Endorsement at What Cost?

The state GOP fires back quickly after Republican state Sen. Harri Anne Smith’s endorses Democrat Bobby Bright in the AL-02 race this morning. This email to the state GOP Executive Committee members went out during lunch. The emphasis is in the original.

From: John Ross
Sent: Oct 20, 2008 12:15 PM
Subject: ***Important Election Alert***

Executive Committee Members,

Today is a very sad day in Alabama. Republican State Senator Harri Ann Smith has publically endorsed Democrat Bobby Bright in the race for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District. As you may recall, she lost in a very heated run-off to our nominee Jay Love back in July.

To make matters worse, her endorsement came with a price tag of $150,000. I received a call from her former campaign manager a couple of weeks ago. He told me Bright had offered to pay off her campaign debt in exchange for her endorsement and if the ALGOP couldn’t come up with the same amount, she would accept the deal. As you can imagine, we don’t intend to a part of any shady “backroom” deals and refused to be blackmailed. Well, true to their word, the deal took place and she made the endorsement.

Each of you need to be fully aware of this situation and spread the word of this unconscionable act to everyone you know. This is extremely disheartening. However, it should only strengthen our resolve as Republicans and motivate us as we move toward Election Day.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.



John C.M. Ross

Executive Director

Alabama Republican Party

Former state GOP Executive Director Bill Harris is the Harri Anne Smith campaign adviser that party officials are saying called Ross.

State GOP Chair Mike Hubbard released this statement this afternoon:

“The circumstances surrounding this endorsement should eliminate all credibility from today’s announcement. Harri Anne Smith shopped her endorsement around, offered the Alabama Republican Party the opportunity to purchase her support, and we declined. It is unfortunate that Bobby Bright is so desperate for support that he is willing to pay top dollar for it, and by doing so, Bright is showing once again that he will say and do anything to get elected.”

Update: Lance Griffin is on top of this at the Dothan Eagle with comments from Bill Harris, Smith, and Bright.

Later Update: Bill Harris’s former party title has been corrected.

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121 comments to Endorsement at What Cost?

  • bob weaver

    I’m in a glass case of emotion!

  • GOPgirl

    Guys, dial it down a bit. I’m one of you, Love supporters, but you’re stooping to the dem’s level with the personal attacks. All will be well friends. Two more weeks.

  • Anonymous

    Love is a huge disappointment. This sealed November for the Democrats to take the seat.

    The constituents of District 2 need to hope that Love doesn’t represent them. Love’s campaign has been a disgrace to the entire state of Alabama in general.

  • Anonymous

    Love’s campaign a disgrace? ummmm…..are you paying attention? He is not the one buying endorsements.

  • Anonymous

    See #103. Personal attacks because there is nothing of substance and they are “poking” and hoping that the Love campaign will poke back.

    Tell all the Bright people to look at the poll numbers and feel sorry for them because they are falling and like all failing campaigns, they are trying to take you with them. Love is a good person and he represents the values of the vast majority of the people in his district, despite the whining and pleading of Bright’s people to tell you otherwise.

    Instead of “having the last word,” on this blog or over coffee, let the Bright campaign’s noisy but baseless attacks hang like a fart in the elevator.

  • Anonymous

    It is interesting that this is all Republican hearsay!

  • Anonymous

    What is more interesting is that Harri Anne has not denied it nor has her campaign manager. Everyone knew she was shopping her endorsement around, the surprise it she was called out on it.

  • Anonymous

    99, so now you are resorting to attacking the Bright’s family dog in your posting.

  • Anonymous

    Shop till u drop harri anne. no stopping until you reach 150 K woo hoooo! Go Team Bright.

  • Anonymous

    The Montgomery Advertiser said it well today as they pointed out lies in Love’s “slick mailout.” In describing Love’s lies, the Montgomery Advertiser said, “One of the greatest threats to democracy today is the attack ad…The only real protection is an informed electorate that realizes such dirty tactics reflect more on the attacker than the attacked.”

  • anonymous


    I agree 100% with your comment. It is a sad day in Alabama politics when Love has stooped as low as gully dirt already and just keeps the lies flowing about Bright in an attempt to gain a vote. He is nothing short of being a hypocrit and he knows he is lying in those ads. This is the most sad part about his whole deal. Bright will be victorious because people know that he is much more professional and has the maturity level that Love can’t attempt to match.

  • Anonymous

    Let us who have family pets unite against those campaigns who threaten democracy (see Montgomey Advertiser editorial, 10/21/08) and those who post nasty things about Bright’s beloved family pet. Dog lovers everywhere, stand up and be counted..Vote for Bobby Bright!

  • Anonymous

    Anytime the Bright campaign sees something they dont like they scream and whine. LIES LIES DAMN LIES. It is so amusing.

    But hey, if I just paid $150,000 for an endorsement and I got called out on it by the press, I’d scream LIE LIE LIE too. You go Bright.

  • Tim Banks

    If this endorsement was not a big deal do you think Mike Hubbard would have gotten as fired up as he did? Why in the world if this endorsement is not a big deal is ALL the GOP supporters focusing on their attention on the allegation which they simply can’t prove. Two reasons: One the Love camp is desperate. They see the race trickling away. Two this situation turns attention away from Bright’s strongest ad to date (or to be correct the DCCC ad) that points out Love is supported by a Las Vegas gambling owner who just happens to be the biggest investor in China. Seems to me if Love was solidly up as he claims he nor the party elite would be putting 99% of their energies into a claim that can’t be supported with any evidence.

  • Anonymous

    This is a big deal because Bobby Bright bought an edorsement. Wow. Wake up.

  • CC Dollar

    looks like harri anne is on the front page of the dothan eagle this morning disproving the love lies..

  • CC Dollar

    so when exactly will bright switch parties??

  • Anonymous

    CC – I just read today’s Dothan Eagle. Ummmmm…..she didn’t deny anything and certainly didn’t “disprove” anything. In fact, yet another person has come out saying they were approached by Bill Harris with the same ultimatum. Pay up as Bright has agreed to do, or Smith will endorse Bright. Apparently, CC can’t read. Go back to work on country crossings buddy.

    You know, your precious harri Anne could clear all this up and “disprove” as you say by allowing Bill Harris to talk about it. Seems she will not. Wonder why?

  • 1moreanon

    Is Bill Harris the same Bill Harris that ran a dirty campaign against Wendell Mitchell? If so, the folks in Autauga/Elmore/Montgomery counties who had to put up with his garbage against Walking Wendell probably won’t put much faith in his word.

  • Anonymous

    All of this is a big deal to Mike Hubbard because he made this mess for the Republican party in this district by personally hand picking Love to be the Republican favorite son. Just ask all the good people who faced Love in the primary — not just Smith.

  • Anonymous

    Hubbard’s sad attempt at countering the endorsement. Bad idea, Hubbard. He really stuck his foot in his and Love’s mouth on this one!

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