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Machine Gun Kelly and Senator Shelby


Machine Gun Kelly - Alcatraz History

Can you get away with a crime involving ransom? Senator Richard Shelby from Alabama can. 

Ransom is the criminal act of holding someone or something to extort money. Machine Gun Kelly, one of the most notorious criminally from the Prohibition era, held the record for the largest ransom amount, $200,000 paid for 76 years. In today’s dollar amount, the total would be $3.3 million. Criminal Kelly’s record was broken this year by Senator Shelby who has been demanding a $40 billion defense contract for the release of Obama nominees. Senator Shelby has been holding 70 qualified nominees with a "blanket hold." According to Dan Pfeiffer, White House Communications Director,  every minute spent needlessly blocking noncontroversial nominees, many of whom go on to be confirmed by 70 or more votes or by voice vote (nine of the President’s nominees so far), is a minute not spent on issues that matter to American families. 
Kelly was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment for his crime. He spent 17 years in Alcatraz and another 4 years in Leavenworth where he died. Alabama Senator Shelby’s ransom amount is 10,000 times more than what Kelly received.
Holding noncontroversial nominations should not be ignored as cheap politics, but as criminal act of blackmailing the entire nation for ransom. Republican or Democrat, anyone involved in this practice must be exposed without delay.  Senator Shelby is not a hero – his behavior is no better than common criminals.

Senator Shelby - Official Photo


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