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Bogus endorsement causes controversy in Dem governor’s race

Josh Moon

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Sen. Doug Jones greets supporters at a victory rally on Dec. 12, 2017. (Chip Brownlee/APR)

Doug Jones is not making an endorsement in the Democratic Primary race for Alabama governor.

After an odd mixup on Wednesday night in Auburn at a Sue Bell Cobb event, Jones’ office issued a release on Thursday making it clear that Alabama’s newest U.S. senator had no favorite between Cobb and Walt Maddox.

The Senator has not endorsed, and will not endorse, any candidates in any of the Alabama races during this year’s primary election,” the statement from Jones’ office read. “No one on his staff, nor volunteers from his campaign has or would make an endorsement on behalf of the Senator.”

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On Wednesday evening in Auburn, during the Cobb event, a person unaffiliated with the Jones camp — who turned out to be a teenager — told attendees that Jones planned to back Cobb in the race. Numerous people present said the comments weren’t challenged by Cobb or anyone on her staff.

APR contacted Cobb’s office on Thursday to ask what occurred, but after taking the question, no one from the campaign followed up with an answer.

The way the comment was handled by Cobb and her staff drew the ire of the Maddox camp, a source said, because both campaigns were told several weeks ago that Jones would not make an endorsement in the race.

“That it wasn’t immediately corrected on site was a problem for (the Maddox campaign),” the source said.

 

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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Elections

Mistaken identity and racist, sexist, anti-Semitic posts could spell disaster in PSC race

Bill Britt

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Degrading women, racial slurs, anti-Semitic rhetoric and semi-pornographic images posted on social media pages hasn’t hindered the rise of a Republican Party candidate for the Alabama Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities and other entities.

The Alabama Public Service Commission race, where little-known James “Jim” Bonner  is challenging incumbent Jeremy Oden. Bonner is actually leading Oden in recent polls because voters in the Mobile area are confusing him with former U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, who served the area in Congress for more than a decade. He is also seeing wide support in the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa areas because of former University of Alabama Chancellor Judy Bonner.

“What makes this particular race so interesting is that Jim Bonner is benefiting greatly from having the same last name as the former Congressman Jo Bonner and his well-known sister former Judy Bonner,” noted Cygnal’s president, Brent Buchanan. “This is borne out by the fact that in the Mobile media market Bonner leads Oden by 28 percent to 6 percent, a 4-to-1 ratio.”

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Despite all of this publicly available information, Bonner is leading in the GOP PSC primary against incumbent Oden for Place I on the commission.

According to Buchanan, Bonner is leading Oden due to mistaken identity.

Even though Bonner’s Facebook posts are readily available  voters wrongly identify the candidate.

Facebook Posts

A closer look at at his posts revels a card reading, “My love 4 you burns like 6,000 jews,” donning a makeshift postage stamp of Hitler. His post reads, “Awwwww I got a Valentine!!!!”

In other posts, he defended the N-word and called himself a Bentley Republican.

But if these things don’t outrage Conservative sensibilities, then perhaps a photo Bonner posted of a young boy nursing on a mannequin breast should.

In several posts, he likes the use of the N-word and jokes about African-Americans in derogatory posts, refers to a female as a fat stripper, then says, “I’m sorry everyone knows you’re not a stripper” and joins in negative comments about a woman’s vagina, which he calls, “[N]atures perfect design.” Referencing a Chinese restaurant’s menu he says, “The fried anus was the best I ever had.”

In post after post, Bonner seems to revel in racist, sexist and anti-semite comments, but this has dampened his support among those who think he is someone he’s not.

Even with its dominance, the Republican Party has struggled with the conviction of the Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard on felony ethics violations, Gov. Robert Bentley who resigned in disgrace and loss of a safe U.S. Senate seat by Judge Roy Moore.

“It appears from the data that this PSC race is within the margin of error strictly because of name confusion. Bonner is competitive across the state despite the fact that he has spent no money on advertising or building his name ID,” added Buchanan. “Given what is expected to be a low turnout election, Bonner would be favored to win this race if it were held today.”

Bonner is one more case of Republicans failing to vet candidates before approving their candidacy.

 

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Elections

APR’s League of Influentials offer predictions in the upcoming Republican primary

Bill Britt

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During the first two weeks of May, the Alabama Political Reporter asked its League of Influentials to weigh in on upcoming Republican statewide elections. The Influentials are a roster of lawmakers from both parties, political analysts, members of the media, lobbyists and consultants that span the political spectrum.

The survey finds Gov. Ivey with a narrowing lead, a surprise in the attorney general’s race and Billy Canary of the Business Council of Alabama leaving sometime before hell freezes over and other prognostications.

Results in the June 5 primary for the Republican governor’s race, APR‘s Influentials project Gov. Kay Ivey will lead the field with 52 percent, followed by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle at 24 percent, rounding out the field are Evangelist Scott Dawson pulling 16 percent and State Senator Bill Hightower with eight percent.

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What will the vote percentages be for each of the GOP gubernatorial candidates on Election Day?

Tommy Battle: 24 percent

Scott Dawson: 16 percent

Bill Hightower: 8 percent

Kay Ivey: 52 percent

In the Republican lieutenant governor primary, Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh tops the pack with 52 percent, according to APR‘s Influentials forecast. State Rep. Will Ainsworth garners 34 percent, and State Senator Rusty Glover trails at 15 percent.

What will the vote percentages be for each of the GOP Lieutenant Governor candidates on Election Day?

Will Ainsworth: 34 percent

Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh: 52 percent

Rusty Glover: 15 percent

In the Attorney General’s challenge, former Attorney General Troy King and current appointee, Steve Marshall, are within strike distance of each other with King holds a 4 point lead at 35 percent to Marshall’s 31 percent. Former U.S. Attorney and AG Chief Deputy Alice Martin pulled 22 percent, with Chess Bedsole coming in at 12 points.

What will the vote percentages be for each of the GOP Attorney General candidates on Election Day?

Ches Bedsole: 12 percent

Troy King: 35 percent

Steve Marshall: 31 percent

Alice Martin: 22 percent

As for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Tom Parker walks away with 71.88 percent to appointed Chief Justice Lyn Stuart’s 28.13 percent.

Who wins the GOP Primary for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

Tom Parker: 71.88 percent

Lyn Stuart: 28.13 percent

APR also asked its Influentials about any surprises in the Republican primary and, overwhelmingly, they saw the opportunity for an upset in the attorney general’s race with 46.88 percent seeing a stunning finish to the hotly contested election.

As for other potential surprises, the Influentials see small percentage in  the  GOP Supreme Court Chief Justice Primary at 18.75 percent, in the GOP Governor Primary 15.63 percent and a 9.38 percent in the GOP Lieutenant Governor Primary.

Which statewide race do you think will be the most surprising in the results on June 5?

GOP Governor Primary: 15.63 percent

GOP Lieutenant Governor Primary: 9.38 percent

GOP Attorney General Primary: 46.88 percent

GOP Supreme Court Chief Justice Primary: 18.75 percent

GOP Supreme Court Associate Justice Primary: 0.00 percent

APR‘s Influentials believe embattled Business Council of Alabama CEO Billy Canary will be replaced after the June 5 primary, with 18.75 percent thinking he will remain as the organization’s chief until after the November general election. The same number, 18.75 percent, project his departure when hell freezes over.

When does Billy Canary depart BCA?

After the Primary Election: 62.50 percent

After the General Election: 18.75 percent

After hell freezes over: 18.75 percent

A break down of Influentials who participate in this poll are as follows:

What best classifies you and your role?

Lobbyist/association: 25 percent

Legislator: 18.75 percent

Political Consultant: 37.50 percent

Other elected official: 6.25 percent

Media: 12.50 percent

All answers are received anonymously, and not even APR‘s staff can identify who participated in the survey.

 

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Elections

Deadline for registering to vote is today

Sam Mattison

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Today is the final day to register to vote in the party primaries set for next month.

Those who still have not registered can do so online through the Secretary of State’s website.

Alternatively, you can still register by mail, and you can always physically register at the board of registrars in your voting area.

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Alabama’s election laws require a photo identification to vote. While the most common ID used is a driver’s license, a variety of identifications can be used:

  • Valid Nondriver ID
  • Valid Alabama Photo Voter ID card
  • Valid State Issued ID (Alabama or any other state)
  • Valid Federal Issued ID
  • Valid US Passport
  • Valid Employee ID from Federal Government, State of Alabama, County, Municipality, Board, or other entity of this state
  • Valid student or employee ID from a public or private college or university in the State of Alabama (including postgraduate technical or professional schools)
  • Valid Military ID
  • Valid Tribal ID

Alabama also gives out free photo IDs specifically for voting. The form can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.

The party primaries encompass many offices, including all statewide positions and seats in the Legislature.

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Bogus endorsement causes controversy in Dem governor’s race

by Josh Moon Read Time: 1 min
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