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Lieutenant governor candidates speak at Vestavia forum

Brandon Moseley



By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Mid-Alabama Republican Club held a forum Saturday for Republican lieutenant governor candidates in Vestavia Hills.

State Rep. Will Ainsworth, R-Guntersville, said, “I moved to Boaz when I was one. My father started a business just him. Today they manufacture locomotives and have thousands of employees. My mom founded the crisis pregnancy center in Marshall County.”


“I have introduced an adoption tax credit,” Ainsworth said. “It expands the adoption credit at to any other state or country.”

“I love Donald Trump and what he has done for the country,” Ainsworth added.

Ainsworth said that people outside the stat know about Nick Saban, but they also know about the Luv Guv and the corruption.

Ainsworth said that his first bill he passed in the legislature eliminated double voting.

“The second bill I passed eliminated something called the revolving door,” Ainsworth said. “People were going straight from government to lobbying. That is a big difference between me and Twinkle. She went straight from the governor’s cabinet to lobbying.”

Ainsworth said that he has an education plan.

“We have got to make sure that all kids have access to technology,” Ainsworth said. “Some parents aren’t doing their job any more. Children are arriving in school that have never read a book before and don’t know their colors. The biggest crisis facing our state is workforce development. I talk to businesses across the state. They say we can’t find people qualified to fill the roles that we have open and when we do they can’t pass a drug test. We forgot the trades. When I went to high school, it was all about where are you going to college. We have got to give parents choice through charter schools.”

“The future of the next 5 to 10 years in Alabama is very bright,” Ainsworth said.

Ainsworth said that he comes from the private sector, is a Christian, is endorsed by the Alabama Forestry Association and the Alabama Farmers Federation.

“I support term limits,” Ainsworth said. “I fought against tax increases. I stood up to Mike Hubband and Governor Bentley and killed a billion in new taxes.”

“It is an honor to serve in the House and would be a privilege to be your lieutenant governor,” Ainsworth said.

Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh said, “I am running for Lt. Gov. for three reasons: to cut the government fat; we have strong Christian conservative values and they are under attack. It is important to have someone strong in this office and the third is jobs, jobs, jobs.”

“When I was elected to the Public Service Commission they wanted to know what kind of new car I wanted, offered to purchase new furniture for my office and asked how many new cell phones I needed,” Cavanaugh said. “I refused a state car, we didn’t redecorate my office, we did not get a slew of new phones.”

Cavanaugh said that she has cut the number of PSC employees from 119 to 72.

“We had 59 state cars. We changed that,” Cavanaugh said. “Today, you only have a state car if you are going to an audit or you are doing inspections on things like pipelines. I have cut my personal office space by two thirds. We are now sending $13 million back to the state in savings. Thats what we need to do as a state.”

Cavanaugh said she was the first woman chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.

“President Trump has given us a reprieve,” Cavanaugh said. “Now we need to take this chance to reclaim our country.”

“In three years we will have a shortage of 100,000 skilled jobs in our state,” Cavanaugh said. “We have got to improve our workforce. Not every child is going to college; but we need to make sure that every child reaches their potential.”

“I want Alabama to be a beacon for the rest of the country,” Cavanaugh said.

State Senator Rusty Glover, R-Semmes, said we have three good candidates running for this office.

He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2002 and has been in the Senate since 2006.

“I come from a very conservative district and they are very happy with my vote,” Glover said.

“The lieutenant governor presides over the Senate, assigns bills to the Senate Committees and approves travel,” Glover said. “He makes the determination if these trips worthy of your money.”

Glover said that he opposed the tax increases in Amendment one.

“I voted against every one of those taxes,” Glover said. “There was a shortage of state troopers on the roads and the Speaker of the House, both pro-tems, and the majority leader all had state troopers driving them back and forth to work. In 2010, the Republicans took control of the legislature and those Trooper drivers were done away with. If I am lieutenant governor, I won’t have a state trooper driving me around.”

“I pledge to be a full-time lieutenant governor,” Glover said. “I am not going to have any other jobs or businesses. I pledge to work with the governor on economic development and workforce development.”

The Mid-Alabama Republican Club meets on the second Saturday of each month in Vestavia.

The major party primaries will be on June 5, 2018.

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Lieutenant governor bill likely dead for this session

Chip Brownlee



A bill that would place a referendum on November’s ballot to drastically redefine the role of the lieutenant governor and strip many of the position’s responsibilities is likely dead for this session.

The bill, proposed by Republican Sen. Gerald Dial, has been on and off of the Senate floor for the past several weeks as Dial has attempted to work out a deal with opposing senators, but it now appears those negotiations weren’t enough to save the bill.

The bill was one of three pieces of legislation on the Senate’s special order calendar Tuesday, but the legislation was quickly carried over again after senators indicated it had not received enough support for a vote — with no idea of if or when the bill might be brought up again.


Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said Tuesday that the bill was likely dead for the session.

“I thought it was a bill that has been agreed upon, but as many times as it’s been to the floor, I don’t anticipate seeing it again this year,” Marsh said.

Dial’s bill would make the responsibilities of the position more akin to that of a vice governor with the role largely being determined by the governor. On the floor earlier this month, Dial said the governor could theoretically send the lieutenant governor to a foreign country to negotiate a deal or even run a state agency.

More specifically, the bill would remove the lieutenant governor’s responsibility to preside over the Alabama Senate and vote in the case of a tie, and it would transfer that responsibility to a Senate president elected by the body.

If the bill were passed and the voters approved the Constitutional amendment, the governor would no longer be elected separately from the governor. Instead, the governor and lieutenant governor would be elected jointly similarly to the way the president and vice president of the United States are elected.

“Early on, I thought there was a lot of support for the concept, but for whatever reason, that went south,” Marsh said. “It’s just, this late in the game, time in the session, I think we’ve got to focus on other things that we want to get done.”

The move to scrap the bill this session comes as the Legislature moves into what is expected to be its last two weeks of session. Even if the bill were to be passed out of the Senate, it would need to be approved by a House that has been bogged down with disputes over local Jefferson County legislation and several controversial gun bills.


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Mike Huckabee campaigns for Scott Dawson

Brandon Moseley



Monday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was in Pelham, Alabama, to campaign for his friend, Scott Dawson.

Dawson is an evangelist who is running for governor in the Republican Primary.

“What a joy to be here with the next governor of Alabama Scott Dawson,” Huckabee told the crowd.


Huckabee also praised his daughter, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“I am delighted by that young lady,” Huckabee said. “God prepared her for this by giving her two older brothers that were not always nice to her.  To be honest Donald Trump was not my first choice for president; I was my first choice for president. I am glad to see a Huckabee in the White House; it is just not the Huckabee I had planned on.”

Huckabee said that it is a delight to see her smack down, “Jim Acosta or one of those fake news goons from CNN.”

The former Arkansas governor said that Dawson has the humility to be governor.

“I believe that Scott has a hard fight on his hands but with your help he will win,” Huckabee said. “I believe that he is not going to disappoint you because he is more afraid that he will disappoint God. Second if he did some of things that others have done you will never read about it in the newspaper because Tarra would put a bullet in his forehead and then start looking around for another clip.”

Popular Alabama radio personalities “Rick and Bubba” were also there to support their friend and regular radio contributor, Scott Dawson.

Bill “Bubba” Bussey Jr. said he had known Dawson for 16 years.

“One day he asked me to meet with him for lunch,” Bussey said recalling Dawson’s decision to run. “There he said, ‘I want you to run for Governor.'”

Bussey said he told him, “I am going to have to have a real clear vision from God on it. I am going to actually have a burning bush moment; not just a feeling. I prayed about it but decided that I was not being called to do that. I told him that if you feel real strong about it maybe you should run. I was pretty honored about being asked but until I found out that he had asked 25 other people.”

Rick Burgess said, “We can’t constantly talk about how bad it is but at some point somebody like Scott has to step and run”.

Burgess said of Dawson, “He will not embarrass you like some who have gone before have.”

“Invest in something that matters,” Burgess said. “Do it for your children. Do it for your grandchildren so we can finally have a man in office that we can not be embarrassed or ashamed by.

Dawson said, “This is about Alabama this is about how you deserve better than we are getting from Montgomery.”

“The last governor that was elected was removed from office,” Dawson said. “Two of the last three governors have been convicted or pleaded guilty.”

Dawson said that there are two things we have got to address head on: ethic and education.

“It is time to get rid of Common Core and bring back common sense,” Dawson said. “We are not against standards but they should be Alabama standards.”

Dawson promised to use volunteers who have passed a background check to make sure that every child can read, write, and do arithmetic by the end of the third grade. Dawson said that favors mandatory drug tests for students participating in every extracurricular activity starting in the 9th grade.

Dawson want to expand rehab in Alabama by opening up the doors to faith based rehab.

The Alabama Political Reporter asked Huckabee: You were a governor and are aware of the steep learning curve it takes to enter that office.   Scott Dawson has never served in a state office or in the legislature.  How much does it hurt him that he has no government experience?

“You are right that there is a steep learning curve to assuming office as governor,” Huckabee answered. “I was lieutenant governor; but it did not really prepare me for being governor.  Neither would serving in the legislature or being a state official.  I think that he has not been in lower levels of politics is actually a positive as he does not owe people for helping him along the way.”

APR asked Rick Burgess if he feared that there could be a backlash against his show, which is an entertainment show, for getting so involved in politics.

Burgess said that he did not expect any sort of backlash because politics is one of the things that they do on the show.

“We might have one segment about a national news event, another about politics, then one segment about what is your favorite cookie, then a segment about sports; but you have to be careful about how much you do it,” Burgess said.  “This is the only the second time that we have done this.  The other time was for Gary Palmer.  We are not endorsing Scott Dawson; we are vouching for Scott.”

The major party primaries will be on June 5, 2018.

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Scandal, blue dogs and the fickle public could change the 2018 election, maybe

Bill Britt



Stock Photo

Campaign season is about to enter a critical phase with Republican and Democrat primaries less than 75 days away.

In this off-year election, only the governor’s race and the battle for attorney general are drawing any particular attention. Neither seat is held by an individual elected to the office by a vote of the people. Gov. Kay Ivey ascended to her position after the fall of Gov. Robert Bentley, and Attorney General Steve Marshall owes his job to the same deviant governor who was forced from office due to moral and legal failings.

As the 2018 Legislative Session hurries to a close, politicos are focusing their attention on primary election day, June 5, when many races are decided because of carefully drawn districts that favor either a Republican or Democrat candidate.


All political contests are consequential, but few have the potential to be transformative. If the status quo holds, little will change in the Heart of Dixie, but as with all things politics, the mercurial temperament of the electorate can change in interesting ways.

Take for instance Judge Roy Moore’s recent defeat in the 2017 U.S. Senate special election where scandal coupled with weak resolve among state Republican leadership gave a motivated youth and minority voter movement an opportunity to capture a seat held by Republicans for more than a generation.

There is little reason to believe that Gov. Ivey will not win the Republican primary. Most recent polls show her with high favorables among Republican voters. But that doesn’t mean her path to victory is assured, as she faces three primary challengers and an enlivened Democratic base.

Having raised nearly three million dollars, Ivey is besting her closest competitor by over one million.

Secretary of State records show Ivey raising $2,833,064.91, Mayor Tommy Battle $1,692,632.00 (loan $4,000), State Sen. Bill Hightower $806,528.66 (loan $30,100) and Scott Dawson $638,967.00.

Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls former State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox are, for now, only a distraction in terms of fundraising — but so was Doug Jones before he upset the state’s political equilibrium with his U.S. Senate win just a few months ago.

As for the attorney general’s race in the Republican primary, Marshall faces a field that includes former U.S. Attorney and recent AG chief deputy Alice Martin, former Attorney General Troy King and President Donald Trump’s Alabama finance director Chess Bedsole.

“That an attorney general is accepting donations from those who aided Hubbard is seen as troubling.”

Marshall is handily outpacing his rivals in fundraising having received $961,505.28 total with $18,021.40 in loans. Marshall contributions from in-state PACs has dropped precipitously since revelation surfaced about his actions to protect a molester on his staff.

But that hasn’t deterred out-of-state donors, many of whom seem to have no affiliation with Alabama. Marshall’s campaign is heavily funded by groups and individuals who are tied to the felony acts of former Republican Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard. That an attorney general is accepting donations from those who aided Hubbard is seen a troubling.

Among Republican voters, the most recent survey shows Marshall running behind King and slightly ahead of Martin.

Many high-profile politicos speaking on background believe if Marshall wins, he will move to fire public corruption fighter Matt Hart and his team. They also express concern that he will join forces with those who will weaken and dismantle state ethics laws.

Given Republican gerrymandering and the state’s right-leaning political bent, little is expected to change.

However, as blue dog Democrats are gaining ground across the nation, it is not inconceivable that Ivey could face a challenge from the left and given that Marshall was an Obama Democrat until 2012, it seems likely that he will be sent home by one of his three Republican challengers.

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Lieutenant governor candidates speak at Vestavia forum

by Brandon Moseley Read Time: 4 min