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Judge deals blow to Siegelman, Scrushy

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Capitol Scene
MONTGOMERY — U. S. District Judge Mark Fuller has dealt a body blow to former Gov. Don Siegelman and ex-HealthSouth chairman Richard Scrushy in their effort to get a new trial in the wake of their conviction of public corruption charges.
Judge Fuller, in a meticulous, 57-page order, denied the two men's request that their original conviction be set aside and a new trial held.
While conceding that two members of the jury had acted improperly in getting material on the trial from the Internet, Judge Fuller said that these actions — improper though they were — was not sufficient to grant the Siegelman/ Scrushy petition.
Siegelman said he was “stunned” by the ruling and left no doubt it would be appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Sen. Barron denied all this speculation, insisting he was confident he had the votes to be re-elected. But a few days ago he announced that he would not be a candidate for the powerful position.
Barron gave no reason for his decision, but Sen. Steve French, R-Mountain Brook, said it was because Barron knew he couldn't win.
Who is likely to succeed him to this post — an office which has more perks than perhaps anyone else other than the governor? If the uneasy coalition of 12 Republicans and the six (or maybe seven) Democrats sticks together — and there is no guarantee it will — then Sen. Jim Preuitt, D-Talladega, appears to be the favorite.
If so, that should make for some interesting collisions in the upcoming session. Barron funneled thousands of dollars into the campaign in a futile attempt to beat Preuitt in the recent election. To say that they don't like each other is an understatement.
A man was driving west last week on I-10 in Mobile in his 2006 F-350 Ford pickup when he was stopped for speeding.
The arresting officer, a mite suspicious, had with him a drug-sniffing dog. The canine's ears perked up at something he smelled. The truck was searched and $1 million in cash, all in $20 bills, was found in a hidden compartment. And before you calculate it yourself, I have done it for you. That is 50,000 twenties.
For example, when I went through Marine Corps boot camp in 1943 I was the only southerner in a 60-man platoon. Most of the others were from upstate New York.
It was from them that I was introduced to an expression I had never heard before: “enough already.” I had no idea what it meant but I finally found out. It meant to shut up, to drop the subject. Allow me to use that expression in addressing outgoing Secretary of State Nancy Worley and incoming Secretary of State Beth Chapman. They have been jawing at each other since the election. Chapman says Worley isn't being cooperative in this time of transition; Worley says she has “extended an olive branch” to Chapman but she slapped it out of her hand. On and on it has gone for the past month.
Frankly their conduct reflects on both of them, so enough already.

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