Tin Shop Tartan - Randolph County Alabama's Own Snarky and Surly Scot Gets All Native

Blogging from the suburbs of the Tin Shop community, Captain Plaid brings Progressivism, and a share of Quixotic angst, to the ridges and hollows of Randolph County, Alabama. Hardly a booster yet rooted here enough to fight, Plaidsters can perhaps find like cause in trying to build local solutions to global concerns. Education, environment, economy, entertainment, engagement ... Trust the Tartan!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Randolph Natives Show "High Jefferson" Style

I've known Leland Whaley was a GOP operative yet I was surprised to find out recently that he and Babs now had Alabama Home TV. Congrats to our Randolph County folks.

In B'ham, or perhaps Shelby, I suppose yet "High Jefferson" either way. I was pleased to hear they'd married and wish them well in their relationship and careers. (Well ... perhaps not his political pursuits. Resist the Dark Side Leland!) His Dad's radio career, plus my knowing his mother and brother and sister, and Bab's family for certain were surely part of our community back when I was growing up. I think both were a year behind my 1984 class at Handley. They make a lovely couple!

Leland, known as "Langford" (see update #2) when he roomed with some buddies of mine down on the Plains, has been involved with the Republican Party I think most of his adult life. His time as a "journalist" might or might not count. Apparently he did not anger the Big Mules too much given his career path, at least as best as I can tell.

His "consulting" earned the wrath of Pam Spaulding, rightly so I add, for his role in producing a homophobic flier to defeat a woman seeking the legislative seat of her late husband. That the late husband was a Methodist lay minister and his widow Gloria Dolbare a Sunday School teacher mattered not the state GOP. Leland had the decency, or perhaps audacity, to admit the action and offer a polite yet pitiful excuse.

His time with Bob Riley likely helped hone his "smoothness". Bob might need some smooth talkers given this lingering questions that have been most recently stirred by The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee report quoting Jack Abramoff as saying $13,000.000.00 of Choctaw gambling money flowed in to help him get elected back in 2002. Black Jack could have been scheming or simply fibbing yet this seems at least worthy of inquiry. I expect Leland might have some inside information on the exact score since he was up to his eyeballs in that campaign plus Riley's time in DC. A 375 page report and I'm simply not going to look to see if Leland's name is mentioned yet Bob Riley (please see update below!), Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, etc. certainly are.

John Giles of the "Alabama Christian Association" naturally denied involvement, beyond confirming the widowed candidate did not respond to a questionairre. Sort of like the denial of the gambling money it seems. The fact that Giles refuses to open his organization's books to allow us to see how much the Big Mules chip in ought to make the ACC irrelevant yet this is Alabama. Playing a role in electing a fine wingnut like Nick Williams is a testament in and of itself on the ACC and our enlightened state. I've scolded Representaive Williams before yet I was unaware that Leland helped bring him to power. Using tactics Karl Rove would have been pleased to have employed, I expect Leland's cup indeed runneth over. Of course the fact that Leland is/was a ACC player is a mere coincidence I'm sure to his/their role in getting down and dirty with this widow. Leland's involvement with DINO Zell Miller reveals little as well.

I think the last time I saw Babs was at Roanoke's First Baptist and as best as I recall Leland and her had not yet married or perhaps he was just not attending that day. I've always liked Babs and her family, with fond memories of her father teaching my teen "Sunday School" class. He was a smart and tough fellow that impressed this kid. I find it a touch sad that Leland Whaley would fit right in up there at FBC, and likely most any congregation around here, and I'm considered the nut job. My family trashed me over my letter taking exception to FBC's encouragement to vote "Yes" on Amendment One. That remains a burr under my/our saddle. Perhaps they could adopt Leland?

I'm sure the fam would also be pleased about Leland tracking down brand new plaintiffs in a recent federal court case challenging the redistricting of legislative boundaries. Even if the Federal Courts didn't reward your hard work, since they'd ruled on basically the same case before, I'm sure my Christianist family would be proud of your service to God's Own Party.

Soldier on Lickford in your service to Alabama's family values (and homes!) and I'll likely just remain "lost". Peace ... or War

UPDATE - July 13, 2006 - I confess! Guilty as charged! I throw myself on the mercy of the Gods of the Blogs. Bob Riley's name, at least as best as I can tell from a quick look at a 357 page PDF document, is not present. Here's the actual reference, again from a brief bounce through the file, that sorta kinda references Governor Riley, or I guess more accurately Candidate Riley. The reference appears as footnote 59 on page 48 of the report and reads as folllows:
59 Id. Months later, Abramoff and Scanlon would cite their association with the Choctaw in furtherance of their scheme to defraud the Tribe: when Abramoff pitched Scanlon in connection with a plan to elect Louisiana officials calculated to be supportive of the Tribe’s gaming interests, called the "Louisiana Political Program," Abramoff told Worfel that Chief Phillip Martin had spent $13 million "to get the governor of Alabama elected to keep gaming out of Alabama so it wouldn’t hurt ... his market in Mississippi." Id.
The editorials and reporting cited above talked of "lingering questions" and admittedly the press, and an understanding of Black Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon and Ralph Reed and ..., seems to indicate the Abramoff/Scanlon team was engaged in a bit of puffery. Despite my error, I do stand by, "Black Jack could have been scheming or simply fibbing yet this seems at least worthy of inquiry." yet maybe that is starting. The Choctaws and Governor Riley's spokesperson have both denied the claim. Given the present polls it might not matter for this fall yet I figure the Riley team would be well served by putting this matter to rest with full disclosures. If some "funny money" was in play, and perhaps it was not based on what seems to be present, then now is the time to disclose. I agree that $13 million seems like too much to hide given what I understand was spent in The Don vs. The Bob yet the story does "linger". Given the involvement of Ralph Reed and John Giles I'll continue to look for "sins" yet maybe Governor Riley is in the clear.

Tip of the tam to Tim for pointing out my mistake in the comments. Peace ... or War!

UPDATE - December 2, 2006 - I was just informed the handle given to Leland by a friend was "Langford" rather than Lickford". Many years to even recall the nickname yet I'll blame my buddy's drawl for the mistake. I recall back when Trivia Pursuit was big this same friend confusing our little group by reading "Jack London" as "Jack Lawn Down".