A look at the Alabama AG’s race in the wake of the CBS News investigation

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In a Tuesday night report, CBS News revealed Republican attorneys general on a retreat hosted by the Republican Attorney General Association (RAGA) in April on Kiawah Island, S.C… with lobbyists representing groups like Koch Industries, Reynolds America, Select Management Resources and the National Rifle Association to name a few.

Among those attendance was Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, a Alabama’s top law enforcement official.

To some, that fact means nothing. But to many, lobbyists represent all that is bad in politics. Over the years, lobbyists gotten a bad reputation and have been credited with having created a “culture of corruption” and are associated with words like “manipulation,” “corruption,” and “bribery.”

The question for some, like Marshall’s primary runoff opponent — former Alabama Attorney General Troy King — is whether or not lobbyists, at retreats like the one in S.C., are influencing how Marshall runs the AG office.

Just last week, King called out Marshall for attending another weekend getaway in N.C. with lobbyists.

“He’s at an exclusive golf club in North Carolina… he is standing there with fat cat donors and lobbyists who spent $25,000 to spend the weekend with him. And $5,000 a person to come to a political fundraiser,” King said during a press conference in Montgomery.

Marshall fights back

But Marshall says he’s done nothing wrong and will not apologize for working with other AGs.

“He will not apologize for working with other AG’s around the country,” Marshall’s campaign told CBS 42. The campaign went on to say, “Troy King attended several of these RAGA meetings during his time as attorney general, so these attacks are just dripping in hypocrisy.”

Our check of Alabama’s campaign finance reports shows RAGA contributed 435,000 dollars to Marshall’s 2018 campaign for Alabama Attorney General. 

Political impact?

CBS 42 askedAlabama’s leading political columnist Steve Flowers about how RAGA might play into the upcoming runoff.

“For those people who are prosecutors to be wined and dined and given very large contributions through a nebulous organization, it looks a little like play for pay. I think Marshall is looking bad with a black eye cause he’s taken a lot of money from those people… and they are really people that he should be investigating.”

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