The Wire

  • Three takeaways from Alabama’s Runoff Election


    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


    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.”

7 months ago

Lee Busby: ‘Whenever you don’t know what to do, do the right thing’

Lee Busby for Senate write-in sign, U.S. Hwy. 72, Huntsville (Yellowhammer)
Lee Busby for Senate write-in sign, U.S. Hwy. 72, Huntsville (Yellowhammer)


Politics has never been my thing, but as a life-long conservative and someone who has served my country for over three decades, I care deeply about Alabama, and the mess we’re in right now.

Discouraged by my choices for who we send to represent us and our values to Washington, I felt I had to do something, and sitting an election out is – to me – a disservice to all those who sacrificed much for our democracy.

So I stepped forward myself as an alternative.

In the two weeks since I’ve thrown my hat in the ring as a write-in candidate, I’ve been called a lot of things.

Some people say I’m an operative for Mitch McConnell, others say I’m an agent for the Democrats.

Neither of these is correct – if I’m an operative or an agent, it’s for the people of Alabama.

Consider the math. John Merrill predicts that only 18-25 percent of registered voters will go to the polls on Tuesday. Where does that leave the other 75-82 percent?

Last November, 62 percent of us turned out to vote, mostly for Donald Trump. A substantial drop in civic participation – even in a special election in an off-year – is a problem, and it’s happening for a reason. The poisonous negativity of this election repels so many people that it seems like little more than a race to the bottom, and that doesn’t seem to fit the Alabama I know.

When trolls on my Facebook page suggest I’m trying to steal votes from Roy Moore or Doug Jones, they’ve got it wrong. After all, their respective pools aren’t very large. I have no disrespect for anyone who is voting for either, and I know both have committed supporters who believe in either candidate.

It’s the 75-82 percent I’m worried about, in part because I’m one of them and so are most people I know.

The issues that matter to me haven’t come up in this campaign. Those are jobs, and how to create more and better opportunities for young Alabamians.

As the only candidate in this race with a private sector background – from working a factory floor, to investment manager, to entrepreneur – I am concerned about the effects of unfair trade and have some practical ideas about what it takes for all Alabamians to do a little better.

And while plenty has been said in this campaign about all manner of sordidness, whether true or false, the things that matter to me and my family and my neighbors have been ignored.

There’s been plenty of talk about what’s wrong, and who is to blame, but nary a word about what to do about it. Whether the problem is corruption or moral turpitude, the solution is the same: having the courage to stand to those who would bully us into silence, inaction, or choosing the lesser of two evils.

As a commanding officer told me when I was a young Marine, “whenever you don’t know what to do, do the right thing.”

Many Alabamians I know are facing this quandary right now.

Too many won’t vote on Tuesday because they’re fed up, disheartened or disgusted by the choices.

The very least I can do is offer an alternative.

Whatever happens on Tuesday, one thing is clear: we need to fix the way we select and elect candidates for office in our state.

It’s always been my belief that politics shouldn’t just be a serious of stepping-stones, but rather an outlet for service, and one that draws from all professions – with no disrespect to the lawyers who disproportionately fill the halls of Congress today.

Lay people should have a voice too, especially from Alabama.

There are too many people out there tell folks who to vote for on Tuesday, and I’m not going to join that chorus.

Deep down, I believe people are smart and can make their own decision.

All I ask is that my fellow Alabamians do vote.

Vote for what is in your heart.

It’s not about the odds and it’s not the parties. Instead, it’s about what is good for Alabama and how, when this is over, we can all keep move forward with our heads held high and no regrets to keep us up at night.

Lee Busby, a retired Marine colonel, is a write-in candidate for U.S. Senate. For more about his background and positions, see

(Guest Opinion)

8 months ago

Oorah! Alabama Marine launches write-in candidacy against Roy Moore and Doug Jones

Retired Colonel Lee Busby (Southern Living/YouTube)
Retired Colonel Lee Busby (Southern Living/YouTube)


A retired Marine Corps colonel from Tuscaloosa has launched a long shot write-in campaign seeking to outflank Roy Moore and Doug Jones in next month’s special election, reported the Washington Post.

“I just don’t believe that either one of them are qualified to be in the U.S. Senate,” said retired Colonel Lee Busby, 60, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why this matters: Busby could mean real trouble for Moore, whose lead has narrowed to single digits in recent days. Though Busby is unlikely to win, his credentials and beliefs may provide a justifiable option for some GOP voters who feel they cannot vote for Moore but who would never vote for a pro-abortion rights candidate like Jones.

The details:

— Lee once served as an aide to White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly when both were on active duty.

— He told the newspaper that he voted for moderate Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the last presidential primary and then Donald Trump in the general.

— Lee told the Post that he attended a fundraiser for Jones earlier this year but didn’t contribute.

— The colonel said he supports lowering taxes, repealing Obamacare and restricting abortion.

— He said that life begins at conception, adding that “at some point, (the fetus) becomes a human life … and you have to protect those who can’t protect themselves.”