Dems: Riley violated new campaign finance law

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gov. Bob Riley has violated a new campaign finance law that bans PAC-to-PAC transfers—one of several new ethics reform laws that he signed on Dec. 20, 2010, during the Special Session on ethics.

An Amended Pre-Election Report filed with the Alabama Secretary of State by the Alabama 2014 Political Action Committee, of which Gov. Riley is chairperson and which he formed on March 1, 2011, revealed the violation. $50,000 was transferred from Republican State Leadership Committee PAC to Alabama 2014 PAC on March 15, 2011.

The Alabama 2014 PAC is the same entity described in a leaked email from Governor Riley’s daughter, Minda Riley-Campbell, to a secret Republican group known as the Governor’s Circle. That email said, “They have asked my father to establish a political action committee and campaign organization…[that] will serve to elect candidates committed to the same ideals as those who were chosen by Campaign 2010.”

The leaked email further revealed that the purpose behind Alabama 2014 PAC was to enable Republican leaders to operate outside of the rules and constraints of the Alabama Republican Party. Minda Riley-Campbell concluded: “This organization would not be so constrained. We are committed to helping any way we can, and in ways the ALGOP cannot.”

After state Democrats made the announcement yesterday, Judge Mark Kennedy, chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, said “Today I am submitting evidence to the Montgomery DA and Alabama’s attorney general calling on them to fully investigate and prosecute this blatant violation of the law.”

House Minority Leader Craig Ford said, “Today’s revelation shows the Republican Handshake was the height of hypocrisy. The test now is whether our Republican Attorney General will apply the same standards to Republicans that the rest of have to live by.”