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.

1 day ago

Alabama Forestry Association endorses Republican Barry Moore in AL-02

(Moore Campaign/Contributed, YHN)

The Alabama Forestry Association (AFA) on Friday announced its endorsement of former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) for election to the United States House of Representatives from Alabama’s Second Congressional District.

After a hard-fought Republican primary runoff victory last month, Moore is set to face Democrat Phyllis Harvey-Hall in November’s general election.

AFA executive vice president Chris Isaacson on Friday stated, “The Alabama Forestry Association is proud to endorse Barry Moore. He is a true conservative. He effectively represented the values of District 91 while serving in the state legislature and we feel confident he will do the same in Washington.”

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A release from the association highlighted that Moore earned his degree from Auburn University in Agricultural Science.

“Forestry is one of Alabama’s largest and most important industries,” Moore said in a statement. “I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association and the thousands of members they represent all across the state.”

“Our forests are an always-growing resource that sustains thousands of jobs today and will continue to sustain them for our children and their children,” he continued. “We must continue growing, building, and creating new jobs and forestry plays an integral part in all of those things. President Trump has opened the doors across America for industries to operate again. I will continue working with the President to bring back American jobs for American workers, right here in Alabama. I look forward to representing the people of District Two, including our foresters and those in forestry-related industries, in Congress.”

The Alabama Forestry Association this week also announced its endorsement of Tommy Tuberville in Alabama’s U.S. Senate contest and Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl in the AL-01 congressional race.

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

1 day ago

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne names Seth Morrow chief of staff

(Representative Bradley Byrne/Facebook, @ssmorrow26/Twitter, YHN)

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) on Friday announced that Seth Morrow will serve as his chief of staff.

Morrow, a native of Guntersville, has worked for Byrne since June 2014, serving as deputy chief of staff and communications director. Morrow took a leave of absence from the congressional office to serve as Byrne’s senatorial campaign manager this cycle.

Byrne is set to leave office come January 2021. He has been a member of Congress since January 2014.

“As we enter the last half of 2020, my office remains busy assisting constituents and advancing our legislative priorities,” Byrne said in a Friday statement.

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“I know Seth shares my focus on finishing out my term in Congress strong, and he is well prepared to move into the Chief of Staff role,” the Republican congressman continued. “My staff and I will continue working hard every day to fight for the people of Southwest Alabama and advance our conservative agenda.”

Morrow stated,“I am grateful for this opportunity, and I’m committed to ensuring our office maintains our first class service to the people of Southwest Alabama.”

“Congressman Byrne has always had the hardest working team on Capitol Hill, and I know we will keep that tradition going,” he added.

Morrow succeeds Chad Carlough as Byrne’s chief of staff. Carlough is leaving the office after also previously serving as legislative director.

“Chad has very ably led our Congressional team over the last few years, and I join the people of Southwest Alabama in thanking him for his dedicated service to our state and our country,” Byrne concluded.

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

2 days ago

Shelby cautions on COVID-19 relief: ‘The Democrats might not want a deal, politically’

(Sen. Shelby/YouTube)

As the White House continues to lead negotiations with congressional Democrats over the latest COVID-19 relief package, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is sounding the alarm over election year politics possibly being put ahead of the welfare of the American people.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has been at the forefront of negotiations on the Republican side of the aisle. He has said that Democrats, led by the likes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have rejected four different offers to extend the $600 per week federal unemployment supplemental that expired this past Friday.

“Those four different offers have been actually rejected — but more importantly than that, they’ve not even been countered,” Meadows said last week.

Democrats have said they want a broader deal that lasts through the first quarter of 2021, however Republicans have admonished items seemingly unrelated to the pandemic that their counterparts on the left have tried to force through in negotiations. This includes Pelosi’s defense of funding for marijuana businesses in the latest Democratic relief proposal.

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The Democrats’ proposal also “omitted language restricting abortion funding [with federal monies] and added protections against deportation of illegal immigrants,” as reported by the New York Post.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said the Pelosi-led proposal “reads like the speaker of the House pasted together random ideas from her most liberal members and slapped the word ‘coronavirus’ on top of it.”

Despite this Democrat proposal being dead on arrival in the Senate, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has for weeks been calling on McConnell to take up the legislation. However, even though the Pelosi bill got just one Republican vote in the House, Jones has blamed Republicans for making “this into a partisan issue.” Alabama’s junior senator, while decrying the partisan nature of the negotiations, has also campaigned on the issue, seemingly adding to the politicization of coronavirus relief efforts.

“This election, more than any other I can remember, shows us the stark choice we can make as a country. We can stand together, listen to the experts about how to beat COVID-19, work together to make real change and end racial injustice and protect our health care – or we can let the extremists drive us apart and block any hope for real change,” Jones wrote in a July 31 campaign email.

However, Alabama’s senior senator — considered one of the most bipartisan elected officials in Washington, D.C., and a true statesman — on Thursday seemed to rebut Jones’ claims that it was Republicans playing politics with COVID-19 relief.

While some on Capitol Hill have expressed relative optimism at reaching a deal in the coming days, Senator Shelby explained why a final compromise might never come to fruition, no matter how much Republicans give ground.

Per Politico, the Senate Appropriations chairman told reporters in the Capitol, “We might not get a deal. … I think there’s a lot of pessimism here — ‘will we get an agreement? Are we too far apart?'”

“We’re at an impasse right now,” Shelby advised. “I would hope over the next few days we can get together and do something that will help a lot of working people in America. Republicans and Democrats, get together. At the moment, it doesn’t look promising.”

Per Hill pool reports, Shelby further explained, “The Democrats might not want a deal, politically. Think about it.”

McConnell, an Alabama native himself, in a Thursday afternoon tweet seemed to back Shelby’s idea.

Both Republicans and Democrats have publicly voiced their support of another round of stimulus checks for Americans, likely up to $1,200 each to match the first round of checks that went out earlier this year. It remains to be seen if agreement can be reached on the many other items on the table.

If a deal cannot be reached soon, President Donald Trump has now said that he will take executive action to provide relief to the American people. Issues Trump is considering acting on himself include “Payroll Tax Cut, Eviction Protections, Unemployment Extensions, and Student Loan Repayment Options,” per a Thursday tweet by the president.

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

2 days ago

Alabama Forestry Association endorses Republican Jerry Carl in AL-01

(Jerry Carl for Congress/Facebook, YHN)

The Alabama Forestry Association on Thursday announced its endorsement of Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl for election to the United States House of Representatives from Alabama’s First Congressional District.

Carl last month won a tight Republican primary runoff contest against former State Sen. Bill Hightower (R-Mobile).

AFA executive vice president Chris Isaacson on Thursday stated, “Jerry Carl has experience working closely with the forest products industry in his role as County Commissioner and will carry that knowledge to Washington. Throughout his career, he has been a strong advocate for limited government and free markets and will continue to promote those same values in Congress. We are proud to endorse him.”

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The Republican nominee will face Democrat James Averhart in November’s general election.

RELATED: Carl: Democrat opponent James Averhart ‘formidable’ — ‘We’re going to work hard’

“I am thrilled to earn the endorsement of ForestPAC,” Carl said in a statement.

“Alabama has a thriving network of hard working men and women in all aspects of the forestry community, and I look forward to being a strong, pro-business voice for them in Congress,” he continued. “As a lifelong businessman and an owner of timberland, I understand firsthand the needs and concerns of the forestry community, and I will be a tireless advocate in Washington for Alabama’s forest industry.”

This latest endorsement for Carl comes after organizations such as the Alabama Farmers Federation and the Business Council of Alabama backed him in the GOP runoff.

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

3 days ago

Alabama Forestry Association endorses Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate

The Alabama Forestry Association (AFA) on Wednesday announced its endorsement of Republican nominee Tommy Tuberville in the Yellowhammer State’s 2020 U.S. Senate race.

Tuberville, after defeating former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in last month’s GOP primary runoff, is set to face U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in November’s general election. The AFA had endorsed Sessions in the runoff contest.

In a statement, AFA executive vice president Chris Isaacson said, “We are proud to endorse Tommy Tuberville in the United States Senate race. He is a conservative with an impressive list of accomplishments, and we know that he will continue that record in his role as U.S. Senator.”

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“Tommy knows that decisions made in Washington impact families and businesses and will be an effective voice for the people of Alabama,” he concluded.

This comes as another major endorsement for Tuberville from the agribusiness community. The Alabama Farmers Federation endorsed the former Auburn University football coach last year and has been credited as being integral along his path to securing the Republican nomination.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association. The AFA is an excellent organization that stands for pro-business policies. Protecting Alabama industry is a key to our state’s success,” Tuberville stated.

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

4 days ago

Russell Bedsole, Mimi Penhale headed to Republican runoff in Alabama House District 49

(Bedsole, Penhale campaigns/Facebook)

The Alabama Republican Party special primary election in House District 49 occurred on Tuesday in parts of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby Counties.

This seat was vacated by the resignation of State Rep. April Weaver (R-Brierfield), who left the legislature to join the administration of President Donald J. Trump.

Russell Bedsole and Mimi Penhale were the top vote earners on Tuesday, however neither achieved the majority threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

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According to unofficial election results posted online by the secretary of state’s office, Bedsole garnered 919 votes (34.82%) and Penhale got 829 votes (31.41%).

Chuck Martin finished third with 24.25% (640 votes).

There are 29,746 registered voters in the district, and 2,640 ballots were counted as cast on Tuesday. This amounts to an 8.88% turnout.

Provisional ballots will be counted on August 11, and certification of votes will occur on August 12.

The special GOP primary runoff election in HD-49 will be held on Tuesday, September 1.

The Republican nominee will face Democrat Cheryl Patton in the November 17 special general election.

Bedsole is a longtime deputy sheriff in Shelby County and an Alabaster city councilor. Penhale is the legislative director for Shelby County’s legislative delegation. She took an unpaid leave of absence from this state government job to run for office.

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

4 days ago

Ad slams Doug Jones for voting to continue federal funding for sanctuary cities

(One Nation/YouTube)

A new video ad has been launched in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, targeting U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

Entitled “Cities,” the ad by One Nation urges Jones to “support the rule of law” and support ending federal funding of sanctuary cities. This comes as part of a previously-announced $3.2 million advertising reservation in the Yellowhammer State that was kicked off last month by One Nation, a 501(c)(4) organization with ties to Alabama native and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The latest 30-second spot hits Jones over a vote he cast in his second month as a U.S. senator in 2018 against invoking cloture on the “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act.”

This legislation was aimed at ensuring that local and federal law enforcement officers can efficiently cooperate when immigration-related detainers are issued. “Sanctuary jurisdictions” would also have been stripped of federal funds under the proposal.

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Watch the ad:

Transcript of ad as follows:

San Francisco. New York. Portland.

“Sanctuary cities” that harbor illegal immigrant criminals, spreading crime and anarchy.

In the Senate, Doug Jones joined Washington liberals and voted against cutting off federal funding for lawless sanctuary cities.

Sanctuary cities refuse to take violent criminals off our streets, putting us at risk.

Tell Senator Doug Jones: support the rule of law, fight to end federal funding for sanctuary cities.

Jones will face Republican candidate Tommy Tuberville in November’s general election.

An independent poll released on Tuesday showed Tuberville leading Jones by 17 points.

RELATED: Ad urges Doug Jones to support tax relief for Alabama small businesses amid pandemic

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

4 days ago

Independent poll shows Tuberville leading Jones by 17 points, Trump over Biden by 22 points

(Tommy Tuberville, Doug Jones, Joe Biden/Facebook, White House/Flickr)

An independent poll released on Tuesday showed blowouts brewing in Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate and presidential contests.

Morning Consult, a national data company, polled multiple states, including Alabama, from July 24 through August 2.

In the Yellowhammer State, 609 likely voters were surveyed, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.

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The results showed 58% saying they would vote for President Donald Trump’s reelection, while only 36% indicated they would instead be voting for former Vice President Joe Biden. Another 4% of respondents either did not know who they would vote for or had no opinion.

In the state’s Senate race, the Republican candidate was also dominant, despite facing a well-funded incumbent.

GOP nominee Tommy Tuberville was preferred by 52% of respondents, compared to 35% expressing their intent to vote for U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL). In this matchup, 9% of respondents either did not know who they would vote for or had no opinion.

Morning Consult provided a breakdown of the Senate survey results by each respondent’s political affiliation.

One interesting takeaway was Tuberville leading Jones with independents, 34% to 27%.

In an email to supporters on Tuesday after the poll was released, Jones’ campaign senior advisor Joe Trippi said there is “[n]o way in hell” Jones is down by 17 points. He added, “There is no way in hell Doug Jones is down by even double digits, much less 17 points. No way – period.”

However, the only polling in Jones’ favor consistently cited by his campaign is an internal poll conducted May 14-18 that showed Tuberville leading 47%-44% over Alabama’s junior senator.

Another independent poll conducted during the GOP primary runoff, this one by Cygnal, showed Tuberville leading Jones 49.70% to 35.70%.

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

5 days ago

Aderholt offers motion that would provide more law enforcement funding instead of lawyers for illegal immigrants

(Aderholt Office/Youtube/Screenshot)

U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) offered an amendment last week that would transfer $15 million from a Democrat-led effort giving undocumented immigrants legal assistance to a program that provides grants to criminal justice systems across the country.

The motion was introduced on Friday during the debate on an appropriations bill in front of the House.

In the Democrats’ bill, there is a $15 million pilot program that would give grants for organizations that “provide legal representation to immigrants arriving at the southwest border seeking asylum and other forms of legal protection in the United States.”

Aderholt argued that his motion “rejects the cause of any defunding of any police programs, and it increases the support for the many vital and compassionate missions of state and local law enforcement officers.”

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The program to which Aderholt’s amendment would have redirected the $15 million is the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.

The Byrne JAG program is named after former New York Police Department officer Eddie Byrne, who was killed in the line of duty in 1987.

“In our nation, the fair administration of justice demands that competent and effective public defenders are a part of the system. Our annual Byrne JAG appropriations help to uphold this fundamental principle,” Aderholt told his colleagues while speaking on the House floor.

The JAG program bills itself as the “leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions.” Among the common uses listed for the funds are law enforcement, drug treatment and mental health initiatives.

United States law has long allowed for those in the country illegally to be represented by a lawyer, but never at the expense of the federal taxpayers.

“Madam speaker, our immigration laws are clear, and they prohibit taxpayer funds from being used to provide lawyers to unauthorized aliens,” stated Aderholt on Friday.

“Furthermore, an annual appropriations bill is no place to debate or overturn immigration law,” he continued.

Aderholt’s motion gained the support of all present Republican members and 12 Democrats, but ultimately did not pass by a vote of 197-219.

Watch:

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

1 week ago

Watch live: Alabama Republican Party holds 2020 summer annual meeting

(YHN)

The Alabama Republican Party will holds its annual summer meeting in Trussville on Saturday, August 1.

Members of the state executive committee are gathering in person, as ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan wrote in a June announcement.

“We will be meeting in person and will be following all social distancing guidelines as applicable at the meeting time,” she advised.

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The normal Friday night dinner that precedes each summer meeting was cancelled due to COVID-19.

You can watch the meeting live, via Alabama Straw Poll, below:

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

1 week ago

State Rep. Dismukes resigns from church following Nathan Bedford Forrest backlash

(Will Dismukes/Facebook)

State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) on Wednesday resigned from Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, where he was serving as an Alabama Baptist bivocational pastor.

The resignation, first announced by The Alabama Baptist, comes in the wake of Dismukes attending a celebration of Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a Confederate general and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

The Alabama Baptist is an official entity of the Alabama Baptist State Convention. The publication explained that the resignation came following a meeting that included church deacons and Mel Johnson, lead mission strategist for the Autauga Baptist Association.

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“Immediate effort was made to connect with Will on behalf of our leadership with commitment toward a biblically based process to mitigate controversy surrounding this issue,” Johnson advised, according to The Alabama Baptist. “He was open and receptive to our call and subsequent in-person meeting on Tuesday afternoon.”

“Scripture is clear that all people are created in God’s image and therefore equal in every way before Christ and our personal need of Him as Savior and Lord,” Johnson said.

In addition to the celebration itself, Dismukes has drawn intense criticism from both sides of the aisle for the statement he first released on Monday, as well as a follow-up interview later that day with WSFA.

After that television interview aired, State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) called on Dismukes to resign from the legislature. Chambliss is a constituent of Dismukes’ (and vice-versa).

Reacting to the news on Wednesday evening that Dismukes had resigned from his church, State Rep. Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham) reiterated calls for Dismukes to relinquish his seat in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Dismukes told WSFA on Tuesday that he has no plans to resign from the legislature.

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

2 weeks ago

National Right to Life endorses Tommy Tuberville over ‘abortion on demand’ Doug Jones

(Wikicommons, T. Tuberville/Twitter)

National Right to Life, the nation’s largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide, on Tuesday announced its endorsement of Tommy Tuberville in Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate general election.

In a release announcing the endorsement, National Right to Life cited Tuberville’s support of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (which would ban abortions after 20 weeks) and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (which would require that a baby born alive during an abortion be afforded the same degree of care that would apply to any other newborn child).

In contrast, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), Tuberville’s opponent, has voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act multiple times.

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“National Right to Life is pleased to endorse Tommy Tuberville for election to the U.S. Senate,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Tommy Tuberville supports compassionate proposals to safeguard unborn children and their mothers from the pain of abortion.”

The organization also highlighted that Tuberville opposes using tax dollars to pay for abortion and opposes taxpayer funding of abortion providers. Jones voted against banning the use of federal tax dollars for abortions, and Tuesday’s release decried that Alabama’s junior senator “supports a policy of abortion on demand.”

National Right to Life expressed confidence that the former Auburn University football coach will vote to confirm federal judicial nominees to the bench who pledge to interpret the Constitution as it was written. Jones voted against the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as well as several other judicial nominees made by President Donald Trump.

“Tommy Tuberville will work to ensure all innocent human life is protected and he is committed to strengthening a culture of life throughout the nation and in the U.S. Senate,” said Tobias. “As a coach, Tommy Tuberville knows the hard work that goes into achieving victory and we look forward to working with him to win greater protections for the most vulnerable in our society.”

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

2 weeks ago

Ben Robbins announces Republican candidacy for Alabama House District 33

(Ben Robbins Campaign/Contributed)

Ben Robbins has announced his candidacy to seek the Alabama Republican Party’s nomination in the special election for District 33 of the Alabama House of Representatives.

The seat became vacant upon the death of State Rep. Ron Johnson (R-Sylacauga), who had held the seat since 1978.

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

“Representative Johnson served Talladega, Coosa, and Clay Counties well for more than forty years,” Robbins said in a statement on Monday. “His seniority and institutional knowledge made him a significant figure in the halls of the Alabama House of Representatives. His leadership will be missed. He was a great friend to the people of our District.”

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A 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.

The Republican special primary election for House District 33 will be held on October 6, with the general election scheduled for January 19.

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

2 weeks ago

ALGOP chairman condemns Rep. Dismukes for Nathan Bedford Forrest celebration — ‘I find his statement to be shallow in understanding’

(Alabama Republican Party/FB)

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan on Monday afternoon strongly criticized State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville), stopping short of calling for his resignation.

Dismukes on Sunday posted a picture of himself at a birthday celebration for Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a Confederate general and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

As reported by Yellowhammer News, Dismukes on Monday morning issued a statement regarding that picture.

While he denounced the KKK, the freshman legislator did not address why he was at the celebration in the first place or why he said that annual event is “[a]lways a great time.”

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Lathan reacted to Dismukes’ statement in critical terms.

“While Rep. Dismukes has released a statement attempting to clarify his actions as a private citizen attending a celebration of the first Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, Alabamians hold their elected officials to a high standard of actions. So does the Republican Party,” she began in a statement.

“Rep. Dismukes offered no explanation for why he participated in a birthday celebration of Nathan Bedford Forrest,” Lathan decried. “Additionally, I find his statement to be shallow in understanding why his activities are deeply offensive to so many Alabamians.”

The ALGOP chair then advised that Dismukes’ “constituents will be the final decision makers of his political future.”

She also highlighted that Alabama Republican leaders — and residents across the state — had honored the legacy of civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) on Saturday and Sunday.

“The Alabama of today was on full, honorable display as we paid humble tribute this weekend to the life of Congressman John Lewis. That is the Alabama that we are proud of – showing the nation and world that we are one in the common goals of equality for all of our citizens,” Lathan stated.

“It is one thing to honor one’s Southern heritage, however, it is completely another issue to specifically commemorate the leader of an organization with an indisputable history of unconscionable actions and atrocities toward African-Americans. I strongly urge his constituents to contact Rep. Dismukes to articulate and share with him their thoughts on his personal actions,” she concluded.

RELATED: Alabama U.S. House delegation urges Ivey to name highway between Montgomery and Selma the ‘John R. Lewis Voting Rights Highway’

Around the same time that Lathan released her statement, the College Republican Federation of Alabama (CRFA) called for Dismukes’ resignation.

In a tweet, CRFA chairman Clint Reid added, “Nathan Bedford Forrest was a traitor to this nation and an evil man. He should not be celebrated. Period.”

UPDATE 2:40 p.m.:

Alabama House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) released a statement regarding Dismukes.

“The Alabama Republican Caucus is comprised of 75 men and women, each of whom have their own beliefs and principles that guide their lives. The personal beliefs expressed by any one member do not reflect the beliefs of the others, and their activities outside the Legislature should be considered their own, as well,” Ledbetter said.

“Several of our Republican Caucus members have reached out to me with concerns about the content and timing of a recent social media post by State Rep. Will Dismukes, and I, as a House member, share those concerns,” he advised.

Ledbetter concluded, “We live in a nation that guarantees each citizen the right to express the ideas they wish to share, and in the case of a public official, voters will ultimately decide if they agree with those ideas.”

UPDATE 3:40 p.m.:

Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) released a statement about Dismukes.

“The Alabama House cannot police the beliefs, statements, and activities of its members outside the Legislature as that is a job best assigned to voters in each House district across the state,” the speaker stated.

“It is important to note, however, that I and many other members of the House devoted our weekend toward honoring an Alabama native and civil rights icon who dedicated his life to securing freedom, liberty, and equality for all Americans,” McCutcheon added.

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

2 weeks ago

Rep. Dismukes disavows KKK after posting picture from Nathan Bedford Forrest birthday celebration

(Screenshot/APTV)

State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) is once again drawing bipartisan criticism for posting pictures of himself with the Confederate flag.

Dismukes in recent months voiced support for the Confederate Memorial Park in his district, after which the Alabama Democratic Party released a picture of him wearing a “Prattville Dragoons: Sons of Confederate Veterans” shirt and called on the freshman legislator to resign. In defending himself from that call, Dismukes ended his statement by writing, “Deo Vindice.”

“Deo Vindice,” latin for “(With) God (as our) defender/protector”), was the national motto of the Confederacy.

On Sunday, Dismukes posted a picture of himself from an annual celebration of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s birthday. Forrest was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan following his service as a Confederate general during the Civil War.

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Dismukes’ post about the Forrest birthday event came on the day that civil rights legend U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) lied in state at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery.

RELATED: Thousands come to State Capitol to honor civil rights hero John Lewis

State Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville), the majority whip in the Alabama House of Representatives, took to Twitter on Sunday evening to indirectly rebuke Dismukes.

“I cannot fathom why anyone in 2020 celebrates the birthday of the 1st KKK Grand Wizard. And while the body of a civil rights icon beaten by the Klan lies at state Capitol being honored by GOP/Dem leaders from all over the state. This mentality does not rep my party or my faith,” Garrett wrote.

Republican legislators such as State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, publicly voiced their support of Garrett’s tweet soon thereafter.

State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa), the chair of the Alabama Democratic Party, also made his thoughts clear in a tweet.

“This weekend while most people were celebrating the life of John Lewis, a true American Hero, Will Dismukes was in the same city celebrating Nathan Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the KKK. This should clear up any questions about whose side Will Dismukes is on,” England said.

Dismukes on Monday morning publicly addressed his post from the previous day.

“First and foremost, my post yesterday was in no way related to disrespecting the passing of Rep. John Lewis. That wasn’t even a thought in my mind. That is not who I am as a person,” he began in a Facebook post.

“I am a transparent person,” Dismukes continued. “To the point that as a public official I lay it all there for the people to see for better or for worse at times. My post yesterday was as usual me sharing a previous days events. The post was in no way intended to seem as if I was glorifying the Klan or any party thereof. The very atrocities and actions they committed are a disgrace to our country.”

The state representative added, “Also, we are all individual members that make up our legislature. I made a post independent of my colleagues. My regret is that I have allowed them to be put in a negative light. If you disagree with me and my beliefs do not hold them under the same umbrella. I can live with a dislike for me, but not fellow members, or members of my own personal family. Our body as a whole is made up of some of the finest people I have ever had the honor of knowing and working with, both Democrat and Republican.”

“I close by reiterating that my post was in no way glorifying the Klan or disrespecting the late Rep. John Lewis,” Dismukes concluded.

Dismukes mounted a short bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in Alabama’s Second Congressional District this cycle before ultimately suspending his campaign.

RELATED: Alabama U.S. House delegation urges Ivey to name highway between Montgomery and Selma the ‘John R. Lewis Voting Rights Highway’

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

2 weeks ago

Alabama GOP backs Trump decision to cancel Republican National Convention celebration in Jacksonville

(Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan/Facebook, YHN)

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan issued a statement on Friday supporting the cancellation of the portions of the 2020 Republican National Convention scheduled to occur next month in Jacksonville, Florida.

President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the cancellation due to large gatherings being a substantial risk for spreading COVID-19. Certain business portions of the GOP convention will still occur in North Carolina, and other parts will happen remotely.

“We understand and support President Trump’s decision to cancel our Party’s convention celebration in Jacksonville due to the safety concerns the virus situation has created,” Lathan stated. “As always, health and safety are a priority for our president and Party.”

“While the event may have been cancelled, this in no way slows down our enthusiasm, or plans, for re-electing President Trump, Vice President Pence and electing Tommy Tuberville as our new U.S. Senator,” she continued.

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Alabama’s Republican senatorial nominee Tommy Tuberville is set to face U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in November’s general election.

Lathan added, “We are deeply grateful to our delegation for their flexibility and patience these last several months. Their passion to serve and represent our Party is to be commended. I look forward to working with them in the coming months to Keep America Great and bring home a big win for President Trump, Tommy Tuberville and our Alabama candidates.”

“We will now use this time in Alabama to refocus all of our energies on November 3rd when we will re-claim the U.S. Senate seat and vote to return President Trump to the White House,” she concluded.

RELATED: Tuberville turns focus on opponent Doug Jones — ‘Believes in’ late-term abortions, ‘wants to take your guns’

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

2 weeks ago

Merrill elected to another leadership position with National Association of Secretaries of State

Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill has been elected as the Southern Region vice president for the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).

The election occurred during the association’s 2020 virtual summer conference, which concluded on Wednesday.

According to a release from Merrill’s office, he will serve a one-year term, ending July 2021. He previously served in this same role during the 2017-2018 term.

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Merrill, who just recently concluded a term as co-chair of the NASS international relations committee in 2019-2020 where he led the delegation to Israel in December, will work with the NASS executive board to direct the agenda of the organization and implement best practices related to elections, business services and other core governmental functions.

“I look forward to representing southern states as we work to administer elections during these historic and difficult times. I am grateful to my colleagues across the country who have trusted me to serve in this role once again as we work to secure the 2020 Election Cycle and protect everyone involved,” stated Merrill.

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

2 weeks ago

Brooks: ‘To too many people, black lives don’t matter if it is a black that’s taking the life of another black’

(Rep. Brooks' office/YouTube)

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) on Thursday morning remotely interviewed on Talk 99.5’s “The Matt & Aunie Show.”

The Republican congressman from North Alabama spoke to Andrea Lindenberg and guest co-host Andrew McClain in a wide-ranging discussion that lasted more than 17 minutes.

Beginning his comments, Brooks addressed President Donald Trump the previous day speaking about a four-year-old boy who was murdered in Kansas City, MO, as he slept. Named after the boy, Operation LeGend has been launched by the president to utilize federal law enforcement resources to crack down on violent crime in certain urban areas across the United States.

Brooks decried “the loss of life associated with the socialist mayors making the decision that they’re going to bend a knee to the criminal element, which of course only encourages more crime, particularly crimes of violence.”

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“You’re seeing it running amuck with the murders that occur on a regular basis in places like Chicago,” he continued. “You saw it in Seattle with that CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) or CHOP, whatever you want to call that region of the city where they threw out the police department and acted as an autonomous zone for some period of time. You’re seeing it in New York City, where crimes of violence have just blown through the roof…”

The congressman advised that “the only way to deter crime is through swift counteraction of significance, contrary to what these mayors are doing and what some of these governors are doing.”

Pushing back on the claim that Trump sending in federal agents to select cities to quell violent crime is akin to tyranny, Brooks pointed to what he views as hypocrisy by many protesters who have been advocating for racial justice.

“Well, apparently to too many people, black lives don’t matter if it is a black that’s taking the life of another black,” he remarked. “And that’s wrong. That’s racist. All lives should matter, regardless of the accident of skin pigmentation that you got at birth. And we should be doing everything we can to protect the lives of Americans by ensuring that the criminal element is eliminated from our society as best as we can eliminate it — either by execution under our capital punishment laws or by imprisonment. That’s how you protect American citizens from criminal activity and also how you deter other people from engaging in criminal activity.”

“But the more criminals believe they can get away with things, the more they believe they can push harder, the more they’re going to do it — and of course, the result is going to be dead Americans,” Brooks further warned.

Listen to the full interview:

RELATED: Marshall, Brooks praise Trump effort to prevent illegal immigrants from being counted in post-Census redistricting

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

2 weeks ago

Ad urges Doug Jones to support tax relief for Alabama small businesses amid pandemic

(One Nation/YouTube)

A non-profit group is currently running a television advertisement in Alabama urging U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) to support small businesses and local jobs.

“One Nation,” a 501(c)(4) organization with ties to Alabama native and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), began running a TV ad in the Yellowhammer State on Tuesday.

Entitled, “Delay,” the 30-second spot cites an article from USA Today about Senate Democrats in April blocking Republicans from replenishing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with a fresh $250 billion. Jones, supporting Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) position on the matter, was quoted in another article bashing that GOP attempt to support small businesses and jobs as a “political stunt.”

It was revealed recently by the Small Business Administration that the PPP supported 700,000 Alabama jobs as of June 31. This came after Republican-led efforts to add more money to the program were ultimately successful.

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The One Nation ad concludes by transitioning from criticizing Jones’ April PPP position to calling on the junior senator to support tax relief for small businesses who continue to be hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch the ad:

Ad transcript as follows:

The coronavirus pandemic hit Alabama small businesses hard.

They still need help.

But with jobs and livelihoods on the line Senator Doug Jones played politics, siding with far-left Washington politicians delaying critical support for small businesses.

Leaving Alabama workers high and dry.

Now, Alabama small businesses need tax relief.

Tell Doug Jones: vote to provide tax relief for small businesses and start protecting Alabama jobs.

The ad is just the first salvo in what is expected to be a heavy amount of spending by One Nation in the state this election cycle. The organization has already reserved $3.2 million worth of air time in Alabama.

Jones will face Republican candidate Tommy Tuberville in November’s general election.

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

3 weeks ago

‘Major victory’: Federal appeals court upholds Alabama’s photo voter ID law

(Alabama SOS/Contributed, YHN)

The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Tuesday upheld Alabama’s photo voter identification law, which was originally enacted in 2011.

In a lengthy opinion written by Judge Lisa Branch and joined by Senior Judge Ed Carnes, the circuit court upheld a full summary judgment previously granted for the State of Alabama by a lower federal court.

Branch wrote that “no reasonable factfinder could find, based on the evidence presented, that Alabama’s voter ID law is discriminatory.”

Secretary of State John Merrill is the lead defendant in the case through his official capacity. Plaintiffs are led by the Alabama chapter of the NAACP.

The circuit court’s majority opinion summarized about the background of the case:

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Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit, claiming the 2011 voter ID law violates the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the Constitution, as well as Section 2 of the [Voting Rights Act], arguing the passage of the law was motivated by racial discrimination and that the law has a discriminatory effect. They also claim the “Positively Identify Provision” (“PIP”) constitutes an illegal “test or device” in violation of Section 201 of the VRA. Secretary Merrill denies these claims and argues that the law is constitutional, nondiscriminatory, and valid. He also argues that the PIP is valid and does not violate Section 201 of the VRA.

The district court found that Plaintiffs failed to show that the voter ID law in fact discriminates against Alabamians on the basis of race. Although it was undisputed that minority registered voters are statistically more likely than white voters to lack the required ID, the district court determined that “a person who does not have a photo ID today is not prevented from voting if he or she can easily get one, and it is so easy to get a photo ID in AL, no one is prevented from voting.” The district court concluded that no discriminatory impact existed because free IDs are issued in every county, or at an individual’s home, under conditions that any registered voter can meet.

The state law in question first went into effect for the June 2014 primary elections. You can read the latest photo ID guide from Merrill’s office here.

While the plaintiffs argued that the reasons for the photo voter ID law were partisan and racially motivated, the circuit court’s majority opinion said, “Secretary Merrill has provided valid neutral justifications (combatting voter fraud, increasing confidence in elections, and modernizing Alabama’s elections procedures) for the law’s passage.”

“Plaintiffs-Appellants have failed to show that the Alabama voter ID law was passed with a racially discriminatory intent or purpose,” the opinion added.

The circuit court’s majority further accused the plaintiffs of misusing data in trying to make their case. The plaintiffs had argued that black and Latino voters are about twice as likely as white voters to lack a valid voter photo ID. However, that was misleading, per the circuit court’s majority opinion.

“There is only a 1% difference between the ID possession rates of white and minority Alabama voters,” the opinion explained, using the very numbers stipulated to by the plaintiffs.

The opinion concluded, “The burden of providing a photo ID pursuant to Ala. Code § 17-9-30 in order to vote is a minimal burden on Alabama’s voters—especially when Alabama accepts so many different forms of photo ID and makes acquiring one simple and free for voters who lack a valid ID but wish to obtain one. The Alabama voter ID law does not violate the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the Constitution, nor does it violate the Voting Rights Act. Because Plaintiffs have failed to identify any genuine disputes of material facts and because no reasonable factfinder could find that Alabama’s voter ID law is unconstitutionally discriminatory based on the evidence presented, we AFFIRM the decision of the district court.”

However, the opinion was not unanimous.

Judge Darrin Gayles, an appointee of President Barack Obama, dissented and seemed to argue that Alabama’s past history of racial discrimination should be a factor when judging their current laws and practices.

“Alabama’s history of enacting laws designed to suppress people of color is well-documented,” he wrote. “The majority opinion essentially argues that we should not penalize Alabama’s legislators for Alabama’s past; rather, we should start with a clean slate when reviewing the Photo ID Law. But this is not what the law commands us to do. Alabama’s history of voter suppression is relevant here and provides a wealth of direct and circumstantial evidence that should be considered at trial.”

Branch was appointed by President Donald Trump and Carnes was appointed by President George H.W. Bush.

You can read both opinions here.

Merrill reacts — ‘A major victory’

Merrill released a statement on Tuesday afternoon celebrating the circuit court decision.

“Today’s ruling by the Eleventh Circuit, affirming that the state’s photo ID law is constitutional, is a major victory for the security and integrity of elections in Alabama!” he exclaimed.

The secretary of state continued, “Photo ID is required when purchasing alcohol or tobacco products, operating a motor vehicle, checking into a flight, purchasing a gun, or booking a hotel. Voting is equally or more important than all of these other examples where a photo ID is required. I am grateful to the Northern District Court of Alabama and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals who have confirmed what we already knew: ‘it is so easy to get a photo ID in Alabama, no one is prevented from voting.’”

“Through our annual visits to all 67 counties to register voters and issue free photo voter ID’s, multimedia campaigns to educate voters, and collaboration with local community leaders, notable Alabamians, and more, we have worked to see that every eligible resident of our state, who is interested, is registered to vote and has a photo ID. Our success has allowed us to shatter every record in the history of state for voter registration and voter participation,” Merrill further advised.

“Photo ID significantly reduces the potential for voter fraud to be committed, and we will remain dedicated to providing free, fair, and secure elections,” he concluded.

Marshall concurs

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall also reacted in a statement. His office argued the case for the State.

“Opponents have repeatedly argued that Alabama’s voter ID law’s requirement that a voter must provide a photo ID is overly burdensome,” the attorney general outlined. “As I have previously stated, Alabama’s voter identification law, by both design and practice, is easily satisfied, and it contains procedures to allow anyone who does not have a photo ID to obtain one. The appeals court in its opinion agreed.”

“My Constitutional Defense attorneys dedicated much of two years traveling the state of Alabama interviewing many witnesses including local election officials and private citizens in preparation to defend our voter ID law,” Marshall concluded. “I am very proud of their hard work as well as for the assistance of many individuals who gave of their time to help the State in preparation of our case.”

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

3 weeks ago

Alabama voters concerned about COVID-19 can vote absentee this November

(ARMY/Contributed, YHN)

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has given any voter wary of catching COVID-19 while voting the opportunity to vote absentee in this November’s general election.

The Secretary of State is allowed during declared states of emergency to issue guidance to the state’s voters that addresses the change in circumstances caused by the emergency.

“Amid coronavirus concerns, it is important to remember that Alabamians who are concerned about contracting or spreading an illness have the opportunity to avoid the polls on Election Day by casting an absentee ballot,” Merrill said in a statement on Monday.

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The November election is expected to have a high turnout with both the presidential contest and a high profile U.S. Senate race on the ballot in Alabama.

The box that voters fearful of the coronavirus need to check on their absentee ballot application reads as follows:

I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]

Secretary Merrill first offered the coronavirus-related absentee policy during the primary runoff election on July 14, and earlier on Monday extended it for Alabama’s August 25 municipal elections.

For the November 3 general election, the deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is Thursday, October 29, and the last day to postmark an absentee ballot is Monday, November 2, per Secretary Merrill’s office.

Absentee ballots can also be hand-delivered by the person voting absentee to their county’s absentee election manager by close of business on November 2.

Voting in person at local precincts will still proceed as normal on November 3, albeit with enhanced sanitation protocols.

More information on how to get an absentee ballot, and the requirements for returning one, is available here.

If voters prefer, they can contact their county’s absentee election manager here.

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

3 weeks ago

State Sen. Orr: ‘I think you’ll see the AEA back in force in the 2022 election cycle’

(Screenshot/APTV)

For decades, the single most powerful entity in Alabama politics was the Alabama Education Association (AEA), which represents teachers’ interests across the state.

The organization rose to prominence in the early 1970s under its former head Paul Hubbert. However, the AEA’s influence waned after the 2010 elections, as Republicans took control of the Alabama Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.

However, during an appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), the chairman of the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee, predicted that could soon be changing.

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Host Dale Jackson asked Orr about the political threat to Republicans seeking to reopen schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic and cited pushback from entities such as the AEA. Orr noted that while the AEA’s influence was not what it used to be, the 2022 elections for state offices may signal a reemergence.

“I think the Republicans, including the President, God bless him, have been on their heels, backpedaling, having to, as you said, getting browbeat and beaten down by the media and the left until they acquiesce,” he said. “You did say one thing that I would take small issue with is that the AEA has been completely neutered. I would make maybe a bit bold prediction — it may be wrong, you sometimes are — but I think you’ll see the AEA back in force in the 2022 election cycle here in the state of Alabama in a big way.”

The Morgan County Republican lawmaker said the union’s ability to influence education policymakers in Montgomery did not necessarily signify the body’s real strength. However, he argued its presence would be different from what it was over the last 10 years.

“I don’t know if that’s where we’re headed, but I wouldn’t make whether schools open or not the litmus test as to the power and authority of the AEA just because their power used to come more from the legislature or even governors. The opening decisions are local school boards and locally appointed school board members. Of course, you do have a state school board, but it is a little bit different when it comes to reopening as far as the politics and the decisionmakers in that realm. But anyway, I think we’ll be seeing them more and more here than we have in the last decade.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

3 weeks ago

Trump: Doug Jones ‘doesn’t represent the views of the people of Alabama’

(G. Skidmore/Flickr, D. Jones/Facebook)

Before boarding Marine One outside the White House on Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump was asked by a reporter to react to Tommy Tuberville winning Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate nomination.

Trump had endorsed Tuberville in the GOP runoff and reacted to the impressive victory on Tuesday night in a tweet right after the race was called.

Speaking to the White House press pool on Wednesday, Trump said, “I’m very happy that Tommy Tuberville won the race. I think he’s going to be a great senator.”

The president then criticized U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), who Trump the previous day called a “Super Liberal puppet” for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

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RELATED: Jones: Representing the majority of Alabamians not ‘the be all to end all’ (VIDEO)

“We don’t have a good senator there right now in Jones,” Trump lamented. “He’s not doing the job. He should be doing a much better job. Certainly he doesn’t represent the views of the people of Alabama — that’s for sure. So we’re not happy about him at all. I don’t think the people of Alabama are happy with their representation in the Senate.”

“And Tommy Tuberville is going to be a great senator. He was a great coach. I spoke to another coach last night — unrelated — and he said, ‘Tommy Tuberville was a great coach and he’s a great guy.’ Someday I’ll tell you who said that, but he’s somebody respected,” the president continued.

“So it was a great — it was a tremendous win for Tommy Tuberville last night. I’m very happy about it,” Trump concluded.

Watch:

Tuberville and Jones will face each other at the ballot box in November’s general election, when Trump will also be up for reelection.

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

3 weeks ago

Beth Kellum fends off primary challenge in Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals runoff

(Judge Beth Kellum for Court of Criminal Appeals/Facebook)

Judge Beth Kellum will hold on to her Place 2 seat on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Kellum received 269,583 votes (56.15%), besting former Lauderdale County Commissioner Will Smith in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff. Smith garnered 210,565 votes (43.85%).

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No Democrat candidate qualified to run for this seat, so Kellum is already the presumptive winner of November’s general election contest.

“Thank you to everyone who made the effort to vote in today’s ‘pandemic election.’ It has been one of the great honors of my life to represent you on the Court of Criminal Appeals for the past 12 years,” Kellum said in a Facebook post on Tuesday night. “It was a hard fought race, and I am thankful for the people of Alabama and for the trust you put in me to serve the great State of Alabama. I look forward to serving you for another six years!”

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan released a statement congratulating Kellum and applauding Smith for his efforts.

“While we had two exceptional candidates for the Criminal Court of Appeals, Alabama Republican voters have selected a highly qualified legal mind to be their nominee for the Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals,” Lathan said.

“Beth Kellum has proven herself to a be a strong judge during her previous two terms on the bench,” she continued. “Combined with her extensive legal career, we are confident Judge Kellum will win re-election and return to this seat on November 3rd. We look forward to her continued service with the upmost integrity and seriousness she has shown Alabama as a judge.”

“We extend our gratitude to Will Smith for his willingness to serve – not just in this position but in his previous post as a Lauderdale County Commissioner. He is a great example of a true statesman,” Lathan concluded.

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