Should Troy King Investigate Beth Chapman?

As Dan highlights today, Beth Chapman – our Secretary of State – recently issued, through the office of Secretary of State, this press release:

Secretary of State Beth Chapman announced her opposition to legislation which supports the expansion of the gambling industry in Alabama. The legislation is on the special order calendar in the House of Representatives. Chapman said, “It is my sincere belief that gambling is bad for Alabama families, therefore it is bad for Alabama.”

Chapman said some of those endorsing the legislation are being deceptive. “Anyone who hears that the Christian Coalition endorses any gambling bill should know that the organization has been taken hostage by those who do not support the same family values the average Alabamian supports.”

Like Dan points out, that statement has absolutely no relevance to anything in the job description of Secretary of State. Of course Beth Chapman the individual is perfectly free to express her opinions on gambling and on the Christian Coalition. But Beth Chapman is most certainly NOT free to use Alabama’s resources to promote her personal opinion. And that is just what she did here, using not only the S-o-S office’s time, computers, and perhaps employees, but its prestige to promote her own personal agenda.

The press release has nothing to do with the office of Secretaty of State, yet it is a press release of the Secretary of State. So why did Beth Chapman use the office’s resources for something completely irrelevant to the office? Dan’s commentators  were quick to point out an obvious possibility: Chapman’s own plans to run for a higher office.

If that is the real reason for the release, than she has probably violated Alabama Code 36-12-61:

It shall be unlawful for any officer or employee of the State of Alabama to use or to permit to be used any state-owned property of any character or description, including stationery, stamps, office equipment, office supplies, automobiles or any other property used by him, in his custody or under his control for the promotion or advancement of the interest of any candidate for the nomination or election to any public office of the State of Alabama.

Or consider Ala. Code 17-1-7(c):

No person in the employment of the State of Alabama, a county, or a city whether classified or unclassified, shall use any state, county, or city funds, property or time, for any political activities. 

So how about it Troy Boy? Maybe there is a legitimate reason for the press release, but this sure smells funny. And you can’t be too vigilant about the electoral process, right? Here’s what you said after the arrest of our former S-o-S for using her office to promote her own candidacy:

“It is deeply troubling when a person who was charged with overseeing our election laws is accused of breaking the very laws she swore to uphold, and of betraying the system whose integrity was entrusted to her,” said Attorney General King. “If the people are to have confidence in their government, it is imperative that such allegations be thoroughly investigated, and where evidence warrants, that the case be prosecuted, regardless of who may be affected.”

I’m not asking for an arrest. But I think this deserves a “thorough investigation?” Don’t you?

Explore posts in the same categories: Corrupt Politicians, Elections, Troy King

11 Comments on “Should Troy King Investigate Beth Chapman?”

  1. […] Alablawg links to this post with Should Troy King Investigate Beth Chapman?  Filed under Elections, AL govt at work email author :: 7 comments(1506) These icons link […]

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  3. Dan Says:

    Well you would think he would look into her failure to meet constitutional residency requirements before tackling this one.

  4. Peter Says:

    And yet, Beth Chapman is still a better SoS than her predecessor, no?

  5. Barry Says:

    Not a very high bar.

  6. Kathy Says:

    Looks to me like Chapman is following in Worley’s footsteps with the politicking on government time, although at least Nancy actually lived in Montgomery.

  7. Old Prosecutor Says:

    Troy investigating an elected official for using their office to further their political ambitions. He would not even have to leave his office

  8. Truman Says:

    Nancy Worley solicited money for an ongoing campaign from her subordinates. A blackletter violation of the law.

    Chapman expressing an opinion that is too conservative for you is not a violation of any law.

  9. Kathy Says:

    Beth Chapman living in Shelby County violates the constitutional requirements for her office. But I guess IOKIYAR.

  10. wheeler Says:

    “Chapman expressing an opinion that is too conservative for you is not a violation of any law.”

    once again, had you bothered to read the post, i explicitly said that it is a-o.k. for her to express her opinions ON HER OWN TIME. it is most certainly not o.k. – and may be illegal – for her to do so using state resources.

    look, you idiot, if you want to criticise what i actually write, that’s fine. but ignoring major sections of my posts when you criticise them only makes you look stupid.

  11. […] has her weighing in with an official release on the recent gambling bill to go before the House? (Wheeler wonders if an investigation is in order.) Clearly she is laying the groundwork for a future run for another […]

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