Wednesday, November 02, 2005


TBogg links to an interesting expose of Jay Sucknblow, Messianic mouthpiece and Fat Tony Scalia's personal flight attendant. The most interesting bit involves Sucknblow's former practice:

A review of publicly available tax and court documents, as well as interviews with several former employees, paints a stark portrait of Sekulow as a hard-charging man who emerged from bankruptcy and allegations of securities fraud in the late 1980s to build a complex network of personal, business, and nonprofit entities. At times, those financial dealings have alienated employees and been criticized in court.

Sekulow, 49, has always been an oddity on the evangelical landscape. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Jewish parents, Sekulow still describes himself as a "Messianic Jew," meaning he believes Jesus Christ is the Messiah. He says his Jewish faith never caused him trouble among Christian evangelicals.


It was in that capacity that Sekulow argued his first case before the Supreme Court, a 1987 dispute involving the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, which tried to stop Jews for Jesus adherents from distributing leaflets at LAX. Sekulow said he was nervous when his name was called....

At the time of his successful Supreme Court debut, Sekulow was also dealing with a trial of another sort. His private practice, which focused on creating tax shelters and financial deals for the renovation of historic buildings in Atlanta, collapsed when investors sued him for securities violations related to the renovation deals. He and his firm filed for bankruptcy protection in 1987, and more than a dozen creditors filed suit. A later story in the Atlanta Constitution said he left a trail of angry investors and employees. "God brought Jay to his knees then," a former employee told Legal Times.

But Sekulow bounced back up, in part by creating a new nonprofit, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE), which still exists today and serves as an important conduit for funds that finance Sekulow's activities. "I almost feel like God raised me back from the dead," Sekulow told the Atlanta paper in 1991. "It was a spiritual rebirth."

According to the article, Sucknblow is now living high on the hog. And off the suckers who fund his non-profits.

One wonders if Sekulow has followed Matthew 5:42 with respect to the creditors, investors and employees his firm screwed over.

God also brought Jay to his knees in the service of Fat Tony Scalia:

In 1998, Sekulow's high-flying ways brought him in close contact with Justice Scalia, who was scheduled to give an address at Regent University in Virginia Beach on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.

Sekulow offered Scalia the chance to travel from Washington to the event on a jet then owned by CASE. Was it appropriate to give a free ride to a Supreme Court justice before whom Sekulow and the ACLJ regularly argued? Sekulow says the jet was leased to Regent University, the host of the event, for that trip as well as for other occasions -- a fact he says was made clear to Scalia. Sekulow, however, declined to provide a copy of the lease document.

Asked about the ride, Scalia said through a spokeswoman that "I honestly cannot remember" the episode. Pat Robertson also said he could not recall the details but added that it is "common" for the university to share transportation resources with related organizations like the ACLJ and CASE.

Another Fat Tony conflict of interest -- what a surprise. At least Nino has learned from Scooter Libby's experience.

This is also interesting: Sucknblow's "other son, Logan, has a late-night comedy show that airs on Christian television networks and is sponsored by CASE." For those who care, Logan's dream car is a "Deloreon" and he's a fan of Hanson.

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