3 years ago

Simple math is the storyline worth watching on Election Day in Alabama

There’s very little drama at the top of the ticket this year in Alabama, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a storyline worth watching.

That storyline is math, simple math. And no, believe it or not, it has nothing to do with Common Core.

Here are a few reasons why math is the storyline worth following when it comes to Alabama’s 2014 General Elections.

1. The Makeup of the Legislature

There’s no doubt there will be Republican supermajorities in both chambers of the Alabama legislature once all the votes are totaled Tuesday night. However, you can bet your bottom dollar Republican leaders are keeping a close watch on the final tally, and not just because they want to run up the score for bragging rights.

Although the Republican primaries held earlier this year were an unmitigated disaster for The Alabama Education Association (AEA) — the state’s de facto Democratic Party — they did manage to get a handful of their choice candidates elected. In fact, some of them have already been meeting separately from the full GOP caucus.

If Democrats manage to peel off a couple more Republican candidates in the General Election, the AEA could be positioned to block some of the “heavier lifts” Republicans try to make by combining the AEA-aligned Republicans with their Democratic allies to erode the GOP’s filibuster-proof majority.

A few races to watch where Democrats are hoping to take out a Republican incumbent include House District 7 (Ken Johnson), HD 8 (Terri Collins), HD 89 (Alan Boothe), Senate District 10 (Phil Williams) and Senate District 13 (Gerald Dial).

The open seats the two parties are battling over are HD24 (Republican Nathaniel Ledbetter vs. Democrat David Beddingfield) and HD37 (Republican Bob Fincher vs. Democrat Josh Burns).

The AEA has also spent well over a million dollars against each of the GOP’s top legislative leaders, House Speaker Mike Hubbard (HD79) and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (SD12). They should be able to hold off their challengers, but they’ve had to fight, and it’s worth watching any time a group spends that much money in a state legislative race.

But while a lot of the attention is being paid to whether Republicans can hold on, there are a few Democrats who are fighting for their political lives, as well, most notably state representatives Daniel Boman (HD16) and Greg Burdine (HD1).

2. Can $1.5 million+ make a Democrat viable in Alabama?

The electoral math is heavily stacked against any Democrat runnings statewide in Alabama, but is $1.5 million spent on a scorched earth campaign enough to make a Democrat viable? Probably not, but the Poarch Band of Creek Indians has donated that stunning sum to Democrat Joe Hubbard, basically single-handedly funding his effort to unseat Republican Attorney General Luther Strange.

The Cook Partisan Voting Index rates Alabama as a “R+14” state, meaning a generic Republican running statewide starts with a 14-point lead against a generic Democrat. The deluge of negative ads might make this one closer than it should be, but it’s still hard to imagine Hubbard pulling off the upset.

3. Can $20 million buy you, well, anything?

Since we’re already having so much fun with math, how about a word problem?

Combine the $10+ million of teachers’ dues AEA has spent directly with the $4 million in loans they’ve taken out from Regions Bank and the untold millions they are widely believed to have funneled into so called “dark money” groups not required to disclose their donors, and what do you get?

That’s the question the AEA’s board will get an answer to on Tuesday night. Their total expenditures on this election cycle are so obscene that one would expect them to regain their stranglehold on the state. Yet, even in the AEA’s best case scenario, they only stand a chance at picking up a handful of legislative seats.

We’ll have more on this in our election postmortem, but a lot of folks in Montgomery are watching this one closely.

4. Bentley’s pursuit of 57.45%

YH Robert Bentley

The perceived rift between Gov. Bentley and the so called “Riley” faction of the Alabama Republican Party has been overblown a lot over the last few years, especially when it comes to the governor’s relationship with GOP legislative leadership. However, don’t think for a second that Bentley’s camp isn’t trying to eclipse former Gov. Bob Riley’s performance in his 2006 re-election bid.

Riley bested Democrat Lucy Baxley with 57.45% of the vote that year, which was a disastrous cyle for Republicans around the country. The electoral dynamics are reversed this year, which looks like it might be a banner year for the GOP.

Most projections suggest Bentley will outperform Riley in his bid for a second term. With the results of the gubernatorial race a forgone conclusion, this is the closest thing Alabama’s got to drama at the top of the ticket in 2014.

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Cultural Marxists are using schools, courts to target Christianity

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:


TOM LAMPRECHT: Fox News is reporting, Harry, a Christian student group has been welcomed back on campus at Wayne State University after threatening a lawsuit for being unfairly booted out. It was the InterVarsity Program, a program that had been at Wayne State University for 75 years. Now, nothing has really changed with InterVarsity so why did they get booted out? When they decided to recertify themselves as an official student organization, they wrote on the form as they had every other year before that InterVarsity is committed to welcoming all students but they would not necessarily have all students be a part of their group’s leadership selection.

DR. REEDER: Well, first of all, I’m grateful that they’re back on campus. And notice they got back on campus when they said they were going to go and challenge the ruling in court. Now, I think they were brought back on the campus, not because the administration changed its mind, but the administration knew they were going to lose in court.



Why would they be going to court? Tom, there is a movement called Cultural Marxism and it’s a very clear movement and I would encourage our listeners to do some research on it. Cultural Marxism is basically the fallback from the collapse of Communism.

Communism built a Marxist view of life based upon economics, but the economic foundations of socialism in general but communism in particular, basically collapsed. There’s still socialists that get a hearing in various situations, not the least of which is the previous candidate for presidency, Bernie Sanders. We’re fully aware that that’s there but, by and large, the success is being accomplished in cultural Marxism.

Now, what is cultural Marxism do? Well, cultural Marxism targets Christianity. There’s a reason why all of the Communist nations remove Christianity and killed Christians. That’s the one ideology that they cannot stand against.

By definition, Marxism is atheistic. The rationale and the truth and the power of the theistic foundations of Christianity cannot be denied and will always, ultimately, undo the irrationality of atheism so what they’ve done is they’ve gone after cultural Marxism, which is to create movements whereby Christians and Christian thinkers and Christian institutions are mocked, or shamed, or marginalized and, if at all possible, silenced and that’s why they go after them to silence them, particularly, in the halls of learning.

They certainly don’t want to debate the ideas because their ideas will always lose under the onslaught of Biblical Christianity’s rationality — suprarationality — and its accuracy in dealing with the reality of creation, redemption and the doctrine of providence and that is how God sustains His creation — ow did we get here, how can you be saved and how are we sustained?


And, therefore, there is a desire to remove them from the public square. Many times, it works because what you do is you bring it into the court system where you’re going to have allies in these judges and whereby you’ve got volunteers as lawyers or you’ve raise the money for these lawyers and then these Christian organizations, they don’t have lawyers, they don’t have the ability to raise the money to go to court so, many times, they just successfully legally ostracize them and legally alienate them while they culturally attempt to shame them.

InterVarsity decided, “Nope, we’re going to go to court.” As soon as that message came, then Wayne State backed out immediately because they knew what would happen if they went to court.

Why do I take the time to walk through that? Because there is a movement among Christians today which is, “Well, if they’re going to kick these organizations off campus, let’s just go off campus. Let’s go ahead and give it to them. Let’s be humble and let them shame us into silence or shame us into abdicating from our presence on the campus.

And, by the way, if you lose the case and if they force you off the campus, yeah, just go across the street, and open up a ministry and start reaching out to the campus — that’s fine — but I don’t think you should willingly walk over there in order to manifest some sense of humility. I think, in humility, we’re willing to go there. Humility will show in the manner of how we contest the issues, but I don’t think humility is don’t contest the issues.


Let me use the apostle Paul. There are arguably three times — at least two times — that the apostle Paul, when he was being silenced, appealed to his citizenship rights within Rome. Now, why did he do that? One case arguably saved his life, humanly speaking, the other case, arguably, was unnecessary because he was about to be pardoned, anyway. In fact, King Agrippa said, “Doesn’t he know if he hadn’t appealed to Rome, he would have been set free? But he’s appealed to Rome; let’s send him on.”

Well, I believe the apostle Paul did not make those appeals legally simply for the purpose of his own personal well-being to fulfill his ministry as apostle — I think he did it for other Christians to carve out their freedoms that were already there and affirmed them that they were, in fact, free to practice their religion under the present guidelines in Rome.

Therefore, I believe it is appropriate for us to say, “There is a Constitution, there is a Bill of Rights and that Bill of Rights was actually put there because of the anticipation of a day in which either the state would create a state-church to impose upon everyone or the state would create laws to try to stop the church and the Christian from the free exercise of religion.

Remember, the First Amendment says they are not to make laws whereby any national church is imposed upon the nation and they are not to make any laws that prohibit the free exercise of religion.

And, by the way, may I commend not only the Becket Foundation for their work in this, but also the Alliance for Defending Freedom — both of those organizations are doing an excellent job arguing for Christians to be in the public square, in the public institutions for the free exercise of religion.


And I do not believe it is inappropriate and I do not believe it is a bad witness for Christians to go to the court in order to affirm what their founding fathers, influenced by Christians, secured in the Bill of Rights because they knew a day like this would come in which the state would either try to impose a church to control its people or the state would attempt to outlaw Christianity because Christianity would be an ideology and a way of life that would confront statism, which is the notion that the state is sovereign over everything in life instead of a state that is under God. Not a state that is becoming God, not a state that assumes its position of deity over its citizens, but a state that assumes its responsibility under God to protect the freedoms that God has given to His people.

There are four times in the Declaration of Independence that God is referenced as the author and giver of unalienable rights and our freedoms. You have to be sensibly blind not to see the impact from God’s law that penetrate and permeate the law of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And all you have to do is to go to the end of the Constitution and, at the signatures, it says, “In the year of our Lord” — that’s what they acknowledged, that this Constitution was under the sovereign God who rules and reigns in all days and all months and all years and in the year that the constitution was written and signed.


TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on tomorrow’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to an interview that Evangelical Focus did with British psychologist and Christian author, Glen Harrison. It deals with sexuality and it deals with the plight of pornography.

DR. REEDER: How do we get free from it if we are captivated by it and what does it do? Well, it certainly isn’t victimless by any means whatsoever. We’ll try to use appropriate language for the sake of our listeners.

(Image: Pixabay)

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

47 mins ago

Storms strike college, leave trail of damage across South

Daybreak Tuesday revealed widespread damage after a night of violent weather in the Deep South, with a college campus shattered by an apparent tornado and thousands of buildings and vehicles battered by hail as large as baseballs.

The area around Jacksonville State University was among the hardest hit as storms swept across the South, part of a large system that prompted tornado warnings Monday in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.


Using couch cushions for protection, Richard Brasher hid in the bathtub with his wife, daughter and two grandchildren as the storm passed near the college. The roar was terrifying, said Brasher, 60.

“I thought we were gone,” he said. “It happened so fast.”

Several shelters opened, schools were closed, trees and power lines were down, and Jacksonville State advised people to avoid traveling near campus Tuesday morning. Most students were away for spring break.

Part of the roof was ripped off the nursing school and Pete Mathews Coliseum, a 3,500-seat basketball arena. Pieces of lumber and bent metal covered the ground along with insulation that looked like yellow cotton candy.

To the west in Cullman, the lots of automobile dealerships were full of cars and trucks that no longer had windows. The sheriff shared a photo of a county jail bombarded by hail but said the prisoners were fine.

Schools were closed in several counties because of damage. Alabama Power Co. said more than 9,000 homes and businesses were without electricity.

Forecasters had warned that the storms would threaten more than 29 million people, raising the risk of powerful tornadoes, damaging winds and hail the size of tennis balls.

Cities in northern Alabama reported power outages and the National Weather Service in Huntsville reported at least three confirmed tornadoes in the area.

Officials suspected a tornado was to blame for the damage in Jacksonville, where Brasher said he was standing in his hall when the kitchen windows exploded.

With electrical transformers exploding and trees crashing down all around, Brasher said, it felt like wind “picked up and shook the whole house.”

“We were scared to death. It blew the paint off my house,” Brasher said.

The National Weather Service said five teams were out in Alabama assessing storm damage.

The weather service was also sending survey crews to at least two Georgia communities to investigate whether tornadoes caused widespread damage to homes there.

In Haralson, Georgia, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southwest of Atlanta, the Haralson County School District said schools would be closed Tuesday due to storm damage “throughout our community.” Damage was also reported in Fairburn, Georgia, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Atlanta.

The same storm system that battered Alabama and Georgia was taking aim Tuesday at a large part of Florida and coastal communities in Georgia and the Carolinas.

Much of north Florida and the entire Georgia and South Carolina coasts would be at an “enhanced” risk for severe storms Tuesday, which could include damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes, the National Storm Prediction Center. A small part of the North Carolina coastline was also included in the area most likely to see severe weather.

The area most at risk for Tuesday’s storms is heavily populated, with more than 10 million people and major Florida cities such as Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

1 hour ago

Sen. Shelby’s ascent to Appropriations chair has Georgians worried over decades-long water war with Alabama, Florida

With Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-Miss.) departure from the U.S. Senate on April 1, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) is set to become the next chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

That has some on the Georgia side of the long-running water war over the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa, and Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basins between Florida and Alabama worried Congress will enact legislation to give Alabama an edge according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Tamar Hallerman.

“The 83-year-old has kept Georgia’s lawyers and congressional delegation in a constant state of paranoia over the past two decades by quietly using government spending bills and other must-pass legislation to aid Alabama’s position in the tri-state water fight,” Hallerman wrote. “Georgia lawmakers have mostly thwarted Shelby’s under-the-radar moves by banding together and going over his head to party leaders. But Shelby’s likely promotion could change the political dynamic on Capitol Hill, where committee chairmen have outsized power to look out for their interests.”


The population explosion of the Atlanta metropolitan area has led to an increased demand for water, which it has met by drawing from the Chattahoochee River. That according to those on the Alabama and Florida side of the issue crying foul given it means less downstream flow from the Chattahoochee. It has especially impacted oyster harvesting in the Apalachicola Bay of Florida.

Hallerman wrote that Shelby has attempted to insert language into government spending legislation for what he has referred to as “equity in the distribution of the water,” but those efforts have been thwarted by Georgia lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

With Shelby’s new role, it may be harder for Georgia’s congressional delegation to continue to resist his efforts, Hallerman explained.

“Ever since a 2015 blowup, the Georgia delegation has been able to contain Shelby’s efforts. But that could all change in the months ahead,” she wrote. “Shelby’s promotion is all but assured in the seniority-focused Senate, and he has backup on Senate Appropriations from Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, since the two states frequently work together on the issue. No Georgia lawmaker sits on that Senate committee.”

Shelby joined the Environment and Public Works Committee in 2017, which is the committee that authorizes projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as laid out by the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).  The Army Corps of Engineers’ activities are traditionally authorized every two years by Congress through the WRDA and are funded annually in appropriations bills, which will give Shelby significant influence.

Neither of Georgia’s two U.S. Senators, Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson have a seat on the Environment and Public Works or Appropriations committees.

In a statement provided to Yellowhammer News, Shelby urged a solution at the state level, but maintained he would seek to “preserve” Alabama’s interests.

“It is my continued hope that the Alabama, Florida, and Georgia governors will work this out at the state level,” Shelby said. “However, I will carefully consider all options to preserve our state’s interests.”

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

2 hours ago

10 million southerners remain under storm threat

The Latest on storms and damage across the Southeast (all times local):

8 a.m.

Forecasters say a storm system that battered Alabama and Georgia will threaten a large part of the Florida and coastal communities in Georgia and the Carolinas.

The national Storm Prediction Center says much of north Florida and the entire Georgia and South Carolina coasts will be at an “enhanced” risk for severe storms, which could include damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes.


A small part of the North Carolina coastline is also included in the area most likely to see severe weather.

The area most at risk is heavily populated, with more than 10 million people and major Florida cities such as Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina.

Forecasters said storms could strike some communities Tuesday morning, and others Tuesday afternoon and evening.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

2 hours ago

The only solution to gun violence in schools is … more guns in schools

As I drove my five children to school this morning I heard on the radio that the bill allowing teachers to carry guns might be debated today on the floor of the Alabama House of Representatives.

I’ve had my share of serious concerns about the proposal — training, oversight, unintended consequences — and have remained mostly unsure how we should proceed.

Until a few minutes ago.


My youngest wanted me to walk him to class, and when his little hand passed from mine to his teacher’s — and I felt that familiar sense of worry that all good fathers feel when leaving their children — I imagined … just for a moment … that his teacher was wearing a holstered sidearm.

And I felt a genuine sense of relief.

It’s time for our lawmakers to turn that fantasy into reality so parents across Alabama can feel that same sense of relief, knowing that if some insane shooter tries to harm our children they’ll at least stand a fighting chance because some of their teachers will be armed.

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville), will need as much flexibility and local control as possible to avoid becoming a hinderance rather than a help, though. It already allows local school systems to determine if they want to arm their teachers, and that’s a good start. That way, if a community doesn’t like how their system decides, they can take it up with their locally-elected school board.

Still, lawmakers will likely need to make further adjustments next year once we’ve seen how the would-be law is implemented. There will surely be some tweaks tomorrow, but that should not be cause for complete inaction today.

Listen folks: In sane world I’d rather see a pencil-packing teacher rather than a pistol-packing teacher, but we don’t live in a sane world.

The neo-Marxist left, with the help of libertarians and the acquiescence of lazy conservatives, has attacked and weakened our traditions and promoted fifth and disorder everywhere, especially in our government-run schools. What we saw in Parkland, Florida, is a direct result of their campaign to reshape our society … and it’s certainly being reshaped.

There’s nothing left for those who seek to live in peace but to arm ourselves, and those who watch over our children.

I hate it, but that’s the reality we face.

And just as the only solution to hate speech is more speech, because we’re not getting rid of the First Amendment, the only solution to gun violence is more guns, because we’re not getting rid of the Second Amendment, either.

Whatever emerges from this legislative session, if it doesn’t end with more guns in schools — either by arming teachers, a volunteer security force, or more campus cops — then we’d have failed.

And the left would take our society another step down the road to ruin.

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

(Image: File)