February 14, 2012

Casino Lobbyist Says Alabama State Senator Wanted $100,000 For His Vote

Casino Lobbyist Says Alabama State Senator Wanted 0,000 For His Vote
State senator Larry Means (D)

A major re-trial is underway in the state of Alabama, as federal prosecutors are probing bribes made to several Alabama legislators over their positions on electronic bingo casinos.

Country Crossing lobbyist Jennifer Pouncy recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in 2010 and is now testifying against a number of state senators in an attempt to get a lighter sentence. During her testimony before the court, Pouncy explained that former state senator Larry Means (D) wanted a whopping $100,000 for his vote:

Pouncy testified that Means told her on March 24, 2010, that he faced a tough opponent. “He asked me to find out if I could get $100,000 from my group,” she said. “It was my understanding he wanted the $100,000 in exchange for his vote,” she said. She said she checked with [fellow Country Crossing lobbyist Jarrod] Massey, and Massey said their group would provide it. She relayed the message to the 64-year-old senator, who then voted yes.

The Alabama corruption trial is revealing in that it demonstrates the lengths to which lobbyists and lawmakers can exchange favors and bribes in order to get what they want. Although the actions being prosecuted here were illegal, what is perhaps more disturbing is that much of the pay-for-play that takes place in the U.S. political system today is perfectly legal.