The Wire

  • Black Bear Sightings Continue to Increase in Alabama

    Excerpt from an Outdoor Alabama news release:

    Add Jackson, Limestone, Marshall, Morgan and St. Clair counties to the growing list of black bear sightings in Alabama in 2018. In recent years, bears have also been recorded in Chambers, Elmore, Jefferson, Lee, Macon and Tallapoosa counties. These recent sightings are more evidence of the state’s expanding black bear population.

    Biologists from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources say the increase in sightings may be due to a combination of factors including changes in bear distribution, habitat fragmentation, seasonal movement and the summer mating season. However, most spring and summer bear sightings are of juvenile males being pushed out of their previous ranges by their mothers and other adult males.

    Historically, a small population of black bears have remained rooted in Mobile and Washington counties. Baldwin, Covington and Escambia counties on the Florida border host yet another population of bears. In northeast Alabama, bears migrating from northwest Georgia have established a small but viable population.

    “While seeing a black bear in Alabama is uncommon and exciting, it is no cause for alarm,” said Marianne Hudson, Conservation Outreach Specialist for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF). “There has never been a black bear attack on a human in Alabama.”

    Black bears are typically secretive, shy animals that will avoid human interaction. Occasionally, a curious bear will explore a human-populated area in search of food.

    “If you are lucky enough to see a bear, simply leave it alone,” Hudson said.

  • Rep. Byrne Releases Statement on Russia

    From a Bradley Byrne news release:

    Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, this morning in Helsinki.

    Congressman Byrne said: “I applaud President Trump’s decision to start a dialogue with President Putin and I’m glad he is making it a priority. However, we must remember that Russia is not an ally – economically or militarily. They are an adversary. The United States should not tolerate actions by the Russians that intervene in our domestic affairs or pose a threat to our national security.”

  • Alabama Recreational Red Snapper Season Closes July 22

    Excerpt from an Outdoor Alabama news release:

    The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division (MRD) announces the closure of Alabama state waters to the harvest of red snapper by private anglers and state-licensed commercial party boats at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 22, 2018. The quota of 984,291 pounds issued under NOAA Fisheries’ Alabama Recreational Red Snapper Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) is expected to be met by the closure date.

    “Alabama anglers fished extremely hard on the good weather days during the season,” said Marine Resources Director Scott Bannon. “That level of effort, coupled with larger average-sized fish harvested this year as compared to last year, resulted in a daily harvest rate two times higher than 2017, which prompted an earlier than anticipated closure.

    “The purpose of the EFP was to demonstrate Alabama’s ability to establish a season and monitor landings within a fixed quota and I think we have shown we can do that,” said Bannon.

    Anglers are reminded of the following:

    — Possession of red snapper in Alabama waters while state waters are closed is prohibited regardless of where the fish were harvested.
    — Alabama anglers may fish in federal waters off the coast of Alabama (outside of 9 nm) and land in a state that is open to the landing of red snapper, but they must adhere to the open state’s rules and not transit in Alabama state waters with red snapper on board.
    — The season for federally-permitted charter for-hire vessels will close at 12:01 a.m. July 22.

5 hours ago

Backed by Alfa, Rick Pate rolls to victory in Alabama ag commissioner race

(Campaign/Facebook)

Lowndesboro Mayor Rick Pate on Tuesday survived late-campaign attack ads dredging up a three-decade-old divorce to claim the Republican nomination for Alabama commissioner of agriculture and industries.

Pate defeated state Sen. Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) with about 57 percent of the vote. With no Democrat on the ballot in November, Pate is all but assured of succeeding Republican incumbent John McMillan, who is term-limited.

“We thought we would win,” Pate told AL.com. “We had the right message. I am a farmer and a businessman. I thought that is what people would want.”

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Dial made it to the runoff after running light-hearted ads featuring a catchy jingle proclaiming, “It’s Dial time.” Trailing by a significant margin, however, Dial went negative this month.

Ads by Dial’s campaign referenced a 1986 divorce petition filed by Pate’s ex-wife, Carolyn, that accused Pate of domestic violence.

Pate hotly disputed the allegation.

“I denied that then and I deny that now,” he told the Decatur Daily earlier this month.

Pate told the paper that he and his ex-wife now exchange Christmas cards and that she wrote a note in May explaining that she and her ex-husband hurled hurtful words at one another at the end of what had been a good marriage.

Pate had the backing of powerful agriculture and business interests, including the Alabama Farmers Federation, or Alfa. The group’s political action committee donated nearly $100,000 in cash and in-kind donations. That was nearly a fifth of Pate’s total.

Pate also racked up endorsements from the Business Council of Alabama, the Alabama Forestry Association, the Associated General Contractors of Alabama and the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, among others.

The Lowndesboro mayor, who owns a cattle ranch and runs a landscaping company, pledged to use the department to help farmers improve productivity.

Pate also promised to attack “over-regulation,” taxes and barriers to investment. He pointed out on his campaign website that some have estimated that food production will have to double by 2050 to meet worldwide demand.

It will take “visionary leaders who understand that we have to work smarter, not just harder, to achieve these goals,” according to the website.

Pate’s victory was broad. He won 59 counties — including Choctaw by a single vote — compared to just seven that went to Dial, who even lost his home base in Clay County.

The loss means Dial, come next year, will be out of elective office for the first time in 44 years.

@BrendanKKirby is a senior political reporter at LifeZette and author of “Wicked Mobile.”

 

5 hours ago

Ainsworth defeats Cavanaugh in Lt. Gov runoff election

(Campaigns)

After a long and hotly contested race, the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor in Alabama has been decided. Will Ainsworth defeated Public Service Commissioner Twinkle Cavanaugh in Tuesday night’s runoff election.

With 99 percent reporting, Ainsworth defeated Cavanaugh with a little more than ten thousand votes. Ainsworth received 51 percent of the vote, leaving Cavanaugh with 49 percent.

Ainsworth issued a tweet thanking those who supported and voted for him saying, “This is your victory as much as ours.”

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Ainsworth also used the hashtag #ANewDayForAlabama in his first tweet since becoming the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor of Alabama.

Ainsworth mentioned his opponent as he spoke after the election results were revealed and said that he looked forward to working with her in the future.

Cavanaugh conceded around 9:30 p.m., saying,”He ran a strong race — Will Ainsworth — and he now, I hope, will go on to be our next lieutenant governor here in the state of Alabama.”

Ainsworth will now square off with Democrat Will Boyd in November.

6 hours ago

Steve Marshall beats Troy King in heated attorney general runoff

(Steve Marshall, Troy King for Attorney General / Facebook)

Alabama Republicans have chosen their candidate for attorney general: incumbent Steve Marshall.

Marshall beat his Republican competitor former attorney general Troy King in Tuesday’s primary election runoff, winning 62 percent of the vote as of 9:30 p.m., with 92 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

A last-minute endorsement by close Trump ally Roger Stone proved unable to deliver King a victory in what became at times both a heartbreaking and heated campaign.

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Marshall and King both temporarily suspended their campaigns in late June, following the tragic death of Marshall’s wife, Bridgette.

In the race’s final weeks, King argued that Marshall’s acceptance of campaign contributions from the Republican Attorneys General Association was an infraction of Alabama’s campaign finance laws. He filed a lawsuit in Montgomery Circuit Court against Marshall last week, but a judge dismissed the case.

Marshall faces Democrat Joseph Siegelman in November’s general election.

11 hours ago

Live blog: Alabama votes — Runoff Returns

The state of Alabama (well, likely an “extraordinarily low” percentage) is voting Tuesday, July 14.

The lieutenant governor race pits Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh against Will Ainsworth in the runoff, while incumbent AG Steve Marshall squares off with former AG Troy King for attorney general. Also on today’s ballot, Martha Roby faces Bobby Bright for House District 2 and the race for commissioner of Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries between Gerald Dial and Rick Pate.

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Update 9:40:
It’s no longer Dial time

Update 9:22:

Update 9:08:
Still a tight one for Cavanaugh and Ainsworth

Update 9:05:
A touching tribute

Update 9:01:

Down goes the King

Update 8:36:

AP calls House District 2 for Roby. She will face Tabitha Isner in November

Update 8:22:

NY Times has Roby 19,651 (67.2%) and Bright 9,599 (32.8%)

Update 8:15:

Update 7:48:

Marshall party enjoying the MLB All-Star Game

Update 7:40:

Update 7:25:

Per Montgomery Advertiser:
Lt. Gov race is a tight one.
Ainsworth: 105
Cavanaugh: 104

AG race also close early on.
Marshall: 125
King: 93

AG Commissioner close early.
Pate: 108
Dial: 96

NY Times shows big lead early for Roby in House District 2:
Roby: 261
Bright: 101

Update 7:00:

Polls are closed. Now we wait as results come in.

Update 6:50 p.m.:

Listen Live: Yellowhammer’s Jeff Poor and Dale Jackson on with Mobile FM Talk 106.5’s Sean Sullivan 8-10 p.m. at fmtalk1065.com.

Preview stories:

Five things to watch for on Runoff Election Night
The anatomy of races for attorney general and House District 2: What a win might mean
Here are the Alabama candidates who won the money race ahead of runoff

13 hours ago

Republicans don’t have to oppose Trump because he refuses to admit Russia meddled and wanted him to win

(CBS News)

Russia meddled in the 2016 election and President Trump’s Director of National Intelligence acknowledges it. Russia wanted Trump to win, Russian President Vladimir Putin even admitted it. This does not mean there was collusion, it does not mean the election was stolen, and it doesn’t mean you have to support Hillary Clinton in 2020 or Democrats in 2018. It also doesn’t mean I, nor anyone else, has to second guess our reasoning for voting for Trump in 2016.

My reasoning was the open Supreme Court seat that would become Neal Gorsuch’s and the one that will become Brett Kavanaugh’s. A good friend of mine messaged me last night taunting me about Trump’s performance at the Trump/Putin press conference:

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You know what, it was.

But the game here is quite simple: Putin wanted Trump over Hillary, therefore you shouldn’t have.

The problem with that is Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are actually to blame for all the problems that are being brought to bear today, and Trump fails to acknowledge that.

Take this by former Congressman Mike Rogers (not Alabama’s) Tweet as a guide:

Let’s check the timeline…

— Waged continuous & increasingly aggressive cyber attacks against us – 2015(?)-present
— Interfered in our 2016 elections – 2015-2016
— Annexed Crimea – 2014
— Shot down a civilian airliner – 2014
— Supports Assad in Syria – 2013
— Invaded our ally Georgia – 2008
— Murdered opponents in London – 2018

A grand total of one of those events started during Trump’s term.

More interestingly, the media, Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continued to act as if Russia was an ally — or at best a nuisance.

Clinton offered a reset button:

Obama asked for space so he could win an election:

How is it that Trump’s failure to call out Russia’s acts before he was president is ushering in a more powerful Russian Federation, but years of straight-up weakness should have been rewarded with a third-term for team Obama? It makes no sense.

Now, I have been clear, President Trump should acknowledge Russian-meddling, but that meddling does not de-legitimize his win. He needs to acknowledge this, but so do his opponents.

There is more to the world than our relationship with Russia. The economy matters, the Supreme Court matters, controlling our borders matters, and no one can tell you that your choice in 2016 was wrong because Obama failed to do his job.

15 hours ago

Once a Trump critic, Roby looks for redemption in Alabama runoff

(M. Roby/YouTube)

Rep. Martha Roby is seeking Republican redemption in an Alabama runoff election that hinges on her loyalty to President Donald Trump.

Roby is facing Democrat-turned-Trump Republican Bobby Bright on Tuesday, trying not to become the third congressional Republican to lose her job this primary season.

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From the outside, the race shouldn’t be close. Roby is a four-term incumbent in deep-red Alabama. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have endorsed her. And her Republican opponent supported Nancy Pelosi when he served as a Democrat in Congress.

But as is often the case in the Trump era, the conventional rules of politics do not apply.

Roby’s political survival depends on whether Alabama voters are sufficiently convinced that she’s made amends for turning her back on Trump in 2016 after he was caught bragging about sexually predatory behavior in the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.

The remarks, she said at the time, made Trump “unacceptable” as a Republican candidate for president. She’s spent much of the last two years trying to convince her red-state constituents in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District that she is a reliable vote for the administration.

Roby failed to convince a majority of Republican primary voters back in June, earning just 39 percent of the vote in the first primary contest, which forced a runoff against the second-place vote getter.

Despite her past criticism, the Trump White House has emerged as Roby’s most powerful backer.

Trump himself endorsed Roby on Twitter, calling her a “reliable vote for our Make America Great Again Agenda” and bashing Bright as “a recent Nancy Pelosi voting Democrat.”

Vice President Mike Pence recorded automated calls for Roby distributed to district voters beginning on Saturday. He calls Roby a reliable vote for the Trump agenda and urged voters to send her back to Congress.

“We can always count on her vote,” Pence says in the call.

Armed with an endorsement from Trump, Roby has argued that she’s “a conservative Republican with a proven record.”

“I’ve worked with the administration to get conservative policies across the finish line. My opponent voted for Nancy Pelosi to be speaker,” Roby said during a campaign stop at a south Alabama lumber company. She also touted her support for a border wall and opposition to abortion.

Bright, who represented the district for two years as a Democrat, argues that he’s more conservative than Roby, whom he calls an establishment Republican who hasn’t “stayed connected” with the heavily agrarian and military district.

“I’m not an elitist. I’m not what they refer to as a blue blood. I’m a populist. I talk with the people and so does (Trump),” said Bright, the 13th of 14 children born into a sharecropping family.

Roby has enjoyed a 5-to-1 fundraising advantage over Bright. She’s used the arsenal to hammer Bright in television ads over his Democratic background — particularly his 2009 vote for Pelosi as House speaker.

A mailer distributed by Roby’s campaign promotes Trump’s endorsement and lists Pelosi’s name five times in attacking Bright.

While many Washington Republicans expect Roby to win on Tuesday, the anticipated low turnout in the midsummer affair offers an air of unpredictability. Less than 20 percent of eligible voters are expected to participate.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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16 hours ago

Five things to watch for on Runoff Election Night

(W.Miller/Pixabay)

Now that primary runoff Election Day is upon us, and we eagerly await the results that will finalize the slate of Republican candidates that will likely defeat Democrats in November in Alabama’s majority Republican state, here are a few tips for the highly engaged political watchers to keep an eye on as the results come in.

1) A good early indicator will be Limestone County: The last few elections, North Alabama’s Limestone County has been early with its returns, which is a credit to Limestone County Probate Judge Charles Woodroof.

Without a dominant North Alabama candidate like Mo Brooks or Tommy Battle skewing those returns, Limestone County could be an early bellwether.

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2) Expect high turnout in Marshall County: With two hometown guys running, Steve Marshall for Alabama Attorney General and Will Ainsworth for Lieutenant Governor, Marshall County, which includes Guntersville, Albertville, Arab and most of Boaz, turnout will be higher than usual.

In a statewide election with a likely lower-than-normal turnout with no gubernatorial race at the top of the ticket, the Marshall County vote will be pivotal for Marshall and Ainsworth.

3) Although interest in the Roby-Bright race is somewhat exaggerated, a boost in the Wiregrass could play a role: There have been some national media lurking from Montgomery to Dothan looking for a Donald Trump angle on the race between incumbent Rep. Martha Roby and former Rep. Bobby Bright for the Republican nod.

It’s not clear a competitive race between the two is the case, but with both candidates engaging in get-out-the-vote efforts, that will drive turnout a little in the Wiregrass region.

If that turns out to be the case, that could favor lieutenant gubernatorial hopeful Twinkle Cavanaugh and Alabama attorney general hopeful Troy King.

4) Local races in Baldwin County could sway statewide races: Contentious races for Baldwin County Commissioner District 3 between incumbent commissioner Tucker Dorsey and Billie Jo Underwood, and for State Senate District 32 between Chris Elliott and David Northcutt could gin up some intrigue for heavily Republican Baldwin County.

Without a hometown candidate in the mix in southwestern Alabama, those votes are for grabs for the statewide candidates. Those in the Mobile media market have been subject to an onslaught of radio and TV spots from all candidates.

5) Alvin Holmes on the ropes? Probably not, but the incumbent state representative that has been a fixture in the Alabama legislature since 1974 is facing a runoff for the Democratic Party nod in Montgomery’s House District 78.

Holmes bested his current challenger Kirk Hatcher by nearly 400 votes in the Democratic primary but came up short in getting to the 50 percent-plus-one threshold required to avoid a runoff.

A Holmes defeat would send shockwaves through the Democratic Party, much like Doug Jones and Randall Woodfin’s victories had last year.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

Rep. Byrne: Americans are better off now

(Rep. Bradley Byrne/Twitter)

Two years ago, I joined other Republican House members in unveiling our “Better Way” agenda. The agenda covered everything from national security to tax reform to the economy. It was a bold vision about a different path for America that wasn’t driven by a larger, more powerful federal government. Instead, we advocated for a better way where we got government out of the way and allowed the American people to flourish.

Working with President Trump, we have held true to our promises to the American people. Two years later and with many parts of the agenda in place, we can safely say that Americans are better off now. Our communities are safer. The economy is booming. Our military is being rebuilt. Our “Better Way” is paying off.

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Our communities are safer because we have made supporting law enforcement a top priority. We have passed historic legislation to address the opioid crisis, which is having a horrible impact on communities in Alabama and throughout the country. In addition to better policy, we have invested $4 billion in grants and programs to help combat the opioid crisis.

We passed legislation to devote more resources to school safety, and we have made real progress in the fight against human trafficking. In fact, we have seen a 60 percent decline in online advertising for sex trafficking.

Also, important to keeping our communities safe, we set aside $1.5 billion for physical barriers and technology along the southern border and provided for over 90 miles of a border wall system. Border security is national security.

No one can deny that the American economy is booming. Just consider these numbers: 90% of Americans are seeing larger paychecks under our tax reform bill. 3.7 million jobs have been created since November 2016. There are 6.6 million job openings in the United States as of May 2018, meaning more jobs than job seekers. And, $4.1 billion has been saved in agency regulatory costs by rolling back burdensome government regulations.

One of my biggest concerns during the Obama Administration was the hollowing out of our military. We had planes that couldn’t fly and ships that couldn’t sail. We were not making the continuous critical investment in our military necessary to keep up with our adversaries. Thankfully, those days are over.

We have made the largest investment in our military in 15 years. This means 20,000 new troops, the largest pay increase for our service members since 2010, more training time, better equipment, new ships, and much more.

On the world stage, countries know that the United States means what we say. ISIS is on the run in the Middle East, North Korea has come to the negotiating table, and China is being held accountable for their dangerous trade practices.

Now, I want to make clear that much work remains. For example, we have to keep working to fix our broken immigration system and ensure that our borders are finally secure. We also cannot give up on our efforts to improve health care in our country. Costs remain too high and rural communities right here in Alabama are facing dangerous hospital closures.

But, despite what some on the other side of the aisle and the national news media want you to believe, the American people are better off now than they were two years ago. That is a testament to our pro-growth agenda, but, more importantly, it is a testament to the spirit and drive of the American people.

Want to know more? I encourage you to visit Better.gop to learn more about the various ways the American people are better off now.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope. 

17 hours ago

The anatomy of races for attorney general and House District 2: What a win might mean

(Campaigns)

The last few weeks of campaigning have been relentless, brutal, and at times, heartbreaking.

Today’s primary runoff will bring some resolution to all that, though surely, some rough-and-tumble will continue in many races on the road to November’s general election.

Here’s the anatomy of two major races and what a win might mean:

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Attorney General

Attorney General Steve Marshall faces off against former Alabama Attorney General Troy King to become the Republican nominee for the role as Alabama’s top law enforcement officer.

The campaign has been riddled with arguments over campaign contribution money, namely whether the money that Marshall has been given by the Republican Attorneys General Association is illegal due to Alabama’s campaign finance laws (a judge ruled last week that he has no grounds for calling the contributions illegal. Read more here).

King has gone after Marshall’s allegiance, decrying the attorney general for being a former Democrat. Marshall has gone after King for his alleged ties to gambling interests, citing King’s treatment of the illicit industry both as attorney general and candidate.

A win for Marshall would be a win for candidates who accept money from large, federal political action committees, as it would demonstrate that a candidate can receive ‘PAC-to-PAC transfer’ money without losing favor with the electorate.

A win for King might show that Alabama doesn’t appreciate Marshall’s former party affiliation and doesn’t accept his job performance as a non-elected attorney general. It also might demonstrate a rekindled trust of the former attorney general.

U.S. House District 2

Rep. Martha Roby faces off against former representative Bobby Bright.

Roby has run a race touting her strong conservative record and, much like King, trying to discredit her former opponent for being a former Democrat.

Roby’s campaign has been overshadowed because of her inability to beat Bright outright in the June primary, which has been attributed a hundred times over by analysts across the country to her withdrawal of support for President Trump just days before the 2016 presidential election.

President Trump and Vice President Pence have both endorsed Roby.

A win for her would be a seal of approval of her job performance in Congress, and it would reiterate the strength of a presidential endorsement.

A win for Bright would demonstrate that Roby’s strong conservative record doesn’t outweigh her wavering support for President Trump. It would also demonstrate that conservative voters are willing to forgive Bright’s past life as a Democrat who supported Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s House speakership.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

18 hours ago

University of Alabama to use metal detectors at Bryant-Denny Stadium

(Wikicommons)

Alabama fans will be walking through metal detectors to get into Bryant-Denny Stadium this season.

University of Alabama system trustees approved Monday the use of 180 metal detectors. Deputy director of athletics and Chief Financial Officer Finus Gaston says they will cost $982,800 collectively.

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The extra security will also be used at Coleman Coliseum for men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as gymnastics.

The Southeastern Conference voted in June to use metal detectors at league sporting events by 2020.

Alabama ran a test of the process in the final home game last season.

Athletic director Greg Byrne says it will require more time to enter the stadium but that the university is using more detectors than recommended “to ensure the smoothest possible entry for our fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium.”

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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19 hours ago

Man pleads guilty in Alabama to bribery for Army contracts

(Pixabay)

A man has pleaded guilty in Alabama to federal charges that he paid bribes to Army officials in exchange for military contracts during the Iraq war.

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The Justice Department said Monday that 62-year-old Finbar Charles admitted in his plea to personally receiving more than $228,000 in illicit gains as a result of the bribery scheme. Charles is a citizen of the Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia. The plea was filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Alabama

Al.com reports prosecutors said Charles worked with partners to provide millions of dollars in bribes between 2005 and 2007. They said the bribes bought preferential treatment in defense contacts for providing bottled water and security fencing for soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait.

Charles is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 26.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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19 hours ago

7 Things: Trump fumbles Putin summit, some of Alabama’s elected officials react negatively, run-off day is here, and more …

(White House/Pixabay)

1. President Donald Trump confirms everyone’s worst fears about his trip to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin

— Media and Democrats got exactly what they wanted, a president who puts the U.S. and Russia on equal footing and at equal fault for the meddling in the 2016 election.

— Republicans got exactly what they did not want — a president who seems to acquiesce to  Russia, look weak, and gets rebuked by his own party.

2. Trump is obsessed with the idea that he didn’t collude with Russia and can’t see past that to see what actually happened

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— After his meeting with Putin, Trump once again denied collusion with Russia, saying, “The probe is a disaster for our country. It kept us apart.” Mr. Trump said at a press conference following a summit with Mr. Putin, “There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it.”

— Even people Trump has appointed to serve in his administration are telling him that there is a Russian-issue but he can’t just own it, which makes himself look guilty. He continues to be his own worst enemy.

3. Some Alabama lawmakers do not hold back on what Newt Gingrich calls the “most serious mistake” of Trump’s presidency

— Democrat Senator Doug Jones and Congresswoman Terri Sewell both rebuked the president. Jones reminded President Trump that Putin is a “foe,” and Sewell asked, “When will the Republicans that control Congress stand up to Trump?”

— Rep. Bradley Byrne reminded the president that it is OK to talk to Russia, saying, “I applaud President Trump’s decision to start a dialogue with President Putin, and I’m glad he is making it a priority. However, we must remember that Russia is not an ally – economically or militarily.”

4. Election Day is here: Local races, 2 statewide run-offs, and no crossover voting allowed

— Rep. Will Ainsworth spent Monday dragging a boat around the state with a fiberglass tiger. AG candidate and Alabama’s worst attorney Troy King was dragging “heavy hitter” Roger Stone around the state.

— In a more absurd moment for a Congressional race, Alabama Congressman Bobby Bright is getting attention for calling Congresswoman Martha Roby a “poot” sniffer for Trump in a race that has become a contest about who loves Trump more.

5. Gov. Kay Ivey continues to outline the differences between Republicans and Democrats

— Ivey’s press release was right to the point: “The reality is now clear as day — Maddox’s moderate talk doesn’t match his liberal walk. Alabamians won’t be fooled by a smooth talker who won’t stand up to the radical liberals who now run the Democrat party.”

— If the November gubernatorial election comes down to R vs. D, Gov. Ivey knows the R has a huge advantage, so look for her to make that distinction with Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox.

6. Sending the National Guard to the border is working

— The National Guard’s deployment to the southwest border is being credited with 10,805 “deportable alien arrests,” that is 10,000+ illegals that would have made it in otherwise.

— Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled House decides not to vote to abolish ICE after the point was made that this is a ridiculous piece of political pandering.

7. Former Judge Roy Moore continues to embarrass the state of Alabama by being pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen and endorsing Troy King

— The disgraced judge and failed Senate candidate is still threatening to sue Showtime, CBS, and Cohen if any footage of Moore airs in Cohen’s absurd new TV show that gets political figures to say really stupid things.

— Moore also endorsed Troy King for Attorney General, which is odd given all of King’s gambling conflicts.

20 hours ago

Four Alabama jailers fired, charged with promoting prison contraband

(Marshall County Sheriff)

Authorities say four jailers have been charged in connection with a contraband investigation at a county jail in Alabama.

News outlets report 29-year-old George Gregory Bass, 32-year-old Robert Lindsey, 20-year-old Braxton Pierce Lamb, and 21-year-old Javon Cortez were charged with promoting prison contraband Monday.

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The arrests of the four Marshall County jailers comes after a physical altercation between inmates and jail staff during cell searches last week. Sheriff Scott Walls says investigators learned the four jailers had been providing cellphones and tobacco products to inmates.

The sheriff said in a news release that the four jailers were fired Friday. He says Lindsey worked at the jail for about a year, while the others worked there for about two months. It’s unclear if they have lawyers.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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21 hours ago

Alabama man’s 20-mile walk to work attracts praise, new car

(CBS 42/YouTube)

An Alabama college student whose car broke down just before his first day of work made the 20-mile (32-kilometer) journey on foot, a feat that earned him fame — and a new car.

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News outlets report that hours before his first day working for Bellhops movers, Walter Carr set out from Homewood at midnight, making it to Pelham by 4 a.m. Friday. There, he encountered Pelham police officers, who took him to breakfast and dropped him at his assignment.

Client Jenny Lamey says Carr declined her offer to rest, instead getting straight to work. Impressed by the Hurricane Katrina refugee’s work ethic, she started a GoFundMe that’s raised more than $6,600. When Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin learned about his new employee, he drove his own car from Tennessee on Monday to surprise Carr with it.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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Groups, initiatives align under AlabamaWorks! Success Plus

(AlabamaWorks!)

Alabama is moving quickly in developing a trained workforce that meets the needs of business, with major changes in recent years in how our workforce development system operates.

The process began four years ago when the Alabama Workforce Council recommended a re-alignment of our workforce programs. The Alabama Legislature responded by passing legislation to make the changes possible, and Gov. Kay Ivey, then lieutenant governor, fully supported these measures. Today, Alabama’s workforce landscape is strikingly different.

One of the Alabama Workforce Council’s recommendations was to reorganize the state’s 10 workforce regions into seven. The Legislature approved funding for staff to run these councils, and these regional workforce directors work closely with the business community as well as the Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Community College System, K-12, the Alabama Department of Labor, the Career Center System and other related agencies, to identify and meet the needs of industry and workers. In addition, Commerce and the ACCS have assigned liaisons who link each region to workforce training and other resources.

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The legislature also required that at least 75 percent of the voting members come from the business community within each region. This raises the level of engagement with Alabama businesses.

Another significant change in the streamlining of workforce development was the realignment of the Workforce Innovations Opportunity Act program. The three local WIOA boards were expanded to seven and aligned with the seven workforce areas. Many business leaders from around the state were appointed to the state’s WIOA board and, in some areas, to the local boards. Again, this change has resulted in a more even approach to WIOA funding and a significant increase in business engagement across the state.

In 2016, the Legislature approved the creation of Apprenticeship Alabama, designed to increase the number of apprentices to assist companies in building their pipeline of workers.
In its first year, 2017, Apprenticeship Alabama significantly increased the number of apprentices statewide. And while the modest tax credit was a new benefit to companies, the fact that there was an office dedicated to helping businesses register their programs with the U.S. Department of Labor enabled the program to grow. Navigating the waters of federal registration can be tedious, but the Apprenticeship Alabama staff, along with the regional councils, are dedicated to assisting companies with the expansion of this training program.

At first glance, the various components of workforce development appear to be separate entities with separate goals. When you look closer, however, they form the backbone of Gov. Ivey’s recently announced AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The Success Plus education attainment initiative is the cornerstone of the governor’s “Strong Start. Strong Finish” endeavor. Ivey announced that by 2025, Alabama MUST have 500,000 additional workers who have more than a high school diploma.

Many high schools and career technical programs offer students credentials that qualify within Success Plus. Some students involved in dual-enrollment programs with the ACCS receive not only a high school diploma, but an associate degree or certificate.

Without doubt, one of the most important factors in the development of Alabama’s workforce system has the foresight and the wok of the Alabama Workforce Council, a business-led advisory group for the governor, the Legislature and agency heads. Under the Chairmanship of Zeke Smith, from Alabama Power, the council has provided the sounding board needed by among business and state leaders and the vehicle for candid discussions about workforce development initiatives. The importance of the AWC cannot be understated.

Finally, workforce development in this state would not be complete without the work of AIDT. AIDT is Alabama’s workforce training incentive program. It assists both existing businesses in expansion and new businesses moving to the state. AIDT is consistently ranked in the top three training incentive programs in the country, and we are extremely proud of our ranking. Day in and day out, AIDT staff are boots on the ground assisting more than 130 projects across the state helping fill thousands of jobs.

Of course, the best entry point to any job-seekers is the 50-plus Alabama Career Centers located strategically across Alabama, managed by the Alabama Department of Labor.

When you build a team, the goal is to be the best. This involves uniting team members who are good at a particular position. On their own, they may not make a significant impact. But working as a unit, they perform like a well-oiled machine. During the past four years, we’ve been putting this team together, and we’re seeing the fruits of our labor.

Why does this matter to you? Simply said, these changes, these new initiatives, program improvements and alignments will keep Alabama in the game for new industry and jobs. We must have an educated and skilled workforce for our businesses in the world to come.

For more information about these and other programs within Alabama’s education and workforce infrastructure, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Ed Castile is deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and director of AIDT.

1 day ago

Here are the Alabama candidates who won the money race ahead of runoff

(Campaigns)

The names on the ballot in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff likely will draw a blank from many Alabama voters in an election that experts predict will feature extremely low turnout.

Under such circumstances, it is crucial for candidates to be able to spend enough money to catch the attention of distracted voters for offices they rarely think about, such as agriculture and industries commissioner and civil appeals judge.

That is why the candidates who raised the most money have the best chance of winning, according to Athens State University political scientist Jess Brown.

“The candidate with the most money typically wins whether it’s low turnout, average turnout, high turnout. … Clearly, money matters,” he said.

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Brown said looking at the money chase is useful in two ways. Candidates who raise the most money have the best chance to reach the most voters, Brown said. Beyond those practical considerations, he added, the ability to raise lots of money can be a sign that a candidate has the support of the party’s base — the people most likely to vote on Tuesday.

“Both factors are at work,” he said.

With that in mind, here is how the money race played out in the six statewide races, plus the runoff in the 2nd Congressional District. (Note, in some cases expenditures exceed contributions because the candidate had leftover funds from a previous campaign or loaned their campaigns money from personal funds).

Race: Alabama attorney general.
June 5 results: Steve Marshall (incumbent) finished first with 28.4 percent, followed by former Attorney General Troy King, who got 27.8 percent.
Total contributions: Marshall, $3,233,610. King, $2,225,663.
Total expenditures: Marshall, $3.090,851. King, $2,180,079.

Race: Alabama lieutenant governor.
June 5 results: Public Service Commission Chairwoman Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh finished first with 43.3 percent, followed by state Rep. Will Ainsworth, who received 37.1 percent.
Total contributions: Cavanaugh, $2,113,261. Ainsworth, $1,279,725.
Total expenditures: Cavanaugh, $2,115,201. Ainsworth, $2,390,813.

Race: Alabama commissioner of agriculture and industries.
June 5 results: Rick Pate finished first with 40.4 percent, followed by Gerald Dial, who received 30 percent.
Total contributions: Pate, $338,640. Dial, $338,640.
Total expenditures: Pate, $500,406, Dial, $555,887.

Race: Alabama Supreme Court.
June 5 results: Brad Mendheim (incumbent) finished first with 43.4 percent, followed by Mobile County Circuit Judge Sarah Stewart, who garnered 29.3 percent.
Total contributions: Stewart, $1,103,017. Mendheim, $799,086.
Total expenditures: Stewart, $1,101,063. Mendheim, $792,098

Race: Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.
June 5 results: Christy Edwards finished first with 40.8 percent, followed by Michelle Thomason, who won 32 percent.
Total contributions: Edwards, $333.957. Thomason, $132,881.
Total expenditures: Edwards, $320,610. Thomason, $208,768.

Race: Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.
June 5 results: Chris McCool finished first with 42.6 percent, followed by Rich Anderson, who got 34.8 percent.
Total contributions: McCool, $256,239. Anderson, $32,165.
Total expenditure: McCool, $292,099. Anderson, 35,844.

Race: Alabama 2nd Congressional District.
June 5 results: Martha Roby (incumbent) finished first with 39 percent, followed by former Rep. Bobby Bright, who got 28.1 percent.
Total contributions: Roby, $2,179,188. Bright, $406,557.
Total expenditure: Roby, $1,493,965. Bright, $243,959.

Brown said some candidates can get away with less money. He noted that King, for instance, has residual name recognition from a previous stint in the office. Brown said that probably made the difference for King between getting into the runoff and getting knocked out in the June 5 primary.

For candidates without pre-existing name identification, Brown said, money is the only way to raise visibility.

“You need the money to buy a bigger megaphone,” he said.

Brown said the key to winning a low-turnout election is to line up support from single-issue voters who are the most reliable voters. But he added that is difficult in a primary where there is little to distinguish the views of one candidate from the other.

Money helps but is not always a guarantee, Brown said.

“You do get the unexpected when the turnout is low like I expect tomorrow’s will be,” he said.

@BrendanKKirby is a senior political reporter at LifeZette and author of “Wicked Mobile.”

 

1 day ago

Roy Moore backs Troy King in AG race

In a post that first appeared on the “In God We Trust Movement” Facebook page and later on a Facebook page affiliated with former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, Moore backed former Alabama Attorney General Troy King in his bid to reassume the state attorney general post.

Moore, who was defeated last December by Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) in a special election last year to fill a void left behind by Jeff Sessions, touted King’s credentials in the post.

“I fully support Troy King for the office of Attorney General,” it read. “He has the leadership, experience, and dedication to do an outstanding job. He is a Lifelong Republican who will stand for conservative values.”

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“Troy King has a proven record fighting against corruption,” Moore also said on the flier. “I have seen first hand the miss-use [sic] of power by the political establishment, and I know how badly we need an Attorney General committed to cleaning up Montgomery. I believe Troy King is the man for the job.”

The Facebook post touted that 50,000 of those mailers were sent to Moore supporters.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 day ago

Del Marsh: Judge Kavanaugh’s record is clear — He deserves to be confirmed

(WH/YouTube)

When the name Brett Kavanaugh was first mentioned to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, like many of you, I did not know who he was or much about him. I began looking into him for more information as to what kind of Supreme Court justice he would be, should he be confirmed by the United States Senate. What I found was a fair, mainstream judge who believes in the United States Constitution, who has dedicated his life to public service and a judge who shares our conservative Alabama values.

His academic record is just what you would want to see from someone who sits on the highest court. He graduated from Yale for both his undergraduate studies and for law school. He has been a clerk for judges on the Third and the Ninth Circuit courts, as well as a clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court. Since 2009, he has been a lecturer at Harvard’s law school.

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Judge Kavanaugh has published over 300 opinions in his career and his decisions show a judge who will apply the law as written and enforce the text, structure, and original understanding of the Constitution. His opinions have been cited as law by over 200 judges from across the country. He is no stranger to the current make-up of the Supreme Court as many of those who
have clerked for him have gone onto work in the Supreme Court, and dozens of his opinions have been endorsed by the current members of the Court.

As impressive as his professional career has been, his personal character seems to be impeccable. He serves as a coach for youth basketball, is a leader in his church, serves meals to needy families, and is a tutor for children at local elementary schools in the Washington D.C. area.

All of this has led me to believe that Judge Kavanaugh is the most qualified person in the country to serve on the Supreme Court. In his current role in the D.C. Circuit Court, he was confirmed with bipartisan support – and nothing will have changed from that confirmation until now.

Unfortunately, this vote will be a very close vote and many experts believe that the confirmation could come down to the decision of Alabama’s Senator Doug Jones. If Senator Jones wants to represent the people of Alabama, he will take a look at Judge Kavanaugh’s record, as I have, and vote to confirm him to the Supreme Court. Alabama should not have a Senator that shares the same values as far-Left extremists such as Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren. Since he has been in the Senate, Senator Jones has a history of deferring his opinion on important issues until they have been decided by others (confirming the Secretary of State and the CIA Director are the first issues that come to mind). He has vowed to have an “independent review” of Judge Kavanaugh’s record. If he is serious about his slogan of Country over Party, I believe that the record speaks for itself and he will have no choice but to vote to confirm President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

Senator Shelby has already said that Judge Kavanaugh has “impressive credentials” and that “This nomination is one of the most important items that we will consider this year.” I completely agree and I hope that the Senate will do the right thing and confirm Brett Kavanaugh as the next Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

We need a justice in the Supreme Court who will uphold and apply the laws of the Constitution, not an activist judge who will re-write our laws to gain political points from those who have an extreme agenda. It is clear that Judge Kavanaugh is the kind of high character public servant we need.

Del Marsh is president pro tempore of the Alabama Senate, representing the 12th District.

2 days ago

Illegal alien beheads 13-year-old Huntsville girl

(Madison County Sheriff)

Law enforcement officials in Alabama say an illegal alien and an immigrant in America on a green card are responsible for murdering a 13-year-old girl with special needs and her grandmother, who had connections to Mexican drug cartels, says a report by AL.com.

The brutal beheading of 13-year-old Mariah Lopez took place after she witnessed her grandmother, Oralia Mendoza, get attacked with a knife in a cemetery, according to court testimony.

Mendoza, the 49-year-old grandmother, was alleged to have had connections with the Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel, a popular and deadly drug-trafficking organization.

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Mendoza, along with Israel Palomino and Yoni Aguilar, had traveled to Georgia on June 2 to pick up methamphetamine, according to Investigator Stacy Rutherford. During the trip, one of the men became suspicious that Mendoza’s involvement was a setup.

Authorities say that Mendoza and Aguilar lived together and had dated one another in the past.

Palomino and Aguilar reportedly woke up Mendoza one night and told her that they were taking her and her granddaughter somewhere safe.

On June 4, Mendoza and Lopez were reportedly driven to Moon Cemetery located on Cave Springs Road. According to Aguilar, Mendoza and Palomino got out of the car and argued about the entire situation.

According to Aguilar, that is when the situation escalated and Palomino stabbed Mendoza. Due to Mendoza’s granddaughter being at the scene during the crime, Aguilar and Palomino took the 13-year-old girl to a separate location nearby and beheaded her.

Aguilar revealed to investigators that he was holding a knife when Palomino walked up to him and moved his arm back and forth in a sawing motion. Lopez was later beheaded.

Days later, both Aguilar and Palomino were placed in custody.

Two knives were recovered and cell phone signals from both of the men’s cellphones were pinged at the locations of each occurrence.

Palomino, 34, and Aguilar, 26, are both charged with two counts each of capital murder in the slayings of Mariah Lopez and her grandmother, Oralia Mendoza.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

2 days ago

Roy Moore is not done embarrassing Alabama yet

(Wikicommons)

Whether you view former Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore as the “Ten Commandments’ Judge”, the “guy banned from the Gadsden Mall”, or the “guy who lost to Doug Jones”, you probably don’t think very highly of him. He has brought loads of scorn upon the state of Alabama — some feel this is not his fault.

Whatever you think of Judge Moore, you probably think he should go away. Unfortunately, it appears that he is not interested in doing that. “Borat” creator Sacha Baron Cohen has a new TV series and Moore was apparently a target of one of his pranks.

Moore is rightly embarrassed, but is pretending he is going to sue Cohen if he airs the tape Moore is concerned about:

“I am involved in several court cases presently to defend my honor and character against vicious false political attacks by liberals like Cohen. If Showtime airs a defamatory attack on my character, I may very well be involved in another.”

Why this matters:

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Moore is an attorney and was the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He knows as well as anyone that if he said something on a tape during an interview it can be used. He will not win a single lawsuit he is involved in, but he will bilk his supporters for more money. He may sue, but you can sue on anything. He cannot win a lawsuit with a comedian who is producing a satire piece.

Moore is a public figure, a target for liberals, and he needs to fade into obscurity. Moore also needs to realize that his insistence on standing on the public stage only hurts the causes he holds dear. If he truly cares about Alabama, and not only about himself, he will stop answering media inquiries.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

2 days ago

University of Alabama System chooses new interim chancellor Finis E. St. John

(Finis E. St. John IV)

The University of Alabama System has chosen an interim chancellor to replace the retiring of current chancellor Jay Hayes at the end of the month.

Finis E. “Fess” St. John, IV, who currently serves on the UA system’s Board of Trustees, will succeed Hayes on August 1.

St. John will take an unpaid leave of absence from St. John & St. John law firm in Cullman and will serve as interim chancellor without compensation.

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“The fact that Fess St. John is willing to serve as our Interim Chancellor without compensation is a tremendous public service,” Board Trustee Joe Epsy said in a statement.

“We are extremely grateful that he is willing to step in and take on these complex administrative duties at a crucial time for our campuses and the UAB Health System,” Epsy continued, in part.

St. John graduated cum laude from Alabama in 1978, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa and Jasons. He went on to receive a law degree from the University of Virginia.

2 days ago

Georgia woman gets five years for filing fraudulent tax returns through Birmingham business

(Pixabay)

A Georgia woman has been sentenced to five years in prison for preparing and filing fraudulent tax returns through her Alabama-based business.

U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, in a news release, says U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor sentenced 38-year-old Patrice Anderson on Monday for 13 tax-related counts. A federal jury convicted Anderson in September for using her Birmingham-area business, Queen’s Fast Tax, to file returns between 2009 and 2012 that she knew contained false information.

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Evidence at trial showed that Anderson filed tax returns claiming refundable credits to which her clients were not entitled so that they could receive much larger refunds than they were eligible for. In return, Anderson would charge the clients abnormally high fees – up to $3,000 per fraudulent return – to file their taxes.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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WATCH: Real estate investor Brian Trippe discusses overcoming lethargy to reach full potential

In this episode of Executive Lion’s Living Life On Purpose, Andrew Wells and Matt Wilson sit down with Brian Trippe to discuss life, business and overcoming lethargy to reach your full potential.

Brian Trippe is a successful real estate investor, author, family man, servant-hearted leader, and a follower of Christ. Brian has a passion for helping people learn and grow in life and in business through Alareia.

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WATCH:

3 Takeaways


1) Brian was at a point where he did not want to work or grow. He had to break through that malaise and now he is seeing the fruits of his labor. We all have to overcome the laziness and push through whether we feel like moving forward or not. Breakthrough is on the other side of that.

2) Sometimes, we have early experiences that we can draw from that will help us in the future. Brian was a coach and now he loves to coach people in business to reach all they are capable of achieving. Try to figure out what experiences you have that you can draw from and teach others from your own trial and error.

3) Purpose is a driver in Brian’s life. When you have purpose, the daily grind becomes less difficult. You know why you are doing something versus simply focusing on what you are doing. Discover your purpose and life becomes fun!

2 days ago

Kay Ivey hits back at Walt Maddox campaign for ‘limited energy’ comment, says he ‘doesn’t have enough energy’ to take a stand on Kavanaugh

(Maddox/YouTube, Ivey/Flickr)

Last week, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and his campaign for governor took a shot at Governor Kay Ivey’s age, saying the 73-year-old has “limited energy.”

The Ivey campaign responded Monday with a news release blasting Maddox for remaining silent on President Donald Trump’s Brett Kavanaugh nomination to SCOTUS, claiming the Tuscaloosa mayor “doesn’t have enough energy to take a stand” one way or the other on Kavanaugh.

The Ivey news release reads as follows:

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Walt Maddox has shown his true liberal colors by refusing to support President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. His repeated dodging and silence has shown that he is going to toe the liberals’ pro-choice party line.

Last week, when asked multiple times about President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Maddox refused to support Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who will protect life and defend the Second Amendment. Apparently Maddox doesn’t have enough “energy” to take a stand.

The reality is now clear as day — Maddox’s moderate talk doesn’t match his liberal walk. Alabamians won’t be fooled by a smooth talker who won’t stand up to the radical liberals who now run the Democrat party.

Governor Kay Ivey has made it clear: she supports President Trump’s pick, and encourages all United States Senators to vote for his confirmation. Ivey will always fight to protect Alabamians’ Constitutionally-protected rights, and she is the only candidate for Governor who has been endorsed by the NRA, Susan B. Anthony List, and the Alabama Citizens for Life.