(We continue our review of the best posts of 2010 — and BingoGate was arguably the biggest political story of the year in Alabama. – promoted by mooncat)
“Astonishing in scope … infiltrated every layer of the legislative process in the state of Alabama … A brazen criminal scheme to buy and sell votes, thereby depriving the people of Alabama of the honest services of their elected representatives.”
That's how Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the DOJ, described the alleged wrongdoing involving gambling interests, state legislators and even a state employee. I've been reading the documents associated with yesterday's federal indictments of Milton McGregor, Ronnie Gilley, 4 State Senators, 3 lobbyists, a Gilley spokesman and a state employee — list of those indicted here — and it's fascinating. Morbidly fascinating just like when you can't look away from a burning building or a car wreck.
For those who want to join the onlooking crowd, Main Justice provides the key documents.
- Breuer Remarks on Bingo Probe
- DOJ Bingo Probe – Pouncy Plea Agreement
- DOJ Bingo Probe – Pouncy Criminal Information
Here is video of the DOJ press conference, courtesy of the Opelika-Auburn News, and here is the DOJ press release on the indictments related to bingo legislation in Alabama.
The investigation (which they refer to as “ongoing”) centers on alleged vote-buying related to a bill to allow a vote on electronic bingo, SB380, brought up in the Legislature last spring. For reference, the OA News offers a list of which Senators voted for and against that bill. SB380 was sponsored by Sen. Roger Bedford. Federal officials met with legislators in April to apprise them of the ongoing investigation. Possibly as a result of that meeting, the bingo bill was never brought up for a vote in the Alabama House.
The indictment refers by number to three additional legislators who have not been indicted. The Political Parlor suggests that they are:
- Legislator 1 – Rep. Benjamin Lewis (R, Dothan)
- Legislator 2 – Sen. Scott Beason (R, Gardendale)
- Legislator 3 – Rep. Barry Mask (R, Wetumpka)
The indictment also refers to “Lobbyist A” which is Jennifer Pouncy who agreed to waive indictment and plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.
See Pouncy's plea agreement above where I believe the euphemisms are as follows:
- Businessman 1 – Country Crossings developer Ronnie Gillie
- Businessman 2 – Milton McGregor
- Lobbyist 1 – Jarrod D. Massey, founder of MANTRA Governmental and Pouncey's employer
- Lobbyist 2 – Thomas E. Coker
- Senator 1 – James E. Preuitt (R, Talladega)
- Senator 2 – Larry P. Means (D, Attallla)
- Senator 3 – Quinton T. Ross Jr (D, Montgomery)
There are a handful of things that jump out at me from the information in the indictment, much of which is verbatim transcript from wiretaps and recorded conversations:
1) There was far too much discussion of contributions and votes on pending legislation in close proximity. Whether or not it constitutes quid pro quo is not my call, but this is definitely unseemly and stinks to high heaven.
2) Milton McGregor is alleged to have essentially put a state employee on retainer to keep McGregor apprised of changes to bingo-related legislation and to make changes to that legislation as requested. Excuse me for thinking that elected legislators are supposed to be the ones writing, revising and approving legislation on behalf of Alabama citizens.
3) By and large, those accused had no understanding of how phone taps work or what measures might keep their conversations secure. The FBI should be thankful they were so inept.
4) Not all the legislators allegedly involved in contributions for votes came through for the folks lining up the money for them. That really ticked off the lobbyists and businessmen involved, but their ire seems to have been mostly private because they knew they might need those same votes again in the near future.
This kind of behavior may skate along just barely on the right side of the law for all I know, and it may pass for business as usual in Montgomery, but I firmly believe most Alabamians think they send legislators to Montgomery to vote either their conscience or the good of the district, not their pocketbooks. The lax campaign finance and ethics laws in this state encourage this sort of wheeling and dealing for votes where hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars can be contributed by a single entity, and the source of the funds can so easily be obscured via Political Action Committees (PACs). This should be a call to action for honest people across the state to demand contribution limits, transparency and tougher restrictions on lobbyists.
Follow me below the fold, for lengthy indictment exerpts to illustrate these points. Fair warning, these are long excerpts and the prose is not always riveting. The words are direct from the indictment but all emphasis is mine.
1) Legislators discussing contributions and votes in close proximity:
41. On or about March 4, 2009, over dinner at a restaurant in Montgomery, Alabama, GILLEY sought to persuade Legislator 1 to support the “Sweet Home Alabama” legislation by offering to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Legislator 1’s reelection campaign. At the same dinner, SMITH attempted to persuade Legislator 1 that she and Legislator 1 would need GILLEY’s campaign support to win reelection and that Legislator 1 should work with GILLEY to support pro-gambling legislation.
43. On or about March 26, 2009, GILLEY, in a telephone conversation with Legislator 1, reaffirmed his willingness, and the willingness of others, to provide campaign support and contributions to Legislator 1 “until the damn cows come home” in exchange for Legislator 1’s support of the “Sweet Home Alabama” bill.
44. On or about January 13, 2010, after the 2009 legislative session ended without a vote on the “Sweet Home Alabama” legislation in either chamber of the Legislature, in a telephone conversation, GILLEY renewed his efforts to influence Legislator 1’s vote on pro-gambling legislation, warning Legislator 1 that, if Legislator 1 did not vote in favor of legislation favorable to GILLEY, “we’ll do everything we can to take your ass out.”
50. … MCGREGOR then went on to stress the need for Legislator 2’s favorable vote on the pro-gambling legislation, stating, “Here’s where we are. We need, we need your help. We need your vote and support on the people having the right to vote on this issue.” In response to Legislator 2’s suggestion that it could cost up to $500,000 to run for state-wide office, MCGREGOR stated that Legislator 2 “need[ed] some new friends” and that he and GILLEY “got a bad habit of supporting our friends.” Later in the conversation, MASSEY focused the discussion on the type of support MCGREGOR and GILLEY could provide Legislator 2:
You need resources. You need a commitment, um and obviously we’ve got a very important issue. I’m not going to tell you there’s a quid pro quo, but, that being said, um, these guys can talk about what we can do, what we can’t do. That’s for y’all to decide and determine.
When Legislator 2 suggested that “maybe they need to think about it,” MCGREGOR stated, “I don’t need to think about it. We done talked. . . . We done thought about it.” GILLEY added, “I don’t need to think about anything.”
52. On or about February 19, 2010, MASSEY met with Legislator 2 to discuss the details of a plan to compensate Legislator 2 for his vote in favor of the pro-gambling legislation by funneling $1 million per year—to be used at Legislator 2’s discretion—through a public relations job set up in connection with a public relations firm employed by GILLEY in order to conceal the fact that it was MCGREGOR and GILLEY who were going to pay Legislator 2. MASSEY summarized the offer, saying, “I would suggest that that look something like—and, again, it is up to you for what you would want to use it for—but basically there is a million dollars of business that is going to come through that PR entity, one way or the another, you know, annually.” Later in the meeting, MASSEY detailed the need to disguise the arrangement:
There are some oddities to how we would want to do it because, you, as you know on the ethics reporting, if there’s any tie to an organization that is lobbying a legislature, technically they have to announce that there is a business connection. And when they do then obviously everyone’s gonna look at it whether it’s totally legit or whatever.
So you got to find a backdoor way, which is basically you have, then, an entity that is not related per se to [GILLEY’s business] whatever that may be. Um, it’s some subsidiary that is disconnected and isn’t required to be registered as a lobbyist, and you meet all those thresholds. Um, we get all that worked out, that’s not a big deal. But, in effect, that PR entity does two things. One, it gives you ability to do some other things, um, have that structure. But then also you got that revenue that’s, I mean, use it for campaigns. You can use it individually or whatever.
At the end of the conversation, MASSEY told Legislator 2, “I’m telling ya, it’s a good deal . . . I mean, you in the catbird seat.”
68. On or about February 15, 2010, after Legislator 3 called him back, MCGREGOR and Legislator 3 discussed whether Legislator 3 would support pro-gambling legislation, with MCGREGOR offering significant campaign contributions to Legislator 3 in return for a favorable vote on the pro-gambling legislation. … When Legislator 3 inquired whether the amount of any contributions would be “500 or a couple of thousand,” MCGREGOR responded, “Oh no, I, I said significant help. . . . I can and will get you significant help from people that fall in this category. That’s the commitment I’ll make to you right now and it’s as good as, as, as, as any commitment you will ever get. I will do it, and I will prove it to you.” After Legislator 3 mentioned he had a fundraiser that evening, MCGREGOR reiterated that the “commitment I made to you is as good as gold.”
70. Later on or about February 15, 2010, GEDDIE and an employee of his lobbying firm delivered two checks, each in the amount of $2,500, drawn from GEDDIE-controlled PACs, to Legislator 3 at the fundraiser for Legislator 3 at a Tallassee, Alabama, restaurant.
75. On or about March 22, 2010, in a telephone call with MCGREGOR, MEANS referred to the pending pro-gambling legislation and said that there was “nothing I want to do more than help you.” MEANS noted he was facing a reelection challenge and said, “I’m going to probably need a bunch of help now.” MCGREGOR responded, “Well, you got me . . . and whatever it takes for Larry MEANS to come back, that’s what we gonna do. That’s the bottom line.”
84. Thereafter, in or about early March 2010, when Lobbyist A informed MASSEY that
PREUITT would vote against the pro-gambling legislation, MASSEY told Lobbyist A to offer PREUITT $2 million in campaign contributions.
85. Shortly thereafter, in or about early March 2010, Lobbyist A, following MASSEY’s instructions, met with PREUITT in PREUITT’s legislative office and told PREUITT that MASSEY and GILLEY would provide PREUITT with $2 million for his 2010 reelection campaign if PREUITT voted in favor of SB380.
102. On or about March 24, 2010, PREUITT approached Lobbyist A at the Alabama Senate and asked Lobbyist A if MASSEY and GILLEY would honor their commitments to PREUITT if SB380 did not pass in the House of Representatives. Lobbyist A, after checking with MASSEY, assured PREUITT that MASSEY and GILLEY would keep their promises.
106. … When GILLEY asked how PREUITT responded to MASSEY’s assurances, MASSEY continued:
He told me point blank, he said, “Well, as you know, I’ve gone, come a long way,” and you gotta know PREUITT to understand all this code. “I’ve come a long way.” And, he’s winking at me. . . . I told him, I said, “Look, I know you rock solid with Larry [MEANS].” I said, “I know you’re covering him.” I said, “Y’all got, y’all got this thing locked up right now and it’s whatever y’all want.” And I said, “So, that’s, you know, hey, that’s great. That’s the way this process works.”
Later in the conversation, MASSEY told GILLEY, “I mean, he’s, he’s [PREUITT] there. He all but told me, ‘Hey, when Larry [MEANS] is fine,’ I mean, ‘I’m not going to leave Larry [MEANS] hanging.’”
115. On or about March 31, 2010, during a telephone conversation between GILLEY and SMITH, SMITH asked GILLEY, “You wanna tell Jim PREUITT thank you [for voting in favor of SB380]? He’s sitting in my office.” When PREUITT got on the line, GILLEY thanked PREUITT for his support. PREUITT interjected to remind GILLEY about commitments that were made to PREUITT: “Well, I think, uh, you probably knew we had a couple, or come from a decent conversation prior . . . with Jay [WALKER] and, uh, then I get back with COKER.” GILLEY responded, assuring PREUITT that “we are rock solid and we’re ready, we’re ready to, uh, again, we believe in supporting people who, who support democracy, as I told you before, and we are, we are gung ho and ready to get started . . . we’re rock solid and one-hundred percent behind you.”
119. In or about late December 2009 or early January 2010, ROSS called Lobbyist A. During the call, ROSS told Lobbyist A that he wanted a campaign contribution from MASSEY and GILLEY. ROSS demanded approximately $5,000 or $10,000. ROSS stated that he believed that he deserved the campaign contribution because he had sponsored the pro-gambling legislation in the 2009 legislative session, and that he was no longer “feeling the love.”
120. On or about December 27, 2009, MASSEY caused to be issued to ROSS a $5,000 campaign contribution.
122. On or about January 7, 2010, and March 1, 2010, ROSS received two additional campaign contributions, totaling $4,500, from GEDDIE-controlled PACs.
123. Between in or about February 2010 and in or about April 2010, ROSS received $32,500 from other PACs to which MCGREGOR contributed.
128. On or about March 29, 2010, the day before the anticipated vote on the pro-gambling
bill, SB380, ROSS called MCGREGOR and asked, “You feel like you got the twenty-one [votes] in the Senate?” MCGREGOR responded that he was “cautiously optimistic.” Later in the call, ROSS thanked MCGREGOR for recent campaign contributions and said, “I’m actually, uh, calling to see if I can get some more help.” In response, MCGREGOR claimed: “I don’t even know where we are. I’ve, I’ve been so wrapped up and, uh, GEDDIE . . . he’s been keeping up with everything.” After ROSS continued to press the issue, claiming that campaign support “would help [ROSS] out tremendously,” MCGREGOR stated, “I did my thing in December and GEDDIE’s been doing his thing and other people since.”
129. The day of the vote, on or about March 30, 2010, MCGREGOR called ROSS and told ROSS that he could “call on some folks” that he had “relationships with to help” ROSS. MCGREGOR stated further that “money is tight.” After MCGREGOR told ROSS he would work with GEDDIE to secure additional contributions for ROSS, ROSS stated, “I definitely appreciate it, um, you know, whatever, whatever you can do, and I, I definitely appreciate, you know, what you’ve already done, um, we’re just getting down to the wire, and so I’ve, you know, um, you know, you don’t know until you ask, and so, so, you know, you just make your calls.” ROSS continued, “We, we know the window is closing on us fast and so I’m just trying to do everything I can to, uh, make sure I can raise [funds] . . . .” In response, MCGREGOR promised to help however he could.
130. On or about March 30, 2010, ROSS voted in favor of SB380.
131. On or about March 31, 2010, following the successful vote on SB380, COKER and MCGREGOR discussed additional campaign contributions for ROSS. During the conversation, MCGREGOR stated, “If you can say anything to any other clients about helping Quinton [ROSS], I’ll tell ya about that when I see ya . . . .” COKER responded, “Yeah, I’ve got, uh, I’m, I’m gonna give him a, a good, uh, check from the, uh, medical association and from the soft drink folks.” Shortly thereafter, MCGREGOR acknowledged his prior conversations with ROSS on or about March 29, 2010, and March 30, 2010, noting, “I talked to him [ROSS] about talking to you and, and . . . GEDDIE yesterday . . . actually, yesterday and day before yesterday, I’ll tell you about that when I see you.”
134. During the following legislative session, on or about March 24, 2009, SMITH, in a telephone conversation with Legislator 1, stated that she believed that GILLEY,in fact,would honor his word and provide to Legislator 1 the hundreds of thousands of dollars GILLEY offered Legislator 1 during the dinner at a restaurant in Montgomery, Alabama, on or about March 4, 2009. SMITH also claimed that she was “not gonna take a dime” from GILLEY.
135. On or about December 8, 2009, GILLEY caused to be issued thirty-nine corporate checks, totaling $19,500, which were deposited in SMITH’s campaign account.
136. In or about late December 2009, SMITH accepted over $160,000 in additional campaign contributions from GILLEY’s business associates.
137. In or about December 2009, GILLEY made an approximately $217,000 in-kind contribution to SMITH’s campaign for a country music concert and fundraiser.
2) Buying access to legislation in progress from a state employee in the Legislative Reference Service:
156. Between in or about May 2008 and in or about April 2010, MCGREGOR caused to
be issued monthly checks in the amount of $3,000, totaling $72,000, made payable to CROSBY. CROSBY, who was prohibited from receiving income in addition to his State of Alabama salary for his official assistance, failed to report any of the payments on his State of Alabama financial disclosure forms until in or about July 2010, after the Legislative Reference Service received a grand jury subpoena in connection with the instant investigation.
157. On or about February 27, 2009, CROSBY received an email from a lawyer working for MCGREGOR, instructing CROSBY to make certain changes to the draft “Sweet Home Alabama” pro-gambling legislation.
158. On or about January 6, 2010, MCGREGOR caused to be issued a check in the amount of $3,000 made payable to CROSBY.
159. On or about January 11 and on or about January 18 through 20, 2010, CROSBY directed an employee of the Legislative Reference Service to transmit to MCGREGOR drafts of a pro-gambling bill sponsored by a member of the Alabama House of Representatives.
160. On or about January 11, 2010, Legislator 2 made a request to the Legislative Reference Service for a draft bill that would amend the Alabama Constitution to prohibit all forms of gambling. Although the request initially was assigned to a different legislative analyst, CROSBY, as a team leader, handled the drafting of the bill. Shortly thereafter, CROSBY provided Legislator 2 with a draft bill that did not prohibit all forms of gambling, as Legislator 2 had requested, but instead, in part, protected the interests of gambling operators, such as MCGREGOR and GILLEY. When Legislator 2 told CROSBY that the bill CROSBY drafted did not satisfy Legislator 2’s request, CROSBY redrafted the proposed legislation.
161. On or about January 18, 2010, CROSBY received instructions from MCGREGOR, through his lawyer, to make changes to a draft constitutional amendment designed to protect MCGREGOR’s business interests.
162. On or about January 20 and 21, 2010, CROSBY directed an employee of the Legislative Reference Service to transmit to MCGREGOR early drafts of SB380, which had not yet been introduced.
163. On or about February 3, 2010, MCGREGOR caused to be issued a check in the amount of $3,000 made payable to CROSBY.
164. On or about the morning of February 4, 2010, the day SB380 was introduced, CROSBY directed an employee of the Legislative Reference Service to transmit to MCGREGOR an updated draft of SB380. Later, CROSBY directed the employee to forward to MCGREGOR edits CROSBY had received from MCGREGOR’s lawyer.
165. On or about February 22, 2010, CROSBY directed an employee of the Legislative Reference Service to transmit to GEDDIE a proposed amendment to SB380.
166. On or about March 2, 2010, and March 3, 2010, CROSBY directed an employee of the Legislative Reference Service to transmit updated drafts of SB380 to MCGREGOR.
167. On or about March 3, 2010, MCGREGOR caused to be issued a check in the amount of $3,000 made payable to CROSBY.
168. On or about March 4, 2010, MCGREGOR, through his lawyer, gave specific instructions for CROSBY to make changes to SB380.
169. On or about March 7, 2010, CROSBY told MCGREGOR his work on SB380 had been “pretty exhausting.” In response, MCGREGOR stated, “I wanted to thank you for staying on top of everything and, and, uh, responding to working with us.”
170. On or about March 8, 9, and 10, 2010, CROSBY directed an employee of the Legislative Reference Service to transmit updated drafts of SB380 to MCGREGOR.
171. On or about March 10, 2010, CROSBY promised MCGREGOR that he would make changes to SB380 and get the agreement of the bill’s Senate sponsor. During the conversation, MCGREGOR told CROSBY, “I appreciate your efforts, big man,” before asking him to “jog [his] memory” regarding proposed changes to the bill.
172. On or about March 11, 2010, MCGREGOR told COKER that CROSBY, along with MCGREGOR’s lawyer and the sponsor of the legislation, “fixed” some language in SB380 that would affect MCGREGOR’s tax liability.
173. On March 11, 2010, MCGREGOR asked SB380’s sponsor to talk to MCGREGOR’s lawyer, who “knows more about my finances than I do,” in an effort to amend the bill in a way that would reduce MCGREGOR’s tax liability under the legislation.
174. On or about March 11, 2010, and March 12, 2010, CROSBY directed an employee of the Legislative Reference Service to transmit updated drafts of SB380 to MCGREGOR.
175. On or about March 12, 2010, in a telephone call with CROSBY, MCGREGOR provided specific provisions that were to be included in a revised SB380 and urged CROSBY to speed up the drafting process so that his legislation would advance before bills proposed by other legislators.
176. Later that same day, on or about March 12, 2010, referencing a proposed tax provision in SB380, MCGREGOR assured COKER that “we ain’t gonna pay no higher tax.”
177. On or about March 14, 2010, MASSEY told GILLEY that any proposed pro-gambling legislation would go through CROSBY, and that CROSBY could be expected to report any such legislative developments to MCGREGOR.
178. On or about March 22, 2010, CROSBY directed an employee of the Legislative Reference Service to transmit an updated draft of SB380 to MCGREGOR.
179. On or about April 7, 2010, MCGREGOR caused to be issued a check in the amount of $3,000 made payable to CROSBY.
180. On or about April 8, 2010, CROSBY directed an employee of the Legislative Reference Service to transmit the final version of SB380 to MCGREGOR.
181. On or about April 12, 2010, CROSBY directed an employee of the Legislative Reference Service to transmit the final version of SB380 to GEDDIE.
3) The Phone Comedies:
47. …During the conversation, Legislator 2 mentioned SMITH’s earlier indication, during the dinner on or about March 4, 2009, of possible campaign support for Legislator 2 from GILLEY, as well as a discussion Legislator 2 had with MASSEY about the possibility of Legislator 2 working as a political consultant. In response, GILLEY promised to “get all those bases covered to where it’s, to where it’s fluid for you, and, and it’s comfortable for you.” As the call ended, GILLEY told Legislator 2 that the cellular phone GILLEY was using was “a very, very safe line . . . . I change the phone out every three days.”
48. … MASSEY went on to warn Legislator 2 that, if Legislator 2 did not commit to voting in favor of the pro-gambling legislation supported by MCGREGOR and GILLEY, Legislator 2 “might miss an opportunity to really cut yourself a good deal,” and noted that “there’s some money at play that could be had that, you know, could only be made available to certain candidates.” During the visit, MASSEY also instructed Legislator 2 not to discuss these issues over the telephone.
53. On or about February 22, 2010, MASSEY called Legislator 2 to schedule an in person meeting to “fine tune” the corrupt deal, noting that “obviously we don’t need to talk about that on the phone.”
65. On or about March 24, 2010, MASSEY, recounting a conversation he had just had with Legislator 2 regarding Legislator 2’s decision to vote against the BIR on or about March 3, 2010, told GILLEY: “In case I was being recorded, I said, [Legislator 2] I don’t recall anything we talked about previously. . . you can tell me that you support [the legislation] or don’t and we can have another conversation at my office . . . .” MASSEY continued, “I just made sure I was covering my ass, but he basically knew, hey, that the deal’s off.”
77. On or about March 24, 2010, MASSEY told GILLEY that “I need to get your okay on something . . . we’re getting a shakedown going on us up here to some degree . . . with regards to MEANS. . . . He’s asking for $100,000 if he votes for this bill.” In response, GILLEY stated, “Let me, let me call you from another phone, please.”
78. One minute later, on or about March 24, 2010, when GILLEY called MASSEY from a different phone, MASSEY stated, “Hey, sorry, I forgot.” Returning to the subject of MEANS’s request for $100,000, GILLEY told MASSEY that “he can one-hundred percent count on our support.” GILLEY continued, “We’re gonna support who supports democracy. And the motherfucker who doesn’t support democracy get ready to get their fucking ass busted.”
87. Later the same day, on or about March 2, 2010, MASSEY told GILLEY to call MASSEY back on the “other phone.” When GILLEY called back, MASSEY and GILLEY discussed securing PREUITT’s vote by purchasing a “good bit” of vehicles from PREUITT’s dealership. During the call, MASSEY told GILLEY to meet with PREUITT in person and “assume that you are being recorded” when speaking to PREUITT over the phone.
153. On or about March 31, 2010, MASSEY and WALKER discussed campaign funds going to SMITH. Before elaborating on plans to fund SMITH’s campaign, MASSEY mentioned the possibility that law enforcement was monitoring the conversation:
Let me qualify this in case any of my friends are listening. Uh, bottom line is apparently Ronnie [GILLEY] had indicated he wanted to be, uh, more supportive of [SMITH’s] campaign and, uh, had indicated some funds were gonna be moving to her campaign for her support for her various philosophies and whatnot. Uh, seems like to me there was some discussion about $200,000 or something.
MASSEY cautioned, however, that “quite honestly, I don’t want to be talking to her right now based on all this shit that’s going on and having any discussion about that.”
183. On or about March 12, 2010, in a telephone call between MCGREGOR and GILLEY, MCGREGOR asked GILLEY, “Do you want to talk on your, this phone here?” GILLEY responded that “I ain’t got my other one with me right this minute. We good on it?” When MCGREGOR consented, GILLEY continued, “They listen to you anyways. They done tracked your phone, that phone down, you had it so long. You defeated the purpose about four months ago.” MCGREGOR responded, “I don’t really care.”
184. On or about March 15, 2010, GILLEY ordered a telephone in another person’s name to hide his identity as the true user of the telephone.
185. On or about March 17, 2010, during a brief telephone exchange, MCGREGOR asked GILLEY, “You want to call me back on the other phone or talk on this one?” GILLEY responded that he would “call [MCGREGOR] right back.” MCGREGOR confirmed: “Call me right back on this same number.”
186. Three days later, on or about March 20, 2010, in another attempt to evade possible monitoring, MCGREGOR again asked GILLEY, “You want to call me back on that other line you got?” GILLEY responded, “Uh, yeah, I’ll call you right back.”
187. On or about March 23, 2010, during a conversation regarding the upcoming vote on SB380, MCGREGOR asked GEDDIE, “Confidentially, you, you on a safe phone?” to which GEDDIE responded, “I hope so. If I’m not, I’m in trouble.” …
188. On or about March 26, 2010, GILLEY ordered a telephone in another person’s name to hide his identity as the true user of the telephone.
4) These guys really don't like it when legislators don't stay bought — or when they wear a wire:
58. Toward the end of the day on or about March 2, 2010, the sponsor of SB380 asked MCGREGOR for permission to retaliate against Legislator 2 and other legislators who did not support the bill. During the conversation, the legislator stated, “I . . . want your authority . . . I mean the collective authority . . . to say, if you fuckers fuck us on this [legislation] . . . there will be no peace. . . . We’re coming after your ass.” MCGREGOR responded, “Big man, let me tell you, I don’t even have to think about it. You’ve got mine . . . .” The sponsor continued, reiterating, “I want the authority to say this is your vote, you vote yes or no and this is what we’re going to judge you by.” Again, MCGREGOR affirmed that he was “110% on board with that.”
62. On or about March 22, 2010, in a telephone call between GILLEY and MASSEY, MASSEY suggested that GILLEY direct SMITH to warn Legislator 2 that GILLEY and MASSEY were “going to make [Legislator 2’s] life a holy hell” unless Legislator 2 changed Legislator 2’s decision to oppose the pro-gambling legislation.
64. On or about March 23, 2010, GILLEY complained to MCGREGOR about the amount of time he had spent with Legislator 2, stating, “[to] end up doing me the way he did me was wrong. . . . Under normal circumstances, I would beat his ass.”
66. On or about March 31, 2010, GILLEY, after the existence of the instant criminal investigation became public, told MCGREGOR that he was “real disturbed” with Legislator 2 and questioned “what that motherfucker was up to when we were meeting with him,” …
104. On that same day, on or about March 24, 2010, MASSEY, after discussing whether he should spend $20,000 of GILLEY’s money to pay for a poll for PREUITT, told Lobbyist A: “’Course at this point the way we’re spending money, I don’t, I, I say just go ahead and do it, and if he damn don’t vote for us, we’ll kill his ass, we’ll, we’ll, or we’ll fuck up the results in the poll and put him out to press.”
There you have it. A peek inside the Alabama Bingo Bill federal indictment and a most unfortunate peek into the way business is conducted in the halls of power. Even if you don't like what you see, it's almost impossible to look away.