Yesterday, Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman returned to federal prison to complete his 6 and a half year sentence on a bribery conviction for a transaction which has never before been considered "bribery" in the history of this nation.
The prosecution was brought about during the Bush Administration by close friends of Karl Rove and presided over by a Judge who served as his client. Despite a plea from 133 former state Attorneys General, both Republican and Democratic, detailing the political nature of the prosecution and the dangerous precedent set by charging "bribery" against someone who never received a penny of person enrichment, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case earlier this year, and Siegelman was forced to return to prison yesterday, ironically enough, on September 11th.
I interviewed Siegelman just over one week ago, as he and his daughter Dana were about to head to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC to raise support for a petition campaign for a Presidential pardon. I aired the maddening interview today on my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show.
Aside from the obvious horrific nature of this prosecution, it was instructive to hear, once again, about Siegelman's 2002 re-election which, he says, was stolen from him after he went to bed on Election Night having been named the winner, only to be awoken the next day and told that some 5,000 votes had been supposedly mis-allocated by the electronic tabulation system and re-allocated, in the middle of the night in one Republican county, without the public or media watching, from him to his opponent Bob Riley (whose campaign manager was both a close friend of Rove and the husband of the U.S. Attorney in Alabama.)
Siegelman was never allowed to count the paper ballots that were supposedly mistabulated by the electronic voting system. (Also, see my short video interview with Siegelman on this at the DNC in Denver in 2008, shortly after he was freed on bail during his appeal.)
After the interview with the former Governor, who was once believed to be Presidential timber before being taken down by Rove, I was joined live on the show by his daughter Dana. She updated us on her difficult day saying goodbye to her father yesterday when she and the rest of her family dropped him off at the federal facility in Oakdale, LA. She also discussed her pardon campaign at FreeDonSiegelman.org and her bizarre, chance meeting with Rove himself at last week's DNC, which she guest blogged about here at The BRAD BLOG earlier this week.
Today's BradCast also included coverage of the breaking events in the Middle East after attacks on two U.S. diplomatic missions and Mitt Romney's shameful missteps; the stunning new 9/11 revelations from Kurt Eichenwald on Monday night; and the latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen...
Download MP3 here or listen online below [appx 58 mins]...