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Bill Britt

Opinion | Zeigler writes a book, crayons not included

Bill Britt

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State Auditor Jim Zeigler has written a book in which according to al.com’s John Sharpe, he is fighting, “‘tollsters’ and those he calls ‘Never Zeiglers’ because they oppose anything he proposes.”

His book “Blocking the I-10 Toll Scheme: A Successful Citizen Movement,” is mostly a work of fiction.

In this vanity tome, Zeigler paints himself as a hero of the people, even imagining a grand Mardi Gras-style parade celebrating the defeat of the I-10 toll bridge.

According to Sharpe, Zeigler, “relives his real-life fight against – and the eventual death of – the $2.1 billion Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project.”

Zeigler’s efforts to destroy the I-10 bridge were not a citizen’s campaign as he claims in his book; instead, it was more like a carefully orchestrated maneuver by experienced political operatives.

Political operatives, opportunist and politicos torch bridge project

Alabama’s U.S. Attorney for the Southern District and the State’s Attorney General should be investigating exactly how Zeigler and his cohorts defeated the bridge project because something doesn’t pass the smell test.

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Zeigler is a sad man, more huckster than hero who has used his insignificant state office for self-aggrandizement.

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As auditor, Zeigler has repeatedly used state resources and personnel to promote his various activities unrelated to his official duties — the bridge is only the latest. His personal assistant, who is a state employee, has sent many emails for these separate activities using state computers and other resources.

APR has formally requested all emails and documents from the auditor’s office related to Zeigler’s various outside activities, but so far, the office is resisting the request for public records.

Arguably, Zeigler has spent more time working for causes with no relationship to his elected duties, which pays him around $80,000 annually plus benefits.

Zeigler told Sharpe he penned his book on nights and weekends and didn’t use state time or resources.

“Zeigler’s roots in the Talladega County city of Sylacauga during the 1950s and 60s, are highlighted throughout the book,” according to Sharpe. “Zeigler enthusiastically calls the community, Mayberry,” Sharpe writes.

But Zeigler, who is the only SGA president at the University of Alabama ever to be impeached, is not a beloved character out of Mayberry. He is, however, very much like Eustace Charlton Haney a sneaky and notorious conman in rural Hooterville on the 1960s CBS sitcom Green Acres.

Zeigler, like Mr. Haney, is a peddler of shoddy goods, and fictitious stories designed to bilk the unwitting.

For the low, low price of only $20.22, you, too, can have a copy of Zeigler’s book.

Why so high, you may ask? Perhaps Zeigler needs the money having relinquished his law license under suspicious circumstances.

Given Zeigler’s propensities for bloviating, perhaps a work of fiction is warranted, but given his infantile prevarications, a coloring book might have been just as tantalizing.

 

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