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.

23 hours ago

Mobile-New Orleans Amtrak service could require 90% taxpayer per-passenger subsidy, warns Mobile City Councilman Joel Daves

(Pixabay)

One of the less-publicized casualties of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was the termination of passenger rail service on the Gulf Coast east of New Orleans, which included stops in Mobile and Atmore before setting on to its final destination of Jacksonville, Fla.

Nearly 16 years later, Amtrak is pushing for the resumption of passenger rail to Alabama’s Gulf Coast. However, it’s not something that would happen without imposing a toll on the local infrastructure as well as a potential significant cost to the taxpayer.

During an appearance on FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Mobile City Councilman Joel Daves discussed the pitfalls of having Amtrak’s passenger rail service return to Mobile, which could threaten the flow of freight rail service in and out of the Port of Mobile.

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“When this came up, and this was a year ago, I spent a lot of time looking into it,” Daves said. “I talked to the people of the Southern Rail Commission, the Amtrak people when they came to visit, and I just came to the conclusion that there are some serious issues that have to be dealt with. And I want to start out at the beginning and say I’m not against passenger rail, but it has to come to Mobile under appropriate circumstances. The first thing that has to be done that has been in the news recently is we’ve got to figure out what the impact on the port is.”

“The Port of Mobile is the biggest driver of our economy, and there are tens of thousands of jobs in Mobile that are dependent upon that port. We wouldn’t have Austal. We wouldn’t have Thyssen-Krupp. We wouldn’t have Airbus without that port,” he continued. “And so we’ve got a very congested port, and we’ve got to figure out if passenger rail can be restored to Mobile without any significant impact to the port. And if it is going to have a significant impact — how that can be mitigated and how much it is going to cost to mitigate it.”

According to Daves, early reports of a $20 fare, which would make passenger rail competitive with bus fare between the two cities, would require a significant taxpayer subsidy, which he said could be in the realm of 90% of the overall operating cost per passenger.

“The other part of it was who is going to pay the cost of the ticket. When I started looking into it, Jeff — and these aren’t Joel Daves numbers — these are Amtrak, OK? Every time in someone gets on that train in Mobile and rides to New Orleans or the other way around, the operating cost, leaving aside all the capital — the operating cost is about $200 for that train ride,” he explained. “Now, what they were talking about doing is having about a $20 ticket. The rider would pay $20, and the taxpayer would pay $180 every time someone got on that train. I asked — when the Amtrak people were here — I asked, and they said, ‘Well, you know public rail is subsidized all over the country.’ That’s true. It is. But I asked them to name me one train in this country that they knew of that the subsidy — where there was anything close to a 90% subsidy. They couldn’t name that.”

“My two preconditions are: Let’s make sure there’s no impact to the port, and let’s make sure the people who are actually going to ride the train pay most of the expense of operating the train,” Daves 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 days ago

Donald Trump endorses Mo Brooks for U.S. Senate

(M. Brooks)

Although it was not totally unexpected, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) got a shot in the arm for his 2022 U.S. Senate bid on Wednesday.

Through a statement, Brooks was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, which is considered to be pivotal for statewide contests in Alabama.

The endorsement eluded Brooks in his 2017 bid for U.S. Senate. Trump endorsed then-U.S. Sen. Luther Strange (R-Mountain Brook) in that race.

However, this time Trump applauded Brooks, declaring him someone who “will never let you down!”

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Statement as follows:

Few Republicans have as much COURAGE and FIGHT as Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks. Mo is a great Conservative Republican leader, who will stand up for America First no matter what obstacles the Fake News Media, RINOs, or Socialist Democrats may place in his path. Mo Brooks is pro-life, loves our Military and our Vets, will protect our Second Amendment, combat the Biden open borders agenda, is fighting for voter integrity (like few others), and was the Co-Chair of our winning, and record setting, Alabama campaign in 2020. Mo Brooks has my Complete and Total Endorsement for the U.S. Senate representing the Great State of Alabama. He will never let you down!

@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 Rep. Ball on support to repeal Habitual Felony Offender Act: ‘We need to empower’ judges, process — ‘It had its time’

(Global Ties Alabama/Facebook)

Last week, the State House Judiciary Committee voted to advance a bill that would repeal the state’s so-called Habitual Felony Offender Act.

To the surprise of many, a handful of Republican lawmakers on the committee voted with the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa), to advance HB 107, the legislation that would repeal the law. Among those Republicans was State Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison), who during an interview that aired on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5 on Tuesday, explained why he supported the effort.

“Here’s the thing — the habitual offender law, you know I come from law enforcement, and I’m certainly all about dealing with criminals, holding people accountable,” he said. “There have been some changes made to the habitual offender law over time. Some people would get sucked into it. It just needed another look.”

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“And what we need to do — we need to empower judges and empower the process to look at people who, over time, could be released, would be a reasonable, have very little risk to society,” Ball continued. “We need to rehabilitate who we can. You know, a lot of times somebody can be like in their 20s, and they do several stupid things, particularly the low-level, non-violent criminal or even some people might do violent acts in their 20s, depending on what it is. All murders are not the same. I investigated a lot of them. There are some things that cry out for the death penalty. Some things cry out for life without parole. And some, you do 10-20 years, you get 40 years old, and you are a different person. What I’m saying is the Habitual Offender Act, the mandatory minimum — there were some cases of injustice that fell through the cracks. That being said, there is still the mechanism there to give big-time to the serious offenses. I think it’s like a lot of things that we have. A lot of times, arbitrary laws don’t take into account individual cases, the particular individual it impacts, as well as the circumstances surrounding the case.”

“Every case is different,” he said. “That’s why we have judges. That’s why we have a process. I do think we’re doing some things with our pardons and paroles, with monitoring and things we could have never done in the 1970s or the early 80s when that was imposed. And quite frankly, there are some people in prison that are taking up space because of an arbitrary law that should be released for people that probably need to stay there, particularly — a huge number of violent crimes are committed by unattached makes between the ages of 18 and 25. There are a lot of folks — when they get to their 40s or 50s, there’s a good chance they won’t offend again. Some of these things — some of the sex offenders, some of the violent people who have a propensity for violence — keep those people locked down. Then some of the stuff, like there are something that are felonies — we call a lot of things felonies. And all crimes are not equal. So I just think the system needs to be more responsive, and more mechanisms are in place to monitor people better than we had in the 80s.”

“It had its time,” Ball added. “This was a tweak that I think was necessary. I don’t think it’s the political hot-button — well, it’s the political hot-button, but there’s a lot of overreaction on all sides of it. I think where we’re at is going to be a good place.”

@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

State Sen. Elliott on $1.5M ADOC PR contract: ‘How about this public relations strategy: Be open and honest with the Alabama Legislature?’

(Special to Yellowhammer News)

Earlier this week, reports surfaced the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) had entered into a public relations contract valued at $1.5 million, which is coming at a time when the agency is facing heat for a controversial lease-build prison construction plan and the scrutiny of the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged Eighth Amendment violations.

The contract with Birmingham’s Markstein was brought up last week at the State House and was the topic of criticism from both sides of the aisle.

During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5 on Friday, State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) suggested several different approaches for the ADOC to aid its public relations efforts, including what he referred to as an “open and honest” approach with the Alabama Legislature.

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“I say this a little tongue-in-cheek — I don’t think that’s nearly enough,” he said. “They’re going to need a whole lot of money to make this look good. It’s that bad of a plan. They are in that big of trouble. Listen, they’ve got 4,000 inmates that they’re currently housing in county jails around the state. They have not hired the personnel the legislature has budgeted time and time again for them to hire. They’re screaming, ‘We don’t have the people. We don’t have the people.’ The legislature has time and again provided everything they’ve asked for. And yet, they’ve not used it. So, they’re going to have to answer for all of this. And if they think a million-and-a-half bucks to a PR firm is a good use of public money, I think they’re going to need to justify that, too. But you’re not going to save the reputation of this department and this administration’s tact on how to deal with this with a public relations battle. It’s too far gone, in my opinion.”

“How about this public relations strategy: Be open and honest with the Alabama Legislature about your prison construction program?” Elliott explained. “Be transparent about it. How about this for a public relations strategy: When you stand up in a budget hearing, and you tell the budget committees that this is all it is going to cost, and this is going to be covered by the savings, don’t come back later and say, ‘Oh, we forgot to tell you it is going to be a whole lot more expensive than that. How about this for a public relations strategy: Be open and honest in your dealings with the legislature, and try to find a solution and the legislature can be a part of it instead of simply signing a contract the day before the legislature comes into session, and say, ‘Hey, that’s it. It’s done. I’ve handled it. This is what we’re going to do.'”

“That to me sounds a whole lot more straightforward and a much better lot better public relations strategy than shoveling money to some other entity to try to make what you have already done — it doesn’t look very good than just throwing money at it,” 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.

1 week ago

Fmr White House adviser Stephen Miller: ‘Not surprised’ Mo Brooks 2022 U.S. Senate front-runner

Stephen Miller, former Jeff Sessions Communications Director and current senior policy advisor to Donald Trump. (Photo: Screenshot)

Last week, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) formally launched his 2022 U.S. Senate bid. In attendance introducing Brooks was former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, who espoused the potential benefits of having the Fifth Congressional District representative as Republicans’ choice to fill the U.S. Senate seat occupied by outgoing U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa).

During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Miller reiterated that message by arguing Brooks was the best candidate to provide a counterbalance to the liberal Biden administration.

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“Obviously, we are very concerned — maybe another word is ‘deeply alarmed’ — by what’s happening in the country under the Biden administration,” he said. “And I think part of the reason why I wanted to come on your show today was because Alabama is in a unique position to do something about it. Fate has put you in the position of having a gentleman named Mo Brooks in your congressional delegation that you can elevate to the United States Senate, and he will be the single greatest warrior in the hull of the U.S. Senate for the values and principles that we all care about, whether it is free speech, right to bear arms, secure borders, religious liberty. You name it — Mo is going to be there for you.”

“One of the things we know is Mo has developed a reputation for fearlessness during his time in Congress,” Miller continued.”That is a character trait that the people of Alabama truly value. I’m not surprised at all to see that he has leapt out to front-runner status. I’ll just make this point as somebody who, let’s just say, has had the misfortune of living in Washington, D.C. since the age of 22 — what I can tell you is if you want to send a message to Washington that they will not be able to ignore — it’s lining up and supporting Mo Brooks in record numbers. If they see Alabamians come out and support Mo to a historic degree so that he doesn’t just win the primary, he crushes it — that will send an unmistakable message to the radical left in Washington, D.C. They will be talking about that inside the West Wing of the Biden administration, and they’ll be saying, ‘Holy crap, Alabama just sent the greatest fighter they could possibly find to try to stop the Biden agenda.”

“That’s a really exciting thing for Alabama to be in the position,” he added. “Too often in these primaries all across the country, you’re just choosing between one sleepy Republican versus another sleepy Republican. Mo isn’t just fearless. He knows his issues, and nobody is more educated on the border crisis than Mo Brooks. And if you want to stop the border crisis, you’re going to need to elect people who are going to go to the Senate and use the considerable power of the Senate to try to shut this thing down on our border.”

@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

U.S. Rep. Palmer: Democrats’ infrastructure bill really a ‘Green New Deal’ bill

(Screenshot/APTV)

With just a little over two months into the new Biden administration, Democrats are expected to push what they’re deeming an infrastructure bill through Congress and to President Joe Biden’s desk.

However, according to U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), the bill is not what its moniker suggests. During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Palmer warned the bill was really a “Green New Deal” bill, a phrase coined by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), which has less to do with traditional infrastructure and more to do with environmental policy.

Palmer said that along with the border situation is giving some voters “serious Biden remorse.”

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“I think we’re going to have a long list of things that people are going to be interested in — the border, household energy costs,” he explained. “You’re going to see energy costs go up at the pump but also your household utility bills, opening schools. Just a few weeks ago, I heard a mom out in California who identified herself as a liberal Democrat, who says she and her friends who have kids in school, or can’t get them in school, are changing parties.”

“When you look at what they’re doing on the energy front and what’s coming down the pike on this what they’re calling an infrastructure bill — really a ‘Green New Deal’ bill — you look at that and how it is going to impact the economy, the inflationary impact of all this money they’re dumping in the economy — I think in the next 18 months, there is going to be some serious Biden remorse,” Palmer 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

State Rep. Blackshear: As comprehensive on gaming as we can be, the better off we’re going to be

(Facebook)

State Sen. Del Marsh’s (R-Anniston) comprehensive gaming proposal will reportedly get a second look next week when lawmakers return from their spring break recess. Marsh’s effort tried earlier in the session came up two votes short of the three-fifths required for a constitutional amendment.

While most of the action of gaming has been in the legislature’s upper chamber, the House of Representatives has yet to consider any gaming legislation this session. However, Marsh’s effort seems to have some support in the House.

State Rep. Chris Blackshear (R-Phenix City) told Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5 on Friday that he sees the comprehensive approach superior to a piecemeal approach to gaming, which would have the separate components — lottery, sports betting and casino gaming — be considered separately.

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“Well, first off, I’ll preface that by saying my grandfather, who passed away 20 years ago, was a Baptist minister for 40 years,” he said. “So, a Baptist minister for 40 years in the state of Alabama, what I’m about to say would probably, if he were sitting here, would take me out back and try to choke me out. But I think as comprehensive, Jeff, as we can be, the better off we’re going to be because I think there’s a couple of things — you know you have to play the fact-of-fiction card with this. Everyone hears, you know, the Poarch Creek have a monopoly. No, they don’t have a monopoly. Currently, they’re protected on the federal land, but they do have the only casinos because of our state constitution. Well, I think if you make it comprehensive, you have an opportunity to pull them in with a compact, then you start pulling some money in from them.”

“I’m prefacing this off of Senator Marsh’s bill that he has laid out because that’s really the only one that we’ve seen,” Blackshear continued. “As I walk through this, that’s kind of what I’m using as a blueprint here. The way his legislation was is you’d be pulling money from the Poarch Creeks that the state’s never gotten before. It would also enable the other dog tracks that have really been through a battle for multiple reasons over the last 20-25 years to operate if they choose to pay a license and have an ownership at one of these Class 3 gaming locations. If you cover that, that pulls in additional revenue. Then you have the paper lottery piece, which was going to focus on education. I think as comprehensive as we can be, you’ve got to do that piece, too, for education. You’ve got to bring them in. And then you’ve got the sports gaming piece as well, too. People are driving to other states just to participate in that now.”

“We’re leaving money on the table if we don’t do it comprehensively,” he added. “If we don’t do anything at all, we’re just letting money go to other states to help them, Jeff. So, I’m all for comprehensive on this. But at the same time, before we send it to the people to vote, the enabling legislation truly needs to be spelled out. I think when the citizens who go to vote at the polls, if we ever get to that point, they need to understand what they are voting on exactly, where the money will go if it does pass, how gaming in the state would be legislated and overseen by the commission all the way through.”

The Russell County Republican said House action on the measure was likely contingent on what happened in the Senate next week or if Gov. Kay Ivey were to get involved.

@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

Tuberville rips COVID-19 ‘relief’ bill — ‘Alabama taxpayers are paying off the bills for San Francisco, Chicago and New York’

(Senator Tommy Tuberville/YouTube)

Now that Democrats control the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and the White House, there is little Republicans can do to slow the massive spending packages that Democrats are poised to push through into law.

Among those is the $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which includes funding for more than just coronavirus-related government programs.

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) voiced his frustration about what has been done in the name of COVID-19 relief on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show.” He described the legislation as “theft” and said it was Alabama taxpayers that were paying off bills for Democrat cities throughout the country.

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“The best stimulus plan is to open this country up and get people back to work,” he said. “This is ridiculous. This time last year, we were getting into this pandemic, and we thought two or three weeks and open it back up.. ‘Everybody, protect yourself and go to work and save this country, save your family, save yourself.’ And we’ve had all this science come at us, and a lot of it has been good. We have lost a lot of people. That has been a huge problem, very unfortunate. But now it is time to get back to work because we’re losing people because of mental health, because of a lot of things that are coming off of not going to work, not going to school.”

“It is an absolute disaster,” Tuberville continued. “We’ve created more of a disaster for the long run than this pandemic ever thought about. We’ve done it because of the rules and regulations that Joe Biden and his administration and the House and Senate have tried to push. The American people deserve answers for a lot of things, especially the border. Why did they steal this $2 trillion? Now, this is theft. This is not passing it and giving it out. Alabama taxpayers are paying off the bills for San Francisco, Chicago and New York — paying their bills. They can’t pay them themselves. They can’t manage their own money. It’s just an absolute disaster. of what they did with this.”

Tuberville also warned about the forthcoming $3 trillion infrastructure proposal coming from the Biden administration. The freshman U.S. Senator said a tax increase could accompany that measure.

“I’m telling you — this $3 trillion that is coming for infrastructure, which I’m not against infrastructure, but we really better be careful what we’re doing here,” he continued. “We better be accountable. But get ready. Here come the taxes. They’re right behind it. Everybody that said, ‘Well, Joe Biden is not going to raise taxes’ — you’re getting ready to get hit right between the eyes. Their huge tax plan is coming.”

@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

State Rep. Lee: Consideration of changes to ADPH, State Health Officer won’t come until 2022 session

(WDHN/YouTube)

Last month, State Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville) introduced legislation that would reconstitute the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and remake the agency’s leadership. McClendon, the chairman of the State Senate Health Committee, proposed abolishing the State Board of Health and the State Health Officer. Also included in his proposal would be creating a Secretary of the Alabama Department of Public Health, which the Governor would appoint.

McClendon’s counterpart in the House of Representatives, House Health Committee chairman State Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan) is also considering options to deal with the agency and the role of the State Health Officer, an office currently occupied by Dr. Scott Harris. However, Lee does not think a fair evaluation of the ADPH can be made under the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lee explained his preference to wait until the 2022 legislative session to consider changes to the state government executive branch’s role in public health during an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show.”

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“I’m actually working with them, presently,” he said. “I think we may have something we can present next year that will address some of the concerns that are out there, and hopefully, we can make it better. It’s worked for 150 years. Do I think we need to scrap it completely? No. But could there be some adjustments? Yes, and I think we’re going to work on that — well, I know we are. I just had some conversations yesterday to see if we can’t bring it back next year because as far as it being in the middle of a pandemic that we’re trying to get ourselves out of — changing courses completely would not be a good idea.”

Lee argued a better assessment could be made with a complete view of information that might not yet be available.

“[I] have concern with someone making the type decisions he is making that answers to someone politically because I’ve seen decisions that were made that I’m not sure I would have agreed with at the time,” Lee added. “But looking back, I’m thinking he made the right decision because he had more information than I had. And you know, I’m hearing from different groups here one way or the other, supportive or non-supportive. You know, I think I have a lot of information, but sometimes I know I don’t have the information as he would have nor the background in medical education that he has. So, you have to have someone there that’s willing to step out and make a decision and have the information to back up that decision.”

@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

Mo Brooks hammers ‘racist’ $5 billion carve-out for minority farmers in COVID ‘stimulus’ at Dothan campaign stop — ‘This is insulting’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

DOTHAN — Fresh off his announcement of a run for U.S. Senate days earlier, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) made a stop in the southeastern corner of the state on Thursday to woo GOP voters more than a year ahead of the 2022 Republican primary.

In his 2017 bid for U.S. Senate, Brooks struggled in the Wiregrass region, finishing a distant third to then-U.S. Sen. Luther Strange (R-Mountain Brook) and former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore, who was the eventual Republican nominee. Brooks is seeking to change that in next year’s Republican U.S. Senate primary and started early with an appearance at the Houston County Republican Women’s monthly luncheon.

During his speech, Brooks defended his decision to challenge the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and also discussed the consequences of Democrat control of the federal government. Among those, he addressed the nearly $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed earlier this month, which included $5 billion for “farmers of color.”

Brooks slammed Democrats’ decision to include that provision in the coronavirus package, deeming it “insulting” and “racist.”

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“There’s something really bad in this bill — their $2 trillion borrow-and-spend bill passed a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “How many of y’all are familiar with the $5 billion that has been set aside for farmers? Raise your hand if you’ve heard of it. A few of you have. This is insulting. It is racist to the worst degree because you know which farmers have access to it? All of them except for whites. If you’re a Native American farmer, you get a slice of that $5 billion. If you’re an Asian-American farmer, you get a slice of that $5 billion. If you’re a Spanish-American farmer, you get a slice of that $5 billion. If you’re an African-American farmer, you get a slice of that $5 billion. But if you happened to have been born with a white complexion — if you’re Caucasian, forget it. You’re out. Whites need not apply.”

“Now, racism is wrong everywhere, OK?” Brooks added. “We fought a Civil War about it, where hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives in large part because of that issue. There were other issues, but that was a big part of it. And the 14th Amendment says equal protection. But these socialists, who exploit and create racial division for political gain — they’re doing this for political gain. They’re seeking bloc votes based solely on skin pigmentation. And I would submit to you that is repulsive and that is wrong. It was wrong when African-Americans were discriminated against. It is wrong if Asian-Americans are discriminated against. It is wrong if Native Americans are discriminated against. It wrong with respect to any kind — we’re all Americans. And we need to be skin color-blind because skin pigmentation is an accident of birth. But that’s not the way it is on the socialist side of the coin. They want to magnify it, and they want to exploit it. They want to divide us rather than bring us together. That is horrible, and we should never let them get away with it.”

Brooks told the audience the key to stopping those efforts was getting involved in elections.

@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

State Sen. Sessions calls for separate constitutional amendments for lottery, casino gaming

Next week could be another make-or-break week for State Sen. Del Marsh’s (R-Anniston) comprehensive gaming proposal as far as the 2021 regular session goes.

After a week away from the State House in Montgomery, lawmakers in the upper chamber are set to debate a revised proposal that will reportedly include the so-called enabling legislation sought by some of the “no” votes when the Marsh proposal went to the floor earlier this month.

State Sen. David Sessions (R-Grand Bay), one of those “no” votes, said he objected to the bill because of its “comprehensive” nature, which includes lottery, casino gaming and sports betting.

Sessions told Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show” he thought a lottery-only bill stood a “very good chance” of passage and suggested separating the lottery and casino gaming into two separate constitutional amendments.

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“[I] think that has a very good chance of passing,” he said. “You don’t know if the casino interests are going to fight it to where it doesn’t get the support it needs to get out. There’s a lot of moving parts. There’s a lot of money. It always seems like it is about the money. But I would like to see if we do put something out there for the people to vote on that it is clear. It would be separate, you know. If people in this state decide they want casinos and all, I mean, that’s fine but make it separate from a lottery proposal.”

When asked if he could support a casino gaming-only constitutional amendment, Sessions revealed he could not but added he thought it could pass without his vote.

“I think you could get the support for that without me,” Sessions replied. “I really do. I just can’t — fundamentally, I can’t support casino gaming. I just can’t do it. The lottery is one thing. I would vote for that, to send it to the people, really against my better judgment. Like I say, I go back to the very first time I ran for office — 2010, 2011. I was asked about it then. It is a bad way to fund government. And I understand everybody is doing it. Mississippi is doing it big time. Georgia uses a lottery. Florida has a lottery, Tennessee. I understand we’re surrounded. It makes it tough. I hate for our people to have to drive to get lottery tickets. I understand that. The casino thing is just a totally different situation for me.”

@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

Orange Beach Mayor Kennon: ‘If I die, I die from COVID — I won’t die with a mask on and I won’t die hiding from it’

(Screenshot/Facebook)

As the tourist season revs up for 2021, Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon hopes for an improvement over a season hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic a year earlier.

However, his approach to government mandates has turned defiant as the pandemic has seemingly become more politicized.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Kennon discussed how his community handled the worst aspect of the pandemic and vowed not to hide from the virus despite the possible fatal consequences of contracting it.

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“It’s sort of like nailing Jell-o to the wall, you know?” he said. “And let me preface what I’m fixing to say — some of the greatest lies in the history of man started with a degree of truth or have some degree of truth with them. And COVID is, the truth is, it is a bad virus, it’s real, and it is deadly to a certain segment of our population. But in my humble opinion, it has been politicized. It has been weaponized. Nothing is real anymore. You can’t trust any of the numbers you see, in my opinion. But when I look at it locally, and I’m in touch with our hospital and have been for the last year — we’ve had some times when we’ve had some pretty high admission rates. But our admission rate for COVID has never been any different than our admission rate for a heavy flu season. We’ve never been close to not having ventilators or ICU capacity.  It just hasn’t happened. We’ve had hundreds of thousands of people here, and the worst-case scenario, that silly word ‘superspreader’ never happened.”

“That’s not to take away from all the people that have suffered,” Kennon continued. “One of my best friends in the world is the healthy guy, and it hit him and took his life. He was just that person. We just don’t know who those people are. But I’ve always said we can’t shut the world down. If I die, I die from COVID — I won’t die with a mask on, and I won’t die hiding from it. I will die continuing to push for the freedoms in this country and my freedom as an American to make a decision about what’s best for me. And that is sort of the way we approach it down here.”

@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

State Sen. Albritton: Ivey prison plan financing, Medicaid expansion among possible FY2022 general fund budget challenges

(Screenshot/APTV)

Earlier this month, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a record $2.4 billion general fund budget.

Following the passage, House Ways and Means General Fund Committee chairman State Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) said he expected things to “go smoothly.” However, his Senate counterpart State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee chairman, is not as confident.

During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Albritton said challenges lie ahead, and he named Gov. Kay Ivey’s lease-build prison plan proposal and the possible expansion on Medicaid as two of those challenges.

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“[W]e’ve got some difficulties facing us here,” he said. “For instance, we’ve got the prison building matter that has got to come up, and there’s nothing in the budget set aside or planning on that. That is kind of where I’m going to be looking for — trying to find that path.”

Albritton acknowledged Ivey had the legal authority to enter into the agreement, but it would still require funds appropriated by the Alabama Legislature to meet any shortfall.

“She has the legal authority to enter into these contracts, yes,” Albritton explained. “But no money can be spent without being appropriated by the legislature — none. And every year, it has to be appropriated, every single year. So there’s a role for us here. The difficulty is, you would think if she is going to do this herself that she would have the money herself. But she doesn’t. That’s still got to go through this same process. So that’s an additional $3 billion that we’ve got to find — about $95 to $100 million every year that we’re going to have to find that is not in the budget now. So we’ve got to figure that out.”

“That’s where we are,” he continued. “We’ve been discussing this for a number of years. And there’s no doubt, Jeff, that we’ve got to have construction. We’ve got to rebuild the facilities that are simply deteriorated. The question is, how much is it going to cost, and how is it done? The Governor has made the decision that she is moving forward with this. There is the financial closing date on June 1 that is supposed to take place. After that, it is all over but the crying and the paying. And that is what I’m trying to find and gauge for.”

Albritton also mentioned buzz about the possibility of expanding Medicaid eligibility, something Democrats have supported, and Republicans have resisted in Alabama.

“There is a big push, and let me rephrase that with capital letters — a BIG push to expand Medicaid,” he said. “And the report is something like 300,000 people. I’m not sure that is accurate. But that is going to cost just in state dollars close to $300 million or more extra money we have to pay, and we don’t have that either. So, we’re talking about spending $400 [million] additional state dollars, and there’s nothing, nothing of any indication of that we’re going to have that in another two years to do, or one year, or three years, or whenever. I don’t see that growth occurring.”

The Escambia County lawmaker said with the trend of the federal government expanding its role in the economy, that trend seemed to include Medicaid expansion, which would require a buy-in by the state.

“Yes, it is — very different,” Albritton replied. “Because of the federal money coming in again through the CARES [Act] money, billions of dollars are being flowed through the state and agencies themselves. I can’t say this completely. I’m not in the know on this, but it appears this is the direction — expand Medicaid, do this and do it now. And we’ll give you all this extra money. They always talk about how much we’re going to get, but they never tell you how much we’ve got to pay to get it.”

Albritton dismissed the possibility of a new revenue source to meet those matching obligations.

“Do you think we’re going to have after the gasoline tax that we’ve done, do you think we’re going to pass another tax in the next few years? I don’t see that happening,” he stated. “All I can tell you is we have the circumstances. We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to deal with it.”

@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

Mobile, Eastern Shore MPOs roll out I-10 ‘truck-only’ $10-15 toll bridge proposal

(Mobile River Truck Bridge)

It has been nearly two years since Gov. Kay Ivey declared the last incarnation of the Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project “dead.” However, a new proposal sprung to life on Monday after the Eastern Shore and Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) offered a new $725 million plan.

The plan would include a “truck-only” bridge plan that would require a toll between $10-$15 on commercial trucks 46 feet or longer.

One of the plan’s stated goals is to use a $125 million federal grant before it expires.

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“Protecting this $125 million federal grant is critically important,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said in a statement. “We must demonstrate to the federal government that there is local support for moving forward. Failure to do so would cause the federal government to possibly redirect these funds.”

U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile), who was also in attendance at the formal unveiling at the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center near Spanish Fort, touted the effort.

“I am proud to be part of the locally led effort to alleviate traffic congestion on the I-10 Mobile River Bridge without tolling existing routes,” Carl said. “As south Alabama continues to grow, it is vital we improve I-10 in order for our region to maintain its economic edge for years to come. It’s more important now than ever for local, state, and federal leaders to continue working together to make this effort a reality.”

Fairhope City Council president Jack Burrell endorsed the plan, which he argued would alleviate existing congestion.

“You may or may not know this, but this corridor has been recognized as one of the most congested corridors in the entire nation,” he said. “Under this plan, traffic will flow more smoothly with fewer delays. People and goods will be able to move more quickly, efficiently and predictably through our area.”

In a statement, the Alabama Trucking Association was non-committal on the merits of the proposal. The organization’s president and CEO Mark Colson said the concept would be reviewed.

“Throughout the I-10 bridge debate, the Alabama trucking community has been ready and willing to consider proposals that are fair and equitable,” he said in a statement. “We will carefully review this new concept being presented. At first glance, it certainly raises some important questions. As this process unfolds, it is our hope that all interested parties are willing to come to the table to offer reasonable solutions bearing in mind that throughout the pandemic, truckers have been working tirelessly to keep America moving. The sacrifices made by truckers kept the American economy rolling, and we are still working every day to drive the recovery.”

@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. Marsh: Enabling legislation included in next attempt at comprehensive gaming; Says bill ‘does everything’ to prevent a monopoly

(Screenshot/APTV)

During an appearance on Friday’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” State Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston) laid out his plan to proceed on a comprehensive gaming bill once the Alabama Legislature returns from spring break on March 30.

Marsh acknowledged one of the hang-ups that led to the failure of his last effort was not making the enabling legislation available, which resulted in the Anniston lawmaker coming up two votes shy of reaching the three-fifths majority required for a constitutional amendment,

That legislation defines the terms of casino gambling, sports gambling, the lottery and the governing infrastructure, among other elements. Marsh says that is no longer the case.

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“If you remember, the claim of the defeat was that the enabling legislation that had been introduced had not been timed for people to look into it enough to determine if they like the enabling legislation,” he explained. “So, now that the enabling legislation is introduced. It will have been out there a week by the time we get back. That was the issue with a couple of members, and that’s gone. So we may get back to a more comprehensive bill. But either way, I think the people of Alabama deserve something to make a decision on in November of ’22.”

“[T]he enabling legislation deals with things, for instance, like campaign contributions — what’s allowed and what’s not,” Marsh said. “How the commission works, the rules of the commission. How sports betting would work. That’s the fine print — you said you don’t put it into the Constitution. So, it’s out there. Everybody can see it. It’s on the website. You can look at it, and I look forward to hearing some feedback on that. We can make a decision, and when we get back on, to proceed based on what the people’s appetite is.”

Marsh maintained it continues to be his goal to get something out of the Senate, and he would leave it up to the House and the Governor to determine if they find the Senate bill acceptable.

He also said he regretted not moving on the legislation earlier when he said he thought he had the votes to proceed.

“In an attempt to satisfy as many people as I could and to get a strong bipartisan vote, it was an error on my part,” Marsh added. “I mean, the votes were there early on. I had members come to me and tell me, ‘If I could have voted two weeks before, there’s no doubt I would have supported it. I received certain pressures from home’ Issues come up. So, that is a reality. That is a danger you run the longer you hold out on a piece of legislation.  I will tell you this: If there’s any indication that the votes are there when we return from spring break, I will move for immediate passage of whatever piece of legislation is determined can pass by the body.”

Marsh denied his bill gave the Poarch Creek Indians, who have existing gaming facilities in Wetumpka, Montgomery and Atmore, a “monopoly,” adding that if the tribe entered into a compact with the state, negotiated by the Governor, then it would have a “monopoly.”

“There’s been talk about how this whole attempt has been about giving the Indians a monopoly, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said. “Actually, if you look at the legislation I proposed — it does everything, in fact, to make sure there is not a monopoly. The Governor at any time can go into a negotiation and start those negotiations with the Indians.”

“The bill that failed last week set up five locations of gaming within the state — only one of which could have been could have been promised to the Indians for compact negotiations,” Marsh added. “So, there were four other facilities that were not Indian-related. As I said — to me, if you’re talking about a monopoly, if no legislation is passed, the Governor tomorrow could go into compact negotiations with the Indians, and if that went through, then, in fact, that is when the Indians would have a monopoly. But the bill does everything, in my opinion, to prevent that from happening.”

@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

Ivey CoS Jo Bonner: ‘Governor is not a proponent of gaming’ — Supports giving voters ‘very best comprehensive gaming bill’ in the form of a constitutional amendment

(Screenshot/YouTube)

Saturday, during the March virtual meeting of the Madison County Republican Men’s Club, Ivey chief of staff Jo Bonner addressed Gov. Kay Ivey’s objective with the gaming issue as the Alabama legislature grapples with the ins and outs of the so-called comprehensive approach put forth by State Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston).

Ivey had signaled her support for Marsh’s effort prior to the failed vote earlier this month.

Bonner insisted Ivey was not a proponent of gambling but supported voters having the opportunity to decide for themselves on a “comprehensive gaming bill,” which he said would be the “very best comprehensive gaming bill” in the form of an amendment to the Alabama Constitution.

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“She’s not pushing for gambling expansion,” Bonner said. “That’s a great question, and I appreciate you asking. She’s pushing for the voters to have the final say. When Governor Siegelman was in office, and we had a lottery vote, Alabama was not on an island by itself. But today, you look around us — gambling is going on in Alabama. It is certainly going on in our neighboring states. You can buy a lottery ticket in Tennessee today, Mississippi and then Florida, as well as Georgia. And a lot of Alabamians travel there to buy their lottery tickets. And you know what Alabama gets as a result of that? Not one penny. Not one penny.”

“The Governor is the first one to say she is not pro-gaming,” he continued. “In fact, she doesn’t gamble. She trusts the voters in Alabama to make an informed decision. Things have changed a lot since that lottery vote came up. And quite frankly, public opinion polls, which don’t really make a difference in our office, but public opinion polls universally show that the voters want an opportunity to have a say because the gambling is going on. Why don’t we get something in return? Why don’t we have investments in broadband or in health care? Or in education, like they do in Georgia? We’re competing every day against these southern states. And so when a student in Georgia graduates from high school, they’re guaranteed a path to go to college if they’ve got good grades and they’ve worked hard. We don’t have that in Alabama.”

“So, to the contrary — the Governor is not a proponent of gaming,” Bonner added. “She is a proponent of making the option available for the people of Alabama to have the final say, and she is working with the legislative leadership — the Republican legislative leadership — to give them an opportunity on the very best comprehensive gaming bill that has ever been brought to them in the form of a constitutional amendment. If the voters vote it down, so be it. That’s fine, but they should have the final say — not the lobbyists and special interests in Montgomery, who are trying to deny the voters, the Republican voters and the Democrats, an opportunity to have a vote.”

@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. Elliott: ‘I continue to be frustrated by the special interests’ influence’ on gambling, lottery issue

(Special to Yellowhammer News)

Reportedly, the Alabama State Senate will take another look at the elusive gaming issue when members return from a week off later this month, which, if successful, could add a lottery and increase the availability of casino-style gaming around the state.

Legislation offered by State Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston) fell two votes shy of clearing the three-fifths vote hurdle, which is required for a constitutional amendment to change the language that prohibits gambling in the Alabama Constitution of 1901.

Among the “no” votes was State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne). During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5 on Friday, Elliott decried what he indicated was an undue influence of so-called special interests on all aspects of the legislative process on gambling in Alabama.

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“I continue to be frustrated by the special interests’ influence on this entire issue,” he said. “A lottery is simple. A lottery is what folks are after. They are not after a duopoly of dog track casinos around the state. I cringe at that the thought of that’s what we have to do to get a lottery out there. It really bothers me. We’re going to give it another shot in the Senate in two weeks and see. But if it fails and it is not substituted with some other version of Senator Marsh’s bill or something like that on the floor, and it fails, again — I think the likelihood of the Governor calling a special session, focusing both chambers, as you correctly point out, on this issue, may be the only way to get the House to really focus on and come to the table and say, ‘OK, what can really pass in the House instead of the Senate just carrying our own water on this and trying to come up with a solution we don’t know that will actually pass downstairs.”

“‘Special interests’ is a wide grouping,” Elliott explained. “You know, firefighters have a lobby. Police officers have a lobby. And you know, they represent teachers and farmers. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But when you see a tiny, tiny, little group of folks that are in it, really for the money and only for the money. They’re exercising this amount of control over not just an issue that affects them but really holding hostage the concept of a lottery that doesn’t have anything to do with what they’re doing — that is the part that is so odious to me and really, really just chaps me on this entire issue. I’m trying to figure out a way to get this to a vote where the folks are not having this binary choice between nothing, and they clearly want something — and I want to make sure they have the opportunity to vote on it — and something that is so laden with special interest fingerprints and handprints and special carveouts for some folks.”

“I have to feel there is a better way to accomplish that,” he added. “And even if it is not this year, I don’t mind, you know, trying to swing at this again and again. You don’t want to do something incorrectly, and especially to put it in the Constitution. Jeff, you know, once it goes into the Constitution, it never comes back out. And Alabama’s constitution is a great example of that. How in the world would you fix this later if it is already in the Constitution? I’d rather take our time and get it right than mess it up.”

@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. Treadaway on anti-rioting bill opposition: ‘If you don’t agree with somebody and you’re white — you’re a racist’

(S. Ross/YHN)

On Thursday, the Alabama House of Representatives passed HB445, a bill that increases criminal liability and penalties for those who incite or participate in various elements of rioting.

The bill was sponsored by State Rep. Allen Treadaway (R-Morris), who recently retired from a 31-year-long law enforcement career and was formerly an assistant police chief for the City of Birmingham. The legislation was vigorously opposed by Democrat House members, including State Rep. Mary Moore (D-Birmingham), who had pointed comments about Treadaway’s character, reportedly referring to him as a “racist” and “white supremacist.”

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Treadaway discussed the backlash, including Moore’s remarks. He said he wasn’t really surprised by the level of opposition, which he chalked up to be a sign of the times.

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“It seems we’re living in a time if you don’t agree with somebody, and you’re white — you’re a racist,” he said. “And that exchange I wish would not have happened. I’d been on the House floor for several hours, and Representative Moore was at the mic, and the kids back at home were blowing my phone up. I didn’t know what was going on, so I looked at it a couple of times. She seemed to be upset with that and wanted me to show her respect. My comment was, ‘You know, if you want respect, then every time I pass you in the hallway or you pass the media, don’t call me a racist. Don’t call me a white supremacist.’ I worked 31 years in the civil rights capital of the world, and I’ve built great relationships with a very diverse group of folks. And I’ve served and protected folks, and not one time in 31 years have I been called that. But when you disagree today, that’s a way to shut you up, or attempt to shut you up is to call you a racist or white supremacist.”

“I don’t buy it and in 16 years of serving as a representative, I have never disrespected her and have always been cordial and polite,” Treadaway continued. “Unfortunately, it happened on the House floor and I apologize for that. But it did happen and them type of attacks are going to sway me from what I believe is a good piece of legislation. It not only protects public safety, but it protects citizens and it protects protesters. It’s a good piece of legislation and when it breaks down — my question to anybody is you start looting, burning and assaulting folks including public safety — then at that time, at that time this kicks in. It’s going to be more severe than it has in past and it is going to add some areas and tools in the toolbox law enforcement did not have in the past.”

The legislation now will be carried in the Alabama Senate by State Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville), where it is also anticipated to have broad support.

@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. Carl on border crisis: ‘I personally don’t think there is a plan — I think Biden was in such a hurry to try to destroy what Trump had put in place’

(Congressman Jerry Carl/Facebook)

The front-and-center issue on the national political scene has been the turmoil underway at the U.S.-Mexico border and how the Biden administration is attempting to diffuse the situation.

Some Democrats have said the crisis underscores the need for a comprehensive approach to solving the country’s immigration woes. However, U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) said he did not believe there was such a plan.

During an interview on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5 on Wednesday, Carl suggested the rush to transition from the Trump administration’s immigration policy is what has caused the situation underway now.

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“[I] personally don’t think there is a plan,” he said. “I think Biden was in such a hurry to try to destroy what Trump had put in place there that by just cutting it off and shutting it down and throwing his arms open, I don’t think they anticipated what’s happening there now. So now it is a matter of who else can they blame without blaming themselves because most of these congressmen — they have an election coming up in 2022. It’s not that far off. They’re going to have some pressure put on them. We’re getting flooded. We’re just being overrun by these folks coming from the south.”

“We need their labor,” Carl continued. “I’m all for it. I’ve got a farm community. We need their labor. It’s a seasonal job. Let’s figure out a way of making the green card smoother and easier and more documented — come in, do your work, go back home to Mexico. I’ve spent a lot of time around some of these folks. It is what they want to do. They can come here, work for six months and make two years’ worth of income in Mexico. So that is what they choose to do. Then they go back home to their families. That is what they want to do.”

According to the AL-1 Republican congressman, there was more money to be made in human trafficking than the drug trade at this moment, and he urged his Democrat colleagues not to be concerned about blame but instead work toward a solution.

“What you’ve got now is the coyotes are bringing them across for $3,000, $4,000 per person,” Carl said. “Cartels are making more money off of this, off of human trafficking than they are on drugs. Let’s stop and think — some of these people get a discount on coming over for bringing the drugs with them. It’s just a wide-open border. It’s scary, and up here, it’s on everybody’s conversation. Democrats are not the evil person here we want to make them. They’ve made a mistake. Let’s fix it. That’s OK — let’s fix it now before it gets any worse.”

@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. Barfoot on gambling ‘no’ vote: Constitutional amendment referencing ‘general law’ that hasn’t been passed is putting ‘cart before the horse’

(Screenshot/APTV)

One of the “no” votes that was thought to be a possible “yes” vote on State Sen. Del Marsh’s (R-Anniston) comprehensive gambling package, which included a constitutional amendment that fell just two votes shy of meeting the three-fifths majority required, was State Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road).

Barfoot, similar to his Montgomery-area colleague State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville), took issue with the possibility of passing a constitutional amendment on gambling without having a full understanding of enabling legislation, which would have laid the groundwork for the expanded gaming the amendment would legalize.

The Montgomery County legislator told Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show” that while he wasn’t an advocate of gambling, he was not against it, either. However, he likened a “yes” vote on Marsh’s legislation to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) 2010 proclamation of having to pass a bill to know what is in it during the Affordable Care Act debate.

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“Let me say this — you won’t see me on the State House steps advocating for gaming,” he said. “I’m not the guy that says we’ve got to have it under any circumstances. But, you know, I was not a ‘no’ from the beginning, from the standpoint I do think that, you know, if you have a palatable piece of legislation — it will never be perfect — but a palatable piece of legislation to give the folks an opportunity to vote on, I think that is certainly something I could do. So, my opposition this past Tuesday was, you know, more procedurally than it was on the merits. I wasn’t a ‘no’ vote based on the merits. Although I think myself, like many other of the senators — even some of the ‘yes’ — had concerns understanding and knowing the if it had gotten that 21 votes, three-fifths of the Senate, it would have moved to the House, where they would continue to shape it, mold it, modify it, maybe cut out some things or add to it. But my ‘no’ vote on Tuesday was, you know, the constitutional amendment, as you know — the Constitution of Alabama, the 1901 Constitution, says there is a prohibition against games of chance. And that has been amended some 18, 19 or so times — local legislation that allows bingo facilities around the state, other local county organization to conduct certain types of gaming.”

“But that constitutional amendment referenced many times multiple places general law,” Barfoot continued. “That is not existing general law that it referenced. It was general law pertaining to legislation that had just been filed on Tuesday and, you know, in my opinion, a ‘yes’ vote on that on Tuesday — a constitutional amendment that referenced law that we had not discussed, debated, or even passed in the Senate would be akin to, you know, we throw bombs at Democrats in Washington on account of, ‘Well, let’s pass it and then we’ll know what’s in there.’ I think it’s a proverbial ‘cart before the horse.’ That’s what happened last Tuesday. And had that enabling legislation that required a simple majority — had that been up for debate first, the finer points of how that would be — lottery, sports wagering, casino-style gaming — had that been debated, decided and passed first in the Senate, you might have seen a different vote on the constitutional amendment.”

Barfoot speculated the legislation could return, either later in the regular session or a special session possibly called by Gov. Kay Ivey.

“I don’t think it’s dead,” he added. “Mark Twain, you know, said, ‘The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.’ I think that’s probably true with the gaming legislation, whether it be later this session or maybe in a special. I think you’ll see it again, and you know I think they’ll be an opportunity. Ultimately, if it were in a special, you can kind of isolate that and have everyone focused on how to make that potential legislation better — something to send to people maybe to vote on. I think that’s probably the way to go about it. But again, voting on a constitutional amendment with references to general law that we haven’t discussed, debated, or even passed — I think that is a faulty error.”

@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

State Sen. Chambliss on gambling vote: I requested enabling legislation, constitutional amendment be split — That did not happen, I voted ‘no’

(Screenshot/APTV)

Last week, State Sen. Del Marsh’s (R-Anniston) comprehensive gambling proposal fell two votes short of the required three-fifths needed for a constitutional amendment, which would have laid the groundwork for a lottery, the proliferation of casino gaming and opened the opportunity for sports gambling in Alabama.

The outcome was a surprise to political watchers, and it left some questioning why some members opted to vote against the Marsh proposal. Among the “no” votes was State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville). Chambliss had previously said the bill would be the “most transformative bill” in his lifetime, and he echoed that during an interview that aired on Monday’s broadcast of Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5.

According to Chambliss, had the proposal been presented with the constitutional amendment and the enabling legislation split up, he might have reconsidered his vote opposing Marsh’s effort.

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“In my opinion, this is the most transformative bill we will most likely see in my lifetime,” he said. “It’s going to change our state — some people will say for the better. Some people will say for the worse. But what my job is, what the people of my district hired me to do is to go and study the details, get into the weeds and really understand the long-term ramifications of the legislation. And that is what I did. In my opinion, what we need to do and needed to do is split the enabling legislation from the [constitutional amendment], address the concerns that I had, the comments that I had, and then travel together. That was my request. That did not happen, and I voted ‘no.'”

“If all those conditions were met, I would consider voting for it because it is a hard place to be in denying the people the right to vote on something,” Chambliss added. “But if the bill and the legislation is not in the proper form, not in the proper order, then I have no choice. That’s what I did. I don’t regret that at all. It may come back. It may not. I don’t know. But we need to get it right. We need to have very minimal information in the Constitution. All of the details or most all the details lined out in the enabling legislation — we need to track those together. We got a draft of the enabling legislation on Friday before the CA was on the floor on Tuesday. It had not been introduced.”

“That was my requirement, for me personally, that they travel together,” he added. “That did happen, so thus the ‘no’ vote.”

Chambliss described the current circumstances within the Alabama Legislature as “pent-up demand,” meaning members were eager to pass legislation that they had set out to when running for office but had not had the opportunity because of the 2020 regular session being cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For that reason, he suggested consideration of a gaming proposal could be done later, perhaps during a special session, since it would not likely be on a ballot until November 2022.

“There is no need to rush this,” he said. “Let’s get it right. In my opinion, we just weren’t there.”

@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

State Rep. Robertson: Better record-keeping system would ‘start us in the right direction’ for permitless ‘constitutional’ carry system

(Proncey Robertson for State House)

Nationally, some states have pushed to adopt so-called “constitutional” permitless carry, which, according to proponents, would allow someone to exercise their Second Amendment rights and carry a firearm without restrictions on the state level.

Despite a vocal effort supporting the practice, Alabama policymakers have been resistant to adopting the policy. State Rep. Proncey Robertson (R-Mt. Hope) attributes that in part to Alabama’s substandard record-keeping system, which poses challenges to law enforcement’s ability to track individuals prohibited from possessing a firearm.

During an interview that aired on Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Robertson explained how he was working to improve record-keeping, in addition to offering a lifetime permit option for gun owners in Alabama.

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“I had a lot of people reaching out to me: ‘Hey, what happened to your bill for a lifetime carry option?'” he said. “With that, I did introduce that and reached out to leadership. We’ve got it now through the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. Hopefully, we’ll get it to the floor next week for a vote. There’s been a lot of work done with the sheriffs’ association, as well as the NRA being involved in that, [Alabama Law Enforcement Agency] — because of the way I’m doing the bill a little bit different.”

“Constitutional carry or permitless carry — there are a lot of states that have gone to it,” he said. “I think we’re up to 17 or 18 — something like that. Folks want to know, why aren’t we doing that in Alabama? Well, some of these other states, and this is from my background in law enforcement, have done a better job than us over the decades of really our record-keeping, if you will, of identifying who those people are who are prohibited under state or federal law to possess a firearm. So, Alabama is almost backward in the sense of relying upon who is the good guy, right — who has a permit to help us narrow down who shouldn’t have one. I don’t think we should be doing that either.”

The current system of permitting, he said, has a built-in failsafe of keeping a check on individuals prohibited from possessing firearms.

“But to do away with the requirement to have a permit would leave our officers out there on the street with no way to determine when they come across someone who is a prohibited person,” Robertson explained. “Right now, they could at least arrest that person for failure to get a permit. In other words, possession of a firearm without a permit, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. That allows them to do the research, to dig into those old antiquated files and find out how is the person really a restricted individual and make the felon in possession charge, for instance. That takes time.”

The Lawerence County Republican lawmaker says he is trying to create a better record-keeping system to aid the courts with reporting to ALEA’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) as a way to track which individuals are prohibited from owning a firearm based on a prior criminal charge.

“I’m not talking about collecting information here on people who are buying pistols,” he said. “I’m talking about an information system that collects that from the courts.”

Robertson likened the system to the sex offender registry, linked to an individual’s driver’s license.

“They would know if someone is prohibited to have a firearm,” Robertson explained. “And they would be able to deal with them accordingly. The permits then become a lot less important.”

He noted that most gun owners have not committed a crime and should not be subject to annual background checks.

“Why do you have to keep going back year after year after year to get the same background check and get the same permit over and over again?” he said. “So, to at least start us in the right direction, to move us toward the possibility that we could do a permitless system — number one, we need that record-keeping bill. Number two, I am trying to help our citizens by giving them the option to purchase a one-and-done lifetime permit.”

Robertson explained the cost of the permit varies from county to county, which he said was determined by local legislation. However, he added his lifetime permit proposal would include a fee of $200, with the responsibility falling on sheriff departments to conduct a background check once every five years on the lifetime permit holder.

“I think that is a great option for our citizens, who are law-abiding, that aren’t getting in trouble for at least a year and shouldn’t be required to come back year after year after year,” 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.

4 weeks ago

AG Marshall: Census lawsuit ‘about abiding by the rules Congress has already set’

(Screenshot/APTV)

Last week, the Alabama Attorney General’s office announced it was partnering with U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) in a suit against the U.S. Census Bureau to prevent the Census data from allegedly being manipulated, as the results are slow-walked to the individual states.

During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall warned the Census Bureau was attempting to “scramble” data in the name of privacy.

If successful, such an effort could strip the transparency of how the government agency arrived at conclusions with its findings.

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“This is really our phase two of our Census litigation, the first of which we talked about at length with you before, which is the case with Mo Brooks, and we’re attempting to deal directly with the issue of whether Alabama may lose a congressional seat if we count those who are in the country unlawfully,” he said. “This is really about the Census Bureau abiding by the rules that Congress has already set, and that is the fact they have long since passed the deadline for providing states the Census data. And one of the things we think they are doing through basically a mathematical calculation and algorithm they are using under the guise of privacy is really going to scramble the data in a way states like Alabama can’t dive in to understand exactly what they’ve done. So, this is again an effort for us to be proactive, to ensure we’re protecting Alabama’s interests and also make sure the Census Bureau is abiding by the law and the Constitution in what they are required to do.”

According to Marshall, the remaining congressional seat could come down to Alabama and New York State. Given New York is traditionally a Democrat-voting state, the Biden administration could be working to give the Empire State the additional seat in the U.S. House of Represenatives.

“This is really our chance for, I think we said it in the complaint, before they scramble the egg, which is going to allow the data to be in a format that we can’t really dive into it — for us to be able to validate whether Alabama has been treated fairly or not,” Marshall 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.

4 weeks ago

House Majority Leader Ledbetter: Gambling issue could be tackled in special session later this year

(Screenshot/APTV)

Last week’s failure by Alabama Senate to pass a comprehensive gambling bill has made the future for gaming uncertain.

If the legislature cannot pass a bill this year, history suggests it is unlikely to be considered in the fourth year of a quadrennium with elections on the horizon. However, State House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) says that even if lawmakers cannot pass legislation during this year’s regular session, don’t rule out something by the end of 2021.

During an interview on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Ledbetter raised the possibility of Gov. Kay Ivey calling a special session for the issue, which could aid passage given it would be the legislature’s sole focus during that special session.

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“[W]ho is to say that we won’t come back in a special,” he said. “I know we have got a lot of things on the table. Reapportionment is going to have to come up after we get the Census numbers in. I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see at least one or two specials. I certainly feel like one of them is coming, and who knows — the Governor could put something in the call for us to look at this gaming. I mean, it makes sense sometimes when you do that on big issues simply because there’s not so much noise around. That’s one thing you’ve got to focus on — what’s in the call. All the other issues that always surround the session — we’ve got hundreds of bills that’s been filed, so that kind of alleviates some of that. You kind of focus in on the big issue. That would not surprise me. That could happen.”

Ledbetter said he believed Ivey recognized the benefits of reaching a solution on gaming for the state, which could motivate her to act.

“I think the thing about it is, with casinos already being in the state and some of the gaming issues that we already have — she sees a lot of money that’s being spent in-state that the state has not been able to get anything from,” Ledbetter explained. “I mean, they’re not capturing any of those funds, and if we could get some kind of compact, we could do that. She sees that. That’s a lot of money that is being left out there, and the people in my district certainly want a vote on the lottery issue. Polling shows that. If you talk around my district and different parts of the state, people want a chance to vote. At the end of the day, this is the people’s choice, and all we can do is put it on the ballot. They vote up or down. It’s their choice. I think a lot of people are ready to put it to rest, however it goes in the general public.

@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.