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.

9 hours ago

Sen. Doug Jones misleads on Trump administration’s coronavirus response

(White House/Flickr, Senator Doug Jones/Facebook, YHN)

It should come as no surprise that the media and their Democrats are blaming President Donald Trump and his administration for the COVID-19 virus.

Call it predictable, call it politics, call it sad, but at the end of the day, call it wrong.

When U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) took part in what should have been a non-partisan conference call with the Alabama Department of Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, he took the time to call out the Trump administration for its lack of action early on in the pandemic.


After blaming the actual people responsible for this pandemic, China and the World Health Organization, Jones said, “I’ve been disappointed in the administration and their early responses.” He added the president and his team had a “cavalier attitudes.”

Too bad he’s wrong.

And truthfully, it’s not even an original thought as former comedienne Sarah Silverman beat him to it by two days.

In response to Silverman, the Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra took her apart with a timeline that tells a different story.

January 3: Tried to get CDC into China (numerous attempts made/China never allowed)
January 6: Began issuing travel notices (issued multiple)
January 7: Created issue management system
Janurary 17: Began screenings at airports
January 20: Announces work on development of a vaccine
January 21: Activated its emergency operations center to provide ongoing support to the coronavirus response
January 23: Sought a “special emergency authorization” from FDA to allow states to use its newly developed coronavirus test
January 23: China finally quarantines Wuhan, had lied to the world for weeks about what was going on and how contagious the virus was and deadly
January 29: Creates Coronavirus Task Force
January 31: Bans travel from China / Declares public health emergency / suspends entry from foreigners who pose risk of transmitting coronavirus
February 2: CDC expands screenings at airports
February 5: Briefs lawmakers about pandemic
February 6: CDC ships tests
February 9: Briefs governors about pandemic
February 11: Expands efforts with private sector to expedite vaccine
February 14: Partners with local labs to conduct influenza surveillance to see if alarms are going off
February 24: Writes Congress asking for billions to combat coronavirus
February 29: Bans travel from South Korea / Iran
March 3: Donates entire quarter’s salary to fighting coronavirus
March 4: Announces massive buy in N95 masks (which Obama-Biden admin depleted and never replaced
March 6: Signs $8.3 billion to combat coronavirus
March 11: Bans travel from Europe/made numerous moves to lower interest rates

March 13: Declares national emergency, freeing up $42 billion.

Over 100,000 Americans are dead, but Jones has to play politics because his job depends on it.

I don’t blame Jones. He’s mostly echoing the talking points of his party, their true leaders like Silverman, and rightly expecting very little actual push-back.

His only hope of hanging on to his job is pleasing the people who fund his campaign and hoping they will keep dumping their money into his account from New York, California and Washington, D.C. He can only do that by blasting Trump, whether he needs it or not.

But President Trump listened to his health officials and our current trajectory is far below the early projections of 2.2 million dead. This is a success.

Monday morning quarterbacking might make Jones and his handlers feel better, but if he is going to do it, he needs to be accurate.

On this front, he fails miserably. And he looks like another politician who doesn’t know what he is talking about.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

18 hours ago

7 Things: Doug Jones blames Trump for the coronavirus pandemic, Alabama Public Health Department dispels rumors about numbers, no ‘rush’ to press charges in Minnesota and more …


7. Sessions supporters still argue he did the right thing in recusing himself

  • In 2017, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation of Russian interference into President Donald Trump’s election campaign, and Trump has used Sessions’ recusal as a point to criticize him regularly. 
  • Despite Trump’s criticism, Sessions has maintained that recusal was required due to federal regulations, and now he’s said that these regulations “basically has the impact of law” and “you’re not able to investigate yourself,” adding that U.S. Attorney General William Barr, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Attorney Generals Mike Mukasey and Ed Meese, and U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) all agree with Sessions’ decision to recuse himself. 

6. Birmingham may extend mask ordinance


  • Friday, the Birmingham City Council is going to vote on whether to continue the mandatory mask city ordinance until June 12, which is set to expire on May 29 after first being put in place back on April 28.
  • Birmingham is the only city that requires people to wear a mask in public. Council President William Parker said that wearing a mask “is an intentional act of kindness because you’re helping to protect those around you.” He added that while they “can’t legislate morality, we just want our citizens to understand the importance of covering their face when they are in a public space.”

5. It’s looking more and more like we’ll have football by fall

  • State Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) has said that while Auburn University and the University of Alabama don’t make the decision to have football this fall, but “every indication is that is going to happen.”
  • Whatley also said he’s hoping Auburn can have students return to campus by the end of June, adding that the university is “committed to getting students back on the Auburn campus.”

4. Trump has signed an executive order against social media companies

  • President Donald Trump was fact-checked by Twitter, which he said were “editorial decisions,” and now it has escalated to him signing an executive order to challenge the liability protections that prevent social media sites from lawsuits due to the content on their platforms.
  • Twitter responded by targeting another Trump tweet. They are granted these protections because they’re considered “platforms” instead of “publishers,” but Trump said that he’s “fed up with it” since Twitter has a reputation of targeting conservatives.

3. Charges against officers involved in Floyd death won’t be rushed

  • The four police officers in Minneapolis that were involved in the death of George Floyd have been fired, but now, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that they aren’t going to “rush” to press charges on officers.
  • Freeman said they’re going to “do this right,” and went on to ask the public to “give me and give the United States attorney the time to do this right, and we will bring you justice. I promise.” However, after the death of George Floyd there has been an outbreak of looting and rioting throughout the city.

2. No, your whole family won’t be counted if you test positive

  • The Alabama Department of Public Health has put rumors to rest that if you test positive for the coronavirus then everyone in your household will be counted as positive, clarifying that those who are counted in the case numbers are those who test positive through a clinical lab, commercial lab or the Bureau of Clinical Laboratories.
  • In Alabama, the ADPH is also not including antibody tests in the positive coronavirus cases, and while they aren’t counting people who live in the same house as someone who tests positive in the case count, they do suggest that those people consider themselves positive and “[e]veryone in the home is instructed to quarantine for 14 days from the date of the case’s onset of symptoms.”

1. Jones doesn’t just blame Trump for the coronavirus

  • In a live-stream with Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) to discuss the coronavirus, Jones answered the question of what he would say to people about how high the death toll in the United States has gotten. Jones said that he doesn’t “think we’re at a point where we should be pointing a whole lot of blame.”
  • Throughout his comments, Jones said that there is blame to be placed on China, the Worth Health Organization, and President Donald Trump and “the administration and their early responses.” Jones went on to say that reopening states right now is “premature.”

1 day ago

Twitter should back down, and Trump should back off

(White House/Flickr, YHN)

American politics are about to enter a precarious place where the messages put out by politicians, or maybe only one politician, are going to be filtered by nameless and faceless tech employees that work for Twitter.

As we all know, Twitter is the tool used by President Donald Trump to get around the gate-keeping and absurd bias of the mainstream media.

Until this week, he had an unfiltered avenue to speak directly to the American people, and they had an avenue to hear him.


Of course, afterward, anyone and everyone with a TV, newspaper byline or Twitter account could respond and call him a liar, fraud, treasonous monster or whatever they wanted.

But Twitter decided to step in and decide that they would start behaving differently, just for Trump, and editorialize on his content.

While they could have chosen to do so on his claims that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough needed to be looked at as a potential murderer, but they didn’t.

SIDENOTE: There is a tape where he jokes about having an affair and killing her.

Instead, Twitter decided they needed to go after the president on the issue of voter fraud.

Twitter editorialized this tweet by adding: “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” with links to content accusing the president of getting the facts wrong.

The reality is Democrats are pushing for all vote-by-mail elections.

Some states are automatically mailing ballots to all registered voters, while some are just mailing applications.

But this is far worse than this particular case. It’s the precedent being set.

Why Trump?

When Trump gets some of the info wrong, let the media and his political enemies call him out.

Why not all the elected officials who continued to allege Russian collusion for years, and still do to this day on Twitter?

What about media figures who spread dangerous misinformation about the motives of their fellow citizens and use Twitter to delimitate their attacks?

Why not Ayatollah Khomeini, who openly threatens Isreal?

Why not the official Chinese government Twitter accounts that accuse the United States of spreading the coronavirus?

The last two don’t even allow their citizens to use Twitter, but Twitter will bow down to them?

What about the people claiming former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t have to recuse himself? He did.

What about those who think U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has a chance at reelection? He doesn’t.

What about the anonymous guy who accuses me of numerous crimes and misdeeds on Twitter daily?

Does that guy now get a note depicting that his comments are untrue or unfounded?

What about essentially every column written by the bitter losers at Alabama Media Group? They had to dump their comment section because their commenters were crushing their souls. Will Twitter’s CEO or site integrity police call out their misinformation?

We could do this all day.

That’s the point. Moderation of this kind and on this scale is impossible.

It can’t be done effectively. That’s the purpose of the rule Trump wants reinterpreted.

More importantly, it should not be done — and it especially should not be done to one individual.

It shouldn’t matter how many times Joe Scarborough or any of CNN’s interchangeable talking heads declare, “This should be taken down,” Twitter should just stay out of moderating political debates because they will inevitably get it wrong and if they don’t editorialize, they now accept it.

What if Trump tweets “LOOK at all the lies Joe Biden has told, from the lies about his wife’s death to the lies about his son’s business dealings!”

If Twitter lets them stand, they are now confirmed? (SIDENOTE: They are confirmed)

Facebook actually got this as close to right as you could expect. They have attempted to discredit things linked to their site with a bit of a mixed bag approach that has angered liberals and conservatives alike.

But Twitter has now awakened the president, and he has the ability to raise questions about their status as a forum and not a publisher.

If Twitter is smart, they will follow the lead of Facebook’s CEO of stop trying to act as the arbiter of truth. Zuckerberg believes Twitter went too far, saying, “I think in general private companies probably shouldn’t be – especially these platform companies – shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”

Truthfully, Zuckerberg knows that Twitter is dragging him (and Google) into this, and he wants no part of it, nor should he.

Trump’s potential executive order makes his position clear, “This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power.”

He wants to strip them of immunity, meaning if they want to editorialize, then they are responsible for anything that they allow.

This will either force Twitter to back down on moderation or die as it currently exists and take down most social media sites with it.

As with any executive order, the next president can change the rules (except for DACA, apparently).

It’s pretty clear that Twitter has over-stepped here, and they only have two options if the president’s order becomes a reality and survives a court challenge: back down on moderation of political speech or be crushed by lawsuits and government oversight.

The correct move by Twitter would be to stop this nonsense right now, acknowledge that they will stop moderating political speech, and move on knowing they messed up.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

2 days ago

7 Things: Alabama’s COVID-19 mixed bag, CNN’s fake news about Alabama, Trump vs. social media and more …


7. Casinos reopening in June

  • Wind Creek Hospitality has said that their three Alabama casinos will reopen to the public on June 8 with new measures in place to try and help prevent the spread of coronavirus. 
  • Everyone will be required to wear masks, guests and employees will have their temperature checked, capacity on the casino floor is limited to one third, tables and dining areas are all going to be more spread out, hotels will be at half capacity, and employees will be sent home if they show any symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

6. The census is moving along slowly


  • In Alabama, just 58.2% of households have responded to the 2020 U.S. Census, while Governor Kay Ivey’s goal is to reach at least 80%. 
  • Alabama isn’t far behind the national response rate, which is currently at 60.1%. The counties in the state that are reporting at a faster rate are Shelby County with 72% of households responding and Madison County with 70.3%. 

5. Byrne has joined the lawsuit against Pelosi

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other Democrats in Congress have supported allowing “proxy” votes where members would be able to vote for their colleagues during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but a lawsuit brought against Pelosi argues that this practice is unconstitutional. 
  • U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) said that this “is a blatant violation of the Constitution.” He added that the proxy voting rules could allow “as few as 22 Democrats could claim a quorum and win a vote against all 197 Republicans.” U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has shown some support of the lawsuit, but Byrne is the only Alabama representative listed as a plaintiff. 

4. Trump is prepared to veto FISA bill

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other House Democrats have pushed forward on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provisions, despite Republican pushback, and now President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the whole thing until the investigation into the investigators is concluded and FISA abuses are exposed. 
  • On Twitter, Trump issued his warning and added that the United States “has just suffered through the greatest political crime in history.” He added, “The massive abuse of FISA was a big part of it!”

3. Trump is mad at social media and making it everyone’s issue

  • Fact checks were placed on a few of President Donald Trump’s posts on Twitter recently, and now he’s threatening new regulations or shutting down social media websites, saying they “silence conservative voices.”
  • Trump has also said “Big Action to follow,” suggesting that he would impose some kind of executive order to shut down these sites. Action like that would likely require the support of Congress, but others like U.S. Representative Josh Hawley (R-MO) said social media sites “get this special immunity, this special immunity from suits and from liability that’s worth billions of dollars to them every year.” He asked, “Why are they getting subsidized by federal taxpayers to censor conservatives, to censor people critical of China?”

2. CNN misrepresented Alabama beaches

  • On Memorial Day, CNN released a report on how crowded the beaches in Alabama were over the holiday weekend, but now Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft is speaking out against how CNN misrepresented the circumstances. 
  • Craft said that while they “can’t control everybody,” he’s “pleased with what I’ve seen down here.” He went on to point out how people are practicing social distancing at the beach, but the camera angles CNN used can easily distort reality, with a horizontal shot making the beach look more packed than it was. Craft said he just doesn’t “think the story is very accurate.”

1. Alabama’s coronavirus cases spike but there is some good news

  • Alabama has a surge in coronavirus cases, but one of the hotspots for coronavirus in Alabama, Marshall County, has seen 660 cases of the virus and a total of nine deaths. Now, it’s reported that there are no hospitalizations in the county that are positive for the virus. 
  • The hospitals in Marshall County are part of the Huntsville Hospital Healthcare System, and they’ve seen very few patients from the coronavirus overall. Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said he “can’t explain” why they had very few hospitalizations while seeing so many cases. 

3 days ago

7 Things: Senate race escalates, Alabama coronavirus cases increase as expected, Birmingham mask ordinance to expire and more …


7. North Alabama waterpark will remain closed all year

  • Despite most of the state reopening in some capacity, Point Mallard Waterpark in Decatur will remain closed for all of 2020 due to the coronavirus, Decatur city officials have announced. 
  • Decatur Mayor Tad Bowling also discussed that in the last week the city has seen their coronavirus cases increase from 119 to 176, saying that measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus must continue because “through the completion of these crucial steps that we can restart our economy that’s so vital to our communities.”

6. Twitter is fact-checking Trump now


  • President Donald Trump put out some tweets about mail-in voting, which he called “fraudulent” and said that “mail boxes will be robbed.” Under those tweets, Twitter has added a “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” link, which is the first time they’ve done this. 
  • Recently, Trump has brought attention to himself on Twitter by posting murder accusations about MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough from when he was a U.S. Representative of Florida, but Trump is notorious for saying outlandish things on the social media site. 

5. Absentee ballot rules don’t violate voter rights

  • To file an absentee ballot in Alabama, two witnesses or a notary is required to validate the ballot. The Department of Justice has filed a statement saying that these rules don’t violate voter rights. The statement was filed in regard to a private lawsuit brought against Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill. 
  • The plaintiffs in the case are being represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center; the lawsuit argues that these requirements violate section 201 of the Voting Rights Act, but the Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said, “The Voting Rights Act does not outlaw all voting-related requirements enacted by the States.”

4. Almost 5,000 cases in Alabama within the last two weeks

  • With the state reopening, an uptick in cases of the coronavirus was expected, and now within the last two weeks, there’s been an increase of 4,743 cases throughout Alabama with 72,489 people tested. 
  • As of May 26, the total case number was 15,194. Overall, there have been 192,602 people tested with 7.9% of tests being positive, but in the past two weeks, only 6.5% of tests have been positive. 

3. Trump just wants people to die?

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden has responded to President Donald Trump’s criticism of him wearing a mask on Memorial Day. While in an interview on CNN, Biden said that Trump is an “absolute fool” for not wearing a mask. 
  • Biden went on to say that Trump is “stoking deaths” by his refusal to wear a mask. He also criticized Trump, saying that he should “lead by example,” adding that “it costs people’s lives.”

2. Birmingham allowing mask ordinance to expire

  • A new poll of registered voters done by Hill-HarrisX shows that 68% of people want masks to be mandatory in public to some extent, 40% of people think masks should be mandatory for indoor and outdoor activities, while 28% said they should be mandatory for indoor activities and 6% saying masks shouldn’t be recommended at all.
  • Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin will allow the city’s ordinance in Birmingham requiring people to wear masks to expire on Friday, but still will require city employees and anyone at a city facility to wear masks. Woodfin is still encouraging everyone to “wear masks, maintain social distancing, and do what you can to limit the spread.”

1. Sessions slams another Tuberville gaffe

  • Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville suggested that the American military is inferior to the Chinese military, a statement that is incorrect in every possible metric. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded to this by suggesting that Tuberville should apologize for “exalting the Chinese Communist Party’s military over our own.”
  • Additionally, Sessions slammed Tuberville for having a losing record his last two football seasons and refusing to debate after Tuberville declared himself in the lead and therefore had no need to engage in a debate with the former senator.

3 days ago

Mo Brooks continues war of words with ALFA

(Mo Brooks/Facebook, Pixabay, YHN)

It looks like U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and the Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA) will not be making nice any time soon after Brooks once again criticized their decision making in a Tuesday appearance on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show.”

Brooks was asked about ALFA’s decision to back former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville over long-time U.S. Senator and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the right to take on U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in November.

The North Alabama congressman highlighted the differences he has had with ALFA and pointed to similar areas where ALFA might be at odds with Sessions.


Those areas of disagreement, per the congressman, are vast and include ALFA’s support for more employment-based immigration.

Brooks stated, “ALFA demands and expects from its politicians, huge taxpayer subsidies.”

He then credited ALFA as “successful at getting special privilege and special dispensations of monies from the United States Congress.”

On the latter issue, Brooks hit back at a particular request he believed drew ALFA into his primary race after he rebuffed attempts by ALFA to gain his support for taxpayer-funded capital improvement projects on private farmland.

My takeaway:

ALFA’s endorsement of Brooks’ 2020 primary opponent Chris Lewis sparked a war of words that continues to this day, and Brooks seems to believe he and Sessions’ similar records on key issues might be helping drive their decision to support Tuberville over Sessions in the race for the U.S. Senate (although it should be noted that FarmPAC endorsed Tuberville before Sessions even entered the race).


Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

4 days ago

7 Things: Montgomery says it can handle its coronavirus cases, Trump keeps pounding away on Sessions, Nick Saban wants you to wear a mask if you want college football and more …


7. Trump wants full attendance at GOP convention

  • President Donald Trump has said that if North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) doesn’t allow “full attendance” for the Republican National Convention, those planning the convention will be “reluctantly forced” to find a new location. 
  • Currently, the GOP convention is set to be held in Charlotte on August 24. Cooper’s office has maintained, “State health officials are working with the RNC and will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte. North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety.”

6. People are trying to bring hockey back at UAH


  • After the University of Alabama in Huntsville announced that they would be putting an end to their men’s hockey program due to financial issues they’ve seen from the coronavirus, thousands of people have already signed a petition in support of keeping the hockey program. 
  • UAH has also said in their release that they’re starting “a hiring freeze, a heightened review of spending, cancellations of faculty sabbaticals, and a temporary suspension of the 403(b) voluntary retirement employer match.” They’re also canceling the men’s and women’s tennis programs.

5. Woodfin wants churches to stay closed

  • Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin appeared on CNN where he discussed reopening churches and said, “Having physical church at the actual church grounds is very dangerous right now.”
  • During this interview, Woodfin referenced an outbreak in Chambers County that was linked to in-person church services, saying “the largest, deadliest event from the coronavirus has been from a church event.” The main concern is the larger population of elderly people who attend church, but Woodfin thinks the “local faith leaders in the city of Birmingham will remain closed,” adding, [T]hey’re listening to our local health experts.”

4. The media is at it again

  • When the American media wasn’t spending their weekend complaining that the president didn’t wear a mask outside and was praising his opponent for wearing a mask outside, they were highlighting how American human beings spend their holiday weekends and how they were going to get everyone killed.
  • The American media’s new favorite politician, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, spent plenty of time on cable news fretting about Alabamians going to the beach while beaches in South Carolina and a lake in Missouri were sources of media panic, even though less than 1% of transmission happens outside. 

3. Wear a mask if you want college football to happen

  • University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban is encouraging people to wear masks, sanitize, and socially distance for the sake of the college football season. Saban has said that it’s “everyone’s goal to try to have a football season that starts when it’s supposed to start, like Labor Day Weekend, and have as normal a schedule as possible and as normal a playoff situation as possible.”
  • In a video posted to social media, Saban is wearing an Alabama mask and says that if we’re going to have football in the fall, “we must be sure we stay at home if we have symptoms, wash your hands often, follow all social distancing guidelines and please wear a mask anytime you’re around other people.” 

2. Trump’s latest rant is about Sessions

  • In a tweet about supporting former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate, President Donald Trump also took a moment to bash former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which continued in Trump’s interview with Sharyl Attkisson of Sinclair Broadcasting. 
  • In his interview, Trump said that Sessions was “a disaster as attorney general,” adding, “He’s not mentally qualified to be attorney general.” In response to Trump on Twitter, Sessions reiterated that “recusal was required by law.” He added, “I did my duty & you’re damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don’t dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do.”

1. Montgomery has seen an increase in hospitalizations, but they’re handling it

  • Recently, Montgomery has seen a significant increase in hospitalizations from the coronavirus, and while on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Alabama Department of Public Health’s Dr. Scott Harris said there is reason for concern about the situation.  
  • Harris also pointed out that some hospital beds are being taken up by those who had elective procedures, and not everyone in the ICU is a coronavirus patient, and while there is concern, Montgomery is “able to handle what they’re seeing right now.”

5 days ago

VIDEO: Alabama continues to reopen further, Gov. Ivey racks up wins over the legislature, Senator Jones wants fewer investigations of Biden and more on Alabama Politics This Week

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— How is Alabama handling the coronavirus pandemic as Governor Kay Ivey loosens restrictions further?

— How is it that Gov. Ivey has seemingly sidelined the Alabama legislature on CARES Act funding and the building of prisons in Alabama?

— Why does U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) want the Republican-led Senate to stop investigating Joe Biden and his son’s dealings with Burisma?

Jackson and Handback are joined by State Rep. Christopher England (D-Tuscaloosa) to discuss the shortened legislative session, Ivey’s prison plans, failed Medicaid expansion and more.


Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at those who want to make masks political when an overwhelming majority of Americans are wearing masks.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

1 week ago

7 Things: Ivey further reopens Alabama, Trump says U.S. will not close again, Nick Saban wants you to wear a mask and more …


7. Travel has increased across the state

  • Everything has slowly been reopening, so it’s easy to assume that vehicle travel would increase across the state, especially after vehicle travel decreased by nearly 80% at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • The Associated Press released data by StreetLight Data, Inc. that showed on a daily basis in January, people in Alabama were traveling about 357 million miles by vehicle, and then just before the shutdown, travel had jumped to 550 million miles on March 6. But by April 12, travel had dropped to 80 million miles; by May 12, the weekly average of travel was 278 million miles per day. 

6. Redstone Arsenal reopening next week


  • Garrison Commander Col. Kelsey Smith has announced that Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal will be reopening on Tuesday next week. With more than 40,000 employees, the Arsenal is the largest employee hub in North Alabama. 
  • Organizations located on base will be able to make their own decisions about when they’re returning to base. The decision to reopen was based on a steady decline over the last five days in the counties that employees live in. Smith said this is the “first step toward recovery.”

5. We won’t shut down the country again

  • President Donald Trump while touring the Ford Motor Co. plant in Detroit, Michigan, said there is potential for a second wave of the coronavirus, but he said that in the event of that happening, “we’re going to put out the fires,” adding, “We’re not going to close the economy.”
  • During his statement, Trump added that he’s “fighting to bring back our jobs from China and many other countries” because the United States “needs to be a manufacturing nation.” Trump went on to say that the coronavirus started in “China and it should have been stopped in China.”

4. Montgomery’s ICU bed “shortage” isn’t what it seems

  • The national and state media were shocked that the mayor of Alabama’s capital city announced that the city was having to send coronavirus patients to Birmingham for treatment, but State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the situation in Montgomery is manageable
  • Harris and Dr. Donald Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association say this is nothing new, adding the hospitals have capacity and the movement of patients is completely normal. Harris advised, “They have the ability within their four walls to handle that and handle more if necessary.”

3. Americans are wearing masks

  • In the last week, 80% of Americans have worn a mask. According to a recent study, 70% of Americans believe that wearing a mask is respectful. Birmingham has 100,000 masks in storage, yet we are still seeing a pretend culture war being fought over the act of wearing masks when it is just another fabricated fake news narrative. 
  • The latest pro-mask warrior comes from an unexpected place — the University of Alabama. Head football coach Nick Saban has filmed a pro-mask PSA where he scolds Big Al for not wearing a mask and says, “All of us want to make sure we play football this fall, and to make that happen, we must be sure we stay at home if we have symptoms, wash your hands often, follow social distancing guidelines and please wear a mask any time you’re around other people.”

2. People trust Biden with more

  • Fox News has conducted a new poll between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden asking respondents which jobs they trust each with when it comes to the economy, coronavirus, dealing with China and healthcare.
  • On the economy, 45% of respondents trust Trump and 42% trust Biden, whereas 46% of people trust Biden to handle the coronavirus and only 37% trust Trump. Surprisingly, 43% of people trust Biden with China and only 37% trust Trump. With healthcare, 50% trust Biden and 33% trust Trump.

1. Alabama is reopening even more

  • Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Governor Kay Ivey has announced that starting Friday at 5:00 p.m., an amended Safer-At-Home Order will go into effect and allow entertainment venues to reopen. 
  • Included in the venues reopening will be museums, movie theaters, bowling alleys and summer camps. Beginning on June 1, schools will be allowed to reopen, and by June 15, Ivey is planning to allow athletic competitions. Everything reopening will still be subject to rules of sanitation and social distancing. 

1 week ago

7 Things: COVID-19 hits Montgomery hospitals hard, Jones doesn’t want investigations into Biden, Ivey to take on prisons herself and more …


7. A mayoral candidate wants to hang drug dealers

  • In Sylacauga, Alabama, special education teacher Michael Ray James is a candidate for mayor. He recently went on Facebook to voice his frustration with the city’s drug problem, and he has suggested an “extreme” solution.
  • On his campaign Facebook page, James said that public hangings should be the punishment for convicted drug dealers as it “definitely brings attention to this scourge on Sylacauga, Alabama and the United States of America.” He said that those who have criticized his idea just have “a difference of opinion.”

6. Several workers at Bryant-Denny Stadium test positive for coronavirus


  • A construction crew that’s been working at Bryant-Denny Stadium has seen an outbreak of the coronavirus, with more than 10 workers testing positive
  • Work at the stadium was shut down for a few days so that proper cleaning could be done, but it started back quickly with fewer workers. 

5. People are still loving the beach

  • Gulf Shores has been packed “like the 4th of July” most days, according to the head of city beach rescue Melvin Shepard, but there still hasn’t been any citations given for violating the state health order for people to maintain the six feet apart rule. 
  • This month alone, Gulf Shores Beach Rescue has reported at least 722,385 visitors. Memorial Day weekend is expected to only boost those numbers more. 

4. We still don’t know everything about the coronavirus

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that the coronavirus “does not spread easily” by contaminated surfaces. Previously, the CDC had said it’s “possible” for the virus to spread through surfaces. 
  • The CDC has reminded people that the coronavirus “is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads,” adding, “It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads.”

3. Ivey will deal with Alabama’s prison problems

  • Governor Kay Ivey seems prepared to go it alone on prison reform to save the legislature the hassle of passing laws and allocating spending, something they have had no interest in doing on the issue of prison construction over the last decade-plus, by building three 4,000-inmates facilities under a build-lease proposal.
  • State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) said Ivey has the legislature “boxed in” while State Representative Christopher England (D-Tuscaloosa) said there is a chance to save money on this plan. He explained, “If the Legislature could ever get its act together and pass our own plan, we would create oversight and likely reduce the price tag by at least a billion dollars.”

2. Investigations are only bad when they’re against Biden

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has come out against the idea that former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden need to be investigated after the U.S. Homeland Security Committee authorized subpoenas to investigate Hunter’s ties to Ukrainian company Burisma. 
  • While on MSNBC, Jones said that this is “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard,” adding the Senate shouldn’t have to “investigate every perceived enemy of the president, especially this president.” He also insisted, “Democrats in the Senate are talking about the things that are necessary.”

1. Some Montgomery hospitals are overrun

  • For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck Alabama, we have seen hospitals at capacity with COVID-19 patients to the point where patients from Montgomery are now being sent to Birmingham for treatment because Montgomery area hospitals are down to one ICU bed.
  • After saying the issue with Montgomery is not the city but the rural community surrounding it, Mayor Steven Reed said, “We don’t want to be in a situation where we have to lock down the city.” He warned that people need to continue social distancing, wear masks and keep gatherings to a minimum.

1 week ago

Governor Kay Ivey threw the Alabama legislature into the briar patch over prison reform

(Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr, PIxabay, Wikicommons, YHN)

Governor Kay Ivey already threw the legislature under the bus when she released a “wish list” — containing a few projects that had nothing to do with COVID-19 relief — that a small group of legislators proposed to start conversations on how to spend CARES Act funding.

After they were run over, and the media spent a week picking at the bones, she seized the money and walked away.

Well done.


Some legislators are legitimately upset about this, but at least one legislator did put a $200 million dollar State House on the list and, come on, that was a no-brainer.

Because our local political media can only understand one simple thing at a time, they continued this same narrative when Ivey made it clear she was moving forward with her prison plan.

Lyman is considered one of the “best” “straight news” guys who covers Alabama politics.

This is a direct insult to the others who do the job, the job itself, all of the state’s journalism programs, Edward R. Murrow, William Hearst, spankin’ H. Brandt Ayers and probably Alabama in general.

As for praise, it is faint praise at best.

Unsurprisingly, Lyman thinks legislators wanted to take up, develop and appropriate money for a massive redo of the prison system, and the governor now took this away from them?

Something they needed to do for over a decade? Something they talk about every year? Something they know the federal government will (allegedly) force on them any day?

She took that off their plate?

She will decide how much it will cost?

She will decide to take money from [insert pet project that must be done or people will die] and now wants to spend it on gangbangers, murderers, rapists, child molesters, former elected officials and future journalists?

She will own this completely on every single level?

She will absolve them of their responsibility and failure?

She will force them to go to their constituents and declare, “Gee, I didn’t want to spend all that money on the prisons but that darn Governor Ivey made us do it!”?

“Oh no! Please, Governor Ivey, don’t throw me in that there briar patch!“

“Oh no! Please, Governor Ivey, please don’t resolve that there prison issue for us!”

I am sure the legislature hates this.

Yeah, smart take.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

1 week ago

7 Things: Trump sours on trade deal with China, Tuberville up big, more Obamagate disclosures and more …


7. Charles Barkley was never going to be governor

  • Previously, NBA’s Charles Barkley has said that he’d like to be the governor of Alabama, but now he’s announced that he’s “not going to do the governor thing” because “Democrats and Republicans are both full of crap.”
  • Last month, Barkley said that Democrats “have done an awful job of taking care of poor people.” He added, “They make the same boasts every four years, come to the black community and (say) they’re going to make things better. But they don’t really make things better.”

6. We may get a photo of Trump in a mask


  • This week, to the excitement of the media and their Democrats, President Donald Trump will be visiting a Michigan Ford Motor Company that’s been making ventilators, and Trump has been informed that he’ll need to wear a mask during his visit, as it is company policy to do so. 
  • Ford told Fox News that they’ve shared all “safety protocols, including our manufacturing playbook, employee pamphlet and self-assessment survey with the White House ahead of time and in preparation for this trip.” While Trump has refused to wear a mask previously, the trip on Thursday will show if he continues to refuse. 

5. Hubbard tries to get his court case tossed again

  • Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s (R-Auburn) lawyers are requesting that the courts reverse their decision to uphold Hubbard’s ethics conviction, arguing that parts of the ethics laws are unclear. 
  • In April, five of Hubbard’s ethics convictions were overturned and six were still upheld. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said that Hubbard’s actions that led to his conviction were “corrupt and betrayed the public trust.”

4. Marshall supports dropping Flynn case

  • A federal judge declined the Department of Justice’s motion to drop the case against Lt. General Michael Flynn, and now Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has joined 15 other attorneys general asking for the charges to be dropped. 
  • A statement released by Marshall’s office explains that the judge blocking the motion “betrays a lack of regard the separation of powers,” adding, “The only branch of government given constitutional authority to prosecute is the executive.”

3. The plot continues to thicken with Obamagate

  • Every day that passes another piece of evidence emerges that the Obama administration was operating to oppose the Trump administration during the transitions when they were unmasking Lt. General Michael Flynn and withholding information about Russia as James Comey was attempting to build a case against him to keep the Trump-Russia narrative moving forward.
  • Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice is now demanding that transcripts of calls between Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak be released because this will show all of their dishonesty and duplicity was justified.

2. Tuberville has a big lead over Sessions

  • The polling firm Cygnal has conducted an independent survey from May 7-10, asking GOP voters which U.S. Senate candidate who they would vote for if the election were today. 
  • The results found 55.1% of respondents said they’d vote for former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, while 31.8% said former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In the poll, 35.6% said they’re definitely voting for Tuberville, while 19.4% are definitely voting for Sessions. 

1. Trump doesn’t feel the same about China trade deal

  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump now feels “very differently” about the trade deal made with China, even though the deal is just starting to take effect, but the deal “seems to mean less” to him now. 
  • Trump questioned, “Why did they block it leaving Wuhan into China but they didn’t block it from going to other parts of the world?” The trade agreement requires China to stop currency manipulation, buy an additional $200 billion in U.S. products, and stop intellectual property theft. 

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Legislature passes budgets that include CARES Act funding agreement, more deaths projected in Alabama, Democrats pretend they are gearing up for another impeachment and more …


7. Trump has been taking medication to prevent coronavirus

  • In an effort to keep from getting the coronavirus, President Donald Trump has been taking hydroxychloroquine once a day for a little over a week, which was approved by a White House physician before Trump started the drug. 
  • Trump revealed this while at a meeting in the White House State Dining Room, but more recent studies have said that hydroxychloroquine isn’t effective in treating the coronavirus. Of course, that issue is still up for debate as no rigorous testing has been done. 

6. Businesses can now apply for loan forgiveness


  • Loan forgiveness from the Paycheck Protection Program is now available, according to the Small Business Administration, who recently released guidelines for applications. Additional guidelines and regulations will continue to be released. 
  • Alabama Bankers Association president and CEO Scott Latham said now “small business owners are one step closer to realizing the greatest benefit of the stimulus program designed to provide relief from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

5. Excess COVID-19 testing exists

  • Even if you aren’t showing symptoms, you can be tested for the coronavirus through Huntsville Hospital, according to CEO David Spiller. This is a big change since people were previously required to be symptomatic to qualify for testing. 
  • Spillers said that they aren’t expecting a big spike in testing because they’ve already been testing some patients before elective procedures that were asymptomatic and have found one that was” COVID positive.” Spillers added, “Contrary to the belief that there were a lot of asymptomatic patients running around in our community that weren’t diagnosed, the data is not proving that to be true.”

4. Tuberville has nothing new to say

  • Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville has consistently attacked former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on his recusal during the Russia probe, and now Tuberville’s U.S. Senate campaign has put out a television ad against Sessions on that same issue. 
  • The ad shows President Donald Trump saying he wouldn’t appoint Sessions given a second chance. Tuberville says, “Sessions quit on the president and he failed Alabama.” He then repeated popular lines that have also been stated by Trump, such as “build the wall” and “drain the swamp.” Sessions responded to the ad saying that Tuberville “doesn’t know the first thing about Alabama or the great issues facing America.”

3. Get ready for the second wave

  • The second wave of impeachment is finally here, as House Democrats have informed the Supreme Court that they have an “ongoing presidential impeachment investigation,” claiming that the full special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury testimony must be released. 
  • The Democrats are especially looking at “the possible exercise of improper political influence over recent decisions made in the Roger Stone and Michael Flynn prosecutions, both of which were initiated by the special counsel” The Supreme Court was told that new articles of impeachment could be brought against President Donald Trump if the redacted portions of Mueller’s testimony “reveals new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the articles adopted by the House.”

2. Alabama’s death projection jumps again and health officials are worried

  • The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has released another round of projections for the United States and the state of Alabama. While the United States projections show lower the numbers, Alabama’s projection go from 795 deaths by August 4 to 1,208.
  • These numbers show that we are not out of the woods yet, and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris iswarning residents that this situation is still very serious in some parts of the state like Montgomery and Mobile Counties, saying, “The numbers are not headed in the right direction, especially in some parts of the state.” 

1. Executive amendment for CARES Act funding approved

  • Governor Kay Ivey’s proposed executive amendment for the $1.8 billion given to Alabama through the CARES Act has been approved by the state legislature, with a House vote of 73-1 and a Senate vote of 30-1.
  • Ivey thanked the legislature for “supporting this amendment and for ensuring this money helps the people of Alabama who have been harmed by this disease.”

2 weeks ago

Power and Influence: Alabamians in D.C.

(Wikicommons, YHN)

The state of Alabama has over the years sent leaders to Washington, D.C. who have etched their names on the country’s history in a myriad of ways. Merely a few include Justice Hugo Black, Sen. Howell Heflin, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the continued powerful presence of Sen. Richard Shelby.

The Yellowhammer State’s influence is not limited to elected and appointed leaders, though.

There exists an entire class of Alabamians who have descended on the nation’s capital to shape policy, serve their government and fuel public discourse on the most pressing issues. Some have done so in public view, most have not.

Yellowhammer News has compiled a list of native Alabamians, and those who have spent appreciable time living in the state, exerting power and influence in the seat of American politics.


Abe Adams, managing partner, Targeted Victory: Adams tests the boundaries of what it means to be well-rounded. He is a multi-lingual lawyer with an engineering degree from the University of Alabama. A top-tier Republican campaign strategist, he also delves into corporate branding. Adams will continue to make his mark in D.C. well into the future.


Michael Allen, managing director, Beacon Global Strategies: Allen is one of the country’s foremost experts on national security policy and foreign affairs. The Mobile native and graduate of the University of Alabama Law School worked in the George W. Bush White House with national security and legislative responsibilities. In addition, he held the position of staff director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In private practice, Allen advises his clients on an array of complex global issues.


Britton Bonner, economic development team leader, Adams & Reese: Bonner is a frequent tip of the spear on economic development projects involving foreign direct investment. This work often originates out of his relationships and knowledge in D.C. Bonner has frequently led trade missions to Europe and Asia on behalf of Alabama’s aerospace, defense and shipbuilding industries. When there are economic development issues that need momentum in D.C., this Troy University graduate is usually involved.


Brent Buchanan, founder, Cygnal: Buchanan is Alabama’s homegrown pollster. He made such a name for himself in Montgomery that some were calling him Alabama’s Nate Silver. Now he has opened up shop in D.C. and is prospering. Cygnal has worked in 43 states and conducts more than 500 surveys per year for a variety of clients in politics, business and public policy.


Ray Cole, vice president, Van Scoyoc: Among the long list of highly influential individuals in D.C. who graduated from “The University of Richard Shelby,” Cole may be the valedictorian. His practice areas include some of his home state’s most important industries, such as aerospace, defense, agriculture, energy and financial services. The perception has existed for quite some time that if you need certain things done in D.C. and Alabama, Cole is the guy you need to hire. Cole serves on the University of Alabama President’s Cabinet and the Advisory Board for the Blackburn Institute.


Michael Davis, government relations expert, Balch & Bingham: Davis’ biography page on the firm website describes him as “a connected strategist and problem solver.” We could not have said it any better ourselves. The Mobile native long ago established himself as one of Alabama’s most effective people at getting things done in D.C. Davis’ relationships are built to last.


Rick Dearborn, Cypress Group/Adams & Reese: This Birmingham resident has been a fixture in D.C. for more than three decades. He is a partner at The Cypress Group and a senior policy advisor at Adams & Reese. Before entering the private sector, Dearborn held premier jobs in government as deputy chief of staff to President Donald Trump and chief of staff to former Senator Jeff Sessions. His wife Gina is a state lobbying stalwart, making them a true Alabama power couple.


Billy Godoy, director of federal affairs, General Motors: General Motors employs more than 86,000 people across the United States and has invested north of $27 billion in American facilities since 2009. While the enormity of its impact on the nation’s economy is apparent through numbers like those, the extent to which its health is tied to public policy decisions in D.C. is more difficult to describe. Regardless, the job falls on the shoulders of Alabama native Billy Godoy who has established a strong profile in the nation’s capital.


Brittney Godoy, co-founder, Socko Strategies: A productive fundraising apparatus is essential to any successful political operation. Raising money, though, is not nearly as easy as it sounds. That’s why a firm like the one Brittney Godoy has built is in such high demand in D.C. politics. The Alabama native and University of Alabama graduate has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for candidates and committees.


Stewart Hall, chairman, Crossroads Strategies: Hall has built a career in D.C. upon decades of experience, and his work for Richard Shelby has served as a rock-solid foundation. There are few issues that he has not tackled over the years, and he has maintained a foothold in the world of campaigns and strategy. Hall knows the ins and outs of the D.C. game like few others do.


Susan Hirschmann, chairman and CEO, Williams & Jensen: If there was such a thing as a super-lobbyist, this University of Montevallo graduate would be considered one. A former chief of staff to the House majority whip, she now runs one of the oldest independent lobbying firms in D.C. She served as one of three U.S. delegates to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women in 2005. As a visiting fellow at Harvard University, Hirschmann wrote Skirting Tradition: Women in Politics Speak to the Next Generation.


Mike House, founder, Oak Grove Strategies: Politics and law have been House’s currency in Washington going all the way back to when he served as chief of staff to legendary Alabama political figure Howell Heflin. An Auburn University undergrad, with a law degree from the University of Alabama, he managed Howell Heflin’s Senate campaign in 1978. House has taken up permanent residence on lobbying power lists in D.C. He occupies the 10th spot on Washingtonian’s 50 Top Lobbyists and is a top three legislative lawyer by Chambers USA.


Mary Pat Lawrence, senior vice president for government affairs, Protective Life: Lawrence is one of those rare individuals whose name elicits near universal respect and admiration when brought up in conversation with her peers. An East Alabama native, with undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Alabama, she now oversees all government and regulatory affairs for the Alabama insurance juggernaut Protective Life. That’s a huge job considering the company, headquartered in Birmingham, maintains $120 billion in assets and employs more than 3,000 people across the country. The sky is the limit for Lawrence.


Walton Liles, co-founder, Blue Ridge Law & Policy: Liles’ government service could not have prepared him any better for a practice focusing on providing clients strategic legal advice and advocacy. Liles served as Senior Counsel for the House Committee on Financial Services. In addition, the University of Alabama Law School graduate learned from one of Alabama’s finest federal judges as a law clerk to Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Joel Dubina.


Torrie Miller Matous, chief of staff, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board: Matous is a Montgomery native who has worked for several notable members on Capitol Hill, including serving as chief of staff to Martha Roby and communications director for Richard Shelby. Aimed at bolstering investor confidence, the PCAOB oversees auditing of public companies and SEC-registered brokers and dealers, creating a web of regulatory interaction that Matous is tasked with managing.


Alex McCrary, director of federal governmental and corporate affairs, Alabama Power Company: The instability of today’s political and public policy climate can be difficult for any company to handle. The energy industry, in particular, has to continually monitor the proceedings in D.C. McCrary is charged with making sure Alabama Power Company’s voice is heard on Capitol Hill and throughout federal agencies. The Auburn University graduate has excelled in that role. McCrary’s work is particularly noted for his grasp of policy nuances as well as an ability to develop relationships that count.


Kasdin Miller Mitchell, partner, Kirkland & Ellis: Mitchell is a partner in the prestigious law firm Kirkland & Ellis. She held not one but two of the dream jobs for conservative jurists. She served as law clerk to Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court of the United States and Bill Pryor on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mitchell also worked as a spokesman for former First Lady Laura Bush and at the U.S. Department of Energy. If you went into a lab to build a resume for a high-powered D.C. lawyer, Mitchell’s would be the one you would want to copy.


Leroy Nix, director of federal government affairs, Southern Company: Southern Company’s operating revenues total $23.4 billion. It has nearly 9 million utility customers while employing more than 29,000 people. As director of Federal Government Affairs, Nix is charged with protecting those vast interests with policymakers and agency personnel in D.C. He is a University of Alabama Law School graduate, and his connection to his home state persists as a member of the University of Montevallo Board of Trustees. Nix’s star continues to rise.


Chuck Penry, vice president for federal government relations, Tyson Foods: The Auburn graduate has been an advocate for rural America for many years. Previously, he worked on behalf of electric cooperatives, and now he is tasked with keeping the poultry industry prosperous. Penry’s time in D.C. goes all the way back to his service on Sen. Howell Heflin’s staff and as the senator’s representative on the Senate Agriculture Committee.


Gina Rigby, director of federal government affairs, AFLAC: Rigby heads up the D.C. government affairs operation for Columbus, Georgia-based AFLAC. The Fortune 500 company provides insurance coverage to more than 50 million people worldwide. Rigby, a Smith Station native, deals with Congress and the Trump administration on a myriad of issues including trade, taxes, healthcare and insurance.


Ed Rogers, founding partner, BGR Group: Rogers successfully completed the career journey to which so many young political operatives aspire. Old political hands in Montgomery still recall a young Rogers engaging in the kind of mundane tasks assigned to entry-level campaign workers such as putting out signs and coordinating volunteers. What seems like a lifetime later, he has reached legendary status in Republican power circles. A veteran of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, he also worked alongside the late Lee Atwater during the 1988 campaign. Rogers co-founded the powerhouse BGR Group with former Republican National Committee chairman and Mississippi governor Haley Barbour. He currently serves on the president’s cabinet at the University of Alabama and as a visiting professor.


Alex Schriver, executive vice president, Targeted Victory: Schriver is a political speedboat. A former College Republican National Committee chairman, he quickly ascended to serve as chief of staff to Congressman Bradley Byrne. After navigating the treacherous waters of Capitol Hill, he took up work in the private sector where he captains a large part of Targeted Victory’s strategic political work.


Amos Snead, executive vice president, Adfero: There is an unwritten rule in D.C. that you pay forward the help you received at the start of your career. Perhaps no one has taken up for young Alabamians searching for entry points onto Capitol Hill more than Snead. So much so that he even authored a book titled, “Climbing the Hill: How to Build a Career in Politics and Make a Difference.” A communications expert and graduate of the University of Montevallo, he is a co-founder of FamousDC, a digital media company and social network for life inside the Beltway.


David Stewart, partner, Bradley: Stewart is a seasoned veteran of D.C. governmental affairs. The Alabama native and former Jeff Sessions staffer assists his clients on Capitol Hill and the executive branch. Stewart’s practice includes advising clients on the intricacies of federal campaign finance laws. His practice fits seamlessly into the full-service approach of a law firm such as Bradley.


Bill Stiers, director of federal government relations, Maynard, Cooper & Gale: This University of Alabama graduate has logged more than thirty years in D.C. Stiers has worked as a congressional staffer, political consultant and as a fundraiser. He has solidified his stature in D.C. through his involvement in so many different parts of politics. Stiers’ advocacy delves into the areas which matter most to the state, including national security, aerospace, biotechnology, healthcare, financial services and manufacturing.


Steve Still, partner, Balch & Bingham: Still is a partner in the firm’s Public Policy and Government Relations practice. He has spent decades representing clients in front of Congress and federal agencies to the point that his name is now synonymous with law firm-based federal advocacy. In addition, Still is the only attorney in Alabama who is a member of the Federation of Regulatory Counsel.


Goodloe Sutton, director of government affairs, Boeing: Few industries require a more comprehensive federal affairs strategy than companies in the aerospace and defense industries. Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace contractor, employing more than 153,000 people across the U.S. It is unsurprising that the company would call upon Sutton to lead its government affairs. He has seen just about everything as a key Richard Shelby aide and member of the Senate Appropriations Committee staff.


Madeline Barter Vey, senior director political and public affairs, Equinor: After gaining ample experience on Capitol Hill and in private lobbying practice, Vey now directs political and public affairs for Equinor. The international energy company employs more than 30,000 people worldwide and counts on Vey to represent it in the formulation of U.S. energy policy. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama and a member of the Alabama State Bar.


Brad Wilson, vice president, Highwood Capital: A Dothan native, and University of Alabama graduate, Wilson is a key figure in the national political and business consulting firm Highwood Capital. He specializes in fundraising and development for political campaigns and non-profits. He’s a veteran political operative of the Alabama Republican Party from a time before the GOP enjoyed majority status in the state. Bolstering his impressive resume is his eight-year stint as state director for Richard Shelby.

Heather Caygle, Politico: Caygle is a Congress reporter for Politico. The UAB graduate and Crimson Tide fan previously covered the Hill for Bloomberg BNA. Her byline became nearly perpetual during impeachment as she captured the story from every conceivable angle. Her frequent television appearances include C-Span and PBS.


Kaitlan Collins, CNN: From Prattville to the White House press corps is quite a journey. This University of Alabama graduate has never been one to shy away from controversy. That approach has served her well and helped her become a fixture on cable news coverage. She was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 in news media in 2019. In 2018, Mediaite recognized her as the 50th most influential person in news media.


Jan Crawford, CBS: Crawford has registered a storied career in legal journalism. She is one of the news media’s most prominent observers of the nation’s highest court. With previous stops at the Chicago Tribune and ABC, Crawford now covers the legal system for CBS. Interviews with Supreme Court justices are rare, however, Crawford obtained two of the most notable in recent years when she sat down with Chief Justice John Roberts and the late Justice John Paul Stevens in separate interviews. Even after enjoying an abundance of fame and influence, the Baileyton native has maintained her priorities as evidenced by a profession of her love for fried okra and the Crimson Tide in her social media profile.


Alex Pappas, Fox News: Pappas is a senior politics editor for If there was big news on the presidential campaign trail this election cycle, Pappas probably wrote it. The Mobile native has worked at Daily Caller and has covered everything from the White House to congressional and local news and politics. Pappas has become a mainstay in D.C. news media.


Elaina Plott, New York Times: Plott joined the Times as a national political reporter late last year. To her new audience, she quickly affirmed her reputation as a gifted writer. Plott has brought unique insight into the chaos which has ensued in D.C. the past few months. Prior to the Times, she wrote for The Atlantic, National Review and Washingtonian. The Tuscaloosa native was named to Forbes 30 under 30 in news media for 2020.


Joe Scarborough, MSNBC: A University of Alabama alumnus and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Scarborough has been ubiquitous in D.C. politics since the mid-1990s. Once a colleague of former Governor Bob Riley in the House, Scarborough hatched the name of his first show after hearing the slogan Riley used during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. “Riley Country” became “Scarborough Country” on MSNBC, and a star was born. It remains to be seen what type of reception Scarborough would receive at Bryant-Denny Stadium these days. This mystery comes not as a result of a shift in his political beliefs, but rather based on the fact that he committed the unpardonable crime of getting married on the same day as the Iron Bowl in 2018. The #StopFallWeddings movement in Alabama is real.

Dayne Cutrell, chief of staff, Senator Richard Shelby: Cutrell’s climb of the ladder in D.C. has been textbook. The Mobile native, who played baseball at Samford University, began his career in Richard Shelby’s office as a legislative assistant before becoming legislative director. He then moved on to become a top aide to Shelby on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Cutrell’s trajectory continues to be a steep one.


Dana Gresham, chief of staff, Senator Doug Jones: Gresham has built an impeccable resume in D.C. He served as assistant secretary for Government Affairs at the Department of Transportation, chief of staff to former congressman Artur Davis and as a staffer to former congressman Bud Cramer. A Birmingham native who attended the historic A.H. Parker High School, Gresham brings a vast knowledge of both Alabama and the D.C. machine to his job.


Wells Griffith, managing director and senior advisor to the CEO for energy, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC): There are some of us for whom becoming known as “Trump’s climate guy” would be a career apex. For Griffith, he might as well be just getting started. Until late last year, he served as special assistant to the president and senior director for international energy and environment on the National Security Council. He made his home state proud when he boldly espoused the virtues of coal power at a European climate conference. Now at DFC, Griffith has developed the kind of staying power in D.C. which will allow him to remain on lists like these indefinitely.


Willie Phillips, chairman, Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia: The person in charge of energy policy for the city where energy policy is made is in an uncommon position of influence. That person is Willie Phillips, and he happens to be from Alabama. A University of Montevallo graduate and member of the Alabama State Bar, Phillips is highly influential in public policy for regulatory matters for utilities and federal energy policy.


Kevin Turner, vice president and general counsel, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC): Check out this list of previous employment positions: senior vice president and general counsel for the Export-Import Bank of the United States, chief of staff to former Senator Luther Strange and chief deputy attorney general for the state of Alabama. Those all belong to Turner who is now a high-ranking executive at DFC, an agency which partners with the private sector to provide financing solutions to the developing world.

2 weeks ago

Mac McCutcheon praises Ivey, the state of Alabama on its COVID-19 response

(Representative Mac McCutcheon/Facebook)

Alabama legislators headed into their final day of the legislative session today.

The most important item on their agenda is deciding whether to approve or override Governor Kay Ivey’s executive amendment regarding $1.8 billion in CARES ACT funding for COVID-19 relief.

While appearing on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Monday morning, Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) made it clear that he believed the House would approve the amendment and go with the governor’s recommendations moving forward.


McCutcheon also noted that the state of Alabama has done a phenomenal job in dealing with the issues surrounding the global pandemic, adding because of that, Alabamians are in a better situation moving forward.

McCutcheon touted the information he gleaned as a member of the National Speakers Conference when talking about state budgets that did not require cuts.

“[W]hen I talk to other speakers across this country, many of the states they cannot put a budget together, they’re having to borrow money to get state governments up and running,” McCutcheon stated.

He also credited governor with sticking to her guns on her approach to open and closing the state.

“Governor Ivey has been just steadfast, she hasn’t wavered, she hasn’t done something that she had to back up and redo,” McCutcheon outlined. “I think overall, with this something being unprecedented, we’ve done well.”

My takeaway:

If, in fact, Alabama is on the other side of this issue, the state will be in good shape moving forward. But if there is a relapse and additional restrictions return, the story might have a different ending.


Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama businesses are hurting, future of $1.8 billion in CARES Act funding could be decided Monday, Trump betting on a vaccine but not waiting for one and more …


7. Obama found time to criticize the coronavirus response

  • While giving a commencement speech for students graduating from historically black colleges, former President Barack Obama took a moment to say, “[T]his pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing.”
  • Obama added that the upcoming presidential election is especially important because “we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy — that has become a stronger impulse in American life.” While he didn’t mention President Donald Trump or anyone in the administration by name, he made it clear who he was talking about. 

6. SEC to decide this week when to reopen


  • On May 22, the schools in the SEC will vote on if athletic facilities at schools should reopen after June 1; the vote will take place via conference call with the SEC presidents. 
  • University of Alabama System Chancellor Finis St. John has already said that they intend for schools to resume on-campus instruction and activities by fall, while Auburn University President Jay Gogue has said they will “have football this fall.”

5. China continues to be exposed as an untrustworthy nation

  • There is no question that the Chinese government has been less than truthful about the handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, newly-leaked documents indicate that the communist nation has 640,000+ cases of the virus instead of the 80,000 cases they have touted. 
  • No one believed China was telling the truth, but the American media hoped it would be true so they could continue to blame the United States for underestimating the virus, even though health officials have made it clear that China’s dishonesty hid the severity of the issue at hand.

4. Pelosi is pushing for a quick decision on HEROES Act

  • The $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed the U.S. House late last week and now has to go through the U.S. Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is pushing for the Senate to act quickly on the legislative package. saying, “[W]e cannot take pause.”
  • GOP members have voiced their opposition to the package, with U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) saying it “would rewrite our immigration laws. Her bill would federalize elections.” He added that the bill “would allow federal prisoners to go free. It mentions dope more than it talks about jobs. I think it references cannabis like 68 times. It would expand ObamaCare.”

3. “Vaccine or no vaccine, we are back”

  • During the formal announcement of “Operation Warp Speed,” President Donald Trump made it clear that the resumption of American life is not 100% dependent on the creation and distribution of a vaccine and that Americans will return to work and the economy will recover.
  • Trump’s hope for a vaccine was apparent when he said, “[W]e think we are going to have a vaccine in the pretty near future.” 

2. Executive amendment expected to pass

  • Monday is the last day of the 2020 legislative session in Alabama, and the legislature will be deciding if they’ll accept Governor Kay Ivey’s executive amendment to deal with the $1.8 billion from the CARES Act. State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence) is optimistic and said the state Senate will “agree to the amendment.”
  • While on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Ivey discussed the $1.8 billion in CARES Act funding that Alabama received, and said that the reason for the executive amendment was to “not only allocate but spend $1.8 [billion] for the purposes intended by Congress to help those who have had expenses caused by the coronavirus.” She wants the money spent by December 30 so it does not have to be returned.

1. Businesses are struggling, but some are expecting a quick recovery

  • In a survey conducted by the Alabama Workforce Council and AlabamaWorks!, 49.6% of businesses, 68% of which were small businesses, said that they anticipate the business climate to improve over the next six months. 
  • For now, 53% of businesses have issued a hiring freeze and 82% expect a negative financial impact from the coronavirus pandemic. One-third of those that participated in the survey have laid off employees, and at least 46% of businesses have been experiencing supply chain disruption. 

2 weeks ago

VIDEO: No new State House, Ivey at odds with the Alabama legislature again, immunity for businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits and more on Alabama Politics This Week

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Who will actually get to control the $1.8 billion in CARES Act funding?

— Has Governor Kay Ivey destroyed her ability to work with the legislature after leaking their wish list?

— Do businesses need liability immunity against frivolous COVID-19 lawsuits to fully reopen?

Jackson and Handback are joined by State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) to discuss his budgets, the State House controversy and the push to provide businesses with immunity from COVID-19.


Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at those members of the media who insist on covering former Vice President Joe Biden’s scandals the same way they covered Hillary Clinton’s — by ignoring them and pretending the scandal is the fact that they are being brought up.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Ivey will sign budgets, football will be back in the fall, CDC has new reopening guidelines and more …


7. Alabama’s new coronavirus hotspot

  • While Alabama’s recent coronavirus case numbers have seemingly plateaued as a whole, it appears that the state’s capital is seeing a spike in cases over the last few weeks, with only hard-hit Mobile experiencing more new cases of the virus.
  • The White House has even said that Montgomery’s metro area is a “location to watch”  for new cases of COVID-19.

6. States see decline in cases while reopening


  • The media and their Democrats have relentlessly criticized any state that would dare move towards reopening their economy without any concern for the results and facts that not every state is a disaster like New York. They have also been praising any governor who wanted to shut down their states for months on end. 
  • Now, the preliminary results of reopening some states are starting to be seen with 28 states now seeing new cases decline. States like Florida and Georgia are not seeing the mass death and chaos we were told we would see, instead, their cases are continuing to decline with cases down 14% in Florida and 12% in Georgia.

5. Redstone general leading vaccine efforts

  • President Donald Trump’s administration’s work to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus is going to be overseen by Army General Gustave Perna who is from Army Material Command at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. 
  • Perna will be a co-chair for “Operation Warp Speed” and will oversee logistics, according to White House officials. The goal is to determine the best vaccine out of a group of 14 potential vaccines. 

4. Pelosi is willing to negotiate

  • After the White House threatened to veto the Democrats’ most recent coronavirus relief bill that would total $3 trillion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that they’ve put their “offer on the table, we’re open to negotiation,” but Republicans don’t seem like they are interested.
  • The White House was threatening to veto the bill on the accusation that the Democrats were trying to pass “long-standing partisan and ideological wish lists.” Included in the bill would be another round of $1,200 stimulus checks that illegal immigrants would be eligible and $25 billion to support vote-by-mail through the U.S. Postal Service. 

3. CDC has released guidelines for reopening

  • Guidelines for schools, businesses and other establishments have been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but churches were not included in these guidelines after the White House raised concerns about government guidance for places of worship. 
  • The CDC has detailed specific guidelines for businesses, schools, camps, mass transit, childcare centers, bars, restaurants and workplaces. All of the guidelines include sanitation practices, capacity suggestions and encourage social distancing. 

2. Football will be back by Fall

  • Jay Gogue, Auburn University president, said in a recent video released by the school that they will “have all of the activities that we have every fall,” including football. He did not say he would “suit up” and play like West Virginia University’s president. 
  • Gogue added that the only difference is “that you will be with us this fall, and we’re looking forward to having you.” The University of Alabama System intends for on-campus activity to resume by Fall semester. 

1. Ivey will sign both budgets

  • The Fiscal Year 2021 General Fund and Education Trust Fund budgets will be signed by Governor Kay Ivey as she announced, but SB 161 has been returned to the Alabama Senate with an amendment added. 
  • The executive amendment added by Ivey would allow all $1.8 billion of the federal funds from the CARES Act available to her finance director. Ivey said she “will not call the legislature back into a Special Session unless and until they provide the people of Alabama – in advance – a full, detailed and public list of how the money will be spent in exact amounts, down to the penny.”

2 weeks ago

California shouldn’t tell Bama, Auburn if they get to play football

(Paul Finebaum/Facebook, @SEC/Twitter, Golden Gate National Recreation Area/Facebook, YHN)

It took 40 years in the media business, but Paul Finebaum finally said something smart earlier this week.

Appearing on ESPN’s “Get Up,” Finebaum said putting together the upcoming college football season would be “survival of the fittest.” He continued, “This is a brutal game … if you can play, you play. If you don’t, you get run over and left behind.”

In the same conversation, Finebaum reported that the Crimson Tide has already had conversations about replacing its opening opponent, USC, with TCU. TCU is scheduled to play another Golden State school, Cal-Berkeley, on September 5.

Many areas in the state of California, home to four Pac-12 teams, have stay-at-home orders in place through the summer. Its state university system has declared there will not be any on-campus classes during the Fall semester. As a result, some believe the Pac-12 will not play football this Fall and instead opt for a Spring season.


Similar problems could pop up in other conferences. Big Ten states such as Michigan, Illinois and New Jersey have extended their stay-at-home orders.

Every conference is facing different situations which are being dictated by political leadership in their member states.

This is why Greg Byrne, Alabama’s athletic director, and his team are reportedly undertaking prudent steps to ensure they do not get left behind. Byrne has said the Crimson Tide are playing games this year — and has even started inviting guests. At Auburn, President Jay Gogue has told students they are “going to have football this fall.”

If a team cannot play because of circumstances at home, then so be it. As Finebaum said, “If you can play, you play. If you don’t, you get run over and left behind.”

What happens in Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey and California should not decide whether schools in the South play football this season.

That is not, however, the stated position of the SEC office.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey took to the airwaves on Tuesday seeking to quash any notion that his conference would make decisions separate and apart from those in other regions of the country.

“The notion that one thinks one conference is going to go off and doing something independently isn’t attached to reality,” Sankey told Finebaum.

The reality is California schools have already begun to make decisions affecting the season, and it does not seem they are asking the SEC for input.

There are a lot of reasons why the SEC should be actively forging its own path.

First, there is a long time between now and opening weekend. Only two months ago, COVID-19 projections for Alabama were through the roof. Those projections have not come to fruition. Governor Kay Ivey held true to her word and reopened the state for business. The states of Georgia and Florida have reopened and seen their numbers decline.

Maybe the data in Georgia and Florida has to do with a second reason to go it alone, if necessary: SEC weather. A human being can barely survive an 11:00 a.m. kickoff in Starkville, so what makes anyone think a virus can?

The reality is SEC football fans like to dream. Right this minute, Georgia fans are dreaming of a national championship, Kentucky fans are dreaming of basketball season, and South Carolina fans are dreaming of Dabo Swinney’s move to Tuscaloosa.

If other schools and conferences decide not play this year, schedules will have to be patched together as best as they can. No doubt. But for Sankey to duct tape Bama, Auburn and every other SEC school to the political whims of California makes no sense.

Sankey has extended the “We’re all in this together” mantra a little too far. When it comes to college football, we are most definitely not all in this together.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

2 weeks ago

Biden is in trouble; Rep. Aderholt thinks he may not make it to election day

(Robert Aderholt, Joe Biden/Facebook, YHN)

To hear the American media tell it, just like in 2016, the 2020 election is totally over.

The only thing left to do here is to have a pesky election and count the votes. Good ‘ol straight-shooter tell-it-like-it-is Joe Biden is ready for his inauguration.

Well, like Hillary Clinton, a couple of things are happening on the way to former Vice President Biden’s coronation, and the American media learned nothing about how they mishandled the election and the scandals involving Joe Biden.

So far, there have been no less than three scandals involving Joe Biden and the “scandal-free” Obama administration that are going to ensnare the presumptive future president moving forward.


1. Hunter Biden and his foreign entanglements
2. Sleepy Joe’s apparently heel turn into Gropey Joe.
3. The unmasking of Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the leaking of his name to the press.

Will these scandals take down Joe Biden right now?

In a Thursday interview on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) said he thinks they could move to replace Biden after all that has “come out over the last 24 hours.”

He thinks these explanations are lacking.

“I really think Joe Biden is the one that’s really got to do the most explaining, just because his name is on the line,” said Aderholt.

Aderholt believes Biden might not be the nominee, but the media will protect him until they have no other choice (see: Anthony Weiner, Ralph Northam, Bill Clinton).

As with never-going-to-be President Hillary Clinton’s problems, the media believes that covering the accusation as if it is baseless is enough to say, “Look, we covered the scandal and it is old news.”

President Donald Trump made it clear that’s not good enough for him.

Trump will, rightly, raise these issues every single day as the election gets closer.

Biden will stumble and stammer through friendly interviews.

Biden’s inept surrogates will insist there is nothing to see here and attempt to make this about “Russian interference” and collusion.

They will fail — miserably.

On the latest issue, there seems to be a concerted effort to move the narrative from “no one knew about the unmasking of Michael Flynn” to “we knew about it, it is normal and it is awesome.”

This will fail — miserably.

And while the American media and their Democrats will tout poll after poll showing that Trump is finished because New York, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts hate him, battleground states will tell a different tale.

Those 15 states are the key to the election. Blue states that have high numbers of infections and deaths demanding that the economy of the battleground states be destroyed at the altar of CNN and MSNBC’s primetime lineups is not going to help Joe Biden. In fact, it destroys him.

Biden needs these people. He needs someone extolling his virtues against the bad guy currently in the White House.

They will tell you that the bad guy in the White House wants grandma dead and Shake Shack’s lobby open, while Joe Biden cares about you.

Unfortunately, that’s not true. Now, we have learned that 40% of households earning under $40,000 a year have had someone laid off.

An agreed-upon nationwide shutdown of life for over a month flattening the curve, Americans know this cannot continue. Eventually, they will tire of cheerily being told to “Stay Home, Save Lives” by television stars in mansions who don’t worry about their next mortgage payment or their kids going back to school.

I am already sick of brands reminding me how much they are sacrificing for me, and how they aren’t touching my food before they deliver it to me. (Were they touching it before?)

Biden will be forced to echo the extreme arguments that require Ohio to be just like New York, Iowa to be Massachusetts and Arizona to be California. This will not fly.

This election is shaping up to be about more than Biden vs. Trump.


Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Biden wanted Flynn unmasked, COVID-19 lawsuit protection gains steam, no new State House with CARES Act dollars and more …


7. Professor offended by “War Eagle”

  • Dr. Jesse A. Goldberg, Ph.D. has been hired to be the “Lecturer of African American & American Literature and Composition in the English department at Auburn University,” according to his social media account, and he’s already making waves for saying he won’t say “War Eagle” because it has the word “war” in it. 
  • Goldberg explained that this is just “the kind of language thing that sticks with me.” He describes himself as “radical anti-racist white (Jewish) teacher,” but the official Auburn University responded that Goldberg just needs to “give it some time” and he’ll see what it means.

6. Biden up nationally


  • Much like 2016, the American media and their Democrats are fixated on national polls that show former Vice President Joe Biden with a clear and decisive lead over President Donald Trump. A new CNN poll shows the lead at 51-46. 
  • But that same poll shows Trump in a good position for his reelection campaign when you break out 15 different swing states. In those states, the president leads his challenger 52-45. Obviously, those states will play a bigger role in deciding the winner of the 2020 election than New York, New Jersey and California will. 

5. Americans don’t think more stimulus will fix this

  • While Democrats insist we create a fifth stimulus program that will total $3 trillion dollars, the American people are finding becoming increasingly wary of the idea that the nation can stay shutdown forever and buy our way out of this. A poll shows 56% of Americans (across all demographics and affiliations) feel this way. 
  • Alabama businesses have received over $1.5 billion in assistance across 30,647 small businesses in the state. Nationally, there has been $189 billion worth of loans paid out of the $310 billion in the program. The average loan size nationally is $73,000. 

4. Jones wants everyone to wear a mask

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) appeared on CNN where he discussed the issue of wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic, and he said that he saw a group of Republicans exit the internal Capitol subway and “not a single one of them or their staffs were wearing masks.” He added that “sends a wrong message.”
  • Jones went on to say that he wants to see President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence wearing masks “whenever they are out.” Jones even said that while he’s “nervous” about Alabama reopening, he reiterated Governor Kay Ivey’s comments that people need to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing. 

3. No, CARES Act funds won’t be used for a new State House

  • State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) has put to rest arguments that CARES Act funding provided to Alabama would be used in part to build a new State House, with Marsh’s spokesman Will Califf saying it’s “clear that the funds could not be used to build a new State House.” 
  • Califf also clarified that the list of things that could be paid for with the CARES Act relief funds was “the first draft of potential uses for these funds as a starting point for discussion.”

2. Protecting Alabama businesses from lawsuits

  • Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall joined 20 other attorney generals in sending a letter to the U.S. Congress asking that there be legal protection for businesses from civil lawsuits related to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • The letter was written with the premise that the “COVID-19 pandemic is likely to create a surge in civil litigation targeting well-intentioned businesses.” The goal is to ensure that businesses are protected from frivolous lawsuits “while still ensuring victims are able to seek legal redress and compensation where appropriate.”

1. Here’s who wanted to “unmask” Flynn

  • During the presidential transition period, officials from the Obama administration wanted to “unmask” former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and now the list of those officials has been released. 
  • Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified the documents, which revealed that former Vice President Joe Biden, former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennen, Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are all included on the list of those who requested to “unmask” Flynn. 

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Underlying conditions a major factor in Alabama coronavirus deaths, Fauci says it is too soon to reopen, different parts of the state are being hit differently and more …


7. Another stimulus bill could cost $3 trillion

  • A new stimulus package introduced by House Democrats would include another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, $1 trillion in funding for state and local governments, and continue the $600 in additional unemployment payments per week until January. 
  • The package would also subsidize rent and mortgage payments, suspend student loan payments through September, and hazard pay for essential workers. While announcing the legislative package that’s being called the HEROES Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “This is a moment when many millions of our fellow Americans are in deep suffering. We must have empathy for our heroes.”

6. 100,000 small businesses are finished


  • A study at the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago predicts that 100,000 small businesses will never operate again because of the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide economic shutdown that followed. This accounts for about 2% of all small businesses and the jobs that go with them. 
  • Restaurants are a particularly hard hit industry with 3% already closed. All of this carnage is happening as the federal government tries to float the economy with loans to 4.2 million small businesses out of the 30 million small businesses across the nation. 

5. State Rep. Weaver resigns to take Trump admin job

  • It’s been announced that State Representative April Weaver (R-Brierfield) has decided to resign from her position in the legislature as she will be joining President Donald Trump’s administration, but it’s not been announced what position she’ll have. 
  • Weaver has been a representative for the last decade, and in her resignation, she said it’s “been one of the greatest experiences of my life.” Weaver went on to say that she’s “excited to be able to use my skills and experience at a national level during this unprecedented time and I look forward to supporting President Trump’s initiatives and serving the people of our nation.”

4. Alabama Republicans want the legislature deciding where relief funds are used

  • Cygnal was commissioned but the Alabama Senate and House Republican Caucuses to poll where Alabama Republicans stand on several subjects, including who they trust more to appropriate the relief funds Alabama has received through the CARES Act. 
  • When asked if Governor Kay Ivey or the Alabama legislature should be in charge of stimulus funds, 67.5% said the legislature and 17.8% said Ivey. The survey also showed 66% approve of Ivey’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and 26.9% don’t approve. Overall, 69.5% view Ivey favorably and 26.2% view her unfavorably, whereas the legislature is viewed 70.3% favorably and 16.1% unfavorably. 

3. Coronavirus cases per capita vary widely across the state

  • As the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation lowers the death projection in Alabama by almost half, the state still has more than 10,468 coronavirus cases across the state and at least 440 deaths from the virus. We’re starting to see which counties have been hit harder per capita than others, with Lowndes County having the highest case rate at 108 cases per 10,000 people. 
  • Butler County is second with 101.8 cases per 10,000 people, while Mobile County has 36.2 cases, Montgomery County has 29.1 cases, Jefferson County has 17.3 cases and Madison County has 6.7 cases per 10,000 people. 

2. Apparently, it’s too soon to reopen

  • White House coronavirus taskforce member Dr. Anthony Fauci was very skeptical about reopening the nation in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, saying if we open too soon it will lead to “suffering and death” while offering no guidance for schools in the fall. 
  • Brandon White of UAB has recovered from the coronavirus and now he’s saying that it’s too soon for the state to reopen, although Governor Kay Ivey decided to reopen restaurants, salons and churches a little earlier than originally planned. White says he’s “really concerned about that second wave,” adding, “That’s when we will start to see troubles with supplies.”

1. Large majority of coronavirus deaths in Alabama had underlying conditions

  • In Alabama, there have been at least 428 deaths from the coronavirus, and of those, more than 95% of patients had an underlying condition before being diagnosed. 
  • According to the reporting, 74% of deaths were with patients who were over 65 years old, with the overall age range being 50-92. The reporting shows 63% of those who died had cardiovascular disease, 57% had “multiple underlying conditions,” 39% had diabetes, 27% had renal disease and 25% had lung disease. 

2 weeks ago

Alabama’s top 10 most powerful and influential local officials

(John Merrill, Mayor Steven Reed, Jimmie Stephens, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Alabama, Chairman Dale Strong, Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, Tommy Battle, Sandy Stimpson, Mayor Randall Woodfin/Facebook, YHN)

Alabama’s local officials wield a tremendous amount of influence on public policy and how business gets done. Recent events only serve to underscore the importance of the state’s local officials in improving the everyday lives of those they serve and helping their communities prosper.

After an extensive examination of local governments, and the men and women who occupy positions within them, Yellowhammer has compiled and ranked a list of the 10 most powerful and influential local officials from around the state. Some on the list have a heightened level of power and influence inside city limits and county lines, others extend farther out into the Yellowhammer State.

All move the needle in Alabama politics and policy.


Mayors from midsize cities

Frank Brocato, Hoover. The over-the-mountain city is all grown up, and Brocato became its 10th mayor in 2016. Known for being business-friendly with a strong school system, Hoover has become a hub for a variety of commercial activities in the Birmingham area. Following 42 years of service in the city’s fire department, Brocato is the consummate advocate for Hoover.

Walt Maddox, Tuscaloosa. Having the state’s largest university within the limits of your city raises the stakes on your job performance, and Maddox has received resounding praise for his work in the West Alabama city. The Tuscaloosa native and former UAB football player has leveraged the strength of the University of Alabama to maximize the city’s economy and improve quality of life for its residents.

Gulf Coast mayors

Robert Craft (Gulf Shores) and Tony Kennon (Orange Beach). Tourism in Alabama is a $17 billion annual business, and the state’s beaches are the largest source of that revenue. So while their cities may not have the large population numbers of others, Craft and Kennon have significant influence because of their statewide value, and both mayors are perpetually working to ensure nothing stands in the way of those visitors who flock to their cities in droves. Balancing development with maintaining the beauty of their coastal beaches, and taking care of residents and tourists, alike, present challenges to which both have risen.


Patrick Davenport, probate judge, Houston County Davenport had several years of experience as an attorney specializing in probate law before becoming his home county’s probate judge. The Navy veteran and former Marine police officer has quickly developed a strong voice on some of Alabama’s most critical public policy initiatives, such as dealing with mental health issues within the state’s healthcare system. Davenport has also created models for greater efficiency at polling places for statewide implementation.


Elisabeth French, presiding judge of Jefferson County Circuit and district judges tend not to enjoy as much power and influence as other elected officials in Alabama. However, Jefferson County is different. The county’s judicial system is massive and intricate, and French is tasked with oversight for all the court system’s employees and is charged with maintaining an orderly and expeditious process through which justice can be administered. A Cumberland School of Law graduate, French is also the first African-American woman to serve as presiding judge for any judicial circuit in the state’s history.


Bill Partridge, chief of police, City of Oxford Partridge throughout his tenure has sought to stay on the forefront of law enforcement methods and technologies, and his work has impacted more than just his city. A graduate of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, Partridge currently serves as president of the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police. As a founder of the East Area Metro Crime Center, Partridge says of its impact, “What this center will be able to do is, we’ll be able to bring in 23 different local, state, and federal agencies under one roof to share intelligence, and to share what’s going on on a day to day basis, to help solve crimes faster and hopefully prevent crimes.”

10. David Money, commissioner and probate judge, Henry County Money is one of the few remaining occupants of both the office of probate judge and chairman of the county commission. The Abbeville native has lived his entire life in Henry County, yet his influence reverberates throughout Alabama. He currently serves as president of the powerful Alabama Association of County Commissions, a position through which he has engaged prominently in state policy. Money was a vocal proponent of Rebuild Alabama and has a track record of economic development success for his area. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he formerly owned a Ford dealership prior to entering public service.


9. Steven Reed, mayor, City of Montgomery Reed was sworn in as Montgomery’s 57th mayor in November 2019. His term brings with it much hope and anticipation for a more holistic approach to governance in Alabama’s capital city. In a short time, Reed has already exhibited an ability to communicate effectively with people from all corners of the city. A former football player at Morehouse College, he received a Master of Business Administration at Vanderbilt University and has shown a keen understanding of how to meet the needs of the business community while tending to essential city services.


8. Connie Hudson, commissioner, Mobile County A commissioner in Alabama’s second-largest county, Hudson has spent more than two and a half decades building a power base in her area. She served nine years on the Mobile City Council before her election to the county commission. A graduate of Troy University, Hudson has had an impact on commerce along the Gulf Coast. She served on the board of the Alabama State Port Authority and as an advocate for the many large economic development projects Mobile has seen in recent years. A 2019 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact and current board member of the Alabama Association of County Commissions, Hudson continues to make her mark along the Gulf Coast.


7. Jimmie Stephens, commissioner, Jefferson County Stephens is the president of the county commission in the state’s most populous county. Few know the area they represent quite like Stephens. He grew up in Jefferson County and has never really left, having attended Bessemer High School and Samford University. That connection to his community has carried him to a position where a leads a commission which oversees a $700 million budget for its citizens. Stephens had a long career in the food and grocery industry prior to entering public service and has sought to implement business principles into county governance.


6. Derrick Cunningham, sheriff, Montgomery County While the capital city has struggled with its law enforcement effort over the last decade, Cunningham has built one of Alabama’s most effective and admired departments in the surrounding area. He has been a leading advocate for juvenile justice reform and better outcomes for children who enter the state’s criminal justice system. Cunningham was elected by his peers to the position of president of the Alabama Sheriffs Association. His infusion of technology and innovation into Montgomery County’s policing techniques has drawn praise. The Troy University graduate oversees a 300-person agency and a $27 million budget.


5. Dale Strong, commissioner, Madison County There will never be a power vacuum in Madison County so long as Strong is in office. He is a bit of an old-school politician trapped in a young man’s body. He looks for every opportunity to exert influence and pulls every lever of power available to him. As chairman of the county commission, he occupies the lone position elected county-wide. For those wanting greater efficiency in government, the Strong-led agencies in Madison County should serve as models. He has a professional background in banking and pharmaceutical sales, and he is an emergency medical technician. His relentless advocacy for improved infrastructure in the fast-growing county of 375,000 people will be one of the cornerstones of his legacy.


4. Hoss Mack, sheriff, Baldwin County Mack is a must-have relationship for current and aspiring statewide elected officials. This speaks to his political strength and influence in Baldwin County and to the respect he commands on law enforcement issues. Serving his fourth term in office, Mack has worked for the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department in various capacities since 1989. He is a past president of the Alabama Sheriffs Association and a director of the National Sheriffs Association. He has been a voice on national initiatives such as the Blue Lightning task force which aims to stop human trafficking. Well over 6 million visitors trek through the 2,027 square miles that make up Mack’s jurisdiction, endowing him with tremendous responsibility for which he has proved highly capable.


3. Tommy Battle, mayor, Huntsville Battle leads a city chock-full of engineers, scientists, military veterans and entrepreneurs. On one hand, this is a group of natural rule-followers who consistently remain open to new ways of doing things. On the other hand, expectations are sky-high. Battle has managed to thrive in this environment and become one of the state’s most prominent elected officials. With the winds of innovation at his back, Battle has brought major economic development projects to Huntsville — and helped existing businesses grow — through his commitment to infrastructure and willingness to work with other governmental bodies throughout the Tennessee Valley. With a triple-A credit rating and a double-A baseball team, Battle’s Huntsville will continue to be a city many others across Alabama desire to replicate.


2. Sandy Stimpson, mayor, Mobile Stimpson spent more than 40 years in the building industry as a lumber manufacturer. That experience served him well as one of the enduring traits possessed by those at the top of this list is an ability to build consensus. Stimpson is the chief executive officer for a city that has diversity among its population and its interests. Manufacturing, tourism and professional services drive the city’s economy. International investment is critical. Public safety and revitalization are chief concerns in Mobile communities. Stimpson has effectively tackled them all and received strong reviews along the way. With the entire state getting back to work, the Port of Mobile expanding to accommodate additional shipping demand and Stimpson launching several other initiatives to improve quality of life for Mobilians, the city is poised to prosper in the coming years.


1. Randall Woodfin, mayor, Birmingham Woodfin will be exceedingly successful in whatever he decides to do when he finishes his tenure as mayor of Birmingham. If he chooses to start a business, practice law, launch a hedge fund or pursue a charitable endeavor, his ability to build coalitions and get people to buy into a common purpose is nearly unmatched in the Yellowhammer State. Woodfin became the city’s 30th mayor in 2017, and he has not looked back. The Morehouse College and Cumberland School of Law graduate immediately forged partnerships with some of the state’s largest employers, as well as with leaders on the neighborhood level. Woodfin has found a way to initiate programs, such as Birmingham Promise and BhamStrong, which benefit the entire spectrum of people, families and businesses calling Birmingham home. He has fostered a spirit of entrepreneurship in the city and revitalized areas previously thought lost. The sky is the limit for Woodfin, but for right now, he is the most powerful and influential local official in Alabama.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama one of the most open states, Jones continues supporting Biden, Democrats want to use one time funds for Medicaid expansion and more …


7. Sanders probably won’t run for president again

  • U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)said that “it’s very, very unlikely” that he’d launch another presidential campaign, which makes sense considering he’s 78 years old already and would be in his 80s the next go around.
  • While interviewing with the Washington Post, Sanders did say that in the next presidential election, “you’re going to see another candidate carrying the progressive banner.”

6. 10 million tests by the end of the week


  • According to President Donald Trump, the United States is prepared to pass 10 million tests by the end of this week, with more testing and funding coming online. He added this will lead to an “investment to conduct more tests than any other country on earth.”
  • Alabama’s testing has continued to increase testing with the percent of those tests coming back positive slowly falling, experts declared last month that a positive testing rate under 10%  a day indicated enough testing was being done and Alabama has been under that rate since April 25, which doesn’t factor in that some labs don’t report negative tests. 

5. Marshall wants China to be investigated

  • While New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is calling the coronavirus the “European virus,” 16 state attorneys general, including Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, signed a letter that requests “Congressional Hearings into the communist Chinese Government and its role in the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • The letter also says that these hearings should be held because recent reports “suggest that the communist Chinese government willfully and knowingly concealed information about the severity of the virus.” Republicans have recently been coming out against China and asking that they be held accountable for their efforts to cover up the pandemic. 

4. Tuberville wants Sessions to apologize 

  • After President Donald Trump appeared on Fox News Channel and continued slamming his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Sessions responded by setting the record straight on his appointment and his recusal by saying, “The President offered me the job, I took it, I stood up for the truth and performed at the highest levels.”
  • This did not sit well with former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who issued a press release demanding Sessions apologize to the president and incorrectly asserting that Sessions didn’t need to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, when even Trump’s current Attorney General William Barr acknowledges Sessions had to recuse.

3. Relief funds won’t be used to expand Medicaid

  • The coronavirus pandemic has provided a platform for some to advocate more for expanding Medicaid, and while the Alabama Democratic Party has suggested that the relief funds provided through the CARES Act to the state could pay for the expansion, that’s false. 
  • It turns out, the U.S. Treasury Department has specifically said that states can’t use CARES Act funds to pay for Medicaid. In general, federal funds can’t be used for Medicaid expenses, so Governor Kay Ivey’s question remains, “How do you pay for it?”

2. Doug Jones only believes women sometimes

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has been a vocal supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden, and that support has continued even amid the sexual assault allegations brought against Biden by former Senate aide Tara Reade. 
  • Jones has called Reade’s “credibility” into question recently, and now he has said that Republicans are “the pot calling the kettle black” for them overlooking allegations brought against President Donald Trump. Previously, Jones has defended Biden against sexual misconduct and segregationist issues as well. 

1. Alabama is one of the most open states right now

  • As most states remain shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Alabama has reopened a majority of businesses while maintaining new sanitation standards and customer capacity, but according to the lobbying firm Multistate Associates, the decision to reopen restaurants, salons and other businesses made Alabama the fourth most open state. 
  • Before Governor Kay Ivey decided to let more businesses open, Alabama ranked as the 22nd most open state but, currently, South Dakota ranks first in being open, second is Oklahoma, followed by North Dakota at third. Unshockingly, New York is ranked 50th.