HUNTSVILLE, AL – Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead held a press conference today at the Madison County GOP Headquarters to address the negative ads a liberal national political organization, Southern Progress Action Fund has launched against House Republican candidates this week.
The Southern Progress Action Fund is a non-profit, tax-exempt group that is based in Arkansas and, according to a Bloomberg News report, was created in order to “register voters and make sure they cast ballots.”
They have spent almost $300,000 airing a series of partisan and negative attack ads against Republican candidates in the Montgomery and Huntsville media markets. The group refuses to publicly reveal its funding sources, although a sister organization founded by the same group, the Southern Progress Fund, does disclose its contributors to the IRS.
“The Southern Progress Action Fund was founded by some of the most well-known liberal Democrats in the nation! Ultra-liberals like Howard Dean, a former chairman of the National Democrat Party, and former California Gov. Gray Davis are among its founders and leaders, which is all of the evidence you need to know that it opposes the conservative beliefs and values that most Alabamians hold,” Chairman Armistead stated.
“Their ads contain incomplete, inaccurate and non-factual information, but, just as importantly, they were purchased with money that was not reported to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office under the Fair Campaign Practices Act. These out-of-state liberal Democrats are purposely violating our laws and thumbing their noses at our reporting requirements in order to elect their fellow liberal Democrats to the Alabama Legislature.
“A staggering $297,000 in unreported, undocumented and unaccounted dollars is being spent by an out-of-state group of liberal Democrats in order to influence our legislative elections in Alabama. That’s not only outrageous; it is also, quite possibly, criminal,” Armistead continued.
“It is our duty to demand candid answers from the Southern Progress Action Fund and ask the proper authorities to investigate the group and any candidates, committees or associations working with it in Alabama. Why is an out-of-state, tax exempt, non-profit organization that was created to promote voter registration airing negative ads about candidates in Alabama well after the voter registration deadline has passed? And, why is the group refusing to disclose its donors as required by the Fair Campaign Practices Act since it is airing partisan and negative attack ads against candidates in Alabama? What are they hiding?
“Did they wait until the 11th hour before the election to air their ads because they know they are illegal under Alabama’s campaign laws and could be removed from the air? Why isn’t the IRS, which has targeted TEA Party groups under Obama’s watch, investigating the Southern Progress Action Fund and revoking its tax exempt status?
“These dishonest tactics may work elsewhere, but they won’t work here in Alabama. I believe the people of Alabama will recognize the Southern Progress Action Fund as a group of liberals being funded by liberals to elect liberals. They have no business being in Alabama,” Chairman Armistead concluded.