Questions of ethics raised about Governor Ivey's campaign contributions

Governor Ivey's campaign contributions have been linked to a lobbyist who she voted to become the new state superintendent.

Posted: Apr 26, 2018 11:06 PM
Updated: Apr 26, 2018 11:08 PM

Governor Kay Ivey is at the center of a possible conflict of interest situation over her swing vote that chose the new Alabama State Superintendent, who is a registered lobbyist, in a close five to four vote.

Campaign financing documents show the new superintendent made a contribution to a Political Action Committee.

That PAC then made a contribution to Governor Ivey's election campaign.

WAAY 31 did some digging to find out if what Governor Ivey did is illegal, or even a conflict of interest.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle's campaign, who is also running for governor on the republican ticket, is one of the groups questioning the Governor's ethics in this situation.

A voter in Huntsville who said he's not surprised stuff like this is coming up during the gubernatorial race.

"If you're gonna run in alabama there's going to be shady dealings. I hate that is always just stains our reputation as a state government. It's not a good look for us thats for sure," said Trevor Ramsey.

Campaign finance documents show Dr. Eric Mackey made a $4,000 donation to AL Group.

The PAC then made a $2,000 donation to Governor Ivey five days later.

All of this happened back in late August and early September of 2017.

"If you're looking for something to say something might be wrong maybe you can draw those lines. By the letter of the law I don't think she's done anything wrong and just by the smell test it doesn't seem like she did anything either," said WAAY 31 Political Analyst Dale Jackson.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told WAAY 31 after a private citizen makes a campaign donation to a PAC the PAC chooses where that money will go.

It's not illegal in this situation, unless there is a recording, or note, saying Dr. Mackey's money must go to Governor Ivey.

"It's going to get attention, because of what has happened of course in the mike hubbard situation and the governor siegelman situation and some of the other things with state reps and so forth in recent years," said WAAY 31's Political Analyst Waymon Burke.

Ramsey said changes in campaign financing are the only way to prevent this type of thing from coming up in the future.

"Unfortunately until the system changes and we crack down on these private donations we're never going to have a clean system," said Ramsey.

This situation also doesn't violate Governor Ivey's executive order she passed last year prohibiting lobbyists from taking executive branch appointments, because Ivey herself didn't appoint him and it was a vote by the state board of education.

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