Tuesday, former Alabama Attorney General Troy King (R) said that his opponent, sitting Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) has taken illegal PAC to PAC transfers totaling $700,000. King was addressing the influential Alabama Republican Assembly at their meeting at Bill’s Family Dining in Northport.
King said that he has filed a complaint with the Alabama Ethics Commission charging that Marshall has accepted $400,000 in campaign contributions from the Republican Attorney General’s Association (RAGA) which King claims is an illegal PAC to PAC transfer. King said that the first thing the Republicans did was to outlaw PAC to PAC transfers. “The Attorney General says that it does not apply to out of state PACs. It does. Luther Strange did the same thing in 2014; but when called on it he returned the money, Marshall doubled down and took another $300,000.”
“I am glad to be here with the real Republicans,” King told the group. “When I left this office in 2011 I thought I would never be back in politics.”
“I did not have to read the Birmingham News,” King said. “I did not have to read what they say about me. Donald Trump called out fake news. Alabama is full of fake reporting. They are not even real reporters what they write as news is really opinion.”
“I watched what happened in Montgomery,” King added. “The people we sent to Montgomery to clean up the mess, became part of the mess.” Then there was Bentley. What an embarrassment. When I was growing up in Elba, watching television, my dad used to point to the Governor on TV and say if you work hard you can be that man. How long has it been since parents in Alabama held the Governor of Alabama out as an example for your children? Steve Marshall, “Sent him home to Tuscaloosa without any real consequences for what he did.”
“We have failed to end the corruption,” King continued. “We watched as legislator after legislator has been removed. There are rules. We call them laws. They need to be enforced. We need to take this state back from corruption. We need to take the state back from crime. When I was attorney general, crime was at a 30-year low. Now we have a 20-year high.”
King criticized Marshall for making a secret agreement with defense attorneys of a man the state had attempted to execute by lethal injection, but efforts to get a needle into his blood veins failed. Referring to a new state law allowing execution by gas, King said, “I don’t know if we can find his veins, but I bet we can find his nose.”
“Politicians should not go to Montgomery and be beholden to somebody who gave them $500,000,” King said referring to the Business Council of Alabama (BCA). “Alabama may not be for sale, but Steve Marshall has been bought and sold.”
“I am a lifelong Republican,” King said. “He was appointed by Don Siegelman. He was a Democrat. He had an Obama bumper sticker. I don’t know any Obama bumper sticker wearing Democrat in 2008 who is Trump Republican in 2018. Barack Obama in Illinois wrote the law that you can kill a baby who survives an abortion. I wrote the law that you can prosecute a doctor for murder who does that. Life begins at conception. I am proud of my Pro-Life record.”
“If we don’t want a Don Siegelman appointee versus Don Siegelman’s son the thing to do is to elect a Republican and vote for me on election day,” King said.
Don Wallace, a GOP candidate for state school board in the general election, asked how do we convince Doug Jones to support Brett Kavanaugh for U.S. Supreme Court.
King said that we have prayed for the day that there could be a conservative majority on the Supreme Court who can overturn Roe versus Wade. I used to work for Governors and if we got five handwritten letters, not pre-printed postcards but actual handwritten letters we said that there was strong support for a position. If ever there was a day to write a letter to Doug Jones and tell him there are some issues in Alabama that are a red line and you don’t cross them it is now.
Ann Eubank, the President of the Alabama Legislative Watchdogs, asked King if he would leave Matt Hart and the Special Prosecutions unit in place.
King said that he couldn’t make personnel decisions before he gets in the office. “I have a problem with something called the special prosecutions unit going after corrupt politicians; because I do not think that prosecution is more special than the prosecution of a child rapist.”
“It is wrong to keep a special grand jury open for years and years,” King said. “I will not commit to you that I will do that.” My daddy told me that if you did something the wrong way it is still wrong even if you do it the wrong way. By the time they get to trial they have been robbed of all their money and their reputation.
On corrupt politicians, King said, “We will pursue them relentlessly, but we will do it the right way.”
King was critical of Jim Sumner, who used to be the director of the Alabama Ethics Commission for past criticism of his tenure as AG.
King favors changing the ethics law to, “A simple, straightforward law that is easily understood. The guy that wrote it did not understand it. The law is not clear, so lawyers get hired to created confusion. We need an ethics law that is easy to understand and elect persons who are committed to enforcing it.”
King was appointed as attorney general by then-Governor Bob Riley (R) and then elected to his own term as AG in 2006. He was defeated in the GOP primary by Luther Strange in 2010. King is running against Steve Marshall who was appointed AG by Robert Bentley after Bentley appointed Strange to the U.S. Senate.
The Republican primary runoff is on Tuesday, July 17. Polls will open at 7:00 am and close at 7:00 pm.
The winner of the Republican primary will face Joseph Siegelman (D) on November 5.
The Republican Assembly was founded in California during the 1930s and calls themselves the Conscience of the Republican Party and strives to elect nominees that share their conservative principles. Jennifer Montrose is the President of the Alabama Republican Assembly.
Voting rights activist calls for federal Department of Democracy
LaTosha Brown, a Selma native who co-founded Black Voters Matter, issued a statement saying that it is time to reimagine American democracy.
The co-founder of an organization that is working to mobilize Black voters in Alabama and elsewhere used the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act on Thursday to call for a new federal agency to protect voting rights nationwide.
LaTosha Brown, a Selma native who co-founded Black Voters Matter, issued a statement saying that it is time to reimagine American democracy.
“The Voting Rights Act should be reinstated, but only as a temporary measure. I want and deserve better, as do more than 300 million of my fellow Americans,” Brown said.
The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the law in a 5-4 ruling in 2013, eliminating federal oversight that required jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to get approval before they changed voting rules.
“To ensure that the Voter’s Bill of Rights is enforced, we need a federal agency at the cabinet level, just like the Department of Defense,” Brown said. “A Department of Democracy would actively look at the patchwork of election systems across the 50 states and territories. With federal oversight, our nation can finally fix the lack of state accountability that currently prevails for failure to ensure our democratic right to vote.”
She cited excessively long lines, poll site closings and voter ID laws in the recent primaries in Wisconsin, Georgia, Kentucky and Texas as voter suppression techniques that disproportionately affect Black and other communities of color.
Brown said that the July 17 passing of Rep. John Lewis, who was nearly killed marching for voting rights in Selma in 1965, has amplified calls for the Voting Rights Act to be strengthened. That’s the right direction, she said, but it isn’t enough.
“History happens in cycles, and we are in a particularly intense one. We have been fighting for the soul of democracy, kicking and screaming and marching and protesting its erosion for decades,” Brown said.
Alabama Forestry Association endorses Jerry Carl
The Alabama Forestry Association on Thursday announced its endorsement of Republican 1st Congressional District candidate Jerry Carl.
“Jerry Carl has experience working closely with the forest products industry in his role as County Commissioner and will carry that knowledge to Washington,” said AFA Executive Vice President Chris Isaacson. “Throughout his career, he has been a strong advocate for limited government and free markets and will continue to promote those same values in Congress. We are proud to endorse him.”
Carl is a small businessman who has started more than 10 small businesses in South Alabama, creating hundreds of jobs. He is currently serving on the Mobile County Commission.
“I am thrilled to earn the endorsement of ForestPAC,” Carl said. “Alabama has a thriving network of hard-working men and women in all aspects of the forestry community, and I look forward to being a strong, pro-business voice for them in Congress. As a lifelong businessman and an owner of timberland, I understand firsthand the needs and concerns of the forestry community, and I will be a tireless advocate in Washington for Alabama’s forest industry.”
Carl said that he was inspired to run for the Mobile County Commission when he became frustrated with the local government.
He and his wife, Tina, have been married for 39 years. They have three children and two grandchildren.
Carl faces Democratic nominee James Averhart in the Nov. 3 general election. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, who currently represents the 1st Congressional District, did not run for another term and has endorsed Carl.
Alabama Forestry Association endorses Tuberville
The Alabama Forestry Association announced Wednesday that the group is endorsing Republican Senate nominee Tommy Tuberville in the upcoming general election.
“We are proud to endorse Tommy Tuberville in the United States Senate race,” said AFA Executive Vice President Chris Isaacson. “He is a conservative with an impressive list of accomplishments, and we know that he will continue that record in his role as U.S. Senator. Tommy knows that decisions made in Washington impact families and businesses and will be an effective voice for the people of Alabama.”
“I am honored to have the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association,” Tuberville said. “The AFA is an excellent organization that stands for pro-business policies. Protecting Alabama industry is a key to our state’s success.”
Tuberville recently won the Republican nomination after a primary season that was extended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuberville is a native of Arkansas and a graduate of Southern Arkansas University. He held a number of assistant coaching positions, including defensive coordinator at Texas A&M and the University of Miami where he won a national championship.
Tuberville has been a head coach at Mississippi, Auburn, Texas Tech and Cincinnati. In his nine years at Auburn University, the team appeared in eight consecutive bowl games. His 2004 team won the SEC Championship and the Sugar Bowl.
Tuberville coached that team to a perfect 13 to 0 season.
Tuberville has been married to his wife Suzanne since 1991. They have two sons and live in Auburn.
Tuberville is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in the Nov. 3 general election.
Jones campaign says Tuberville is not taking the pandemic seriously
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones’ re-election campaign released a statement critical of Republican Senate nominee Tommy Tuberville, suggesting that he is not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously enough.
“The Washington Post reported today that the stock market plummeted after jobless claims climbed last week by 1.4 million and the economy shrank by 9.5 percent — the biggest decline in most of our lifetimes,” the Jones campaign wrote. “While economists are worried about the permanent damage COVID-19 will do to the economy, and public health experts are pleading for people to abide by state and local mask orders, Tommy Tuberville ‘snickers’ in response to questions about flouting public health orders while in DC to raise campaign cash. The people of Alabama need to know that Tuberville is not taking the pandemic seriously, raising serious questions about how he would handle this crisis if elected.”
The Washington Post reported that “Tuberville is fundraising and holding in-person meetings in Washington this week, defying orders from D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) that visitors from Alabama and other coronavirus hot spots quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.”
“Tuberville spent at least some of his time at the Trump International Hotel, according to a photo posted to Facebook by Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) showing the two men in the hotel lobby on Tuesday night,” the media reports stated. “Neither man was masked.”
Tuberville told AL.com that he has been called “everything in the world” so the last week is nothing new.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday the former Auburn coach broke Washington D.C. policy requiring “non-essential” visitors from states with high coronavirus case counts to self-quarantine for 14 days when he attended fundraising meetings in the city this week. In addition, a photo of Tuberville with Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Arkansas, at the Trump International Hotel in Washington showed neither man wearing a face covering.
Tuberville addressed the controversy in comments to the Alabama Republican Executive Committee on Saturday. Tuberville said that he followed all the rules and wore his mask everywhere he went. When he was at events he would take his mask off to dine and people would come over to his table to shake his hand and get their picture taken. The press has seized on those moments to attack him, he claimed.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has killed 707,158 people worldwide including 160,833 Americans since it first was discovered in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in late 2019. Absent an effective treatment or a vaccine, social distancing and masks are the only tools that we have to slow the spread of the virus.
The Tuberville-Jones race for U.S. Senate is going to have an important role in whether or not Republicans are able to hold on to their narrow Senate majority.
Tuberville is an Arkansas native. He is best known for his tenure as Auburn University’s head football coach, which includes an undefeated and untied team that won the SEC Championship and the Sugar Bowl. He also coached at Texas Tech, Cincinnati and Mississippi.
The general election is Nov. 3. Tuberville has been endorsed by President Donald Trump.