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Montgomery PAC funds Both Democrat and Republican Judicial Candidates

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Chris Richardson Circuit Judge candidate (R) and Judge Carole Smitherman (D) took money from the same Montgomery-based Political Action Committee.

Dothan, AL- Lobbyists, powerbrokers, influence peddlers, and pressure groups. We have all heard these titles when it comes to those who move in the shadows to get their agendas pushed through the legislative and executive branches. These lobbyists use their influence of smooth-talking, promises, and finances to make sure they get what they want from the people they want; but where does that money come from? More importantly, why are they involving themselves in local judicial elections involving our district attorneys, circuit judges, and sheriffs

To answer the first question, we need to look no further than the political action committee aka the “PAC.” PACs are not new, they have been around since the 1940s when unions were prohibited by Congress from giving direct contributions to political candidates. Since then, they have grown in number and their causes have been enumerated by leaps and bounds.

One thing has always remained the same, their donors have remained anonymous under our state laws. These donations can be given to candidates and since 2010, one would have an almost impossible task trying to find out who is giving money to who. The fun does not stop there as the PACs can be tied into each other in a web of money moving and decision making. The last report to point out who some of these players truly are can be found in a 2010 article on (also indexed as LEG PAC) is run by “lobbyist for hire Joe Fine and Bob Geddie.” It is one of many PACs managed out of Montgomery. One thing has remained the same, the Chairman and Treasurer of these PACs can be tied back to Fine and Geddie. Ten PACs run by Fine, Geddie and Associates, a leading Montgomery lobbying firm, distributed $1.4 million — raised almost exclusively from powerful business entities — to 140 state and local candidates during the midterm elections in 2018.

Why did Chris Richardson Circuit Judge Candidate and Circuit Judge Carole Smitherman, Accept Donations from the Same PAC?

This brings about the second question, why are they involving themselves with local judicial elections? The doctrine of the separation of powers states that the three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) are to be kept separate. The legislative branch makes the law, the executive branch enforces the law, and the judicial branch interprets the law. What happens when all three branches are paid by the same PACs and influenced by the lobbyist giving to them?

This money moving isn’t secretive, in fact, it is required by law and can easily be found by doing a quick contribution search of the Alabama Secretary of State website. The ledger of contributions to Chris Richardson Circuit Judge Candidate and those to Circuit Judge Carole Smitherman are easily accessible.

For example, a search for LEGPAC shows a total of only three local judicial branch candidates to have received money from these lobbyists. Should we be concerned that some of our local judicial candidates are being funded by lobbyists who do not reside in those counties, let alone in that part of the State? The information is readily available at your fingertips and all it takes is a few minutes of searching. Look for yourself before going to the polls and voting.

The next election in Alabama is the runoff on June 21, 2022. Before this upcoming election or ANY other election, research your candidates for their beliefs, and qualifications, and see who is donating to their campaign. Search for contributions to Alabama candidates including Chris Richardson circuit judge candidate and Circuit Judge Carole Smitherman here.

This article is an opinion piece and is not meant to endorse nor denounce any candidate.

Follow more Policy, Politics, News, Commentary, and Opinion at the video above to see the connection between Republican Chris Richardson Circuit Judge Candidate and Democrat Circuit Court Judge Carole Smitherman.

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