Contributions ignite verbal war

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 19, 2002

BNI Newswire

CLANTON ­ Candidates for lieutenant governor squared off in a verbal war this week over campaign contributions and who made them.

In a release issued by State Sen. Bill Armistead’s campaign contributions made to State Treasurer Lucy Baxley were criticized and called on the Democratic nominee to return those funds. Armistead is the Republican nominee for the lieutenant governor.

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Armistead called on Baxley to return the money she has received from trail lawyers in her race for the state office.

In a letter to Baxley, Armistead urged her to return the $10,000 contributions she received on Jan. 7, 2002 from Beasley-Allen, the law firm of what some consider Alabama’s lead trial lawyer Jere Beasley, as well as "any other lawyer contributions."

Armistead made the request following President Bush’s visit to Alabama on Monday.

"… stand with President Bush in believing frivolous lawsuits hurt Alabama’s business and cost people their jobs," Armistead said in a letter to Baxley.

In a statement released by her campaign, Baxley in essence told Armistead to worry about his own financing.

"Instead of reviewing my campaign contributions, Sen. Armistead should be returning the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has received from big business and special interest groups," Baxley said, "especially in this day when all of our news is dominated by what the Enron’s and WorldCom’s have done to the retirees and the working people of this state."

In an interview with The Advertiser on Thursday, Armistead said he is proud of he is proud of his relationship with the state’s business leaders.

"I am proud to be associated with the business community of Alabama," he said. "My goal is to help build our economy through the expansion of industry and the creation of new business."