The Wire

  • Mark Zuckerberg ‘Macedonian accounts’ spread fake news during Alabama special Senate election — New York Times

    One of the things that gives me confidence is that we’ve seen a number of elections at this point where this has gone a lot better. In the months after the 2016 election, there was the French election. The new A.I. tools we built after the 2016 elections found, I think, more than 30,000 fake accounts that we believe were linked to Russian sources who were trying to do the same kind of tactics they did in the U.S. in the 2016 election. We were able to disable them and prevent that from happening on a large scale in France.

    In last year, in 2017 with the special election in Alabama, we deployed some new A.I. tools to identify fake accounts and false news, and we found a significant number of Macedonian accounts that were trying to spread false news, and were able to eliminate those. And that, actually, is something I haven’t talked about publicly before, so you’re the first people I’m telling about that.

    I feel a lot better about the systems now. At the same time, I think Russia and other governments are going to get more sophisticated in what they do, too. So we need to make sure that we up our game. This is a massive focus for us to make sure we’re dialed in for not only the 2018 elections in the U.S., but the Indian elections, the Brazilian elections, and a number of other elections that are going on this year that are really important.

  • University of Alabama officials respond to new video of racist remarks — WBRC

    Officials at the University of Alabama has released a statement following the discovery of a student of an individual using racist language.

    President Stuart R. Bell said the students is no longer enrolled at the university.

    Bell released the following statement: “We have learned of an offensive video involving racist language by a student who is no longer enrolled. We hold our students to a much higher standard than this. We are united in condemning this racist behavior and resolute in our commitment to ensure our students, faculty and staff know they are welcome, accepted and supported on our campus, and that discriminatory behavior will not be tolerated. The University is dedicated to continuing our collective work with students, faculty and staff to ensure an inclusive campus for every member of our community.”

  • Alabama House speaker says arming teachers bill will be revisited next session —

    A bill to allow some school systems to designate teachers who receive training and approval from local officials to have guns in schools did not come up for consideration Tuesday in the House.

    McCutcheon, asked about the status of the legislation last night, issued this statement today: “Although the bill was in a position to be considered yesterday, the Democratic opponents of the legislation were prepared to lock down the chamber to prevent its approval.  There was also a lot of misinformation distributed to educators, school administrators, law enforcement and parents that needed to be corrected.  I can offer a personal guarantee that this issue will be revisited when the Legislature convenes its next session.”

    The sponsor of the bill to arm teachers, Rep. Will Ainsworth, R-Guntersville, issued a statement today saying he was angered that opposition by Democrats blocked his bill.

23 hours ago

Lowndesboro Mayor Rick Pate running for Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries

Rick Pate, The Mayor of The Town of Lowndesboro and President of Pate Landscape Co. held a press conference and announcement for his campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, coinciding with The SLE Rodeo at Garrett Coliseum.

Pate is a Cattleman, a successful businessman and an active in many Agribusiness and Civic Associations. He is endorsed by The Alabama Cattleman’s PAC, The Alabama Farmer’s Federation, The Alabama Forestry Association, The Associated General Contractors of Alabama, and The Alabama Petroleum and Convenience Marketers Association.

“I’m running for Ag Commissioner to help the agribusiness community in our state flourish,” Pate said. “I’m a lifelong Republican and I want to use conservative values to protect the largest sector of Alabama’s economy from undo regulations, taxes and fees put on them by career politicians in Montgomery and Washington, D.C.”


Rick is the Vice Chairman of The Lowndes County Republican Party and serves on The ALGOP Executive Committee. He is active in many professional and civic organizations such as Rotary International, The Associated General Contractors, The Alabama Agribusiness Council, The Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association and The Alabama Wildlife Federation. He is a member of The Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, and The Business Council of Alabama.

“It is estimated that by 2050 we will have to double food production to meet the needs of the world – it will take visionary leaders who understand that we have to work smarter, not just harder, to achieve these goals,: Pate said. That is the vision that I have for the office of The Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.”

Rick is a 1978 graduate of Auburn University in the School of Agriculture. He married to the former Julie Dismukes, and they have two sons Richard and James. Richard works in the international division of a large construction firm, and James has been accepted to medical school.


2 days ago

Huckabee touts Scott Dawson’s social conservative bona fides, Shrugs off 2017 special election fatigue

PELHAM – Monday before taking the stage at the Pelham Civic Complex to stump for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott Dawson, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) offered Yellowhammer News his insight into the upcoming gubernatorial race and why he thought Dawson was the best choice in that race.

Huckabee explained that given the circumstances of disgraced former Gov. Robert Bentley’s departure from the governor’s mansion and the disappointment some may felt because of it, the time was right for a candidate like Dawson.

“Obviously the people of Alabama have had some tough times,” Huckabee said. “I understand it because it is very similar to what the people of Arkansas went through. It’s an emotional gut punch to see governors get in trouble. I think Scott is the kind of governor that is not going to disappoint people. He’s got leadership skills. He’s got charisma. But he has something that keeps a person out of that kind of trouble, humility. If you don’t have some perspective and don’t recognize that you’re not being elected to be a king or a prince, but a servant. He’s got a servant’s heart, and I think that’s his greatest asset going in. He knows what he doesn’t know and the person that will get you in the most trouble is the guy who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”


When asked if voters might be reluctant to participate in this year’s primary or dispirited because of the loss suffered at the hands of Roy Moore, the perceived social conservative candidate, in last year’s U.S. Senate special election, Huckabee dismissed any similarities.

He explained that Dawson’s convictions were not born out of political expediency.

“It’s not the same because you don’t have the scandals,” he said. “You don’t have accusations. You don’t have the controversy that was even unrelated to the scandals of the senate campaign. You have a candidate who nobody has surfaced to say, ‘Let me tell you about this guy.’ And what they have said is, ‘Yes, let me tell you about this guy. I’ve known him since he was a little kid.’ That’s something that very, very dramatically different. He’s a social conservative that has truly lived it.”

“His views and convictions are not because of politics,” Huckabee added. “He’s in politics because of his convictions. That’s very different because I’ve seen guys – they’ve never thought a lot about these issues. But they run for office and then they know they got to take a position because that’s what the voters want them to do. But they really don’t have those core values or deep convictions.”

Jeff Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and works as the editor of Breitbart TV. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_poor.

(Image: Mike Huckabee — Fox News Channel / YouTube)

2 days ago

Alabama GOP gubernatorial hopeful Scott Dawson showcases star power at Pelham ‘Kickoff to Win’ rally

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

PELHAM — The threat of severe weather didn’t keep rallygoers from attending Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott Dawson’s campaign kickoff rally on Monday.

Before for a crowd of a few hundred at the Pelham Civic Complex, Dawson hosted an event that featured syndicated morning drive talkers Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey of “The Rick and Bubba Show,” and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a two-time presidential candidate and Fox News Channel personality.


(Crowd on hand at Scott Dawson kickoff event — Jeff Poor / Yellowhammer News)

Before the event, Dawson told Yellowhammer News about the early stages of his campaign and the reception he had received since announcing his candidacy.

“When I said yes to run for governor, it’s been amazing the people that have come around us,” Dawson said. “It’s friends. I think Rick Burgess says it best. It’s not just endorsing us. It’s vouching for us – lifestyle, character. Character does matter, and character is not built over an election year. Character takes a lifetime. Character is what you do when no one is watching. And I think that’s what Alabama is looking for.”

(Scott Dawson and family at kickoff event — Jeff Poor / Yellowhammer News)

Dawson went to explain he wasn’t running against other candidates, but instead on his accomplishments.

“I think when [voters] look at the candidates, I’m not running against any other person,” he explained. “But I do believe what the Lord has done through our lives — building a ministry. We actually built something, from zero to a multimillion-dollar non-profit organization. We work with Major League Baseball, the National Football League. It is one of those deals where we bring people together. And now more than ever before as Alabama comes together, tonight as we kickoff to win, we’re praying for a big crowd.”

(Bill “Bubba” Bussey and Rick Burgess of “The Rick and Bubba Show” at Scott Dawson event — Jeff Poor / Yellowhammer News)

Attendees were entertained by Burgess and Bussey and were also treated to a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” featuring Huckabee on bass guitar.

Jeff Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and works as the editor of Breitbart TV. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_poor.

(Top image: Mike Huckabee plays bass guitar for “Sweet Home Alabama” cover — Jeff Poor / Yellowhammer News)

4 days ago

Wounded Warrior running for Alabama State House representing Chambers and Lee Counties

Back in 2003, while U.S. Army Specialist Todd Rauch and his buddies were patrolling the streets of Abu Ghraib, an Iraqi city made famous by its notorious prison, a remotely-detonated mortar exploded near his patrol. His right shoulder and hand were severely injured in the blast.

Rauch was eventually flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and endured 12 surgeries to save his limbs from amputation.

He is now running as a Republican for the State House of Representatives district representing Chambers and Lee Counties.

So how did this Illinois-native find himself running for office in Alabama?

While recovering at the hospital, Rauch’s roommate was from Fort Payne and “all he talked about was Auburn and Auburn and Auburn,” Rauch told Yellowhammer News.


Rauch soon recovered from his injuries, and then his plans for a transition to civilian life became all about … Auburn, Auburn, Auburn.

“I applied to Auburn and felt like it was a good place to get a fresh start,” he said

Rauch studied psychology at Auburn University, with the intention of working in veteran services or military intelligence. He then worked for a time as an intelligence analyst and then began working in veterans’ services, helping his brothers and sisters in arms receive the benefits they were promised.

He’s running on a platform strengthening communities.

Rauch has a firm conviction that a community’s representative ought to be more present in the community itself, something he said he hasn’t seen much at the 75 city and county commission meetings he has attended over the last few years.

“I realized that there was no one there who was representing us in Montgomery to take those voices and those issue and those problems to Montgomery,” he said.

Rauch has put improving jobs and education among his platform principles.

He is a stanch supporter of the community college system, of which both he and his wife are products.

“It’s a good and affordable way to get your education and to get experience in college without jumping into a four-year university,” he said.

Rauch also supports expanding broadband access to rural areas. He said it is critical to the development of rural areas that have little internet and cell service.

“You’re not able to do your banking,” he said. “Some of these people aren’t even able to have home security systems because some of that works off of cell service.”

With the campaign motto, “Community. Country. Service,” Rauch said he wants to work to improve life for his constituents, and by extension, the rest of the state and country.

“Focusing on the community creates better environment for the kids, inspires better leaders, and provides better community for our state, and provides a better state for our country,” he said.

The GOP primary is June 5.

(Image: Todd Rauch for Alabama/Facebook)

1 week ago

Alabama Rep. Martha Roby’s reelection campaign endorsed by National Right to Life Committee

U.S. Representative Martha Roby’s re-election campaign was recently endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee, the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization.

Roby, a Republican from Montgomery, has scored a perfect 100 percent prolife voting record since coming to Congress in 2011, according to the committee’s Legislative Action Center.

“All voters who are concerned with the right to life and with the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family should vote to return Representative Roby to Congress so that she can continue to work to advance vital pro-life public policies,” the organization said in a statement.


Roby’s strong prolife voting record includes:

— Cosponsoring and voting in favor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks.

— Cosponsoring and voting in favor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill that would establish a permanent, government wide policy against funding abortions or health insurance plans that cover them.

— Voting to block federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

 I am grateful to the National Right to Life Committee for its unwavering commitment to the pro-life cause,” Roby said in a statement, “I am honored to have the support of this important organization, and I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of those who cannot fight for themselves.”

The national committee’s state affiliate is Alabama Citizens for Life, according to its website.

Roby is running in the GOP primary against former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright, State Rep. Barry Moore, former Roy Moore campaign aide Rich Hobson, and Tommy Amason.

The primary in June 5.

@jpepperbryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of American Warfighter

1 week ago

Alabama contractors, veterinarians endorse Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh for lieutenant governor

(Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh/Facebook)

Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh recently picked up two important endorsements in her bid to become Alabama’s next lieutenant governor, according to a news release from her campign.

The Alabama Associated General Contractors and the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association endorsed her candidacy.

Cavanaugh, who is currently president of the state’s Public Service Commission, already counts significant endorsements from the powerful Business Council of Alabama along with Manufacture Alabama.


“I am honored to receive the endorsements of job creators across our great state,” Cavanaugh said in a news release. “Having owned several small businesses, I have signed both sides of a paycheck and am committed to sound conservative policies that allow job creators to do what they do best.”

The Alabama Associated General Contractors has more than 1,000 members across the state, and the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association represents about 700 veterinarians statewide, according to the news release.

Cavanaugh is running for the GOP nomination against State Rep. Will Ainsworth, R-Guntersville, and State Sen. Rusty Glover, R-Semmes.

The primary is June 5.

(Sign-up for our daily newsletter here and never miss another article from Yellowhammer News.)

2 months ago

Judge Debra Jones running for Alabama Supreme Court, Place 1

(Judge Debra Jones Campaign)

(Judge Debra Jones Campaign)

Circuit Judge Debra Jones has qualified as a candidate for the Alabama Supreme Court, Place 1. She has been a Circuit Judge in Calhoun and Cleburne counties since 2010. Judge Jones, a Republican, is running for the open seat created by the resignation of Justice Glenn Murdock. The Republican primary is June 5, 2018.

“My judicial philosophy is that judges should follow their oath of office by respecting the rule of law, by strictly interpreting the law according to the constitutions as they are written, and by applying the law without fear and without favor.  As Circuit Judge with years of criminal and civil jury trial experience, I have served with integrity, discernment, and honesty.  I have consistently and fairly applied the law equally to everyone according to the constitutions of Alabama and of the United States.  As an attorney, I have practiced in many areas of the law, particularly in criminal, civil, probate, juvenile, and family law. This invaluable experience will be an asset to the Alabama Supreme Court and the people of Alabama.”

Judge Jones has a distinguished 28 year legal career.  Before her election to the bench, Jones served the citizens by advocating for the rights of abused women and children.  She began her legal career as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office where she founded the Calhoun Cleburne Children’s Advocacy Center.  The children’s center is a professional residential place for children to be interviewed by trained counselors when they have been victims of abuse or neglect. Jones wrote the Sexual Torture Act, which criminalized the sexual abuse of any person with an inanimate object as a class A felony and she wrote the Felony DUI Act.  After forming her own practice, Judge Jones co-founded Daybreak Rape Crisis Center, a free counseling center for rape victims.  She also founded and operated Mercy House, a faith-based domestic violence shelter for women and children.

Judge Jones is a graduate of the University of Alabama and of Cumberland Law School.  Jones and her husband, William, have been married 26 years and have five children.  Three children attended Alabama colleges with two having recently graduated and one completing a degree.  Two children are in public high school.  “Alabama is our home.  We were born, raised, and educated in Alabama.  We have lived, worked, and worshipped here our entire lives.  I want to give back to this great State by serving on the State’s Highest Court.”

(News Release/Jones Campaign)

2 months ago

Pat Thetford to run for place on Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

(Thetford Campaign)

(Thetford Campaign)


Former Jefferson County Circuit Judge Peyton C. “Pat” Thetford has announced his candidacy for Place 1 on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.

Thetford, a Republican, has qualified for the seat currently held by Judge Craig Pittman. Pittman has announced he will not seek re-election.

Thetford, a native of Montgomery, has resided in the greater Birmingham area for the past 27 years. He attended the University of Alabama, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Business Administration. He later graduated with a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Thetford graduated from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1988 and practiced civil litigation in Mobile with the firm of Crosby Saad and Beebe, and then in Birmingham from 1994 to 2015, and is currently with Wade S. Anderson and Associates, a staff counsel firm of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

Thetford tried and won more jury trials for this firm than any other lawyer in its history, having handled over a thousand cases and having tried over 80 civil jury trials. In 2015, the non-partisan Jefferson County Judicial Commission selected Thetford as a top-three candidate for Jefferson County Circuit Judge of the Civil Division; he was later selected and appointed as the top candidate by Alabama’s Governor. In October 2016, the Birmingham Bar Association voted Judge Thetford the most highly qualified judicial candidate out of 14 Jefferson County judicial races in in its Judicial Qualifications poll.

In making his announcement, Thetford stated “I believe that my background of having over 27 years of experience as a civil lawyer and Civil Circuit Judge makes me uniquely qualified to serve as an Appellate Judge on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. If elected, I will bring vast experience and conservative values to the court. I will work hard to administer justice fairly and equitably, but always grounded in the rule of law.”

Thetford is married to Mary Frances Thetford and is a proud father of two sons. They are members of Canterbury United Methodist Church. Growing up, Thetford had the pleasure of seeing justice in action. His father, the late William Thetford, served 17 years as Circuit Court judge for Montgomery County.

“Experienced and Proven”

(News Release/Thetford Campaign)

2 months ago

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle officially qualifies with Alabama Republican Party to run for governor

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Hoover, January 2018
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Hoover, January 2018

A week after locking down thousands of new jobs for Alabamians, Tommy Battle, a lifelong Republican, qualified this week with the Alabama Republican Party for the 2018 gubernatorial race.

Battle signed the paperwork surrounded by his family, friends and supporters in a packed restaurant in Hoover. 

“I’m running for governor because we’re in a battle for Alabama’s future, and I’m ready to lead us in a new direction. While the ship of state may be settled, it is time to move it forward. Alabama has been stagnant for far too long, and I’m ready to get us moving forward,” said Battle.

Last week, Tommy Battle secured 4,000 new jobs after Toyota and Mazda announced North Alabama as the location of their new $1.6 billion manufacturing facility.

Battle was elected Huntsville’s mayor nine years ago. In that time, he’s helped recruit and create more than 25,000 jobs. Every day 13 new people are moving to the Huntsville metro area. That job growth has also helped generate more than $4.1 billion in economic investment for North Alabama. Battle wants to bring that same successful plan to the rest of the state.

“We’ve had a lot of success because our plan works. We’re ready to take that plan to Montgomery and work on behalf of all of Alabama’s 67 counties,” said Battle. 

(News Release/Battle for Governor)

2 months ago

Chief Justice Lyn Stuart will run for reelection



Chief Justice Lyn Stuart officially qualified to run for re-election as Chief Justice in 2018 last week in Montgomery.

Ms. Stuart issued a powerful statement to begin her 2018 run, “I believe this year we can continue our emphasis on having full confidence in our courts to not only provide a voice for the families of Alabama but also for those who have fought to have their voice heard. I want to bring a sense of security back to the working class that the state of Alabama will protect their rights.”

Chief Justice Stuart has served on the Alabama Supreme Court since 2000 when she was elected to serve as Associate Justice. Ms. Stuart was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2012, serving on the court for over 15 years until her appointment as Chief Justice in 2016.

Stuart was excited to begin her run saying “I am honored to be able to run for this state’s highest judicial office and have an opportunity to show the Alabama people that I am the candidate they can trust to speak for their conservative values. I want to show that we still can find common-sense solutions in today’s age.”

Ms. Stuart has served as a speaker for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, training judges and other professionals on the handling of child abuse and neglect. Ms. Stuart has long been an advocate of child-safety, herself having two sons, Tucker and Shepard, and a daughter, Kelly. She is also the grandmother of two grandchildren, Sophie and Thomas.

2 months ago

Senator Tom Whatley will seek re-election in the 2018 Republican Primary



AUBURN, Ala – Alabama State Senator Tom Whatley announced last week that he will seek re-election for State Senate District 27.  Senator Whatley qualified with the Alabama Republican Party in Birmingham the first day qualifying opened.  Senate District 27 covers Lee, Russell, and Tallapoosa Counties.  Senator Whatley is currently serving his second term.   He chairs the Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Committee and is also a member of the following committees: Banking & Insurance, Confirmations, Finance & Taxation, Education, Health & Human Services, Judiciary, Transportation & Energy, and Veterans & Military Affairs.

Senator Whatley has worked hard to pass several pieces of legislation that help Alabama families, veterans (the Heroes for Hire Bill), seniors, students, and children (the Autism insurance bill and Ava’s Law).  He was instrumental in securing an additional $13 million in education dollars for the nation’s premier Pre-K program.  Recruiting jobs and companies to Alabama like Schmidt USA, Leonardo, Baxter International, SiO2, Viper, Blue Origin, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Airbus, Touchstone Precision, VCOM, Arkal, GE Aviation, and Equifax will continue to be a priority.

Senator Whatley also introduced a bill that was signed by Governor Kay Ivey to make our election process more transparent.  The bill stopped party crossover voting and will protect the integrity of our election process giving everyone clear choices no matter the party in November for the general election.

“I am proud of the accomplishments we have made in my legislative career.

We have the lowest unemployment rate ever and our housing prices are increasing for the third straight year along with our economy being the 12th healthiest in the nation.

But there is still work that needs to be done.  I will continue to help move our state’s economy forward by creating and supporting a pro-business environment, and I look forward to working with Governor Ivey and the Republican leadership to improve our roads, ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely, and protect our conservative values and morals,” said Whatley.

Senator Whatley was recently named Legislator of the Year by the National Autism Law Summit.  He sponsored the bill that will allow autistic children to receive intense, individualized therapy that focuses on improved communication and social skills.

“Autism affects thousands of families across Alabama, and it was time that we made sure those families could access affordable treatment for their children,” Whatley said. “There are a lot of dry legislative battles in Montgomery, but this was a fight that was clearly worth it, and it is an honor to be recognized for the small part I played in the process.”

Senator Whatley is a native of Lee County where he was raised on the family farm.  He is an attorney and has served his country in the U.S. Army and has been in the Alabama National Guard for over twenty-nine years.

2 months ago

Scott Dawson calls on Gov. Kay Ivey and State Legislature to implement Medicaid-to-work program immediately



“Why isn’t Alabama on this list?”

That’s the question Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Scott Dawson wants answered.

Ten States (Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin) have sought waivers from the federal government to implement work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients, but Alabama is not one of them. Last week, the Trump administration opened the door for state Medicaid programs, who had been asking for permission, to seek a federal waiver which would require work or other community engagement activities, such as volunteerism and job training. Alabama is not on that list.

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program providing nearly 70 million Americans with health benefits, making it the largest government health insurance program. Here in Alabama, nearly 1 in 4 people receive Medicaid assistance, or about 1 million Alabamians.

“Government is not intended to meet every need a person requires. It cannot. We should move quickly to implement this in our state and provide opportunities for those who will be invited to participate in the employment opportunities,” said Dawson. “I have always supported a ‘hand-up’ program from government, but when we create lifelong hand-outs, we inevitably find people who get complacent and just live off the system. This isn’t healthy for them or for the tax payers who are providing for them. If there are people who are able to work, and they are not working by choice, then we need to implement a program that will inspire, encourage or even require them to get to work in their community.”

By encouraging more people into the workplace, Dawson says we will not only improve their health and provide them dignity and respect for being a productive member of their community, but we may also get them off costly government programs as they find a job providing health benefits.

“Businesses all over the country are looking at relocating to Alabama and with unemployment falling across the nation, there has never been a better time to find a job. So, we need to encourage– even push– people who might be comfortable in the government programs to get out and find a way back to work,” said Dawson.

Dawson doesn’t intend this to apply to those on disability or mental illness.

“Clearly, there are some who cannot work. We don’t need to make this a punishment of people who will be cut off because they can’t work, nor should we make this a program to shame those who cannot work,” said the candidate. “This is simply a way to get people who have gotten comfortable on a government program, or who fell out of work and didn’t have an incentive, to get back to work on their way to a more productive life, with a possibility to get them off the government programs long- term.”

2 months ago

Alabama State Representative Danny Garrett to run for reelection

State Representative Danny Garrett
State Representative Danny Garrett

MONTGOMERY–State Representative Danny Garrett (Republican-Trussville) has filed qualifying papers with the Alabama Republican Party to run for reelection as State Representative for House District 44, which includes Trussville, Clay and parts of Pinson. Garrett was first elected to the Alabama House in 2014.

As a freshman, Garrett quickly gained the respect of leadership and his colleagues and has developed a reputation for his conservative principles, his pragmatic approach to legislative matters and his business and financial expertise. Garrett serves as a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee-Education; the Education Policy Committee; the Small Business and Commerce Committee and he was recently appointed by Speaker of the House to the newly formed Fiscal Responsibility Committee.

Garrett also serves as the Co-Chairman of the Joint Task Force on Budget Reform, a group of seven House members and seven Senate members formed in 2017 to make recommendations for improving the state’s budget process. The Joint Task Force presented an Interim Report to the Legislature at the end of the 2017 session and will submit a Final Report early in the 2018 session.

In his three or all businesses, Garrett has been a leading advocate for legislation to reign in predatory lending practices in Alabama and has also co-sponsored legislation to protect citizen’s second amendment rights, traditional values and the life of the unborn. For the past three years, the American Conservative Union has consistently ranked Garrett’s voting record among the most consistently conservative in the Alabama House.

Garrett has been recognized for his ability and willingness to work with both Republican and Democrat colleagues.

Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon commented, “Because Danny Garrett possesses a special combination of leadership abilities, wide-ranging fiscal experience and outside-the-box thinking, I handpicked him to serve as House chairman of the Legislature’s budget reform committee even though other members had more seniority.  He is deeply committed to fundamentally changing the way Montgomery operates, and our state’s finances will soon be on a much firmer foundation because of Rep. Garrett’s hard work, innovation and conservative reforms.”

Nathaniel Ledbetter, Alabama House of Representatives Majority Leader said, “As the House Republicans have begun streamlining the state budgeting process and saving taxpayer dollars, Danny Garrett’s encyclopedic knowledge of financial matters has proven to ban an invaluable asset. Rep. Garrett is working hard every day to give Alabamians a state government that is as efficient, productive, and conservative as the citizens it seeks to serve. As House Majority Leader, I fully support Rep. Garrett in his reelection to the Alabama House of Representatives.”

Johnny Amari, Trussville resident and member of the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee, said, “Danny Garrett has done an impressive job representing our district over the last three years. Danny has performed his duties with honesty, integrity and transparency. He’s definitely earned my vote, my support and four more years.”

Alan Taylor, President of the Trussville City Council, stated, “I wholeheartedly endorse Danny Garrett for reelection as the representative for House District 44. He possesses the leadership skills necessary to move our state forward. His impeccable character and conservative values has served us well, not only in District 44, but throughout the state of Alabama.”

Ronnie Dixon, Executive Director of the Clay-Pinson Chamber of Commerce, said, “Danny Garrett is a very active and a supportive representative for our area. He is always accessible and available. He has represented the interest of Clay and Pinson in Montgomery as if he were a resident. I fully support and encourage others to support Danny’s reelection.”

Charles Webster, Mayor of Clay commented, “I consider Danny a friend and a great representative for our district. He has always been available to talk with us on any issues. He is also a man lead by God and that’s what we need in our leaders. I support Danny in his reelection and encourage others to do the same.”

Vicki Bailey, a resident of Clay who is active in local area politics, stated, “Public servant isn’t a term used when speaking of politicians much anymore, but it is a term used when you live in District 44. Representative Danny Garrett serves his district with a true servant’s heart. Always listening to his constituents, he works diligently on issues to make life better for them, as well as others across the state of Alabama.”

Christian Crawford, a graduate of Clay-Chalkville High School and current SGA President at Auburn University-Montgomery commented, “Danny Garrett is a man of honor and integrity. Our district is fortunate to have him as our representative. In today’s political climate, there are very few statesmen; however, Danny Garrett is a true man of the people. He is a compassionate and Godly leader. I urge everyone in our district to reelect him as our representative.”

Joe Cochran, a former member of the Pinson City Council and the “Voice of the class 6A state champions Pinson Valley Indians,” commented “I am honored to place by trust in Danny. He has stood tall in the face of Montgomery politics and remembered who he represents in all situations. He is a friend to our community and a steadfast representative of his constituents.”

The Republican primary election will be on June 5, 2018.

3 months ago

Josh Jones reemphasizes statesmanship as he steps away from governor’s race

Josh Jones (Jones for Alabama/Facebook)
Josh Jones (Jones for Alabama/Facebook)



From the first day Birmingham business executive Josh Jones announced his candidacy for Governor, he had one overarching goal: reshaping a cultural consensus around the idea of statesmanship.

As Jones said when he announced his candidacy:

The people of Alabama are over career politicians. We’re tired of being embarrassed, of waiting for the next scandal, and we’re tired of people running as conservatives and governing as liberals. We need men of character and conviction who possess the ability to govern conservatively and unite legislators without being obligated to special interests.”

Discussing his role in the gubernatorial race, he said:

Naturally, everyone in a political race would like to win an election, but that’s not the only measure of a win, but my greatest burden entering this race is the dearth of trustworthy leadership in Alabama, the glaring absence of true statesmanship among career politicians. That’s why I entered the race with the earnest hope of redefining what it means to be a statesman, and I believe we’ve done that, because now it’s a word routinely used and explained by many of the candidates in this race. In my view, that’s a tremendous win.”

Elaborating on that idea, Jones explained:

As this campaign has progressed, the conversation has increasingly focused on the fact that, above all else, Alabama’s next governor must restore credibility to the office. That starts by having the courage to take a stand against the status quo and the establishment when they’ve lost their way. Today, most every Republican candidate is at least talking about the need to do just that, and I believe that a few of those candidates truly embrace that concept.”

With that said, Jones said that he believes his highest calling at this time is bowing out of the race. Expressing his appreciation to thousands of supporters, Jones said:

Jennifer and I are honored and humbled beyond words at the response to my candidacy from wonderful folks across this great state. From the wiregrass to the Tennessee Valley, and everywhere in between, good people have embraced our message, and responded to our call. You’ve pledged your support, wholeheartedly sharing our belief that Alabama can be great again. The very nature of those beliefs far supersedes any one person or candidate, and that’s why I know you will continue to stand with us in fighting for those ideals, even though I’m withdrawing from the governor’s race today.”

For now, Jones will continue in business and caring for his family, but he stressed his heartfelt appreciation for his staff and his supporters alike.

“It’s difficult to express my gratitude for everyone who’s rallied to this cause to restore a sense of statesmanship and integrity to Alabama politics,” Jones said. “I am so deeply grateful for everyone who has believed in this campaign, as well as every single person who has stood shoulder to shoulder with me on this campaign staff. This was about promoting a cause for the greater good and I want to extend my wholehearted gratitude to everyone who’s been a part of this effort—you’re greatly appreciated.”

3 months ago

Fraternal Order of Police endorses Reynolds for State House

Rex Reynolds (left) and Local Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 6, President Lieutenant Donny Shaw
Rex Reynolds (left) and Local Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 6, President Lieutenant Donny Shaw


The Local Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 6, has unanimously endorsed Rex Reynolds for the House of Representatives, District 21.   Reynolds, a long-time member of the Fraternal Organization sought their endorsement, and is honored to have their support.

Lodge President, Lieutenant Donny Shaw said, “Former Chief Reynolds has always been supportive of the FOP, and he cares about the Law Enforcement agencies and their workforce.  We recognize that Rex has served at the line level; first line supervisor, commander, chief, public safety and city administrator.”  He further commented, “Rex’s understanding of operations across the ranks, administrative and political positions is unmatched by any other candidate.  We need State Representatives in Montgomery that know the needs of our public safety agencies, and truly understands what our men and women of law enforcement encounters and knows the tools they need to be successful”.

Former Police Chief, Public Safety Director, and City Administrator stated, “There is no higher accommodation, than to have an endorsement of your peers”.  Reynolds also noted, “The citizens of Madison County are fortunate to have professionals serving our public safety agencies, and I am fortunate to be in a position to have their support”.

Rex Reynolds is the Republican nominee in the Special General election for Alabama House District 21 which is being held on March 27, 2018.


3 months ago

Alabama politician to give 10 percent of campaign donations to Children’s Hospital

State Senator Gerald Dial
State Senator Gerald Dial



State Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville), Republican candidate for Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, this week announced his intention to give 10 percent of all campaign contributions received to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. He challenged all candidates in Alabama to do the same, which would generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for the important healthcare facility.

“Every voter in Alabama is sick of the constant campaigns and incessant political advertising,” Dial said. “The least us candidates could do is give a small portion of what we raise to help out an outstanding institution like Children’s Hospital.”

In 2014, the last state legislative and constitutional office election cycle, candidates for statewide office and the state legislature raised $57,479,285. Instead of spending all that money on flyers, TV ads, and phone calls, Children’s Hospital would have received nearly $6,000,000 in additional funding to care for ill and injured children.

“I’m proud to support Children’s Hospital in their mission to provide the finest pediatric health services to all children,” added Senator Gerald Dial. “If that means less money for my campaign, I trust the voters to realize my campaign funds are better spent improving our state instead of solely promoting myself.”

More information about Gerald Dial and his campaign issues is available at this link.

3 months ago

Who is this Doug Jones?

(Doug Jones for Senate/Facebook)
(Doug Jones for Senate/Facebook)


During the election now Senator-elect Doug Jones’ supporters couldn’t properly express the candidate’s views on anything. His campaign strategy was basically, “Don’t be Roy Moore.” Now that Jones has seemingly won, he may be taking a turn to the right.

“It doesn’t matter what the issue is. [There’s] always opportunity to find common ground,” Jones said. “I have just resisted trying to put labels on myself.”

Why this matters: Jones knows that in order to be a viable candidate in 2020, he has to be less Elizabeth Warren and more Joe Manchin. Republican turnout on December 12th was significantly down and he still barely won. Jones knows that he cannot win re-election against a non-scandal-plagued Republican in Alabama if he is viewed as a left-wing liberal.

The details:

— Jones was on “Fox News Sunday” and spoke about being a “Doug Jones-Democrat”

— While Jones did not take a stance on the current tax bill, he said he supports tax cuts, including those for corporations but he worries about the deficit.

— Jones tried to literally straddle the fence on immigration, saying he opposes the wall because he believes border security can be achieved without it.

— Most shockingly, the newly elected Democrat does not believe the President should resign over previous sexual harassment allegations.

— If this rhetorical shift manifests itself in Jones’ voting record he may crush the spirits of many Alabama Democrats who voted for a candidate with no real record on the issues.

3 months ago

Gov. Kay Ivey leads in fundraising for governor’s race, hauling in more than $2 million in contributions


As the eyes of Alabama and the nation were fixed on the special election to decide the state’s next senator, candidates in our gubernatorial election were busy doing the one thing that matters most at this stage of the race – raising money.

Governor Kay Ivey has taken the greatest haul, counting slightly more than $2 million in contributions, according to reports filed earlier this month

“Governor Ivey is a conservative fighter who is reforming state government and strengthening Alabama’s economy,” said Brent Buchanan, senior advisor to Ivey’s re-election campaign. “She is excited about the 2018 election as she continues to make Alabama a better place for everyone.”

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle is in second place, with a little more than $1.4 million raised.

“Our goal has and continues to be to raise the right amount for a competitive campaign,” Battle said. “We’ve had more than 700 contributions to our campaign. That’s more than any other candidate and we’re very proud of that. Our supporters are not big money people and they all want a better Alabama.”

The candidates: According to the campaign finance disclosures released last week by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office, here are the four leading GOP candidates for governor and their total dollar amount raised:

— Kay Ivey, $2,079,254

— Tommy Battle, $1,426,881

— Bill Hightower, $646,812

— Scott Dawson, $455,062

What’s ahead:

— The Republican primary is scheduled for June 5.

— If no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held July 17.

— The general election is set for November 6, 2018.


3 months ago

Alabama GOP Chairman: We are deeply disappointed in the Senate election results

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan (Mid Alabama Republican Club)
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan (Mid Alabama Republican Club)


Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan made the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate election results:

“While we are deeply disappointed in the extremely close U.S. Senate election results, with our candidate Judge Roy Moore, we respect the voting process given to us by our Founding Fathers. We are grateful to the army of Republican volunteers who sacrificed their time to help during this most important race. We are also thankful to President Trump and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel for their support. Good conservative government and policies are always worth pursuing.”

“During this campaign, we heard Mr. Jones repeatedly say he would talk about ‘kitchen table issues’ and that he would ‘reach across the aisle’ to work with Republicans. While these issues weren’t discussed and no other Democratic Senator has worked with the Republicans, all eyes will be on his votes. Alabamians will watch the issues he will support or try to stop. We will hold him accountable for his votes.”

“Sixty percent of all partisan elected officials in our state are Republicans. We expect a strong slate of Republican candidates in 2018 as we continue to grow our base.”

“Alabamians are conservative and have no intentions of moving toward the policies of the Democrat Party. If Mr. Jones aligns himself with the liberal Democrats in Washington, Alabama voters will remember his choices in the 2020 U.S. Senate election.”

“Now that this race has ended, may this holiday season of peace, love and hope resonate with everyone, regardless of one’s political affiliation.”

(Alabama Republican Party / Press Release)

3 months ago

Trump congratulates Democrat Doug Jones on ‘hard-fought victory’; says he knew Moore couldn’t win


“Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory,” President Trump tweeted Tuesday night, after the Democrat narrowly defeated conservative Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama special election for Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat.

Trump also noted, “The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!”

Trump endorsed Republican Luther Strange in the primary, but when Moore won, the president repeatedly urged Alabama voters to choose Moore, despite allegations of Moore’s inappropriate relationships with teenage girls, one as young as 14, when Moore was in his 30s.

In his first tweet of Wednesday, Trump said he knew Moore could not win: “The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election.  I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!”

With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Jones had 671,151 votes, or 49.9 percent, compared to Moore’s 650,436 votes, or 48.4 percent. There were 22,819 write-in votes, many of which might have gone to Moore were it not for the controversy surrounding him.

According to CBS News exit polling, Democrat Jones got 96 percent of the black vote, while Moore got 68 percent of the white vote. Fifty-one percent of independents voted for Jones; and 57 percent of women and 60 percent of young people also voted for Jones.

Moore has not yet conceded the race, but there seems to be no question that Mr. Jones will be coming to Washington.

“When the vote is this close, it’s not over,” Moore told supporters at his election night rally. He complained about being “painted in an unfavorable and unfaithful light,” and said he will let the “process play out.”

Jones told his supporters he’s been “waiting all my life, and now I just don’t know what the hell to say.”

“At the end of the day, this — this entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign — this campaign has been about the rule of law. This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which ZIP code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life. And let me just say this, folks, to all of those — all of my future colleagues in Washington, to all — I had such wonderful help.

“But I want to make sure, in all seriousness, there are important issues facing this country, there are important issues of health care and jobs and the economy. And I want to — I would like, as everyone in the entire probably free world knows right now, we’ve tried to make sure that this campaign was about finding common ground and reaching across and actually getting things done for the people,” Jones said.

(By Susan Jones, courtesy

3 months ago

WATCH: Birmingham voters share surprising thoughts about Senate election


Elisabeth Chramer of Yellowhammer News spoke with voters outside The Church at Brook Hills polling precinct in the Birmingham-area to find out how voters felt about the ballot candidates, the national media attention, and what they wish the rest of the country knew about Alabama.


3 months ago

WATCH: Huntsville voters share strong feelings about election and Roy Moore

Voters speak with Yellowhammer News outside a polling precinct in Madison, Alabama (Yellowhammer)


It was a cold, blustery day in northern Alabama, but that didn’t stop voters from pouring into polling precincts to vote in Tuesday’s special election.

Voters in the Huntsville-area spoke with Yellowhammer News about how they voted, how they feel about the election and what they think about Roy Moore. 




Video Credit: Jacob Woods

3 months ago

Former Shelby, Sessions pollster: Don’t trust Alabama Senate polls too much



A nationally-known political consultant and pollster who has done a lot of work in Alabama suggests that when it comes to today’s Senate election, we shouldn’t trust current projections too much.

“To be honest with you, I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in some of the polling I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks,” Jim McLaughlin told Yellowhammer in an interview.

McLaughlin knows Alabama. He has worked as a pollster for Sens. Richard Shelby, Jeff Sessions, and Luther Strange, and has also helped elect Reps. Robert Aderholt and Mike Rogers, Gov. Bob Riley, and Alabama’s Senate Pro Tempore Del Marsh.

He also knows polling. In short, there are three issues going on with the polls, McLaughlin says:

— “The problem is they’re doing these robo-polls, and those polls by law can’t call cellphones. More than half of these people don’t have landlines, so you’re missing a lot of people there.”

— The pollsters are using deficient samples: “They should be using good voter lists, and these hybrid polls with the internet stuff in there, they’re relying on panels, and these people may not necessarily be voters, and they’re claiming that they’re going to vote.”

— The pollsters aren’t choosing enough likely voters: “You want to screen really tightly, to make sure these people are actually going to show up.”

In any case, McLaughlin judges this election as an anomaly, challenging most of our preconceptions, particularly regarding what the turnout will be.

“I think turnout is going to be pretty high today, because it’s almost become a national election,” he said, comparing it to the Georgia Sixth District race back in June, which received major national attention and saw large turnout. 

Whatever the outcome, McLaughlin expects it to be close, in part because he expects many voters to write in candidates. He made a half-joking prediction.

“I think Nick Saban is going to be the lead write-in candidate.”

(Take this article over to social media and start a conversation with your family and friends). 

3 months ago

WATCH: Moore shows up to the polls on horseback

Moore also rode horseback to vote in the Senate primary (WIAT42/YouTube).





Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and his wife showed up to vote in Alabama Tuesday while riding horses.

Moore, who usually travels by horse when going to vote in an election where he is a candidate, kept up with his tradition as he went to vote in the Dec. 12 special election for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s former Senate seat.

Moore rode his horse named Sassy to the Gallant, Ala. polling location with his wife, Kayla Moore, accompanying him on horseback as well.

Moore is currently leading his opponent, Doug Jones, by a 2.2 percentage lead, according to a Real Clear Politics average. Jones has ramped up his outreach to black voters, a key voting bloc in the Alabama election, while Moore faces accusations of sexual misconduct with minors when he was in his 30s.

Moore has denied all allegations.

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