PAC Fined Record Breaking $5.2 Million Sets Up Shop in Alabama

July 31, 2014

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY – Several people involved in the dubious financing of nationwide school-choice campaigns have teamed up with the ALGOP’s top political leadership in an effort that supported the reelection attempts of over a dozen incumbent Republicans in the June primaries to the tune of $170,000 – all from out of state funding sources.

With former ALGOP deputy political director and Hubbard loyal Ryan Cantrell as chairman, and Lisa Lisker, a publicly disgraced Nevada politico as treasurer, a PAC called Alabama Federation for Children has set up shop in the state, aiding campaigns by funneling West Coast education money into in-kind contributions to incumbent Republican state legislators.
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AG Luther Strange and Blaine Galliher Testify Against EPA

July 31, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, the people of Alabama were represented in Atlanta by both Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) and the Governor’s senior advisor, Blaine Galliher (R).  The pair testified Tuesday against the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new rule limiting carbon emissions from power plants.

Attorney General Strange said that Alabama consumers would face higher electric bills and State coal workers would suffer job cuts if the proposed new EPA rule is adopted.
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The Disappearing Waiting List: What FL Can Teach AL About SGOs

July 31, 2014

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY – Since the release of a report on SGO finances earlier this month by the Alabama Department of Revenue, proponents of the Accountability Act have gone to great lengths to defend the numbers reported therein.

Showing the distribution of only nine scholarships statewide in 2013 despite nearly $25 million in collections at the expense of the ETF, the report outlined minimal demand last year despite a well funded effort on the part of the groups including direct mail campaigns to provide the scholarships to those in schools labeled “failing” under the law – and even to those in non-failing districts – a goal not enumerated by the original bill sponsors.
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Report Shows 185,000 Working Alabamians Would Benefit from Medicaid Expansion

July 31, 2014

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY – A new report http://familiesusa.org/product/expanding-health-coverage-working-individuals-and-families?src=media released by the Arise Citizens’ Policy Project shows that a majority of those who would benefit from the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in our state are working Alabamians.

Entitled “Medicaid Expansion in Alabama: Health Insurance for Working Individuals and Families,” the report outlines the impact Medicaid expansion would have on the working poor of the state. Totaling 342,000, Alabamians who would gain Medicaid under an expansion have incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $27,000 a year for a family of three.
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Sessions Calls Boehner’s Border Package “Surrender To A Lawless President”

July 31, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, July 29, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama addressed the Senate regarding the House leader’s border supplemental package.

Sen. Sessions said, “The Obama Administration has openly declared its plan to implement a unilateral executive amnesty for 5–6 million more illegal immigrants. This unlawful amnesty—urged on by congressional Democrats—would include work permits, taking jobs directly from millions of struggling American citizens.”

Sen. Sessions continued, “Any action Congress might consider to address the current border crisis would be futile should the President go forward with these lawless actions. Congress must speak out and fight against them. It must use its spending power to stop the President’s executive amnesty.  That the House leaders’ border package includes no language on executive actions is surrender to a lawless President. And it is a submission to the subordination of congressional power.”
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House Passes VA Accountability Reform

July 31, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, July 30, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the conference report on the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014.  The bipartisan reforms to the Veterans Administration (VA) were developed in response to numerous reports of mismanagement, inadequate care, and long backlogs for treatment in the VA health care system.

Congressman Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia voted in support of the legislation, which was approved by a vote of 420-5.  Rep. Bachus said, “Our country has a responsibility and commitment to care for the veterans who have defended our freedom.  After the many disturbing reports of systemic problems at the Veterans Administration, it was clear that reforms were needed to achieve the goals of providing quality health care and professional service at every VA medical facility.  While all of the institutional and individual problems will not be solved overnight, this legislation – along with the new leadership at the VA – will better help us keep faith with the veterans who through their service have shown their faith in America.”
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600 Gasps: Why the Alabama Legislature Should Lift the Hangman’s Hood (Opinion)

July 31, 2014

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

Last week, the State of Arizona executed Joseph Wood in a process that lasted two hours and included the use of never-before tested lethal injection drugs. Wood was legally barred by the state from knowing who was injecting the drugs in his veins, or even the country or state in which the drugs were made. During the two hour execution, Wood gasped for air over 600 times, his stomach convulsed repeatedly, and toward the end, at a point when officials said he was merely “brain dead,” he began “involuntary snoring.”
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Sessions Calls on Congress to tell President Not To Move Forward With Illegal Executive Amnesty

July 30, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

When we were all in school we were taught that the Legislative Branch of our government makes the laws, the Executive Branch carries out and enforces the laws made by the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch of government impartially interprets the laws written by the Congress and protects the public from laws or executive actions which violates the Constitution.

It is not really that simple. But, the system of checks and balances created by the founders has more or less worked for more than 220 years.
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Governor Says Corrections Needs “Time, not Lawsuits”

July 30, 2014

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

ORANGE BEACH – Governor Bentley has a message for those suing Alabama over its prison problem and those thinking about it: “You all are crazy to sue us.”

In a speech to the annual meeting of the Alabama Sheriffs’ Association, Governor Bentley responded to some of the controversy surrounding the state’s overpopulated, problematic prison system, specifically addressing current litigation on the topic and foreshadowing the possibility of more in the future.
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Bentley Appoints Pam Ware to ASU BOT

July 30, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

It has been a shocking two weeks for the students, faculty, and alumni at Alabama State University (ASU).  First came emergency meetings to address the finances at the Montgomery historically Black university.  Then came the University’s SACS accreditation being put on a six month probation, because of alleged inappropriate financial relationships between the University and two members of its Board of Trustees (BOT) that were raised during a forensic audit of the University.  Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) then asked the two prominent BOT members to resign because of the alleged conflict of interest for the good of the school.
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