2 weeks ago

Hillary, 2020 Dem hopefuls decry ‘voter suppression’ as they hit Selma for ‘Bloody Sunday’ commemoration

SELMA – Even though the heavens opened up and the rain came pouring down on Sunday, it did not stop the march commemorating the 54th anniversary of 1965’s “Bloody Sunday” across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and a handful of 2020 Democratic Party presidential hopefuls, including Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), highlighted the names of participants on Sunday.

Throughout the day’s events, which began with the Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King Unity Breakfast, continued with remarks from Clinton, Booker and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) at the Brown Chapel AME Church and concluded with the march across the historic bridge, putting a stop to alleged voter suppression was a reoccurring theme of the day.


“We’re here to honor the legacy of those that fought, died and bled for the right for us to vote, and we must do our part in 2019,” Sewell declared during the Unity Breakfast.

“[T]here is no more fundamental right than the right to vote,” Clinton said to marchers before they began their journey over the Alabama River. “It is under attack. It is under fire. It has got to be protected. No matter what else you care about, there is nothing more important than standing up and fighting for the right to vote right now.”

Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) echoed Clinton’s remarks emphasizing the need to combat so-called voter suppression.

Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Texas) poses for a photo, 3/4/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

“Voting rights are under fire,” Jackson Lee said. “That’s why I’ve come to march with you across the Edmund Pettus Bridge … where many shed their blood. And as Rev. [William J.] Barber said, we are those who have ancestors who have dictated to us what we must do. We must fight and never give up. We must recognize voter suppression is not American. Voter suppression is not who we are. Voter suppression cannot stand, and we will continue to fight until we stamp out voter suppression.”

Marchers lie on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in support of voting rights, 3/3/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

The voter suppression theme was also on display as marchers sang about the “polling house” as they marched.

Earlier, Booker had delivered the keynote speech to Brown Chapel AME Church, and made a call to the parishioners to “defend the dream.”

Sen. Cory Booker poses for a selfie, 3/4/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

“People feel the forces tearing us apart are greater than those bringing us together,” the New Jersey Democrat said during his emotional address. “It’s time for us to defend the dream. It’s time that we dare to dream again in America.”

Sen. Cory Booker and Hillary Clinton share a word during Selma’s bridge crossing, 3/4/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

Sherrod Brown was making a return to Alabama for the annual occasion.

“It’s great to be here,” Brown said to Yellowhammer News. “It’s the fifth time I’ve crossed this bridge, fifth time I’ve been in Brown Chapel, and it’s an honor to be here. I’ve brought my daughters, I’ve brought my wife, and I’ve brought my mother a number of times over the years. It’s part of our family.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown speaks to reporters after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, 3/4/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

Also in attendance for Booker’s speech at the Brown Chapel AME Church was former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

Former Gov. Don Siegelman departing Brown Chapel AME, 3/3/2019 (Jeff Poor/YHN)

@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.

13 mins ago

Join Us: Yellowhammer ‘News Shaper’ series kicks off with its 2019 legislative edition

Join the Yellowhammer News team Tuesday, March 19th for a “Yellowhammer News Shaper” event in Montgomery. The gathering will offer a reception as well as a live interview with Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) and Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia).

The discussion will be moderated by Yellowhammer News editor and owner Tim Howe and will cover issues surrounding this year’s legislative session.

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The event will take place at the Alabama Association of Realtors, 522 Washington Avenue, and will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a networking opportunity followed by the moderated interview and questions from the audience.

Several more Yellowhammer News Shaper 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.

29 mins ago

Groups across US take in dogs, cats after Alabama tornado

People across the nation are helping to find homes for animals evacuated from shelters in an Alabama community that was devastated by a tornado.

The twister left 23 dead and dozens of people injured as it roared across the community of Beauregard on March 3.

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The Humane Society of the United States contacted several humane societies across the nation to ask for help, Al.com reported.

The Oregon Humane Society says it was asked by the national organization if it could take any of the 150 pets that were being evacuated from Lee County shelters.

In Tennessee, the Nashville Humane Association says it received 21 cats and dogs affected by the tornado. It said those animals will be up for adoption soon.

“They have been through a lot,” said Laura Charvarria , executive director of the Nashville Humane Association.

“One of the shelters, Southern Souls, the tornado touched down actually in their backyard, so they experienced that, on top of, they just went through a 6-hour drive from Alabama to Tennessee, so that is extremely stressful on the animals,” Charvarria said.

Many of the animals from Alabama were flown on a jet to Oregon about a week after the tornado.

Staffers from animal shelters in that region met the dogs and cats when they touched down.

“There was a great camaraderie among the group 7/8— a wonderful testament to the collective compassion in the Northwest.

As the plane touched down the group erupted in applause,” the Oregon Humane Society said in a news release.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 hours ago

Failed state House candidate wants to challenge gas tax in court

Former candidate for state House and Republican Executive Committee anti-tax resolution sponsor, Tom Fredricks, is preparing a legal challenge on the Rebuild Alabama Act based on the perceived unconstitutional nature of the Port of Mobile dredging.

When the Rebuild Alabama gas tax increase was being debated, for all of five days, opponents were throwing everything they could at the gas tax.

All of this was for naught as the bill passed both chambers of the legislature and was signed by the governor. Your gas tax will go up over the next three years.

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The state Republican Party Executive Committee went as far as opposing the gas tax with a resolution at their winter meeting. The committee rightly argued very few politicians ran on raising taxes. In fact, many opposed tax increases or ran on keeping taxes low.

Foes of the tax, yours truly included, felt the use of the special session was a nefarious work-around the legislative process.

Lastly, a small group of insurgents pushed the ingenious argument that the portion of the law spending millions of dollars every year on dredging for the Port of Mobile was unconstitutional.

And now, the opponents of this gas tax are moving on to the next level of the battle: the courts

Fredricks appeared Monday on “The Dale Jackson Show” on WVNN in Huntsville to lay out his legal strategy.

“It appears that it’s in direct violation of Amendment 354 … the constitution says that that money shall be used on the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges,” he outlined.

Fredricks has even launched a GoFundMe page to fund this endeavor after one lawyer told him he would need $25,000 to pursue this challenge.

But, former Senator Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville), an anti-tax advocate, believes this is a non-starter after initially thinking there would be an issue in battling the tax increase.

Sanford posted his findings on Facebook.

Fredricks himself believes this is a long-shot, but stated that he believes the people of this state need to continue having a voice on this issue.

Listen:

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

Byrne: Supporting state and local government

Last week, I was honored to host some of our local mayors, city council members and city officials from Southwest Alabama in Washington to hear about what they do every day for our communities.

I am a firm believer that the best people to run our towns and our communities are not the bureaucrats in Washington or the federal government. The best people to do that are the people who live, work, and play in the same place as the neighbors they represent. That is why I come home to Southwest Alabama every weekend, to be in touch with the people I serve in Washington.

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Everyone wants a great quality of life. Part of that comes down to having good roads and bridges, having high-quality schools, knowing that the fire department, police, EMS and other first responders will be there when we call, and countless other things that happen on a local level.

The federal government is not the best place to regulate those things. Heavy-handed government mandates and rules that impose “we know best” policies on our local communities don’t work. What works in Robertsdale, Brewton or Chatom might not work in Nashville, Boston or Anchorage.

One of the things that has always worked best is to have a strong partnership between our local, state and federal officials. My mission has always been to assist our local leaders on projects when they need our help, but it is not my place to tell our local mayors how to do their job or what will be best for their community. I want to be a part of their team.

This teamwork approach has worked incredibly well when it comes to bringing new jobs to our area. When a prospective business is looking at locating in a new place, they want to know that officials at every level of government are willing to work with them to support their business and their employees.

A good example of this is saving our rural hospitals. In most places, these hospitals are the bedrock of a community. No major business will locate in a town that doesn’t have a hospital. So, that’s why I have been working with our local and state officials to do everything in my power to save our rural hospitals from closing. But, this requires a total team approach from all levels of government.

Another prime example of giving more power back to the local level is Alabama’s Red Snapper recreational fishing season.

In years past, the federal government has put stringent regulations on Gulf Coast fishing that has ended up hurting local fishermen. Those of us in Alabama best understand Alabama issues, and after years of continuous advocating, this year we received great news that the 2019 Red Snapper season for recreational fishermen will take place on three-day weekends (Friday-Sunday) from June 1st through July 28th, including July 4th.

As I have said repeatedly, this issue is about more than just fishing. A full Red Snapper season helps boost our coastal economies due to everything from fuel sales to hotel and condo rentals. We must continue pushing for greater state control over our fisheries.

Fixing our Red Snapper season wasn’t done by just one person. From the city councils to the state Department of Conservation to the halls of Congress, it took a total team effort to make a positive impact for our residents.

As long as I have the honor of representing Alabama, I promise to always be a part of the team to make life better for people in our communities. I am dedicated to doing what is best for Alabama through policies that give back to, not take from, our communities.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope.

Leaders deliver results for a stronger Alabama

Thank you to the Alabama House of Representatives and the Alabama Senate for your bi-partisan support of the Rebuild Alabama Plan. Because of your leadership, this historical effort will result in safer roads, thousands of new jobs, and a stronger Alabama.  Finally, it’s time to #RebuildAL.

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