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"Conservative" Mega-donor Foster Friess Helps Fund Ali Akbar, Whose Sketchy Background Includes Trolling for Gay Sex Online, Plus Multiple Criminal Convictions

Posted on the 16 July 2015 by Rogershuler @RogerShuler

Ali Akbar's ad at the Grindr gay-sex trolling app


We've presented evidence that members of a right-wing bloggers club might have been involved in, or at least had knowledge of, my unlawful incarceration. Would it be a surprise if members of the group, called the National Bloggers Club (NBC), engaged in such underhanded activity? Given that the club president has a history of engaging in underhanded activity--including some that might be described as downright sleazy--the answer probably is no.
NBC president Ali A. Akbar threatened to sue me for reporting accurately and fairly about a letter Alabama lawyer Jill Simpson wrote to Obama re-election counsel Robert Bauer in 2012. In the letter, Simpson wrote that her investigation turned up evidence that Akbar and Republican electoral guru Karl Rove had engaged in a homosexual relationship. Under the "neutral reportage doctrine," Akbar had no case for defamation against me--and his lawyer Baron Coleman, of Montgomery, Alabama, should have known that.
Threatening baseless lawsuits is pretty underhanded in itself. But that is a mere blip on the radar compared to the other shady stuff in Akbar's background, which includes trolling for gay sex online--plus multiple criminal convictions, including felonies.
Let's start with the online trolling because that's what prompted Simpson to take a closer look at Akbar. She obtained a copy of an ad Akbar placed at Grindr, a geosocial networking application "geared toward gay, bisexual, and bi-curious men." According to Simpson's letter, Akbar's ad stated that he "was looking for bisexual sex with men who were Republican, political, and loved to discuss politics and philosophy and just wanted to hang out and chill with them."
How is this for irony? The NBC reportedly received seed funding from Foster Friess, a wealthy Wyoming businessman. How wealthy is Foster Friess? Reports vary, but assets in his investment-management firm total $15.7 billion, while The Wall Street Journal reported his personal net worth at $530 million. Friess is touted as an "active patron of religious and conservative causes," and he perhaps is best known for backing the 2012 presidential run of the virulently anti-gay and anti-choice Rick Santorum. Friess appears to be setting the table for a 2016 Santorum run at the White House.
How forward-thinking is Foster Friess? Not very. In an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Friess was asked about contraception. "This contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so . . .  inexpensive," Friess said. "Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly."
The National Bloggers Club is not Friess' only foray into the right-wing media. He invested more than $3 million to get Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller Web site off the ground. On his blog, Friess touts a study that shows crime goes down as the sale of guns increases. Santorum is not the only anti-gay candidate to draw Friess' support. The investment guru also has thrown money at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has consistently opposed same-sex marriage. For good measure, NBC blogger Robert Stacy McCain seems to consider "lesbian feminists" to be a major threat to American culture.

One of Ali Akbar's various mugshots

So Foster Friess supports anti-gay candidates and bloggers, and seems to be a "tough on crime" conservative, but he financially supports a bloggers club with a president who has trolled for gay sex at Grindr and has an extensive criminal record? Hard to figure.
How did Ali Akbar rise to a prominent role in the Republican media galaxy, despite his criminal record? That also is hard to figure, given the GOP's stance as the supposed "law and order" party.
According to a report at the progressive Web site Breitbart Unmasked, (BU) Akbar was convicted in 2007 of theft of property and in 2008 of credit-card abuse. Both charges, in Texas, were felonies.
Borrowing from public records, BU describes the theft case as follows:
Five MP3 Players, Twenty CD’s, Three Camcorders, Two DVD Players, One Back Massager (How ghetto is this thief?) One Clock, Four Shirts, Two Belts (WTF?) and a Piece of Luggage, which had the value of over 1500.00 USD but less than 20,000.00 USD. This theft was obtained pursuant to one scheme or a continuing course of criminal conduct which began on or about November 1st 2006, and continued until on or about November 29th 2006. In other words, he was stealing from this person more than once, and over a course of time that lasted almost a full month before it came to an end.

That's quite a crime spree--and the ugliness doesn't end there. BU reports that Akbar also was charged with burglary of a vehicle, but that charge was dropped in a plea bargain that resolved his theft and credit-card cases.
How many other unattractive qualities does Ali Akbar possess? Well, let's consider that he likes to brag about his ties to the Alabama political/legal communities and issue thinly veiled threats based on his access to powerful friends. That's exactly what he did to Jill Simpson, in apparent retaliation for her letter to Robert Bauer. (By the way, how did Akbar develop such contacts in Alabama? Perhaps from Karl Rove, who is known to make his Alabama home base at the Montgomery law firm of Capell Howard?)
In a post dated October 24, 2013 (one day after my arrest), right-wing blogger Stacy McCain referenced the Simpson/Bauer letter and its allegations regarding a homosexual relationship between Ali Akbar and Karl Rove. Akbar piped up in the comments section and stated the following:
There's no alleged affair. It's made up an (sic) irresponsible to print. I'm a human fucking being and Jill Simpson should lawyer up buddy. Tell her not to worry about coming to Texas. I can come to Alabama. I'll dine with the Governor and then spend the afternoon cashing in favors with Alabama lawyers.

Since current Governor Robert Bentley almost certainly would want nothing to do with Ali Akbar, the reference must be to former Governor Bob Riley, who owes his two terms in office largely to the Karl Rove and Jack Abramoff political machines. (By the way, that hints that Akbar is chummy with Riley's son, Rob Riley, who just happened to file the dubious defamation lawsuit that led to my incarceration.)

Foster Friess (center), with Ali Akbar
and Robert Stacy McCain

What kind of favors would Akbar be "cashing in" with Alabama lawyers? What did he do for certain lawyers in order to earn favors? If Akbar had a valid claim against Jill Simpson, why didn't he file it and why would he need favors to move forward with it? Does it mean Akbar had some form of "extra legal" remedies in mind for Simpson?
And who are these lawyers who owe favors to Ali Akbar? Could they be from Capell Howard, Karl Rove's favorite Alabama law firm? Could they work for the Alabama State Bar, a known hot house of partisan right-wingers?
Public records show that Ali Akbar has a history as a thief, a burglar, and a credit-card abuser. His comment regarding Jill Simpson strongly suggests that he's not above abusing the Alabama legal system.
(To be continued)

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