7 Things: Pressure campaign for prison deal grows, Tuberville latest to slam critical race theory, Brooks touts Club for Growth endorsement with slam of Britt and more …
7. Shooting spree was racially motivated but not in the way that gets national attention
- Justin Tyran Roberts admitted to a racially motivated shooting spree that covered multiple states. Roberts said he targeted white men that he felt wronged him, according to law enforcement.
- Roberts shot five different people during three separate assaults, and when asked by law enforcement why he targeted them, he told investigators that “throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him, and also what he described as ‘military-looking white males’ had taken from him.”
6. “Retain Alabama” seeks to keep graduates in Alabama
- Alabama legislators allocated $800,000 dollars in the last legislative session to retain graduates to be employed in the state of Alabama after graduation. Currently, only 51% of graduates are employed in the state five years after graduating, and that rate is lower for STEM graduates.
- The money will be split between the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and a Birmingham non-profit, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, that will seek to connect industry in Alabama with college students graduating each year, especially focusing on STEM and advanced manufacturing jobs.
5. Ivey announces new local road projects
- The “Rebuild Alabama” gas tax remains highly controversial in Alabama, but Governor Kay Ivey hopes to show people that the tax increase is being put to work for the people of the state by announcing new projects paid for with the money.
- The law requires $10 million to be used for local projects each year with more than that allocated in 2020 and $4.9 million allocated this year. The projects identified this week include road work in Trussville and Tuscaloosa, Autauga, Jefferson, Etowah, Bibb, Calhoun, Cullman, Escambia, Franklin, and Marion Counties.
4. McConnell to frustrate Democrats for years to come
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is looking toward the 2024 election cycle under the premise that Republicans will take control of the U.S. Senate in 2022, and use that power to deny President Joe Biden a U.S. Supreme Court justice in 2024. His statements infuriated Democrats, who refuse to understand why McConnell wouldn’t deny President Donald Trump a justice in an election year when his party controlled the Senate after denying President Barack Obama a justice when Republicans controlled the Senate in his last year.
- McConnell also dismissed the Democrats’ call for subpoenas for former Attorney Generals Jeff Sessions and William Barr into a legitimate leak investigation, calling it “a witch hunt” of a legitimate Justice Department leak investigation that took place before Barr even arrived at the Justice Department and after Sessions recused himself. McConnell added, “Any outrage from Democrats that alleged criminal leaks within their own ranks rightly drew the attention of federal investigators rings, completely hollow.”
3. Mo Brooks gets Club for Growth endorsement, hits Britt
- A few days after the conservative group Club for Growth released a poll with a commanding lead for U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in the Republican primary for the 2022 U.S. Senate race, the group announced their endorsement of the congressman. The organization said, “Mo Brooks has proven to be a strong economic conservative who is unafraid to stand up to Democrats and Republican Leadership to fight for the best interests of the people of Alabama.”
- While accepting the endorsement Brooks said, “Their endorsement is yet another third-party confirmation that Mo Brooks is the fearless fighting conservative America needs in the U.S. Senate.” In the same release, he took a gratuitous shot at his newest rival, Katie Britt, stating, “In Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, the Establishment, Never Trump, cheap foreign labor, debt junkie, tax and spend wings of the Republican Party are ALL coalescing their big-time money on professional lobbyist Katie Britt.”
2. Tuberville against schools teaching the 1619 project
- It looks like there could be a new politician commenting on critical race theory every day. Yesterday, that politician was U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) who dismissed the idea that it should be taught in classes anywhere. And while critics will pretend this is a made-up panic, the U.S. Department of Education is seeking to prioritize grants for schools that will agree to teach critical race theory and the “1619 Project.”
- Tuberville joined six other U.S. senators, including Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in opposing this radical theory being taught in schools. He noted, “The U.S. government should not spend a single taxpayer dollar to teach children to dislike their country. I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation so that our schools can encourage the open debate of ideas and teach important morals to our students.”
1. The push for new prisons is ramping up ahead of a deal and special session
- Alabama Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) says we need to keep bad guys in jail and explained to do that, new prisons will need to be built and the other reforms are secondary. He advised, “The number one premise has to be to keep the bad folks incarcerated and keep the good folks safe. With that being said, any other type of reform measures needs to reflect just that. We need to make sure that the bad people are kept behind bars, and the good people are kept safe.”
- Scofield is not the only one making this push. Association of County Commissions of Alabama executive Sonny Brasfield reminded people that the current setup of overcrowded state prisons is leading to overcrowding of county jails, which are not set up to deal with the kind of prisoners the state prison system should house. Brasfield noted that a new law is setting up a showdown. He said, “[T]he law will say that after the 30th day, the sheriff shall transfer custody to the state of Alabama. About 25 sheriffs had a call this week. They are counting the days down to January 1.”