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6 months ago

‘Women for Kavanaugh’ bus tour visits Alabama in support of President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee

HOOVER – Concerned Women for America’s eight-state bus tour made a much-anticipated stop in Alabama on Thursday, with citizens from around the state assembling in Hoover to voice their unequivocal support of President Donald Trump’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court — Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Approximately one hundred Alabamians, men and women, were in attendance for this “Women for Kavanaugh” rally organized by Concerned Women for America (CWA), a national Christian women’s organization.

CWA is encouraging Alabama voters, especially females, to reach out to Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) and voice support for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) voiced his strong support for the nominee’s confirmation after meeting with him recently, but Alabama’s junior senator is still undecided.

Alabama Republican Party Chair Terry Lathan has repeatedly called on Jones to listen to the majority of his constituents and vote to confirm the nominee, including at a rally in Mobile last week.

Jones recently, talking about efforts to urge him to vote one way or the other, said, “It’s silly. It’s a waste of time.”

Thursday, leaders from CWA and the Birmingham metro area, along with hardworking Alabamians who sacrificed their lunch hour to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation, urged Jones to listen. One Republican elected official summarized their ask best, saying Jones “needs to be in line with the very fiber of this state and vote for Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.”
The rally occurred in front of a bus, which is owned and operated by an Alabamian and emblazoned with the phrase “Another Great Justice.” Former state Rep. Paul DeMarco kicked things off and called on Shelby County Republican Chair Joan Reynolds to open the program with prayer. Following the prayer, Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Anderton led the large crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and a local resident sang a powerful rendition of the National Anthem.

Then, the CWA’s National Field Director, Janae Stracke, got down to the heart of the matter and discussed how pivotal the Supreme Court is to the nation and “generations and generations” to come.

Stracke outlined to the crowd what happened after the late Justice Antonin Scalia – “a true constitutionalist” – passed away in 2016. The CWA immediately called an emergency meeting and got to work, helping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to ensure that an excellent jurist would fill the “pivotal” vacancy.

This occurred as the 2016 election cycle was in full swing, and Stracke acknowledged that the Supreme Court was the main reason many Americans voted for Donald Trump, citing a statistic that one-in-five “voted because of the Supreme Court.”

Stracke explained that Trump was the only presidential candidate in history to release a list of potential judicial nominees – an action that she praised extensively. She told the crowd that then-candidate Trump “gave people hope and trust of knowing exactly what they were going to get.”

For the CWA, this is exactly what Trump has done. He kept his promise to them first by nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace Scalia and now again with Judge Kavanaugh.

“We finally have someone that says, ‘this is what I’m going to do,’ and then does it,” Stracke said.

It is a time of great excitement for conservatives nationwide, with Stracke calling the opportunity to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy with Kavanaugh, “a gift from God, an answer to prayer, and a blessing.”

She also warned Alabamians to beware of contrived opposition to the confirmation, reminding the crowd that liberals were already saying they would oppose President Trump’s nominee even before Kavanaugh was chosen.

“We couldn’t ask for a better nominee,” Stracke emphasized.

She went through a litany of positive traits about Kavanaugh, including his status as a “family man,” intellectual giant and judge who applies the law as written.

After Stracke spoke, state Rep. Jim Carns gave a brief address. Carns was the Trump campaign’s Alabama Co-Chair and on the stage for the famous, early Mobile rally that acted as a springboard to his candidacy.

Carns raved about Trump’s performance since assuming office and listed off some of his accomplishments, including over four percent GDP growth, a “soaring” stock market, record lows in unemployment and ending burdensome, job-killing regulations from the Obama Administration.

“However, I have to give the [Democrats] credit, because they did do one thing,” Carns said, drawing the crowd in.

“They stopped us having plastic straws,” Carns continued, as laughter erupted. “That’s their claim to victory.”

Carns then joined in the mounting calls for Jones to confirm Trump’s nominee, saying the recently-elected Alabama senator “needs to be in line with the very fiber of this state and vote for Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.”

The keynote speech of the day was delivered by Penny Nance, CWA’s CEO and president. She started by thanking DeMarco for helping to put the event together and transitioned into an inspiring speech on the importance of grassroots advocacy.

“Ladies – this is your moment,” Nance said, rallying the dozens of Alabama women in attendance.

She spoke extensively about the importance of women’s voices being heard in modern America, alluding to the fact that the mainstream media does not celebrate Christian women’s perspectives, but instead elevates the Hollywood idea of what a woman should be.

“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I’m a Christian does make me a different kind of woman,” Nance emphasized.

Nance, a prominent national voice who frequently appears on Fox News as a guest, talked about how important confirming Kavanaugh is to the nation’s present and future.

“The question is whether we’ll be the constitutionally driven, proudly patriotic nation that our Founding Fathers fought for … or whether we’ll fade to the left and become more of a European, socialist nation,” Nance warned.

She and Stracke repeatedly expressed that CWA only supports constitutionalist nominees. Nance even added that they want nominees “who want to be judges, not senators.” From their perspective, Kavanaugh is “another great justice,” just like Gorsuch.

“Brett Kavanaugh is a man of character, he is over-qualified … and is recognized for his intellect, his discretion and his judgment and he’s a constitutionalist,” Nance outlined.

She closed with a final rallying call to the attendees and all supporters of Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

“Go home, call your friends, and make sure they call Doug Jones. Call him, email him, go to his office, go to his town hall meetings – and make sure your voices are heard that he must vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh,” Nance urged.

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

11 hours ago

Byrne first to officially declare run vs. Doug Jones – ‘Future is too important to sit on the sidelines’

Just down the street from where he grew up, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) announced Wednesday evening his candidacy for the United States Senate while surrounded by family, friends and supporters gathered at Wintzell’s Oyster House in beautiful downtown Mobile.

Byrne became the first candidate to officially announce a run against the incumbent from Mountain Brook, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL). In doing so, Byrne made clear his campaign will focus on his record as a fighter for Alabama’s values, drawing a clear and direct contrast between his traditional Yellowhammer State roots and the “radical policies” being pushed by Jones’ Democratic Party.

In his announcement speech, Byrne emphasized, “The fight for America’s future is too important to sit on the sidelines. I am running for the United States Senate to defend the values important to Alabama.”

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The congressman spoke about the “disconnect” between hardworking, everyday Alabamians and people stuck in the bubble of Washington, D.C.

Byrne urged attendees, “Look in Washington and tell me you don’t see people that have a vision that’s fundamentally at odds with what America is.”

“We need a Senator who will fight with President Trump to defend the Constitution, build the wall, stand up for the unborn, push for lower taxes, make health care more affordable and protect the Second Amendment,” he outlined. “I will fight every day to bring Alabama’s conservative values to Washington.”

Answering questions from reporters following the announcement, Byrne decried the Democratic Party’s embrace of socialism and “[killing] babies as they’re delivered.”

He also warned voters that Democrats should be expected to try and interfere in the Republican primary through “fake news” and  manipulative social media efforts. This comes in the wake of revelations that “Project Birmingham” was orchestrated to aid Jones’ general election candidacy in 2017.

Byrne, a labor-employment attorney by trade, is the former chancellor of the state’s community college system and one-term member of the state senate. He has served southwest Alabama in Congress since January 2014.

The Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Alabama will be held March 3, 2020, with the general election to follow in November.

You can watch Byrne’s announcement speech and hear him answer questions from reporters afterwards here.

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

12 hours ago

Watch live: Bradley Byrne announces U.S. Senate run against Doug Jones

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) is set to announce his candidacy for the United States Senate seat held by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) live at the Wintzell’s Oyster House in downtown Mobile.

Watch live below:

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

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13 hours ago

Heavy rains swamping Deep South

Heavy rains are causing problems in parts of the Deep South.

Police in Huntsville, Alabama, say a half-dozen roads are blocked by downed trees or utility poles plus water from flash floods.

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Flood watches and warnings cover the northern parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia and nearly all of Tennessee is at risk for floods.

Several school systems are delaying classes or closing.

The weather service is predicting as much as eight inches of rain in spots through Saturday, and freezing rain and sleet are possible in western South Carolina.

Forecasters say moisture from the Gulf is mixing with weather systems moving eastward in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys.

As much as one inch of rain an hour is possible, and the weather service says some areas could get more.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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13 hours ago

Ivey announces plan to turn old Jefferson County mine into technology park with $85 million economic impact

Alabama is working again — including in places that have been dormant for decades.

Governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama Department of Labor’s (ADOL) Abandoned Mine Land Program (AML) and United States Steel Corporation (U.S. Steel) announced Wednesday that long-abandoned mine land in Jefferson County will be reclaimed, making way for the new Grand River Technology Park project and relocation of the Southern Museum of Flight.

“This reclamation project has the potential to bring millions of dollars in economic impact, and hundreds of jobs to the Greater Birmingham area,” Ivey said in a press release. “The new Grand River Technology Park will be a regional nexus for research and development, tourism, and light manufacturing. This project will bring positive improvements to the citizens who call this community home.”

This project, which is expected to generate an economic impact of more than $85 million, has been made possible through funds appropriated from the U.S. Treasury through the AML Pilot Program Grant. The funding was secured by the stalwart leadership of Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Shelby said he is looking “forward to witnessing the impact it will have on the state.”

The senator said, “The Grand River Technology Park project will attract new businesses and promote economic development throughout the Birmingham area. I am proud that the AML Pilot grant funds I worked to secure have helped make this effort possible and look forward to witnessing the impact it will have on the state.”

The project is possible through a collaborative public-private effort and includes participation by ADOL’s AML Program, U. S. Steel, the City of Birmingham, the Southern Museum of Flight, Jefferson County and the City of Leeds.

In 2018, U. S. Steel and its community partners were given approval for a $6 million grant by the ADOL AML Pilot Program toward the development of its Grand River Technology Park.

“We are pleased to see the redevelopment of this land. We are grateful for the partnership of Governor Ivey, [ADOL] Secretary Washington, and the AML staff during this process and thank Senator Shelby for securing AML Pilot grant funds. We look forward to providing quality economic and community development projects that will benefit the Birmingham community,” U. S. Steel President and CEO David B. Burritt commented.

The technology park represents a multiphase opportunity to reclaim and transform approximately 105 acres of undeveloped land surrounding and including several pre-1977 abandoned coal mine lands in east Jefferson County. An initial assessment conservatively estimated that 1,200 new employment opportunities will be created by this project.

Plans for the Grand River Technology Park (Contributed)

Dangerous abandoned mine land features previously reclaimed on the property included many portals (openings to old underground coal mines) and vertical openings (former air shafts associated with underground coal mines) connected with Red Diamond Mines #2 – #5, #7, #9, #11 and #12, as well as the former Tennessee Coal and Iron (TCI) Mine #6, all of which ceased operations in 1948.

After the closure of these underground mines, a major portion of proposed development was strip-mined for coal prior to August 3, 1977, leaving extensive spoil piles (waste rock and soil overburden removed to access the coal seam) on the property and a highwall cut (a hazardous vertical bluff left where mining of the coal seam ceased) adjacent to the current location of the Barber Motor Sports Park. Evidence of the highwall cut and spoil piles still remain on the property today. As part of the redevelopment of the property, extensive reclamation will be performed on these remaining spoil piles.

“Our Abandoned Mine Land Program does a wonderful job in helping to ensure that old, dangerous mines are properly reclaimed, which eliminates safety hazards and allows the land to be redeveloped,” ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington advised. “In addition to cleaning up this site and making it safer, this project will help to improve the lives of many.”

To date, the ADOL AML Program has reclaimed 81.6 miles of dangerous highwalls, eliminated 1,613 dangerous mine openings and completed approximately 661 reclamation projects in the coalfields of Alabama.

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

14 hours ago

Alabama law requires the state and local governments fund The Democrat-Reporter’s racist rants — It is time to stop

Almost every politician in Alabama wanted to get in on condemning, and in some cases calling for the resignation of the editor, publisher and owner of a rag out of Linden, Alabama, with roughly 3,000 subscribers.

The governor, both United States senators, multiple congressmen and congresswomen, the State Senate pro tem, the lieutenant governor and surely countless others went on the record to say this is unacceptable.

It is obviously unacceptable, but now what? You can’t really force a guy who owns a newspaper to quit. Especially when he seems to think he has done nothing wrong.

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All of this is a minor problem. The Democrat-Reporter is a small-town nothing newspaper. If the Auburn Plainsman hadn’t posted the editorial in the form of a photo, no one would have ever known.

This raises another issue. The state of Alabama is providing revenue to this newspaper and other newspapers around the state of Alabama. And it is actually worse than that: Current state law requires government entities in Alabama to advertise legal notices, legislation, constitutional amendments, voter rolls and other public matters in the local print media outlets, which is not cheap.

So, how much does The Democrat-Reporter get from the governments?

Well, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) alone spends thousands every year.

Maybe these aren’t all required expenditures, but for what other reason would ALDOT be spending this money here?

What have the local governments been required to pay this newspaper? What about average citizens and businesses that have to post foreclosures, abandoned property and other matters in a local newspaper by state law?

Even without the racist overtones of this story, this matter should offend you. There is currently a state law that requires we do business with a series of private entities.

This may have been a necessity decades ago, but it is time for the state legislature to readdress this issue for the 21st century.

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