Republican Chairman Disputes "60 Minutes" Story

Reverberations from Sunday night's "60 minutes" interviews about former Governor Don Siegelman are still being felt.   Faxes and e-mails are pouring into the newsroom - commenting on Sunday night's story. One group that had a strong reaction to the information in it is the state Republican party.

In the interview, Alabama Republican attorney Jill  Simpson says there was a five year secret campaign to ruin the state's most powerful Democrat former Governor Don Siegelman. She also says when the Republicans learned Siegelman was going to run for governor again she said Governor Bob Riley's son Rob Riley said they couldn't have that happen. When asked how were they going to prevent it, Simpson said Rob Riley told her - they had to re-indict him. Simpson said four months later Siegelman was indicted.

Rob Riley denies that ever happened and the head of the state Republican party, Mike Hubbard,  also says her statements aren't true and that she's not a Republican operative.  "I talked to a number of Republican activists who have been involved with the party for some time. No one had heard of her and I know that she has never worked for the Republican party in Alabama. Never, certainly, been an activist. Never done anything that we can find. She's never done anything for the party."

Simpson also said she was doing opposition research for the party and was asked by former Bush Deputy Chief of  Staff  Karl Rove to take pictures of  Siegelman cheating on his wife with one of his aides but Simpson says she never saw that.

A spokesman for Governor Riley says this is the 3rd or 4th time Simpson has changed her story and that the Governor had nothing to do with Siegelman's legal problems.

The state Democratic party is calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the case.

By the way, Jill Simpson and former Siegelman attorney Doug Jones are scheduled to be on MSNBC Monday night at 8:45 on the Dan Abrams show.

Reporter: Eileen Jones