7 Things: COVID-19 funding for prisons, Tuberville joins fellow senators in questioning unequal justice handed out to protesters, Brooks has commanding lead and more …
7. Lee High in Huntsville is about to see a name change
- As Confederate monuments fell around the nation, schools also began changing their names from names of Confederate leaders. Alabama has already seen some of this, and now the Huntsville City Schools superintendent is signaling that Lee High School is next.
- During a school board meeting, Superintendent Christie Finley said that the “Lee Community” will be involved in changing the name, but the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act may get in the way. Finley said the system will move in “a very slow, a very intentional and transparent process” way, The system has already sought an opinion on the matter from Attorney General Steve Marshall. If no waiver is granted, the school system may have to pay a $25,000 fine.
6. Yep, the media screwed that story up, too
- Once again, the American media’s lust for negative news about former President Donald Trump led to a media-wide narrative that controlled the conversation for days leading up to a presidential election that was completely divorced from the facts. This is not the first time this has happened and will not be the last.
- The lastest miss by the media concerns the idea that President Trump had peaceful protesters tear-gassed to stage a photo op at a church that was attacked by protesters the prior evening. According to the inspector general report, the plan to clear the park to erect a fence started two days prior in response to previous violent protests. Missing from some of this coverage still is the violent protests that forced the president into a bunker under the White House and injured 46 police.
5. Medical marijuana cards could be a thing in Alabama soon
- The passing of Alabama’s medical marijuana law made Alabama the 37th state to allow the use of the drug. State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence) was speaking to a crowd in Limestone County when he explained the law, which will go into effect in the fall of 2022, could see medical marijuana cards being available for patients available in about a year.
- Melson also made it clear that this is not going to be something you can just ask for. He advised, “This is not the first choice, as we say, this is not the first tool out of the toolbox.” Melson added, “You have to go and document, and all of the physicians who will recommend it have to go through training and education and get the license to dispense it.”
4. Ivey campaign ad makes it clear that she is running on jobs
- Governor Kay Ivey is up and running for reelection, and her campaign is releasing an ad focusing on the economy and her desire to keep serving the state of Alabama as its governor with an entitled, “Four More Years.”
- In the spot, Ivey talks about her desire to continue serving her state and the importance of creating economic opportunity. She states, “These past four years have been resilient, they’ve been responsive to our challenges and our opportunities. It’s important to keep our jobs open and keep our people working.” Many in her own party have criticized Ivey’s hesitancy to remove the mask order, but they also praised her for ending the federal government’s unemployment benefit supplement to help employers get workers back.
3. Brooks up big in Club for Growth poll
- In the first public poll released on Alabama’s 2022 Republican U.S. Senate primary, U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) holds a commanding lead over his two announced challengers in the conservative Club for Growth’s survey, former Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard and the newly-announced former head of the Business Council of Alabama Katie Britt.
- Brooks is known far more than his challengers with 85% name ID, while his opponents are known by about a quarter of Alabamians. In a race between the three, Brooks leads with 59% of the respondents choosing him, 13% choosing Blanchard and 9% choosing Britt. Undecided pulled in 19% of the vote with a little less than a year remaining in the race.
2. Tuberville signs on to letter questions handling of U.S. Capitol rioters
- U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has said repeatedly that the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, “Should’ve never happened,” but he also signed on to a letter that questions the unequal treatment of the perpetrators on that day compared to those who were arrested through the last few years at riots across the country.
- Tuberville is joined by Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rick Scott (R-FL) in questioning the Department of Justice on how these cases are being handled differently. The questions they want answered include why there is a federal database for defendants in this matter while “no such database exists for alleged perpetrators of crimes associated with the spring and summer 2020 protests?” They also allege there is an “apparent unwillingness to punish these individuals who allegedly committed crimes during the spring and summer 2020 protests.”
1. COVID-19 stimulus money was totally meant for prison building
- In a twist that not many saw coming, it has been reported that Governor Kay Ivey and some in the Alabama Legislature are preparing to attempt to use money from the American Rescue Plan for prison construction to address the issues in Alabama’s beleaguered prison system.
- Alabama is expected to receive $4 billion from the federal government; the state will get $2.1 billion of that. State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) believes this money could be used in this way. He said, “Now, we don’t have full authorization of that. We don’t have it clearly identified. We believe there will be a way in which some of this money, how much of it, we don’t know.”