7 Things: Trump threatens to send troops to the border, Doug Jones dismisses Joe Biden sexual harassment accusations, ex-lawmaker makes $52,000+ campaign expenditure to himself and more …
7. It doesn’t appear many cities are interested in following Jefferson County’s lead on lawlessness
— Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard said on Tuesday, “If you’re caught with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, you’ll be treated as you’ve always been treated.” This comes after Jefferson County law enforcement announced that they would no longer be making arrests for nonviolent misdemeanors, including possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana. Broussard continued on to say, “If we get to the point where we don’t believe in state law, that’s a dangerous position.” He is hardly alone. Multiple municipalities in Jefferson County have decided they aren’t playing Jefferson County Sherriff Mark Pettway’s silly game.
6. A person with measles made two stops in Alabama
— There are no reports of measles in Alabama yet. Surrounding states have seen the illness and health officials expect there to be cases soon. On April 11, a person with a confirmed case of measles traveled through Alabama and could’ve infected other people. The person stopped at D&J Travel Plaza in Livingston at 2:30 pm and at Chick-Fil-A in Fort Payne at 5:54 pm. So far this year, there have been more than 600 cases of measles in the country, and America is on track to have the most measles cases in the world in recent years.
5. Charter schools could start receiving city tax dollars
— Today, the Alabama Senate discusses a bill that would take the local tax dollars going to public school systems and give them charter schools. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) sponsored Senate Bill 311, which would allow local tax dollars not allocated for capital expenses, debt service or transportation to follow students to the charter school they go to instead of going to the public school. Students from Alabama charter schools spoke to the Senate committee in favor of giving more funding to the schools. Marsh told the committee members, “Public charter schools are public schools. Their parents are paying taxes just like others in the district.”
4. Trump will fight every subpoena the Democrats issue
— On Wednesday, President Donald Trump vowed that he will fight back against every subpoena the congressional Democrats issue for administration officials. Trump also called their last attempt to get former White House counsel Don McGahn to come in for testimony and their subpoenas “ridiculous.” The president said that he’s been the most transparent president and administration in the history of the country to this point. While a lot of Republicans would probably agree that the subpoenas are ridiculous, it’s unlikely as many people would agree that he’s the most transparent and honest president. Trump has stood by his previous statements that there was no collusion or obstruction, despite Democrats still calling for his impeachment over the Russia investigation.
3. Formerly imprisoned state lawmaker made a $52,000 campaign expenditure to himself
— Former Alabama House Majority Leader Micky Hammon (R-Decatur), who just spent three months in prison for using campaign money on personal expenses, declared one expenditure, a $52,533 payment to himself and then typed “to be determined” as an explanation. Obviously, this is wildly illegal. It could be a class B felony and carry a new 20-year prison sentence with it. In what is probably an understatement, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said when informed that the ex-legislator made the declaration on his campaign finance forms, “That’s a problem.”
2. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) thinks sexual harassment allegations distract from Joe Biden beating Trump
— Former Vice President Joe Biden has finally entered the 2020 presidential race, with a lie, Sen. Doug Jones is already on the defense. Jones was interviewed on a Mother Jones podcast where he was asked about the current Democratic presidential candidates. Unsurprisingly, Jones spoke highly of former Vice President Joe Biden, saying that he believes Biden can “reach people from all ends of the political spectrum and govern this country.” Jones later went on to discuss how he thinks the allegations of sexual harassment against Biden distract from the Democrats’ ultimate goal of beating President Trump. Whereas scandals like this always distract from a party’s goals and efforts, this interview makes it more obvious that some Democrats are beginning to experience a fraction of what Republicans felt during the Brett Kavanaugh issue. Thursday, Jones tweeted his support for Biden.
— President Trump once again declared he is considering sending American soldiers to the border over an incident where American soldiers were disarmed on American soil. Trump tweeted, “We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wanted no part of this battle and said, “We are not going to fight with the government of the United States.” Liberal New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman acknowledged both that there is a crisis and the wall is part of the solution after a visit to the border, stating, “The whole day left me more certain than ever that we have a real immigration crisis and that the solution is a high wall with a big gate — but a smart gate.”