Senate Leadership Fund is giving Rep. Mo Brooks something of a break, turning its sights to hard-right social conservative Roy Moore, also in the race for U.S. Senate.
On Tuesday, the super PAC linked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began running ads against Moore, essentially launching a second front in the contentious midsummer battle for the remainder of Jeff Session’s Senate seat.
SLF is backing Sen. Luther Strange in the Aug. 15 special Senate primary. Strange was appointed to the seat in February by then-Gov. Robert Bentley after Sessions stepped down to become Donald Trump’s Attorney General.
With two weeks left in the race, the Washington Examiner reports that SLF is investing more than $435,000 on both television and radio ads attacking Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice.
The ad buy is statewide — except in the Huntsville media market, where ads blasting Brooks will continue.
Brooks represents Alabama’s 5th Congressional District, which covers much of Northern Alabama.
“Roy Moore; there’s so much more,” the 30-second TV spot — called “Fund” AL — opens with a voice-over. “Despite being one of the highest paid judges in the nation, raking in more than $170,000 a year, Roy Moore, wanted more. So, Roy and his wife took over $1 million from a charity they ran, paying themselves $1 million and spending even more on travel, including a private jet.”
Moore has also blasted Strange, accusing him of being a McConnell pawn, which plays well into the anti-establishment trend running through Alabama Republican politics, where Sessions is still beloved. Moore has also been getting some traction with the base voters of staunch social conservatives.
Despite being ousted from the Alabama Supreme Court 15 years ago after he installed a Ten Commandments monument at the state court building, voters put Moore back in the same job some 10 years later.
Moore was removed again from the Court after he refused to defend the federal law legalizing same-sex marriage. Arguing he did nothing wrong by upholding state law, he claimed to be a victim of a campaign from a variety of liberal-leaning groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Examiner reports on a recent Moore fundraising email, where he says: “My opponent is receiving ‘money by the barrelful’ from Mitch McConnell.”
Brooks, who had been the sole target of SLF attacks in Alabama until now, has also bashed McConnell while pushing back on accusations he refused to support Trump in the primaries, and was slow to embrace the nominee in the general election.
Other Republicans the 9-person field include Dr. James Beretta, Joseph Breault, Alabama Christian Coalition president Randy Brinson, Mary Maxwell, Bryan Peeples and state Sen. Trip Pittman of Baldwin County.
The last day to apply for an absentee ballot for the primary is Aug. 10. If there is no primary winner — with 50 percent plus one — a runoff is Sept. 26; the general election is Dec. 12.
Given Alabama’s strong Republican lean, whoever wins the primary — either outright or in the runoff — will most likely represent the state in the U.S. Senate.
Both ads are available on YouTube.