The Wire

  • Cagle named president of Alabama Coal Association

    Patrick Cagle has been named the new president of the Alabama Coal Association, succeeding George Barber, who has elected to retire after seven years of service to the coal group which was first formed in 1972.

    Cagle, who has worked with the association on legislative matters in the past, has more than 10 years of experience in navigating Alabama’s political landscape. As executive director of JobKeeper Alliance, a 501c(4) nonprofit whose mission is to protect and create quality jobs, he previously worked hand-in-hand with the coal industry to oppose onerous, job-killing regulations.

    Cagle and his wife, Molly, have a 15-month-old son, Bankston. They are active members at Church of the Highlands. Cagle is an avid outdoorsman and a member of the Conservation Advisory Board, which assists the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources with the formation of hunting and fishing regulations.

  • Don’t call $1K in tax cut savings ‘crumbs’ — U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer

    U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) delivered a speech on the House floor today about how tax reform has impacted Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District.

  • Fatal deer disease would impact more than hunters in Alabama — Montgomery Advertiser

    Chronic Wasting Disease is a neurological disease affecting deer; mule and whitetail deer, elk and moose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. It is fatal to animals that contact the disease, there is no vaccine, the CDC says.

    And it’s getting closer to Alabama.

    “The economic impact, of course, is huge,” Sykes said. “Hunting is a major part of the economy in rural areas of Alabama. And hunting is a huge part of the culture in Alabama. It is a part of the fabric of so many people’s lives.”

    Land values will likely be the first indicator of bad news if CWD comes to the state, said Jeff Roberts, a real estate agent who sells hunting land in the Black Belt.

    “For farmers and landowners, leasing the hunting rights to their places is a huge secondary income for many,” he said. “If CWD comes to Alabama, the land values are going to go into the basement. I’ve had clients turn their backs on absolutely beautiful hunting tracts when they found out feral hogs were on the property. You can imagine what CWD would do to spook buyers.”

1 week ago

‘Campaign Trump’ is back — Student charged with murder — Ivey concerned about tariffs, and more in Dale Jackson’s 7 Things

The 7 Things You Should Be Talking About Today

1. Free-wheeling President Donald Trump is back at rally for Pennsylvania candidate

— The president tried to rally voters to support state Rep. Rick Saccone in a district Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 20 percentage points in 2016, he also unveiled his new campaign — “Keep America Great.”

— During the rally he talked about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s fake heritage and fake news.


2. Huffman High junior charged in shooting death of classmate, motive still unknown

— Michael Barber has been charged with manslaughter and illegal gun possession in the death of 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington as classes let out last Wednesday.

— The confusion seemed to originally stem from the fact that Barber shot himself, that is why they thought the shooting was accidental.

3. Governor Kay Ivey has issues with tariffs for steel and aluminum

— Gov. Ivey spoke at an auto parts supplier’s new plant in Vance and discussed the issues Alabama could face with Trump’s tariffs.

— She said, “Alabama’s economy is driven in large measure by advanced manufacturing in automotive and aerospace firms, and both of those utilize a great deal of steel and aluminum.”

4. NRA sues Florida after gun restrictions pass and the governor signs it in to law

— Last week, Florida passed a sweeping gun law that included raising the age to purchase a rifle to 21; it also allowed some teachers to carry handguns with proper training.

— The NRA argues that the law “prohibited an entire class of law-abiding, responsible citizens from fully exercising the right to keep and bear arms.” GOP candidate for governor Ron DesSantis believes the lawsuit will “probably succeed.”

5. Questionable candidate commissioned poll in AL-05 shows Congressman Brooks opponent up 10 points

— The push poll included questions like, “If you had the choice to vote for a Congressman that supports President Trump to make America Great Again. Would you vote for: Mo Brooks would who has voted in Congress against President Trump Or Clayton Hinchman who was awarded the purple heart for fighting for his country and will always support our President.”

— Push polls are done to elicit a certain response and this one worked, after these questions Clayton Hincham leads with 36.6 to Brooks 26.6 with 36.9 undecided.

6. Democrats have some “great” ideas, they include raising taxes

— Trump’s biggest asset continues to be his opponents’ terrible ideas and the fact that eventually they will have to do something other than being the anti-Trump party.

— A plan released last week, with little fan fare, included increasing taxes on corporations and individuals.

7. Trump pardons sailor convicted and jailed for taking a picture of a submarine

— The White House announced Friday that Trump pardoned a Navy sailor. On Saturday Trump congratulated the sailor and thanked him for his service.

— Kristian Saucier took photos of classified areas inside a submarine and served a year in federal prison for it, the case came up often on the campaign trail when talking about how Hillary Clinton got off scot-free.

4 years ago

‘Sessions voted against veterans!’ Not so fast

Sen. Jeff Sessions speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate (Photo: YouTube Screenshot)
Sen. Jeff Sessions speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate (Photo: YouTube Screenshot)

I miss Left in Alabama, they were my favorite political blog for a while but they disappeared in irrelevancy.

Here is why I loved them…

Sessions was one of only 3 senators to vote against the Jeffers/McCain bill (which would, according to USA Today, allow veterans to seek care from private providers if they face long wait times at Veterans Affairs facilities). His reasoning was simple: we had plenty of money to fight two wars “off the books” and add billions to the debt; too bad there’s nothing left to take care of the people who were injured during the fighting.

Man, he must hate the troops!

Oh wait… (From USA Today)

Sessions made a point of order against an “emergency” designation provision that would keep the legislation from being limited by budget restrictions. Congress is not allowed to create legislation that would add to the federal deficit without subtracting money from elsewhere. The emergency designation allows Congress to bypass the budget rules. Sanders moved to waive the the point of order.

Oh, he wanted to follow the law…

What a monster.

He did not vote against veterans, he voted against more debt.

Sen. Sessions simply wanted to pay for this provision.

Let’s keep in mind, all this does is put more money in to a broken program and does nothing to address the the actual issue at hand.

Dale Jackson hosts “The Dale Jackson Show” on WVNN in Huntsville and WAPI in Birmingham. Follow him on Twitter @TheDaleJackson, and read more on his blog, The Attack Machine.

4 years ago

Another Alabama Education Association shadow ad buy?

Shadow organizations are nothing new in Alabama politics
Shadow organizations are nothing new in Alabama politics

Let’s all be shocked!

Another new “shadow group” is forming in Alabama. We have already seen a few of these fake organizations lately….

• The Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, Judge Mark Kennedy, quits and starts some splinter group called The Alabama Democratic Majority.

• Bradley Byrne formed Reform Alabama, to much fanfare. He is now in Congress, and now I have no idea if it even exists.

• Parker Griffith formed Alabama Strong, also to much fanfare. He is now running for Governor.

The latest is the “Alabama Foundation for Limited Government,” founded by former State Senator John Rice and it just made a $350k ad buy. We will get to that soon enough.

The goals of the new group, as usual, seem OK.

But most are unneeded:

• Term Limits for Politicians: Set term limits on state legislators to no more than two consecutive terms, or eight years in either chamber, and no more than a cumulative lifetime total of 12 years in either the state house or the state senate, or limited to four more years for legislators that have already served 12 years.

Some are probably unenforceable:

• End Campaign Donation Pay-to-Play: Ban individuals and corporations who have contracts with the state from making political contributions to state elected officials. (No one who donates money can get state contracts? Sounds great, never happening.)

Stop Politicians from Double Dipping on Taxpayer-Funded Salaries: Ban state elected officials and their immediate family members from double dipping by earning additional income or payments from state agencies that they have budget authority over. (Officials yes, which oddly enough the AEA fought, but good luck on the families.)

Some have already been addressed:

• Close the Politician/Lobbyist Revolving Door: Require former legislators to wait at least two years after their term before being able to lobby members of the legislature. (Will pass this year)

• Outlaw Fundraising During Session: Prohibit state elected officials from raising any political campaign contributions while the legislature is in session (Done, except for 120 days before an election)

Which leaves us with:

• Ban Gifts from Lobbyists to Politicians: Ban state elected officials, their staff, and their family members from accepting any gifts such as travel, meals, and football tickets from individuals and special interests, as well as banning purchasing football tickets from special interests.

• Require a Public Notice for all State Contract Lobbying: Require anyone who meets to influence the Governor’s office, the legislature, or any state department or agency regarding contracts to register as a lobbyist and publicly report their clients.

I am game on 2 of those, neither of which the AEA wants.

Now we come to the funding…


Ad Buys

Why the AEA?

Let’s look at the current politicians that have signed on to this new groups’ pledge and how much each has taken from the AEA…

• Stan Cooke, Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor
• Sen. Harri Anne Smith, (I-29) ($150,000)
• Sen. Marc Keahey (D-22) (no filings but he has received at least $25,000)
• Rep. Todd Greeson, (R-24), candidate for Senate District 8 ($50,000)
• Rep. John Robinson (D-23) ($25,000)
• Josh Pipkin, Republican candidate for State Representative, District 91

As with most of these groups, we will find out who is behind this later but we already know it’s the AEA.

Now, the bigger question is, “Why?” The goals don’t seem to be traditional AEA goals of accountability and good government.

And it’s odd for a new group to have all that money. Let’s go back to 2010 and the AEA front group True Republican PAC…

A teachers’ union headed by Democrats bankrolling the True Republican PAC? And that PAC blanketing the airwaves with ads attacking Republican gubernatorial front-runner Bradley Byrne for associating with – Democrats?


As for the ads bashing Byrne, the True Republican PAC by late April had paid out about $570,000 for the “Peas in a Pod” ad, which attempts to link Byrne to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. And that was before a new commercial featuring a quacking duck began running.

The AEA is an unprincipled group and they have 1 goal: eliminate the Republicans’ super-majority.

They don’t care about anything except beating Republicans, who have been killing them for 3 years.

Look forward to more of the same from the AEA this year.

Dale Jackson is a Huntsville, Ala.-based radio talk show host on WVNN. Follow him on Twitter @TheDaleJackson and read more of his article at