Beth Chapman to work as consultant for Alabama Farmers Federation

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Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman at a press conference on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Montgomery, Alabama, to encourage people to vote and to warn against voter fraud. (Montgomery Advertiser, Lloyd Gallman)

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman at a press conference on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Montgomery, Alabama, to encourage people to vote and to warn against voter fraud. (Montgomery Advertiser, Lloyd Gallman)

Secretary of State Beth Chapman plans to work as a consultant for the Alabama Farmers’ Federation after leaving office at the end of the month.

Chapman said in an interview Monday afternoon she would help the organization recruit candidates for the 2014 campaign cycle.

“I think we share a lot of the same conservative values,” she said. “I look forward to working with them and enhancing a good grassroots organization.”

Brian Hardin, the Alabama Farmers Federation’s governmental affairs director, said Chapman and the group had a long relationship, going back to her first run for state office as state auditor in 2002.

“She’s run statewide three times, (and) she knows what it takes,” he said. “She knows the challenges from a candidate’s standpoint, but she’s been out there and had those meetings and dealt with constituents for several years, and has those relationships around the state.”

Hardin declined to discuss what the organization would pay Chapman. The Alabama Farmers Federation contributed $50,000 to Chapman’s 2006 run for Secretary of State, while providing $15,800 in in-kind contributions, listed as advertising and polling. In total, the Farmers’ Federation gave Chapman at least $86,600 in direct contributions or in-kind services for her campaigns for state auditor and Secretary of State.

In a 2012 filing with the IRS, the Farmers Federation did not report paying any consultants more than $100,000, although the organization did report that staff members received compensation from “related organizations.”

Chapman said Monday she would be working with “a couple of clients,” but declined to name them.

The current Secretary of State announced last week she would leave office by Aug. 1, about 17 months before the end of her term. Chapman, first elected to the office in 2006, could not seek a third term, due to term limits. She said last week she had been given a “once in a lifetime” opportunity in the private sector.

– posted by Brian Lyman

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