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Friday, December 09, 2005

Sanders Investigation to Continue

The State Ethics Commission decided to prolong its look at allegations that State Sen Hank Sanders (D-Selma) used his position as chair of the Senate's education budget committee to steer state money to non-profit organizations run by his family.

The complaint was brought against Sanders by the perpetually outraged RussandDee, of Birmingham talk radio notoriety. You can read the article and decide for yourself whether Sanders abused his position.

Sanders is about as safe as possible in his district and it would take quite a bombshell to put him in any direct political danger. But if the Ethics Commission does come down hard on him, Senate Republicans might be able to use the issue in the coming elections.

The Ethics Commission will continue to investigate and will meet in February to publicly address the issue again.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

it matters not that sanders didnt use tax money to pay his many family members at those entities he created with our taxes. if a 3rd party pays his family, he benefits. without the tax money no 3rd party would pay his family, unless it was a legitimate market based transaction. Also the use of a 3rd party to pay his family frees up our tax money and that also personally benefits Sanders and his family. I wish we could have a forensic study done by a federal bank examiner on the flow of tax money to those entities, to the 3rd party payor, backtracked up the food chain to fat and happy hank and his family.
He is just like siegelman.

10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Susan of LocalTint said...

"perpetually outraged" baha..excellent description.

That being said, it wouldn't surprise me to learn Sanders is guilty.

4:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I received this from a friend and think it is relevant. It was sent to the Birmingham News.

To the editor:

The Birmingham News editorial, "Defining Personal Gain," is an appalling distortion of truth and of ethics.

The editorial, one of a series of articles and editorials published over the last 2 1/2 years, smears and damns state Senator Hank Sanders, apparently as part of a vendetta that the News has declared against Senator Sanders and other black Democrats. Never do we see such twisted reporting and bigoted editorializing against right-wing whites and Republicans.

Senator Sanders represents some of the poorest counties in a poor state. When Sanders was elected, there were hardly any social service non-profit agencies assisting the poor there, giving the children hope and a future, and caring for the elderly.

Such agencies were founded by relatives of the Senator and others, working in concert to bring relief to the grinding poverty and hopelessness in the area. Senator Sanders has strongly supported these non-profits through routing state funding to them, as do state representatives for non-profits in their districts. And they have helped, even to the extend to getting national recognition. Indeed, with their help, children who otherwise would have no hope have achieved at great universities and some have achieved fame and fortune.

Every agency whose funding is condemned is a non-profit. Senator Sanders has routed money to not one profit making business in his district. The News does not mention the term "non-profit" once in its attack.

Further, Senator Sanders strongly supported the bill earlier this year to end this kind of funding. The white legislators defeated that bill. Trying to operate and serve his constituents in a corrupt system (the government of Alabama has been fundamentally corrupt since the 1901 constitution was enacted), Senator Sanders has been forced to compete for funds for them, in an uphill battle against such relatively rich districts as Shelby County.

Why does the Birmingham News continue to smear black elected officials and a few white Democrats? This began when we began electing blacks to office. The Birmingham News printed every smear, lie and innuendo against Mayor Richard Arrington that anyone ever mouthed.

The News continues to smear other black state and county officials, while ignoring the white Republicans and right-wing Democrats who collaborate with them. Let's not forget that the original complaint before the Ethics Commission was placed by Russ and Dee Fine, hate radio personalities.

The Birmingham News and Russ and Dee... to paraphrase the Who, "Look at the new racism -- just like the old racism."

1:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! now i feel better. talk about a syrupy feeble justification for ethics violations!!
puleassse! joe espy should hire better spin doctors. Sanders, just because he is black, deserves no special treatment. To say his behavior is justified because no services were available in his blackbelt district is necessarily to blame sanders, not the birmingham news. If SAnders truly desired to help the poor masses of his blackbelt district, he would have done so legally and ethically, without lining the pockets of his family and friends to the tune of $4.3 million of our taxpayer dollars. People like Sanders should realize racism works both ways and the law is colorblind. The appearance of impropriety doesnt depend on ones skin color, unless you use skin color to justify your ex ante decisions, ex post.

3:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEE UUUUUUUUUUUUUUU, Sanders Stinks, but what else is new. Sanders has ripped us off for more than just the last few years. He should be removed from the senate and prohibited from having any contact with public money forever. He just cant help himself.

2:43:00 PM  
Blogger Susan of LocalTint said...

There's no question that there's plenty to do to improve life in that part of the state. But Sanders & family should have chosen one side or the other. Start a non-profit & seek funding to serve your area or become an elected official, representing the interests of your area and steering money to organizations you consider deserving. But having one family on both sides of the equation is a recipe for corruption--or at least the appearance of it.

However noble Sanders's intentions may have been at the start, it just looks bad.

8:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.publicintegrity.org/docs/oi/2004/AL/AL-0161-2004.pdf

see this link for all of the good senator's real estate holdings. what a thief.

9:26:00 AM  
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