The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

10 hours ago

Del Marsh disputes reporting that he is writing a ‘tribe-friendly’ gambling bill

(Poarch Neighbors, D. Marsh/Facebook)

Alabama State Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville) offered a lottery bill that was declared a “clean bill,” but issues arose once it was proposed that it would allow entities who are running electronic bingo in the state to transition over to “virtual lottery terminals.” The differences between these machines are negligible as both electronic bingo and virtual lottery terminals are essentially slot machines with extra steps.

Appearing on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Friday, Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) intimated that he would be fine with McClendon’s bill, but it might make more sense to have a “straight up lottery” vote.

“I’m almost indifferent,” Marsh said. “If we want to do that I’m fine with that, but I go back to that the simplest thing to do, I think, to put before the people of Alabama, and less confusing, is a true simple straight up lottery.”

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According to some reports, Marsh was working on a “tribe-friendly” bill. Alabama liberals have two boogeymen when it comes to the failure to pass a lottery over the years: churches and the Alabama Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

So, the implication that Marsh is doing the bidding of either is a win-win for Alabama liberals.

Marsh denies he is working on any bill that would be declared “tribe-friendly,” but agreed that could be changed to Senator McClendon’s bill.

“All that other stuff could be stripped out of it if it goes back to a simple lottery,” Marsh explained.

He added, “[Y]ou may see someone put one in that’s just a straight up plain and simple lottery from day one.”

Later on the show, Stephanie Bryan, tribal chair for the Alabama Poarch Band of Creek Indians appeared to be open to not only a simple lottery vote, but to a vote on a much wider gaming plan. She acknowledged she would like to see a widened scope of gambling in the form of games and locations throughout the state.

My takeaway:

The position of the tribe appears to be they do not want an expansion of legalized gambling if they can’t, at least, compete for it. This is a logical position for them to hold and would provide the most economic incentive for the state of Alabama in the form of expanded gambling opportunities.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

16 hours ago

7 Things: ISIS loses its caliphate, Doug Jones thinks he is as ‘close to in the middle as you can possibly get’, Alabama’s Common Core bill gets clarified and more …

(Fox News/YouTube)

7. In a twist on active shooter drills, a school in Indiana staged mock executions

— Looking for realism, trainers used non-lethal ammo and pellet guns to shoot teachers in mock executions that led to screams and gave educators bloody welts. It sounds surreal but it is very real. According to tweets from the Indiana State Teachers Association in the middle of a legislative tweet storm, “four teachers at a time were taken into a room, told to crouch down and were shot execution style with some sort of projectiles — resulting in injuries.” The teachers were being taught that the “duck-and-cover” technique doesn’t work. One of the shooters told teachers, “[T]his is what happens when you just cower and do nothing,” and then shot them.

6. Alabama woman killed by an illegal immigrant in Mobile

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— Every year, thousands of illegal immigrants are arrested for murder in this country. Domingo Francisco Marcos is one of them. Marcos is a Guatemalan immigrant in the United States illegally and has been arrested for vehicular homicide and fleeing the scene of an accident. Like many illegal aliens, Marcos entered the country and only claimed asylum after he was caught in Arizona. He was given a court date that he did not show for, fled to Alabama, had his asylum claim denied and lived in the U.S. illegally until killing Mobile’s Sonya Jones.

5. Trump says that it’s time to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights

— In what is clearly a boom to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election campaign, the president announced that decades of U.S. foreign policy declaring the Golan Heights “occupied territory is over.” Israel took over the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981, but that annexation has not been recognized by the international community, even though Israel has operated it as their territory. Remember, this is the president that apparently has issues with the Jews, even though he constantly supports Israel.

4. China is ready to talk trade with the U.S. — Not much is expected

— U.S. officials will be in China next week to discuss the trade deal. China’s goal is to put an end to all U.S. tariffs that have been placed against them, but President Trump has clearly said that’s not happening. Trump said that the deal is coming along, and even if a deal is struck, the tariffs won’t be removed immediately. The president also added that if a deal isn’t made then the tariffs against China will increase.

3. Common Core repeal passes the Alabama State Senate

— After a lot of debate and consternation, the bill passed the Alabama State Senate 23-7. A couple of concerns were addressed by amendments to the legislation. Now, the state will move away from Common Core standards in the 2021-2022 school year and into new standards created by the Alabama Board of education. Originally, they called for transitional standards in the 2020-2021 school year. Also addressed were questionable concerns that the removal of these standards would keep the state from using ACT tests, AP tests, national teacher certifications and exams. Surely, new concerns will emerge in the State House.

2. Alabama’s U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) is still pretending he is a moderate 

— Despite his votes on Justice Brett Kavanaugh, against tax cuts and for partial-birth abortion, Jones told late-night host Stephen Colbert that he is as “close to in the middle as you can possibly get.” Jones said, “I just say I’m a Doug Democrat because I’m going to do what I do, and I’m going to do it with the same authenticity I did during the [2017] campaign.” This is the same Senator Jones that has voted with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on almost all major votes, except the votes to confirm Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Bill Barr.

1. Last ISIS stronghold liberated; The caliphate has crumbled

— The previous occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue called the terrorist organization the “JV team.” After that, they went on to claim massive ground gains and establish a “caliphate.” But now bombs have stopped dropping and gunfire has disappeared. The ISIS flag is down and the caliphate is essentially dead. As many as eight million people were living under ISIS rule at one point.

2 days ago

7 Things: Trump and the public want to see the Mueller report, Common Core repeal moves on, Trump cannot stop attacking a dead war hero and more …

(Wikicommons, G. Skidmore/Flickr)

7. Remington Arms will lose $3 million in incentives from the state after failing to meet hiring goals

— Remington is obligated to hire 1,868 workers in Huntsville by 2023, but there has now been a bankruptcy, and it has been reported that Remington is planning layoffs at three locations, including Huntsville. The company was to have 680 employees in Huntsville by the end of 2017, but they only had 500 and by the end of 2018 they had around 450. Local governments are now recouping some of the $12.5 million in incentives that were used to bring Remington to north Alabama while Alabama has announced it is canceling a $3 million cash incentive.

6. Catch-and-release is back at the border with Mexico

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— Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was expected to release over 200 people by the end of Wednesday. Court rulings have said ICE can no longer separate adults from their children and they cannot hold families longer than 20 days. The illegal immigrants who are released are given a notice to appear in court, however, a large number never appear.

5. Alabama lawmakers are prepared to consider making it illegal to hold a phone while driving

— An Alabama House committee approves a bill that that would make the act of holding a cellphone while driving illegal. While there would be exceptions for law enforcement and emergency responders, and using a cellphone for navigation, violators would first be fined $50, then $100 and then $150. How this will be enforced should be interesting.

4. A crazed man from Australia just changed New Zealand’s gun laws

—  After last week’s terrorist attacks on two New Zealand mosques, the country completely over-hauled its gun laws. “Assault weapons” will be banned. Also, a buyback “scheme” for the 1.2 million in circulation will be created and could cost $200 million. Police will begin accepting firearms under an amnesty program for some weapons and citizens have been told by Police Commissioner Mike Bush, “I can’t emphasize enough that in the current environment it is important you do not take your now-unlawful firearm anywhere without notifying police.”

3. President Donald Trump cannot stop attacking former Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

— With absolutely no upside, Trump kept mentioning the late McCain, who has been dead for seven months, and declaring he did not like the man. Trump mentioned McCain’s state funeral and the failure of the McCain family to thank him, stating, “I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve. I don’t care about this. I didn’t get thank you. That’s ok. We sent him on the way, but I wasn’t a fan of John McCain.” This drew the rebuke of Republican Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) who called it “deplorable,” and said, “If my kids started talking John McCain not being a hero, or because he was a prisoner of war didn’t make any difference, they would have a serious conversation with me and I would have it with them.”

 2. Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh’s (R-Anniston) bill to repeal Common Core by a Senate committee

— Marsh acknowledges that this attempt to repeal Common Core is a difference in position for him. In the past, Marsh wanted the State School Board to hash this out. Marsh told reporters, “It’s not working. I think we have to have some radical change with education policy in this state.” Under Marsh’s proposal, Alabama would come up with its own standards. Other standards would be completely banned, but Marsh also said that his bill will be amended before final passage to allow another national standard to be used if it’s best for Alabama.

1. President Trump has said that he supports the public release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report

— From the White House lawn, President Trump said he is ready to let the people see what the 22-month-long investigation has found, saying, “Let it come out. Let people see it.” Trump continued declaring there is no collusion or obstruction. The American people agree with Trump that they want to see the report with over 82 percent of those surveyed saying it should be public. But when it comes to impeachment, the people seem to be over it, with only 36 percent thinking he should be impeached.

2 days ago

Dale Jackson: The ‘clean lottery bill’ is not clean, nor a lottery bill

(J. McClendon/Facebook, ABC News/YouTube)

There was hope that the Alabama legislature would be dealing with a simple and non-complex lottery bill this legislative session. This was false hope.

Alabama Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) touted his lottery bill as a bill that would simply give Alabama voters an opportunity to vote on a lottery. He wasn’t trying to solve the state’s economic ailments. He wasn’t hoping to appease every group in the state with some piece of the pie. He wasn’t creating a new spending obligation. All he allegedly wanted to do was give the average Alabamian an opportunity to buy lottery tickets in their home state and send the benefits to the state’s coffers.

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Simple. Easy. “Clean.”

But it was not to actually be. Instead, this clean bill provides a quasi-monopoly for certain individuals who already have gambling interests in place. McClendon says this is to protect the jobs at these facilities by giving them the ability to have new “Virtual Lottery Terminals.” The terminals are really just slot machines with extra steps, and some of these folks already have experience running this type of business because they have been running these quasi-legal machines for years.

These entities want this legalized and they want to stop any competition from springing up. This is a completely reasonable position for them.

Guess who has a problem with this? The Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians released the following statement:

We appreciate Sen. McClendon’s efforts to bring the question of whether the state should have a lottery to the forefront of this legislative session. However, the bill introduced today does not fit the definition of a “clean bill.” It does not give citizens an opportunity to cast one vote on one issue — whether we should have a traditional lottery in our State. Instead, the bill is cluttered with provisions that will expand private gaming operations in a few parts of the state owned by a handful of individuals. It also demands that any vote on a lottery include a vote on video lottery terminals, which are also commonly known as “slot machines.”

They are not wrong, but no one should be sympathetic to this argument. They want their own monopoly on slot machines. This is a completely reasonable position for them.

Neither position is reasonable for the state of Alabama to take. The state of Alabama should either offer a legit clean bill with no expansion/codification of existing gambling or open the door for others to enter the free market.

If the legislature thinks these types of gambling are good for the state, then it needs to regulate it, limit it and give other parts of the state and other operators an opportunity to take part in the benefits. Let Huntsville, Birmingham, and Mobile enter a developer bidding for gambling facilities.

Alabama legislators clearly want to address this in this legislative session. McClendon’s bill is not the way to do it.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

 

3 days ago

7 Things: ‘Clean lottery’ bill may not be clean, Trump says Democrats can’t ‘pack the court’ which they are saying they want to do, bills to ‘Build the Wall’ and end Common Core are introduced and more …

(W. Donohue/Flickr, Pixabay)

7. President Donald Trump and conservatives vs. social media giants

— Earlier this week, Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) sued Twitter and some users over harassment, shadow-banning, censorship and facilitating defamation. Part of his claim is that their content-based moderation makes them responsible for what is on their platform. President Trump has also jumped into the fray, saying Twitter and Facebook are targeting Republicans for censorship and Congress needs to get to the “bottom” of it.

6. A new potential candidate emerges in GOP primary race — She’s a former Miss America

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— The race to face Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in the 2020 general election is on and former Miss Alabama, and Miss America, Heather Whitestone McCallum is reportedly polling the race, which most see as a potential prelude to entering the contest. The weak incumbent is already attracting big names like Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile), who is in the race. Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and failed 2017 candidate Roy Moore are possible candidates as well.

5. The U.S. Supreme Court says crime-breaking illegal aliens can be held after their sentences are complete

— The Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could detain non-citizens who have committed crimes that would make them deportable. The law says the government must arrest these illegal immigrants when they are released from custody and then process them through an immigration court. The problem arose when the individuals were not held instantly and instead were picked up years later. Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority that “neither the statute’s text nor its structure” spoke in favor of the ACLU or illegal immigrants’ positions.

4. Information that led to the raid on Michael Cohen’s office was part of a long-term investigation

— The unsealed warrants and documents that have been released give everybody something to hang their hat on. We already know Cohen pleaded guilty to tax crimes, campaign finance violations, false statements to a bank and lying to Congress, but the search warrants show federal prosecutors also suspected that Cohen could have violated foreign lobbying laws and committed money laundering. He was not charged with those crimes. Nothing released shows any collusion, which is really what everyone really wants to hear about, yay or nay.

3. Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) is offering two pieces of  legislation conservatives will love 

— You may be able to help “Build the Wall” by checking a box on your tax return after the Senate leader proposed a bill that would allow a taxpayer to voluntarily send a portion to of their state income tax refund to an organization called We Build the Wall, Inc. Marsh is also offering a bill to repeal Common Core in Alabama. More interestingly, the bill would forbid the state board from taking on any national standards in any subject. As Senate pro tem, Marsh is in a good position to get his bills on the floor of the Alabama State Senate.

2. Democrats are advocating to expand the Supreme Court; President Donald Trump says it is not going to happen

— Multiple Democratic candidates for the presidency and one “conservative” talk show host have made it clear that they would like to fracture some of the norms that our society has held dear for centuries. They want to undo the Electoral College and “pack the Supreme Court.” The president has made it clear he is not interested in the game, saying, “I wouldn’t entertain that.” Trump added, “I can guarantee it won’t happen for six years. We have no interest in that whatsoever.” While the media pretends this isn’t what Democrats are saying, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg have all suggested some form of it.

1. Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) has officially filed a lottery bill that he called a “clean bill”; The Poarch Band of Creek Indians don’t agree

— The next controversial bill for the Alabama legislature has finally been filed, and a lottery is going to get its day in the legislative body. There are two bills that really do one thing: One bill allocates the revenue from any lottery into a clean split with 50 percent for both budgets, and the other bill creates a constitutional amendment that would legalize a lottery that would put the amendment up for a vote of the people in the 2020 primary elections. McClendon says this is a “clean bill” that would keep casino card and table games illegal in Alabama. It would also protect facilities that are running questionable electronic bingo and allow them to run virtual lottery terminals, which is essentially a slot machine with extra steps.

 

3 days ago

Internet rebellion against Rebuild Alabama runs out of gas

(Pixabay, YHN)

If you are a consumer of social media, talk radio or the Internet in general, you probably have seen the anger the Rebuild Alabama gas tax increase stirred among your friends.

Claims that voters will remember this gas tax increase in 2020 may be true, but the politicians who voted “yes” are banking on two things: short memories and apathy.

As mentioned above, the next election cycle doesn’t kick off in earnest for almost three years, which is a long time in an era with a President Donald Trump re-election campaign sucking up all the air in the room and filling up your Uncle’s Facebook feed.

The apathy part is already in play. Sure, it’s easy to be mad, but what about action to “right the wrong?” That seems harder.

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Failed candidate for Alabama State House and businessman Tom Fredricks has launched a GoFundMe account to challenge the law’s Port of Mobile provision and to say that it is not working is an understatement.

This is important because the campaign has received tens of thousands of views, thousands of likes, engagements, retweets, favorites, comments and shares, but that has not translated into a financial success.

If supportive Internet comments had any financial value, this would be a different story.

But, alas, supportive Internet posts have no value and while the goal of the account is $100,000 dollars, as of the writing of this article, it has raised a grand total of $1,000.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

4 days ago

7 Things: Lottery looming, Doug Jones won’t say where he is on impeachment, Rebuild Alabama gas tax increase could be headed to court in ‘long-shot’ battle and more …

(J. McClendon/Facebook, ABC News/YouTube)

7. Companies in New Zealand are thinking of pulling ads from Facebook because the killer posted his attack to the service

—  Over 50 companies could pull their ads from Facebook after the site “allowed” the attacks on the two mosques in Christchurch to be streamed on its platform. Some have already chosen to do so, and the Association of New Zealand Advertisers say that dozens of others may as well. Facebook noted, “In the first 24 hours we removed 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, of which over 1.2 million were blocked at upload,” highlighting what an arduous task it is to block this kind of content. Furthermore, no one who watched the original video reported it.

6. The Trump administration has a plan to make college more affordable, limit the amount of money the federal government will guarantee in loans

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— In a move that is sure to have detractors, the White House suggested new limits on federal student loans taken out by parents and students. The idea is to cut the cost of college by making less money available to the students and therefore able to be targeted by the institutions, which the White House blames for driving up prices. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) says the plan misses the mark and other Democrats have called for more state funding of colleges, free tuition and increased Pell grants.

5. The media’s latest leftist darling not named Beto O’Rourke is not doing too well in her home state with polling numbers upside-down statewide

— While Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is #1 with the media and in the minds of Republicans who want her to remain the face of the Democratic Party, folks in the state of New York don’t seem as sold on her. Her approval rating in New York sits at a net -13, with 31 percent viewing her favorably and 44 percent unfavorably. For perspective, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has a +10 approval rating, so her numbers in the blue state of New York may not translate well in the rest of America. Ocasio-Cortez was not happy to see these numbers and tweeted, “This is *the* playbook. GOP does it w/ virtually every Dem figure who isn’t a white male: otherize, demonize + splinter.”

4. CNN poll shows that economic approval polls are higher than they have been since February 2001 and President Donald Trump is trending up, too

— Seven-in-ten Americans say the economy is in good shape, while 51 percent approve of President Trump’s handling of the issue. The overall approval rating for Trump is not great at 42 percent, but it is a high mark for him in this poll. This also places him in between Bill Clinton’s 44 percent in 1995 and Ronald Reagan’s 41 percent in 1983. Both won re-election. These numbers, again, are not good, but considering the onslaught of negative press and much of his own doing, it is notable that these numbers are on the rise.

3. A challenge may be brewing in court for the Rebuild Alabama gas tax increase

— Former candidate for the Alabama State House Tom Fredricks has started a GoFundMe account and obtained a lawyer to challenge the gas tax on the ground that the portion related to the Port of Mobile is unconstitutional. Fredricks admits this is a long-shot, but believes the issue is worth pursuing because so many people are angry about the gas tax and the way it was passed. His argument hinges on Amendment 354 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901, which Fredricks argues “says that that money shall be used on the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges.”

2. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tries to beat back her caucus’ impeachment talk, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) won’t say where he stands

— While Alabama’s junior senator was attending a book signing event in Birmingham, he read a question off a note card that he would rather not face. Jones laughed when he saw the question and then read it aloud. The question asked, “Would the country be better off if Trump is impeached or beaten in 2020?” Jones made it clear he had no intention of answering the question. He took the note card, stuck it in his suit pocket and said, “Well, I think I’m just going to hold that one for a little bit,” and then noted he knew he was being recorded.

1. Lottery legislation is coming, but it faces a tough road which ends on a ballot with a constitutional amendment

— As Alabama restarts the regular session today, a lottery may be the most controversial piece of legislation with an actual chance of passing that may come before the body this session. Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) will introduce the legislation this week, but he is offering a unique take this session, advising, “My motivation is not to solve fiscal problems in Alabama.” He just wants Alabamians to be able to play the games in their home state. But the battle over where the money generated would go will be a huge part of the battle with McClendon’s proposal being a 50/50 split between the education and general funds. Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) spoke in Birmingham and addressed the lottery, calling it “number one discussion” in Montgomery at this point.

4 days ago

Failed state House candidate wants to challenge gas tax in court

(T. Fredricks/Facebook)

Former candidate for state House and Republican Executive Committee anti-tax resolution sponsor, Tom Fredricks, is preparing a legal challenge on the Rebuild Alabama Act based on the perceived unconstitutional nature of the Port of Mobile dredging.

When the Rebuild Alabama gas tax increase was being debated, for all of five days, opponents were throwing everything they could at the gas tax.

All of this was for naught as the bill passed both chambers of the legislature and was signed by the governor. Your gas tax will go up over the next three years.

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The state Republican Party Executive Committee went as far as opposing the gas tax with a resolution at their winter meeting. The committee rightly argued very few politicians ran on raising taxes. In fact, many opposed tax increases or ran on keeping taxes low.

Foes of the tax, yours truly included, felt the use of the special session was a nefarious work-around the legislative process.

Lastly, a small group of insurgents pushed the ingenious argument that the portion of the law spending millions of dollars every year on dredging for the Port of Mobile was unconstitutional.

And now, the opponents of this gas tax are moving on to the next level of the battle: the courts

Fredricks appeared Monday on “The Dale Jackson Show” on WVNN in Huntsville to lay out his legal strategy.

“It appears that it’s in direct violation of Amendment 354 … the constitution says that that money shall be used on the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges,” he outlined.

Fredricks has even launched a GoFundMe page to fund this endeavor after one lawyer told him he would need $25,000 to pursue this challenge.

But, former Senator Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville), an anti-tax advocate, believes this is a non-starter after initially thinking there would be an issue in battling the tax increase.

Sanford posted his findings on Facebook.

Fredricks himself believes this is a long-shot, but stated that he believes the people of this state need to continue having a voice on this issue.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

5 days ago

7 Things: Gas tax calculation hurts big counties, Speaker McCutcheon says there is no deal on Medicaid expansion, New Zealand attack already politicized and more …

(Pixabay, YHN)

7. The president of the United States spent the weekend ripping the corpse of former Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

— President Donald Trump brought up McCain’s role in turning over the Steele Dossier, tweeting, “Spreading the fake and totally discredited Dossier ‘is, unfortunately, a very dark stain against John McCain.” The dossier was part of the controversial decision to open probes into the Trump campaign with questionable reasoning that continues to dog Trump to this day. McCain is still dead and Trump will not stop bringing his name up with little to gain from doing so.

6. Black woman who took over after racist Alabama newspaper publisher called for the KKK to “ride again” quits, citing interference

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— Elecia R. Dexter took over for Sutton Goodloe after the latter became an international punchline for an editorial calling for the citizens to pretend to be in the KKK to thwart tax increases. Sutton gave up his control of The Democrat-Reporter but never truly stepped away. Dexter said she resigned to keep her “integrity and well-being.” Sutton claims the paper made $350,000 last year because of Alabama’s law requiring legal notices be advertised in local papers.

5. As Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall continues to fight the battle over census counts, the Supreme Court will take on the issue on another front

— Last week, Marshall warned that “our electoral vote will go to the state of California” if illegal immigrants are allowed to be counted for apportionment of federal monies, representation and electoral votes in the 2020 census. Marshall and Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) are suing the federal government over the matter. At the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court will determine if Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross adding a citizenship question in the 2020 census is constitutional because a federal judge ruled he could not add the question. Several states and Washington D.C. oppose adding the question because they feel they will not get an accurate count of illegals and that will hurt their total population numbers.

4. New Zealand is preparing to overhaul their gun laws in response to last week’s terror attack by a white supremacist that wanted to use a gun to change American laws

— Even though New Zealand’s gun ownership rate is one of the highest in the world and their homicide rates are below average, the response to the horrific attack on two mosques is going to change those laws. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her cabinet will be “looking to move as quickly as we can” as they prepare to meet today to start making changes. Reports from the nation find that citizens are purchasing firearms, ammunition and magazines as the changes are expected to be wide-ranging.

3. The American media and their Democrats spent the weekend proclaiming “white supremacy” is the world’s largest terrorism problem as Palestinians handed out candy after a terror attack in Israel

— The main storyline in the American media following last week’s terror attack in New Zealand are the attempts to connect Donald Trump to the massacre and lambaste him for not rebuking white supremacy stringently enough for their liking. Although Trump has denounced white supremacy in the past, he has taken heat for accurately calling the movement “a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.” There are serious problems with white nationalists committing acts of terror, but no one is defending them or acting as if they have a point. The main terror threat on the planet is still radical Islam.

2. Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) says that there has been no deal cut on Medicaid expansion

— There have been questions about how serious calls to expand Medicaid in Alabama actually are with House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) saying there was a deal to hear the issue, Governor Kay Ivey not slamming the door on it, and McCutcheon said he doesn’t see it coming to fruition. When asked if he thought there would be a Medicaid expansion he said, “I don’t think so,” adding, “If you want to call it Medicaid expansion, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about health care.”

1. Bigger counties will lose gas tax revenue in the first two years of the latest gas tax increase

— When the gas tax starts being distributed in 2020, the larger counties will end up losing out on some of the monies they should receive because the population numbers used will come from the 2010 census. This means counties that lost population will get more money than they are entitled to.  Conversely, counties that increased in size since 2010 will have to wait until the 2020 census is completed to see the numbers re-calibrated.

5 days ago

VIDEO: Governor Ivey gets the gas tax increase done, Medicaid expansion deal may be done, Media Matters war on discourse and more on Guerrilla Politics …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Is Governor Kay Ivey going to flex her muscles after her big win?

— Did Alabama Democrats cut a deal with Republican leadership to seal the deal and get bipartisan support? What will they get out of it?

— Is Media Matters trying to clean up our discourse or kill it?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) to talk about the process and deals that led to the gas tax increase being approved and what comes next for Alabama Democrats.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” directed at Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and blaming him for the lack of discussion about the gas tax during the last election.

1 week ago

7 Things: Terror attack in New Zealand, Alabama senators split on rescinding emergency declaration on border security, Trump praises Toyota growth that includes Huntsville jobs and more …

(CBP/Flickr)

7. A new poll shows Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) leading in the potential race for U.S. Senate

— New polling from the “Club for Growth” shows Brooks would beat Judge Roy Moore 52 to 32 percent. The premise of the poll between two candidates not currently in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in 2020 is that Brooks would have beaten Moore as opposed to former Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL). The problem with this poll is that it doesn’t include the only Republican in the race at this point, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile).

6. A bipartisan government shutdown is being blamed for slowing the response to issues with Boeing’s airliners by the media and their Democrats

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— The recent shutdown slowed a still-unsolved software fix for the Boeing 737 MAX was delayed when the government shutdown stopped the work on the fix for five weeks. As most know, the shutdown was a result of an impasse over border security and funding for the border wall and both Democrats and Republicans refused to compromise on the matter for weeks. Eventually, President Donald Trump relented and agreed to reopen the government without funding for his wall. Regardless, the media and their Democrats have decided Trump is to blame for this delay.

5. Democrats continue to advocate for illegal aliens over Americans as Americans are brutalized and killed

— In the ongoing battle over the Democrats’ goal to get illegal aliens counted in the census for representation and for federal funding, they have decided to attack Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for misleading them. The goal is clear: Counting illegals grants them congressional representation. The illegal immigration opponents are opposed to this and believe adding a citizenship question will discourage illegal immigrants from participating in the once-a-decade count. Those who benefit from a large illegal population are opposed, with eight states, 15 big cities/counties and multiple immigrants’ rights groups challenging the idea in court.

4. Calls for a special counsel to look into how the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton investigation grow

— Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is now calling for a new special counsel to probe both the FBI and Justice Department. Graham believes the evidence points to the premise that the Obama DOJ treated Hillary Clinton more leniently than it should have and significantly different than how they treated  President Trump in the 2016 election. Citing the two years of a probe, that appears to be fruitless, “Somebody needs to look at the other side,” Graham said.

3. President Donald Trump touts Toyota’s growth in the U.S. and that includes Alabama

— In good economic news for the state and the nation, Toyota has announced their largest-ever expansion that will include $288 million and 450 new jobs in its Huntsville plant that will bring total investment there to $1.2 billion over seven total expansions in the plant’s life. The investment is part of a five-year $10 billion dollar investment pledge that will now reach $13 billion. President Trump reacted by congratulating the automaker and its employees, citing his yet unratified United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, “Congratulations @Toyota! BIG NEWS for U.S. Auto Workers! The USMCA is already fixing the broken NAFTA deal.”

2. The United States Senate passed a resolution to rescind the national emergency on border security with 12 Republicans siding against the president’s decision

— The surprising 59-41 vote in the Republican-led Senate had a few surprises. First, the number of defectors and, secondly, one of the Republican who sided with Trump was frequent Trump critic Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE). Sasse announced, “We have an obvious crisis at the border — everyone who takes an honest look at the spiking drug and human trafficking numbers knows this — and the president has a legal path to a rapid response under the National Emergencies Act of 1976 (NEA)”.  The president announced he will “VETO”  this measure and the emergency declaration, which is already headed to a federal court and will almost assuredly end up in front of the Supreme Court. Alabama’s senators split their votes.

1. A terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand kills at least 49 and injures dozens

— A 28-year-old from Australia walked into two mosques in New Zealand and opened fire. He has not been named at this point, but has taken responsibility for the attack and posted a white nationalist manifesto after he carried out the attack and streamed it on the Internet. There are three other individuals in custody.

1 week ago

The responses to Congressman Byrne’s comments on illegal aliens, ‘Beto’ O’Rourke’s candidacy show you the true Democratic Party

(B. Byrne, B. O'Rourke/Facebook

America is at a critical crossroads on the issue of illegal immigration. The president of the United States is about to veto a resolution blocking his emergency declaration on border security. That declaration is headed to the federal court system and will most likely end up before the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are trying to out-liberal each other on immigration with Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke entering the race today after telling a fawning MSNBC talking head that he would tear down the existing border wall because “we have walled off their opportunity to legally petition for asylum to cross in urban centers”.

All three branches of the federal government are involved and the stakes in future elections couldn’t be more clear.

Recently in Sand Mountain, a twice-deported illegal alien stands accused of raping a 12-year-old girl. David Ramirez Gonzalez fled the scene of the rape and was found hiding in a closet. Subsequent background checks showed he was here illegally. He was deported in 2008 and again in 2009 for illegal reentry.

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Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) shared the Fox News coverage of a deadly story from California involving an illegal alien.

The response to these crimes is always predictable, as can be seen in the replies.

We hear that the legal status doesn’t matter and that Americans commit more crimes than illegal aliens. Even if that were true – and it is not – a woman is dead in California and a 12-year-old was raped in Alabama because of our weak laws.

America’s left can continue to pretend they believe in border security, but neither their actions nor words indicate that this is true.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

1 week ago

7 Things: There may already be a deal on Alabama’s Medicaid expansion, Manafort gets more jail time, 2 million more Dreamers and more …

(Pixabay, ARSEA APEAL/Facebook, YHN)

7. Auburn assistant basketball coach implicated in federal bribery scheme that is similar to the issues grabbing headlines for involving two actresses

— The situation did not occur while Coach Ira Bowman was at Auburn, nor is it tied to the arrests of over 50 people in the case involving multiple schools, coaches and parents, but it is very similar. Bowman was removed from the team for the SEC basketball tournament because he was implicated in a scheme while at Penn to accept around $300,000 to give his a student a priority spot on Penn’s basketball team so he could get into the prestigious Wharton School of Business.

6. The United States has now joined other nations in grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 jets

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— Following the lead of dozens of countries, including European nations and China, President Donald Trump issued an emergency order to ground the planes involved in a series of accidents and other concerns with the computer system on the plane. The FAA and major U.S. airlines have said they believe the planes are safe and resisted calls to ground the planes, but the media was having none of this. Boeing stock has dipped after the announcement as business insiders believe this could harm the company’s reputation, but they have weathered storms before.

5. The Southeastern Conference and Toyota both make charitable donations to help Alabama residents

— The SEC has donated $100,000 to Auburn University to help students, faculty and staff impacted by the destructive tornadoes that hit the state and killed 23. Also, Toyota, who is already building a $1.6 billion manufacturing facility that could bring close to 4,000 jobs to Alabama as part of their partnership in Huntsville with Mazda, donated $1 million to help fight poverty in the state. Toyota made the donation to the National Center for Family Learning, bringing their total donations to the organization to $50 million over 28 years. There are currently 420 Toyota Family Learning Centers that have helped more than 4.5 million across the U.S. and Toyota will partner with local groups to provide literacy programs.

4. It appears President Trump is correct when he says former FBI Director James Comey lied under oath regarding the Hillary Clinton investigation

— While this seems to be treated by the media and their Democrats as something of conspiracy theory, the FBI did, in fact, kill the investigation into Clinton before it even started. Representative John Ratcliff (R-TX) said testimony by disgraced FBI lawyer Lisa Page “confirmed to me under oath that the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information.” The testimony calls in to count Comey’s honesty. He testified under oath that the FBI investigative team unanimously believed Clinton shouldn’t be prosecuted, but Page disputes this under oath and said a number of FBI agents on the team believed Clinton should have been prosecuted based on the evidence.

3. Democrats plan to offer 2 million “Dreamers” legal status and citizenship — ICE union is not happy

— Earlier this week, House Democrats unveiled a bill that would offer 2.7 million illegal immigrants a full pathway to citizenship. It would immediately protect them from deportation, allow them to work, allow some who have been deported to return and then give them an option for citizenship. Like Ann Coulter, the National ICE Council is not happy with the current status of immigration enforcement, most specifically the return of the Obama-era “catch and release” policy. The union said to Trump, “You don’t like ‘fake news’ and neither do our officers, so instead let’s provide transparency, tell Americans the truth, and stop this nonsense and these wasteful and dangerous policies now.”

2. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort gets more jail time as he is hit with more indictments in New York; Still no collusion

—  Manafort received 43 months on federal conspiracy charges, his secnd sentencing in two weeks. He will now be looking at seven-plus years in total for tax evasion. He will get credit for time served and all told will probably be out of jail in under four years. While the cases stem from evidence uncovered during FBI special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, there is still not a shred of evidence of collusion in the Manafort case, but the judge involved said that is irrelevant here.

1. It is entirely possible that the plan for Medicaid expansion in Alabama is already complete and just waiting to get on the floor of the legislature.

— Former State Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) said Thursday that a few of his former colleagues have told him that the deal has already been cut and that Medicaid expansion would be moving forward in the legislature. House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) spoke of movement on Alabama Democrats’ priorities moving forward in exchange for support of the Rebuild Alabama Act gas tax increase. Brewbaker added that the rank-and-file Republicans are probably not aware of this deal, but they will soon find themselves dealing with these issues in the regular session.

1 week ago

Former state senator: A deal on Medicaid expansion has been cut, may include lottery

(Pixabay, YHN)

Governor Kay Ivey and Alabama legislative leadership are spiking the football after achieving a bipartisan super-majority victory on a gas tax on Tuesday.

It really is quite an accomplishment to behold, as they got a $300+ tax increase on gasoline in a ruby red state that is one of the most conservative in the nation.

More astonishingly, it appears they aren’t done with the deal-making yet. In fact, House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) spoke of movement on Alabama Democrats’ priorities moving forward, which included a commitment from the Republicans to look at Medicaid expansion, a lottery and the elimination of the state portion of the grocery tax.

Former State Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) appeared on “The Dale Jackson Show” on WVNN and said Thursday that a few of his former colleagues have told him that the deal has already been cut and that Medicaid expansion would be moving forward in the legislature.

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“[T]he members of the black caucus that I’ve spoken to, and I spoke to several yesterday, are under the impression that they’ve got a deal,” Brewbaker revealed.

But the funding mechanism is still up in the air.

He added, “I didn’t have a single person tell me that the deal was a lottery to pay for Medicaid expansion, but I did have people tell me the deal was ‘we are going to find a way to expand Medicaid.'”

Later, Brewbaker added that the rank-and-file Republicans are probably not aware of this deal, but they will soon find themselves dealing with these issues in the regular session.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

1 week ago

7 Things: Kay Ivey wins big, Alabama State Senate overwhelmingly votes for Rebuild Alabama, Alabama Democrats expect to be heard moving forward and more …

(Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr)

7. Remington Arms is about to go through layoffs after receiving incentives to come to Huntsville

— The question about whether there would be layoffs in Alabama in light of Remington’s layoffs announcement has been answered, and the answer is “yes.” It is unknown how many jobs will be lost in Alabama, but media reports out of New York indicate that 200 jobs will be lost. The signs of Remington’s financial issues are apparent. They had to rebate some of the funds that were used to bring the manufacturer to North Alabama.

6. A scam to help place undeserving college students in high-level colleges ensnared two actress and screws many students

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— The big story out of a massive enrollment scandal involving some of the nation’s top schools is that actresses from “Desperate Housewives” and “Full House” have had warrants for their arrests issued in an investigation called “Operation Varsity Blues.” The scheme had parents paying to arrange for a college prep service to take the test or correct students’ answers to help them get better scores and, additionally, the organization in question is alleged to have bribed college coaches to pretend students with little athletic ability were to be part of their teams. Those arrested include two SAT/ACT administrators, an exam proctor, nine coaches, a college administrator and 33 parents who just cared too much.

5. President Donald Trump is prepared to label Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations

— As he lamented the Mexican government’s inability to control the border violence and also called it one of the most unsafe countries in the world, Trump stated, “They’ve totally lost control of the cartels. Mexico last year had 42,000 deaths — murders — 42,000. It’s considered one of the most unsafe countries in the world.” The Center for Immigration Studies’ Todd Bensman pointed out that the declaration could have a real impact on how the war on drugs is fought on the border. He said, “A foreign terrorist organization designation opens a whole new armory of American weaponry that can be used to debilitate the cartels and all who lend support and assistance to them, just like ISIS, and this includes immigration restriction and strong penalties to those who provide assistance to the groups.”

4. Former Vice President Joe Biden has totally not made up his mind on running for president, but people in the crowd of a Biden event had “Run Joe Run” signs

— Biden is already leading most polls, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on his heels. He told a group of firefighters to save their energy for a few weeks because he may need it if he runs. Most reports indicate that Biden is all but decided and he will run, with some saying he is 95 percent certain. Recent polling of a head-to-head race between Biden and President Trump show Biden with a six-point lead, while Trump beats or ties the other Democratic challengers.

3. Democratic House members voted “yes” on the gas tax in exchange for their priorities being heard

— At a listening session, House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) made it clear that his caucus has priorities beyond the gas tax increase and it was made clear that they would receive a hearing. The big items include, according to Daniels, “Medicaid expansion, criminal justice reform, a lottery, remove the tax off of groceries. Those are the things that they committed to working with us on.” Daniels rationalized this trade-off to Yellowhammer News by saying, “You get in there for four years, and you can’t deliver anything. But at least you’re getting a commitment to be able to have some discussion about the priorities and the issues that are a priority for your community.” Daniels also added, “We look forward to moving on to human infrastructure. You will see more bipartisan efforts to address the tough issues in the state, as we move forward.”

2. The Rebuild Alabama Act faced minimal resistance in the Alabama State Senate and passed 28-6

— It was very non-controversial after all the hand-wringing. The vote wasn’t even close and an overwhelming number of state senators voted for the gas tax increase. The situation mirrored the State House vote where the outcome was never really in doubt, but Governor Kay Ivey and the legislative leadership ran up the score, got bipartisan support and rendered the calling of the special session unnecessary drama.

1. Governor Kay Ivey has signed the Rebuild Alabama Act

— The governor accomplished an amazing task here, whatever you think about the gas tax. She got a bipartisan super-majority of the legislature dominated by Republicans to approve a gas tax increase in a red state. Ivey praised the legislature for getting the job done, saying, “[Today] is a historic day for the state of Alabama. … I am so proud to have watched the legislature in its finest hours of operation.” The overwhelming passage with Democrats and Republicans removes the ability of Democrats to pound her Republican allies in future elections, but leaves those who voted “yes” vulnerable to primary challengers. Most importantly for politicians, the time between this action and the next election is significant and memories are short.

1 week ago

‘Indexing’ polls terribly because politicians can’t or won’t explain why it’s needed

(YHN)

This Rebuild Alabama Act is a gas tax increase that is filled with landmines for politicians.

Any tax increase is going to be unpopular. I would vote no on this particular increase, but politicians make it worse by not explaining the reasoning for some of the more unpopular measures.

One of those landmines is the “indexing” of the gas tax to construction costs via the National Highway Construction Cost Index. This means as construction costs go up, so does the gas tax. This means that the cost of this particular tax could go up to one penny every two years.

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Almost every other tax you pay is indexed in a similar way.

As your income goes up, the income tax and payroll taxes you and your employer pay also go up, as does the tax collected.

As the price of goods and services go up with inflation, the sales tax you pay goes up, as does the tax collected.

As the value of the property you own goes up, the property tax you pay goes up, as does the tax collected.

This particular measure is wildly unpopular with the anti-tax group Alabama First, which conducted a poll that found 83.06 percent of respondents are opposed to that particular measure.

But why? If we had indexed the 1992 gas tax increase, we would not be having this conversation and, more importantly, the roads would be in better shape.

The road repair and building monies collected by the state would have increased slowly with the cost of inflation and, more importantly, the roads would be in better shape.

The argument that we haven’t raised a tax in 20-plus years would be non-existent and, more importantly, the roads would be in better shape.

Sometimes things that are unpopular are good, and this is one of those times. Roads need to be maintained, which is something that never ends. The price to do that is not going to go down.

Our laws need to reflect that and our politicians need to better job explaining it.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Gas tax increase looks inevitable in Alabama Senate, Democrats say Trump’s budget is DOA, no impeachment if Speaker Pelosi has her say and more …

(Pixabay, D. Marsh)

7. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) hit plenty of issues at an appearance in Montgomery, including infrastructure, immigration and President Donald Trump

— While speaking at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Eggs and Issues” event, the state’s senior senator spoke on important issues in Alabama and where he sees the nation going forward. Comments included pointing out that China is America’s largest economic and military foe, and he called Russia “dangerous” and Vladimir Putin “ruthless.” Domestically, he praised the economy and discussed the benefits of legal immigration. Without mentioning the state’s current gas tax issue, he mentioned that we need a “huge infrastructure deal,” but lamented that no one is saying, “I want to put a 25-30 cent per gallon of gas tax or diesel fuel [tax] on the American people,” so there is that.

6. Former Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) wins the right to appeal his case at the Alabama Supreme Court

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— The saga involving the former Alabama speaker of the House could be entering the beginning of the end as the Alabama State Supreme Court has agreed to hear his appeal on ethics law convictions that could see him go to prison. Fellow Republican, Attorney General Steve Marshall, issued a statement that appeared to show the AG’s office is eager to defend the conviction. It read, “Until now, the Alabama Supreme Court has only heard from Mike Hubbard. Once my prosecution team has the opportunity to brief the issues and argue the case, we feel confident the result will be the same as with the lower court rulings and justice will prevail.”

5. Representative Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) joined Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) as she ripped her state without evidence

— After Jones ripped Alabama nationally without evidence on “Face the Nation” and said Republicans don’t want minorities voting, Sewell wanted to get in on the act as well by declaring Republican are for “making it harder for folks to vote, or certain segments of the population, most vulnerable parts of our population, harder to vote.” She also referred to her state as one of the “old states of the Confederacy” in response to a question from MSNBC’s Joy Reid where she asked, “Do Republicans believe if more people get to vote, they won’t win?” Sewell apparently is ignorant to the fact that Alabama had record turnout in 2018.

4. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says she is a “no” on impeachment

— In a statement that angered the media and their Democrats, Pelosi came out against impeachment unless  “there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country.” In an attempt to soften the blow, she declared that Trump is “not worth it.” Democrats aren’t having any of this. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) marched with people who want impeachment, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) talked about impeaching Trump in numerous interviews, Reps. Al Green (D-TX) and Brad Sherman (D-CA) have articles of impeachment ready and Democrat billionaire Tom Steyer, who considered running for president, has been pushing impeachment in TV ads for over a year.

3. President Donald Trump’s budget looks to significantly cut parts of the government while continuing to grow the debt and has no chance to become law

— The president’s proposed budget would cut domestic spending, slow entitlement growth and increase spending on the nation’s military while cutting discretionary domestic programs by $1.1 trillion over a decade, which never happens. With Democrats controlling the House, and having already won a budget showdown with President Trump, they seem unlikely to be on board with massive cuts, new military spending and expenditures on wall buildings. This story has played out already when Trump signed a budget that ignored his rhetoric on plans to massively cut in spending and instead expanded spending when Republicans controlled the House and the Senate.

2. A new round of polling indicates Alabama voters are not in line with the decisions being made by the Alabama legislature and Governor Kay Ivey

— The polling released by Alabama First, led by former Tuscaloosa County Commissioner Don Wallace shows that a vast majority (78 percent) of Alabamians believe we need to spend more on roads and bridges. In spite of this, those surveyed don’t like how this is being done, with 82 percent saying the Alabama legislature should use money from the Alabama Trust Fund, 85 percent opposing the vote plan to increase taxes and 83 percent opposing the automatic indexing that will lead to higher taxes. The belief that there is other spending to cut to get the money for road construction permeates the thinking of Alabamians; 79 percent think there is excess waste at the Alabama Department of Transportation with 84 percent wanting a full audit of the agency. Incorrectly, 71 percent of Alabamians believe Governor Ivey “purposefully concealed” her desires to increase the gas tax.

1. The Rebuild Alabama gas tax increase clears another hurdle and looks ready to pass today

— It looks all but inevitable that Alabama’s State Senate will vote to raise the gas tax by 10-cents on Tuesday. The act passed the Alabama Senate Transportation and Energy Committee unanimously, as did the companion accountability pieces. Don’t expect the bill to change much in the debate on the floor, according to Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston), who said, “I think that everybody should have the ability to offer amendments. I’m going to encourage that, but I do believe that you’ll see the [final version of the] bill pretty close to where it is. I have not heard of any amendments that, as I would say, have legs on them. So I think right now the bill is going to end up passing pretty close to where we see it now.”

2 weeks ago

VIDEO: State of the state, Sen. Jones cries ‘voter suppression’ without evidence, Ivey’s ‘Rebuild Alabama’ plan moves forward and more on Guerrilla Politics …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Is the state of the state strong?

— Why is Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) joining other Democrats in baseless allegations about voter suppression?

— Will Alabama’s leadership get their gas tax increase passed?

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Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” addressing how the Democratic Party is, in fact, a big tent.

2 weeks ago

No, Mo Brooks didn’t vote ‘no’ on a resolution condemning hate

(Mo Books/Facebook)

As with most issues that make Democrats look bad, the media slow walks the issue hoping the blackface governor of Virginia can keep his job, Democratic legislatures can vote to kill infants born alive, presidential candidates can walk back their plans to eliminate private insurance and a Democratic congresswoman’s multiple anti-Semitic remarks will be defended.

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) rebuke came in the form of a resolution so weak that even she voted for it. It was such a watered-down mess that other Democrats will call it the “kitchen sink resolution.”

Because of that, 23 Republicans voted “no.”

Here is how the American media is handling that:

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They are taking cues from the defacto leader of the Democratic Party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

This is obviously absurd, but other Democrats and members of the media have since followed her lead.

Alabama media jumped in, too:

But all of this ignores why the congressmen actually voted “no.”

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5) appeared on WVNN Friday morning and explained his vote.

He said he voted “no” because it did not go far enough,

He argued on “The Dale Jackson Show” that “there are three major problems with this resolution,” citing the deviation from the original intent and pointing out that there is “no punishment, no stripping of committees, nothing, and so that was a major problem.”

My takeaway:

This is an odd move for an alleged “racist.”

The American media is a front group for Democratic causes and nothing more at this point.

Most of the Alabama media is exactly the same.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Gas tax vote to take place in the House today, former Gov. Bentley tries to rebrand himself as anti-tax, Doug Jones finds more donations in Europe than in Alabama and more …

(CBS 42/YouTube)

7. Alabama could move forward with drug testing for food stamp recipients

— Representative Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant) has proposed legislation that would require some food stamp recipients to be drug tested if “there is a reasonable suspicion” they could be on drugs. This includes a previous drug conviction. The bill includes a tiered system if one tests positive. The first positive drug test leads to a warning, the second test would make you ineligible for a year with a carve-out if you have children and the third positive test would make the person permanently ineligible for the benefits. If someone were to refuse to take the test, they would be ineligible for food stamps.

6. Court filings in the latest Roy Moore/Leigh Corfman have some pretty amazing “details”

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— Former judge, multiple time loser and potential U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore’s attorney defense team is seeking a subpoena of a recording made by a Breitbart reporter where her lawyer makes comments about how promiscuous his client was. Corfman’s attorney Eddie Sexton’s allegedly trashes his own client and claims to have slept with her. Sexton disputes the totality of these allegations, but testified this week to some of the allegations. He testified this week that “over the years he had heard of sex parties in Corfman’s home from various members of the community and from people at the Gadsden Country Club.”

5. The House adopts a watered-down resolution condemning Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) anti-Semitism, which Alabama Congressmen Mo Brooks (R-Hunstville) and Mike Rogers (R-Saks) oppose

— It was meant to be a resolution condemning the multiple offensive comments made by Omar, but it became watered down to include pretty much everyone such as “African-Americans, Native Americans, and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, immigrants and others.” The resolutions referenced as “the kitchen sink” resolution passed 407-to-23. Voting “no” were two Alabama congressmen, Brooks and Rogers. Brooks explained that he was “shocked” that the resolution “refused to similarly condemn discrimination against Caucasian Americans and Christians.” After the vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that Omar didn’t know what she was doing when she made her multiple comments.

4. Former campaign manager to President Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, gets significantly less jail time than requested — still no collusion

— The judge in Manafort’s case blasted prosecutors for their heavy-handed sentencing suggestion and sentenced Manafort to 47 months in prison. The judge made it clear that Manafort was not being sentenced for “anything to do with Russian colluding in the presidential election.” Manafort’s attorney argued the prosecution has been heavy-handed, and the judge seemed sympathetic to that. He stated, “Unable to establish that Mr. Manafort engaged in any such collusion, the special counsel charged him . . . with crimes . . . unrelated to the 2016 campaign or any collusion with the Russian government.”

3. As Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) raises more money from abroad than in Alabama, he also “stands by” his absurd voter suppression statements

— With at least one opponent already in the race against him, Jones is raising money for re-election like every politician, but he has raised almost $100,000 from overseas and only $55,000 from Alabama. Jones is also trying to cuddle-up to the extreme left by pushing a completely baseless accusation of voter suppression by claiming it is everywhere — without evidence. He said, “They have gerrymandered a number of districts to concentrate white voting power among a few districts. Voting rolls are being purged across the country.” Neither Jones, the multiple Democrats making this charge, nor the media can actually back these charges up with a single person who couldn’t vote.

2. Former Governor Robert Bentley bizarrely weighs-in on the Rebuild Alabama Act and claims credit for local and federal dollars

— The disgraced former governor took to his Facebook page to urge people to not support the latest attempt at increasing Alabama’s gas tax. Bentley mentioned the ATRIP program, but that’s misleading because the program is 80 percent federally funded, 20 percent locally funded and zero percent state-funded. Bentley’s new life as an anti-tax advocate doesn’t gel with his attempt to raise $700 million when he was governor before he let his personal life destroy his public life.

1. The gas tax increase has a public hearing and passes the first hurdle in the House

— A public hearing was held in Montgomery for the Rebuild Alabama Act. Only a few people showed up to speak against the bill on a Thursday morning at 10:30. Limestone County Commissioner Ben Harrison outlined to the panel that they were focusing on the wrong part of the road building process, adding the problem isn’t raising money and he believes the problem is the inefficiencies in the road building process. After the meeting, the Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee approved the bills with a voice vote with no opposition. The bills now move to the full House for an up or down vote on Friday.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Pressure ramps up on gas tax increase, dumb teacher drops racial slur and worse excuse, Mike Rogers blames Democrats for immigration and more …

(Speaker MacMcCutcheon/Facebook, Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr)

7. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) has been appointed to a climate change panel in the House; All Republican members come from energy-producing states

— While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) climate change panel may take up the Green New Deal and other legislative matters involving climate change, it seems unlikely that Republicans are prepared to play ball with them. The Republicans appointed to the committee are skeptics and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made it clear that Republicans will not be wrecking the economy to placate Democrats fringe ideas, “We will ensure we continue to make strides towards a healthy environment without sacrificing the other priorities of the American people.”

6. Radical Democrats attempt to beat back a resolution calling out Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) anti-Semitism

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— After a week of back-and-forth, House Democrats have indefinitely postponed a resolution condemning anti-Semitic language because Democratic members do not want to see a rebuke of one of their freshman members. President Donald Trump seized on this opportunity to call out Democrats, saying, “It is shameful that House Democrats won’t take a stronger stand against anti-Semitism in their conference.” He added, “Anti-Semitism has fueled atrocities throughout history and it’s inconceivable they will not act to condemn it!”

5. All are accounted for in Lee County after tornadoes claimed 23 lives in total

— The search for the dead has stopped in Lee County as officials overseeing the recovery say all that has been reported missing have been accounted for and there has been no increase in the death toll. Lee County Coroner Bill Harris doesn’t believe there are more dead, but advised the county is “in standby mode on the outside chance they find somebody else, which is not likely.” The E4 tornado cut a wide path and 34 total tornadoes struck the Southeast, with at least 11 twisters in Alabama, 14 more across Georgia, five in Florida and four in South Carolina.

4. Two companies are paying for all funeral costs for the dead in Lee County

— In the midst of every tragedy, there are people who look to do good things for those who are suffering and the two companies that have offered to carry the freight for the families of the lost are doing just that. Lee County Coroner Bill Harris would not name the two companies that will be covering these funerals and said, “I got a phone call from an individual that said, if the details get worked out, there’s a very large corporation that will probably pay most, if not all, of the cost of every victim’s funeral. I got another call from another company that will do the same thing. So, between the two, these expenses, which can be up into the thousands, will probably be covered by these two companies.”

3. As border crossings are up, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) calls out Democrats for their hypocrisy on the border

— It is entirely possible that the numbers for February border crossings could help lead to the most border crossings for a February in 12 years. While the media is blaming the president, as usual, Rogers believes the Democrats’ hypocrisy is to blame. Rogers started by slamming the media’s false statements on drug seizures and ended by slamming his Democratic colleagues for their partisanship. He stated, “Border security and keeping Americans safe used to be priorities for both our parties. I’ve been on this committee since, just like the chairman said, since inception. We never argued about whether barriers worked until Donald Trump wanted them. This is not rocket science.”

2. The dumbest teacher alive has been sent home from school in Hoover for using the “n-word” during a discussion on racism 

— If true, a Hoover teacher made a mistake that could, and should, easily cost her as she decided to make a racially insensitive and stupid comment in the middle of a controversy over students making racially insensitive and stupid comments on social media. Allegedly, the teacher from Spain Park High School in Hoover used the “n-word” while explaining to students that, according to AL.com, “everyone uses the n-word, so she could use it, too.” The teacher was sent home and the school system is investigating the incident.

1. The vote over the gas tax may be really close — The pressure is on

— Speaker of the Alabama House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) believes they are close to the number of votes needed to pass the gas tax advocated by Governor Kay Ivey. At issue is the fact that the bill has been changed and re-filed and some members are still not sure what the final product looks like. Ivey told WSFA-TV that the tax will not “go any lower” and addressed lawmakers asking for more time by saying they had been briefed before the last election. She said, “[T]hey were vetted before the House and Senate leadership and if they were not for the gas tax for infrastructure, they were not encouraged to run.”

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Ivey declares the state is growing, special session is up, Trump is ready to fight Democrat probes and more …

(Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr)

7. Madison County probate judge grants rights to an unborn fetus

— Judge Frank Barger granted Ryan Magers the right to represent his unborn aborted son’s estate in legal proceedings. Magers attorney says, “This is the first estate that I’m aware of that has ever been opened for an aborted baby.” Magers sued an abortion clinic and multiple others who were ultimately involved in terminating a pregnancy he, as the father, did not want to be terminated.

6. The House of Representatives prepare to call out Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) anti-Semitism (kinda), while the media and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) defend her

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— A vote to call out, but not by name, Rep. Omar for her repeated anti-Semitism is meeting the expected pushback by liberals and foes of Israel. Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has changed the language. Ocasio-Cortez claims the rebuke is “hurtful” because no one pushes for these measures when people are critical of Latinos. Stupidly, Ocasio-Cortez sighted a GOP member yelling “Go back to Puerto Rico!” to Democrats, which was a reference to a retreat they went on and not their race.

5. Racial video in Hoover leading to consternation as the school system tries to figure out what they can do (nothing)

— The students at Spain Park High School are meeting to talk about how “hurt” they are and to hear from the principal after some of their fellow students were seen saying terrible things about blacks and Jews on the Internet. Superintendent Kathy Murphy is still talking about taking action for non-crimes, although dumb behavior, that happened off campus. She stated, “To the extent that a matter happens off campus and has some residual impact in the school itself.’

4. President Donald Trump will be heading to Alabama to tour area affected by tornadoes on Friday

— At an event at the White House, Trump said, “I’ll be heading to Alabama on Friday,” adding, “It’s been a tragic situation. But a lot of good work is being done.” President Trump has approved the “Major Disaster Declaration for Lee County,” which triggers the release of federal funds to help parts of Alabama recover. At least 23 people were killed in Alabama alone and that includes seven individuals from one family who were killed in the storm.

3. The White House is not planning to comply easily with Democrat records requests

— Whether it is one of the probes into Trump’s personal business or an inquiry into security clearances, the White House isn’t having it because they view this as harassment and not oversight. Trump blasted the requests, saying, “Instead of doing infrastructure, instead of doing health care, instead of doing so many things that they should be doing, they want to play games.” The White House responded to the security clearance questions with a letter questioning their standing that read, “White House counsel Pat Cipollone in which he accused the committee of making “unprecedented and extraordinarily intrusive demands.”

2. “Ladies and gentlemen, this evening, I am proud to report that the state of our state is growing stronger each day.”

— The economy continues to be Alabama’s bright spot. The speech included references to the low unemployment rate, North Alabama’s space industry, Alabama’s booming auto industry, tech companies coming in and Mobile’s growing airplane manufacturing. The gas tax increase got a shoutout, too. Ivey declared, “Almost three decades have gone by, and Alabama has not made one change to our infrastructure funding. While our neighboring states are increasing their revenue for their transportation budgets, Alabama has not. We are dead last.”

1. The special session is a go

— Ivey called the special session shortly after telling the state she would give the legislature weeks to work and pretty much threatened to call one, saying, “I am willing to call you, the members of the Alabama Legislature, into a special session, if necessary, to focus solely on passing this critical legislation.” Passing this tax without a special session would have been a bit more complicated, but most expect the bill to pass rather easily now.

2 weeks ago

Dale Jackson: I supported a gas tax, but the handling of ‘Rebuild Alabama’ is wrong

(YHN, Pixabay)

I don’t think there is any question that Alabama needs to address its infrastructure needs.

There has not been an increase in the gas tax in 27 years while vehicles have become more fuel efficient. People are driving more miles and paying less to do so. There are road projects that need to get done before their scheduled completion. The fact that school buses and trucks have to avoid certain bridges is an embarrassment that must be addressed.

All of that said, I will not support the “Rebuild Alabama” gas tax increase for one reason and one reason only: Process.

With a special session looming, there is one reason we are going to see one to get this bill passed: To limit debate.

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This is not good government. In fact, it is the most broken form of government that we could possibly see. This is not an emergency, and it is not something that could not be worked out in a regular session with compromises and appropriate debate.

How much money do we actually need for roads and bridges?

If the report from the University of Alabama and Auburn University said we need $600-800 million, why aren’t we addressing that?

Why is the dredging for the Port of Mobile, a project I support, the only actual item of work included in the bill?

What about the I-10 bridge?

Which rural roads will be worked on first?

Will Birmingham’s metro see their roads resurfaced?

Why isn’t the bridge Governor Kay Ivey stood in front of to announce this the state’s first priority?

What about the other bridges that are about to collapse?

Will I-565 be widened?

Why can’t we offset some of this gas tax increase with a state lottery?

When will the $60-plus million being transferred out of ALDOT be put back into actual roads and bridges?

Can we give Alabama counties the ability to raise their own road money?

What is the priority list for this new money?

These are all questions that deserve real answers and real debate. Telling the citizens of the state that those answers will doom a bill might tell you that there is not support for a gas tax increase.

I believe a gas tax is prudent for the state of Alabama, but we did not have an appropriate debate on the issue and this process is preventing that.

For that reason, I cannot support this gas tax increase at this time.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Ivey to sell ‘Rebuild Alabama’ in her State of the State, Trump praises Ivey and offers help, racist kids embarrass themselves and Alabama and more …

(Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr)

7. Maybe the situation at the border is a crisis after all

— As at least four Republicans prepare to force President Donald Trump to veto resolutions attempting to rescind his emergency declaration to fund a border wall, a Washington Post reporter points out illegal entries are surging. In a lengthy article, Nick Miroff lays out that a record number of families are crossing the border. He wrote, “During a month when the border debate was dominated by the fight over President Trump’s push for a wall, unauthorized migration in fiscal 2019 is on pace to reach its highest level in a decade.”

6. Democrats are prepared to punish their own member’s anti-Semitism without naming her

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 — Instead of calling out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and her repeated use of the “dual loyalty” smear, a watered-down measure by Democrats decries the myth of dual loyalty while other Democrats are calling her out on social media for her use of “offensive, painful stereotypes.” Jewish groups seem pretty adamant that her third strike should be the end of her run on the House Foreign Relations Committee.

5. Attorney General Bill Barr will not recuse himself from the Russia investigation; Barr will receive the Robert Mueller report soon

— As with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting-AG Matt Whitaker, the media and their Democrats have demanded the new AG recuse himself from the Russia investigation because of perceived conflicts. Barr isn’t having it and “senior career ethics officials advised that General Barr should not recuse himself from the Special Counsel’s investigation,” according to the Department of Justice. There is no timeline for the Mueller report, but now that Barr is cleared, he is expected to receive it at any time.

4. As the collusion narrative falls apart, Democrats seek information from over 80 different people as they seek out crimes

— It is becoming clear the Mueller report will not be the “smoking gun” the media and their Democrats need it to be, so they are largely moving on before that becomes clear. While the request is large, it should be noted that the committee in question has limited their requests to material already provided to other congressional committees or investigators. These investigations will not produce criminal charges — just political charges that can be used in public and for possible articles of impeachment.

3. Stupid kids in Hoover say stupid and racist things and make the international news

— The students in the videos attend two Hoover high schools and are heard on tape making racist slurs, joking about concentration camps and even discussing how to get rid of black people and Jews. The comments are obviously insane and shocking and include a lot of laughing as they say, “F*** n*****s, f*** Jews,” “Jews are fine because they’re white. We just need the n*****s gone” and “stick[ing] [blacks] in concentration camps and just bomb them.” There doesn’t appear to be much the school system can do as the students were not on campus and don’t appear to be breaking any laws.

2. Governor Kay Ivey has declared a state of emergency for parts of Alabama; President Donald Trump has pledged his administration’s help in dealing with tornadoes; Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blames climate change

— Governor Ivey thanked the president for his support and added she has spoken with the director of FEMA after 23 were killed in eastern Alabama. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence said they are making every federal resource possible after the deadly storms, and Trump called Ivey, “one of the best in our Country.” Democrats and online trolls are claiming the president is playing favorites with Alabama. Don’t worry, AL.com is all over that angle.

1. Gas tax push starts in earnest today with Governor Kay Ivey’s State of the State address while the Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield touts it as well

— Ivey’s State of the State will most likely focus on the need for a special session to pass her “Rebuild Alabama Act,” reform the oversight of ALDOT and explain to the conservative state why these new taxes are necessary without a regular legislative process. Canfield said he believed this is an economic development matter, outlining, “If we want to continue to attract world-class companies and high-paying jobs to Alabama, we need to make an investment in the state’s infrastructure system.”