Connect with us

Joey Kennedy

Opinion | Roy Moore: Carrying sore loser to the extreme

Joey Kennedy

Published

on

Attorney Paula Cobia was succinct in describing disgraced former Chief Justice Roy Moore’s defamation and conspiracy lawsuit filed this week against four women who accused him of molesting or harassing them and a man Moore claims has a vendetta against him.

“It’s a garbage complaint,” Cobia said in a telephone interview.

Cobia represents one of the women being sued, Tina Johnson. Others named in the lawsuit are Leigh Corfman, Debbie Gibson, Beverly Nelson, and Richard Hagedorn. There were also 1-19 “fictitious defendants.” That’s bizarre; if they’re “fictitious,” they don’t exist.

After reading the suit, it’s easy to understand how Cobia came to her conclusion. I’m no lawyer, but I can read. There’s just nothing there.

No smoking gun. No gun, period. Not even decent bullets lying around.

Advertisement

Alabama Political Reporter’s Josh Moon got it right, too, in his Tuesday column: “Roy Moore filed a conspiracy theorist’s manifesto dressed up like a lawsuit.”

Opinion | Roy Moore is back with a new lawsuit, same craziness

Another attorney, Michael J. Evans, agrees, calling the suit “frivolous” in a Facebook posting. “Roy and his wife, Kayla, claim they are the victims of a conspiracy,” writes Evans. “I believe they were actually reaping the consequences of their own actions. If there was a conspiracy, in my opinion, it was not on the part of the women. Moore might want to consider things done on his own behalf by the political operatives he brought in from out of state.”

For her part, Cobia, who is representing Johnson gratis, said the lawsuit “really doesn’t set out any facts that would prove any type of conspiracy.” Moore’s lawyer for the suit, Melissa Isaak, even admitted, Cobia said, that “she’s not well-versed on the facts.”

Oddly, Moore’s suit does not include The Washington Post, which won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the accusations of the women, who Post reporters sought out. The women didn’t come forward as a group. The Post went to them as individuals.

The women “didn’t know each other,” Cobia said, which makes the conspiracy pretty difficult to sustain.

“Honestly, I think he (Moore) wanted to try to look relevant,” Cobia said. “I think it’s a money grab, or an attempt at a money grab, and an attempt for him to stay relevant in the public eye. … I think the well was running dry from his other emails.”

Moore has been raising money from supporters for a defense fund in a lawsuit filed against him by Corfman. Moore probably thinks the lawsuit he filed this week gives him another platform on which to hit-up his supporters for donations.

“He wants his followers to give him money, but he’s also asking for compensatory and punitive damages to enrich himself,” Cobia said. “There’s nothing in that complaint that sets for any type of conspiracy.”

The sexual misconduct and molesting accusations against Moore were published by the Post not long before December’s special election for the U.S. Senate, which was won by Democrat Doug Jones.

The Post reporting was thorough and credible, and underscored now by the Pulitzer Prize the newspaper won in April.

“He’s (Moore) kind of carrying sore loser to the extreme here,” Cobia said. “The powerful conspirators who would have the money to fund this big conspiracy, they’re not named.

And Cobia believes Moore will find a way never to be deposed, because he would then be under oath.

The worst result of the lawsuit, Cobia believes, is that it once again opens these women up to harassment and threats. Cobia’s client Johnson lost her house in a mysterious fire. Others involved in the case have been threatened, she said.

This is a big ol’ mess, for sure. But one created not by the women Moore molested or stalked, but, rather, by Moore himself. Until this “Christian” comes to that understanding, we likely can expect more of the same from Moore.

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]

 

Continue Reading

Featured Columnists

Opinion | The most important election ever

Joey Kennedy

Published

on

Is this the country we want to be? Is this the state we love.

I truly wonder.

We always say there is never an election more important than the one at hand. It’s become a cliché.

But, folks, there’s never been a more important election than the mid-term election this  November. It may be cliché, but it’s absolutely true.

If you are eligible to vote but not registered, get registered now. Don’t keep putting it off.

Advertisement

In the recent Republican and Democratic primaries in Alabama, only 26 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

That means 74 percent of registered voters stayed at home. Even that isn’t a true reflection of voter apathy in Alabama. Many more people in Alabama are eligible to vote, but simply don’t bother to register. Considering eligible voters, Alabama’s turnout is likely well below 25 percent.

Imagine fewer than 25 percent of eligible voters deciding who is going to head their parties’ tickets come November. In the few primary runoffs in July, the turnout likely will be single digits.

There’s no more crucial time for eligible voters to cast their ballots than this year.

Just look at the ongoing horror on our nation’s borders with Mexico. President Trump signed an executive order this week to prevent immigrant families from being split apart, but there’s debate over whether that means a whole lot. Trump only signed the order after tear-inducing descriptions and photos showed the terrible conditions that immigrant children were being housed in. So-called “tender age shelters,” little more than internment camps or prisons for toddlers and babies, was the last straw. Even tough-man Donald Trump couldn’t stand the backlash, so after saying he didn’t have the authority to keep families from being separated, he then signed an executive order ending his own policy of separating families.

Trump folded completely, but he folded on a terrible crisis of his own making.

Trump’s disgusting immigration decisions aren’t his only horrible policies. The assault on health insurance coverage, trade wars with our closest allies, destruction of the Environmental Protection Agency – the list goes on and on.

And on.

The bigger picture, though, is that voters allowed this to happen. More precisely, eligible voters who didn’t bother to register or vote allowed this to happen.

That’s why the cliché is true: There’s never been a more important election than this November’s midterms.

We’re not voting on a president, true, but we are selecting U.S. House members. Sure, Alabama polls overwhelmingly in support of Trump, but that’s not unusual in a state where voters so often go against their own interests.

Let’s not do that this time.

There are many more Democrats than usual running for office in Alabama this year. Get to know them. Learn what they stand for.

There are good Republicans, too, especially in local races.

On the statewide level, not so much, though, especially when compared to their Democratic Party opponents.

At the top, Tuscaloosa Mayor and Democrat Walt Maddox is eminently more qualified than Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, who supported a child molester for the U.S. Senate simply because he was a Republican, and who has refused to debate her opponents.

Go down the list. Remember that the party in charge in Alabama (and in Congress) is a party that wants to keep voter turnout as low as possible. It’s the only way they stay in control.

But to vote, you must be registered. And if you’re registered, you must travel to a polling place to cast your ballot.

Never, ever vote straight ticket. Vote a smart ticket.

Especially this year.

Because there’s never been a more important election.

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]

 

Continue Reading

Featured Columnists

Opinion | We’re perfecting the “art” of being mean

Joey Kennedy

Published

on

My mother, Patricia Ann Harper Kennedy, has been dead more than 21 years now. She died young, in 1997. She had cancer. She did not have health insurance.

Mom couldn’t get health insurance because she had a “pre-existing,” non-malignant tumor a decade before her fatal cancer. She wanted insurance. She could have paid for insurance. But she couldn’t get it. The insurance industry wouldn’t let her have it.

Despite the promises of the Affordable Care Act, we’re moving right back to that horror again today.

Under the ACA, or Obamacare, as Obama-haters like to call it, people couldn’t be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Nor was there a limit on how much an insurance company was obligated to pay for a health issue. Our kids can remain on our own insurance until they’re 26.

We’re the only First-World nation in the world that doesn’t view health care as a right. We don’t mind if sick people shoot up schools, clubs, churches, or concerts with their Second Amendment rights, but we won’t promote the general welfare by making sure sick people can see a doctor in a timely manner.

Advertisement

The Donald Trump administration’s Justice Department, under the leadership now of our former and long-terrible U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, is doing all it can to destroy the ACA. And, like so many progressive, successful, and humane programs started during Barack Obama’s eight years in office, Trump and Sessions are doing a great job tearing those programs down.

America – and Alabama, too – are becoming more mean every day. Sessions is mean, and that is reflected in his Justice Department’s policies.

So the Justice Department will no longer defend certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The decisions Sessions and his mean colleagues are making will lead to even higher health insurance premiums. Even more mommas dying without insurance.

But the meanness isn’t simply reflected in damage to the ACA.

Sessions no longer will allow citizens of countries that basically condone gender abuse to get asylum in the United States. Go ahead and beat those women to death; that’s not our problem.

Home of the brave.

Compassion? Trump and Sessions likely can’t even spell the word, much less define it. It is not “covfefe.”

A “true” state’s righter, Sessions demands that the federal government enforce laws against recreational marijuana use in the states that have already approved it. Hypocrisy is a Republican value.

Temporary refugees from so-called (by this administration) “sh—hole” countries are finding they’re losing their protection. Go home. Leave us alone. Be murdered.

A woman’s right to manage her own body is under unprecedented assault. By men.

The LGBTQ community, which only recently won the right of marriage, finds itself the target of “legal” discrimination under this administration. Our transgender and gay members of the military are now at risk.

Children and parents trying to get asylum in the “land of the free” are being brutally separated. Many hundreds of those children are now, literally, “lost.”

We’re friends with North Korea’s brutal dictator, but are confrontational with the leaders of our strongest allies, including Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, France, and Germany.

We’ve got a mean streak that was suppressed by better angels in previous administrations, but has now been unleashed by Trump and his hate-filled minions, including Sessions.

Sadly, in our state, many politicians (all Republicans) tout this hateful Trumpism as a reason to vote for them in their TV commercials. Too many hateful voters feel enabled by that. So we get people like child molester Roy Moore running for the U.S. Senate, and supported by Alabama’s first woman governor since Lurleen Wallace.

We let our worse demons loose to kill our better angels.

We’re killing angels.

We want to make Medicaid practically impossible for our poorest to get. And we’re a very poor state. We want to deny food aid to children. We want to privatize public education and prisons, so private corporations can make more money.

We celebrate being mean. We monetize being mean.

Angels are dying.

My mother was too young two decades ago when she died of cancer. She was helped along to her early death by the highly profitable health insurance industry. The one we are bringing back.

Today, I don’t have health insurance. I cannot afford it. I haven’t been to a doctor in 18 months. My hope depends on living until I’m 65 and can get Medicare, which I’ve paid into my entire professional career. That is, If Medicare as we know it still exists in 2021. These Trump Republicans want to get rid of that, too.

I am 62 years old. Next year, I’ll be my mother’s age when she died. So little has changed.

Well, except we’re even more mean.

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]

 

Continue Reading

Featured Columnists

Opinion | The devastating loss of Judge Sandra Storm

Joey Kennedy

Published

on

This is a big political week, and normally I’d comment about that. But there’s plenty of commentary on the Democratic and Republican Party primaries.

I’d like to write about a loss for Alabama that not many people are writing about because of all the election noise.

On Monday, retired Jefferson County Family Court presiding Judge Sandra Ross Storm died. She suffered a massive stroke on Sunday while traveling to Chicago with a friend. She died Monday after her family decided to take her off life support. She was 72.

There was no chance of a recovery for Judge Storm. She would not have wanted her family to do anything but what they did. That’s what I’d want, too.

This is a hard loss for her family, the nation, Alabama, Jefferson County, and for me personally. I’ve known Judge Storm practically her entire career and my Birmingham journalism career. I covered Family Court for decades as an opinion writer. I watched the important changes Judge Storm made at Jefferson County Family Court, including the introduction of a well-respected gun court and drug court. Dozens of programs have Judge Storm to thank for their existence.

Advertisement

My wife, Veronica, and I were longtime, volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates, representing abused and neglected children at Family Court. I’ve had a few cases before Judge Storm, and she always handled them as good judges do. She also freely offered advice when we asked for it.

During the 1990s, The Birmingham News did an editorial page series on juvenile justice in Alabama, and Judge Storm was a key source for that series. She gave the editorial writers at The News practically unfettered access to Family Court and the cases there.

Judge Storm was also a key member of the group that helped pass Children First in Alabama.

But Judge Storm didn’t quit after she retired in 2005. She stayed involved in judging, child advocacy, and advocacy for women, especially abused women.

Judge Storm never quit, not until this very sad week.

I knew Judge Storm in her other roles as well, as a leader at First Presbyterian Church, as an animal advocate. Most important, I knew her as a friend.

Judge Storm worked closely with Birmingham’s Hand-in-Paw Animal Assisted Therapy organization. She was a nationally renowned judge, yes, but she never shied from doing the heavy lifting in her volunteer or professional work.

In 2015, one of our pugs, Veronica Pearl, a tiny, crippled girl who had to use a cart to get around, painted for Hand-in-Paw’s Picasso Pets event. The animals’ paws are dipped in paint and they run around on a canvas. Skilled artists finish these paintings. The paintings are then auctioned off to help raise money for Hand-in-Paw’s important work.

Pearl painted in her wheelchair, and acclaimed artist Traci Noles Ross finished her painting, naming it “Pearl’s Roses.” It’s beautiful, and meaningful.

But on the day Pearl painted at Hand-in-Paw, Judge Storm was there, too, waiting to wash the paint from Pearl’s paws and cart after she painted.

Pearl died the week before her painting was to be auctioned at the annual Picasso Pets event. A group of people – we never learned who participated – purchased Pearl’s (and Traci’s) artwork and presented it to my wife and me. It was an emotional moment.

I’m not sure, of course, but I’ll bet Judge Storm was part of that group that made sure we had this lasting memory of our Pearl to hang on our wall.

The honors Judge Storm earned over her life are many, and well-earned.

The legacy she leaves is deep and lasting.

Still, Judge Storm left us all too soon. She was a good and faithful servant.

She will be mourned. She will be missed. But she cannot be replaced.

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column each week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]

 

Continue Reading

Authors

Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending

Opinion | Roy Moore: Carrying sore loser to the extreme

by Joey Kennedy Read Time: 3 min
0