By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Former Governor’s Political Action Committee asked candidates to declare “in-kind” contributions they never requested or received.
According to the letters exchanged between then Senate candidate Clyde Chambliss and Jeremiah Mosley, Treasurer of former Gov. Bob Riley’s Alabama 2014 PAC, the PAC gave Chambliss over $40,000 in in-kind contributions, which the candidate says he never authorized.
Not only did Chambliss say the expenditures were not authorized, but the content of the mailers sent on his behalf violated his campaign promises.
In his letter dated July 30, 2014, Chambliss wrote, “These mail pieces were attacks on my opponent which arrived in the mail addressed to voters in my district at the same time that I was running campaign advertising and making public statements and speeches in which I pledged to run a clean and positive campaign. As a result of the mail pieces sent out by Alabama 2014 PAC, many voters in my district believe that I lied to them. I have had many of these voters contact me and advise me that they planned to vote for me but did not vote because of the negative mailers.”
According to a letter dated July 11, 2014, Riley’s PAC said it had provided Chambliss with $8,500.00 for survey and $35,916.76 for mailers. “These amounts need to be reported to the Secretary of State in your next financial report,” wrote Mosley.
But, according to Chambliss’ letter to Mosley, he had asked that Riley’s PAC stop campaigning on his behalf: “When I learned of the first mail piece, I called and asked that additional efforts be stopped. It is my understanding that there were a total of six mailers planned as well as radio ads. The radio ads and the last two mailers we stopped.”
Chambliss was not the only candidate who received a letter from Riley’s PAC claim to have given in-kind contributions. On one occasion, a House member, who wishes to remain unnamed because of fear of retribution, said he received a similar letter even though he never received any in-kind contributions from the Riley PAC.
As for Chambliss, who won the District SD30 seat, he consulted the General Counsel for the Alabama Secretary of State, and then refused to honor Riley’s demands.
However, the Secretary of State’s records show that many lawmakers did amend their FPCA statements to reflect in-kind contributions from the Riley PAC.