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Alabama’s corruption problems can’t be solved through emails

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Another email from Luther Strange.

This one is about the EPA – oh, wait, forgive me, I mean “the radical, activist EPA,” to put it in Strange’s terms.

There was also one about something in Huntsville, several about Jeff Sessions’ testimony, something about farms, a few about the NRA and guns and a bunch about sanctuary cities.

Luther Strange: solving America’s problems one email at a time.

It’s a little strange to hear so much from Strange these days. When he’s not proofing emails that his underlings are forwarding like your grandpa on speed, he’s become a fixture on Fox News, hanging out like Lurch, just waiting on someone to ask him a question.

Big Lurch.

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It’s odd because for the six years Strange was in Montgomery – from the day he drove that F150 with the hand-smeared mud on it until the day he private jetted to DC – you had a better chance of running into D.B. Cooper than Strange.

Even at high-profile cases, or, hell, even at his office, you could barely catch a glimpse of the guy.

He just sat back, let others do the work and take the heat, then cashed in on their glory.

Of course, that makes the US Senate perfect for him.

He can stay out of sight in DC, doing God knows what, and ride the coattails of party leadership.

He’s already started.

Republican leaders in Congress are so sure that Strange will vote however they tell him, they’re protecting him through threats and dirty politics.

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And Strange will vote however they tell him. Just look at the super-secret Senate Healthcare Plan that’s certain to be a poverty bomb for Alabama. It wouldn’t matter if that bill mandated rub-some-dirt-on-it treatment in this State, Strange would blame it on Obama in a stupid ad and then vote for it.

Come to think of it, that’s basically what he’s doing. His latest ad is all about his fight against the former black president, as Strange – in a super-timely ad following Wednesday’s baseball shooting – fires a gun with a silencer.

This is the absentee, sellout, pandering leadership we’ve come to expect from Strange. And on some level, I think it’s what we’ve decided we’ll accept from the AG’s office he ran.

Because the current occupant of that AG’s office isn’t exactly setting the world ablaze, either. And now he’s started with the meaningless emails about pandering nonsense, too.

Every day now there’s an email from Marshall’s office about him checking on gun laws or suing the EPA or backing a religious test to enter the country. As if there aren’t real issues to solve.

It’s straight from Strange’s do-nothing, collect-check playbook.

Look, I’ll give Strange credit for assembling a damn fine white-collar crime team. But that’s where the credit stops.

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Because after that point, Strange either bowed out or sold out every case.

The closest he came to getting dirt on his suit was in the Mike Hubbard prosecution, but Strange bowed out early, placed that anvil on Van Davis’ back and rarely peeked his head out from behind the curtain where he hid.

On the other high-profile matter – Robert Bentley’s prosecution – Strange sold out the investigation to nab his current seat, and then tried to take credit for the prosecution.

Sadly, Marshall seems to believe that’s a good plan.

He recused from the Bentley matter immediately and he hasn’t exactly sent a strong message that public corruption is his cup of tea. He chased off Alice Martin, who was an integral part of the white-collar crime unit, and there have been whispered complaints about resources and backing on other high-profile cases.

That’s not to say that Marshall has to be that guy. He doesn’t.

This State is literally begging for an AG who will step up, fill that empty suit and actually chase away the crooks who are lining their pockets at the expense of the citizens. Imagine the power of the AG’s office if the actual AG chased corruption as hard as the folks in the public corruption unit.

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If you need an example of what that could look like, let me draw your attention to Secretary of State John Merrill.

I know. I know. Surprised me too.

I have gone after Merrill hard for his backing of useless and costly voter ID laws, but the guy deserves all the credit in the world for refusing to look the other way for his pals when they violated reporting rules. Merrill has made life miserable for State politicians over the last couple of years, including a whole bunch in his party, and he’s made it much easier for the public and media to track down those who fail to follow the campaign finance laws.

He hasn’t backed down or apologized for doing the job we’re paying him to do. And we’re all better off for it.

We should expect the same level of service from the AG and our US Senators…

or they shouldn’t be our AG or US Senators.


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Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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