Dems furious over DJ's fake election release

Jackson (Courtesy WAFF-TV)
Jackson (Courtesy WAFF-TV)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Democratic Party officials are asking state and federal authorities to investigate an election day prank by a conservative radio commentator in Huntsville.

Conservative radio commentator Dale Jackson of WVNN in Huntsville read a phony news release on air and posted a copy to his Web site Tuesday morning.

The release made prominent use of the Alabama state seal and said because of heavy turnout, the polls would be open for two days.

Jackson released a statement through his website early Wednesday morning that stated:

"There has been an attempt to imply that I was attempting to influence the State Senate race in the 7th District in Madison County. This claim much like the "press release" is absurd. In this satirical press release I used the state seal of Alabama which I should not have done. Other than that the entire release attributed to a fictional Marion S. Barber, was absurd on its face. I stated numerous times on my program the release was a joke and when I realized people were trying to imply it was legit I replaced it on my website with the Secretary of State's real press release stating June 9th was election day." (Read his entire release here.)

The original release said supporters for Republican Paul Sanford should vote Tuesday and those for Democrat Laura Hall should vote Wednesday. Hall lost Tuesday's special election for an Alabama Senate seat.

Joe Turnham, head of the state Democratic Party, said he was going to take the issue to the Justice Department's voting rights division.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. WSFA 12 News contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.)