1 week ago

Fmr State Rep. Barry Moore hopes second time is a charm in 2020 U.S. congressional run

In 2018, it was not meant to be for now-former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), who ran to unseat U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery).

At the time, many looked at Roby as vulnerable given her decision to call on then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to step aside after old “Access Hollywood” outtake audio revealed the now-president was making inappropriate remarks about women before the taping of an interview with then-host Billy Bush.

That turned out not to be the case at all. Despite being forced into a runoff in a crowded primary field, Roby prevailed by defeating her predecessor, former U.S. Rep. Bobby Bright, who had won the seat previously as a Democrat.

Among those in the primary was Moore, who missed the runoff by roughly 8,300 votes out of more than 94,000 votes cast.


Last month, Roby announced she would not seek another term representing Alabama’s second congressional district, which left the wide-open door for someone new to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives from that district. Since Roby’s announcement, former Business Council of Alabama chairman Jeff Coleman, State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) and now Barry Moore have announced their intentions to seek the Republican nod for that congressional seat.

In a wide-ranging interview with Yellowhammer News, the former two-term state representative that is now operating a waste disposal, excavation and demolition company spoke about his decision to make another run for the seat.

“We ran, and I think we made a great showing considering the money that was spent last time between Martha [Roby] and Bobby Bright,” Moore said. “I think they spent about $2.4 million. We ended up with 20% of the vote and spent just under $200,000. It was my first time in. It was the first time we ever tried, but we laid a lot of groundwork, made a lot of friends across the district – conservative people who like Trump, number one. Number two, feel like the country is headed in the wrong direction. [Trump] maybe could get some help. He feels like a man on an island fighting this progressive movement.”

According to the Coffee County Republican, he was sought out after Roby’s announcement.

“When she stepped down, my phone started ringing,” he added. “I was hearing from people who supported me, who asked me to run last time. It was encouraging. I thought, ‘You know what? We’re going to step in, and if the people choose to send us, we’ll go serve. That’s kind of how I looked at.”

One aspect of his service in the legislature Moore touted was his commitment to veterans’ issues, which he said was important given the presence of Maxwell Air Force Base and Fort Rucker in the second congressional district.

“I think the thing we need to do is reach out to the people who may not know us or what we’re about,” Moore said. “We served in the legislature in Alabama for eight years. I chaired Military and Veterans’ Affairs [committee]. I went to Maxwell-Gunter a lot and met a lot of the veterans groups and military active-duty families. Those bases knew me and knew of me. Fort Rucker was near my home district. So, there’s some areas we need to reach.”

“But I think if we reach them with our message and the fact we were on the Trump train, and we always had a very conservative voting record,” he continued. “And I had an opportunity when I was in the legislature — they asked us to choose. I was sitting on Military and Veterans Affairs Committee as chairman. I was sitting on Rules, and Rules is a powerful committee. But they asked us to pick one or the other, and I chose my veterans over the power and the money and the prestige of the system. And so, I always went and served the people I told them I would serve and do the job that I thought I needed to do.”

“With that said, we need to get our message out in some of those areas,” Moore added. “But having served as I have, I think our name ID does pretty well. I think it is possible to be in government and not be a part of the system. That’s why I term-limited myself the first time. I served two terms. I told them in ’14 I was going to serve one more term and that was going to be it. I served my two terms there and honestly, I thought I was about out of politics until the Trump team asked me to get in in ’16 to try and help him, and that’s why I ended up running against Ms. Roby the last time around. When she stepped down, I think he still needs a great deal of help to get some things done. We need some tip-of-the-spear kind of people up there – not to just fight for the agenda, but in some way say to him and his family that they restore some sort of sense of American pride in this country and recognize the greatness of this nation – not necessarily that it is perfect, but capitalism is absolutely the best system man has found in history and to allow them the opportunity. And the U.S. is the best of all of them because you have an opportunity to excel because of where you came from.”

Moore, who also holds a degree in animal science from Auburn University, said he recognized the importance of agriculture to Alabama’s second congressional district.

“I’ve grown up around farms and been on farms all my life — as a matter of fact, my cousin still farms this land we have our office on now,” he said. “Agriculture is a huge economic player for us. More importantly, the government needs to protect the food supply, and that is why some of these programs are designed the way they are — designed so these men can take these risks, put these seeds in the ground and look to produce so we can feed and clothe this nation.”

Republicans in Alabama’s second congressional district will have the opportunity to go to the polls on March 3, 2020, and vote their preference on who will represent the GOP on the ballot in the November 3, 2020 general election.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

30 mins ago

2019 Yellowhammer ‘News Shapers’ series continues with second rural broadband installment

Join the Yellowhammer News team Tuesday, September 17 for a “Yellowhammer News Shapers” event in Dothan.

Entitled, “Connecting Alabama’s rural communities,” the event is Yellowhammer’s second on rural broadband this year. This latest installment will focus on building partnerships and community awareness.

The event will feature a networking reception followed by a live forum on expanding broadband access and technology across the Yellowhammer State.

Confirmed forum panelists include State Senator Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva); Brad Kimbro, CEO of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative; Jimmy Copeland, director of special projects for Troy Cablevision, Inc.; Dr. Carmen Lewis, associate dean of Troy University’s Sorrell College; and Sean Strickler, vice president public affairs of the Alabama Rural Electric Association.  

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Areas of focus will include exploring partnerships that work, implementation obstacles and best practices, community awareness and future needs and next steps for program advancement.

The event will be held in Everett Hall on Troy University’s Dothan campus: 502 University Drive, Dothan, AL 36303.

The reception will begin at 5:00 p.m., with the moderated forum to follow at 5:20 p.m.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact courtney@yellowhammernews.com for more information.

The legislative edition of Yellowhammer News Shapers kicked off 2019’s series and was followed by the rural broadband edition on July 18 in Guntersville, “Prepare for Launch” in Huntsville on July 31 and “West Alabama and the coal industry” on August 8 in Jasper.

More Yellowhammer News Shapers events will take place across the state this year. The series is non-partisan, on-the-record and designed to localize issues and highlight thought leaders.

Continue to visit Yellowhammernews.com for announcements during the 2019 calendar year.

1 hour ago

Limestone County sheriff’s attorney blasts ‘draconian’ ethics act after indictment

After it was announced on Thursday that longtime Limestone County Sheriff Michael Anthony “Mike” Blakely has been indicted on 13 state ethics counts, separate press conferences featuring his personal attorneys and the spokesperson for the sheriff’s department pumped the breaks on those looking to equate Blakely merely being charged with actually being guilty.

First, Mark McDaniel, the lead attorney for Blakely’s defense, emphasized that the sheriff would be entering in a plea of “not guilty” on all counts and looks forward to trying the case in a court of his peers.

WHNT carried McDaniel’s comments to the media, in which he emphasized that a large part of the defense will be challenging the constitutionality of Alabama’s ethics statute.

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“Virtually anything you do as a public servant now under that act is illegal, so we’ll be contesting the constitutionality of the ethics act also,” McDaniel said.

He called the ethics act “draconian” and added he will file a motion asking the court to strike it down.

Asked what about the ethics act they will be challenging, McDaniel responded, “A lot of things.”

McDaniel specified that one of those things will be how overly “broad” the statute is.

“You don’t even know what you’ve done [wrong],” he added, saying that the public should stay tuned to see their motions “attacking” the ethics act’s issues.

In a press conference shortly afterwards, Limestone County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Stephen Young stressed that Blakely continues to serve as the sheriff and that the department’s operations will not be affected by the ongoing legal situation.

Young also cautioned people about utilizing indictments as indicators of guilt.

“A grand jury indictment is not a conviction,” Young advised. “In fact, it’s the process typically used when an agency cannot obtain enough probable cause to obtain its own warrant. As Sheriff Blakely once told me, ‘You can indict a ham sandwich.’”

Watch:

Blakely served in the U.S. Marine Corps and as an Alabama State Trooper before becoming the county sheriff in 1983. He has also served as an officer in the Alabama National Guard.

McDaniel said it is an “honor” to represent the sheriff and that he is “proud” to defend Blakely against the charges.

The attorney noted that Blakely “absolutely” intended to continue serving. The sheriff was back at work immediately after posting bond on Thursday.

A Democrat, Blakely is the longest-serving sheriff in state history. He won the statewide “Bobby Timmons Sheriff of the Year Award” as recently as 2017.

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

3 hours ago

Alabama postpones 50th anniversary tour over singer’s health

Country band Alabama says it is postponing the remainder of its 50th anniversary tour as lead singer Randy Owen battles health complications.

The group announced Wednesday that the 69-year-old Owen is suffering from migraines and vertigo, and doctors say he needs more time to recover.

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The news comes after a string of already-canceled shows due to the singer’s health.

Bass player and vocalist Teddy Gentry wrote in a statement that though he and the rest of the band are disappointed, Owen’s recovery is the priority.

The 50-city tour was scheduled through Nov. 23, where it would have ended in Salisbury, Maryland.

Rescheduled dates will be released in the coming weeks.
(Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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How Alabama’s Iron Tribe Fitness sets the standard for group workouts

Iron Tribe Fitness, founded in Birmingham, Alabama, is leading the way for workout programs across the nation. Ranked as one of the top five workouts in the nation, this 45-minute HIIT group workout class offers participants exciting and effective workouts in a time frame that works with any kind of schedule.

Recently, the gym hosted Coach 201, a weekend training session for their instructors in their downtown Birmingham corporate location. This session brought together all of Iron Tribe’s local coaching staff to review training guidelines and program goals.

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In hosting this training, Iron Tribe is living out their core value of delivering a consistent experience. Forrest Walden, Iron Tribe’s founder and CEO says this training session taps into the heart of what the program does — which is creating communities that change lives.

“It’s always great to see the entire team come together to fellowship and dive deep into why we do what we do every day,” Walden said.

During the training, Iron Tribe coaches were given the opportunity to learn more about the classes they teach and strengthen their relationships with each other. As a result, the coaches are empowered to return to their home gyms and lead their athletes with renewed skills and confidence.

“Kyle Sottung, our director of product development, is extremely thorough and talented at what he does. To see him lead our Birmingham coaches is always such a blessing. Our coaches are more empowered now than ever to pour into the Birmingham community,” Walden stated.

According to Walden, Iron Tribe is successful because the program is more than just a workout, but a way to strengthen the communities they serve.

“Iron Tribe stands on a list off essential core beliefs. These beliefs steer what we do every day, both inside and outside the gym. It’s our hope that by continuing to develop ourselves that we can be exceptional coaches and role models within our communities,” Walden said.

Ready to get in the best shape of your life? Learn more by visiting irontribefitness.com.

4 hours ago

Limestone County sheriff indicted, arrested on 13 financial theft, ethics charges

Attorney General Steve Marshall on Thursday announced that Limestone County Sheriff Michael Anthony Blakely has been indicted and arrested on several ethics charges.

Blakely, 68, surrendered to authorities and was later released on a $49,000 bond, according to the attorney general’s office.

The indictment includes 13 charges that cover a range of conduct over multiple years.

“Public officials are entrusted to perform their duties honestly and above reproach,” Marshall said in a statement. “When that bond of trust is broken, our society suffers undue harm. My office—working with our federal and state partners—is committed to ensuring that the violators of the public trust be held accountable under the law.”

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Specifically, the first four counts charge Blakely with four separate thefts from his campaign account that total $11,000.

Counts five through 10 charge him with theft or ethics charges stemming from his illegally taking money from Limestone County funds, including from the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Fund.

Count 11 charges Blakely with soliciting a $1,000 wire transfer from a subordinate other than in the ordinary course of business.

Finally, counts 12 and 13 charge the sheriff with using his official position or office to acquire interest-free loans. Count 12 charges Blakely with using his official position or office to obtain interest-free loans in the form of a $50,000 cashier’s check and/or a $22,189.68 credit. Count 13 charges Blakely with using his official position or office to obtain interest-free loans by taking money from a safe that was used to store the Limestone County inmates’ personal funds.

“I would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its investigative assistance in this case,” Marshall added. “Anyone with information regarding corrupt practices by public officials is encouraged to contact the Alabama Attorney General’s Office at reportcorruption@ago.state.al.us.”

The case is being prosecuted by the state attorney general’s Special Prosecutions Division.

“While the overwhelming majority of public officials serve honorably, those who corrupt the operations of government rob their communities—their friends and neighbors—of the fundamental right to honest government, and we must insist on absolute honesty, integrity and trustworthiness from everyone,” FBI Birmingham Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr. commented.

“I want the citizens of north Alabama to know that if they have information about potential wrongdoing by a public official or law enforcement officer, the FBI wants to hear from you,” he advised. “If you have information, call my office’s Public Corruption Tip Line at (844) 404-TIPS, share what you know, and join in the fight against corruption.”

Blakely, as is the case with all indictments, is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

UPDATE 1:20 p.m.

Blakely’s attorneys held a press conference emphasizing that he will plead not guilty to all counts, per WHNT.

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