Just got this press release from the Raby Campaign:
Last Tuesday, Mo Brooks held a press conference in which he decried the use of “dirty campaign tricks” in his election. Mo’s new attitude about campaigns must have come as quite a shock to the courthouse crowd who worked with Mo when he was District Attorney of Madison County.
The Huntsville Times covered Brooks’ rocky tenure at the courthouse in a series of news articles and editorials from May 5, 1992 until after Brooks’ defeat in November and commented “whether fairly or unfairly, Brooks began the district attorney’s job with a reputation as a political animal—a reputation he’s yet to live down.”
FIRED OPPONENT Mo’s reputation for ruthless political maneuvering came into public focus when he fired a political opponent in the midst of a campaign. Brooks fired rival and longtime assistant district attorney Tim Morgan, who had been a prosecutor in the Madison County D.A.’s office for 17 years. Morgan cited his dismissal as “ironic” and noted that the timing was exactly four weeks from the date of the election. Morgan stated publicly “I believe the reason being is to affect the outcome of that primary.” Morgan went on to defeat Brooks by over 10,000 votes. Morgan was subsequently elected to two more terms of office, where he served Madison County until his retirement in 2009.
A MASS EXODUS Seven assistant district attorneys left in less than two years after Mo Brooks was appointed the Madison County District Attorney in 1991. Four of those, including current Madison County D.A., Rob Broussard, a Republican, blamed Brooks’ personality and tactics for their departure. Brooks was publicly criticized for “manipulating numbers, manipulating people, and misleading the public”. Broussard compared Brooks’ tactics to the “Gestapo” and alleged Brooks demanded a “commitment of loyalty” from employees under threats that he would “take action”. Broussard stated that his resignation was because “I could not give him that commitment…This is leadership out of control.” “NO BUD CRAMER”
Brooks was accused of politicizing his office and of trying “cases that have high media profile because he's using the district attorney's office as a stepping stone to Congress.” When Brooks attempted to publicly compare himself to former D.A. and Congressman from North Alabama, Bud Cramer, another assistant district attorney laughed and remarked to the Times “I know Bud Cramer and I know Mo Brooks, and Mo Brooks is no Bud Cramer.” “MO-ITES” Allegations of Brooks’s politically polarizing actions were wide spread. One assistant district attorney was quoted in the Times as follows: “Mo Brooks is not an attorney, he is a politician.” The assistant D.A. detailed a workplace environment in which all conversations with Mo were strictly political and, most disturbingly stated that Mo “never, ever discussed a case in the court system.” He also allegedly forced employees to take sides, classifying his supporters as “Mo-ites”. Brooks was quoted as saying “people who stand in the middle of the road…are going to get hit by both sides.” “I’M THE BEST” – LOVE, MO
In October of 1992, the Huntsville Times also uncovered Mo Brooks was the assistant ghost-author of numerous letters to the editor which were being published in the Times. Brooks helped write the letters, purported to be from campaign supporters, which were used to attack his then-opponent Tim Morgan. In these same letters, Brooks praised himself as a prosecutor and administrator.
DIRTY TRICKS INSTRUCTOR The Times further reported on Brooks’ reputation of “playing hardball in political campaigns” earning him the reputation of a “Terminator-Candidate programmed only to win elections”. Brooks continued to cultivate this reputation as a “GOP sharpshooter” when he ran an “Attack and Defend” seminar for Republican candidates in 1988, a year famous for Lee Atwater-style campaign tactics.
A TIRELESS CAMPAIGNER Mo was criticized in the Times for mixing politics with work by handing out campaign literature to members of a grand jury. One member of said grand jury spoke to the Huntsville Times, under the condition of anonymity, and stated that Brooks’s campaigning among grand jurors “lean[ed] toward unethical because we were there to work. He had a captive audience…” POLITICS OVER PEOPLE The Times article “Brooks plays hardball D.A. by the numbers” likened Brooks to a “machine” and discussed his apparent difficulty in “applying the human touch.” With a consistent emphasis in placing politics over people, Mo’s decisions while D.A. were disturbing to many. Ginger Johnson, then Madison County coordinator for a group of child support activists was quoted as saying that Brooks told her he had to consider political ramifications before making changes in child support collections. Shockingly, Brooks told Johnson that he couldn’t do anything that is “going to appear negatively in the media” before the election.
NO SHOW MO Brooks famously concluded his tenure as D.A. by leaving the office the day after he was defeated and then disappearing to Florida while continuing to draw a salary, even though he still had two months left in his term. Brooks issued a memo declaring all policies of the office “null and void.” Newly elected D.A. Tim Morgan called Brooks’ actions distressing and indicated that Brooks showed “very little interest…in seeing that the office operates in a professional manner.” Morgan said “If he wanted to step aside and go home and draw his paycheck…I would work with him on that.”
PAYBACK TIME Mo has made numerous public statements about his disdain for trial lawyers but Brooks has no qualms about falling back on his own trial lawyer background. After his defeat in the 1992 district attorney race, Brooks agreed to represent at least three clients who sued Madison County – Brooks’ former employer. Each case was thrown out for being frivolous. This still did not deter Brooks. He appealed those cases, and still lost. He was even described as a “fox in the hen house.”
### Articles cited are from the Huntsville Times from May 5, 1992 through November 5, 1992: Brooks fires political rival, Author: Patricia Dedrick, May 5, 1992
Mo lowers the boom, Editorial, May 6, 1992
D.A. candidates rap office politics, Author: Patricia Dedrick, May 9, 1992
D.A.’s office seen under strain, tension, Author: Patricia Dedrick, May 10, 1992 Prosecutors leave, hit Brooks’ tenure, Author: Patricia Dedrick, September 18, 1992 Another assistant district attorney resigns, Author: Patrica Dedrick, October 14, 1992
Brooks helps newspaper letter writers, Author: Patricia Dedric, October 22, 1992
Brooks plays hardball D.A. by the numbers, Author: John Anderson, October 28, 1992 Sheriff’s employees, former prosecutors support Morgan, Author: Patricia Dedrick, October 29, 1992
D.A. cancels own rules, leaves town, Author: Patricia Dedrick, November 5, 1992