Alabama AFL-CIO Responds to Bentley’s Anti-Union Comments

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–Alabama AFL-CIO President Al Henley responded to Governor Bentley’s statements against attempts to organize at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, calling the Governor’s comments “sad, but certainly not surprising.”

At the summer conference for the Economic Development Association of Alabama, Governor Bentley made it clear that allowing workers to unionize at “the best plant in the world” would “ruin it.”

“It’s just a shame that he would say that a union at Mercedes would ruin that workplace,” Henley said, adding that there are several thousand union workers across Alabama who think they are some of their employer’s best assets, calling them “hard working” and “loyal.”
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Bentley Tells Bice To Postpone State Crackdown on Private and Home Schools

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Last week Alabama State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice announced that the state was imposing new rules on Alabama’s many private and church schools, reportedly including a $300 per school licensing fee that even religiously affiliated schools were ordered to pay to the state.

Angry Churches and private school officials made their objections heard at the highest levels of Alabama government. At the urging of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R), the embattled state superintendent released a statement to announce that he was rescinding the controversial rules that he had implemented earlier this month and that the state would spend the year reviewing the laws pertaining to education.
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Rogers and Connolly Start New Infrastructure Caucus

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Congressman Mike Rogers (R) from Saks and Congressman Gerry Connolly (D) from Virginia both announced that they are forming a bi-partisan Congressional caucus which is focused on the nation’s infrastructure and the increasing use of public-private partnerships to build and maintain it.

Representative Rogers said in a written statement, “Solid infrastructure is a key driver of good jobs and a growing, competitive economy. We have an enormous backlog of infrastructure needs all across our country, but the Federal government simply can’t fund them all. Nor should Congress raise taxes. Building and maintaining infrastructure is an issue for both rural and urban areas, and I hope this caucus will help advance the debate in Washington and across the country.”
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Governor Bentley Promotes Annual State Sales Tax Holiday for Back-to-School Items

Staff Report

MONTGOMERY – Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday encouraged Alabamians to remember this weekend’s state sales tax holiday for back-to-school items and stock up on needed supplies.

“The cost of school supplies can weigh heavily on a family’s budget, especially families with more than one school-aged child.  The tax-free weekend is about saving families money on the school supplies their children need to start the new school year,” Governor Bentley said.  “The tax-free weekend also gives shoppers an incentive to support local businesses, large and small.  The tax holiday covers a wide range of items from school supplies to clothing and computers.  I want to encourage people to take advantage of this opportunity to save money while preparing for the start of another school year.”
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Albert Lipscomb to Qualify for District One

Staff Report

Mobile – Albert Lipscomb (R – Magnolia Springs) former three term Alabama State Senator and Baldwin County Commissioner will qualify for Alabama’s First Congressional District. Lipscomb will resign from the Baldwin County Board of Registrars prior to qualifying.

Lipscomb, a life-long Republican, is well known in District One and throughout Alabama, for his very conservative, pro life stand. Lipscomb is a true, God fearing patriot and proven Christian conservative leader that is troubled by the direction the current administration is leading America.
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Barron Defense Files String of Motions

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Former State Senator Lowell Barron (D) from Fyffe is under indictment for misusing campaign funds. Barron and his defense team are maintaining that he is innocent of all charges. On Monday, his attorney, Joe Espy, filed a string of motions addressing prosecutorial conduct.

Request for Relief

Motion/Request for Appropriate for Relief

Motion to Compel

Reply Brief to Motion for Order Requiring State Filings Under Seal

Firstly, the defense team objected to directions by prosecutors to people who were subpoenaed telling them not to discuss their subpoena. Espy argues in the court filing that the prosecution has no authority to order witnesses to not discuss the details of their subpoena. The defense argues that instructing persons involved in the case to secrecy makes them hesitant to talk to anyone including the defense. The defense argues that this is making it harder for them to put on a defense. Then Espy is asking the court to direct prosecutors to send written notices to everyone who has received a subpoena in this case informing them that there is no prohibition against discussing the case with anyone including the defense.
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Republican Candidates for District 1 Congressional District 1 Can Qualify at Two Locations

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday the Alabama Republican Party announced that Republicans interested in qualifying to run for Congress can qualify in person at the Republican Party Headquarters in Hoover on Saturday, August 3 from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. There will also be qualifying at the Mobile Government Plaza, Multipurpose Room at 205 Government Street in Mobile from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm on Monday, August 5th.
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Bonner Announces that Funding for Two More Austal Built LCSs Clears the House

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Congressman Jo Bonner (R) from Mobile announced in his Friday column that the U.S. House of Representatives has approved additional funding to build four more littoral combat ships (LCS). Two will be build by local shipbuilder, Austal, and two will be built by Lockheed Martin in Wisconsin.

Representative Bonner said, “The Defense Appropriations Act of 2014 passed the House with $1.8 billion included to build four new LCS. Two of the ships will be built in Mobile by Austal, the other two by Lockheed Martin in Wisconsin. A month earlier, the House also passed the Defense Authorization Act of 2014, which authorized the new ships.”
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Alabama Soldier Presents State, American Flags to Ford

From the office of House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

Gadsden, AL – After flying over the skies of Afghanistan and being carried on combat missions by members of the Alabama National Guard, an American and Alabama flag have returned home where they were presented to House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, last Friday.

The Alabama flag was originally sent to the soldiers serving in Afghanistan after Sgt. Johnny Box of E-Company, 1st platoon, 167 infantry of the 4th Alabama contacted Rep. Ford in September of last year to request a state flag for the unit to fly over their base in the Kunduz Provence of Afghanistan.
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The Nexus of Big Money, State Contracts, Predatory Lending, Paris and News Organizations

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Question: What does almost $7,000,000 in state contracts, trips to Paris,  thousands in campaign contributions to Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, the Mobile Press-Register, AL.COM and predatory lenders all have in common? Answer: The Birmingham-based public relations firm Big Communications.

Among its many high-flying clients, the State of Alabama appears to be one of Big Communication’s most profitable.

The PR group has a $4.5 Million contract with the Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, plus receives millions more from state colleges and agencies.
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