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.

16 hours ago

Roy Moore pledges ‘commitment to God,’ rails against D.C. amid backdrop of vocal protesters

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

TUSCUMBIA — The sleepy county seat of northwestern Alabama’s Colbert County was a hotbed for politics early Saturday morning.

Around two dozen protesters showed up at the Helen Keller Public Library to voice their disapproval of former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, a candidate for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up next year, who was speaking to the Shoals Republican Club.

However, Moore did not allow those protesters armed with a bullhorn just a few feet and a windowpane away from thwarting his presentation to the Republican club.

308

Despite chants of “Go to hell, Roy Moore,” “No more Roy Moore,” and “This is what democracy looks like,” the Etowah County Republican attempted to clarify his position on race and homosexuality.

“Now I’m accused of being a racist and homophobic,” Moore said. “I’m not scared of homosexuals. I don’t hate homosexuals. If I did, I couldn’t wear this cross on my lapel. You’re commanded to love people, but you’re also commanded to abhor sin, that which is evil. My position in this race is freedom of speech and truth. That’s why I’m running — a commitment to God. My sole purpose in life is to serve God. If he would have me in Washington, D.C., I will go — reluctantly, I will go because it is a different world.”

Moore pledged not to be dissuaded by protesters on the left or Washington, D.C. forces on the right in his second bid for the U.S. Senate in just the last two years.

“They hate me there. They have vowed to stop me. In fact, they said the last time around, they said it was a sprint. This is a marathon, said Jesse Hunt, the spokesman for the NRSC,” Moore said as he pointed at a tracker in the audience, urging him to send his statement to Hunt.

Moore also likened President Donald Trump’s impeachment travails to those of former President Andrew Johnson, who he argued was a victim of the radical Republicans of the time. He offered the audience assurances he would serve in the mold of former U.S. Sen. Edmund Ross (R-Kan.), who, despite being an opponent of Johnson, cast the deciding vote against Johnson’s removal from office in 1868, claiming loyalty to his oath to the Constitution.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 days ago

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson: No plans to seek higher office beyond Mobile Mayor

(Sandy Stimpson/Facebook)

MOBILE — Whenever there is an opening for a high-profile statewide office, one of the names always mentioned as a potential candidate for that office is Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

As of late, the city of Mobile has had a good run under Stimpson’s leadership with the growth of Austal USA and Airbus Mobile while Stimpson has won two mayoral elections in Alabama’s port city. Those are the hallmarks of a potential political up-and-comer and make Stimpson a viable candidate for higher office in the eyes of some political watchers.

However, Stimpson says not to expect him to throw his hat into the ring for any higher office beyond mayor any time soon.

During a wide-ranging interview about economic development, infrastructure and education policy on location in Mobile with Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Stimpson dismissed the possibility of having any political ambitions outside of Coastal Alabama.

234

“We all have choices to make, and my choice was to stay married to the lady I’ve been married to for a number of years,” Stimpson said. “I’m not going to change that, and so as long as that’s the way it is, I’m going to stay right where I am. But I’m honored that somebody would suggest to think that I could run for a higher office.”

According to Stimpson, he sees one of the keys to Mobile’s success as having longevity and stability at the helm. He also pointed to situations in two of South Carolina’s major cities as an example.

“We still have a whole lot of work to do in Mobile. It takes a number of years to really understand all the dynamics of being a mayor. When I look at some of the cities that have been very successful — Greenville, South Carolina or Charleston — you have a mayor that’s been there 12 or 16, or in Charleston’s case 40 years. That won’t be me. But it does take a while, and if you start getting the momentum going and things are going right in the city, it’s important to support that.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 days ago

Bradley Byrne: Jeff Sessions ‘doesn’t own this seat’ — ‘The seat belongs to the people of the state of Alabama’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Even though former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a U.S. Senate candidate for a month, there appears to still be some hard feelings regarding his entry into the race.

During an appearance on Birmingham radio Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie Show,” U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) discussed a phone call he received from Sessions just before Sessions’ entry into the race asking Byrne to withdraw his U.S. Senate candidacy and run for reelection to the seat he currently occupies in Alabama’s first congressional district.

According to Byrne, Sessions told him he thought he was doing a great job as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and that Sessions still had a “couple of gallons” of gas left in his tank to serve in the U.S. Senate. Byrne explained how he declined Sessions’ request to co-hosts Andrea Lindenberg and Matt Murphy and argued against the merits of Sessions returning to the U.S. Senate.

408

“Look, Jeff Sessions served this state for 20 years in the United States Senate,” Byrne said. “I honor him for that service. But I don’t want somebody who is my senator that just has a couple of gallons left in the tank. And I don’t want somebody when President Trump needed him walked off the field. I mean, we’re in a fight up here. We’re going to be in a fight even after this impeachment vote. And we’ve got to have somebody with a full tank of gas that’s understanding the fight that we’re in, that’s willing to get up here and willing to fight every day, not just somebody who said, ‘I just had 20 years. I’d kind of like to go back and get my seat.’ That’s not enough for the vast majority of people in this state.”

Byrne emphatically argued Sessions did not “own” the seat and downplayed his chances at winning an election for that seat.

“I hate to say this about my friend Jeff Sessions, but I think he believes he owns this seat,” he said. “And he’s calling everybody — ‘Look, I own this seat. I’m coming to get my seat back.’ Well, he doesn’t own this seat. The seat belongs to the people of the state of Alabama. And I did tell Jeff in the conversation, I said, ‘Look Jeff, this is a race. You’re going to have to get in it. We have a forum in Greenville, Alabama,’ which he did not show up for. He doesn’t own this seat. He’s going to have to go out and fight for it. I’m one of the people he’s going to have to push out of the way to get it.”

“I don’t think he’s going to win,” Byrne added. “Talking to people, as I’ve been talking to people around the state — I get one of two responses about him. One is they’re angry at him. The other is they say, ‘Why is he running?’ I like Jeff. He’s my friend. I’m not going to disavow him as my friend. I’m not going to act like I don’t respect him. I do. You’ve got to know when your time is up and his time is up.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 days ago

Merrill: Shelby used ‘power and his clout’ to protect Sessions from Trump; ‘Would not surprise me’ if Trump endorsed Sessions

(John Merrill/Facebook)

Ever since former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his decision to seek his old U.S. Senate in Alabama, speculation about an attack from President Donald Trump has been rampant.

However, there has not been such an attack, at least not yet.

During an appearance on Birmingham radio Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie Show,” Secretary of State John Merrill, who was a candidate for U.S. Senate until last Sunday, discussed his decision to bow out of the race and how Sessions’ entry into it played a role.

436

Merrill indicated he had thought things would have taken a different course when Sessions entered the race, particularly with his other opponents former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville and U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) and President Donald Trump.

“Let me tell you — first of all, we felt like when the conversation became intense with Senator Sessions’ entry into the race that the dynamics would probably play out because of what we had observed with the president, of the president continuously beating on Senator Sessions, talking badly about him, talking unfavorably about his service as attorney general, and doing that in tweets consistently between the day he announced and March 3,” Merrill said.

“We also felt like Coach [Tommy] Tuberville and Congressman [Bradley] Byrne would use a number of their resources to try to inflict harm on Senator Sessions and his candidacy,” he continued. “We also felt like the two of them would work against each other, and bring harm to each and define each other in whatever way was positive to the other candidate. But, the first thing that happened, of course, if you recall, when Senator Sessions said he was running, Coach Tuberville came out with the swamp ad. There was actually two ads — there was one that was a little bit over a minute and one that was 30 seconds about why Jeff Sessions did not need to be back in the Senate seat. But the president never said anything.”

According to the Tuscaloosa County Republican, the lack of an attack on Sessions by Trump was attributable to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa), who he said was using his clout to protect Sessions.

Merrill also said it would not surprise him if Trump endorsed Sessions in the end.

“When asked about it, coming to Tuscaloosa for the LSU game, the president did not say anything negative at all. I attribute all of that to Senator Shelby and all of that to Senator Shelby using power and his clout to ensure Senator Sessions is protected from the president in that regard. That changes the dynamics dramatically, and we continued to watch what was happening. And you can see the president has not said anything negative about Senator Sessions since he got in the race and I don’t anticipate that he will. Now I will say this: It would not surprise me one bit if he ended up endorsing Senator Sessions.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

6 days ago

Auburn Mayor Ron Anders addresses K-12 education, quality of life as reasons for explosive population growth

(Facebook)

AUBURN — Next year, Auburn High School will be 100 students shy of being the largest high school in Alabama, just behind Hoover High School, according to Mayor Ron Anders.

The growth of Auburn High School’s student population is a signal that the city of Auburn over the past decade has evolved from more than just a college town, home to Auburn University, to one of Alabama’s most thriving communities. Anders, who was sworn into office just over a year ago, acknowledges a big part of that is a result of its K-12 education. The Auburn City School System has consistently rated among Alabama’s best school systems, which has made it a bedroom community for those working as far away as Montgomery.

During a recent interview with Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Anders said he would prefer that people choose to reside in Auburn because of the qualities of his city and not because of the failings of other communities but acknowledged it is a factor.

224

“That is going on,” Anders said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “It goes on a lot. There’s no question about it. Look, I would rather every community in and around Auburn be great communities. We don’t want people to leave somewhere because they’re not happy and come here. We would rather people come to Auburn because it is what they think is the best place, offers the best things for them. But that is a factor. There’s no question about it. People have lost confidence in some of the things in some of their communities, and they want to live here.”

“Look, by and large, Auburn is a cool place to live,” he continued. “The college provides a quality of life that you don’t get in most communities of our population size because there are things going on here that are different, unique, and they really represent a metropolitan area.”

Anders pointed to the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University, in which the city had also invested $1.5 million to improve the quality of life for his city’s residents.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

6 days ago

Rosa Parks statue unveiled in Montgomery’s Court Square

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

MONTGOMERY — Not far from where enslaved African-Americans were purchased, where first Confederate States Secretary of War LeRoy Pope Walker issued the order to attack Fort Sumter in 1861 and where Rosa Parks was awaiting the Cleveland Avenue bus before she would make history on December 1, 1955, a few hundred people attended the unveiling of a new statue of Parks on Sunday.

It was shortly after that moment on December 1, 1955, that Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat to a white man on a city bus, and that initiated the Montgomery Bus Boycott that would challenge the institution of segregation.

Participating in the statue’s unveiling were Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean and Gov. Kay Ivey.

333

“Rosa Parks is the face to injustice,” Ivey said. “Many people were able to come to understand her hurt and the need for cultural change when they heard her story. It was only fitting that we should establish a monument to her in the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement. Also, as one of Alabama’s female leaders, it is very fitting that we honor and remember Rosa Parks here in Montgomery, Alabama. There are people who say that folks who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

“That’s what today is all about,” she continued. “We’re here to be reminded of the struggle so future generations can be better and do better. No person ever stood so tall as did Rosa Parks when she sat down. And Rosa herself said one day she didn’t give up her seat on the bus because she was tired but rather because she was tired of giving in. We all should take a page from her book, and when we see injustice, we should find the courage to not give in.”

Reed, who had just recently taken the oath of office to be Montgomery’s first African-American mayor, reflected on Parks’ achievements and said the unveiling should serve as a reminder that there was still work to be done today.

“While we are here to commemorate an action that Mrs. Parks took, it was not a lone action,” Reed said. “She was taking a fight for fairness and justice with the decision that she made, one that would have made her a viral sensation today or a social media soldier, she shook the conscience of this seat and ultimately helped improve the soul of this country.”

Included among the attendees was Fred Gray, the attorney who represented Parks and the plaintiffs in the Browder v. Gayle case that would result in bus segregation being declared unconstitutional.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

6 days ago

Merrill ends run for U.S. Senate — Says not to expect any endorsement in primary

(J. Merrill/Twitter)

Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate field will officially have one less candidate.

Early Sunday afternoon, Yellowhammer News learned Secretary of State John Merrill would withdraw his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2020.

In a statement provided to Yellowhammer, Merrill confirmed and explained his decision.

441

Statement as follows:

For the past seven years I have visited every county in Alabama meeting with business and church groups, educators and farmers, as well as county and municipal leaders. I have worked hard to get to know our communities, their leaders and their needs.

For the past five months I have made many of these visits as a candidate for the United State Senate.

I have spoken to tens of thousands of Alabamians about the future of our nation and our need to replace Doug Jones with a conservative Republican Senator who represents Alabama thinking and Alabama values.

Throughout this journey, Cindy and I have been thankful for the outpouring of support we have received. We are grateful for the old friends we reconnected with and for the new friends we have made along the way.

With the announcement by Senator Jeff Sessions on November 7th, the dynamics of this election have changed dramatically.

When I entered the race on June 25th, I, along with my family and closest supporters, saw a path to victory. We met our initial goals and had six months of successful fundraising. We actually led the third-quarter in fundraising for all Republican candidates.

With Senator Sessions’ late entry into this race, we have come to realize that a crowded Republican primary only benefits Doug Jones and the out of touch liberal Democrats.

Therefore, after thoughtful consideration, much prayer, some honest discussions with my family and campaign team, I have decided to suspend my campaign for the United State Senate, effective immediately.

I am honored by the support and encouragement we have received and I look forward to my continued service to the people in our state as Alabama’s Secretary of State.

In a follow-up interview, Merrill told Yellowhammer News not to expect him to endorse a candidate in the primary.

“No, I won’t do that,” he said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to do that because of my role as Secretary of State. It’s one thing as an active candidate. Everybody knows that you’re campaigning and that you’re for yourself. But if you were actually supporting another candidate in the campaign and something happened, and people felt like you were being prejudiced or biased, or supportive of someone and there were some issues, that would be a concern.”

Alabama’s GOP Senate field now consists of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) and evangelist Stanley Adair.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

1 week ago

ALFA’s Parnell: ‘We feel very good about the slate of candidates we have endorsed’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

For some, it was a mild surprise when the Alabama Farmers Federation’s political action committee FarmPAC announced earlier this week it was opting to support incumbent U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-Huntsville) opponent Chris Lewis in the upcoming GOP primary.

Brooks has since shrugged off their decision, saying it happens in politics from time to time. However, Alabama Farmers Federation president Jimmy Parnell indicated during an interview with Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” that the group was pleased with its endorsed candidates, which also includes former Auburn football head coach Tommy Tuberville, who is a candidate in the upcoming U.S. Senate race.

Parnell also called the group “blessed” for having a supportive congressional delegation.

265

“Anytime you represent a group of people, you always want their issues addressed more,” Parnell said. “I would tell you we feel very good about the slate of candidates we have endorsed — that they are in tune with the issues that affect ag and we’re pretty blessed as a state with a delegation that understands ag and for the most part, listens.”

Parnell also emphasized that ALFA works not just to advocate for the farmers but all citizens in Alabama.

“Our organization was formed almost 100 years ago to represent the farmers of the state and attempt to give them a voice,” he added. “We attempt to do that through the membership organization, which is the Alabama Farmers Federation. About 25 years after our founding, those same farmers were struggling to be able to insure their farms and their homes, and we became an insurance company at that time. So we’re kind of a combination of organizations providing insurance not only to our farmers but all the citizens of the state. Our focus every day is the farmers and the citizens of the state of Alabama trying to make sure we have a good environment to operate in, do business and raise families in the state of Alabama, where they’re proud of our involvement and the results that we get for our people.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

1 week ago

Ala. State Sen. Livingston: Bellefonte Nuclear Plant could save City of Memphis $1 million a day when online

(Wikicommons)

Last week, there was somewhat of a minor breakthrough announced for the hopes of Bellefonte Nuclear Plant’s future. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a notice seeking comment on the transfer of Bellefonte construction permits from the Tennessee Valley Authority to Nuclear Development LLC, which is the group owned by Chattanooga-based developer Franklin Haney, who is seeking to finish construction on the plant.

The on-again, off-again saga of Bellefonte is nothing new. Jackson County residents have been dealing with the property’s future for decades. However, Alabama State Sen. Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) remains optimistic and says there several reasons for that optimism.

During an interview with WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Livingston called the commission’s move “absolutely” a good sign and explained that despite what detractors of the project have said, there would be a demand for the electricity the plant produces.

191

Livingston referred to the Google and Facebook facilities in Alabama, which are two companies that favor “green energy.”

“You and I have had multiple conversations on the air about Bellefonte and the economic developments it does for the area in providing green electricity for the area, and also in the future,” Livingston said. “The more and more we see of data centers coming in, like Facebook in Huntsville or Google up here in Jackson County — they use a lot of energy, and they particularly want green energy. And nuclear is green energy.”

The Jackson County Republican also pointed the City of Memphis, which could be a big winner if Bellefonte comes online.

“I think TVA is Memphis’ single-largest user and they are on their fifth study and this most recent one that came out was probably published two or three weeks ago said the City of Memphis could save $1 million a day,” he said.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Club for Growth continues assault on Byrne with Chinese investment questions — Byrne campaign responds: ‘A group that spent millions’ attacking Trump

(Screenshot/YouTube)

One thing that has become glaringly obvious in the initial stages of the 2020 U.S. Senate campaign in Alabama: U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) does not have a friend in the Club for Growth. Earlier this week, Club for Growth Action, the federal super PAC associated with Club for Growth, announced it was airing an advertisement opposing Byrne’s candidacy during Saturday’s Iron Bowl college football match-up between the Auburn Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Byrne campaign responded to the ad by calling into question Club for Growth’s loyalties when it comes to China.

“It’s not surprising that the pro-China, Never-Trump Club for Growth would attack America-first, pro-Trump Bradley Byrne, but what is even more hysterical is that they are attacking him over an entity designed to combat cheating countries like China on trade that is supported by President Trump,” Byrne campaign press spokeswoman Lenze Morris said in a statement. “The Club for Growth should take the money they’re wasting on these ads, change their name to the Club for China, and move their offices to Beijing. Bradley Byrne is busy putting America first.”

On Tuesday, Club for Growth responded to the Byrne campaign’s charge by questioning Byrne’s investments in China-heavy stock and mutual funds revealed on his 2018 financial disclosure statement.

379

“Byrne is the kind of Washington hypocrite who would drink a champagne toast after voting for prohibition,” Joe Kildea, a spokesman for Club for Growth Action said in a statement provided to Yellowhammer News. “He claims to be tough on China, but his personal financial disclosure reveals he has significant investments in China, and he has voted for subsidies for Chinese companies. Typical DC politician. Club for Growth Action will make sure voters aren’t deceived by his double talk.”

Kildea’s statement regarding subsidies for Chinese companies apparently refers to his support for the Export-Import Bank’s reauthorization on at least two occasions, which is highlighted in the Club for Growth Action’s ad.

When asked about Club for Growth’s relentless opposition to Byrne’s candidacy, Kildea told Yellowhammer News that the group hoped to see a “real conservative” win in 2020.

“At the end of the day, we want a real conservative to win the primary and hold this Senate seat, not a Democrat or a RINO,” Kildea said. “And if there’s a run-off, we’d rather it be among more conservative candidates, not Byrne.”

Last month, Politico reported Club for Growth was a force in pushing former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to enter the race. Although Club for Growth has not formally endorsed a candidate, it is widely speculated the group was leaning toward supporting Sessions, who made an 11th-hour entry into the race on the day before the qualifying deadline and previously served for 20 years in the U.S. Senate.

Byrne campaign manager Seth Morrow responded to the attacks, noting that Club for Growth opposed Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy in the early stages of his campaign and questioned Sessions’ association with the organization.

“This is a group that spent millions attacking President Trump while Bradley votes with President Trump 97% of the time,” Morrow said to Yellowhammer News. “This group supports free and unfettered trade with China, doesn’t endorse a border wall, and opposed the President’s America First agenda. It’s sad that Jeff Sessions has aligned with them, but what’s sadder still is that anyone cares what the Club for China thinks about Alabama’s U.S. Senate race.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Club for Growth poll shows Hightower +19 over field in GOP’s AL-01 race

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

With U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) vacating his seat to run for the U.S. Senate, a wide-open shot at a position for U.S. Congress has been left for potential officeseekers in the Republican-leaning district.

Now that the qualifying deadline has come and gone, there are five candidates officially vying for the Republican nod: Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl, U.S. Army veteran John Castorani, former State Sen. Bill Hightower (R-Mobile), restauranteur Wes Lambert and State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile).

According to a poll released on Monday conducted by WPA Intelligence on behalf of Club for Growth PAC released to Yellowhammer News, Hightower continues to lead the Republican primary by a 19-point margin.

124

Bill Hightower 35%
Chris Pringle 16%
Jerry Carl 13%
Wes Lambert 2%
John Castorani 1%
Undecided 33%

Hightower’s lead and the state of the race are similar to what the same polling outfit showed back in July. According to the WPA Intelligence poll, he also holds advantages over other contenders such as Pringle and Carl.

Earlier this year, Club for Growth gave its endorsement to Hightower.

(Screenshot/WPA Intelligence)

Republican voters will go to the polls on March 3, 2020, to select their preference for who will face the Democrat in that congressional race.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

State Rep. Simpson: Sentencing reform ‘not needed’ to satisfy DoJ on prison reform — Calls for more prisons, truth in sentencing

(Screenshot/APTV)

With just over 70 days until the 2020 legislative general session, there is a high probability at the top of the list of priorities will be prison reform.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a report outlining its concerns with the Alabama Department of Corrections’ prison facilities, which it said could violate the “cruel and unusual punishment” provision of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. One proposal offered by lawmakers, including Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) and others, is to take on sentencing reform, which in theory would lessen sentences for some crimes and potentially lessen the burden on overcrowded prisons.

Count State Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Daphne) as a “no” on sentencing reform as a potential component to prison reform in 2020. During an appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Simpson argued against sentencing reform.

1216

“It is not as cut and dried as some people are trying to make it seem,” he said. “The Department of Justice – what their report indicated, you know, there’s different things we have to take care of. We have to take care of overcrowding. We have to take care of the inmates that we have in there to make sure they’re safe where they are. No one deserves to be unsafe where they are, no matter what crime they have committed. So we have to take care of the people we are responsible to take care of because they’re in prison.”

“That next step is where I really can’t get on board when people are talking about sentencing reform,” he continued. “I don’t think sentencing reform – I don’t think it is needed. I don’t think it is necessary. I know in the Department of Justice report that they issued out, sentencing reform is not mentioned in that report. I think some people like to take an opportunity when you’re looking at prisons, and when you’re looking at what’s going on to include sentencing reform in there. I don’t think it is needed. I think the data is what we’ve been told, and what we’ve been shown is the people who are in prison currently are people that need to be in prison. You have a lot of Class A, Class B felons that are in prison. You have a lot of repeat offenders that are in prison. It’s not your first-time offender. It’s not your non-violent [offender]. There’s just not a lot of people that are in there just for drugs. So, I don’t think we need to have sentencing reform. I don’t think we need to bring that down.”

Simpson, who was a career prosecutor prior to his election to the Alabama legislature in 2018, warned lessening the consequences of a crime would weaken corrections as a deterrent.

“I would be against sentencing reform based on what I know,” Simpson said. “I was a prosecutor for 12 years. I know how difficult it is for somebody to be sent to prison. I know how fast people are being released from prison. Now, that may have changed recently with the appointment of Charlie Graddick as the director of Pardons and Paroles, and I think they’re doing a good job there in keeping people there that need to be there. I know Judge Graddick well, and I respect the job he has done. I don’t think that we need to focus and say, ‘How do we get more people out?’ If you read Attorney General Steve Marshall’s letter to the editor that he sent out to the state this week, you see that it is violent offenders that are there. Part of our prison system, part of our justice system, is not just to rehabilitate. Rehabilitate is an important factor. We need to make sure people can have jobs when they get out. We need to make sure these people have a trade when they get out that they can be productive members of society. Ninety-five percent of the people that go to prison are going to get out.”

“I respect everything about making sure that they can be productive members of society afterward,” he continued. “However, we have a responsibility for the victims of crime to make sure if someone commits a violent offense, if somebody does something to harm another person, that person needs to be sent away. We need to be able to show someone there’s punishment for committing a crime. We need to be able to show the community that if this person commits this crime, they’re going to go away for a while. If you’re sitting next to someone – imagine, a 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kid and you’re in class, and you see someone has committed a violent felony, and the next day they’re right back in class, what deterrent do you have to say, ‘You know what? I’m not going to commit that violent felony. We have to be able to say you’re going to go away. If you do the crime, you’re going to do the time, especially if you’re talking violent felonies.”

“Our prison system right now – at least 75% of the people in there are violent felonies, or they’re Class A or Class B,” Simpson added. “And if we don’t follow the rule of law, if people get in and they get sentenced to 10 or 15-year sentences and they actually only serve only six months or eight months, which is generally what they’re doing before Judge Graddick took over – that’s a problem. That’s a problem in our society, and I don’t know that sentencing reform is the answer here.”

According to the Baldwin County Republican, an appropriate measure would be to expand prison capacity and apply truth to sentencing, which he argued would also correct sentencing issues.

“I think you have to do capacity,” he said. “I think you have to build more prisons to add more people to be there. I think one of the more important things you have to ask for is truth in sentencing. And what that means is if you’re sentencing someone for the crime they committed, they should do that time or around 85% of that time, and that’s going to bring your sentences down because right now, if you know – I can tell you right now a 10-year sentence is about six months. A 15-year sentence is about eight months in the Department of Corrections. Preface everything I say that was before Judge Graddick. But if you’re sentencing someone and you know they’re only going to be in prison for six months, well then you’re not going to come down on your sentence. You’re not going to say I’ll give you a year and a day, or I’ll give you 18 months. You’re going to say, ‘Well, I’ll give you 10 years,’ and you’ll do six months and you’ll be right back out on the street. If we had truth in sentencing – if we could tell someone, if we could tell a victim – you look a victim in the eye and you say this person that assaulted you, or this person that did something to you – this person will be in jail for four years. They’re going to go for four years – four years to the day when they go to sleep at night, there’s going to be a clang of the door, and they’re going to have their head on a pillow, and it’s going to be laid out behind bars somewhere. Right now, we can’t do that at all. We’re telling people I have no idea how long the people are going to be in the Department of Corrections. It’s completely up to them. They may be out in six months. That’s what you have to tell a victim, and it’s tough. It’s tough to be a part of that. And that’s not what everybody sees on the day-to-day operations on how our prison system currently is operating.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Sessions: ‘Confident’ I can be most effective advocate for Trump — ‘Others are talking today how strong they were, but maybe not when it counted’

(Screenshot/APTV)

It has been just over two weeks since qualifying closed in the race for the 2020 GOP U.S. Senate nomination in Alabama, and as expected, President Donald Trump has been a focal point of discussion.

Much has been made about former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a late entrant into the race, and his falling out with Trump a year earlier.

During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” this week, Sessions insisted he would be the most effective among the current field to promote Trump’s agenda and asked viewers to consider where his competitors were during the 2016 campaign.

140

“I think we’ll just have to talk about it openly and directly to the people of Alabama – honestly about where we are and who can be the most effective advocate for President Trump’s agenda,” Sessions said. “I’m confident that I can do that. I tell you what – go back and look where the others were when I was traveling with him, when I was at the debates with him, when I flew to Mexico with him, on the plane with him and introduced him and was one of the nominators at the Republican convention with Donald Trump.”

“A lot of others are talking today how strong they were, but maybe not when it counted,” he added.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

USS Alabama gears up for ‘Living History Crew Drill’ WWII battle reenactment on Dec. 7

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

MOBILE — The USS Alabama has firmly cemented its place as one of the state’s most iconic symbols from its spot at Battleship Memorial Park on the eastern side of the Mobile River.

The South Dakota class battleship has been an attraction for visitors to Coastal Alabama since 1965. However, it took a statewide effort to make that possible according to USS Alabama director of sales and marketing Rhonda Davis.

During an interview with Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from the fantail of the USS Alabama, Davis credited a 1964 wire report for engaging and mobilizing people around Alabama to help make a home for the World War II-era battleship, which had been designated for scrap.

877

“The USS Alabama came to Mobile in 1965, and it’s a great unique story that involved the citizens of Alabama. In 1964, the Mobile Press-Register picked up a story on the wire from the U.S. Navy where they were going to scrap the battleships that had been put in mothballs in Bremerton Naval Yard in Washington State. And the USS Alabama, of course, being a World War II battleship was one of those ships. Within 24 hours, a group of concerned citizens and political and civic leaders contacted Governor [George] Wallace, and within 24 hours, they put together a task force to save the USS Alabama and bring her back to Mobile.”

“Part of the fundraising efforts was the children’s campaign involved first graders through seniors in high school who donated in 1964 and 1965 almost $100,000 in lunch money through fundraisers to help bring the ship here. In exchange, those students were given free passes to visit the USS Alabama,” she said. “And even to this day, we receive about 50 passes a year.”

According to Davis, the campaign had broad participation all over the state, which she said meant the USS Alabama “really belongs to all the citizens of the state of Alabama,” and notes the visitorship to the attraction is unmatched by any similar attraction around the country.

“We have almost a half-a-million visitors a year come to the USS Alabama,” Davis said. “And the state of Alabama still remains the highest visitorship per state and per international country that we welcome. So, we want to thank all the Alabamians that come to visit, who donate money, and who share the story of the park with their families. We always love welcoming the park to our friends and to our family and neighbors in Alabama.”

The battleship saw action in both the Atlantic and Pacific. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it was moved from Europe to the Pacific.

“The Alabama — she earned nine battle stars during World War II,” she said. “She started her service in the Pacific theater guarding the supply lines into Northern Europe and into Russia. And then, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, she was moved into the Pacific theater. And that is really where she won all of her battle stars. She had a full complement of 2,500 men who served aboard her. And when you think about it, she really is a floating city. And when you think about the USS Alabama’s history, there are so many great stories.”

Davis says the USS Alabama played a big role in the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, one of the highlights of the ship’s service.

“It was the Alabama’s radar the detected the second aerial attack by Japan,” Davis explained. “And her radar was so state of the art that the U.S. Navy had to have it confirmed. So, one of our sister battleships had to confirm that, and it gave the Naval fleet time to organize for the offensive. They call it the ‘turkey shoot’ because when the Japanese aircraft started across the ocean, they just picked them out of the sky, and it was like shooting turkeys in a barrel. That is one of her great success stories. She was also the lead ship into Tokyo Harbor during the surrender. When you come and visit, what you’re going to see is a great paradigm shift. Our curator, his team, along with our maintenance crew and our executive director is really taking the USS Alabama and taking her toward a World War II museum.”

Prospective visitors are encouraged to circle December 7 on their calendar for the living history crew weekend, which offers a sampling of an experience of a World War II battle on the high seas.

“What people need to do is come visit us during one of our living history crew weekends,” she said. “Because our living history crew have converted our 20 mm starboard guns and our 40 mm Bofors, which are placed above the 16-inch guns to propane. And we work with vintage airplanes, and they actually come and attack the ship. And the living history crew fire the guns — so you can kind of hear what it sounded like, see what it looks like, and the living history crew will drill next on Saturday, December 7. We do call to battle stations at 1:00 [p.m.], so the public is invited to come stand on all the decks, watch the airplanes attack. And that would kind of give you a feel of what it would have been like, and hear what it would have been like, and smell what it would have smelled like during a battle engagement on the Alabama.”

Battleship Memorial Park opens at 8:00 a.m. daily. Admission is free for children under 5, $6 for children 6 to 11 and $15 for ages 12 and up. There is a $4 park entry fee per car. For more information, visit www.ussalabama.com or follow them on Facebook at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Worley says racism of ‘North Alabama white contingency’ behind party split; Admits telling volunteer she would go get her gun at party HQ

(Sceenshot/APTV)

Although the Alabama Democratic Party appears to have elected a new chairman earlier this month, Nancy Worley maintains she is still the legitimate party chairman and vows to fight to remain in charge of the party.

During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” on Friday, Worley addressed the apparent schism in the party.

She told APTV’s Don Dailey racism was “at the core” of the split and said white Democrats from the northern part of Alabama made up the “splinter” of the party.

404

“[I] think that racism is at the core of this whole issue,” she said. “It’s really at the core of our politics in Alabama. Right now, if you look, the Republican Party is a dominant white party. And the Democratic Party has 70% of its voters who are black. Well, you look at this splinter of our party, and it is the white, by and large North Alabama folks — and I’m from there, and I see this. The North Alabama white contingency, which makes up a very small number of Democratic voters, has splintered off to try to be the party. If you look at the people who showed up at last weekend’s meetings, which was our meeting — the state Democratic executive committee, they were by and large black with about five or six whites mixed in. Now that tells you just how divided the party is by race.”

Later in the segment, Worley discussed a reported incident in which she allegedly threatened to pull a gun on a volunteer that would not leave the Democratic Party’s headquarters. She acknowledged the threat and argued it was justified given she wanted to protect the qualification paperwork.

“Most of the volunteers left,” she said. “And I’m very appreciative — and after they gathered up things and whatever, about 6:30, I waited for an hour and a half after qualifying is closed, and I asked again. There were a couple left, and I asked that they leave so that the staff could be very watchful over that paperwork and that it be kept very accurate. And one of those two left. The other one stayed on, and I did say, ‘You know, I guess I’m going to have to go get my gun,’ which was in my purse. But anyway, it was said half-jokingly but it was serious in the insistence that we don’t need volunteers up here possibly, and I’m not going to say that anyone was going to intentionally, try to mix up paperwork and make the staff look bad — but it’s always possible that errors can be made, mistakes can be made. So, the real reason for asking them to leave was so we didn’t have the possibility of so many hands shuffling papers around.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

AL-1 GOP candidates square off in Chickasaw for first debate of primary contest

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

CHICKASAW — On Thursday night, Coastal Alabama voters got their first glimpse of all five qualified Republican congressional candidates on stage together at the same time.

In direct contrast to the Democratic presidential debates that many have been watching on television, Thursday’s event at the J.C. Davis Municipal Auditorium was cordial. As it turned out, most candidates found themselves agreeing more than disagreeing.

The field, which included Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl, former State Sen. Bill Hightower, State Rep. Chris Pringle, U.S. Army veteran John Castorani and restauranteur Wes Lambert, took on broad national issue like abortion, climate change, foreign policy tariffs and local issues including the proposed I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge and Austal USA as well.

258

Castorani, a political newcomer, took a slightly different approach from conservative orthodoxy on the issues of the Second Amendment, abortion and global warming. He said he supported background checks on guns, questioned the role of government with abortion and declared himself not to be an authority on global warming.

On the issue of trade and tariffs, all of the candidates acknowledged the hardships Alabama was facing, given President Donald Trump’s hardline with regards to China, but argued things would be better in the long-term.

“It’s very important for us to get a China trade deal in place, and I’m going to support the president’s attempt to do it,” Hightower said. “But what China is doing is they’re using our capital markets to fund technologies, to build their military in the South China Sea, to build their rocket capability in North Korea. This is more than just farming issues.”

Carl vowed to make economic development a focus and touted the presence of Austal and Airbus expansion during his tenure as a Mobile County commissioner.

“Look at Austal shipbuilding and Airbus’ expansion of the A220,” he said. “People probably don’t realize that when that 220 reaches capacity, we’re going to be the fourth largest airplane center in the world.”

Voters in Alabama’s first congressional district will go to the polls on March 3, 2020, to determine who will represent the GOP in the November 2020 general election.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Doug Jones asks voters ‘to get past labels’: ‘My agenda is not a socialist agenda — It is an Alabama agenda’

(Screenshot/YouTube)

As the 100-day mark nears until Republicans go to the polls to select their preference on who will represent their party on the ticket in the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Alabama, Democrats already have their nominee with incumbent U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook).

Earlier this month, the state’s qualifying deadline passed without Jones drawing a primary opponent on the ballot. Meanwhile, Republicans added a familiar name to the mix with former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who held the seat Jones occupies for 20 years.

During an interview with Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Jones did not have much to say about Sessions’ candidacy. However, he urged listeners to “get past labels,” adding that his agenda was not a “socialist agenda.”

466

“I think it’s going to be a very ugly and divisive primary [for the Republicans],” he said. “They’re already starting. You saw it the minute Jeff put his hat in the ring. We’re not going to worry about that just yet. We’re going to continue to do the things we’re doing. And again, I want people to get past labels and to look at my record, the full record. Don’t just listen to a soundbite on the radio, on TV or what they see on some website. What I want them to do is take a good look at where I am. What they’re going to find is with me, despite what you may hear from the other side – my agenda is not a socialist agenda. My agenda is not a leftist agenda. It is anything but that. It is an Alabama agenda. And I think people will recognize that if they actually look at my record that I’m very proud of.”

Jones also reacted to the apparent shake-up in leadership of the Alabama Democratic Party. Barring a successful court challenge from the previous leadership, the party will be led by State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa), to which Jones expressed his approval.

“I’m not only optimistic, I’m just really excited about it,” Jones added. “You know, the party has been stagnant for a long time. That’s why I’m having to get out as much as I am to get people to look at my record as a Democrat because the party has been so stagnant except in a few local races. I think Chris is going to bring some energy. We’ve got a lot of young people that are now getting engaged that are very, very excited.”

“As I said to you before, the goal here is to not take over the state,” he continued. “That’s just not going to happen. It’s not feasible. Quite frankly, I don’t want to go back to a one-party where the Democrats are in control than I particularly care that the Republicans are in control. What I think we need to see in this state of Alabama is a competitive system where people vie for folks’ votes, and they don’t take votes for granted in their districts. Vie for those votes, put forth those great programs, get that common ground – that’s going to be really good for the state. I’m very excited for the party, but more importantly, I’m excited for the state to have some opportunities that they really haven’t had for the 15 to 20 years.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Rogers: Expect impeachment vote before Christmas; McConnell could drag it out in Senate to hurt Dem presidential campaigns

(Congressman Mike D. Rogers/Facebook)

The nonstop diet of impeachment hearings conducted by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee is expected to go all the way to Thanksgiving.

But the question is, what will happen after that? According to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), an actual vote on articles of impeachment will probably come before Christmas.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Wednesday, Rogers explained how impeachment could play out as 2019 winds down, and 2020 begins.

260

“I think they’ll go ahead with a vote before Christmas and pass articles of impeachment, and then what I’m hearing is … there’s two theories about the Senate,” Rogers explained. “One is [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and the leadership have a procedural way of killing this thing. Again, it is not a complex issue. There is not a reason for it to go on a long time.”

Rogers said McConnell could do one of two things with impeachment, which is use procedural maneuvers to end it immediately. Or he could keep it going for months, which would hurt Democrat candidates in the U.S. Senate vying for their party’s presidential nomination. As of now, that includes Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

“There’s another school of thought that he may actually drag this thing out for about three months and keep senators running for the Democrat nomination tied up in Washington instead of the campaign trail,” he continued. “I don’t know which of those is true. In either event, they’re never going to have the votes to remove the president. Remember, you have to have every Democrat and at least 20 Republicans to vote to remove the president. Of course, the Democrats will do it. But you’ll never get 20 Republicans over this.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

Roy Moore weighs in on Chick-fil-A, ‘LGBTQ agenda’ — Says ‘queer’ used to be a ‘mental disease’ but is now a ‘right’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Earlier this week, fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A revealed it was revising its charitable giving policy to deny groups the company had previously given donations apparently because of their stances on LGBTQ issues.

Among those groups were the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Paul Anderson Youth Home. During an appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Tuesday, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, a candidate for U.S. Senate, spoke about Chick-fil-A’s decision.

Moore did not speak directly about Chick-fil-A’s motives. However, he questioned as to whether or not other political candidates would talk about the issue of “the LGBTQ agenda.”

344

“I’m not going to try to guess what Chick-fil-A’s motives are,” Moore said. “You can ask Chick-fil-A. I know that there’s always confusion over this. My question is — is how many political candidates running for the Senate will speak out against the LGBTQ agenda, which is pretty clear — take away your religious liberty, passing a bill Congress called the Equality Act. And people are afraid to talk out against the LGBTQ agenda.”

Earlier in the day, former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, one of Moore’s opponents in the race for Alabama’s 2020 GOP U.S. Senatorial nomination, expressed his disappointment in Chick-fil-A’s decision.

Moore pledged to remain steadfast on the issue.

“They can intimidate other people,” he said. “They’ll never intimidate me. What they’re doing is wrong. It’s immoral. It’s against the basis of our country. It’s against the family. It’s against everything that we stand for. And what they’re doing in effect is taking away religious liberty rights of people who don’t believe in them.”

While discussing the broader issue of the LGBTQ agenda, Moore posed the question: What does the “Q” in LGBTQ stand for, which is “queer.” He offered his thoughts on the term and asked whether or not other candidates were intimidated or standing up when it comes to such topics.

“It’s ‘queer.’ In our society it’s always been ‘queer.’ In our society it used to be a mental disease, and now we are incorporating it as a right,” he said. “I just don’t agree with it. I will continue not to agree with it. And to me, that’s the point of this story about Chick-fil-A. Whether they’re intimidated or whether or not — that’s not for me to say. What’s for me to say is whether the candidates in this election and every election are intimidated by it, or are they standing up?”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

Bradley Byrne: Donald Trump ‘absolutely does not want’ Jeff Sessions to be U.S. Senator

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Jeff Sessions’ entry into the U.S. Senate race last week has shown something Alabamians have not seen in decades: blunt criticisms, sometimes hostile, aimed at Sessions, who before serving in the Trump administration served Alabama for two decades in the U.S. Senate.

Prior to getting in the contest for U.S. Senate, Sessions was also a target of President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly indicated his disappointment and frustration with Sessions’ service as U.S. Attorney General.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) discussed his former Alabama congressional delegation colleague and his decision to run against him in the March 3, 2020 GOP primary. According to Byrne, he has not seen any wavering of support.

367

“We’re not noticing any difference. Obviously, in the last couple of weeks, we’ve talked to a large number of people. I, in particular, have talked to a large number of people. You know, I’ve got former Vice President Cheney and his daughter Liz, who is in the House, coming to a fundraiser for me in Birmingham this Thursday. So, I’ve been on the phone with quite a few people about that. We’re just not hearing any difference.”

Earlier this month, Byrne was in attendance with Trump at the Alabama-LSU game in Tuscaloosa. Byrne claimed Trump did not want Sessions to be the victor in next year’s contest.

“The president was pretty clear that he’s still pretty angry with Jeff,” Byrne said. “He absolutely does not want him to be U.S. Senator from Alabama. But you know, he recognizes Jeff has a right to run. Jeff is running. I just don’t think it is going to go anywhere. A lot of the American people are either angry with him, or they’re bewildered why he is running in the first place. And these ads that he is running aren’t helping him any. I can tell you that.”

Later in the interview, when asked about his personal reaction to Sessions’ eleventh-hour decision to run, Byrne acknowledged he was surprised. Byrne also said he and Sessions had been talking over the past year and that Sessions had even encouraged him to run.

The Baldwin County Republican added he saw this as a characteristic of Sessions.

“I just got to say this, Jeff vacillates like that,” Byrne added. “That’s kind of his M.O. He has a hard time making up his mind about things. And then he’ll make a decision like that — that kind of surprises you at the last minute. It doesn’t distress me, but a lot of my supporters are pretty darn angry with him, and a lot of my supporters used to be his supporters. So, I think that makes it more difficult for him.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

Ainsworth: Impeachment ‘a sham’ — ‘This is definitely just a witch-hunt’

(Screenshot/APTV)

If folks outside of the state want to know what most Alabamians think of the so-called impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, they need to look no further than their lieutenant governor.

Lieutenant Gov. Will Ainsworth was at Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denny Stadium earlier this month to meet Trump when he attended the Alabama Crimson Tide-LSU Tigers college football game.

During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” this week, Ainsworth discussed his interactions with Trump and weighed in on impeachment, which he described as a “sham” and a “circus.”

326

“I think that’s just a sham,” he said to host Don Dailey. “It’s a circus. I think when you look at what’s going on, it’s really ridiculous. I don’t think there is anything there, and I think it is unfortunate that they’re trying to do that, you know, with an election coming up to try to make him look bad. If you look at the transcript, look at the testimony, there is nothing to it. I think it is unfortunate.”

“But you know, sometimes politics are dirty,” Ainsworth continued. “And unfortunately, that’s what some of the Democrats up there do. What they need to do is focus on what they can do to improve people’s lives. And quit playing politics. So we briefly talked on that. And you know, he’s confident that not only the American people but also the people up there are going to do what’s right. I believe that.”

Ainsworth suggested Democrat elected officials in Washington, D.C. reevaluate their priorities given they have failed in their efforts against Trump thus far.

“I think when you look at it, Democrats have just continued to come after him and come after him on all kinds of different issues,” Ainsworth added. “And every time they come up empty-handed. That’s the sad thing about politics that people just try to destroy other people. What we need to do in this country is how can we get people job-ready? How can we actually improve the economy? And we need to work on actual things that improve everyday life. That’s what people expect elected officials to do.”

“What’s going on in D.C. right now is people are just trying to destroy a good man,” he continued. “And they continue to do it, and they just come up empty-handed. The same thing will happen here. This is definitely just a witch-hunt.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

Jeff Sessions takes aim at Doug Jones in Huntsville early campaign stump speech

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

HUNTSVILLE — Saturday during the monthly meeting of the Madison County Republican Men’s Club, GOP voters got one of the first looks at former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the campaign trail.

Sessions, a latecomer to the Republican field, had made a number of Fox News Channel appearances in the very early stages of his campaign. It now appears the veteran Alabama politician is transitioning from his rollout to hitting the ground around the state with a March 3, 2020 primary looming.

Sessions’ Huntsville appearance was once again vintage Sessions, touching on the hallmark issues of immigration, trade and foreign policy. He did not mention any of his GOP primary opponents by name, two of which, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs), were in attendance. However, he did go on offense against incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook).

200

With roughly a few hundred in attendance, Sessions criticized the Democrat successor of the seat he held for two decades for not representing the “real interests” of Alabama.

“The other thing a United States Senator has to do is represent the real interests of the people of this state and defend them against people who have different agendas for them,” he said. “It cannot be that Doug Jones represents Alabama in the United States Senate. This is not thinkable. We have got to have a victory in this race. He is a total advocate for activist judges. It is not the kind of senator that we need to have.

Sessions also dinged Jones for not doing enough to prevent the Democratic Party’s push toward left-wing values concerning the courts, specifically referring to the 2018 confirmation of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the high court last year.

“The radical left and the Democratic Party is taking this country down the exact wrong path,” Sessions said. “Is Doug Jones doing anything to stand up for that? Not one I will tell you.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

Mo Brooks: Give Baby Trump balloon-popper a ‘patriotism medal’ … after prosecution as the law requires

(Congressman Mo Brooks/Facebook)

Last week at the University of Alabama shortly before the Alabama-LSU football game, Hoyt Hutchinson slashed the so-called “Baby Trump” balloon that was on display because President Donald Trump would be in attendance for the game.

Hutchinson was charged by local authorities with criminal mischief and awaits judicial proceedings.

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) offered his thoughts on Hutchinson’s deed with a post on social media.

162

Brooks tweeted, “In Tuscaloosa, Hoyt Hutchinson pops Baby Trump balloon! I believe in law & order, so Hutchinson should be prosecuted as law requires. I believe in America, so afterwards Hutchinson should be given a patriotism medal for fighting evil Socialism! .@realDonaldTrump #impeachment

Hutchinson through GoFundMe had $40,000 pledged for his legal defense. However, GoFundMe does not allow campaigns for legal defense and Hutchinson said the donations would likely be refunded.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

Saban reflects on Tide’s AFCA Academic Achievement Award — Says player reactions he cut while NFL coach varied based on having a degree

(Screenshot/YouTube)

On Thursday, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced the six recipients of its Academic Achievement Award. Among those were the Air Force Academy, Clemson University, University of Louisville, Rice University, the University of Utah and the University of Alabama.

During his weekly “Hey Coach!” program later that evening, Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban explained how the program under his leadership emphasizes academics to prepare his student-athletes for life after football.

Saban offered an illustration of the importance of players using their time in college from his stint in the National Football League. According to the Alabama coach, when he was responsible for cutting players as an NFL assistant, the reactions varied to the news based upon whether or not the player being cut fulfilled their obligations as a student and received a college degree.

460

“We really emphasize in recruiting when we recruit guys that they’re coming to college to prepare themselves for the day they can’t play football,” Saban said. “That means they need to get an education. And I can’t tell you how much difference there was – it’s never fun when you’re in the NFL for eight years, and six of those years, I was actually responsible to release guys when you had to cut somebody from the team. You know it was always amazing to me that when you cut a guy that had a college degree, he would say, ‘You know Coach, I really appreciate the opportunity. I’m going to go to work for AT&T in Dallas because I graduated, you know, last year,’ or whatever. And it was like – just ready to move on in his life. Disappointed, but ready to move on.”

“And when you cut some of these guys that put all their eggs in one basket, you know, to play in the National Football League – majored in eligibility when they were in college, didn’t do what they were supposed to do to try to graduate,” he continued. “It wasn’t important to them, and they weren’t very committed to it. And it was devastating, you know, to them when they didn’t make the team because now they’re faced with ‘what do I do next’ because they didn’t have a career off the field to go to.”

Saban touted efforts of Alabama’s Center for Athletic Student Services, which is under the direction of Associate Athletic Director for Student Services Jon Dever.

“You know, I’m very proud of a, what our players have been able to accomplish,” Saban added. “But, you know, Jon Dever, his staff of people in our academic support program, do a marvelous job of helping our players. You know, the people in the university community – our professors and all the university community is always cooperative, give us the information that we need so that we can help the players – whether it is with tutors or whatever. Some places I’ve been, that’s hard to get. It’s hard to get that kind of cooperation. So, I can’t tell you how much we appreciate that. And I think that we have one of the most successful academic support programs in the history of academic success of any school in the country because of all those things. I’m really kind of proud of it. I know it doesn’t get talked about very much. Everybody is interested in how many games you win. But for the player, it is probably one of the most important things.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.