Top Stories: Over-reported, under-reported and just right

December 31, 2011

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

This is the time of year that editors, writers and pundits try to list what they believe are the top stories of the past year. If the truth be known, people in the newsroom are not really all that concerned with the stories of the last year unless they hope to garner a prize or ask for a raise. Most are concerned with the next story, the big one that just might get away.
Read More

Congressman Bonnor Issues Statement Supporting Audit of GCCF

December 31, 2011

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Rep. Jo Bonnor (R- Mobile) says that he welcomes the decision to appoint an independent audit of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF).

The U.S. Justice Department has announced that the department has appointed an independent auditor to evaluate the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Congressman Jo Bonnor announced that he supports the decision to perform the audit.  Rep. Bonnor said, “During his visit to Alabama in late June, I asked Attorney General Eric Holder for an audit of the GCCF.  Furthermore, the Justice Department funding legislation approved by Congress in November also included my request for the GCCF audit.”
Read More

Mobile Press Register: FEMA still bumbling more than 6 years after hurricanes

December 31, 2011

Staff Report

Sometimes you have to wonder if FEMA learned anything from devastating hurricanes such as Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

More than six years later, FEMA is still making the lives of hurricane victims more difficult than necessary — this time by asking 83,000 people to pay back money the agency now says they shouldn’t have received.

Granted, it’s a lot of money — $385 million in total. But it’s a little less than 5 percent of the $8 billion FEMA paid to people who sorely needed it at the time.
Read More

The New Old Europe

December 31, 2011

Staff Report

Nearly ten years ago, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld provoked outrage by referring to “Old Europe.” How dare he, snapped the French and Germans, call us “old” when the utopian European Union was all the rage, the new euro was soaring in value, and the United States was increasingly isolated under the Bush administration.

The more things change in Europe, the more they stay the same.

The island of Britain is, and is not, a part of Europe — carefully pulling out when things heat up, terrified that it will be pulled back in when things boil over. British prime minister David Cameron knows the old script well, as he adamantly and publicly insists that Great Britain is still a part of the crumbling European Union while privately assuming that it is not
Read More

Tea Party ‘outsiders’ should raise hell about insider trading by lawmakers

December 31, 2011

Staff Report

Peter Schweizer’s hot-selling book, “Throw Them All Out,” is a hard-hitting, thoroughly documented expose of insider trading activities by members of Congress. Starring roles are filled by such worthies as former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry, former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and former House Committee on Financial Services ranking member Spencer Bachus, the Republican who now chairs the same panel. According to Schweizer, Pelosi and her husband made millions participating in a special invitation Initial Public Offering from VISA at the same time legislation critical to the credit card company was before Congress. Kerry added to Teresa Heinz’ millions by trading on insider information he got while on the Senate Finance Committee. Hastert profited big-time by getting an earmark to build a highway that doubled the value of land in which he had previously invested. Bachus fattened his bank account with stock deals he made during the 2008 financial crisis.
Read More

Many noted Alabamians died in 2011

December 31, 2011

Staff Report

MONTGOMERY — Deaths in 2011 of noted figures with Alabama connections in the arts, sports, politics and civil rights included famed storytellers, a former Florida governor and civil rights icons.

Edmund C. Dyas, 71, Auburn football player from 1958 to 1960, died Jan. 23 in Mobile. He finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting his senior season and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. A three-year letterman, fullback, linebacker and kicker, Dyas set an NCAA record for most field goals in a season with 13 in 1960.
Read More

Some new state legislation will go into effect Sunday

December 31, 2011

Staff Report

State laws going into effect Sunday in­clude portions of controversial bills on immi­gration and abortion.

Starting Sunday, businesses wishing to obtain contracts, grants or incentives from the state must be enrolled in the federal E-Verify program, which checks the immigra­tion status of would-be employees. The law also requires subcontractors to enroll in E-Verify.

Most of the state’s immigration law was scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1, but U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn temporari­ly blocked the law a few days prior in order to consider legal challenges.
Read More

Former Sen. Phil Poole and brother Howell arrested after fight

December 31, 2011

Staff Report

Former Alabama state Sen. Phil Poole and his brother, Bank of Moundville president Howell Poole, were charged with harassment after a fight Thursday night.

Moundville Police charged both men after they were involved in a dispute in the parking lot of the Bank of Moundville, Police Chief Ken Robertson confirmed Friday.

Officers were called to the bank at 6:22 p.m.

“Upon arrival, officers discovered that Victor Poole Jr. and Price Howell Poole were involved in a confrontation that stemmed from an earlier dispute,” Robertson said.
Read More

New year, new bingo machines (Not That Kind)

December 31, 2011

Staff Report

There is a new bingo machine inside the American Legion Post No. 80, and new games will begin on Tuesday.

“But before people start getting upset, it’s not an electronic bingo machine,” said Post Commander Gerald Edgar. “It’s new computer machine for our paper bingo operation.”

The new machine, which was installed earlier this week, got its test run on Thursday by members of the Post’s bingo committee. “The old machine was out of date, and we couldn’t put the different type of pattern games on it.
Read More

Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis talks party-switching

December 31, 2011

Staff Report

Former Democratic congressman Artur Davis, who has been a thorn in the side of Democrats in the aftermath of his loss in the 2010 Alabama gubernatorial primary, is a man without a political party.

In an interview with The Fix, Davis openly speculated about running for office as an independent or even a Republican. In both cases, he suggested his decision not to make the switch has as much to do with the difficulties involved as any desire he has to remain a Democrat.
Read More

© Copyright 2017 Alabama Political Reporter