Roy Moore may have lost his bid for U.S. Senate and his effort to disqualify the victory of Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), but Moore backers are still fighting, Politico reports. And their new target is Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), whose public distancing from Moore right before the December special election, some conservatives say, cost Moore — and Republicans — a Senate seat. A pro-Moore group, Courageous Conservatives PAC, ran a robocall attacking Shelby last month, and Moore supporters want the Alabama Republican Party to censure the senior senator later this month.
If fewer than four of the seven resolutions committee members agree to the censure resolution, it will fail and Moore's supporters will have to raise it again at the Alabama Republican Party executive committee meeting in February, where it would need the support of two-thirds of commissioners. The effort to damage Shelby, 83, is being funded by GOP donor Christopher Ekstrom in Dallas, who told Politico that Shelby has "destroyed what was a very strong GOP in Alabama." It's unclear if Moore himself supports the revenge campaign against Shelby, Politico says.
"It's stunningly dumb," said former Sen. Luther Strange, who lost to Moore in the GOP primary. "The party needs to unite." The censure resolution is expected to fail, and it will have no real consequences for Shelby if it passes, though it could backfire on Alabama hard-right conservatives, Politico notes. "In 2014, Arizona Sen. John McCain was censured by state Republicans for what they called an insufficiently conservative record. McCain later hit back, launching an ambitious campaign to reshape the Arizona GOP, ridding it of conservative foes and replacing them with close allies."