Alabama Republicans are scrambling to do something about accused pedophile Roy Moore being their state's next senator, with several (mostly male) state lawmakers weighing in to say Moore is fine and that he should run and win next month, no problem. One Alabama Republican went as far to say that the women who brought up these allegations should be prosecuted and jailed.
Prominent Republicans are calling on Roy Moore to drop out of the Alabama Senate race after multiple women have come forward to accuse him of propositioning them when they were teens. But at least one conservative is in Moore’s corner: Alabama State Rep. Ed Henry.
Henry, who represents Hartselle in Cullen County, claims that if the allegations are true, his accusers deserve to be prosecuted for not reporting his actions sooner.
“If they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years,” he told The Cullman Times on Thursday. “I think someone should prosecute and go after them. You can’t be a victim 40 years later, in my opinion.”
Republicans know this is another Todd Akin situation developing and they are willing to try anything in order to save themselves, and that means finding a way for current placeholder Sen. Luther Strange to win.
Some Senate Republicans have encouraged Mr. Strange — who lost to Mr. Moore in a bitterly contested Republican runoff election in September — to run as a write-in candidate, an option Mr. Strange is considering, according to Republicans who have spoken with him. But some Republicans believe he would do little more than play spoiler, ensuring either that Mr. Moore is elected by taking votes Mr. Jones would otherwise get or that the Democrat wins by siphoning support from Mr. Moore among Republicans seeking a palatable third option.
Mr. McConnell and Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, spoke with Mr. Strange about the prospect immediately after the Moore news broke on Thursday, according to Republicans familiar with the conversation. And Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who won re-election in 2010 as a write-in candidate, was planning to discuss logistics with Mr. Strange this weekend.
Asked Friday if he thought Mr. Strange should run as a write-in candidate, Mr. McConnell said only that “you’d have to ask Luther what his intentions are, given this development.”
Republicans in Washington and Alabama have also approached other potential candidates about a write-in effort, including Representative Robert B. Aderholt, a mainstream conservative from northern Alabama. But it is unclear that any prominent Republican will be willing to mount a wild-card campaign for the Senate unless Mr. Moore stands down first.
Absent Mr. Moore’s cooperation, Republicans in Washington have conferred with election lawyers to explore other long-shot options for replacing or marginalizing him, several of which would probably lead to a clash in court with Mr. Moore and his supporters.
But the manuevering is getting Byzantine for a reason.
One approach that Republicans are considering, according to people briefed on the deliberations, would involve asking Gov. Kay Ivey to order a new date for the election — sometime early next year — and giving the party time to ease Mr. Moore from the race.
Alabama election law requires candidates to withdraw at least 76 days before an election in order to be replaced on the ballot, a deadline Mr. Moore has already missed.
State law gives the governor broad authority to set the date of special elections, and Ms. Ivey, who is a Republican, already rescheduled the Senate election once, after inheriting the governor’s office in April when her predecessor, Robert Bentley, resigned in a sex and corruption scandal. Ms. Ivey’s advisers have not ruled out exercising that power again, according to Republicans in touch with her camp, but she has signaled that she would like reassurances of support from the White House before taking such an aggressive step.
Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist close to Mr. McConnell, said presidential intervention was needed to bring any order to the situation in Alabama. He suggested that President Trump could personally nudge Mr. Moore out of the race and back a write-in campaign by Mr. Strange, or perhaps Mr. Sessions, a popular figure with Alabama Republicans.
You catch that last part?
The part where Jeff Sessions runs a write-in campaign to get his old Senate seat back?
Now how many problems would THAT solve for Trump? Sessions would no longer be Attorney General. Trump would have to appoint a new one.
One who would end the Mueller investigation and go after Clinton and the Democrats instead.
Stay tuned. I think there's going to be some serious movement on this.