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King files ethics complaint against AG Marshall

Josh Moon

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Troy King has filed an ethics complaint against Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, alleging the Marshall campaign has accepted illegal campaign donations.

The complaint, filed on Monday by King, who is challenging Marshall in a runoff for the AG’s office, alleges that Marshall accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the Republican Attorney Generals’ Association (RAGA) that violate Alabama’s ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers.

There is no ban nationally on the PAC-to-PAC transfers, which are used to obscure the source of campaign contributions. However, Alabama law prohibits the transfers, and King notes in his complaint that former Alabama AG Luther Strange returned thousands of dollars in donations when he discovered that RAGA had made similar donations to his campaign in 2014.

With a week to go before the runoff, RAGA has donated more than $400,000 to Marshall.

“As Attorney General, Steve Marshall should be upholding the law, not breaking it,” King said in a statement released by his campaign. “Campaign finance laws should apply to him, just like they apply to everyone else.”

King called on the Alabama Ethics Commission to begin an immediate investigation and issue ruling prior to next Tuesday’s runoff.

Marshall’s campaign issued a statement on Monday that downplayed King’s allegations, saying it was certain that RAGA followed the laws.

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However, Alabama Ethics Commission executive director Tom Albritton previously told al.com that he has informed other campaigns that such transfers were not legal under Alabama laws.

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Also, in the complaint, King points out that Marshall’s campaign dissolution designee, Ashley Newman, is the same person who wrote the letter that accompanied Strange’s returned money to RAGA in 2014. So, at least one person on Marshall’s staff was aware that accepting RAGA money could be problematic under Alabama law.

 

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