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.

4 hours ago

7 Things: Easter terror attack kills over 200 Christians, lottery vote may be up this week, Tuberville loves Trump and more …

(DW News/YouTube)

7. Confederate Memorial Day

— Today, some state offices will be taking the day off for Confederate Memorial Day. Alabama is one of three states that still observe a Confederate Memorial Day, along with Mississippi and South Carolina. Georgia still celebrates something on this day, calling it “State Holiday.” State offices, courts and license and car tag offices will all be closed, but most city and county offices and courts will remain open. Those with a problem with the holiday can strike a blow against this injustice by going to work.

6. Birmingham councilman Darrell O’Quinn to introduce an ordinance that would ban plastic bags

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— This month, a state legislator proposed a ban on plastic bag bans and this has motivated a city to propose one. Councilman O’Quinn’s ordinance would ban single-use containers from Birmingham retailers, including plastic bags. O’Quinn said, “We want to let the state legislature know we don’t want them to pass an unfunded mandate forcing us, the city of Birmingham, to deal with this type of waste. Plastic bags, Styrofoam cups and other forms of single-use containers are a majority of the litter that you see in the city.” How this represents an unfunded mandate is unclear.

5. State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) wants more Alabamians to care about the conditions in our prisons

— It’s not unknown that Alabama has poor prison conditions; only a few weeks ago it was said that the conditions might be incantational. Cam Ward has been a longtime advocate for justice-system reforms, and now he wants people in Alabama to not just roll their eyes at the conditions in prisons. “It’s a disgrace to our state,” Ward said. “I know everyone says, ‘They are criminals’ and ‘Who cares?’ We profess to be the most Christian state in the country, but no Christian would allow their fellow man to be treated the way that they are said to be treated. That may not be the popular view, but it’s the truth.” However, Scott Dawson, who is a youth pastor and ran for governor last year, thinks the “eye rolling” has more to do with the cost of new prisons. Dawson stated, “The masses may ‘roll their eyes’ at the conditions of our prisons, but there’s not a group of people involved in prisons greater than Christians. The promotion of building $800 million of new prisons causes our eyes to roll, not about the conditions of the prisons.”

4. President Trump takes to Twitter to continue celebrating his win with the Mueller report

— President Trump has gotten a new boost of confidence after the Mueller report was released to the public, and he had even more confirmation that there was no collusion or obstruction. On Saturday, he tweeted, “Despite the fact that the Mueller Report should not have been authorized in the first place & was written as nastily as possible by 13 (18) Angry Democrats who were true Trump Haters, including highly conflicted Bob Mueller himself, the end result is No Collusion, No Obstruction!” Trump went on to accuse the “Fake News Media of doing everything possible to stir up and anger the pols and as many people as possible” and then declaring the Russia hoax as dead. While Democrats are still calling for further investigations or impeachment, President Trump will likely continue to celebrate his win while the media will continue to brag that their misinformation campaigns are effective.

3. Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville explains why he thinks he should be a U.S. Senator and, not surprisingly, it is because he loves Trump

— In an interview on Saturday, Tuberville didn’t explain any policy positions or goals for his potential time in office, but he did explain what motivated him to run against U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL). His motivation is based on the fact that Jones doesn’t back President Donald Trump. Citing the economy, Tuberville said, “President Trump has got the economy going.” He added, “He changed all the regulations that the previous administration had done. He has done so much for many people. He has got people working again and feeling good about themselves.” Loving Trump may sound like a good campaign strategy but both former Senator Luther Strange and Roy Moore expressed their admiration for Trump and had his endorsement, but they both lost.

2. A lottery vote is coming

— The state of Alabama is promised a vote on a lottery this week. Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) has apparently picked his favorite lottery proposal and is ready to move the bill through the Tourism and Marketing Committee and before the whole Senate on Thursday. Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) proposed the bill that would limit a lottery to paper tickets, scratchers and multi-state lottery. The bill offered by Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville) is probably dead for the session, which means there are probably no options for “virtual lottery terminals” for existing gambling entities in operation but under scrutiny. The VLTs would replace “electronic bingo,” both of which are really just slot machines with extra steps.

1. Easter Sunday explosions in Sri Lanka at churches and hotels kill at least 290 people

— In and just outside of Sri Lanka’s capital, three churches and three hotels were bombed on Easter Sunday. At least 290 people were killed and around 500 were injured in the attacks that targeted foreigners and Christians. There were at least 27 foreign nationals killed, including people from the United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already condemned the bombing as terrorist attacks, saying, “Attacks on innocent people gathering in a place of worship or enjoying a holiday meal are affronts to the universal values and freedoms that we hold dear, and demonstrate yet again the brutal nature of radical terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace and security.” The bombings happened almost simultaneously, and then hours later two more explosions followed. So far, 24 suspects have been arrested; officials also believe that they have found the vehicle used for transport and a safe house used by the attackers. Some in the media used this to attack Trump. Oddly, some can’t bring themselves to acknowledge who was even attacked here, Christians remain the most persecuted people on the planet.

 

22 hours ago

VIDEO: No collusion and no obstruction, misleading poll has Roy Moore on top, small ethics changes pass Alabama legislature 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:

— Will we now move on since there has been no charges on obstruction or collusion after a two-year investigation?

— Why was Tommy Tuberville left out of polling in the GOP primary Senate poll?

— Was the legislature right to exempt some economic development matters from the ethics bill?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by candidate for Alabama Democratic Party state chair Will Boyd to discuss his candidacy and the issues in the Alabama Democratic Party.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at those who are still not ready to let this Russian collusion narrative die.

https://www.facebook.com/303363616352436/posts/2372809732741137/

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: Time to move on from collusion, Alabama reacts to the Mueller report, Mo Brooks not running for Senate and more …

(Georgetown University/YouTube)

7. Food stamp recipients will soon be able to order their groceries online

— The U.S. Department of Agriculture is launching a pilot program that will make it possible for food stamp recipients to purchase groceries online from Walmart and Amazon. The program will begin with New York and then expand to Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “People who receive SNAP benefits should have the opportunity to shop for food the same way more and more Americans shop for food – by ordering and paying for groceries online.”

6.  Old guard and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-wing of the Democratic Party are split on impeachment

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— The number two Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MI) believes the party needs to move on to actually legislating, while the radical wing of the party, led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), is making noise about moving on impeachment. Speaking to CNN, Hoyer told Dana Bash, “Based on what we have seen to date, going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point.” He added, “Very frankly, there is an election in 18 months and the American people will make a judgment.” But AOC has tweeted that she will be signing on the fellow freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) resolution asking the House Judiciary Committee to look into whether President Trump committed an impeachable offense, so they are seeking a reason. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other seasoned Democrats don’t seem too sold on the impeachment idea.

5. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) to subpoena the full Mueller report

— Jerry Nadler criticized Attorney General Bill Barr for not submitting the full, unredacted Mueller report to Congress from the beginning, and he plans to get the unredacted version of the report no matter what. Nadler said during a press conference, “The attorney general deciding to withhold the full report from Congress is regrettable, but not surprising. Even in its incomplete form, the Mueller report shows disturbing evidence that President Trump obstructed justice.” Nadler has also requested that Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on his findings.

4. We now know why former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself

— The Mueller report release on Thursday morning showed definitively that Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself because he was personally under investigation by the special counsel’s office. The special counsel’s office investigated Sessions’ interactions with Russian Ambassador Kislyak in April, July and September of 2016 when Sessions was still a U.S. Senator. The special counsel looked into the interactions, and Sessions maintained that they did not relate to Trump and his campaign. The special counsel’s office investigated whether or not Sessions committed perjury or made false statements regarding the interactions. Trump is also quoted in the report as blaming Sessions for not protecting him.

3. Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) is not running for U.S. Senate

— After recent polling shows the congressman in second place behind Judge Roy Moore, Brooks announced that, at this moment, he will not be jumping in the race. Brooks told the Decatur Daily, “It would take a seismic event to get me into the race.” This is hardly a “no, never” answer, so there is still a chance he gets in, but Brooks added, “As of today, I am running for reelection to the House of Representatives. And I don’t know of any seismic event that is about to occur that will change my mind.”

2. Alabama’s congressional delegates have responded to the release of the Mueller report

— With the release of the Mueller report, some people immediately became silent, while others were happy to speak out. Representative Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said after the report was released, “It is worth reiterating that during the first two years of President Trump’s time in office, a witch hunt was led by the Mainstream Media and Deep State Democrats…There was no collusion or obstruction.” Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) released a statement that read, “The perpetrators of this scam and fraud should be prosecuted and convicted to the full extent of the law. Further, they should be sued and forced to repay American taxpayers the tens of millions of tax dollars that were diverted from helping American citizens to investigating a crime that never occurred.” Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose), Representative Gary Palmer (R- Hoover) and Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) also released statements of satisfaction with the release of the Mueller report. However, Representative Terri Sewell (D-Selma) remained silent for a while, but then later tweeted, “Even in its incomplete form, the redacted Special Counsel report makes one thing very clear: irrespective of whether President Trump and his campaign’s actions were criminal, they were dishonest, unethical, immoral, and, ultimately, unpatriotic.”

1. No collusion, no obstruction, no indictment

— Two years of investigating and the Mueller report has finally been released. The report showed that there was no collusion, no obstruction of justice, and President Trump will not face charges. During the collusion investigation, Trump allegedly told his White House counsel that Mueller had conflicts of interest and “must be removed.” He told his White House counsel that the acting attorney general needed to be informed. Ultimately, though, Mueller found that Trump’s actions did not reach collusion, but Mueller said, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it does not exonerate him.” However, it could easily be argued that if you can’t charge someone with a crime, that within itself exonerates them.

4 days ago

7 Things: It’s Mueller time, Trump, Shelby, Ivey get good poll numbers in Alabama, Ivey touts roads being built as part of Rebuild Alabama gas tax increase and more …

(Washington Post/YouTube)

7. Marijuana decriminalization bill advances; Jefferson County may stop enforcing the law altogether

— An 11-0 committee vote shows this bill has bipartisan support to change the way Alabama handles pot possession arrests. But the bill does not only lower penalties for possession. It also allows those penalized for marijuana arrests to have those arrests expunged after five years. Terrible arguments were made in favor of this bill. State Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier (D-Selma) argued, “It’s the low-income people, people who are impoverished and they pay a different kind of penalty, and I think that’s unfair. So, to me it’s a matter of mercy.” Meanwhile, Jefferson County is planning to address its over-crowded jails by citing and releasing some non-violent misdemeanors, including simple marijuana possession. They are right: Not arresting criminals will lessen the burden on jails.

6. Long-shot bill that would allow municipalities to forgo grocery tax dies in an Alabama House Committee

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— A relatively weak bill proposed by State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) that would have allowed cities and counties to reduce or eliminate their sales tax on groceries failed to pass. Outside of Tuscaloosa, it doesn’t appear the bill had much support around the state. Tuscaloosa officials recently raised their sale tax to 10 cents, and one way to offset that tax was to seek an end to the food tax in their community. The bill was stopped on Wednesday in an Alabama House Committee, so now England will have to press to have the bill approved. This whole episode seems like a convoluted attempt by city officials to push for a tax cut that seemed incredibly unlikely after they raised taxes themselves.

5. State Senator Vivian Davis Figures (D-Mobile) ignorantly accused Republicans of wanting mentally ill people to be allowed to firearms

— The Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on the constitutional carry bill that would get rid of the requirement for gun owners to have a permit to carry a lawfully owned firearm. Sheriffs from all over the state oppose the bill because they say it would get rid of a source of revenue and what they consider to be a useful law enforcement tool that allows them to know about whether a suspect is allowed to carry a firearm. During the hearing, Figures said, “I just don’t understand the mentality of what you guys or – or what you guys continue to push to do. Particularly, with all the gun violence that is happening, to allow a person to be able to get a gun who has mental problems – to me that says the person who’s pushing that has some mental problems. They don’t understand why people with mental issues shouldn’t have a weapon.” Figures incorrectly implied that this bill will impact the mentally ill receiving firearms. It doesn’t. The background checks are not changed by this — just the requirement that you have a permit to carry a weapon concealed.

4. Almost three dozen doctors and other medical professionals across eight states, including eight in Alabama, have been charged for illegally prescribing and distributing opioids

— The Justice Department released a statement that specified the charges against 60 individuals including doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and other licensed medical professionals. There were people arrested in Alabama, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. In Alabama, the arrests included a Dr. Marshall Plotka, who let prostitutes he would recruit as patients use heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana in his home. Police records show that police were called to him home 35 times in the last four years including for an overdose.

3. Governor Kay Ivey announces a road project as she touts the “Rebuild Alabama” gas tax increase

— On Wednesday, Governor Kay Ivey spoke to a delegation from the Huntsville/Madison Chamber of Commerce announcing plans to improve I-565. Ivey stated that I-565 would be widened to six lanes and resurfaced. There will also be an expansion of the Tanner interchange for I-65 in Limestone County, and Huntsville Brownsferry Road is going to be extended west across to U.S. Highway 31 and widened. Ivey said, “While the Huntsville and surrounding areas are booming with continual economic growth, it was imperative we make enhancements to their infrastructure system for the nearly 60,000 vehicles traveling on I-565 daily. Both improvement projects will be significant strides for this area.”

2. President Donald Trump’s job approval has remained steady nationwide — He, Ivey and Shelby are doing great in Alabama

— A new Fox News poll shows that since February, Trump’s approval rating has stayed pretty much the same. In February it was at 46 percent, March was at 46 percent, and this month his approval rating is 45 percent. A total of 65 percent of voters have said that the Mueller investigation did not change how they feel about Trump. About 10 percent of people feel better about him, and 17 percent feel worse. Much like the polling on the tax increase, this is massively impacted by a media that is skeptical of all things Trump, gets things wrong and only sometimes corrects the record after the torrent of original reporting sets the narrative in stone. In Alabama, President Trump, Governor Ivey and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) are all polling extremely well. The only surprise is how well Ivey is doing after pushing for a gas tax increase.

1. The Mueller report released this morning

— Attorney General William Barr released the report before an 8:30 CST press conference. The report will be the redacted final-note on the investigation that has overshadowed the entire Trump presidency. The report shows no criminal collusion or obstruction of justice. The Justice Department announced that certain members of Congress will be allowed to see the report without a large number of redactions. The media and Democrats have already decided the report doesn’t matter because the summary of the report doesn’t matter and the president still did something wrong. Last month, Barr released a summary of the report but was almost immediately asked to release the full report. Throughout this entire investigation, President Trump has maintained his innocence and he still claims that after the report is released he will be fully exonerated and vindicated.

5 days ago

I was the victim of a political prosecution — When they couldn’t indict, I knew I was exonerated

(D. Jackson/Facebook, WH/Flickr)

The media and the Democrats told you President Donald Trump and his campaign colluded with the Russians and that FBI special counsel Robert Mueller would indict plenty of people. They lied.

The media and the Democrats told you Trump was going to fire Mueller. They lied.

The media and the Democrats told you Michael Cohen was instructed to lie by Trump. They lied.

Now, the media and the Democrats are telling you President Donald Trump actually did collude and obstruct justice even though there have been no indictments brought on the matter … you get the gist.

The media’s collusion conclusion has been set in stone for almost two years — facts and evidence be damned.

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The lack of charges when the report was concluded with no further indictments are coming will not deter this message. To say this is an underwhelming bust is being kind to former Alabama star running back Trent Richardson.

When Mueller’s report is released on Thursday with redactions, the media and their Democrats will go all in on search and destroy mode.

“What is Attorney General William Barr hiding?!”

You will rarely hear that Barr worked with the special counsel and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to make these redactions.

“How was he not charged for THIS?!”

Because the bar for reasonable doubt wasn’t reached.

The reality is that President Trump is the victim of political prosecution and his own behavior that made him appear guilty, but he has been exonerated.

As someone who was the victim of political prosecution in the past, I can attest that when you feel like you are being victimized you are going to lash out. If you can badmouth the people you feel are wronging you, you will. If you could end the investigation, you would want to.

Then-Alabama Attorney General Troy King was out to destroy my life, get me fired and lock me up. He thought he could intimidate me and my employer by threatening me with the power of the state to incarcerate me. He failed.

But this canard that the failure to get indictments against Trump and his allies isn’t an exoneration is total and complete bunk.

The bar for indictment, as I mentioned above, is shockingly low. There is a reason. “You can indict a ham sandwich” is a quip you often hear. The fact that a two-year investigation into an election meddling/conspiracy/obstruction plot returned zero indictments is pretty telling. The length of the investigation tells you the investigators were thorough and wanted to find something. The fact that they busted multiple players for process crimes and wrongdoing prior to them working on the campaign tells you there was a real effort to find someone, get someone, pressure people and follow the leads where they took them.

It also shows there is nothing to this narrative.

This won’t change the tactics and the tone of the media and their Democrats. Not one bit.

The investigations will go on until they finally find a crime they have been talking about since before the election even took place.

If these crimes are so apparent and egregious, why didn’t Mueller find them? Why haven’t they been uncovered by congressional committees yet? What exactly are the crimes? They don’t know because they are fishing. It is a witch hunt with no witches.

There was not enough, or any in my case, evidence that I committed a crime. To pretend that I was still guilty is laughable, although that happened.

This is still America, where we are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. And if they can’t even get it into a court of law, they sure can’t claim you are guilty.

When I was told that there would be no charges in my political prosecution, I didn’t think, “I wish there was a trial, I want to clear my name.” Instead, I knew I was exonerated.

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: Trump ready for Mueller report, Alabama’s potential new abortion bill is ready for a public hearing, deeper look at new polling looks bad for Doug Jones and Roy Moore and more …

(Wikicommons, WH/Flickr)

7. The new Alabama ethics bill is not dead and the sponsor doesn’t like Alabama’s attorney general’s suggestion for changes

— State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) continues to make the argument for his new ethics proposal, although most expect it to have little chance of passing. A new hang up between Attorney General Steve Marshall and the senator’s proposal is that Marshall wants the standard of proof for an ethics violation to be “reasonable doubt” and the senator prefers a stricter bar of “intentional wrongdoing.” Any attempt to change the ethics law to weaken it, regardless of if that is needed or not, will be met with claims of corruption, which makes the task even more of a long-shot. One piece of ethics legislation passed the Alabama Senate 31-0 and the House 94-4. It creates a permanent exemption to the ethics law for those working on site selection for economic development from lobbying requirements.

6. Alabama House passes a bill that requires schools to conduct the pledge of allegiance but kids don’t have to participate

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— The bill would require all K-12 public schools to hold the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of every school day. House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) sponsored the bill, saying that he was surprised to find out that his grandchildren’s school didn’t conduct the pledge of allegiance in the morning, despite the state Board of Education requirement. The bill gives students the opportunity to voluntarily recite the pledge every morning. The bill passed with a 101-0 vote.

5. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) claims that only a few people are on board with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is false

— Pelosi previously said that there are only “like five people” that fall in line with AOC, but there have actually been 68 Democrats voting alone with AOC. Since January, the 68 lawmakers voted with AOC at least 95 percent of the time, which includes presidential candidates such as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), as well as House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). Democratic leaders like Pelosi continue to try and say that the majority of Democrats don’t support the same line of thinking as AOC, but that has continued to be proven as false. Also, Pelosi wants everyone to know that Democrats aren’t anti-Semitic because Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) keeps being anti-Semitic. She argued, “We have no taint of that in the Democratic Party.”

4. State Senator Chris Elliot (R-Spanish Fort) wants harsher penalties on people who commit acts of violence against law enforcement officers

— The legislation that Elliot has introduced would basically make law enforcement officers a protected class, similar to race, religion, national origin, ethnicity or physical or mental disability, which could make targeted violence against officers a hate crime. On Tuesday, Elliot said in a statement, “Every day, our law enforcement risk their lives to serve and protect Alabamians. It is vital that we do everything we can to ensure their safety and to punish, to the fullest extent of the law, those who target them. This bill extends that justice even further, and hits even harder, the criminals who attempt to do harm to police officers and sheriffs.” The bill is scheduled for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.

3. New polling roils the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in 2020

— The Yellowhammer News headline accurately hit the point that white voters in Alabama do not like U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) and only 20 percent of them want him re-elected. The numbers inside the latest poll say more about the Republican battle brewing to take on Jones, who has a one-point favorability edge (45-44). The opponent Jones already vanquished is leading the pack but the poll, which was conducted April 9 -11, ignores the fact that former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville announced days before the poll started; so many are dismissing the results. Pollster Jim McLaughlin noted that while Moore is leading the poll, it doesn’t really look that good for him with 96 percent name identification but only 27 percent supporting him. It’s worse for Jones, though. Bottom line: “Jones appears to be a goner against any Republican unless Roy Moore became the nominee, which doesn’t seem likely.”

2. Alabama abortion ban bill gets a hearing

— The bill would ban almost all abortions. Performing an abortion would be a felony, punishable by 10-99 years in prison, but women would not be charged for having the procedure. The only exemption allowed in the bill is if the health of the mother is at risk, but there are no exemptions for rape or incest. The legislation has been criticized for being in direct conflict with Roe v. Wade, but this is not the first time a state has considered legislation that bans abortion. The public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

1. President Donald Trump anticipates that the Muller report will vindicate him, but reports indicate some White House officials are dreading the report

— According to CNN, for some former and current White House officials, the release of the Mueller report isn’t a rosy moment. Some are even dreading the publication of the 300+ page report that is set to be released on Thursday. Despite this, though, President Trump is eager to see his name cleared and believes that the report will fully vindicate him. Trump was quick to speak out when many Democrats demanded the full release, saying that he was fine with a complete release of the Mueller report. Trump has maintained throughout the whole process that he is innocent and the overall vindication has already come. Meanwhile, Democrats have signed a “secret letter” to continue pursuing the president at all cost.

6 days ago

AG Steve Marshall clarifies that while he is not on a ‘crusade,’ he is going after illegal electronic bingo machines

(S. Marshall/Facebook)

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall told Alabama Public Television recently that he was not going on a “crusade” against illegal gambling.

Tuesday, he went on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” and clarified those remarks, explaining that just because he said he is not on a crusade doesn’t mean he isn’t focused on attacking what he believes to be illegal gambling.

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He added that he does view the gambling taking place in Macon, Greene, and Lowndes counties as illegal, but he didn’t view the issues there as immediate nor as cut-and-dry as Jefferson County’s recent foray into electronic bingo, which the attorney general agreed were actually “slot machines with extra steps.”

When asked if the newness of the gambling of in Jefferson County made it easier to police, Marshall said he believes it also sent the message that new operators would not be tolerated as they have in some parts of the state.

“There was clearly an immediacy to what we needed to do in Jefferson County because local officials weren’t acting, and we did that,” Marshall added.

But what about the exiting gambling sites like Victoryland and Greenetrack? Marshall said his enforcement attempts are not over, even though he is not going on a crusade.

He continued, saying there is litigation pending that his team decided was the best strategy for ultimately shutting down facilities in five other counties.

“We’ve been successful in two of those,” he advised. “Look forward to hearings in Greene, Macon and Lowndes soon.”

The strategy is one that the attorney general believes will result in court rulings that will pave the way to end this electronic bingo farce once and for all.

Listen:

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

6 days ago

7 Things: Trump continues push to move illegal aliens to sanctuary cities, Jones raises majority of campaign money from outside of Alabama, Shelby wants a flat tax and more …

(WH/Flickr)

7. Notre Dame Cathedral partially destroyed by fire

— The famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris suffered a massive fire that led to the collapse of an iconic spire. Flames were visible before the tower collapsed and later spread to the other parts of the cathedral. Luckily, the main structure of the cathedral remains. The cathedral has its origin in the 12th century, brings in millions of tourists each year and houses art and artifacts, most of which are believed to have been saved including the Crown of Thorns. Questions remain about other artifacts like the fragment of the cross and one of the nails used in the crucifixion.

6. Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) releases his tax returns and tells a Fox News audience that he will raise their taxes

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— Sanders, a 2020 presidential hopeful, said, “These tax returns show that our family has been fortunate. I am very grateful for that, as I grew up in a family that lived paycheck to paycheck and I know the stress of economic insecurity.” Sanders released 10 years of his tax returns, which showed that his adjusted gross income for 2018 was $561,293 and that he has made three million dollars in three years. Sanders has been outspoken about economic inequality, and even during his 2016 presidential campaign he stated that wealth inequality is “the great moral issue of our time.” In 2016, Sanders was the 19th poorest U.S. Senator, but now his net worth is about $2 million due to book sales, royalties and speaking engagements. He participated in a Fox News townhall where the main takeaway was that he wouldn’t back a post-birth abortion, which elicited boos. He told the audience that if elected, “You’re going to pay more in taxes.”

5. Congressional Black Caucus claims that Representative Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) life is at risk

— Members of the Congressional Black Caucus made this claim after President Trump posted several tweets that were critical of Omar and her comments on 9/11. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) said, “We know that he is scheduled to go to Minnesota today and I would imagine that he is doing that to further whip up irrational outrage over her comments. And in our opinion, this only furthers to put her life in danger. I am certainly hoping that when he goes to Minnesota today his purpose is not to rev up a sentiment against Muslims and Islamophobia.” The group has called for Trump to remove his tweet that he posted about Omar, a spliced video of her comments and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS), as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), ordered a review of Omar’s security in Washington and her home district. As soon as Trump opposed and criticized Omar, Democrats immediately said that her life was in danger and his comments were threatening. Omar continues to fire off tweets of her own where she targets individuals including the president and the wealthy while benefiting from a media and Democrats who claim that it is an “attack” and “incitement.”

4. Mueller report expected to be released on Thursday — redactions will be dissected

— The Justice Department has announced that the Mueller report will be released, with redactions, to lawmakers and the public on Thursday morning. Democrats in Congress called several times for the report to be released without redactions. Last Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr testified that he planned to release the report within a week, which maintains his original promise to release the report by mid-April. For some reason, speculation continues to run rampant about a report we already know the conclusion of being wildly different.

3. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) continues to push for a national flat tax

— Shelby re-introduced a bill in Congress called the “Simplified, Manageable, and Responsible Tax (SMART) Act”, which is just a flat tax. Shelby has introduced this act every congressional session since he was elected in 1986. The SMART Act that Shelby has introduced would tax everyone’s income at 17 percent. There would be a few personal exemptions allowed to prevent inflation from raising the tax burden significantly. Shelby has previously said, “The SMART Act would also allow businesses to redirect resources away from tax compliance and instead focus on expanding their businesses and creating jobs.” Those who say the current tax code includes too many loopholes and is weighted to those at the top won’t support this because they want to use the tweaking of the code to reward their favored voters.

2. Only 12 percent of Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) campaign donations came from Alabama — that won’t work

— Jones has filed his Federal Elections Commission (FEC) financial report, and the report shows that only 12 percent ($107,122) came from Alabama, which is less than what he received individually from California, New York and Texas. Jones received 17 percent from California, 16 percent from New York, and 13 percent from Texas. Previously, it was discovered that Jones was also running campaign ads in different states and specifically excluding Alabama. This just further shows that Jones isn’t actually a senator for the people of Alabama, but a senator for everyone outside of Alabama, and this is exactly how he is campaigning. It’s not working, as polling shows Jones will have a rough time getting re-elected.

1. President Donald Trump continues to say that illegal immigrants will be given to sanctuary cities

— In a tweet sent out on Monday, President Trump said, “Those Illegal Immigrants who can no longer be legally held (Congress must fix the laws and loopholes) will be, subject to Homeland Security, given to Sanctuary Cities and States!” The proposal to send illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities has been rejected both times it was introduced in November and February. Since President Trump announced his desire to send illegal immigrants to these cities and states, many Democrats have fought back saying that this is political retaliation.

7 days ago

Shouldn’t Alabama’s attorney general actually be on a crusade against illegal gambling?

(Pixabay, J. Poor/YHN)

As mentioned in my 7 Things and at Yellowhammer over the weekend, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall wanted to make it clear that he is not on a “crusade” against “illegal gambling” in Alabama.

Speaking to Alabama Public Television, Marshall told host Don Dailey that his recent actions were not part of a larger anti-gambling push by his office. Marshall told Dailey, “It’s not as if I’m on a crusade against illegal gambling.”

Clarifying his role, Marshall added, “My responsibility as the attorney general of Alabama is to enforce the law. And that’s what we’ve done in Jefferson County because we saw that it wasn’t being done.”

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OK, great. But, let’s be clear: Those machines in Jefferson County were electronic bingo machines and as Marshall has pointed out repeatedly, those machines are illegal in Alabama. Those machines are slot machines with extra steps. They are not “played on a card against other people in a traditional way.” They are “slot machines, row after row in four different facilities in Jefferson County.”

The Alabama Supreme Court has been clear about this.

In order to be bingo, some standards must apply:

1. Each player uses one or more cards with spaces arraigned in five columns and five rows, with alphanumeric or similar designation assigned to each space.

2. Alphanumeric or similar designations are randomly drawn and announced one by one.

3. Each player must pay attention to the values announced; if one of the values matches a value on one or more of the player’s cards, the player must physically act by marking his or her card  accordingly.

4. A player can fail to pay proper attention or properly mark his or her card, and thereby miss an opportunity to be declared a winner.

5. A player must recognize that his or her card has a “Bingo” i.e., a predetermined pattern of matching values, and in turn announce to the other players and the announcer that this is the case before any other player does so.

6. The game of Bingo contemplates a group activity in which a group of players compete with each other to be the first to properly mark a card with the predetermined winning pattern and announce that fact.

Obviously, this was not what is going down in Jefferson County.

But, what about these places?

Greenetrack of Eutaw, Alabama:

Slot machines.

Victoryland of Shorter, Alabama:

Slot machines.

This is not complex stuff here. This doesn’t require a “crusade” — just common sense. This is illegal gambling.

If the Alabama attorney general is focused on stopping gambling in Jefferson County, then he should be going after similar machines elsewhere.

Or, if they are going to look the other way in Macon County and Greene County, look the other way when new entities open up in Jefferson County or anywhere else.

This issue may not be as simple as I lay out here. There are court rulings and Alabama constitutional amendments muddying the waters.

Either way, the attorney general should be looking to clarify this issue.

This could be resolved by the legislature addressing this once and for all, but, as of today, it seems clear that illegal gambling is still happening inside the state of Alabama and it shouldn’t require a “crusade” to end it.

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: Criticism of Democrats is now ‘incitement,’ illegal immigration conversation has gone off the rails, Alabama AG Marshall not on an anti-gambling ‘crusade’ and more …

(WH/Flickr, I. Omar/Facebook)

7. Tax Day is here — The media and their Democrats have been lying to you

— Under President Donald Trump’s tax cuts, more than 65 percent of American tax filers will see their tax burden decrease by at least $100. Less than 30 percent of people will see very little change in their taxes, while 6 percent will see an increase. These tax cuts will be in place until at least 2025. Despite a majority of Americans getting a tax cut, most people don’t understand that they’re paying less in taxes. NBC News/Wall Street Journal released a poll this week that showed only 17 percent of people think they’re getting a tax cut, and 28 percent think they’re going to pay more. Previous claims that Trump’s tax cuts wouldn’t actually benefit the majority of people are being proven to be false.

6. The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees proposes tuition freeze for in-state students

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— On Friday, Interim Chancellor Finis St. John IV announced the board’s proposal of a system-wide freeze for in-state students for the 2020-2021 academic year. The official proposal will be heard in June and it’s expected to be approved. The freeze will cover the University of Alabama, the University at Birmingham (UAB) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). If the freeze is approved, it would be the first time in history that all three campuses would freeze tuition rates. St. John stated that this issue has been of great emphasis and importance to the board for a long time, but it has just become a financial reality.

5. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall says he is not on a “crusade” against illegal gambling

— Speaking on Alabama Public Television, Attorney General Steve Marshall said his office’s raids on alleged gambling facilities in Jefferson County was fulfilling his “responsibility as the attorney general of Alabama” to enforce the law, rather than part of a “crusade.” Even though these machines are illegal gambling machines, he doesn’t want to be seen as if he is on a “crusade against illegal gambling.” The AG appears to believe these machines are not for bingo, as decided by the Alabama Supreme Court. He referred to them as slot machines. It is unclear what the difference is between the machines in Jefferson County and in other “electronic bingo” operations in the state, like Greenetrack and Victoryland.

4. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wants troops on the border and asylum laws changed

— On Sunday, Graham said in an interview with Fox News, “If I were the president, I’d send military troops to the border as soon as I could in large numbers. But we’re never going to stop this jut by having walls and troops at the border. We have to change our laws so these people stop coming.” He noted that we should be sending illegal immigrants back to their country of origin, adding, “So I’m going to put a legislative package together right after the break. We’re going to mark it up in the Judiciary Committee and we’re going to get on with solving this problem. I’ve got to get a package that will deter people from Central America from continuing to come, change our asylum laws, make sure you have more than 20 days to deal with an unaccompanied minor and send people back to Central America.” Graham has not given an exact date on when he will introduce legislation, but he did make it clear that White House and Republican leaders have been reaching out to Democratic colleagues to try and gain bipartisan support.

3. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh compares President Donald Trump’s plan to send illegal aliens to sanctuary cities to Obama’s plan to send illegal aliens to Alabama 

— During a conversation on the president’s plan to disperse illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities, Limbaugh quoted an AL.com article titled, “White House Considers Sending Illegal Immigrant Children to Sessions’ Home State,” and added, “Alabama’s not a sanctuary anything. I don’t even know if they have a sanctuary city in Alabama, but the state is not.” There are no sanctuary cities in Alabama, although Birmingham flirted with the idea before backing down. Limbaugh’s point was that Democrats tried and succeeded at shipping illegal immigrants all over the country.

2. The White House is, in fact, working with ICE and Homeland Security to send illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities

— White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley appeared on Fox News stating, “We’re working with DHS, we’re working with ICE, to try and make sure that happens because after all, it’s what they want. They should not say ‘This is retribution politically,’ they should say, ‘This is an olive branch.'” The White House is also determining whether or not they can legally send illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities, and President Donald Trump said on Twitter that the U.S. does have the legal right. The policy that would send illegal immigrants to these cities has been criticized, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) even called the plan “disrespectful” and “unworthy of the presidency.” The plan is currently under “complete and thorough review according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

1. Presidential candidates for 2020 rush to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from mean tweets

— After President Donald Trump responded to Omar’s comments that “some people did something” on 9/11, several presidential candidates and high-profile Democrats quickly defended her and condemned the president. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted, “Ilhan Omar is a leader with strength and courage. She won’t back down to Trump’s racism and hate, and neither will we. The disgusting and dangerous attacks against her must end.” Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) weighed in and said the president was inciting violence against Omar and other American Muslims, and she continued to say, “And any elected leader who refuses to condemn it shares responsibility for it.” The Democrats defending Omar have turned the rhetoric of President Trump disagreeing with her into inciting violence and an attack on her life. She has jumped in, too, although it clearly is not an act of inciting violence.

1 week ago

VIDEO: AG Barr angers Democrats again, Alabama Democrats’ civil war, high-profile bills stall in the Alabama Legislature 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:

— Why are the media and their Democrats so upset with Attorney General Bill Barr?

— Will the Alabama Democratic Party’s infighting ever end?

— Why are bills involving ethics, common core and ending the state selling of liquor not gaining traction in the legislature?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by the CBD oil advocate Whitney Walker to discuss CBD oil, medical marijuana and where the debate is headed next.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at those who continue to lie about the Trump tax cuts and those who brag about how that lying is working.

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: Comey trusts AG Barr’s interpretation of Mueller report, media and their Democrats are furious Trump would try to release illegal aliens into sanctuary cities, Lt. Gov. Ainsworth won’t run for Senate and more …

(FBI/Flicker, A. Harber/YouTube, Wikicommons)

7. The anti-road rage act passes the House

— On Thursday, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill that would make driving in the left lane on the interstate for more than 1.5 miles without passing a misdemeanor, with a few exceptions. HB212 is sponsored by State Representative Phillip Pettus (R-Killen), and he believes this bill will be effective in curbing road rage incidents. If the bill becomes law, it will become effective three months after that. For the first 60 days, law enforcement officers would only issue warning citations.

6. The media and their Democrats are bragging about having lied about the Trump tax cut

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— Eight-in-10 Americans will receive tax cuts thanks to the bill passed by the GOP-controlled House and Senate, but only 17 percent of Americans actually believe they received a tax cut this year. In a rare moment of accidental honesty, Vox Media’s Matt Yglesias tweeted, “Nobody likes to give themselves credit for this kind of messaging success, but progressive groups did a really good job of convincing people that Trump raised their taxes when the facts say a clear majority got a tax cut.” MSNBC also ran a story this week highlighting a woman who claims she didn’t get a tax cut, even though she said she did — she just didn’t view it as a tax cut. Karen Speziale incorrectly told MSNBC, “I got less money because I got more back in my paycheck. But that is not a tax break in my opinion. All you did is shift the money from getting it in your return to getting it in your paycheck.” MSNBC reporters milked that falsehood as a tax increase.

5. More info is available after three arrested for a melee at an Alabama high school

— The issues at Athens High School began when a parent was on campus complaining about a punishment her child received that included an in-school suspension and revocation of prom and graduation privileges. Parent Amanda Loggins has been charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct for refusing to leave after she used “inappropriate language and hostile behavior.” When she was told to leave, she began chanting “black lives matter” (she is white). Loggins’ daughter and two other students were arrested. Now the NAACP is investigating the incident, for some reason, and even held a 20-person protest at the Limestone County Courthouse.

4. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) thinks that President Trump’s tariff threat could create serious problems for Airbus in Mobile

— Doug Jones worries the $11.2 billion in tariffs being proposed on European Union products will impact the manufacturer with a large presence in Mobile. Jones continued on to say, “I was very concerned when I saw that. the Airbus facility in Mobile is a huge economic driver in South Alabama and will create serious problems.” The senator has also criticized President Trump’s approach to negotiating trade agreements, and he wants Republicans in Congress to stand up and speak out regarding the tariff threats. Trump claims that the EU has been taking advantage of the U.S. for many years, which is why he’s threatening to put tariffs in place.

3. Candidates for U.S. Senate should breathe a sigh of relief now that Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth has declared he is not running

— When discussion of the race to replace U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in Washington comes up, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth’s name is constantly mentioned as a stellar candidate for that seat. This is for good reason: he can raise money, he won a competitive GOP primary against a well-funded candidate and received more votes than any other candidate in the state of Alabama. But Ainsworth has made it clear that he is not ready to head to Washington D.C. yet, in a statement announcing his decision he said, ‘After deep discussions with my wife, Kendall, and prayerful guidance from above, I have determined this is simply not the right time for me to serve our state and our nation in Washington, D.C.”

2. Trump wanted to release illegal immigrants into sanctuary cities to punish sanctuary cities

— The media and their Democrats declare that all efforts to rein in the country’s illegal immigration problem are completely unacceptable. The courts have declared repeatedly that any action to deter illegal immigration is not allowed and holding illegal immigrants for any period of time is not allowed if they bring a child with them. The only solution appears to be to release illegal immigrants into our nation’s interior. Seeing this insane policy, the president decided he would let the folks who want more illegal immigration have more of it by releasing them into sanctuary cities. This was clearly a move to free up detention space and send a message to Democrats and, oddly enough, no one is happy about that. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) didn’t like the message that sending illegals to her district would send, stating, “The extent of this administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated.”

1. Former FBI Director James Comey says he doesn’t know about “spying” claims but he does trust Attorney General William Barr’s take on the Mueller report

— Comey commented at the Hewlett Foundation’s Verify Conference that he has “no idea what the heck” Barr meant when he said there was “spying” on the 2016 Trump campaign. This follows Barr’s comments that he thinks spying did occur, but he’s questioning whether it was adequately predicated. Barr has also said that a review of the DOJ inspector general and into potential FISA abuses by the FBI are likely to be finished by May or June. Comey also made it clear he has no reason to doubt Barr when it comes to the Mueller report, explaining, “I accept that Bill Barr’s letter accurately portrays it — that Bob Mueller found there was a massive effort to interfere in this election.”

2 weeks ago

The liberal media is still lying about the Trump tax cut and they know it works

(Pixabay, YHN)

Vox’s Matt Yglesias bragged about how the media and their Democrats have effectively misled the American people on the impact of the Trump tax cut.

He wrote: Nobody likes to give themselves credit for this kind of messaging success, but progressive groups did a really good job of convincing people that Trump raised their taxes when the facts say a clear majority got a tax cut.

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He’s right, the lying is super effective.

Again, as CNBC’s John Harwood points out, only 17 percent of Americans think their taxes were cut.

Knowing liberals feel that way, it should be no surprise that MSNBC is clearly pushing these stories and using an uninformed person’s story about her tax return to push this false narrative.

Watch:

Karen Speziale: “I got less money because I got more back in my paycheck. But that is not a tax break in my opinion. All you did is shift the money from getting it in your return to getting it in your paycheck.”

It is, in fact, a tax cut.

Like many, she just doesn’t understand how to figure out what her effective tax rate is.

If she did she would see eight-in-10 citizens actually paid less in taxes.

Hilariously, later in the video, MSNBC tries to help those looking for a bigger refund by advising them to let the government hold more over the course of the year.

They also play a clip of Speziale claiming President Donald Trump pays nothing in taxes and that is why he isn’t showing his tax returns.

Another baseless claim.

Yglesias had a moment of accidental honesty here. The media and their Democrats are prepared to continue telling this lie as long as it works.

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: AG Barr says there was spying on the Trump campaign, Alabama congressman wants Democrats to help on immigration, ethics revamp hits a wall in Alabama legislature and more …

(Wikicommons)

7. Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange arrested in Ecuadoran embassy

— A bearded, ranting and irritated-looking Assange was removed from the embassy he has been hiding in since 2012. He went there to avoid extradition to Sweden on a sexual assault charge. Depending on the year, and his actions, Assange has been hailed as a hero or a villain. His leaking of Bradley Manning’s stolen classified documents made him a hero of the American left, while the American right praised him and his organization for their role in exposing Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee in 2016. Wikileaks is widely believed to be a Russian front group used to create dissension across the globe.

6. The Alabama House approved an increased budget for the prison system; More will have to be done to avoid more federal complaints

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— There has been a $40 million increase approved for the budget for the prison system. Governor Kay Ivey requested the increase before the Department of Justice report was released that claimed the Alabama prisons have unconstitutional conditions. $30 million will go to hiring 500 more correctional officers and increase the pay of current officers by 20 percent. Lack of staff and budget were two main issued referenced in the DOJ report. The budget passed with a 103-0 vote. Construction of new prisons, which the Alabama Department of Corrections is seeking, could cost $900 million and cost $78 million a year to operate.

5. 400 new jobs coming to North Alabama, with more expected to follow

— On Wednesday, Governor Kay Ivey visited Athens and announced that Toyota Boshoku will build its $50 million supplier facility in eastern Limestone County. This is the first announcement of indirect jobs coming to north Alabama due to the new Mazda Toyota plant. It’s expected that the Mazda Toyota plant could bring in as many as 4,000 indirect jobs once it’s fully operational. The Toyota Boshoku plant will produce 400 jobs and will be on 42 acres in the Breeding North Industrial Park where they will be producing seat systems. Construction is expected to begin around May 1 of 2019.

4. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has released his “Medicare for All” plan

— On Wednesday, Sen. Sanders introduced his Medicare for All healthcare plan again. The plan would ensure healthcare for all Americans, and Sanders claims that the health care proposal isn’t socialism. Sanders said, “It’s similar to what the Canadians have.” It’s estimated that the plan could cost nearly $32 trillion over the next decade. His plan has the support of many of his fellow Democratic candidates for the presidency. Sanders claims that his plan would eliminate insurance companies that make billions in profit every year, also alluding to the idea that insurance providers would be reduced to providing nose jobs. Will Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) force Democrats to go on the record as he did with the Green New Deal?

3. Revamped ethics bill will not happen this session

— Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) tweeted, “Ethics bill possibly dead for the session.” The bill by Senator Greg Albritton (R-Range) was criticized for its sweeping changes that would have removed the limit for gifts that individuals could give to Alabama officials. Ethics Commissioner Tom Albritton, no relation, said this bill could have potentially opened the door to rampant corruption. But Sen. Albritton claimed he was just attempting to clarify a law he felt was a bit murky. If the bill comes back, the attention the bill has received will probably significantly change the bill. Ward told AL.com, “It’s just too controversial too fast. There’s a lot of questions in there. There’s a lot of concerns. You’ve heard from the members. You’ve heard from the public. There are just a lot of concerns.” The Common Core repeal and a plan to privatize liquor sales bills have stalled as well.

2. Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said that Democrats need to give resources to deal with the border crisis

— Rogers was on Fox News Channel’s “Outnumbered Overtime” where he said, “We need the Democrats to finally give us the resources for the things they said we needed all along…They said we needed people and technology resources on the border to secure it. The president is going ahead with the barrier so they need to come around and support the things they said we needed.” Rogers also said that President Trump is getting barriers put up at the border, as well as moving Border Patrol officers around so more are on the ground rather than in administrative roles. Rogers added, “Trump is going forward with getting the fencing built. We went down with him last Friday. We were able to see the fence and demonstrate to the American public how different this is from what we’ve used in the past, how successful it is and to highlight the problem.”

1. Attorney General William Barr thinks federal authorities spied on the Trump campaign

— On Wednesday, AG Barr testified that federal authorities spied on the 2016 Trump campaign. Barr said, “I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. … Spying on a political campaign is a big deal.” Barr doesn’t think that improper surveillance occurred, but he’s concerned so he’s looking into it. This spying was alleged by Donald Trump and denied by the media and intelligence community for almost two years. Democrats who spent two years pushing a debunked conspiracy theory of Russian collusion are understandably unhappy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) weighed in by saying, “I don’t trust Barr, I trust Mueller.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has accused Barr of peddling conspiracy theories. There is also an inspector general investigation into leaks of classified information involving General Flynn to the Washington Post.

2 weeks ago

Aderholt sees Republican chance for taking back the U.S. House increase significantly

(R. Aderholt/Facebook)

During United States Attorney General William Barr’s appearance on Capitol Hill to discuss budget issues with the Department of Justice, Democrats made it clear they had little desire to actually discuss those issues. Instead, they made it clear the story about President Donald Trump and non-existent Russian collusion will continue to dominate the media landscape for the foreseeable future.

The facts don’t matter to the Democrats and their media. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings that there was no indictable collusion or obstruction of justice will do little to stop their non-stop panicking and ignorant assertions that there was collusion.

Alabama Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) declared Tuesday that Democrats have no interest in legislating, saying, “The Democrats should just accept the fact that Trump simply had a message that resonated with the voters and continuing with antics like today is just going to lead to the same outcome next year.”

During an appearance Wednesday on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” Aderholt expounded on his remarks, adding the issues within the  Democratic Party could lead to Republicans taking back the House.

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“They know that their legislation is going nowhere, so I think they feel the best thing that they can do … is just try to beat up on the president and try to turn around the 2020 election,” Aderholt outlined. “I think they see that  Trump is in a very good position to be re-elected — or at least I think they understand that’s a possibility. Now, some of them are just completely off the reservation thinking that there’s no possibility Trump gets re-elected.”

Aderholt also touched on an argument being made about the fractures between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a rift that was highlighted in a New York Times story showing that Twitter isn’t real life and Democrats in the real world aren’t excited about the party’s leftward lurch.

Responding to a question about the Pelosi/AOC factions’ struggle for control of the Democratic Party, Aderholt said, “Well, I think as time moves along, the Democrat Party is becoming more and more of the AOC and the Ohmar brand.”

He added the media’s infatuation with the new Democrat brand may be fueling that right.

“I think what Nancy Pelosi realizes, first of all, I think there may be a little jealousy there between her and AOC because you know Nancy Pelosi was not on the cover of Time Magazine. Last week it was AOC,” stated Aderholt.

While this battle for the soul of the Democratic Party might be exhilarating for the liberals to participate in, it could doom them electorally.

Aderholt thinks this damage is very real, saying, “Two months ago I would say it was probably we had a 10, 20 percent chance. I think there’s probably maybe a 50-50 chance now we could take back the House.”

And much to the chagrin of Democrats, all of this fighting could lead to the re-election of President Trump because “the way Democrats are taking the party” could lead to middle America voting Republican, Aderholt explained.

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: AG Barr says redacted report is almost ready, Trump spikes talk of new family separations, Marshall rolls on illegal gambling and more …

(Wikicommons)

7. Alabama bill would require the Pledge of Allegiance in all schools

— House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) introduced the bill after finding out that his grandchildren didn’t know the Pledge of Allegiance because they hadn’t been reciting it in school, despite the Alabama Board of Education’s requirement to do so. Ledbetter said that the state school board can’t enforce reciting the pledge. Ledbetter clarified that the bill would not require students to actually say the pledge, but it would require schools to start the day with it.

6. Moms Demand Action group is protesting allowing churches to defend themselves

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— Protesting a non-existent danger of law-abiding citizens carrying firearms, the gun-grabbing Alabama Moms Demand Action group will meet with legislators on Wednesday and testify against SB 4 at the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 4 would allow gun owners to carry concealed without permits or a background check. The group of volunteers will also be opposing HB 49, which is an expansion of the state’s Stand Your Ground law that would allow religious groups to use force in physically threatening situations. The meetings will be held at the State House beginning at 10:30 am on Wednesday, April 10.

5. Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) says the Democrats obsession with President Trump’s tax returns raises constitutional concerns

— Representative Byrne spoke on the House floor to bring his concerns about congressional investigations Democrats have started about the personal and business dealings by President Trump. Byrne said, “These actions are not only blatantly partisan but raise serious constitutional concerns. Let’s be clear: these so-called investigations set a dangerous precedent. The majority wants to use Congress to investigate the past personal and business dealings of an elected official and his family. This is yet another attempt to coerce and intimidate people with whom they disagree.” Byrne also warned that setting this precedent could threaten to undermine legitimate investigations in the future. This is all happening after an almost two-year investigation into the president and multiple parts of his life.

4. ACLU continues to pretend that lawsuit costs should keep Alabama legislators from banning abortion

— The executive director of ACLU of Alabama, Randall Marshall appeared on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” where he warned that the effort by a state legislator to ban abortion would cost taxpayers. Marshall said that Alabama would be forced to pay the legal fees incurred by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood to challenge the law proposed by Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) to ban abortion. Marshall referenced previous situations that reflect the same outcome, stating, “I will say the last challenge that we won, the state of Alabama ended up paying the ACLU and Planned Parenthood $1.7 million. The case before the Supreme Court right now, if the review is denied, is going to cost the state that much and probably more. This ban is clearly unconstitutional.” However, with Amendment 2 passing, Alabamians have shown their support for the rights of unborn children, which fuels the push for an abortion ban in Alabama and that will set up a battle with the United State Supreme Court and everyone involved seems to want that.

3. Attorney General Steve Marshall’s Office has raided illegal gaming operations — More could follow

— The appearance of a hands-off approach to gambling enforcement by the attorney general seems to be over when it comes to illegal electronic bingo. Recently, local law enforcement was given the responsibility of handling local enforcement. The election of Democrat Sheriff Mark Pettway led to the assumption that gambling would be allowed to operate in Jefferson County, but this is apparently not the case. All told, four Jefferson County bingo halls were raided, 1,100 electronic bingo machines were removed and at least 11 people arrested.

2. Illegal aliens continue to flow into the United States and President Trump kills talk of a new family separation policy

— As the media frets of new attempts to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country, President Trump said he is not planning to reinstate the policy of separating children from parents who had illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. During a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch told the committee that his sector has apprehended people from 50 different countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, China, Egypt and Romania. Karisch added, “People are traveling across hemispheres to attempt to illegally enter the US, using the same pathways as the Central Americans.” Karisch also noted more families have illegally crossed so far this year than in all of 2018.

1. Attorney General William Barr is reviewing the conduct of the original FBI Russia probe; Mueller report to be released within a week

— On Tuesday, Barr testified before a congressional panel where he was questioned by Democrats on his handling of the Mueller report summary. Barr said, “More generally, I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted in the summer of 2016.” His comments come after Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) stated over the weekend that he was preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Justice Department alleging misconduct by DOJ and FBI officials during the Russia investigation. Barr also mentioned on Tuesday that he would be releasing a redacted version of the Mueller report within a week. While Democrats continue to talk about how an unredacted report must be released, Barr has made it clear that is not going to happen. Barr has also noted that Mueller is involved in the redaction process.

2 weeks ago

Alabama’s legislators who voted for a gas tax increase may have an ally in President Donald Trump

(White House/Flickr, Wikicommons, YHN)

Could President Donald Trump really be considering a gas tax increase for infrastructure improvements?

According to a McClatchy report, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said that a plan for new gas taxes is on the table. This news item did not receive much attention because it wasn’t about the already concluded Mueller investigation or a continuation of an Obama policy on immigration that could be spun to imply that everyone is either Russian or racist.

But what about Alabama’s Republican legislators who supported a gas tax increase? What if President Donald Trump, a super popular president in the conservative state of Alabama, decides to follow Alabama’s lead works with Democrats and business interests to increase the cost of every gallon of gas by 25 cents?

Political stories posted to Twitter or Facebook are regularly met with the same reaction of some variation of, “Yeah, but they passed a gas tax.”

Prison? Abortion? 2020 Senate talk? All of those lead back to tax increases for roads.

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Alabama legislators who supported a gas tax increase are going to be happy to hear that they have an ally in the president of the United States who apparently agrees with their decision to raise that tax.

The current federal gas tax is 18.4 cents a gallon with a 24.4 cents a gallon tax for diesel. If a Republican Senate and Republican president more than double that they will forever lose their ability to say they are the party of lower taxes and less spending.

The usual suspects, like the Chamber of Commerce, are onboard with the idea. Even some Democrats could support the idea, which would make it one of the few Trump administration initiatives that they could get behind.

Conservatives might be wary of any idea the Chamber and Democrats are both pushing (see: immigration).

Much like the Alabama push for the tax increase, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association released a report finding almost 50,000 “structurally deficient” bridges.

Will America react like Alabamians did and promise to throw those responsible out of office or will they react like the French have and stage massive protests?

Will Alabama’s politicians who supported a gas tax in Alabama oppose one nationally even though the reasoning is exactly the same? Will they be happy to have the president pushing a similar agenda?

Will Alabamians and their elected officials be able to say “no” to President Trump, or will he be able to get conservatives to support things that seemed unthinkable years ago, as he has done with trade policy?

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: Immigration chaos continues, Gaetz out of the 2020 Senate race — Tommy Tuberville in, AG Marshall delivers stinging rebuke of former Speaker Hubbard and more …

(CBP/Flickr)

7. One of the two actresses ensnared in the college admission scandal has pleaded guilty and may avoid jail time

— Felicity Huffman is one of the highest profile persons accused of paying people to help her daughter get into the college of her choice over more qualified students. In exchange for her plea, prosecutors will only recommend supervised release and a $20,000 fine. She could have received 20 years in prison. They will not bring further charges. Huffman also apologized for her role and said her daughter had no knowledge of the situation. The other actress, Lori Laughlin, has not entered a plea.

6. Father of Blossomwood Elementary student who took a gun to school sentenced to federal prison

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— On September 17, 2018, Letroy Cole, Jr.’s son took a gun to school and then accidentally shot himself. Police learned later the gun was owned by his father, who was also a felon. Letroy Cole, Jr. pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and U.S. District Judge Karen O. Bowdre sentenced him to 26 months in federal prison. Cole will also serve three years of supervised release and do 20 hours of community service. Judge Bowdre sent a message that gun owners who have children should keep their firearms locked away safely and securely, had he done that he would not be going to prison.

5. Slavery reparations are the latest far-left idea being embraced by the growing field of Democrats running for president

— The push for reparations is the latest non-issue that has caught the interest of many 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) took it a step further and introduced a bill that would study the possibility of reparations for descendants of slaves. Booker spoke about the bill and said, “This bill is a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country.” The bill is a companion bill to one in the House, which would set up a commission to study the impact of slavery and discrimination against black Americans and make recommendations on reparations for the descendants of slaves. Booker also added, “Since slavery in this country, we have had overt policies fueled by white supremacy and racism that have oppressed African-Americans economically for generations.” The idea of slavery reparations is also backed by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MS), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D), Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), former Rep. Beto O-Rourke (D-TX), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and New York businessman Andrew Yang (D).

4. Two high-level officials no longer serve in the Trump administration after a shakeup

— Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen has resigned after a disagreement with the president, and U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph Alles was removed under circumstances that are in dispute. President Trump replaced Nielsen with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, stating, “I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!” Nielsen was meeting with Trump to discuss the ongoing flood of migrants at the southern border, and it’s reported that she had been frustrated with the difficulty of getting other departments to assist in dealing with the ordeal. Less than a day later, U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph Alles was removed. Apparently, his removal is not in relation to the recent scrutiny of the Secret Service after a Chinese woman entered the president’s Mar-a-Lago club illegally.

3. Attorney General Steve Marshall contends that former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s conviction should stand

— Former State Representative Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) is seeking a reprieve from the Alabama State Supreme Court and the state’s AG is not impressed with his argument. Marshall explained that there is little doubt that Hubbard used his office for political gain. Marshall released a statement Monday evening laying out a pretty devastating case, “shortly after receiving his 10th $10,000 check from a “client,” Hubbard told his chief of staff that ‘he had 100,000 reasons’ to use his time and office for that client.  The brief also notes how, after Hubbard delivered a legislative victory for another client, the client proclaimed him its greatest legislative ‘champion.'”

2. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is not running for Senate against Doug Jones — Tommy Tuberville is

— Last week, speculation led many to believe Matt Gaetz could cross state lines and run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones. Even Doug Jones believed it. Gaetz initially told Yellowhammer News that he had no comment on running against Jones for Senate, but when he was asked later, he simply replied “no.” While Gaetz may not be in the race, former Auburn head football coach Tuberville announced he is running, which gives Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) his first official opponent for the GOP primary. Tuberville tweeted that he was running this weekend, stating, “After more than a year of listening to Alabama’s citizens, I have heard your concerns and hopes for a better tomorrow.”

1. A federal judge has blocked President Trump’s policy that would return asylum seekers to Mexico

— The federal district judge in the 9th Circuit of San Francisco, Richard Seeborg, issued a preliminary injunction that blocks President Trump’s policy that would send asylum seekers back to Mexico while they await their immigration hearing. The request was granted for civil liberties groups so that the practice would be halted while their lawsuit goes forward. This appears to be part of a coordinated effort to thwart any and all attempts to deal with the situation at the border. It seems the only acceptable response to any border crossers is to let them in, release them and then hope they will go through the current immigration system that is clearly broken. Any legislation or measure introduced to alleviate the crisis at the border is immediately met with pushback from Democrats who continue to deny said crisis — this is a disaster.

2 weeks ago

VIDEO: Still no collusion, Alabama’s upcoming abortion fight, broken prison could lead to a federal takeover 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:

— Even though there is no collusion, will Democrats in Congress continue hammering this narrative that something happened?

— Will Alabama pass the nation’s strongest pro-life bill?

— Can the state ever fix its prison system or will the federal government come in and take it over?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by the Alabama Policy Institute’s J. Pepper Bryars to discuss a new abortion bill in the legislature and the chances of new legislation to offset the recently passed gas tax’s impact on citizens.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” aimed at legislators over the failure to have a clear and clean vote on a lottery.

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: Florida congressman could run for senator in Alabama, Democrats sue the president as border crisis continues, Planned Parenthood has an ominous threat and more …

(M. Gaetz/Facebook)

7. The free market works — Target looks to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour

— Target has raised its minimum wage once a year for the past three years. This year by June, the minimum wage will be $13 per hour. The company’s goal is to have a $15 minimum wage by the end of next year. Target is the latest corporations to raise their minimum wage after calls for new laws to raise the federal minimum wage have increased amid a booming economy.

6. In spite of evidence to the contrary, an Alabama state representative believes the state needs its own bill to address the gender pay gap

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— State Representative Adline Clarke (D-Mobile) has introduced the Equal Pay Act to the Alabama legislature. Clarke made a statement, saying, “This is an issue of fairness that is absolutely crucial to Alabama families. Women workers make up a large part of our workforce and their paychecks go to gas, groceries, childcare, college tuition and other essentials for our families. They must receive equal pay for equal work.” A 2016 study done by the American Association of University Women said that women were paid 20 percent less than men. The Equal Pay Act would also require employers to keep three years of payroll records at a time.

5. Former Trump fixer Michael Cohen wants to stay out of prison, so he’s told Congress that he has more to add

— According to Cohen’s attorneys, their less-than-truthful client has discovered substantial evidence filed on a hard drive that could be helpful to investigators. Cohen has also been asking top Democrats on the committees where he testified to write letters that will outline his cooperation that he could use to lobby for a lighter sentence, which is what this is all about. Cohen was sentenced last year to three years in prison. He was originally supposed to report to prison in March, but the date was pushed back two months in preparation for his Congressional testimony.

4. Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) wants to raise the smoking age to 21

— On Thursday, Aderholt introduced a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21, and he also included a provision that would require age verification when buying vaping products online. In a statement, Aderholt said, “Smoking is just as much of a danger to health and life as drinking, and even more so to those who are still young and impressionable. This is why I have introduced a bill in Congress to increase the agree to legally buy tobacco products to 21.” Aderholt also wants vaping regulated further. His law would require online vendors to gather information and verify it through a third-party database before products are purchased online.

3. Planned Parenthood is turning it up to 11 over a potential abortion bill

— Planned Parenthood gave an alarmist statement in response to State Representative Terri Collin’s (R-Decatur) bill that would ban abortion, saying it “would be a death sentence for women across this state.” The bill would make abortions a felony. Planned Parenthood Southeast President and CEO Staci Fox wrote saying that the bill “would criminalize our doctors, forcing them to make an impossible choice: treat their pregnant patients or protect themselves instead.” Planned Parenthood also challenged Alabama’s Amendment Two on the general election ballot and failed.

2. The crisis at the border is getting worse but the House is going to sue President Donald Trump over his emergency declaration

— As the president heads to the border, Democrats are looking to sue him over his emergency declaration. Trump declared a state of emergency due to the border crisis and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has followed through on a previous threat, saying, “The president’s sham emergency declaration and unlawful transfers of funds have undermined our democracy, contravening the vote of the bipartisan Congress, the will of the American people and the letter of the Constitution.” But the situation is getting worse. Mark Morgan served as the head of U.S. Border Patrol during the Obama administration, and he told the Senate Homeland Security Committee, “We’re experiencing a crisis at the southern border at a magnitude never seen in modern times, it’s unprecedented.”

1. A Florida congressman my become a carpetbagging candidate for U.S. Senate

— It seems unlikely that a congressman from another state could swoop into Alabama and win a Senate seat, even with a Trump-endorsement, but Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is apparently considering it. Gaetz is a close ally of President Trump, and he has told several lawmakers in the House that he’s considering moving to Alabama to run for Doug Jones’ Senate seat in 2020. However, Rep. Gaetz told The Hill, “I had a few people make mention to me that Alabama has a very short residency requirement but it’s not something I’ve looked at myself. I think that my most likely path would be to seek reelection in the House.” Alabama law only requires House and Senate candidates to live in the state for one day before running for office.

3 weeks ago

Give the people of Alabama what they want — A lottery

(Pixabay, YHN)

The Alabama legislature failed to move forward on either of the pieces of lottery legislation before them today.

Instead, there appears to be so many players in this battle that it seems unlikely we will see any actual legislation at all.

Existing gambling interests want to have their clearly illegal casinos legalized so they don’t have to exist at the whims of locals sheriffs and under the constant threat of possible action by the Alabama attorney general.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians don’t want competition in the form of other casinos being legalized unless they can expand their gambling interests. This could include more gaming at their current location or expansion into the actual state of Alabama.

Legislators want revenue, which is not a complicated thing to see. Some are concerned about expanding gaming in the form of including Alabama in a multi-state lottery. Some are OK with the multi-state lottery idea, but are fearful of including the instant games (scratch-off tickets). Some oppose all gambling under any circumstance.

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The bill offered by Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville) would have given the state an entrance into a multi-state lottery and give existing electronic bingo outlets access to “virtual lottery terminal”, which are both essentially slot machines with extra steps.

The bill offered by State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Range) would allow the multi-state lottery and scratchers, but nothing more. Arguments have been made that this would allow the Poarch Creek to move towards casino gambling.

What do the people of the great state of Alabama want? They want a vote on the lottery.

Do they care about the nuts and bolts of it? It does not appear so.

They are tired of driving to other states to get lottery tickets. I don’t think they care how that changes.

State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) told WBRC that the more complicated it gets the fewer people want it.

“It’s simple in theory. And if you poll it right now, ‘Do you want a lottery or not,’ you get an overwhelming 70 percent in my district want it. If you say, ‘You want a lottery, but all the money has to go to this,’ the numbers drop drastically,” Ward said in October 2018.

There is a looming cloud hanging over every conversation that is had about the Alabama legislature: The recently passed 10-cent gas tax.

Legislators should give the people a vote on the lottery. It may get the bad taste some voters seem to have from the gas tax out of their mouths.

The last time the lottery came up for a vote in 1999 it failed 54 to 46 percent. If you change one vote out of every 25 votes, we have a lottery.

Have 4 percent of Alabama voters’ minds changed on the lottery in 20 years?  I would gamble they have.

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: Members of Mueller’s team are frustrated, DOJ warns Alabama again on prisons, Joe Biden gives a sad apology and more …

(Wikicommons, (WH/Flickr, US DOJ/Facebook)

7. Schools in Alabama may have to start actually teaching sex education

— State Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) has introduced a bill that would change the way sex education is taught in K-12 schools. The bill would make it so that the curriculum is more medically based while removing discriminating and stigmatizing language about homosexuality. Alabama doesn’t require schools to teach sex education, and school systems that do teach it are required to emphasize abstinence. Despite the abstinence-focused teaching, Alabama has some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STI rates in the country. The bill Whatley has introduced would also require schools to include “medically accurate and culturally appropriate” teaching materials.

6. Alabama lawmakers want to improve teachers’ retirement to encourage more people to become teachers

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— There is a teacher shortage in Alabama, which is leading to a desire to make changes in the way teachers’ retirements’ are handled. Concerns over cost and unfunded liabilities in the past resulted in changes in the retirement for new teachers, requiring them to work until they are 62. The new plan would call for teachers to pay more into the retirement program but they could retire after 30 years. The director of the School Superintendents of Alabama, Ryan Hollingsworth, believes the current plan is “killing our recruitment of teachers.”

5. President Donald Trump’s push for more defense spending in NATO is working

— Throughout President Trump’s campaign and his presidency, the president has constantly called for NATO nations to spend more on their national defense. His calls for NATO countries to fulfill their agreed upon obligations was often met with derision and false claims that he was trying to destroy NATO, sometimes for Russia, even though he was calling for more defense spending. Yesterday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared that Trump’s push for NATO allies to increase their defense spending has made an impact and made the alliance stronger. Stoltenberg said, “After years of reducing defense budgets, all allies have stopped the cuts and all allies have increased their defense spending. Before they were cutting billions, now they are adding billions.” Again, Stoltenberg also stated that NATO is stronger due to U.S. pressure.

4. Immune from embarrassment over the Democrats’ behavior over the Russian investigation, subpoena fights start

— House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is ready to serve the DOJ with a subpoena for the full Mueller report without redactions. He knows this is never happening, but the posturing must continue, it appears. Other committees are seeking subpoenas as well. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal sent a letter to the IRS requesting Trump’s tax returns from 2013 to 2018 under the spurious claim that the committee needs them to consider legislation about the IRS’s uncodified practice of auditing a president’s tax returns. But that’s not all. He also requested the tax returns of eight of Trump’s business entities. Trump’s tax returns have been highly requested in years past by Democrats. In other news, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) still hasn’t released his taxes. It’s doubtful the Republicans in the Senate will seek the IRS to release them.

3. Former VP Joe Biden looks sad in a new video where he claims he has learned not to be weird

— Biden, who is obviously still running for president, has vowed to be more mindful of people’s personal space due to allegations of inappropriately touching women. He says he will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. Biden said society has changed and so will he, outlining, “Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.” Of course, if he wasn’t planning to join the race then he likely wouldn’t have released an apology video when Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)  are already defending him.

2. Governor Kay Ivey said that they’re working to fix the prison system after the federal government makes another threat

— Once again, the federal government has declared Alabama’s prison system is terrible and possibly unconstitutional. The Department of Justice found the overcrowded system left inmates open to sexual and physical violence by other inmates. Ivey pointed out that federal investigators found many of the same areas of concern that have been discussed publicly for some time. The Alabama Department of Corrections is seeking funding this year to hire 500 more correctional officers. Ivey has also floated the idea of spending $900 million on new prisons, possibly by leasing them from private entities.

1. Media touts leaks from Mueller team that non-indictments on Russian collusion are “far worse for Trump

— The conclusions on the report will not change. No one on the Trump team is going to be indicted and none of them were in an election-stealing scheme with the Russian Federation. Regardless, Mueller’s investigators, who found no crimes in their main area of operation, are now reportedly upset that Attorney General William Barr didn’t damage the president more with his summary. The New York Times story on this is vague. They neither explain why or how many of the roughly 60 members on the Mueller team are frustrated with the summary. The Mueller team wrote their own summaries, but the DOJ concluded that those summaries contain sensitive information, classified material, grand-jury testimony and other information that should remain confidential.

3 weeks ago

State Rep. Terri Collins wants a U.S. Supreme Court fight over abortion — She may get one in the legislature first

(T. Collins/Contributed)

State Representative Terri Collins (R-Decatur) has proposed a very strict abortion bill in the Alabama legislature. Her bill is designed to create a showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court that could end with Roe. v. Wade being overturned.

This is not an attempt to get around Roe v. Wade. For Collins, in her own words, this is a direct challenge. Collins is itching for this fight, saying, “It is meant to actually use some of the same language addressed in Roe v. Wade. So hopefully it completely takes it all the way to the Supreme Court, eventually to overturn it.”

The Alabama ACLU is also ready for this fight, but they may have to wait their turn because the way the current bill is written, it may lead to battles on Goat Hill.

State Senator Del Marsh (R-Anniston) appeared on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Wednesday and raised concerns about the lack of exceptions in the bill.

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Marsh believes that folks will want some carve-outs.

“Most people I talked to, they believe there should always be some exceptions, you know rape, incest, health of the mother,” he stated.

He added that even in Alabama this will be a hard bill to get passed if carve-outs don’t get added.

“I think there’d be real hesitation with any piece of legislation dealing with this issue if there’s not some kind of exceptions for the woman,” Marsh explained.

Even though abortion is one of those issues where people seem pretty cut and dry, pro-choice or pro-life, recent polling indicates exceptions for rape and incest are very popular. This has been true for decades, according to Gallup.

When the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest Legal                            Illegal                                           No opinion
2018 May 1-10 77% 21% 2%
2003 May 19-21 72% 24% 4%

My takeaway:

Collins may have to tweak her bill to get it out of the legislature to set up her final battle at the Supreme Court.

Listen, starting around the 15:00 mark:

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: Border closure seems unlikely, State Rep. Collins wants a legal fight on abortion at the Supreme Court, a real ‘clean lottery’ bill and more …

(CBP/Flickr)

7. The previous inaction by Sheriff Mark Pettway on illegal gambling in Jefferson County may be motivated by his brother’s $50,000 loan to his campaign

— Pettway is one of the many sheriffs in Alabama that seem uninterested in enforcing the clear gambling laws of the state of Alabama, which has drawn the ire of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall. Interestingly, Bruce Pettway, the sheriff’s brother, created the appearance of a conflict of interest after it became known he lent his brother’s campaign more than $50,000 during the campaign and had received the green light to open a 3,000 machine electronic bingo casino in a closed Lowe’s. That license has apparently now been canceled and the cost refunded, but it remains unclear if Sheriff Pettway will start enforcing the law.

6. State Sen. Whatley (R-Auburn) is sponsoring a bill to end civil asset forfeiture

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— Civil asset forfeiture allows officers to seize money, property or possessions if they’re believed to have been involved in a crime, which is allowed under federal and Alabama state law. Whatley argues that civil asset forfeiture turns the principle of innocent until proven guilty upside down. The bill would require a criminal conviction before someone’s property could be permanently taken by the government and require more transparency throughout the whole process. In an op-ed Whatley wrote for Yellowhammer News, he stated, “Reports have been compiled across the country detailing the property rights violations involved in civil asset forfeiture and have motivated legislators to change their states’ systems.” Whatley also noted that in South Carolina it was found that nearly one-fifth of people in the state whose property was seized were never charged with a crime. If the bill becomes law, Alabama would be the 31st state to change their civil asset forfeiture laws.

5. Further proving Democrats have no desire to stop illegal immigration, a 2020 Democrat candidate wants it to be a civil issue

— Former President Barack Obama Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro has made opposing President Trump’s immigration policies a major platform of his campaign. On Tuesday, Castro said, “The truth is, immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security. Migration shouldn’t be a criminal justice issue. It’s time to end this draconian policy and return to treating immigration as a civil – not criminal – issue.” Castro has also called for a pathway for citizenship for illegal immigrants, for illegal immigrants brought into the country as children to be protected from deportation and for ICE to be cut in half. His desire to make illegal immigration a civil matter ignores the fact that many immigrants commit an additional crime after entering the country illegally.

4. Democrats continue implying the Mueller report is flawed without any reasoning — They’re now ready to subpoena

— Without seeing any part of the Mueller report, the Democrat mantra appears to be that the report is showing plenty of collusion and obstruction. They have also placed an absurd demand for the release of the entire unredacted report by yesterday, which was never happening. Now that Attorney General William Barr did not hand over the report, the House Judiciary Committee plans to vote to issue subpoenas for the report. If they vote to issue a subpoena to AG Barr and he ignores, it will kick off an unnecessary court battle and redactions will be made. Barr has made it clear he will release the report in mid-April and testify in early May.

3. Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur)  is making no bones about it — She wants a Supreme Court challenge

— Any attempt to enact abortion restrictions will face a threat from the Alabama ACLU that will fail and cost taxpayers money, but a new Supreme Court makes that less of a slamdunk than in the past. Terri Collins has proposed a bill that would make any abortion a felony with one exception: the health of the mother. Collins is clearly trying to set this direct fight up by pointing out that she is crafting this as a direct challenge, stating, “It is meant to actually use some of the same language addressed in Roe v. Wade. So hopefully it completely takes it all the way to the Supreme Court, eventually to overturn it.”

2. An actual “clean lottery” bill has been proposed in the Alabama legislature

— A new bill proposed by State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Range) and cosponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) would allow lottery tickets, including instant tickets and multi-state lottery games. Unlike the previous “clean lottery bill” proposed by Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville), this bill does not allow for current illegal gambling entities known as “electronic bingo” to operate legally. One of the things that may make this a hard sell is that none of the money goes to the Education Trust Fund. Instead, the monies will go to repay the Alabama Trust Fund and then all the annual revenue will be split equally between the ATF and the General Fund.

1. The border isn’t closing, even as President Trump says Congress needs to act or he will close it

— President Trump has threatened to close the southern border over the record-breaking number of migrants coming to the border. He softened that after saying Mexico agreed to slow illegal aliens on their southern border. On Tuesday, Trump called for Congress to do something about immigration, placing the responsibility on Democrats to come to the table. During an Oval Office press availability with the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said, “Congress has to meet quickly to make a deal. I could do it in 45 minutes. We need to get rid of chain migration. We need to get rid of catch and release and visa lottery. And we have to do something about asylum. And to be honest with you, we have to get rid of judges.” Trump says he is prepared to close the southern border, and he has said that we’re going to close large sections of it despite economic consequences. This remains unlikely.