Candidate Peter Joffrion calls for Brooks campaign to return certain contributions

Candidate Peter Joffrion calls for Brooks campaign to return certain contributions

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A Birmingham bribery and corruption case out involving a coal company executive, a lawyer, and a state legislator is becoming an issue in the District 5 congressional race. Democratic candidate Peter Joffrion is trying to associate his opponent Congressman Mo Brooks with the corruption.

Joffrion is calling on Brooks to return certain campaign donations he says are associated with convicted felons. Joffrion is referring to Drummond Company VP David Roberson and Balch & Bingham Partner Joel Gilbert. The two were convicted in a corruption and bribery scheme a few weeks ago. Federal prosecutors say the men bribed a state legislator to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency's expansion and cleanup of a Superfund site in North Birmingham.

Joffrion is pointing out that Political Action Committees connected to both Roberson and Gilbert's former employers have donated to Brooks campaign. Joffrion says it's pay to play politics and North Alabama voters should be concerned.

"Both of those PACS have made significant contributions Mo Brooks political campaign war chest over the years. I think a total of $30,000 plus thousand dollars since 2010. $11,000 of that was during the 2014 election cycle, which is the operative time relative to the events that led to the convictions," explains Joffrion.

Congressional candidate questions Brooks' campaign contributions

(WAFF) - Peter Joffrion wants Rep. Mo Brooks to return campaign finances, but Brooks sees nothing wrong with his contributions. Joffrion brought this up after an attorney and a corporate executive were convicted of bribery this past week.

Balch and Bingham attorney Joel Gilbert and Drummond Coal Executive David Roberson were found guilty on multiple counts of bribery. Peter Joffrion is raising red flags over Balch and Bingham and Drummond Coal donating several times to Brooks' campaign. 

According to campaign finance reports, between 2010 and 2018, Balch and Bingham contributed 18 times.. Drummond and Coal donated a total of four times in the last eight years.

These contributions both contributed thousands to Mo Brooks' Campaign. Brooks says these donations aren't a problem. However Joffrion believes otherwise.

"Over the course of eight years, contributions were made by several PACs to Mo Brooks' political campaign account. A large concentration of those, about 11,000, were made within the 2014 election cycle...which is the time frame in which many of these events occurred that led to the conviction of David Roberson and Joel Gilbert" said Joffrion. 

Peter Joffrion Calls on Mo Brooks to Return Corrupt Contributions from Convicted Criminals

Huntsville, AL, August 7, 2018 — Democratic Congressional candidate Peter Joffrion calls on Mo Brooks to return $30,000 in campaign contributions from PACs associated with convicted felons David Roberson and Joel Gilbert.

Roberson and Gilbert were convicted of conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud, and money laundering in a scheme to thwart EPA efforts to clean up industrial pollution in neighborhoods and playgrounds in Birmingham. As a Congressman, Brooks participated in the scheme by accepting tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and by signing on to a letter drafted by the conspirators to oppose the EPA’s cleanup efforts.

https://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2018/07/dirty_business_how_alabama_con.html

“This reeks of pay to play politics, and my opponent should immediately return this dirty money and apologize to the citizens of Alabama for putting special interests above the public’s best interest,” Joffrion stated. “Elected officials have a responsibility to protect the hard working families of our nation. Mo Brooks abandoned this duty in pursuit of helping special interests outside his district hurt Alabama citizens.”

Since 2010, Mo Brooks has accepted $1.42 million in campaign contributions from special interests.

Mo Brooks Challenged to Debates by Democrat Peter Joffrion

Mo Brooks Challenged to Debates by Democrat Peter Joffrion

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks ignored a debate challenge earlier this year during the Republican primary and now he's getting another one from his opponent in the general election campaign.

Democrat Peter Joffrion, perhaps Brooks' strongest Democratic opponent in his four bids for re-election, has attacked Brooks during his campaign along with promoting his agenda and vision for serving north Alabama.

He issued a blistering statement Thursday in publicly seeking debates.

"My opponent has a track record of avoiding his constituents and only engaging like-minded voters in safe spaces that insulate him from criticism," Joffrion said. "He has shown that he would rather grandstand on cable news than engage in meaningful conversations about the issues that matter most to the people of north Alabama."

FUNDRAISING ROUNDUP: Over 70 Democratic challengers out-raise Republican opponents in Q2 of 2018

FUNDRAISING ROUNDUP: Over 70 Democratic challengers out-raise Republican opponents in Q2 of 2018

In the second quarter of 2018, Democrats continued to dominate in fundraising compared to Republican incumbents and Republican candidates in open seats. More than 50 Republican incumbents were outraised by Democratic challengers, with the situation even more dire in open seats after Republicans failed to recruit strong candidates.

“While Republicans are outsourcing their entire midterm strategy to Super PACs and dark money outside groups, Democrats have intentionally focused on empowering our candidates to raise the resources necessary to share their powerful stories and records of service with voters,” said DCCC Spokesperson Tyler Law. “Democrats have the infrastructure and message to capitalize on a historic surge of grassroots energy by raising record amounts from small-dollar, online contributions. There’s no question that Democrats are charging into the general elections with all the momentum.”

I'm Making You a Promise

I am running to win, but I will not compromise democracy in order to do it. I am running a different type of campaign. In order to mount a successful bid for Congress I will have to fundraise. It will take a substantial amount of money to broadcast a new vision for North Alabama—one that includes better schools for our children, better healthcare for our neighbors and more, or better, jobs for those who need them, but I will not sell out to special interests groups in order to get elected. Democracy should not be for sale.

Ever since the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, elections have become feeding frenzies for special interest political action committees, big business, and the wealthiest among us. The size of one's bank account should not determine the size of one's influence on our political system. We need more people who are willing to run for office without acquiescing to corrupting agents of big money. We need more elected officials who are willing to take on the issue of campaign finance reform. I desire to do both.

I promise:

  1. Not to accept any contribution from any political action committees associated with 1) the private prison industry 2) big pharmaceutical companies 3) big oil companies or 4) the NRA.

  2. To disclose, on my website and social media accounts, each PAC contribution I receive. I will detail why I believe their purposes align with my values and why their interests align with what is best for North Alabamians. I will also report the median income of the people they represent.

  3. To support meaningful campaign finance reform to limit the disproportionate impact the wealthy can have on our election process.    

I want to receive contributions that make me accountable to 5th Congressional District citizens, collectively, not PACs which represent companies concerned about profiting from the citizens I seek to serve. Alabama's 5th Congressional District seat belongs to you. I want you to invest in my congressional campaign. Every donation counts, no matter how small. If we all do our part, together we can make history.

We're Next.

On December, 12th, 2017 Alabamians chose decency over divisiveness. Together we proved that a motivated coalition of voters can propel the right candidate into office. We made history. Lets do it again next November!

Campaigns need money. Doug Jones was able to over 11 million dollars en route to his historic win. We don't like asking for money, but in order to mount a serious campaign against the incumbent we fund raise competitively. Mo Brooks has raised over 1 million dollars since September 30, the last financial reporting quarter. 

Congressional District 5 was 482 votes away from going blue. We are closer than we've been in a very long time. Let's seize this opportunity and invest in history!