After I wrote yesterday about the race for a seat on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, a disturbing question came to mind:
Has Republican strategist Karl Rove succeeded with his long-running campaign to intimidate Democratic candidates for statewide offices in the Deep South?
In his seminal reporting on the Bush Justice Department, Scott Horton of Harper's magazine has raised numerous important points about the motives behind political prosecutions, such as the Don Siegelman case in Alabama and the Paul Minor case in Mississippi.
Two points, in particular, are rattling around in my head at the moment:
* The goal behind the Mississippi prosecution apparently was to dry up a key source of financial support for Democratic candidates. Paul Minor, an attorney who had become wealthy from bringing successful litigation against the asbestos and tobacco industries, was one such donor--in Mississippi and beyond. Minor was a major supporter of John Edwards' presidential campaign, and Horton has reported that Bush strategists had fingered Edwards as the most likely threat to Dubya's re-election in 2004. That evidently helped make Minor a target for the Bush DOJ--along with state judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield, who had received Minor's campaign support. Minor, Teel, and Whitfield all are in federal prison for crimes that, as we have shown in an extensive series of posts here at Legal Schnauzer, they did not commit. The message? If you give to Democratic candidates in a deep red, Deep South state, you will come to regret it.
The Shock Doctrine: Has Karl Rove's Terror Campaign Worked in the Deep South?