Write the Wrongs: Republicans and Democrats Unite for Former Governor Don Siegelman’s Clemency

Don Siegelman Karl RoveWritten into America’s genetic code is the proposition that the United States will always pursue democracy, right the wrongs, establish an environment of peace and justice for all. Today’s reading: this is pulp nonfiction. The current Vegas School of justice is gambling with a direct assault on America’s values, money system and our judicial past and future. It’s all done by sleight of hand, concealed by economic and legal double-speak.

To avoid the abyss towards which we are heading, the daughter of former governor Don Siegleman is launching a high-profile petition to reveal the deception of their predatory practices in order to reverse and legally overturn these policies.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, former Governor of Alabama Don Siegleman is now serving 6 years in a Louisiana penitentiary as a result of Karl Rove’s Machiavellian manipulation of politics and our judicial system. But, if truth were the final arbiter, the roles would be reversed and Karl Rove would be in jail. At the very least, Rove should be cited for reckless endangerment of the truth, in other words, perjury.

Republicans and Democrats agree that the prosecution brought against Governor Siegelman in 2005 had “substantial questions of law and fact likely to result in a reversal” which resulted in Siegelman’s unprecedented release in 2008. After all, Siegelman’s prosecutor was married to the campaign manager running Siegelman’s opponent’s campaign!

Siegelman was one of the longest serving Democrats in the Southeast, having been the only person to hold all of Alabama’s highest elected offices (Secretary of State, Attorney General, Lt. Governor, and Governor). He was touted as a candidate for the 2004 presidential race after being the first governor to endorse Al Gore for President in 2000. The Bush Administration indicted Siegelman in 2002 and then again in 2005.

Siegelman was convicted of an implied quid pro quo, that is an inferred bribe, or a bribe without explicit proof of agreement or self-enrichment scheme. He was never accused of benefiting, at all. As Republican Attorney General of Arizona and co-Chair of the John McCain Presidential Campaign Grant Woods explained, “They indicted Siegelman because they couldn’t beat him fair and square.”

Former Congressman Parker Griffith a Republican from Alabama’s 5th District claimed that, “Karl Rove’s hands are all over this. I see the wrongness here, and I see this is not about America. This is an individual who got caught by people who put a mean-spirited, Republican party above America and this is absolutely one of the most unjust things I’ve ever encountered.”

Siegelman’s lawyers appealed for documents related to witness tampering, because the key witness admitted in 2008 (while Siegelman was still in prison) to memorizing his testimony and practicing with the prosecutors more than 70 times. The key witness was sentenced to ten years and received 18 months for cooperating with the prosecution and testifying against Siegelman.

Over the past four years, Siegelman has been appealing his case to the 11th Circuit Court of appeals, known for being the most conservative appellate court in the country. Not surprisingly Siegelman appealed to the Supreme Court for another hearing. Despite unprecedented support for a hearing, from 113 Republican and Democratic state Attorneys General, top Constitutional Law scholars, and even Pulitzer Prize winning conservative George Will, the higher court waited until the day before ruling on the much-anticipated “Obama care” to refuse Siegelman’s case and send it back to the District Judge, Mark Fuller.

Judge Fuller’s personal business had received $200 million in Defense contracts from the Bush Administration just weeks after convicting Siegelman in 2007. Fuller was the same judge who had sat on the G.O.P. Executive Committee in Alabama and had, for years, run campaigns against Siegelman. Fuller is the same man, who, as District Attorney under the Siegelman Administration, corrupted the District Attorney’s office, and was replaced by Siegelman.

It was Judge Fuller who ultimately lowered the standard of evidence to convict Siegelman of an implied quid pro quo, despite the witness’ contradictions. Siegelman was charged with bribery, for appointing a contributor to a state board, without any proof of agreement or self-enrichment scheme. The contributor had served on the board for two previous governors, whom he had directly contributed to. Only Siegelman was a Democrat.

As former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration Paul Craig Roberts explicitly described in his article ‘It Does Happen in America,’ “Don Siegelman, a popular Democratic governor of Alabama, a Republican state, was framed in a crooked trial, convicted on June 29, 2006, and sent to Federal prison by the corrupt and immoral Bush administration.”

Siegelman was dragged away in handcuffs and shackles from Fuller’s courtroom in June 2007, without time to say goodbye to his family or put his affairs in order and was put in solitary confinement without seeing daylight for two weeks. During this time, a Republican whistleblower in Alabama came forward and gave an affidavit, which implicated a handful of GOP operatives in Alabama and Karl Rove.

The whistleblower gave sworn testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee, just months before the Bush Administration fired nine U.S. Attorneys for not pursing political prosecutions. A letter from 75 former Attorneys General, Republican and Democrat, put pressure on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to release Siegelman in March 2008. Siegelman had served nine months in prison.

Under the Bush Administration, U.S. prosecutors were encouraged to pursue political prosecutions. Nine U.S. Attorneys were fired for not pursing Democrats and exposed a modus operandi of the Bush Administration, engineered by Rove. This coup de Rove was investigated by Congress, which ultimately held Rove in contempt for refusing two subpoenas.

Very little media covered Siegelman’s shocking 9-11 re-imprisonment…despite the fact that Siegelman garnered the support of nearly every major news network since 2007. Even FOX News agreed that the charges against Siegelman were dubious.

As both Republicans and Democrats agree, our democracy is diminished while Don Siegleman is in jail. WRITE THE WRONGS

Ilene Proctor

Ilene Proctor

Don Siegelman’s 27-year-old daughter Dana has become the national spokesperson for the Free Don Campaign, which has more than 45,000 supporters, including members of Congress, celebrities, civil rights leaders, notable scholars, diplomats, award-winning activists, journalists, and many others. She is asking the media to support her online petition efforts at http://www.FREE-DON.org by mentioning the need for signatures in their work.

Please sign the Change.org petition urging President Obama to pardon Don Siegelman. Click here to sign the petition.

Ilene Proctor

Published by the LA Progressive on January 11, 2013
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