Alabama Democrats Blast Riley-supporting PAC’s Flimsy Excuse for Illegal Donation
MONTGOMERY — Earlier today, the Republican State Leadership Committee said that the $50,000 donation made to Governor Bob Riley’s Alabama 2014 PAC was ‘a mistake’ and that the money had been sent back. No amended report has been filed with the Secretary of State’s office indicating the donation was returned.
“This Washington PAC’s defense is absurd,” said Judge Mark Kennedy, Chairman of the Alabama Democrats. “Trying to turn this into a comedy of errors distracts from the fact that no matter the circumstances this became an illegal donation any time after December 20, 2010. We stand by our call for an investigation. This is like a bank robber telling a judge he’s sorry for the crime and willing to give the money back if all is forgiven. This dog won’t hunt.”
A spokesperson for the organization said there had been a ‘misunderstanding’ regarding the effective date of the ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers, and the money donated on March 15 and reported by Riley on May 10 had been returned on June 24, 2011.
“By their own admission, the RSLC knew their donation to Riley’s PAC was going to be illegal,” said Kennedy. “They admitted they knew the bill had passed, and yet their biggest concern was getting Riley’s help to beat the deadline Riley signed into law himself.”
Governor Riley campaigned for the ethics legislation, called the special session where the bill was passed, and he signed it in to law in December of 2010, nearly three months before the RSLC made the donation. Whether or not the RSLC made a mistake is irrelevant — in taking this donation, Governor Riley not only went against his own long-standing criticism of PAC to PAC donations, but broke the law.
“This is absolutely embarrassing behavior from the man who claimed to champion ethics reform,” Kennedy added. “He passed the bill and it took him and this PAC two and a half months to figure out they broke the law. I wonder how well any other organization could make this flimsy excuse fly with the District Attorney’s office?”