EDITORIAL: How David slayed Goliath
September 28, 2017 Share

EDITORIAL: How David slayed Goliath

PHOTO: (Top Right) Roy Moore delivers campaign speech. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) (Top Left) Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler heckles Luther Strange at a campaign event (Jonathan Lee Krohn). (Bottom) Ed Henry drops out of the race to purse Strange’s corruption in May (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch). 

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor 

tyler@southerntorch.com 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — After several months of bitter campaigning, Roy Moore has seized the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat. Alabama’s former chief justice will now advance to the general election on December 12; facing off against the Democratic Party’s nominee, Doug Jones. Moore seemed confident early on; referring to his election night watch party as a “Victory Party” shortly after the polls closed.

The New York Times called the race for Moore around 8:30 pm with about 45 percent of the vote in. After the smoke cleared and all the votes had been tallied, Roy Moore had received 262,204 (54.6%compared to Strange’s 218,066 (45.4%) statewide; a difference of 9.2%. Moore also secured every county within the state with the exception of four: Jefferson, Shelby, Madison and Sumter counties. 

The race was anticipated to be closer, but incumbent Senator Luther Strange fell hard to former Chief Justice Moore; likely losing by a wider margin than the August primary (6.1%). This despite lots of outside help for the appointed senator. The last month has seen millions spent by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch Connell, and campaign-style rallies by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence shortly before election day.

While on the surface it seems that Roy Moore plays the role of David with his sling, and Luther Strange the monstrous Philistine warrior, the hard-fought victory was won well before Moore entered the race. The role of David in this story is portrayed by several state actors, who loaded their sling with not stones, but the truth.

You see, the truth in politics (when it exists) forms a much more powerful weapon than the largest stones that can be thrown. Representative Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) began a quest for the public to see the reality of Luther Strange’s appointment. Henry was one of the first to pursue action against former Governor Robert Bentley regarding his inappropriate relationship with then Chief of Staff Rebekah Caldwell Mason; filing impeachment proceedings in April 2016.  Henry also served as the Co-Chair for Donald Trump’s Alabama Campaign in 2016.

This impeachment action was halted, however, when the Alabama House of Representatives received notification from then Attorney General Luther Strange’s office that the AG’s office was conducting it’s own investigation. Henry recounted the events in a May 2017 press conference: “In October of 2016, while we were working on the impeachment process of Governor Bentley, Luther Strange interjected himself into that impeachment process, and at that point, set a thing in motion where he was in direct conflict with the impeachment process, claiming that they had some kind of investigation into the governor or his staff,” explained Henry.

The month after Strange notified the legislature that an investigation into the governor was underway, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States and opted to appoint then Alabama Senator Jeff Session to the office of U.S. Attorney General. Taking this office would leave a U.S. Senate seat open, and it was up to embattled Governor Bentley to appoint his successor until the next general election (or so he thought).

When it became apparent Bentley would be choosing the next U.S. Senator (arguably the most powerful political seat in the state) suddenly, there was no investigation into the wrongdoing of Governor Robert Bentley, according to Strange. Bentley then interviewed numerous candidates to fill the seat, and in early February, appointed Luther Strange to the coveted Senate seat. Almost instantly, many in the state cried fowl, including Henry, State Auditor Jim Zeigler, and the editorial staff at Alabama Political Reporter. The Southern Torch also reported on the mess early on.

In early April, Governor Bentley eventually resigned and faced a misdemeanor charge for Campaign Finance violations. Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey would then assume the office of Governor, and took issue with her predecessor’s interpretation of Alabama Law regarding the senate appointment. Ivey’s maintained that the law stated that an election must be held sooner than later, and called for a special election, with the primary to be decided in August and the General Election in December 2017.

Shortly after the special election was declared, Representative Ed Henry threw his hat into the ring. Outspoken on the issue since the get-go, Henry traveled the state on his own dime, making it clear that his goal was for all Alabamians to understand the nature of Strange’s appointment to the U.S. Senate. He also was the subject of a feature article in our paper regarding his campaign: Could Ed Henry be the right U.S. Senate candidate for Second Amendment Issues?

Henry obviously had Strange feeling the heat, because shortly after this article ran exclusively on our website and print version, Strange ran a series of advertisements regarding silencers and the NFA; mimicking Henry’s original stance on the issue that appeared in our article.

Then on May 17, the last day to qualify for the race, Henry held a press conference on the steps of Alabama GOP Headquarters. To everyones surprise, Henry ripped up his qualifying paperwork for the senate race, and vowed to doggedly pursue the Luther Strange corruption case. Henry was joined by writers from the Alabama Political Reporter, and the press conference was covered by Al.com, WBRC, WAFF 48, the Southern Torch, and several other outlets. Strangely enough, Yellowhammer News, which is located a short distance away in Birmingham, didn’t make it.

Why would Alabama’s “conservative” statewide news website skip out on big political news right down the road? That’s a good question. An even better question, why would the aforementioned “news” outlet skip the whole controversy regarding Strange’s appointment? The answer is simple, Cliff Sims, former Yellowhammer writer and now advisor to Donald Trump, was quietly pushing Luther Strange from the oval office.

If you search, “Luther Strange” on their website, in all related articles, the “strange” situation regarding the senate appointment is barely mentioned. Most of the articles are regarding his “Second Amendment” credentials or endorsements/visits by President Donald Trump.

So, long story short, if you are wondering how “anti-establishment” Donald Trump wound up on the wrong side with the establishment candidate, look no further than one of his top advisors. This may explain how a recently ousted top advisor, Steve Bannon, ended up on the opposite side of the race from the White House.

Moral of the story is, you can amass political capital, millions of dollars, ad campaigns, etc., but when it comes down to it, Alabama Republican voters won’t be played for a fool. Not by Senator Mitch McConnell, not by D.C. lobbyists, not by White House advisors, and not even by the President himself.

The truth Trumps all.

Comments

  1. Laura
    Laura September 28, 11:04
    But Alabama voters will vote for a crook who thumps his bible hard enough. They got played for the fools are, the willing sheep to slaughter kind.

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