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.

13 hours ago

Seven out of ten local Alabama TV news outlets get details completely wrong on Del Marsh bill to help build border wall

(CBP/Flickr)

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) has proposed legislation that would allow taxpayers to divert a portion or all of their own state income tax refund to We Build the Wall, Inc., a 501(c)4 non-profit dedicated to fundraising for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico, which has been a major policy initiative of President Donald Trump.

If you’re able to comprehend that concept, you’re already at least one step ahead of most of the local television news outlets that cover the Alabama legislature.

Based on a closed-caption transcript search, ten of the television stations with local news broadcasts in the Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Dothan and Columbus, Ga. markets covered Marsh’s proposal on Wednesday. However, only three of those broadcasts got the details of the legislation correct. (None of the news broadcasts in the Mobile market covered the proposal on Wednesday.)

567

Many of the reports that aired claimed Marsh’s bill will give a tax refund to those who donated to the president’s border wall.

“Also today in the Senate, lawmakers debated a bill that would allow an income tax refund if you donate to the president’s border wall, Republican Senator Del Marsh sponsoring that bill, as well,” Montgomery NBC affiliate WSFA’s Mark Bullock said during the channel’s 6 p.m. newscast. “You would get a tax credit if you choose to donate to the We Build the Wall, Inc. organization. Marsh says this would give Alabamians a way to tell the federal government that they support a wall. Opponents say the money should not be put in either the for or against camps. The bill was carried over.”

Bullock tweeted out the story but later deleted the tweet. He pledged to let the author of the piece know.

(Screenshot/Tweetdeck)

Huntsville FOX affiliate WZDX’s Mike Black made a similar incorrect claim during his channel’s 9 p.m. newscast.

“Well, a bill to give Alabamians a tax refund for donating towards the border wall passed a Senate committee today,” Black said. “The bill was sponsored by State Sen. Del Marsh. It would add a line to the state tax form so taxpayers could donate to building President Trump’s border wall and get a state tax credit.”

Also among those making the erroneous claim of a tax credit was Birmingham FOX affiliate WBRC.

“The State Senate delays a vote on a bill that would give you a tax credit for donating to the border wall,” co-anchor Steve Crocker said during his 9 p.m. broadcast. “State Senator Del Marsh is sponsoring the bill that gives you a tax credit if you donate to the We Build the Wall, Inc. He says that give Alabamians a way to tell the federal government whether they support a wall or not. Opponents say the money should be directed to other areas.

Dothan ABC affiliate WDHN’s Ben Stanfield also made the incorrect claim but included editorializing with a quip unrelated to Marsh’s proposal about the state prisons being in “shambles” at the end of his presentation.

Also among those getting it wrong were Huntsville NBC affiliate WAFF, Columbus, Ga. FOX affiliate WXTX and Columbus, Ga. ABC affiliate WTVM.

The three outlets that generally got the details of Marsh’s legislation correct were Huntsville ABC affiliate WAAY, Huntsville CBS affiliate WHNT and Birmingham NBC affiliate WVTM.

“A bill that would allow people in Alabama to donate part of their state tax refund to pay for the border wall made it to the Senate floor,” WAAY’s Najahe Sherman said. “We’re also learning more about the specifics of that bill. Senator Marsh said the money would go toward Washington. If it’s not used in three years, it would be transferred to the state general fund. He said the bill is sending a message about what people in Alabama think about border security. The vote on the bill could happen tomorrow.”

A spokesman for Marsh verified late Wednesday that the proposal would add a “donation check-off” category for the We Build the Wall, Inc. on Alabama Income Tax forms, which already includes a number of charities.

Alabama Department of Revenue

@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 day ago

House Majority Leader Ledbetter predicts Alabama to ‘move to number one’ nationally in automotive production after Port of Mobile expansion

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Tuesday on Huntsville’s WVNN radio, House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) said he did not think it would be very long before Alabamians started to see tangible benefits of the Rebuild Alabama Act.

The legislation that was recently signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey after she called a special session will raise the gasoline tax six cents in September, then add an additional two cents in 2020 and 2021.

According to the DeKalb County Republican, road projects could start as early as the summer given the bill will allow for counties to bond half of the revenue the additional tax will generate that is distributed to the counties.

347

“I really think it will be this summer,” Ledbetter said. “I think we’ll see it immediately, and the reason I say that is inside that bill there is a mechanism that the counties can use half of their money to bond with. So, I know there’s mine – I talked to the president of my county commission, and we’re looking at bonding half of that money. So if that happens, you’re going to see a lot of paving going down, and I think it will be significant, especially on those roads we can’t get buses across, or you know, the transportation has been limited due to the fact of the road conditions.”

Ledbetter also predicted one of the aspects of the law, which is to expand the Port of Mobile, will generate a positive impact statewide, especially with regards to the automotive industry.

“I don’t think there is any question about that,” he said. “The thing I think we’ll see – Alabama rank third as far as automotive manufacturing in the country. I think we’ll move to number one. I really do. I think this is that big of a game changer. I think aerospace engineering, and some of those jobs going to the port, building airplanes and building the ships – we’re going to move up the ladder because we got availability in the port to bring the ships in and out, the post-Panamax ships we hadn’t seen.”

“You know, the sad part about it is we build all these automobiles in Alabama – a lot of those were being shipped out of Savannah because we can’t get them out of our port,” Ledbetter added. “I think once this happens, we’ll see the roll off-roll on where we’ll be carrying cars to Mobile from Huntsville, from Lincoln, from here in Montgomery to see them delivered, or shipped out from Mobile.”

@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

Rep. Gary Palmer on 2020 U.S. Senate run: ‘We’re praying about it’

(Screenshot/YouTube)

As the race for the Republican nomination for the 2020 U.S. Senate is starting to get underway, speculation is rampant about who might consider a bid for the shot to go head-to-head against incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) next year.

One of the names sometimes mentioned has been Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), who is presently chairing the House GOP Policy Committee.

During an appearance on WVNN radio in Huntsville on Monday, Palmer addressed the speculation about a potential run for U.S. Senate.

324

“We’re praying about it,” Palmer said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “But I think we got a chance to get the House back and that’s extremely important. My wife and I have an attitude that we don’t want to be anywhere that we’re not supposed to be. So, we’re just praying about it. If we hold the Senate in the next election when we don’t have the majority in the House, we’re going to have two more years of not getting anything done. You can’t do anything on taxes. You can’t do anything revenue related.”

“I don’t see us making any significant effort to get appropriations back in order,” he added. “I think it’s extremely important for the country that we get the House back and any other issues personally should be secondary to that.”

On his role as House GOP Policy Committee chairman, Palmer said to expect to see the committee offer some things that will help members of the House Republican caucus, which include the highlighting of billions of dollars in misappropriated funds.

“I think it’s going well,” he replied. “We’re working on some stuff I think is really going to help our guys on a broad range of issues. I was talking about that report from the General Accountability Office on the funds sitting in agency accounts. We’re actually bringing the head of the GAO to brief our members of the policy committee on several issues, including improper payments, which I think will really be helpful to our guys. Most of them know a little bit about it, but they don’t know how big of a deal it is. We sent out $141 billion in improper payments two years ago, and it goes up every year.”

@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.

4 days ago

Marsh: Even with gas tax hike, Alabama ‘still the lowest cumulative tax state on state and local taxes in the country’

(Screenshot/APTV)

Last week’s passage of the Rebuild Alabama Act means Alabamians will be paying more at the pump beginning this fall.

In September, the tax per gallon will increase by six cents, with additional increases coming in October 2020 and 2021 that will result in a total of 10 cents more per gallon.

However, despite that increase, State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) insists Alabama will maintain its claim on being the lowest taxed state in the country.

348

In an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Marsh explained how he saw the increase as necessary to improve upon economic development.

“[L]isten, nobody likes taxes,” Marsh said. “I get it. I don’t like them. But we’ve done some good things in the state of Alabama that has put us in a position to address this. Since 2010, since I’ve been in leadership, the average mean income for an Alabamian is up 20 percent. The state government, the size of the state government – we have some 7,000 less state employees. We’re 15 percent smaller as a state government. We have 200,000 more of our people working. We’ve created great economic policy. The state is moving in the right direction.”

“But we’ve reached a point – we are at a point right now because the last tax on infrastructure was passed in 1992, 27 years ago, that we were at the point that all we could do was keep up what we had,” he continued. “And to a limited point there. We had 400 bridges in the state right now slated for replacement or repair. We have several of our major arteries that we can’t do any additional infrastructure to. We are at a point that we have got to make a decision – are we going to invest in infrastructure, thus creating more economic opportunity for our citizens, or are we just going to stay where we are? And this was the decision.”

Marsh went on explain to “Capitol Journal” host Don Dailey that Alabama remains a low-tax state compared to all other 49 states.

“And guess what, Don – the beauty of this is we are still the lowest cumulative tax state on state and local taxes in the country,” Marsh added. “Even with the implementation with this gas tax, we’re still the lowest in the country. So, we’re in a pretty good situation – low tax base and putting big money into an infrastructure package.”

@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.

4 days ago

AG Marshall on census lawsuit over illegal immigrant count: I’m not willing to sit idly by and let our electoral vote go to California

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Friday on Huntsville’s WVNN, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall discussed his recent op-ed in USA Today explaining the merits of a lawsuit he and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) have against the federal government for counting illegal immigrants in the apportionment of congressional seats and Electoral College votes.

Some projections show Alabama losing a congressional seat and Electoral College vote after the 2020 Census given that although Alabama has grown, it has not increased at the rate of other states, particularly those that have enacted policies that encourage illegal immigration to their states.

Marshall named California as one of the states that would benefit from including illegal immigrants in the count.

466

“It won’t surprise anybody that means that our electoral vote will go to the state of California,” Marshall said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “And I’m not willing to sit idly by and let that happen. It’s one of the reasons why I’m very grateful for Congressman Brooks. He’s not only a strong advocate in this area, but he has been from the very beginning supportive of this litigation.”

According to Marshall, part of the question deals with an individual’s voting eligibility and if the number to determine congressional apportionment and Electoral College votes should be based on eligible voters.

“What we have done is be able to file a lawsuit against the Census Bureau to say, number one, we want to be able to identify those who are in the country illegally that are otherwise ineligible to vote, I think another important point,” Marshall explained. “And by identifying them, we need to remove them from that apportionment number that goes to determine congressional delegations. We think it makes common sense because if those individuals aren’t eligible to vote, why in the world should it be counted for purposes of determining congressional representation?”

“Because in fact, what that means is states like California that basically foster and encourage illegal immigration and sanctuary cities – it means that other border states disproportionately dilute the political influence of a state like Alabama,” he added. “Frankly, it impacts the state of Ohio. It impacts the state of Montana. We don’t need, in essence, to be the victim of a poor immigration policy in this country.”

“We think it is a critical question, constitutionally,” he added. “We think, again, that Alabama shouldn’t be penalized as a result of California has basically allowed an open door to sanctuary cities and that we need to be able to stand up to make sure that Alabama not only has its appropriate influence in Congress through an adequate number of congressional members, but also we keep that vote in the Electoral College for president.”

Marshall’s lawsuit is separate from another suit against the Commerce Department. Some immigration activist groups want a question removed from the 2020 Census about the immigration status of an individual. Marshall says it was his position that the question remains on the Census.

“We clearly want that question to remain on the Census, I think to be able to identify,” Marshall explained. “Now there’s an argument you can make that there are some equations that you could use based on existing data to be able to determine numbers, people here unlawfully without the Census actually counting them specifically.”

@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.

5 days ago

House Speaker McCutcheon: No deal made with Dems to expand Medicaid for ‘Rebuild Alabama’ gas tax hike support

(Speaker MacMcCutcheon/Facebook)

Last week at a town hall listening session in Huntsville, House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) explained to those in attendance that the Republican leadership in the legislature got his support on the Rebuild Alabama Act, which will raise state fuel taxes 10 cents per gallon by 2021, because Republicans pledged to work with Democrats on some of the issues Daniels had prioritized.

Among those issues was Medicaid expansion, which has fueled speculation a deal was made by Republicans with Democrats. In exchange for their support on the Rebuild Alabama Act, Democrats would get support from Republicans on the expansion of the Medicaid rolls, according to this speculation.

However, in an interview on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Friday, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) said that was not the case.

615

“Gosh, no I don’t know of any deal,” McCutcheon said when asked by WVNN’s Dale Jackson.

Later, Jackson followed up by asking about the possibility of Medicaid expansion despite the speaker’s denial of any “deal” with Democrats.

“I don’t think so,” McCutcheon replied. “Everybody seems to be using Medicaid expansion as the theme of a subject that we need to address, and that is rural hospitals and health care. Now, Medicaid expansion comes into that discussion. I made a commitment to Anthony [Daniels]. But again, I’ve made this commitment from the very beginning that we need to be talking about our health care system. If you want to call it Medicaid expansion, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about health care.”

During his town hall last week, Daniels explained that efforts to expand Medicaid might come with a different label other than “Medicaid expansion.”

“Right now, I’ve been meeting with a number of the stakeholders, including the hospital association and other groups with coming up with plans to do some form of expansion,” Daniels said last Monday. “And other states, like Georgia, in their legislature – it’s not called ‘Medicaid expansion.’ It’s called ‘Access to Rural Sustainability Act,’ or whatever it is. I think sometimes we get caught up in the actual name when the contents can be the same under a different name. I’m more interested in the content. And so, what we’re looking at is a way to expand access to health care, and to save our rural hospitals and hospitals in general. And you know, it may not be called what you want it to be called, but we know what it is. And so, we’re working hard in a bipartisan way on ways to prevent further closures of hospitals in rural areas.”

As far as any kind of dealmaking, McCutcheon acknowledged there were discussions with the minority caucus about the issue.

“From my standpoint, and I think it’s important that we understand this, is that when it comes to the minority caucus, as speaker, I want to know what their issues are,” the House speaker said to WVNN. “What are their concerns? So, if I sit down at the table and I talk to the minority caucus, and I ask them, ‘Tell me what your concerns are?’ And they tell me Medicaid expansion is one of their concerns, and in the process, they say, ‘What do you want to get done, Mr. Speaker?’ I said, ‘Well, we’re here for the infrastructure.’ Now, are we making a deal? No, we’re talking about issues that concern us.”

Daniels insisted he had received assurances from the governor and House leadership about a potential future “conversation.” He referred to the string of rural hospital closures around the state and explained that many of those were in House districts held by Republicans, which has made some GOP legislators more open to the issue than in previous years.

“They’re interested in having a conversation about it now, and we’ve put together some concepts,” he added. “We’ve been working on it the last couple of weeks. We are optimistic about the governor and leadership in the House. We just have to make sure the Senate is dancing to the same tune of music, and that’s where I think you’ll have the biggest problem, if there’s a problem.”

The Rebuild Alabama Act was passed with all but two of the 28 Democrats supporting it in the House and all but one of the 8 Democrats in the Senate.

@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.

5 days ago

Byrne on Rebuild Alabama gas tax hike: ‘I haven’t really followed it that closely’; Says GOMESA revenue should be used for Port of Mobile expansion

(Rep. Byrne)

While much of the state’s focus on politics has been on the Alabama legislature’s handling of its Rebuild Alabama Act infrastructure legislation, which was signed into law last week by Gov. Kay Ivey, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) has been making his way around the state promoting his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the 2020 U.S. Senate contest.

The winner of the contest will likely face Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), who won the seat in 2017.

In an appearance on Huntsville’s WVNN on Friday, Byrne was asked to weigh in on the legislature’s recent passage of the Rebuild Alabama Act and the process by which it was passed.

453

Byrne told WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” it was not something he had been following given that it is a state issue, and he is a federal elected official.

“You know, I haven’t really followed it that closely,” Byrne replied. “It’s a state thing, not a federal thing. We’ve kind of had our hands full with the federal thing. I’ve signed a ‘no new taxes’ pledge. I’ve had some people from Alabama come to ask me to support an increase in the federal gas tax, and I have always said, ‘I can’t do that. I’m not going to do that.’ So my position is no new taxes at the federal level, including no new gas taxes.”

“I’m not a state official,” he added. “State officials looked at this and made a decision they wanted to do it. They’ve done it. The governor has signed it. And if there’s going to be a reaction here, it’s up to the people of Alabama. It’s not up to me.”

When asked about money generated by the gas tax hike to fund the Port of Mobile’s expansion, which is matched by federal money 3-to-1, Byrne suggested GOMESA oil and gas revenue could be used instead.

“In terms of being able to match federal money for that project in Mobile, there was another source for that money,” he said. “It’s the GOMESA [Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act] money that the state gets from revenue – that the state derives off of the federal offshore gas wells. There’s a federal law that allows some of that money to go to the states, and that could have been used for that.”

“But once again, state officials said we’re not going to use the GOMESA money,” he continued. “We’re going to raise gas taxes, use some of that money for that.”

The Baldwin County Republican referenced the decision by state officials to fund I-10 bridge construction using a toll and said that could have been another use for the GOMESA money.

“Look, we’re going to build an I-10 bridge across the Mobile River,” he explained. “They’ve decided to raise the state portion of that money using a toll. I don’t like a toll, but it’s their decision. It’s not a federal decision. I’ve done what I’m supposed to do to make sure we’ve got the federal money for that and the federal approvals. And the state has the authority to issue these tolls. I’m a federal official, not a state official. I really don’t have any control over 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.

1 week ago

Club for Growth poll: Rep. Mo Brooks would beat Roy Moore in U.S. Senate primary

(M. Brooks, R. Moore, YHN)

According to a report from Newsmax, a Club for Growth poll shows Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) would defeat former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore if the two were to potentially face off in a runoff situation in the upcoming 2020 Republican U.S. Senate primary contest.

The two were opponents in the 2017 special election Republican primary for U.S. Senate in a contest that also included then-U.S. Sen. Luther Strange (R-Mountain Brook). Moore and Strange finished in the top two in a crowded field, with Moore securing the nomination in a runoff six weeks later.

But this time, a Club for Growth poll maintains the contest would be different if the Moore and Brooks were competitors again.

156

The poll, conducted by WPA Intelligence on March 10-12, surveyed 501 likely Republican primary voters in Alabama and found 52 percent would vote for Brooks and 32 percent for Moore in a head-to-head contest. It also found 61 percent of those with an opinion of both candidates would vote for Brooks and 27 percent for Moore.

“The Club for Growth polling clearly shows Mo Brooks is the best choice to defeat Roy Moore,” Club for Growth Action President David McIntosh said to Newsmax. “Mo Brooks would be a fighter for economic freedom and represent Alabamians well in the U.S. Senate.”

The winner of the eventual 2020 GOP primary will likely face incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) in the general election. Jones defeated Moore in the December 2017 special election to win the U.S. Senate seat.

@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

State Rep. Lynn Greer on ‘Rebuild Alabama’ ‘yes’ vote: I was voting in my district’s ‘best interest’

(Screenshot/APTV)

Tuesday on Alabama Public Television, Rep. Lynn Greer (R-Rogersville) explained his “yes” vote on the Rebuild Alabama Act, which will raise gas taxes 10 cents a gallon over the next two-and-a-half years to finance infrastructure improvements around the state.

The legislation passed the State House 84-20 and the State Senate 28-6 and was signed into law on Tuesday afternoon by Gov. Kay Ivey.

Greer said he had received overwhelming pushback from his constituents, but added that once he had an opportunity to explain the pros of the legislation, he could win some over to his side.

212

“You’re elected to represent the people, especially the people in your district,” Greer said to “Capitol Journal” host Don Dailey. “And when I voted for the gas tax, you know – a lot of them may not agree, but I was voting in their best interest. And you know, my county – I represent Limestone [County], too. I represent Lauderdale and Limestone. Look at the jobs we’re looking at getting in that area. We’re talking about 16,000 Toyota Mazda jobs and spinoffs. We’ve just got to have money to fund the programs that we got going and do what we promised those companies we would provide.”

Greer acknowledged that the calls he received to his office were 99 percent against the gas tax, but added that once he got the word out and told them what he knew, most of them were with him.

“I think most of them will line up with us and see that we can’t let our highways continue to deteriorate,” he continued. “You know, our roads – the biggest part, they were built by our ancestors. All we ask to do now is keep it 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.

1 week ago

House Minority Leader Daniels: Ivey and House, Senate leadership ‘committed’ to work with Dems on Medicaid expansion, lottery

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

HUNTSVILLE – Monday night, House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) and Rep. Laura Hall (D-Huntsville) hosted a town hall listening session at the St. Mark Baptist Church.

During his opening remarks, Daniels, who voted for the Rebuild Alabama Act, which addresses the state’s infrastructure needs, in addition to raising fuel taxes, explained his “yes” vote and said it was part of a give-and-take necessary to legislate from the minority.

Daniels said in exchange for working with Gov. Kay Ivey and the House and Senate leadership on the infrastructure bill, he got a commitment from them to look at Democratic Party priorities, which included Medicaid expansion, a lottery and the elimination of the state portion of the grocery tax.

439

“Some of the things you may not see is that you’ll probably see some news reports about is the governor committed to, and the House and Senate leadership agreed to work with us on priorities that we have as Democrats,” Daniels said in his opening remarks. “And some of those priorities include Medicaid expansion, criminal justice reform, a lottery, remove the tax off of groceries. Those are the things that they committed to working with us on.”

Daniels explained the difficulties of legislating from a minority, when Republicans had a supermajority, and that compromise was a necessity to get a seat at the table. He also pointed to recent public comments made by Ivey, noting that she did not rule out the possibility of Medicaid expansion.

“In politics, you only have your word,” Daniels explained to the audience gathered in the sanctuary of the St. Mark Baptist Church. “If you look at the press conference that she did, she did not rule out expanding Medicaid, or looking at some source of supporting a form of expansion in the state of Alabama.”

“There are other pieces of legislation the governor will need help with, so the only thing you can do is go off a person’s word,” he added. “You know, and oftentimes I’ve told members of the caucus this: I don’t care what happened in the past. It doesn’t matter to me. I wasn’t around at the time. But if someone gives you their word, I’ve always been taught to take them at their word until they prove otherwise.”

Following the event, Daniels told Yellowhammer News in an interview how it was necessary for Democrats to cooperate to some degree with Republicans in Montgomery for the good of the caucus and the entire state.

“Here’s what I would say on the Medicaid expansion piece – it would have to come to the legislative council,” Daniels explained. “So, it is not something that necessarily has to come through the full body. And so, I’m on the legislative council. We talked about a number of issues that are priorities to us, and the issues are not just priorities to the Democratic caucus. These are Alabama priorities. So, it’s beyond just Democratic priorities.”

“But you have the conversation – you think about voting ‘no,’” he added. “You get in there for four years, and you can’t deliver anything. But at least you’re getting a commitment to be able to have some discussion about the priorities and the issues that are a priority for your community.”

@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

House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels: ‘We’re looking at a way to remove the sales tax off groceries’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

HUNTSVILLE – Monday night, House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) and Rep. Laura Hall (D-Huntsville) hosted a town hall listening session at the St. Mark Baptist Church to offer their constituents an update on what is going on in the Alabama legislature.

Daniels was asked by an attendee about some of the other priorities that he as the leader of State House Democrats were considering as this legislative session unfolds.

Daniels mentioned deferred maintenance for historically black colleges and universities in Alabama, decriminalization of marijuana and the legalization of medical marijuana among those priorities. However, he also mentioned a lottery and the exploration of removing the burden of the sales tax on groceries.

120

Following the event, Daniels elaborated on the idea in an interview with Yellowhammer News.

“We’re looking at the grocery tax really hard right now to see if the anticipated revenue from a lottery — at least on the state portion, we’re looking at a way to remove the sales tax off groceries, especially the SNAP definition,” Daniels outlined.

“We’re just looking something we can give people relief on,” he added. “I think it’s only fair. And so, we’re doing the numbers right now to see what that looks like. And we’ll be having a report on that next week.”

@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

Watch: Talladega Superspeedway unveils ‘The Garage Experience’

(Screenshot/YouTube)

Last year, track officials at Talladega Superspeedway announced they were putting $50 million toward an infield renovation that would upgrade the existing offerings to put in place an area that will allow fans to experience the sport from a different perspective.

Immediately after last October’s event, the track broke ground on a 6-foot-8-inch-tall, 28-foot-wide, 208-foot-long tunnel that would allow RVs and other oversized vehicles to come in and out of the track during race activities.

On Monday, the track released a video showing a flythrough view of the new features that are scheduled to be completed in time for October’s weekend of speedway events.

261

According to a release put out by the track, the new additions will feature:

  • Access inside all of the MENCS garages via an “up-close” fan viewing walkway – It’s like getting in the locker room on game day as fans will be under the same roof, just feet away from the teams and cars of NASCAR’s premier series as they are prepped for the track.
  • Open Air Social Club – The 35,000-square-foot venue is just steps away from each of the top 22 MENCS garage stalls and will feature a bar, a large 41-foot diagonal video screen, lounge chairs, tables, televisions and more.
  • Celebration Plaza – Be a part of the Gatorade Victory Lane celebration once the winner of each race takes the checkered flag.
  • Iron Alley – After entering the Talladega Garage Experience, take a stroll down memory lane, filled with iconic track facts, historic race cars and memorabilia.
  • Social Areas – Watch Zone with a magnificent 40×80 foot video board, a Kids Zone and a Beer Garden. A total of 140,000 square feet of engagement areas with plenty of seating for relaxation.
  • Wi-Fi – Free Wi-Fi access available only in the Talladega Garage Experience.
  • Other enhancements such as Concession Stands, Restroom Complexes, Guest Services Center and fan First Aid Facility are throughout the Talladega Garage Experience.

Those interested in attending next October’s event to experience the new features are encouraged to visit the Talladega Superspeedway’s website.

@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

Doug Jones on Roy Moore, 2020 U.S. Senate contest: ‘I’m not worried about who’s running in my race’

(Screenshot/CNN)

Over the last several days, reports have surfaced that former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore might take another shot at U.S. Senate in 2020 and seek a rematch against his 2017 special election opponent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook).

Moore would be among a field of several Republicans seeking to unseat Jones, including Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), who announced last month he was running for the Republican nod.

Monday on CNN’s “New Day,” Jones dismissed the relevance of Moore’s potential 2020 run, but called it “comical” that some Republicans are reluctant to support Moore for another run in 2020.

132

“I’m not worried about who’s running in my race in 2020,” Jones said. “We’re focused on the same things we’ve focused on the last time. The kitchen table issues, the issues that mean so much to people. There will be a lot of people that run for that and really what’s kind of comical to me is to watch the reaction of the Republicans who all supported him a couple of years ago — now they’re talking about he’s a flawed candidate and yadda, yadda, yadda. So, I just think it’s kind of comical to watch these days. But we’ll be ready for whoever the nominee is next spring.”

@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

Sewell: ‘Underlying premise’ that Republicans believe if more people vote, they won’t win

(Screenshot/MSNBC)

Earlier this month in Selma, Democratic Party leaders present for the annual “Bloody Sunday” commemoration signaled voting issues would be a significant feature of future policy efforts and political campaigns.

Among those for the occasion making those overtures was Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), who touted the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives’ efforts on voting, which included H.R. 1 and Sewell’s own H.R. 4.

In an appearance on Sunday’s “AM Joy” on MSNBC, Sewell and host Joy Reid speculated on GOP opposition to H.R. 1, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said was dead on arrival upon the House’s passage.

290

“In your view, and I’m sure you talk to Republicans on the other side of the aisle on the floor – do Republicans believe if more people get to vote, they won’t win?” Reid asked.

“I mean, I think that that’s the underlying premise,” Sewell replied. “They won’t say it like that. Instead, they’ll say things like, ‘Terri, I know you want to reinstate pre-clearance, but why are you picking and choosing winners and losers, and picking on old states of the Confederacy based on what happened in the 1960s?’ And I say to them, ‘You know, I would love it – I think that voting is such a cornerstone of our democracy that we should have pre-clearance for every state that tries to change voting laws.’”

“Of course, you and I both know that is a very expensive proposition,” she continued. “And Republicans aren’t willing to pay for that, or to beef up the Justice Department in order to do that. So we have to look for the most pernicious state actors. And what we’ve seen since the Shelby decision, we’ve seen states across this nation institute more restrictive voter ID laws, making it harder for folks to vote, or certain segments of the population, most vulnerable parts of our population, harder to vote.”

“And so, we do need to reinstate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act,” she added. “That’s my bill, H.R. 4. But I do believe that H.R. 1, we passed on Friday, is a great placeholder, if you will, for what we as Democrats believe our democracy should be.”

@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

Ivey: ‘Responsibility’ of legislators educate anti-gas tax hike constituents about benefits of ‘Rebuild Alabama’

(Screenshot/Alabama Public Television)

Friday, the Alabama State House overwhelmingly passed HB 2, the Rebuild Alabama Act during a special session called earlier in the week by Gov. Kay Ivey by a margin of 83-20.

The legislation championed by the governor next heads to the Alabama State Senate, where it will be taken up by the body’s Transportation and Energy Committee on Monday.

In an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” on Friday after the bill’s passage, Ivey applauded the House. But she explained how the path to what many assume will be the bill’s ultimate passage started during the 2018 election cycle.

264

“New members of the House and Senate were vetted, if you will, by the leadership of those two houses while they were thinking about running,” Ivey explained to host Don Dailey. “And if anybody was not willing to address the issue, they weren’t encouraged to seek office. None of the new members were unfamiliar with this topic. And yes, we included the House and Senate freshmen in both parties in meetings that I have and continue to have, and will continue to do so.”

Dailey asked if Ivey recognized the difficulties some members of the Alabama legislature faced given so many of those legislators’ constituents were staunchly opposed to the gas tax hike component of the Rebuild Alabama Act.

“Certainly,” she replied. “At the same time, these new House and Senate members got elected. People expect them to get information that they don’t have, to bring it back and explain it to them. And most of the legislators have done that. It is so easy to say, ‘Well, I’m just going to listen to my constituents.’ But you know, the constituents don’t have the benefit of all the information that has been provided to legislators. A legislator ought to be really effective, who has been chosen as a leader – needs to take this information on whatever the subject and inform the people, and say, ‘Look, this makes sense. Our area, like you, will benefit.’”

“So there’s a responsibility of our elected people, too,” she 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

Doug Jones: ‘I stand by my comments’ on GOP not wanting African-Americans, minorities to vote

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

On Sunday’s broadcast of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) addressed the “backsliding” remarks in his recently released book “Bending Toward Justice” regarding the vote from African-Americans and other minorities in elections.

Jones’ remarks drew the ire of Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and other Republicans in Alabama, including Alabama Republican Party chairwoman Terry Lathan.

During an appearance on Huntsville’s WVNN to promote his effort to encourage states like Alabama to expand Medicaid rolls through legislation in Congress, Jones said he stood by those remarks, noting it was a national trend to which he was referring.

382

“I hate to say it, but I stand by my comments because if you look around what’s happened around the country, it’s been Republican legislators and Republican governors who have passed these very, very stringent voter ID laws, some of which have been struck down by the courts,” Jones said on Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show.” “They have gerrymandered a number of districts to concentrate white voting power among a few districts. Voting rolls are being purged across the country.”

The junior Alabama senator said he did not think these efforts were based on “racial animus,” but argued they did not necessarily encourage maximum participation in elections.

“This is not based on the fact there is any racial animus, but I do think that it’s based on a political racial disparity around the country,” he said. “You know, voting rights should not be a political issue, and it is a political issue. It shouldn’t be. We should be doing everything that we can in this country to give everyone who is eligible to vote free access to vote. The ability to get to the polls – that means having polling places within a reasonable distance from where they live, having polling places open for more than just 12 hours in one single day during the course of an election.”

“We need to be upping the ante,” Jones continued. “We need to be getting a number of people who vote in our elections much higher than it has been in the history of America. We have some of the lowest voting rates across the civilized world. We need to up that ante. And so, I think if we look carefully about where things are, voting ought to be a nonpartisan issue. Districts should be drawn by nonpartisan commissions and not controlled by legislatures.”

Jones did note that Democrats also use gerrymandering for their political gain as well.

“And by the way, I have said for years Democrats have been just as guilty of gerrymandering of voting districts as Republicans have,” he added. “This should be a nonpartisan issue.”

@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

Hillary, 2020 Dem hopefuls decry ‘voter suppression’ as they hit Selma for ‘Bloody Sunday’ commemoration

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

SELMA – Even though the heavens opened up and the rain came pouring down on Sunday, it did not stop the march commemorating the 54th anniversary of 1965’s “Bloody Sunday” across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and a handful of 2020 Democratic Party presidential hopefuls, including Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), highlighted the names of participants on Sunday.

Throughout the day’s events, which began with the Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King Unity Breakfast, continued with remarks from Clinton, Booker and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) at the Brown Chapel AME Church and concluded with the march across the historic bridge, putting a stop to alleged voter suppression was a reoccurring theme of the day.

524

“We’re here to honor the legacy of those that fought, died and bled for the right for us to vote, and we must do our part in 2019,” Sewell declared during the Unity Breakfast.

“[T]here is no more fundamental right than the right to vote,” Clinton said to marchers before they began their journey over the Alabama River. “It is under attack. It is under fire. It has got to be protected. No matter what else you care about, there is nothing more important than standing up and fighting for the right to vote right now.”

Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) echoed Clinton’s remarks emphasizing the need to combat so-called voter suppression.

Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Texas) poses for a photo, 3/4/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

“Voting rights are under fire,” Jackson Lee said. “That’s why I’ve come to march with you across the Edmund Pettus Bridge … where many shed their blood. And as Rev. [William J.] Barber said, we are those who have ancestors who have dictated to us what we must do. We must fight and never give up. We must recognize voter suppression is not American. Voter suppression is not who we are. Voter suppression cannot stand, and we will continue to fight until we stamp out voter suppression.”

Marchers lie on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in support of voting rights, 3/3/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

The voter suppression theme was also on display as marchers sang about the “polling house” as they marched.

Earlier, Booker had delivered the keynote speech to Brown Chapel AME Church, and made a call to the parishioners to “defend the dream.”

Sen. Cory Booker poses for a selfie, 3/4/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

“People feel the forces tearing us apart are greater than those bringing us together,” the New Jersey Democrat said during his emotional address. “It’s time for us to defend the dream. It’s time that we dare to dream again in America.”

Sen. Cory Booker and Hillary Clinton share a word during Selma’s bridge crossing, 3/4/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

Sherrod Brown was making a return to Alabama for the annual occasion.

“It’s great to be here,” Brown said to Yellowhammer News. “It’s the fifth time I’ve crossed this bridge, fifth time I’ve been in Brown Chapel, and it’s an honor to be here. I’ve brought my daughters, I’ve brought my wife, and I’ve brought my mother a number of times over the years. It’s part of our family.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown speaks to reporters after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, 3/4/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

Also in attendance for Booker’s speech at the Brown Chapel AME Church was former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

Former Gov. Don Siegelman departing Brown Chapel AME, 3/3/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

@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

Aderholt: ‘Not really looking at’ Senate race, ‘would not be shocked’ if Sessions ran

Robert Aderholt (R-AL4)

Last week, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) made it official when he announced he was running for U.S. Senate in 2020 and was the first in what could shape up to be a crowded field of challengers looking to unseat Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook).

Others are sure to follow in Byrne’s wake but don’t expect Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) to be one of them.

In an appearance on Huntsville’s WVNN on Friday, Aderholt dismissed the possibility of running for the Senate. However, he mentioned a few names that could be possibilities.

352

“I’m very happy where I am,” Aderholt said to “The Jeff Poor Show” when asked about a possible run in 2020. “I’m very honored to serve in the fourth district, and so I’m not really looking at it at this point. Of course, as you know, some of my colleagues are, namely Bradley Byrne, who announced last week. And I think you’ll see several more people get in the race. I don’t know if you’ll see some House members.”

“Mo Brooks from the fifth district, up in the Huntsville area – I know he is looking at it,” he continued. “I know Gary Palmer down in the Birmingham area is looking at it. I don’t know how close they are, so it’s too early to tell. But I think they’ll be some more. Of course, Del Marsh from the Alabama Senate is looking at it as well very closely. So, I think you’ll have two or three other people.”

One name in the rumor mill Aderholt offered was former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who served in the same U.S. Senate seat occupied by Jones from 1997-2017.

“I think it’s even a possibility Jeff Sessions could get in the race,” Aderholt added. “He has certainly not announced. “I would not be shocked if maybe he ends up jumping into the race. I think Alabama appreciates his service. I thought he did a great job serving as a United States Senator and was honored that he served with the President as Attorney General. Even though they had some differences, at the end of the day I think people agree with Jeff Sessions on so many issues and I think that he may very likely get into the race. He has not told me that, so that’s not anything that I know first-hand. I’m just saying that it is someone whose name is being mentioned from time to time.”

@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

State Sen. Clyde Chambliss on ‘Rebuild Alabama’ plan: Port of Mobile expansion aspect constitutional

(Facebook)

In an appearance Thursday on Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville), the member who is leading the effort on infrastructure legislation in the State Senate, explained some of the details of the proposal the legislature could be considering right out of the gate next week as lawmakers convene in Montgomery.

Reportedly, Gov. Kay Ivey will call a special session of the legislature to consider her infrastructure proposal, called “Rebuild Alabama,” the first week the body’s general session is scheduled to take place to ensure it is the immediate and sole focus of lawmakers.

Chambliss discussed some of the elements, including how future increases to the state’s fuel tax would occur and how using proceeds to finance the expansion of the Port of Mobile is allowable under the Alabama Constitution.

883

The Prattville lawmaker said future hikes would take place automatically based on construction costs as defined by a national construction index, but the increases will not be higher than a one-cent increase every two years.

“[I]t has a cap on it – every other year it would be addressed in a maximum of one penny every other year,” Chambliss said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “If we look back over history from 1992 to the present, if we had done that same type thing using CPI or some of these other indexes, we would be looking at 14 cents over that — which averages out to be a half a penny over a year. It’s very reasonable. It’s in line with what we’ve seen in the past. It’s very reasonable. It’s in line with what we’ve seen in the past.”

Also, some have questioned the suggestion of using money raised from the gas tax for a needed expansion at the Port of Mobile, which Ivey highlighted in the unveiling of her proposal in Maplesville on Tuesday.

There have been questions if such a proposal would pass muster with the Alabama Constitution.

Chambliss told WVNN given marine fuel is taxed in the same way as fuel that is designated for cars and trucks that travel on the state’s roadways, the state’s waterways qualify for the tax revenue.

“I do believe it will be a part of it and here’s why it is constitutional: All of those boats that are on the waterway – they are paying fuel tax when they buy that fuel,” Chambliss explained. “So, why would you not be able to return some of that from where it came. Not all fuel is bought for on the road. Some of that is bought for the water.”

“So, I think the constitutional issue – I don’t see that that is really an issue” he added. “The Port of Mobile is very very valuable to our entire state. I’m told there’s a $25 billion impact all across our state through the Port of Mobile. Goods and services are in and out that are shipped all over our state. And very, very important to our state. That will be a component of the bill, and I think we’ll put that $10 million in there, and it will be a big help down the road for, you know, widening that ship channel so we can get the ships in from overseas hauling things in and out.”

As for why Ivey chose a 10-cent per gallon increase amount over an earlier reported 12-cent figure, Chambliss said it came from her having sought counsel from the various entities and lawmakers. He also explained why there was a sense of urgency from Ivey and the legislature to warrant using the special session mechanism for the proposal’s passage by the legislature.

“This is the governor’s top priority,” he said. “She’s put a lot of work into it. Pro Tem [Del] Marsh, Speaker [Mac] McCutcheon, [Rep.] Bill Poole in the House of Representatives and a lot of others. It’s very very important to our state. It’s something we’re really, really behind on. And I think going in and making sure we’ve focused on this and work the extra days and stay at it – not go too fast. Not go in and try to run over anybody or do anything like that —  but just be very very consistent very methodical, get on the subject stay on the subject resolve the issue.”

Chambliss also noted the Alabama legislature’s role in the oversight capacity and vowed it was a responsibility the body would not take lightly. He explained how his legislation on oversight would be considered simultaneously as the House is considering the actual fuel tax increase.

“I have a bill I will be introducing – I’ve actually already pre-filed the bill,” he said. “I’ll be starting it in the Senate, and it is a reorganization of our joint transportation committee. It is an accountability bill not only for [Department of Transportation] but more importantly for our legislators. We have a committee, and if you’re going to be on that committee, you need to attend meetings you need to do your job. And the way I have it written right now if you miss two out of the four meetings throughout the year you have forfeited your position on the committee. We need people who are going to be there and be involved.”

“In the legislature, our role is for appropriation and oversight” Chambliss added. “And we have to make sure this money is spent number one legally but also efficiently effectively and that’s an important role for the legislature. And that’s what we’ll be doing with the bill we’ll be debating while they’re debating the gas tax in the House, we’ll be debating the joint transportation committee bill in the Senate. And hopefully, we’ll swap those after they pass in the House and we pass in the Senate. And I will continue the gas tax bill in the Senate and Representative Poole will continue the joint transportation committee bill in the House.”

@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

Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl first to announce candidacy for U.S. House seat to be vacated by Rep. Bradley Byrne

(Facebook)

Wednesday on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl announced his candidacy to seek the Republican nomination for the 2020 election for Alabama’s first congressional district.

Last week, the seat’s current occupant, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), announced his candidacy for the GOP’s nod for the 2020 U.S. Senate election for the seat currently occupied by Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook).

Currently, Carl represents Mobile County’s third county commission district, which consists of the southwestern third of the county.

284

“[T]oday, I want to formally announce my candidacy for the Alabama-1 congressional district, which of course is presently being held by Congressman Byrne,” Carl said to host Sean Sullivan on FM Talk 106.5’s “Midday Mobile.” “Historically, this office has been held by some great, great men. You can go back with Congressman [Jack] Edwards, Congressman [Sonny] Callahan, Congressman [Jo] Bonner, Congressman Byrne — just some great men that we owe a huge amount of thanks to and a huge pair of shoes to fill. I would like the opportunity to do that for District 1.”

Carl touted his ability to work with the surrounding counties on projects and attention to government expenditures as the qualities that made him a viable 2020 congressional hopeful. He also acknowledged the federal government’s spending deficit, which he said required attention.

“It’ll certainly take more than Jerry Carl to fix the deficit in Washington,” he added. “You know the first thing we got to do is get some control of our spending and our spending pattern. But you know, there are three big issues that I want to push and promote going into Washington. One is we’ve got to support President Trump. President Trump has got an agenda. We need to support that agenda. Using football language that we all understand — he’s the quarterback. We’re the linemen. Our job is to block and tackle.”

Carl went on to name infrastructure, which he cited the Interstate 10 Bayway bridge project and the Baldwin County’s Foley Beach Expressway as specific components, and veterans’ health care as his other two “big issues.”

@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

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle on gas tax revenue used for Port of Mobile expansion: ‘By helping Mobile, you’re helping Huntsville’

(Tommy Battle/Facebook)

In an interview with North Alabama radio’s WVNN, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle made the case as to why those in Huntsville should support efforts to expand the Port of Mobile, even though it is over 300 miles away from the Rocket City.

Battle’s remarks were in response to the suggestion by some that proceeds from a proposed future gas tax increase be used in part to fund the port’s expansion.

The Huntsville mayor explained that goods produced in Huntsville would make it to market more efficiently if the port were expanded.

199

“I think you got to say by helping Mobile, you’re helping Huntsville,” Battle said on Monday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show.” “We are going to be bringing in or shipping out parts, shipping cars out from the Mazda-Toyota project or from Toyota Motor Manufacturing, as we send them down 65 on those 18-wheelers and they hit the port. If they have the capacity for bigger containerized cargo, it helps their shipping costs be a little less, and it helps us with our balance of trade, where they can actually sell things from Huntsville, Alabama that are sold all over the world.”

“So, I think there’s a good argument – if we have bigger containerized cargo being able to come in there, it lowers your shipping costs, and it gives us goods that cost a little bit less,” he added. “But it also helps us sell goods at a lower price throughout the world. That helps everybody.”

@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

Gov. Ivey spox: No special session announcement at infrastructure, gas tax event tomorrow

(YHN, PublicDomainPictures)

The rumor mill is churning with talk that Gov. Kay Ivey could announce a special session in coming days that would deal with infrastructure, which could be financed by a hike in the gas tax.

On Wednesday, the governor will unveil her infrastructure proposal in Chilton County’s Maplesville alongside “a host of legislators, local dignitaries and officials from the Alabama Department of Transportation.”

Earlier, former State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) and Huntsville radio talker Dale Jackson made mention of the rumors on social media.

126

However, a spokesman from the governor’s office acknowledged the discussion of a special session but told Yellowhammer News not to expect an announcement at tomorrow’s event in Maplesville.

@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.

4 weeks ago

Alabama Hospital Association head Don Williamson: Feds ‘will put in 90% into the future as far as we can see’ if Alabama expands Medicaid

(Screenshot/YouTube)

Over the past few weeks, some state lawmakers have suggested that the state of Alabama at least take a look at the expansion of Medicaid in the future.

Gov. Kay Ivey and Republican leaders in the legislature have long dismissed the possibility. However, in an appearance Friday on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Alabama Hospital Association president and CEO Dr. Don Williamson insists expanding Medicaid is within reach for the state.

Williamson argued Alabama’s match would only be 10 percent, and that that number was set into the future “as far as we can see.”

226

“I understand how hard it is to find money, but after the first year, if you look at the savings associated with expansion, if you look at the tax revenue that comes in – you’re about in 2023, for example, pulling in $3 billion of additional federal money for an investment on the state side for about $25 million, first,” Williamson when asked by host Don Dailey about opposition to the policy change given the cost and the goal being to reduce, not expand, Medicaid rolls.

“Second, people talk about the federal dollars going away,” he continued. “The federal match rate for Medicaid expansion is set in statute. Beginning in January of 2020, it is 10 percent. We put up 10 percent. The federal government will put in 90 percent into the future as far as we can see. So, don’t worry about that.”

“Lastly, I agree – I would much rather see people have access to good high paying jobs,” he added. “But what we’re seeing is we’re seeing despite record-high employment rates in the state, that does not translate in a dramatic decline of Medicaid enrollment. Why? Because in many cases, those jobs don’t pay enough money for individuals to get private insurance.”

@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.

4 weeks ago

Alabama Policy Institute’s Phil Williams: If straight gas tax bill brought to the floor, ‘it’s going to fail’

(Screenshot/YouTube)

Friday on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Alabama Policy Institute director of policy strategy Phil Williams, also a former state senator, followed up on his organization’s suggestions on the state legislature’s possible gas tax hike in the upcoming legislative session.

Williams highlighted a number of ideas, including the potential for a tax swap to offset the cost at the gas pump.

However, he argued if such reforms were not included, he did not see the legislature passing a gas tax increase.

143

“It’s going to be a very tough sale,” Williams said to APTV’s Don Dailey. “I’ll be honest with you – sitting here today, you and I talking – I think if they bring a straight tax bill to the floor — no reforms, no offsets – it’s going to fail. That is my sense of it. That is my perception, having sat in those same seats and voted on similar legislation in the past. But I do believe if they couple it with reforms, couple it with an offset, even a potential partial offset, I think they will wind up being able to curry favor with the most conservative members of the House and the Senate and get something done.”

@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.