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AL-05: Raby's Republican Contributions?

by: mooncat

Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 13:07:05 PM CST

I just saw this tweet from DownwithTyranny:

Steve Raby, a Dem trying to run against Parker Griffith has donated thousands of dollars to Repugs for years. Taz Shepard only gives to Dems


Now, I looked up Shepard's contribution history as soon as I heard he was considering the race ... and it's pretty bland and pretty Democratic:  Bud Cramer, Glenn Browder, Marsha Folsom, Susan Parker, Parker Griffith, the SDEC, Brad Carson, Evan Bayh, Chuck Robb, Tom Daschle, Bill Nelson, Howell Heflin.

But, I hadn't bothered to check Raby's history -- until now.  And Down with Tyranny is correct, he's given lot's of money to Repubs.  Opensecrets shows that since 1996 Stephen Raby has contributed $33,950 to Republican causes and $73,950 to Democratic causes.  He has contributed to both the State Democratic Executive Committee of Alabama and the Republican Party of Alabama.  In the 2008 cycle he contributed to both Mike Rogers, R ($2000) and Josh Segall, D ($500 $1000*) in the AL-03 contest.  He not only contributed to all the Republican Senators and Representatives from Alabama, but to the likes of Duncan Hunter, Curt Weldon, Lisa Murkowski and Kit Bond.  Raby's last Republican contribution was $2300 to Richard Shelby in 2008.  

I'm not setting up as the purity police, but this concerns me.

* Correction, there were two $500 contributions to Josh Segall.

mooncat :: AL-05: Raby's Republican Contributions?
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Thank you for posting this mooncat! (4.00 / 2)
It helped me narrow down my choice to two instead of three. Anyone who gave $2300 to Shelby in 2008 is not someone I want as my Representative in Washington.

It concerns me too... (4.00 / 2)
I was a little intrigued by Raby based on his some of his statements and some of the people surrounding him.  But, based on this information, I don't think I could support him.  In some ways, Taze Sheppard seems like a good fit for the district.  His pedigree can keep in some of the old time Democrats and he seems serious and consistent enough on progressive issues to keep progressive Democrats behind him.  I just hope his campaign people have a ready answer when he inevitably gets called out on his family wealth and his time at Eton.

Holy cow! Rogers over Segall? (4.00 / 1)

Well, cross that one off the list for me.

um.... can anyone say "Radney Rule?"  Do the party bylaws apply only to candidates in state races or are federal candidates covered as well?

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

Good question. (4.00 / 2)
Seems like a big old waving red flag that his Democratic principles might not be pure.  Shelby?  Hunter?  AL-GOP?  Maybe it's because he's done business with them?  Doesn't matter to me; I won't support him.

[ Parent ]
You didn't know?! (0.00 / 0)
I'm shocked.

There was good discussion on this topic on Doc's a week or so ago with respect to the Radney Rule.  If you'll look closely, you'll notice that Raby is very careful to give to Republicans in their primary campaigns, but only to Democrats in general elections.  That will keep him from breaking the Radney Rule. Did he ever slip up and give to a Pub over a Dem?  Maybe, but I didn't see such an occurrence in my limited analysis.

I thought it was common knowledge that he is a behind the scenes "bag man" for both Dems and GOP (although certainly more so for Dems).  He handles PAC type giving and spreads his own contributions around as well.  The consummate insider.

I saw that thread at Doc's (0.00 / 0)

And I wouldn't have been surprised to see some R contributions, particularly local ones, but this is way more extensive than I expected.

The only possible Radney Rule violation I noticed was the 2008 AL-03 race.  I don't think Rogers had a primary opponent then -- need to check that to be sure -- so does a contribution in a primary season where there's no primary equal a contribution toward the general election?  In practice, it does, although the rule may not see it that way.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
In defense of Steve Raby (4.00 / 3)

In defense of Steve Raby, I think you have to understand that he was a political consultant and lobbyist, trying to make a living as a lobbyist in a Red state.  Put another way, lobbyists have to be friends with all elected officials, regardless of their party.  Among other things, he was lobbying on behalf of the city of Huntsville and in support of defense and aerospace jobs.  Doing that job, you would have to be a fool not to give some money to Shelby.  If he didn't do that, it would hurt Huntsville.

If you know Raby, you know that he is Democrat true and true, and that he has been hoping to make the switch from lobbyist to candidate -- particularly for federal office -- for quite some time.

The Republicans are going to be throwing slime at all three Democratic candidates, and I would not be so quick to dismiss Raby.  I think Raby will come out as basically squeaky clean and experienced. 

Everyone's greatest strength is their greatest weakness. With Raby, he knows what he is doing because he was a lobbyist/consultant, but, of course, it also opens him to this line of attack.

I don't think this reflects poorly on his character; instead, I think it means he was smart and good at his job.

I'd like to know who he's been lobbying for. (4.00 / 1)

I could understand some local GOP contributions, but there are a lot spread all over the country.

There could be a perfectly fine explanation, but I want to hear it.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
Here's the list of Raby's Republican contributions (0.00 / 0)
As usual, you can scroll up and down within the frame.

Work harder and work smarter!

From what I understand, (4.00 / 2)
They were all primary contributions.  Supposedly that keeps him in agreement with the letter of the Radney Rule if not the spirit.  I still find this unseemly and am unsure how comfortable I feel with any lobbyist as the nominee in AL-5, especially one who has been willing to play both sides of the aisle in the wake of a Democratic congressman switching parties.

[ Parent ]
In a Post-Parker environment, this is bad n/t (4.00 / 1)

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
I don't like the idea of having a lobbyist as my representative. So I gotta disagree Lawdog. (0.00 / 0)
This is bad for us on so many levels and won't bring the change we really want to our politics and government. (and yes, I have a lobbyist in my family so I know how this works) 

[ Parent ]
Here's the list of Raby's Democratic contributions (4.00 / 1)

Scroll up and down to see all of it.

Work harder and work smarter!

Harruph! (4.00 / 2)

He didn't contribute to Carl Cole who ran against Aderholt in 2004.

(Full disclosure - Carl is my son). 

If he only gave to Repukes during primary season, it seems very maneuvered .

[ Parent ]
It's a valid point, but don't jump the gun (4.00 / 2)
I can understand the concerns, but we are only a week into this campaign -- so let's keep it in perspective.  None of the candidates are perfect and all of the other candidate's problems will shake out sooner or later, too.  All I would say is let's take our time: we have until June 1 to make up our minds who we will pull the lever for.  There is alot more we need to know about all three candidates, and there is alot more we will find out in the next few months.

Might as well keep Parker Griffith (0.00 / 0)

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.~Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D. MA)

I see nothing to support that particular reaction, (4.00 / 2)
but it does concern me.

Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

[ Parent ]
Piggieheart (4.00 / 3)

We are lucky to have 3 exceptional candidates running to replace PG.  

You should bring your wife and come up to the April 24th Madison County Democratic Reunion and meet them for yourself. All statewide candidates have been invited, the world famous Microwave Dave and the Nikes will be playing and Dr. Eddie and El lleve will be flippin hamburgers and hot dogs. If you enjoy the Arts, Panoply is also scheduled that weekend. 

[ Parent ]
The NUKES, Go Blue (4.00 / 2)
Microwave Dave and the Nukes!

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
- John Adams

[ Parent ]
Microwave Dave and the Nukes (4.00 / 2)
sorry Dave, sorry Nukes

[ Parent ]
is that earlier than usual (4.00 / 2)
i will try and come up. i want to hear the al-05 candidates and see how they work a crowd also

[ Parent ]
No, it's normally on the same weekend as Panoply (4.00 / 2)

If past history is any guide, we'll have statewide candidates as well.  All the way up and down the ballot.

Every single Madison County Democratic Reunion has had beautiful weather.  Sometimes there would be rain and storms the day before, but it hasn't ever shut down the Madison County Democrats.

Rumor has it that the County Executive has a "special arrangement" in the realm of weather.

Whatever - results are what count.

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
- John Adams

[ Parent ]



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