After doing everything in his power to make sure Larry Langford was convicted and sent to prison for EYE still haven't figured out what, Kyle Whitmire has a change of heart and says maybe the old crook should go free?
I don’t know Kyle Whitmire, but if he has no love for Larry Langford it clouds his objectivity. Reporters are supposed to report just the facts, regardless if they have love for their subjects or not. Any progressive viewpoint Kyle Whitmire have should not seep into his reporting. Any love/hate Kyle Whitmire has for Larry Langford should not be a factor in his reporting. It’s a dangerous, slippery slope we thread when reporters become a part of the story and use their influence and privilege to shape public opinion.Well EYE guess it depends on what his definition of an "old crook" IS. Let's recap.
The mood at the classic was rather somber this year, partially due to the rain on Friday and Saturday, and partially because Larry Langford was convicted the previous Wednesday. White suburbanites and the Birmingham news media may not have liked Larry Langford but the people who elected him loved him" because "he was cleaning up the city" . They believe his conviction will be a vehicle to over turn the election so Patrick Cooper can become Mayor. They question why Langford was convicted over some suits and a Rolex, while the two men who made millions got away scott free.
Langford's' troubles stem from the sewer construction and bond swap controversy.Prosecutors claimed Langford accepted cash and luxury items worth some $236,000 while serving as president of the Jefferson County Commission. In exchange, they claimed, Langford sent lucrative bond business to investment banker Bill Blount, a former chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party.Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamarra Matthews Johnson told jurors in closing arguments that Langford was heavily in debt and accepted the gifts from Blount, along with checks or loan payoffs through a middleman, lobbyist Al LaPierre. Both Blount and LaPierre pleaded guilty in the scheme and testified against Langford under their plea agreements.
In 1995, Jefferson County entered into a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding sewer overflows into the Cahaba River watershed. A total of $3.2 billion of new construction was subsequently contracted, both to comply with the consent decree and to expand the system to newly-developing areas and increase the number of ratepayers financing the construction. Much of this work was awarded to inexperienced companies, many of which have since been convicted of bribery along with several county officials.The "sewer controversy" caused a rate hike. People on fixed incomes had water bills that were higher than their electric bills. Renters would move leaving property owners with thousands of dollars in unpaid water bills. If the landlords didn't pay liens were placed on the property until a law was passed by the legislature property where owners were not responsible for tenets water bills.
I’m worried too and this is why.In light of one of Langford's' biggest detractors change of hard, EYE mean heart, maybe Larry Langford was right (no pun intended), and his prosecution was political.
Let me preface what I’m about to say with the disclaimer that I have no personal, business or social connection to Larry Langford. I have never voted for him, campaigned for him or donated to any of his campaigns. All I know about the charges against him are what I’ve read in the media. I am not speaking on behalf of Langford or in defense of Langford personally or his policies.
It has long concerned me that Alabama Democrats, especially progressive/liberal Democrats have been under attack by the republican controlled justice system, enabled by the MSM we have. Democrats from former Governor Don Siegleman, former State Senator E.B. McClain, former Jefferson County Commissioner Jeff Germany on down to former state Representative Sue Schmitz have been tried and convicted after widely publicized allegations of corruption. If this can happen to high profile elected officials, it can happen to you or to me. If I am accused of a crime, I want a fair trail. Strike that, our system of justice demands I have fair trail.
I don’t know if Langford is guilty of the charges against him or not, and I won’t know IF he doesn’t have a fair trial by a jury of his peers, who will listen to all the evidence presented in a court of law, not the evidence presented in the media.
I’m concerned that having a Media Forum the night before his trial entitled ” What will we do when Birmingham is broke and everyone is in jail” could not only taint a jury pool, but it’s unfair to the defendant because it assumes the city is broke and he is going to jail. I just don’t that’s fair. Sorry.
Is Langford a loudmouth, flashy, anti gay, bible thumper? Yes. As an American citizen does he deserve a fair and impartial trial by a jury of his peers? Absolutely. Would I feel this way if Langford was a white, conservative republican? Yes. I believe in the rule of law. I believe in liberty and justice for all. I believe in the right to a fair trial by a jury of ones peers. I believe evidence should be presented in a court of law, not in the media.
I believe in America. Where anything is possible.