By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on March 15, 2023
Steve Flowers has been a paid political hustler in Alabama for decades. He is also a former state legislator and longtime Joe Perkins crony. Flowers' personal and political baggage is heavy, nasty, and smelly.
With mounting negative media headlines about Joe Perkins and the hot legal mess he has created for the Southern Company, Alabama Power Company, Florida Power & Light, NextEra Energy, and other public utility companies that are/were his clients, Perkins has unleashed Steve Flowers to attack me on his website.
Matrix/Perkins prepared the "attack article" for Flowers to post on his own website and distribute to friendly media organizations that receive laundered payments from the Southern Company and/or its affiliates. Sources inside Matrix's dwindling sphere of influence leaked a draft of Flowers' article to us, along with its background and intended purpose.
Steve Flowers is also a sycophant of former U.S. Senate Richard Shelby (R-Alabama). In fact, Flowers is the person who inadvertently outed Perkins’ “hunting buddy” relationship with Shelby and Scott Coogler, who is Chief U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Alabama.
My published articles on Richard Shelby have been hard hitting, truthful, and unflattering. Shelby and former president Bill Clinton are the only career government officials I know who went to Washington with a meager net worth, but left public office as multi-millionaires. How did this happen? Neither man will say.
Claiming that lawsuits will not deter me from spreading “lies” about Perkins and his nefarious “dirty tricks” operations on behalf of public utility companies, Steve Flowers has advocated that I be jailed for my news reporting.
Flowers' call for my imprisonment comes straight out of Russian President Vladimir Putin's playbook for handling political and media dissidents.
Here is Internet blogger Steve Flowers’ exact quote:
“Freedom of speech is one of the hallmarks of America’s creed. But that freedom in the hands of a proven liar and brazen, arrogant, non-repentant federal prisoner is not what our forefathers envisioned when they enshrined the First Amendment. This Blogger [Watkins] is a threat to society and deserves further jail time.”
Flowers' characterization of me as a "threat to society" is one I have heard many times during my entire 48 years as a civil rights lawyer in Alabama. I have been threatened with death or serious bodily injury on numerous occasions for because of my civil rights work.
In 1994, I was asked to leave the city of Birmingham by old guard business leaders because I was upsetting their good relationship with blacks in the city.
In 1983, my voluntary departure from the Montgomery city council was characterized by the city's Republican mayor as "one of the greatest blessings since the Yankee troops went home in 1870.”
Steve Flowers Does Not Dispute Any Material Facts in My Published Articles
Steve Flowers does not dispute any of the following material facts, documents, or events cited in my published articles:
1. The Federal Election Commission maintains a public file that contains a written confession by Joe Perkins to breaking federal election laws.
2. In 2017, Joe Perkins prepared written notes in which he outlined his plan to destroy me, including his use of the federal criminal justice process in Alabama to do so.
3. On April 6, 2017, Joe Perkins prepared handwritten notes that outlined and annotated the accounting fraud scheme at the Southern Company.
4. A March 17-18, 2015 email chain between Alabama Power Company’s general counsel and Balch & Bingham attorneys set in motion a scheme to bribe former state Rep. Oliver Robinson with $360,000.
5. Perkins employs felons to work on his contracts with the Southern Company and its affiliates. Felons also work as subcontractors for Joe Perkins in his "dirty tricks"operations.
6. Former Alabama Power Company CEO Mark Crosswhite is cooperating with federal investigators and is seeking full immunity to spill the beans on Perkins, Matrix, and other co-conspirators.
All Prior Efforts to Silence My Media Voice Have Failed
Steve Flowers’ article appears to be a desperate attempt by Joe Perkins and the Southern Company to derail news media and law enforcement investigations that have engulfed the Southern Company and its affiliates. These investigations have also threatened to send Perkins and a host of top Southern Company executives to prison.
Flowers' article is the latest attempt by "rich and powerful" oligarchs in Alabama to silence my media voice.
Interestingly, Joe Perkins forgot to inform Flowers that my son and I are declared "crime victims" who filed a formal racketeering complaint on January 27, 2023, with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice against Perkins, Matrix and others who acted in concert with them to commit racketeering and antitrust crimes. It is a felony offense to threaten known crime victims who have reported racketeering crimes to federal law enforcement authorities.
This is not the first time that the "Good Ol' Boys" network in Alabama has attempted to jail me on phony charges. These attempts actually started in 1975 when I exposed a massive police coverup of the fatal shooting of an innocent, unarmed black man (Bernard Whitehurst) in the back. The Washington Post called this coverup, “Alabama’s Watergate.”
In 2018, my son and I were framed by modern-day COINTELPRO federal prosecutors in Birmingham, Alabama on trumped up fraud charges arising from a handful of financial transactions with my business partners. These prosecutors used Perkins' handwritten notes as a playbook to railroad us. The transactions in question had been previously reviewed by unbiased federal prosecutors in the New Jersey U.S. Attorney's Office two years earlier and were found to be compliant with all federal laws.
Efforts by Perkins and other Alabama power-players to imprison me on any trumped up charges continued through 2022. Flowers has brought these efforts forward into 2023.
My personal background and work towards progressive government in Alabama are posted in the “Biography” section on my website. I proudly declare my innocence and list my “political prisoner” status (2019 to 2022) on my website, Facebook page, and LinkedIn page. Flowers said this declaration makes me a "non-repentant federal prisoner."
Steve Flowers and his kind in Alabama are accustomed to "breaking" black men/women under their sphere of control. Obviously, this "breaking" did NOT occur in my case.
On March 7, 2023, Joe Perkins posted this cryptic message on his Facebook page.
While Joe Perkins pontificates on whether death is a "great beginning" or "a (sic) ending," let me say this clearly and loudly: My manhood is NOT "for sale," and neither is my news media voice.