The Wire

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

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

2 hours ago

Two Alabama Democrats file lawsuit, claim Doug Jones tried to ‘give control of the Alabama Democratic Party to Whites’

(W.Miller/YHN)

Two members of the Alabama Democratic Conference have filed a lawsuit against Tom Perez, the national Democratic Party’s former chair. They claim he and former Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) attempted to “give control of the Alabama Democratic Party to Whites.”

The lawsuit was filed in federal court by Randy Kelley and Janet May. Both are affiliates of the Alabama Democratic Conference, a group that describes itself as the “Black Political Caucus of Alabama” and operates independently of the official state Democratic Party.

The case stems from a years-long dispute over Democratic leadership in Alabama.

Barry Ragsdale, an attorney who was has supported the Perez-aligned faction of Alabama Democrats that now controls the party, attacked the validity of the lawsuit.

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“The Plaintiffs are just sore losers, who can’t accept their defeat and who now recklessly scream ‘racism’ because they know that neither the law or the facts support their legal claims,” Ragsdale said in a statement to Alabama Media Group.

The lawsuit is the latest action in an extended legal imbroglio that began in 2018.

Then-Senator Doug Jones, unhappy with a state Democratic party infrastructure that he felt was ineffective, attempted to install a personal friend and ally as chair of the state party during a party meeting.

That effort failed, and Nancy Worley was reelected to the position of state chair with the backing of the Alabama Democratic Conference and its longtime leader Joe Reed.

However, a group of Alabama Democrats asserted there were irregularities in how the party’s internal election was conducted.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) examined the allegations of improper conduct and found them to be valid, ultimately ordering the state party to conduct new elections.

After much intraparty fighting, which led to an extended court battle, State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) emerged as the party chairman.

England, who is the state party’s first black chairperson, had the backing of Jones and the DNC.

Worley ultimately stopped pursuing her claim to be party chair in the spring of 2020 after a state judge dismissed a last-ditch suit.

The new England-led regime at the Alabama Democratic Party passed new bylaws that govern the state party and set out how the State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) is elected.

Those changes, backed by England, Jones, Perez and the DNC, are the subject of Kelley and May’s lawsuit filed in recent days.

The suit names Perez, England and the SDEC as defendants.

Kelley and May say the changes do not comply with a 1991 federal court order that required black members of the party receive proportional representation on the executive committee to their share of Democratic votes cast.

“After Blacks became a majority of the SDEC, the governing body, Perez joined with Senator Doug Jones and others to weaken Black’ influence and give the control of the Alabama Democratic Party to Whites,” Kelley said in a release posted publicly by the Alabama Democratic Conference.

The new bylaws do change the method of ensuring a proportional amount of black members are on the executive committee. Similar to the previous arrangement, black individuals are added as at large members to ensure proper representation numbers.

However, in the new bylaws, the executive committee as a whole selects the at large members instead of leaving the selection of the at large members to the minority caucus.

Joe Reed and the Democratic Conference leadership had control over the equivalent of the minority caucus in the version of the party that existed before 2019. They regularly used the ability to select members as a tool to assert influence over the state party.

The Alabama Democratic Conference said in its statement that it believes the 2019 changes to how the executive committee is composed amount to “undermining, diluting, and discriminating against Black Democrats.”

Ragsdale pushed back on the assertions by Kelley, May and the Democratic Conference, telling Alabama Media Group that the plaintiffs “can’t accept that their side lost after an open and fair election.”

Ragsdale continued, “At its core, this most recent lawsuit is anti-democratic and an attack on the values of inclusion and diversity that guide the Democratic Party.”

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

1 day ago

Alabama Bankers Association’s Jason Isbell joins Montgomery office of Maynard Cooper

(Maynard Cooper Gale/Contributed, YHN)

Maynard Cooper & Gale on Thursday announced that Jason Isbell has joined the Governmental Affairs practice as “of counsel” in the firm’s Montgomery office.

Widely respected on Goat Hill, Isbell brings 18 years of experience working in the governmental affairs sector. Most recently, he served for seven years as vice president of Legal and Governmental Affairs for the Alabama Bankers Association.

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Previously, Isbell spent nine years as a legislative fiscal analyst in the Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office, handling issues related to the Departments of Insurance and Transportation and the education sector. He also served two years as chief counsel to the Office of the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives.

During his tenure with the Alabama Bankers Association, Isbell was intricately involved with state and federal legislative, judicial and executive branch officials. He oversaw the association’s legal affairs and served as a registered lobbyist.

“Mr. Isbell’s years of legal and government related work and the industry knowledge and relations he’s developed bring an invaluable level of experience to Maynard’s Governmental Affairs team and the clients we serve,” stated Raymond Bell, shareholder and chair of the firm’s State Government Relations practice group. “We are excited that this seasoned veteran has joined our team.”

Isbell holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Faulkner University, a Master of Business Administration from Auburn University Montgomery’s School of Business, and a J.D. from Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.

Based in Birmingham, Maynard now has 300 attorneys across 11 offices nationwide, with Miami as the most recent expansion.

The prestigious firm has additional Alabama locations in Huntsville and Mobile.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 day ago

Tuberville speaks out after Biden terminates border wall construction, loosens enforcement of immigration law on day one

(Tommy Tuberville for Senate/Contributed, YHN, Joe Biden/Facebook)

During his first hours in office, President Joe Biden on Wednesday afternoon signed three executive orders to make it easier to enter and then stay in the United States illegally.

One of the orders “reset[s] the policies and practices for enforcing civil immigration laws to align enforcement with [the administration’s] values and priorities.” In simpler terms, this means certain immigration laws will openly not be enforced under Biden’s reign.

A second order mandates that the Homeland Security secretary “take all appropriate actions under the law” to “preserve and fortify” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That same order also calls on Congress to enact legislation providing permanent status and a pathway to citizenship for people who were brought to America illegally as children.

Third, Biden ordered an “immediate termination of the national emergency declaration that was used as a pretext to justify some of the funding diversions” for the border wall being built on the United States’ southern border.

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“The proclamation directs an immediate pause in wall construction projects to allow a close review of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used, and to determine the best way to redirect funds that were diverted by the prior Administration to fund wall construction,” an announcement from the administration reads.

This order asserts that “building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution.”

“It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security,” the order adds. “It shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall.”

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) released a statement opposing this move.

“I have serious concerns about President Biden’s executive order to stop construction of a wall along the southwest border,” said the freshman senator from Lee County. “Over the last four years, we have witnessed the effectiveness of more than 400 miles of new physical barriers in curbing illegal border crossings, assisting our border patrol agents in enforcing the law, and impacting daily apprehension rates. For the Administration to hit pause on those efforts sends the exact wrong message to our adversaries and those seeking to enter this country illegally.”

“If we stop effectively protecting our border, we will see American jobs impacted at a time when we need to be getting Americans back in the workforce,” Tuberville continued. “Not to mention an under-protected border will give way to an increase in drug flow and human trafficking – two issues on the rise in our country. If President Biden truly cares about getting American workers back on their feet after the pandemic and protecting our country, he will reconsider this decision and recommit to enforcing the laws as passed by Congress.”

It should also be noted that Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order ending travel bans from certain countries; while his administration claimed they were ending the so-called “Muslim Ban,” the fine print raises questions as to the accuracy of that statement in describing Biden’s actions. In fact, he is now allowing travelers from North Korea and Venezuela into the United States, breaking with the policy of the Trump administration; neither of these countries, of course, is anywhere close to being predominantly Muslim.

Additional countries Biden is newly allowing travel from include hotbeds of terrorism and crime: Chad, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Biden’s first hours as president could cost Alabama a congressional seat, Electoral College vote

(Kamala Harris/Facebook)

One of President Joe Biden’s first official acts could come with historic costs to the state of Alabama.

Biden has announced that in his first hours as president on Wednesday afternoon, he will decree that illegal aliens be included in the count used from the 2020 Census in determining how U.S. House districts are apportioned among the states. This reverses the policy of former President Donald Trump, who only wanted citizens included for apportionment purposes.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R-AL) and Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) have led legal efforts for more than three years to prevent illegal aliens from being counted towards congressional apportionment. Their case is still pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

The two Republicans have explained that since Alabama has a relatively low number of illegal aliens, the state would be disproportionally hurt by their inclusion while blue states such as California would benefit at Alabama’s expense.

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An estimate released in recent weeks had Alabama holding onto its seventh congressional seat by a razor-thin margin — only approximately 6,000 people — after the 2020 Census. However, it could be months until the official numbers are released by the Census Bureau. And now, Biden’s policy reversal could tip the balance to Alabama’s detriment.

In addition to losing a congressional district equating to losing representation in the House of Representatives, another consequence for Alabama would be losing a vote in the Electoral College. Moreover, billions of dollars in federal funding are on the line as a result of the Census count.

“The Census determines political representation for the body politic — ’the People.’ Illegal aliens stand outside the body politic, having neither affirmed allegiance to our country nor been recognized by it as lawfully residing here. Thus, including them in the apportionment dilutes the representation afforded to citizens and lawfully-present aliens who do form ‘the People,’” Marshall has stated.

“Any apportionment that includes illegal aliens thus violates the Constitution’s process for apportionment and promise of equal representation,” Marshall concluded.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Republican Ben Robbins wins Alabama House District 33 special election

(Ben Robbins Campaign/Contributed)

A special general election was held Tuesday in Alabama House District 33, and Republican nominee Ben Robbins has come out on top.

The seat, covering parts of Clay, Coosa and Talladega Counties, became vacant in the summer upon the death of State Rep. Ron Johnson (R-Sylacauga), who had held the seat since 1978.

Provisional votes withstanding, Robbins won election in a blowout of Democrat Fred Crum, 68.19% to 31.68%. A total of 3,273 votes were cast, according to unofficial results, for a district turnout of 10.46%.

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Provisional ballots will be counted on January 26, and the governor, secretary of state and attorney general will certify the election by February 10. The regular session of the legislature begins February 2.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said in a statement, “We extend our congratulations to Ben Robbins on his apparent victory. As a solid conservative, Mr. Robbins will work on behalf of his constituents to promote those values and fight for the issues important to our Party. He will be a welcome addition to our majority in Montgomery. We look forward to working with Mr. Robbins and thank him for his willingness to serve.”

Robbins — a Talladega County native, Sylacauga resident and local attorney — ran against Johnson in the 2018 GOP primary, narrowly losing out by 211 votes. Now, Robbins will succeed the late legislative veteran.

A previous release from his campaign outlined that Robbins will focus on job creation, education and improving vital infrastructure across the Yellowhammer State. The release added that he will work with legislative leaders to keep Alabama’s taxes low and find creative ways to incentivize job creation in an effort to solidify the state’s pro-business reputation.

“Our district is a wonderful place to raise a family,” Robbins stated. “We owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave them with more opportunities than we had, and I believe fresh ideas, bold leadership and true conservative values are the foundation of that success.”

Robbins serves on multiple community boards, including Habitat for Humanity, co-president of Leadership Sylacauga and past-president of the Talladega Rotary Club. He is also reportedly active with several local Chambers of Commerce and the Sylacauga Young Professionals.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday night, Robbins wrote, “Thank you to all the voters across Talladega, Coosa, and Clay Counties! I am excited to get to work for the great people of our district!”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

7 days ago

Former Crimson Tide national champion Martin Houston running for mayor of Tuscaloosa

(Martin Houston campaign/YouTube)

Tuscaloosa businessman, pastor and former University of Alabama football player Martin Houston on Thursday announced his entry into the Tuscaloosa mayoral race.

During a press conference at his campaign headquarters in downtown Tuscaloosa, Houston was introduced by Crimson Tide legend Gene Stallings, who was Houston’s coach during Bama’s 1992 national championship season.

Watch Stalling’s remarks and the entirety of the announcement here.

Speaking to a small group of supporters and media at the live streamed event, Houston laid out his vision for Tuscaloosa, focusing on increased transparency, inclusion, diversity and economic growth.

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“I first knew that Tuscaloosa was an extremely special place during an official college visit to Alabama in 1988,” said Houston, who played fullback and running back for the Tide for the 1989-1992 seasons. “What I thought was just a four-year decision to play football turned into something much more. Tuscaloosa is where I married my childhood sweetheart, raised our children, and found my purpose. For 32 years, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to serve as a businessman, a pastor, a volunteer, and a coach here.”

At the university, Houston received both the Sylvester Croom Commitment to Excellence and Charlie Compton Christian Leadership Awards. He was also the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ “Christian Athlete of the Year” in 1992. He went on to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1993 until a knee injury ended his NFL career.

Now, Houston is senior director of Membership Growth for Alabama One, serves as the lead pastor at Harvest Church in nearby Coker and hosts “The Martin Houston Show” on Tide 100.9. Additionally, he is a faith-based, inspirational speaker and is the chief empowerment officer/lead communicator for “The Empowerment Center.”

Houston and his wife of 31 years, Cassandra, have four children and three grandchildren.

“We all know the potential that our city has. It’s time to raise the bar and take Tuscaloosa from being just a good city to a great one,” he remarked on Thursday.

“I know that many of you feel disrespected, disconnected, and disenfranchised,” Houston added. “I want everyone to know that I hear you. Everyone in Tuscaloosa deserves a place where they can be heard. When I’m your mayor, everyone will have that place—that seat at the table.”

The pastor noted, “Tuscaloosa needs a candidate who is of the people, by the people, and for the people. I am running so I can make Tuscaloosa a better place for everyone to live, work, play and worship.”

“We can and will do this with focused, determined efforts to be an economically sound City driven by innovation, diversity and inclusion at every level,” he pledged. “Your voice matters and in the coming weeks, I look forward to earning your trust, your respect and your vote.”

Earlier the same day, incumbent Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox announced that he is seeking reelection to a fifth term. This will be Maddox’s first municipal bid since being the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2018.

He released this campaign video on Thursday:

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

7 days ago

Media outlets misquote Tuberville, incorrectly claim inauguration ceremony must be held January 20

(Tommy for Senate/Contributed)

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has gone viral — but for something that he did not actually say.

National media outlets have pounced on an article from Birmingham’s CBS 42, a Nexstar station, that quoted Tuberville as saying, “We probably could have had a swearing-in and inauguration later after we got this virus behind us a little bit. Again, we’re talking about Washington, D.C.”

“However, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution requires that the inauguration and swearing-in of a new President take place on January 20th. It wasn’t clear if Tuberville was aware of that during the interview,” CBS 42 wrote directly following that quote.

There are two major issues at play here. The words attributed to Tuberville were a significant misquote, and the 20th Amendment does not actually mandate an inauguration to occur on a certain date — or at all.

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The relevant section of the 20th Amendment only states that the “terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January” every four years.

Additionally, Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution mandates the following: “Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: – ‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.'”

There is no mention of an “inauguration” or any form of swearing-in ceremony in the Constitution, nor is there a requirement that the president take the oath of office in any type of public setting at all. President-elect Joe Biden could take the oath of office in his basement at noon on January 20 while being in line with both what Tuberville is alleged to have said and his constitutional duties.

However, getting back to the main issue here — media outlets have fabricated what Tuberville said.

The CBS 42 article that contains the misquote was posted at 8:47 p.m. CT on January 13. As of noon on Friday, January 15, no correction had been made.

This comes despite the fact that the very same article features video footage of what Tuberville actually said.

“I think we’ll have a new president,” Tuberville affirmed.

Then, speaking about the traditional, in-person inauguration ceremony, he continued, “I don’t know how big it’s going to be. We probably could have had the swearing-in and done an inauguration a little later on, after we’ve got this virus behind us a little bit. But again, we’re talking about Washington, D.C.”

Other outlets across the state and world have spread the misquote, however, while also botching what the 20th Amendment says. This includes al(dot)com, whose headline incorrectly reads: “Tuberville says delay inauguration, but date is set by Constitution.”

Additional examples of outlets both misquoting Tuberville and not understanding the 20th Amendment were CNN, The Washington Post and The Huffington Post.

And of course, there is Twitter itself amplifying the misinformation by creating a “trending” moment about Tuberville.

A gender studies professor at Duke, who admittedly dislikes Tuberville, decried the situation in a Twitter thread:

“I despise Tuberville, but we should quote people accurately and plausibly interpret the accurate quotations. We also have enough to worry about without inventing new outrageous statements. Delaying Biden’s presidency isn’t what he said. It isn’t what meant. Stop saying it,” the professor wrote.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.

Following Yellowhammer News’ article, CBS 42 updated their story to reflect the correct quote at 1:32 p.m., however they have not made a note in the article explaining the nature of the update or noting the original mistake.

UPDATE 4:35 p.m.

CBS 42 at 4:21 p.m. posted the following as a “clarification” on its article: “In a previous version of this article, two words were omitted in a quote attributed to Sen. Tommy Tuberville. The article has since been updated with the addition of those two words, ‘done’ and ‘an.’ The story has also been updated with a statement from the senator’s spokeswoman.”

That “statement from the senator’s spokeswoman” reads as follows: “It’s incorrect to interpret the Senator’s comments as calling for the postponement the actual act of swearing-in President-elect Biden. The Senator spent the last two days visiting with Alabama medical care providers to receive updates on the ongoing pandemic. Understanding the widely recognized health and safety concerns regarding large gatherings, the Senator was suggesting the public gathering for inaugural ceremonies could be reconsidered. As the Senator has previously said, President-elect Biden will take over next week.”

This came after Tuberville tweeted about the issue:

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

April Weaver endorsed by Manufacture Alabama in Senate District 14 special election

(Manufacture Alabama/Contributed, YHN)

Manufacture Alabama on Wednesday announced its endorsement of former State Rep. April Weaver (R-Brierfield) for Alabama Senate District 14, which includes portions of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby Counties.

Weaver has announced her Republican candidacy for the seat, which became vacant when former State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) was appointed as director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. The special election dates for the seat were announced last month.

“Manufacture Alabama is endorsing April Weaver for Senate District 14 due to her commitment to our state, her deep understanding of industry and the needs of our manufacturers,” stated George Clark, president of Manufacture Alabama.

“Weaver has a strong track record of crafting smart policy and identifying opportunities that make Alabama an even better place to live and conduct business,” he added. “Her leadership has brought positive resolutions to challenges facing our industry and we’re proud to endorse her for Senate District 14.”

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A lifelong resident of District 14, Weaver is a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration. She has worked more than 23 years in hospital management in various roles. Most recently, she served as Regional IV director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the Trump administration.

When serving in the House of Representatives, she was the first ever woman to serve as chair of the House Health Committee. Weaver has also been a leader within the Alabama Energy Council and national Energy Council.

Manufacture Alabama, which represents hundreds of companies, is a major trade association in the Yellowhammer State dedicated exclusively to the competitive, legislative, regulatory and operational interests and needs of manufacturers and their partner industries and businesses.

“I am proud to receive the support of a great organization like Manufacture Alabama. Their membership is the backbone of our business industry an invaluable part of the Alabama economy,” said Weaver. “It is important to have a strong partnership with the manufacturing industry.”

Weaver has also been endorsed by the Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Forestry Association and Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL).

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

Air Force: Huntsville chosen for Space Command HQ because it was objectively ‘best suited’ for mission

(Air Force Space Command, Team Redstone/Facebook, YHN)

The United States Air Force on Wednesday afternoon officially announced on behalf of the Department of Defense that Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal has been selected as the preferred location for the U.S. Space Command’s permanent headquarters.

This confirms Yellowhammer News’ reporting from earlier in the day. Read that report here, which includes reactions from members of Alabama’s congressional delegation and elected officials on the state level.

The Air Force’s official announcement — made in a written press release — rebutted local, anonymously sourced reporting out of Colorado that claimed the Air Force had actually preferred Colorado’s Peterson Air Force Base, Space Command’s current temporary headquarters and one of the other five finalists for the permanent basing location, to Redstone. The Denver Gazette had alleged that President Donald J. Trump had overruled the Air Force and picked Redstone.

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However, the Air Force’s release explained, “The Department of the Air Force conducted both virtual and on-site visits to assess which of six candidate locations would be best suited to host the U.S. Space Command Headquarters based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support and costs to the Department of Defense.”

“Huntsville compared favorably across more of these factors than any other community, providing a large, qualified workforce, quality schools, superior infrastructure capacity, and low initial and recurring costs,” the release continued. “Additionally, Redstone Arsenal offered a facility to support the headquarters, at no cost, while the permanent facility is being constructed.”

The Air Force anticipates making its decision final in spring 2023, pending the results from the required environmental impact analysis — which is normally considered a formality at the end of these types of federal basing competitions.

It is expected to take six years for the Space Command HQ to be relocated to Redstone from the temporary Colorado setup.

In a detailed statement, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle reacted to the Air Force announcement.

“The City of Huntsville, Alabama is honored that Redstone Arsenal has been named as the site for the United States Space Command,” said Battle.

“We are grateful to Senator Richard Shelby for his confidence in Huntsville… Senator Shelby has been front and center of this space effort from its inception. As one of our nation’s strongest defense advocates and most knowledgeable leaders in defense matters, Senator Shelby recognized the value of a program that would focus on space assets and threats. It is his vision to protect our country in space with a dedicated command,” the mayor continued. “We thank the U.S. Air Force site selection team for choosing Redstone Arsenal from its final six candidate cities. This group was meticulous in its review and assessment of potential sites, and they put us through the paces in their research these past two years. We will make you proud of your decision.”

Battle outlined, “The site selection team recognized what we know to be true – Huntsville is a natural choice. We are space. We do space. From the Redstone Arsenal installation to the Space and Missile defense assets that are here, Huntsville has been the leader in all [things] space since day one. From the 1950s when Explorer I went into space to the birthplace of NASA, space is in our DNA. We have built the space infrastructure and technical expertise to lead this effort.”

“The site team learned about the Redstone region’s proven track record in relocating military commands to our community. Army Aviation moved here in 1995 and Army Materiel Command moved here in 2011. Our low cost of living and doing business means the country’s tax-paying dollar will stretch much farther, providing more valuable resources for our space effort and warfighter,” he concluded. “We look forward to the partnership with U.S. Space Command and pledge to make them a success from day one.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

President Donald Trump impeached again, despite opposition of Alabama House Republicans

(President Donald Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi/Facebook, YHN)

The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon voted to impeach President Donald John Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”

Trump became the first president in history to be impeached on two separate occasions. He was impeached in December 2019 on two articles of impeachment and then acquitted by the Senate in early 2020.

Wednesday’s vote was 232-197, with 10 Republicans voting to support impeachment.

Alabama’s only member of the House voting to impeach the president is also the state’s only Democrat in the chamber, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07). She was also a cosponsor of the impeachment resolution.

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The six Republican congressmen from the Yellowhammer State voted against impeachment.

RELATED: Gary Palmer: Latest effort to impeach Trump ‘only serves to intensify division and anger’

The article of impeachment charges Trump with engaging “in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” This refers to his speech last Wednesday that preceded rioting at the U.S. Capitol.

The Senate will not be back in session until January 19, meaning a Senate impeachment trial will very likely occur after Trump has left office.

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04) said in a statement, “The storming of the United States Capitol was an American tragedy. As someone who was in the chamber of the House of Representatives that day, I can tell you it was a dark day in American history. The actions of those who broke into the building are unacceptable and undefendable. As I stated last week, our goal now should be on unifying our nation and to prayerfully seek answers to our nation’s problems.”

“While I understand Democrats wanting to express their anger in the form of impeachment, the act, which is more symbolic than actionable, causes more division and does not advance unity or healing,” he continued. “The United States Senate leader has stated that the Senate will not be able to even begin a trial until after President Trump has already left office next week.

“I believe that it would be in the best interest of all Americans for us to focus on cooling tensions, finding common ground and praying for this nation as we face so many challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic. In all sincerity, I do not believe that the impeachment today does anything to move our great constitutional republic forward,” Aderholt advised.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (AL-01) also released a statement right after Wednesday’s vote.

“Today House Democrats moved forward with a vote to impeach President Trump,” the freshman congressman from Coastal Alabama stated. “I voted no because the reasons cited in these articles failed to reach the necessary threshold for impeachment. Furthermore, the President has publicly conceded the election and committed to a peaceful transition of power, and I trust he will uphold his promise to ensure a smooth transition to the next administration. With only a few days left until January 20th, impeachment would further divide the American people when unity is needed. I remain committed to doing the job I was elected to do, rather than wasting time on Nancy Pelosi’s personal vendetta against President Trump.”

UPDATE 5:15 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-05), himself facing a censure resolution for a speech he delivered before Trump’s remarks last Wednesday, released a statement, saying, “For the second time in as many years, House Socialists who are panicking from almost losing the House in the 2020 elections foist a sham impeachment on the American people, a mere 7 days before President Trump is set to leave office. The Socialists seek to sully the President’s reputation and tarnish his legacy with baseless claims that he incited January 6th Capitol violence despite ZERO evidence. Their arguments are bunk. They paid NO attention to President Trump expressly asking American citizens to “peacefully” exercise their protest rights. Socialists also ignore growing evidence that militant groups coordinated and incited the illegal breach of the Capitol and would have done so regardless of what President Trump said at a rally 1 1/2 miles away.”

“My message to Socialists: Try being truthful, honest and honorable for a change. Do some homework. Actually read the President’s speech transcript,” he concluded. “Where in his speech did President Trump instruct anyone to commit violent acts? It is not there. American citizens have an absolute right under the Constitution’s First Amendment to engage in free speech and to assemble, protest, and petition their Congress. I am proud of those patriots who lawfully exercised their rights in hopes of helping to bring about more honest and accurate elections that are the underpinning of any republic. I hope those who engaged in illegal activity inside the Capitol are punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

Gary Palmer: Latest effort to impeach Trump ‘only serves to intensify division and anger’

(House Budget Committee GOP/YouTube)

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday is set to vote on an article of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump for allegedly “inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”

The article was introduced on Monday, and Trump is set to leave office in seven days when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated. U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) is a cosponsor of the article of impeachment.

House Democrats passed a resolution on Tuesday calling for Vice President Mike Pence to convene the cabinet and invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to immediately remove Trump from power in light of last week’s events at the U.S. Capitol. Pence rejected that call in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

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The article of impeachment is expected to receive a small number of votes from House Republicans on Wednesday, including House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) — the third-highest ranking Republican in the lower chamber of Congress. However, whenever the article’s ultimate fate in the Senate is still uncertain.

In a statement, another member of House leadership — Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) — emphasized his continued denouncement of what occurred last Wednesday at the Capitol. He also explained why he believes impeaching Trump is not a constructive recourse.

“This vote is not how we move forward as a country,” Palmer said. “The events of January 6 made for one of the darkest days I’ve experienced during my time in Congress, but a vote on an article of impeachment one week before a presidential transition only serves to intensify division and anger.”

“I am also concerned by the lack of process and precedent for this impeachment,” the Central Alabama congressman continued. “We are now in the process of impeaching a President because of a political speech and we’re doing it without basically no process. The bipartisan Congressional Research Service notes that there are generally three phases to an impeachment process: ‘(1) initiation of the impeachment process; (2) Judiciary Committee investigation, hearings, and markup of article of impeachment; and (3) full House consideration of the articles of impeachment.’ We haven’t even given lip service to the first two steps. Furthermore, it sets a dangerous precedent to impeach anyone for political rhetoric without due process or opportunity for defense, and it makes this process looks more like an inquisition than an impeachment.”

Palmer added, “It is critical to remember that the Constitution names ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ as the standard for impeaching a President. No matter how frustrated we become, we cannot undermine the office of the President, or our government’s crucial separation of powers, by rushing to impeach without examining the context and surrounding evidence. The lack of thorough investigation to determine who actually instigated the attack on the Capitol, and whether or not the attack was pre-planned, raises grave concerns about the motives behind this rush to impeach. The entire American public, regardless of individual political allegiances or views of the President, deserves to know all the facts. To deny them that will only intensify the distrust of the government.

“I strongly condemn the attack on the Capitol last week. There is no excuse for it, and I hope everyone who took any part will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But I do not believe an impeachment is beneficial to our country at this difficult moment. In short, this move will only encourage deeper division and bitterness on all sides at a time when we desperately need to unify,” he concluded.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

Bradley Byrne rejoins law firm following departure from Congress

(Wikicommons, YHN)

Adams and Reese LLP on Wednesday announced that former Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) has rejoined the firm’s Mobile office as special counsel.

According to a release, Byrne is a member of the firm’s Intersection of Business and Government Practice Group, where he focuses on representing a wide range of clients in government relations and economic development matters. He served in Congress from January 8, 2014 to January 3, 2021.

“I am excited about returning to private practice with the top-notch team at Adams and Reese, which feels to me like returning home,” Byrne said in a statement.

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“As a former leader within the firm’s Mobile office, I have seen how over the past several years, Adams and Reese’s Government Relations practice has grown and become a hallmark practice for the firm,” he continued. “Adams and Reese has historically welcomed several former elected officials to its ranks, which speaks to the firm’s status as a leader in government relations. I look forward to collaborating with a team of accomplished professionals to advocate for clients’ interests throughout the Southeast and in Washington, D.C.”

Byrne brings more than 30 years of experience in private practice and more than a decade of public service to the firm, where he will provide government relations services at the state and federal levels, corporate advice and counsel, economic development services, and labor relations counsel for a mix of private businesses, public entities, as well as both state and federal associations. Throughout his legal career, he has litigated hundreds of civil cases across the Southeast.

His time representing Coastal Alabama in the U.S. House of Representatives included service as a member of the Committee on Armed Services. Byrne was an outspoken supporter of a strong national defense and worked to support Alabama’s significant defense footprint. He also served on the House Committee on Education and Labor, which compliments his former roles as a member of the Alabama State Board of Education and chancellor of the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education.

“Bradley’s track record serving as a passionate advocate for Alabama businesses, educational institutions, and other organizations makes him a great fit with our team at Adams and Reese,” stated Britton Bonner, a partner in Adams and Reese’s Mobile office who represents numerous Alabama entities in government relations and economic development matters at the state and federal levels. “Bradley is driven and committed to making a difference for his clients, ensuring their voices are heard in the Alabama legislature and in Washington. His in-depth knowledge of the workings of government will be an incredible asset to our clients and team alike.”

A 1980 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law and a 1977 graduate of Duke University, Byrne has received notable honors for excellence in service and his commitment to business and industry. Some recent and notable awards he has received include the U.S. Navy Distinguished Public Service Award (2016), U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award (2015–2019), International Franchise Association Legislator of the Year (2017), Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association Legislator of the Year (2020), Business Council of Alabama Bubba Lee Political Courage Award (2016), Healthcare Leadership Council Champion of Healthcare Innovation (2016), National Association of Manufacturers Champion of Manufacturing (2016), and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Award (2019).

An avid sportsman and small forest owner, Byrne is also an advocate for the agricultural, forestry, fishing and hunting industries, and received the Alabama Wildlife Federation Legislative Conservationist of the Year in 2005, 2014 and 2015.

Adams and Reese’s footprint of offices across the Southeast and in D.C. includes locations in Mobile, Birmingham and Montgomery.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

Alabama House members vote on party lines on 25th Amendment resolution

(White House/Flickr)

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday night passed a resolution in a strictly party-line vote that calls on Vice President Mike Pence to convene the cabinet and invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald J. Trump from power in light of last week’s events at the U.S. Capitol.

Pence earlier in the day wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) saying he will not invoke the 25th Amendment, making the resolution even more of a symbolic gesture.

Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), a Democrat, was the only member of Alabama’s House delegation to support the measure; the six Republicans voted against the resolution.

Pelosi will now proceed to holding an impeachment vote on Wednesday. Sewell is a cosponsor of the article of impeachment that charges Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”

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Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Sewell tweeted, “If Pence and the Cabinet do not act, I will vote to impeach President Trump. There can be no unity without accountability.”

In contrast, Rep. Jerry Carl (AL-01) released a statement explaining why he voted against the resolution.

“Today I voted against House Resolution 21 which urges the Vice President to invoke the 25th Amendment, thereby removing President Trump from office. After careful consideration, it is my belief that the resolution’s claims do not meet the necessary requirements to invoke the 25th Amendment. The purpose of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution is to address an instance when a President is incapacitated. It was not, however, designed to carry out Nancy Pelosi’s political agenda,” Carl said.

Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06) last week said that he holds Trump to be partially responsible for the rioting and violence that occurred at the Capitol. On Tuesday, Palmer explained why he would oppose the Democrats’ censure resolution and subsequent impeachment push.

“It is the Vice President, not Congress, upon whom the Constitution bestows the powers of the 25th Amendment,” the Central Alabama congressman stated. “Congress cannot usurp powers granted the executive branch with a House resolution. The Constitution states that, for a President to be removed by mobilization of the 25th Amendment, ‘the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide’ must ‘transmit their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.’ To date, Vice President Pence and the necessary executive officials have provided no such written declaration, and there are no other governing bodies to whom the law currently gives authority to declare a President unfit. Therefore, H.Res. 21 does not have a legal path forward.”

“A vote on this resolution, and the planned subsequent vote on an article of impeachment against the President, serve no purpose but to further incense and divide Americans against each other at an already heated moment,” Palmer continued. “Frustration and anger are running high, and these votes simply exacerbate this emotionally tense time. We can move forward as a country only if we lay aside partisanship and seek healing together, which these votes will not accomplish.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

Alabama Farmers Federation backing April Weaver for Senate District 14

(ALFA Farmers/Contributed, YHN)

The Alabama Farmers Federation on Tuesday announced its endorsement of former State Rep. April Weaver (R-Brierfield) for Alabama Senate District 14, which includes portions of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby Counties.

Weaver has announced her Republican candidacy for the seat, which became vacant when former State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) was appointed as director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. The special election dates for the seat were announced last month.

Alabama Farmers Federation endorsements for state legislative seats are made at the local level, driven by county federations in the respective jurisdictions.

Bibb County Farmers Federation president Ashton Cottingham said in a statement, “April Weaver is a proven leader with all the qualifications and experience to represent our best interests in Montgomery. We support her wholeheartedly.”

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Chilton County Farmers Federation president Lynn Harrison stated, “April is a public servant who knows how to get things done in Montgomery. She will work hard for the people of this district to make sure all of our needs are represented in the Legislature.”

Shelby County Farmers Federation president John DeLoach also vocalized his support, remarking, “April has a proven track record of excellent public service. She is a true conservative who will work hard for us and represent our district well in Montgomery.”

A lifelong resident of District 14, Weaver is a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration. She has worked more than 23 years in hospital management in various roles. Most recently, she served as Regional IV director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the Trump administration.

When serving in the House of Representatives, she was the first ever woman to serve as chair of the House Health Committee.

“I am honored to have the support of the Alabama Farmers Federation,” commented Weaver. “I know the importance that agriculture plays in our state, and I look forward to working with Alabama farmers and all the people of District 14 to make it a better place to work and live.”

RELATED: April Weaver receives Alabama Forestry Association endorsement in SD14 race

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Terri Sewell cosponsoring article of impeachment against Trump for ‘incitement of insurrection’

(Screenshot / Facebook)

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) over the weekend announced her support for a new article of impeachment to be introduced against President Donald J. Trump in his last days in office.

The measure, drafted by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), charges Trump with “incitement of insurrection.”

A draft of the article says, “Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”

As foundation for that allegation, the article points to Trump’s speech to a large crowd near the United States Capitol on the morning of Wednesday, January 6. The article decries that the president “reiterated false claims that ‘we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.'”

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“He also willfully made statements that encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—imminent lawless action at the Capitol,” the article continues. “Incited by President Trump, a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol, injured law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress and the Vice President, interfered with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the election results, and engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.”

“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” it adds. “Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

Under 18 U.S. Code § 2383, inciting “any rebellion or insurrection” against the United States is a federal felony. The president is generally held as being immune from prosecution while in office.

Sewell, in a social media post announcing her support of the article of impeachment, wrote, “President Trump is a threat to our democracy and must be removed from office.” The Democratic congresswoman also made her thoughts clear about Trump last week.

She previously voted to impeach Trump on two charges in December 2019, related to abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump was acquitted of those charges.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote to her Democratic colleagues on Sunday, explaining that a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to convene the cabinet and invoke the 25th Amendment will be introduced on the House floor on Monday.

Assuming that resolution does not get the unanimous consent necessary and that Pence does not do what it requests regardless, Pelosi advised the House will proceed with impeaching Trump. That impeachment vote is expected mid-week.

RELATED: Rep. Gary Palmer: ‘I hold the president responsible for sending those people to the Capitol’

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Alabama’s Sewell: Trump must immediately be removed from office

(WhiteHouse.Gov & Terri Sewell/Facebook)

Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07) the past two days has called for the removal of President Donald J. Trump from office.

Sewell previously voted to impeach Trump on two separate charges last year. Now, she is again calling for him to be stripped of the presidency — this time more urgently following the violence and criminal behavior that occurred during rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

The congresswoman, who represents Selma and parts of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery, first made her thoughts clear in a Thursday tweet.

“President Trump is a threat to our democracy and is incapable of carrying out his oath of office,” she said. “There must be consequences for inciting violence and his abject failure to defend the Capitol yesterday.”

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“He must be removed from office — either by the 25th Amendment or impeachment,” Sewell added.

On Friday, following the news that a Capitol police officer has died from injuries sustained from being attacked during the riot, Sewell tweeted, “The President’s words matter. Trump incited the violence that led to the death of several Americans, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.”

“He must be held accountable,” she reiterated.

Sewell is now the sole Democrat in Alabama’s congressional delegation after the start of the 117th Congress on Sunday.

She was sworn into her sixth term after running unopposed in November’s general election. Sewell has held several leadership positions during her tenure, including freshman class president in the 112th Congress.

She has served as a chief deputy whip since the 113th Congress. Sewell sits on the Steering and Policy Committee, which sets the policy direction of the Democratic Caucus. She also serves as vice chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, sitting on three subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Health; the Subcommittee on Trade; and the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support.

Additionally, Sewell serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She is currently the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Defense Intelligence and Warfighter Support.

Top Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have called for Trump’s immediate removal from office via the 25th Amendment or impeachment. Two Trump cabinet members resigned on Thursday in opposition to Wednesday’s events, making it more unlikely the 25th Amendment will be invoked.

Trump on Thursday evening posted a video promising a peaceful transition of power and acknowledging that President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office on January 20. On Friday, Trump announced he will not attend the inauguration.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Rep. Gary Palmer: ‘I hold the president responsible for sending those people to the Capitol’

(Congressman Gary Palmer/Facebook, White House/Flickr, Fox Business/YouTube, YHN)

Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) has now put out an official statement and appeared on multiple Alabama radio shows to react to Wednesday’s events at the United States Capitol.

“As a strong defender of the First Amendment, I support the right to peacefully assemble. But what we witnessed on the Capitol grounds yesterday was far from a peaceful assembly, and the nation should have only one response to those activities. They must be strongly condemned,” Palmer said in a written statement released by his office on Thursday morning.

“The senseless actions of a few led to the unnecessary loss of life and multiple injuries,” he continued. “I commend the Capitol police for restoring peace and for their resolute and courageous efforts to protect the members of Congress and their staff, and everyone else who serves in the Capitol complex.”

Palmer is the fifth-highest ranking member of the House GOP, serving as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee for a second term.

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“Violence and destruction are not the answer to our problems, no matter how frustrated we become,” his statement added. “We have a nation of laws, not a nation of anarchy. The activities yesterday distort what our nation represents, and those engaging in them prove they have no love for country or respect for the rule of law.”

The Central Alabama congressman concluded, “I pray that we have seen the end of this reckless violence and that those responsible will be held accountable.”

Palmer went into greater details in a Thursday interview on Talk 99.5’s “Matt Murphy Show.”

“I think it was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history,” he commented. “You know, I’ve seen a lot in my life that I didn’t think I’d see. And I saw some in the nation’s capital. It’s one of the most venerated and admired institutions in the history of the world. That’s why millions and millions of people want to come to this country — because they still see this as a land of opportunity, but they also still see it as a land of peace and security where you can make something of yourself. And that’s not what you saw yesterday.”

He recounted what it was like being in the House chamber as intruders breached the building and eventually tried to gain access to that very room.

Palmer continued to blast the rioters as “thugs,” lamenting that they had also harmed the congressional effort which Palmer supported to object to the electors from certain states.

“And, you know, I hold the president responsible for sending those people to the Capitol,” Palmer added. “That should not have happened.”

Host Matt Murphy then asked if President Donald Trump “was partially responsible” for the violence and criminal behavior that broke out at the Capitol after the president spoke to a large crowd of supporters on Wednesday.

“Yeah, he had a great — he had a moment for greatness yesterday. I thought his thing about telling the people that he loved them [while thanking them for their support] was a great opportunity for him to also tell them … to go home. I think instead he told them to go to the Capitol,” he responded.

Palmer described what happened next as “an explosive situation.”

“There were people that came there, I think, to incite something,” he advised.

“All of us have a responsibility for how we conduct ourselves and for what we say,” Palmer subsequently added. “And our words and actions have consequences — unintended or not. We have to take responsibility for what we say and what we do, particularly when you have the magnetism and charisma that President Trump does.”

“What happened yesterday was inexcusable. It was an assault on all of our liberty. We have to maintain the Constitution, we have to be a nation of laws, not men. Our founders were very concerned about that, and that’s why they set the government up like it is,” Palmer commented. “Like I’ve said, I worked as hard as I could to help the president, to get the majority back, but it didn’t work. And I am convinced that fraud took place (in the presidential election). … [W]e lost the battle (the election), but we’ve got to prepare for the war. And I don’t mean a physical, violent war. I’m talking about within the scope of the laws of the land within the Constitution. If we lose the Constitution, then we lose the country. You cannot have what happened yesterday.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Senator Tommy Tuberville: ‘Yesterday was a sad day for our great country’

(Tommy Tuberville/Facebook, Pixabay, YHN)

Late Wednesday night, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) voted to reject the electors from Arizona and then Pennsylvania.

These were the only two states formally objected to during a joint session of Congress to review and certify the Electoral College votes from each state.

Four additional states (Georgia, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin) had House members lined up to object, however the requisite signature of at least one senator per state was not achieved. This lack of necessary senatorial support largely came because the day’s violence led to some Republican senators reversing course on challenging certification.

As a result, Arizona and Pennsylvania were the sole states to receive a certification vote. Tuberville voted against certification in both cases.

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“Yesterday was a sad day for our great country. I strongly condemn the violence and actions we saw from those who stormed the Capitol,” said Tuberville in a statement in the early morning hours of Thursday. “It undermines the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and it has no place in our democracy.”

“The integrity of our elections is vital to our country,” he continued. “I have serious concerns that the state of Arizona did not act in accordance with their own duly enacted laws when conducting this election. Because I promised to raise these concerns on behalf of my constituents, I voted against seating the electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania.”

Alabama’s junior senator concluded, “Although the election results were not what many Alabamians – including myself – would like, the process of certifying the election results needs to be completed. I look forward to working with my colleagues on legislation to create an election commission that could lead to important reforms. Moving forward, I will continue to be a voice for the people of Alabama regarding the security of our elections.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

See how Alabama’s U.S. House delegation voted on certifying Arizona’s electors

(Wikicommons, YHN)

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday night voted 303-121 to certify the Electoral College votes from Arizona.

Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) made an objection to Arizona’s electors earlier in the day, and, after hours of turmoil, the House finished its deliberation on the matter shortly after 10:00 p.m. CST.

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Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) delivered a floor speech before the House vote. The remarks focused on allegations of illegal aliens voting in November’s general election and were similar to a speech Brooks delivered on the floor in early December.

Brooks then voted to sustain the objection, as did his Republican colleagues, Congressmen Jerry Carl (AL-01), Barry Moore (AL-02), Mike Rogers (AL-03), Robert Aderholt (AL-04) and Gary Palmer (AL-06).

Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07) voted against sustaining the objection.

In a statement on Wednesday morning, she commented on her general support of accepting all states’ electors on the day.

“In November, the American people spoke loud and clear – and they chose Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States. Today, I am honored to do my part in certifying the results of the election and officially sending both President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris to the White House,” Sewell remarked.

“To be a daughter of the South and see Georgia elect the Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the Senate reminds me why our democracy is so worth fighting for,” she continued, referring to the Peach State Democratic Senate candidates’ apparent wins in Tuesday’s runoffs.

“I will vote against all efforts today to overturn the lawful election of our duly elected President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris,” Sewell concluded. “President Trump and his Republican allies are working to subvert the will of the people and the democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution. The American people deserve leaders who honor their oath of office and put their politics aside for the good of our nation.”

RELATED: Tuberville keeps promise, one of only six senators to object to Arizona’s electors

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Tuberville keeps promise, one of only six senators to object to Arizona’s electors

(Tommy Tuberville/Facebook)

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) on Wednesday night voted to reject the electors from Arizona, fulfilling his pledge from the previous day.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) made the objection earlier in the day, and, after hours of turmoil, the Senate finished its deliberation on the matter shortly after 9:00 p.m. CST.

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Tuberville and Cruz were two of only six senators to ultimately vote to sustain the objection, along with Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA) and Roger Marshall (R-KS).

Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) vote “no” on sustaining the objection, as did 92 other senators.

The objection was destined to fail, however the day’s violence led to some additional Republican senators deciding not to reject the electors.

On Tuesday, Tuberville stated about his decision: “Tomorrow afternoon I will join Senator Ted Cruz in objecting to Electoral College results from Arizona, and I am carefully considering additional states that may require my objection.”

“In our country, elections are generally governed by the individual states, but there are serious questions about whether, for example, Arizona’s electors were selected in accordance with the duly enacted laws of the State of Arizona, which is a requirement of the United States Constitution,” he continued. “Elections are too important to allow significant deviations from state law, and I am hopeful that the process tomorrow will at least shine a bright light on the need to investigate potential wrongdoing and to propose reforms. I believe the appointment of a commission to study this issue and propose reforms, either at the state or federal level, would be a positive step toward ensuring the integrity of future elections.”

“Under President Trump’s leadership, we’ve seen unprecedented efforts to protect our southern border, cut taxes for Americans, and confirm a record number of conservative judges to the Federal bench. It is critical to ensure the voices of the millions of Americans who voted for President Trump are heard and not diminished by voter fraud or election irregularities,” Tuberville concluded.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Doug Jones loses out to Merrick Garland in U.S. AG contest

(The Hill/Twitter, Jones for Senate/Facebook)

Former U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) will not be the next U.S. attorney general.

It was reported widely on Wednesday that President-elect Joe Biden will instead nominate Judge Merrick Garland to lead the Department of Justice.

This comes after Democrats have appeared to win both U.S. Senate runoffs held Tuesday in Georgia, giving Democrats control of Congress’ upper chamber come January 20. This will result in Biden most likely being able to fill Garland’s current seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, allowing him to be safely picked for attorney general.

Jones, Garland and former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates were said to be on Biden’s shortlist for AG.

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Before being appointed to the federal bench by then-President Bill Clinton in 1997, Garland attended Harvard University for his undergraduate and legal education. After serving as a law clerk to Judge Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice William J. Brennan Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States, Garland practiced corporate litigation and then worked as a federal prosecutor, playing a leading role in the investigation and prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombers.

Garland has been chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit since 2013. He was nominated to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 2016 by then-President Barack Obama, but the nomination did not advance in the Senate.

The Associated Press reported that Biden is expected to announce Garland’s nomination on Thursday, “along with other senior leaders of the department, including former homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general and former Justice Department civil rights chief Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general, the No. 3 official. He will also name an assistant attorney general for civil rights, Kristen Clarke, the president of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, an advocacy group.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Mo Brooks: ‘The violence at the U.S. Capitol today is despicable, un-American’ — ‘Prosecute these thugs’

(Rep. Brooks' office/YouTube)

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) has released a statement “unequivocally” condemning the rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday.

Brooks has been leading the congressional effort to challenge six states’ presidential electors, which had just begun when the chaos and violence erupted on Capitol Hill.

The North Alabama congressman in his statement outlined that, in America, the type of power he is exercising through the congressional process is the way to properly adjudicate disputes — rather than resorting to violence.

“The violence at the U.S. Capitol today is despicable, un-American, and tears at the fabric of our great republic,” Brooks said.

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“The scenes of United States Capitol Police being violently attacked and mobs occupying the American seat of government are highly disturbing,” he continued. “Consistent with my history, I ALWAYS condemn lawlessness and violence of any kind and in the strongest terms. As a strong supporter of the Rule of Law, and as a former target of Socialist Democrat gunfire myself, I don’t care what political views motivate the violence, I hope law enforcement and our judicial system prosecute these thugs to the fullest extent of the law.”

“In America, the appropriate way to achieve political goals, the place to beat the stew out of disagreeable political philosophies, is via free speech, vigorous public debate, and at the ballot box, while always being respectful of the Rule of Law and Law Enforcement,” Brooks concluded. “While our election system has major, systemic flaws that Socialist Democrats egregiously exploited in 2020, that election system is still far and away the best place to change the direction and destiny of America.”

RELATED: Alabama elected officials denounce breach of U.S. Capitol, violence on the Hill

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Alabama elected officials denounce breach of U.S. Capitol, violence on the Hill

(Igor Bobic/Twitter)

The United States Capitol Building on Wednesday was breached by rioters with both chambers in session. President-elect Joe Biden has called the still ongoing events “insurrection.”

All rioters and demonstrators have been urged to leave the Capitol Hill area by President Donald J. Trump, along with other national Republican figureheads, including Vice President Mike Pence and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

The members of Alabama’s congressional delegation are currently unharmed as of this writing.

Yellowhammer State elected officials, in bipartisan manner, have called for peace and order.

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RELATED: Alabama Republican Party ‘strongly condemns’ violence on Capitol Hill

“Americans have a right to protest, but violence is never the answer,” tweeted Congressman Jerry Carl (AL-01). “I’m praying for the safety of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the law enforcement protecting us.”

Congressman Barry Moore (AL-02) said in a tweet, “Lawlessness and anarchy are never the answer. We are – and always will be – a nation of law and order. While I support Americans’ 1st Amendment rights, I strongly condemn any and all violence & fully support our brave Capitol Police and LEOs.”

The dean of Alabama’s House delegation, Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04), said in a statement, “I was on the House Floor this afternoon objecting to the electoral votes with many of my colleagues. We had to evacuate due to a security breach. I ask for your prayers during this time in our nation’s history. God has brought this nation through many dark days over the past 240 plus years. We have more times than not, been able to settle our disputes peaceably. I believe God will continue to guide and protect this nation. However, as a nation we need to seek his guidance in peace. He is in full control!”

“As strong supporter of Rule of Law, I hope EVERYONE who illegally breached Capitol is prosecuted to fullest extent of the law,” tweeted Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05). “Senseless. Achieves nothing productive.”

Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL) said in a tweet, “We must remember that the GOP is the party of law and order, and protests, no matter how passionate, must always be peaceful. I pray that order will soon be restored at the U.S. Capitol and that the police officers working to end the chaos will remain safe.”

Follow the Capitol Hill situation live here.

UPDATE: 6:20 p.m.

Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) tweeted, “Thank you to all who have reached out with concern for my staff and me. We are safe and grateful for our dedicated Capitol Police. Please join me in praying for the healing of our country. This is a sad day for everyone and the scenes we witnessed today were unacceptable.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Alabama Republican Party ‘strongly condemns’ violence on Capitol Hill

(Axios/Twitter)

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan on Wednesday issued a statement denouncing developing events on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Capitol Building was breached on Wednesday with both chambers in session considering certification of Electoral College results. Senators and representatives eventually had to be evacuated as rioters attempted to gain access to the chambers.

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At least one individual has been shot inside the Capitol, and, as of this writing, the D.C. and Virginia National Guards are deploying forces to gain control of the Capitol Complex. There have been no reports of any members of Congress being injured at this time.

Lathan stated, “The Alabama Republican Party strongly condemns any violence and unlawful actions occurring on Capitol Hill today. We support law enforcement efforts to control and arrest any person who is violating laws and causing harm to property or people. These actions are not American and cannot be tolerated.”

“We strongly support peaceful assembly and protest as guaranteed by the First Amendment. The Electoral College voting process, which is allowed by the Constitution, must be allowed to continue without disruption,” she added. “It is important that citizens contact their representatives to have their voices heard in an orderly and respectful manner.”

For live reporting on this rapidly developing situation, tune into your preferred news channel or click here or here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn