State GOP is squabbling like Dems
Published 9:09 am Wednesday, December 17, 2014
By BOB MARTIN
Three weeks prior to the state’s general election in November, Alabama GOP Chairman Bill Armistead criticized several high ranking members of his party saying they were attempting to “sabotage” the GOP’s efforts at the polls. He alleged, and I quote: “Several members of the ALGOP Steering Committee seem determined to sabotage ALGOP’s 2014 political plan to suit their own personal preferences. They want to disregard the work that has been done, and is being done, by our political team who which has worked for nearly two years developing our plan based on demographics, voting history, polling data and viability of candidate.”
Those words did not sit well with many party leaders and members.
A significant contributor to this intraparty flap was payments made by Armistead to a direct mailing firm near the end of the election period which resulted in a no-confidence proposal and an audit of the party’s spending.
This week Armistead announced he will not seek another term as party chair, calling his detractors “a group of disgruntled people” on the Steering Committee.
According to several Steering Committee members, Armistead had written a check to pay a vendor without the signature of party treasurer Mallory Jackson, who was also required to sign all checks.
The issue involved nearly $100,000 for payment to a direct mail firm in Alexandria, Va. Jackson has said she was sent a very large check for her signature without any documentation and still hasn’t received any. There were only handwritten invoices and no evidence of zip codes and to where and whom the checks were being sent.
Armistead charged that it was inexcusable for Jackson to refuse to sign the check to Winning Edge, the direct mail firm. Jackson retorted: “I was trying to deal with scribbled notes. It’s 2014. Who comes downtown to an office, scribbles down some notes and says ‘Pay me $92,000?”
Armistead has asserted that the steering committee approved the amount at a committee meeting. Other members say the committee did not approve the amount Armistead requested.
The party has decided to audit the 2014 campaign finance records.
The following is commentary from Al.com cartoonist J. D. Crowe. I can’t resist using it.
“The Justice Department has told U.S. attorneys that tribes can legally grow and sell marijuana on reservations, even in states that have reservations about legally growing and selling marijuana.
“How will this affect Alabama? You thought Luther Strange had his knickers in a knot over Bingo? What if the Poarch Creek casinos start playing Bong-o? They don’t have to, of course. But now the pot option is on the table.
“If Wind Creek scores weed, will Milton McGregor follow suit?”
Bob Martin is editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent. Email him at: email@example.com