Republican incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey’s campaign criticized her Democratic challenger, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, twice on Thursday for accepting contributions from PACs backed by liberal donor George Soros, but Ivey has accepted $100,000 from the same set of PACs over the course of her campaign for governor.
Yellowhammer News, a Birmingham-based conservative media outlet, reported early Thursday morning that Soros gave $200,000 to a group of Tuscaloosa PACs chaired by Mike Echols, a longtime donor in Tuscaloosa and state politics.
Those contributions were reported Wednesday evening in mandatory financial disclosures with the Secretary of State’s Office.
That set of chain PACs — Cash PAC, CMG PAC II, ET PAC, Leadership PAC, Pride PAC II and T-Town PAC II — have contributed more than $600,000 to Maddox’s campaign through the primary and general election season.
Ivey’s campaign publicized Yellowhammer’s story quickly after its release this morning and criticized Maddox for accepting donations from the PACs.
“George Soros is infamous for funding extreme organizations like Moveon.org, using his fortune to support gun control groups, describing capitalism as more dangerous than communism, and touting his influence over governments,” Ivey’s campaign said in a statement. “Which begs the question: is Walt Maddox working for the people of Alabama or the radical out of state liberals bankrolling his campaign?”
A request for comment about Ivey accepting donations from the PACs has not yet been returned.
The same set of chain PACs have long been involved in Alabama political contributions on both sides of the aisle.
The PACs have donated not only to Democrats but Republican candidates like former Gov. Robert Bentley during his campaigns, former Republican Alabama Attorney General Troy King during his primary run against Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall, Republican Secretary of State John Merrill and Ivey herself.
As recently as Oct. 2, Ivey accepted a $5,000 contribution from T-Town PAC II. During the same reporting period, Maddox received a $2,000 contribution from that PAC.
Both gubernatorial candidates have accepted contributions from all six PACs to which Soros gave money. In total, Ivey accepted $103,000 from those PACs over the primary and general election season.
Ivey’s campaign again criticized Maddox as a “lying liberal” after Maddox held a press conference Thursday, during which he called on Ivey to answer questions about former ALEA Secretary Spencer Collier’s allegations that she abused her power and had a state trooper reassigned to cover up the seriousness of a 2015 hospitalization in Colorado, when she was attending a conference as lieutenant governor.
“Walt Maddox is pushing these last second lies because his half baked liberal ideas have him losing in a landslide,” the campaign said in a statement. “With less than three weeks to go, not even $200,000 from George Soros can save him.”
APR was the first to report the hospitalization and Collier’s allegations.
Maddox has accepted far more money from the PACs, amounting to $622,400 so far in the campaign.
Maddox has not yet reported any contributions since Oct. 15, when Soros’ donations were recorded in the PAC filings. The next set of weekly filings are due on Monday.