It looks like the responsible party is the True Republican PAC which is financially backed by -- get this -- a teachers' union and affiliate of the National Education Association, the Alabama Education Association (AEA).
Yup, that's right, it appears a bunch of Alabama public school teachers (unknowingly, I presume) helped pay for an ad lambasting the Governor because "he supported the teaching of evolution" (gasp!) and because he may not believe in a literal interpretation of the bible.
Quoting the first news article linked above,
The group behind the ad and others attacking Byrne's conservative credentials is called the True Republican PAC. Interestingly, as the Montgomery Advertiser reported last month, the PAC has gotten most of its money from the teachers' union -- or, more accurately, from a collection of other PACs heavily funded by the union.If the AEA really did give $500,000 to attack Byrne, one has to stop and wonder if they're spending their members' dollars wisely.
Here's the mission statement of the AEA, from their website (emphasis added by me):
Judging by these actions alone, it appears the AEA is failing that mission. That is of course unless (1) they mean to exclude the religiously diverse part of that "diverse population" they claim to be advocating for, and/or (2) somehow creation pseudoscience qualifies as their idea of "educational excellence".Our MissionTo promote educational excellence, the Alabama Education Association shall serve as the advocate for its members and shall lead in the advancement of equitable and quality public education for a diverse population.
I looked elsewhere on the AEA's website for any mention of the ad, but the only thing I found was in their "Education News in Alabama" box on the main page...
...in the form of a letter to the Tuscaloosa News, calling out the AEA for financing the anti-evolution ad.
After Byrne's disappointing response to the attack ad, I wouldn't be surprised if moderate republicans look elsewhere when they cast their vote for Governor.