A major Republican donor who has donated over a $1 million to the California Republican Party has inserted himself in the primaries on Tuesday.
William Oberndorf supported Jeb Bush for president in 2016 and vowed to never support Donald Trump. He backed Mitt Romney in 2012 but donated to Barack Obama in 2008. He has also supported Senator Diane Feinstein, D-Calif. He has made a $35,000 contribution to the Alabama Federation for Children PAC.
The Alabama Federation for Children PAC has, in turn, spent $39,999 on direct mail buys from Kansas City-based AXIOM Strategies, which most recently managed Luther Strange’s unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate. The Kansas City group also managed Ted Cruz’s 2016 campaign for president.
The Alabama Federation for Children is supporting several candidates including Richard “Bull” Corry, R-Oakman, with an $8,400 contribution. Corry is running for the House of Representatives in district 14 challenging incumbent state Representative Tim Wadsworth, R-Arley.
The Alabama Federation for Children PAC is also supporting Jelani “Shaun” Coleman, D-Selma, with a $3005 contribution. Coleman is running against state Representative Prince Chestnutt, D-Selma, in the Democratic primary on June 5.
The Alabama Federation for Children is chaired by Ryan Cantrell.
Cantrell was a political strategist employed by the Alabama Republican Party when Mike Hubbard was ALGOP Chairman and helped engineer the 2010 elections which swept the Republican Party into power in Alabama. The Alabama Federation for Children favors expanding school choice by diverting more education dollars into granting scholarships for students to attend private schools as well as charter schools.
Tim Wadsworth told the Alabama Political Reporter, “I am opposed to the Alabama Federation of Children PAC. They are an Anti-Public Education group. Under their legislation, there has been no scholarships given out to Winston County students and only 8 scholarships given to Walker County students. Both Boards of Education combined have lost over $1,400,000 because of the Alabama Accountability Act. Alabama Federation for Children does not support public education and has taken $1,400,000 from Winston and Walker County Public Schools because of that Act. I am opposed to the Alabama Accountability Act.”
The group is also spending $4044 in direct mail to attack GOP candidate Tom Fredericks, R-Priceville. Fredericks faces Parker Duncan Moore, R-Decatur, in House District 4. Moore just won the seat in a special election on May 15; but now faces a Republican primary for the next four years.
Fredericks told APR, “Parker has aligned himself with some unscrupulous folks, and if he goes to Montgomery, we should expect he will continue to do so.”
Wadsworth and Fredericks were both heavily involved in the 2016 Trump campaign at a very early stage; while Oberdorf was bitterly disappointed that Jeb Bush did not get the GOP nomination. Alabama played a critical role in giving Trump the momentum that propelled Trump to the nomination and ultimately the presidency; while Jeb Bush floundered under the verbal assaults he received from Trump who called him “No energy Jeb.”
During the primaries, Oberndorf told the New York Times, “If it is Trump versus Clinton I will be voting for Hillary.”
“California Anti Trump and Anti Public Education Money was dumped at last minute against me on May 30, 2018 in House District 14,” Wadsworth said. “I support President Trump’s policies and public education and will continue to fight for President Trump and support full funding of public education.”
Oberndorf is credited with negotiating the truce between Romney and Jeb Bush that resulted in Gov. Romney not running for President in 2016 in the assumption that Gov. Bush would be the presumptive GOP nominee. No one knew then that GOP primary voters were not eager for a third Bush to serve as President or that Trump would enter the GOP field; much less run away with it.
Oberndorf lives in San Francisco.
According to Bloomberg, Oberndorf, also known as Bill, is a Co-Founder and Managing Director at SPO Advisory Corp. He is the Chairman of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Oberndorf is also a Director Emeritus of Plum Creek Timber Co. He is also a Director of Calpine Corp effective Janurary 1, 2011. Before that, Mr. Oberndorf served as the Chairman of Voyager Learning Company and Aggregates USA, LLC and a Director of Taft Broadcasting Company and Wometco Cable Television Corporation.
APR does not know whether Mr. Oberndorf has ever visited Arley, Selma, Decatur, Priceville, Muscle Shoals, Leeds, Heflin, Valley, etc. though he apparently does desire to influence who represents these places in the Alabama House of Representatives.
In addition to the above contributions, Cantrell has distributed the Oberndorf money to support GOP House candidates Debbie Wood $2678 and Andrew Sorrell $7026. Cantrell is also spending Oberndorf’s money to oppose Republican House candidates Ginny Shaver $4006 and Ted Crockett $7702. All of the money is being spent at AXIOM Strategies on direct mail.
FarmPAC endorses congressional candidate Barry Moore
“I’m pleased that FarmPAC has seen fit to endorse me in this election,” Moore said.
Republican congressional candidate Barry Moore thanked the Alabama Farmers Federation political action committee, FarmPAC, for endorsing Moore in next week’s 2nd Congressional District general election race.
“I’ve always been proud of the fact that I grew up on a farm,” Moore said. “Farm life teaches you to respect God’s good earth and everything in it. It taught me the value of hard work, and that not everything, like the weather, will always go the way you want it to no matter what you do or how hard you work. That’s something I think a lot of people these days could do with learning.”
“I’m pleased that FarmPAC has seen fit to endorse me in this election,” Moore said. “I’ll continue to be a strong supporter of our farmers and all the businesses that support and rely on them, just like I’ve always been. District 2 is an agricultural district first and foremost, and we can’t forget that.”
“I look forward to working in the next Congress to support Alabama’s farmers and agribusiness by making it easier for them to access new markets and new technologies,” Moore added. “We also need to make sure they aren’t weighed down by excessive regulations and have the backing they need from Washington to compete globally. I have every confidence that, given a chance, Alabama’s farmers can compete with anyone, anywhere. My job in Congress will be to make sure they have that chance.”
A full list of FarmPAC’s endorsements is available here. FarmPAC previously endorsed Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman in the Republican primary, but he was bested by Moore in a Republican primary runoff.
Moore faces Democratic nominee Phyllis Harvey-Hall for the open seat.
Moore is a veteran, small businessman, husband, and father of four from Enterprise. Moore and his wife, Heather, own a waste management business in Enterprise. Moore was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.
Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Alabama, is retiring from Congress after five terms.
Jones to attend Auburn student forum, Tuberville hasn’t yet responded to invitation
Jones has agreed to attend the forum, but it was unclear whether Tuberville planned to attend.
The College Democrats at Auburn University and the College Republicans at Auburn University have asked U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-Alabama, and his Republican opponent, Tommy Tuberville, to attend a student forum on Wednesday.
“We are excited to invite the candidates running for our U.S. Senate seat and provide this opportunity for any Auburn student to hear directly from them, and we hope it will inform our student bodies’ decisions with the November 3rd election only days away,” said Carsten Grove, president of the College Democrats at Auburn University, in a statement.
Jones has agreed to attend the forum, Auburn University College Democrats confirmed for APR on Sunday, but it was unclear whether Tuberville planned to attend. The student organization was still awaiting a response from Tuberville’s campaign.
Jones has for months requested Tuberville join him in a debate, but Tuberville has declined.
“AUCR takes great pleasure in coming together with AUCD to co-host the Alabama Senate candidates in this forum. We are looking forward to a very informative and constructive event,” said Lydia Maxwell, president of the College Republicans at Auburn University.
Dr. Ryan Williamson, assistant professor of political science, is to emcee the forum, which will be open to all Auburn University students in the Mell Classroom Building at 6 p.m., according to a press release from the College Democrats at Auburn University.
Students will be permitted 30 seconds to ask a question of either candidate, and each candidate will have two minutes to answer, according to the release.
Capacity at the forum will be limited and precautions taken due to COVID-19. Any student with an Auburn ID is welcome and attendance will be first come, first served.
Trump Truck and boat parades this weekend
As Election Day draws near, Alabama Republicans are excited about promoting the re-election of Donald J. Trump as President and the election of Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate. This weekend two pro-President Trump events are happening in the state. There will be a truck parade from Ashland to Phenix City on Saturday sponsored by the Clay County Republican Party, while there will also be a boat parade on Wilson Lake in the Shoals sponsored by the Colbert County Republican Party on Sunday.
The pickup trucks will assemble at the Ashland Industrial Park in Clay County, 8240 Hwy 9, Ashland. There is a pre-departure rally at 10:00 a.m. central standard time. The trucks will depart at 11:00 a.m. and then proceed on a parade route that will take them into the bitterly contested swing state of Georgia. The Trump Pickup Parade will wind through east Alabama and West Georgia traveling through LaGrange and Columbus before concluding near the Alabama/Georgia line in Phenix City, 332 Woodland Drive, Phenix City at approximately 2:00 p.m. central time. Speakers will begin at 3:00. Trump flags will be on sale at the event.
The Phenix Motorsports Park will be hosting what sponsor hope could possibly the world’s largest Pickup Tuck parade in U.S. history that is routing over 50 mile through Georgia in effort to “pickup” President Trump’s numbers in GA.
A number dignitaries have been invited to address the Phenix City rally, including Coach Tuberville. Former State Sen. Shadrack McGill, Trump Victory Finance Committee member former State Rep. Perry O. Hooper Jr., and Paul Wellborn, the President and CEO of the largest Family owned Kitchen Cabinet manufacture in the USA are among the featured speakers who have committed to speak at the event.
Entertainment will be provided by: Charity Bowden, an up and coming country music singer who was the runner up on “The Voice”. Charity will sing ‘I am Proud to be an American’ as well as songs from her Voice performances. The McGill Girls will also perform. The three beautiful and talented sisters will be singing patriotic songs in three part harmony. Geoff Carlisle, a professional DJ will be keeping the crowd pumped with music and entertainment.
Following the speakers and the entertainment there will Trump truck-vs- Joe Bidden truck races down the drag strip for the finale.
The Northwest Alabama boat parade will be on Sunday. The boats will gather at 2:00 p.m. near Turtle Point and then the flotilla will parade around the open waters of Wilson Lake til 3_00 p.m.. There will be a contest for best decorated Trump boats.
Trump supporters have held a number of large boat parades across the state to show their support for the re-election of Pres. Trump.
Boat parade sponsors say that this parade will be: pro-American, pro-law enforcement, pro-military.
Opinion | Doug Jones’s pathway to victory: Substance over lies
Jones said his work in the Senate should prove to the people of the state that party matters less than productivity.
Alabama Sen. Doug Jones believes voters will ultimately see through Tommy Tuberville’s lazy campaign and lies, and that enough of them will be moved by his work over the last two years to send him back to D.C.
Jones’ comments came during a lengthy interview on the Alabama Politics This Week podcast. He also discussed his plans to address some of Alabama’s most pressing issues and also praised Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican.
But it was Jones’ comments about Alabama voters — and whether too many of them are incapable of moving away from the Republican Party — that were most interesting. Jones still believes there are open-minded voters in the state, and that there isn’t enough attention being paid to polls showing a growing dissatisfaction in Alabama with President Donald Trump.
“There are a number of things that Donald Trump has done that people (in Alabama) don’t agree with,” Jones said. “There are a number of things that he’s done that’s hurt Alabama and that they’re not OK with. That’s where I come in.”
Jones said his work in the Senate, where he’s sponsored the most bipartisan legislation over the last two years, should prove to the people of the state that party matters less than productivity.
“I tell everyone, you owe it to yourself to look at every candidate and every issue,” Jones said. “I do that. I’ve been a Democrat all my life but I don’t think that I have ever pulled a straight lever. Because I look at every issue. I will tell you that there have been times that I didn’t vote for people who are Democrats for whatever reason — I just couldn’t do it. I think we owe it to ourselves to do that.”
Jones had the perfect example to drive the point home.
“Y’all all know our state auditor, Jim Zeigler? Jim wasn’t always a Republican. Jim’s first runs for office were as a Democrat.
“I rest my case.”
You can listen to the full interview at the Alabama Politics This Week website, or you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.