Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:30 AM EDT2013-06-19 11:30:23 GMT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
The state Republican party is alleging the Democratic candidate for chief justice of the state supreme court violated a federal elections law.
Thursday morning, the Alabama Republican party filed a complaint with the federal elections commission alleging Jefferson County judge and Democratic Chief Justice nominee Robert Vance violated federal law in 2008.
The state Republican party has documentation they say proves that judge Vance's campaign committee in 2008 gave $2,000 to the Obama campaign, and that's where we start to get into the weeds of federal elections law.
Once your campaign committee gives more than $1,000 to a federal candidate, then the Republican party says you become a federal political committee, meaning you have to register with the federal elections commission within 10 days and start filing quarterly reports after that.
The state Republican party says Vance's campaign committee didn't do that, and now they say this should be a major issue in the closing days of Vance's campaign against former Chief Justice Roy Moore. Bill Armistead, the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, made an announcement about the allegations Thursday morning at the Alabama GOP headquarters.
"Alabamians expect more from anyone that's seeking to be Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. The question is, did Bob Vance not know about the law that required him to report, or did he just ignore that law? Anyone that seeks to be the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court should know better," Armistead said.
Vance spoke with us by phone and gave the following response to the allegations:
"I made full disclosures of all contributions I've made in accordance with state law, I've never been advised by any authority, state or federal, of any problem. Right now it's just transparent the other side has grabbed onto something from years ago in a desperate attempt to reclaim some ground in this race," Vance said.
Vance also points out his opponent, Roy Moore, was removed from the office of Chief Justice for violating a court order.
The Federal Elections Commission hasn't actually received this complaint yet. It is being mailed today.
The FEC says it takes five business days to process a complaint, so the GOP's complaint against Vance won't see any action before Tuesday's elections. The complaint will have no effect on the Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice race other than possibly affecting Vance's perception in voter's minds.