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Republican Party In South Is Infested With Indian Gaming Cash

By       Message Roger Shuler     Permalink
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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 10/19/11

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Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

Sentient beings in Alabama have known for a long time that the Republican Party in our state is a wholly owned subsidiary of Indian gaming interests.

Even non-sentient beings should be aware of that now, following yesterday's report that the Poarch Creek Indians gave more than half a million dollars to help the GOP take over the Alabama Legislature in 2010.

The story shines significant light on the gaming interests that help control the Alabama GOP--while the GOP claims to be against gambling. It also helps explain the driving forces behind the federal bingo trial that targeted mostly Democrats in the Alabama Legislature.

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We've known for years that Bob Riley's run to the governor's mansion in 2002 was fueled with some $13 million of gaming money  from the Mississippi Choctaws, laundered through GOP felons Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon. Now we know that former Alabama GOP chair and current House Speaker Mike Hubbard (photo above) has been singing from the Riley hymnal.

Alabama political insiders have been saying for months that Hubbard loves to crow about his role in the GOP's 2010 takeover of the state legislature. Now we know, to a great extent, how he did it. Will federal law-enforcement officials take a look at Hubbard and his acolytes for possible signs of money laundering, election violations and other misconduct? Time will tell. For now, we have this from

The Poarch Creeks, based near Atmore, gave the Alexandria, Va.-based Republican State Leadership Committee $350,000 before the November 2010 election and another $200,000 in January of this year.

The RSLC pumped more than $1 million to Alabama campaigns in 2010, largely to the Alabama Republican Party and a political action committee aimed at helping Republicans take over the Alabama Legislature. It also gave to a group that opposed legislation aimed at allowing electronic bingo machines at non-Indian casinos.

That last sentence, in bold, might be the most illuminating news in the whole story. It tells us that the Poarch Creeks supported both the GOP and a group that opposed electronic bingo at non-Indian casinos. Curiously, the  piece does not name this "anti-gambling" group. Our guess is that it's Citizens for a Better Alabama (CBA), a shadowy outfit that is led by a Birmingham-area lawyer named A. Eric Johnston.

CBA sponsored a "Special Report" that was inserted into some 40 Alabama newspapers at the height of last year's bingo controversy. If our guess is correct about the identity of the unnamed group in the  story, we now know for sure that CBA fights certain kinds of gambling by taking money from other kinds of gambling.

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Eric Johnston's group was perhaps the most outspoken opponent of Sweet Home Alabama, the plan that would have legalized electronic bingo at VictoryLand, Country Crossing, and other sites in the state. Milton McGregor (VictoryLand) and Ronnie Gilley (Country Crossing) were among those who wound up under federal indictment. Yesterday's report indicates the Poarch Creek Indians played a leading role in bringing that political prosecution to fruition.

Let's not forget the testimony of Rep. Barry Mask (R-Wetumpka) during last summer's bingo trial. From an  report at the time:

Rep. Barry Mask, R-Wetumpka, testified today that VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor tried to buy his vote for a gambling bill when he promised Mask "significant help" if he voted for the bill.

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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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