Thanks to the hard work of Eric Velasco of the Birmingham News, we are to solve at least one mystery of the recent campaign season and get a glimpse of how much gambling interests contributed.
In Alabama gambling money network dissolves, Velasco reports the Poarch donated $2.7M thru various PACS, Milton McGregor, $1.9M, Greenetrack $560K, Gilley (and related interests) $800K and $190K from other sources, all routed thru 143 separate PACs. (The article has a chart for easier reading, copyright concerns keep me from hotlinking). Previous reporting has shown most of these funds went to the Sparks campaign and other Democrats.
In a separate article, Velasco, has traced the funding for Republican Supreme Court candidate, Tracy Cary to a plaintiff’s law firm (Beasley Allen) while incumbent Justice Tom Parker received more than half of his funds from Beasley Allen and Marsh Rickard. Links to Cary and Parker’s FCPA reports. Cary is to be remembered for his clever use of the law to avoid disclosing his donors before the primary. The there’s the thought of Republican judicial candidates taking donations from the plaintiff’s bar but money always finds its own level.
In the Gadsden Times, Dana Beyerle reports on a decline in campaign expenses, with about $70M spent total. BTW, are we seeing the end of print media ads? Ads placed with newspapers were down 50%.
Let’s try to clear out the notebook of some items I would like to have already posted. Some are not as fresh as others, I’m sorry to say.
- Wade on Birmingham asks if Facebook can predict election outcomes of Alabama races.
- BamaFactCheck.com was a good effort. Here’s a link to their biggest whoppers of 2010.
- Another site looks to promote transparency: AlabamaRighttoKnow.org. I haven’t explored it so much but at least one reader is impressed with it. It comes from the Alabama Policy Institute.
- State Sen. Paul Sanford was featured last month on Good Morning America, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and ABC Nightline speaking about vote-buying in the Alabama legislature. If you missed it, you can see the interview here. Worth seeing, imo.
- I do have a fondness for campaign songs. The campaign of Supreme Court candidate Mac Parsons put together this “Ode to Tom Parker” to the tune of (or at least reminiscent of) the old folk song “Old Dan Tucker”.
- In the “I was for him before I was against him” category:
While Republican challenger Kay Ivey has been critical of Democratic Lt. Governor Jim Folsom, she once penned an appreciative hand-written note saying she salutes Folsom “effective leadership.”
And Democratic state Senator Larry Means says in a TV and a radio spot that Bob Riley “tried to kill Goodyear” in SD 10. In contemporary accounts, Means was laudatory, saying, “I remember the governor stood on a flatbed truck in Rainbow City and said he’d do whatever it took for Goodyear. I appreciate everything he did,” (p. 9 of .pdf) and “…we worked with the governor… to ensure that this company stays in the area.” (p. 11) [Did something happen after these reports that led Means to say Riley broke his word?]
- Readers have been calling my attention to negative websites aimed at Democratic state Senator Roger Bedford and Republican PSC challenger Twinkle Cavanaugh. (Did elections used to be about ideas?)
- Did UA law professor Susan Pace Hamill run afoul of school policy on politics and employees (p. 39 of the .pdf) by having a University classroom in an ad for her HD 63 campaign?
- Robocalls attacking Republican SBOE member Betty Peters are given 0 out of 5 stars on the truth scale. Peters faces Democrat Betty Letlow for the District 2 seat on the board.
- Democrat incumbent Betty Carol Graham took aim at Republican challenger Mark Tuggle in HD 81 with a late ad.
- Democratic state Senator Phil Poole‘s campaign takes a shot at Republican challenger Gerald Allen in this spot in SD 21.
Did I miss anything? Probably.
What are you seeing today?
Democratic Supreme Court candidate Mac Parsons is on the air in some parts of the state with this ad.
FYI, Vision Forum is the group referenced in the ad that awarded Tom Parker a Man of the Year Award for 2005. The ad above draws some connections to a statement once on that group’s website that “God does not allow women the right to vote” and that by ignoring God’s law in this regard American Christians have “destroyed their own credibility.” While the statement appears to be removed from the website, according to the Internet Archive the statement was on their website from 2006 into 2008 (here, for example). You can also see the statement referenced here at another site.
Make of that what you will.
The Press-Register has an article on this ad here.
In “The Conservative Minute”, a radio campaign spot for Tom Parker’s re-election to the Supreme Court, Parker says that it’s time to put “liberal, activist judges” with al-Qaeda on the list of America’s biggest security threats.
The Republican Parker is challenged by Democrat Mac Parsons.
Democratic Supreme Court challenger Mac Parsons has been airing this TV spot that Republican incumbent Tom Parker calls “slanderous and defamatory.” (Parsons’ response? “I will meet Tom Parker at the Montgomery County Probate Office, where these liens are filed, and he can explain how these liens, in his name, at his address, aren’t really his.”)
The Press-Register takes a good look at the story here.
Mac Parsons is going to keep poking at Tom Parker’s lack of productivity on the Supreme Court and have fun with it along the way. The Democrat Parsons is challenging the incumbent Republican Parker in November.
Plus, we probably don’t get enough of singer Leon Redbone anyway.
There always seem to be more items to write about than there is time for writing about them. Let’s run through a few that may be undeservedly overlooked.
- Alabamian at Red State Diaries holds out for the belief that Alabama really can be good at everything, not just football. Football season is upon us and this is timely reading. I’d be interested to know what you think about it.
- Internal polling for Republican Mo Brooks shows him with a double digit lead over Democrat Steve Raby in the race to succeed Congressman Parker Griffith (D turned R) in AL 05.
- Democratic Supreme Court challenger Mac Parsons has received a second donation from a Republican Supreme Court Justice, this time Champ Lyons. Parsons is challenging Republican incumbent Tom Parker. (Lyons also gave to Democrat Rhonda Chambers’ campaign for the Supreme Court.)
- Karl Rove has endorsed Republican PSC candidate Terry Dunn in his campaign against Democratic incumbent Susan Parker.
All for now…
Supreme Court Justice Tom Woodall, a Republican, has made a $5000 campaign contribution to the Mac Parsons’ campaign for the Supreme Court. Parsons, a Democrat, is challenging Republican incumbent Tom Parker.
Given the opportunity to comment to the Political Parlor, Justice Woodall said, “The only comment I have to make about it is that the contribution speaks for itself. I don’t mean to interject myself into the campaign in any personal way.”
Woodall indicated that the money came from his own leftover campaign funds. When asked if his donation would alter the working dynamic in any way at the Supreme Court if Parker were re-elected, Woodall simply responded, “No.”
The Parlor noted here last year that Justice Parker was slow enough in issuing decisions that the Court re-assigned some of his oldest cases to other Justices. Parker also agreed that his own staff would be reduced so that the Court could hire staff attorneys to deal with the backlog.
The Court Clerk even acknowledged publicly what the reassignment of cases and staff indicated internally, that Parker’s pace is a problem.
This is what prompted Democratic nominee Mac Parsons to call Parker “lazy” in his campaign kickoff last week.
Parsons said Tuesday in Montgomery that Parker issued less than 5 percent of the decisions by the nine-member court last year and that was the fewest of any justice. Parsons said if someone asked him how to spell lazy, he would say, “P-A-R-K-E-R.”
Does Woodall’s contribution indicate assent? It speaks for itself.
The ballot remains the same in the GOP primary for Supreme Court Justice, Place 3.
Supreme Court Justice and candidate Tom Parker had sued to get GOP challenger Eric Johnston taken off the ballot, citing two disclosure statements that Parker maintained were not timely filed which, Parker also maintained, should have barred Johnston’s name being certified for the ballot. At the trial level, the judge ruled in Johnston’s favor, holding that the disclosures were timely. Parker appealed to the high court.
The specially-seated Supreme Court* (all of Parker’s colleague justices recused) unanimously sided with Johnston but didn’t touch the matter of timely or untimely disclosure statements. Instead, they looked to a motion Johnston made at the trial level which was never ruled on below: that the trial court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction to hear the suit in the first place.
From its opinion released today (.pdf):
Continue reading “Tom Parker Loses Appeal”
It will remain a three-way race in the Republican primary for Supreme Court, Place 3.
Incumbent Tom Parker sued to remove challenger Eric Johnston from the ballot April 30 but Montgomery County Circuit Judge William Shashy denied his request, issuing his order (.pdf) this afternoon.
Parker had asserted that two of Johnston’s disclosure statements were filed one day late, the penalty for which Parker maintained was removal from the ballot. Shashy disagreed:
…the unreasonable and hyper-technical interpretation of the “simultaneous” filing language in the Ethics Act urged by Petitioners would unreasonably jeopardize the candidacy of hundreds of other candidates statewide and would be at odds with the overriding purpose of the Ethics Act to provide transparency in the election process…
Continue reading “Judge: Johnston Stays on Ballot”
Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker not only is running for re-election (we weren’t so sure in late March, but then he did qualify on time), he wants a fellow Republican kicked off the primary ballot. And now.
Parker sued challenger Eric Johnston (amongst others) in Montgomery County Circuit Court Friday, alleging Johnston filed ethics and financial disclosures too long after qualifying as a candidate for his name to be certified for the primary ballot. From my read, the suit might just come down to the definition of “day.”
Here is a copy of the suit for your own grubby little hands (.pdf).
The style of Parker’s suit takes nearly seven pages, as there are 138 respondents including every probate judge and circuit clerk in the state of Alabama as well as Secretary of State Beth Chapman. Also, the title of the action is pretty broad: “PETITION FOR WRIT OF PROHIBITION, MANDAMUS CERTIORARI, OR OTHER APPROPRIATE EXTRAORDINARY RELIEF.” Those options get ever broader when we skip to the end, under Reasons for Granting the Writ (which also provides my segue for getting into the substance of all this):
Petitioners submit that their petition for writ of prohibition, mandamus, certiorari, or other appropriate extraordinary relief (including declaratory and injunctive relief) is due to be granted for the reason that Respondent Alan Eric Johnston failed to file (1) his Appointment of Principal Campaign Committee form as required by the Fair Campaign Practice Act, and (2) his completed Statement of Economic Interests as required by Alabama Ethics law.
Ok. How? According to the suit, here’s the relevant time line:
Continue reading “The Ballot of Tom Parker”
Republican Tom Parker qualified today to run for re-election to the Supreme Court according to the state GOP office – and contrary to what others expected.
A usually reliable source tells the Political Parlor that Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker is not going to seek re-election.
The word is that two more Republicans may yet qualify for the race by the Friday deadline, including Parker’s pick who is said to be “a very conservative lawyer with previous political involvement with morals and religious rights cases.”
Republican James Houts has already qualified to run for the seat as has Democrat Mac Parsons.