As controversy continues to swirl around Roy Moore, the Republican once considered a cinch in Alabama’s special U.S. Senate election on Dec. 12 is now trailing Democratic nominee and former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in most polls.
As of Monday, nine women have charged the former Alabama chief justice with various degrees of misbehavior toward them — some of the charges from 40 years ago. The state’s three largest newspapers have called for Moore’s defeat.
Obviously fearing having to spend the next two years dealing with charges against Moore, national Republicans such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have publicly denounced and abandoned their nominee in the nationally watched contest.
“And what’s so sad about all that is we could get Doug Jones until 2020 [when the seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is up again] and just about every vote [Alabama’s senior GOP Sen.] Richard Shelby casts will be canceled out,” said former State Republican Chairman Marty Connors, who remains loyal to Moore.
Connors predicted that a “Sen. Doug Jones” would be “a mild-mannered left-wing senator. There’s nothing moderate about him. He would have opposed all of President Trump’s judicial appointees, the appointment of [Supreme Court Justice] Neil Gorsuch, and the tax reform package.
“It will be just as if we had Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Kerry succeeding Jeff Sessions as our junior senator.”
In recent years, many ambitious Alabama Democrats have often ducked their party’s national leadership out of fear of retribution from a conservative electorate. Not so Jones, who has put his money where his mouth is in donating $6,900 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last year, $500 to Al Gore in 2000, and $1,000 to John Kerry in June of 2003 (more than a year before the Massachusetts senator became the Democratic presidential nominee).
Jones, 69, has showed no sign of distancing himself from his party’s national platform — an inarguably radical, Bernie Sanders-influenced document that calls for raising the minimum wage to $15, a tough pro-climate change stance, a surtax on millionaires, and abortion-on-demand.
Jones strongly opposes any effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Jones strongly disagrees with the administration’s position on climate change (“because I actually believe in science”) and has sharp differences on immigration with opponent Moore.
Jones also criticized Alabama’s anti-illegal immigration law (the Hammon-Beason Act), which permits police to investigate legal status. Jones warned that its provisions “would open the door to ‘selective prosecutions, racial profiling and denial of educational opportunities” for any immigrants, according to a Reuters report.
Jones and Moore have clashed before. When then-state Chief Justice Moore condemned the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to issue a stay blocking same sex marriage in Alabama in 2015, Jones told reporters: “Judge Moore just needs to get over it. There are appeals pending at the Supreme Court, but . . . we can see the handwriting on the wall. This is a historic day, regardless of what you feel, or how your personal religious beliefs are, this is a civil rights issue.’”
At times, Jones’ comments to the press as a private attorney border on the outrageous. In a feature by the Associated Press entitled “Experts Say Alabama Needs More Black Federal Judges," Birmingham attorney Jones endorsed the view that “the federal bench is identified with discrimination laws [and] It would seem the minority population has to be well-represented.”
In 2008, Jones gave a ringing endorsement to Eric Holder, who would go on to be Barack Obama’s highly controversial attorney general. Amid speculation that Holder would be named attorney general, Jones told the Birmingham News at that time “Eric is a consummate professional and he has incredible respect from people on both sides of the political aisle for being a no-nonsense and fair professional who follows the law and does the right thing.”
Perhaps Doug Jones’ most telling comment came earlier this year. Noting that he felt the election of 2016 was “very disturbing,” he acknowledged that Alabama voted “overwhelming” for Donald Trump. But, he quickly added, “there were about 37 percent of the people who did not, and they need a voice too.”
Based on his comments on many issues and political associations, it is clear Jones wants to be that voice — and with a very left-of-center tone.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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