Monday, January 21, 2008

King Dodges Flak

Last week Danny over at Doc's Political Parlor had a report that Attorney General Troy King showed up at an event in his hometown of Elba wearing a flak jacket.

Of course, we Alabama bloggers had a field day with that report.

And it appears that we are seriously rattling ol' Troy's cage. According to the Political Skinny in today's Press-Register

During a stop in Mobile last week, Attorney General Troy King said he had not heard online rumors that he has been regularly wearing a flak jacket -- but he would not say whether they are true.

"That comes from a tabloid Internet Web site, and we do not respond to rumors or tabloids," King Chief of Staff Chris Bence quickly replied to a question directed at King. "I'm not going to confirm or deny."

A site dedicated to Alabama politics claimed King wore a flak jacket to an event in his hometown of Elba this month, during which state Sen. Jim my Holley announced he was leaving the Democratic Party to become a Republican.

The site said King wears the flak jacket "everywhere."

"That I'm wearing a flak jacket?" King asked with surprise. King pulled open the lapel of his blazer and asked a Press-Register reporter, "You want to see?"

No flak jacket was visible.

This reminds me of LBJ's strategy of "Make the bastard deny it!"

I bet he left the flak jacket home with Trixie. Word is he had it emblazoned with a giant T and presented it to her like a it was a letterman jacket along with his class ring.

I seem to remember that right after Troy King was appointed Alabama Attorney General he decided it would be cool to participate in a raid on a 'gambling establishment' in Troy, Alabama. If I remember correctly he suited up in SWAT gear, including a flak jacket and kevlar, and charged in with the rest of the anti-bingo SWAT team and took out those dangerous and sinful electronic game machines. Seems like there was a photo, too.

Now, I can't seem to find that in any news archives...because I'm not willing to spend any money looking for it. I already spent money to send him the pig, ya know? But, some of my news hound friends in the Alabama media with access to that sort of thing for free should look it up. It also seems like that particular incident wasn't the only one involving Troy King suiting up in a flak jacket and participating in some raid or another on inanimate objects.

I could be wrong about the whole incident or where it took place....but I clearly recall a story involving Troy King, a SWAT team to raid inanimate objects and a flak jacket.

Isn't it outrageous that a SWAT team would actually conduct a raid on inanimate objects? I bet they all feel really silly when they go home at night.

UPDATE: A reader from Birmingham sent me this news story from the Troy Messenger about the gambling raid King participated in. The same reader was also able to look up the AP version of the story which clearly states that King participated in the raid. Thanks much friendly and helpful reader!

Here is the AP story from August 14, 2004.

Officers raid Troy gambling hall; AG says more may follow The Associated Press State & Local Wire August 13, 2004, Friday, BC cycle

The Associated Press State & Local Wire

August 13, 2004, Friday, BC cycle

SECTION: State and Regional

LENGTH: 496 words

HEADLINE: Officers raid Troy gambling hall; AG says more may follow

BYLINE: By PHILLIP RAWLS, Associated Press Writer


Law enforcement officers raided a plain metal building on the outskirts of Troy Friday, seizing 60 video gambling machines and surprising customers who were feeding dollar bills into the machines.

"Bad day. Friday the 13th," customer James Johnson said as he left.

Johnson, a retiree, said he played the games for recreation. "I guess I'll have to start fishing," he said.

District Attorney Gary McAliley said officers arrested Ray Grant, 58, of Troy. They accused him of being one of the operators and charged him with misdemeanor possession of gambling devices and possession of gambling records. Each is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

McAliley said the case will be reviewed by a grand jury and more charges are possible against Grant and others.

Attorney General Troy King, who participated in the raid, said his office has received complaints about similar businesses in other parts of the state, and his office will work with local law enforcement to review the complaints. He indicated the Troy raid would not be his last.

"This sends an important message to people who have machines that pay out in cash and violate state law," he said. "Illegal gambling will not be tolerated in Alabama."

Police Chief Anthony Everage said his department seized 47 video gambling machines in raids in July 2003. After several months of quiet, he started getting complaints about a new operation about two months ago, he said.

Among those complaining were people who had operated video gambling halls, citing an Alabama law, but had to close them last year after a state appeals court ruled that games of chance were illegal.

"Other people have asked us, 'If these people can reopen, why can't we?"' McAliley said.

The business was in a normal-looking metal building with no sign and a grass parking lot. A handwritten piece of paper on the door listed the hours of operation for the six-day-a-week business but gave no indication what was inside. Officers said customers learned of the business through word of mouth.

Inside, 60 video gambling machines - named Queen Bee, Funny Fruit and Alabama Nudge - were arranged in four rows. A counter offered free soft drinks and snacks.

Troy officials said proving gambling charges is difficult and that's why they relied on the attorney general to bring in two gaming experts - one from his staff and one from New Jersey - to examine the machines and prepare evidence for court.

As D.R. Sertell took apart the first machine, he carefully pulled out pieces of paper folded behind the money container and said, "This is the smoking gun."

Sertell, chairman of Casino Horizons Corp. in Vineland, N.J., unfolded the manufacturer's directions, which he said described how to set the payout between 65 percent and 90 percent of the money put in by customers.

"That proves the computer controls the outcome," rather than the skill of the player, which is illegal in Alabama, he said.


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