Connect with us

News

Lathan Meets With Laura Bush

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, March 26 former First Lady Laura Bush was in Homewood at Samford University.  Alabama Republican Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan called the wife of former President George W. Bush a, “First Class Lady.”

In a statement on Monday, March, Chairwoman Lathan said, “Speaking of ladies, it was an honor to attend Samford University’s Department of Education’s 100th Year program celebrating the education of Samford teachers. First Lady Laura Bush was the keynote guest speaking to a sold out crowd of 1,800 students, faculty and Laura fans. Along with Jefferson County Republican Executive Chairwoman Sallie Bryant, we enjoyed some great moments listening to Mrs. Bush.”

Advertisement

ALGOP Chairwoman continued, “Mrs. Bush updated us on President George W. Bush’s parents, her children and doted on their first grandchild. She shared that GWB wants his grandfather name to be “Sir”. She also brought a loud laugh from the crowd when she said that nowadays grandparent names sound more like “cat names” than the old Grandma or Grandpa name days.”

Lathan said that Mrs. Bush, “Shared moments in the White House: her husband not really comfortable with valets on their first night; having 27 family members sleeping under the same roof the night of the first Inauguration; redecorating the Lincoln bedroom, which was actually President’s Lincoln office where he signed the Emancipation Proclamation; leaving on the last day on Marine One with her in-laws already sitting in the helicopter when they got in it, which reverse repeated itself when GHWB and “Bar” left the White House on Marine One while George and Laura were waiting on them; and the everyday respect and humbleness they shared as they were in their new home for eight years of residency.”

Mrs. Bush recalled sitting in the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s (D-Massachusetts) office with the Senator watching the Twin Towers fall on September 11, 2001.  Bush joked about a, “friend sending her a Laura Bush bobble head doll that was found in Philadelphia on a half price shelf after they had left the White House. Mrs. Bush had the doll and showed it to the audience and said at times she felt like she lived in a “bubble”.”

Mrs. Bush joked about headlines from grocery store tabloids claiming that she had left her husband and her father-in-law was an alien. “Who knew?” she joked.

Lathan said, “She spoke of her love of teaching, and knew she wanted to teach since she was in the second grade when she fell in love with her teacher and “wanted to be just like her”.”           

Chairwoman Lathan wrote, “Laura Bush is a beautiful example of warm hospitality, a loving heart and a strong family woman who is comfortable in her own shoes. Whether talking about dirty socks that her husband now drops on the floor, thinking they will magically pick themselves up like in the White House, or sharing a moment about running down into the underground White House bunker when a report about a possible plane heading toward them on 9/11, it was refreshing to once again share special moments with the lovely Laura Bush.” 

Lathan said that Mrs. Bush’s new book is ‘Spoken from the Heart’, where she shares her stories.

Chairwoman Lathan said that she will be in Montgomery on Wednesday to attend the Alabama Federation of Republican Women (AFRW) Legislative Days.  

Chairwoman Lathan wrote, “We appreciate our Montgomery legislative leadership rolling out the ‘Red Carpet’ for one of the hardest working women’s team in the nation! A highlight will be a breakfast with First Lady Dianne Bentley, a keynote address by Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, hearing from our elected officials, panel discussions and visiting with our legislative delegations. Congratulations.”

Prior to her election as Chair of the Alabama Republican Party in February, Mrs. Lathan was Chair of the Mobile County Republican Party.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with six and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook.

Continue Reading

Elections

Ethics Commission clears Luther Strange

Josh Moon

Published

on

Luther Strange is off the hook.

The executive director of the Alabama Ethics Commission told APR on Wednesday that the commission determined a few sessions ago that allegations that Strange violated campaign finance laws were unfounded.

The two allegations, which were filed by Secretary of State John Merrill’s office during Strange’s special election campaign for U.S. Senate last year, were considered potential felonies and centered around Strange’s federal Senate campaign transferring funds to his state-level attorney general’s campaign account.

Advertisement

Ethics Commission executive director Tom Albritton said several factors went into determining that Strange had not violated the law. Most importantly: “The statute controlling the transfer from a federal campaign account to a state campaign account requires the candidate to be a state or local candidate. Luther Strange was not,” Albritton said.

Merrill disagreed with the commission’s decision, saying his staff’s understanding of the applicable laws forbids Strange from making the campaign account transfers in question.

“We understand that the Ethics Commission can do whatever they want with the things we send them,” Merrill said. “We do not agree with their finding, but it’s not our job to rule. It’s our job to pass along the violations. We did our job.”

While the laws governing the issue are complicated, the transfers at the center of the debate are fairly easy to understand. In December of 2016, Strange’s federal campaign account, in a series of transfers, sent a little over $1,400 to his state-level campaign account. The money was being used to pay for an already-purchased website domain.

The problem was the $1,400 exceeded the $1,000 threshold allowable for the transfers and also fell outside of the 120-day window. Former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was forced to resign after accepting a donation outside of the 120-day window.

But according to Albritton, that’s where the mixing of federal and state laws make things murky. Because in addition to Strange, who was running for U.S. Senate, not being a state-level candidate, the law also requires the transfer to be a campaign contribution before it can be considered illegal.

“The transfer was made in order to reimburse the state campaign for an unintentional payment by the state campaign for the domain maintenance fee for the domain that the federal campaign had already purchased,” Albritton said. “It was not intended to influence the election of a state or local candidate.

“Federal law preempts state law in this circumstance. Federal campaign finance laws required the reimbursement for the state campaign. If they had not repaid it, it would have been a violation of federal campaign laws.”

Albritton said that Merrill and his office can forward their findings directly to the Alabama AG’s office if they feel a mistake has been made.

The Ethics Commission decision on the matter will likely add fuel to what is becoming a fiery feud between it and Merrill’s office. Just last week, Merrill was particularly critical of the Commission’s decision to pass on issuing fines to candidates, businesses and PACs that failed to file campaign finance reports on time.

During an interview with APR last week, Merrill was asked whether his allegations against Strange had been resolved by the Ethics Commission. At that time, he said he wasn’t sure, prompting APR to raise the question with Albritton. It doesn’t appear as if the decision on the Strange allegations has been previously reported in the media.

 

Continue Reading

Elections

A quick snapshot of campaign cash after primaries

Bill Britt

Published

on

Since the June 5 primary, candidates have only been required to file major contribution reports of $25,000 and over, so understanding the financial health of any campaign is difficult to ascertain.

In the Lt. Governor’s race, Rep. Will Ainsworth has loaned his campaign $500,000, while his opponent, PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh, hasn’t reported any new contributions. In their last reports, Cavanaugh had $165,439.56 on hand, and Ainsworth had $670,233.34, which includes the $500,000 loan.

The last filings in the Attorney General’s contest show Steve Marshall with $48,794.15 to Troy King’s $36,127.04. The two will face each other in the July 17 Republican Party runoff.

Advertisement

Democrat attorney general contender Joe Siegelman last reported having $113,450.44 in his account. He will compete with either King or Marshall in the November general election.

The Republican runoff for Agriculture Commissioner finds BCA backed candidate Lowdnesboro Mayor Rick Pate with $4,107.44 in cash, with his challenger, State Senator Gerald Dial, reporting $107,634.45.

Gov. Kay Ivey received one major contribution of $25,000 from Cullman resident Roy Drinkard, while her Democrat rival Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox hasn’t reported any similar fundraising efforts.

These cash totals are a snapshot of fundraising, with approximately two weeks before the next FCPA reports are required.

Continue Reading

News

PowerSouth CEO explains why companies are leaving BCA

Bill Britt

Published

on

PowerSouth President and CEO Gary L. Smith may have made the most transparent case for why the state’s marquee corporations are in a steady exodus from the Business Council of Alabama.

“Our problem with BCA is simply Billy Canary and his leadership,” wrote Smith in the company’s withdrawal letter to BCA Chairman Perry Hand. “Billy has been effective in the past, but in our opinion, Billy is now a severe liability and must be replaced for BCA to again be effective.”

In April, Alabama Political Reporter broke the news that seven of the state’s leading companies were parting ways with BCA if Canary was not replaced by June.

Advertisement

Billy Canary out at BCA, sort of 

After APR‘s story broke that the BCA Executive Committee had agreed to replace Canary, it was Hand who took to an internet newsletter to claim our story was false. However, Smith’s letter obtained by APR proves Hand lied. “You indicated the BCA Executive Committee agrees a leadership change is needed, but we have serious disagreements about the timing of the replacement,” wrote Smith.

In fact, the Executive Committee agreed it was time for Canary to go, but Hand and a few Canary loyalists invented a reason to keep Canary around until 2019. As Smith points out, not only is Canary staying in place, he is also included in selecting his replacement.

Smith states, “Billy’s continuing involvement in the search for his replacement,” as well as, “his involvement in the leadership transition,” is a severe problem.

Smith further writes, “We have no interest in participating in or supporting an organization that Billy heads, influence through his choice of successor, or can manipulate through a transitional plan. It is simply time to completely sever the relationship before further damage is done to the organization.”

To date, Alabama Power Company, PowerSouth, Regions Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield and BCA legal counsel Boots Gale have fled BCA due to Canary’s failed leadership and Hand’s obstinate refusal to see the wisdom of his immediate replacement.

 

Continue Reading

Authors

Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending

Lathan Meets With Laura Bush

by Brandon Moseley Read Time: 3 min
0