By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
Attorney General Candidate Sam McLure said on Friday he would not accept any PAC donations to his campaign and urged other attorney general candidates to do the same.
His urging came after Steve Marshall agreed to be a featured speaker at the Business Council of Alabama’s annual government affairs conference in Point Clear, Alabama, that happened last weekend.
McLure clarified that he wasn’t attacking Marshall but rather had a problem with BCA’s President and CEO Bill Canary who he called an “800-pound swamp monster” and a “socialist invader” from New York. Canary was a close friend of former Speaker of House Mike Hubbard who was found guilty of multiple ethics violations last year.
He said he tried to reach out to Marshall personally but said Marshall did not respond.
“If we could have worked this out privately we wouldn’t be here today,” McLure said.
In addition to speaking at the BCA’s conference, Marshall’s campaign also took money from a PAC associated with Drummond Coal.
A Birmingham law firm representing Drummond was implicated in bribing former State Representative Oliver Robinson who pled guilty to ethics violations earlier this year. Federal authorities say that the law firm bribed Robinson into being against the expansion of an EPA Superfund site in Birmingham.
“Let’s stop this race to the bottom,” McLure said.
McLure signed a pledge during a press conference on Friday saying his campaign will not accept any PAC money. Below his signature are other spots for Republican candidates running for attorney general to sign.
He also asked Marshall to return all the money received by PACs associated with recent political scandals such as the Oliver Robinson case and Mike Hubbard trial.
In April, McLure filed an ethics complaint against appointed U.S. Senator Luther Strange for seeking the Senate seat while pursuing an investigation against Governor Robert Bentley. In February, Bentley appointed Strange to the seat during Strange’s investigation of an ethics complaint against Bentley.
Marshall became Alabama’s attorney general earlier this year when former Governor Robert Bentley appointed Strange to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions.
McLure is challenging Marshall for the Attorney General seat in 2018. They both are running as Republicans. Other Republican challengers include former Deputy Attorney General Alice Martin and former Trump campaign lawyer Chess Bedsole.