Congressman Bachus Will Not Seek Re-election in 2014.

Staff Report

BIRMINGHAM – Congressman Spencer Bachus (AL-6) today announced that his current term in the U.S. House, which runs through December 2014, will be his last.

Bachus, the dean of the Alabama House delegation, said he will not seek re-election after serving eleven terms as the representative for the Sixth District. He said he will devote his full energies to his legislative duties and serving his constituents during the remainder of his current term.
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Hubbard: New Look, New Tone, Not Taking Campaign Contributions

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— Last week, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard made an uncharacteristic video to announce his reelection bid for 2014.

In a short, seventeen second video posted on Instagram and distributed on facebook, Hubbard said,

“Alabama is getting stronger and I am proud of our State’s progress. But, there’s more work to be done. I am Mike Hubbard, Alabama’s Speaker of the House, and I am running for reelection because I believe that by working together, Alabama’s future is brighter than ever.”

In under fifty words, Hubbard announces his reelection bid, but does not specify, “election to what?”

It also may strike some as unusual that Hubbard would announce his reelection while his website reports he is not taking campaign contributions.

According to his official website, mikehubbard.com, “Speaker Mike Hubbard is not accepting donations at this time. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to connecting with you throughout the year. Check back soon for ways to be involved and contribute to the efforts of Speaker Hubbard.”

Several prominent attorneys who spoke on background said that this could mean that Hubbard is receiving legal advice not to commingle present and future funds with possible tainted funds in other PACs.

The attorneys see this as a defense strategy should any of Hubbard’s PACs come under investigation or seizure.

No one can say for certain how this is being viewed by law-enforcement, but for many in the legal community the closing of such an influential PAC has sent up an undeniable red flag.

Also in his reelection video, the usually dapper Speaker appears wearing an unbuttoned pale-blue oxford shirt without a tie. Hubbard stands to the side of a small framed poster of his vanity-publication, Storming the State House, speaking in his usual announcer’s voice.

Hubbard’s attire in this video is a strange departure from his trademark suit, tie, French cuffs and expensive cuff-links. Also absent is the usual marquee setting of a big event or elaborate visual.

This is abnormal for a man who has made “stagecraft” an integral part of his “statecraft.”

Hubbard is a showman from his well-practiced “radio-voice” to the slick graphics that surround even the smallest facebook post, Hubbard is a master at packaging a message.

So…why the simple, down-home video?>

Hubbard, told Drew Taylor of the Opelika-Auburn News  <“I just wanted to do it because it is cutting edge, utilizing technology and no Alabama candidate has ever done it before, so I thought I might as well do it.”

Hubbard goes further telling the Opelika-Auburn News, “ I just want to be a part of the leadership team that continues to move Alabama forward.”

Here we have not only a more casual Hubbard, but a humble one as well, a man who “just wants to be part of the team.”

This is a far cry from the self-styled architect of the Republican takeover of the Alabama Statehouse.

This doesn’t sound like the man who, when he travels, even the shortest distances, must have an armed entourage.

This doesn’t sound like the man who has five flatscreen televisions in his office with one playing a continuous loop of him pictured with famous men.

This doesn’t sound like the man who disparages law-enforcement, threatens House members and pens self-aggrandizing memoirs.

Perhaps the final question asked Hubbard by reporter Drew Taylor will provide some clues as to the new Hubbard.

When Taylor asked Hubbard about his engaging famed white-collar crime attorney J. Mark White to investigate “potentially libelous statements against him,” Hubbard said he had been advised not to address the progress of that situation: “I’m going to let those guys handle all that stuff…I’m concentrating on being the Speaker of the House…That’s what they’ve told me to do and that’s what I’m doing.”

As of this report Hubbard’s reelection video had 154 likes and 17 comments on Facebook.

It is also appearing as a paid advertisement on the facebook side bar.

Hubbard has almost 4,000 Facebook followers, but follows less than 60 individuals.

Bentley War Chest Growing But Still No Democratic Opponent

By Brandon Moseley and Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Campaign fund raising is well under way even though many candidates have little or even no opposition.

First among these is Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R). Governor Bentley has been hard at work raising money preparing for the June 3rd Republican Primary. The popular Republican Governor and longtime Tuscaloosa Doctor is reporting $1,425,926 ready and waiting for an opponent. His only opponent thus far is Primary Challenger Stacy Lee George with a $71.68 reported balance. As of press time, no Democrat has come forward to challenge Republican supremacy in the state.
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Obamacare Begins Tuesday; A Brief Overview

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Polls show that as many as 60% of the American people oppose implementation of President Obama’s controversial new healthcare plan, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. However, the President and Congressional Democrats are still supportive of the controversial plan’s rollout on Tuesday.

Beginning on Tuesday Americans will be able to purchase Affordable Care Act compliant insurance policies effective on January 1, 2014. Americans regardless of weight, health status, or illness will not be denied. Millions of Americans with existing coverage will see their policies renew into Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Policies over the next year.
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Improving our constitution is an important step to building a better Alabama

By Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (September 27, 2013) — As an elected official, I am committed to seeing that our state government works as efficiently and effectively as possible. The hard-working taxpayers of Alabama expect nothing less. One of the ways that we can do that is to streamline and modernize our laws. The Alabama Constitution of 1901, our most fundamental law, is the longest state constitution still in use and has hundreds of amendments. In many ways, it needs updating.
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Roby Says That Senate Can Avoid Shutdown by Passing House CR

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Saturday the U.S. House of Representatives made changes to a Senate Continuing Resolultion (CR) that would fund the government but would also delay Obamacare for one year and permanently repeal the medical device tax.

Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery said, “ObamaCare will not work. ObamaCare enrollment is set to begin in two days, and there is doubt that the exchanges are ready, millions of Americans remain in the dark about the labyrinth of programs, and there is no certainty that the government can fulfill its promises. It’s just commonsense – this law needs to be delayed.”
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US Attorney Announces $3.8 Million in Hiring Grants for Alabama Law Enforcement and School Safety Officers

Staff Report

BIRMINGHAM – U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, last week announced $3.8 million in law enforcement hiring grants statewide, including about $1 million in the Northern District of Alabama.

The police and sheriff’s departments in North Alabama receiving $999,839 in COPS grants are the Etowah County Sheriff’s Department, $261,734; Heflin Police Department, $107,300; Jasper Police Department, $218,420; Pell City Police Department, $223,626; and Talladega Police Department, $188,759. In addition, statewide, the Alabama Department of Public Safety is to receive $1,875,000 and the Mobile Police Department $926,993.
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Santorum Speaks at Republican Rally in Muscle Shoals

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R) from Pennsylvania addressed a crowded rally of Republican officeholders, candidates, and grassroots activists working on growing the Republican Party in Northwest Alabama. The Alabama Republican released a written statement following the Thursday event.

Senator Santorum said, “I’m here tonight because I believe the heart of America is right. You don’t have the big money, but what you need and what you have to have is the passion…Changing here sends a message that we are willing to fight, get involved and change your communities…I’m here tonight because I know your values and I understand them. I know what you care about. Now you have to get that fire, that passion.”
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Accountability Act Still Under Fire, AL Supreme Court Weighs In

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Alabama Education Association challenging the Alabama Accountability Act.

The AEA, which represents teachers across the state, began court proceedings against Alabama Republican Congressional leaders, including Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, earlier in the year, after the law was passed by the Republican supermajority last legislative session.

The group contended that the Accountability Act was passed in a secretive manner that broke not only the state congress’s own procedural rules, but also the state open meetings law.
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International Paper Mill in Courtland Closing Concerns Forest Owners and State Officials

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday September 19th, members of the Alabama Forest Owner’s Association met in gatherings around the state to listen to the latest information about the International Paper (IP) announced closing of it’s Courtland Paper Mill.

The state’s Forest Owners listened to Alabama Forestry Commission North Regional Forester Terry Ezzell. Ezzell said that the forests in the region are somewhat overly thick now and closing of the International Paper Mill could worsen the situation. The forests are grown to produce saw timber and poles not pulpwood, which is very cheap, but pulpwood is a byproduct of raising timber for lumber since the forest needs to be thinned to allow the remaining trees to grow taller and faster. Ezzell said that the danger from the loss of pulpwood demand is that too many trees per acre can lead to the forest growing slower, stagnating, and increasing the forest fire risk.
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