|Former Alabama Governor|
Following years of appeals and a vocal campaign by supporters, ex-Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman is heading back to prison after being sentenced Friday to more than six years for bribery and other convictions.
Siegelman and former HealthSouth chief Richard Scrushy were convicted in 2006. They arranged $500,000 in contributions to Siegelman's campaign for a state lottery to fund education programs in exchange for the governor appointing Scrushy to an important hospital regulatory board.What Siegelman was convicted of is a matter of common practice in Indianapolis politics.. The pay-to-play culture and the revolving door between city government and government contractors (awarded lucrative contracts by city government), thrives in Indianapolis. Government contractors make political contributions (which originate as taxpayer dollars) knowing that the politicians who receive that money will reward them with yet more taxpayer funds.
Probably the most bold example of the pay-to-play culture is the circumstances behind the Broad Ripple Parking Garage. The City pays $6.35 million to acquire the land and build the garage and ownership is simply given to Keystone Construction, a company that is a major contributor to Mayor Ballard's campaign and which employs. Paul Okeson, Ballard's former chief of staff, is vice president of business development for Keystone.
Not only does Keystone get 100% ownership of the garage built with our tax dollars, the company gets to keep 100% of the profits on commercial rents from the building and 100% of the parking revenue. Meanwhile we get nothing from our $6.35 million investment.
If the feds wantto find Alabama-type corruption here in the Hoosier state, they only need to look at the relationship between Indianapolis politicians and the companies that regularly do business with the City.
To see the rest of the lengthy USA Today article, click here.