Art Parker headshot

A few years ago Tommy Gallion called to tell me he was working on a book. He said its publication would be unwelcomed by many of the individuals and political players that often received adverse criticism in my columns. I didn’t need to ask Gallion who he was talking about and he didn’t need to tell me.

The book has just been released and is entitled SHADOW GOVERNMENT SOUTHERN STYLE. It is now available through Amazon in both Kindle format and paperback. I strongly recommended that you waste no time in ordering this book.

Gallion, a local lawyer with strong family and professional ties to the State of Alabama and its rich political history, exposes many of the unsavory individuals and crooked circumstances over the last few decades. The most significant case centers on former Governor Bob Riley and what the author refers to as the “Cabal,” a name I deem appropriate for the group Gallion exposes.

To many of us in the media, and others with knowledge of political dealings, Gallion isn’t making a revelation of political crookedness. However, to all others, he has done a splendid job of telling what I believe is about the most egregious, dishonest, and greediest political scheme ever in the United States. It was a scheme that unnecessarily ruined the lives of some and nearly ruined the lives of several others. It was a scheme that intended to line the pockets of a few while costing many others, mostly the taxpayers. Furthermore, I believe Gallion does an excellent job of showing just how crooked and dishonest the judicial system can be, both on a federal and state level.

Gallion explains how so many of our elected officials carry the Christian banner and trumpet their God-fearing ways, yet get into cahoots with Christian leaders to perpetuate lies about others, raise money and win elections. Because of the corruption he has seen on both sides of the fence, Gallion no longer has an association with either major political party and is strictly independent. Good for him!

Before the chapters in the book that relate to the Cabal, Gallion tells the story about his father as a prosecutor in the effort to clean up Phenix City, Alabama in the 1950s. Long ago, and virtually unknown to many people in this state today, is the Phenix City story. This was a time in Alabama’s history that must be remembered despite the black eyes we have from it. Gallion tells the story splendidly in detail that enhances its historical significance.

Gallion tells of his toughest challenge as a lawyer by revealing the details of the Ronnie Cottrell and Ivy Jackson case. The two Alabama football coaches were unjustly targeted by the NCAA in an investigation that attempted to ruin the University of Alabama’s football program. Gallion describes the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as the most corrupt organization anywhere, aside from the “Mafia or a corrupt police force. An organization that is supposed to govern young athletes, however, is nothing more than a band of self-serving dictators.”

I have often said that it is difficult to determine the most crooked state in the nation. It has always been a close race between Illinois, Louisiana, and Alabama. After you read Gallion’s book you will probably feel as I do - Alabama is atop the nation in political corruption. What I like most about Gallion’s effort is his courageous attempt to unveil this corruption as opposed to covering it up, as so many have done for much too long.

The author dedicated his book, in part, to our mutual friend the late Milton McGregor, who was also a victim of the Cabal’s corruption and greed.