Randy Brinson (R), the head of the Christian Coalition of Alabama and a private sector businessman, has started lobbing corruption allegations against current U.S. Senator Luther Strange (R-AL). Brinson is one of 11 Republican's vying for Strange's seat.
Brinson called a Birmingham news conference after a legislator there -- Oliver Robinson (D) -- reached a federal plea deal, admitting he took money from a coal company to oppose an EPA Superfund in Birmingham to clean up chemical contamination.
Brinson alleges the current Sen. Strange did much the same in his role as Attorney General, "He laid out this argument that the EPA didn't have jurisdiction, that they didn't follow proper procedure, etc, etc."
Of course, that wouldn't be out character for Strange, who frequently battled the EPA as Attorney General.
Though Strange did take campaign money from the coal company at the heart of the accusation, Drummond. Strange's AG campaign reported accepting at least $75,000 from them.
Brinson also says State Rep. John Rogers (D) spoke with him by phone and described more money floating around, "Mr. Rogers relayed to me during that conversation that three other people were present that he was offered to run a SuperPAC for Mr. Strange."
But Brinson says Rogers declined to participate in his news conference, "Shortly thereafter after talking with me, about three or four hours after that, he called me very upset, visibly shaken from what I could hear in his voice -- and that he couldn't participate."
Rogers has since denied that account of events to other media outlets.
A statement from Luther Strange called the accusations "fake news," adding "Anyone who desperately spreads salacious gossip against their brother in Christ needs to hit the confession booth."
Brinson says corruption is one reason more private sector people need to get involved with politics, "We need someone like Donald Trump, like myself. Self-made, that's a private citizen, that's a businessman, that's not owned by the special interests. That can do the job to create jobs for the people of Alabama and be someone of character that can represent them without scandal or being paid off."
Of course, our president and his job performance drives a lot of the conversation about special elections right now.
Brinson reviews his performance positively, "I think Donald Trump is doing an excellent job so far. I think part of the problem is that he's getting a lot of push-back from the establishment. They're blocking his agenda. One of the areas that's particularly of interest is trade. As you know, I'm the only person in the Democratic or Republican field that has actually done an international trade."
Trade made up a big part of Trump's campaign platform, and it makes up a chunk of Brinson's too. He says he has also has experience making deals with international partners as head of the Christian Coalition of Alabama.
That also gives him a base of voters to work with, though he perhaps shares it with Roy Moore, who has long targeted a Christian base.
Brinson has one question about Moore though: Would Alabama fans want him to replace Nick Saban as football coach?
"And I ask, I say, why not? He promotes Christian values. He promotes these different things. He would be a good inspiration to the kids there. And they say he's not qualified. And I say, that's exactly right. This position requires someone that has a skill set that can work with people across the aisle. That can bring policy ideas to the debate."
Brinson hopes to bring that skill set to the Senate himself.