7 Things: Doug Jones catches heat for Biden support, Alabama Senate passes a lottery bill, Jefferson County is back to following the law and arresting people for weed and more …
7. Massachusetts judge and court officer indicted for helping illegal immigrant flee ICE
— Judge Shelly M. Richmond Joseph and court officer Wesley MacGregor helped Jose Medina-Perez leave the courthouse through the back door to avoid the ICE agent who was meant to take Medina-Perez into custody. Both are being charged with obstruction of a federal proceeding, aiding and abetting and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Medina-Perez is a twice-deported illegal immigrant who has been arrested for drunk driving and drug possession. Joseph and MacGregor took matters into their own hands when they helped Medina-Perez evade the ICE agent; now they’re paying the price.
6. Future illegal immigrants escaped a detention facility in Mexico
— Over 1,000 detainees broke out of a detention center in southern Mexico on Thursday. Authorities say that more than half of the 1,300 returned to the facility but about 600 are still unaccounted for at this point. As the crisis grows, the American media accepts it is a crisis and President Donald Trump pressures Mexico to stem the tide of migrants. Mexico is attempting to turn back thousands in recent days. Estimates place the number of migrants deported from Mexico at about 15,000 migrants in the last 30 days.
5. The gas tax didn’t change Governor Kay Ivey’s approval ratings, however …
— A new poll was released that showed Ivey’s approval ratings remained completely unchanged since the last quarter of 2018. The poll was published by Morning Consultant, and it showed 63 percent of Alabamians approve of Gov. Ivey’s job performance, while only 19 percent disapprove. Ivey is the fourth most popular governor in the nation. Keep in mind, this is a long-range poll that started in January and the gas tax was not passed until near the end of the poll.
4. Alabama could get an LGBTQ charter school in Birmingham
— On Thursday, Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO) announced that they’re working to get a charter school that would be LGBTQ affirming and called Magic City Acceptance Academy. The application for the school won’t be turned in until December, and the process could take about two years. BAO Development Director Kyle Pugh said, “Our hope is that this school will give them the education they need and deserve while also giving them the whole social, high school experience.” BAO wants to open the school because they believe LGBTQ teens aren’t thriving at traditional high schools.
3. Jefferson County sheriff halts the plan to stop misdemeanor arrests
— The plan to stop arresting people for marijuana arrests was stopped on Thursday after Jefferson County sheriff deputies received notice that the plan to replace misdemeanor arrests with ticket citations has been put on hold and to return to using ticket books. Chief Deputy Willie Hall issued the notice, and it was Sheriff Mark Pettway, Jefferson County district attorney Lynneice Washington and Danny Carr that collaborated to implement the plan. Pettway told AL.com, “I have talked to the DA and at this time we have decided not to use the Big Ticket for misdemeanor arrests.” This was all hashed out years ago in Mobile County. Sheriff Sam Cochran” recounted this “dead end” from years ago, saying, “We were told we could not change it without getting the Supreme Court of Alabama to approve the various charges.”
2. The Alabama Senate passes the lottery bill –A prominent opponent has come around
— The lottery bill passed the Senate in a 21-12 vote and now moves to the House for a vote. If the bill passes the House, it’ll be on the ballot of the March 2020 presidential primary. Senator Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) sponsors the bill said that he is pleased, surprised and grateful the process in the Senate is over. “I came in fully anticipating this to be a very, very, close vote,” Albritton said. He also explained that the head-counts taken before the vote never showed that the bill would receive 21 votes. In a bit of drama shortly before the bill passed, Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-Birmingham) rushed to the Senate secretary to get them over the needed vote total. After all is said and done, a proponent of a competing bill, Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville), has now announced he supports this bill because it will allow Alabamians to finally have a lottery.
— An article written by CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Jeff Zeleny claims that 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden is someone “President Donald Trump has long worried would emerge as his general election rival.” While Biden’s campaign announcement featured incorrectly quoting Donald Trump, Democrats are rallying behind him and praising his every move. Alabama’s junior senator tweeted, “The quality that makes Joe stand out is his ability to bring people together to find common ground while standing up for what he believes is right. We need to listen to each other & get things done for working people. Joe can, and will, do that. That’s why I support Joe Biden.” Alabama Republican Party chairwoman Terry Lathan seems happy to see all of this. She clearly thinks supporting Biden helps lead to Jones’ inevitable defeat. She said, “Senator Jones and Vice President Biden are ‘two of a kind’. Both support bigger government, ObamaCare and abortion – all issues the majority of Alabamians oppose.”