Decision 2008: Governor Didn't Give Permission to Candidate

If you've watched TV in the last few days, you know the District 2 congressional race is getting ugly, really ugly.   Republican Senators Harri Anne Smith and Jay Love are throwing accusations at each other in the form of political ads, and one in particular has gotten the Governor's attention.

You've seen them - the attack ads. It seems like new ones come out every week between the two republican candidates for the district 2 congressional seat, but one of them now has the Governor speaking out. The Governor's spokesperson, Tara Hutchison, says, "The video that appears of Governor Riley in that ad was not used with permission from our office."

The Governor is out of town but his spokesperson says the Governor wants to remain neutral in that race and is afraid the ad might be sending another message. Republican 2nd district candidate Jay Love agrees."If I were the Governor, I don't think I would want to be brought into a race between two republicans." His opponent, Republican Harri Anne Smith, has her own opinion. "In my opponent's first ad, he actually had the Governor sitting behind him while he was speaking and I certainly didn't take that ad as the Governor supporting my opponent."

And, Smith says she didn't need the Governor's permission to use the video of him in her ad.  "We got that information for the ad off of a public website that is paid for by tax dollars for the state of Alabama."

The ad accuses her opponent, Jay Love, of voting against a measure that would have increased the taxes on big oil companies. A tax the Governor says the oil companies are now getting away without paying. But, Love says he disagrees with the Governor and Smith. "Harri Anne's people can talk about that all they want to but the fact is, in my mind, it was going to be an increase in taxes on gas and I was not going to go along with that when energy prices are at an all time high."

And, right now, the Governor hasn't asked the Smith campaign to remove the TV spot and Smith, herself, says she has no plans to do it.

The run-off is July 15th and the winner will face another tough challenge from democrat, Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright.

Reporter: Eileen Jones