The Birmingham News is reporting that Troy King headlined a party thrown by developer Ronnie Gilley three months before his office issued a legal opinion that Gilley could get a bingo permit for his proposed Country Crossings development in Houston County.
The invitation for the party Jan. 24, 2008, at Gilley's home mentioned three names — two famous country music singers and King's.
["]Join country music legend George Jones to welcome in the New Year. Shake off the winter cold as you dance among the hay bales and listen to a special performance by country music superstar John Anderson. Come dressed for fun and join Attorney General Troy King for a bash you'll never forget!"
At the event, Gilley called upon King to address the crowd, according to guests.
Gilley said Friday the party was a kickoff for Country Crossing, a country music-theme development. He said he invited many politicians and put King's name on the invitation because he was the most prominent one who attended the party.
This isn't the first time Troy has enjoyed a little entertainment at the hands of people who would like to influence him. Back in 2006, Alabama Power treated him and 13 of his closest friends to food, drink, and luxury box seats for a Braves game, something it didn't bother to report until News reporters raised the issue, contending its expenditure didn't exceed the reporting threshold of $250 a day. To quote myself,
Let’s see: 14 tickets with a face value of $45 each, which Troy got to distribute as he saw fit, and a food bill totalling $1,262.64, paid by two individual lobbyists. Troy repaid $486 to cover the cost of his family’s food because the lobbyist who footed that bill was ill and couldn’t be present, as required by law when feeding and watering a public official. That all adds up to $1,406.64, only — umm — 5.6 times the reporting threshold. Which, both Troy and Alabama Power contend, wasn’t all spent on him or his family, so somehow, magically, it didn’t benefit him at all. Uh huh.
Now, why would Alabama Power be interested in wining (metaphorically, of course) and dining the Attorney General? Could it be because it's his job to represent ratepayers before the Public Service Commission? Nah, of course not. And I'm sure Ronnie Gilley had no intention of influencing the AG's forthcoming opinion on his bingo permit either.
Of course, I still believe in the Easter bunny too.
The King defenders (more likely Gilley minions) are out in force in the al.com comments, accusing Bob and Rob Riley of planting this and other negative stories about King. It's rather amusing to watch the Republicans rip each other.