The Alabama Ethics Commission received an ethics complaint filed against Attorney General Steve Marshall for an alleged violation of Alabama’s campaign finance law on Monday.
The complaint, filed by Troy King, reportedly exposes and outlines the scheme Marshall and his staff used to coordinate the laundering of illegal funds from the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) into Marshall’s campaign fund to influence the outcome of the July 17th Republican runoff.
The complaint goes into great detail to show that Steve Marshall accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the RAGA Political Action Committee which includes money received from other Political Action Committees, more commonly referred to as PACs. Saying that money was spent by the Marshall campaign on television commercials, robocalls, direct mail to voters and other campaign activities.
It also highlights that candidates for office in Alabama have been prohibited from accepting money that is received as a result of a PAC to PAC transfer since 2010 but Marshall accepted and spent the illegal money in 2018 to promote his candidacy for Attorney General.
King also points out in his complaint that, in 2014, Luther Strange returned the illegal contribution he received under similar circumstances. The same person who wrote the letter accompanying the return of Strange’s donation, Ashley Newman, is the campaign dissolution designee for the Steve Marshall campaign.
“As Attorney General, Steve Marshall should be upholding the law, not breaking it. Campaign finance laws should apply to him, just like they apply to everyone else,” King said. “As a former Attorney General, I understand that only when our laws are enforced as written do they act as an honest deterrent to election campaign wrongdoing. I am asking the Alabama Ethics Commission to investigate and prosecute this case swiftly and to the fullest extent of the law. Furthermore, Steve Marshall should return the illegal money he received into his campaign immediately. Steve’s Marshall’s flagrant disregard for the law shows that he is not part of cleaning Montgomery up. Instead, he is among its biggest polluters. The corruption will not end until those who are corrupting the system are removed from office. Alabamians who are sick and tired of business, as usual, will have their say soon enough when they cast their votes on July 17th.”
In the press release, it asks that the Ethics Commission address this complaint immediately and issue a ruling this week as the reported receipt of these illegal funds threatens to alter the outcome of the July 17th Republican runoff election. Any delay in addressing this matter will do irreparable harm to our state and to the integrity of the election process.
Attorney General Steve Marshall’s campaign released a statement Monday saying:
“We are pleased to have received support from RAGA Action Fund and trust they have complied with Alabama law. Any questions about their organization should be directed to them,” – Steve Marshall’s campaign
“This complaint is a desperate ploy from a flailing campaign, filed one week before the election, against the wrong entity, and based upon an incorrect reading of the law,” – Charlie Spies, RAGA and RAGA Action Counsel
“Our commission has not formally determined the substantive issues here, but practitioners and the secretary of state’s office have said that it does not violate any laws,” Tom Albritton