Does Tommy Tuberville have the inside track on the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in Alabama?
A man with no political experience but a ton of name recognition won the presidency in 2016 and created a roadmap for candidates all over the country (maybe the world) to do the same thing.
Obviously, there is no comparison between President Donald Trump’s fame and that of ex-Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, but Tuberville is better known in Alabama than almost any of his would-be opponents in the race to take on U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in 2020.
This could be one of the reasons we saw a poll, which did not include Tuberville, released that showed Roy Moore leading the pack that includes three congressmen and the Alabama Senate leader.
Now, another poll is making the rounds in Alabama politics.
It shows the following:
Tommy Tuberville – 23 percent
Mo Brooks – 21 percent
Roy Moore – 20 percent
Bradley Byrne – 19 percent
Tuberville’s campaign launch appears to be based on telling people how much he loves Donald Trump.
Mooney requests to ‘formally censure and condemn’ John Rogers over ‘vile remarks’
MONTGOMERY — A shouting match broke out on the floor of the Alabama House of Representatives on Wednesday night after State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) surprised the chamber by introducing a request to “formally censure and condemn” State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) for his comments that went viral in recent weeks regarding abortion.
Mooney’s action came immediately after Rogers killed two non-controversial bills on a consent calendar and threatened to continue that trend until midnight. Rogers did this seemingly as a measure of spite, attempting to get revenge because a bill of his has not been moved by the House.
Mooney rose to the podium, saying he wanted to object to Rogers’ bill-killing rampage.
However, Mooney then really kicked things up a notch by introducing his formal complaint against Rogers.
Before Mooney could read much of the complaint, shouting ensued by members of the House Democratic Caucus.
Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) called the spectacle inappropriate, and House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) quickly moved to adjourn as the chaos continued.
The House did immediately adjourn for the night, prematurely ending their legislative day without accomplishing any of its consent calendar, which had some 40 bills on the agenda.
The future fate of Mooney’s request was not immediately clear.
Mooney calling on Rogers to apologize publicly for all of it. Rogers has previously apologized for saying “retarded” (even though he’s done it again since on the floor) but doubled down on everything else.
The complaint from Mooney states that Rogers’ “vile remarks” served to “denigrate, embarrass and demean the institution that is the Alabama House of Representatives.” Mooney said the comments brought “national shame and ridicule upon the House.”
This came the same day that Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) ducked a question again from a Republican tracker regarding Rogers.
Mooney is a Republican candidate for Jones’ seat in the 2020 race, along with Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) and former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville thus far.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn
“From our side, it is way too early to tell,” Battle said.
Battle instead warned of the threat the pending trade dispute between China and the United States could have on the local economy.
Both China and the United States have levied tariffs on one another’s imports, which Battle said would be a topic on his upcoming visit to Japan set to take place next week.
“You know, we’ve got a couple of issues that are up there right now,” Battle continued. “The tariffs are an issue. Looking at the national security side of foreign automobiles coming in and facing a tariff situation is going to be something we’re going to have to have a conversation about while we’re over in Japan because, of course, Toyota and Mazda are going to be producing cars soon. And the tariffs hit them, and the national security side hits them both. I think this is a good time to probably go over and see our industries, and try to make sure we can help them in the ways they need to be helped.”
On Wednesday, nearly a week after Ivey had signed the bill, both Battle and Ivey participated in a groundbreaking ceremony to welcome Y-tec Keylex Toyotetsu Alabama (YKTA) to Alabama, which is a $220 million investment that will bring 650 jobs to Huntsville.
Alabama House passes legislation to combat human trafficking
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously passed two bills aimed at combatting human trafficking: HB 262 and HB 264.
The bills are co-sponsored by State Rep. Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham) and State Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur). Coleman the assistant minority leader, on the House floor stressed that combatting human trafficking is a nonpartisan issue. She praised Collins and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) for their efforts on the issue.
“Human trafficking is one of the most pressing issues facing our nation. There are more slaves today, an estimated 27 million, than at any point in our nation’s history,” Coleman explained in a statement. “This startling fact shows why the Alabama Legislature must act to combat human trafficking and educate the public about the harsh realities of this growing business.”
Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world, estimated at $150 billion annually. This “modern-day slavery,” as END IT Alabama monikers human trafficking, is happening here in the Yellowhammer State. This is evidenced by the recent trafficking busts at multiple massage parlors in Madison and Morgan Counties by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
“I used to purchase gift certificates for my own mother to get foot massages at the very same spas that were shut down,” Collins advised. “HB264 would have required those same owners to display a human trafficking poster with hotline information, which could have led to a quicker rescue. I think the impact of human trafficking is larger than we realize.”
HB 262 clarifies existing law to prohibit publishing photos of those charged with the act of prostitution while allowing for publishing photos of those charged with soliciting or procuring prostitution. This bill is aimed at deterring “John’s” from purchasing sex and supporting human trafficking while protecting potential victims of human trafficking from public identification.
HB 264 clarifies existing state regulations related to the posting of the Human Trafficking Hotline and awareness posters in public places and entertainment establishments by assigning a regulator and increasing fees for non-compliance.
The two bills now head to the Senate, where they face a time crunch to pass before the regular session ends next week.
HB 261, which would require all new commercial driver licensees to undergo industry-specific human trafficking training, was also slated to be passed by the House Wednesday night before the chamber abruptly adjourned over State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) intentionally killing non-controversial legislation on a consent calendar. HB 261 has the backing of the Alabama Trucking Association and Truckers Against Trafficking.
Coleman and Collins will also introduce a pair of resolutions aimed at combatting human trafficking. The first resolution encourages ALEA to continue developing curriculum to ensure that every officer in the state is trained regarding human trafficking.
The second resolution creates the Alabama Healthcare Human Trafficking Training Program Commission, which is tasked with developing a training module for all healthcare related employees to readily identify and provide trauma-centered care for human trafficking victims.
Key rural broadband initiative receives final passage from Alabama Legislature
With the support of a broad coalition of legislators and stakeholders behind it, a key rural broadband initiative received final passage in the Alabama Legislature on Wednesday.
The bill, carried by State Rep. Randall Shedd (R-Cullman) and State Sen. Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) in their respective chambers, will allow electricity providers to run broadband using their existing easements.
This is expected to encourage electric providers to invest in broadband deployment and accelerate the cost-effective expansion of broadband access in rural Alabama, in many cases using existing infrastructure.
This was one of two bills legislative leadership prioritized to grow the state’s broadband infrastructure. The other, a bill sponsored by State Sen. Clay Scofield, would increase the amount of resources devoted to building out broadband in unserved, rural areas. Scofield’s bill awaits final approval from the House of Representatives.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh previously noted the importance of both pieces of legislation.
“These are the two bills that will help us… provide for our citizens, who I believe consider the broadband infrastructure a ‘number one issue’ for the state of Alabama,” he said. “It will have great impact on all of our education… as well as economic development.”
The intent of the ongoing effort is to spur economic development and enhance quality of life for rural areas through greater access to high-speed broadband.
HB 400 now goes to the governor for her signature.
Tim Howe is an owner and editor of Yellowhammer News
Limestone County portion of Huntsville lands 650 new jobs with $220 million YKTA facility
HUNTSVILLE — Wednesday during a ceremony just a stone’s throw from the location of the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing auto assembly plant under construction, Gov. Kay Ivey formally announced the arrival of auto supplier Y-tec Keylex Toyotetsu Alabama (YKTA) to the state.
The $220 million facility located in the Huntsville-annexed portions of eastern Limestone County will provide 650 new jobs.
YKTA is a new joint venture formed between a trio of Mazda and Toyota suppliers and will produce structural body stampings and assemblies, as well as functional and chassis parts for Mazda Toyota.
“This is a great wonderful announcement today,” Ivey said to reporters following the event. “Over $220 million investment in a manufacturing facility in Huntsville and Limestone County. This investment is going to bring 650 new jobs for more people to go to work. This is a great day in Alabama.”
Ivey was asked to speculate on potential future parts supplier announcements and if more could be forthcoming.
“I sure hope so because Mazda Toyota is a big facility,” she replied. “They may need some more suppliers. We hope they’ll come. We’re looking forward to having them.”
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said he expected to see a boost in the economy as the manufacturing was underway at the Mazda Toyota facility.
“As they come and start producing automobiles, we’ll see more and more come off of this — more and more jobs, more and more for the economy coming off of this. It’s a great day for us.”
He predicted there would be more announcements, but they wouldn’t solely be in Huntsville. They would be scattered throughout the northern part of Alabama.
“The future holds more of these announcements,” Battle explained. “They all won’t be right here. There will be announcements all across North Alabama — down to Jasper, to the tri-cities, over to the Sand Mountain area because every labor pool will be challenged out of this. And that’s the great thing — that we’ll provide jobs for people all across North Alabama, even into South Tennessee.”
During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN following today’s announcement, Limestone County District 3 County Commissioner Jason Black discussed the announcement of the new venture and noted that the area was “flooded” with similar announcements.
“Just like all the other announcements we’ve had — it’s just fantastic that we’re able to have them,” Black said. “There are places throughout the United States that are looking for businesses to come in and we’re just flooded with them at this time. The Mazda Toyota Manufacturing deal was larger than some people can even imagine.”