Bronner told IAP he will hire Canary in January to "beef up" his legal department and because she will bring courtroom experience to his legal staff and replace the retiring Lindy Beale, who has handled legislative and legal matters, and Bill Kelly who will transfer from the legal office to handle another RSA Division.
Two capitol observers told me they believe Canary is being hired because of other reasons; one of them being that Bronner needs to improve RSA's relations with the Republican-controlled legislature.
Readers who have followed the Siegelman case quickly will note something curious in Martin's last sentence. It strongly hints that Leura Canary is seen as a political figure who will do the bidding of certain Republicans. Did the bogus prosecution of Siegelman and codefendant Richard Scrushy help her earn that reputation?
Martin does not disclose other possible "reasons" that Bronner would hire Canary. But Martin's words suggest that such a hire would be made while Bronner holds his nose to ward off an overpowering stench. Martin's words also suggest that, figuratively speaking, Republicans have a gun cocked and pointed at Bronner's head--and the big losers could be Alabama pensioners and anyone with investments in RSA.
Why would Alabama Republicans resort to thuggish tactics? For one, it's in their DNA; they can't help themselves. Second, with Mississippi Choctaw gambling funds seemingly drying up, they need another source of revenue for their underhanded political endeavors. RSA represents a $32-billion pot of gold that could make certain GOPers very powerful--and very rich. Third, and most importantly, Republicans have not been able to infiltrate RSA through the legislative process.
Almost from the moment they took over the legislature, Alabama Republicans started pushing a pair of bills that would have given politicians more control over RSA. Here is how an editorial at al.com explained it:
Two bills that were unsuccessful in the recent session, HB524 and HB525, would have drastically changed the makeup of RSA's two Boards of Control--one for retired teachers and one for retired state employees. Generally, the bills would have required more board members to be appointed by the governor and other politicians, and fewer members to be elected by the retirees.- Advertisement -
Bronner fought the bills and has come out the winner--so far. But what kind of price has he had to pay. The Bronner family suffered a tragic loss earlier this year, shortly after Republicans took over the Alabama Legislature and began a full-court press on David Bronner and RSA funds.