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Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on the Fire Fauci Act, which aims to strip the salary of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for his handling of COVID-19 on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)


ALFA: Brooks sought our endorsement, immigration comments offensive to farmers

An ALFA spokesman said Brooks actively sought the organization’s endorsement and became critical when he didn’t get it.

Mo Brooks loved ALFA until ALFA didn’t love him. 

On Wednesday, a Farmers Federation spokesperson responded to Brooks’ recent comments in which he bashed ALFA and its members, claiming the farmers want “open borders” for “cheap foreign labor” and compared them to “socialist Democrats.” The comments came just days after Brooks didn’t receive ALFA’s endorsement in the U.S. Senate race. 

In response, Mitt Walker, the national affairs director for the Farmers Federation, said Brooks’ comments were inaccurate, and he pointed out that Brooks actively sought ALFA’s endorsement in the senate race and that Brooks had previously accepted — and proudly boasted of — ALFA endorsements in prior races. 

“Despite his mischaracterization of ‘Farm Bureau’ candidates, Congressman Brooks actively sought, and in prior races accepted, the endorsement of FarmPAC, a political action committee of Alabama Farmers Federation,” Walker said. “He accepted an invitation to address FarmPAC advisory trustees from every county at a Sept. 28 meeting in Montgomery. He later notified staff he would not attend the meeting due to changes in the Congressional vote schedule.”

Walker also called Brooks’ comments on ALFA’s immigration policies — in which he essentially accused Alabama farmers of wanting “open borders” in order to attract cheap labor — offensive and inaccurate. 

“Congressman Brooks’ statements are not only categorically false, but they are also an insult to the hardworking, law-abiding farmers he claims to represent,” Walker said. “The Federation’s policy is clear in its support of secure borders and opposition to illegal immigration. In fact, on June 3, the Alabama Farmers Federation joined every state farm bureau in the country in sending a letter to the secretaries of Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Interior urging swift action to secure the Southern border. Congressman Brooks’ office was notified of this communication, which makes his recent attacks even more egregious.”

Brooks made the comments about ALFA in a pair of radio interviews last week. In those interviews, he also was critical of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Council of Alabama — saying those organizations, along with ALFA, were supporting “illegals” and “cheap foreign labor.” 

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“Entities like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Council of Alabama, ALFA or any other agricultural political union around the country” are responsible for America’s immigration issues, Brooks said during an interview on the Sean Sullivan Show in Mobile.

“They want cheap foreign labor crossing our borders,” Brooks said. “And so they have got a lot of money and they try to elect candidates. They try to ensure that their candidates for open borders get elected. So you have them on the one hand coupled by the socialist Democrats who seek political power. They think the best way to ensure power is to import people.”

The inflammatory comments came just days after ALFA announced it was endorsing Katie Britt in the race for U.S. Senate. Walker explained why Britt was the better option. 

“In addition to participating in the FarmPAC meeting, along with other statewide and congressional candidates, Katie Britt traveled the state visiting farmers, listening to their concerns, and discussing how to address their needs in Washington,” Walker said. “When county Federation leaders gathered in Montgomery last week, they overwhelmingly recommended the endorsement of Katie Britt. Unlike recent statements by Congressman Brooks, Katie Britt has demonstrated respect and appreciation for farmers and rural Alabamians. She earned the confidence of Federation members by being a strong, conservative leader who can get things done in Washington.”

A spokesperson for Britt’s campaign took issue with Brooks’ criticism of state farmers and noted that Brooks has spent the last 40 years in public office, possibly leaving him a bit out of touch with actual working people. 

“While farmers have been hard at work feeding Alabama and our nation, Mo Brooks has spent the past 40 years living off the taxpayer dime,” said Sean Ross. “Katie knows that we need more people in this country with the work ethic of our incredible farmers and far less with the self-serving mindset of this do-nothing career politician.”

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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