By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead held a press conference to announce that he is filing a complaint to the Federal Elections Commission alleging that Judge Robert Vance Jr., the Democratic Party Candidate for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, failed to file reports to the FEC after making a $2,000 donation to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008 as required by federal law.
Chairman Armistead said, “Judge Robert Vance’s affiliation with President Barack Obama has already been well established. Vance personally donated $1,000 to the Barack Obama for President Campaign in 2008. So did his wife, Joyce White Vance,” stated Armistead. “Clearly, both Judge Vance and his wife support Barack Obama, the most liberal President to have ever led this country. And just as clearly, Barack Obama believes that the Vance’s share his liberal philosophy, as Joyce Vance was one of Obama’s first nominees to the position of U.S. Attorney.” Joyce Vance is the U.S. Attorney for North Alabama.
In a written statement Chairman Armistead said, “”But Judge Vance took it even further by donating an additional $2,000 to Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign from his own campaign account. But after making that donation, he failed to follow FEC laws by not filing with the FEC as a federal political committee and has subsequently failed to file any of the quarterly filings also required.”
Alabama Republican Party Executive Director Timothy James “T.J.” Maloney explained to ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that federal elections are regulated by federal law and Alabama elections are regulated by Alabama law. Federal Law for example is severely restrictive on corporate donations, while Alabama Law allows state campaign committees to take virtually unlimited corporate contributions. Once Vance donated over $1,000 to the Obama Victory Fun on June 18, 2008 from his Robert S. Vance, Jr. Campaign for Judge Committee, his committee automatically became a federal political committee, requiring him to register under the Federal Election Campaign Act within 10 days and making his campaign subject to federal campaign law including periodic filing deadlines. Things he did not do.
Chairman Armistead said that either Judge Vance was ignorant of the law or he ignored the law. Armistead said that Vance and his wife’s history of making campaign contributions to Barack Obama showed he did not share the values of the majority of the people of Alabama. Chairman Armistead said, “These violations are serious and call into question Judge Vance’s knowledge of the law and attention to adherence to the rules we are all bound to follow. They also draw attention to Judge Vance’s close alliance with Barack Obama and his far left liberal political philosophy. When someone donates thousands of dollars to a candidate, they are clearly showing their support and sympathy with their beliefs. Alabama soundly rejected Barack Obama in 2008 and we will do so again this Tuesday, November 6th. I encourage voters in Alabama to realize that Bob Vance’s support for and alliance with Barack Obama makes it imperative to also reject Vance’s bid for Chief Justice, lest Obama find a foothold in our state through him.” Armistead said he was not coordinating his action with the Moore campaign.
‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ asked Chairman Armistead that since former Chief Justice (and current Republican candidate for Chief Justice) Roy Moore (R) was previously removed from the court the last time that he was Chief Justice for his own failure to follow a federal court order did that not also show either an ignorance of or a disregard of the law. Armistead said that Moore will have to answer that himself.
Director Maloney told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that the Judge Vance’s potential punishment for the charge would like by a ~$1000 fine by the FEC.
Since the election is just Tuesday the FEC will not have time to address the charges before the election.