Alabama Is In Leadership Limbo, And There Doesn’t Seem To Be A Way Out

August 31, 2016

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

So, once again, a special session of the Alabama Legislature is a failure. Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars down the drain.

That should come as no surprise. Most Alabama legislative sessions are a failure, and have been for years.

Heck, even former Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard, a convicted felon now, would say the first special session in 2010 after Republicans won a supermajority in both the House and Senate is a failure.
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Dial Asks BOE To Postpone Vote On Sentance

August 31, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— On Tuesday, Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) asked the Alabama Board of Education, in an email, to postpone finalizing the hiring of Michael Sentance as Superintendent of Education.

“It has become public that he has had his law license suspended among other concerning issues,” said Dial.

He said that it would be in the best interest of the State not to proceed, in order to allow for more time for an “investigative process” to address some outstanding issues concerning educators and legislators.
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Long Hot Summer Coming to an End

August 31, 2016

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
By Steve Flowers

With Labor Day approaching it signifies that the long hot summer will soon be coming to an end. It seems that the summers are getting hotter and hotter. I was born and raised in south Alabama so I was accustomed to long hot summers. I remember when there was no air conditioning in houses or cars. It was hot, but seems hotter today. I think we have gotten softer. It also seems that we do not have the spring or fall seasons anymore. All of a sudden one day in mid May it is 86 degrees and it never goes below that through mid September, or maybe even October. We have about 5 months out of the year where the temperature is mostly in the 90s.
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Special Prosecution Division Puts Politicos On Notice

August 30, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Idleness or inertia are not characteristics found in the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Division. Aggressive, dogged and thorough are heard from friend and foe, to describe the team led by veteran prosecutor and Division Chief, Matt Hart.

Best known for successfully bringing to justice, Alabama’s once, all-powerful Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard, the division continues to investigate and indict others for criminal ethics violations.
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Reaction to Senate’s Killing of Lottery Bill

August 30, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, August 25, as the debate in the Alabama House of Representatives raged on, about what their version of lottery bill SB3 should look like, and as more amendments were added, it became increasingly doubtful that the House and the Senate would be able to bridge the chasm between the two and concur.

The Senate appointed a conference committee just after midnight, when the House finally passed the bill on a reconsider motion (it originally failed). Instead, the Senate recessed until 10 am and promptly recessed again for two hours. When they came back, Democratic Senators, whose support had been essential to passing the bill in the first place, began filibustering the bill. After another recess the Senate voted “NO” on concurring with the bill and did not appoint a conference committee to resolve the issues with the House. SB3 is dead and there is not enough legislative days left in the Special Session (three) to pass a new bill from scratch or even those other lottery bills that were introduced but not yet acted upon by committees in their house of origin.
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Hidden Agenda. Part Two.

August 30, 2016

By Larry Lee

Earlier this week we asked if there is a hidden agenda to the state school board’s hiring of non-educator Mike Sentance of Boston to be our state school superintendent.  This concentrated on the actual education of students.

However, there is another part of this picture that few have considered and that may an even larger part of why things have unfolded as they have.

MONEY.  Up to $32 BILLION.
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Incoming State School Superintendent’s Law License Suspended

August 29, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—In his 2009 application to become Kentucky’s State School Superintendent, Michael Sentance claimed to be a “Highly accomplished Educator with more than 27 years experience and success.”

Sentance received admission to the Massachusetts Bar in 1979, however, according to data provided by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers of the Supreme Judicial Court dated August 26, 2016, his law license is under administrative suspension. The suspension appears to be for nonpayment of dues.
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A Gun or A Bitter Pill: The Test We Face

August 29, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

With only three days remaining in the 2016 Special Session, lawmaker’s willingness to come together for a Medicaid solution is waning, and hopes of letting the people vote on a lottery are faint; if not totally beyond reason.

If we believe that, “The sleep of reason produces monsters,” then we must acknowledge that reason has fallen into a somnolent haze these last few weeks.
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Carter Returns to Finance in Troubling Times

August 29, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Former Deputy State Finance Director, Clinton Carter, is returning to the government service to advise on revenue and financial policy.  According to sources in Governor Robert Bentley’s inner circle, and those with close ties to Finance, Carter is being groomed to replace Acting Finances Director, Bill Newton. Reliable insiders claim Newton hand-picked his successor to ensure access to the department, and those who are well-tended by cushy contracts doled out under his watch. But there is doubt that Carter is that pliable.
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Lottery Killed in Senate

August 29, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Early on Friday, August 26, a jubilant Governor Robert Bentley (R) said, “We came out with a victory from the House, not us, but a victory for the people of this state.” That Bentley and Bentley’s staff have absolutely no idea what is happening in in the Alabama legislature, could not be any more obvious than at that moment.

While the Governor was taking his victory lap after midnight with the exhausted capital press corps, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) and lottery bill sponsor, Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville), were desperately trying to find a plan to save the lottery.
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