State Senator Rodger Smitherman’s filing is so sloppy, it mentions Judge Carole Smitherman’s campaign on the cover page. Was that a Freudian slip of the keyboard?
[Update October 8, 2019: According to investigators, this was not a third donation. The $5,000 donation was from November of 2017 but Senator Smitherman appears to have concealed the donation by not reporting it until April 8, 2018. Edits below are in purple.]
Sloppiness. Just sloppiness.
With over 250 days of a secretive, unconstitutional Star Chamber presided by Judge Carole Smitherman, the Newsome Conspiracy Case is under seal.
However, we did learn that NEWPAC, a political action committee closely tied to clients and former associates of Balch & Bingham,
appears to have made another $5,000 donation from November 20, 2017 to the Judge’s husband, State Senator Rodger Smitherman was not reported until April 4, 2018.
Look at State Senator Rodger Smitherman’s filing: it is so sloppy, it mentions Judge Carole Smitherman’s campaign on the cover page.
Was that a Freudian slip of the keyboard?
Also, the same day Smitherman allegedly received the check April 4, 2018, NEWPAC received a donation of $10,000 from Drummond Company whose executive was indicted along with two Balch partners in September in the Oliver Robinson Bribery Scandal.
Last December, we wrote about two $5,000 contributions made by NEWPAC to Senator Smitherman on October 17, 2017 and November 20, 2017. These were first-time donations to Smitherman according to the state’s digital records.
NEWPAC is run by Clark D. Fine, a former attorney at Balch & Bingham.
The two major (and only) contributors last year to NEWPAC was Protective Life Corp. and Great Southern Wood Preserving.
Andrew Buck, the Senior Associate Counsel and Vice President at Protective Life, was a partner at Balch & Bingham for 12 years. Great Southern Wood Preserving is a client of Balch & Bingham and Balch has represented them as lead attorneys in federal court.
In January, we reported about BIPAC also run by Clark D. Fine, the former attorney at Balch & Bingham.
On November 15, 2017, BIPAC received $10,000 from Drummond.
The next day, two $5,000 checks were cut: one to Smitherman, and the second to the re-election campaign of Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale.
This, too, was a first-time contribution to Smitherman by BIPAC, according to the state’s digital records.
A third political action committee tied to former Balch & Bingham attorney Clark D. Fine called CANPAC received a $10,000 donation from Drummond on the same day BIPAC did, November 15, 2017.
A check for $2,500 was issued to the Rodger Smitherman campaign right after Thanksgiving.
Just coincidences? Just an example of the reach Balch & Bingham has and nothing more?
[Update: The cover-page filing by State Senator Rodger Smitherman with the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office has been corrected in the past week. Our original download was May 8, 2018.]