The Wire

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

    Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

    Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

    Excerpt:

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

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

6 hours ago

State Sen. Barfoot: Expect effort from legislature to pare down, take away state health officer’s authority to shut down businesses, churches

(Screenshot/Facebook)

On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced she was extending the statewide mask mandate through March 5, exercising powers granted to her under the coronavirus emergency.

The edict is a far cry from last year’s statewide shutdown, which was imposed at the direction of State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.  However, according to State Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road), there will be an effort to change some aspects of executive authority regarding the Emergency Management Act of 1955 on the table when the legislature meets for its 2021 regular session in less than two weeks.

During an appearance on “The Jeff Poor Show” on FM Talk 106.5 in Mobile, Barfoot touted legislation originally introduced by State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) last year to be reintroduced this year, which could “pare down” the State Health Officer’s authority and give the legislature a say in the extension of an emergency order.

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“In my opinion, if session had not been halted last year like it was, the Senate at least would have passed Senator Whatley’s bill, and I suspect that — well, I know that bill is coming up,” Barfoot explained. “I’m a co-sponsor on that again. The purpose of that bill is not to belittle or cast aspersions on any one individual. It’s the Emergency Management Act of 1955, which grants certain authority and powers to an unelected position, the state health officer position. No matter who that may be, tomorrow or 15, 20 years from now — Senator Whatley’s bill, in essence, would grant some of that authority, or pull back some of that authority from that unelected position and give it rightly to the chief executive of the state, an elected official, and at this point, Governor Ivey, and then also have some balance from the legislative branch. You know, our nation was built on judicial, executive and legislative branches having co-equal amounts of authority and there’s a balancing act there. And that’s also true for the state. And I guess since March, May, whenever we officially sine died, the legislative body has really not had a say because we haven’t been in session. The only way we can be called back into session is by the governor’s special session.”

“We’re looking forward to addressing Senator Whatley’s bill and hopefully making some changes that would maybe pare down that authority or take that authority away to arbitrarily shut down businesses and people’s lives, churches from an unelected official,” he added. “Again, not a dis at Dr. Harris, who has been in a difficult, difficult position. But it would simply be giving the governor the authority to make those decisions. She is the highest elected official of the executive branch in the state. And then also, as I said, some balance from the legislative body where when we’re in session, we can elect to extend any emergency orders or not. When we’re not in session, you still would have the Speaker of the House as well as the Pro-Tem to be able to sign off on a resolution one way or another as it relates to those executive emergency orders.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

6 hours ago

Mo Brooks says polling shows high favorables, high statewide name ID among Alabama GOP primary voters despite Electoral College challenge

It has been more than two weeks since U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) took part in an Electoral College challenge, which also included speaking at a rally in support of the challenge earlier in the day.

While Brooks has faced widespread criticism from his Democrat colleagues and liberal voices in the mainstream press, he maintains he is still held in favor by Alabama Republicans.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Brooks offered an assessment of his constituents’ reactions and those statewide based on both anecdotal interactions and on polling.

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“They’re split,” he said. “But I’ll give you an example — in Republican ranks, overwhelming support for the positions I have taken. Yesterday, before flying to Washington, I went to a Republican Women of Madison Club meeting. When I walked in the door, they gave me a standing ovation. I had to leave before Will Ainsworth gave his speech, but when I walked out the door, they interrupted the proceedings and gave me a standing ovation. It kind of depends on which group of people you talk to. Of course, the socialists — they despise me because I’m willing to stand up and fight for the foundational principles that made us who we are as a nation. I don’t just talk the talk. I also walk the walk and they don’t like that because apparently to some degree, I’m somewhat persuasive in helping people to understand why these values need to be promoted and protected, the same values that have served us so well.”

“On the Republican side, you’ve got establishment folks that are kind of squishy,” Brooks continued. “They see the federal government as a vehicle by which you can get special benefits, tax favors or money, and they want congressmen and senators who can kind of work behind the scenes and cut whatever deals there are to be cut to improve the financial stature of what Jeff Sessions called our ‘masters of the universe’ crowd. They are very, very uncomfortable with my taking of positions of the conservative nature. But the vast, vast majority of the rank and file Republicans — they’re very supportive. There have been two polls done one with 1,100 Republican primary voters in Alabama. My name ID statewide is up to 81%. My favorable-unfavorable ratio is about 3.5 favorable to 1 unfavorable. That’s gold in any kind of election to have that kind of margin. And then there was one done last in my congressional district, and in the fifth congressional district, where voters know me better and they like the principled positions I take, the favorable-unfavorable ratio amongst Republicans was 4.5 to 1. That’s excellent. That’s outstanding.”

“So it really depends, Jeff, on who you speak to,” he added. “I understand the socialists don’t like me but that’s because I’m coming right at them. I disagree with the basic premise that the government knows more about how we should run our lives than we do. That is the exact antithesis of liberty and freedom, and also strongly disagree with those socialist voter blocs that would rather vote for a living than work for one because long-term, that doesn’t work. That’s just a system based on greed, where you’re envious of other people’s hard-earned money and you try to take it from them to give to yourself rather than earning it yourself, as those other people did.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

1 day ago

House General Fund chairman State Rep. Clouse says lottery, gaming legislation may have to wait until special session later in 2021

(Screenshot/APTV)

Last month, a task force appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey released a nearly 900-page report on the possible future of gambling in Alabama, which was a sign that for the first time, a decades-long standoff could be coming to an end and the state may finally have legalized gambling that would include a lottery.

With the 2021 legislative session less than two weeks away, some anticipate gambling legislation to be taken up this year. However, State Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark), the House Ways and Means General Fund chairman, says gambling, including a lottery, may have to wait for a special session later in the year.

During an interview that aired on Wednesday’s broadcast of Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Clouse said it was unlikely that controversial issues, which include the long-debated gambling issue and medical marijuana, would be taken up as the State House was operating at a limited capacity under COVID-19 restrictions.

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“[I]f we can get that time-sensitive stuff done we’ve been talking about for several months — let’s get it out of the way and then if we are able to get back in and talk about controversial stuff,” he explained. “The public needs to be inside the State House because that’s where a lot of the rubber meets the road on a controversial bill is in the committee process with public hearings where people are testifying. It’s one thing to be able to watch it live streaming. But to actually be able to be there and for citizens themselves to be able to speak, you know — that’s important.”

Clouse said he hoped to fast-track the budgeting processes and said the legislature could come back in a special session to tackle those controversial issues, given the legislature will have to reconvene for a special session for redistricting anyway.

“I’m planning on the fast track if we can,” Clouse said. “It could get derailed. We’ll see over the next few weeks here. But that’s why we’re trying to put so much work in right now. We do anyway, but really trying to fast track it here to see what the situation is — if we just have to come back in and get the budgets and sine die and take up controversial stuff in a special session and that type of thing. We’re going to have special sessions anyway to deal with redistricting — legislative redistricting and congressional later in the year. We’ll definitely be having special sessions this year.”

Clouse, who has carried a lottery bill in the Alabama House of Representatives in prior years, said a special session should be considered if comprehensive legislation that includes not only a lottery but casino gaming as well is on the table.

“I would definitely put that in there, particularly if it is going to be a comprehensive bill,” he said. “And that’s one of the things, one of the options that that task force gave is the comprehensive approach of putting the lottery in the dog tracks’ and the Native Americans’ facilities, Indian facilities. It’s been controversial for 15 years, and it will certainly continue to be controversial, particularly when you’re trying to find out the different sites. But that would certainly be an area where the public would want to be able to weigh-in in a public hearing before a committee, for a committee process, you know.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

2 days ago

State Sen. Chesteen touts rural Wiregrass highway connectivity to Dothan, credits the Rebuild Alabama Act

(Screenshot/ALDOT)

A problem that has plagued Alabama’s Wiregrass for decades is the lack of highway connectivity from the rural areas of the region to its hubs of Dothan, Enterprise, Ozark and Troy.

The area is not directly served by an Interstate highway, although Interstates 10 and 65 are nearby. The Wiregrass has primarily relied on U.S. Highways 84, 231 and 431, which have improved over the past few decades. Given that none of those routes enter into Geneva County, it has been left out of the mix given a lack of four-lane highway connectivity.

However, State Sen. Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva) said in addition to possible improvements to the north-south route Alabama Highway 167 in the future, improvements to a portion of the east-west thoroughfare Alabama Highway 52 will better that situation, which he touted during an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Tuesday.

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“Something I think that is going to happen before this will happen is Highway 52 from Highway 167 in Hartford and to the Houston County line, approximately 11 miles — and again, that would provide four-lane access from a rural county into the Dothan area, which is the hub of economic activity in the Wiregrass,” he advised.

Chesteen explained the importance of improving connectivity to the city of Dothan for the entire region.

“That’s where they spend their money,” Chesteen said. “That’s where they go to work by automobile — shop, eat. Again, that’s in the best interest of Dothan to be able to provide easier access into the city of Dothan from the outlying areas. And, I’m excited. I feel like we’re making progress on the [Highway] 52 part of the road project. The governor is working with us, and I appreciate her help because, as you said earlier, it was her goal to have rural counties with their infrastructure issues providing four-lane access. That would really be a big step. It is a partnership, too. That’s what’s been really encouraging about this. We tend to, in the last few years in the Wiregrass here, have gotten out of our silos and realize — again, as I said again, Dothan is a hub for economic and medical and all kinds of activities.”

“But if it is good for Dale County or Geneva County, it is ultimately going to be good for Dothan. Matt Parker, the Dothan Area Chamber — they’ve been really helpful in helping us with the data we need for this project, [Dothan Mayor Mark] Saliba, as well,” he added. “And also we have an opportunity for a new business in the Geneva County Industrial Park, you know, that I’m hoping we can have an announcement on in the next couple of months that would bring jobs into Geneva County.”

Overall, he said the improvements were a credit to the Rebuild Alabama Act, passed in 2019 by the legislature.

“We’re having more rural county roads paved in my district than we’ve had in years,” he said. “It’s good for the taxpayers to see their money working for them. I think that was a fear early on is that we’re going to pass legislation for a gasoline tax, and my constituents were not going to have to get a benefit from it. Well, they’re seeing it first-hand now. That’s good.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

2 days ago

Donald Trump pardons former State Rep. Ed Henry

(E. Henry/Twitter)

Early Wednesday, hours before President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn in as president, President Donald Trump unveiled his last-hour pardons.

Although Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as “Joe Exotic” from the Netflix documentary “Tiger King,” were not included on the list, there was an Alabama connection.

Former State Rep. Ed Henry (R-Hartselle), who pleaded guilty in a Medicare fraud case in 2019, received a pardon with the support of Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn), according to a release from the outgoing Trump White House.

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Statement as follows:

William “Ed” Henry – President Trump granted a full pardon to William “Ed” Henry of Alabama. This pardon is supported by Senator Tommy Tuberville. Mr. Henry was sentenced to 2 years’ probation for aiding and abetting the theft of government property and paid a $4,000 fine.

Henry did not serve jail time and was among the 73 granted a pardon by Trump in the remaining hours of his presidency.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 days ago

Lawmakers decry ‘kink’ in Alabama’s COVID vaccine distribution — ‘Our citizens are paying a deadly price’

(Jim McClendon, Greg Albritton for Senate 22, Tom Whatley, Randy Price/Facebook, YHN)

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Alabama has had a fair number of critics, given primarily for the last-place ranking in the country from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and for a hotline set up by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) for vaccine appointments, which has been overwhelmed at times.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris has disputed the CDC’s findings, arguing it had not considered updated data from the state that would have made Alabama mid-tier. He told APTV’s “Capitol Journal” the solution to all the woes ailing the state would be for more of the vaccine to be readily available.

A handful of Alabama state senators have taken notice of the shortcomings and are urging ADPH officials to get a handle on the data and report to the CDC, which will help the state avoid allotment issues in the future. In a joint letter, State Sens. Jim McClendon (R-Springville), Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) and Randy Price (R-Opelika) warned Alabama citizens were paying a “deadly price” because of the state of Alabama’s struggles.

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“We have always known that distributing the Covid vaccine supply would be difficult, especially in the beginning,” the senators stated. “While the supply pipeline is definitely an issue, our pipeline in Alabama has a kink.  The distribution of vaccines to Alabama will continue to be interrupted until Alabama plays by the rules. The rule is simple: The CDC will not authorize shipments to Alabama until they know we are using what we have on hand. Our citizens are paying a deadly price.”

The lawmakers said ADPH had to play by the rules set forth by the CDC and said the following questions had failed to be answered sufficiently by ADPH:

1. How many doses have we received in Alabama?
2. How many doses have been distributed to locations around the state?
3. How many doses have been put into arms?
4. How many doses put in arms have been reported to the CDC?

“If the Alabama Department of Public Health does not know the answer [to] these questions, then the CDC certainly doesn’t know, and it makes no sense to send additional doses to Alabama,” their letter added.

The statement laid out suggestions for resolving those issues.

Sens. McClendon, Albritton, Whatley and Price letter in full below:

McClendon is chair of the Senate Health Committee, Albritton is chair of the Senate Committee on Finance and Taxation General Fund and Whatley is chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

The Alabama Department of Public Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Yellowhammer News.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.

ADPH provided a written statement in response to the senators’ letter.

The department said they wanted to “correct any misunderstanding of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process.”

Statement from ADPH as follows:

The department is in regular communication with our elected officials in Alabama and has described the process of our weekly per capita vaccine allotments in great detail. The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated to Alabama is based on our population, and is not determined by how much vaccine is on hand in the state. The number of doses remaining from previous allocations does not affect the number of doses that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorizes for Alabama.

ADPH has been in ongoing conversations with CDC to provide our numbers in Alabama.

While the department works with CDC to resolve data issues that have been encountered due to a response of this size, it does not in any way affect the number of doses that Alabama receives.

The data to answer each of the questions asked in the letter is publicly available on the ADPH COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Dashboard, which can be accessed on the ADPH website (arcg.is/OrCey) and has been updated as of January 19, 2021. The data from the CDC is available on its vaccine data tracker website (https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data- tracker/#vaccinations), although CDC has not updated Alabama’s information since January 15, 2021.

Providers are federally required to report within 24 hours of administering vaccine. ADPH uses the Immunization Patient Registry with Integrated Technology (ImmPRINT) system to collect this information. Staff works with providers if assistance is needed.

The biggest obstacle to vaccination in Alabama is the limited supply of vaccine. Alabama currently has approximately 676,000 people in Alabama who qualify to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but since our state is allocated only around 50,000 – 60,000 primary doses each week, the supply is not available to reach these numbers at this time.

ADPH receives thousands of calls, e-mails, and social media messages every day from people who are providing suggestions to help the vaccination process move faster. We appreciate any recommendations, and want the public to rest assured that ADPH has a tremendous staff of physicians, nurses, public health experts, and other medical professionals who continue to work tirelessly on the vaccine rollout in Alabama. A vaccination plan of this size is truly unprecedented, and ADPH is grateful for everyone’s continued patience as we work to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 days ago

State Sen. Butler: Space Command announcement reminiscent of Huntsville reaction to 1958 Explorer launch, U.S. response to Sputnik

In 1957, the Soviet Union stunned the United States by launching Sputnik, the first manmade satellite. The news put Drs. Eberhard Rees and Wernher von Braun to work on a U.S. response at Redstone Arsenal’s Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville.

At 10:48 p.m. on January 31, 1958, the Jupiter-C lifted off from Cape Canaveral and successfully deployed Explorer I, the United States’ response to Sputnik. The news was greeted with celebratory sirens and horns in Huntsville.

Last week, the U.S. Air Force announced Huntsville was its choice for Space Command HQ. According to State Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison), that announcement created an atmosphere much like the 1958 launch.

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(Huntsville Times, Feb. 1, 1958/NASA)

“I tell you, everybody here is just tickled to death,” he said during an interview on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show.” “I was here in 1958 when the Explorer went up. It was our answer to Sputnik. And the whole town at midnight — sirens were blowing, people were blowing horns up, just tickled to death. I think that same kind of atmosphere is here again. I guess we’ll have a new saying, where we’re called the Rocket City, and that’s for great purpose. Now we’ll say, ‘May the force be with you.'”

“I think it’s appropriate for winning the command center for Space Force, and we will adapt, obviously, the assets that were needed for the Space Command, are already here in Huntsville, Alabama at Redstone Arsenal,” Butler continued. “There’s plenty of land, plenty of assets at the Space Command will need. The Army Materiel Command is here. The Space Command will be here. The Army Missile Defense Command will be here. And the big one — NASA. This is where the Marshall Space Flight Center is. And we have an old saying here, too. We used to say by air and car, you couldn’t go anywhere without going through Atlanta. Well, going to outer space, you have to come through Huntsville, Alabama. We just saw that this week with the testing down at the Stennis Center, down near you, the main engining that will be lifting us to the moon in Artemis. We’re just tickled to death the way that went. Those engines are now on their way to Cape Kennedy, down at Canaveral. We’ve got a lot of interest from Huntsville here in space, and I think that helped us win the Space Command.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

4 days ago

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris disputes report Alabama ‘last in the country’ on vaccine distribution — ‘We are not even close to last in the country’

(Screenshot/APTV)

Over the last several days, reports have circulated that show Alabama ranked last in the country in vaccine distribution according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. The data show the state has administered less than 100,600 of the 444,640 doses distributed.

However, that is not accurate, according to State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.

During an appearance on APTV’s “Capitol Journal,” Harris disputed the claim and maintained the lackluster numbers were a result of CDC having not properly received vaccine data.

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“The numbers that are reported on the CDC website are not correct,” he said. “We understand there is an issue with the way the CDC is receiving some of our data. A lot of those numbers are from the long-term care pharmacy program that’s operated by CVS and Walgreen’s. At the same time, I would acknowledge we would like to be giving doses out faster than we are.  We could certainly be doing a better job, and we have a lot of things we’re putting into place to do that. But we are not last in the country. We are not even close to last in the country. We’re kind of middle of the country, and as of Friday, we have transmitted new numbers to CDC. The new numbers do look a lot better on that website, and I think they’ll continue to improve as we improve our data collection.”

Harris also addressed complaints about the hotline designated by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to schedule appointments being overwhelmed and said while the system will have to be improved, the real issue is the limited number of available vaccines.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

4 days ago

State Sen. Allen opposes Alabama Memorial Preservation Act repeal — Says it is ‘important’ to protect history

(Screenshot/APTV)

Last month, State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) said he anticipated efforts to change the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, which he had sponsored in 2017.

The law has been in the news as of late given the rise of the so-called Black Lives Matter protest movement, responding to the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis police. The cities of Birmingham and Mobile moved to take down Confederate memorials, in violation of the law.

During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Allen echoed his expectations but said he was opposed to any efforts to repeal the law outright.

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“Just like I said in the past, it is so important, and it is something that we need to be careful with and to protect it,” Allen explained. “It is what it is, and there are some things that took place in history that are shameful, and ugly, and disgraceful — but it is what it is and tells a story about who we are and where we come from. In fact, so many events have taken place here in Alabama and across this great country that represents some major, major policy changes. Some of those events took place in this great state. Certainly, I just think for our generation and generations to follow each of us and for four or five generations down the line, for you to be able to tell the complete story on what exactly took place and how we got to where we are — to be able to tell that story I think is very important.”

“If you start removing things and start saying that things shouldn’t exist — I think we need to be of open mind and about how important it is to project history,” he added. “It is a real issue to some. Certainly, I understand that. But it is history.”

APTV host Don Dailey asked Allen if he was open to “tweaks” but opposed a full repeal, which Allen warned a repeal would have consequences.

“I think we’ll be doing a great disjustice to history to go that far with it and to put it in such a way where currently if there is a mechanism in place, and it is a very good process in which individuals must go through, and it is one of those kinds of steps that we put in place to guarantee how we’re going to observe history and protect history as well,” he said.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

4 days ago

U.S. Rep. Aderholt: Donald Trump, Mo Brooks remarks didn’t rise to the level of inciting violence — U.S. Capitol riot was ‘premeditated’

(Screencap/APTV)

President Donald Trump and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) are facing threats of repercussions for speaking at a rally in the lead-up to the riots on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.

Trump has since been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, and Brooks is facing threats of a censure resolution by the same body.

However, during an interview with Alabama Public Television, Brooks’ colleague U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), a “no” vote on impeachment, said while they may have been ill-advised, neither of their remarks rose to the level of inciting violence.

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“I don’t think it was an impeachable offense,” he said of Trump. “If you look at what he said, and I looked at them, they were not I don’t think would nearly rise to that level. Obviously, he, like so many Americans, were concerned about the outcome of the election that occurred back in November — not just the outcome but the way it was handled, and the way the laws were not really in compliance with — and a lot of this really dealt with COVID-19 and the way the states were doing things. We could talk about that for an hour but let me just say that I don’t think that his actions were something that would rise to impeachment. If you look at the actions of those that were rioting in the Capitol, they were there and had a plan well before Donald Trump spoke to the people there for the Electoral College vote. They wouldn’t have had time for them to leave there, get the necessary equipment that some of them had — like the ties we’ve seen in the photos, several other objects that they had. That was something that had to be premeditated.”

He added the “vast majority” of the people at the protest event in Washington, D.C. that day were not a part of the rioting at the U.S. Capitol.

“I’ve looked at the words the president used that day and he in no way from the words that I have seen in the transcripts, that he in any way tried to incite any riots. I think those that would say so are just looking for some reason to try to fail the president.”

“Capitol Journal” anchor Don Dailey then asked Aderholt about Brooks, who Aderholt described as being “very passionate” but not responsible for the U.S. Capitol violence.

“If you know Congressman Brooks, he’s very passionate,” Aderholt added. “But again, I don’t think that what he said caused the rioters to go in. Again, they had to have had a plan well before Congressman Brooks spoke. I think looking back, his words could have been chosen differently. I think he could have made his point without using some of the words he did. But I don’t think it rose to the level of inciting the violence that did occur. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I know that he’s been very committed in what his comments were, I think perhaps he would have chosen those words differently had he known the outcome. But obviously, if you know Congressman Brooks, he’s very passionate on whatever issue he works on, and I think that was part of the day there that he was concerned like many of us were — that the electoral votes that were going to be counted — there were a lot of questions. We can’t move forward in this country if we have a lot of people questioning going to the ballot and making sure their vote is counted. If we start down that path, then I think it’s the end of our democracy as we know it because people have got to have the confidence when their vote is cast, their vote is not going to be put in with votes that are not credible and that are questionable.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

7 days ago

Tuberville: Trump made a ‘mistake’ at rally but ability of armed intruders to get into the U.S. Capitol ‘very concerning’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Trump ally Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) admits President Donald Trump made a “mistake” with his rhetoric at a rally staged in Washington, D.C., before a joint session of Congress met to certify the 2020 Electoral College results. However, he also said he had questions about how the event unfolded.

During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Tuberville explained the challenges Trump has faced, even as his term is coming to an end, adding that the president may not have been aware of how influential he is with his base. However, the football coach-turned-U.S. Senator said there were some peculiar circumstances regarding the crowd that day.

“[A] lot of people up there cannot stand an outsider being in office, and that’s Donald Trump,” he said. “He made a mistake last week. I don’t think he even really realized how powerful he is with his base. Now, I watched all the footage of the riot. I’d never seen a Trump rally, which he has had over 600 of them, with people come wearing helmets and backpacks and those things. I don’t know who was involved in it, but it happened, and it should have never happened.”

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Tuberville also said he had concerns about the incident and what could have been done to prevent it, noting the FBI did not relay the threat to Trump.

“[It’s] very concerning,” he said. “I live next to the Capitol. I walk around it every day. I get up early in the morning, and I can walk to work. I get up, do a little exercise. It is a beautiful place. We have 2,000 people that work for the Capitol Police that day, obviously. Now my understanding is that the FBI knew they had gotten word there was going to be trouble at the Capitol the day before it happened. That word never got to the President of the United States. As a Senator, I want to know why that wasn’t passed on down the line. Is the FBI holding secrets? I don’t understand that. But, you’ve got 2,000 Capitol Hill police, and my understanding is they thought, ‘Hey, there are never any problems with Trump rallies because they come and they go.’ There’s been 600 of them, but this was different. I don’t know why it was different. I don’t know why we had people get involved in the things that they get involved in. We had people killed in this. We had a policeman get hit with a fire extinguisher. He got hit in the head, and he later passed on. We had a lady that was a veteran that was shot.”

“I went home about four in the morning, that night after we went on with confirming Joe Biden,” Tuberville added. “I was just taken aback from knowing our country is much, much better than what we went through that day. And it should never happen. Now you can see — they’re probably going overboard now. There are going to be 10,000, 20,000 National Guard people around every building. It looks like a third-world country, and it makes you feel bad for what our forefathers had built.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

1 week ago

Lawmakers urge ALDOT to catch up to Mississippi, four-lane U.S. Highway 45 from state line to Mobile

U.S. Highway 45, facing south into Alabama (left), facing north into Mississippi (right) (Jeff Poor/YHN)

For nearly a century, the route that is now Alabama’s portion of U.S. Highway 45 has stretched from downtown Mobile to the Alabama-Mississippi state line, initially parallel to the old Mobile and Ohio Railroad line. Although there have been some subtle changes in the actual route, and, obviously, many coats of asphalt over the decades, the route remains true to form.

After a 278-mile jaunt down from the Tennessee-Mississippi state line down the eastern portion of Mississippi on a four-lane highway, southbound U.S. Highway 45 travelers are welcomed to Alabama by a narrowing from four to two lanes, and a sign posted “Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey.”

Although it shows some signs of age, the portion of U.S. Highway 45 from Meridian, Miss. to the Alabama-Mississippi line, a route possibly familiar to Alabama football fans driving up from Mobile to Tuscaloosa through Mississippi, was completed in 2007.

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(1928 KYSO Road Map of Alabama/University of Alabama Historic Maps Collection)

When the state legislature raised the fuel tax in the early 1990s, the route was statutorily mandated for improvement to Mobile. However, the language was removed.

“There never was a justification,” State Rep. Brett Easterbrook (R-Fruitdale) said during an interview with FM Talk 106.5 in Mobile. “They opened the bill and removed the words. There was no justification behind it.”

Easterbrook blames a lack of voters in the vicinity for the deprioritization of the route.

“It has been far down the list for years,” he said. “It is the deadliest highway in the state of Alabama. My belief is it is down the list because of the number of voters in that area of the state. North of I-65, there’s not a four-lane highway all the way to I-20 with the exception of [U.S. Highway] 43. It becomes a pig trail at Thomasville. We can’t go north, we can’t go east, and we can’t go west. Highway 45 is four lanes from the Mississippi to Chicago.”

“It would also serve as an evacuation route for hurricanes if it were four lanes,” Easterbrook added. “There’s really no excuse for this not to have already been done.”

State Rep. Shane Stringer (R-Satsuma) also says it is time for Alabama to catch up with Mississippi.

He told FM Talk 106.5 that he has met with Gov. Kay Ivey, Ivey chief of staff Jo Bonner and Alabama Department of Transportation director John Cooper to keep it “fresh in their minds.”

However, he also said officials at ALDOT appear not to be convinced of the project’s urgency, given it is not considered one of the top 10 projects under consideration.

“It is the deadliest highway in Alabama,” Stringer said. “We’re reminded of that about once a month. We have a major wreck up here. Somebodies’ lives are changed, but we’re constantly reminding them of it. I’m constantly meeting with ALDOT. I did get a list of the top 10 projects in Alabama, and Highway 45 is not on that list. Just trying to work on to see what we can do to get that, working with the other politicians, legislators trying to get as much assistance as I can to put pressure on the governor and the state to do something with this.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

1 week ago

State Sen. McClendon: Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 vaccine hotline a ‘fiasco’ — ‘I don’t know what they’re doing but it is not working’

(J. McClendon/Facebook)

According to a report from The Gadsden Times’ Donna Thornton, over 1 million people have called a hotline designated by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to schedule appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Jan. 18.

State Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville) argues that effort by the ADPH leaves much to be desired.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Monday, McClendon relayed his struggles with the hotline and called on state government to bolster its efforts and shore up the ability to respond to calls on the hotline.

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“I’ll tell you what’s going on today that’s turning into a fiasco is the governor’s office published a ‘855’ number — a statewide number to call in for people over the age of 75, including yours truly, and make an appointment on the 18th of this month, a week from today, we’ll start doing everybody over the age 75, and the assumption is the other people who are eligible — the first-line health care folks have received their vaccine. Well, over 75 — that’s a vulnerable bunch and that number is no good. I mean, it might be good but you get the busy signal,” he said.

“We’ve got people all over the state calling this number to make an appointment for next Monday, and you can’t get through,” McClendon continued. “It’s pretty dang frustrating. Here’s where you need Amazon to come in here. I guarantee they can figure out how to handle it. But this is frustrating for people who are running scared. They’re seeing folks in their church die from this. They want to get this vaccine. I went over to my county health department this morning — St. Clair County Health Department. I said, ‘Can I get on your list?’ They said, ‘No, you have to call the ‘855’ number,’ whatever that number is. That’s a waste of time, so I’m hoping somebody is going to step up and get somebody to answer the phones, put in about 2,000 more lines or something. I don’t know what they’re doing but it is not working.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

2 weeks ago

Del Marsh decries ‘anti-establishment’ sentiment, credits Democrats playing COVID election rules better than GOP for 2020 win

(Screenshot/APTV)

Outgoing State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) warns against the “anti-establishment” streak in American politics, part of which he blames President Donald Trump.

During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Marsh reacted to the events in Washington, D.C. earlier in the week, which may have been driven by the anti-establishment sentiment.

Marsh, who last year announced he would resign his pro tem position in February and declared he will not run for reelection in 2022, insisted there were people that have been categorized as “establishment” serving in elected office for the right reasons.

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“There has been, and I said this last election cycle, an anti-establishment — if you’re an elected official, you’re looked at as part of the problem,” he explained. “You know, I served in Alabama a long time. I’ve served with Republicans and Democrats, both sides of the aisle. I pride myself as pro-tem for having a unified body that works for the people, and I believe we have. I think sometimes, though, I do – I believe the President has labeled all incumbents, if you will, as part of the establishment and thus bad. There are a lot of good people who serve in the legislature. They’re there for the right reasons, and we’ve got to quit, move forward and look positive, and that’s just my thoughts on that.”

On Trump’s election loss to President-elect Joe Biden, Marsh told APTV’s Don Dailey he credited Democrats’ win to playing by the new rules better than Republicans.

“Listen, I truly believe this — you’re going to have some fraud in every election,” Marsh added. “But no one has been able to produce evidence that fraud was what caused the outcome of this election. I truly believe that the outcome of this election is we were handed a new set of rules — and because of COVID, absentee ballots, mail-in ballots, and the Democrats learned and worked on those rules, and Republicans didn’t. I think that is why the Republicans didn’t do as well, and possibly President Trump didn’t do as well. The polling was wrong, and that showed up. But if you’re given a set of rules to play by, you better play by them. The Democrats did it to perfection. I don’t think what they did in getting those votes under the new rules were against the law. I think that is where the election was lost.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

2 weeks ago

U.S. Rep. Brooks: ‘Baffled’ by Cruz’s proposed Electoral Vote Commission

(Congressman Mo Brooks/YouTube)

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has been leading the charge of using congressional authority to challenge the Electoral College certification, given the manner in which votes were tallied for the November 3 election that has left many questions.

Since his initial announcement, Brooks has gained support from Republican House colleagues and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who announced his intentions to join Brooks in objecting on January 6 last week. However, a handful of other Republicans’ effort threatening to join Brooks and Hawley if a so-called Electoral Vote Commission is not appointed has raised questions for Brooks.

During an appearance on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Brooks outlined those concerns.

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“Well, I’m baffled by it, quite frankly,” Brooks replied when asked by host Lou Dobbs. “If it had been proposed back in early November that had been one thing. The question now is how do you get a vote on it? What process do you use between now and 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday to get a vote to create this kind of Commission. I don’t know of a mechanism that is available to have that kind of vote in the House or the Senate. Time will tell if we are able to do that.”

“But from a substantive standpoint, even if they are able to get this Commission created, to have it done in 10 days, there’s no way in the world that a Commission can do a complete and thorough investigation that would divulge to the American people and members of the House and Senate how bad the voter fraud and the election theft has been in the November 2020 election cycle,” he added.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

2 weeks ago

U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl: ‘With two, maybe three’ exceptions, constituents support Electoral College challenge

(Jerry Carl for Congress/Facebook, YHN)

Newly sworn-in U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) does not need polling data to show where his constituents are on an Electoral College challenge set to take place at a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

During an interview with FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Carl said despite being bombarded with calls from California, calls from his district have indicated support for an objection to the certification of the Electoral College, which includes himself and fellow Alabamians U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) and U.S. Reps. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), Mike Rogers (R-Saks), Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) and Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville).

He also spoke about what could happen outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., which could include protests.

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“That’s a very fair statement,” he said. “Out of all the calls, all the texts, all the emails — I think I’ve had two, maybe three [calls] that are disappointed that I would actually support it. I’ve gotten several calls from outside of our district. They flooded us yesterday from California calling in, lodging complaints. I’m not going to listen to complaints out of California. I promise you that. They’re literally wasting their time. But — yeah, everyone is upset. I know we’ve got a couple of buses coming up here on the [January 6], I’m told. They briefed us this morning in a meeting that there’s going to be quite a few people up here. They’re worried about the security aspect of it. They’re encouraging us to kind of stay low and stay out of the way, and let people express themselves the way they are constitutionally able to do. It’s some very strange times.”

Carl spoke about the high praise for the U.S. House freshman class from senior members within the body.

“I had a conversation yesterday with a congressman who has been here 40 years,” Carl added. “He said he has never ever seen anything quite like this in his life. And he wasn’t being negative. He wasn’t supporting it. He was just talking about the air up here and how people are. On the bright side, he also told me, ‘I’ve never seen a freshman class as smart as the group you’ve got coming in.’ He said virtually every one of you are businessmen and we’re common people. It’s a common thread up here when you talk to the freshmen. They seem to just be common people. That’s what he was pointing out to me yesterday, which I find that exciting.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.”

2 weeks ago

Listen: State Sen. Randy Price discusses COVID recovery, commends Gov. Ivey for call for common sense, being respectful of others

Courtesy of randypriceforsenate.com

Last year, State Sen. Randy Price (R-Opelika) spent eight weeks in the East Alabama Medical Center hospital overcoming complications caused by COVID-19, some of which of that time was spent on a ventilator in the ICU.

During an interview on Monday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show” on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Price discussed his recovery.

The Lee County lawmaker said it had taken some time and physical therapy, but things were progressing.

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“[I] have been doing a lot of physical therapy, getting my strength back,” he said. “I had a friend yesterday that made a homemade walking stick for me. It’s a beautiful stick made out of oak wood that came right here off our farm that he built. But I have been able to overcome that. My breathing is getting back to normal. I had a good report here about a week or so ago from our doctors and met with him. So, we’re very blessed — very, very blessed to be up and moving, and understand sometimes things take a little time, but we’re moving around very well.”

Price also addressed Gov. Kay Ivey’s handling of the pandemic as the state of Alabama’s top executive, some of which he indicated warranted praise.

“[I] think the biggest thing — you know, let’s just be honest — there’s been some criticism of the way the governor handled some of this,” he said. “Let’s be honest — the governor made a statement that I think is a very true statement. Sometimes we just need to use a little common sense and be respectful of others. I think that that is the biggest thing that we need to stop and think about is being respectful of others. I understand that everybody has their right, and I respect that. But I also understand that in a situation that we’re in today — we want to keep Alabama as healthy as possible.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 weeks ago

U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl takes oath — ‘I take this responsibility seriously, and I look forward to serving you in the 117th Congress’

(Office of U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl/Twitter)

On Sunday, U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) made his membership to the U.S. House of Representatives official when he was sworn in for the 117th Congress.

The former Mobile County Commissioner fills the seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) after a decisive win over Democratic nominee James Averhart in November.

Carl stressed that he was not taking the new role lightly in an announcement following the official swearing-in ceremony.

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“I’m honored to serve the people of Alabama’s First Congressional District in Congress,” Carl said in a statement. “South Alabamians have entrusted me with the responsibility of fighting for them and being their voice in our nation’s Capitol. I’m thankful for the outpouring of prayers and support. I take this responsibility seriously, and I look forward to serving you in the 117th Congress.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 weeks ago

U.S. Rep. Barry Moore sworn in for 117th Congress — ‘I am humbled by the opportunity to serve my state’

(Office of U.S. Rep. Barry Moore/Twitter)

On Sunday, U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) was sworn into office to officially become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Moore won his election over Democratic congressional nominee Phyllis Harvey-Hall by 30 points back in November. He also pulled off what was likely the Alabama election cycle’s biggest upset by defeating former Business Council of Alabama chair Jeff Coleman in the July Republican primary runoff by 20 points.

Moore assumes the office as Alabama’s Second Congressional District representative, filling the vacancy left by former U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery).

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“Today, I once again took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and serve the great people of Alabama’s Second Congressional District,” Moore said in a statement. “As a veteran and small business owner, I am humbled by the opportunity to serve my state and represent the voices of my constituents in the People’s House. It’s an honor to be part of the most inclusive Republican class in Congressional history and to serve in this particularly difficult time. The voters in my district have had enough of politics as usual in Washington and they want a representative who will fight to preserve our Republic and our way of life. Whether it’s reining in Washington’s runaway spending, fighting for election integrity, securing our borders, or protecting the unborn, our country’s problems can be solved through prayer and hard work. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 weeks ago

‘We don’t need a Taj Mahal’: Architect State Rep. Lipscomb discusses new statehouse possibilities as legislature prepares to meet during pandemic

Jay Williams)

For 30 days within a period of 105 calendar days, the Alabama State House at 11 South Union Street in Montgomery is the busiest building on Goat Hill as lawmakers, staff, lobbyists, media, tour groups and activists all converge for the annual legislative session.

The actual building, constructed in 1963 to serve as offices for the Alabama Highway Department, leaves much to be desired as it is fraught with mold and other shortcomings that pose a risk to the public. What was meant to be a temporary move in the 1980s as work was being done in the actual State Capitol across the street has remained the permanent meeting place for the Alabama House of Representatives and the Alabama Senate.

However, there seems to be no political will to advance any proposal for a new structure, which seems to be long overdue.

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During an interview last month, Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills), who has had an off-and-on career in the Alabama legislature spanning the past six decades, said not to expect movement on a new facility “any time soon.”

“It’s a subject of discussion, and it’s probably needed, but it would be a very expensive ordeal,” Waggoner explained.

The possibility was broached last year when Gov. Kay Ivey used a proposal as a political weapon in a fight for control over CARES Act coronavirus relief funding, which further solidified the subject’s toxicity in the eyes of the public.

“I have already seen one ‘wish list’ that includes a new $200 million statehouse for the Legislature,” the Governor said at the time. “To me, that is totally unacceptable and not how President Trump and Congress intended for this money to be spent.”

However, as lawmakers are now less than a month away from reconvening for the 2021 regular session, questions about safety go beyond the existing hazards as the nation is in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will the existing structure be adequate for the legislature to tend to the unfinished business of the 202o regular session that was cut short due to the pandemic? According to some, it has led to an “imbalance” within state government?

Time will tell for the answer to that question. However, as for a new structure, such an effort is complicated according to State Rep. Craig Lipscomb (R-Gadsden), a practicing architect and graduate of Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction.

During an interview with Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Lipscomb laid out how the current situation came to be.

“[T]hat building, which is currently the State House, is one of six concrete buildings in Montgomery,” he explained. “They were all kind of built around the same time. I think actually think that building was the Highway Department built somewhere around 1963. It’s knocking on 60 years old now. In the early 80s, around 1984, I guess they relocated the Highway Department elsewhere. And they temporarily put all the legislators in that building because the intention was to physically connect a brand new structure to house the House and the Senate and LSA, and all of those other functions that are associated with it because previously, all of the representation was located in the Capitol. And if you’ve ever been in the Capitol, you can imagine how that was.”

“I can’t even begin to imagine how that worked,” Lipscomb continued. “There’s just not enough room for an extra couple of hundred people to reside in there. So, they needed a new building. And constitutionally, it had to be physically attached to the Capitol. And so, at the time, the intention was to put them in that old Highway Department building. And meanwhile, they could get some architectural work done. They would design a new State House to reasonably match the aesthetics of the Capitol. They would interconnect those two — probably close down the street between those two buildings, and take down or demolish [the existing statehouse]. Even back then, it was in pretty poor shape, and I think it is in worse shape now.”

The Etowah County lawmaker insisted there was a practical approach to building a new facility and explained why the existing Alabama State House conditions are as such, which could eventually be a liability for the state.

“We don’t need a Taj Mahal,” he said. “We just need a safe, economic structure to reside in,” he said. “You have got to understand — that building being concrete — and I’m going to speak a little architecture here — concrete is porous, and it inherently wicks in moisture. And so what’s happening is that envelope the building has, that moisture is getting into it, and it is not getting back out. That’s exacerbated by the fact that you have got a heating and cooling system in there that’s rather dated, inefficient. There’s not enough fresh air in the building, etc., and so that mold continues to grow within the wall cavity of the building. Henceforth, everybody that resides in there on a regular basis — talking about all the staffers, everybody who is in there aside from the legislative body who stay there year-long — they have constant sinus issues. There’s a lot of them that have had to have sinus surgery, and I know of one or two people that have had to have numerous sinus surgeries. It is purely based upon the environmental conditions of that building. Had it been anything but a governmental building, I have no doubt they would have been sued by now because — where in the world do you encounter that? That’s an anomaly these days.”

Lipscomb insists that an analysis of legislative needs for a new structure would have to be completed before assigning a price tag. However, he argued that it would ultimately save the state money on maintenance, renovations, and utility costs in the long run.

“From an architectural perspective, what you have to do is you have to start with a program,” he explained. “A program is kind of like a checklist of the kind of spaces you need in a building. It kind of tells that you need rooms for x, y and z, and those rooms need to be a particular size or have particular features that suit the needs of the individual who is going to be occupying that space. Once you have created that program, now you have got to set a guideline to go by in the early stages of design. You can begin to estimate how much square footage. You can begin to estimate the amount of circulatory space, both horizontal and vertical quantity of the rooms, the size of the rooms, and all of that kind of stuff — and that would be the first step — basically taking an analysis of what you would need out of a structure to facilitate the legislative needs of the state of Alabama.”

“Once you put that down on paper, you can get some ballpark ideas of where you’re heading as far as the cost of construction is concerned because you can apply some rule of thumb square foot costs here,” Lipscomb added. “I don’t know what those would be. We’re certainly not going to be spending RSA kind of money here. You’ve seen those buildings. They’re very fine buildings with really nice finishes. I don’t think that’s what we’re looking for. It’s definitely not going to be a cheap structure — but I think I can tell you this without too much hesitation: When you’re dealing with an existing building that’s nearly 60 years old, it’s highly inefficient.  I don’t know how many millions of dollars we must put into the cost of maintenance and utilities just to the fact it’s poorly insulated, just to the fact they’re having constant renovations and whatnot. And when you’re in that situation, when you’re tossing money out the window, why would you not have a fresh, new structure that would do everything that you would want it to do?”

How does Alabama’s State House chamber measure up to other states’ chambers?  See below:

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 weeks ago

State Sen. Whatley to reintroduce bill rolling back state of emergency, public health order powers in 2021

(Screenshot/APTV)

Earlier this year, at the very end of the 2020 regular session, State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) along with several other co-sponsors pushed SB334, legislation that limits the powers of the State Health Officer and puts a 14-day limit on the length of time the governor can declare a state of emergency under the Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955.

The bill never was taken up for consideration, given the rush to end the adjourn sine die in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Whatley vows to take up the measure again in 2021.

During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Whatley said the plan for him and his colleagues is to reintroduce the same bill as he had back in May.

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“We’re going to file it exactly like we had it last year as far as I know,” he said. “And like I said at the beginning — this isn’t directed at any one person at all. This is just putting in place a forum for the governor and the legislature to continue to be a process of the budgetary needs for the state of Alabama in the future. And that is what the Constitution calls for, and it gives the people a check on the governor and a check on the legislature.”

“The State Health Officer is not an elected position,” Whatley added. “The State Health Officer is appointed by a committee, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think there is some legislation that might change that. But the governor has no say over what the State Health Officer can do for the first 90 days or something like that … The governor could not do anything if the State Health Officer declared an emergency. And that’s that. This gives the governor a check and the legislature a check and the people of Alabama a check over some unfettered power.”

Whatley was one of a handful of lawmakers to contract the COVID-19 virus. He maintained that despite having a bout with coronavirus, his views on policy dealing with the pandemic had not changed.

“Absolutely not,” he replied when asked. “I believe that we need to have precautions, and people need to take precautions every day with their health. But I do not believe we should have shut down small business in Alabama to do this.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 weeks ago

State Rep. Kiel: Bill would establish if one business can legally open during ’emergency,’ then all businesses and churches can remain open

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

State Rep. Jamie Kiel (R-Russellville) is seeking to take action to learn from what some would say is a mistake from the early stages of the state government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the outset, Gov. Kay Ivey, at the behest of State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, mandated certain so-called nonessential businesses closed to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Whether or not that was an effective action is unknown, according to Kiel, because the virus persists.

However, what may have been an unintended consequence was concentrating individuals in one central location at a business deemed “essential” because other “nonessential” businesses were closed. Kiel’s prefiled HB103 would make it so that if one business could remain open, then other businesses and churches could remain open under the same guidelines.

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“Everybody knows that back in the spring when COVID hit — obviously no one had been through anything like that before in our lifetime,” the Franklin County lawmaker said on Monday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show” on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5. “And there were some pretty drastic measures taken to avoid COVID. They could have slowed it. We don’t really know. But it is still spreading. There’s still COVID. People are still experiencing the repercussions from the pandemic. But the businesses and churches were closed — but not all businesses were closed, just those that were deemed nonessential. As you know, I’m a small business owner, and any small business owner’s business is essential if it is the person that owns it essential to them and their livelihood.”

“What I saw when I was traveling and even here in my small hometown was that there would be a business that was closed that sold clothing, for instance — and another business that was still open, that still sold clothing,” Kiel continued. “And a small mom-and-pop boutique or even a larger company like Hibbett that sells clothing — they had to close. They were forced to close. But another business like Walmart was open. I didn’t think that was right, first of all. But what we were really doing is were we driving all the customers that would have been in all these other stores — in the small mom-and-pops, the Hibbetts of the world — we were driving all those to one central location to buy clothing. That cannot be good for the spread of the pandemic — to bring everybody together in one location or a few locations.”

“What this bill simply does is it says if one business can be open under certain guidelines during emergencies or a pandemic, then all businesses and churches can be open under those same guidelines,” he added.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 weeks ago

Alabama Policy Institute’s Phil Williams: We’re working to form a ‘Conservative Policy Caucus’ to vote as a bloc in the Alabama Legislature

(Screenshot/YouTube)

Even though it has been discussed by some of the Alabama House of Representatives’ more conservative members, the formation of groups similar to what the U.S. House of Representatives has in the Freedom Caucus has been discouraged by the body’s leadership in past years.

Seemingly for that reason, no such group has come to be in the Alabama House of Representatives. However, if the Alabama Policy Institute’s Director of Policy Strategy and General Counsel Phil Williams, a former member of the Alabama Senate, has his way, that will change.

In an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5 on Monday, Williams revealed API is planning an effort that will make such a group a reality with the objective of promoting conservative policies within the Alabama State House.

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“[I] tell you what, Jeff — let me go ahead and give you an inside scoop with our plans,” he said. “But we actually are working right now to form that caucus, and I mean as an official caucus. The naming will be something like the ‘Conservative Policy Caucus’ that I referenced briefly a moment ago. But the reality is we are looking to have that. In the Senate with 35 members — if you can get seven members to stand together on an issue, you can hardly get around them at that point. You have to work with them. You have to negotiate with them. You have to care about what those seven members are voting together as a bloc. That’s going to be so important on issues that come up this year, like when you see things like big government spending but no tax cuts, when you see things like whether we are going to reopen our society or we are going to restore the balance of power to the legislature, where the executive branch has done everything this year.”

“I think you’re going to have to have a conservative policy caucus to make sure those things stand up,” Williams added. “For what it’s worth, I’ll go ahead and announce it first on your show. We are working towards that end right now.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

4 weeks ago

U.S. Rep.-elect Barry Moore: ‘I hope Coach Tuberville will join us’ in fight contesting Electoral College

(Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Add U.S. Rep.-elect Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) to the list of federal GOP officials pledging to join U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in his bid to contest the certification of the 2020 Electoral College tally.

During an appearance on Newsmax TV’s “America Right Now,” Moore weighed in the presidential election results and explained there were enough irregularities that led him to the decision to participate in Brooks’ effort.

Moore also called on U.S. Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) to participate, which would give Brooks’ challenge the one requisite U.S. Senator required.

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“Early on, I met with Congressman Mo Brooks in the House and it was something he decided to take this fight on and protest these electors,” Moore said. “I hope Coach Tuberville will join us in that fight. I feel like he will. We have other House members that are coming on board. And if you just look at the elections around the country — I mean, we went to bed at midnight on November 3 with Trump projected to get 200 electoral votes. They shut down the vote in different cities — Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta. And then, all of a sudden, you saw this surge of 131,000 votes at 6 a.m. and 140,000 votes at 1 a.m. And we woke that morning and things had changed.”

“There’s enough evidence if you look at the counties President Trump won, he won 18 of the 19 bellwether counties in this nation that indicate the next president,” he continued. “Biden lost Ohio and Florida. Not since 1960 has a Democratic president lost those two seats and won the presidency. And if you look down the ballot, we’ve got 24 they call toss-up seats — 24 seats and Republicans won every single one. People are going to a voting booth and filling out a ballot for Senate and House and they don’t mark the president of their party?”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.