Connect with us

Bill Britt

I believe Judge Roy Moore

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

I prefer the grind of every day reporting to sharing my opinions with the readers. I let Bill, Josh and Joey focus on the opinion writing, which they do so well. This time I will make an exception. We are now in the start of the third day of a carefully orchestrated character assassination of the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, Judge Roy Moore.

If we are to believe his accusers, Roy Moore dated a number of 16, 17 and 18-year-old young ladies in the late 1970s. As I read the current law, it is perfectly legal to have consensual sexual contact with a 16-year-old in Alabama. That is not considered abuse or a crime. It is still legal, and likely was in 1979, and most of the accusers say that their dates with Moore never got much more exciting than some kissing and Moore playing his guitar. One of the ladies, who was 18 at the time, says that Moore served her alcohol. Alabama did not raise the drinking age to 21 until 1984.

The most troubling allegation is that Roy Moore went out with a 14 year old, took the willing young lady to his trailer where he removed her shirt and her pants and then there was some touching of private parts through the underwear. When she got uncomfortable with it, she shut it down, and that was that. It is illegal to have sexual contact with 14 year olds. I am not a lawyer and have never seen what the Alabama statute read during the Jimmy Carter administration. But according to my lay reading of current Alabama law – which admittedly was written 27 years after this alleged incident, that act today would likely be sexual abuse, a Class A misdemeanor. One attorney has already told me that he does not think we even had a sexual abuse statute on the books in 1979. This is a 38-year-old cold case of an incident that may or may not have happened. This is never going to see any court.

That being said, how can any of us really know what might have happened in a trailer in Etowah County in 1979? Those of us who want to believe the best in Roy Moore believe his account and think the WaPo story is false.

Advertisement

Those of us who want to believe the worst about Roy Moore will believe the worst about Roy Moore and are inclined to believe his accuser. If we are all intellectually honest, we don’t have any video, DNA evidence, eyewitness accounts — other than Moore and the accuser, the testimony is 38 years old, so facts blur.

Roy Moore is innocent until he is proven guilty, and I don’t see this case ever being brought to trial. We just have to accept that we are never really going to know with any certainty what happened on that day in 1979, or if the two even met that day.

We now have had three days of histrionics about this in the mainstream media. Every talking head on cable news has an opinion on this, even though most of them have never stepped foot in Alabama, have never met any of us, including Judge Moore or his accusers, and will move on from this story when it plays out, or they find something more titillating for them to chatter about in front of the cameras.

Again, I — unlike any of them — have actually met Judge Moore and have known him, either through my journalistic work or through Republican politics for almost 20 years. Judge Moore believes what he says he believes, and I trust him on this.

The once respected Washington Post has changed ownership and has become the leftist version of the right’s Breitbart News, an increasingly low-brow publication that aligns itself with progressive causes and the Democratic Party. In this story, they have hit a dangerous new low for political journalism. If you like their reporting, send them a check so they will let you through their paywall.

Going 38 years back into the past to talk to the former girlfriends or boyfriends of a political candidate — or people who claim to be former love interests of candidates — is incredibly sleazy, and it is disgusting that the editors at the Post thought this was somehow a newsworthy endeavor for them to pursue.

I like Roy Moore, and I am certainly not going to vote for Roy Moore’s opponent, Clinton-era U.S. Attorney Doug Jones (D). I have nothing personal against Jones. I just think his positions and ideas are far too liberal for Alabama to seriously consider for even one moment.

Even though I would like to see Moore win and Jones lose, I will swear to all the readers right here and now, that I, as a journalist, will never stoop to interviewing any of Jones’ former girlfriends from before his marriage. I don’t know whom Doug took to the prom. I don’t want to know where they went after the prom, and I don’t want to know what age his date was or if he tried to initiate sexual contact or not, and who touched who where and what clothes were removed and by whom.

With the exception of those of you who are test tube babies, all of us are here because our moms, at least once in their lives, let our dads do what dads wanted to do all along. I hope that was not an upsetting revelation to anyone.

Roy Moore never claimed that he was God, and neither did he ever claim that he is without sin. I never thought that the kinds of things that happen in human mating rituals was news and never thought that the candidates’ premarital love lives were the sort of thing that we as investigative journalists should really devote our time and talents toward exposing in such detail.

I know there is a market for voyeuristic celebrity gossip out there. I let TMZ and People Magazine cater to that market, and apparently, the Post wants to colonize that space now, as well.

I know that I am getting old, and my ways are not as ‘hip’ as some people’s in this business, but at its core, this business is supposed to be about news. We report about real people, real issues, real policies in the now.

The sexual adventures of Roy Moore after he got home from fighting for us in Vietnam is not a topic I ever thought would be a headline here or anywhere else. Thank you, Washington Post, for becoming a more sleazy version of the National Enquirer. What’s next? Ranking all the former love interests of Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump?

I would not want my byline associated with this kind of gossip-level reporting in any way. None of this is relevant to my life, and none of it is relevant to anybody’s lives here and now in the state of Alabama.

We have real problems. We have real issues. There are things I want to see done by the federal government in the next four years. What do you believe we should be doing on health care, on taxes, on immigration, on the border wall, on reforming Washington D.C., on protecting religious liberties, on guns?

I will be voting for Roy Moore because he is the candidate most likely to pass tax reform, vote to cut down on out-of-control immigration policies, confirm conservative judges. Why would anyone change their vote based on these accusations? You either agree with Roy Moore’s views on the issues, or you agree with Doug Jones’ views. This sensationalized journalism I don’t think has any place in a rational person’s decision-making process.

You vote for the person with the agenda closest to your own. For me, that is Roy Moore.

Moore is the candidate who will vote to confirm conservative selections to the Supreme Court; steadfastly defend our Second Amendment rights; vote for Republican budgets that make America great again by increasing defense spending; keeping Alabamians employed in defense sector jobs; fight for religious liberty; and oppose abortion.

Doug Jones posted pictures of himself partying with Planned Parenthood. Jones will not fight to protect the lives of millions of pre-born Americans; support President Donald J. Trump’s agenda; vote to repeal Obamacare; fight to repeal Obama administration era regulations that shut down American coal jobs and sent our jobs overseas; fight to decrease the regulatory state; or advance conservatism. Moore is the conservative candidate. Moore is the pro-life candidate.

A vote for Jones puts Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders one vote closer to control of the U.S. Senate, and the current Republican majority is just two seats.

Whatever you believed happened 38 years ago, that should not sway Alabamians from voting for the candidate who most closely shares our conservative Alabama values, and that is Roy Moore. Don’t be swayed by emotion or the mainstream media. They do not share any of our Alabama values and do not care about us or our beliefs. They have made that abundantly clear over the years.

It is time for Republicans and conservatives to vote with our brains and not be swayed by media hysteria and the politics of personal destruction.

 

Continue Reading

Bill Britt

Ethics Review Committee is a long con

Bill Britt

Published

on

After last week’s initial meeting of the Ethics Review Committee, it’s now apparent that the body, as far as its leaders are concerned, is not assembled to strengthen and clarify the state’s ethics laws but weaken it through a wholesale rewrite. In other words, the Ethics Review Committee is a prop in a confidence scheme.

It seems the real purpose of the committee is to provide cover for lawmakers when, during the 2019 Legislative Session, the current “toughest in the nation’s” ethics laws are gutted like a prize pig.

Doing away with the present statutes should come as no surprise since Republican lawmakers and some businessmen have worked to overturn the ethics laws since Republican Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard was convicted of 12 felony violations of the existing laws.

As in high stakes, poker lawmakers have “tells” which, when read, reveal their true intentions.

The resolution that created the Ethics Review Committee reads in part, “[T]he multiple piecemeal amendments over the last 40-plus years and the evolving interpretation of the Code of Ethics have created an environment where reasonable individuals can sometimes disagree on what is permitted and what is not with the result that qualified individuals are discouraged from seeking public office.”

Advertisement

Citing a law as old implies it antiquated and in need of replacement to fit the times. Piecemeal here is used as a pejorative to indicate the law is flawed because of so many additions. It also states that reasonable individuals disagree on what is permitted and what is not. Finding a reasonable person is a stretch, but what this means is when someone wants a way around the laws or breaks the law, they hire an attorney to argue about what the law means. Lastly, the authors of the resolution establishing the committee want the public to believe the laws discourage qualified individuals from seeking public office.

These are all talking points that only mean they are going to scrap existing laws.

It’s almost like the committee itself is an unwitting partner in a confidence trick. This move against the state’s ethics act feels like a “long con” in which, “a scam unfolds over a period of time and involves a team of swindlers, as well as props, sets, extras, costumes, and scripted lines,” according to Amy Reading’s The Mark.

The set-up began in earnest during the 2018 Legislative Session when Republican House and Senate leaders promised the public that the committee would use SB343 as the starting point for the review committee’s suggested changes.

But using SB343 as the underlying law on which to build is now being trashed.

At the end of the first meeting, Jefferson County Presiding Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boohaker asked, “Are we going to work in the existing Ethics law? Are we working on SB343? Or are we just starting from scratch?”

Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton, who co-chairs the committee, answered, “I think all three are possibilities. That’s what this committee should decide. If there are things you like about the existing law, then you can propose we keep those. If you like the Attorney General’s bill, then you can suggest those. If you want to start from scratch, then I would encourage you to present something to the committee that you do like.”

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh introduced SB343 during the 2018 Legislative Session. The bill was painstakingly constructed primarily by the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Division led by Matt Hart, a team assembled under former Attorney General Luther Strange that worked since August 2016, to deliver a comprehensive re-write of the Alabama Ethics Act. During the process, Hart’s team met with all the significant stakeholders which amounted to more than two dozen different groups consisting of attorneys, lobbyists, associations, prosecutors and university officials, as well as direct discussions with the Legislature, including Othni Lathram, the director of the Legislative Services Agency.

According to sources within many of those discussions, there was universal agreement that SB343 satisfied the concerns of the various interests.

The committee may be comprised of exceptional individuals, but the fix is in, and the grifter’s prize is a return to a lawless Legislature led by those who serve themselves, not the people.

The game is on, and mischief is afoot. It’s a con.

 

Continue Reading

Bill Britt

Opinion | Cobb’s pledge sets a trap for rivals; Very Trumpian

Bill Britt

Published

on

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Sue Bell Cobb, last week, put forward a campaign pledge as cover for her failure to vet a field director who is a registered sex offender.

Rather than admitting her mistake and firing the sex offender and the staff member who hired him, she tried to change the subject by blaming the media, pointing her finger at Republicans and asking her opponents to sign a pledge to play nice.

The pledge itself is little more than a cleverly disguised Faustian bargain, in which she attempts to trick her rivals into agreeing to a promise that serves her end but not theirs.

Second from the bottom, the pledge reads: “REFUSE FUNDING any group requiring financial support in exchange for an ‘endorsement.'”

This coming Saturday, the Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) will meet to choose which candidates it will support in the June 5 Democrat primary. With the ADC’s endorsement comes an explicit understanding of financial support. It appears Cobb is conceding she will not receive ADC’s endorsement and doesn’t want one of her opponents to benefit from the group’s support.

Advertisement

Cobb learned something from her 30 years on the bench, which seems to be how to hide a trap inside a seemingly innocuous document.

Every Democratic candidate wants ADC’s endorsement, and everyone needs it.

Four of the five candidates running for governor under the Democrat banner signed the pledge. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox called it a “stunt,” and didn’t sign.

Now if one of the other four office seekers should win ADC’s endorsement, they would have to refuse it to comply with Cobb’s pledge.

Of course, Cobb’s presser last week was an unmitigated disaster. From its premise to its ending, Cobb showed her inability to understand the fundamentals of decency, much less the vital role of the press. Has Cobb basked so long in the warmth of an adoring liberal press that she couldn’t realize that not everyone swoons when she takes the stage? Or has she fooled herself for so long that facts no longer matter?

Since resigning her position as Alabama’s chief justice, Cobb has given at least six different reasons why she stepped down, so either she doesn’t know why she surrendered her office to Judge Roy Moore or has yet to decide which version of the facts plays best with her audience.

As if to take a page from President Donald Trump’s playbook, Cobb, last week, strolled in front of the cameras, denounced the dishonest press, defended paying a sex offender $40,000 —over the course of two months—and then duped her opponents into signing away their legal rights and the ability to receive a coveted endorsement.

Cobb’s pledge also states, “MAKE PUBLIC all expenditures placed on behalf of my campaign whether paid directly or through consultants.”

Alabama’s FCPA law doesn’t require candidates to disclose such expenditures. Here, Cobb once again is not looking to make the race fairer but to take away a lawful advantage she believes her rivals are using.

Furthermore, Cobb made a fool of herself at her most recent presser by saying the arrest of her campaign field director, sex offender Paul Littlejohn III, was politically motivated.

Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian called her out  saying, “How sad that a candidate for governor supports a convicted sex offender over sexual assault victims.”

Chief Deputy Christian points out what is perhaps the worst part of this whole sorry affair – Cobb, rather than remembering the victim, put the entire focus on herself.

Cobb’s pledge was meant to deflect and distract from her failure to identify and fire a sex offender. Instead, she deceived her opponents by persuading them to sign a phony pledge.

Very Trumpian.

Full pledge:

The Republican leaders of all three branches of our government have faced scandals and been removed from office. We must do better. Legitimate journalism is under attack while paid, partisan websites flourish unchecked. We must demand better. As a candidate for the highest elected office in Alabama, I will hold myself to the highest standards of ethics, pledging to:

ABIDE BY all campaign laws and procedures;

REFUSE TO defame the character of my opponent, his religious beliefs, his family or his lifestyle, or to condone the actions of those who do;

CONDEMN the use of campaign materials of any sort that falsify the facts regarding my opponent, his professional accomplishments, or his personal background;

CONDEMN any appeal to prejudice or bigotry;

DISAVOW PUBLICLY any material or advertisements that are not factually accurate or that fail to disclose the identity behind such campaign activities or the source of funding;

MAKE PUBLIC all expenditures placed on behalf of my campaign whether paid directly or through consultants;

REFUSE FUNDING any group requiring financial support in exchange for an “endorsement.”

SHARE copies of this pledge to my campaign workers, volunteers, and key supporters.

This 10th day of May, 2018.

 

Continue Reading

Bill Britt

BCA, ALFA and PCI support candidates with a history of misogyny

Bill Britt

Published

on

BCA's Billy Canary, left; ALFA's Jimmy Parnell, top-right; and PCI's Robbie McGee, bottom right, are backing two candidates for elected offices with a history of physical abuses or covering for sexual assault.

In the era of the #MeToo movement, it should be shocking that the Business Council of Alabama, the Alabama Farmers Federation and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are supporting men for statewide office who have either protected sexual predators or are themselves accused spouse abusers.

The popular novel, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” was originally titled “Men Who Hate Women.” Written by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, it chronicles how powerful men use the levers of government, establishment-institutions and cronyism to rob women of their humanity in the most degrading acts of defilement imaginable.

It would seem here in Alabama that some at BCA, ALFA and PCI are taking a page out of  Larsson’s book by offering misogynistic candidates covered under a veneer of their company’s respected logos.

Court records show BCA’s Billy Canary, ALFA’s Jimmy Parnell and PCI’s Robbie McGee are backing two candidates for elected offices with a history of physical abuses or covering for sexual assault.

Hand-picked by ALFA’s President Parnell, with financial support from Canary and McGee, Agriculture and Industry candidate Rick Pate, according to court records, abused his wife so severely that the court ordered that he not enter the marital home because his wife feared for her life.

Advertisement

“The Wife avers that the Husband has committed actual violence to her person and from his manner and conduct toward her, she is reasonably convinced that he will commit further violence upon her person, intended with danger to her life and health,” the record said.

In a handwritten note provided to the Alabama Political Reporter, the former Mrs. Pate recanted her sworn testimony saying she and her first husband now have an excellent relationship.

However, at the time of their divorce, the court granted her request of, “a restraining order strictly enjoining and restraining,” her Husband from “entering the resident premises…assaulting, threatening, or intimidating,” her.

BCA-backed candidate Attorney General Steve Marshall used the power of his office to protect a man who, according to court records, sexually assaulted a co-worker in an act that a U.S. district judge described as “horrific.”

After woman’s “horrific” sexual assault, what did Steve Marshall do?

Instead of firing the accused sexual assailant, Marshall sought to isolate and punish the victim before defending the perpetrator in court.

In the victim’s own words, she recounted the attack in court saying, “He had me pinned with my back against the wall … I kept saying stop, stop, get off me, stop. Stop it. He was trying to put his mouth on me. I could still feel his hot breath on my neck. I felt like I absolutely was going to die. I couldn’t move him because he was so heavy. He kept pushing his hands — he had one hand on my breast underneath the top part of my bra. I could feel his fingers on my nipples. The other hand, again, I could feel he was at the top of my pubic area. And I knew I had to stop him.”

Marshall did nothing to protect his female employee. In fact, he moved her to a basement office where she feared another attack.

Pate wants to represent the state’s largest industry here at home and abroad. Marshall is to be the state’s top lawyer defending the state and prosecuting its worst criminals, yet when women were involved, neither Pate or Marshall could be counted on to protect them, according to court documents.

That ALFA, BCA, and PCI would support such candidates with personal endorsements, and large sums of money are not lost on some members of the Republican Party. In a letter given to APR by a member of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women, it pleas with other women to, “Let’s prevent another black eye on our state and our party.” It further states,”In order for us to prove that we do care about our members and share their conservative family values; we must reconsider our support of Rick Pate or be forced to defend our support of him. If not, our lack of action once we became aware of his history of violence towards women will be our downfall.”

Did Canary, Parnell and McGee not vet Marshall or Pate? Did they simply not care that both men have a history of neglecting or abusing women?

What does it say about the female members of BCA, ALFA and PCI when their organization supports men who protect molesters and abusers?

The #MeToo movement is sweeping our nation, but in Alabama, Canary, Parnell and McGee using the force of BCA, ALFA and PCI are sweeping  misogyny under the rug.

 

Continue Reading

Authors

Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending

I believe Judge Roy Moore

by Brandon Moseley Read Time: 8 min
0