The primary runoff race for Alabama Attorney General is once again heating up now that both candidates, Troy King and Steve Marshall, have resumed their campaigns following the tragic death of Marshall’s wife.
On Monday, King filed a complaint against Marshall with the Alabama Ethics Commission, accusing Marshall and his staff of accepting PAC-to-PAC money despite the state’s ban.
The complaint details how King believes Marshall transferred at least $435,000 from the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) PAC to his campaign fund, which has since been spent on television commercials, robocalls, direct mail to voters and other campaign activities.
“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.”
The state’s PAC-to-PAC ban
In 2010, the State Legislature passed the PAC-to-PAC ban in 2010 in order to restrict donor’s ability to hide contributions by shuffling them through multiple PAC’s.
AL.com recently reported that Marshall’s campaign found a loophole in the law and is doing nothing wrong.
In fact, Marshall’s campaign told Alabama Today they’re pleased to accept the RAGA support.
“We are pleased to have received support from RAGA Action Fund and trust they have complied with Alabama law,” Julia Mazzone said on behalf of the Marshall campaign.
But King points to similar instance involving a RAGA PAC donation that occurred in 2014. Then former Attorney General Luther Strange tried accept a donation from the PAC, but ultimately returned the funds due to the PAC-to-PAC ban after an ethics complaint was filed against him.
“Marshall should return the illegal money he received into his campaign immediately,” King continued. “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.”
Knowingly violating the PAC-to-PAC ban is considered a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine.
This article has been updated to include a statement from the Marshall campaign.