Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
Alabama's master politician has shown that at least one Democrat in the U.S. still has a spine. And in the process, he showed that Republican hypocrisy has reached a new zenith.
That's quite a feat. But Paul Hubbert, executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association (AEA), pulled it off. And Democrats around the country, including the one who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, should watch and learn.
Bradley Byrne, Governor Bob Riley's hand-picked successor, has been conducting a whinefest ever since he got thrashed in the Republican primary by the relatively unknown Robert Bentley. Now we know, at least partly, why Byrne got trounced. Paul Hubbert took him to the proverbial woodshed.
Byrne had run on a platform of attacking "union bosses," a thinly veiled reference to Hubbert and the AEA. Did Hubbert choose to tuck tail and "look forward, not backwards"? Not exactly. He fought back--big time.
Associated Press reports that newly released records show AEA provided every dollar of a $711,020 media blitz that targeted Byrne in the Republican runoff. Reports AP:
Before the July runoff, a new and secretive organization called the Conservative Coalition for Alabama ran an extensive ad campaign that criticized Byrne's record in state government. Little was known about the group other than it listed its official address as a rented mail box at a package shipping store in Montgomery.- Advertisement -
But a newly released report reviewed by The Associated Press shows its only donor was AEA, which provided $750,000 on June 23. That was one day after the coalition was created.
The coalition, in a quarterly filing with the Internal Revenue Service, said it spent $711,020 -- all with the Smart Media Group that placed the anti-Byrne ads.
AEA has said it will remain neutral in the November general election between Bentley and Democrat Ron Sparks. But the organization made no secret of its distaste for Byrne:
AEA favored state Rep. Robert Bentley of Tuscaloosa, who won the Republican runoff July 13 with 56 percent of the vote. Byrne, a former state school board member, state senator and two-year college chancellor, had targeted AEA in his campaign and accused the teachers' organization of being a corrupting influence on state government.- Advertisement -
Has Bradley Byrne gotten over the spanking he received from Paul Hubbert and gone on to other things? Nope, he's still whining about it--even though there is no indication that AEA did anything unlawful or unethical. Reports AP:
Byrne, of Montrose on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay, said today that it's sad that people can run attack ads against a candidate but not disclose who's behind the ads until after the election.