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Troy King accuses Marshall of taking $700,000 in illegal, out-of-state campaign contributions

Attorney General Steve Marshall speaks on a proposed rewrite of the state ethics laws. (Chip Brownlee/APR)

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.”

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“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.”

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“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.

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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.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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