Rep. Barry Moore: Threats and Misrepresentation
Ala. Rep. Barry Moore (R – Coffee) is seen as one of the rising stars out of a class of freshman legislators who rode into office on the 2010 Republican wave. He was even recently labeled as the most conservative legislator in the state of Alabama by Cliff Sims, founder and publisher of political blog Yellowhammer News.
Recently, information has come to light that Moore, owner of Barry Moore Industries, had a longstanding business relationship with Yellowhammer’s Sims prior to receiving this accolade, misrepresented his residence on an application to Enterprise Country Club in order to receive a discount, and threatened the creation of 100 local jobs if his opponent did not withdraw from his house race.
Threats Against Opposition Candidate
One hundred jobs in Enterprise would be jeopardized if Josh Pipkin, candidate for State House District 91, did not withdraw his candidacy. That is what Alabama Rep. Barry Moore told Pipkin, according to records obtained by The Enterprise Ledger.
“I’ve got to meet with the speaker the first part of the week, Josh, and he is furious,” Moore said in a text message. “These guys play dirty, man. And you don’t need to run right now.”
The first recorded cell phone conversation between Moore and Pipkin occured June 22, 2013. It was one of multiple conversations the two had where Moore attempted to pressure Pipkin against running.
“If you’ll give me your word that you’ll get out, when I meet with him next week, I’ll tell him [you’re] gonna get out but we need this deal for [you] to stay out,” Moore stated. “I promise you I’m telling you the truth. I will help you down the road. This is just not the time. We’ve got a lot at stake right now, and y’all aren’t making my job any easier.”
When questioned by the Ledger on the validity of these conversations, Moore admitted they were his words, but stated they were “a long-running conversation …taken out of context for obviously political purposes.”
As reported by the Southeast Sun, Enterprise State Community College was set to receive an unmanned, aerial systems program, and $2 million in State funds were to be used to purchase a building for it. The result would be 100 new, highly-skilled jobs for Enterprise.
A full transcript of Moore’s conversation with Pipkin can be read at The Enterprise Ledger.
Yellowhammer News Connection
On November 26, 2013, Cliff Sims, founder and publisher of conservative political blog Yellowhammer News called Moore the most conservative legislator in the state of Alabama.
“The vote that most illustrates Moore’s rock-ribbed conservatism occurred during the 2011 session,” Sims wrote. “A bill to extend unemployment benefits was passed overwhelmingly in the House by a vote of 94-1. The one ‘no’ vote? Barry Moore.”
Sims and Rep. Moore’s ties go beyond the blog’s endorsement. Moore co-owns a Birmingham address with Sims as an investment. Sims did not disclose this information in the article published on Yellowhammer.
“We own that property together,” Moore told Sweet Home Politics in a February interview. “I taught Cliff Sims Sunday school, offered him his first job.”
Country Club Documents
Moore applied for membership to the Enterprise Country Club and listed the Birmingham address on his application for an “out of town” payment plan. Moore’s official residency is 139 Club Way, Enterprise, Alabama 36330, according to the State’s website.
A Birmingham member would receive a 50% discount on the $200 monthly rate charged to Enterprise members, according to a staff member at the club. This calculates to a $1,100 annual difference.
Moore acknowledged the application, but stated that he “ended up paying for full membership.” Moore went on to say, “I’m only in Enterprise for about 6 months out of the year, and I don’t play golf. I only wanted the membership so my kids could use the pool, and so the Country Club suggested that if I had an another address, I could apply for out-of-town membership.”
Enterprise Country Club manager Jennifer Dawkins confirmed that despite Moore’s application, he ended up paying the full membership fee. According to Moore, he is no longer a member.
Lee County Grand Jury
Multiple political insiders have stated they have seen Moore entering and exiting the courthouse in Lee County, where a special grand jury has been convened to investigate corruption and unethical behavior among elected officials. Yesterday, Rep. Greg Wren resigned from office and pleaded guilty to knowingly using his public office for personal gain.
Wren accepted a plea agreement from the Attorney General’s office and has agreed to assist them in the ongoing investigation.
Moore and Pipkin will square off in the Republican primary on June 3rd.
UPDATED 10:20am Saturday, April 5. Information on the purchase of Rep. Moore’s home by Enterprise Electronics Corporation was removed after it was revealed that there were multiple evaluation reports evaluating the worth of Moore’s home higher than originally reporter.