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General News    H3'ed 2/2/11

Will the GOP Help BP Get Away With a Fast One on the Alabama Coast?

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Message Roger Shuler

Strange's ties to Transocean actually are much deeper than that paragraph suggests. In fact, his ties to the company that became Transocean date back to the 1980s. And that's because Transocean essentially was born in Birmingham, which long has been Strange's home base. Reports the Mobile Press-Register:

Transocean's corporate roots are planted in Alabama. The company was born in 1973 as Sonat Offshore, a subsidiary of Sonat Inc., a Birmingham-based natural gas utility that was an Alabama economic powerhouse for much of the 20th century.

Strange was hired by Sonat in 1980 as a young lawyer straight out of Tulane University. He was promoted to head of the company's Washington office in 1985 and represented Sonat in Congress until 1994, when Strange left the company but continued to represent it as a contract lobbyist.

Sonat spun off its Transocean subsidiary in 1996, and the drilling company was transformed by a series of mergers and acquisitions over the next decade. Once based in the tallest building in downtown Birmingham, its headquarters today are in Zug, Switzerland.

Anyone who is familiar with downtown Birmingham can point out the building that used to be known as the Sonat Tower. The company has undergone changes, but the building still stands tall:

The publicly owned Transocean Ltd. has more than 26,000 employees in 20 locations around the world. Sonat merged with El Paso Corp. in 1999.

Is Luther Strange handling the BP litigation so he can help manage the damages for one of his former clients? Alabamians should give that question some serious thought. Republicans on the Alabama Supreme Court, known as the "Exxon Eight," already have cheated the state out of more than $3 billion in a fraud verdict against ExxonMobil. Don't be surprised if the fleecing of regular Alabamians continues on Luther Strange's watch.

We're already seeing signs that the Alabama State Bar might be working as an accomplice for Strange. Reports Reuters Legal:

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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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