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Joe Scarborough, Bob Riley, and the Rising GOP Body Count

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opednews.com Headlined to None 12/16/10

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer


We recently stumbled upon perhaps the most noxious video in the history of the Internet--and that's saying something.

It was a segment from MSNBC's Morning Joe, featuring an interview with host Joe Scarborough and Alabama Governor Bob Riley. The whole purpose of the interview apparently was to allow Scarborough to tout Riley as a GOP presidential candidate in 2012. To make the segment particularly nauseating, the cameras at one point panned to show Riley's oily son, Homewood attorney Rob Riley, in the background.

The interview was supposed to be about political issues. But I could not help but think about one thing Scarborough and the Rileys have in common--dead bodies seem to show up in their general proximity.

Scarborough went apoplectic earlier this year when he got into a Twitter face-off  with Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos. It started when Scarborough made several sanctimonious Tweets about the story of the Obama White House possibly offering jobs to Congressman Joe Sestak in an effort to keep him out of a U.S. Senate race. Moulitsas fired back with a Tweet that took Scarborough to task and referenced "a certain dead intern."

Scarborough proceeded to allege that Moulitsas had, on several occasions, suggested he is a murderer. Moulitsas replied that he had done nothing of the sort, but had pointed out the media's tendency to tread carefully on sensitive stories about Republicans while providing blanket coverage on similar stories involving Democrats. As an example, Moulitsas cited the wall-to-wall treatment of the Gary Condit/Chandra Levy story.

According to a post from Moulitsas, Scarborough became so unhinged that he persuaded MSNBC officials to ban the Daily Kos founder as a guest on their programs.

Why is Scarborough so sensitive about this subject? Because he does have a "dead intern" problem--sort of. When Scarborough was a Congressman from Florida, Lori Klausutis worked for him as constituent services coordinator; she was a full-time employee, not an intern. Her tenure with the Congressman, however, had an unfortunate ending in summer 2001. Here is how American Politics Journal reported it:

Then, on Friday, July 20th, the body of Lori Klausutis, 28, was found slumped next to a desk on the floor of Florida Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach office where Lori had served as a constituent services coordinator since May, 1999. Her body was found around 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning by a couple arriving for an appointment. She had been dead for some time. A second employee, who would have normally arrived for work at around the same time, was away on vacation. Police cordoned off the area for investigation, later announcing that there was no reason to suspect foul play, nor were there signs of suicide.

What caused Lori Klausutis' death? Here is how the Online Journal reported it:

Lori Klausutis, 28, had been the picture of health and vitality, an avid runner who ran five miles a day. She was highly regarded by friends and co-workers who called her "Little Miss Mary Sunshine."

On the day Lori Klausutis' body was found, police denied finding any sign of trauma to the body or any indication of foul play. In an August 6 press release, Dr. Michael Berkland, the Okaloosa County associate medical examiner, acknowledged that there was "a scratch and a bruise" on her head, and said the original denials "were designed to prevent undue speculation about the cause of death." He declared that the death had been an accident, with the proximate cause a subdural hematoma caused by a blow to the head. The blow to the head, he said, probably happened when Klausutis' head had hit a desk after she fainted. The fainting, he proposed, was due to a prolapsed mitral heart valve which, he added, would have killed her even had she not fallen and struck her head.

Following this news release, further police investigation was effectively halted. The official

police report contains only a few notes after August 6 pertaining to interviews with the security guard of the building in which Klausutis worked and with employees at a nearby restaurant.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
 

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