COMMENT: In FTR #742, we examined a number of highly suspicious deaths linked to GOP power politics in Alabama. Those deaths tracked back to two overlapping investigations:
- The political destruction of former Democratic Alabama governor Don Siegelman and his replacement by the consummately, lethally corrupt administration of GOP governor Bob Riley.
- The investigations into the activities of convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was involved with corrupted Native-American gambling activities in the state.
The storm swirling around Riley and associates tracks back to the political destruction of Democratic Alabama governor Don Siegelman, who had control over the records of George W. Bush’s Air National Guard record.
(Recall that Bush had been assigned to an Air National Guard base in Alabama, and appears to have spent his time there politicking on behalf of GOP candidates. Had this disclosure gotten the play it deserved, it would have denied Dubya a second term. Siegelman’s destruction–widely attributed to the sinister, Machiavellian Karl Rove–put the information in the hands of a trusted GOP hack, Bob Riley. In Family of Secrets, Russ Baker details the maneuvering around Bush’s military records and the deliberate destruction of journalistic and political sources pursuing the truth. Baker is interviewed about the book in FTR #‘s 711 through 716, 730, 743.)
Now, the bloodletting may have claimed the life of Chace William Swatek, a prominent lawyer in the Alabama GOP fold.
EXCERPT: An Alabama lawyer with roundabout connections to our Legal Schnauzer story was found dead at a Shelby County construction site late yesterday morning.
The body of Chace William Swatek, 35, was found behind a stack of metal pipes near the Shelby County Services Building in Pelham. Law-enforcement officials say the cause of death is not known, but they do not suspect foul play.
Swatek had powerful family ties to the Alabama Republican Party. His older brother, Dax, is head of the lobbying/consulting firm Swatek Azbell Howe & Ross. Dax Swatek was 2006 campaign manager for former GOP Governor Bob Riley–he of the ties to GOP felons Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon–and is a protege of Bill Canary, president of the Business Council of Alabama. Canary, of course, is the husband of Leura Canary, Bush-era prosecutor in the Don Siegelman case and instigator of the federal bingo prosecution, which is being retried at this moment in Montgomery. Dax Swatek also played a prominent early role in the bingo fiasco. . . .