U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson in an order today lambasted two key prosecution witnesses in the State House vote-buying case as being motivated by political ambition and racial prejudice.
Thomson said Republicans Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale and formerRep. Benjamin Lewis of Dothan had ulterior motives when they assisted investigators in the case. Beason and Lewis were key prosecution witnesses in the case, in which VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor and others were charged with offering and taking bribes to try to get a gambling bill approved in the Alabama Legislature. The two Republicans said they approached FBI agents after they felt gambling interests made improper offers to try to secure their votes on the bill.
“The evidence introduced at trial contradicts the self-serving portrait of Beason and Lewis as untouchable opponents of corruption. In reality, Beason and Lewis had ulterior motives rooted in naked political ambition and pure racial bias,” Thompson wrote.
“The court finds that Beason and Lewis lack credibility for two reasons. First, their motive for cooperating with F.B.I. investigators was not to clean up corruption but to increase Republican political fortunes by reducing African-American voter turnout. Second, they lack credibility because the record establishes their purposeful, racist intent,” Thompson wrote.
Beason wore a wire for the FBI, and the recordings picked up a conversation among Republicans talking about the effect a gambling referendum would have on voter turn-out during an election.
They talked about how “every black, every illiterate,” would be taken to the polls on “HUD-financed buses.”
In another conversation, Beason used the word “aborigines” to refer to people at Greenetrack, a casino in predominately black Greene County.
Thompson said such statements “demonstrate a deep-seated racial animus and a desire to suppress black votes.”
Voter suppression by the GOP: a tried and true method for racists to get ahead.
October 24, 2011
Federal Judge: Republicans Only Cooperated With FBI In Alabama Bingo Bribery Case Because They’re Racists
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