A hearing is scheduled today to discuss legal issues related to issuance of a search warrant for Country Crossing (bingo) and attempts to block execution of that warrant.
The argument for Country Crossing seems to be that the state doesn't know how the bingo machines work so they don't have actual knowledge of legal activity on which to base a warrant. The Gambling Task Force argument is that, “no law allows a criminal suspect to challenge (or even know about) a search warrant before it is executed” and basically, the time for Country Crossing to defend itself is after the search has been conducted and charges (if any) have been filed.
[Circuit Judge Jeffrey] Brock has ordered a hearing on Barber’s motion Wednesday at 9 a.m. If Brock rules in favor of the motion to vacate the hearing, then no further hearing will be held concerning HEDA’s motion to quash the search warrant. If he rules against Barber’s motion, then a hearing on the motion to quash will follow immediately.
In other news, it turns out that about $100,000 of the $1 million plus newly appointed Gambling Task Force head John Tyson raised to run for AG in 2006 came from gambling interest PACs — laundered through another PAC, as is so common (and legal) in Alabama politics.
Milton McGregor, owner of VictoryLand, the state's largest casino, cited the contributions as evidence that Tyson is working to help Indian casinos. McGregor has made similar accusations against [Governor Bob] Riley and Barber.
“This is another clear example … that Riley has selected two people, both of which are just like Riley — they are in bed with the Indians,” McGregor said. “All three of these people should resign.”
In the example cited by the Press-Register, Tyson's campaign received $10,000 from Watch PAC:
Watch PAC's five contributors included the Poarch Creek Indians PAC of Atmore; the Macon County Greyhound PAC of Shorter; the Jefferson County Racing Association PAC of Montgomery; Greentrack of Eutaw and High Street PAC of Montgomery.
That undercuts McGregor's argument somewhat, since those are all Alabama pro-gambling interests. Nevertheless, this is bound to be an interesting few days on the gambling front.