The Wire

  • Mobile pastor sentenced to 50 years for child sex crimes

    Excerpt from WKRG:

    Alvin McNeil was sentenced Thursday to 30 years on Rape 1st of a child and additional 20 years for sexual abuse of another child. The sentences are set to run consecutively.

    Back in April, a jury found Pastor Alvin McNeil guilty of rape and sex abuse of a child under 12.

    Judge Lockett revoked his bond and took the defendant into custody, the District Attorney’s office said.

    56-year-old Alvin McNeil was a pastor of Open Door True Worship Apostolic Church.

  • ‘Monster’ who video-recorded his rape of 3-year-old girl gets life without parole

    Excerpt from ABC 33/40:

    An Odenville man who video-recorded himself raping a 3-year-old girl was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Wednesday.

    43-year-old Robert Armbrust, Jr. pled guilty last week to rape, sodomy, sex abuse of a child younger than 12, and child porn involving a child younger than 17. St. Clair County Judge Phil Seay sentenced Armbrust to life in prison without parole for the rape charge and life in prison on the remaining charges.

    According to Chief Assistant District Attorney Lyle Harmon, Armbrust committed the horrific crimes from June through September 2016 while he and his girlfriend were babysitting a sick friend’s grandchild. Armbrust videotaped and photographed himself committing the child sex crimes.

  • Alabama Archers Win Top Honors at National Championship

    Excerpt from an Outdoor Alabama news release:

    It was a very good year for Alabama’s student archers at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Eastern National Championship. Placing in the top five of their shooting categories were two Alabama teams and four individual students. Additionally, an Alabama elementary school student was chosen as an Easton Academic Archer and five Alabama students made the NASP All-American Academic Team.

    “We are extremely proud of the performance of Alabama’s student archers,” said Marisa Futral, Hunter Education Coordinator for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). “Their determination and dedication to both archery and academics is paying off and will serve them well in other aspects of life.”

    More than 14,000 archers traveled from 35 states to the competition, which was held May 10-12, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. Alabama’s top five results are listed below.

    Overall Competition

    Teams

    East Elementary, First Place, Elementary School Division
    Alma Bryant High, Fifth Place, High School Division
    Individuals

    Kayden Henderson, Vinemont Elementary, Third Place, Elementary School Male Division
    Allie Stewart, East Elementary, Fourth Place, Elementary School Female Division
    Caleb Thornton, Alma Bryant High, Third Place, in both the overall competition and the High School Male Division with a near perfect score of 297 (out of 300).
    International Bowhunters Organization 3D Tournament

    Teams

    East Elementary, First Place
    Individuals

    Ava Ray, East Elementary, Second Place, Elementary School Female Division
    Allie Stewart, East Elementary, Third Place, Elementary School Female Division
    Academic Archer

    The Easton Academic Archer program highlights students who excel in the classroom as well as on the archery range. Each of the newly chosen academic archers received a Genesis Bow and custom Easton Academic Archer arrows during the tournament.

    Pierce Gudger of East Elementary School was chosen as one of 10 academic archers for 2018.
    All-American Academic Team

    The 2018 NASP All-American Academic Team was formed based on the results of both the NASP Eastern and Western National tournaments and a roster of Academic Archers from across North America. Five students from Alabama have made this year’s team.

    Allie Stewart, East Elementary
    Jonathan Hall, Breitling Elementary
    Taylor Darby, Munford Middle
    Justin Liveoak, Chilton County High
    Caleb Thornton, Alma Bryant High

1 year ago

Expert Tax Attorney On What Trump Tax Plan Will Mean for You

By Guest Contributor Bing Edwards

Yellowhammer asked veteran Birmingham tax attorney Bing Edwards to share what President Trump’s recent tax proposal will mean for you. His insightful response is below.

It’s been thirty years since changes this significant have been proposed for the federal tax system. If it passes, you might save some money, and the State of Alabama will almost certainly come out ahead.

The Trump tax plan would have an impact on individuals and businesses. For individuals, the top tax rate would drop from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. Note, however, that this change only affects single persons earning more than $418,400 and couples earning more than $470,700. So, if you earn less than those amounts, the drop in tax rates won’t matter to you.

The number of tax brackets would also drop from seven (10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%) to three (10%, 25%, and 35%). We do not know, though, where the three new rates would start and stop, so it is theoretically possible that someone paying tax at, say, 28% today, could be subject to a 35% tax under the Trump plan. While theoretically possible, it seems unlikely that Congress would pass a bill with such an overt tax increase. So, it’s likely that bracket simplification will lower your taxes.

Another critical element of the Trump plan deals with deductions. Currently, when preparing your tax return, you can choose a standard deduction or you can itemize your deductions. Under present law, the standard deductions are $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a married couple. The President’s plan would double these standard deductions to $12,700 for individuals and $25,400 for married couples. This will be a big help to working families, especially those with lower incomes.

Also important is that the list of itemized deductions would be greatly reduced. This has the potential of increasing taxes on richer people (who are more likely to choose the itemized deduction instead of the standard deduction). Also, removing many itemized deductions would help to simplify tax returns.

Other key components of President Trump’s tax proposal would benefit high-income earners:

• Reducing the capital gains tax (the tax on the sale of stock)
• Eliminating estate taxes (the tax on large inheritances)
• Eliminating the alternative minimum tax (a recalculation of what one owes, with fewer deductions and exemptions)
• Eliminating the 3.8% Medicare surtax (a tax paid by higher income earners)

Each of these measures means everyday Americans would pay the government less of their income if the Trump tax plan becomes law. 

The Trump plan would also give a tremendous advantage to Alabama’s corporations. Under his proposal, the corporate tax rate would drop from 35 percent to 15 percent. If this happens, a company would keep more money in the business, allowing it to hire more employees, invest in growth, and avoid having stockholders pay income tax on dividends.

Today, most companies operate as LLCs. An LLC does not pay tax. Instead, all of the income tax earned through an LLC is paid on its owners’ personal tax returns. If the Trump plan becomes law, many businesses will probably convert from LLCs to corporations so they can take advantage of the new 15% corporate tax rate. If the Trump plan passes, a small business owner should go see his or her accountant or lawyer, quickly.

All in all, individuals and small business owners are likely to come out ahead under the Trump plan. However, we don’t yet have enough details about the plan for anyone to calculate their potential savings.

Ironically, while paying the federal government less, Alabamians will pay more to the State of Alabama. The reason is that Alabama’s income tax allows you to deduct the amount of federal taxes you pay. Therefore, if you pay less federal tax under the new Trump plan, that deduction on your state taxes will be smaller. And if that deduction is smaller, your Alabama taxable income will be bigger. So you (and everyone else in Alabama, including corporations) will pay a little more on your Alabama income tax return.


About the Author: Mr. Bing Edwards is a seasoned tax attorney who practices economic development and business law at the firm E+Law in Birmingham. He is also a partner at HotSpot Ventures, LLC. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (B.A.), The University of Alabama School of Law (J.D.) and New York University (LL.M. in Taxation). Bing is a graduate of Leadership Alabama, Leadership Birmingham, Leadership UAB, and the FBI Citizens Academy. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, the Newcomen Society of Alabama, and the Cathedral Church of the Advent.

1
1 year ago

Yellowhammer News Announces New Executive Editor

BIRMINGHAM, AL ­— Yellowhammer News announced today that Larry Huff will serve as its new Executive Editor. Brian Ellis, the current CEO of Yellowhammer will continue in his role in operations and business development.

Huff will fill the vacancy created by Yellowhammer founder Cliff Sims, who recently accepted a position in the Trump White House as Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House Message Strategy.

Mr. Huff’s professional experience includes serving on the staff of the Select Committee of Children, Youth and Families for Congressman Frank Wolf and on the senior staff of Governor David Beasley of South Carolina from 1996 to 1999. He was the Senior Vice president of Corporate Communications for IMI Worldwide Properties, where he was the editor-in-chief of Resort Living magazine.

In the wake of Cliff Sims’ departure from Yellowhammer, Clearcom Digital, LLC reached an agreement to acquire Sim’s ownership of Yellowhammer Multimedia, naming Huff as the new Executive Editor. Clearcom is owned by Joshua Jones, who is also Managing Partner of StrategyWise, an Alabama-based Data Science and Business Intelligence firm.

“When Cliff approached StrategyWise about a potential sale of the company, we were intrigued by the platform and its potential synergies with our data-driven marketing efforts,” Jones explained, “ultimately, however, our innovation team decided it was not a fit with our current priorities.” Jones continued, “but I was so impressed by the team that Cliff had built and everything that Yellowhammer stands for, I decided to make the purchase myself.”

With his focus on growing StrategyWise, Jones does not plan to become involved in daily operations or editorial content, but rather to lean on Huff and the team Sims built before his departure to Washington. “Larry has established himself as a strong conservative voice that can provide editorial direction we will all be excited to watch, and Brian has done an excellent job of continuing to build the team that Cliff put into place,” Jones remarked.

Former South Carolina Governor David Beasley recently recalled of Huff, “he produced excellent work and distinguished himself in many respects,”  “He testified on my behalf before the US Congress and represented me in important meetings with cabinet members and others.   I observed Larry in many situations — often under pressure and with little rest — and he never failed to acquit himself with excellence or to conduct himself admirably. He was highly regarded by everyone who worked with him, including members of the public, media, business leaders, and the faith community.”

Since 2009, Huff has been the principal of Rockbridge Innovative, a communications consultancy in Greenville, South Carolina. Mr. Huff is the recipient of The Order of the Palmetto, “the highest civilian honor in the State of South Carolina.”

“We’ve been searching for a chief editor since Cliff left for Washington,” Brian Ellis said. “This culminates that months-long effort with an exciting addition to our team, and I’m confident Larry will provide the wise leadership we need to continue serving our readers with reliable news and the conservative editorial voice they’ve come to rely on.”

No changes are expected in the format or operations of Yellowhammer as Mr. Huff assumes the Executive Editor position.

1
1 year ago

YHRadio: AL Congressman Gary Palmer talks about securing our border and the future of healthcare

Alabama Congressman Gary Palmer joins Scott Chambers and Andre Tice on Yellowhammer Radio to talk about a wide range of topics both local and nationwide. From the recent ‘hangover’ of Governor Bentley resigning, to defending our borders and health care reform, Rep. Palmer tackles it all.

The full conversation with Rep. Palmer can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Podcast on iTunes.

1
1 year ago

YHRadio: Rep. Ed Henry is ready to ‘drain the swamp’

Rep. Ed Henry joined Yellowhammer Radio co-hosts Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers to discuss his run for State Senate and how he plans to stand up for the people of Alabama.

The full conversation with Rep. Henry can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Podcast on iTunes.

1
1 year ago

Alabama financial guru asks a simple question: are you leaving a legacy?

Photo by Flickr user Aqua Mechanical

Birmingham, Alabama-based financial guru Jeff Roberts, who was recently named one of the top private wealth advisors in the nation by Barron’s®, came on Yellowhammer Radio to lay out the facts so people can decide for themselves.

The full conversation with Mr. Roberts can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above, and a lightly edited transcript of his interview with Yellowhammer’s Scott Chambers and guest Chris Reid can be read below.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Podcast on iTunes. Learn more about Jeff Roberts’ private wealth advisory practice at JeffRobertsAndAssociates.com.


Scott Chambers:

Welcome back. It’s Yellow Hammer Radio, super station 101, WYDE. 866-551-9933. We will get to your calls coming up. Right now on the show with us today is our local financial guru, Jeff Roberts. He’s the founder of Jeff Roberts and Associates. He and his team of seven advisors can help simplify your complex wealth management needs. They are an exceptional financial advisor team, who have provided sophisticated financial planning and advice to high net worth clients for up to 131 combined years.

That’s a lot of years, Jeff. How are you today, man?

Jeff Roberts:

Excellent, my friend. It’s good to be back.

Scott Chambers:

Good to have you back. Glad you’re on with us here today. Andrea, of course, is getting some beach time in down to the Gulf Coast. You have me, who’s a little on pain medicine, so I don’t know how this interview’s going to go, Jeff. It may be crazy.

Jeff Roberts:

Hey, man. If you loop off into twilight land, that’s okay. I’ll bring you back.

Scott Chambers:

All right. Well, you know in the past couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about the three minute confident retirement check, which is found at JeffRobertsandAssociates.com. Now since then, we’ve been drilling down on your confident retirement approach and the four principles that go along with it. Again if we can review some of that, tell us all about the confident retirement approach, Jeff.

Jeff Roberts:

Well basically the company I franchise through, Ameriprise Financial, we’ve been doing and helping people plan their finances for over 120 years, since 1894. We know retirement planning, whether you’re there or trying to get there. This is why we’ve developed an exclusive confident retirement approach, which is what makes retirement planning more manageable by breaking it down into simple steps for having a certain amount of money that provides a guaranteed income for covering the essential expenses that you have in retirement. Having a bucket of money that is used to cover lifestyle expenses separate from our essentials. Then preparing for the unexpected and then leaving a legacy to pass on to your heirs. That’s the basics.

Scott Chambers:

Well, I know. Today, we’re talking about the fourth principle, which is leaving a legacy. Tell me, what’s the whole leaving a legacy thing all about, man?

Jeff Roberts:

Basically leaving a legacy is leaving a lasting impression on those you love or the causes you believe in, is really what it means to leave a legacy. Whether your legacy involves family, loved ones or a cause that you care a lot about or are passionate about, there are strategies that can assist you with giving now or tax efficiently distributing your estate later. That’s the basics. Taking your life’s work, if you will, financially and passing it to the places that you want it to go.

Scott Chambers:

Very interesting, Jeff. That’s pretty interesting right there. People planning to do that, are there some mistakes maybe that they possibly make while they’re trying to do that? That could be … To me on the outside, it sounds complicated, but that’s what you do for a living.

Jeff Roberts:

Today what I thought we would do is just keep it simple. Let’s just drill down on a bunch of those common mistakes that I see. These are in no order. I just made a list today of the things that when people come in and talk about estate planning, the stuff that we see people getting wrong most often, again we’ll go through several. Again, random order here. One easy, easy one that’s probably the simplest that we see people do is when people decide they want to gift money, whether it’s to their church or a family member or anything else, people all the time are gifting cash. We strongly encourage people not to do that as a first source.

In fact, what we look for oftentimes, particularly if you’re looking at charity, if you’re gifting money to a charity that is an actual charity where you can get a deduction for giving the money there, you’re actually better off by giving highly appreciated property, like a stock. Something that if you sold yourself, you would have to pay capital gains on. Passing it to the non-profit organization, they can sell it, not pay taxes and then the cash that would have given, use that cash to replace that asset in your investment portfolio. When you’re giving to a charitable organization, try not to gift cash. Gift highly appreciated property when existing.

Scott Chambers:

Oh, that’s pretty interesting. What are some of the other common mistakes that people make?

Jeff Roberts:

Titling or ownership of property is huge. We see clients that will go spend thousands and thousands of dollars to have wills and trusts set up, so that upon their death, their money goes in a particular direction. If you’re hearing this and you think, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve had this fancy will drawn up and did all this work with an attorney.” If you didn’t go in and take a close look at the ownership of your assets, your assets may be owned or set up as a beneficiary, in a way, that the money doesn’t ever get to the will or the trust that you created. It passes directly on to the joint owner or to a beneficiary and the hardworking estate planning that you did, didn’t work. You have to look at not just creating the legal documents, but also the way your assets are titled or owned. Those have to be aligned. We see people getting that incorrect all the time. Huge mistake.

Chris Reid:

Yeah, I see that all the time, too, Jeff. I tell my clients that. You’re 100% right. Sometimes they’ll draw up a will and then they won’t fully know what’s this going to cover and what’s this not going to cover. If you don’t have somebody like you that understands the financial situation of those meetings, they can think they’re protected and they’re actually not protected. Then they’re in a bad situation.

Jeff Roberts:

There’s no doubt. That’s why with our planning clients, we do a net worth statement, literally in every meeting. If they’re coming in every six months, we review the entire net worth, every asset in every location, from cars, personal property. You name it. We have the ownership of those assets tied on there, as well, so that when they’re working with their financial planning team, like a lawyer, estate planning attorney, they can see the document and the way everything’s listed out to know does the will and trust align with the ownership and get the advice that they need. It’s big.

Scott Chambers:

Our guest is Jeff Roberts, of Jeff Roberts and Associates. We’re talking about leaving a legacy and some of the mistakes people do when they’re trying to leave that financial legacy. Jeff, what are some of the other mistakes that clients and people make?

Jeff Roberts:

A couple other ones. This one’s big and it can be very personal to people. That is, we encourage clients to take an honest inventory of their heirs, and the heirs readiness to received an inheritance. The question I like to ask is, are your heirs equipped and prepared to receive money from you? I have two extreme examples. Just last night I was talking to the son of one of my clients, who is basically 27 years of age, just married. Both in the military. He has over $120,000 saved up. Literally rents an apartment. This is going to be somebody who will pay cash for the new car that they need and get a new used car. Then they’ll put 20% down on a house. They’ll be packing 15% away for their retirement plan in their early 20s. They’ll do that for the rest of their lives. You’re talking about getting an incredible financial foundation of somebody young with the right habits.

I have another client whose son that we had talked to, about a month ago. This is somebody who has been tapping into their parents’ money year after year. As a young adult, out on their own with their own family and kids, coming back to the parents over and over again. Going back to the well and trying to get money from them out of their retirement assets to float the mistakes that they’re making financially. The reason I share this is people don’t often take the time to think about the impact of leaving large amounts of money to children that are or are not equipped to handle it. If you spend your whole life sacrificing and planning your estate, and you’re building up your retirement nest egg that affords your retirement, and then we see that they’re likely going to pass that nest egg onto a child that’s going to go through it very quickly, there’s simple estate planning tools you can put in place to protect those heirs from themselves.

It’s a tough conversation, but it’s a big piece that we see people mess up all the time. The last piece on that one is, is because they feel that, “Well I’ve got to split my money equally with my children.” I look at people and I think, “That doesn’t even make sense.” Love your children equally by treating them uniquely. If someone is not ready or equipped to receive and inheritance that you’ve prepared your whole life for, don’t leave them something that they’re going to blow. You’d be better off giving it to charity or the child that does manage it correctly. Just an interesting perspective.

Scott Chambers:

Exactly. That’s interesting, Jeff. Very interesting. Are there any other common mistakes that people make, as we get ready to wrap up here in the next few moments?

Jeff Roberts:

The one that’s sad to me is when people can afford to gift in their lifetime and they don’t. They haven’t done the planning, the forecasting, the projections of their estate to see that they’re going to have enough money and they’ve protected themselves along the way. They could gift while they’re alive and let their family benefit or charities benefit and see the impact of that, but they haven’t done that work to feel confident enough to give money away. Proper planning helps us to be able to show that to folks. It’s huge.

Scott Chambers:

Wow. Well, Jeff, as we begin to wrap up here, if anyone has any interest in getting help or want to be more confident towards their own retirement, what do they need to do, man?

Jeff Roberts:

Give us a buzz at 205-313-9150 or you can go to JeffRobertsandAssociates.com. Take the three minute retirement competent check. It’s a great way to begin to figure out where you are.

Scott Chambers:

All right. Jeff Roberts, Jeff Roberts and Associates. Appreciate you being on Yellow Hammer Radio. We’ll chit chat with you again next Wednesday, Jeff.

Jeff Roberts:

Thank you. Sure.

Scott Chambers:

All right. Have a blessed day. Jeff Roberts of Jeff Roberts and Associates.

1
1 year ago

AL Rep. Ed Henry joins Yellowhammer Radio to disclose machinery of Bentley investigation

Representative Ed Henry of Alabama House district number 9 comes on Yellowhammer Radio to talk with YH hosts, Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers, about the inner workings Governor Robert Bentley’s impeachment.

The full conversation with Rep. Henry can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above, and a lightly edited transcript of his interview with Yellowhammer’s Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers can be read below.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Podcast on iTunes.


Scott Chambers

Welcome back to Yellowhammer Radio, SuperStation 101, WYDE. 866-551-9933, you can also tweet the program @YHNRadio. Welcome back for hour numero dos, which means hour number two for those of you listening in Concord, Alabama. That’s today’s city spotlight, Concord.

Andrea Tice

Hey, by the way, I heard of a new town in Alabama. It’s down south where they had the damage from the tornado.

Scott Chambers

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrea Tice

Screamer.

Scott Chambers

Screamer.

Andrea Tice

Screamer.

Scott Chambers

Screamer, Alabama.

Andrea Tice

Screamer got a tornado through it. It’s just kind of amazing.

Scott Chambers

That is amazing stuff.

Andrea Tice

Sounds like it’s made for TV storyline there, Screamer.

Scott Chambers

That is amazing stuff, so shout out to those in Screamer and shout out to everyone listening. Hour number two. Appreciate you spending your lunch break with us here on Yellowhammer Radio, coming to you live from the [call 00:00:47] KS.com Heating and Air Studios. Right now, ladies and gentlemen, we are happy to welcome in to the program Representative Ed Henry. Welcome to Yellowhammer Radio sir. How you doing today?

Rep. Ed Henry

Doing well. Thank you all for having me.

Scott Chambers

Well, we appreciate you being on. Is there anything going on in Montgomery today? I have not seen the news. I don’t know what’s going on down there, man.

Rep. Ed Henry

There’s not a lot, you know, just that little impeachment thing.

Scott Chambers

Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. Oh, my gosh. Wow.

Andrea Tice

Representative Henry, before we get in to details. What’s the general mood, just the tone right where you are?

Rep. Ed Henry

It’s actually pretty good, actually. The kind of ebb and flow, up and down, but sentiment inside the body seems to be it’s time to deal with it. We should have dealt with it sooner.

Andrea Tice

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rep. Ed Henry

We didn’t, but it’s time to deal with it now. So, I think there’s a sense of relief almost that the Ethics Commission essentially handed indictments over on the Governor to the District Attorney in Montgomery County and there’s a sense of relief that okay, we can move forward with this process. I personally have never understood why they needed some outside entity. We could see the information in front of us and deem appropriately, but there’s a lot of the members that feel a whole lot better about moving forward with the impeachment now.

Scott Chambers

Yeah, this is a bipartisan thing. I mean, both sides, Democrats and Republicans want justice served on the Governor if he violated these laws and, of course, the Alabama Ethics Commission yesterday said that they believe that he did. Going forward, Representative Henry, what’s next? What happens next for Dr. Bentley?

Rep. Ed Henry

Well, like I said, the indictments were handed over to the Montgomery County District Attorney, which is kind of interesting. Right now, everyone in the process, Governor Bentley has appointed at some level. Even three out of the five Ethics Commissioners were appointed by Governor Bentley. The DA in Montgomery County was appointed by Governor Bentley. The Attorney General was appointed by Governor Bentley and the Ethics Commission chose to send it to the Montgomery County DA and I think that’s fairly telling in and of itself that they didn’t really trust the Attorney General’s office, which has an air of conspiracy around it just by the manner in which Attorney General Strange, at the time, got the appointment for the US Senate while telling everyone there was no investigation in his office. Then, now we found out there has. There’s still an air of corruption and collusion and that kind of thing around the Attorney General’s office. Most everyone I’ve spoken with believes that the DA in Montgomery County will do his job and act accordingly.

Scott Chambers

Our guest is Representative Ed Henry from Alabama House District nine. Representative Henry, that’s a very interesting point you make there, that this was handed over to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office versus the Alabama Attorney General’s office because Governor Bentley did appoint Steve Marshall, who is the current new Attorney General in Alabama, even though Steve Marshall said he would recuse himself from any investigation of Bentley so someone else would have been handling that anyway. I guess that left too much up in the air, who would be handling it. Is that why the Ethics Commission handed it to the Montgomery County District Attorney?

Rep. Ed Henry

I think so because Steve Marshall’s already recused himself. He’s already appointed Ellen Brooks, who was the previous Montgomery County DA to handle the ongoing investigation of Governor Bentley. I think because that process is happening, they wanted some assurance that there would be another entity working on it and so they weren’t putting all their eggs in one proverbial basket. They were spreading it out and making sure that there wasn’t an opportunity for someone to make it all go away.

Andrea Tice

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rep. Ed Henry

I applaud them for that. I’m very pleased by the way the Ethics Commission handled themselves in light of, I’m sure, enormous pressure. The Governor went over there himself personally to testify and it had to be tough. Those people that had asked for his appointment to the Ethics Commission then sitting in judgment of the very man that put them in their position. That had to be tough. They looked at the evidence and they said there’s probable cause here and it needs to move forward.

Scott Chambers

Yeah, Representative Henry, I don’t think that’s a job that anyone wants to have to listen to because, at the end of the day, this isn’t a joyous occasion for anyone, but …

Rep. Ed Henry

No. Absolutely not.

Scott Chambers

… it’s making Alabama look bad. I don’t think that Robert Bentley can effectively govern this state anymore. I don’t think anyone wants to see the downfall of anyone, and if they do, then maybe they need to check their own life. Look in the mirror just a little bit.

Rep. Ed Henry

Well, and that’s exactly right, that’s exactly right. I found myself in that boat to that point. When I started this process, I did it just because I felt like he needed to be held accountable. The more the fight drug on, I started enjoying his misery and I had a real self-awareness around the first of the year and had to check myself. Actually, went to Governor Bentley and asked for his forgiveness for enjoying his misery as much as I had. I apologized to him for that. Not for going down this road or doing anything, but just for how I was handling it and enjoying it. You’re right, if someone is enjoying his misery, they need to do a little self-check on themselves.

Scott Chambers

No, there’s no question. As a talk show host, you can imagine sir, that I might have found some pleasure in this whole story along the way, but yeah, you do. You have to do a little self-check because we’ve all got issues. We’ve all got things in the closet there that we’ve got to think about. It’s not a fun story by any means.

Rep. Ed Henry

It isn’t, it isn’t, and it’s going to continue to get worse.

Scott Chambers

Yeah.

Rep. Ed Henry

I mean, here’s the thing. This is how short sighted he was. He had his iPhone and his iPad connected. Right?

Scott Chambers

Right.

Rep. Ed Henry

The story’s come out and everything he did on his phone popped up on his iPad. The reports I’m hearing of the evidence that’s very likely going to come out tomorrow is extremely personally and extremely embarrassing to him and Miss Mason. Conversations, photographs, all kinds of extremely embarrassing things.

Rep. Ed Henry

And what that is going to do to the state, it just sickens me, to be honest with you. I hate to see how we are going to be ridiculed, not only in this country, but worldwide-

Andrea Tice

I know.

Rep. Ed Henry

It’s disappointing.

Andrea Tice

It is, Representative Henry. I was just talking to Scott off the air. I noticed a headline about this whole situation with the governor. It was making national news on a national website, news website. And it was like, I don’t … Here we go again, Alabama. Whenever that happens it seems, makes the headlines. We don’t hear it so much in other obscure states, like Iowa or North Dakota. Maybe they’re all lily white and acting well, but I don’t suspect that.

Rep. Ed Henry

We’ll probably not. Alabama is the favorite stepchild to beat on-

Andrea Tice

Yes.

Scott Chambers

Amen.

Rep. Ed Henry

In the press, in the-

Scott Chambers

Late night TV.

Rep. Ed Henry

And it’s just … Exactly. We’re easy targets and we keep making it easier-

Scott Chambers

Our guest is Representative Ed Henry from House District Nine, and Representative Henry, I’ve got to ask you this question. My producer just asked me in my ear this and I’m going to go ahead and ask it now. Backing up for just a moment. When you said, “You’ve heard rumors, and these are nothing more than rumors, about some things that will come out tomorrow.” When you said, “Photographs and stuff,” my producer asked, “Is this something maybe similar to an Anthony Weiner-type photograph, something like that?” Do we know?

Rep. Ed Henry

All I know is, I was told, “There are embarrassing pictures that were taken off of that device.”

Scott Chambers

Oh, wow.

Rep. Ed Henry

That’s all I know.

Scott Chambers

Wow.

Andrea Tice

All right, Representative Henry, as far as tomorrow, tomorrow’s going to be another big day.

Rep. Ed Henry

Right.

Andrea Tice

Walk us forward from when the report comes out from the Judiciary Committee, correct? The House Judiciary Committee?

Rep. Ed Henry

That’s correct, it would be the investigator that they brought on board. He will release his report tomorrow. Now, I don’t believe tomorrow will be the most embarrassing part. Monday, when the investigation basically reports directly to the Judiciary, they will get copies of all of the evidence, and from what I understand, that’s where most of the embarrassing stuff’s going to come out.

Andrea Tice

So this would be Jack Charmin, Special Counsel?

Rep. Ed Henry

Correct, correct.

Andrea Tice

Bringing it all to bear to the Committee?

Scott Chambers

How soon before the public is made aware of all of that, after some of that’s released tomorrow?

Rep. Ed Henry

I think you will see it, I think you’ll see it Monday, as soon as it … Once you give it to public officials, there’s someone in that group that will share it. I mean, it’s just a-

Scott Chambers

Yeah.

Rep. Ed Henry

There’s no hope for holding that back.

Scott Chambers

Exactly. Any chances, whatsoever, that Governor Bentley will do what’s right for the people of Alabama and just say, “All right. I’ve caused enough grief. It’s time to resign and do the right thing?”

Rep. Ed Henry

I’ve been praying for him for months now that he would find that place in his life, and actually go a step further, and seek reconciliation with his family.

Andrea Tice

Yeah.

Rep. Ed Henry

Because that’s what’s going to matter in this world, is his relationship with God and his relationship with his family. It’s not going to be that people continue to call him Governor, or anything like that. That’s my prayer for him, is that he will figure out how to make some kind of deal to get out of this, and be able to go home, and reconcile his life with his family, repent, and move on.

Scott Chambers

Yeah, that’s what I hope for. I hope for that, as well. Because, the people of Alabama, we can move on past this. Overall, the State of Alabama, it’s doing okay. We can move forward.

Rep. Ed Henry

Yeah.

Scott Chambers

It’s the relationships with his sons, with his ex-wife, his grandchildren. Those are the relationships he needs to foster right now.

Rep. Ed Henry

Amen.

Scott Chambers

It’s not so much the ones that put him in office.

Rep. Ed Henry

Amen. [crosstalk 00:04:09].

Andrea Tice

Representative Henry, I know from what you’ve said that you’re not taking, at this point, any pleasure in this moment and you’ve worked through that this is not a time to feel self-righteous in any way towards Bentley, because we’re all fallen and we all make these mistakes. I want to commend you on following through in this process. It’s unfortunate that it had to happen, but it’s also necessary that this whole process come to its full fruition in order to stop this corruption from continuing in our highest leadership in the state.

Rep. Ed Henry

Thank you. It has been tough. I’ll tell you. I said on another radio show this morning. They asked me if I were finding any joy. And I found joy in one spot and that is, those group, especially that first group of 10 or 11 men and women that signed the first Articles of Impeachment one year ago yesterday, they were ridiculed, made fun of, and [inaudible 00:05:17] people in the highest of leadership, and it continued even once we got the 23 people that changed the rules. They were continually beat up through every special session that we had. Made fun of, mocked.

I find some joy in these individuals that fought us, blocked us, and made fun of us, that they finally see that we were right. They were wrong. I was in a meeting earlier today, where one of them made a statement that I had made a year ago, and it shocked me. That here this guy, fought us, made fun of us, and now he’s going to try and pretend like he was in this vein the entire time. I find some joy knowing that, yes, these guys who would have let it slide, let it slip under the carpet, are having to deal with it.

Scott Chambers

Yeah, and I think it’s been a one year process. A long one year process. The ethics violations were handed over to the DA yesterday, exactly as you mentioned a moment ago, one year to the day that you filed the Articles of Impeachment. One long year. What has that year been like for you? Because I’m sure that’s taken a toll on you and it hasn’t been easy.

Rep. Ed Henry

I, essentially, destroyed my internal political career inside this body. In order to bring this to fruition, I had to be willing to sacrifice my political standing within the House of Representatives, and I did, and that’s why I’m not running again. I have nothing that I can do any further here, because I have thrown every bit of my political capital inside this body away in order to bring this to fruition. I’m glad it’s happening. I will be glad to be able to ride off into the sunset and know that I made a difference.

Andrea Tice

I really hope, Representative Henry, that people in light of all of this, when the truth comes out, will recognize what a service you actually did in holding the standard of integrity to our leadership, because nothing’s going to change down the road if we don’t hold the line on this, and stop our leaders from abusing their positions of power.

Scott Chambers

Yeah, if anything, I believe that you have changed things for future politicians in this state. I certainly hope they’ve taken note, to know that no longer will Alabama allow all of this nonsense to happen. That if you’re elected, especially to the hightest office in this State, you will be held accountable.

Rep. Ed Henry

Amen and thank you all for bringing the hammer.

Andrea Tice

Hey.

Scott Chambers

You are welcome, sir. I can’t take credit for that. Cannot take credit for that one. That goes out to [Cliff 00:08:15] [Sims 00:08:14] and everything he did while was still a part of Yellowhammer, and of course, he’s moved onto bigger things now.

Andrea Tice

We thank you so much for calling in.

Scott Chambers

Yep.

Rep. Ed Henry

Thanks, guys.

Scott Chambers

Representative Ed Henry, House District Nine, we hope to chat with you again very soon. Thanks for being with us, here on Yellowhammer Radio. We’re coming to you live from the [inaudible 00:08:31].com, [inaudible 00:08:32] Studios, right back after this.

1
1 year ago

LISTEN: Rep. Barry Moore weighs in on Bentley, Trump, and job creation in AL

Representative Barry Moore of Alabama House district number 91 comes on Yellowhammer Radio to talk with YH hosts, Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers, about Governor Robert Bentley’s impeachment, the business climate and job creation in Alabama, aerospace manufacturers setting up shop in Historical Tuskegee, and President Donald J. Trump draining the swamp in Washington.

The full conversation with Rep. Moore can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above, and a lightly edited transcript of his interview with Yellowhammer’s Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers can be read below.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Podcast on iTunes.


Scott Chambers:

It is our pleasure to welcome into the program Representative Barry Moore of Alabama House district number 91. How are you doing today Barry?

Rep. Barry Moore:

I am doing fine Scott. I appreciate you guys having me on. Just about to get the session started. We’ve been on break. Back after two weeks off. Kind of interesting to see how the week’s going to go this far.

Scott Chambers:

Well we appreciate you being with us here today. There’s not anything going on in Montgomery is there Andrea? Nothing for us to chat about.

Andrea Tice:

Yeah. All wondering. Anything you want to tell us about Mr. Moore?

Rep. Barry Moore:

There is a lot going on guys. I mean, that’s part of the issue this year is it seems like we’ve been kind of running into a couple distractions here and there. Of course I guess that’s part of the process. I came in in 2010. It seems like we’ve been … It’s challenging job. I can tell you that. It’s a challenging job. When everything is going pretty smoothly, you get a little distractions in there, and it makes it very difficult.

Scott Chambers:

You know you speak of distractions and being facetious by saying that there’s nothing going on in Montgomery. One of the biggest distractions Representative Moore going on right now is one with Governor Robert Julian Bentley. That’s been just a little bit of a distraction for not only you guys in Montgomery, for the entire state. It’s brought Alabama into some negative spotlight as well.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Yeah it really has. That’s the thing. You hear people all the time talk about term limits and that sort of thing. It seemed like to me that the first term the governor we were able to work with him pretty well. Things were rolling along. I thought we were making a great deal of progress. There’s no doubt in my mind 2010 class had a tremendous impact on the state. As far as the history of the state. It was the first Republican majority obviously after the Civil War since Reconstruction. We had an opportunity and I think we took advantage of that. The second term it’s almost like the agenda turned into Democrats over across the street where they’re talking about gambling and taxes. That was just something that kind of caught a lot of us on our heels. I hear people argue for term limits and I can understand that sometimes. But in this situation his second term has been a difficult challenge for us to do our job. It certainly hadn’t been a Republican driven agenda I wouldn’t think.

Scott Chambers:

Right.

Andrea Tice:

Right. The distraction is a very real thing in keeping you from your agenda. That just comes from unfortunately, at least from our perspective, the Governor just refusing to accept reality and self evaluate that he’s actually hindering things by hanging on and not either coming forward with the truth or stepping away from his position based on the fact that they’re not considering impeachment. Do you have any word on where things are at this point in the week, and what’s coming down the line?

Rep. Barry Moore:

Yeah. Here’s kind of what we’re hearing. The ethics commission has a year typically to respond. This thing was filed in 36 hours it will be a year ago. Once the ethics commission, if they refer something to the AG’s office, then it certainly would be considered noteworthy. I think it would certainly, the impeachment hearings would proceed here in the house. I talked to Chairman Jones today and he’s kind of waiting to see what the ethics commission’s going to send to the AG’s office, if anything. Then that puts a whole different set of cards on the table.

Andrea Tice:

You mentioned, I didn’t realize that there was a one year deadline that we’re coming up
on.

Scott Chambers:

No.

Andrea Tice:

How does that whole delay that happened back in November at the request of then state attorney general Luther Strange, how did that play into that whole deadline thing?

Rep. Barry Moore:

Well I think it put us a little bit in a box. I can tell you after the … When General Strange was appointed to the Senate, at that time I called chairman Jones. Him and I are friends. We kind of districts next to each other. I said “I think we might have gotten played on that because they’d asked us to hold off on everything because they were ongoing hearings.” Then they were coming out and saying there were no hearings. There were no investigations. It did kind of paint us in a little bit of a box, and I encouraged him. Let’s step forward and let’s do our jobs. Make sure we take care of the people. My understanding, and I just found this out today that the ethics commission actually has a year and my understanding is the governor signed a waiver on that as well. I don’t know how that’s going to impact the process, but they have a year to respond and get it over to AG’s office. In fact, there’s something there that they say like I said that would be noteworthy.

Andrea Tice:

Hmm.

Scott Chambers:

Do you think it’s possible or within the realm of possibility that Robert Bentley at some point will maybe wake up and maybe bang his head on a cabinet door and go “Darn. Maybe I should resign and do what’s right for the people of Alabama.” Do you think that’s a possibility?

Rep. Barry Moore:

You know. Let me tell you this. When the impeachment documents were brought to my desk on the floor, and Ed Henry brought them to me. He said “Barry I really need you to get onboard with me on this and help me with this.” I told him I would. I signed it. We had to have 23 signatures. At that time he needed a little bit of momentum. We needed to get the ball rolling it felt like. At least look into it. But I’ll tell you this. A day or two later I went to see Governor Bentley because I just kind of … I felt like I needed to talk to him in person.

Scott Chambers:

Sure.

Rep. Barry Moore:

And explain to him my position because he had given me grace. Let’s not forget I was drug through the mud a few years ago.

Scott Chambers:

I remember.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Yeah. It was a horrible ordeal for our family and for me. I remember shortly after that that he came down and toured our community and set next to me at lunch one day. He caught some flack, naturally, from left media in the state.

Scott Chambers:

Sure.

Rep. Barry Moore:

He caught a lot of flack about that. The next day or two after I signed that I felt compelled to go sit down with him. You know at the time I thought that maybe I was getting through to him. I wanted to let him know it wasn’t personal. That I was extending grace, but at the same time we needed justice in the process. We set down and talked a little bit. You know I thought I was kind of getting through to him, but you know how that goes sometimes. One minute people act like they’re maybe a little bit remorseful or they understand where you’re coming from, and then they’ll turn around and do something you don’t quite understand. I don’t know. I don’t know if he’ll do the right thing or not. Who’s to know? You don’t know a man’s heart. You can just do based on what they do normally. Judge them based on their actions. You know?

Scott Chambers:

Exactly. Look. It’s never good when you see someone that did sign up to serve when they’re drug through the mud in the media. Whether it’s rightfully so or not. There’s family. There’s people that suffered. There’s people that hurt. You went through a situation of course as you just mentioned. It’s awful. It must be awful to be on that receiving end. But I think the public opinion on the governor is sure what he did was wrong. But it’s the fact that he hasn’t appeared to repent publicly to the people. I think that’s what burns up so many people Representative Moore. I think that’s what upsets to many people is he hasn’t just said “Look. I was wrong in doing this.” It’s been deny, deny, deny, and I think that’s what’s upset the people of Alabama so much.

Andrea Tice:

Yeah. We seem to have had just a history of both state and national level politicians who kind of do the word dance. Like he said “Well I love all the staff around me. I love them in different ways.” It’s an insult to our intelligence really. I mean, the voter, it’s like come on. We see through all of that.

Scott Chambers:

Absolutely. Our guest is Representative Barry Moore from Alabama house district 91. So much to cover. So much to talk about. Representative Moore, we’re going to take a short break. Come back and let’s continue the chat about what’s going on in Montgomery and let’s talk a little bit about Donald Trump and Washington too. How’s that sound?

Rep. Barry Moore:

Sure. All right thanks. We’ll be here.

Scott Chambers:

All right. Our guest is representative Barry Moore House District 91.

–Break

Scott Chambers:

From Alabama House District 91, it’s Representative Barry Moore. Thanks for being with us, Representative Moore.

Andrea Tice:

Oh, is he there?

Scott Chambers:

Did we lose him? Hello?

Rep. Barry Moore:

Hey, I’m here.

Andrea Tice:

Okay.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Sorry, sorry I had a call coming in here, I couldn’t figure out how to-

Scott Chambers:

Uh oh.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Operate this phone.

Scott Chambers:

I got yeah. Man, the world of technology is such a crazy thing. It happens to me, I’ll give you … one free pass is all you get, so you burnt that one up for today, okay?

Rep. Barry Moore:

All right. Hopefully I won’t need any more free passes today.

Scott Chambers:

All right, sounds good, man. So, Alabama, we talked about some distractions, we talked about some distractions with the governor, but overall, let’s talk about just state business in general. How do you see the state of Alabama progressing? How is Alabama, overall, doing right now?

Rep. Barry Moore:

Well, you know, I think we’re doing pretty good, and it’s like I said, since 2010 I think we’ve kind of opened up an environment that’s conducive to job creation. Whether it’s [inaudible 00:00:53] or Remington, or whoever it is, players that’s coming to the state of Alabama to do business here, we’re doing what we can to open these doors of business opportunities to create these pretty high paying jobs, for the most part. I think we’ve done some good things, and it takes a little time. I mean, you can’t turn the ship overnight. I mean, it takes a little while to get it a new course, and to sort of get your headings. So I think we’re doing some good things, and I know this year we passed … you know, the house’s primary job is to pass budgets and we got the general fund budget out … I think 25-30 years as quick as anybody has in session here. And we set it with a 93 million dollar savings to the Senate.

Now what they’ll do with it, who knows. But we took it and we put a little money back. We’ve been able to manage the roll and reserve to kinda keep education from going into proration so I think we’re doing some good things guys. It’s a … like I said, it takes some time and the liberal media never gives us any credit. Obviously they try to nit pick you on some issues that really probably have little to do with the well being of most of the people in the state. And we get very little pats on the back, so I think we’re doing good. I think Alabama is going to be okay. We got some good leadership. It’s just … it takes a while. It takes a while to make a big difference.

Scott Chambers:

What do you think happens to the state of Alabama? I had a lot of people tell me, “Oh, if Bentley were to resign or be impeached and been removed from office, that would just be detrimental to Alabama.” But overall, I think the state government continues to move on because even though he’s drugged Alabama through the mud if you will, the state overall is doing well. There’s big business coming into Alabama and I think if Kay Ivey were to step up to the plate and do her duty and become governor because Bentley resigns or is removed, I think Alabama will continue to be okay.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Oh yeah, I mean, we have a great deal of experienced leadership here and in a lot of ways, I don’t … it might be hiccup in history, but as far as the process of getting the budgets passed and keeping the state moving in the right direction, I don’t see it being a huge issue.

Scott Chambers:

Right, I’m with you on that.

Andrea Tice:

One of the things Representative Barry, I noticed that you’re a member of the commerce and small business committee in the house, and one of the stories that caught my eye recently was the bid that is being made for aircraft to be built in Tuskegee and kinda revitalize that area. And I just, I don’t know, if that’s caught your eye, but I just personally thought, “Wow, that would be exciting.” I’m glad to see Alabama moving on making bids to bring this type of Aerospace industry into the state. What have you seen develop in the time that you’ve been on this committee.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Well certainly, I mean, we’re so pro-business and in that committee, I was last chair for, I took over military veteran affairs. And we have constantly, anytime there was an opportunity to … you know Ronald Reagan said, he said, “The government said [inaudible 00:03:48] the economies if it’s moving you tax it. If it keeps moving, you regulate it. When it fails, you subsidize.”

Andrea Tice:

Yeah.

Rep. Barry Moore:

And we have worked … I mean, [inaudible 00:03:57] worked to try to reduce taxes and decrease regulations to allow these companies to come into the state. Total reform, tax break here and there to create these jobs because, you know, we catch slight for giving tax breaks, but you know, I try to explain to my friends across the aisle that well yeah, we may give them a little tax break guys, but 100% of nothing is nothing. So if we’re getting 50% of something, we’re better off than 100% of nothing. And so once you get those jobs in here, the manufacturing jobs especially, that money turns over into the local economy. And it just kinda has a healing effect to those communities. So, if we could get something in Tuskegee, which is basically an abandoned airfield-

Andrea Tice:

Right.

Rep. Barry Moore:

And start to see some manufacturing and some high paying jobs, there is not a better government program than job. There is not a social program on planet earth that does as much good for a man and a woman as working for a living, bringing a paycheck home, and looking at your family and saying, “Hey, I provided this for you with the sweat of my brow.”

Andrea Tice:

Right.

Rep. Barry Moore:

And it’s just rare that you have those opportunities in life to impact people’s futures. And I think we’re painting a real bright future for the state and it’s just … whether it’s Airbus, I mean we got Airbus, they came to Mobile a few years ago, Remington, the oldest gun manufacturer in the country is now manufacturing in Alabama. So we’re gonna continue to pursue those kinda things and like I said, we’ve been here six years, it hasn’t been a bed of roses, I can tell you that. But we’ve done some things that we can hang our hat on and say, “You know what, at the end of the day, we served the people well.”

Scott Chambers:

Our guest is Representative Barry Moore of Alabama House District 91. Doing great things down in Montgomery. Let’s change gears from Montgomery to the Nation’s capital. Donald Trump elected in November. A lot of people super excited about it. Of course those on the left, I mean, they’re still bitter, butt hurt, and crying a lot-

Andrea Tice:

Devastated.

Scott Chambers:

Devastation I think is the proper word.

Andrea Tice:

Yeah.

Scott Chambers:

What do you think of Trump so far Representative Moore.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Oh, I’m really excited and of course this is … you know guys, I was the first fella state elected to endorse him.

Scott Chambers:

Right.

Rep. Barry Moore:

It was it … and we were … he was … now me and Ed Henry fought a little bit about this, but I try to take the credit. He was coming to Alabama when he was one of 19 candidates. And the one thing that I think we have in politics, and I see it here in Montgomery, there’s no doubt in DC is these groups playing both sides against the middle. I mean, they’re giving money to the right, and they’re giving money to the left. And nothings ever getting done, and so the fact that he was coming from outside of the beltway, and he was a bus … just like myself. When I ran, I had no political experience. I was a business owner and I understood job creation, and I understood free markets and I was a big right wing nut job as a lot of people would say.

But, seeing him come into the game and being invited to go down there and have an opportunity to be at that first event, it was a … it was remarkable to see the crowds and what I began to realize was that in the crowds there were people that weren’t typically Republican voters. And I was with him a couple times in Mobile and in Birmingham, and I’ll never forget this one lady in Birmingham, she was standing next to me said, “I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life, but I’m voting for that man right there.”

Scott Chambers:

Wow.

Andrea Tice:

Wow.

Rep. Barry Moore:

He just has a ground swell of appeal to people. And it was because he wasn’t so well spoken, but we knew he was a doer and he could get the job done. So he has … the one thing that worries me for him, is that he has stepped into the swamp up there and there is a lot of swamp that needs draining and there’s a lot of people that he can’t trust. And I think he’s learning that the hard way. When you’re in business, you can just … if somebody’s not doing their job, unfortunately these people are elected and the votes won’t fire them sometimes.

Scott Chambers:

Right.

Rep. Barry Moore:

So it’s a thing that we just … you know, I think he’s gonna be fine. If you look at just recently, I think it was last week, the manufacturing [conference 00:07:32] index is as high as it’s been historically since they’ve been tracking the numbers. And of course the stock market’s moving. And I’m just seeing it in my small business. We do construction demolition, a little work down in south Alabama. And by the way, you all need to be on a radio station in [wiregrass 00:07:46] sometime in the near future.

Andrea Tice:

Yes, we’d love that.

Rep. Barry Moore:

But down there, we need … we’re starting to see consumer confidence. Houses are starting to sell, and Trump’s made it pretty clear he’s going to invest in our veterans and in our military. And so, with Fort Rucker being in my district, that’s encouraging. I think-

Scott Chambers:

Right.

Rep. Barry Moore:

I think he’s gonna do some great things. I just think he’s gonna take a little time get his feet under him. Figure out how the process works, but he’s a bright guy and he’s super successful and a hard worker.

Scott Chambers:

If he can only figure this whole Twitter thing out. You know.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Hey, that’s his way … you know, that’s the way he directly talks to the people.

Scott Chambers:

That’s right.

Rep. Barry Moore:

And it’s somewhat refreshing-

Scott Chambers:

It is.

Rep. Barry Moore:

I know I’m sitting down in Mobile when it … when the second time it came through. On the way to being inaugurated, I said, I know we cringe at some of the things he says sometimes, but he’s probably saying what most of us are thinking. You know?

Scott Chambers:

That’s exactly right.

Rep. Barry Moore:

That no politician that ever had the courage to say.

Scott Chambers:

Well, the would say it, they would have the courage to say it, but it was behind closed doors in front of their keepers.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Oh yeah.

Scott Chambers:

That was all.

Rep. Barry Moore:

And their mike was turned off supposedly. And here’s the thing with Trump that I thought was really unique. The first time when we were down there in Mobile, and CNN or one of those guys had called me back there to talk to me. So I’m at the media stand. I’m over here where all the cameras are out in front of the actually stage and he points back there and calls them all out for being dishonest and disingenuous and there wasn’t a candidate in the history of the country that would ever call the media out because they were fearful of the media.

Scott Chambers:

No.

Rep. Barry Moore:

And right when it was over, they were running to him, trying to get an interview. And I thought, “He’s got these guys eating out of the palm of his hand.”

Scott Chambers:

Right.

Rep. Barry Moore:

And he has the courage to call them out for being dishonest. And they still wouldn’t … they were dying to talk to him.

Andrea Tice:

Yeah. That’s true.

Rep. Barry Moore:

He’s gonna really make a difference. He’s gonna make a difference.

Scott Chambers:

Exactly.

Andrea Tice:

He’s definitely setting a difference pace on just at just busyness alone. Getting things done, moving forward. The guy’s energy level is incredible especially considering his age.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Yeah, what is he? 74 years old [crosstalk 00:09:35].

Andrea Tice:

Yeah.

Scott Chambers:

70 years old, yeah. He’ll be 71 in June.

Rep. Barry Moore:

And I gotta tell you guys too, this year at the caucus, the Republican caucus here in Montgomery wanted to pass a resolution supporting President Trump. Asking congress to get behind him and help him do his job. And I got the opportunity to carry that here in the State House, and I tell you what, it was four hours of just debate. But I hit it with you know, grace and truth and got through it. But I got some really interesting fan mail for that.

Scott Chambers:

I can imagine so.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Oh yeah, you can imagine.

Scott Chambers:

Oh, I can only imagine. Well hey, at least they weren’t reaching out on Twitter and lashing out there. It’s so instant, you know.

Rep. Barry Moore:

That’s right.

Scott Chambers:

Wow. You know, I hate it. We’re out of time. The computer’s coming up and we got a hard break, so we’re gonna have to call things off here. And I wanted to get a chance to ask you what you’re thinking about the predictions of November 2018 because it seems like everyone that’s old enough to run for Governor in Alabama is gonna run.

Andrea Tice:

It’s like a Republican party national repeat.

Scott Chambers:

Right.

Andrea Tice:

Down in Alabama.

Scott Chambers:

The-

Rep. Barry Moore:

Who knows, I don’t even have a candidate. There’s no telling.

Scott Chambers:

I know. We’ll have you back on the show once Tommy Tuberville makes an announcement if he’s gonna run or not. Get your thoughts on that. I mean, I waiting to see if Nick Saban is gonna jump in. You never know. You never know. Representative Barry Moore House District 91. Thanks for being with us here on

1
1 year ago

Rep. Mo Brooks reveals his 1 sentence plan to completely repeal Obamacare

(Congressman Mo Brooks)

Congressman Mo Brooks called into Yellowhammer Radio to discuss his plan to completely repeal Obamacare. Yellowhammer Radio hosts, Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers weigh in on the options to replace Obamacare.


Scott Chambers:

Yellowhammer nation, welcome in. This is Yellow Hammer Radio SuperStation 101 WYDE. You can be a part of the program on this Friday edition of Yellow Hammer radio at (866)-551-9933. You can also tweet the program. Check us out on Twitter @yhnradio. So many good things to talk about today.

Andrea Tice, welcome into the program. How are you on this Friday?

Andrea Tice:

I am doing well. Doing well. No more dreams.

Scott Chambers:

Yeah, no more dreams. I had a weird dream last night, and it wrecked my day. I started the day off just really bad. I woke up not feeling well, and then I had this horrible nightmare that literally had me crying. It was …

Andrea Tice:

That’s a nightmare.

Scott Chambers:

It was a vivid nightmare, I’m not going to discuss it on the air, I did tell you about it off the air, and it was a doozie. It was a crazy dream. And so, I started my day, I was awful. A friend texted me, and then I couldn’t go back to sleep, and it just … I said a nice prayer. God is looking over us today. We’re going to have a fantastic show. I am ready to hit the ground running. And, let’s talk a little health-care, maybe.

Andrea Tice:

Sure.

Scott Chambers:

There’s a gentleman that has a one-line bill that is probably the most genius thing I have ever seen on repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Andrea Tice:

Simplicity in Washington D.C. is an actual work of art these days.

Scott Chambers:

Yes, it certainly is. And, ladies and gentlemen, joining us now, from Alabama’s Fifth District, none other than Congressman Mo Brooks. Welcome into Yellow Hammer Radio. How are you, Congressman?

Rep. Mo Brooks:

I’m doing fine. By the way, I have those similar nightmares. Mine’s about repealing Obamacare. What’s yours about?

Scott Chambers:

(laughs) Well, Andrea dreamed about a swimming pool the other night and we can’t figure that one out.

Andrea Tice:

Well, no. I think my co-host accurately interpreted that I’m over my head in politics with all of this healthcare stuff.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

Well, the Republican welfare plan is my nightmare. It’s bait-and-switch. It’s horrible, but keep going.

Scott Chambers:

Amen, right? (laughs)

Andrea Tice:

So, you feel you’re in the deep end on that? I assume.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

Oh, it’s just unbelievable that the Republican party is becoming what the Democrats have been for decades, just left-wing socialists on economic issues.

Scott Chambers:

That’s exactly what’s happening. Wow, I could not agree with you any more. This healthcare plan, to me personally, Congressman Brooks … I think it was a disaster. That’s what my thought process is on this plan. I thought it was a disaster.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

Well, yes. Let me give you some examples. We were sent to Washington D.C. based on a couple of promises. Number one is: we were going to repeal Obamacare. Number two: as a result of that repeal, we were going to make healthcare costs, and in particular health insurance premiums, more affordable. Well, that’s been breached in a major way.

Under … I’m going to call her Ryancare care for lack of a simpler way to describe it. Ryancare, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, increases healthcare … excuse me, health insurance … premiums over the next two years by roughly 15 to 20 percent over and above the increases that would normally be expected under Obamacare.

Now, that’s what the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation are telling us as they conduct the financial examination of Ryancare. And that’s not what we told the American people that we were going to do. Now, in fairness, years three through ten, have all the underlying assumptions work out right, there might be a stabilization, perhaps even a decline in premiums after we’re been topped with another 15 to 20 percent in increases over and above Obamacare. And again, that’s assuming that those assumptions are accurate. Historically, they have not been.

Scott Chambers:

Our guest is Congressman Mo Brooks. And let me ask you, Congressman, that’s a lot of what-ifs, isn’t it? That’s a lot of what-ifs.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

Yes. This repeal bill of the House leadership, that is somewhat of a bait-and-switch and somewhat deceptive in that it purports to be repeal but it incorporates into the replacement part the bulk of the cost drivers of Obamacare that make it cost-prohibitive for the average American family.

So, I don’t agree with that deception. That’s why I introduced a real simple, clean bill. It’s very, very short, and it just says, “Look, Obamacare, citing the public statute number, is hereby repealed. All laws repealed by Obamacare are reinstated.” Which would revert us back to the laws that we had in place in 2009. And, just for emphasis, in 2009, American had the best healthcare in the world at a much better price than what we’re paying now. That seems like, to me, a good place to go.

Scott Chambers:

It seems like a great place to go. I’ve been saying this and asking for this for a very long time, “Why can’t we repeal the darn thing?” Then, we can take a look at healthcare reform. I believe we needed healthcare reform. When Obamacare came out, that was just the wrong type of reform. Let’s go back to the way it was. That’s what Republicans have been saying all along, “We’re going to repeal it. Then we will come up with a replacement.” And this Ryancare plan, whatever you want to call it, did the exact opposite, and I was really disappointed.

With seven full years to come up with a plan, and that’s as good as Washington could do? That really bothered me, a hard-working American taxpaying citizen. It ticked me off, Congressman.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

Well, it should. It is a despicable bill. It’s one of the worst public policy initiatives I’ve ever seen. And for it to come from House Republican leadership is definitely disappointing.

Andrea Tice:

Congre-

Rep. Mo Brooks:

We can do better than that. And there are plenty of things that we could do. But first, we have to understand the role of federal government vis a vis to states.

Andrea Tice:

Congressman Brooks …

Rep. Mo Brooks:

The simple solution … Go ahead.

Andrea Tice:

I wanted to say that you were one of the first to come out when this bill was being lined-up to be voted on and you called it an entitlement, which is nothing more than government-established programs that are entrenched. And you called it an entitlement, and you didn’t want to continue it, and I appreciate you calling it for what it is.

We now have Speaker Ryan coming out as of, I think yesterday, on CBS. He was talking in an interview and he said he didn’t want government to be involved in healthcare. How do you explain this discrepancy between him presenting something that essentially was a continuation of Obamacare and entitlements, but saying out publicly he doesn’t want government involved. It confused me.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

It is inexplicable, and it’s self-contradictory. You’ve got a number of different aspects of this bill, the bottom line being that it increases health insurance premiums 15 to 20 percent over and above Obamacare increases, and it does that over the next couple years.

But then, you’ve also got this huge new welfare program that the Republican party, now, will be responsible for. It costs, initially, the estimated costs are in the neighborhood of $35 billion a year, and basically what it does is it pays, directly or indirectly, insurance companies for the cost of health insurance.

So, you can imagine, the health insurance industry is in love with this bill because you’ve got a direct transfer of roughly $35 billion to the [coffers 00:07:06] of insurance companies, paid for out of the United States Treasury. And, of course, we taxpayers are going to have to come up with the money to pay for that ship.

So, what that does, when you start looking at the political dynamics of it and you play it out long-term, all of a sudden all these American voters who are self-sufficient, self-reliant, they pay their own way, they do things the right thing in America, they’re taking advantage of the opportunities this country has to offer. We’re turning them into welfare-dependence.

Scott Chambers:

Yup.

Andrea Tice:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Rep. Mo Brooks:

But since they’re going to have the federal government paying anywhere from around $2500 on the low side, $2000, $2500 on the low side, to $14,000 of their health insurance cost. And once they become welfare-dependent, well, how do you think they’re going to vote in the general elections going forward? Are they going to vote for free-enterprise or are they going to vote for more welfare?

Scott Chambers:

Definitely more welfare.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

And I think that changes the political dynamics in a major way, and basically ends the Republican party as a functioning entity over the long-term.

Andrea Tice:

One of the things that the House Freedom Caucus did was hold the line on this, staying conservative, staying true to their convictions and their campaign promises, and you were among those, Congressman Brooks. Are you feeling any negative or positive feedback on that decision?

Rep. Mo Brooks:

Well, I’m getting mixed. In my district, I had about 1,800 people ask me to vote against Ryancare, and about 500 people ask me to vote for it. I thought that was noteworthy given that there was a huge media buy in my district. I don’t know the total dollar amount but it was radio, it was TV, and it was robocalls trying to tell people that it’s really between Mo Brooks and Donald Trump. Now that’s a false paradigm. It’s really between the American people and Washington and this legislation.

Scott Chambers:

Absolutely.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

But, nonetheless, even though … and I suspect that the insurance companies were behind the financing of these media buys, I don’t know that. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to ascertain who really was putting the money into it. But the bottom line is this: despite all those calls, all that radio, all that TV, trying to make it look like that I was on the opposite side of Donald Trump, it was something like 77 percent of the people in my district that contacted my office, out of over 2000 that contacted my office, wanted me to vote “no” on this legislation rather than “yes”.

And so, it was comforting to know that, people in my district at least, were starting to understand better about how bad this piece of legislation is, both short-term, with its adverse effect on insurance premiums, and then long-term, with its adverse effect on whether we’re going to continue to be country that is based on principles of liberty and freedom.

Scott Chambers:

Our guest is U.S. representative Mo Brooks from Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District. And, Congressman, I never once saw this as Mo Brooks versus Donald Trump. What you just said makes perfect sense. I saw this as Mo Brooks looking out for his constituency. That’s the way I took it.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

Well, it’s also our country. Although my constituency is a sub-part of that. But this, legislation is really bad for our country long-term. There are no free rides, and I use that as an example. The initial welfare program was Obamacare, right? Okay? And, the CBO estimated that it would cost, all of its component parts, around $800 billion over a ten-year period of time.

They had to revise their estimates a short while ago to increase the cost to over $2 trillion over that ten-year period of time. Which means that the CBO was off by a factor of 2.5, that the actual cost was about 2.5 times more than what was estimated. And you can bet your bottom dollar that, if the Republican welfare plan were passed, that they also would be off because the CBO cannot adjust their numbers based on political dynamics. That’s not something they can take into account when they’re doing their scoring.

But, if we make every campaign about who’s going to give me more healthcare, welfare, you can bet your bottom dollar again that the costs are going to go up because politicians are going to react and promise more free stuff that we don’t have the money to pay for.

Andrea Tice:

Congressman Brooks, you stood up and voted against the Ryancare bill, and then you turned around offered a solution, a two-page solution, which, we’ve often said on the show, in and of itself is a work of art that, in D.C., you could put it down to two-pages. So, where does that stand in committee and in the process of bringing that to a floor-vote?

Rep. Mo Brooks:

The only way we’re going to have a floor-vote is this way … the House leadership does not favor a repeal of Obamacare, as you and I and the American people understand the word repeal. Okay?

Andrea Tice:

Right.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

They, then, will have to be pushed aside for this to come to the House floor for a vote. And the bill number, for your audience, is HR-1718.

Andrea Tice:

1718.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

First thing to do is to get a bunch of co-sponsors so that the House leadership starts to take notice. The second thing to do is to file a discharge petition that forces it past the committee structure and straight to the House floor for a vote. So, I’m hopeful that, when we get to the point in time where I can file a discharge petition, that we will slowly but surely get the signatures on that petition.

I can’t do it right now. Under House rules, I have to wait 30 legislative days. In calendar days, that translates into some time in late May, or June, just depending on how many days we’re in session. But, when that time comes, if we’ve not addressed the repeal of Obamacare to the satisfaction of the American people, then I’m going to file that discharge petition. And at that point, it will be up to the American people to decide if they really want a repeal of Obamacare.

If they do, they contact their congressman, they get enough congressmen to sign that discharge petition, we have a House floor vote, and boom, we repeal it.

Andrea Tice:

All right. Well, we’re putting the word out there for people here in Alabama to contact their congressman and get the word out where they want them to stand on that petition, and hopefully we see some movement on that.

Scott Chambers:

You know, I think the majority of Alabamians, they think that the plan, the first plan that was presented and Ryan was pushing, they looked at it and said, “This is a bunch of garbage.” They don’t want that. You look at what Mo Brooks has presented, this is genius. That’s what we’ve all been saying all along, “Repeal the darn thing.”

Andrea Tice:

It’s the first step. It’s the most logical.

Scott Chambers:

Exactly. Congressman Mo Brooks is our guest, from Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District. Congressman, I want to ask you, what do you make of President Donald Trump and his tweets going after the Conservative Freedom Caucus?

Rep. Mo Brooks:

Well, in a way, it establishes that we are a force to be reckoned with in Washington D.C. We’ve hit the radar screen. In previous years, previous sessions of Congress, the Freedom Caucus was not that notable. We were the ones pushing for border security. We were the ones pushing against unfair trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We were the ones pushing for smaller federal government. Quite frankly, we were the ones that constitute some of the few conservatives left in the United States Congress. And now we’re in the radar screen.

It’s somewhat paradoxical that Donald Trump is coming after us because, if you look at the overall membership of the House Freedom Caucus, that’s probably where 80 to 90 percent of his congressional support came from. The establishment Republicans were the ones who were attacking Donald Trump, even when he was our nominee.

Andrea Tice:

I know.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

Or, on the other hand, they weren’t willing to help him. And so, now, Donald Trump … I think he’s getting bad advice. I wish that he would support what we’re trying to do because when we get to those trade issues, when we get to border security, you go down a long list of issues where it looks like we are perfectly in line with Donald Trump.

And, I hope that he does not unnecessarily alienate some of our members by the kind of personal targeting. And it really shouldn’t be personal targeting. You’ve either got a good bill or a bad bill. And we should be talking about public policy and how to improve a bill, and by way of background Ryancare has only 17 percent approval from the American people.

It’s opposed by the Harris Foundation. It’s opposed by Freedomworks. It’s opposed by Club for Growth. Last night on TV I was watching Sean Hannity. He was against it. Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, was against it, and has been talking about our killing this bill, assuming that it’s dead, our killing this bill has helped save the Republican party.

You also had Laura Ingraham who’s opposed to it. Virtually all of the conservative think tanks have come out against this legislation once they figure out what it does and how it breaches our promises to the American people.

Scott Chambers:

Absolutely. Representative Mike Rogers … changing the subject for just a moment … Representative Mike Rogers has introduced a bill to fund construction of the wall. And, I noticed on your Twitter yesterday, you sent a tweet out saying you fully support President Trump’s effort to build that wall, and have Mexico pay for it, and then Rogers, the bill that he’s introduced is to tax illegal immigrants. Tell us a little bit about that because you’ve signed on as a co-sponsor.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

I’m very, very thankful that Mike Rogers has introduced this bill. This is a sign of real strong leadership by Congressman Rogers with respect to our border-security issue. And, basically, there are wire-transfers and other transfers of money from illegal aliens in America to people back in their home countries, usually Mexico but not always.

And what Mike Rogers wants to do is to put a tax on those transfers of funds. I think the amount is in two percent but you’re testing my memory in that regard. It might be a little bit more, might be a little bit less. But that’s one way to come up with the money to pay for the wall without it burdening American citizens.

It’s one way for Donald Trump to keep his promise to make Mexico pay for it, and I’m very thankful that Congressman Mike Rogers from Alabama has taken a leadership role in this. And I’m happy to have the opportunity to co-sponsor and help him get it passed.

Scott Chambers:

Well, I’m certainly glad that you’ve co-sponsored that. I think it’s fantastic. Here in Alabama, sir, we definitely want that wall. You know that (laughs). There’s no question.

Andrea Tice:

I’m actually excited and impressed that two Alabama Congressmen have made initiatives in resolving this problem, Obamacare and the wall, and it speaks well of our state. So, keep up the good work, Congressman.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

Will do. And thank you so much for the opportunity to be on your show and also for what you all do to help the American people better understand what they need to understand in order for our republic to go in the right direction.

Scott Chambers:

Absolutely. Congressman Mo Brooks from Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District. Appreciate you being with us here on Yellow Hammer Radio. I look forward to talking to you again very soon, sir.

Rep. Mo Brooks:

My pleasure. Y’all have a good one.

Scott Chambers:

You too.

Andrea Tice:

You too.

Scott Chambers:

Congressman Mo Brooks with us here on Yellow Hammer Radio. A short break, we’re right back for this Friday edition.

1
1 year ago

AL Financial Guru: Forming a strategy to prepare for the unexpected

Photo by Flickr user PRORusty Clark

Birmingham, Alabama-based financial guru Jeff Roberts, who was recently named one of the top private wealth advisors in the nation by Barron’s®, came on Yellowhammer Radio to lay out the facts so people can decide for themselves.

The full conversation with Mr. Roberts can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above, and a lightly edited transcript of his interview with Yellowhammer’s Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers can be read below.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Podcast on iTunes. Learn more about Jeff Roberts’ private wealth advisory practice at JeffRobertsAndAssociates.com.


Scott Chambers:

Welcome back it’s Yellow Hammer Radio Superstation 101 WYDE. I’m trying to bribe our producer Big Dave Richardson and I offered fast food. He says he needs a steak. See, I’m looking out for my finances, that’s what I’m doing. I’m looking out for my finances. I can’t afford a steak. I’m going to offer fast food, Big Dave. Because see I’ve talked to financial gurus like Jeff Roberts here, and that’s what I’d do. I’m looking out for my money, Big Dave, so that bribe still stands, but it’s got to be fast food, good sir. Okay? It’s got to be a fast food.

Andrea Tice:

And what are you doing with all that extra money you’re saving with your fast food bribery? I mean, are you squirreling it away with the plan that Jeff has given us?

Scott Chambers:

It’s going to bills. It’s going to go to bills. That’s where it’s going to.

Andrea Tice:

Not retirement? Oh.

Scott Chambers:

Exactly. It’s Wednesday. On the show with us is our local financial guru Jeff Roberts. Jeff is, of course, the founder of Jeff Roberts and Associates. His team of seven advisors can help simplify your complex wealth management needs. They’re exceptional financial advisors who have provided sophisticated financial planning and advice to high net worth clients for a combined 131 years.

Last week Jeff Roberts … We were talking about some interestingly cool stuff here on the program with you, like the 3-Minute Confident Retirement check; founded jeffrobertsandassociates.com. Now since then, we’ve been drilling down on your Confident Retirement approach and its four principles. So, let’s review it. Tell us again about the Confident Retirement approach, and by the way don’t you think that fast food’s cheaper than steak, right?

Jeff Roberts:

No doubt, brother.

Scott Chambers:

Exactly.

Jeff Roberts:

You’ve got to set those dollars aside for your retirement plan [crosstalk 00:01:37].

Scott Chambers:

Amen. That’s right. It’s right.

Jeff Roberts:

I’m serious. I mean don’t get me wrong. I know you love your job on the radio and you’d love to do it for the rest of your life. However, you want to get to the point where work is optional …

Scott Chambers:

Right.

Jeff Roberts:

… and retirement becomes affordable. So we’ve got to save, man, save [crosstalk 00:01:51]

Scott Chambers:

I’m thinking like 45 or 50. That’s when I want to call it a day.

Jeff Roberts:

We can do this. Have to be aggressive, though brother, save hard.

Andrea Tice:

[crosstalk 00:01:58] well really aggressive. Stop eating. Altogether.

Jeff Roberts:

That’s right. Well Ameriprise’s Confident Retirement approach gives clients a straight forward framework to create a sound retirement plan that can give them an income for a lifetime. The key word in this, and I always want clients to remember this, is confidence, confidence, confidence. It’s what everyone wants as they build towards their financial future, whether they’re in retirement now, or trying to get there.

The key that everyone wants is confidence, and we believe that there’s four essential ingredients to having confidence in retirement and we discussed in our first week. A key principle is covering essentials, and that is to have a set amount of money that is going to provide either guaranteed or secure stable income that will cover our fixed expenses that we know are going to be there all the time, like medical, utilities, transportation, food.

Andrea Tice:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Roberts:

Gives us that peace of mind of knowing, “Oh I know I’ve got this bucket that covers my essentials.”

Then we move to the next principle, which is “insuring our lifestyle”, which is where we take an investment portfolio and design an income stream from it to cover the fun and extra things that we want to do in our life. The travel, dining out, the hobbies, bucket list stuff.

Andrea Tice:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Roberts:

And then we have “preparing for the unexpected”, because we know that change can happen quickly in preparing for the uncertainty, or the certainty of uncertainty.

And then the last principle is “leaving the legacy.” Smart giving is about controlling and leveraging what you have accumulated in your life and plan now for what that legacy is to be.

Those are the four essential ingredients to being confident. You tackle each of those, you’ve got confidence.

Andrea Tice:

All right. So far, Jeff, we’ve covered the first two, and today is the time to cover the third principle which was “preparing for the unexpected.” So, tell us what that is all about.

Jeff Roberts:

Well, having a strategy to protect against the unexpected events is a critical part of achieving true confidence in retirement. With a plan in place to cover those essential expenses that we talked about, would guarantee your stable income. And then have a flexible investment withdrawal plan from a portfolio that’s going to cover our lifestyle. The next logical step is to prepare for the unexpected. That’s crafting a plan with solutions to mitigate the impact of unexpected life events that are going to hit us, so that you can ensure a truly confident retirement.

Scott Chambers:

Jeff, can you give us an example of an unexpected event?

Jeff Roberts:

There’s four primary that I would categorize. First is “long term care expenses,” “property loss and personal liability,” …

Andrea Tice:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Roberts:

… “pre-retirement disability,” being sick or ill prior to getting retirement, …

Andrea Tice:

OK.

Jeff Roberts:

… and then “premature death.” Those are the four primary unexpected risks that people face prior to and even during retirement.

Scott Chambers:

You mentioned death, there. I know we’ve talked about the issue of long term care expenses before in previous segments. I know that’s a huge concern for people approaching retirement or if they’re already in retirement. So tell us again of some of the statistics that our listeners might want to know when considering their plans for long term care, because, you mentioned death a moment ago but maybe it’s not always death. Maybe it’s the long term care.

Andrea Tice:

Longer than expected.

Scott Chambers:

Right.

Jeff Roberts:

Well, long term care references is people that are in retirement. They become sick or ill for an extended period of time. And as we know, Americans are living longer than ever. This means that many will require long term care at some point in their retirement. An estimated 70 percent of the individuals age 65 or older will need long term care services during their lifetime.

So, the cost can be draining to a portfolio, obviously. The national average in terms of cost, of a private room in a nursing home, exceeds $85,000 dollars a year.

Andrea Tice:

Wow.

Jeff Roberts:

… per person.

Andrea Tice:

Wow.

Jeff Roberts:

The average stay which is about two and half years adds up to in that case, say $214,000 dollars for a private room. To give you some specifics related to Alabama. A private room in Alabama as it stands today is right at $6,384 dollars a month. That works out to be about $76,000 dollars a year for one person. So, it can have a substantial impact on somebody’s retirement nest-egg, if it’s not planned in advance. Huge.

Andrea Tice:

OK. So we’re talking about preparing for the unexpected. What are some common mistakes that you see people making as they’re moving to this third, you know, phase or plan?

Jeff Roberts:

You know, the principle of “preparing for the unexpected” was kind of a third principle of the Confident Retirement approach.

Andrea Tice:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Roberts:

And often times it’s so simple, because the three most common mistakes that we see when clients come in and talk to us all the time, is number one, they don’t adequately prepare themselves for liability by having something as simple as an umbrella policy.

Andrea Tice:

OK.

Jeff Roberts:

And umbrella liability insurance can be a very effective means of protecting someone’s assets that is often really unnecessary to risk. An umbrella insurance can provide coverage beyond the liability limits of auto, or home insurance in the event you’re liable for personal injury of another.

Andrea Tice:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Roberts:

And so, so many people don’t even have a simple policy that might have a million dollar limit or two million dollar limit. Simple, simple way of transferring risk and often times very inexpensive. That’s one.

Another common is, many people, when we think about disability … In someone’s working life, the final years before you retire, if you think about it, of your full time work tend to be representative of the period of peak earnings for most people, and the financial commitments that people typically have start to subside. So kids are out from under their wing. College education is done.

Andrea Tice:

Yeah.

Jeff Roberts:

They have greater resources that they can afford to put towards the funding of their retirement goals. Yet that’s also the time where people often time have unexpected illnesses or injuries …

Andrea Tice:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Roberts:

… Prior to retirement. And it can have a substantial impact on their ability to save in the final stretch, to push that ball in the last five yards into the end zone.

Andrea Tice:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Roberts:

And so people have disability insurance often times through their employer, but the national average is- it’s around 40 to 50 percent of their base pay is what they would be covering, or covered with. And so having some sort of supplemental disability can make a tremendous difference in their ability to achieve their goals in the home stretch if they end up being sick or ill for an extended period. 50 percent of people are forced to stop working before they planned, and in half of those cases, it’s because of disability that has prevented them from working.

And the last example that we see most common is people that are under-insured for life insurance. Oh my gosh, you know, I cannot emphasize this as well, and especially when we see the young folks that have kids still under their wings, and responsible for food on the table for all of them. If a spouse might be working or not working as well. A rule of thumb might be 10 times someone’s annual income, as a minimum standard.

I just can’t emphasize enough how inexpensively you can get some, perhaps term insurance, either through through their employer or individually, that can help sure-up that gap.

There’s an interesting statistic- I was just reading it, kind of a last point. Each day there’s 10,000 baby boomers that turn 65 years of age.

Scott Chambers:

Wow.

Jeff Roberts:

And, that’s the traditional retirement age. But a lesser known fact is that each week, approximately 10,000 baby boomers die.

Scott Chambers:

Wow.

Jeff Roberts:

And not all baby boomers are at retirement. So, protection planning for disability, umbrella liability, life insurance, long term care, these are massive pieces that you’ve got to have nailed if you want to have confidence in retirement.

Scott Chambers:

No question. No question. Well, Jeff, if anyone has any interest in getting help or if they want to be more confident towards their own retirement, what do they need to do?

Jeff Roberts:

Give us a buzz at 313-9150 or look us up on jeffrobertsandassociates.com. Feel free to take our 3-minute Confident Retirement quiz. That’s excellent strategy.

Scott Chambers:

All right, yeah. Recommend people head over to jeffrobertsandassociates.com and do that. Jeff Roberts, my man, it’s a pleasure speaking with you each and every Wednesday. We look forward to chatting next week in continuing on this valuable conversation.

Jeff Roberts:

Enjoy it always, guys. Thank you.

Scott Chambers:

All right. Take care. God bless. Jeff Roberts, Jeff Roberts and Associates with us here on Yellow Hammer Radio. We’re back …

1
1 year ago

LISTEN: AL House Rep. Jack Williams breaks down his bill to add porn filters to your smartphone

Alabama House Representative for District 47 Jack Williams sat down with Yellowhammer Radio hosts Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers to discuss HB428, a bill he is sponsoring to add porn filters to smartphones. Rep. Williams also takes a few phone calls to clarify and here the public out on the issue.


Scott Chambers:

We are joined by a special guest in studio. Didn’t even get a chance to shake hands and say hello! How are yeah sir?

Andrea Tice:

I just waved. Just for the sake of time.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Good, good. Jack Williams.

Scott Chambers:

Jack Williams. Representative Jack Williams. Pleasure to meet you, sir. I appreciate you taking the time to come up to the studio to discuss HB428

Rep. Jack Williams:

Not a problem. Glad to be here.

Scott Chambers:

I was doing my normal prep for the show. Scrolling through YellowHammerNews.com and I found this article about this bill you’re introducing, and you’ve got 23 co sponsors on board right now.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Right.

Scott Chambers:

And it’s basically to put a filter on a phone to prevent people from viewing pornography, right?

Rep. Jack Williams:

Well, it’s not designed to prevent people from viewing pornography. It’s designed to provide protection for children that existed in a magazine and video world that we haven’t exactly figured out how that fits into the digital world yet. So.

Scott Chambers:

Gotcha. Okay. So I feel like it’s coming from a great place.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Sure.

Scott Chambers:

I truly believe you’re coming from a great place with this. Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about it right now.

Rep. Jack Williams:

*laughs*

Scott Chambers:

I feel like I’m kinda

Andrea Tice:

There’s probably more details on the plan that we need to hear about to understand it.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Well, yes. If you look to the bill, I think you’re gonna see a lot of changes in the legislation. I think you’re gonna hear a longer discussion about that than we have for this session.

Scott Chambers:

Uh huh.

Rep. Jack Williams:

But we’ve started a conversation. You know, today, and I’ve had some folks say, “Well this is the parents’ decision. Parents are responsible for taking care of their children.” But, you know, the state has said a child can’t go into an adult book store.

Scott Chambers:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rep. Jack Williams:

And we didn’t say, “Oh, we’ll leave that up to the parents.”

Scott Chambers:

Right

Rep. Jack Williams:

And, so the state has engaged in activities that we believe protect children. The question is, “How do you do it in a digital age in a way that you don’t infringe on the rights of businesses, and you don’t make, don’t do, don’t make doing business over burdened or cumbersome. And how do you protect civil liberties.”

Scott Chambers:

Right

Rep. Jack Williams:

And what House Bill 428 does, is it begins to ask that question. I mean, I don’t think there’s uh, you lay this bill in front of 10 people and 9 and a half of them or 9 and 9/10 of them are going to say, “Yes, we need to protect children.”

Scott Chambers:

No question.

Rep. Jack Williams:

And I’m not sure how many are gonna say this piece of legislation is the way to do it.

Scott Chambers:

Right

Rep. Jack Williams:

But, we’re talking about it now. We weren’t a month ago.

Scott Chambers:

Absolutely. We need to protect children. I’m on board with that. I want to protect children by all means. There is no question. Our producer Dave Richardson weighed in on it when we brought this up on the program and he’s letting me, he has a question he wants to pose to you right now.

Dave Richardson:

How do you go about my liberties as a parent. I think you’re infringing on me being a parent and me taking care of my kids. The government is trying to come in and help me take care of my kids when I don’t need help.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Well, the state’s already done that when they- If you tell your child “Hey, run down to the adult book store on the corner” When they get to the door, the manager, he’s responsible is gonna say “Oops. Sorry, you’re not allowed in here.”

Dave Richardson:

Well they also do that with clubs and bars, also. But you’re coming into my home with this aspect. There’s a difference there to me.

Rep. Jack Williams:

And you know, I think that’s why this discussion needs to be had. There may not be a thing we can do to expand on what we’re doing now to protect children. But, do you know, definitively, there’s nothing more we can do?

Scott Chambers:

See, now that’s a great question.

Dave Richardson:

There’s always something parents can do to protect their children. Being more involved. Having the dads more involved and not having single moms out there raising their kids by their self. I think that’s one aspect that we need to go to before we start going into the parent’s homes.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Well, but, [crosstalk 00:03:54]

Dave Richardson:

[crosstalk 00:03:54] And I’m not being mean about this

Rep. Jack Williams:

No, no, no, no, no. And if this were limited to the home. Ya know, I grew up, I had, guess by today’s standards, even by the standards of that day, I was probably in a sheltered environment. My parents said you’re not gonna watch this, you’re not gonna listen to that, you’re not gonna hangout with these thugs, you’re not gonna go here, you’re not going there. And [crosstalk 00:04:16]

Scott Chambers:

[crosstalk 00:04:16] Same here. That’s the way I was raised.

Rep. Jack Williams:

And it was like all you did was nod and say okay. There were times where I ran outside of those boundaries and sometimes I got caught in the dire consequences and sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes there were consequences not related to being caught.

Scott Chambers:

Sure

Rep. Jack Williams:

But when the first time I left my kids at home with the computer, or the first time I sent them out of the house with a smart phone, there were things they had access to that I couldn’t protect them from, and B, that I didn’t even know existed.

Scott Chambers:

So, my question would be, do you think that that is the government’s job? So when the children are not in your presence and the parents can’t look over them, does that then become the government’s job to look after them?

Rep. Jack Williams:

I don’t view this as the government’s job. I view this as the parent’s job.

Scott Chambers:

Sure

Rep. Jack Williams:

But I do think that government plays over, government can play a role in helping parents provide this. I serve with a guy who, and I’m not gonna call his name, but he has 2 teenagers. They’re probably a few years apart. His first child, he bought that child a smart phone, had parental controls put on it. Buys his second child a smart phone, wants the same parental controls on it, and now it’s 5 dollars a month. So now we’ve made it more difficult for a family to protect their child. And really what I would like to see, ideally mom and dad would be sitting at home talking about values to the kids and they wouldn’t go in that direction.

Scott Chambers:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Andrea Tice:

Right.

Rep. Jack Williams:

But, we’ve got how many folks raised in single parent homes today?

Scott Chambers:

It’s a lot, yeah.

Rep. Jack Williams:

I mean it’s…

Scott Chambers:

In my hand I’m holding an iPhone right now, and Jack –

Rep. Jack Williams:

I’m sorry, I have a Blackberry

Scott Chambers:

I miss my blackberry, I tell ya what

Dave Richardson:

Everybody does.

Scott Chambers:

It was hard to give that thing up, is it not? It’s hard to give those up, but no, in my hand I’m holding an iPhone. Andrea has one on the counter over there as well. This is a gateway to the world

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yeah.

Scott Chambers:

We don’t fully understand, even by today’s standards, what this thing can do. This has got more computing, almost as much computing power as this notebook in front of me. It’s insane the stuff you can access on these phones. There’s no question. I like the access and I like free access. To be able to have access to everything. I don’t condone looking at porn by any means at all, that’s, but if someone wants to do that in the privacy of their own home, if you’re a consenting adult, you should have the right to do that, I guess. I don’t think this HB 428 I don’t see that as you’re trying to cut down on pornography or anything like that. You’re doing this as a way to protect children. I feel like I have a better understanding now.

Andrea Tice:

One of the things I read here in the Yellow Hammer article, that it’s to block material that facilitates or promotes prostitution assination, human trafficking, or sexual cyber harassment. I don’t know if that’s pulled from the bill?

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yeah, that’s pulled from the bill. This is a bill that was introduced in Florida and North Dakota, or not Florida, South Carolina.

Scott Chambers:

South Carolina, right.

Rep. Jack Williams:

And I don’t know that we’ve gotta do it exactly like –

Andrea Tice:

They did it?

Rep. Jack Williams:

Those guys did.

Andrea Tice:

Okay

Rep. Jack Williams:

And I’ve said to stakeholders, folks who are content providers, folks that I’ve, this is my 13th year in the legislature. I’ve worked with these folks for a number of years. Previously chaired the committee that this bill is going to so I’m dealing with people who I know and who know me. They understand my concern and I think they’re willing to take a look at this and say okay. What can we do? If no one asks the question what can we do, then it never gets answered.

Scott Chambers:

Right.

Rep. Jack Williams:

And it’s so easy in a world where you get pushback on anything to just say oh it’s not worth the hassle. And I figure let’s just throw it out there and see what kinda response we get from the stakeholders about how they can solve the problem.

Scott Chambers:

Our guest is representative Jack Williams Republican from Vestavia Hills and I appreciate you coming up to the studio. Being on the program here in studio with us. We’ve got some phone calls. Would you mind taking some phone calls?

Rep. Jack Williams:

Absolutely

Scott Chambers:

I can’t guarantee what they’re gonna say…

Andrea Tice:

Hmm, no.

Scott Chambers:

Be nice to Jack Williams. He’s a really cool guy there’s no question. I think this does come from a good place. I really do. Now there’s some other issues I want to get into in just a moment, about dealing with the cell phone companies like apple and Samsung and things like that how would we go about making this actually work if it were to pass. We’ll get into that in a moment, let’s jump to some phone calls. We’ll go to Jan on line 2. Jan welcome to YelloW Hammer Radio.

Caller (Jan):

Hey, thanks. And I appreciate Mr. Williams trying to protect my child, but why aren’t’ they having round table discussions going from church to church, area to area, why are they burying their head in the sand when they’re sending children out that are being born without fathers that cause more harm than pornography. They’ll wind up in jail, they’ll wind up quitting school, you know the stats, I don’t have to tell you that. How come we are not discussing, how come we keep our head buried in the sand over that issue?

Rep. Jack Williams:

Well,

Scott Chambers:

Thanks for your call, Jan, appreciate it.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Jan, I certainly don’t disagree with your point. I actually hosted a conference in my church a couple of months ago called Coming back stronger. We dealt with where men go beyond failure. A lot of times guys mess up. We’re broken. We’re all broken.

Scott Chambers:

Absolutely

Rep. Jack Williams:

And we mess up and it’s hard to re-engage. And so, from the faith perspective, I’ve been involved in trying to help facilitate conversations that help men re-engage in life after failure.

Scott Chambers:

I think that’s a great question Jan asked. But, at the same time, it’s a completely separate subject. That’s a whole different animal that is going to be hard to tame. Because as much as Christians we want to do that, we are not perfect people.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yeah.

Scott Chambers:

That’s a hard one to tame. This is something that we can look at a little closer.

Andrea Tice:

And we can’t have government becoming the church arm of what needs to be done in this culture.

Scott Chambers:

That’s true. We can’t. That’s very well said. That’s very well said. Representative Jack Williams of Vestavia Hills, Alabama, our guest right now. Can you hang with us for a couple more minutes?

Rep. Jack Williams:

Sure.

Scott Chambers:

Perfect.

Andrea Tice:

Are we going to the phones there, Scott?

Scott Chambers:

We are. We’re gonna go to the phone lines. First, Let’s go over some tweets really fast and I’m just gonna read these hot, so I haven’t proofread them.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Sure.

Scott Chambers:

Nonni tweets in, “Why not go after pornographers instead?” That’s an interesting question. We’ll have you address that in a moment. And then Nonni also says, let’s see…

Andrea Tice:

He says “Have rep make carrier give service for free instead of charging $5.”

Scott Chambers:

See, I agree with that. If Alabama could go after the carriers and make them have the filters for free for parents, that would be great, too.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yeah. I think that first off, you can’t go after the pornographers.

Scott Chambers:

It’s almost impossible.

Rep. Jack Williams:

You’ve got first amendment issues that prevent you from going after them. But, I do think that these services oughta be, these filters and things, parents shouldn’t have to pay extra for it. It puts an additional burden on low income families.

Scott Chambers:

I agree with that 100%

Andrea Tice:

You just simply want to do the right thing and shouldn’t have to pay to be safe.

Scott Chambers:

I am starting to have a better understanding of this now, personally. I don’t like the, and I’ve told Jack this off the air, I don’t like the fact that the government wants to say “No, you can’t view porn.” Because originally, that’s how I looked at it. Now I do have a better understanding of this. This is why conversations are so important.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yeah

Scott Chambers:

This is why conversations are important. You learn things. Because, one, I’m like I know you, I’ve never met you, but this is a good guy. He’s a good guy. He’s not going after people and being like “Oh, we gotta create a list and make fun of you”. That’s not what this was about. In conversations, you get a lot out of them. Let’s have one now with Jason. You’re on Yellow Hammer Radio.

Caller (Jason):

In all fairness, it’s always to protect the children. There are already programs online from ISP providers, or just online in general, that you can download for free to protect the children.

Andrea Tice:

You can download those to –

Caller (Jason):

Why not raise awareness there?

Andrea Tice:

Are you talking about for the computer, but also for the phone?

Scott Chambers:

Because we’re talking about cell phones. This deals with phones.

Caller (Jason):

Yes. For both.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Well, Jason, you’ve kinda proven, we’re doing what you suggested. Your call does raise awareness to those. I think it’s important. It’s a good idea to have these conversations and say “What are we doing? Can we do more? Are we doing about right? Are there opportunities out there for people, for parents that they have no knowledge of right now?” So, you know, what this will look like as a finished product, I don’t know. It will look a lot different than it is today and I’m fine with that. You know, this conversation is a healthy conversation and it addresses issues that parents would probably feel a little threatened by at times.

Scott Chambers:

Absolutely. Jason, I appreciate your phone call. Let’s move on to Susan on line 4. Susan, welcome to Yellow Hammer Radio.

Caller (Susan):

Hi, you guys. How are you doing?

Scott Chambers:

Living the dream, Susan.

Andrea Tice:

Doing great.

Caller (Susan):

I guess my concern is about how you guys want to compel people to do this right at the point of purchase. I mean, couldn’t’ there be an option that you would be able to install this filter, as opposed to having it already installed? Because I see, definitely from Apple, a lot of pushback on this.

Scott Chambers:

Yeah.

Caller (Susan):

Because

Rep. Jack Williams:

I think that would be the question do you, is it an opt in or an opt out program. I think there are a lot of advantages to an opt out program. An opt in program, I’m not gonna, I wouldn’t throw myself into the street to block and opt in program.

Scott Chambers:

Right. Great question, Susan. Appreciate your phone call. Thanks for calling in.

Andrea Tice:

With an opt in program, you have to make sure that everybody is aware of it.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yeah.

Scott Chambers:

Yeah

Andrea Tice:

In order for them to opt in.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Right.

Andrea Tice:

And you can’t guarantee that. But, it seems like the design, possibly, or at least the proposal from that bill is get it out there from the start, and then people have to figure it out.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yeah, there’s a lot of different ways this could be done in/out. But we’re having a conversation.

Scott Chambers:

We are.

Andrea Tice:

Now you mentioned- I read it at least on Yellow Hammer News that you have 23 co-sponsors for the bill. That’s a significant number of people that are at least willing to, they’re committing to at least start the conversation.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Start a conversation about what do we do that makes sure as a state, we are doing what is appropriate for the protection of children. I think there’s a lot of room for conversation about what is appropriate, what’s not, and again, we’re not gonna pass something that doesn’t protect civil liberties and doesn’t protect business.

Andrea Tice:

Yeah, one thing I will say. Ya know, I appreciate your effort here simply because on the other end of it, the people that are out there exploiting, they’re very aggressive and they’re always looking for ways to intrude and invade a space in children’s minds. We need people who are on the other end being aggressive and saying, “let’s find every possible way we can to block this from happening.”

Scott Chambers:

Looking over some of the co-sponsors here, I see that my old friend Becky Nordgrun is on there?

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yeah, there were a bunch of sponsors on this.

Scott Chambers:

I live up in the Gatson area. I live in the South Side up there.

Rep. Jack Williams:

I went to school on South Side my 10th grade year.

Scott Chambers:

Did you really?

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yes.

Scott Chambers:

Go panthers! That’s where I live.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Is Panther Pit still there?

Scott Chambers:

That’s where my parents met, actually. No, it’s been torn down. That’s a long story. I’ll share that with you off the air. But no, my parents met there at the Panther Pit. But no I live in South Side and I saw Becky’s name. She’s from up our way. So there’s a lot of good names here on the list that are co-sponsors of this. We’ve got some more calls.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Sure.

Scott Chambers:

Let’s jump to another call here in just a moment. Waiting on the producer to pop the name in. Let’s go to Dwight on line 1. Welcome to Yellow Hammer Radio.

Caller (Dwight):

Yeah, this just appears to be a way for the state to get more money out of people’s pockets. With the [inaudible 00:17:12] the cell phones that people have and they always get a new one, that’s [inaudible 00:17:18][crosstalk 00:17:18]

Rep. Jack Williams:

We’re gonna take the 20 dollar fee out.

Scott Chambers:

So you would take the fee out?

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yeah.

Scott Chambers:

So no fee at all?

Rep. Jack Williams:

Right.

Scott Chambers:

Wouldn’t keeping the fee in help with some of the budget problems we have in the state? Think about it, everyone has a cell phone.

Rep. Jack Williams:

It would, but Dwight’s call is what folks,

Scott Chambers:

Is gonna be the blow back.

Andrea Tice:

Yeah.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Is part of the reason folks will say this is subjectional. Objectionable. It’s just not worth it.

Scott Chambers:

Great call, Dwight. Appreciate it.

Andrea Tice:

Once you bring the fee in, then people start casting doubt on your motive.

Scott Chambers:

Right, okay

Rep. Jack Williams:

Right.

Andrea Tice:

Then that becomes a problem.

Scott Chambers:

One final question I have. Because we’re coming up on a hard break here. If we get rid of the 20 dollar fee-

For those of you just joining us, our guest is representative Jack Williams of Vestavia Hills. We’re talking about HB 428, which would require an installation of cell phone porn filters.

So now, here’s the big question. A written letter to the state. You would actually have to write.

Rep. Jack Williams:

No. We’re gonna get rid of that.

Scott Chambers:

So you guys are gonna get rid of that.

Rep. Jack Williams:

We’re gonna get rid of that.

Scott Chambers:

Because that scares me.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Sure, sure.

Scott Chambers:

I’m not saying that I’m gonna be one to sign up for it, but that would mean a list would be there, Jack.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Yeah. I don’t care who’s looking at porn. That’s not my business.

Scott Chambers:

Sure.

Rep. Jack Williams:

The state doesn’t need to know that. But, it would, the reason I think that was in from other states was so you know the person having it removed is 18. You can do that when you order the computer, when you buy your phone, just do it at the point of sale, so.

Scott Chambers:

Alright.

Andrea Tice:

Okay.

Scott Chambers:

So we know more now. I’ve got a better understanding of it. I’m all for supporting children. I don’t like, I’m glad to know you would take out the list so, nowadays with hacking, can you imagine if that list were to get out? That would not be good. Because then we would be going through it as news reporters, “hey! Guess who’s on that list!”

Andrea Tice:

Right. Yeah.

Scott Chambers:

That would be scary. So getting rid of the list.

Rep. Jack Williams:

I’m sure it would all be for research.

Scott Chambers:

Of course, it would be for research. See, I would have to do it for research purposes as a news anchor. I would have to put my name on that list. Just in case I ever needed to view that stuff. No I’m kidding.

Jack Williams. Representative Jack Williams. I appreciate you taking the time to come up here to the studio and discuss this with us on Yellow Hammer Radio.

Rep. Jack Williams:

Right. Thanks a bunch, guys. Appreciate the opportunity.

Andrea Tice:

Thank you, so much, for coming by.

Scott Chambers:

Representative Jack Williams, our guest, of Vestavia Hills, on Yellow Hammer Radio.

1
1 year ago

WYEA named Alabama radio station of the year

HOOVER, Ala. – Sylacauga’s WYEA was named Radio Station of the Year by the Alabama Broadcasters Association at the annual ABBY Awards ceremony on Saturday.

Receiving the state’s top honor, Yea!106.5 and WYEA!1290 also took a Best in Broadcasting Award for social media efforts and a Judges’ Award of Merit for a community service project last year.

    • The Radio Station of the Year designation recognized the stations’ exemplary service in their coverage area. In addition to support of local community organizations, businesses, and industries, of note were charity involvement and significant public service airtime; Business of the Month and Veteran of the Month profile programs; cash college scholarship awards for graduating high school seniors; and the new complementary SylacaugaNews.com online product.

    • An additional Best in Broadcasting Award recognized social media engagement through the co-branded SylacaugaNews.com, cross-promoted via Facebook and Twitter with Yea!106.5, WYEA!1290, and 98.3 Fox FM. Covering the greater Sylacauga area and magnifying reach on-air, online, and through complementary social media content, a dedicated staff creates local enterprise news, sports, finance, education, crime, politics, history, business, and feature stories, driving both station listenership and website traffic.

    • A holiday season “Stuff the Bus” campaign, in cooperation with Pursell Farms, Coosa Valley Medical Center, the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce, Sylacauga City Schools, and Talladega County Schools, earned a special Judges’ Award of Merit in the service category. Inspired by extensive on-air and online promotion, the project collected non-perishable food items for distribution by Alabama Childhood Food Solutions and toys to help children in families served by the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement.

Selection and judging were done by a group of independent broadcast professionals in another state.

“WYEA exemplifies what radio stations should be for their community,” said Sharon Tinsley, president of the Alabama Broadcasters Association. “The Radio Station of the Year award recognizes an overall excellence in programming, promotion, community relations, and public service, and the ABA is proud of the role WYEA continues to play in providing quality on-air and online content.”

“These honors are an appreciated and important recognition of our staff’s incredibly hard work to make a difference, our focus on trying to do the right things every day, and support from local business and industry partners,” said Lee Perryman, Managing Member of Marble City Media LLC. “Reinventing WYEA under new ownership in 2012, and in adding five more regional signals since, we have remained fully energized, with a non-stop commitment to the communities we are privileged to serve.”

“We have been passionate about creating engaging on-air content, serving listeners, and building relationships,” added Michael Brannon, Marble City Media’s Director of Business Development and Manager, Digital Projects & Strategy. “By mirroring those efforts online through SylacaugaNews.com and social media platforms, not just reaching but also interacting with our audiences, we have opportunities to make an even bigger difference.”

About Marble City Media LLC

Based in Sylacauga, Marble City Media LLC is the state’s fastest-growing radio group with four FM signals and two AMs in east central Alabama. Following its first acquisition in 2012, the company purchased stations in Alexander City and Ashland in 2016 and constructed new stations in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Current brands include Yea!106.5 & WYEA!1290, 98.3 Fox FM, 105.1 WRFS, 96.3 & 1050 WLMA, and SylacaugaNews.com, and the company also holds a construction permit for a new FM facility near Auburn. The company’s stations won ABBY Awards for broadcast excellence in 2013, 2015, and 2016 and were home of the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s Broadcaster of the Year in 2014 and Best Morning Show in 2016. Principal Lee Perryman was inducted into the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame in 2014. Marble City Media LLC is an active member of the Alabama Broadcasters Association, National Association of Broadcasters, Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce, Greater Coosa Valley Chamber of Commerce, Greater Talladega Area Chamber of Commerce, Coosa County Chamber of Commerce, Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, and Dadeville Area Chamber of Commerce.

About the Alabama Broadcasters Association

The Alabama Broadcasters Association has served as the official voice of the radio and television stations in Alabama since 1946. Dedicated to protecting and enhancing broadcasting and promoting the professional status of members, it also provides vital programs and services including legal guidance, research, a job bank, the ABA Engineering Academy, the ABBY Awards, an inspection program, and lobbying and conducts management, sales, news, programming, and legal training and seminars. The ABA also maintains the state’s Emergency Alert System.

1
1 year ago

Watch: The Final 30 with Amanda Head

Alabama native, Amanda Head brings a witty perspective that’s sure to burn elitist liberals. You can catch her every Friday at 12:30pm as she joins hosts Scott Chambers and Andrea Tice for “The Final 30 with Amanda Head,” only on Yellowhammer Radio.

1
1 year ago

How The Media’s Hypocrisy Only Serves To Benefit President Trump (opinion)


By Bennett Naron

Many Americans are both confused and frustrated by the media’s handling of President Trump. The media seems to, overall, fall into one of two groups. The first group is comprised of honest reporters who do not ‘spin’ the story. This group needs no further discussion. They are the lifeblood of the American press, and I commend them. It is the second group of journalists that yields cause for concern. These journalists take incredible liberties, undermining the opposing party’s credibility with little basis in fact. It is these journalists and media outlets I wish to address.

While I must admit there is a certain level of “spin” present amongst most political journalists, there is a difference between “spin” and flat-out lying. Undermining truth and credibility among political figures with incorrect facts is essentially the definition of “fake news.” Although President Trump has made factually incorrect statements, these statements have, more often than not, referenced issues that are of less importance than the many real problems Americans are facing. The media is quick to give coverage to these less important statements, preventing Trump from receiving any beneficial and relevant media coverage.

The absurd claim that Trump had constant contact with Russian intelligence agents during his campaign and that Russia helped throw the election in Trump’s favor is a prime example of an unwarranted attack generated by the left and promulgated by the media. This assertion is completely unproven and most likely false, considering there is no evidence to support these claims. Following the election results, the left and the mainstream media displayed extreme bouts of hypocrisy. Prior to the election of President Trump, Hillary Clinton and other DNC leaders decried even the possibility of voter fraud. Although Trump continually claimed the election was “rigged” and that he would be skeptical of the election results if he lost, the left produced a much greater level of outrage at the possibility of a “rigged” election. In fact, prior to Trump winning, Clinton stating, “That’s not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections and we’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them and that is what must be expected of anyone” (1). However, after Trump won, the opinion of the left quickly changed, to say the least. Supported by the media, the left was able to generate inane rumors that Russia rigged the election for Trump. Jill Stein, another leader of the left, quickly went in the far opposite direction of her party’s stance before the election, seeking “full recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, all states where Clinton narrowly lost to Donald Trump” (2). It seems, as soon as they lost, the left went back on all their claims of what an American democracy looks like. Of course, the media took the unsupported Russian claims and ran with it, airing the controversies continuously for weeks.

The media does not seem to understand that, in the long run, constant displays of hypocrisy and bias serve only to further alienate the American people. While their vicious, overblown attacks work to attract readers and viewers short term, they are not a viable long-term method. Endless assaults on President Trump pollute the information received by Americans, thereby reducing the mainstream media’s credibility and encouraging alternative media sources. One might then wonder, if so many members of the media are intent on not having Trump reelected in 2020, how will reducing public trust in the media help them to achieve that goal? I hope left-wing members of the media will learn to do their job and report real facts with as little ‘spin’ as possible. News outlets should not publish a story because they like the results or impact but rather because they contain useful information for readers and viewers. Through honest and fair reporting, perhaps the media will be able to earn back America’s trust. However, if journalists do not display this change of heart soon, President Trump’s approval ratings may well pass 50% by the beginning of summer.


Mr. Naron is an intern at the Reid Law Firm and is also a political science major at Samford University and can be reached by e-mail at bnaron@samford.edu. 

1
1 year ago

Alabama Lawmaker Wants to Make It Easier for Alabama Music Fans to Attend Concerts

Lord Huron performs at the inaugural Sloss Music & Arts Festival in 2015. (photo: Josh Weichman)
Lord Huron performs at the inaugural Sloss Music & Arts Festival in 2015. (photo: Josh Weichman)

DOTHAN, Ala. – Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan) is giving Alabama music fans a reason to get excited this legislative session.

Rep. Lee has introduced legislation to guarantee Alabama consumers a choice in how they can resell, transfer or give away the tickets they purchase for concerts and other live entertainment events.

Increasingly, Alabama concert promoters and venues are not permitting consumers the option to resell or transfer tickets they have purchased, and this forces consumers to risk hundreds of dollars when they buy tickets several months before an event.

Fans who purchase tickets months in advance of show often face restriction in transferring tickets or giving them to friends if they have a conflict and cannot attend the event. HB 265 aims to give Alabama consumers a choice when purchasing and transferring tickets, and not restricting how ticket holders use their tickets.

Venues often require the actual ticket purchaser to show an ID or the credit card used to purchase those tickets in order to get into an event. These rules make it difficult for consumers to transfer their tickets to friends, resell their tickets or even donate tickets to charity should they not be able to attend the event themselves.

HB 265, the Ticketholder Rights Act, would ensure that a ticketholder may purchase a transferable ticket if he or she chooses to do so without penalty. Additionally, ticket providers must give consumers the opportunity to purchase a ticket that can be given away, traded or resold.

In a recent poll conducted by Zogby Analytics, 84 percent of Alabamians believe that they should have the freedom and choice to use their tickets how they see fit (including resell, gifting and donations) and an event organizer should not be permitted to prevent them from sharing or reselling their tickets. According to the poll, 73 percent of Alabamians also believe that when they purchase a ticket, they own it and it is their property.

Last month, similar legislation was introduced in the Virginia General Assembly to protect Virginia consumers from restrictive ticketing practices conducted by big ticket companies. The Virginia bill is currently in the process of being transmitted to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for his consideration.

The Ticketholder Rights Act will ensure that music fans across Alabama have the flexibility to enjoy live entertainment experiences without facing penalties and HB 265 seeks to allow consumers the choice in how they use their ticket.

1
1 year ago

AL Congressman commends cooperation between Trump and Ryan

Congressman Gary Palmer sat down with Yellowhammer Radio co-hosts, Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers to discuss a recent town meeting in Hoover, AL and rumors of cooperation between President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan.

The full conversation with Congressman Palmer can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above, and a lightly edited transcript of his interview with Yellowhammer’s Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers can be read below.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Podcast on iTunes.


Scott Chambers:

Welcome back into Yellowhammer Radio. Superstation 101.1 WYDE. You can tweet the program at @yhnradio for you Yellowhammer Nation out there. This segment is brought to you by our friends at Hoover Tactical Firearms. Give them a call today. Go by and see them if you’re looking for a gun. You better go see our friends at Hoover Tactical Firearms located 1561 Montgomery Highway in Hoover. Give them a call and visit them online today HooverTactical.com. Andrea Tice welcome back in. As we come back we are joined right now by the Honorable Gary Palmer. Congressman Palmer thanks for being on the program today how are you sir?

Gary Palmer:

Glad to be on. How are y’all?

Andrea Tice:

We’re doing great. Congressman Palmer now that you’ve gotten some time and distance from this last town hall in Hoover what are your thoughts looking back on it with some time to consider the whole thing. Are you glad you did it? Are you thinking you there are other things you could have seen happening and prepared for? What are your thoughts?

Gary Palmer:

Well, I’m glad I did it. I’ve said all along that I’m available to people, I do not want to be an absentee representative. I come home every weekend and try to spend as much time out in the district meeting with people stuff. It’s just part of what I do.

Scott Chambers:

Absolutely, it was a great thing. You were out there. There were some detractors there let’s make no mistakes about it but you handle that with grace. Just a few you, sir. You handled it with grace and that’s what you were elected to do. I’m absolutely appreciative and I know your constituents are appreciative as well that you handled it the way you did. I think it was fantastic.

Gary Palmer:

I know y’all get this that coming from a faith perspective Romans 12:18 says “whenever possible as much as it is possible for you be at with all people” and that’s what I try to do.

Andrea Tice:

Did you notice a change from your perspective after the, what was it an hour hour-and-a-half meeting, did you notice any visible changes in the way people were responding to you or the way they left the meeting?

Gary Palmer:

Not really. I will say this I think people left the meeting not agreeing with me on any of my positions and not particularly liking the answers that I gave them but I think they left respecting me for being willing to be with them and realizing that maybe not everyone is willing to listen to them. I think part of what made that possible, a big part of it was how they conducted themselves. And I felt like for most part they were respectful. It certainly was nothing like what’s happening around the country and it’s like I told them, Andrea. I know how they feel and I felt that way after Bill Clinton got elected, I felt that way after Barack Obama got elected. I had the same concern for the future of the country, the same sense of loss but I got up the next morning and went back to work and started trying to change it.

Andrea Tice:

Well, I guess that’s about all you can do is just find the common ground of where they are, where they’re feeling and you offered answers to their questions whether they take them and apply it and have a change in their position i guess it’s up to them but we’re glad that you stuck with it in and did what was kind and proper.

Gary Palmer:

I’m not going to pander to anyone. I ran on some things that were my priorities some of the things they ask about are not by priorities. It doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about them but I’ve got things that I’m committed to and one of them is getting the economy growing again, getting our fiscal house in order so that the country doesn’t go bankrupt. We’re on a very dangerous path right now and that’s one of the reasons I’m on the Budget Committee. I’ve been in a bunch of meetings today and it’s my primary focus. And the healthcare, trying to put ideas on table to get us the kind of healthcare reform that we need and contrary to what people believe I’m not trying to get rid of all regulations or close the EPA or any that. I’m trying to get it down to the regulations that we need show that the economy can grow so people can get a job and get a good paying job.

Scott Chambers:

And that’s very important. I think a lot of people miss that. I was looking at some of the video, I unfortunately was not out there on Saturday but some of the video I heard people chanting you know, “Make America Sick Again”, I don’t think a lot of people realize that that’s not what you’re doing. You’re trying to make America work again and help America get back to work with some of the things that’s being done.

Gary Palmer:

First of all, on the “Make America Sick Again”, I find that interesting because over the last eight years for the first time in decades life expectancy has declined. So I think they might want to reconsider that chant. In terms of what I tell people is the best thing you do for individual or families health is a good paying job with benefits and what’s happened over the last eight years you can absolutely devastating to the economy. Part of 2008 there were a hundred thousand businesses starting up than we’re closing. By 2014 according to a Gallup poll it changed to 70,000 businesses closing than starting up. Principally small business and they’re the economic and employment engine of the country so the policy the last eight years have had a devastating impact. We’re spending 1.9 Trillion on regulations that’s almost $15,000 per household and it’s a huge burden on lower income families. What I’ve been trying to tell folks is we’re going to have regulations but they need to be regulations that fit a 21st century economy. We need to get rid of the obsolete regs, duplications and the contradictions. Get it down to the regulations we need to keep and simplify them so that anyone trying to start a business or expanding a business knows exactly what the walls are.

Andrea Tice:

Congressman, you mentioned that the economy and healthcare are your two top priorities. When the people coming to the town hall were asking questions did they focus on that or were they coming out of nowhere with other concerns that kind of took you by surprise?

Gary Palmer:

I don’t expect people to come and talk to me about my priorities necessarily. I take responsibility for communicating that and you know getting the economy going again, healthcare and fiscal policy so that we don’t go bankrupt. They want to talk about the Trump Administration. They’re frightened by Trump, they want to talk about Planned Parenthood and some of those issues. They want to talk about the environment, they’re claiming I’m a climate denier. Obviously I believe that we have climate change just I think it’s through natural variation and there’s a lot of science that backs that up.

Scott Chambers:

Absolutely and I didn’t mean to interrupt you there Congressman but you were talking about the Planned Parenthood thing and as I was watching back over the video I believe I heard a question. Did a woman at the event on Saturday ask you if you personally experienced a miscarriage? Did I hear that correctly?

Gary Palmer:

That’s how the question came across but I understood what she was asking and I hope she wasn’t asking that in a condescending manner. She was very emotional and very passionate about it and it was very evident to me that she had gone through a very traumatic experience. But my response was that Ann and I had gone through that and went through a period of infertility afterwards that was extremely painful for us. You know how a couple gets married and they’ve been married for five years and people start ribbing them about when you got to start a family or have a baby. And there will be a gap when someone asks when you’re going to have that next baby? That was happening to us and I swore then I would never again ask anybody that because we so desperately wanted another child and we had lost that one through miscarriage and we couldn’t get pregnant and it hurt. I understand what she was saying.

Scott Chambers:

I appreciate you clarifying that because that’s the way I took it personally but if not being in the room you know I can’t really say. I think you handled that event with grace Congressman Palmer and it’s great that you go out and talk to people. I’m really thrilled that you did that and handled that well. Tonight there’s a big event going on there in Washington DC as Donald Trump set to deliver his first joint address to Congress and I would like to talk more about that. Are you able to stay with us for a few more minutes or are you gonna have to go?

Gary Palmer:

Yeah they’re supposed to call votes here in about three minutes so they’ll buzz me when it’s time to go down.

Scott Chambers:

Ok what can we expect out of the president tonight, Congressman?

Gary Palmer:

Well I think he’s going to talk about health care for one thing and how he’s going to present his vision. From what I’ve heard most conservatives will be pleased about what they hear. I think the left might not be but my understanding is this is going to be a well-crafted vision for the next four years. I’m looking forward to hearing it and particularly the administration is on the repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Andrea Tice:

Congressman Palmer, we hear rumors and of course we have to consider the source of the stories about always kind of implying that maybe House Speaker Paul Ryan is going to break from Trump or they’re going to have a conflict especially when it comes to the budget or health care. What is your assessment from your perspective of where those two guys are when it comes to the agenda that’s about to be presented tonight?

Gary Palmer:

I actually think Speaker Ryan and President Trump are working very closely together. They’re talking everyday. I think some of the House leadership staff are now advising the President so I think they have a good working relationship.

Andrea Tice:

Well if they’re meeting every day then this idea that Ryan is about to bolt or really break ranks with Trump is just all a bunch of hoopla.

Scott Chambers:

I see that as a refreshing thing. We didn’t see that in the last eight years. No one was communicating with the President. Don’t you find that refreshing that we’re seeing this type of communication with this new President?

Gary Palmer:

I tell you what I find refreshing is having somebody in the White House that will sign what we pass. There was very little to have a conversation about over the past eight years, of course I was only here for two of it. But back to speaker Ryan, you know he is the speaker for 434 other members of Congress counting the Democrats but particularly the leader of our conference and there are 241 of us. He trying to herd cats in many respects but he has been working very closely with the Trump Administration and his influence will be seen in some of what Trump says tonight. There’s a lot of people out there that they want to assume the worst so right now everybody’s trying to work together. But the other thing that people need to know if that Trump doesn’t have his team in place. He still has 4-5 cabinet secretaries who haven’t been confirmed, there are under secretary positions that have yet to be confirmed. It was just a little over a week and a half ago that we got Mick Mulvaney as Budget Director and and then two people below him that have to go through the confirmation process so it’s really slowed things down because we haven’t had a Trump Administration people to work with because a lot of the administration positions are still being staffed by Obama people.

Andrea Tice:

Right and I know it’s totally unfair the comparisons that are being made as to what he’s accomplished so far when he doesn’t have a full team compared to what you know Obama or Clinton or anybody else did with a full team.

Gary Palmer:

Well if we stay on the same timetable that we have been on for all the other confirmations it will be compared to others the longest in history. I’m hoping that this is going to speed up after we get through these high-level positions and then course in March they’re going to take Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Andrea Tice:

That’s exciting. We can’t wait. March is going to be a interesting month ahead of us, for both healthcare I would assume and the Supreme Court.

Gary Palmer:

And the other thing is that people want us to act rapidly on these issues and rapid is never good when you’re doing with legislation. I prefer that we take the time to do it right and and a lot of people know worked in a think tank for 24 years, 25 years. I worked in engineering used to joke that there was never time to do it right but there’s always time to do it over. Especially in Congress, you don’t want to have to do it over.

Scott Chambers:

Absolutely. Now that’s a great point there. Congressman I know you’re about to have to go to a vote there were going to let you go but before we do I understand there’s an event coming up Friday in Selma and that you’ll be out there as well on Friday so we look forward to you getting your feet back on the ground here in Alabama again this weekend. Appreciate you joining us here on Yellowhammer Radio today.

Andrea Tice:

Yes and it was very interesting to hear the behind the scenes noises that you’ve experienced in your office office there.

Gary Palmer:

Well where I’m sitting right now there’s not a clock but usually there’s a clock and it’s got these little lights on it and as they go out that tells you how much time you got left to get over to the Capitol. You guys should come up here sometime and witness it firsthand.

Scott Chambers:

I would love to. Hopefully if we’re in DC will come by and say hello to you but if I had to do with that buzzing every day, I mean if a smoke alarm went off at my house I would just be like, “It’s time for a vote” and sleep right through it.

Gary Palmer:

I’m not sitting in the office but I turned it off.

Scott Chambers:

Congressman Gary Palmer, thank you so much for joining us today on Yellowhammer Radio and we look forward to meeting in person very soon.

1
1 year ago

Rep. Jack Williams Organizes Public Forum on Eradicating Opioid Addiction in Alabama

By Bennett Naron, Senior Student of Political Science at Samford University

On Tuesday, February 27th, Samford University hosted a pubic forum on stopping opioid addiction within the state of Alabama. Organized by Jack Williams, Alabama House Representative for District 47, the event highlighted the problematic nature of opioid addiction and offered a dialogue on possible solutions. Representative Williams is especially concerned about opioid addiction because it is prevalent in Jefferson County, where it is estimated an overdose death occurs every 36 hours. According to the latest coroner’s report, 248 people died in Jefferson County last year from opioid overdose alone. This is a rapid increase from just six years ago when a total of 82 deaths were caused by opioid overdose.

A driving factor behind the increasing opioid addiction and overdose rate is the willingness of doctors to prescribe opioids to patients. Fortunately, this has decreased in recent years. According to Dr. Mark Wilson, head of the Jefferson County Department of Health, this is because doctors are “scared of punitive actions for overprescribing.” However, many are already addicted and if not helped will seek alternative sources to satiate their opioid addiction. Foster Cook, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UAB, pointed out that in many states where doctors stop prescribing opioids to addicts, prescription opioid deaths decrease while heroin deaths increase. This is now happening in Alabama.


At this forum, the panel insinuated the severity of this issue by pointing out that most opioid addicts do not fit the stereotype many people imagine them to fall into. They are often individuals recovering from surgery, or are elderly or disabled. They were overprescribed an extremely addictive substance, and we are losing these valuable people to overdose. To combat this issue, public health and government officials, among others, are forming groups such as the “Pills to Needles Initiative.” Specifically, this group is working on a strategic plan to address opioid addiction and overdose. By developing resource centers, making naloxone more widely available, and working with law enforcement, they are on course to greatly offset opioid addiction.

While the state currently has roughly $16 million in funding to fight opioid addiction and overdose, this funding only maintains the status quo and is not matching the growing population of addicts. Jim Purdue, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Public Health, is asking for a twofold increase in funding from $16 million to $32 million. He believes this additional funding will not only help opioid-dependent citizens, but will also reduce strain on the healthcare system. Even with this high up-front cost, reducing and ideally eliminating opioid addiction in Alabama would possibly decrease spending of public funds while improving the quality of life for thousands of Alabamians.

1
1 year ago

Mark Zuckerberg Visits Birmingham on Tour of Alabama

By Emily Ehrnschwender

Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan are visiting Alabama this week as a part of their challenge to visit every state in the US. The couple arrived in Birmingham last night.

The trip started in Mobile and Bayou La Batre on Sunday, where the couple enjoyed seafood on the coast while learning about the changes that have occurred in the fishing industry due to globalization.

Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post, “I’m looking at more of the world through the lens of building community these days.” Zuckerberg and Chan experienced the Southern community by worshipping at Aimwell Baptist Church, enjoying a Mardi Gras parade in Mobile, and visiting a local bar where he visited with community members.

They arrived in Birmingham Monday night where they dined at OvenBird in the Pepper Place neighborhood. Following the evening, OvenBird Tweeted at Zuckerberg, “It was an honor to host you and your lovely wife Priscilla tonight.” Zuckerberg and Chan toured the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Tuesday.

It has been speculated that a tour of the US could be the beginning of a political career for Zuckerberg. When asked if planning to run in 2020, however, Zuckerberg consistently denies any political intentions. Those who have met him during his tour of Alabama claim his conversations are apolitical. The couple appears to simply want to experience the south while learning about the social fabric that holds communities together on both a local and global scale.

1
1 year ago

Local Alabama Talk Radio Host Bucks the Snowflake Stereotype

Andrew McLain
Andrew McLain

The words “safe space,” “entitled” and “protest” increasingly and almost inextricably are associated with the millennial generation. Reports of violent protests on college campuses and the suppression of free speech and opposing views have become routine and cause many to ask how these young adults will ever function in real world settings.

However, despite the negative news surrounding millennials, there are leaders, game changers, visionaries and strong men and women that have managed to rise up from a generation of incompetence and entitlement. Andrew McLain is one of those leaders. As the host of “The Line,” a mid-day talk show on Superstation 101 WYDE, McLain discusses the daily local, state and national headlines from a conservative viewpoint.

By speaking out against the very things a majority of his generation supports, McLain is changing the way listeners look at millennials.

McLain’s young, conservative voice is a refreshing change of pace from the all-too familiar cries of protest typically heard from the millennial crowd. “‘Be the change you wish to see. That is what I believe and that’s what I’m trying to do here,’” McLain says of his show. “I get on the radio every morning and stand up for what’s right. Every belief is based in God and country, the very things our forefathers built this country on.” 

McLain, who was born and raised in central Alabama, arrived at Superstation 101 in the summer of 2016 and quickly cemented himself as worthy of broadcasting from the 100,000 watt station that covers both the Birmingham and Huntsville markets. “I’ve been a listener of Birmingham talk radio since I can remember. A lot of the men and women I work with now are the same people I grew up listening to. So it is somewhat surreal to be here amongst the legends.”

In a medium dominated by older names and personalities, McLain makes a name for himself and offers hope that conservative values have not been abandoned completely by the next generation.

Perfecting a balance of humor, conservative values and the truth behind the news, McLain has managed to develop a show that will not only engage and inform his listeners but will leave them wanting more. “In radio they always say you’ve got to entertain first and inform second, so we definitely strive to do both of those things efficiently,” McLain explains. “But at the end of the day, it’s about connecting with our listeners and standing up for what’s right.”

With the support of Superstation 101’s parent company Crawford Broadcasting, whose foundation is rooted in the principals and truths of God’s Word, Andrew’s passion to make a difference is reflected in his own words: “It’s important that people see and understand that there are informed, intelligent and well-rounded men and women in my generation. Sometimes it feels like you’re fighting against a definition that has, in some ways, been well deserved. But I’m determined to make a difference behind this microphone and not just for conservatives but for millennials.”

“The Line” with Andrew McLain can be heard on Superstation 101 WYDE weekdays from 9:00 A.M to 11:00 A.M. Central Time, on 101.1 FM, 95.3 FM, and 1260 AM.

1
1 year ago

Coal still an important part of Alabama’s energy portfolio

(Flickr)
(Photo: Flikr user rcene2010)

By Charles L. Karr, Ph.D.
Dean of The University of Alabama College of Engineering

I cut my teeth in the mining industry early in my career as a research engineer with the United States Bureau of Mines, and I have seen the strength and determination of the people who labor to bring us the raw materials that make so much of our life possible.

Alabama was modernized because of coal, taking us from an agricultural society into one driven by industry and technology. The energy industry in this state relied on coal to power our world, but that is rapidly changing. Still, as the market, government regulations and concerns over greenhouse gasses continue to stress the coal industry, it is important to remember coal remains a vital part of Alabama’s energy portfolio.

Coal has been mined in Alabama for more than 150 years, and the state ranks 14th in total coal production among the United States, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the Energy Institute of Alabama.

Historically, coal has fueled the largest share of electric power generation in the state. About a third of the coal mined in Alabama stays in the U.S., and about half of that is delivered to electric power plants in the state, according to the report.

The Alabama Power Company reported in 2015 that coal made up about half of its fuel mix, and about 15 percent of that comes from coal mines in the state. Alabama Power still operates 10 coal-fired generating units.

Those numbers are down, of course, as low prices for natural gas and regulations have seen Alabama Power transition. In the late 1990s, nearly 80 percent of electricity generated by the company came from coal, and there were 23 coal-fired units. Natural gas has provided a larger share of electricity in the state, exceeding coal-fired generation in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Employment in the coal industry is down, too, but the Alabama Coal Association reports 4,000 people directly employed in the industry. This significant workforce in our state is buoyed by exports.

According to the U.S. Energy Department, in 2014, two thirds of the coal produced in Alabama was exported. Mobile is the nation's third-largest seaport for exporting United States coal, most of which is bound for Europe, South America and Central America. In 2015, Mobile also was second only to Tampa, Fla., in coal imports, according to EIA report.

It does not take much to read the tea leaves to understand challenges remain for coal as an energy source in the country. Besides market forces, there is concern over emissions, and that is something academia and industry are trying to resolve. In fact, researchers here at The University of Alabama College of Engineering are working with different solvents to more effectively scrub emissions from coal-fired power plants, and we have worked with the Southern Company and others to lead the way on carbon capture technologies.

Our researchers along with many across the state at other universities and private research labs are working to improve a host of other energy technologies to help diversify energy production here and around the world. Even with engineers and scientists moving forward, hurdles to more widespread reliance on renewable energy remain. Coal reserves are vast, and the industry is an important economic driver. Policymakers and cultural influencers must remember that coal is an engrained part of our energy mix.


Charles L. Karr is Dean of The University of Alabama College of Engineering and a Senior Policy Advisor for the nonprofit Energy Institute of Alabama. Visit energyinstituteal.org/impact to see the complete economic impact study commissioned by the EIA.

1
1 year ago

Jeff Sessions is the right pick for Attorney General. Here’s why.

Jeff Sessions

By Hans von Spakovsky

Jeff Sessions has a problem. A big one.

No, not getting confirmed as the 84th Attorney General. His critics are trying their best to derail his nomination, but he’s more than qualified for the job. The problem will be rooting out the partisanship and unprofessionalism that has infected the U.S. Justice Department over the last eight years.

Fortunately, Sen. Sessions won’t have a learning curve. He is an experienced federal and state prosecutor who knows exactly how a law enforcement agency should be run. Sessions was an assistant U.S. attorney for two years, one of the front line prosecutors who go into court and do the hard work of trying the cases the Justice Department prosecutes.

Sessions then spent 12 years as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. That made him the chief lawyer in charge of supervising the many DOJ line prosecutors responsible for all of the federal cases in southern Alabama. He went on to become the Attorney General of Alabama, in charge of enforcing Alabama’s state laws as well as defending the state when it was sued – the same job the U.S. Attorney General has for the federal government.

Contrary to the unfair and untrue criticisms of his opponents, Sessions had an outstanding record, one that any lawyer or public official would be proud of. He helped break the back of the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama. He played a leading role in solving (and prosecuting) the murder of Michael Donald, a 19-year-old African American whose KKK killer, Henry Francis Hays, got the death penalty.

He also prosecuted Bennie Jack Jays, Henry’s father and the “great titan” of the Alabama KKK, for instigating that murder, although he died prior to trial. He was involved in numerous civil rights cases that were filed to protect the voting rights of black Alabamians, including one of the first cases filed by the Justice Department to stop the suppression of black voters, U.S. v. Conecuh County.

Sessions has almost the perfect professional resume to serve as Attorney General, from supervisory experience to practical experience in the most important prosecutorial work that the Justice Department does every day: enforcing the criminal, civil rights, and civil statutes of the United States.

There is no question that Sessions is going to have a very tough job reversing the downright unethical conduct that has infected parts of the Department in recent years — the result of decision-making driven by politics rather than a commitment to uphold the law. That includes cases such as the successful lawsuit filed by 26 states against President Obama’s immigration amnesty plan, in which a federal judge found that Justice Department lawyers repeatedly lied to him about whether the plan was being implemented. Or a federal prosecution in New Orleans where the judge concluded that prosecutors had engaged in “grotesque prosecutorial abuse.”

Sen. Session’s entire career, and his actions as a U.S. senator, shows a keen appreciation of the fact that we are a constitutional republic. He understands that the federal government has strictly limited powers, and that state governments are independent sovereigns, not subdivisions of the federal government whose behavior can be dictated by the executive branch. That will be quite a contrast from the past administration.

As a senator, Sessions also appreciates the constitutional oversight role of Congress over agencies such as the Justice Department. This is very important given the dismissive attitude of former Attorney General Eric Holder, the first attorney general in history to be held in contempt by Congress for withholding documents related to Operation Fast & Furious, the most reckless law-enforcement operation ever conducted by the Justice Department.

Expect Jeff Sessions to ensure that the department is once again run on a professional, ethical, objective and non-political basis — one that respects the Constitution, the rule of law, and the best interests of justice.

Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org) and former Justice Department official. He is the co-author of “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk” and “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department.”

1
1 year ago

Hey Alabama, Keep Your Pension Promises (Opinion)

money-alabama-pension

By Jonathan Williams, Vice President of the Center for State Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

Alabama is unique when it comes to its pension fund investments. Over the past few decades, Alabama’s public pensions, unlike some other states, have invested heavily in in-state businesses and real estate, including office buildings, hotels and even golf courses. According to a new ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform report, Keeping the Promise: Getting Politics out of Pensions, the results of this pension investment experiment are in – and it’s bad news for public workers and retirees. Alabama’s in-state investments have underperformed other investment opportunities and are part of the reason the state’s pensions are grossly underfunded according to independent reports.

Alabama’s decision to rely so heavily on in-state investments makes it an outlier. According to the nonpartisan think tank, The Pew Charitable Trusts, at the end of fiscal year 2014, Alabama had an astonishing 16.3 percent of its pension portfolio allocated to in-state investments. This far surpasses any other state that publicly reports these investments. For comparison, New York has only 1.3 percent of its portfolio invested in-state and Wisconsin a mere 0.8 percent.

Other states rely less on in-state investments because they usually earn less than other investment opportunities. Any investor knows the likelihood of obtaining enhanced long-term returns increases by considering the entire universe of investment opportunities impartially, as opposed to heavily favoring local investment solely due to political expediency. When pension fund managers favor in-state businesses and real estate over superior investment opportunities out-of-state, lower returns inevitably result.

This has certainly been the case in Alabama. The most recent data available for Alabama’s preferred and private equity, private placements and real estate investments show in-state investments returned only 1.2 percent for the 2014 fiscal year, while out-of-state investments returned more than double that, with 3.2 percent. Local real estate performed particularly poorly, earning only 0.28 percent, while out-of-state real estate earned 6.73 percent, outperforming in-state real estate by a factor of 24.

These inferior returns from in-state investments are a major reason why, as of the end of fiscal year 2014, Alabama’s pension funds had earned only a 6.32 percent annualized return on their investments over the past decade, well below the national average. For the same time period, the StateStreet and TUCS medians, industry benchmarks that track pension fund performance nationwide, averaged 7.28 and 7.35 percent annually, respectively.

While a percentage point difference may not seem like a lot, it is huge when it comes to a pensions fund’s long term stability. Currently, Alabama assumes its pension funds will earn an overly-optimistic 7.75 or 8 percent on their investments every year. When the fund falls short of these returns, the state must make up the difference, requiring lawmakers to cut other government services, raise taxes or simply leave the pension underfunded.

Alarmingly, the funded status of the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) fell from 105 percent funded in 1997 to 68 percent funded in 2014. The Employees Retirement System (ERS), which includes local and state workers, decreased from 111 percent funded in 1997 to 63 percent funded in 2014. As Dr. Henry Mabry, former Executive Secretary and Treasurer at the Alabama Education Association, explained:

“The facts point to losses caused by alternative investments such as real estate. Over the past five years, almost $700 million have gone down a rat hole thanks to these ‘investments.’ To put it in perspective, $700 million is more than twice what is spent on school transportation for the whole state or over 12,000 teacher units a year…Economic development of the state is great and wonderful, but economic development at the expense of active and retired TRS members does not pass muster.”

The police officers, firefighters, and teachers of Alabama deserve to have their retirement investments work for them and earn the best long-term returns. All investments, whether in state or out of state, should be evaluated equally and be held to the same-risk return standards, without favoritism to certain local investments. Alabama’s hardworking public employees have kept their end of the bargain through years of service to the state – now it is time for Alabama’s pension funds to keep their pension promises to employees.


Jonathan Williams is the Vice President of the Center for State Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

1
1 year ago

Alabama taxpayers beware: Broadband consultants collect hefty fees as they push taxpayer-supported networks

(Yellowhammer)

Alabama Internet

By Johnny Kampis | Watchdog.org

If you build it, they will come.

It’s not just fictional Iowa corn farmer Ray Kinsella hearing those words. More and more, local governments across the country are getting such positive feedback from consultants, who recommend the construction of expensive taxpayer- or ratepayer-supported broadband networks with promises the moves will attract businesses and improve the area’s quality of life.

In Alabama, CTC Technology & Energy recently consulted with Huntsville Utilities on its $57 million network, while Strategic Networks Group is helping an entrepreneurial center in the Shoals establish broadband.

Critics argue that consultants are just telling local bureaucrats what they want to hear.

“They already want to create a government-owned network,” said David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, “they’re just looking for confirmation.”

He jokingly calls government broadband consulting work “Jeopardy research.”

“They already have the answer, they’re just looking for the question,” Williams told Watchdog.org.

If you pore over the various reports scattered across the web, posted by cities and counties in which consultants have researched broadband, it’s hard to find an example in which a consultant told a government not to offer high-speed internet in some capacity, whether it’s building a full-fledged utility-operated network or a fiber-optic backbone onto which providers could connect.

Peachtree City, Ga., is the rare municipality to go against the advice of its consultant.

Community Broadband LLC of Midway, Ga., anticipated profits of $451,901 by year five if the city built its own $3.2 million network, but city leaders weren’t so confident. An initial survey yielded mostly favorable responses from local businesses indicating they might subscribe to a high-speed service from the city, but questions were raised about the reliability of that survey.

Peachtree City leaders saw enough failures of government broadband projects that they ultimately decided to scrap the project, and contract with a local provider to serve city facilities’ broadband needs. But even though the City Council voted down the plan, it didn’t create animosity between the consultant and the city: Peachtree City spokeswoman Betsy Tyler told Watchdog the city continues to use Community Broadband as a consultant on communications issues.

Kelly McCutchen, president of Georgia Public Policy Foundation, said unlike government leaders, consultants can’t be held accountable for the results by voters.

“They’ll tell them they can do it cheaper, and it’s not based in reality,” McCutchen told Watchdog. “And taxpayers are left holding the bag.”

“Typically these consultants are the only ones that come out good on these deals,” he said.

He points to Marietta, which sold its FiberNet broadband system at a loss of $24 million in 2004. Its fiber-optic system, stretching from Kennesaw to Alpharetta and partially into Atlanta, had all of 180 customers along its 210-mile route when the city got rid of it.

Bill Dunaway, then the mayor, who ran on a platform that included dumping FiberNet, told USA Today the city couldn’t keep up with the necessary equipment upgrades.

“That’s why we should not be in this business — you have to keep reinvesting,” he said.

Baltimore mayor-elect Catherine Pugh listed a litany of other municipal broadband failures in a 2013 op-ed in the Baltimore Sun when she served in the state Senate.

The Democrat pointed to Provo, Utah, which spent $40 million to build a network it would ultimately sell to Google Fiber for a $1, as well as Marietta and Groton, Connecticut, where taxpayers lost $38 million.

“For many local governments, the promise is seductive. A cottage industry of consultants and network builders — who stand to profit handsomely — sell the idea to misty-eyed government officials that building a municipal broadband network will spawn a local Silicon Valley microcosm that will be a monument to their incumbency,” she wrote. “But what they don’t see is that the economics of the grand venture doom it to likely failure.
“For the most part, municipally-built broadband networks have the economic chips stacked against them and, where tried, have saddled local taxpayers with a mountain of debt and half-built networks that are then sold at fire-sale prices to vulture investors,” Pugh continued.

Leaders in the field

The leaders in the consulting field are Magellan Advisors of Denver, Col., and CTC of Kensington, Md., each consulting on hundreds of broadband projects. Magellan says in press releases that its staff “has planned and developed fiber optic networks in over 200 communities across the U.S.”

The company said that through its services more than $1 billion of broadband investments have resulted, “connecting more than 1,000 schools, hospital, libraries and governments and passing nearly 1 million homes with fiber.”

In Jupiter, Florida, Magellan both consulted on a municipal broadband project and helped build it.

Magellan urged Baltimore, where it earned $157,000 for its report, to pursue federal funding to connect schools to fiber, and to lease 122 miles of existing fiber that was part of a emergency responders communications network to interested providers.

Google Fiber will tap into the network CTC helped plan in Huntsville to provide gigabit-capable speeds to homes and businesses. CTC has consulted with the public sector for more than 30 years. Its current projects include fiber-optic and wireless regional communications interoperability initiatives in the Washington, D.C., area for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

A lengthy list of its partnerships can be viewed here.

CTC didn’t return a call from Watchdog for comment on its consulting work. Magellan president and CEO John Honker also didn’t return a call.

Strategic Networks Group, based in Ottawa, Canada, and Superior, Col., recently announced a partnership with the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center in north Alabama. SEC got a nearly $1 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for a three-year partnership with SNG to develop digital strategies for the region. This will include the Small Business Growth Program, “a program that shows businesses the economic impacts that inspire greater Internet application utilization, grow businesses, and create job opportunities.”

SNG says it helps communities “uncover the transformative power of technology investment.”

Magellan continues to do brisk business in the government broadband consulting sector today, even nabbing two projects in Chatham County, Georgia. First, the city of Savannah paid Magellan $65,200 early in 2016 for a broadband network feasibility study, then Chatham County, of which Savannah is the seat, agreed to a similar consult for $65,500 in September.

Savannah is served by some two dozen broadband providers, but Comcast captures most of the business. That company is planning on upgrading its network to provide 1 gb speeds to residents and 10 gb speeds to businesses in the coming years.

Williams argues it doesn’t take a $65,000 study to determine the scope of the broadband market.

“When I go to talk to lawmakers about broadband, I do a Google search to see who serves an area,” he said. “And I don’t charge $65,000 for that search.”

Williams said local governments can ill afford to spend that kind of money on broadband consulting, calling it “a big waste of resources.”

“People think consultants are a mystical group of people who have all the answers,” he said. “They’re selling snake oil. They’ve found a niche for getting taxpayer money.”

Magellan was initially rebuffed this spring in Lakeland, Fla., where the city’s chief financial officer, Mike Brossart, warned city leaders against a $220 million to $270 million plan to build a new government-owned internet utility across Lakeland Electric’s service area.

Magellan’s report anticipated a quick return on investment, but its projections required that 40 percent of Lakeland Electric’s customers sign up for internet and face an annual 1.5 percent price increase. Brossart deemed that financial model too sensitive.

“It’s highly speculative and we’re not in the business of being highly speculative with the citizens’ money,” Brossart told The Lakeland Ledger.

Lakeland leaders considered building a network, but on a much smaller scale, before scrapping the idea altogether in October.

In Stark County, Ohio, Magellan recommended county leaders create a broadband authority and consider building a 130-mile middle-mile fiber-optic backbone with an estimated cost of $22.5 million. Providers could then build the last mile from the backbone to facilities desiring broadband.

Nearly all of the homes and businesses in the county that were randomly sampled are already able to subscribe to broadband-speed services at reasonable prices.

Magellan noted in its study that if the county built the backbone, many of its cities could use it to plan their own networks.

“An additional benefit of the middle-mile fiber backbone, is that it would provide political sub-divisions the ability to develop their own fiber initiatives,” Magellan wrote in its report.

And if those municipalities need any consulting work in planning those networks, Magellan is just a phone call away.

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1 year ago

Taxpayers support low-income children with donations to Alabama Opportunity Scholarship fund

Lamarien, Prichard Prep Academy, Prichard, Alabama
Lamarien, Prichard Prep Academy, Prichard, Alabama
Lamarien, Prichard Prep Academy, Prichard, Alabama

by L. Page Stalcup, III

Come on, Alabama! Lamarien is counting on you! Let’s raise $18 million before December 31.

Alabama tax payers are supporting thousands of low-income children through the donation of their Alabama income tax liability to the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund (AOSF). This program is a win-win for Alabama: you get to give students the opportunity of a great education without having to pay a cent. You can donate your entire fourth quarter estimated tax payment today and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on your state return.* Your donation is also eligible for a charitable contribution deduction on your Federal return. Individuals who are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) may receive a net cash benefit when they donate to AOSF.

L. Page Stalcup, III, CPA/ABV, CFF, CVA, CGMA Wilkins Miller LLC
L. Page Stalcup, III, CPA/ABV, CFF, CVA, CGMA
Wilkins Miller LLC

AOSF is a nonprofit scholarship granting organization that currently funds $11.3 million in scholarships to 2,100 children in 40 Alabama counties. The program allows low-income Alabama families to choose the best educational option for their children by providing scholarships to attend the school of their choice. One of my favorite stories about AOSF comes out of Bullock County. Jimmy and De’Anthony met at Conecuh Springs Christian School after they each received a scholarship. Jimmy is Hispanic and completed his scholarship application by himself as his mother did not speak English at the time. Jimmy had a hard time in math. De’Anthony was a great student, excelling in math but struggling in Spanish. The boys quickly became friends and were able to help each other, and now both boys are making As in the subjects where they struggled. These boys would have never met and flourished like they have had it not been for their scholarships.You can watch their story below.

The process is simple to support these children. And we all need to come together and support them. These children are the future workforce and leaders in our communities. We need to give them the foundation on which they can thrive. You will need to reserve your tax credit through the Alabama Department of Revenue’s My Alabama Taxes website. Visit alabamascholarshipfund.org or contact Bri Jackson, AOSF Director of Development, at 205-206-7803 for more information.

L. Page Stalcup, III, CPA/ABV, CFF, CVA, CGMA
Wilkins Miller LLC

*Consult your tax professional

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1 year ago

Comprehensive TV guide to every college football conference championship game

Alabama vs. Florida in 2010 (Photo: Flickr user rmanoske)

Consider this our weekly public service.

For a printable PDF version, click here. Pro tip: Save the image below to your phone for quick and easy access all day.

(Note: All times are Central)

football_schedule_12216_new

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