Alabama Democrats Question Riley’s Ethics
Montgomery - As Governor Bob Riley calls the Alabama Legislature into a special session on ethics, a move he could have made at any time in the last eight years, the Alabama Democratic Party has found that the Governor apparently violated Alabama’s Fair Campaign Practices Act. According to disclosure forms on file with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office, the Alabama Republican Party reported receiving contributions from the Bob Riley for Governor Committee in the amount of $2,010 on July 22nd and $10,000 on September 27th; however, Governor Riley’s campaign has failed to file financial disclosures reporting the donations for the 2010 election cycle as is required by law.
Jim Spearman, Executive Director of the Alabama Democratic Party stated, “It should be an embarrassing day for Bob Riley when he opens a special session on ethics and campaign finance legislation and it’s discovered that he’s actually failed to abide by one of the state laws he’s looking at changing. Without question a donation for $2,010 was meant to influence the 2010 election.”
Alabama law is clear in section 17-5-9 of the Alabama Code that a candidate or campaign committee must file a report under the Fair Campaign Practice Act if expenditures are made to influence an election. Governor Riley missed two different filing dates that these contributions could have and should have been reported. A part of Section 17-5-9 says:
(a) Each principal campaign committee or political action committee shall file with the Secretary of State or judge of probate, as designated in Section 17-5-9, reports of contributions and expenditures at the following times in any year in which an election is held:
(1) Between 50 and 45 days before and between 10 and five days before the date of any election for which a political action committee or principal campaign committee receives contributions or makes expenditures with a view toward influencing such election's result.
“During Bob Riley’s tenure as Governor there has been a continuing theme of do as I say, not as I do,” said Spearman. Governor Riley campaigned on eliminating no-bid contracts as a candidate, and now as governor, his administration has awarded more no-bid contracts than any other in Alabama’s history. In addition, Riley vetoed an ethics bill in 2007 that passed both houses of the legislature without a dissenting vote, which would have required the governor’s office to expose deals with the state by family members of the governor or his staff.
“Today’s discovery of Governor Riley’s failure to follow campaign election law, his past veto of ethics legislation, and his abuse of no-bid contracts leaves him suspect on his ability to lead any effort on ethics reform. The people of Alabama should pay close attention to what Bob Riley and Republican Legislators are actually proposing and not just what they’re saying. The devil could be in the details,” warned Spearman.