Ala. Dems: Ranking GOP members violating law

Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Judge Mark Kennedy explains his findings 7/28/11.
Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Judge Mark Kennedy explains his findings 7/28/11.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Democratic Party Thursday released more documents to support its claim that the Republican party is violating the recently enacted PAC-to-PAC transfer ban put into place during last year's special session of the legislature.

Party Chairman and former Supreme Court Judge Mark Kennedy said the public records implicate Senate Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner and House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Republicans are denying any illegal actions have taken place.

Kennedy presented campaign finance records for 136 Years PAC, which he said was organized by the GOP under Hubbard's leadership, as well as NETPAC, which he said Hubbard chaired. Several other PACS including Gulf PAC, Sun Pac and South Alabama PAC of Higher Ed were also cited for their alleged transfer of funds.

Kennedy said his research shows 136 Years PAC took a $100,000 contribution on December 20, 2010 from Monica Cooper that was labeled as an individual contribution. Two days later the money was recorded as a "reimbursement" to Cooper by the New Alabama Leadership PAC.

Kennedy said records kept by the Secretary of State's office show Cooper is the treasurer of New Alabama Leadership PAC, to which Waggoner is the chairperson.

"We have always submitted campaign finance reports accurately and in accordance with the law, therefore if any error was made, it is clearly unintentional," Waggoner's office said. "We will begin working immediately with our finance team and attorneys to identify and return any inappropriate contributions, regardless of size."

"136 Years PAC was not organized under the Alabama Republican Party," said Hubbard spokesman Todd Stacy, "and was not affiliated with the party." Stacy also said Kennedy's assertion that Hubbard organized 136 Years PAC was false.

Stacy added that, "the contribution from NET to 136 Years PAC (the only transaction that has anything to do with the Speaker) was a legal contribution. Mr. Kennedy is wrong on both those points. So, obviously, his conclusion is false." Kennedy's documents showed NETPAC contributing $5,000 to 136 Years PAC, also on December 20.

"This is just further evidence that there is corruption at the highest level of the Republican Party and among current Republican legislative leadership," Kennedy explained. "Senator Waggoner, Speaker Mike Hubbard, and the Republican Party were only too ready to ban a practice that they continued to benefit from after it was made illegal."

Stacy said Democrats are "grasping for relevance," since losing the statehouse for the first time in more than a century. "Just because someone drafts a press release complete with "exhibits" doesn't mean their allegations hold water."

Kennedy, who's already been successful in getting Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to recuse himself from another controversial PAC investigation involving former Governor Bob Riley, said he'll take his information to the Montgomery County District Attorney's office.

He's already called on Governor Robert Bentley to appoint an independent investigator, though that has not happened.

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