By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
No wonder Leura Canary didn’t want people to see the Siegelman documentary.
“Atticus v. The Architect: The Political Assassination of Don Siegelman” is a scorching documentary, particularly if you’re one of the many Republican officials who played a role in the prosecution of Alabama’s former Governor.
For all of the local attention this film has received – thanks in large part to Canary’s pushback against allowing the film to be shown in Montgomery — “Atticus” doesn’t really reveal much in the way of new information. What it does – and it’s the first medium to do so – is put the whole sordid ordeal in one tidy package that’s easy for the common person to digest.
That alone would be reason enough for Canary and others to want it stopped. Because it’s only through that perspective, with all of the facts and the sequence of events laid out before you, that you understand the grandness of the scheme against Siegelman. And it is only through that perspective that the impossibility of such a grand conspiracy can be removed, and the lengths and depths to which some will go to gain a political advantage can be exposed.
Starting with the 2002 gubernatorial race between Siegelman and Bob Riley, “Atticus,” written and directed by Steve Wimberly, travels a course of corruption, much of which it lays at the feet of Riley, Republican operative Karl Rove, Billy and Leura Canary and Eric Holder.
It features interviews with some of the state’s most powerful and well-known political players. And there’s even an appearance by the most famous crooked lobbyist in DC, Jack Abramoff, who recounts in detail how he and his Choctaw Indian pals forked out $20 million to beat back a lottery and to get rid of Siegelman.
By the end, you walk away with two thoughts: Alabama politics is dirtier than I imagined (which is saying something) and Don Siegelman shouldn’t have been indicted, much less convicted.
It is well worth your time, and your anger.
APR and “The V” hope to help with that, at least in the Montgomery area. We should have news soon on a new Montgomery screening location and date for the film.