The Wire

  • WATCH: Blount County football fans join together in prayer before game

    After it was announced earlier this week that Blount County Schools would no longer allow student or volunteer-led prayer over the intercom before games, fans were worried that their prayer would be silenced.

    However, if Friday’s Locust Fork High School game was any indication, prayer in Blount County will continue.

    In a video posted on Twitter, the crowd of students and fans can be seen banding together to use the designated pregame moment of silence to fill the stands with the Lord’s Prayer.

  • Mike Rogers on Kavanaugh: ‘It is Doug Jones’ job to represent the majority will in Alabama when he casts his vote in Washington’

    Friday during an appearance on Birmingham’s Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie Show,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) weighed in on the current controversy surrounding U.S. Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation and how his colleagues in the U.S. Senate are handling the confirmation process to date.

    During the segment, Rogers responded to a question about his House colleague Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) calling on Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) to vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation if Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford did not step forward and announce her intentions to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    The Calhoun County Republican agreed with Byrne and suggested Jones “represent the majority will” of Alabamians.

  • Ivey, Byrne showcase ‘old-fashioned’ courthouse rally as GOP poised to take Monroe County

    Excerpt:

    MONROEVILLE – During Alabama’s transition from Democrat to Republican that began in the 1990s and was capped off in 2010 with the GOP finally gaining control of all the branches of government in Montgomery, the local government in Monroe County was one place that was able to resist that trend.

    However, the politics of the state could finally be catching up with one of Alabama’s most historic counties.

    In a setting that had the feeling of being a throwback to the heyday of political rallies staged by the likes former Gov. “Big” Jim Folsom and former Congressman Frank Boykin, the Monroe County Republican Party hosted a rally featuring Gov. Kay Ivey and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) on the lawn of the old Monroe County Courthouse that is thought to be the inspiration for the courthouse in fictitious Maycomb, Alabama, the scene of Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

    The goal of the event was to energize GOP voters headed into the midterm elections and flip major local offices in Monroe County, including district judge, sheriff and probate judge, currently held by Democrats to Republican.

8 hours ago

Rep. Gary Palmer warns Brett Kavanaugh brouhaha threatens America’s ‘experiment in self-government’ — ‘I think this is going to have consequences for the Democrats’

(Screenshot/YouTube)

On Friday’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) expressed his skepticism over the sincerity of Senate Democrats regarding the sexual misconduct allegations aimed at U.S. Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Palmer warned that weaponizing a “scandal” in these situations may impact the country’s ability to self-govern.

“It looks to me like since the Democrats had this information as early as July, or maybe earlier than that, and they didn’t bring it forward — this was intended to derail the confirmation, not to do justice for an individual who claims to have been harmed,” he said. “And the thing that really concerns me about all of this, regardless of what side of the aisle you’re on, is how this impacts our ability to continue this experiment in self-government because when you weaponize scandal as a political weapon  — it’s very destructive to the process, not just the individuals involved, but the entire process.”

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He added that ultimately, this could backfire on Democrats.

“I think this is going to have consequences for the Democrats,” Palmer added. “At some point, you can cry wolf too many times. And again, I think this is dangerous for people that have been harmed. It will get to the point where it’s just another claim. And at the same time, you’ve got Keith Ellison, who I serve with in the House, who has a claim against him by a woman who is being totally dismissed by the left, even though there’s more evidence there. There’s text messages, documentation from her doctor — you see where this is heading? I’m very concerned for our country and what we’re doing to ourselves. I think it has dire consequences down the road.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

12 hours ago

Alabama SoS John Merrill: ACLU of Alabama lawsuit for Twitter blocking ‘a publicity stunt’

(Screenshot/YouTube(

In an interview that aired on Friday’s episode of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill elaborated on his response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of blocked Twitter users by ACLU of Alabama, which he initially called a “political hack job.”

Merrill told “Capitol Journal” host Don Dailey given that the suit has not been delivered to him or his office, it was a “publicity stunt.”

“Frankly, I still haven’t seen the lawsuit, which tells me that this is a publicity stunt,” he said. “There’s no lawsuit that’s been delivered to the office of the Secretary of State, and that’s been presented to me personally. I first learned of this from the media.”

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Merrill explained the distinction between his personal Twitter account and the one that was established by his office.

“I use my Twitter account because it’s my personal account,” he added. “Now we have an office account ‘@alasecofstate’ … no one has ever been blocked from that. People can follow that at will if they choose to. My personal account, ‘@JohnHMerrill’ not only covers the things I do as your secretary of state but also all the personal things that I do.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 day ago

Mike Rogers on Kavanaugh: ‘It is Doug Jones’ job to represent the majority will in Alabama when he casts his vote in Washington’

(M. Rogers/Facebook)

Friday during an appearance on Birmingham’s Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie Show,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) weighed in on the current controversy surrounding U.S. Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation and how his colleagues in the U.S. Senate are handling the confirmation process to date.

During the segment, Rogers responded to a question about his House colleague Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) calling on Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) to vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation if Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford did not step forward and announce her intentions to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Calhoun County Republican agreed with Byrne and suggested Jones “represent the majority will” of Alabamians.

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“We are representatives,” he said. “Our job is to represent our district and our state in that body in Washington, D.C. It is Doug Jones’ job to represent the majority will in Alabama when he casts his vote in Washington. If this lady does not testify and convince the Senate — the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate of the validity of her charge, I don’t see how you can look at anybody in Alabama and say he is doing his job by voting against her.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

2 days ago

Ivey, Byrne showcase ‘old-fashioned’ courthouse rally as GOP poised to take Monroe County

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

MONROEVILLE – During Alabama’s transition from Democrat to Republican that began in the 1990s and was capped off in 2010 with the GOP finally gaining control of all the branches of government in Montgomery, the local government in Monroe County was one place that was able to resist that trend.

However, the politics of the state could finally be catching up with one of Alabama’s most historic counties.

In a setting that had the feeling of being a throwback to the heyday of political rallies staged by the likes former Gov. “Big” Jim Folsom and former Congressman Frank Boykin, the Monroe County Republican Party hosted a rally featuring Gov. Kay Ivey and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) on the lawn of the old Monroe County Courthouse that is thought to be the inspiration for the courthouse in fictitious Maycomb, Alabama, the scene of Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

The goal of the event was to energize GOP voters headed into the midterm elections and flip major local offices in Monroe County, including district judge, sheriff and probate judge, currently held by Democrats to Republican.

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A decades-long downturn in the local Monroe County economy, particularly with the incremental departure of Vanity Fair over the past few decades, have led to demographic changes that have made it possible for Democrats to maintain control locally.

Trends, however, are starting to show movement to the Republican Party. In 2016, Monroe County went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by a 56-42 margin. In the 2017 special election that resulted in the unlikely election of Democratic candidate Doug Jones, Republican Roy Moore narrowly won Monroe County by a 49.9-49.5 margin.

That hasn’t gone unnoticed by Alabama Republican Party chairwoman Terry Lathan, who was in attendance Thursday night and noted the trend in the historical setting.

“What’s happened is the trajectory of this county, the voters have gone blue to red across the state, so we love that, and we always want to be going up, up, up in our numbers,” Lathan told Yellowhammer News. “Here tonight at the Monroe County Courthouse is so historical. I think it is historical as well in the political world because they have a full slate of candidates for the first time in a very long time.”

“It’s a huge crowd here and what I’m loving about this is this is Alabama,” she added. “This is the type of old-fashioned rally that people flock to and they love being a part of this, and it’s a very strong showing of people in Monroe County who are conservative folks and want to keep making America great again, and keep making Alabama great again.”

Alabama Republican Party chairwoman Terry Lathan addresses rallygoers in Monroeville (Jeff Poor/YHN)

Organizers estimate 250-300 people attended the Monroeville event, which is considerable given the population of the county is just over 20,000. According to Lathan, that’s a “message.”

“All these people being here is not an accident,” she added. “I mean, they’ve got in their cars,” she continued. “They’ve come from work. They got families here. They got little children here as well, and they’re coming to be a part of this process. It’s very healthy. This is the sign of a very healthy conservative county. I think that President Trump’s agenda, the Republican platform and conservative values that we are implementing, not only across the nation but in the state of Alabama – that is what we’re seeing here. This is not an accident. This is a message.”

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), who represents Monroe County as part of Alabama’s first congressional district in Washington, D.C. and was also in attendance in Thursday, summed it up as “red wave.”

“I’ve been hearing in Washington about the ‘blue wave,’” Byrne said to Yellowhammer News. “What I’m seeing here in Monroe County right now is a red wave, which is a really good sight.”

Rep. Bradley Byrne speaks at Monroe County GOP event (Jeff Poor/YHN)

“This has been a Democrat county,” he added. “This county could turn red this time. We’ve got really good candidates for probate judge, district judge and sheriff. I’ve been here for Republican functions before. I don’t believe I’ve seen this many people or close to this many people for a Republican event in Monroe County. This is a great sign for us.”

Headlining Thursday’s event was Gov. Kay Ivey, who is facing Democratic challenger Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox in November’s election.

Ivey, a native of nearby Camden in adjacent Wilcox County, has expanded the map and has been targeting rural counties in the state with appearances. Last week, the incumbent governor was in Choctaw County’s Butler and is slated to appear in northwestern Alabama’s Marion County for Winfield’s Mule Day festivities on Saturday.

“Were out on the campaign trail – that’s for sure,” Ivey explained to Yellowhammer News. “We’re out in Monroe County tonight, and we were in Choctaw County recently as well. We’re out and about among the people learning and proud to be out among the people relating to our message, and we’re very supportive.”

Kay Ivey hands out stickers in front of the old Monroe County Courthouse (Jeff Poor/YHN)

Ivey’s focus on these places beyond the population centers of Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery and Huntsville is a departure from traditional statewide political campaigns.

“Everybody in Alabama that is a citizen and able to vote is worthy,” she added. “And I just like to go where people are, and if they’re interested, I’m proud to talk to them and engage. So, I’m proud to be here.”

David Steele, Jr., a local attorney and the chairman of the Monroe County Republican Party, explained why this could be a turning point for his county and said the event was an effort to show the entrenched local Democratic Party power structure the GOP is a serious threat to the status quo.

“Monroe County is poised to make history and elect the first Republicans they’ve elected since Reconstruction,” Steele told Yellowhammer News.

Steele said there were 30-40 volunteers involved in putting the courthouse lawn rally event together and noted that it took help from others to bring in high-profile figures like Ivey and Byrne to participate in the event.

“It wasn’t just having a lot of volunteers involved,” he said. “It was having the right volunteers – business owners, the past president of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Phil Hardee, the Nettles, a close friend of the governors and we always have a close connection with Congressman Byrne. I hope the Democrats understand we’re going to throw everything at them in Monroe County this year. We’re going to empty the bank account. We’re going to replenish it, and we’re going to keep coming. That is the goal.”

Rallygoers at Monroe County GOP event (Jeff Poor/YHN)

On the local level, Steele said he believed Democratic policies were holding Monroe County back economically. As Alabama thrives in the age of Trump, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Monroe County is at 6.7 percent, while the statewide average for the same criteria is much lower at 4.2 percent.

Steele contrasted Monroe County’s neighbors, heavily Republican Baldwin County to the south and its low 3.7 percent unemployment rate, and heavily Democratic Wilcox County to the north and its 10.1 percent unemployment rate, currently the highest in Alabama.

“To our south, we share a border with Baldwin County, one of the most conservative places in Alabama,” Steele said. “To our north, we share a border with Wilcox County, which is consistently one of the poorest counties in America, and one of the bluest, most Democratic counties in America. We’re right there. We’re sandwiched between the two of them and our county has to decide if we want to be prosperous and led by good policies and good government, or if we want to shift further toward Wilcox County and some of those Democratic policies and obviously, poverty and hopelessness.”

Steele offered Yellowhammer News an example of how in his view the Democrat-controlled Monroe County Commission has failed its citizens with tax policy and neglect of the county’s infrastructure.

“The current county government that’s led by Democrats – our current county government has been at war with our number industry, forestry,” Steele explained, “with people that produce jobs. Almost everyone that works in Monroe County is connected in some way with the forestry industry. Our county commission has gone to war with Georgia-Pacific over the taxes they pay. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you and the best employer in the county. We’ve put in programs that don’t reflect our values. We’ve spent money on worthless projects. And the roads and infrastructure that we rely on to get our crops and our timber – our farm-to-market roads – are deteriorating while we waste money on frivolous stuff doesn’t matter and we just pour it down a drain.”

“It’s time for us to turn that around, get a bunch of conservative people in the courthouse and have a value system in place that reflects what the people in our county really think,” he added.

Among the Republicans candidates up for election on the Monroe County ballot in November and all in attendance on Thursday night were District Judge hopeful Emily Steele, incumbent Republican Monroe County District 2 Commissioner Joe McKissick, Monroe County Sheriff hopeful Alfred Carter and Monroe County Probate Judge candidate Melvin Foukal.

Monroe County Republican candidates left to right: Incumbent Republican Monroe County District 2 Commissioner Joe McKissick, Monroe County Probate Judge candidate Melvin Foukal, Monroe County Sheriff hopeful Alfred Carter, and District Judge hopeful Emily Steele (Jeff Poor/YHN)

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

3 days ago

Byrne: If Kavanaugh accuser declines to testify, Doug Jones should vote to confirm

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

MONROEVILLE – Thursday at a rally hosted by the Monroe County Republican Party on the lawn of the old Monroe County Courthouse, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) addressed the current controversy Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing in his confirmation process.

Kavanaugh has been accused by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford of improper sexual conduct while a student at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Md. in the 1980s.

When asked about how Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) has handled it, Byrne told Yellowhammer News that Ford should be allowed to “have her say.” However, he added that should she decline to have her say before the U.S. Senate, Jones should vote to confirm.

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“I’ve tried to be very careful about what I say about it because we should let this lady have her say,” Byrne said. “But if she’s not going to show up and testify after she’s been given this opportunity, then I don’t think there’s any question that [Jones] and every senator up there should vote for Judge Kavanaugh.”

Some political watchers believe that Byrne is setting himself up for a run for U.S. Senate against Doug Jones in 2020. When asked about that possibility, Byrne said he was looking to this year’s midterm elections first. He also criticized Jones for his voting record.

“First of all, we got to get through this November election – not just me, but we got to help all these other candidates,” he said. “Then we can turn around and start talking about 2020. But I just got to say, I’ve looked at the voting record of Doug Jones and some of the things he’s saying, and I don’t think he lines up with the state of Alabama. I just don’t.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

3 days ago

Rogers campaign hammers Anniston Star for botched JSU logo-campaign T-shirt reporting — ‘Nothing more than a political arm of the Democratic Party’

(Special to Yellowhammer News)

Late Wednesday, the Anniston Star ran a story calling into question Rep. Mike Rogers’ campaign’s use of the Jacksonville State University logo on a T-shirt promoting Rogers’ candidacy.

According to the report from the Star’s Patrick McCreless, Rogers’ campaign did not have permission to use the university’s logo and he cited Jacksonville State University spokeswoman Buffy Lockette, also the wife of the Star’s capitol and statewide reporter Tim Lockette, who told the Star the logo “was not approved by our licensing director.”

However, the use of that logo was not a result of improper actions by the Rogers’ campaign. The campaign followed the proper protocol according to Don Killingsworth, a special assistant to Jacksonville State University’s president who handles government relations.

As the Star later pointed out after publication in an update to the story, the Rogers’ campaign was not at fault for the use of the JSU logo. Instead, it was the Anniston-based vendor Opportunity Center, which holds a valid retail license to sell products with the logo reflected by Killingsworth’s comments included in the update.

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“The Mike Rogers for Congress Campaign has and continues to follow all rules and policies and has no fault or responsibility in the manner,” Killingsworth said in a statement.

The Star, which has a decades-long history of supporting Democratic Party candidates and liberal causes, immediately drew the ire of the Rogers campaign for the initial version of the story suggesting it was the campaign that acted improperly.

In a statement provided to Yellowhammer News on Thursday, the campaign reiterated the sentiment in the tweet.

“Once again, the Anniston Star put its left-wing liberal views ahead of the facts by racing to run a political hit piece on the Mike Rogers campaign before having the full story,” the statement said. “It’s no wonder so many folks don’t trust the mainstream media.”

Despite the initial oversight in the Star’s initial publication, Star editors Ben Cunningham and Phillip Tutor have taken to social media to question why the Rogers’ campaign might take issue with McCreless’ initial story.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

5 days ago

Rogers: Hagan comments attacking Alabama culture ‘disappointing’ — ‘How can you think you’re the right person to come back and represent that culture in Washington?’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

AUBURN — Tuesday at the weekly meeting of the Auburn University College Republicans, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) fielded questions about the upcoming midterm elections, including his re-election bid against Mallory Hagan, the former Miss America that is now the Democratic nominee for Alabama’s third congressional district.

Rogers expressed some optimism for Republicans facing headwinds in a midterm election cycle following a presidential election that as history shows favor the candidates of the party out of power. However, Rogers said at this point in the 2016 presidential election cycle, polling suggested a bleak picture for Republicans then as well, which ultimately was not the case.

The incumbent Calhoun County Republican was also asked about not debating Hagan, to which he responded, “Why would I want to help her with name ID?” and added that voters in his congressional district were familiar with his record.

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Following his presentation to the Auburn University College Republicans, Rogers reacted to Hagan’s comments in which she had expressed her dissatisfaction with Alabama’s “culture” and having proclaimed herself a New Yorker following her 2003 Miss America contest win in an interview with Yellowhammer News.

“I never left Alabama,” Rogers said. “I’ve been here over the last five decades raising a family and proud of this country, proud of the state. And I was disappointed particularly since she left the state and spent nine of the last ten years living in New York and California. And defending becoming Miss New York and competing for that state in the pageant by saying ‘the reason I left Alabama was because I was not comfortable with the culture there.’ How can you think you’re the right person to come back and represent that culture in Washington? I just don’t understand how she reconciles that, but I think the voters are going to take care of that.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

6 days ago

Listen: Dem gubernatorial hopeful Walt Maddox, Talk 99.5’s Matt Murphy spar over Alabama Medicaid expansion

(Screenshot)

In an appearance Monday on Birmingham’s Talk 99.5 “Matt & Aunie Show,” Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walt Maddox fielded questions from co-host Matt Murphy about the merits of expanding Medicaid in Alabama, a favorite policy position of many of the state’s Democratic elected officials.

“I think Medicaid is working in Alabama,” he said.

“It serves mostly our children and those that are disabled,” Maddox explained. “Those very few people that meet those criteria are on Medicaid. Nearly a million people are on it, by the way. But let me tell you why Medicaid expansion is important because we certainly have talked about it. This is where we are in Alabama 89 percent of our rural hospitals are in the red today. More than 50 percent of our urban hospitals are in the red today, places like Alex City where we were last week.”

“So what happened?” he continued. “What flipped in the health care dynamic? When the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, passed in 2010, it was challenged in the Supreme Court. And one of the rulings that came out of that challenge was that states had the option to expand Medicaid because initially, states had no choice.”

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He went on to explain that under Obamacare, Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments have decreased, meaning that the federal subsidies that some Alabama hospitals have diminished.

Murphy pressed Maddox on Medicaid expansion and pointed out that in his view it was a failing system and is on track to overwhelm the state of Alabama’s finances.

Partial exchange as follows:

MADDOX: There are 33 states that have gone along with the expansion of Medicaid. There are six more that are considering it.

MURPHY: You know how much the state budget for Medicaid is right now?

MADDOX: Not offhand —

MURPHY: It’s about a quarter, a quarter of the total budget. Twenty-four percent of the total budget is Medicare and that is expected to over the next decade go up to as much as 35 percent of the total state budget and I’m wondering how we stop that.

MADDOX: Well, the question certainly you got to go with efficiencies. But let me ask you this — do we let town after town die in Alabama to die on the hill of something that’s not going to change?

MURPHY: How are you correcting that if you’re doubling down on a system that’s not currently working that’s creating that dying dynamic that you’re discussing?

MADDOX Well that system, 33 states are invested in and you’re about to have six more. Alabama is going to continue to be left behind to die for a cause that doesn’t do the average Alabamian any good.

MURPHY: Those states are doubling down on a system that you agreed five minutes ago doesn’t work.

MADDOX: Hold on a second — so we shouldn’t invest in NASA? We shouldn’t invest in Redstone?

MURPHY: NASA works. Medicaid is not working, Walt. It’s not working.

MADDOX: No, that’s not necessarily true. And what you’re trying to tell me is there are only certain types of federal investment that we should ignore.

MURPHY: I’m telling you that we shouldn’t double down on systems that aren’t working. You agreed five minutes ago that wasn’t working.

After the two continued the debate further, Murphy asked Maddox on how he would finance the expansion, which Maddox pointed to gambling revenue.

“You take a combination of taxing the existing gambling that is here and sports gambling,” Maddox said. “And that will be what you put in your general fund as your offset to it.

@Jeff_Poor
 is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 week ago

Kay Ivey woos Choctaw County voters with pro-rural Alabama message

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

BUTLER – It wasn’t officially a campaign rally, but it might have had the same impact as one.

On Thursday night, Gov. Kay Ivey spoke at the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce annual banquet before a crowd of a few hundred gathered at Butler’s First United Methodist Church gymnasium.

“I feel right at home here in Choctaw County,” she said to the crowd. “You know I grew up in Wilcox County in Camden, Ala. And I’m proud to be in y’all’s neck of the woods tonight. Rural Alabama is not only my home, but it is also where I learned the values I take to work with me every day – hard work and community spirit. If you ask me, today our world could learn a lot from small-town rural Alabama.”

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Ivey touted ALDOT’s efforts in Choctaw County and vowed there would be a significant increase in Alabama State Troopers on the roadways.

“Regardless of what you may be hearing, before February we will have more than 400 highway patrol State Troopers,” she said. “This represents a 25 percent increase in the number of skilled law enforcement officers dedicated to keeping you safe on Alabama roads.”

“All of my efforts to improve infrastructure and to increase the coverage of public safety will be focused on doing what’s right and what’s best for the people of Alabama,” Ivey added before receiving a round of applause.

Ivey also hit one of the familiar themes of her 2018 reelection campaign bid, which is her economic track record.

“We’ve created 16,000 new jobs while I’ve been in office through more than $8 billion in direct private investments,” she said. “There are more jobs in Alabama than ever before in our state’s entire history. In fact, right here in Choctaw County, your workforce has grown 6.2 percent since last year.”

The incumbent governor predicted there would be more of these positive economic signs going forward.

“We are on a path to prosperity in our future,” Ivey declared. “We are headed in the right direction.”

Near the end of her address to the Choctaw County Chamber, she reiterated her advocacy for rural Alabama.

“Relationships matter and Choctaw County can teach us all something about that,” she said. “Like I said, I sure am proud to be in your neck of the woods. Each of you works hard to ensure the growth here in Choctaw County, and when this area experiences success, our whole state experiences success. And as long as I’m governor, you will have a true champion for rural Alabama in Montgomery.”

When it comes to Alabama electoral politics, Choctaw County is often overlooked.

Choctaw County, population 13,170, and its county seat Butler, population 1,773, are not considered significant prizes for any statewide contest. And given it isn’t in an Alabama media market, but instead a Mississippi market, the overwhelming majority of the political advertising that comes over the airwaves to TV viewers and radio listeners in Choctaw County involves Mississippi contests.

Rather than spend valuable advertising dollars on spots that run in the Meridian, Miss. market that would likely only be seen by voters in Choctaw County and Sumter County to its north, statewide campaigns will forgo trying to reach Alabama voters through on-air political advertising in those two counties.

However, Choctaw County could also be seen as a political bellwether. It is one of the few counties in the state that is a legitimate “swing” county.

In the 2017 U.S. Senate special election, Democrat Doug Jones outperformed Republican Roy Moore by a 53-to-46 percent margin. In the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump outperformed Democrat Hillary Clinton by a 56-to-43 percent margin.

If Ivey does well in the final Choctaw County tally on November 6, it could be a positive sign for her overall political health headed into a potential next term.

Ivey faces Democratic challenger Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox on Election Day and according to most polls is the odds-on favorite in that match-up.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

2 weeks ago

NYC, LA fundraisers highlight AL-3 Dem congressional challenger Mallory Hagan’s schedule

(Mallory Hagan for Congress/Facebook)

Democratic third congressional district nominee Mallory Hagan has taken her election efforts outside the confines of the Yellowhammer State with the hope of raising money to bolster her chances.

Hagan, who is also the 2013 Miss America, recently held the first of those fundraisers on Saturday in New York City’s Brooklyn borough, the same place she landed after leaving Alabama a decade earlier due to her dissatisfaction with the “culture” of the Yellowhammer State.

Hagan’s Saturday fundraiser was hosted by Donilee McGinnis, who was also Miss Oregon 2007 and a participant in the 2007 Miss America pageant. In the Facebook announcement for the fundraiser, McGinnis makes a plea to turn back the “excesses of the Trump administration” in these “dark times.”

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(Facebook)

According to an announcement also obtained by Yellowhammer News, Hagan is slated to attend another fundraiser in Los Angeles next week hosted by NSYNC bass singer Lance Bass and Los Angeles gay bar The Abbey Weho proprietor David Cooley.


Yellowhammer News reached out to Hagan to confirm whether or not she would attend the fundraiser and is awaiting a reply.

Bass has been outspoken in his support for Hagan. He has taken to social media on several occasions to urge his fans to support Hagan.

Hagan faces incumbent Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) in the November general election. She also has to overcome a significant fundraising disadvantage against Rogers.

According to the latest data offered by OpenSecrets.org, Rogers has a $1 million overall cash-on-hand advantage over Hagan, $1,024,431 for Rogers to $24,069 for Hagan.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

2 weeks ago

Dem congressional hopeful Hagan once proclaimed herself ‘as New York as they come’ — Says she left Alabama because she ‘didn’t like the culture’

(Instagram)

Could a candidate for office effectively represent a place whose culture she does not like? That is a very real question this election cycle.

As a former Miss America, Mallory Hagan, the Democratic nominee for Alabama’s third congressional district, has generated a lot of media attention this election cycle. Hagan, however, admits she has not always thought highly of Alabama.

Hagan originally hails from Opelika. At age 19, after a year at Auburn University, Hagan left Alabama for New York City. Earlier this year, at a televised debate against her then-Democratic primary opponent Adia Winfrey, Hagan explained her decision to leave Alabama, saying she left because she “didn’t like the culture of Alabama.”

“My family story here in Alabama is many of the families here in Alabama – it’s their story, too,” she said. “And at 19, I moved away from here because, like many of the kids at our colleges and universities, I didn’t like the culture of Alabama. And many of them here today that I’ve listened to say just that – there’s no chance they’re going to stay in this state if we don’t change the culture.”

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Hagan apparently still has a low regard for the state of Alabama. In a July 9 Twitter post, she referred to the state as “at the bottom of the barrel,” highlighting a back-and-forth she was having with Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

When Hagan left Alabama a decade ago, she moved to New York City’s Brooklyn borough, where she would eventually become Miss New York, and qualify for the 2013 Miss America competition.

Following her Miss America victory, Hagan proclaimed herself a New Yorker.

“I’ve lived in like six different Brooklyn neighborhoods, so I definitely consider myself a New Yorker,” said Hagan in a 2013 interview. “I’m as New York as they come. I’m just wrapped in a more delicate Southern charm.”

In another media report, Hagan said she was seeking to “lay down roots in New York.”

“No matter what happened, I was going to come back to New York,” Hagan said according to the New York Post in a January 15, 2013 article.

Despite having such convictions about her status as a New Yorker, Hagan ultimately returned to Alabama and now hopes to unseat incumbent Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), whom she faces on November 6.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

2 weeks ago

Don’t worry, Jeff Sessions — Kyle Whitmire is just suffering from the rigors of war … on dumb

(K. Whitmire/Facebook, YHN)

Being a soldier is a tough responsibility, especially when you are fighting a war against dumb, and you think that you’re the second-smartest person in Alabama (behind John Archibald).

So go the life and times of Kyle Edward Whitmire, a self-proclaimed soldier in a war on dumb. And sometimes, fighting that dumb war can evoke awkward and emotional behavior — fitting of a hormonal adolescent whose mom just revoked his Fortnite privileges.

On Thursday, Whitmire lashed out in a column (that somehow snuck past his semi-adult editors at AL(dot)com) against Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In it, Whitmire took jabs at Sessions about his “Antebellum code” (LOL, his middle name is Beauregard… Get it?), hawkish stances on immigration and marijuana. Whitmire argued that no one from the inside of the system, referring to Sessions’ position as attorney general, can effect change on the status quo.

In reading it, one quickly bores of the Sessions aspect of Whitmire’s belles-lettres. Instead, readers are likely to leave with the distinct impression that Whitmire is slowly losing grasp of his sanity.

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For those concerned about Whitmire, take solace in the fact that he cannot actually believe his own arguments.  If the dumb war’s warrior were actually hoping for a solution to the dysfunction in Washington, he wouldn’t shill for Democratic candidates at AL(dot)com and on social media.

Or perhaps he believes only Democrats are capable of changing things from the inside. I mean, there is real evidence Sessions’ predecessors Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch remade the culture of the Department of Justice under President Barack Obama, which has a lot to do with why we are where we are now with the troubles Donald Trump is facing. Sessions may not be capable of that in Whitmire’s view.

Nonetheless, whatever the reason for his doubts, Whitmire is suffering from a bout of romanticism. Once upon a time, before the great consolidation of three of Alabama’s newspapers owned by the Newhouse media conglomerate, what the scribes put on the pages of The Birmingham News mattered. A petulant screed aimed at one of Alabama’s own politicians by a figure like Whitmire would have mattered and might have influenced people.

But not anymore. After undergoing a transformation from the state’s papers of record to a local (and bad) impression of BuzzFeed Politics, elected officials in Alabama no longer climb over each other to kiss local reporters’ rings. Nor do they sweat what those reporters’ opinion pages might say about them.

Whitmire’s essay is just a return to his Birmingham Weekly alternative newspaper roots, a passing fad that took a symbolic hit with the closure of New York City’s The Village Voice last week. It’s a safe space for him and not meant to be taken seriously – not that you would take it seriously, Attorney General Sessions.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

3 weeks ago

Review: Reckon Radio’s University of Alabama ‘Machine’ podcast – Not bad, but why so serious?

(University of Alabama)

The haves versus the have-nots is a tension that exists at almost every traditional college campus.

At the University of Alabama, it’s the Greeks versus the troubled independents, who think it is unfair that they are excluded from the system. The Greeks have the cool parties, the nice houses, tasty meals. The non-Greeks, at least the ones who care about not being Greek, are only able to see it from afar.

One of the biggest gripes from the have-nots is that the Greek system was wise enough to figure out how to vote in a bloc and defeat any loosely organized non-Greek effort.

Out of that emotional backlash, mythology is born: The all-powerful University of Alabama Machine.

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There is no doubt “The Machine” is a real thing. Its existence has been written about and documented over the years. As an organized bloc, it wields some power on the University of Alabama campus.

Lore, however, has contributed to the impression that “The Machine” enjoys substantial influence both on campus and throughout the state of Alabama. To be sure, we can attribute at least half of “The Machine’s” power to merely thin air.

While much of “The Machine’s” power is hype, at least to some, the legend has become synonymous with fact. In this environment, Alabama fraternity antics—which under any other circumstance would be treated as dumb college kids doing dumb college kid stuff— have been built into an apparently evil secret cabal of future Alabama leaders.

That was the topic of the inaugural podcast series for AL(dot)com’s Reckon.

I know what you’re thinking: Oh boy, another knock-off of some NPR-quality production steeped in social justice themes and snowflake millennial victimology! And you would be correct.

The podcast also comes complete with elements of beta-male score-settling.

Finally, after all these years, the nerds at AL(dot)com are getting their revenge for never being invited to those Greek parties and socials in those gaudy fraternity and sorority houses on the University of Alabama campus!

We’re told we should care because “The Machine” is grooming our future leaders and it can impact everyone lives.

“It’s one of those things when you first hear about it, you can’t understand the hold it has on our campus and the state of Alabama – even sometimes nationally,” Amber Scales, a former SGA presidential candidate and director of the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion effort says on the podcast, arguing that for nearly 150 years a small proportion of the student body has held power, “kind of, generally 8,000 people controlling a campus of 38,000.”

“That’s mind-boggling to me,” Scales continues. “And the crazier part is how they have an effect on, you know, elections outside of our campus. So people think, ‘Oh you know, it’s SGA election. Why should I care?’ Because these people end up your senators. They end up your representatives. They end up your governors. You know, those real positions of power and they use our campus as a training ground. If that’s not the death of democracy, I don’t know what is.”

Holy cow, Batman! The “death of democracy” on the University of Alabama campus? How can this possibly be?!

Does anyone at AL(dot)com believe this? I doubt it, and even the ones at AL(dot)com who lived through “The Machine” as students at the University of Alabama – John Archibald, John Hammontree, I’m talking to you guys – you probably immediately moved on with your lives to more pressing matters than the overhyped antics of an underground society of 18-to-22-year-olds.

Yes, “The Machine” may very well have broken into an office or have wiretapped a phone. Those are undoubtedly serious matters—but don’t we, as a society, chalk up such antics to dumb college pranks? And aren’t the responsible parties still accountable to the law?

Beyond the unnecessary demonization of college kids, the Reckon podcast’s central thesis, which is we should care about Alabama’s fraternity row because they will one day control the state, rings hollow.

Indeed, “The Machine” is hardly owning Montgomery these days. Consider these exhibits:

  • Governor Kay Ivey – Auburn grad
  • Future Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth – Auburn grad
  • Attorney General Steve Marshall – UNC-Chapel Hill undergrad, UA law school
  • Secretary of State John Merrill – University of Alabama grad and anti-Machine champion.
  • State Auditor Jim Zeigler* – also a University of Alabama grad and anti-Machine champion.

*Note: This podcast is one of the few times in recent memory anyone at AL(dot)com has taken Jim Zeigler seriously.

Also, for good measure, the podcast rhetorically indicts “The Machine” for being active in local Tuscaloosa city elections. A candidate who sought the support of the Alabama Greeks had to defend doing so, as if these college students shouldn’t have a say in the local politics of the city they reside.

But those students probably should have known better. I mean, voting as a bloc in elections outside of campus is not OK, that is unless it is December 2017 and AL(dot)com darling Doug Jones is in a tight race against Roy Moore.

The story of “The Machine” is a worthy topic, but you kind of wish the approach was a little more open-minded instead of this damning exposé.

One must wonder, did Reckon do anything to stymy the mythology surrounding Greek power at the University of Alabama? Or, in a twist of irony, did Reckon add into the ongoing narrative that “The Machine” is an all-powerful entity one crosses at one’s peril?

Even though the latter is hype, this Reckon podcast series feeds that narrative. If you didn’t know anything about “The Machine” or had limited knowledge of it before listening to the podcast, you would think it is omnipotent. In its effort to “expose,” Reckon has only made “The Machine” that much stronger and more legendary.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

3 weeks ago

Aderholt predicts Trump will get border wall funding — ‘When the president gets on an issue, he stays with it’

(Screencap/APTV)

On Friday’s episode of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said he was optimistic about the future of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats have threatened to force the government into a shutdown if funding for the wall were included in the appropriations process currently underway. The Haleyville Republican said the unanswered question was just how far do congressional Democrats want to go to thwart wall funding.

“I think it all depends on what Democrats do with funding the wall,” Aderholt said. “The Democrats – they just do not want to have the border security on the wall issue. The president very much does want to have it. So trying to figure out a way – you know, the president ran on this issue. He was elected because of this issue, and I feel like he thinks he needs to live up – I feel like all us feel like he needs to do that. It is a very important it issue. I think we’ll see what the Democrats want to do. If they want to shut down the government over saying – no funding for the wall, so I think it’s really up to them.”

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Aderholt indicated Trump’s push for the wall was justified given that he campaigned and won the presidency on the issue.

“I think a lot of it will depend on the political climate as we get closer to the election,” he said. “But, it’s amazing to me this is the one issue they’re dug in on. They do not want to build the wall, but yet that’s what the president talks about. It would be one thing if the president never talked about it and now wants to build the wall. That’s the thing he talks about probably the most. That’s the thing the American people want – border security. So, having a secure wall and having a border there. Years ago —  you go back decades ago or a hundred years ago, this was not an issue because you didn’t have the problem you have today. It’s a real issue.”

When asked by “Capitol Journal” host Don Dailey if he thought the wall would be funded, Aderholt said that he did.

“I think it will,” he replied. “The president is really dug in. As you know, when the president gets on an issue, he stays with it. And of course, the House and Senate are both Republican.”

“And again, I don’t know the Democrats want to go home and say, ‘We shut down the government because we don’t want to build a wall. We don’t want to secure the border,’” Aderholt added.

Dailey went on to ask Aderholt if he thought the death of Mollie Tibbets, who was allegedly killed by an illegal immigrant, advanced the case for a border wall.

“I think it absolutely does,” he said. “It’s situations like this — until we get this resolved, you’re going to see more of this.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

3 weeks ago

Trump, supporters set expectations too high for Jeff Sessions as AG

(DOJ/Facebook)

Back in 2016, the idea of someone like Jeff Sessions at the helm of the Justice Department was enough to make any Republican giddy.

As someone who is arguably of this modern incarnation of American populism that led to the presidency of Donald Trump, Sessions was a favorite of many conservatives.

Sure, he had some detractors in Republican circles. But he was a favorite among Alabamians because he was fighting the good fight on immigration, welfare and other favorite causes of the GOP.

When he became the first significant Republican officeholder to endorse Trump just days before the Alabama GOP presidential primary in Madison, it solidified Sessions as not just a favorite of Alabama Republicans, but Republicans all over the country that backed Trump’s eventual presidential nomination.

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Then the unlikely happened: Not only did Trump win the Republican nod, he defeated Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. Even more unimaginable was the idea that Sessions would be elevated to one of the highest-ranking cabinet posts in the administration.

Now instead of being a thought leader, he could actually implement some of these ideas. He could crack down on illegal immigration. He could clean up the so-called deep state elements within the Department of Justice and be a force for good.

It would be a new era in American government.

Maybe that was a little ambitious. Obviously, Sessions marginalized himself by almost immediately recusing himself from the Department of Justice’s probe into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

However, given how he handled himself in the U.S. Senate, was there any reason to think he would deviate from that demeanor?

Sessions was never a rabble rouser in the Senate. He avoided using the tactics of Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, who staged filibuster-like oratories at times in the Senate to advance their pet causes.

Sessions always played by the rules. He would launch into stem-winder speeches on the floor of the Senate at times, but it was always by the rules and less about commandeering attention from the media.

Perhaps the biggest tell of what was in store for Sessions as attorney general came after the 2014 midterm elections. Republicans regained control of the Senate and, given Sessions’ role as the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, he was thought to be a given for the chairmanship.

As it turned out, that wasn’t to be. As goes the often confusing rules of the U.S. Senate, Sessions ceded the chairmanship to Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wisc.).

Sessions could have (and probably should have) made a stink of being passed over. Alabama was in a position to have both of its U.S. Senators be chairmen of two important committees – Richard Shelby as the Senate Banking Committee chair and Sessions as Budget.

Sessions was instead given the consolation prize of being the chairman of some irrelevant subcommittee on immigration.

Given the way he handled that situation, and seeming to be content with mid-to-backbencher status – was there any reason to believe he would have been more of an aggressive figure as attorney general?

Trump and his supporters probably should have set expectations on Sessions’ track record outside the U.S. Senate, primarily as Alabama Attorney General and as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.

His time as Alabama’s attorney general was short-lived, but seemed to avoid many pitfalls that have plagued many of his successors in that role.

As a U.S. Attorney, he was aggressive in cracking down on voter fraud in Alabama. He also put a stop to the ongoing of corruption that plagued Mobile’s city government under Gary Greenough in the 1980s.

He was a solid prosecutor, not too flashy.

However, to make it in the Trump administration, there has to be an element of style beyond the substance. Sessions needed to make a splash as attorney general that just wasn’t in his character. And for that reason, Sessions failed to live up to expectations.

All that being said, friction between a sitting U.S. president and his attorney general is nothing new. Clinton had his issues with Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno and the Whitewater probe. Many in the Bush administration had their problems with Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft and the infamous torture memos.

Rarely do we have situations like the Obama administration had with Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch where the attorney generals don’t have public disagreements with the sitting president.

Given the what we had known about Trump and all of his pre-presidency antics, what were we to expect with Jeff Sessions? Probably what we have now, but most us didn’t see it coming.

4 weeks ago

Doug Jones: ‘I’m not trying to play a political calculus’

Sen.-elect Doug Jones appears on CBS Sunday Morning, Dec. 17, 2017 (CBS News/Twitter)

In an appearance on Huntsville’s Newstalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN on Tuesday, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) dismissed the notion that he was allowing a “political calculus” to play a role in his decision-making processes as U.S. Senator.

Alabama’s junior member of the U.S. Senate is facing pressure from both sides of the aisle regarding the confirmation vote for U.S. Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. However, he contends politics will not sway him on that vote and others.

“It’s really not,” Jones replied. “I think one of the problems that folks have right now is they’re making too many decisions up here based on a political calculus as opposed to what they believe — to me, right and wrong. People are going to disagree with me on a number of issues. People are going to agree with me on a lot of issues. But I’m not trying to play a political calculus.”

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“I think that’s not what a lot of public servants should be doing,” he added. “I serve people. I serve the state of Alabama. And that means I serve everybody. We have got a divergent set of people in our state.”

Although he is a little more than two years away from facing a reelection vote, several Republicans, including Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), have hinted at a potential run against Jones in 2020.

However, Jones insists despite the political realities, he will continue not to be a “lapdog” for presidents of either party.

“So, I’m doing a deep dive on the issues. I’m doing everything that I can. And I’m going to make a decision on every issue — whether it is a nomination or whether it is appropriations — whatever it might be and what I believe is in the best interest of the state. I’m not trying to navigating a political thing. I know there are a lot of people that are seeing stars in their eyes and want to run against me in 2020, and that’s fine. That’s what the political process should be. But I think people are now looking and seeing Doug Jones is doing exactly what he said he would do and be an independent voice for Alabama. I’m not going to be a lapdog for the president, no matter who the president might be, nor am I going to be one for any particular party. I’m going to do what I think is right.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

4 weeks ago

Why did an AL(dot)com’s Connor Sheets story neglect to mention ousted Marion County Democratic Party chairwoman Susan Cobb was recently arrested?

(Winfield PD)

In an article published on Sunday, AL(dot)com’s Connor Sheets revealed the details of a lawsuit filed by now-former Marion County Democratic Party chairwoman Susan Cobb in Marion County Circuit Court against Alabama Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Worley for her apparent removal from the post.

According to Sheets’ report, Cobb alleged in her suit filed on August 21 that she was told she had been removed from the Marion County post “at Worley’s discretion because Cobb had failed to properly certify the election returns,” referring to the June 5 Democratic primary.

However, Sheets neglected to mention one detail about Cobb in his report. According to an excerpt to a June story published on Marion County’s Journal Record’s website, Cobb “was arrested on Tuesday, June 26, for unpaid fines related to a previous third-degree theft charge.”

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The Journal Record cited that Cobb “had an outstanding warrant from the Winfield Police Department” that was related to a prior “arrest from Sept. 14, 2014.”

Yellowhammer News pointed out the oversight to Sheets and is awaiting a response.

Also of note, Cobb’s lawsuit states Alabama State House District 86 Democratic nominee Kristy Kirkland, a Dothan attorney, is legal representation for Cobb.

In a post on Facebook, Kirkland pointed out she has been solicited by Worley-ally Joe Reed’s Alabama Democratic Conference for a $1,000 donation.

Someone asked my campaign this weekend what had been demanded of me as a candidate by the Alabama Democratic Conference….

Posted by Kristy Kirkland for Alabama House of Representatives, District 86 on Monday, August 13, 2018

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

4 weeks ago

Kay Ivey on Mississippi and a lottery: ‘Just because another state does something, does that mean we just need to jump in there and do it, too?’

(Screenshot/Alabama Public Television)

On this week’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” host Don Daily asked Gov. Kay Ivey about the prospects for a lottery in Alabama given the governor in Mississippi was convening a special session to consider a lottery.

Ivey explained she would support the people’s right to vote on a lottery, but added that the legislature would have to act first.

“The only way the people can get to vote is if the legislature passes a constitutional amendment allowing a lottery,” she said. “And certainly, I support the people’s right to vote, but first the legislature has got to pass a constitutional amendment allowing a lottery.”

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Ivey dismissed Mississippi’s decision to consider a lottery as a reason for Alabama to do the same and said that given the economic climate in her state, a lottery might not be appropriate at this time.

“You said Mississippi, so the discussion comes up — just because another state does something, does that mean we just need to jump in there and do it, too? Right now, our economy is robust. People are working — more so than ever before. We continue to manage our funds and spend prudently and wisely and reduce unnecessary duplication and find ways to spend smarter. We just might not need a lottery right now.”

“Just because everybody else does something, does that make it good, or right or you ought to do it?” Ivey added. “There’s something called doing things right because it’s the right thing to do. I just support our people working hard and having a robust economy, which we have now. And signs are that will continue for some time. And I’m proud to be a part of Alabama working again.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

4 weeks ago

Shelby’s Kavanaugh confirmation push, TPUSA’s Owens and Kirk fight against racial politics, liberal academia highlight 2018 ALGOP Summer Dinner

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

TUSCALOOSA – There was a unified mood at the University of Alabama’s Bryant Conference Center for Friday’s ALGOP Summer Dinner, which was very different from the organization’s last major gathering in Montgomery earlier this year.

The discussion among the attendees at the Alabama Republican Party’s second major event of 2018 did not dwell on the divisions created by the aftermath of the 2017 U.S. senatorial special election. Instead, it was forward-looking, particularly toward November’s 2018 elections, but beyond as well.

With party primaries settled and GOP candidates locked in for their November contests, the theme of the evening was clear: It was about defeating Democrats and pushing back against liberal policies.

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That was evident given the message of Friday’s ALGOP dinner speakers, which included ALGOP chairwoman Terry Lathan, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) and featured guests Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens of Turning Point USA.

In very brief remarks to attendees, Shelby emphasized the importance of the U.S. Senate confirming Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“One of the most important things to me facing is in the United States Senate is the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court,” Shelby said to a round of applause from attendees.

“The stakes are high,” he added about the pending confirmation battle. “The stakes are the future of the soul of this country. That’s important here and I’m going to do everything I can to help him get confirmed, starting next week with a hearing before the Judiciary Committee chaired by Sen. [Chuck] Grassley.”

Shelby said Democrats would attempt to thwart the confirmation. However, he urged other Democrats, which includes Shelby’s colleague Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), to join Republicans in confirming Kavanaugh.

“The Democrats and the left are going to do everything you’ve ever seen to stop that – to slow it first,” Shelby added. “I believe we’re going to get it. We’re asking everybody to vote him, including some of our Democratic friends. I believe some of them will, I hope maybe out of conviction – but better than that, maybe out of fear.”

Race and academia were the focus of the events featured speakers, Owens and Kirk. Owens, who had garnered some national attention when hip-hop artist Kanye West tweeted out praise of her, explained how she came to Turning Point USA, an organization founded by Kirk.

“He asked me one question,” she recounted. “He said, ‘What do you want to do?’ And I said, ‘I’d like to lead the black revolution against the Democratic Party.’ And he said, ‘You’re hired.’”

Owens recounted the financial hardship, which forced her to drop out of college without earning a degree and coming to the realization that race and political affiliation could be decoupled.

“I would to say that, if you show me a black person in America, I can show you somebody who is conservative, but doesn’t know it,” Owens said. “And the reason we don’t know is our life is so burdened by problems that were brought to us by the Democratic Party, that we don’t have time to get up and get air and realize, ‘Hey wait, where are these problems coming from?'”

Owens went on to add she would unveil an effort she deemed “Blackexit,” which would encourage African-Americans to leave the Democratic Party.

In an interview with Yellowhammer News after the event, party chairwoman Terry Lathan touted the success of Friday’s event, which also happened to be taking place in the city that Alabama Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walt Maddox presides as mayor. She also praised Owens and Kirk for the content of their remarks on the race in politics and liberalism in education.

“Our event here with Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens was sold out a month in advance,” she said. “I haven’t seen that in a very long time. We’re also in Tuscaloosa, home of Walt Maddox. We’re at full capacity. I think that’s not an accident as well. We had a great night. The message that Mr. Kirk and Ms. Owens delivered was spot on – it’s not about your skin color. It’s about your choices that you make. Also, the deep concern that they have, and we have as well – everyone should, Americans – about the very progressive, liberal ways that are moving on our college campuses, even younger, K-12.  And they do they do make a very good point: It does start with who is in charge of your school boards, who decides what textbooks you get, who decides the curriculum. So, I think they hit on many different points tonight that this crowd really liked.”

She added that the loss of 2017 was in the “rear-view mirror” and Alabama Republicans were looking toward the future 2018 midterms.

“Every election, really – you learn, and you grow from it and you move, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” she said. “So, 2017 is in the rear-view mirror for us, for sure. And 2018 is upon us in a few months and we’re really excited. Our teams are working very hard together, and we’re going to bring it.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 month ago

Alabama Republicans: Push the panic button over Trump at your peril

(White House/Flickr)

Friday night, the Alabama Republican Party will host its summer dinner at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa. Some of the discussion around the room will undoubtedly include the current saga involving President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his now-felon associates Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.

Now that we’re beyond the primary stage of this midterm election cycle, this will be less of a factor in the 2018 go-around of Alabama politics.

However, a word of advice for any Republicans anticipating a run for election or re-election in the next six years: Stick with Trump – at least publicly. You may think he should step aside. You may think he isn’t fit for this office. Just don’t act on it.

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Reps. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) and Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) did not stick with Trump in the late stages of the 2016 presidential election when the “Access Hollywood” tapes came out.

For Roby, if she had stood by Trump, she might have had a little easier time this election cycle. There would have been fewer wannabes on the Republican side thinking her knee-jerk reaction to Trump’s remarks on the “Access Hollywood” tapes would have been a vulnerability.

It remains to be seen how this may impact Byrne, who is said to be eyeing a run for Senate against incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) in 2020. Byrne’s potential GOP challengers may very well use his own words against him.

“It is now clear Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States and cannot defeat Hillary Clinton,” Byrne said in an Oct. 8, 2016 statement. “I believe he should step aside and allow Governor Pence to lead the Republican ticket.”

To many voters, calling on Trump to step aside looks like an act of cowardice. When the going got tough, you gave into the conventional wisdom of the media and Trump’s Democratic opponents. You didn’t listen to the voters in your state that voted for him overwhelmingly, first among Republicans in a GOP primary, then later in a general election.

It was the will of the voters. Most Trump voters already know he isn’t the model citizen we traditionally expect from our presidents. This is a different electorate. These are different times. In our democracy, we get the government we deserve, and in Alabama, you better respect that.

If you abandon Trump, your justifications likely won’t be sufficient for your constituents. They may be sufficient for those who write the stories for AL(dot)com, The Anniston Star and the Montgomery Advertiser. The next time you’re a candidate in a competitive Republican primary, your opponent will remind primary voters, which tend to be the more hardcore, what you did regarding Donald Trump.

Your campaign will be on defense. You may even have to go to the president for endorsement on Twitter to bail you out.

Politically, is that worth the risk? And if you should choose to do so, would you not just change your tune should Trump survive to get along (as was the case with Roby and Byrne), but would you continue to oppose the president, even if he were to win your state as the 2020 Republican presidential nominee?

Disavowing Trump may seem bold and heroic and perhaps even the right thing to do. But there will be consequences and those consequences could include your future electability as a Republican in Alabama.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 month ago

Mobile City Council votes down proposal to offer taxpayer funds for University of South Alabama stadium

(USA)

Tuesday by a 3-4 vote, the Mobile City Council voted against a proposal supported by Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson that would have given the University of South Alabama $10 million of taxpayer money over 20 years for a new on-campus football stadium.

The drama as to whether or not the city council would vote to fund the stadium played out over two months with Stimpson last week announcing that if the council did not vote to support the proposal by today, both he and University of South Alabama President Dr. Tony Waldrop would withdraw the proposal.

Voting in the affirmative were councilmembers Joel Daves, Fred Richardson and Gina Gregory, and voting against it were councilmembers CJ Small, Bess Rich, Levon Manzie and John Williams.

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Stimpson’s goal was to have the University of South Alabama facility in West Mobile serve as a replacement for the aging Ladd-Peebles Stadium closer to Mobile’s downtown.

Stimpson expressed his disappointment with the council’s decision.

“I am disappointed with today’s decision,” Stimpson said in a statement following the vote. “It sends a message to the NFL that the City does not support the Senior Bowl. It leaves Ladd Stadium with zero funding to create a facility that meets the needs of the neighborhood and the four high school football teams that play there. It leaves the City with no plan to solve the $33 million maintenance issue. Ladd will now have to compete with every other public facility fighting for funding. Over the course of the next 10 years, the City will accumulate $225 million in maintenance costs. This window of opportunity is gone, but we will continue to have to make tough choices on how we fund our public facilities.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 month ago

ALGOP chair Terry Lathan to AL Dem chair Nancy Worley: We’re ‘too busy’ working, winning races to interfere in your Democratic Party leadership fight

(YouTube Screenshot/File Photo)

In an interview that aired on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” on Friday, Alabama Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Worley suggested it was the work of Republicans behind the turmoil inside her party.

Worley, who narrowly held off a challenge by Montgomery attorney Peck Fox earlier this month for the state Democratic Party’s chair, described those questioning her leadership as “a few single individuals” that “might be” getting help from the GOP.

“I think it’s unfortunate that a few single individuals keep stirring the pot,” Worley said. “That hurts all Democrats. It hurts our candidates. It hurts our party. And, of course, the Republicans might be helping out some of these naysayers, you know, because they enjoy that.”

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On Monday, Alabama Republican Party chairwoman Terry Lathan responded to Worley by calling her Democratic Party counterpart’s remark’s “odd.”

“With all due respect to Chairman Worley and her very odd comment, let me assure her that the Republicans are too busy working and winning races to have time to help out any of her ‘naysayers,'” Lathan said to Yellowhammer News. “It seems they are on that mission all by themselves and need no help from us.”

Also during the Friday “Capitol Journal” appearance, Worley said the divisions in the Alabama Democratic Party received more attention given the Democrats have open-door meetings and Republicans do not.

“It is my understanding that when they have state meetings, they have lots and lots of controversy,” she said. “They have closed-door meetings. We have open-door meetings. When there’s a fight, it’s a Democratic fight, and everybody sees it. Now the Republicans have a closed-door meeting, so people don’t see that.”

Lathan took to Twitter on Sunday to respond to the claim ALGOP’s meetings were behind closed doors. According to Lathan, that was “100% false.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 month ago

Nancy Worley: ‘Tiny bit of racism’ may have motivated group seeking her ouster as AL Dem chair

(YouTube/Screenshot)

In an interview with Alabama Public Television’s Don Dailey that aired Friday on APTV’s “Capitol Journal,” recently reelected Alabama Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Worley suggested that the group seeking to oust her as chairwoman may have been influenced by a “tiny bit of racism.”

Worley was backed by the Alabama Democratic Caucus (ADC), the state party’s black caucus led by long-time party boss Joe Reed, and re-elected in a vote held earlier this month to determine who would the party.

Worley touted the ADC for their involvement in county parties and for seeking out those willing to help Democrats get elected.

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“The ADC, the Alabama Democratic Caucus is the official Democratic Party Caucus, and they are a remarkable group – very well organized in all of our counties throughout the state,” she said. “Of course, there was another caucus that met on Saturday morning at the same time that the minority caucus met. And that other caucus had its slate. So, they did exactly what the minority caucus did, and that was to create a slate of candidates, which they were pushing for greatly.”

“I think you have to give great tribute to Dr. Reed and do the ADC minority caucus for working hard, you know, getting individuals that are involved in their county parties and getting individuals involved who are helping to elect Democrats,” she continued. “And you know, I think virtually everybody is envious of the structure they have in place. And so that’s the reason we have a lot of naysayers.”

However, she also cited racism and jealousy as factors from those opposing the efforts of that group within her party.

“You know, there could be a tiny bit of racism there – but, I think the most important thing is a lot of folks are just jealous of how successful they’ve been,” she added.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 month ago

Mobile Mayor Stimpson’s do-or-die ultimatum jeopardizes city funding for University of South Alabama stadium

(USA)

Mobile’s University of South Alabama first opened its doors in 1963, but it didn’t play a varsity football game until 2009.

In the span of the nine years since, the urgency for South Alabama Jaguar football has gone from decades to days – a message conveyed by Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. On Wednesday, Stimpson issued an ultimatum to the Mobile City Council: Vote of South Alabama stadium funding or the deal was off.

“At that point, [the University of] South Alabama withdraws their offer to put $2.5 million into Ladd[-Peebles Stadium],” Stimpson said on Mobile’s FM Talk 106.5, reiterating a point he made a day earlier in a press conference. “And neither [USA President] Dr. [Tony] Waldrop nor Sandy Stimpson will sign the letter of intent if it comes up in the future.”

As one might expect, that tack didn’t sit well with members of the council, who saw Stimpson’s gesture as burning a bridge.

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“The mayor burned a bridge,” Mobile Councilman John Williams said Thursday on WNSP 105.5 according to Alabama Media Group’s Mark Heim. “And he did so at the lead of the South Alabama leadership. I think everyone misstepped on this one. This was not a time to kick us in the pants. They simply threw fuel on the fire.”

It’s a curious situation. The proposal first made it to the city council’s agenda on June 22 according to Stimpson. That’s about a two-month window for elected members of the council to consider not just funding for a stadium but to make a decision that could change the entire landscape of the city of Mobile.

If Ladd-Peebles Stadium ceases to be the primary venue for big events in Mobile, which it appears that will be the case whether the city gives to the University of South Alabama, then there is less of a focus on Mobile east of Interstate 65.

Perhaps the biggest question is if the University of South Alabama will be a responsible arbiter of the venue. If it is 2015 and we’re talking about Donald Trump coming to Alabama, does the University of South Alabama allow Trump to have a rally there?

Given how left-of-center academia is and the possibility of a revolt from the faculty if the institution granted permission (the University of South Alabama is no exception to the diehard liberal politics residing on college campuses), why should the public not be wary of this deal?

If Mobile reduces Ladd-Peebles Stadium to a facility geared for just high school football games, suddenly the City of Mobile has ceded a monopoly on big venues to the University of South Alabama. In addition to that, the taxpayers are subsidizing this monopoly.

This isn’t just about South Alabama football. To say opposition to this proposal means you are against the success of USA’s football program is a demagogic talking point.

The rush to do this is suspicious. If it were supposed to be easy to get $10 million from a municipal government, there would be some other questions about the fiscal responsibility of Mobile’s city government.

There are also questions about the surrounding infrastructure and if the roads can handle traffic for these events. The City of Mobile hasn’t exactly pulled it off with Ladd-Peebles. According to Stimpson, a request to widen nearby Cody Road, one of the major thoroughfares near the proposed site of the USA stadium, had not been requested to be on the list of the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s long-range plan for significant infrastructure improvements until “four or five months ago.”

These obstacles can be overcome, but it takes some foresight. Asking these questions and others like it warrant more time if the council so desires it.

Threats from Mayor Stimpson and the University of South Alabama only stand to jeopardize cooperation between city government and the University of South Alabama on this project and future projects as well.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, and is the editor of Breitbart TV.