The Wire

  • Three takeaways from Alabama’s Runoff Election

    Excerpt:

    With Alabama’s primary election runoffs now in the books, here are three takeaways from the results.

    North Alabama has spoken.
    When this election cycle began, it became evident that north Alabama saw a window of opportunity to increase its influence.  The results from the Republican primary runoff have shown the electorate in that area of the state was eager to flex its muscle.

    Will Ainsworth pulled out an impressive come-from-behind victory in the Lt. Governor’s race. Steve Marshall enjoyed a resounding win in his bid to retain the Attorney General’s office.

  • On Roby’s win: One false media narrative dies, a new one is born

    Excerpt:

    Like Lucy van Pelt of Peanuts comic strip fame repeatedly pulling the football away from Charlie Brown as he lines up to kick it, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) once again has shown you can’t beat her in a Republican primary.

    Similar to when she defeated “Gather Your Armies” Rick Barber in the 2010 GOP primary and “Born Free American Woman” Becky Gerritson in the 2016 GOP primary, Roby defeated former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright for a second time on Tuesday night, this time by a whopping 36 points.

    Heading into yesterday, many national media reporters were sent into Alabama’s second congressional district looking at the possibility that Roby might have to answer to a revolt for not sticking with then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the infamous Billy Bush weekend during the 2016 presidential campaign.

  • Mo Brooks Wins FreedomWorks’ Prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award

    Excerpt from a Rep. Mo Brooks news release:

    Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) was one of only 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives awarded the prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award by FreedomWorks, a leading conservative organization with more than six million members nationwide. Only members of Congress who score better than 90% on the FreedomWorks scorecard receive the FreedomFighter Award. Congressman Brooks’ FreedomWorks score was in the top 4% of all Congressmen in 2017.

    Brooks said, “FreedomWorks is a leading organization in the conservative movement. I thank them for their work keeping members of Congress accountable and scoring key House floor votes which helps the American people better understand the impact of those votes. I was proud to receive the prestigious FreedomWorks 2017 FreedomFighter Award for my voting record in 2017. If America is to maintain its place as the greatest country in world history, more members of Congress must fight for the foundational principles that made America great. I’m fighting in Congress for those principles, and I’m glad to have a partner as effective as FreedomWorks in the fight.”

3 months ago

Jill Biden to deliver commencement speech at Alabama college

(Wikicommons)

Jill Biden will deliver the commencement speech at a community college in Alabama.

News outlets report the wife of former Vice President Joe Biden will deliver the commencement speech at Bishop State Community College on May 10.

The Mobile school says Biden and former President Barack Obama led the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges during her tenure as second lady.

64

Biden has also completed a College to Career bus tour to highlight innovative workforce partnerships that kick-start career training.

Bishop State President Dr. Reginald Sykes says Biden understands the impact community colleges have in providing postsecondary education opportunities in the country.

Biden holds multiple degrees including a Master of Arts in English from Villanova University and is an instructor at a community college.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

10 months ago

Joe Biden Makes Bold Prediction Ahead of Alabama’s Senate Election. Here is why he’s wrong!

Vice President Joe Biden during a vice presidential debate on Oct. 11, 2012

(Opinion Editorial)

At a Tuesday rally in Birmingham, former Vice President Joe Biden made it clear that the Democratic establishment endorses Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones. “Doug has demonstrated his courage and his absolute integrity,” said Biden. “Doug and I have been friends for a long, long time. Doug knows Alabama. He knows your heart, and he’ll never let you down.”

Most expected that type of ringing endorsement from Biden, though the former Veep’s bold prediction may have been less anticipated: “When he wins this race, it’ll send ripples down the country,” Biden forecasted.

As already reported today, however, Alabama Republicans and Democrats have made it abundantly clear that they are fed up with the establishment Biden embodies.

Americans want to change, and not just the worn out rhetoric about change used by Obama in 2008. The liberal Democratic agenda demands the redistribution of wealth, the unfettered right to abortion on demand, and a weak national security. That agenda has been rejected by voters in Alabama for years, and never has that rejection been more clear than in last November’s presidential election.

The left’s latest attempt to sell Alabamians on Jones just because moderate voters may disagree with Roy Moore proves that the Democratic establishment still doesn’t get it. The liberal agenda has had its day in the sun, as has the establishment across the political spectrum, and that day is over.

As long as Democrats ignore these facts, they will continue to lose statewide elections in Alabama.

Just a reminder: We are a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” It’s obvious this is a fact liberals have forgotten.

 

1
10 months ago

State GOP Chairman: Planned Parenthood is “More Than Welcome” to Stump for Jones in Alabama

ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan
ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan

Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden held a rally in Birmingham in support of Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones. The media attention surrounding that event, along with early polls, has given the Jones campaign and its supporters a glowing sense of optimism.

Republicans in the Yellowhammer State are equally eager to help Doug Jones get his message out, showing voters which organizations stand behind him and what he believes—especially state GOP Chairman Terry Lathan.

In a recent interview with Breitbart News, Lathan said she believes that voters will reject Jones because of those views and associations. In fact, she invited all such organizations to let Alabama know that they stand with Doug Jones.

“I would encourage outside groups to come to Alabama that support the Democrat nominee — Planned Parenthood, MoveOn.org, who has already endorsed him, Hollywood elites and any Clinton available would be more than welcome to remind our voters who the Democrats are.”

The last time a Democrat won a statewide election in Alabama was in 2006. Since then, the state has bled red throughout every statewide election and shows no sign of switching loyalty anytime soon.

As Lathan added:

“What I do see is Alabama voters not tipping the balance of power toward the Democrats in the Senate to help [Elizabeth] Warren, [Chuck] Schumer, [Bernie] Sanders and the liberals. Since 2008, our nation has clearly moved away from their big government and socialist policies. The Democrats have lost 1,000 seats. America has spoken very clearly, and this Alabama senate race will mirror the Trump versus Clinton election in Alabama.

Donald Trump won Alabama by a vote of 62% to 34% last November, making it pretty clear that a large majority of Alabama voters reject the Democrat party’s platforms, especially over moral issues like abortion.

As noted in another recent Breitbart article, Doug Jones made his stand on abortion pretty clear to an MSNBC reporter. Here are his exact words, as reported by Breitbart:

Well, look, I am a firm believer that a woman should have the freedom to choose what happens to her own body. And I’m going to stand up for that and I’m going to make sure that that continues to happen.

I want to make sure that as we go forward, people have access to contraception, they have access to the abortion that they might need, if that’s what they choose to do. I think that that’s going to be an issue that we can work with and talk to people about from both sides of the aisle.

In fact, the Breitbart article even reported that Jones supports late-term abortions, leaving readers to conclude that the only child’s life he will defend is a child that has already been born. Here’s the excerpt from that article:

When Todd asked him if he would not support legislation that banned late-term abortions, Jones replied:

I’m not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose. That’s just the position that I’ve had for many years. It’s a position I continue to have.

But when those people — I want to make sure that people understand that once a baby is born, I’m going to be there for that child. That’s where I become a right to lifer.

This is an interesting stance for a candidate in a strongly pro-life state because the New England Journal of Medicine reported over two years ago that infants have a strong chance of survival outside the womb after only 22 weeks of gestation (less than six months into the pregnancy).

At 34 weeks, the baby can see, blink its eyes, turn its head from side to side, feel pain, and tell the difference between day and night. This child has fingernails, toenails, and in many cases, a full head of hair. This baby’s brain has already formed trillions of connections, making it possible to learn in the womb, and it can unquestionably live outside the womb.

According to what Doug Jones told MSNBC, however, protecting the life of this child is an act of infringing on the woman’s right to choose. Therefore, if she decides this baby must die to suit her wishes, he says, “I’m going to stand up for that, and I’m going to make sure that that continues to happen.”

The U.S. House of Representatives doesn’t see it that way. Yesterday, the House passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) expressed the view of most Republicans when she said, “We must care for these unborn children, not cruelly inflict pain…by treating them as objects.”

According to AbortionProcedures.com, the kind of late-term abortions Jones apparently supports are complicated, “Since the baby is removed in pieces, sharp pieces of broken fetal bones can puncture the woman’s uterus or cause a large tear (laceration)” and the most difficult part “is usually finding, grasping and crushing the baby’s head.”

Back in 1998, the New England Journal of Medicine described another form of abortion used when mothers pregnant with twins or triplets babies only want one of the babies.  They described this procedure (creatively labeled “selective reduction”) like this:

Using ultrasound to locate each fetus, the doctors would insert a needle into the chest cavity of the most accessible fetus and place the needle tip directly into the heart of the baby. Potassium chloride was then injected into the heart and the heart was viewed on the ultrasound screen until it stopped beating.

When voters understand that Doug Jones apparently supports a woman killing her unborn child no matter how late she decides to do so, and that he describes this as a health choice—despite the fact that medical science has provided incontrovertible evidence that such babies are living, learning, and feeling human beings—he will likely have a tall mountain to climb winning the majority of votes in Alabama.

1
10 months ago

Joe Biden Dispatches to Alabama to Campaign for Doug Jones

Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate in the race to replace Jeff Sessions’ vacated Senate seat, announced Wednesday that former Vice President Joe Biden will appear at a campaign rally for Jones on October 3.

According to WBRC, Jones is honored to have Biden join his campaign.

“We are thrilled and deeply honored to have my longtime friend Vice President Joe Biden visit the great state of Alabama to reinforce his strong support of my campaign for the U.S. Senate. I have known and respected Joe Biden for almost 40 years now. He is the epitome of what we all hope public service can be.”

Biden expressed his support for Jones, touting his experience with civil rights and social justice.

“I have seen Doug Jones’ dedication to civil rights and social justice. From his time as U.S. Attorney prosecuting the 16th Street Baptist Church bombers to his private life as an advocate for social justice and economic empowerment, Doug Jones is a proven leader in which we can place our trust. Doug Jones will make a great U.S. Senator.”

The event will be held at the Sheraton in downtown Birmingham. Jones is currently waiting to see who his Republican opponent will be for the December 12 election. Voters take to the polls Tuesday in the highly anticipated runoff between Roy Moore and Luther Strange.

While the Republican race has seen millions of dollars in outside funding and endorsements from all corners of the political arena, the Democratic side has been relatively quiet. Perhaps Biden’s interest in the race shows a perceived opportunity by Democrats to flip a senate seat in a strongly Republican but divided state? Any significant Democratic challenge is highly unlikely in red Alabama, but is worth keeping an eye on as the special election enters its final leg.

1
2 years ago

Biden once blocked Sen. Session’s from an appointment. Now, here’s what the VP said about his A.G. nomination.

sessions-biden

Since before the election, Vice President Joe Biden has lamented that he didn’t run for the presidency himself. He has largely been an outspoken critic of president-elect Donald Trump, though he recently made a surprising statement that indicates a level of support for Senator Jeff Sessions to become the next Attorney General.

The statement came during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, who pointed out that Biden once led an attempt to block Sessions from receiving a federal appointment. At the time, then-Senator Biden charged that his Alabama colleague was a racial extremist. It’s a charge that many on the left are attempting to revive, though Democrats who know Sessions well have debunked the claim.

Biden indicated that he was fine with Trump’s appointment of Sessions.

“I wouldn’t have appointed Jeff, but you know, people learn. People change,” Vice President Biden said. “My general rule is, the president gets to chose who he wants or she wants for their cabinet members, unless they’re taking over the job with the expressed purpose of not enforcing the law in that area.”

“Within bounds, the president should get the person they want for that job as long as they commit under oath that they are going to uphold the law,” Biden added.

Other Democratic leaders, particularly in Alabama, have stood by Sessions. Last week, State Senator Quinton Ross, Jr. (D- Montgomery) said that since being nominated by the Trump Administration, he has been in close communication with Sessions. He believes that Sessions will be “accessible” to his constituents, adding that he has confidence in the Senator’s personal values.

“We’ve spoken about everything from Civil Rights to race relations and we agree that as Christian men our hearts and minds are focused on doing right by all people,” Sen. Ross said.

1
2 years ago

Scalia’s successor on Supreme Court could decide whether Alabama’s voter ID law survives

(S. Masker/Flickr)
Justice Antonin Scalia (Photo: Wiki Commons)
Justice Antonin Scalia (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Iconic conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely death earlier this year has left the High Court split 4-4 on many contentious issues, increasing the stakes of this year’s presidential election because it could decide the balance of the Court for decades to come.

Among the issues that could ultimately be decided by Scalia’s successor is photo voter ID.

During the 2011 Regular Legislative Session Governor Robert Bentley (R-Ala.) signed a voter ID law that went into full effect for the 2014 primary elections. Act 2011-673 requires an Alabama voter to have a specific type of photo identification at the polls in order to vote. Since that time, Democrats across the country have decried the law as “racist” and “hateful”.

In an October 2015 visit to Hoover, Hillary Clinton slammed Alabama Republicans for requiring proof of citizenship to vote and for shuttering driver’s license offices in the wake of state budget cuts. The Democratic presidential nominee insisted that both issues were examples of Republicans trying to return Alabama to its Jim Crow past.

RELATED: Bentley and Clinton spar over whether Alabama Republicans are racists

“We have to defend the most fundamental right in our democracy, the right to vote,” she said. “No one in this state, no one, should ever forget the history that enabled generations of people left out and left behind to finally be able to vote.”

Before that, Vice President Joe Biden chided supporters of voter ID laws in light of liberal defeat in the Supreme Court case of Shelby County v. Holder which stemmed from a legal challenge in Alabama. “These guys never go away,” Biden said. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

RELATED: Biden: There’s ‘hatred’ behind Alabama’s photo voter ID law

Since 2008, Republican-controlled legislatures in 17 states have adopted new voting-related laws. Among those are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin, which passed laws requiring a photo ID to vote. (h/t The Daily Beast)

Conservatives have long argued it is reasonable to require photo voter ID in order to protect the sanctity of elections, particularly because photo ID is also required for any number of other activities, from buying alcohol and opening a bank account, to getting on an airplane and renting a car.

But several lower courts have in recent months agreed with Democrats’ assertion that such laws are discriminatory.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in July that North Carolina’s 2013 voting law was implemented with “discriminatory intent.” The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled in July that Texas’ photo voter ID law violates that Voting Rights Act.

Marc E. Elias, an attorney representing some of the groups challenging the photo voter ID laws, told the Washington Post this week that they plan to engage in “hand-to-hand combat” in the legal system. And because a tie vote in the U.S. Supreme Court results in the lower court ruling standing, Scalia’s absence on the bench is allowing Mr. Elias in his allies to rack up victories in the short term.

If a Democrat is elected president, Mr. Scalia’s successor could lock in such victories for the longterm.

RELATED: Democrats call Alabama’s voter ID law ‘racist’ but require DNC delegates to show ID to vote

For the time being, Alabama’s photo voter ID law is an effect, and recent voting suggests it has not suppressed turnout.

There are currently at least 10 different types of ID that are acceptable to use at the polls (including a driver’s license) and the Secretary of State’s office also offers free Alabama photo voter ID cards and free non-driver IDs for purposes of voting.

1
2 years ago

Black Alabamian’s pro-voter ID tweet goes viral: ‘It’s racist to assume we can’t get an ID’

(Photo: Flickr)
(Photo: Flickr)

A black Alabamian is tired of Democratic politicians calling photo voter ID laws “racist,” and has taken to Twitter to declare that “it is racist,” however,” to “assume minorities are too incompetent to get an ID.”

The latest Gallup survey caught some Democrats by surprise this week when it revealed that 80 percent of Americans support “requiring all voters to provide photo identification at their voting place in order to vote.”

“As partisan-fueled court battles over state voting laws are poised to shape the political landscape in 2016 and beyond,” explained Gallup’s Justin McCarthy, “new Gallup research shows four in five Americans support both early voting and voter ID laws.”

The 2016 Democratic Party platform declared the Party would collectively “fight against discriminatory voter identification laws, which disproportionately burden young voters, diverse communities, people of color, low income families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and women.”

Prior to that, during an October 2015 visit to Hoover, Hillary Clinton slammed Alabama Republicans for requiring proof of citizenship to vote and for shuttering driver’s license offices in the wake of state budget cuts. The Democratic presidential nominee insisted that both issues were examples of Republicans trying to return Alabama to its Jim Crow past.

RELATED: Bentley and Clinton spar over whether Alabama Republicans are racists

“We have to defend the most fundamental right in our democracy, the right to vote,” she said. “No one in this state, no one, should ever forget the history that enabled generations of people left out and left behind to finally be able to vote.”

Vice President Joe Biden also chided supporters of voter ID laws.

“These guys never go away,” the vice president said. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

RELATED: Biden: There’s ‘hatred’ behind Alabama’s photo voter ID law

“It’s not racist to require an ID to vote,” responded an exasperated Pam Besteder, a black Alabamian who identifies on her Twitter profile as an independent voter who “loves God and Country and the American flag.”

“It IS racist,” she continued, “to assume minorities are too incompetent to GET an ID.”

The tweet has already been retweeted over 2,000 times and continues to spread around the internet.

Despite calls of racism, Alabama’s implementation of the voter ID law does not seem to have suppressed turnout.

To vote in Alabama, individuals must show a photo ID. This could include a drivers license, non-driver ID, State or Federal-issued ID, US Passport, government employee ID, student ID from a public or private Alabama college, military ID, tribal ID, or, if none of those are accessible, a free photo voter ID provided by the state.

To acquire a free ID, citizens can go to their local Board of Registrars office; there is one located in every one of Alabama’s 67 counties. Additionally, the Secretary of State’s office has visited every county with a mobile photo voter ID van in an effort to reach people right in their neighborhoods.

Alabamians go to the polls Tuesday for municipal elections and will return November 8 for the presidential election and other state-level races.

1
2 years ago

State of Alabama invited a woman who died in 1999 to register to vote

(Photo: Flickr)
(Photo: Flickr)

MOBILE, Ala. — The State of Alabama recently sent a letter to a Mobile woman who died in 1999, inviting her to register to vote in the upcoming November elections.

“You are receiving this mailing because our records indicate that you MIGHT not be registered to vote,” the mailer read, according to local Fox affiliate WALA.

“The notice included a mail-in voter registration form and instructions to return it to her local Board of Registrars,” wrote Fox 10 anchor Bob Grip.

The deceased woman’s daughter alerted the local news to the mailer because she was concerned other recipients may attempt to use the form to commit voter fraud.

Mr. Grip brought the issue to the attention of Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who said his office is engaging in a large scale voter registration drive that relies on the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Driver’s License database.

“My office is undertaking a project to identify a large number of Alabamians that are eligible but unregistered to vote,” Merrill explained. “This project utilizes our voter registration information and compares it against a database of Alabamians with a Driver’s License. This allows us to see anyone that would already had a license but may not have previously had the opportunity to register to vote. I apologize for any confusion that this may have caused for your viewer but if you would have them forward the name and address of the individual, we will make sure we identify her to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency so they can update their records.”

During the 2011 Regular Legislative Session Governor Robert Bentley (R-Ala.) signed a voter ID law that went into full effect for the 2014 primary elections. Act 2011-673 requires an Alabama voter to have a specific type of photo identification at the polls in order to vote. Since that time, Democrats across the country have decried the law as “racist” and “hateful”.

The 2016 Democratic Party platform declares, “we will continue to fight against discriminatory voter identification laws, which disproportionately burden young voters, diverse communities, people of color, low income families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and women.”

The Party did, however, require delegates to the Democratic National Committee to show photo ID before they were allowed to vote.

In an October 2015 visit to Hoover, Hillary Clinton slammed Alabama Republicans for requiring proof of citizenship to vote and for shuttering driver’s license offices in the wake of state budget cuts. The Democratic presidential nominee insisted that both issues were examples of Republicans trying to return Alabama to its Jim Crow past.

RELATED: Bentley and Clinton spar over whether Alabama Republicans are racists

“We have to defend the most fundamental right in our democracy, the right to vote,” she said. “No one in this state, no one, should ever forget the history that enabled generations of people left out and left behind to finally be able to vote.”

Before that, Vice President Joe Biden chided supporters of voter ID laws in light of liberal defeat in the Supreme Court case of Shelby County v. Holder which stemmed from a legal challenge in Alabama. “These guys never go away,” Biden said. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

RELATED: Biden: There’s ‘hatred’ behind Alabama’s photo voter ID law

Shelby County, Ala. sued the U.S. Attorney General in 2011 claiming that portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that the formula used to determine which areas were subjected to pre-clearance was unconstitutional, effectively gutting that portion of the law.

“Alabama has made tremendous progress over the past 50 years, and this decision by the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes that progress,” Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said at the time. “We will not tolerate discrimination in Alabama.”

Despite calls of racism, Alabama’s implementation of the voter ID law does not seem to have suppressed turnout.

There are currently at least 10 different types of ID that are acceptable to use at the polls (including a driver’s license) and the Secretary of State’s office also offers free Alabama photo voter ID cards and free non-driver IDs for purposes of voting.

(h/t Fox 10)

1
3 years ago

Obama administration comes after Alabama with civil rights investigation

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (Photo: Flickr user nonorganical)
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (Photo: Flickr user nonorganical)
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (Photo: Flickr user nonorganical)

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced it is launching an investigation into whether civil rights violations occurred when budget cuts resulted in the closure of 31 rural DMVs.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s administration said, in an effort to inconvenience as few people as possible, the DMV closures were targeted at areas where the offices served the fewest number of citizens. Democrats have alleged the closures were targeted at areas of the state with the highest percentage of minority residents in an effort to disenfranchise voters.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said his agency is launching its investigation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires them to ensure federal tax dollars are not being used in a discriminatory fashion when they reach state and local governments.

“Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation is making it clear that Title VI is not optional and that we will work to make sure all of its components are enforced,” said Foxx. “Driver License Offices offer essential services to the American people, including providing thousands in Alabama with a method of identification. It is critical that these services be free of discrimination, and serve the people of the state fairly and equally.”

Governor Bentley shot back, saying the investigation is politically motivated.

“Despite what the Obama Administration claims, there were no driver license offices closed in Alabama,” he said in a statement released to the press. “Despite facts to the contrary, opportunistic politicians such as Hillary Clinton have politicized an Alabama budgeting issue to serve their own agenda, going so far as to travel to our state for the sole purpose of political pandering. This USDOT investigation is nothing more than a weak attempt to embarrass the people of Alabama and exploit our state in the name of a political agenda. I am confident that the USDOT investigation will find no basis for the claims of discrimination. It is time for the Obama Administration and aspiring national politicians to listen to facts, stop wasting taxpayers’ dollars and put the political agendas away.”

The USDOT investigation comes less than a week after the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Federal court challenging Alabama’s photo voter I.D. law. The suit claims requiring voters to show photo I.D. is “discriminatory” and would disenfranchise over 250,000 Alabamians, many of them black and latino, in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“The State’s deliberate decision to enforce this discriminatory photo ID law, followed by the DMV office closures, has compelled us to take action,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. “It is appalling that sixty years after Rosa Parks’ courageous protest in Montgomery and fifty years after voting rights activists marched in Selma, the Alabama Legislature continues to pass laws that are designed to deprive people of color of their basic civil rights.”

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill rejected the suit offhand, saying photo voter I.D. is in no way a barrier to voting, much less discriminatory.

“We want to make it real easy to vote and real hard to cheat,” Secretary Merrill said in a statement. “As of today, there have been no credible reports of a lack of ability for someone to cast their vote because of this law.”

Merrill, who is responsible for administering and overseeing the state’s elections, says there will still be multiple opportunities for people in every county to obtain an I.D. — including a free state-issued voter I.D. — prior to election day.

“All 67 counties in Alabama have a Board of Registrars that issue photo voter I.D. cards,” he said. “If for some reason those citizens are not able to make it to the Board of Registrars, we’ll bring our mobile I.D. van and crew to that county.” The van has already visited every county in the state at least once this year.

Drivers licenses are just one of the many forms of identification accepted at Alabama’s polling places. Other forms of acceptable I.D. include non-driver I.D., Alabama Photo Voter I.D. card, State Issued I.D., Federal Issued I.D., U.S. Passport, Employee I.D. from the Federal Government, State of Alabama, County, Municipality, Board or other entity of Alabama, Student or employee I.D. from a public of private college or university in the State of Alabama, Military I.D., or a Tribal I.D.

In spite of the wide variety of useable forms of identification and the state’s free voter I.D. offering, many Democrats have continued to criticize the photo voter I.D. law.

At a reception in honor of Black History Month last year, Vice President Joe Biden said he hopes Congress will “modernize” the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to counter the “hatred” behind voter ID laws in Alabama, North Carolina and Texas.

“These guys never go away,” Biden said of supporters of voter I.D. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton said that “it’s a blast from the Jim Crow past” and Jesse Jackson claimed that “this new Jim Crow isn’t subtle.”

Hans A. von Spakovsky, the Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, dismisses such criticisms.

“It’s really a sign of how desperate critics of voter-ID laws are that they would raise such inflammatory, ridiculous claims,” he said. “Alabama’s new voter-ID law for both in-person and absentee voting went into effect last year. Despite the outcries that it would ‘suppress’ votes, there have been no problems or complaints that anyone has been unable to vote because of the new requirement. It’s been the same in all of the other states, such as Georgia and Indiana, that have implemented such ID laws. I’ve written numerous papers looking at turnout data in states after ID laws became effective — ID laws have no discernible effect on decreasing or preventing turnout.”


1
3 years ago

Alabama congressman would impeach ‘socialist’ Hillary Clinton on first day of her presidency

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL5)
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL5)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — During an interview with talk radio host Matt Murphy, Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL05) warned that he would move to impeach Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, should she be elected president in November of 2016. Brooks said Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State resulted in a national security breakdown that included “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

“In my judgement, with respect to Hillary Clinton, she will be a unique president if she is elected by the public next November, because the day she’s sworn in is the day that she’s subject to impeachment because she has committed high crimes and misdemeanors,” Brooks explained.

“Why do you think Joe Biden is thinking about running for president?” He later asked The Hill. “To a large degree, he’s waiting to see if Hillary Clinton gets arrested or indicted.”

Never one to shy away from bold or controversial statements, Brooks also asserted that Clinton and most other Democrats are no less socialist than self-described democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

“Hillary Clinton’s a socialist,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of Democrat elected officials in America are socialists, if you look at the definition of a socialism, which is bigger government, more intrusion into our daily affairs… greater control or management, more dictation as to what we can and cannot do with our daily lives — that’s all socialism.”

Brooks actually commended Sanders for having the courage to honestly tout his socialist beliefs, unlike the other Democrats running for president.

“Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are trying to out-promise each other with free stuff, which, of course, isn’t free,” he said. “Hopefully the voters will learn their lesson that there are real pitfalls on the economic path Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders want to take us on. It would ultimately result in the collapse of the country and then we’ll rebuild from there.”

(h/t al.com)

1
4 years ago

Alabama Republican Party offers $1,000 for proof of voter fraud

Voting Booths

The Alabama Republican Party has decided to up the ante when it comes to their ballot security operation. The ALGOP announced today that they are offering $1,000 to anyone who can provide information that directly leads to a felony conviction for voter fraud.

“‘Reward Stop Voter Fraud’ signs with our hotline number will be placed at random polling locations tomorrow and at all polling locations in November,” ALGOP Chairman Bill Armistead explained. “Poll watchers trained by ALGOP staff will also be watching to ensure that Alabama’s election laws – including the new photo voter ID law – are not being violated. Our signs and poll watchers will send a clear message to those wishing to commit voter fraud. Anyone attempting to tamper with the election process will be caught and will be prosecuted.”

Signs touting the "Stop Voter Fraud Hotline" will be placed throughout Alabama polling places.
Signs touting the “Stop Voter Fraud Hotline” will be placed throughout Alabama polling places.

Tuesday’s elections are the first in which Alabama voters must show a photo ID to receive a ballot.

Numerous types of photo IDs can be used, including an Alabama driver’s license or non-driver ID, college ID, military ID, government employee ID, federal ID or passport. However, the Alabama Secretary of State’s office said in March that roughly 250,000 adults in the state did not at that time have any form of photo identification. Those individuals were given the opportunity to a acquire a free voter ID supplied by the state.

Liberals continue to say voter ID laws are an assault on the voting rights of minorities, while conservatives say its a necessary step to ensure the sanctity of elections.


RELATED: The debate over photo voter ID rages on as Alabama’s law goes into effect


Vice President Joe Biden went as far as to say that there is “hatred” behind Alabama’s photo voter ID law.

“These guys never go away,” Biden said of supporters of voter ID. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

The Bentley Administration responded, saying that Alabama has made great progress in recent years and assured voters that they “will not tolerate discrimination in Alabama.”

True The Vote, a national organization dedicated to maintaining the integrity of U.S. elections, released some startling statistics about voter fraud recently:

  • More than 24 million voter registrations are invalid yet remain on the rolls nationally
  • More than 1.8 million dead voters are still on the rolls nationally
  • More than 2.75 million Americans are registered to vote in more than one state

Additionally, we recently learned that four counties in Alabama had more registered voters than total population.

“Every voter should be on the alert and watch for voter fraud tomorrow,” said Armistead. “Some of the most common violations include: not showing proper photo ID; voter solicitation within 30 feet of polling locations; passing out campaign literature or marked sample ballots within 30 feet of polling locations; poll worker voter intimidation and misinformation; vote buying; ballot stuffing; recording votes incorrectly; destruction or invalidation of ballots; and tampering with voting machines.”

He encouraged anyone who witnesses an instance of voter fraud to contact the voter fraud hotline at 844-AL-FRAUD (844-253-7283).


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

1
4 years ago

Three Alabama women accused of felony voter fraud

(Photo: Flickr)
(Photo: Flickr)

Three Dothan, Ala. women are facing a combined 560 years in prison if they are convicted and given the maximum sentence for 56 counts of felony voter fraud.

Olivia Lee Reynolds, 65, Lesa Renee Coleman, 49, and Janice Lee Hart, 63, were arrested late last week following an investigation into irregularities in the City of Dothan elections that took place last August.

Houston Co. Sheriff Andy Hughes said his office investigated a voter fraud complaint and found that the three women had created false ballots, filled them out and cast them in an attempt to sway the elections.

It appears that their efforts may have affected the results of at least one race on the ballot.

According to WTVY, “These arrests come after the Houston County Sheriff’s Office conducted 96 interviews in the wake of the August 6th Election. The results of that election were called into question, after Amos Newsome narrowly beat Lamesa Danzey to retain his Dothan City Commission District 2 seat.”

119 of the 124 (96%) absentee ballots cast in the election were for Newsome, who edged out Danzey by a total vote count of 362 to 348 (51% – 49%).

Reyonolds faces 26 counts of felony voter fraud, Coleman faces 20 counts and Hart 10. Each count carries with it a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The charges come at a time when the State of Alabama is gearing up to implement its controversial new voter ID law.


RELATED: Biden: There’s ‘hatred’ behind Alabama’s photo voter ID law


Republicans delivered on a campaign promise in 2011 by passing a law requiring Alabama voters to show a photo ID before being allowed to vote. The law finally goes into effect for this year’s primary elections, which are set to take place June 3.

Numerous types of photo IDs can be used by voters, including an Alabama driver’s license or non-driver ID, college ID, military ID, government employee ID, federal ID or passport. However, the Alabama Secretary of State’s office said in March that they believe as many as 250,000 adults in the state do not currently have any form of photo identification.

For individuals without a photo ID, the State of Alabama is offering a free voter ID, which can be obtained at any local county board of registrars’ or Dept. of Public Safety office or at the secretary of state’s headquarters in Montgomery. Forms of non-photo ID that can be used to obtain a free photo ID include most IDs with a person’s full legal name and date of birth. Fishing and hunting licenses, social security cards, birth certificates, marriage records, military records, Medicaid and Medicare documents and school transcripts are all acceptable.

Vans from the secretary of state’s office have also been fanning out across the state to deliver IDs to individuals who cannot make it to the local offices.

But even as Alabama’s photo ID law goes into effect, the national debate surrounding voter ID rages on.

Liberals continue to say voter ID laws are an assault on the voting rights of minorities.

The United States Justice Department is currently suing North Carolina and Texas in an attempt to block their voter ID laws, arguing they discriminate against minorities.

“These guys never go away,” Vice President Joe Biden said of supporters of voter ID. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

Meanwhile, conservatives say photo voter ID is a necessary step to ensure the sanctity of elections, although it likely would not have been helpful in Dothan where individuals took advantage of the absentee ballot process.

Do you support Alabama’s new voter ID law? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting @YHPolitics.


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

1
4 years ago

Top 8 quotes from Sessions’ immigration stemwinder on the Senate floor

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., took to the floor of the United States Senate on Thursday and delivered one of his most passionate speeches yet in defense of the rule of law with regard to America’s immigration policies.

Sessions isn’t a newcomer to holding court on the floor of The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. As a matter of fact, even though Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul got more attention in 2013 for their senate talkathons, Sen. Sessions actually clocked the most hours of talk time on the floor over the last 12 months — even surpassing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who opens and closes each session.

Senate Bar Graph

On Thursday, it was less about the length of Sessions’ remarks, and more about the pointed rhetoric he was utilizing to eviscerate the Obama Administration’s complete lack of enforcement when it comes to the nation’s immigration laws.

The full five-and-a-half minute video is well worth your time and can be viewed above, but here is a lightly edited transcript of Sessions’ remarks, with the top 8 quotes numbered and highlighted.

YH Jeff Sessions 1

So this is open borders. If you get past the border, get into the interior, you go to St. Louis, go to Salt Lake City, you got to Little Rock, Arkansas, then you can just stay. That cannot be the policy of the United States of America. 1. It just cannot be the policy of a nation who expects its laws to be respected that if you can get past the border, or if you can get a visa into the country and overstay, nobody is going to have any intention of removing you or enforcing the agreement you made.

Attorney General Holder and Cecilia Muñoz, who’s the president’s policy person on immigration… they’ve described amnesty as a civil right. 2. So you come into the country illegally and the Attorney General of the United States declares that these individuals have a civil right to amnesty. How can this possibly be the chief law enforcement officer in America?

3. Vice President Biden recently said, ‘You know, 11 million people live in the shadows. I believe they’re already American citizens.’ 11 million undocumented aliens are already Americans? Goodness! The Vice President of the United States would make such a statement? It’s stunning beyond belief.

YH Jeff Sessions 2

Apparently somebody whose visa is up and they were due to get on an airplane yesterday, and they read the Vice President’s statement and say, ‘Well, I’ll just stay. Why would I go back now? I kind of like this place. If I go back I’ll have to wait in line. I’ll have to compete within the system like everybody else who comes lawfully. But I’m here, I’m just not going to leave.’ Is it any wonder why we have more people staying?

4. We’ll just ignore the law when there’s a company down the street in an area of high unemployment and they’ve got five employees working illegally. Those would not be removed. They would be allowed to stay and just continue to work unlawfully. And Americans who can’t get a job would be drawing unemployment insurance or other subsidies. This is happening all over America.

More than two-thirds of all ICE removals last year were border apprehensions… 5. 94 percent of the people removed last year were either apprehended at the border, which is not a true deportation, or were convicted of a crime while in the United States. Do you hear that, colleagues? 94 percent of the people removed were either captured at the border, or had committed a serious crime. And most of the rest were repeat violators or fugitives who had been arrested on a fugitive warrant.

6. So, 99.9 percent of the 12 million illegal immigrants and visa overstays without known crimes on their record, including those fleeing from authorities, did not face removal last year.

YH Jeff Sessions

7. If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero. It’s just not going to happen. Now that’s the truth. I was a federal prosecutor. I know how the system works. I’ve worked with ICE officers and border patrol officers and prosecuted their cases. This is what the reality is.

If an individual has false documents, which is a felony for American citizens, that doesn’t count as a deportable crime. It’s only a drug dealing or a crime of violence or some robbery under the policies that we’re carrying out. 8. So it just goes to show that our law enforcement system is in a state of collapse. It’s a deliberate plan by the President of the United States and it’s wrong. And people need to be aware of it and need to stand up to it, and I think the American people are beginning to do so.

Clap 1

Clap 2

Clap 3

Clap 4

Clap 5


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

1
4 years ago

The debate over photo voter ID rages on as Alabama’s law goes into effect

Voting Booths

Republicans delivered on a campaign promise in 2011 by passing a law requiring Alabama voters to show a photo ID before being allowed to vote. The law finally goes into effect for this year’s primary elections, which are set to take place June 3.

Numerous types of photo IDs can be used by voters, including an Alabama driver’s license or non-driver ID, college ID, military ID, government employee ID, federal ID or passport. However, the Alabama Secretary of State’s office said today that they believe roughly 250,000 adults in the state do not currently have any form of photo identification.

For those folks, the State of Alabama is offering a free voter ID, which can be obtained at any local county board of registrars’ or Dept. of Public Safety office or at the secretary of state’s headquarters in Montgomery. Forms of non-photo ID that can be used to obtain a free photo ID include most IDs with a person’s full legal name and date of birth. Fishing and hunting licenses, social security cards, birth certificates, marriage records, military records, Medicaid and Medicare documents and school transcripts are all acceptable.

Vans from the secretary of state’s office will also be fanning out across the state in the coming weeks to deliver IDs to individuals who cannot make it to the local offices. A schedule for the van deployments will be released in the days ahead.

But even as Alabama’s photo ID law goes into effect, the national debate surrounding the politics behind voter ID rages on.

Liberals continue to say voter ID laws are an assault on the voting rights of minorities, while conservatives say its a necessary step to ensure the sanctity of elections.

Here’s a brief timeline of some notable voter-ID related events that have taken place over the last couple of years.

• On June 10, 2011, the Alabama legislature on the final day of the 2011 session passed a law requiring Alabamians to show photo ID at the polls before voting.

• On March 5, 2012, a large crowd of Alabamians led by MSNBC pundit and renowned race baiter Al Sharpton protested the voter ID law.

“How do you justify Alabama’s new voter laws when widespread fraud just doesn’t exist?” Sharpton asked Republican State Rep. Jay Love.

“Well, I’ll disagree with you, in the last three years, we’ve had three people convicted of voter fraud in Alabama,” Love responded.

“Thousands of those people can’t vote because of three people in the last three years?” Sharpton shot back. “Because they don`t have state ID, they don’t drive, they don’t have passports. They will not be able to vote.”

Love rebutted, “I don’t know of anybody that will be denied the right to vote. And we provide a free state ID in Alabama for those individuals that don’t have a driver’s license.”

• On March 12, 2012, the US Justice Department blocked a photo ID law from going into effect in Texas.

“There is no proof that our elections are marred by in-person voter fraud,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.

• On April 9, 2012, James O’Keefe, a conservative activists well known for his unique brand hidden-camera journalism, posted a video proving he could easily get poll workers to give him ballots for political celebrities.

“You’re on our list and that’s who you say you are — so you’re ok,” a polling work told O’Keefe as he attempted to vote as “Eric Holder.”

• On August 28, 2012, 1,431 votes were cast in a municipal election in Uniontown, Ala., which only had 1,140 people over the age of 18 living in the town at the time.

When asked by the Tuscaloosa News about the number of registered voters compared with the town’s population, the Uniontown city clerk and election manager replied, “I haven’t given it a thought.”

• On June 17, 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled that states cannot require proof of citizenship for an individual to be added to the voter rolls.

“[This] Court ruling marks an important victory for voters… across the nation whose right to vote has been under attack with discriminatory voter identification laws that have been enacted in states like Arizona, Alabama and Georgia,” U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-AL07, said in a statement after the ruling.

• But barely a week later, On June 25, 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional in Shelby County v. Holder. That ruling freed from federal oversight states that previously had to have changes to their voting laws cleared by the US Justice Department, effectively ending the Obama DOJ’s fight against state voter ID laws.

“The Alabama of today is vastly different than the one of a half century ago, and the time for us to be freed from the burden of federal oversight is long overdue,” Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard said in reaction to the Court’s ruling. “Today’s ruling clearly states that our constitutional rights as Alabamians take precedence over the wants and whims of liberal Justice Department bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. Starting today, Alabama will be able determine its own destiny when it comes to campaigns, elections and voting procedures in our state.”

• On Feb. 25, 2014, Vice President Joe Biden said he hopes Congress will “modernize” the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to counter the “hatred” behind voter ID laws in Alabama, North Carolina and Texas.

“These guys never go away,” Biden said of supporters of voter ID. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

What do you think? Are voter ID laws needed in Alabama, or are the discriminatory?

Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

1
4 years ago

Ala. House Speaker hammers VP Biden for photo voter ID comments

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn
Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn

At a reception in honor of Black History Month on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden said he hopes Congress will “modernize” the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to counter the “hatred” behind voter ID laws in Alabama, North Carolina and Texas.

“These guys never go away,” Biden said of supporters of voter ID. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard responded to Biden’s comments today, suggesting the vice president and the rest of the Obama Administration concentrate on fixing the ObamaCare “disaster” and leave Alabama’s elections to the state. Hubbard also made it clear that “hatred” had nothing to do with the passage of Alabama’s photo voter ID law.

“The only things we hate in Alabama are voter fraud and liberal politicians in Washington, D.C. trying to tell us how to run our state,” Hubbard told Yellowhammer. “There is nothing more sacred than the right to vote and we’re doing everything we can to protect that right for citizens of all colors. Seems to me like Joe Biden and the rest of the Obama Administration need to be focused on fixing the disaster that is ObamaCare and reining in Washington’s out-of-control spending. If Obama and Biden can’t even get a website to work, why would we take advice from them on how to run our elections?”

Alabama’s photo voter ID law kicks in this year, but voters without photo identification have two options to get a free ID to meet the requirement. They can either go to the Dept. of Public Safety office in their county and acquire a free non-drivers ID card or go to their local Board of Registrars office to get a free photo ID there.

The United States Justice Department is currently suing North Carolina and Texas in an attempt to block their voter ID laws, arguing they discriminate against minorities.


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

1
4 years ago

Biden: There’s ‘hatred’ behind Alabama’s photo voter ID law

Vice President Joe Biden during a vice presidential debate on Oct. 11, 2012
Vice President Joe Biden during a vice presidential debate on Oct. 11, 2012

At a reception in honor of Black History Month on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden said he hopes Congress will “modernize” the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to counter the “hatred” behind voter ID laws in Alabama, North Carolina and Texas.

Alabama’s photo voter ID law kicks in this year, but voters without photo identification have two options to get a free ID to meet the requirement. They can either go to the Dept. of Public Safety office in their county and acquire a free non-drivers ID card or go to their local Board of Registrars office to get a free photo ID there.

The United States Justice Department is currently suing North Carolina and Texas in an attempt to block their voter ID laws, arguing they discriminate against minorities.

“These guys never go away,” Biden said of supporters of voter ID. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

Alabama has played a significant role in the history of U.S. voting laws.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed in response to racial discrimination in voting, which was prevalent in Alabama and other areas of the country for decades. Section 5 of the Act required certain states and local governments with a history of discrimination to receive “pre-clearance” by the U.S. Attorney General or a panel of U.S. District Court judges before making any changes to their voting laws or practices.

Shelby County, Ala. sued the U.S. Attorney General in 2011 claiming that portions of the Act were unconstitutional. The case ultimately made its way to the Supreme Court last year. The Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that the formula used to determine which areas were subjected to pre-clearance was unconstitutional, effectively gutting the law.

“Alabama has made tremendous progress over the past 50 years, and this decision by the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes that progress,” Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said at the time. “We will not tolerate discrimination in Alabama.”

But a group of federal lawmakers in January introduced a bill in response to the Court’s decision. Vice President Biden said on Tuesday that he hopes it will pass.

“This fight has been too long, this fight has been too hard, to do anything other than win,” he said.


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

1
4 years ago

Alabama Congressmen hang with Willie from Duck Dynasty at State of the Union Address

The State of the Union address has devolved into little more than a pep rally these days. The president was interrupted 85 times for applause during his speech.

But there were some cool moments as well.

America was introduced to Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who was badly wounded during his tenth — yes, TENTH — deployment. He lay in a coma for months, then fought his way back to health through hours of grueling rehab every day. Remsburg was invited by the President to attend the State of the Union address and got a well-deserved standing ovation from everyone in attendance, not to mention the unending thanks of a grateful nation.

Then there was that crazy, possibly drunk guy behind the pre… wait, what? That was the Joe Biden? Never, ever change, Mr. Vice President.

But the biggest star in a room full of people who think they’re stars was probably Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister invited the bandana’d reality TV star and his wife, Korie, to accompany him to the festivities.

At least three Alabama Congressman had their pictures snapped with the self-proclaimed “redneck millionaire” and his better half.

Rep. Martha Roby

Martha Roby and the Robertsons

Rep. Bradley Byrne

Bradley Byrne Willie Robertson

Rep. Mo Brooks

Mo Brooks and the Robertsons


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

1
5 years ago

Ryan bemoans 2012 loss, leaves 2016 door cracked

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin

Paul Ryan admitted it took him a good six months to get over his loss to President Obama and Joe Biden.

And a year later, the wounds on the former GOP vice presidential nominee still seem raw.

At a fundraiser for Gov. Terry Branstad in Iowa Saturday night, the Wisconsin congressman bemoaned the 2012 defeat in a dull and, at times, awkward speech that failed to extract the rapturous reaction one would expect for a rising star or potential 2016 presidential candidate.

Perhaps the crowd caught a bit of the 2012 bug Ryan was still carrying.

“We were in a funk for a good six months because we made mistakes,” he acknowledged, adding that it was “obviously very frustrating.”

“I think one of the problems that Mitt and I had was we were arguing against big government in theory  We had to campaign against big government in theory,” he argued, noting that most of the provisions of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank didn’t begin getting implemented until 2013.  ”Here’s the difference now, we’ve got big government in practice.  And what we are realizing is that the results are nothing close to what was used to sell it,” he argued.

Obama carried Iowa by 5 points.

“Next time you have a famous politician coming through Iowa, breezing through the towns, talking about big government, let’s be a little more skeptical,” Ryan said, as if the mostly Republican audience he was speaking to had voted to reelect the president.

The visit marked Ryan’s first stop to the Hawkeye State since 2012.  For most of this year, Ryan has made few moves that would telegraph he’s plotting a White House campaign, instead focusing on governing.  He’s been tasked by Republicans to try to hammer out a budget agreement by Dec. 13.

Ryan took several shots at the widespread problems plaguing the health care law and prodded GOP activists to defeat Rep. Bruce Braley in the 2014 Senate race as punishment for his vote on the legislation.  Yet in a rare forward-looking snippet of the speech, he said Republicans must show Americans that they are “not just the opposition party, but the proposition party.”

In addition to Branstad, Ryan name-checked and thanked Rep. Tom Latham and Sen. Chuck Grassley but did not mention Rep. Steve King, the most vocally conservative member of the delegation.

“Maybe we should come back and do this more often. People are really friendly here,” Ryan said, in a hint that was clearly meant to signal he’s keeping the presidential door open.

He could’ve used a few more friendly folks in the room tonight.


Follow Dave’s blog at TheRun2016.com

1
5 years ago

Christie rises in national poll

Gov. Chris Christie, R-New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie, R-New Jersey

Ted Cruz’s 21-hour pseudo-filibuster handed him a moment that vaulted him to the top of the polling pack.

Now it’s Chris Christie’s turn at the top.

Except that his reward is the first public general election poll of 2016 showing Hillary Clinton trailing.

Quinnipiac University, which dove into the field the day after Christie’s 22-point reelection victory, places the New Jersey governor ahead of the former Secretary of State by 1 point, 43 percent to 42 percent.

The best number contained in the poll for Christie is his support among independents. He wins them by 16 points.  And even his gender gap against Clinton isn’t atrocious.  He only trails Clinton by 9 among the fairer sex.

Christie carries middle and upper income folks and performs better with older voters than younger.

But this survey shows him garnering more crossover appeal than Clinton. For instance, whereas only 20 percent of Republicans believe Clinton would make a good president, 37 percent of Democrats say the same about Christie.

More than a third of African-Americans and 40 percent of Hispanics also think Christie would be a reputable commander in chief.

This is clearly Christie’s bump month.

Remember that it was just October when he trailed Clinton by 13 points nationally, so the first test of Christie’s staying power will come in the December Quinnipiac survey.

Other tidbits buried in the national Quinnipiac poll:

  • In the midst of his plagiarism scandal, Rand Paul remains just as competitive against Hillary Clinton as Paul Ryan.  They both lose by 9 points.
  • Just 25 percent of respondents believe Joe Biden would make a good president.  That’s just a point better than Ted Cruz.  Even more troubling for Biden, only 51 percent of DEMOCRATS say yes to that question. 
  • On Cruz, 3 percent of Democrats think he’d do the job well.
  • Twenty-one percent of Republicans have an unfavorable opinion of the tea party.

Follow Dave’s blog at TheRun2016.com

1
5 years ago

Hillary goes after Biden for opposing Bin Laden raid

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton repeatedly mentioned Vice President Joe Biden’s opposition to the raid that killed Osama bin Laden during a speech in Atlanta, marking the first time she’s directly engaged her potential Democratic rival in a public setting since leaving the State Department, according to an account in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Her remarks at the National Association of Convenience Stores were relayed to the newspaper by a Republican state lawmaker, who is now convinced Clinton is running for president in 2016.

No ears reported any mention of whatever 2016 ambitions Clinton might have. But state Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody, said the former first lady dropped a huge hint. “I know she’s running for president now, because toward the end, she was asked about the Osama bin Laden raid. She took 25 minutes to answer,” Taylor said. “Without turning the knife too deeply, she put it to [Vice President Joe] Biden.”

Time and time again, Taylor said, Clinton mentioned the vice president’s opposition to the raid, while characterizing herself and Leon Panetta, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as the action’s most fierce advocates.

For Clinton to place herself firmly in the corner of the raid advocates makes sense, given she was asked the question.  What’s surprising and a bit perplexing is why she felt the need to tweak Biden repeatedly, if Taylor’s interpretation is accurate.

National and early state polling has consistently shown she flies 50-points ahead of the vice president and most Democrats believe Biden will ultimately take a pass at the race if Hillary is a go.

Perhaps this is a preview of a more aggressive Clinton,  one who is unwilling to take anything for granted after her searing 2008 experience. Or maybe it was an opening shot across the bow to Biden and his team, who back in August, appeared to pitch the Wall Street Journal on a piece positing he could defeat Clinton.

The piece seemed to be more about reaching for a 2016-scoop than laying out a compelling rationale.

But Hillary’s remarks in Atlanta could be interpreted as the retort:  Good luck with that Joe.  Batter up.


Follow Dave’s blog at TheRun2016.com

1
5 years ago

4 takeaways from the most recent 2016 presidential poll

2016ers

Hillary Clinton’s Democratic primary lead over Vice President Joe Biden is measured at 50 points while Rand Paul hangs tough in the muddled slog on the Republican side.

Here are 4 quick takeaways summarizing what you need to know from the latest national 2016 Quinnipiac University poll:

  1. The Cruz Boom Is Real – At least for the moment.  Public Policy Polling found an 8-point surge for Ted Cruz nationally among Republicans last week in the wake of his Obamacare filibuster.  Quinnipiac wasn’t even polling him back in April and now pegs him at 10 percent, which is only good enough for a fifth place tie.  Watch that gender gap though; Men prefer Cruz over women 13 percent to 7 percent.
  2. No Depth To The Democratic Field — Consider that Quinnipiac tracked six Republican contenders in double-digits without even including Rick Perry or Rick Santorum.  On the Democratic side, only Hillary and Biden secured double-digits and the Veep, just by the skin of his teeth, with 11 percent.  Three of the Democrats included — Mark Warner, Martin O’Malley and Deval Patrick — basically amounted to asterisks.  It’s not even Hillary or Biden or bust, it’s really only Hillary or bust for the Dems.
  3. Ryan & Rubio In Decline – While Rand Paul gained a nominal two points to inch him up to 17 percent, both Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Marco Rubio experienced the biggest declines in their party since the spring.  The Florida freshman has dropped from 19 percent to 12 percent while the Wisconsin budget chairman has fallen from 17 percent to 10 percent.  Those are two 7 point drops outside the margin of error.
  4. Even Chris Christie Is Undefined – Those of us immersed in the day-to-day scrum of politics may find this astounding — but more than a third of national voters no real opinion of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.  While he’s the only GOPer to hold a net favorable rating — 40 percent to 22 percent — a full 36 percent say they haven’t heard enough to form an opinion.   Perhaps that’ can be attributed to his 13 point deficit to Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical, largely meaningless general election match-up.

Follow Dave’s blog at TheRun2016.com

1
5 years ago

CNN’s 2016 poll: Christie & Rand top the list of GOP presidential hopefuls

Chris Christie and Rand Paul

CNN is out with new national 2016 polling Monday, the first set of numbers to be produced this fall.

Here are Yellowhammer’s 4 key takeaways:

  1. It’s a Christie-Rand race right now . . . There continues to be no strong front-runner on the Republican side, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are at the top of the pack and separated by just 4 points (17%-13%) in a survey that has a margin of error of 4.5 points.  (This phenomenon was forecast by The RUN earlier this month.)  Yes, Rep. Paul Ryan is second.  But that number is likely a bit inflated because of his presence on the 2012 ticket and the Wisconsin congressman has done little this year to show he’s intent on a 2016 bid.
  2. Rubio’s in single digits . . . As CNN’s Paul Steinhauser notes, the Florida freshman was registering double-digit numbers in other polling earlier this year.  Now Marco Rubio is at 9 percent,  at the bottom of the pack with Ted Cruz, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. A summer consumed with immigration has taken its toll.  The next phase will be watching how he plans to rebound.
  3. Ryan has the most even support . . . If Paul Ryan were to run, one of his arguments could be that he’s a candidate who satisfies the conservative base but is also able to reach out to swing voters.  The CNN-ORC survey finds that of all the Republicans, Ryan’s support is the most balanced between conservatives and moderates.  Ryan nets 17 percent of moderates and 16 percent of conservatives — a gap of only 1 point.  Compare that to Christie’s 20 point gap between moderate (28 percent) and conservative (8 percent) support and Paul’s 7 point gap (moderates: 9 percent, conservatives 16 percent).
  4.  Liberals prefer Warren over Biden . .. On the Democratic side, it’s still Hillary and all the rest — her lead over the vice president is 55 points.  But the crosstabs reveal the potency of an Elizabeth Warren candidacy with the left.  Warren is third overall and in most categories, but among liberals she beats Biden 12 percent to 5 percent.

Follow Dave’s blog at TheRun2016.com

1
5 years ago

Virginia gap: Biden trails Christie

YH Joe Biden

Contributor Ellie Cohen dove into Joe Biden’s polling problem last week, highlighting how his nomination would increase the odds of Republicans taking back the White House in 2016.

There’s new evidence out of Virginia — part of the Holy Trinity of battleground states — that lends more credence to the case.

In hypothetical match-ups against Chris Christie — one of the most electable GOPers considering a run — Hillary Clinton holds a notable advantage over the New Jersey governor whereas Biden trails him, according to Quinnipiac:

(INTRO Q9-16: Thinking far ahead to the 2016 election for President… ) If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and Chris Christie the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk

Clinton              46%     6%    90%    36%    40%    53%    38%    77%
Christie             37     84      2     41     42     33     46     11
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       4      2      -      6      6      2      4      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      4      1      7      6      3      5      -
DK/NA                 8      3      6     10      7      9      7     1
10. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Joe Biden the Democrat and Chris Christie the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk

Biden                37%     3%    79%    28%    34%    40%    28%    66%
Christie             44     88      9     47     47     42     54     14
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       5      2      1      7      7      3      4      3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      3      1      6      5      3      4      1
DK/NA                10      3     10     12      8     12      9     16

The favorabilty gap between the two most prominent Democratic ’16ers is 9 points among Virginians, with Hillary at 57 percent and Biden at 48 percent — a number that’s not coincidentally, the same as President Obama’s.

It appears that Clinton got the better end of the deal as far as their futures go.  If Hillary was selected as Obama’s VEEP — as was contemplated and encouraged by many of her fans —  it’s likely she would be suffering from the ramifications of a second term slump as well.

Biden’s polling trails Clinton’s virtually everywhere in the country at this point, but it would help his case if he could say he’s at least matching Hillary in the most important states.  The facts eliminate that argument from his arsenal.


Follow Dave’s blog at TheRun2016.com

1
5 years ago

EPA chief buries head in sand, says there is ‘no war on coal’

YH Gina McCarthy

Has new EPA chief Gina McCarthy had her head buried in the sand for the last five years?

Remember in 2008 when President Obama while discussing his plan to cap carbon emissions from fossil fuels plants, said, “Under my plan…electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket”? Or when Vice President Biden while ranting to an environmental activist on the campaign trail said, completely in context, “No coal plants in America!” … Or how about when the President’s science adviser Daniel P. Schrag said, “the one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants…a war on coal is exactly what’s needed”?

There’s irrefutable evidence that the Obama Administration is waging a very calculated, very public war on the entire fossil fuels industry — especially coal.

Yet yesterday, Ms. McCarthy told the New York Times today that, “We don’t have a war on coal. We’re doing our business, which is to reduce pollution. We’re following the law.”

The Hill correctly shot back that “the EPA in recent years has churned out rules that impose new requirements on coal-fired power plants, and there’s more to come, including planned carbon emissions standards.” In other words, the so-called “War on Coal” was going on long before McCarthy rose to the top of the EPA. And according the the New York Times, McCarthy’s history suggests she will be taking the war to a new level.

The Times laid out a list of environmental policies pushed by McCarthy in recent years, many of which were so radical that even the Obama Administration wouldn’t adopt them. Among them were tougher greenhouse gas standards for cars, a tighter ozone limit that even the Obama White House flat out rejected, new regulations on smokestack pollution that crosses state lines, which was blocked in federal court, and more.

So, no, McCarthy’s head was not buried in the sand the last several years. She was so busy being even more radical than the Obama Administration that she hardly even noticed what they were doing.

But don’t think for one second that the Administration is going to ask her to tone it down.

“The president told Ms. McCarthy that his environmental and presidential legacy would be incomplete without a serious effort to address climate change,” The Times wrote yesterday. “I’m so glad he said that, because if he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have wanted this job,” McCarthy said in response.

Once McCarthy knew she was being given the EPA’s 17,000 person army and the support of the Administration to wage full scale war on fossil fuels, Obama appointed her in what the Times referred to as an “act of defiance to Congressional and industry opponents of meaningful action on climate change.”

In other words, “Once more unto the breach, dear friends!”

1