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District Six Challengers Address Jefferson County Republicans

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Republicans who are challenging incumbent Congressman Spencer Bachus for the Sixth District Congressional Race all spoke to the Republican Jefferson County Party at their straw poll event at the Trussville Civic Center on Saturday.  Incumbent Congressman Spencer Bachus did not personally attend the event, though his campaign was well represented there.

Alabama State Senator Scott Beason (R) from Gardendale is running for Congress for the Sixth Congressional district.  Sen. Beason said, “I want to talk about the future of the country.”  Sen. Beason said that before he came he was in the neighborhoods campaigning door to door. Sen. Beason said that it is great to be on the front porch campaigning one on one with the voters.  “We all are concerned about the direction the country is going.”  “We are all worried about how our Christian values and principles are under attack.”

Senator Beason said “Just a few years ago we had a Republican President. Republicans were in control of the House and Republicans had control of the Senate.”  “Republicans did not increase domestic energy, did not deal with the social issues, and did not pass the balanced budget amendment.”  “The bottom line is putting Republicans back in charge to fix the problem is not enough.  We need to put conservative Republicans in charge.”  “That is the difference between my candidacy and the current Congressman.  I do what I say what I say I will do. I am not here to make the editorial boards of the newspapers happy.”  “America needs to stir it up and I promise that I will do that if you elect me to the Congress.”

Senator Scott Beason represents parts of Jefferson and St. Clair County in the Alabama State Senate.  Before running for the State Senate six years ago, Senator Beason served in the Alabama House of Representatives.

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Al Mickle is running for Congress to represent Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District. Mr. Mickle said, “We are getting no representation. We have a guy (Bachus) who is bragging that he voted for something that only 1% of the district supported.”  Mickle served in the military as a navy corpsman in both Somalia and in the First Gulf War. “I have walked the streets of Somalia. I didn’t cut and run then, and I won’t cut and run now.”  “I have owned my own business. I know how to make a payroll.” “Government needs to get out of the way of private business and industry.” “Let businesses prosper. Business owners create the jobs not government.”

Al Mickle said, “I still believe America’s best days are ahead of us, not behind us.”  “We are running out of time.” “We have people who are ignoring our freedoms they are shredding our amendments.” Voters need to make changes at the ballot box now or they may have to pick up an ammunition box later. “I promise you that I will restore the Constitution. I will support the people of this district.”

Al Mickle is from Shelby County and has never held any elected office before.

David Standridge also addressed the Republican Party gathering.  “I want to tell you a little about my background. I am the probate judge of Blount County. I live in Hayden. I grew up in a humble background.  I am concerned about what is happening in the country.  What I bring to the table is what I have done as Blount County Probate judge.” Standridge said that Blount County has had budget shortfalls under his watch but they have dealt with them. “We have done something that most cities, most counties, and the nation can’t say. We paid off our long term debt. Its been tough, especially during the economic downturn.”

Judge Standridge continued, “It is easy to say that I am for a balanced budget.  We have done that in Blount County. I believe in a small government, a balanced budget amendment, and a strong military.  We need to develop our own energy resources. I believe in term limits. We need to lower gas prices.”

Judge Standridge said that we can get the country back to its historic greatness, “but we need to get our fundamentals right. I ask you to vote for me for Congress.”

Judge Standridge holds the office of Probate Judge in Blount County.  Blount County combines the offices of Probate Judge and Head of the County Commission.  Judge Standridge has also served on the Blount County Commission.  His career experience has been in law enforcement with the Montgomery Police Department, the Montevallo Police Department, and the Blount County Sheriff’s Department.

Representative Bachus won the Jefferson County Straw Poll with 143 votes followed by Sen. Beason with 120 votes.  Mr. Mickle and Judge Standridge had 13 and 10 votes respectively.

Senator Beason’s campaign accused the Bachus campaign of buying their victory.  In a press release, the Beason campaign wrote “Participation in the event cost $25 per voter. Alabama State Senator Scott Beason came in second with a total of 120 votes while Representative Spencer Bachus won with 143 votes. The Bachus campaign directly purchased 25 tickets for the event and unnamed surrogates reportedly purchased another 40 tickets. Beason supporters paid for their tickets out of their own pockets. Additionally, many Bachus supporters voted only for the congressional contest on the ballot, ignoring even the up-ticket presidential candidates.”

Sen. Beason said, “Just like he’ll be trying in the real election, Spencer Bachus packed the vote with money obtained from the financial institutions which benefitted directly from his taxpayer bailouts.” “Had this been the primary election, I would have made it into the runoff with just one more vote. That’s how close we are to winning this thing. Right now, it’s the taxpayers of the Sixth District versus Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We’re simply going to have to work a little bit harder to ensure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac don’t win.”

The winner of the March 13th Republican Primary will face the winner of the Democratic Party Primary, where Birmingham Attorney William “Bill” Barnes is running against retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Penny Huggins Bailey.

Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District is composed of all or parts of Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, Coosa, Chilton, and Bibb Counties.

Hash tags: Congressman Spencer Bachus Alabama Senator Scott Beason Al Mickle Probate Judge David Standridge Jefferson County Republican Party straw poll candidates forum

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Elections

Opinion | Kay Ivey’s official calendar is surprisingly empty

Josh Moon

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In late-August and early-September, there was one question dominating Alabama’s governor’s race.

Where is Kay Ivey?

The governor at that point had scarcely been seen in a few days. In one 10-day stretch, she held no public events and somehow managed to avoid even local ribbon cuttings and bridge openings. And her opponent’s campaign was raising questions about her lack of activity.

Walt Maddox, at that point, had already challenged Ivey to a series of debates. She declined, offering a number of excuses, including that she was “busy governing the state.” She had also told her Republican primary challengers that she was “too busy” to debate them.

So, I wanted to know: Who was telling the truth? Was it a big deal? Was Ivey too busy?

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There was only one way to find out: I filed an Alabama Open Records Act request for Ivey’s official calendar for a three-week span (Aug. 24 through Sept. 14).

That span, I figured, would provide a solid look into Ivey’s days and would cover all of the days that the Maddox campaign had questioned her whereabouts.

On Wednesday, after paying $17 and some change to a public entity to produce public records that the public had already paid to be produced once, APR was provided with copies of Ivey’s official calendar.

Counting every entry on the calendar for 21 days — including travel time to and from the governor’s mansion (which apparently takes 30 minutes) and air travel to a variety of meetings and ribbon cuttings — there are less than 60 hours accounted for.

That’s less than three hours per day.

But it’s actually worse than that, because most of that time is compacted into a handful of days, leaving large chunks of time — whole calendar pages — simply blank.

In total, seven days were blank. Three other days had just one entry.

In one calendar week — Sunday, Sept. 2, thru Saturday, Sept. 8 — Ivey’s calendar shows just three and a half hours of scheduled time.

That week, her days were completely blank on Sunday, Labor Day Monday and Tuesday. She had a single phone call on Wednesday and a single meeting on Thursday. She hosted the Alabama Association of Regional Councils on Friday morning and wrapped up the grueling week with a proclamation signing at 10:30 a.m. that Friday.

I’ll remind you that this is the governor — a governor in the midst of a campaign.

You would think her calendar would be crammed with events and meetings and staff scrums and trips all over the place.

But … there’s just nothing.

And that’s not normal. I know that for a fact.

I’ve been to the Alabama Archives and sorted through the official calendars for the last three governors of this state. None of their calendars look like Ivey’s. Not even close.

I shared photos on Facebook Wednesday night of entries from random days on Robert Bentley’s calendar. In some instances, his days spilled over onto a second page.

The same was true with Bob Riley. His days, like Bentley’s, seemed to be planned from morning until night. Every day. Even on the weekends.

What’s happening with Kay Ivey should raise eyebrows and a ton of questions. Mainly: Can she actually do this job?

I think that’s a fair question at this point, after the public freeze-ups, the long disappearances, the managed time by her staff, the refusal to debate, and now these nearly blank calendar days.

And then there are two other questions:

Who is running this state?

And who are you voting for?

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Elections

Anti-abortion group National Right to Life endorses Ivey

Brandon Moseley

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National Right to Life announced their endorsement of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) in the Nov. 6 general election.

Ivey said she proudly accepted the endorsement from National Right to Life, the third pro-life organization to endorse Ivey as Governor.

In a letter announcing their support for Kay Ivey, National Right to Life Executive Director David O’Steen and Political Director Karen Cross described Governor Ivey as a “strong advocate for life.”

National Right to Life applauded Governor Ivey’s support of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act as well as her opposition to using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions and abortion providers.

“All Alabama voters who are concerned with the right to life and with the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family should vote to reelect you as governor so that you can continue to advance vital pro-life public policies,” said Cross and O’Steen.

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Governor Ivey’s opponent, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter “Walt” Maddox (D) has been running ads touting his pro-life and pro-gun credentials, which is odd for the modern Democratic Party; but Ivey is the one with the endorsements from the Susan B. Anthony List, Alabama Citizens four Life, and the National Rifleman’s Association (NRA). The NRA magazines with their Kay Ivey endorsements arrived in NRA households across Alabama on Tuesday.

“This endorsement reflects your commitment to strengthening a culture of life. We look forward to working with you to protect the most vulnerable members of the human family – unborn children and medically dependent or disabled persons – whose lives are threatened by abortion or euthanasia,” said Cross and O’Steen in their letter.

Kay Ivey has served two terms as Alabama’s state Treasurer and two terms as the Lieutenant Governor. She was elevated to Governor in April 2017 when then Governor Robert Bentley (R) resigned after the House Judiciary Committee began impeachment hearings. Ivey grew up on a cattle farm in Wilcox County, attended Auburn University, went to work as a school teacher, then went to work in state government.

Ivey’s campaign is emphasizing her administration’s strong job growth, robust economic growth, increasing pre-K access, and workforce development as reasons to elect her as governor. Mayor Maddox’s campaign is promising to extend Medicaid benefits to more people, raise fuel taxes, a state-sponsored lottery, taxing sports gambling, and a gambling agreement with the Poarch Creek Indians.

The general election will be on Tuesday, November 6. Also in this election, voters gets to vote on Amendment Two which states that nothing in the Alabama Constitution can be construed as allowing abortions to take place. The growing pro-life movement is hopeful that the U.S, Supreme Court will eventually overturn the highly controversial Roe versus Wade ruling that forced the states to allow abortion on demand.

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National

Brooks warns of potential debilitating national insolvency after deficit jumps 17 percent

Brandon Moseley

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U.S. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, issued a warning about the potential for a “Debilitating National Insolvency and bankruptcy that robs America of the prosperity and peace we have long enjoyed” following the release of the Treasury Department’s preliminary Fiscal Year 2018 deficit projection of $779 billion and the Comptroller General’s statement that America’s fiscal path is “unsustainable.”

“Yesterday’s Treasury Department report confirms that, when it comes to financial responsibility, Washington is a total and complete bipartisan failure,” Brooks said. “Thankfully, because of free-enterprise economic reforms, America’s economy is booming and federal revenues are up. Unfortunately, Washington spending has once again outstripped and left revenue growth in the dust.”

“At $779 billion for FY 2018, America’s deficit is 17 percent worse than last year’s $666 billion deficit. [3] Worse yet, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that next year’s deficit will near the $1-trillion mark,” Brooks wrote in a statement. “Even worse yet, the CBO estimates all subsequent deficits will blow past $1 trillion per year. [4] America’s total debt has exploded to $21.5 trillion. [5] U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro has once again evaluated America’s deficit and debt situation and warned Washington that our financial path is ‘unsustainable’ (accounting language for ‘an insolvency and bankruptcy is in America’s future if we do not change our financially irresponsible path’).”

“American taxpayers shelled out about $325 billion in debt service costs in Fiscal Year 2018,” Rep. Brooks continued. “To put $325 billion into perspective, it is more than 15 times what America spends annually on NASA and more than 6 times what the federal government spends annually on transportation. Absent constructive change, the CBO warns Washington that debt service costs will exceed $800 billion per year within a decade. [7] $800 billion is more than what America currently spends on national defense.”

“This financial data points to one dangerous outcome: a debilitating national insolvency and bankruptcy that robs Americans of the prosperity and peace we have long enjoyed,” Rep. Brooks warned. “I cannot overemphasize how the voting public throughout America must do a far better job of studying and understanding economic issues well enough to elect senators and congressmen who have both the intellect to understand the threat posed by America’s deficits and accumulated debt and the backbone to do what it takes to prevent the economic destruction of a nation it took our ancestors centuries to build.”

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The primary driver of the debt has been entitlements, Brooks said. So-called “mandatory spending” on expensive social programs including: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are increasing much faster than federal revenues or GDP. The Republican Congress has increased spending on Defense, cut taxes, but has not addressed exploding entitlement costs. The improving economy also means rising interest rates which dramatically increases the cost of servicing the national debt, which has ballooned to $21,634 billion.

Congressman Mo Brooks is seeking his fifth term in the United States Congress. He faces former Huntsville city attorney Peter Joffrion in the general election on November 6.

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News

Department of Labor to hold job fair for prospective coal miners

Brandon Moseley

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The Alabama Department of Labor announced that they are holding a job fair for prospective coal miners.

The Jasper Career Center is hosting a Job Fair for Jennmar Services on Thursday, October 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It will be held at the Career Center located at 2604 Viking Drive in Jasper.

Jennmar Services is a full-service staffing company for coal and hard rock mining, oil, gas, and manufacturing industries. They will be recruiting for both Inexperienced underground coal miners (Redhats – Apprentice Miners) and experienced underground coal miners (Blackhats).

Inexperienced miners need to have passed the MSHA 40 Mining Course. It must be current. 5000-23 must be within the past three years.

Experienced underground coal miners need to have their Alabama Miner’s Certification and annual refresher course. Those credentials must be current.

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The event is free and open to the public and as always, veterans will receive priority service. Job seekers should bring their résumé, are encouraged to dress professionally, and should be prepared to interview.
If job seekers need a résumé, they can visit the career center ahead of time for assistance. Jobseekers must bring all certifications to the job fair.

For more information, contact the Jasper Career Center at 205-221-2576 or [email protected]

Free services available to job seekers at the local Career Center include resume assistance, interview preparation, job search assistance, and access to many educational and vocational training programs.

Employer services include free job postings, employee screenings, access to interview space, and valuable training programs and tax credits.

From 2009 to 2015, the coal industry declined, leaving workers and communities desperate. Over 36,000 jobs were lost. From 2009 to 2015, American coal production declined by over 177,000,000 tons, and over 600 coal mines closed.

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District Six Challengers Address Jefferson County Republicans

by Brandon Moseley Read Time: 5 min
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