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General News    H2'ed 9/13/10

Lawsuit Shines Light on Abramoff and the Christian Coalition

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Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted atLegal Schnauzer

An Alabama lawsuit that was quickly settled about a month after it was filed in 2007 provides a road map of the Christian Coalition's connections to the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Dr. Randy Brinson, the current chairman of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, filed the lawsuit against the group's former director, John Giles, and Alabama Republican operative Dax Swatek. Brinson claims the defendants unlawfully seized the organization's Web site and member lists and interfered with its business relations.

The lawsuit provides a vivid outline of the corruption that enveloped the Deep South, and much of the country, during the George W. Bush administration. And it describes the atmosphere that helped lead to the investigation and conviction of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman in perhaps the most notorious political prosecution in the nation's history.

Giles was chairman of the Christian Coalition of Alabama for about eight years until he was forced to resign in August 2006. Brinson became the new chairman, and Giles went on to form a group called Christian Action Alabama. Giles has stated that the split came because of a dispute over distribution of voter guides. But Brinson, in the lawsuit, says that gambling and the Abramoff scandal really drove the acrimonious split.

Before Brinson took over, the Christian Coalition had opposed all forms of gambling on the grounds that they were immoral. The lawsuit, however, indicates something much darker was going on:

The coalition has attempted to destroy legalized gambling, which operates under statutory and legislative authority and has been approved by the voters of Alabama. The Coalition also openly supported any candidate who took an anti-gambling stance. However, the shameful irony behind the stance taken by the Coalition and certain legislators is that, based on information and belief, that very stance has often been the result of lobbying efforts by competing gambling interests and casino operators in Mississippi.

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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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