Indictments May Impact AL Politics for Years

By: Denise Bradberry Email
By: Denise Bradberry Email

Monday's corruption indictments could have a far reaching impact on Alabama politics past the November elections.

News 4 sat down with a political science professor at troy university’s Dothan campus to find out what we can expect in future legislative sessions.

Monday's indictment listed four of Alabama’s state senators, three of whom are running for re-election this November.

District 29's Independent Senator Harri Anne Smith says she's not backing down.

“We are still in this campaign for re-election. I've been asked that question. We appreciate the support today of people all over the district people calling and saying we're behind you, we know this is not right, we know this is not true and want you to know we're still on the campaign trail,” says Smith.

Associate Political Science Professor Rick Martin says she'll likely still attract a lot of votes this November despite the corruption allegations.

“When an individual legislator is very popular in his or her district, there's a certain sense of loyalty that develops and sometimes when the comments are made just that defensive reaction, ‘It's my legislator, my legislator wouldn't do something like that,” says Associate Political Science Professor Rick Martin.

Many are questioning the timing of these indictments calling them politically motivated, but Martin thinks that's unlikely.

“Of the four there are two democrats, one republican and one independent that was a republican, so half and half, so it looks to me if you're going to talk conspiracy it's both parties conspiring against the other,” says Martin, “the federal prosecutors tend to look very distastefully of attempts by outsiders to influence their investigation.”

When it comes time for lawmakers to vote on other controversial legislation Martin believes they'll be very careful not only with what they say but also with whom they say it.

“The legislature is going to be very careful because they don't want to be viewed as being under the influence in pushing it because of outside influence rather than what their constituents want,” says Martin.

The accused will have their next hearing on October 15th where they'll enter their pleas.

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