The action of a Montgomery County grand jury, regarding what any reasonable person would call illegal activity, confirms that the ethics laws passed by the Republican Supermajority in the closing hours of the Riley administration are a sham.
Upon reviewing numerous documented examples of PAC to PAC transfers, making contributions in the name of another, and other acts supposedly made illegal by the Supermajority’s eleventh hour legislation, the grand jury concluded that nothing in the law makes solicitation or receipt of illegal contributions a crime.
Citing numerous problems with the law, the grand jury said “It is not a crime for a PAC to solicit or receive an illegal contribution, such as from another PAC.”
“According to this grand jury, there is no ethics law in place. The Republican Supermajority passed laws they knew were unenforceable and then immediately went about violating these laws knowing they were safe,” said Senator Roger Bedford, Senate Minority Leader.
“It is clear the passage of the ethics laws was nothing but political theatre designed from the beginning to deceive the public and preserve the ability of Republican officials to commit the acts they were claiming to outlaw. The law is a farce and the people of Alabama have been lied to,” Bedford said.
“Our state has just endured two years of investigations regarding corruption in Government. Now, with violations more clear-cut and definitive than any charge brought in the Bingo Trials, a grand jury concludes solicitation of an illegal contribution is not a crime. This is incredible and the people of Alabama have been duped by the Republican Supermajority,” said Representative Craig Ford, House Minority Leader.
Both Bedford and Ford said the Democratic leadership of the legislature would begin drafting legislation to make the prosecution of illegal activity possible under the new ethics laws.
Senator Roger Bedford is a Democrat from Russellville. He has served in the Alabama Senate since 1982. In 2010, Senator Bedford was elected Senate Minority Leader by the Senate Democratic Caucus.
Representative Craig Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden. He has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 2000. In 2010, Representative Ford was elected House Minority Leader by the House Democratic Caucus.