Press Release: Key Player in Luther Strange Campaign Has Ties to Federal Bribery Probe
The head of Senator Luther Strange’s (R-AL) reelection campaign’s “Financial Leadership Team” appears to be linked to a bribery scheme that is part of an ongoing federal public corruption investigation, according to previously unreported documents obtained by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). The new information reinforces an earlier call by POGO to wall off this investigation from political interference.
The previously unreported documents are 2015 and 2016 filings with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by the Alliance for Jobs and the Economy, Inc., a tax-exempt organization. In a filing in federal court in Alabama this year, the Justice Department alleged an Alabama state legislator, Oliver Robinson (D), was bribed in a scheme involving this non-profit. Robinson pled guilty this month, admitting that he took bribes to oppose proposed actions by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at a Superfund site in Birmingham that could result in coal giant Drummond Co. paying millions to clean up pollution.
Mike Thompson is listed on the Alliance for Jobs and the Economy’s IRS filings as one of its two directors along with David L. Roberson, who is an executive with the Drummond Co. Similarly, on the organization’s 2016 annual report filed with the state of Delaware, Roberson and Thompson are listed as the organization’s only two directors.
In June, the Strange campaign named Thompson the head of its Financial Leadership Team.
POGO has called for Sessions and Jay Town, who was confirmed by the Senate in August to become the new U.S. Attorney for Alabama’s Northern District, to recuse themselves from the investigation because of their political ties to organizations and players relevant to it. The investigation is being run by that U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“This investigation needs to be insulated from political considerations,” said Nick Schwellenbach, POGO’s Director of Investigations.
POGO has more details in its article.
Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.