By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, the Alabama Forestry Association urged their membership to vote for U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala.
“The headline in the Montgomery Advertiser on October 6, 2014 read ‘U.S. Supreme Court rejects Alabama school-funding case.’ We can (and should) thank Luther Strange for this victory,” the group wrote in a release on their website.
“There have been several important landmark dates in the history of the Alabama Forestry Association; the election that defeated Bob Riley’s $1 billion tax hike (Amendment One) and the transfer of power in the Statehouse in 2010 come quickly to mind,” the AFA wrote “However, the final disposition of the Lynch v. State of Alabama lawsuit has to be the most important for Alabama’s landowners.”
“The lawsuit, first filed in 2008, was brought by plaintiff’s challenging the constitutionality of Alabama’s ad valorem tax system,” the AFA continued. “Specifically, they sought to do away with the differential assessment for different types of land uses and to terminate the current use valuation for timberland owners. Had they been successful, Alabama’s timberland owners would have been required to pay property taxes at a rate at least ten times greater than the current rate of taxation. Upon his election in 2010, AFA staff met with Attorney General Strange and his legal team to discuss the Lynch suit. He quickly grasped the importance of the lawsuit and pledged to devote the resources needed to effectively manage the litigation. In addition, he agreed to allow AFA to assist the state with further legal expertise, conducting studies and preparation of expert witnesses. Brought in federal court, the District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham) ruled in favor of the State and then later the Federal District Court of Appeals in Atlanta did the same. Finally, after six long years and hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal expense, the United States Supreme Court gave notice that it would not take up the case and the case was over.”
“The State’s defense was well managed and the lawyers that General Strange had on his staff were well prepared and very talented,” AFA wrote. “This outcome could easily have gone the other direction if the State of Alabama’s Attorney General’s office had been occupied by someone driven by political ambition. Thankfully, that was not the case in this instance. Luther Strange knew the law, knew what to do and did so without any consideration of the political consequences.”
“Luther Strange’s management of the Lynch lawsuit is just one of the reasons that the Alabama Forestry Association has endorsed him to be elected to the United States Senate,” AFA wrote. “He has helped Alabama’s landowners and deserves our support. The election is next Tuesday, September 26th. AFA highly recommends that you turn out and vote for Luther Strange.”
The Alabama Forestry Association, the Alabama Farmer’s Federation, the Alabama Grocer’s Association, the Alabama Realtor’s Association and the Business Council of Alabama are all urging their many supporters to vote for Strange.
Strange’s campaign has been bolstered in recent days by an endorsement from U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and the announcement that President Donald Trump is coming to Huntsville on Saturday to campaign for Strange.
Strange will face former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
The most recent poll, done by Emerson, shows Strange still trailing Moore 50 to 42 percent with 8 percent undecided.
The winner of the Republican primary runoff will face former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones on Dec. 12, 2017.