Two years ago, I would have said that Alabama candidate for the U.S. Senate, Roy Moore’s boat just sunk. Two years ago, I would have been right. But that was then and this is now, and all the rules have changed and we are living in an alternative political universe where there seem to be no rules.
Two stories in today’s news are the things that political nightmares were once made of.
Undisclosed Deal Guaranteed Roy Moore $180,000 A Year For Part-Time Work At Charity – The Washington Post, 11 October 2017
Talking out of both sides of his mouth, Moore previously said publicly that he did not take a “regular salary” from the small charity he founded, ostensibly to promote Christian values because he did not want to be a financial burden. But in reality, he privately arranged to receive a salary of $180,000 per annum and received more than $1 million between 2007 and 2012.
The ‘charity’, Foundation for Moral Law (FML), fudged their public tax filings for most of those years. The premise of this ‘charity’ is, in my mind, dubious, for its byline is “Defend Our Inalienable Right To Acknowledge God”. Their stated mission is “FML fights to protect the Constitution and protect the heritage of our Country. We don’t run from our values, we protect them.”
It almost seems that FML is more of a PAC for Moore, for they have helped Moore in other ways, apart from financially. They set up a network of donors when he was running for public office, and they paid for his health care insurance, travel expenses and even a bodyguard! The charity also employs two of Moore’s children (salaries unknown) and his wife, who received $195,000 from 2013-2015. Moore’s salary alone has been equal to approximately one-third of the total donations received by the group.
The group actually started in 2003, the first time Moore was ousted from his position as judge for his refusal to obey a federal court ruling. At that time, it was called the Roy Moore Legal Defense Fund, and when the group applied for recognition as a charity the following year, their application was rejected, as it was considered to be operating in the private interests of Roy Moore. They later changed their name, broadened their mission statement, and in 2005 were granted tax-exempt status. However, it appears that Moore remains the primary beneficiary in a number of ways.
And then there is this …
Senate Candidate Roy Moore’s Son Is Arrested For The Ninth Time – The Associated Press (AP), 11 October 2017
“The son of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has been arrested in Alabama on a misdemeanor charge linked to allegations of illegal hunting.
Etowah County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Natalie Barton tells news outlets 27-year-old Caleb Moore surrendered Monday on a charge of third-degree criminal trespass. He was accused of hunting without permission and hunting over bait last year.
Moore’s campaign issued a statement calling the arrest a “cheap political trick.”
Caleb Moore was arrested on drug charges in 2015, but those were dropped after he entered a pre-trial diversion program.
Monday’s arrest marks the ninth time the 27-year-old has been in jail.”
What a fine, upstanding family these people are, yes? As I said in the beginning, until the last two years, Roy Moore would, at this point, be a deer in the headlights. However, today, when the man who sits in the Oval Office has been involved in thousands of lawsuits and has been accused of sexual harassment more than once, yet still managed to get elected, all bets are off.
I would like to think that some values still remain and that the good people of Alabama will begin taking a much closer look at Moore’s opponent for the Senate seat, Doug Jones. Time will tell, but as of this moment, Moore is still leading in the polls. Sigh. We no longer seem to hold our political leaders to the same high standard we once did, and that is a sad statement to have to make.