No Comment — August 1, 2007, 2:35 pm

A Very Republican Justice: Judge Mark Everett Fuller, Rep. Terry Everett, and others

The legal career of Alabama Judge Mark Everett Fuller, who presided over the conviction and sentencing of former Governor Don Siegelman, has always been linked to the Republican party. Fuller was appointed as a district attorney by G.O.P. Governor Fob James, and appointed to the bench by George W. Bush with the backing of Alabama’s two G.O.P. Senators, Richard Shelby and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.

Moreover, throughout his rise Fuller has enjoyed a close relationship with another key Republican political figure: Congressman Terry Everett, a family friend (and the source of the “Everett” in “Mark Everett Fuller”). They both attend the same Baptist church in Enterprise, Alabama, and public records show that Fuller has donated to Everett’s campaigns, and that he has in the past served as Everett’s campaign manager.

everett

Everett, who ran a small empire of local newspapers, was first elected to Congress in 1992, surprising political analysts when he beat Montgomery-based George C. Wallace Jr. (then a Democrat, now a Republican). “One thing that was curious,” a Montgomery-based political observer (who asked not to be identified) told me, was that “suddenly a lot of outside folks started showing up to manage Everett’s campaign; word was that Everett had reached out for top-tier political campaign support, that he had gone out-of-state.”

In any case, Everett is also a political powerhouse, with seats on three committees of vital importance to his constituency: armed services, intelligence, and agriculture. He is one of the most conservative members of the house, with views that seem well in tune with his district. His grounding in world affairs relevant to the intelligence post is, however, subject to some question. The Congressional Quarterly’s Jeff Stein conducted a test of the basic knowledge of key decision-makers about basic facts related to the current war on terror. Among other things, he asked Everett: “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?” He reports the answer:

Everett responded with a low chuckle. He thought for a moment: ‘One’s in one location, another’s in another location. No, to be honest with you, I don’t know. I thought it was differences in their religion, different families or something.’

One subject about which Everett is extremely well versed and in which he takes a lively interest, however, is Department of Defense contracting. Which raises some questions for his relationship with Mark Fuller, because much of Fuller’s livelihood comes from a closely-held business that is based almost entirely on federal government contracts (which I’ll write about soon).

My own research did not turn up any specific evidence of what Everett did to help Fuller.Any study of defense contracts is complicated by the frequent invocation of national security concerns to obscure the details of contracts, the process by which they are offered, and the functions involved.But a local Alabama journalist, Glynn Wilson of the Locust Fork Journal, has written that Everett has very effectively looked out for Mark Fuller’s business interests, with the result being a recent and dramatic blossoming of government contracts for Fuller:

As for why Fuller might have risked his own legal and political future to help convict Siegelman, the only answer can be a certain arrogance of power, perhaps because Fuller’s own background reveals interesting ties from his college days to Rob Riley, and from their ties as being campaign managers in Washington when Riley ran his dad’s Congressional campaigns and Fuller ran Everett’s. The record also shows he has major ties to the military-industrial complex operating largely out of Enterprise, Alabama, home to Rep. Terry Everett, who basically acts as Fuller’s paid lobbyist in Washington to obtain federal contracts for his defense-related companies.

Fuller’s entrenched relationships with the statewide Republican power base secured him a seat on the Alabama Republican Party’s prestigious Executive Committee. This was an obvious acknowledgement of his heavy engagement in Republican electoral causes. The Center for Investigative Reporting provides the following:

Fuller, Mark E.
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama

Nominated: August 1, 2002 | Confirmed: November 14, 2002

Summary: Prior to joining U.S. District Court, Fuller was a district attorney and active in state Republican politics. Between 1999-2000, he contributed $3,000 to Sen. Shelby and his political action committee. Sens. Shelby and Sessions recommended him for the bench. Overall, Fuller contributed $7,000 to Republican candidates between 1997 and 2001. Fuller also was the chairman of a Republican congressman’s campaign committee for several years up to his nomination, and was formerly a member of the Alabama Republican Executive Committee.

On the Executive Committee, Fuller would have had oversight responsibility for the party’s activities in Alabama—raising money and mobilizing resources to get Republicans elected to office. And during the period of Fuller’s service on the G.O.P. Executive Committee, Don Siegelman emerged as the nightmare of the Alabama G.O.P.. He had been elected to every major state office, sometimes by wide margins, and he enjoyed electoral strength across the state, including in the normally Republican south which Fuller called home and which was otherwise solidly G.O.P. No other Democrats had such broad appeal.

As might be expected, and as the Dana Jill Simpson affidavit shows, Siegelman was a topic of constant and vexed discussion. From his position on the Executive Committee, Fuller must have known that Siegelman was a target of the Alabama Republican Party. So how is it that Fuller, a man whose career is closely (and publicly) tied to the Republican party, did not recuse himself from a case involving a Democratic former governor who had for years been a target of the Republicans?

Judge Fuller has not responded to a request for comment. I’ll update this post if and when he does.

Next… A Scandal Clouds Fuller’s Departure from the DA’s Office: The Grudge

Evan Magruder contributed to this post.

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

No Comment, Six Questions June 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Uncovering the Cover Ups: Death Camp in Delta

Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp

From the June 2014 issue

The Guantánamo “Suicides,” Revisited

A missing document suggests a possible CIA cover-up

No Comment March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm

Scott Horton Debates John Rizzo on Democracy Now!

On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2014

Cassandra Among the
Creeps

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Today Is Better Than Tomorrow”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

PBS Self-Destructs

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Monkey Did It

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
“This is not a fable about a young woman whose dreams were dashed by a sexual predator. Maya’s narrative is one of institutional failure at a school desperately trying to adapt.”
Photograph © AP/Josh Reynolds
Article
Kandahar’s Mystery Executions·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“He told me he was made to stand on an ice block for thirty minutes at a time, and would then be forced to run barefoot across the gravel while an officer cable-whipped him.”
Photograph (detail) © Victor J. Blue
Article
The Tale of the Tape·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Heroin isn’t the weakness Art Pepper submits to; it’s the passion he revels in.”
Photograph (detail) © Laurie Pepper
Post
Art Beyond Politics·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Arab artists take up — and look past — regional politics
“When everyday life regularly throws up images of terror and drama and the technological sublime, how can a photographer compete?”
“Qalandia 2087, 2009,” by Wafa Hourani
Criticism
The Soft-Kill Solution·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Policymakers, recognizing the growing influence of civil disobedience and riots on the direction of the nation, had already begun turning to science for a response."
Illustration by Richard Mia

Percentage of Americans who rank the stock-market crash as the most important problem facing America today:

2

Men with diabetes are more likely to have low testosterone levels.

Comedian Joan Rivers died at age 81. “I finally found out how priests get holy water,” Rivers once said. “They boil the hell out of it.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today