Today I received an email from Dana Siegelman, sharing her sad situation--she was about to drive 485 miles to take her father, the former Governor of Alabama, to prison.
In a labyrinthine epic that would make Kafka blush, Don Siegelman has spent the past 13 years ensnared in a legal battle that has seen trumped-up corruption charges, unapologetic partisan prosecutions and his governorship stolen out from under him in the middle of the night.
On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, Don Siegelman returns to federal prison to face six and a half years for a conviction over his appointment to a non-profit organization of someone who had previously donated to his campaign. The innocuousness of a donor and an appointee being the same person in any city, state, or federal office notwithstanding, laws at the time in Alabama had been set so that the bar was so low so as to not be able to convict anyone of quid pro quo corruption, if their case were brought to a jury. Many legal experts and pundits across the spectrum have since decried this legal interpretation used in the case of Don Siegelman.
But that was only the beginning. Don SIegelman saw his re-election as Alabama's governor vanish in the thick of the night, when one suspect county reallotted its votes enough to swing the election. It should be noted that at each of these junctures, the key players in Siegelman's travails are all close colleagues with Karl Rove. That Rove's fingerprints are all over this case has not so much been disputed, but rather ignored by the media and mainstream outlets, as Siegelman faces an unrepentant federal judge in Alabama who will not let Siegelman's case be resolved. After a dozen years and a fortune in legal fees, Siegelman's only hope lies now with a pardon from President Barack Obama, who has largely avoided taking on Rove's legacy of misdeeds.
At Progressive Central in Charlotte during the DNC, I was fortunate enough to meet Gov. Siegelman, and he afforded me the time for this exclusive interview in advance of his return to prison.
Don Siegelman, Continued:
Even more curiously, Dana Siegelman happened to run into Karl Rove at the DNC. She says that he made eye contact with her, and as soon as she confronted him, he lashed out at her and even started pointing his finger in her face accusingly. The more frequent outbursts like this from Rove are telling that his many efforts to dodge subpoenas, indictments, and lingering investigations seem to be taking its toll on the campaign adviser/Super PAC fundraiser. Dana Siegelman shared her story with Current TV immediately after her confrontation with the man who has made her father's career of public service a Sisyphean hell.
Dana has started a petition at Change.org/pardonDON to appeal to Obama to use his executive privilege (which Rove still likes to claim as a legal defense) to grant a presidential pardon to her father.