Jim Zeigler is an elder care planning attorney, seminar leader, and author from Alabama. Zeigler was president of the Student Government Association at the University of Alabama, before being elected to the Alabama Public Service Commission. He has been a conservative advocate from 1974 to the present. On Feb 7, 2014 he qualified to run for the open seat for Alabama's State Auditor. 
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 2014 race for Alabama State Auditor
- 1.2 Oak Grove Community, Sylacauga, Alabama
- 1.3 University of Alabama
- 1.4 Alabama Public Service Commission
- 1.5 Mr. 49% makes political comeback
- 1.6 Activism against "wasteful government spending"
- 1.7 Constitutional challenge to IRS regulation of conservative groups
- 1.8 Ethics complaints against Don Siegelman, others
- 1.9 Challenge to new Medicaid nursing home restrictions
- 1.10 National Conservative Activism
- 1.11 Save the Mobile-Tensaw Delta
- 1.12 Elder Care Planning Law Practice
- 2 References
- 3 External links
- 4 See also
2014 race for Alabama State Auditor
Zeigler has qualified to run for the open seat for State Auditor. Incumbent Samantha Shaw is not running. The Republican primary is June 3, the runoff is July 15, and the general election is November 4. There are four Republican candidates and one Democrat. It is a statewide race.
Zeigler announced a plan to "turn the Auditor's office into something it has never been - a tough monitor of wasteful government spending."
The other candidates for Auditor are: Dale Peterson, retiree and former candidate for Agriculture Commissioner; Hobbie Sealy, a retired official of the conservation department; and Adam Thompson, a 28-year-old Montgomerian working for the Secretary of State. 
Oak Grove Community, Sylacauga, Alabama
The elder Zeigler remained active in community and Christian affairs until age 98 years and eleven months. He was a speaker for the OASIS program explaining how he lived by himself though legally blind from macular degeneration.  He founded an unusual ministry for work release prisoners when he was age 92. The prisoners, soon to finish their sentences and be released, were brought to First Baptist Church of Sylacauga for Sunday School, worship service, and Sunday dinner. The program, which continues, proved a blessing for the prisoners, their families, and the servant-members of the church. Some of the prisoners made decisions for Christ, continued to be active, and joined the church after being released.
Jim Zeigler was led to Christ by his pastor, Dr. William K. Weaver, who became the founding President of Mobile College, now the University of Mobile.
The Oak Grove farm on which Jim Zeigler grew up became known to thousands in central Alabama as "The Zeigler Christmas Tree Farm." Each year, hundreds of families would come there and cut their own live Christmas trees. 
University of Alabama
Zeigler graduated from the University of Alabama in 1972 with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration. He was President of the Mallet Assembly, a scholastic honors dormitory with a colorful history of political activism.
Student politics at the University have been dominated since 1914 by a semi-secret coalition of fraternities and sororities called "The Machine." In 1968 Zeigler and other students founded an anti-Machine party called "The Coalition" and succeeded in electing Zeigler President of the Student Government Association (SGA) in 1970, one of only a few times in which UA students defeated The Machine.
In May 1970, after Zeigler had been SGA President only two weeks, four students were shot and killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University. Protests broke out at colleges across the nation, including at the University of Alabama. One older building already slated for demolition, Dressler Hall, burned on the UA campus. Dozens of students were arrested by Tuscaloosa police, some at protests but others simply walking to dormitories or on dates. Reports began that there was a danger of escalating violence on the Tuscaloosa campus. Security personnel wanted to make it through the end of the school year with no violence, hoping that the summer vacation would cause a cool-down. UA President Dr. David Mathews considered closing the school but did not want to do so due to: The heated runoff for governor between Gov. Albert Brewer and former Gov. George Wallace; the image of the University; and the legislative budget needs. Zeigler devised a plan to empty the campus quickly without having to close it -- make upcoming final exams optional. He presented the plan to President Mathews, who decided to do it. It worked. The campus mostly emptied out, and the protests did not resume in the fall semester. 
Zeigler served during his senior year as the student representative on the University's Athletic Committee, along with legendary Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.
In 1971, on the night the Student Court had thrown out an attempt by Student Senators who were members of The Machine to impeach Zeigler as SGA President, his dormitory room in Mallet Hall burned. The cause of the fire was never determined.
On April 1, 2014, Zeigler will be in Tuscaloosa at historic Gorgas House on the program for the 100th anniversary of the UA Student Government Association. He was SGA President Number 55. 
Alabama Public Service Commission
Called "the PSC", the Alabama Public Service Commission is a three-member body, all elected statewide, which regulates private energy utilities, including Alabama Power Company, Alabama Gas Company (Alagasco), and Mobile Gas Service Corporation.
In 1972, Zeigler and his friends Tommy Chapman, Steve "Red" Wadlington, and Dennis Nabors, went to work for Kenneth "Bozo" Hammond in his campaign against PSC President Eugene "Bull" Connor. Hammond won, and Zeigler and friends learned how to run a campaign for PSC.
In 1973, Zeigler filed a legal complaint before the PSC alleging that Alabama Power Company was earning excessive profits. He lost the case but generated state news coverage and highlighted the issue of rising electric bills. In 1974, he filed to run statewide against veteran PSC incumbent C.C. "Jack" Owen, a longtime PSC member who had voted in favor of the utility increase requests. Zeigler vowed to oppose them. In a four-way race, Owen led the first primary but lost to Zeigler in the run-off. In January 1975, Zeigler took office as the youngest statewide elected official. where he served 1975-79.
In 1975, Zeigler intervened before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to block the construction of two nuclear reactors planned for the Chilton-Elmore County line. He alleged that the Barton Nuclear Plant would have operated at the expense of Alabama consumers while generating electricity for other states. The application for approval of the reactors was then withdrawn.
After serving one term on the PSC, Zeigler did not run for re-election.
Mr. 49% makes political comeback
From 1982 through 2002, Zeigler lost by narrow margins in races for state supreme court, state treasurer, civil appeals court, and state auditor. He thus earned the nickname, "Mr. 49%." In 2004 he made a come-back, defeating a challenge from Republican National Committeeman and former Chief Justice Perry Hooper Sr. for statewide delegate to the Republican National Convention.
Activism against "wasteful government spending"
In 1983, Zeigler filed a successful legal action against what he termed "illegal extra paychecks" to over 400 political officials. A year-long court battle ended in a Zeigler victory at the Alabama Supreme Court and return of the money to state coffers.
In 1984, he challenged paying legislators full pay and expenses during a 13-day Christmas holiday break. He won a circuit court injunction blocking the "holiday pay" but was later reversed by the state supreme court.
In 1985, Zeigler and Montgomery businessman Malcolm Brassell formed The Taxpayers Defense Fund (later called Taxpayers Defense Force), a legal action group. It contested government spending decisions for 20 years.
In 1985, Zeigler filed suit to stop public officials from disguising state cars by purchasing private license plates called "cover tags." The suit was settled by executive order of the governor outlawing cover tags.
In 1985, Zeigler filed suit and successfully blocked political officials from entering the state retirement system.
In 1988 and 1999, Zeigler chaired the vote no campaign on statewide referendums to allow political officials to get into the State Retirement System. The proposed constitutional amendments were defeated both times.
Constitutional challenge to IRS regulation of conservative groups
In 2002, Zeigler won a declaratory judgment that regulation of political groups by the Internal Revenue Service is unconstitutional. He represented eleven conservative groups in challenging the "527 Law" passed by Congress in the waning days of the Clinton administration. The government appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the decision. 
Ethics complaints against Don Siegelman, others
Zeigler has brought ethics complaints against Alabama public officials, including two against then-governor Don Siegelman. The first, in 2001, alleged that Siegelman used his position to orchestrate a secret settlement of a long-dormant lawsuit by the University of South Alabama against tobacco companies. The settlement committed the state to pay $20 million to the university, and required the university to pay 14 percent of the money to the law firm that brought the case, and to which Siegelman had formerly been associated. Zeigler's complaint tracked a Mobile Register story reporting details of the settlement and subsequent payment of an estimated $800,000 from the law firm to Siegelman. The Siegelman administration accused Register reporter Eddie Curran of helping to edit the ethics complaint — a charge refuted by Curran and the paper. Siegelman's press office sought to play down the complaint by issuing a rather bizarre statement about Zeigler. It read: "These false claims are among a long list of deranged acts by a man who believes America is being surrendered to a new world order and who has stated that the public education system has been taken over by communists." The Alabama Ethics Commission, composed of political appointees, voted three to one to dismiss the tobacco complaint.
The second complaint alleged that Siegelman sold his Montgomery home for over twice the appraised value and then appointed the buyer to the state securities commission. Subsequent reports revealed that the buyer, a Birmingham accountant, merely served as a middleman, and that the real purchaser was a Birmingham lawyer. Before Zeigler's second case concluded, federal agents seized the files from the ethics commission. A federal grand jury later indicted Siegelman on multiple charges. Siegelman was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in federal prison. After serving nine months, he was released pending an appeal, but returned to prison in 2012.
In 2002, Zeigler filed ethics complaints against State Sen. Sundra Escott-Russell and State Rep. John Hilliard. He alleged that both hired family members at non-profit organizations and then used their positions to divert state funds to the non-profit groups. The ethics commission voted unanimously that there was probable cause that ethics violations had occurred and forwarded both cases to the state attorney general for prosecution.
Challenge to new Medicaid nursing home restrictions
On February 8, 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA). Among other changes, the Act placed serious restrictions on senior citizens seeking to qualify for Medicaid to cover their nursing home costs. Five days later, Zeigler (who had been a Bush delegate at the 2000 and 2004 Republican National Conventions) filed a federal lawsuit seeking to void the law. He alleged that one version of the bill had passed the U.S. Senate and a different version passed the U.S. House, in violation of constitutional requirements.
National Conservative Activism
In June 2012, Zeigler was recruited by Jenny Beth Martin's Tea Party Patriots to go to Wisconsin to assist in fighting the recall of Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Democrat and liberal groups had initiated a recall vote. Zeigler stayed a month, working in Eau Claire and Wausau, WI. Walker was behind when Zeigler got there but turned it around to win by a modest margin.  After the success there, Tea Party Patriots asked Zeigler to go for a month to Washington State in October, 2012 in a long-shot attempt to switch control of the state senate to Republicans. On election night, Republicans fell two senate seats short of control and everyone assumed they had lost. But in January 2013 when the senate met to organize, two conservative Democrats switched, giving control to the GOP after all. 
Save the Mobile-Tensaw Delta
A plan to surrender local control of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta to a national park or reserve was started in Washington Aug. 1, 2013 with no notice to the public or the media. Supporters quickly and quietly won a resolution of approval from the Mobile County Commission. Zeigler discovered the plot and began blogging on al.com explaining the takeover plot and the dangers of federal control of the Delta. Baldwin County conservative activist David Peterson and Facebooker Troy Garrett then formed the group "Save Our Delta", with Zeigler as attorney. Since the August 2013 start, they have enlisted 7,200 supporters. In January 2014, it was announced that the Delta would be legally removed from consideration of nationalization. However, this removal has not actually been done, so Zeigler and Save Our Delta continue to monitor the situation in case the nationalization plan continues or is revived. 
Elder Care Planning Law Practice
As of 2014[update] Zeigler has an elder care planning law practice. He represents seniors and veterans in protecting assets and gaining eligibility for elder care costs. He is 2014 state chairman of the League of Senior Voters. He publishes an on-line daily new service for seniors, veterans and baby boomers called ZeiglerSeniorNews.com. He conducts free workshops for seniors and their families showing how to develop family plans to cover elder care costs. He wrote the nationally-published elder care planning book, "Don't Let the Government Take Grandma's Home and Life Savings."
- Kathy Dean,Mobile Register, Feb. 5, 1993, "Taking on Machine a battle on UA Campus."
- F. David Mathews Papers, Student Demonstrations File, Internal Memoranda and Reports, May 1970, Hoole Special collections Library, UA.
- Kathy Dean, Mobile Register, "Taking on 'Machine' a battle on UA campus," February 5, 1993
- James A. Taylor, III, current SGA President, 231 Ferguson Center.
- Bailey Thomson, Tuscaloosa News, Zeigler: Rising politician or flash in the pan?, March 23, 1975.
- Associated Press, Utility's Profit To Be Probed, Sept. 1, 1973.
- Stan Bailey, Birmingham News, "Two Republicans Seek Nominations for Appeals Court; Zeigler Vows to Try Mediation in Appeals Court," May 3, 1996.
- Associated Press, "Court Fight Threatened over Power Plant Permit," June 14, 1975.
- Associated Press, June 27, 2004, "Founder of modern GOP loses to Roy Moore supporter", Philip Rawls
- Associated Press, Judge Refuses to Dismiss Pay Suit, Jan. 10, 1985.
- Phillip Rawls, Associated Press, Noise Taxpayers Defense Force is silenced by new ethics law, May 31, 1998.
- Associated Press, Judge orders stricter procedures on tags, Dec. 21, 1985.
- Associated Press, Third Proposal Offered to Settle Lawsuit, Sept. 11, 1985.
- Eddie Curran and Jeff Amy, Mobile Register, "Siegelman target of ethics charge," July 27, 2001.
- Eddie Curran, Mobile Register, "Siegelman's debate prep includes corruption responses," Oct. 9, 2005.
- Times-Journal, The (Fort Payne, AL), "Former Alabama governor reports to federal prison," Sept. 11, 2012.
- Associated Press, Ethics hearing set for Birmingham Senator, Aug. 1, 2004
- Dana Beyerle, Tuscaloosa News, "Many ethics cases close, unresolved," May 28, 2006
- Dean, John (2007). Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches. Penguin. p. 69. ISBN 9781101202593.
- "The Tea Party Could Save Walker in Wisconsin Recall." Napp Nazworth, Christian Post. June 4,2012.
- "Republicans take control of the state senate." Andrew Garber. Seattle times, Jan. 14, 2013.