Siegelman, who is in the first year of a seven-year sentence for — allegedly in a quid-pro-quo for a “bribe” — appointing Alabama businessman Richard Skrushy to a hospital board that Skrushy had been appointed to by three previous (Republican) governors.
The prosecutor in the case was the wife of Siegelman’s last Republican opponent in his campaign for governor. Although convicted of taking a bribe, Siegelman never pocketed a nickel from anyone, but rather had solicited a contribution for an issue — a state lottery program supporting education — from Skrushy, and rewarded Skrushy with a position on the hospital board, an act of political patronage that defines normalcy in politics throughout America.
Fifty-two former state attorneys general (of both parties) have petitioned Congress to investigate whether Siegelman was prosecuted for political — rather than criminal — reasons.
Adding to the injustice of the Siegelman case is that Eric Holder’s Justice Department is opposing Siegelman’s appeal to the Supreme Court. Apparently — unlike all previous administrations — the Obama administration did not ask for the pro-forma resignation letters of all its federal prosecutors and make a clean sweep to reflect the judicial philosophy of the incoming president. As a result, most of the same cast of characters who drove the Seigelman prosecution from Washington are still there.
Thus, Karl Rove’s Cheshire grin still hangs over the “Justice” Department, and this case is shaping up as another chapter in the growing book, Change We Are Still Waiting For.
Watch this nine-minute 60 Minutes segment on the Siegelman case, then check out his website here.