By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The last Republican candidate forum before the August 15th Special Primary was held on Sunday afternoon at the new Sheepdog Firearms facility on Deerfoot Parkway in Trussville.
Bryan Peeples, Dr. Randy Brinson, Congressman Mo Brooks, and Luther Strange participated. The other candidates had previously scheduled commitments.
Sen. Luther Strange said that he was honored to take the seat of Jeff Sessions, whom he called a friend and a mentor.
Strange said that a lot of people talk a good game; but he gets results. Strange said that a lot of people talk about draining the swamp; but he is the only one who has done it. “As AG, I assembled the best public corruption team in the country and told them to follow the truth wherever it leads; and they got 24 officeholders removed from office, including the corrupt former Speaker” (Mike Hubbard). ” I had a security detail when I was Attorney General beause I was receiving constant death threats.” Strange claimed that half of the people running against me have ties to the corrupt Speaker. “Half of the people who are out there campaigning against me are the people who tried to shut me down. If I had to do it all over again I would do the same thing. My only regret is that we did not catch more of them.”
Bryan Peeples said that he was the youngest candidate in the field at 37 and that 85 percent of people polled in a Fox News poll said that their political leaders do not represent their views. Peeples promised to bring a new perspective and approach to the Senate. Peeples said that he wants to audit and take over the Federal Reserve and introduce legislation to audit the Federal government.
Mo Brooks said, “I am in this race because I perceive there are some ethics issues, and I feel that we need a principled conservative in the Senate where bills go to die.” Brooks said that he has voted with the President 92.5 percent of the time in Congress and supports the President’s call to end the 60 percent rule in the Senate.
Dr. Randy Brinson said Medicaid should be capped and that he was the only candidate with a plan to deal with Medicaid and replace Obamacare. Brinson said that his plan is something that the five Republican hold outs in the Senate as well as some Democrats could support. Brinson warned that unless you cap the spending on Medicaid we are going to go broke. Jefferson County is going to go broke from its indigent care fund. Four hospital groups have already endorsed my plan. “I am talking about real solutions because we have to get this fixed.”
Peeples said that government should not be involved in healthcare. “I appreciate Dr. Brinson’s perspective. I am not a doctor, I am a businessman.” Peeples supports repeal of Obamacare with two years for that to take effect. Peeples said he favors a free market environment for healthcare.
Brooks said that he favors block granting the Medicaid dollars to the states and letting the states handle that without mandates from the Federal government; but said that elderly people have planned their retirements around Medicare and that the government should honor its commitment to seniors.
Brinson attacked Strange asking why some can run with ethics complaints, why they can protect polluters, and why they can take unlimited amounts of money to run. Brinson said that he visitee the Superfund site that Strange opposed expanding in North Birmingham. Brinson said it is deplorable that Luther Strange blocked cleaning up that neighborhood after taking money from Drummond Coal. Brinson said that on October 14 Strange wrote a letter to EPA objecting to expanding the site and three days later received a campaign contribution from Drummond Coal.
Strange defended his conduct. Strange said, “I sued the EPA a dozen times. We stopped the waters of the United States and stopped the clean power plan. I do not apologize. That would have cost this State $millions. I was happy to oppose that and I would do it again.”
Brooks said that he is a member of the Freedom Caucus and one of the most conservative members of Congress, while Luther Strange is considered more pliable by the Washington, DC lobbyists, which is why they have donated $millions to run negative ads against he and Judge Roy Moore. Brooks said that he has been endorsed by: Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levine, and other conservative thought leaders.
The event was hosted by the Alabama Minority GOP, the Republican Women of Trussville, and the Alabama Conservative Group.
The primary will be on Tuesday, August 15.