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Troy King

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Troy King
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Attorney General of Alabama
Former officeholder
In office
2004-2010
PartyRepublican
Elections and appointments
Term limits2 consecutive terms
Websites
Office website
Troy Robin King (born August 22, 1968, in Elba, Alabama) is a former Republican Attorney General of Alabama.

He was originally appointed to the statewide position by Republican Governor Bob Riley in 2004 following the resignation of William Pryor to accept a federal judgeship before being officially elected two years later. As a direct result of a number of scandals that occurred during his four-year tenure as the state's top law enforcer, including an accusation made by Governor Riley that he was not enforcing state gambling laws, King lost the Republican nomination for state attorney general to Birmingham attorney Luther Strange in 2010. [1]

Biography

Education

  • Bachelor's degree, Troy State University (1990) in history and social sciences
  • Juris Doctorate degree, University of Alabama School of Law (1994)

Professional experience

In the midst of the 2005 state legislative session, King made headlines wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet of the kind used by parolees and others under judicial monitoring. He promised to wear the bracelet until the state legislature passed tougher monitoring laws for parolees and convicted sex offenders; he removed it when said laws were finally passed. King's strong opposition to gambling was a central theme in his administration first elected term in office. In 2006, King requested that the United States Department of the Interior to deny an application filed by the Poarch Creek Band of Indians to expand their gaming operations in the state of Alabama. He later filed suit against the Department to keep it from pressuring Alabama to permit video gaming on Alabama Indian reservations.

King remained a staunch supporter of the 2008 presidential campaign of Arizona Senator John McCain early on in the Republican primary contest at a time when "many of McCain's supporters in other states were reassessing their commitments." [2] The Alabama Attorney General had been rumored to be a possible candidate in the state's gubernatorial contest in 2010, but opted instead to run for re-election in his current position.

Controversies

Castaldo affidavit

In late-2007, Anthony Castaldo, a former investigator with the state's attorney general's office who had been charged with perjury by District Attorney David Barber, submitted an affidavit accusing King of having ordered him to investigate a Birmingham-area judge for political reasons. Castaldo alleged further that he was later punished after a year-long investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. Castaldo was later acquitted.

Gamble death sentence

King, a staunch proponent of the death penalty, continued to seek the setting of execution dates in Alabama at a time when several states voluntarily suspended executions during United States Supreme Court litigation over lethal injection. In 2007, Robert E. Owens, a Shelby County district attorney, supported commutation of the death sentence for twenty-nine year old LaSamuel Gamble, an accomplice in a case where the actual shooter had escaped the death penalty following a United States Supreme Court ruling that argued that "it was unconstitutional to impose capital punishment on defendants who were under 18 at the time of their crimes." King, in rebuking Owens, said that he "had acted on the side of the criminal" and notified him that he was seeking to reinstate the death penalty. [3] Critics of the Alabama Attorney General believed the decision was politically motivated. Despite the controversy, King received the support of the victim's family in addition to state death penalty supporters for his stance in the case.

Gay affair rumor

The liberal blogosphere buzzed over the speculation in July 2008 that Troy King was expected to resign as the state's attorney general. [4] The "thinly sourced" reason for King's anticipated resignation announcement was that he had been caught by his wife in bed with a young male aide and had been kicked out of his house. [5] The only media outlets that ran with the story were left-leaning blogs, among them Glynn Wilson's The Locust Fork News-Journal and the celebrity gossip rag Perez Hilton, who had political axes to grind and were "itching for a reason to go after King" following the sex toy ban case. [6]

Shortly after it was originally posted, Glynn Wilson at The Locust Folk News-Journal backed down from the accusations, if only ever so slightly. Wilson insisted that he was not concerned whether or not King was gay; he simply wanted this episode to serve as a "lesson for those who use personal attacks on people’s sexuality for political purposes" [7]

Brian at Flashpoint noted the irony in the reported glee certain Democrats enjoyed, particularly in this case, in accusing Republican politicians of being gay. He points out how at odds their self-proclaimed values like tolerance are with their "use [of] shouts of “he’s gay!” as weapons against political adversaries [are,] as though being gay was despicable." [6]

Gifts

In early 2007, The Birmingham News published an investigative article revealing that King and a choir group from his church had accepted free tickets, food, and skybox access to an Atlanta Braves baseball game from the Alabama Power Company the previous season. Alabama Power had not reported the gifts to the appropriate ethics agencies, as required, until contacted by the News. King insisted that "Alabama Power offered him the tickets because his church choir had been asked to sing the national anthem," though they eventually cancelled the performance. [8] The Birmingham News chastised King whose responsibility they say was to represent Alabama Power customers before the Alabama Public Service Commission. King, though he reimbursed Alabama Power $486 for his family's food, denied any wrongdoing in the matter and argued that it was the responsibility of Alabama Power to have reported the matter in the first place.

Federal prosecutors, in May 2009, "subpoenaed records seeking information about King's travel, purchases and any gifts he might have received while in office." [8] King has not been accused of a crime. The Alabama Attorney General's office is cooperating with federal authorities, but have thus far been kept in the dark about the nature of the investigation.

Sex toy ban

King replaced William Pryor as the defendant in the Williams v. Morgan (2007) case following his appointment in 2004. The case came about as a result of the ACLU filing suit on behalf of individual users and vendors of sexual devices to enjoin the enforcement of the Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1998, an Alabama statute that prohibits the sale of any “device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs." [9] They based their argument primarily on the ruling of the Lawrence vs. Texas (2003) Supreme Court case, "which decriminalized gay sex on privacy grounds, [which they believe] protects sex toy users from unwarranted state intrusion in their homes." [10] The Atlanta-based 11th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the ACLU believing that "siding with the sex toy merchants could open the door to the legalization of undesirable sexual behavior such as prostitution." [11] Although they appealed to the United States Supreme Court, they refused to hear the case. King argued that as the state's attorney general he must defend the law.

King's position has received extensive criticism from gay rights activists and social libertarians. Loretta Nall, failed 2006 Alabama gubernatorial candidate and founder of the United States Marijuana Party (USMJP), organized a sex toy drive to encourage people to mail sex toys to the Alabama Attorney General. [12]

Political issues

Healthcare reform

See also: State Attorneys General Against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010

In the wake of the historic passage of President Barack Obama's health care reform legislation on Christmas Eve in 2009, King joined fourteen other state attorneys general in questioning not only the constitutionality of a specific controversial provision within the Senate version of the bill, but also exploring potential legal challenges to the measure as well. The stipulation in question was the back room deal Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struck with Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson to recruit him as the 60th vote needed to pass the measure, an arrangement "dubbed the "Nebraska Compromise" or the "Cornhusker Kickback" by Republican critics." The agreement gives Nebraska exemption from its share of the Medicaid expansion, "a carve out that is expected to cost the federal government $100 million over 10 years." [13] King was quick to reject concerns among critics that the investigation was motivated by politics, contending that the group had been "reaching out to other attorneys general regardless of party." [14]

After South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, who was heading the organization of state attorneys general calling for an investigation into the back room deal, refused an offer by Senator Ben Nelson that the exemption given to Nebraska "would be offered to the other 49 states" if he "called off the dogs", King praised the decision and called the offer "unacceptable under any and all circumstances." [15] [16]

On the same morning President Barack Obama signed into law his controversial health care reform measure, House Resolution 3590 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the one that narrowly passed the United States House of Representatives just two days before, King and twelve other state attorneys general, all but one of them being Republican, filed suit against "the federal government to stop the massive health care overhaul, claiming it's unconstitutional." [17] [18]

Illegal immigration

Nearly two weeks after the United States Justice Department filed suit against the state of Arizona over its anti-illegal immigration law, Senate Bill 1070 - The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070), contending that it "interferes with federal immigration responsibilities," King joined eight other Republican state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of the measure. [19] The Alabama Attorney General remarked that other states "must stand with Arizona and reassert our rights, pursuant to the Tenth Amendment, to once again, make the states laboratories for public policy experimentation." [20]

Other roles

  • Member, Alabama Law Institute (1994-present)
  • Member, Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force (1998-1999)
  • Member, Governor's Long-Range Disaster Recovery and Avoidance Task Force (1998-1999)
  • Member, Alabama Children's Policy Council
  • Member, Alabama State Bar
  • Member/Deacon, First Baptist Church in Montgomery

Campaign contributions

2006

2006 Race for Attorney General - Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $2,184,495
Total Raised by Primary Opponent $39,481
Total Raised by Gen. Election Opponent $1,442,794
Top 5 Contributors Republican State Leadership Committee $225,000 (10.3% of Total)
Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama $77,081 (3.53%)
Vend PAC $73,500 (3.36%)
Franklin PAC $70,000 (3.20%)
Business Council of Alabama $65,000 (2.98%)
Individuals v. Institutions $514,245 (23.5%)
$1,386,636 (63.5%)
In v. Outside State $1,850,614 (84.9%)
$329,526 (15.1%)

Elections

2006

2006 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Troy King 74.7%
     Republican Party Mark Montiel 25.3%
Total Votes 394,346
2006 Race for Attorney General - General Election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Troy King 53.0%
     Democratic Party John Tyson, Jr. 46.8%
     Write-In 0.2%
Total Votes 1,231,096

2010

See also: Alabama Attorney General election, 2010
2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary [21]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Luther Strange 60.1%
     Republican Party Troy King 39.9%
Total Votes 473,727

Personal

King currently resides in Elba, Alabama with his wife, Paige, and their three children - Briggs, Colden, and Asher. He is also a practicing Baptist.

External links

Alabama

References

  1. Associated Press - Alabama Attorney General Primary Election Results
  2. Alabama Live "AG Troy King hangs with McCain through thin and thick" 31 Aug. 2008
  3. New York Times "Prosecutor Who Opposed a Death Sentence Is Rebuked" 15 Sept. 2007
  4. Left in Alabama "Attorney General Troy King Resigns?" 9 July, 2008
  5. Political Parlor "Exploding AG Rumors" 11 July, 2008
  6. 6.0 6.1 Flashpoint "The Troy King rumor mill" 11 July, 2008
  7. The Locust Folk News-Journal "Alabama Attorney General Troy King Prepares to Resign?" 9 July, 2008
  8. 8.0 8.1 Alabama Live "U.S. attorney seeks records from Alabama Attorney General Troy King in wide-ranging subpoena" 13 May, 2009
  9. Open Jurist - Williams v. Morgan (2007)
  10. Oyez - Lawrence and Garner v. Texas summary
  11. USA Today "High court declines to review Alabama's sex-toys ban" 22 Feb. 2005
  12. Loretta Nail "Sex Toys for Troy King" 12 Nov. 2007
  13. Politico "GOP AGs may sue over health bill" 24 Dec. 2009
  14. Grand Rapids Press "Alabama Attorney General Troy King says politics not behind investigation by AGs" 31 Dec. 2009
  15. Politico "Ben Nelson to Henry McMaster: 'Call off the dogs'" 4 Jan. 2010
  16. Legal Newsline "Ala. AG still objects to Nebraska healthcare deal" 4 Jan. 2010
  17. WSFA 12 News "AG King heads to Washington over healthcare bill" 22 March, 2010
  18. Associated Press "13 attorneys general sue over health care overhaul" 23 March, 2010
  19. FOX News "Justice Department Files Suit Against Arizona Immigration Law" 6 July, 2010
  20. NBC 13 "Troy King joins brief in support of Arizona immigration law" 14 July, 2010
  21. Alabama Secretary of State - 2010 Republican Primary Election Results


Political offices
Preceded by
William H. Pryor, Jr.
Alabama Attorney General
2004–2010
Succeeded by
Luther Strange