According to Campaign Finance Reports on file with the Alabama Secretary of State Republican Candidate for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker reported on August 1 that he had on hand a total of $17,508 in his campaign account and received a total of $3,910 in donations for that reporting period. The election is 90 days out and a candidate for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court has $17,508 in campaign funds?

His opponent, Circuit Judge Robert Vance, a Democrat, on the other hand has a substantial campaign account according to his Campaign Finance Reports. On July 1 Vance reported that he had received $86,815 in donations and ended the month with a balance of $239,199. On August 1, Vance reported receiving $196,875 in donations for the reporting period and ended with a fund balance of $420,197. All of the names and amounts given by his donors are reported and the amounts are within the limits allowed by campaign laws for each donor. You can look up the campaign reports yourself if you are interested by visiting the Secretary of State website or click here. They are public record.

Judge Parker must not have been too worried about his opponent’s campaign war chest because a few days after he filed his latest report the Alabama Association for Justice, the state’s advocacy group for trial lawyers, donated $100,000 to  Parker’s campaign  through its “Progress for Justice PAC.”

With this new contribution, the association’s PAC has now donated $500,000 to Parker’s campaign. With another $5,000 from a Tuscaloosa personal injury firm, trial lawyers have contributed $505,000, which is 95 percent of Parker’s total amount raised besides the $32,400 he loaned to himself.

Current Alabama Supreme Court, Parker Front Row, 2nd from R

Parker won the Republican nomination in June over current Chief Justice Lyn Stuart and is now running against Democratic nominee Judge Bob Vance in the November 6 General Election.

While updated fundraising reports due October 2 will provide the best financial barometer yet, the race for chief justice has been the only statewide contest in which the Democrat has had the financial advantage, at least until the trial lawyers stepped up.

Not every consumer who purchases sausage wants to know the details of how it is made, and every voter may not know, or even want to know, how political campaigns are financed. There is an old saying about “the devil being in the details”.

Fortunately, for those who do want to know, we have campaign finance laws and reporting requirements that require disclosures so if you want to know who is financing the campaigns of state-wide candidates, especially those who will be sitting on the Supreme Court of Alabama, visit the Secretary of State website at the links on this page and find out for yourself who is paying for the campaign expenses of the people who are running for political office in Alabama.

You have a right to know.