NEW: Following our article last Friday about the Alabama Ethics Commission delaying their hearing on possibly felony campaign finance violations by Senator Luther Strange until the day after his special election on the 15th, one of his opponents – Dr. Randy Brinson – announced a press conference for this afternoon. We streamed it live on our Facebook Page here and here, or you can watch it on Brinson’s page here. The press conference was held on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol.
At today’s press conference, Dr. Brinson called for Governor Kay Ivey to ask the Alabama Ethics Commission to hold their hearing on the report filed by Secretary of State John Merrill as soon as possible, preferably on the originally scheduled date – this Wednesday, August 2nd. The Ethics Commission had a regularly scheduled meeting on that date, but quietly rescheduled it to the 16th with little fanfare. The 16th is the day after the election in which Luther Strange faces 10 opponents in a special election Republican primary. Senator Strange has been dogged by repeated accusations of corruption from many sources since his suspect appointment by now-convicted criminal and former Governor Robert Bentley, after halting the impeachment proceedings against the Governor for over 6 months while he was Attorney General. Brinson, Bentley, Strange, Ivey, and Merrill are all Republicans, as is every other elected statewide official in Alabama. Yesterday, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler posted a snarky tweet directed at the sitting US Senator:
“The Ethics Committee has a duty to the people of the state of Alabama to rule on this issue before the election,” Brinson said. “…if the Ethics Commission cannot resolve this before the election, then we need to seriously consider postponing this election, or we risk having it voided after the fact.” He continued, “… Luther Strange voters, more than any other, need to know if the man they are voting for will be facing a prison term the day after the election. They need to know if their vote will go to a man who will resign before the runoff.” “…There is a referral from the Secretary of State before the Ethics Commission. It is almost identical to the charges that forced Robert Bentley to resign.”
“As the concerns about Strange are very similar to those against Bentley, a similar outcome is very likely. Should this occur, and Strange choose to withdraw from the campaign, those voters who cast their ballots for him would be effectively disenfranchised.”
Randy Brinson has previously been outspoken about the allegations surrounding Luther Strange that we have covered in detail over the past few months. He has referred to Senator Strange as “Mr. Corruption” on the campaign trail and in press conferences.
After his press conference was concluded, Dr. Brinson walked up the stairs of the State Capitol and down the hall to the office of the Governor, where he personally delivered a written letter requesting her immediate action on the matter. He then delivered an identical letter to Secretary of State John Merrill, and sent a letter by Certified Mail to the office of the Alabama Ethics Commission.
Earlier this year, John Merrill filed a nearly identical complaint against then-Governor Bentley, regarding nearly identical violations of the state’s campaign finance laws. That complaint was heard within 90 days, and was immediately referred over for prosecution. The report in question against Luther Strange was filed almost exactly 90 days from the original meeting scheduled for the 2nd. For a more detailed outline of the potential violations committed by Luther Strange, read our previous article on the matter. After the Ethics Committee’s ruling, Governor Bentley immediately negotiated a plea deal with prosecutors and resigned, pleading guilty to both crimes and agreeing to, among other things, pay hefty fines and never run for office again. According to Brinson, without these actions by Merrill and the Ethics Commission, the Alabama voters would have had to spend “untold thousands” of dollars and weeks of precious legislative time going through a lengthy impeachment process. Brinson is asking that Senator Strange be given the same treatment.
Randy Brinson (website) is currently polling in 4th or 5th place depending on who you listen to. He is a veteran, a business owner, and a doctor. He has been endorsed by Roger Stone and Citizens For Trump. Other candidates include Roy Moore, Mo Brooks, Trip Pittman, Bryan Peeples, Mary Maxwell, and more. If no candidate gets over 50% of the vote, the top two vote getters will advance to a runoff election. The Democratic primary and runoff is being held concurrently.
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