Republican Candidates Respond to Byrne's Challenge
Byrne is competing with six other candidates for the Republican nomination and this is what five of them had to say:
Mark Powell, a spokesman for state Treasurer Kay Ivey, said she would be willing to sign the pledge. "Given my campaign's strong support for charter schools for Alabama and my determination to reduce the bloated education bureaucracy, I'm the last candidate AEA would support," Ivey said in a statement. "I gladly welcome Bradley Byrne joining me in standing up to AEA's big-money politics as usual."
Brett Hall, spokesman for Greenville businessman Tim James, said he'd be shocked if AEA contributed any funds to their campaign. "I figure if they were going to give us any money we'd have to return it because we don't agree with AEA on anything except that students in Alabama need better than what they're getting," he said.
State Rep. Robert Bentley, R-Tuscaloosa, said Byrne's pledge is a political ploy, and he would not be a party to it. Bentley said he received money from AEA as a state legislator, and he suspects many Republicans, including Byrne, have also because of PAC-to-PAC transfers. In fact he said the only public official in the state that he knows who hasn't received any PAC contributions is state Rep. Jeff McLaughlin, D-Guntersville. "I won't make my campaign about any one person or any one group," Bentley said. "We all need to work together to make Alabama a better state."
John Wahl, a spokesman for Judge Roy Moore, said Moore has a track record of not being bought or sold by political money. “I have not received any contributions from the Alabama Education Association, and based upon my past record with Paul Hubbert, I do not expect too," Moore said in a statement.
Bill Johnson said, "Are we talking about the Bradley Byrne, candidate for governor, who accepted Alabama Education money in a past campaign as documented by a Byrne finance report located here: http://arc-sos.state.al.us/PEL/SOSELPDF.002/E0014259.PDF (page 1)? And are we talking about the same Bradley Byrne, Republican candidate for governor, who accepted state Democratic Committee money in a past campaign as documented by a Byrne finance report located here: http://arc-sos.state.al.us/PEL/SOSELPDF.002/E0061980.PDF (page 7)? Please, I believe Alabama citizens have had enough of candidates and elected officials who do one thing and then say another. Our campaign slogan is 'Together for a Better Alabama.' We fully intend to request the support and votes from ALL citizens in this state and commit to work together with all citizens to make Alabama a better place to live and work for all of us when elected."
-- posted by Markeshia Ricks