The Wire

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


    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


    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


    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.

It’s time to let voters decide

(Tanner Boriack/Unsplash, YHN)

Voters in Alabama are smart.

Despite what you hear from certain circles in California, Washington, D.C. and beyond, the people of this state have a keen sense of what is best for their families, their quality of life and what will create the type of economic opportunity they seek.

This is why it is time for the Alabama Legislature to get out of the way and let Alabama voters decide how they want to fund certain foundational necessities like statewide access to high-speed internet.

Building out broadband access will change the lives of countless Alabamians for the better. Ensuring every community has high-speed internet access will create jobs, improve health care and enhance educational experiences for all children.

And nowhere will this benefit the state more than in rural communities. High-speed internet access in rural areas will be like rocket fuel for opportunity. Agriculture and industry in rural Alabama will have the tools to compete with anywhere else in the world.

As many have remarked before, so goes rural Alabama, so goes the state. In front of the legislature now is a bill that could make rural Alabama really go.


The bill grants voters the final say in whether to direct proceeds from largely existing gaming activities toward broadband expansion. Because the legislation would enable a constitutional amendment to appear on the ballot, it allows the people of Alabama to finally chart a direction for two areas of public policy it has debated for quite some time: gaming and 21st-century infrastructure.

The first $1 billion in state tax proceeds from gaming dedicated to IT infrastructure will be directed to high-speed broadband expansion, if voters pass the constitutional amendment. This would result in a life-changing infrastructure investment for generations of Alabamians, especially those in rural areas.

Farms will become more efficient. Children will learn more easily. Health care will improve. These are not just possibilities when $1 billion goes to rural broadband expansion. These things will happen.

This is not even to mention the bill also generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for postsecondary education scholarships, rural health care services and mental health care services – additional longtime priorities with broad, bipartisan support.

The entire state will also benefit from some welcome clarity and regulation on the issue of gaming, which has existed under a patchwork structure and in the shadows for years. There has not been any previous proposal that required gaming entities to contribute to the well-being of the state on the level the present proposal does. Control, regulation and revenue – the bill checks all three boxes.

While the legislature has thus far taken a prudent approach in fine-tuning the bill into the best possible proposal for the people to ultimately consider, exhaustive consideration must not again turn into kicking the can down the road – or intentionally barring the voters from having their voices heard on the matter. Debate the matter candidly and openly. But also know that this transformational, generational opportunity will not soon come again.

It is time to let voters decide.

The Yellowhammer Multimedia Editorial Board is comprised of the editor-in-chief and owners of YHM, LLC.

Roby: Today’s youth are tomorrow’s future

(M. Roby for Congress/Facebook)

Education is one of the most critical components of our society today. It is how we formulate opinions and perspectives, gain exposure to different ideas and cultures, and develop new skills. With the knowledge and understanding gained from a solid education, we are able to learn how to be successful in our careers, family lives, and personal lives. Education also stimulates the whole country, furthering economic growth and stability. With education, one is able to take in the world around them and turn it into something better.

This past week, January 26 through February 1, was National School Choice Week as declared by the President. Governor Kay Ivey also issued a proclamation pronouncing the same timeframe as Alabama School Choice Week. During this week long initiative, schools, organizations, and individuals planned thousands of events across the state and country in order to raise public awareness of the value of school choice. It is extremely important that children throughout the nation are able to receive an education that best fits their needs. National School Choice Week highlights the many different K-12 education options that are available for our children and their families.


I am proud to join state and national leaders, parents, and students in recognizing this significant initiative. National School Choice Week addresses the many options available to families throughout the United States and in the Second District, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, online schooling programs, and home schooling programs. All of America’s children deserve an education that benefits, challenges, and motivates them regardless of their background. Because each individual was created to be unique and different, it is crucial that learning environments reflect and meet those individual needs.

One component of education that I believe is vital to the future of our country is the engagement of youth in our nation’s government process. Our youth are the leaders of tomorrow, and it is essential that they learn about, understand, and participate in the government process as they mature. This year is an especially significant year for youth engagement, as we are in the midst of much action – an upcoming presidential election and here at home as the annual 2020 Alabama State Legislative session kicks off. I highly encourage parents of the Second Congressional District youth to urge your children to turn their focus on current events happening in our state, country, and even around the world. Our children are the future of this country, and it is imperative that we do our best to equip them with all we can to ensure they succeed.

Representative Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.

1 year ago

Jeff Sessions: Why I’m running for the U.S. Senate


We live in very dangerous and serious times. There is a multi-front battle raging for the soul and the future of our country. We have before us great opportunity, and also great peril.

The stakes are very high, and I am uniquely qualified and prepared to represent and defend Alabama and American values in this battle.

The radical left has captured the Democrat Party and the threat is real and dire. The wolf is at the door. This is their agenda, and they are very open about it:


– Socialism
– Medicare for All (which kills health insurance for 50% of Americans)
– Open borders
– Free healthcare for illegals
– The Green New Deal (which would bankrupt and destroy our economy)
– Confiscation of firearms
– Curtailing freedom of speech and religion.

Alabama must send someone to Washington who has the courage, the knowledge, and the backbone to stand up against this madness, and to actually stop it. I can and I will.

When conservative voters were flocking to support Donald Trump in the primary in 2016, but Republican Senators were hiding under their desks, only one U.S. Senator had the courage to stand up on stage and endorse President Trump. I stood up for Alabama values.

In 2013 when Republican leaders in Washington were on the verge of capitulating to the Democrats and accepting illegal immigration and amnesty as the law of the land, I stopped them. I stood up for Alabama values.

When Republicans in Washington were allowing the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal to go through, a deal which may have been good for Wall Street, but would have been disastrous for American workers, I stopped them. I stood up for Alabama values.

When I took over the Department of Justice, I reversed Obama Administration policies that unfairly targeted Christian and conservative organizations, and I made it the policy of the U.S. Government to defend people of faith in every court in our nation. The liberal press attacked me, but I didn’t care — I stood up for Alabama values. I defended our men and women of law enforcement, and I promised them that the U.S. Department of Justice would support their efforts to keep Americans safe.

Let’s be very clear — every candidate can get up in front of a crowd and beat their chest and tell folks what they want to hear. That’s easy. And we have some individuals running who give a nice political speech.

But talk is cheap. The question is, who is ready to step into the breach and represent Alabama values in the U.S. Senate immediately? Who is ready, and capable, of fighting for President Trump’s agenda? Who can make it happen? Time is short, this battle is raging right now, and we have to win this fight.

Make no mistake — the Democrats in Washington are seeking to fundamentally redefine America, change our ideals, and divide us from each other.

I am certainly not the favorite of the Washington establishment crowd, but I am the one with the courage, the knowledge, the backbone, and the ability to get the job done for Alabama.

Senator Doug Jones is a radical liberal who voted against Justice Kavanaugh and who would certainly vote for Chuck Schumer to be majority leader in the Senate. We must defeat him. I can, and I will, and the Democrats know this.

These are serious times; Alabama needs to send a warrior to Washington. Let’s go!

Jeff Sessions has served as a U.S. Senator and Attorney General and is a 2020 candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama

Why Mike Kemp’s withdrawal from BCA is highly significant

(Courtesy Kemp Management Solutions)

As reported earlier today, BCA Progress PAC Chairman Mike Kemp has resigned his position and withdrawn his membership from the group. Kemp was also set for installation as Chairman of BCA later this year.

The Yellowhammer Multimedia Executive Board has obtained a copy of Kemp’s letter of resignation to BCA Chairman Perry Hand. The letter is dated June 20, 2018.

Based upon Kemp’s position in the organization and the reasons he states for his withdrawal, his leaving BCA is a highly significant development in this ongoing saga.


Kemp served as Progress PAC Chairman and was next in line for the BCA chairmanship.

The funds in Progress PAC, the BCA’s campaign finance apparatus, typically swell above $2 million during any given state election cycle. As this year’s Progress PAC chairman during a busy state election cycle, Kemp was right in the middle of choosing on whom those dollars got spent. Overseeing the distribution of that kind of money brings with it a tremendous amount of power and influence.

Kemp was also set to take over as the next chairman at BCA. The list of people who have held that position reads like a who’s who in the Alabama business community the last 30 plus years. Kemp was set to join an elite group of business leaders.

No one gives all this up lightly.

And so one can imagine that it took grave concerns about the organization’s direction and actions for him to forego the opportunities that lay in front of him.

Kemp’s stated reasons for withdrawal reveal that deeper problems may exist within BCA.

One passage, in particular, jumps out in Kemp’s letter:

“We must also demonstrate unwavering integrity in communicating with and managing the resources of our membership, to whom we are ultimately accountable. This is particularly true in a time of crisis, like the one before us. I am disappointed that the BCA leadership’s actions to date have failed to meet these standards, and as such, are antithetical to my views in all respects.”

Without elaborating in more detail, Kemp clearly identifies internal communications and financial management as contributing factors to his withdrawal. The organization recorded annual expenses of $4.7 million, according to IRS documents filed in 2016. With so many large members having left already, BCA will likely encounter an even greater budget shortfall. Time will reveal the severity of these shortfalls given that any proposal to dip into organizational reserves requires adoption by the full 132 member board. Additionally, according to multiple sources, a full financial audit of the organization is being pursued.

Attempts at communication within BCA were poor. We have been told repeatedly by current members of the Executive Committee that no one was updated with any regularity. The details surrounding transition were murky. Members feel as if they are being kept at arms-length.

Kemp was a trusted mediator.

Kemp worked diligently to find a solution to the problems that have contributed to this crisis. Other members trusted Kemp based upon his prudent and measured approach. He was making a genuine, good-faith effort to preserve the mission of the organization and improve our state’s economy.

The fact that he has withdrawn completely from BCA would indicate that the group’s leadership has strayed too far from its mission and the problems are beyond repair.

The Yellowhammer Multimedia Executive Board is comprised of the owners of the company.

It’s decision time for the Business Council of Alabama


The great U.S. Army General Norman Schwarzkopf often remarked that far more danger lies in not making a decision than in the consequences that result from making a decision.

Here is the point at which the executive committee of the Business Council of Alabama finds itself. The executive committee is scheduled to convene tomorrow to consider whether to start a new chapter, under new leadership, or to maintain the organization’s status quo through inaction.

During the last several months, a steady stream of people have reached out to us because they were dissatisfied. And, if there is one thing we have learned from this information, it is to listen to people of influence.

It is our belief that three particular areas of concern require a decision for new leadership at the BCA


First, the fact of the matter is that over the last several years the organization’s effectiveness and influence have diminished significantly. We consider ourselves uniquely positioned to make an assessment here, and we have chronicled some of the organization’s deficiencies in the policy-making process. The inability to carry out the critical functions of advocacy should, by itself, lead to a decision for change.

However, we also understand that these things do not happen in a vacuum. Nearly all executive committee members have their own businesses to run. They are not involved in the day-to-day machinations of state government. It is possible that the only information they receive channels through the organization itself. In addition, several committee members have long-standing friendships with BCA President Billy Canary. It is natural that those relationships may shade their perspective on the current situation.

And so if our first area of concern does not resonate with BCA decision makers, for whatever reason, then we would point out the fact that Mr. Canary no longer has a working relationship with key Alabama elected officials. Among the things we have learned from those reaching out to us is the fact that Mr. Canary is no longer welcome in the offices of those with great influence in Alabama’s federal delegation and at the top of the Alabama State Legislature. By any measure, this renders BCA incredibly weak as it tries to participate in the process. We would submit that, in fact, it is a fatal flaw in the organization’s structure. We doubt that the executive committee would ever make a new hire of someone if the prospective candidate was unwelcome in the offices of such high-ranking elected officials.

If for some reason neither of these two concerns draw the BCA executive committee to a decision, we would think there is a final, practical consideration at work: the organization’s finances demand a decision. As we have previously detailed, the BCA’s financial health is in peril. Expenses are up, contributions are down, and this directly impacts the organization’s ability to function. Furthermore, if the members choose to maintain the status quo, several of the state’s largest employers may feel compelled to start a new, healthier organization to advocate on behalf of Alabama’s economy. BCA will become nothing more than a shell.

Our message to the executive committee is simple: please put the best interests of the organization first. You owe it to the organization, not just one person.

General Schwarzkopf made another observation about making decisions while in a position of leadership. He said, “The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.”

Mr. Canary has served the organization for more than fifteen years. Transition is never easy.

But it’s decision time.

The Yellowhammer Multimedia Executive Board is comprised of the owners of the company.


It’s time for the BCA to hit the reset button


At a time when the business community in Alabama should be enjoying a tremendous amount of influence with Republican supermajorities in the Legislature, strong economic development support from the governor, and the state’s lowest unemployment rate in history, its largest association, the Business Council of Alabama, is in the middle of a leadership crisis of epic proportions.

The sun is shining for business in Alabama and its leadership should be making hay, but they are not.

Instead, some of the largest employers in the state are working overtime to push out the longtime head of the BCA, Billy Canary. Why? Well, if you listen to legislators in the State House, they feel a strong disconnect from the business community and it is beginning to show.

Legislation that should be a “chip shot” for business in Alabama is running into roadblocks because of personality conflicts, ego and a desire to settle old scores. There are usually more than one thousand bills filed in any given legislative session, making education, communication and advocacy critical functions for any entity wishing to advance their policy initiatives. And, yet, a consistent criticism of the BCA has been its inability to carry out these critical functions as part of its participation in the policy-making process.

The BCA’s diminished effectiveness and influence seem to demonstrate that criticism in these areas is warranted. In many cases, what’s best for business is being overshadowed by petty power struggles and political whims, which isn’t good for the people who show up to work every day trying to make payroll.

Something has to give.

The growing frustration boils down to Canary and his leadership style. Canary is a native New Yorker who has taken a street fighter approach during his time at BCA. For years, this served him well. Canary’s brash style played a vital role when the Democrats ruled the state and the Alabama Education Association dominated the flow of legislation. He had a boogeyman to go to battle with every day and his members loved it.


No one questioned that he was the right man for the job in this environment.

In 2010, Canary and the BCA went “all-in” on a plan to wrestle control of state government from the Democrats and the AEA and won big. The Republicans picked up supermajorities in the House and Senate and, all of a sudden, the BCA was the king of the mountain. The Democrats and AEA were in shambles and continue to show no signs of making a meaningful recovery.

To the victor goes the spoils and the BCA had a nice run for a couple of sessions following the takeover, namely in the area of education reform. However, when you’re on top in Montgomery, even if you spent years fighting the boogeyman, you become the boogeyman by default. This sudden role reversal seemed difficult for Canary to navigate and his brash, sometimes arrogant style has begun to rub many in the Legislature, as well as corporate titans across the state, the wrong way.

As a result, the BCA is not nearly as effective as it could be. An entity that should be enjoying the type of influence the AEA had in Montgomery for many years is struggling to pass mundane bills.

Mr. Canary, you did a tremendous job taking the BCA to the top. You were the right man for that job and should be forever recognized for your efforts. However, it is time to pass the torch to someone with a different leadership style than yours. In “The Godfather”, Don Corleone understood the difference between a wartime and peacetime consigliere. The time for a wartime consigliere has passed. A peacetime consigliere is needed to make some hay while the sun is shining for Alabama businesses.

It’s time to hit the reset button at the BCA in the interest of its hardworking members who are providing jobs to the vast majority of the citizens of our great state.

The Yellowhammer Multimedia Executive Board is comprised of the owners of the company.

3 years ago

Are economic developers lobbyists? What you need to know about Alabama’s most misunderstood ethics bill


Last week saw the end of the 2018 legislative session in Alabama, with the final days providing this year’s fill of political drama and heated debate. Perhaps the most controversial bill was the Legislature’s passage of a bill that distinguishes the role of economic developer in the state from that of lobbyist. This might be the most misunderstood issue seen in Alabama in quite some time, and if you rely on the opinion writers of the state for the facts surrounding this issue, then you’d be sure to believe that any legislator voting for its passage should be next in line for indictment.

Alabama has had no shortage of scandal surrounding governmental leaders, so it is understandable that any change to ethics laws should be scrutinized to ensure that all elected officials are held accountable.

If only HB317 had any effect on those laws, the rhetoric of the media would be warranted. Sadly, we live in a place where Chicken Little has been right too many times and Alabamians have seen the political characters in our story crash from the sky.

Here are the facts:

— When the newly elected Republican Legislature passed sweeping ethics reform in 2010, there were not many economic developers in the state who also considered themselves lobbyists.

— Traditionally speaking, and defined by the law, lobbying is described as “promoting, opposing or in any manner influencing the of legislation before any legislative body”.

— So, as far as the normal course of business goes for an economic developer, only in the event you are being paid to influence legislation would you be considered a lobbyist.


— However, section 36-25-1.1 of the Alabama Code states that “Lobbying includes promoting or attempting to influence the awarding of a grant or contract with any department or agency of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of state government.”  Theoretically, this language could mean that an expansive number of activities or roles are defined as “lobbying”, including those involved in incentivizing new jobs and investment.

— More notably, site selection consultants who represent the private companies looking to expand or locate to Alabama would fall into the category of lobbyist.  The implications here could be catastrophic to Alabama’s ability to compete for new jobs and investment.

— Once the question was raised, those in the profession did the right thing, they sought clarity from the Alabama Ethics Commission to determine how to define the act of lobbying for their professional community.

— After years of considering this topic, a draft opinion issued by the commission indicated that it was unclear on whether or not the profession should consider themselves lobbyists and further stated that the lack of clarity was certainly a problem under the current definition of the law.

Why the bill is necessary:

The current law defines terms in a way that creates more questions than it provides answers and the Alabama Ethics Commission was unwilling to clarify the terms and regulations that apply to this profession. The more than 500 economic developers in our state have been operating in a grey area for years, uncertain of their professional obligation to comply in part or whole with the current law.

Here’s why economic-developers-as-lobbyists doesn’t work:

Let’s say economic developers are defined as lobbyists who have to register any entity that pays them. For most, this would be the chamber of commerce or industrial development board that employs them.  Sounds simple, right? The group would fulfill the annual educational requirements of any lobbyist and continue to comply with the financial requirements associated with elected officials.  There is not one developer in the state who would object to that, right?  Wrong.

What about the group of consultants who shop for locations across the country?  Each one would have to register with the Ethics Commission by January 31st each year on the off chance they may have a project in Alabama, then make an extra trip to Montgomery to attend lobbyist training.  As a former site selector, I can assure you, when tasked with the process of elimination, any location that requires you to jump through these types of hoops gets chopped out of the gate.

The current code of nebulous ethics laws on the books today would further require disclosure of confidential project information that would preclude the process from taking root in Alabama.

So why are our headlines filled with new project announcements if economic developers can’t do their jobs?

Only recently have the scope of these concerns been called into question.  Alabama has been a leader in recruiting jobs and investment while operating under the assumption that those who are responsible for recruiting and expanding our economy are not considered lobbyists unless they are actively influencing legislation at the state level.  The law’s language had to be addressed and clarified or those headlines would be a thing of the past.  Without the passage of HB317, the clear-as-mud terms of the law and the Ethics Commission’s inability to provide clarity would be a sign to all those representing corporate investment that Alabama, once a major competitor, is now closed for business.

What now?

The new clarity in the law is not perfect, far from it.  But regardless of whether economic developers are considered lobbyists or not, elected officials still have to play by the same rules enacted in 2010.  Nothing has changed in that department.

To the members who sorted through the rhetoric and voted in favor of this bill, thank you for allowing those responsible for the good headlines to continue to do their jobs.  Perhaps this election cycle, instead of chastising those in the Legislature that have actually done something toward providing solutions, we should consider our votes for those who are willing, even temporarily, to solve the hard problems.

Allison Ross is the publisher and owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

3 years ago

Is gender still a barrier to entry? Here are 20 examples of how women can forge their own path

Allison Ross, Gov. Ivey, BJ Ellis (YHN)

Yellowhammer Multimedia had the privilege this week to honor 20 incredible Alabamians during our inaugural Women of Impact award reception at the Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa in Birmingham.

Amid a standing room only crowd, the accomplishments of a diverse group of women were celebrated for a simple reason — their stories are worth telling.

We heard from rocket scientists and athletes, artists and attorneys, women who work in the boardroom and in the classroom, and from those who started businesses in their kitchens that eventually rose to dominate their industries. They were from diverse backgrounds and worked in various professions, and while they all took different paths in life the outcome was the same — each has made significant contributions to their families, their industries and their communities.


When they were singled out for recognition, these women expressed deep humility and offered comments of sincere appreciation for the other women on the list. There wasn’t a self-promoter in the bunch.

Friends and family who attended the reception shared many stories about how these women have contributed to the success of others. That underscored what this event was all about — recognizing leaders who are more interested in acknowledging the success of others rather than their own.

To the beautiful women who allowed us to tell their stories — thank you! We are truly grateful for the trails you blazed in your industries and the contributions you have made to our state.

I fully recognized the trailblazers in my industry when I began working. There were only a handful of women within the economic development community who had earned a seat at the table. In witnessing their achievements — and the respect shown to them by their colleagues – I saw that if you’re willing to earn your seat the hard way, it can be done.

This is why it’s important to tell these stories. Several young girls attended the event. My seven-year-old daughter was one of them. I hope and expect that when it’s their turn to take a seat at the table, their gender is the least noticeable of their contributions.

Still, if you think gender remains a barrier to entry, Yellowhammer Multimedia just gave you 20 examples of how that barrier can not only be scaled, but demolished.

And we’ll give you 20 more next year.

@allisonkross11 is the owner and publisher of Yellowhammer Multimedia.


BCA endorsement is a real head-scratcher

Campaign season is officially upon us.  Yard signs are popping up at every street corner and on trees along our roadways, the monthly FCPA reports showing candidate fundraising activity are on full display and endorsements are being rolled out by groups across the state.  While there has been an age old debate about the true value of endorsements, especially from elected officials, there is no question that an endorsement from the likes of ALFA, the Business Council of Alabama, the Realtors Association, just to name a few, can prove to be a major shot in the arm for a candidate seeking statewide office in Alabama.


Aside from the very large campaign checks they can dole out at a moment’s notice, these groups have a strong network of very politically active members across the state who ban together to turnout the vote for candidates who align with their interests.  The endorsements, on many levels, can provide a little-known candidate instant “street cred” and very quickly propel their candidacy to new heights.  So, it is no mystery as to why potential candidates can spend more than a year ahead of an election cycle traveling to local ALFA meetings and visiting with key business leaders to lay the groundwork for just the opportunity to win a coveted endorsement.  Quite simply, being shunned by one of these groups may not break one’s campaign but receiving their blessing can certainly make one’s campaign.

The Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee, or ACJRC to the Montgomery insiders, was established in the 1990s by a wide range of business associations banding together to recruit and finance conservative judicial candidates to put an end to the “tort hell” environment created over the years by the trial lawyers that had embedded itself inside of the Alabama Court System.  The effort, conducted by none other than famed political consultant Karl Rove, was wildly successful and, over time, turned the state’s court system from one of the least business-friendly in the country into one of the most.  This feat was not easy and the ACJRC continues to work to build a wall around the court system to protect it from anti-business forces.

So, when the Business Council of Alabama made the decision to endorse Mobile County Circuit Judge Sarah Stewart in the race for Supreme Court, to say the other business associations in Montgomery were stunned would be an understatement.  It could be likened to Tua Tagovailoa shedding his Alabama jersey in the National Championship game, walking to the Georgia sideline and lining up at quarterback for them on the next series.  Those who had worked so hard to preserve the coalition were angered because they fully understand the aforementioned benefits that come with a major endorsement.

According to the ACJRC, one should look no further than a case involving South Alabama Brick to understand that Stewart’s judicial record is far from business-friendly.  Her ruling, eventually overturned by the Alabama Supreme Court, would have required business and property owners to warn independent contractors along with their employees of any potential hazards, no matter how large or small, they could encounter while on the job site even if the contractor had more expertise regarding the issue.  Furthermore, the burden of making sure the contractor’s employees were operating in a safe manner would have been unduly placed on the business owner regardless of whether or not the contractor had implemented his or her own operational safety standards.

However, the specifics of this particular endorsement aside, the more important issue may be the fracturing of the coalition on this race and the Business Council’s unwillingness to explain the endorsement to us and others. The civil justice arm of the business community is now pitted against what used to be its single strongest member. These groups have held the line and worked arm in arm for years. The fact that the Business Council would change jerseys on this one is truly a headscratcher.

The Yellowhammer Multimedia Executive Board is comprised of the owners of the company.

(Image — Yellowhammer News Graphic)

There’s only one choice for conservatives in Alabama Senate race

Tomorrow’s special election for the United States Senate was supposed to have been a mere formality for the Republican nominee.  And, yet, this election has turned our state into a center of controversy and the object of scorn directed at Alabama voters from those outside of the state’s border.

Our readers have flooded us with messages of confusion, dismay, dissatisfaction, anger and resolve.  Many of those feelings we share with them, particularly the attacks on Christian conservatives.  We care about Christian conservatives because that is who we are.  When we see attacks aimed at our friends, neighbors and readers, and an election with so much at stake, we feel compelled to speak up.

As a news outlet, we have not been afraid to wade into the controversy surrounding Roy Moore.  We believe many of the things the women have said. We also believe some of the allegations have been credibly refuted. One woman has admitted that she falsified certain parts of the evidence that she put forth. Forty years is a long time. The uncomfortable reality in a situation like this is that memories fade and recollections become foggy. Many aspects of our justice system reflect that reality.

The validity of these claims aside, our disappointment with Moore centers primarily on his handling of the allegations. He initially acknowledged that he had known some of the women but nothing inappropriate occurred.  Then he changed his story. Perhaps he made the political calculation that a full on denial of anything and everything was the path to victory. In our estimation, that amounted to unnecessary deception.

Moore has been the object of intense scrutiny for more than two decades. Liberal groups who think that the words “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion” should mean something other than what they do have fought him relentlessly for years. They have spent millions of their Hollywood-elite dollars to oppose him. During that time, nothing along the lines of these allegations has ever surfaced.  And we are also encouraged by the fact that certain social norms acceptable forty years ago have dissolved for the better.

None of this has stopped the attacks. Attacks on our state, our citizens and our beliefs.

At the end of the day, regardless of the circumstances 40 years ago, we’re not going to defend the actions of Roy Moore back then or his evasiveness during this special election.  If the allegations are true, they are simply reprehensible.  However, we’ll default to the position of our country’s forefathers and conclude that a man is innocent until proven guilty.  

Either way, we’re with you Senator Shelby, Alabama does deserve better.  Our hope is that when this seat is open again in 2020 that a conservative all Alabamians can be proud of will emerge.  The problem is, right now, there is so much more at stake than simply Roy Moore.

By every true measure, President Donald Trump has governed conservatively – just as the vast majority of the voters in our state expected he would. One of his first acts was to nominate Jeff Sessions to the position of Attorney General. He has fixed the job-killing and tyrannical regulatory mess at agencies like the Department of Energy, the EPA, the CFPB and the FCC.  He has nominated conservative judges who are committed to upholding the Constitution at every level of the federal judiciary. President Trump has shown the fortitude to implement foreign policy recognizing America’s values and protecting our interests as evidenced by the dismantling of ISIS.  Just last week he ordered our embassy in Israel moved to its rightful place in Jerusalem.  He has also pushed through what will be the most comprehensive tax reform package in years.  There is even more work to be done.

Those opposing Roy Moore have tried to float the idea that write-in votes are an acceptable choice. They are not. There are two choices tomorrow: Roy Moore or Doug Jones. There are only two men from whom you can choose to support President Trump’s agenda and represent our values in the United States Senate.  And be sure about this, conservatives who choose to sit this one out are, in fact, choosing a candidate.  A non-vote on Tuesday is a vote for Doug Jones.

Roy Moore will support President Trump’s agenda.  Moore will protect unborn children, help repeal Obamacare and guarantee that Trump’s conservative judicial nominees get confirmation. Jones will not. Moore will vote similarly to how Jeff Sessions voted. Jones will not.

This is why we are all being attacked. They resent our faith and our values. This is also why we urge you to vote for Roy Moore in tomorrow’s election.


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