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General News    H3'ed 1/18/10

GOP Crusader Proves to be a Hypocrite on Gambling

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
Message Roger Shuler
Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
What kind of Republican is most likely to have an extramarital affair? The one who screeches the loudest about family values, of course.

What kind of Republican is most likely to be caught making curious advances in a men's room? The one who is stridently "anti gay," natch.

Republican hypocrisy is the blogging gift that keeps on giving. That's why the latest example of it caused us to have a true LOL (laugh out loud) moment here at Legal Schnauzer.

The news comes from Alabama, where former prosecuting attorney David Barber was serving as head of Governor Bob Riley's anti-gambling task force. Barber resigned from his post last week because he--brace yourself--won a $2,300 jackpot while gambling in . . . Mississippi.

You heard that right, folks: The man who was trying to shut down gambling sites in Alabama was spending his spare time gambling next door.

And here is something particularly delicious: Barber didn't hit the jackpot in, say, Las Vegas or New Jersey. He went to Mississippi, where gaming interests reportedly supported Governor Riley's 2002 candidacy to the tune of $13 million.

It has been widely reported that Riley is taking extraordinary steps to stop gambling in Alabama because he is beholden to his Mississippi Choctaw boosters. Is it possible that Riley has been doing more than protecting the Choctaws market by scaring off competition in Alabama? Is he actively sending them business, in the form of his anti-gambling czar?

Excuse us while we try to stifle a fit of the chuckles.

The Barber story leaves several questions unanswered:

* How did Barber's winnings come to public attention? I don't know much about gambling, but I assume that it normally doesn't become news when someone wins a $2,300 jackpot. Is it possible that pro-gaming interests in Alabama conducted a private investigation and caught Barber in the act? Is that what caused Barber to turn in his resignation letter? If so, I have the utmost admiration for the pro-gaming interests. That's the kind of hardball you have to play against Republican hypocrites. When will the Democratic Party ever learn that lesson?

* At exactly which casino in Mississippi was Barber playing? That has not been reported, to my knowledge. Was it a Mississippi Choctaw casino? Was Barber, indeed, patronizing a casino run by the group that helped put Bob Riley in office?

Must . . . stop . . . chuckles.

Barber's resignation was not the only gambling-related news in recent days. The Alabama Supreme Court cleared the way for Riley's task force to make another attempt at raiding the new Country Crossing development in Dothan.

Country Crossing responded by seeking a restraining order in federal court, and it went ahead with its grand opening over the weekend--which apparently was a smashing success.

Will Barber's public gaffe squelch the enthusiasm of Riley's task force? Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska responded by writing a letter to Riley to "uninvite" the task force from the county. Reports the Dothan Eagle:

Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver applauded Valeska's letter.

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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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