Challenger files ethics complaint against attorney general

A week before the GOP runoff, challenger Troy King filed an ethics complaint Monday against Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, saying the heavy financial support he has received from the Republican Attorneys General Association is illegal.

Posted: Jul 10, 2018 9:59 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A week before the GOP runoff, challenger Troy King filed an ethics complaint Monday against Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, saying the heavy financial support he has received from the Republican Attorneys General Association is illegal.

However, a lawyer for the Republican group called the complaint a "desperate ploy of a flailing campaign."

The Washington D.C.-based RAGA Action Fund has given Marshall $435,000 in his campaign for attorney general, campaign finance records show. In the complaint, King called the donations "flagrant violations" of the state ban on transfers between political action committees since the attorneys general association took money from PACs before giving to Marshall.

"As Attorney General, Steve Marshall should be upholding the law, not breaking it," King said in a statement announcing the complaint. "Campaign finance laws should apply to him, just like they apply to everyone else."

A lawyer for the association dismissed King's interpretation of the law.

"This complaint is a desperate ploy from a flailing campaign filed one week before the election against the wrong entity and based upon an incorrect reading of the law," Charlie Spies said.

Since 2010, Alabama has banned transfers between political action committees that can obscure the source of a candidate's campaign cash. However, a grand jury report, released in 2012 after complaints were filed against other elected officials, said the law couldn't be used to prosecute transfers that occur with PACs out-of-state.

Spies said under King's interpretation of the law, all kinds of federal PACs would be running afoul of the law every time they contributed to an Alabama race.

The Marshall campaign issued a statement saying, "We are pleased to have received support from RAGA Action Fund and trust they have complied with Alabama law."

Ethics Commission Director Tom Albritton could not comment on the complaint, but noted that others have not found wrongdoing.

"Our commission has not formally determined the substantive issues here, but practitioners and the secretary of state's office have said that it does not violate any laws," Albritton wrote in an email.

Secretary of State John Merrill said Monday that the commission has the final authority to "issue guidance" on the matter and should do so.

King and Marshall face each other in the July 17 primary runoff. The winner will face Democrat Joseph Siegelman in November.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 69986

Reported Deaths: 2011
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5768121
DeSoto375331
Harrison265136
Madison248972
Jackson239145
Rankin232238
Jones194762
Forrest185857
Washington172244
Lee156342
Lauderdale143993
Neshoba130694
Lamar124115
Bolivar115636
Warren113735
Oktibbeha113639
Lowndes110240
Panola109117
Sunflower107127
Lafayette101820
Scott101720
Copiah97128
Leflore95968
Pike95137
Holmes92349
Yazoo87013
Pontotoc8579
Grenada85626
Lincoln84643
Monroe83155
Simpson82131
Leake79927
Coahoma78913
Wayne78921
Tate74630
Marshall7299
Union70017
Marion68921
Adams64226
Covington63715
Winston63516
George6038
Pearl River56740
Newton55511
Tallahatchie54711
Attala53325
Walthall51121
Chickasaw48819
Noxubee46312
Tishomingo4449
Prentiss44110
Alcorn4395
Calhoun4269
Smith41213
Claiborne40914
Hancock40915
Jasper4089
Clay40414
Itawamba39510
Tippah38814
Tunica3657
Montgomery3456
Clarke34328
Lawrence3298
Yalobusha31810
Humphreys29912
Quitman2751
Carroll26211
Greene26213
Perry2488
Webster24813
Amite2406
Jefferson Davis2406
Kemper24014
Stone2245
Wilkinson22013
Sharkey2065
Jefferson1967
Benton1541
Choctaw1384
Franklin1352
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 101496

Reported Deaths: 1821
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13463261
Mobile10671216
Montgomery6955153
Madison551035
Tuscaloosa432780
Unassigned398568
Baldwin371029
Shelby336137
Marshall319938
Lee272447
Morgan242520
Etowah219034
DeKalb185214
Calhoun182819
Elmore176739
Walker154865
Houston145013
Russell13912
Limestone137813
St. Clair137520
Dallas134725
Franklin130822
Cullman123812
Colbert122518
Lauderdale120320
Autauga118822
Escambia109417
Jackson10724
Talladega106914
Tallapoosa87679
Dale85029
Chambers84838
Chilton8279
Blount8255
Clarke82110
Coffee7796
Butler77336
Covington74621
Pike7167
Marion58726
Barbour5816
Lowndes57524
Marengo56817
Bullock49211
Hale48826
Winston45711
Bibb4535
Washington44913
Perry4464
Wilcox43610
Monroe4246
Pickens41110
Randolph40311
Conecuh39410
Sumter36618
Lawrence3563
Macon34114
Crenshaw3318
Choctaw28912
Cherokee2798
Clay2775
Geneva2652
Henry2643
Greene25311
Lamar2302
Fayette2235
Cleburne1291
Coosa1053
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