Happy New Year: What will you do with your second?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Before the stroke of midnight brings 2016 to a close, a “leap second” will be added to the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which means the last minute of this year will have 61 seconds.

What will you do with your second?

As we look towards the New Year, most of us take stock of who we are and what we hope to accomplish in the year ahead. Those of us who live and work in the political arena have a unique challenge, even an obligation to remember, that our actions affect every man, woman, and child in our State, who, unknowing, are subject to the many influences at work in our State politics.
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Attorney General’s comments sow confusion over reported Bentley investigation

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

An exchange of letters between Attorney General Luther Strange and House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Mike Jones, along with a subsequent press release announcing the suspension of hearings into the Articles of Impeachment against Governor Robert Bentley, seemed straight forward back in November.

It is a fact that Jones’ committee was investigating Bentley, and the November letter from Strange seemed to confirm the Attorney General’s office was doing the same and Strange was concerned about the dual probes interfering with each other.

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Driver’s license committee continues work as USDOT reaches settlement

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Montgomery—An Alabama House Committee has been reviewing the process and procedure of obtaining a driver’s license in Alabama. The committee said in a statement that the agreement announced on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 between the State of Alabama and the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) underscores the important work undertaken by the House Interim Committee on Driver’s License Review. The committee is tasked with finding ways to reduce wait times and find methods for making driver’s license offices more accessible to all Alabamians. The committee has held meetings across the state since it was established by a House Resolution co-sponsored by 56 Republican members. Read More

Shelby, Cantwell place bets on outcome of Alabama game

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuscaloosa—The University of Alabama football team is seeking it’s fifth national championship in eight years under Coach Nick Saban. The playoffs for the Tide begin at 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 31 in Atlanta’s Peach Bowl with a matchup against number fourth-ranked Washington.

US Senators Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) and Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) announced on Thursday a friendly wager on the outcome of the game.
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APR’s Top 5 Under-reported stories of 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Over the past year, APR has broken a number of prominent, statewide stories.

While many of those have been picked up by other news outlets – some of them lifted nearly verbatim from APR’s website without attribution – a few stories have gone almost unnoticed and with little follow-up from more traditional outlets.

These stories are important and involve millions of dollars of taxpayer money, abuses of power and manipulations of the systems meant to ensure law and order and justice in the state. Read More

Governor, Mason, dark-money group file to dismiss former security officer’s lawsuit

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Lawyers for Gov. Robert Bentley, his former top political aide Rebekah Mason and a pro-Bentley 501(c)(4) dark-money group called the Alabama Council for Excellent Government filed three separate motions on Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit against them.

Wendall Ray Lewis, the former Head of the Governor’s Security Detail and Chief of the Office of Dignitary Protection, filed a lawsuit against the Governor, ACEGOV and Mason before Thanksgiving last month.

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USDOT ensures equitable access to driver license offices

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, December 28 2016, US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that USDOT had reached an agreement with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to ensure that driver licensing services in the state will be available to all residents, regardless of race, color or national origin, in compliance with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This follows a twelve month investigation by USDOT. Read More

Moore allies file amicus briefs

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, December 20, 2016, four amicus briefs have been filed on behalf of suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore (R), who is appealing his judicial suspension by the Court of the Judiciary (COJ) in September for the remainder of his term, which ends January 2019.

One brief was filed by the United States Justice Foundation. That brief states that it was improper to use Chief Justice Moore’s 2003 case as evidence of his intent to order probate judges to disregard federal orders in this case, and that the text of the Administrative Order at issue in this appeal does not support the COJ’s conclusions. They claim that the JIC did not meet its burden to establish Justice Moore’s guilt by clear and convincing evidence. Read More

Alabama citizens and poverty: Time for change?

By Maggie Ford

Eighteen and a half percent of Alabama residents live in poverty. That’s what the US Census Bureau published in 2015. We’re tied with Kentucky as the fifth poorest State in the Union. And it’s no joke that while some Alabamians are still complaining about the taste of their Christmas steak, some kids around the block are wondering where supper will come from.

We all know the routine: the chronically rich blame poverty on the bad habits of the chronically poor, and the chronically poor blame poverty on the oppressive systems of the chronically rich. It’s called the blame-game, and people have played it since the Garden of Eden. Read More

Alabama elected officials react to Sec. Kerry Speech on Israel

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, December 28, 2016, outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry (D) sharply attacked the settlement policies of the nation of Israel and demanded that they surrender territories the United Nations claims they have improperly occupied to the Palestinian State.

US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said in a statement, “Supporting Israel has always been a bipartisan issue, but the Obama Administration seems intent on changing that. Peace in the region isn’t going to come from the United States or the United Nations telling Israel or Palestine what to do. Any solution must come from those actually involved. This kind of ‘I know best’ speech from the Obama Administration is a fitting summary for how they have governed the last eight years.” Read More

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