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Trial lawyers = a virus

A late infusion of plaintiff trial lawyer money in the Republican primary for three Alabama Supreme Court seats has stung the GOP's business interests - but not enough to bar such funds or disown a key winner.

"I can't tell a candidate, `Don't accept money from different groups,'" said state GOP Chairman Marty Connors. "But if you're going to accept money from a group that is anathema to the traditions of the party that you're running in, you ought to be doing that before the disclosure deadline, in the light of day."

At a February meeting, the state Republican Party's executive committee passed a resolution discouraging candidates from accepting money from the Alabama Education Association, the powerful teachers' lobby that has butted heads with the GOP in the past.

It's unclear whether the party will take up a similar measure regarding plaintiff trial lawyers' money at the executive committee's June 26 meeting. But Connors said the party "can't condemn a candidate for raising money to try to get out his message. ...

"I pleaded with all of those candidates ... to not be tempted to take personal injury trial lawyer money," [John Giles, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama] said. "It's like allowing a virus into the conservative ranks." -- GOP frowns on trial lawyer money, but unlikely to ban it (AP via Tuscaloosa News)