Long as it was, "The Governor of Goat Hill," was originally longer. I cut five chapters in addition to about 100 pages. Elements of each of the five removed chapters remained in the book, generally in much-shortened form. I'm providing them here, along with some pictures or related records. Also included are two other "bonus" sections which, like the chapters, are described below.
Links to the additional material are in the left column of this page.
The "bonus chapters," are free. However, I'm asking that readers consider making a donation, such as $3, either through Pay-Pal (see at left), or by check (To: Eddie Curran; 133 Silverwood; Mobile, AL 36607.
For those who send money and wish it, I can e-mail them the new material in Adobe attachments. To make this clear for those in doubt -- no, donations to this particular cause are NOT tax deductible.
I'm holding out my beggar's bucket because I believe the book has provided far more value than has come my and my family's way from the years of work and expenses involved. I believe the new material, like the book, provides a valuable and entertaining contribution to Alabama political history, and because, getting the bonus chapters in working order and getting them on a web page took considerable time.
I have been planning to get these chapters out -- I wrote them, so might as well -- but the idea of seeking donations came after receiving THIS LETTER, which was accompanied by a check.
Here's a brief description of the additional chapters and material:
The Matrix Man: This chapters tells about my reporting on Alabama's best-known bare-knuckle political consultant, Joe Perkins, and some interesting things that happened along the way.
The Governor's Money Pot: This tells about the outlandish abuses by Siegelman and others, including top aide-Nick Bailey, in spending money from the governor's contingency fund.
The $761,000 Web Page: The company Group One was chosen by the governor's office to build and operate the web-site for the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). To say they were overpaid and underperformed is putting it mildly.
The Gadfly: Mobile lawyer Jim Zeigler -- the aformentioned Gadfly -- has almost surely filed more ethics complaints and citizens lawsuits than anyone in Alabama history. One of those complaints, for no fault of Zeigler's, caused me great discomfort.
Emelle Enabler Makes a Mint: One of the first acts by Susan Kennedy upon her appointment by Siegelman was to use her influence to clear the way for what became a $500,000 million payment to G.H. Construction figure Lanny Young, routed to him by garbage giant Waste Management. Before leaving as lead lawyer for the Alabama Department of Revenue, Kennedy set up some contracts that were to enrich her, starting immediately upon her departure from state government.
The Fob James Section: This is a chapter-length section that tells about some of the stories I wrote about the governor and administration that preceded Siegelman, including those that led to the removal of three top cabinet members; and those that led to the prosecution of Siegelman's highway director, Jimmy Butts.
Notes on Journalism/Detritus: The name is self-explanatory. Among the subjects I address is a question I'm often asked: Do you ever feel in danger because of the type stories you write?
Here are titles -- YES, MORE TITLES -- for the notes.
"Watch your back, Eddie"
"On Temptation and Public Corruption"
"Nick Bailey and Mikey"
"On the Record, or Off?"
"The Doctor and the Death Star"
"The Excellent Story That Still Makes Me Angry To Think About"
"The Shopping Lists"
Whistle-blowing, and Tips for Wannabe Anonymous Sources
Two things Sources Needn't Say to a Reporter
Know When to Quit
Be Willing to Bite the Hand That Feeds You
The NY Times Got Greased by the Squeaky Wheel
And, lastly, To Keep Reading the NY Times, or Not?
The following is from the second to last "Nugget."
Here are two responses by Bill Keller, the editor of the New York Times, in one of Time magazine's weekly "10 Questions"segments. Keller's "10 Questions" is from July 2009.
I was reading along, way back when, and came to these two questions, one after the other. For what should be obvious reasons, I found Keller's responses interesting, in an unintentionally ironic way.
Q. Do reporters avoid writing unflattering things about sources? Ray Gambel, New Orleans.
A: There's no question that sources sometimes have interests aside from the truth when they talk to reporters. That's why reporters have to very aggressively report against their own theses and against their initial information. One of the most important disciplines in journalism is to challenge your working premises.
Q. Should journalists strive to present ideas as balanced, regardless of the actual credibility of either side? Jonathan Silver, Philadelphia.
A: I don't think fairness means that you give equal time to every point of view no matter how marginal. You weigh the sides, you do some truth-testing, you apply judgment to them. We don't treat creationism as science. Likewise in the autism-vaccine debate, our reporting shows pretty clearly which side the science is on.
While it may not be clear why I found this interesting, if you go to, "Nuggets," I explain.