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"Alabama bingo trial: Focus put on vote vs. bribe"

The Birmingham News reports: The vote-buying trial that could be nearing an end in federal court here has cast a spotlight on the line between supporting state lawmakers with campaign contributions and bribing them, say lawmakers outside the trial and others.

They said the trial has raised the question of whether some lawmakers crossed the line into bribery by promising to vote for a gambling bill in return for contributions, and whether others crossed the line by offering contributions in return for a vote for the bill.

Two state senators, two former state senators, VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor, two lobbyists and two other people have been on trial since June, accused of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with gambling legislation debated in the Legislature last year.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys rested their cases last week. Closing arguments are expected Wednesday.

Observers say the trial has provided yet more proof that politicians actively seek campaign contributions to buy the TV ads and other tools that build name recognition and improve election chances. -- Read the whole story --> Alabama bingo trial: Focus put on vote vs. bribe | al.com

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