Don Siegelman Heads to Prison; Continues Fighting for Pardon


By Jessica Gertler

Former Governor Don Siegelman is traveling with his family to Louisiana, as he heads back to federal prison, but he and his supporters are still hoping President Obama will pardon him.

Since 2007 when Siegelman was sentenced here at the Federal Courthouse, he's been fighting nationwide for his freedom. He and his daughter Dana were in Charlotte last week trying to get President Obama's attention.

Siegelman and his family are heading to Oakdale, Louisiana. That's where Siegelman will serve more than six years in prison.

"I never thought I would face this day that is coming, September 11, as being a D-Day for me to go back to prison," he says.

But even behind bars, Siegelman refuses to give up the fight for freedom, and his family and supporters are by his side.

"What we're trying to do is educate people and raise public awareness," says Siegelman's daughter Dana Siegelman.

She says her dad was wrongfully convicted in 2007 for bribery and other charges, and since his re-sentencing last month, she's been campaigning for her father's freedom nationwide including the Democratic National Convention.

In an interview with Current TV, she says times got tense at the DNC.

"I had no idea Karl Rove would dare step inside this building, and when I found out this morning that he was here," she says. "I sort of felt, you know like you do, I need to meet this person and let him know what he's done to my family."

Dana Siegelman believes her father's case was orchestrated by Republicans including party strategist Karl Rove.

"I said, 'Sir, I'm Don Siegelman's daughter. It's nice to meet you.' He cut me off right away, and started shaking his finger in my face and said, 'Tell your Dad not use my name to make money!,' which dad isn't," she says.

She didn't have a chance to ask Rove her question.

"I think he can do something, because he knows the people behind my dad's case. He pulled a lot of strings. He vetted the judge that sat and presided over my father's case," she says.

We caught up with Siegelman on his way to Louisiana and ask him what he's worried the most about.

"Of course I want to get out of prison, and it's important to me to get back to my family. The facts are that if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. Any governor, any mayor, member of the legislature, member of congress, president or ambassador can also be targeted," he says.

Siegelman has been ordered to report to prison by 2 p.m. Tuesday. The only thing person that can change that is President Obama, and there's been no indication he will.

Dana Siegelman is asking for people to support her father by signing an on-line petition. Close to 20,000 people have signed it.

The petition: