ALFA's Farm-PAC Makes Endorsement Recommendations

ALFA’s Farm-PAC advisory trustees met this week to recommend candidates for the entire Farmers Federation to endorse. ALFA’s Farmers Federation Board of Directors will meet next week to formalize (or not) the endorsements. No announcement will be made until the endorsements are made final, but the Parlor has been able to scope out some of the recommendations.

ALFA’s endorsement means a bit more than most in that it comes from one of the state’s political heavyweights that has significant membership in counties across the state.

Again, these are recommendations, and ultimately the Board may decide to sit out some of these races, particularly if the trustees were divided. It is hard to imagine that the Board would endorse another candidate in a race than the one recommended by its PAC’s advisory trustees.

So what are we hearing?

Governor – No recommendation

The Ron Sparks campaign has to be disappointed not to be recommended for an endorsement given the good relationship Sparks and ALFA have had in Sparks’ tenure as Agriculture Commissioner when he received their endorsement in both of his races (in 2002 and 2006). On the other hand, ALFA is generally Republican leaning enough that he is probably pleased that Robert Bentley did not get the recommendation either. ALFA’s Farmers Federation did not endorse in this race in 2006 either when Riley faced Lucy Baxley.

Lt. Governor – Kay Ivey (R)

The Parlor hears that the trustees narrowly recommended Ivey for endorsement over Jim Folsom. Folsom’s campaign no doubt hopes that the Board decides to sit out this race as it did in the 2006 LG race between Folsom and Luther Strange.

Attorney General – Luther Strange (R)

Make of this what you will, but the version heard here is that the trustees initially decided this week to make no recommendation in this race between Strange and Democrat James Anderson. ALFA apparently is not a big Strange fan in that they did not endorse him in 2006 for LG, and in the AG primary this year ALFA endorsed incumbent Troy King over Strange. After the initial decision to make no recommendation, I am told, they reconsidered and recommended Strange to the Board for endorsement.

Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries – John McMillan (R)

Democrat Glen Zorn had strong supporters in the room, but the trustees apparently decided to mend fences with McMillan, who is likely to be a strong favorite in November, after snubbing McMillan in favor of Dorman Grace in the primary.

PSC, Place 1 – Jan Cook (D)

ALFA has supported Democrat Jan Cook at the PSC in other election cycles, yet we hear that the decision to recommend her this year over Republican Twinkle Cavanaugh was a contentious and difficult one. Might the Board ultimately decide not to make an endorsement?

PSC, Place 2 – Susan Parker (D)

In 2006, ALFA endorsed Perry Hooper, Jr. over Parker for what was then an open seat.

We heard no word about any other races than these. Endorsements for state legislative races will be considered later.

Again, ALFA Farmers Federation will make the final determination on these recommendations when its Board meets next week.

37 comments to ALFA’s Farm-PAC Makes Endorsement Recommendations

  • AL-Res

    ALFA was burned so bad in 2002 by Riley, they are very tepid about playing in any gubernatorial race now.

    Wonder what other “slaps in the face” Folsom will get when everyone finally realizes he’s not a shoo-in.

  • loyal independent

    Folsom has never been close to ALFA. Too many trial lawyer connections. Shock that Sparks not a golden boy with them.

  • Folsom4ever

    Alfa’s endorsement means nothing. They have a terrible track record from the primary and run-off. John Pudner and Paul Pinion will be lucky to have jobs after November 2nd. I’m glad Folsom didn’t get the endorsement. Alfa is a republican front and only endorses democrats like Jan Cook and Susan Parker who are shoe ins. Folsom will get more votes because he doesn’t have the Alfa endorsement!

  • anonymous

    The correct spelling is Pinyan. Hopefully the ALFA magazine can spell it right when reporting his resignation in December.

    What a huge failure.

  • anonymous

    Pudner and Pinyan/What a pair/They get their steaks and their election success/The same – very rare

  • AverySF

    anonymous- can we expect future postings in iambic pentameter?

    The dead-on Folsom impersonation and now this bit of poetry. I’m impressed.

    Perhaps Danny should REQUIRE that all future postings have some genuine artistic flair!

  • Ol' Fart

    Luther Strange?????????? As a lobbyist for BP, can anyone spell “CONFLICT OF INTEREST?!” Enough said.

  • ivan swift

    if anyone can document luther being a lobbyist for BP i’d love to see it. need something definite, not like a cousin-in-law connection.

  • Therm

    Old fart…….so you actually believed the lie about Luther and BP? I have known Luther for about 20 years and at no time was he a lobbyist for BP.

  • Luther WAS a Lobbyist for Transocean – the firm leasing the rig to BP and which was to inspect it a few hours before it blew up.

  • Ol' Fart

    I stand corrected about his connection to BP. Either way, he has too many connections to the oil cartels. Big oil controls Luther Strange, and with the upcoming reparations, we need someone who is on our side.

  • I think you are unjust in saying that Big Oil controls Luther Strange. Nothing in his record demonstrates that Luther is under the control of this special interest.
    I did not support Luther in 2006, and had a generally negative view of him. However, I have come to respect Luther and believe that he is an honorable man and is certainly qualified to serve as Attorney General

  • BillT

    You would have to agree that with the pending multi state litigation against BP (and their subsidiaries) that Luther – if elected – quite possibly would have to recuse himself because he did represent the owner of the platform. Thus, Alabama would then have to hire outside counsel at great cost.

  • Dale Peterson's horse

    I don’t think Alfa has anymore money left…they can’t endorse anyone else…the already gave 200K to Byrne and we see how well that worked out. Probably best they lay low for a while and keep their mouth’s shut. I’d say thats true for a lot of political groups right now.

  • Realist1

    $200,000 drop in bucket for Alfa

  • Therm

    Luther never represented Transocean. He did represent Sonat and Sonat Offshore. Sonat Offshore was bought out many years ago and changed hands after that. Eventually Transocean bought that out. Sonat was a fine Alabama company.

    To label him as controlled by big oil is absurd. If anything, having an attorney general who knows a drill bit from a bridge plug is an advantage in the state’s dealings with BP.

  • Ol' Fart

    The negotiations with BP do not require knowledge of how to drill a well, or need the ability to play nicey nice with ol’ buddies over a martini or two. It needs a SOB that will stand up for Alabama, detail the losses that have been and will be experienced by the state due to the spill, and get the money and help that is required to reduce the impact and finally fix the problem of the Deepwater Horizon over time.

    I had heard of one oil company, BP, now the list may include Transocean, Sonat and Sonat Offshore. How many other of his pals are in Big Oil have a stake in the eventual payout? I say he is tainted, and I agree with BillT above – Strange will have to recuse himself: BP will ensure that happens as BP has lawyers on their payroll that are already probably revving up the engines to have him recused. Then we will have to again pay for some overpriced and underworked private attorney and his staff, wasting more money that the state doesn’t have. I bet that the attorney we need won’t even come from this state, as we probably don’t have anyone qualified to argue this type of case, per Therm above. Then we will have to settle for a second best position because BP can outspend us. Hey, I have an idea: maybe we can get Riley’s son-in-law; his firm is already knows how to overcharge us per state statute to do the supposedly free (over a million dollars) legal work on the Bingo issue. Yeah, let’s get his law firm!

    People, look at what has happened to the State of Alabama since the housing bubble burst. We have no money. We have no jobs. Again, show me where Alabamians are in positions in BP management on our beaches where clean-up is required. They aren’t. Look at the BP jobs website. The only jobs open, the last time I checked a few days ago, are slogging the Louisiana bayous 12 hours a day, seven days a week for $10 an hour. In the meantime, Riley is running around, flying over the slick (when he can wrest the state plane from John Tyson and his wife) and wringing his hands for the photo op. Then Patsy and he leave for England (to supposedly find jobs for Alabama). Riley should be here, holding BP’s feet to the fire, but he’s not to be found. I think that Luther Strange is just more of the same Riley cloth. We don’t need him or the baggage he carries!

  • It’s good to see that AL Farmers Federation got it right, for once, save for not endorsing the next governor, Robert Bentley.

    John McMillan, who will be the next ag commissioner, should have gotten their endorsement in the primary. No doubt that he will be an outstanding public servant.

  • ivan swift

    ol fart is right about a lot in his last comment but there is at least one alabama lawyer and firm that could knock BP et al to their knees. jere beasley. what he doesn’t know about a subject he finds out. i saw where bayou le batre funneled a big chunk of its BP money to a consultant. they need a local officials election down there real fast. maybe the consultant can become incumbents’ campaign adviser. no extra charge — consultant got enough out of the bp dole to cover a lot.

  • 2010

    Wow – I actually agree with Killian. Luther is a good man and will be a great AG.

    As for ALFA – their glory days are over. They can’t deliver votes like they once could. And to think they endorsed Jan Cook. Incredible… Not that I am a big Twinkle fan but Jan Cook is the type of elected official we can do without in this state.

  • Ol' Fart

    Even if Jere Beasley were to accept the case, we don’t have the money to pay him. I doubt that he would do it pro bono, and I’m not sure if the Alabama statutes would allow him to take or Mr. Beasley would want the case on a contingency basis.

    Our current Governor and legislature have left us in a leaky boat surrounded by sharks. Riley’s legacy can be summed up by our current situation: Patsy and he are in England to goof off while Alabama watches the oil shift back and forth during the Hurricane season. He is avoiding all confrontation except on the Bingo front, preventing those little old ladies from squandering their fortunes during the week instead of filling the offering plates on Sunday and giving to his PAC which, incidentally, is located in the Governor’s Mansion. He’s too cheap to even rent a post office box: he’d rather you and I foot the bill. It sure is also helping the Native Americans expand their non-taxable operations both in and out of the State of Alabama.

    The last straw will be when Senator Shelby retires due to illness, and Riley either appoints his wife (as a staunch Republican) or Leura Canary (for her years of dedicated service in the Riley administration, er, I mean, service as the Middle District U.S. Attorney) to fill the vacancy!

  • ivan swift

    sue bp et all — the case of the decade. i’m not a lawyer but seems to me it would be hard to turn down. like your characterization of riley. to me he’s still the guy who got caught mislabeling the eggs he was peddling from his hen business. said grade c eggs were grade a. kind of a grade c guy himself. didn;t he have a car dealership taken away from him because he wasn;t doing business ethically? imagine how unethical you have to be to be an unethical car dealer. and his home county had to fight him tooth and nail to pay his local tax bills.

  • JJ


    I don’t think Jan Cook will have a “shoe in” race this year.

  • DC

    Why would ALFA endorse either Gov candidate when Gambling and AEA have both candidates in their pocket?

  • Anon

    Trivia question – anyone remember what happened with this lawsuit against a major oil company?


    Jury returns $11.9 billion judgment against Exxon Mobil
    By Phillip Rawls
    Date: November 14, 2003 12:00 AM

    The financially troubled state government won an $11.9 billion verdict against Exxon Mobil Corp. Friday in a suit over disputed natural gas royalties.

    The jury awarded $11.8 billion in punitive damages, a record in the state, and $63.6 million in compensatory damages.

    “We felt Exxon thought they were gong to get away with this,” said jury foreman Joseph King, a Montgomery teacher. “We wanted to send a message that they were not, and that this corporation can’t get away with doing wrong.”

    Exxon Mobil spokesman Bob Davis said the verdict was excessive and the company would appeal.

    Jurors had to find Exxon Mobil committed fraud to return the multibillion-dollar verdict Alabama sought. They deliberated 4 ½ hours Thursday and about two hours Friday.

    “We did not engage in fraud, pure and simple,” Davis said.

    The state, which previously won a $3.5 billion verdict that was set aside on appeal, had asked for $9.3 billion this time – but the jury went even higher.

    “The jury brought the largest corporation in the world to its knees for the second time. They felt we didn’t ask for enough,” said Robert Cunningham, an attorney for the state.

    The trial was conducted while the state has been going through a financial crisis that has resulted in about 800 state workers getting layoff notices. Some of the courthouse workers who dealt with the jury are due to lose their jobs Nov. 26, but the judge prohibited everyone involved in the case from mentioning the state’s financial troubles or Exxon Mobil’s financial condition.

    “A billion dollars to them in chump change,” said Wallace, who works at a plastics factory.

    Attorneys said an appeal of the verdict means it could be years before the state knows whether it will collect any money.

    The state sued Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil in 1999, contending the company had violated its leases for natural gas wells in state-owned waters along the Alabama coast. The state accused the company of cheating Alabama out of millions of dollars by intentionally deducting too much in expenses for operating the wells.

    Exxon Mobil’s attorneys said the company has followed its leases with the state and owes Alabama nothing.

    The case was first tried in 2000, when a Montgomery jury awarded the state $3.5 billion. The decision was overturned by the Alabama Supreme Court, which said the jury was wrongly allowed to see an internal oil company memo. That prompted a new trial that began Oct. 20.

    In closing arguments Wednesday, state attorney Robert Cunningham said the state government had been shorted $63.6 million in royalties and that the loss could have climbed to as much as $930 million over the 30-year life of the natural gas field in Mobile Bay. He asked the jury to return a verdict of up to 10 times the potential loss, or

    $9.3 billion.

    Exxon Mobil’s attorneys said Alabama used a new kind of a lease for wells along the coast rather than the standard industry lease. The oil company argued that its payments to the state were in line with memos from the state Conservation Department that said the company could deduct the “reasonable direct cost of manufacture and transportation.”

    The state hired two of Alabama’s top plaintiff law firms, Beasley Allen and Cunningham Bounds, to handle the case on a contingency fee: nothing if they lost and 14 percent of the judgment if they won.

  • Glue from Dale Petersons Horse

    “Dale Peterson’s Horse” & “Anonymous”…very inaccurate comments and they wont stick.

  • luther did it

    From what I hear luther’s the one that blew up that rig. Ridiculous that luther woulD do that. Big oil told him to do it, mt brook and all.

  • ivan swift

    luther blew up the rig? well, he says he was a merchant seaman once, so if he was he was on vessels. an oil rig is a kind if vessel that dont go nowhere.(except up in the sir when it explodes). maybe something happened to luther on a ship that evolved into what drove him to blow up the rig, as “luther did it” says. need a psychology expert here. but, look at republican mo brooks running for congress in N alabama. he’s on the county commission. we got utilities up here that are publicly owned. they admit it. that’s socialism, pure and simple. brooks has been on the county commission a long time but he hasn’t done the first thing to end socialism right here where he’s a commissioner with power to do something. Yet he’s screaming socialism louder than a passel of phony DC republican socialism screamers put together.

  • anonymous

    What won’t “stick” is Paul Pimyan at ALFA after this truly dcisasatrous first election season . . .

  • I’m appalled that after 25 years of an incument who has done nothing for you has a contender, raised on a farm, vietnam military combat veteran, pro bono lawyer raised on the farm candidate who has spent the past several months visiting and talking with farmers and listening to their concerns has come to you, yet you have not ever once even contacted him to inquire about his candidacy, let alone his endorsement.

  • ivan swift

    can someone tell me who lisa ward is talking about. whoever it is was raised on a farm twice, according to her comment. or, was he raised on two different farms?

  • waltm

    Zeal often leads to speaking in tongues on Sunday.

    However, would guess based on the url in her name, she means William G Barnes, the Democratic nominee for US Senate.

  • Cert Denied

    SONAT, or Southern Natural Gas, was bought by El Paso Natural Gas many years ago. Since then, the City of El Paso, Texas, has been impacted by drug violence which recently increased during a period of conflict between two competing drug cartels. Coincidence?

    Based on the previous posts, I’m guessing that Luther Strange is really to blame for the drug violence in the El Paso area because he worked for SONAT and the drug violence didn’t explode until after SONAT was bought by El Paso Natural Gas. Shame on Luther!

    Also, we need to keep a close eye on the SONAT/Amsouth tower in Birmingham. Because SONAT was such a horrible company and all, there may be evil spirits living in that building like in the movie Ghostbusters. If Luther starts talking about looking for the “gatekeeper,” watch out!

    By the way, SONAT paid for a lot of Alabama students to go to college and employed quite a few Alabamians during its heyday. It is a shame that Luther was associated with such an organization.

  • Ol' Fart

    @Anon, Mr. Beasley appears to be one of the persons we need, but with our current ruler, nothing will be done until the last minute. Riley is too involved with his world travels. Just one of the perks being a lame duck Governor.

    We need to be preparing so we can be proactive, not reactive. What is happening in the Gulf of Mexico can literally change the environment of the coast and adjacent waters for generations.

  • Elaine Smith

    ZORN is the MOST qualified to be our next Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries. Over 40 years as a farmer and in the agribusiness sector in addition to presently being Assistant Commissioner for over the last 7 years – is there any reason to elect anyone other than Glen ZORN for this office? Apparently ALFA wants a whipping boy more than a qualified candidate!

  • anonymous

    Zorn has a “D” beside his name in a GOP fall. That’s a big problem for him. The bigger problem is that McMillan now has every major force in the state lining up to support him.

  • anonymous

    And Elaine, I don’t think anyone at ALFA will EVER talk about “whipping” John McMillan. It was the other way around in the last two elections.

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