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In recording, Maddox seems to acknowledge Soros donations

Brandon Moseley and Chip Brownlee

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Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox seems to acknowledge receiving donations from billionaire Democratic donor George Soros in a short recording released by Gov. Kay Ivey’s re-election campaign Wednesday.

In the recording, Maddox can be heard saying, “I was glad that we did.”

Following his event this week at the University of Alabama, Walt Maddox was asked by an attendee about the $200,000 donation.

“I was absolutely almost in shock when we received the donation, but I was glad that we did, quite frankly, because we need the resources,” Maddox said.

After Ivey’s campaign released the recording, Maddox tempered his comments in a statement to APR.

“The PACs that received the funding contributed to both Governor Ivey and my campaign,” Maddox said. “We did not solicit the funding but we are grateful for the contributions we have received.”

Ivey campaign spokesperson Debbee Hancock released a comment with the recording.

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“Walt Maddox’s liberal agenda may not be resonating with Alabamians, but it’s attracting the attention and approval of out of state liberals like George Soros,” Hancock said.

A set of six chain PACS run by Tuscaloosa’s Mike Echols received several different donations totaling $200,000 on Oct. 15. Since Soros’ donations were received by the PACs Monday, Maddox has not reported any further contributions from the set of chain PACs.

Maddox’s campaign has received more than $600,000 from the six PACs over the course of the primary and general election campaign season.

Ivey’s campaign has also accepted $100,000 from the same PACs as recently as this month.

“Walt Maddox may have looked Alabamians in eye and promised to protect their Second Amendment rights, but his record shows a far more radical agenda,” Hancock continued. “From his unconstitutional gun ban in Tuscaloosa to the admittance that he supports ‘restraining’ Alabamians’ gun rights if necessary, it’s clear Walt Maddox wants to force George Soros’ anti-gun agenda on Alabama.”

“George Soros knows that Walt Maddox’s promise to put the people of Alabama above his party is complete lie, and he’s willing to bet hundreds of thousands of dollars on it,” Hancock concluded.

The conservative Birmingham-based site Yellowhammer News first reported the contributions to the PACs last week.

Despite Maddox not accepting any contributions from the PACs since Soros’ donations, Republicans have argued that Soros’ PAC contributions could have pledged for Maddox before Soros actually made the contributions.

That set of chain PACs — Cash PAC, CMG PAC II, ET PAC, Leadership PAC, Pride PAC II and T-Town PAC II — are known to make contributions to candidates on both sides of the aisle.

They’ve made contributions to 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 Republican lieutenant governor candidate Twinkle Kavanaugh.

Maddox is running ads saying he is a pro-life, pro-gun Democrat and that he would never lie to the people of Alabama. Maddox is a former Tuscaloosa city councilman and formerly worked for the Alabama Education Association as a Uniserve Director.

Weekly mandatory campaign finance reports filed Monday show Ivey maintaining a hefty fundraising lead over the Tuscaloosa mayor. Ivey raised $193,293.14 last week. In contrast, Maddox raised only $105,113.

Although Ivey nearly doubled Maddox’s contributions, Maddox had far more individual donors, continuing a trend among some of the Democratic candidates for statewide races. His filing reported more than 240 unique contributions, the vast majority of which were from individuals ranging from $4 to $5,000. Ivey reported 80 unique contributions, several of which were from PACs.

Maddox also accepted two $5,000 donations from anti-Trump Democratic donor Tom Steyer and his wife last week.

Maddox, Tuscaloosa’s mayor since 2005, is a Tuscaloosa native and a graduate of the city’s Central High School. Maddox has an undergraduate and a master’s degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where he played football.

Soros is a well-known liberal donor with a net worth estimated at over $8 billion who often donates to liberal candidates. He’s often the receipient of Republican ire and the target of Republican campaign attacks.

Earlier this week, Soros was one of the recipients of suspicious packages containing pipe bombs. Similar packages were sent to other prominent Democrats including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The general election will be on Nov. 6.

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