PAC formed by Moore supporters aims to elect Christians
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Supporters of ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore have organized a political action committee to raise money for Christian candidates for the Alabama Supreme Court in next year's elections.
Organizers say the money will also be used to elect Christian candidates as delegates to the Republican National Convention next year and possibly to help raise funds should Moore decide to run for political office in the future.
The PAC was organized by the newly formed League of Christian Voters, which hopes to back a slate of candidates to run in the Republican primary in 2004 for the three Supreme Court seats that will be on the ballot. Organizer Jim Zeigler, a Mobile lawyer and former candidate for the Supreme Court, filed papers creating the PAC this week with the Alabama secretary of state's office.
Zeigler said the organization also hopes to draw supporters through a Web site.
"We are going to try to do for conservative Christians what Howard Dean did for liberal Democrats," Zeigler said.
Dean, the former governor of Vermont and front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, used the Internet early in his campaign to reach supporters and encourage them to organize in their communities.
Some Moore supporters promised to become involved in next year's Supreme Court races after Moore's Ten Commandments monument was removed from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building in August. Moore had refused U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson's order to move the monument out of the rotunda. The eight associate justices then ordered the monument moved. A Judge Roy Moore Poem
The Court of the Judiciary on Nov. 13 voted unanimously to remove Moore from office for disobeying Thompson's order.
Moore is appealing his removal from office to the Alabama Supreme Court. Jess Brown, a political science professor at Athens State University, said he sees the effort to support Christian political candidates gaining steam if the former chief justice loses his appeal.
"He will be seen as a martyr. He has a message that resonates with many voters," Brown said.
But he said he doesn't see the newly formed PAC being able to raise the kind of money that interests like trial lawyers and business groups often raise in judicial races.
Zeigler said the League of Christian Voters hopes to support one candidate for each of the three court positions that will be on the ballot. He said the organization also hopes to support candidates to be delegates to the Republican convention in New York City next summer.
He said he expects there to be an effort at the Republican convention to add a plank to the platform supporting Moore's call for congressional legislation limiting the jurisdiction of federal judges in cases involving public religious displays.
Asked about the newly formed PAC, Moore said he did not know the PAC was being formed. He said he is trying to get over "the loss of my job" and has made no decision about running for political office in the future. But he said he believes many Christian voters were unhappy that an elected official was removed from office by the unelected panel.
"I think the people deserve every consideration in light of their vote being invalidated by another political body. They've been deprived of their right to vote," Moore said.
Zeigler said the new PAC has yet to pick candidates for the Supreme Court positions.
"We're just getting started," he said.
On the Net:
League of Christian Voters: http://www.leagueofchristianvoters.org
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