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Bonner brings more notoriety, trouble to PSC race

Jim Bonner has gone national, and his troubles just keep growing.

On the same day that the Associated Press and Buzzfeed shared with the nation the story of the Alabama GOP candidate with offensive social media posts but a fortunate last name, a new challenge was filed with the ALGOP seeking to have Bonner decertified over new legal and ethical issues.

APR first reported on Bonner two weeks ago, when new polling showed he was, surprisingly, leading in the GOP primary for an Alabama Public Service Commission spot currently held by Jeremy Oden. That lead, according to pollsters, was due to voters in the state confusing Bonner with former Alabama Congressman Jo Bonner.

And there should be no confusion.

Bonner is a nightmare for an ALGOP recovering from a national beating over the Roy Moore incident. Bonner’s social media is filled with offensive posts, including misogynistic and racist Facebook posts, and his legal and financial histories are even worse.

Those histories were the basis of a new challenge received by the ALGOP Executive Committee on Wednesday.

According to the document presented by a committee member, Bonner falsified his statements of economic interest when he ran for office in 2015 and 2018. On each, Bonner claimed either no or little debt, despite owing nearly $100,000. Included in that debt was more than $23,000 to the IRS for back taxes and more than $44,000 owed to his ex-wife for court-ordered alimony.

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Accurate debt records on statements of economic interest are important because they often indicate if a potential public servant might be susceptible to bribery or other corruption.

In addition to those legal issues, Bonner also has a problem with ethics. During the time in which he filed bankruptcy and was failing to pay his taxes or his ex-wife, Bonner was dumping thousands of dollars into several failed bids for public office.

In total, he put nearly $20,000 of his own money into campaigns for state senate, the state school board and now the PSC.

In 2016, when running for state school board, Bonner dumped more than $6,000 into his campaign. That same year, the federal bankruptcy court dismissed his bankruptcy filing because he failed to make the agreed-upon payments — an action that is extremely rare in bankruptcy filings.

The filing with the ALGOP also indicates that Bonner made numerous mistakes in filing his campaign finance reports and that his actions have been reported to the Secretary of State’s office.

The ALGOP executive committee, which has already censured Bonner, could vote to decertify him as a candidate.


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Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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