State Senator Says Bentley Breaking the Law with Gulf State Park Spending

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Firebrand Senator Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville) added an amendment to the Gulf State Park Project appropriations bill that sets a deadline for funding. It reads, “If the State of Alabama does not receive or has not been awarded any National Resource Damage Assessment funds or Restore Act funds for the purposes of this chapter by December 31, 2015, this chapter is repealed on January 1, 2016.”
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Why The Rush To Choose A New Speaker?

By Jack Campbell

The half-hearted joke around The Capital City is that Mike Hubbard’s trial corpse wasn’t even cool before lobbyists in Montgomery were getting out their rosters of State House members and firing up their calculators to see who might have the inside track to be the next speaker. Former Speaker Hubbard will face sentencing next Friday, and folks are coming out of the woodwork to test the waters to replace him. And lobbyists are shamelessly doing their damnedest to own the Hubbard successor.
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Overcriminalization and Mass Incarceration: SCOTUS’ Decision in Hobbs Act Will Increase Both

By Donnie W. Bethel and Stephen A. Cooper

People of all persuasions, political parties, and philosophies have awakened to the terrible toll the crises of overcriminalization and mass incarceration have wrought on America.

Perhaps, as reported by The New York Times, Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn has now voiced his view of this disturbing trend better than anyone else. Judge Dearie, a former prosecutor and once the United States Attorney in Brooklyn, plaintively asked: “Why this love affair in this country with lengthy incarceration, to our great embarrassment as a civilized nation?”
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Sessions Says After Brexit Vote: Now its America’s Turn

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday June 24, US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) applauded voters in Great Britain for voting in a Thursday referendum to leave the troubled European Union (EU) and said that the American people will get to vote similarly against globalism when they vote in November.

Senator Sessions is one of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s closest, earliest, highest profile, and most vocal supporters,

Sessions wrote in a lengthy column: “Just as in the UK, our November presidential election presents a stark contrast. The establishment forces, the global powers, are promoting their values and their interests. They want to erode borders, rapidly open America’s markets to foreign produced goods, while having little interest in advancing America’s ability to sell abroad. These forces have zero interest in better job opportunities and higher wages for our citizens.”
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Byrne Blasts Senate Democrats for Scuttling Zika Funding Bill

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Whitehouse, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate have been haggling over details in a bill to provide resources for an emergency response to the Zika virus for weeks. Democrats in the Senate scuttled the compromise bill on Tuesday to provide the necessary funding. U.S Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) accused the Democrats of fomenting chaos for political purposes.

Congressman Byrne said in a statement, “Democrats spent months demanding a bill to address the Zika virus, so we passed a bill to help fund prevention, research, and treatment. Now Senate Democrats have blocked the same bill that they spent months demanding. Why? Because they are trying to use the issue to score political points. The Wall Street Journal says it best: “After spending months demanding more funding to combat the Zika virus, they voted down their own priority to foment the chaos they believe will work to their political benefit in the fall.” We shouldn’t turn the Zika virus, which is a real public health concern, into a political football.”
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Zeigler Joins Gulf State Park Lawsuit

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—“Major developments at Gulf State Park that range from a beach environmental center, to a 350-room lodge for family reunions, are under construction and on schedule to open within two years,” Gov. Robert Bentley announced on Monday.

But is what Bentley doing, illegal? Where is the money coming from?

According to a lawsuit filed by former Alabama Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources Charley Grimsley, the money being used for the construction of the “350-room lodge for family reunions,” as Bentley put it, is unlawful.
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Hubbard Sells Auburn Network Building (Guess when?)

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On the same day Mike Hubbard was found guilty of 12 felony counts of public corruption, the building that houses his Auburn Network, LLC, sold for a cash price of $810,000.00 to New Life Properties, LLC.

Hubbard was co-owner of the building located at 197 E University Drive in Auburn.

The titled owner at the time of the sale was Weagle, LLC., which is a North Carolina based LLC in which Hubbard is a named partner, according to State filing. The seller’s closing documents were signed by Mark H. Reese as member of Weagle, LLC.
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It’s Past Time to Lift Cuban Economic, Travel Embargo

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

Ironic, isn’t it, that Republican officials in Alabama are now lobbying for lifting the economic and travel embargo on Cuba?

The Republican-controlled U.S. Congress has thus far refused to do so, despite growing calls for the country to ditch the failed policy.

Still, good for those state leaders who launched the Engage Cuba Alabama State Council in Mobile on Tuesday.

To continue the embargo and travel restrictions is crazy. Americans can travel to North Korea and Vietnam. They regularly travel to communist China. We have robust trade with China and Vietnam.
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The Mike Hubbard Saga

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

The older you get the more you realize that old adages you heard as a child are true. There is a political maxim that says, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It could very aptly be applied to the Mike Hubbard saga.

Mike Hubbard was born and raised in north Georgia. He went to college at the University of Georgia and majored in journalism and landed a job in the Bulldog Sports Information Department. About that time an amazing athlete came from rural Georgia to play football at the University of Georgia. His name was Herschel Walker. Hubbard was assigned the task of spearheading the media promotion to win Walker the Heisman Trophy. Indeed he won the prestigious award as the nation’s greatest football player.
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Bentley Responds to Abortion Law Ruling

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, June 27, the United States Supreme Court ruled in “Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt” that a Texas law regulating abortion clinics goes too far. Alabama had a similar law. The Alabama law had already been ruled unconstitutional by Federal Judge Myron Thompson. After Monday’s ruling, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) commented on the decision.

Gov. Bentley said, “I am disappointed to see the US Supreme Court make a political decision in their ruling of the Texas abortion clinic regulation. As a physician, I am concerned about the medical condition of all women, especially when a woman is facing a serious health procedure. In this Texas case, the Supreme Court is making a medical ruling, without any sound medical expertise. Requiring a doctor to have admitting privileges at a local hospital protects the doctor and the patient. In 2013, I signed into law the Women’s Health and Safety Act that requires clinics that provide abortions to meet the same facility standards as ambulatory care centers, which include admitting privileges at local hospitals.”
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