Gratuity can get you appointment as "ambassador" – Moultrie got one to Bureau of Prisons

I’m having the hardest time wrapping my arms around “gratuity” as a crime – that puts me in the good company of Dr. Marty Wiseman, director of the Stennis Institute at Mississippi State University, according to the Daily Journal (h/t folo and deep bow to Dr. Wiseman for the laugh)

Longtime Mississippi political observer Dr. Marty Wiseman expressed surprise at the new charge, saying access is “the reason most people give political contributions” of any substance.

“If this is all there is,” he said, referring to the government’s case, “it’s kind of like the country song I Shaved My Legs for This?.”

I haven’t had my hair done (read the lyrics) but I had thought about going up and blogging the trial – but after the pleas, I’ve given more thought to the powerful and unique argument in former Governor Siegelman’s appeal.

Every President who has ever appointed a contributor as Ambassador to France, every Senator who has ever exercised the Senatorial prerogative of putting forward a nominee for the United States District Court after such person supported the Senator’s campaign, every Governor and state Legislator, every Mayor and City Council member throughout the nation, and indeed every constituent of every such person, needs to know here the line is drawn between politics and crime. And the line must not be subject to the whim of prosecutors.

For cases involving contributions rather than personal kickbacks or the like, the line should be drawn between cases where the proof establishes the existence of an explicit quid pro quo, and cases where it does not. Proof of an “explicit quid pro quo” in this sense requires much more than the mere existence of a contribution and an official action. It requires more, even, than inferences as to what the thoughts, wishes or expectations of the contributor and of the official were. It requires just what the phrase “explicit quid pro quo” implies: an explicit, which is to say an expressly communicated, statement or agreement that the contribution and the action were linked.

Certainly Siegelman’s case is different; but, the brief provides an overview of the issue that I found helpful enough to save the first argument as separate document. Wonder if Hiram Eastland’s phone has been ringing?

15 thoughts on “Gratuity can get you appointment as "ambassador" – Moultrie got one to Bureau of Prisons”

  1. sop or nowducit,

    can yall explain the above to me? Above is he implying that Moultrie did nothing wrong?

    how did Cawood’s trial go today?

    There are Georgia policitians that were involved, but now Moultrie doesnt have to tell ?

  2. what is happening now to the over billings on the failed Meat Processing Plant?

    sounds like he got off basically scott free

  3. These gents have plead guilty to a felony so it’s not exactly a slap on the wrist. In any event where a campaign contribution ends and an illegal graituity begins is an interesting topic..

    We’ll be on Beef Plant until the voters here either curb Ronnie Musgrove for good or he is hauled off in shackles.


  4. I love that about Musgrove.

    I wonder too if y’all might effect the coverage of Pierce O’Donnell’s Felony prosecution out in CA.
    As we know he is the lead attorney in the upcoming MRGO/Industrial Canal lawsuit against the Corps of Engineers.
    His campaign contributions involved employee reimbursements and were about $14,000?
    He also did it with Checks so when the Feds came he just handed over all his records.

    Even Bush’s own attorney during the 2000 Election Theft in FL (as well as #2 in his Daddy Bush’s Justice Dept) felt that Pierce’s case was a “bit extreme”, as usually this sort of thing (at that level with records) is handled with a fine like a misdemeanor.

    Thought stunned, I had not really understood the portent of that case until y’all have been doing this case.


  5. I’m getting concerned that this Beef Plant thing – including the elected politicians that I believe should be held legally responsible will simply walk away and run for some upcoming re-election.
    Somebody tell me I’m wrong, please.
    If Greenlee thinks Musgrove is “in the clear”, I think he would have made that point long ago…but he hasn’t. So, that gives me hope that there’s still some evidence/testimony to come that will ruin some politician’s future plans…

  6. Editilla, I was checking on it when your comment came in and did some work on it last night.

    Will have something up for you shortly – been reading the Ladder and watching you take on the Corps. Sop and I have both been under the weather and trying to keep up here and work, too. I’ll send a smoke signal when I get the stuff together.

  7. Jack, this one has me scratching my head. Don’t have a clue what will come next, if anything.

    I bet everyone is going to have trouble raising money – no one’s going to risk indictment.

    Guess this is as good a place as any to comment on all the good lawyering in this case. Made for interesting reading. Not to mention I really appreciated the way Judge Alexander was handling everything.

  8. Moultrie pled guilty to making a campaign contribution with the hope that he would receive asistance in the future. There was no bribe and no allegation that the governor actually did anything for Facility Group. If this is “illegal”, then every campaign contribution any industry or union PAC makes is “illegal.” Executives at every major construction firm in metro Atlanta make political contributions. Also, all of the fraud charges against the company were dropped. I’ll tell you something–if the government had any confidence in these charges, they wouldn’t just drop them. Facility Group has been audited by the state and by several counties (including Cobb) in the past few months. No improprieties were found, but I guess that facts aren’t enough for you folks. The Mississippi case was a political witch-hunt. Do us all a favor and focus your attention on something productive.

  9. Stay tuned, georgianative, I have an update that I’ll post shortly – just as soon as I can get the text to line up (or give up and post it as is)

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