State-wide columnist wrote untrue piece about Gov. Riley

Published 9:30 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dear editor,

Your newspaper may have recently published a column written by Steve Flowers that is totally false in what it says about me. Not just a few mistakes, but every line in it about me is not true.

Out of the interest of fairness and truth, I hope you will print this letter in your newspaper if you published Mr. Flowers’s column.

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First of all, Mr. Flower wrote that a Senate committee investigation revealed by 2002 campaign received either $600,000 or $2.5 million from out-of-state gambling interests. That’s absolutely not true. The Senate committee’s report revealed no such thing at all, and my name is not even mentioned in the committee’s report.

Second, Mr. Flowers wrote that I attended the opening of an Indian casino in Atmore. That is also totally false.

Third, Mr. Flowers wrote that I have “done the bidding” of Indian gambling interests. Again, this is totally false. The only thing the “Indian gambling interests” have asked me to do is sign a compact with them so they could expand their gambling operations, and I have refused to do so and will not do so.

I have been a consistent opponent of gambling and casinos and continue to fight against efforts by the gambling operators to expand gambling in Alabama. That’s why I established the Task Force on Illegal Gambling, made up of law enforcement officers, who are working to make sure Alabama’s laws against gambling are uniformly enforced in every county. It’s been amazing that since I established this task force Web sites and columns like the one written by Mr. Flowers have suddenly cropped up. Either it’s a remarkable coincidence, or the people behind behind illegal gambling in Alabama are doing their best to spread false information in an attempt to discredit or stop our efforts.

I don’t know if Mr. Flowers is trying to help them, but your readers need to know that his column’s statements concerning me are not true.


Gov. Bob Riley