"Politics for me...in terms of electoral politics--is over," says former Alabama governor Don Siegelman, once considered the most successful Democrat in his state, to CBS' 60 Minutes. "I think that's what Karl Rove wanted; he has accomplished his goal."
"Frankly," he continues, "I'm about busted financially. I've spent my life savings...I've spent a lot of money on trying to muster my defense."
Governor Siegelman, as RAW STORY has extensively reported in the Permanent Republican Majority series, was prosecuted and imprisoned with the help of US Attorneys, federal prosecutors and judges said to have been hand-picked operatives under the watch of former Bush advisor Karl Rove.
Siegelman has been released on appeal.
The case against Siegelman hinged on $500,000 in payments to his effort to establish a state lottery, made by HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, which the court alleged was a bribe in exchange for appointment to a seat on the state's Certificate of Need board.
Scrushy, contend the Governor and his former aide Elmer Harris, had previously served on the board, had just resigned, and was by no means interested in serving again. There was nothing expected in exchange for Scrushy's donation, they insist.
"Richard Scrushy," says Harris, "told me 'I do not want to serve. I am not going to serve again. It takes a day of my time per week. I don't have time to do it. I'm not going to serve.'"
"There was no bribe involved in this process," he says. "You cannot have a bribe if you don't want to do something."
Harris goes on to say that he was never asked by federal authorities for his account of the payments, the intentions behind Scrushy's payments, nor the appointment process.
"If they had," he says, "I would have told them there wasn't a bribe. I probably would have saved them a lot of time and misery."
Karl Rove tells 60 Minutes "I never talked to the Department of Justice about Siegelman. I never talked to anyone at the White House about Siegelman."
RAW STORY's four-part investigative report on the Siegelman case can be read at the following links: