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2 months ago

Once upon a time, Robert Bentley was Alabama’s Donald Trump

We all love a good underdog story (unless it involves Alabama or Auburn, that is).

The 1980 “Miracle on Ice” Olympic hockey upset, Villanova defeating Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA National Championship game, Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson for boxing’s World Heavyweight Title – those are some of the memorable upsets in American sports history.

They happen in politics as well. Some would argue President Donald Trump’s 2016 election win would fall under the category of an upset. It was thought, up until as late as 8 p.m. election night in 2016, Hillary Clinton would be the country’s next president.

Then, Trump had unlikely Electoral College victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. He becomes the next president and those in the media world are stunned.

Long before the long-shot candidacy of Trump, there was the long-shot candidacy of Robert Bentley. When Bentley announced he would run for governor in the 2010 campaign, very few took him seriously.

Even from the start, he was running behind in campaign money with the well-funded campaigns of Tim James and Bradley Byrne. He also had the problem of overcoming Roy Moore as a competitor, who had a loyal cult following – a lesson Luther Strange had to learn just last year.

For many, people saw Bentley’s run as a vanity play – perhaps even a “get acquainted” race for a future political bid. They dismissed then-candidate Bentley’s chance, much as they had denied Donald Trump after his famous escalator ride in 2015.

After the acts of a circular firing squad that often take place in these Republican primaries, there were two left in a runoff. Bradley Byrne and Tim James had a knock-down, slug-it-out fight. While they were duking it out, Bentley was slowly rising behind the scenes. At the end of what seemed like a two-year-long primary fight, it was Byrne and the unlikely Robert Bentley.

Byrne was never able to win over supporters of the other candidates entirely. The primary had proved so nasty that many of James’ voters either stayed home or voted for Bentley in protest of Byrne. Throw in some Democratic Party and AEA shenanigans and the unlikely fairy tale of Robert Bentley as governor becomes a reality.

He handily defeats Democrat Ron Sparks to become governor, and so begins the long, sordid saga of Bentley’s governorship.

The parallels between Trump and Bentley didn’t stop at election night. Even though he had served in the State House for almost eight years, he was still thought of as an outsider. And given that he wasn’t the top choice for many of the rank-and-file Republicans that ran Montgomery, he came into the governor’s mansion with a chip on his shoulder.

Much like Trump, Bentley brought in different people than what one might expect from a traditional Republican administration. In some ways, he was resented for that, much like Trump was when he was staffing his West Wing.

Here’s where they part ways: Yes, both Bentley and Trump are alleged to have a “zipper problem,” as many politicians do when they rise to power. Trump handled his much differently.

Trump had been working the refs since the 1980s. He was a fixture in the New York City tabloids for decades. And somehow, it seemed to work for him. He might have been a philandering billionaire playboy, but he was their philandering billionaire playboy. For many years, that shtick worked for Trump.

He became one of the city’s favorite sons — that is until he decided to wade into Republican politics. After some flirtations with the Reform Party and the Democratic Party, Trump discovered his populist stripes, and with a little marketing and packaging, he won a presidential election.

Bentley didn’t have the luxury of a lowered bar. If Donald Trump cheats on his wife – well, we expected it. On the other hand, we didn’t expect it from Bentley, at least not during and shortly after his 2010 run.

Rumors had persisted around Montgomery, but at face value would you have expected that from Bentley? What woman in their right mind would entertain the idea of playing homewrecker with him?

Nonetheless, he didn’t handle it well, and the rest is history.

Here we are in 2018 and Bentley had apparently to embark upon an image rehabilitation campaign. He’s not the first disgraced governor to try this. George Wallace in his later years comes to mind. Don Siegelman is still waging one to this day.

Does this have any chance of success? Probably not.

In some ways, it is sad and pathetic. But, I wish Bentley the best of luck. If anything, it’ll be entertaining and likely drive some of my left-leaning media brethren in this state to apoplectic-like fits.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

10 mins ago

Modern day “Goldilocks” finds stranger’s home “just right” with amenities

An Alabama woman says a man broke into her house and made himself breakfast, took a bath, and washed his clothes.

Mary Royster tells WAAY-TV she came home Tuesday and found a strange man who wouldn’t leave — he told her he was waiting for his clothes to dry.

Thirty-one-year-old Tyler Love is now back at the Limestone County jail on a charge of burglary.

He had been released just last week after serving time for another burglary.

Royster says “every drawer” in her house had been searched through, and Love made himself scrambled eggs, took a bath, shaved and brushed his teeth.

Royster says finding the man in her home was scary, but he wasn’t violent and she can laugh about it now.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 hours ago

Alabama sets new record for number of jobs, number of people employed

Alabama has once again broken employment and job records during Governor Kay Ivey’s tenure.

According to data released on Friday, wage and salary employment in September reached a new record high, as did the number of people counted as working, for the fifth month in a row.

“Not only are we experiencing record high employment, this month we’ve also broken another record – our economy is currently supporting the most number of jobs in history!” Ivey said in a statement. “September’s job count of 2,048,000 bypasses the previous record of 2,045,800, which was set in December 2007.”

Alabama Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington stressed that the state’s booming economy has been over-performing experts’ expectations.


“In January, economists predicted that Alabama would see job growth of 27,000 in 2018. I’m pleased to say that, year-to-date, we’ve already seen job growth of 47,000, surpassing that prediction by 20,000 jobs, and we still have three months left to grow,” Washington said.

Wage and salary employment increased in September by 9,100, and, over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 26,800.

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted September unemployment rate is 4.1 percent. This rate represents 2,117,027 people working, which is also a record high. In August, 2,112,099 people were counted as employed, and 2,082,085 were counted as employed in September of last year.

“This is the fifth month in a row that we’ve announced that more people are working in Alabama than ever before. Alabama’s businesses are hiring, Alabamians are working, and wages are rising,” Ivey added.

Average weekly earnings increased over the year by $53.82. Manufacturing weekly earnings increased by $27.18 over the year, and construction weekly earnings were up $55.08 over the year.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 hours ago

Republicans draw big crowd for Fairhope rally as Election Day nears

FAIRHOPE – Complacency may be a concern for Republicans in some parts of Alabama as Election Day approaches, but it isn’t as prevalent of a concern in ruby-red Baldwin County.

With several hundred on hand at Fairhope’s Oak Hollow Farms, Rep. Bradley Byrne and Gov. Kay Ivey rallied attendees that offered the impression of being engaged and motivated to show up at the polls to vote on November 6.

The event, a fish fry, was put on by the Baldwin County Republican Party and featured other candidates running for statewide office, including Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and Alabama Supreme Court chief justice hopeful Tom Parker.


Parker said it was his impression that Republicans, not just in Baldwin County, but throughout the state, were fired up based on the Brett Kavanaugh’s U.S. Supreme Court associate justice confirmation process.

“Republican voters are so incensed post-Kavanaugh after they saw what the Democrats did and what they condone,” Parker said to Yellowhammer News. “And we’re just trying to remind the people of who they have running against the Republican officials. They are the people getting money from Soros, Planned Parenthood. They condone violence. They are advocating anarchy. And we do not need that in our judiciary. We need the rule of law and respect for law rather than judges who will bend things in order to accomplish political goals. We need people who will protect Alabama values, which are pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and pro-Constitutions.”

Parker said that Baldwin County was part of a campaign effort that included county fairs, local events and Republican events.

“All I’m hearing is anger post-Kavanaugh generated because of those Democrats who were paying to protest,” he added. “And then when they did acts of violence, they wouldn’t condemn it. They’re condoning it. That’s so uncivil and so un-American.”

Daphne native Matt Simpson, the Republican nominee for the State House District 96 election, who is heavily favored in his contest against Democratic nominee Maurice Horsey, explained that having Gov. Kay Ivey making an appearance in Baldwin County generated excitement.

“We’re excited,” Simpson said. “Anytime we can get the governor in this area in south Alabama, we’re excited. We expect a good turnout in Baldwin County. Baldwin County is a very red county, one of the reddest in the state. We think the voters of the area are motivated. We think there’s going to be an opportunity for people to show just how motivated they are to support Republican principles and to make sure we keep Republicans in office.”

Simpson also echoed what Parker had said about the so-called Kavanaugh effect, noting that the backlash against the Democratic Party’s tactics would be on display when Baldwin County voters head to the polls.

“I think complacency has taken a backseat,” he added. “The Kavanaugh hearings have really fired up the Republican base. I think you saw what Democrats will do once they get in power and how they will try to take power from Republicans through the lies and the smears that they’ve done. And I think people are excited to show that’s not how we run things. That’s not what we want as a general public. We want our voice heard, and we won’t accept that type of behavior.”

Simpson said the I-10 bridge was the biggest issue on the minds of Baldwin County voters given its impact on the local economy, tourism and residents’ way of life. On the national level, he said Baldwin County voters were firmly in support of President Donald Trump given the success of the economy and how Trump’s leadership showed that if free market principles were implemented, the economy could flourish.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

4 hours ago

Public Policy Foundation: ‘Amendment 4 would save Alabama taxpayers millions’

The Alabama Public Policy Foundation (APPF) issued a press release on Thursday in an effort to educate voters about the virtues of voting “yes” on Amendment 4 on the November 6 general election ballot.

Rosemary Elebash, an APPF board member and state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), explained that the amendment would save Alabama taxpayers millions of dollars by eliminating costly special elections when a regularly scheduled election is already imminent.

“Under current law, the governor must call a special election to fill legislative seats vacated due to death or resignation, even if there are only a few months remaining in the term,” Elebash outlined. “Each legislative special election costs from $90,000 to $900,000 per county, based on the number of voters and polling locations. These sometimes occur when candidates already have qualified for the next general election or when the Legislature is not scheduled to meet again before the end of the term.”

APPF noted that money spent on late-term special elections could be used for other services important to Alabama taxpayers. In addition to the wasteful cost, Elebash said back-to-back balloting can create fatigue and confusion for voters.


“In recent years, we’ve seen candidates win special elections and immediately begin campaigning for a regular primary election a month or two later,” she said.

Amendment 4 would allow Alabama Senate and House of Representatives seats to remain open if vacated on or after Oct. 1 of the third year of a four-year term. The longest a seat would remain vacant would be 14 months. The amendment only applies to these state legislative seats, and the governor would still be required to schedule special elections for vacancies occurring earlier in a term.

You can read the objective Fair Ballot Commission’s explanation of Amendment 4 here.

APPF is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization “created to promote educational, social, financial and economic policies to enhance the well-being of Alabama citizens.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 hours ago

Kay Ivey: Walt Maddox ‘misguided’ on calls to expand Medicaid

FAIRHOPE – Gov. Kay Ivey isn’t necessarily buying into the notion that the expansion of Medicaid could be a win-win for Alabama, as her Democratic opponent Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has portrayed it.

Medicaid expansion has been a key component of Maddox’s campaign, and it has been something Republican lawmakers have resisted given its potential future cost to state taxpayers.

Thursday night, before taking the stage at Baldwin County’s Oak Hollow Farms for a political rally, Ivey fielded questions from reporters, one of which dealt with the expansion of Medicaid.


She expressed her support for quality health care, but described Maddox’s push as “misguided.”

“It’s important that we have the availability of quality health care for our people,” she said to Yellowhammer News. “That’s for sure. But at the same time, we’ve got to be sure we’re doing all we can with the Medicaid program, and nobody has come up with how we’re going to pay back the high cost if we expand it. So, I think my opponent is misguided again.”

In recent weeks, Maddox has been pushing Medicaid expansion on his bus tour of Alabama, and on Thursday, his second TV ad began airing across the state that doubles down on the proposal.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.