By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, Roy Moore announced that he would not be participating in the scheduled Alabama Policy Institute Senate debate at Samford University in Homewood, Alabama.
Former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Moore said in a statement, “I have declined to participate in the Alabama Policy Institute (API) & Samford University US Senate Debate scheduled September 21st, because it was not disclosed to me or my campaign at the time the invitation was accepted, that the President of API, Caleb Crosby, also serves as the Treasurer for the Senate Leadership Fund.”
Moore stated, “The Senate Leadership Fund is responsible for millions of dollars’ worth of malicious and false ads designed to stain my character and reputation. I have asked my opponent repeatedly to denounce these ads against me, my wife and my family as he knows that the content contained therein is completely false. However, Luther Strange has not done so. In fact, he has warmly embraced McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund and Caleb Crosby as his key allies. The fact that this debate was being hosted by the Treasurer of a group so partial to my opponent’s personal interests is yet another Washington trick – the same kind of tricks despised by the people of Alabama.”
Moore continued, “Over the course of the primary election, Luther Strange failed to show up to 8 different forums where I and the other candidates put our positions and candidacy on the line, which is a fact well known to the Alabama press corps who attended these forums. I find it hypocritical that Luther Strange is now suggesting that I am the one who is ducking debates. We shall see who is ducking debates.”
Moore went on to challenge Sen. Luther Strange,R-Ala.,: “I propose a public debate, mano a mano, no tricks, no moderators, no questions from the press. Just Luther Strange and me on the stage presenting our issues and the opponents’ responses thereto. All statewide press and TV present. A timekeeper will be selected by mutual agreement. We will get to the truth about Luther Strange’s appointment deal with Governor Bentley while he was under investigation by the Attorney General’s office, why Luther Strange sided with Mitch McConnell to support the very Senate gamesmanship that has sunk President Trump’s agenda, the basis for the false accusations against me, and why Luther Strange has taken millions in Washington special interest money for his campaign. We will do this Lincoln-Douglas style and have a real debate. I ask Luther Strange’s Campaign Chairman contact my Campaign Chairman, Bill Armistead, to accept my offer.”
The Senate Leadership Fund, which Crosby serves, is managed by Karl Rove and has been directed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to spend millions on an unprecedented scorched earth policy of negative ads against Moore, the more conservative candidate. The SLF engaged in a similar multi-million dollar attack campaign against Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, in the Republican primary.
Caleb Crosby became president of the Alabama Policy Institute in 2014. He served as API’s vice president and chief financial officer. Prior to joining the think tank, Crosby worked for the 2004 re-election campaign of former President George W. Bush. He served in Bush’s administration at the Environmental Protection Agency and later at the White House, where he traveled with Bush as a financial advisor. Crosby also worked at the United States Department of the Treasury and as CFO of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Caleb Crosby said in a statement on API’s website, “It is an honor to lead the Alabama Policy Institute in its ongoing pursuit to be the premier resource for conservative policy ideas in the state. I am grateful for the tireless efforts to grow this organization into what it is today. We will strive to build upon the excellent foundation laid over the past 25 years, and will remain true to the principles on which API was founded: free markets, limited government, and strong families.”
API, a 501(c)(3) “non-partisans” non-profit, will be holding their annual fund raising dinner on November 9. This year’s special guest will be CNN’s Senior Economics Analyst Stephen Moore.
The Republican primary runoff will be held on September 26. The eventual winner will face Clinton-era U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in the special general election on Dec. 12, 2017.