket  hates worse than prominent Democrats are economically independent African-Americans.

In backwards Alabama, Republican Governor Bob Riley has teamed up with the Republican-packed Alabama Supreme Court, and the U.S. Attorney in Montgomery, a left over from the Bush era, to shut down  and seize electronic bingo machines in Greene County, a heavily black and economically poor area of Alabama in the heart of the Black Belt.

African-Americans have been arrested for voicing opposition to Riley's New Race War.

To date, no dogs or water hoses have been used by Riley and his henchmen.

The Associated Press reports:
Sixteen protesters who refused to leave the Greenetrack casino in west Alabama during a night-long standoff were arrested Thursday as state police entered to seize more than 800 electronic bingo machines. Alabama Public Safety Director Christopher Murphy said the 16 had been blocking the entrance to the casino at Eutaw for 12 hours after the Alabama Supreme Court cleared the way for state troopers to conduct the raid. One of the protesters, Democratic state Sen. Bobby Singleton of Greensboro, told WBRC television they wanted to demonstrate their opposition to Republican Gov. Bob Riley's gambling task force. Protesters contend Riley is wrongly closing a major employer in the poor, rural county.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Morrison Negotiates a Deal with Republican Pal

With embattled Acting U.S. Attorney Timothy M. Morrison of the Southern District of Indiana doing nothing for eight months and in fact protecting his Republican friends, the FBI finally did something! Finally!

The FBI seized a valuable car collection from former top-Republican donor Timothy S. Durham who allegedly swindled more than $200 million from Ohio retirees. Maybe these poor folks can start recovering something.

(Durham is pictured with his Bugatti Veyron that sells for more than $1.5 million.) 

Morrison, who used his office recently to prosecute a small time city clerk for embezzling $369,000 over three years, has not lifted a finger against Durham who swindled 542 TIMES MORE MONEY. Why? Politics. Durham and Morrison are Republicans and the former city clerk was a Democrat.

Read the article below. Interesting to note how Durham's attorney could easily negotiate an agreement with Morrison. But then again, they're old Republican pals.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reported last week:

Beleaguered Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham on Wednesday voluntarily turned over a Bentley Flying Spur, a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and other high-end rides to the FBI, a move that sets the stage for the cars to be sold by a bankruptcy trustee.  The FBI late in the afternoon was collecting 15 vehicles from Durham’s Geist Reservoir mansion and another three from his home in Los Angeles.

“Today, the FBI is a towing company,” said Larry Mackey, a criminal defense  attorney representing Durham. “We pushed them down the driveway, and the FBI has taken them away.” Mackey said the FBI began gathering the vehicles after he negotiated an agreement earlier in the day with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and a bankruptcy trustee. Under the pact, Durham voluntarily turned them over in return for assurances that proceeds from their sale would go toward mitigating losses suffered by investors in Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co., a Durham-owned firm that collapsed last fall and now is being liquidated.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

What's Karl Rove doing?

We end the week with a question we've been wondering: what's Karl Rove doing? And we ask in the political sense.

Answer: Raising money. Lots of money.

The Rove Republican Racket hopes to get a foothold come November.

The Associated Press reported yesterday:

A conservative activist group says it raised more than $8 million in June to help conservative candidates and causes ahead of midterm elections in November.American Crossroads and its new affiliate, American Crossroads GPS, hope to raise more than $50 million by Election Day. Both groups are associated with former Republican White House aides Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie.Both groups are tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations operating under somewhat different rules. Major donors to American Crossroads must be disclosed in public reports filed with the IRS.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Torture Cop Found Guilty in Chicago

The Rove Republican Racket targeted Democrats and put them behind bars for crimes they didn't commit. In Chicago, a rogue top cop tortured young black men and put them behind bars for crimes they didn't commit.

 Now comes justice.

The Associated Press reported this week:
A decorated former Chicago police lieutenant accused of suffocating, shocking and beating confessions out of scores of suspects was convicted Monday of federal perjury and obstruction of justice charges for lying about the torture of suspects. Jurors deliberated for parts of three days before finding former Lt. Jon Burge guilty. Burge, who did not react as the verdict was read, faces 45 years in prison when he's sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow.

Burge's name has become synonymous with police brutality and abuse of power in the country's third-largest city. For decades, dozens of suspects — almost all of them black men — claimed Burge and his officers tortured them into confessing to crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder. Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan released four condemned men from death row in 2003 after Ryan said Burge had extracted confessions from them using torture.