7. Another death row murderer has stay of execution request denied
- Kenneth Eugene Smith, a brutal murderer who was hired by a pastor to kill his wife in 1988, received some bad news this week. His lawyers argued that a jury wanted him to get life in prison but a judge sentenced him to death, the Supreme Court was unmoved and will let his sentence of death be carried out.
- Even though murderers continue to have a pretty good run in the courts, stays of execution are regularly being issued for less than legitimate reasons out of what appears is an abundance of caution, Smith wasn’t so lucky… yet.
6. Alabama senators vote against same-sex marriage, media pretends it is about interracial marriage
- Both of Alabama’s U.S. senators voted against a bill that was designed to enshrine same-sex married into federal law and roped interracial marriage (legal since 1967) to make those who voted against it look bad. The angle is that after Roe v. Wade was overturned, evil Republicans will come for marriage next.
- Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) argued the bill was unnecessary as the U.S. Supreme Court has already granted the right to same-sex marriage and this bill “fails to protect constitutional religious liberties.” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) says he supports a “traditional view of marriage.”
5. Alabama leaves controversial voter management system
- Much has been made of Alabama’s voluntary participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) but Secretary of State-elect Wes Allen says the state is now leaving the system. Concerns over sensitive information and George Soros involvement have caused concerns over the group.
- Currently, the state pays $25,000 a year to be in the system and transmits data including, “voter registration and motor vehicle licensee data. The data includes names, addresses, date of birth, the last four digits of the Social Security number” being sent to the group and which identifies when people register in multiple states, who have died and notifies its members of those people.
4. Tuberville votes for McConnell, Britt doesn’t say
- Questions about the votes from Alabama’s new senior senator and newest senator vote in the latest U.S. Senate leadership elections have been raised. The vote is done via secret balloting but it seems pretty apparent that U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) got both of their votes.
- Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) acknowledged he voted for McConnell over Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). Sen.-elect Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) didn’t say who she voted for but believes the debate was good for the caucus, “I believe that having this spirited internal debate on how we can best fight to put American families first and defend our conservative values is good for our party and good for our country.”
3. New members, new issues for the Alabama Legislature
- With new leadership in Montgomery and new members of the super-majority Republican delegation, the issues to be tackled could be different as well. New Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle) seems like he may want to take the House in a new direction: “I have had the opportunity to speak with each of the newly elected members and I am excited by the new ideas they bring to the table.” What that direction is remains to be seen.
- Economic issues are going to be a problem for Alabama lawmakers and lawmakers nationwide due to an economic slowdown, a recession (which we are in) and the end of federal windfalls for state governments. House President Pro Tem Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) offers up a pretty bleak outlook, “This economy is going to crash, you can bank on it. And when it does, our revenue is going to plummet. We could go back to what we were faced with in 2012 when we had no money.” This could raise some issues with plans to offer tax cuts, rebates or both to Alabama citizens.
2. Birmingham mayor treats random murder of kid as another day at the office
- A 7th-grader was gunned down seemingly at random in the city of Birmingham. Moriah Quib-Marquez was the 16th kid under 18 gunned-down in the city this year. Neighbors report a man was randomly shooting a long gun in the street, 20 rounds were fired and the SUV carrying Marquez, her mother and siblings crashed into a utility pole. A suspect is in custody.
- Mayor Randall Woodfin’s response to this is pretty cold. In a tweet he says, “Imagine getting your child ready for school on a normal Wednesday morning, sending her on her way and hoping that she’s one step closer to realizing her full potential. Now imagine that child, a beautiful 14-year-old girl, having her life ended minutes later by bullets.” This follows a trip to DC where the mayor was praised for asking that weed be legalized, not understanding comparisons and complaining about too many people being locked up when the chances are
1. Biden addresses new reality in U.S. House
- It appears that President Joe Biden has accepted Republicans have won control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been fired and he will have to work with the new Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to get stuff done.
- While offering congratulations, Biden says he wants to get to work: “I will work with anyone — Republican or Democrat — willing to work with me to deliver results for them.” Common ground seems hard to find and some lovely gridlock could be on its way.
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