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Former Gov. Bob Riley will be a major player in the 2014 elections in Alabama even though his name is not on the ballot.

Riley has raised more than $1 million for his political action committee, Alabama 2014, and he's using it to help Republicans keep their seats in the Legislature.

Riley's PAC has given $23,884 to Rep. Jim Patterson of Merdianville, $22,501 to Rep. Ken Johnson of Moulton, $21,583 to Rep. Wayne Johnson of Ryland, and smaller amounts to other incumbents.

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Starting Thursday, corporations can make unlimited contributions to Alabama candidates for state and local offices.

The Legislature passed a law to remove the $500 limit on corporate campaign contributions. A proponent of the law, Republican Rep. Mike Ball of Huntsville, said the cap didn't mean much because an attorney general's opinion allowed corporations to give $500 to a political action committee for every election in Alabama in one year. That meant a corporation could give several thousand dollars to a PAC, and it could give to multiple PACs.