Corporate and special interests are fueling the campaign of Republican attorney general nominee Steve Marshall while mostly small individual donors are driving his Democrat challenger, Joseph Siegelman.
Over half of Marshall’s contributions in August came from lobbyist-controlled PACs and businesses with interests before the state. FCPA reports for August show just the opposite for Siegelman, whose campaign for the month was mainly funded by individuals.
One of Siegelman’s stand-out donors is of particular interest because he is Marshall’s former law partner. For over a decade, Jeff McLaughlin and Marshall were law partners; he also was Marshall’s political mentor.
McLaughlin has made only one campaign contribution for the general election cycle, and that is to Siegelman. During the primary, he supported Chris Christie.
McLaughlin, a Democrat, served three terms in the Alabama House of Representatives until his defeat in 2010, when Republicans were swept into power. Dubbed as “the last honest politician in Alabama,” McLaughlin has worked to end the corrupt political system that plagues Alabama. APR called McLaughlin’s office to ask why he was not supporting his friend and former partner, but as of deadline, APR‘s calls were not returned. Several individuals who would only speak on background say party politics is just one of the reasons McLaughlin isn’t backing Marshall.
Marshall’s campaign showed a beginning balance for August of $66,543.46. He lists total cash contributions for the month at $105,725.00, with $95.00 in itemized in-kind contributions.
Expenditures were $52,860.87, leaving Marshall with $119,417.39 in cash on hand.
Marshall received 52 individual contributions, primarily from special interests with business before the state.
Siegelman reported a $147,990.66 beginning balance with $70,699.00 in cash and $23,750.00 in itemized in-kind contributions for the month. He lists itemized expenses at $56,376.81 with an ending balance of $162,121.68.
Siegelman’s 211 contributions were mostly from individuals.
Marshall not only has the advantage of running under the ALGOP banner – he also benefits from having incumbent status by having been appointed to his position by disgraced former Gov. Robert Bentley.
The Alabama Ethics Commission has yet to determine the legality of Marshall receiving $735,000 in questionable campaign contributions from the Republican Attorneys General Association.