Connect with us

Elections

Patricia Todd, state’s first openly gay lawmaker, insinuates Gov. Ivey may be gay

Chip Brownlee

Published

on

State Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, insinuated that Gov. Kay Ivey is gay in a tweet posted to her account Tuesday.

Alabama’s first openly gay lawmaker — Rep. Patricia Todd, a Democrat — suggested that Republican Gov. Kay Ivey is gay in a tweet posted to her account Tuesday evening. Ivey’s campaign responded immediately, calling Todd’s comments a “disgusting lie.”

In the tweet, Todd wrote, “Will someone out her for God’s sake….I have heard for years that she is gay and moved her girlfriend out of her house when she became Gov. I am sick of closeted elected officials.”

The outgoing Birmingham state representative — who was elected in 2015 — posted the same comment on her Facebook Tuesday night, just hours after GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Dawson, a Birmingham evangelist, accused Ivey and her office of approving more than $800,000 in grants to a Huntsville-based, pro-LGTBQ organization.

Todd’s tweet linked to an AL.com about Dawson’s accusations.

Ivey, who is 73 and is seeking her first full term as Alabama governor, denied the accusation through a campaign spokesperson Tuesday night.

“This is a disgusting lie being pushed by a paid liberal political hack,” said Ivey campaign spokesperson Debbee Hancock. “There is absolutely no truth to it.”

Todd offered no proof to support her assertion.

 

Ivey assumed the governorship in April 2017 after former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned amid a sex scandal involved a top aide in his office. Ivey was married twice, though both marriages ended in divorce. She never remarried after her second divorce.

Todd announced earlier this year that she would not seek another term as a member of Alabama’s House of Representatives. Instead, Todd was named the executive director of One Orlando Alliance, a group formed in response to the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting that 49 people dead and 53 others wounded.

Pulse was a well-known LGBT club in the Florida city when the shooter, Omar Mateen, entered the club and began shooting. The incident was the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history until it was surpassed by a 2017 shooting in Las Vegas. The non-profit organization was founded to advocate for the rights of LGBTQ individuals in the wake of the shooting, according to the group’s website.

Todd’s social media postings Tuesday night came after Dawson said Ivey’s office gave a grant through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to Free2Be, an LGBTQ-aligned group, for anti-bullying work.

In what would later become a heated exchange between the two candidates, Dawson accused Ivey of giving taxpayer money to a group that he said doesn’t share the values of most Alabamians, citing a poll that stated most Alabamians oppose same-sex marriage.

Free2Be, which was based in Huntsville, reportedly received more than $1.7 million in money indirectly from the federal government that was administered and awarded by Bentley and Ivey’s administrations. The group’s website states that it seeks to end violence against LGBT individuals while advocating for human and civil rights of sexual and gender minorities.

“I am calling on the Attorney General to start a full-scale investigation into this,” Dawson said. “I am asking you (the press) and our state legislators to investigate. I am calling for a reformation in how these funds are disbursed.”

Ivey’s office on Tuesday pushed back against Dawson’s claims, stating that the ADECA grant awarded to Free2Be was mandated by the federal government. Free2Be posted earlier this week on its social media that the organization would be shutting down and that all chapters would be suspending operations immediately.

The Governor’s Office said that the state began preparing a compliance audit for the group’s Huntsville office in March when it discovered an outstanding IRS debt.

“The grant awarded to Free2Be is overseen by ADECA using funds given by and regulated by the federal government from criminal fines and forfeitures, not taxpayer dollars,” a spokesman for the governor’s office said.

“The views espoused by Free2Be, nor the extension of a grant to the program, do not represent Governor Ivey’s personal views and simply represent a requirement and demand from the federal government,” the spokesperson said.

Todd has threatened to out “closeted” state Republican lawmakers in the past. In 2015 — when tensions were high over impending federal court rulings regarding same-sex marriage bans — Todd said she would out a list of GOP lawmakers who are gay.

She never followed through with that threat.

Ivey is facing off against Dawson, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and State Sen. Bill Hightower in the Republican primary race. The primary election is scheduled for June 5.

Continue Reading

Elections

A case of mistaken candidate identity could embarrass the ALGOP

Josh Moon

Published

on

It’s one of the oddest, and most embarrassing, cases of mistaken identity in recent Alabama political history.

According to recent polling, James Bonner is leading Jeremy Oden in a race for a seat on the Alabama Public Service Commission.

No, not that James Bonner.

Advertisement

It doesn’t matter which James Bonner you were thinking of, it’s a different guy.

This Bonner — the one who resides in Bear Creek and who has never held public office despite several attempts — is set to embarrass the ALGOP like few other candidates.

On Monday, APR editor in chief Bill Britt wrote about a number of highly offensive Facebook posts by Bonner, including posting a Valentine’s Day card that read: “My love for u burns like 6,000 Jews.” There are other posts about strippers and an old blog post that inexplicably uses a racist rhyme.

Yet, because voters — mainly voters in south Alabama — are confusing James Bonner with a longtime congressman, he’s running neck and neck in the GOP primary.

“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 pollster and Cygnal president Brent Buchanan told Britt. “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.”

Should James from Bear Creek manage to pull off this “Distinguished Gentleman,” it could be a disaster for the ALGOP. Because his problems go well beyond a few offensive Facebook posts.

Bonner has filed multiple bankruptcies, has been cited by the IRS for failing to pay his federal income taxes for several years and owes his ex-wife more than $40,000 in back alimony. He also claimed during his most recent bankruptcy proceedings in 2016 that he is too disabled to work, and thus avoid paying his full alimony payments, yet he’s been able-bodied enough to run for public office five times over the last eight years.

And it gets worse.

Bonner entered into a bankruptcy agreement to repay his debts, which totaled into the six figures, and then he failed to pay the agreed-upon bankruptcy payments. That failure resulted in his bankruptcy agreement being dismissed — an extremely rare action by the courts and one that could see him face criminal charges over his back taxes.

And that’s not the end of it.

His campaign finance reports are also a mess. Most of his forms have been filed hopelessly late and are filled with incorrect info. He also has failed to report a single donation — outside of a loan he made to his campaign fund — to any of his various campaigns.

Following APR’s initial report on Monday, Bonner began scrubbing his Facebook page clean of the offensive posts. In response to the story, which he linked, he claimed his various offensive posts were made “make liberals angry.” He did not deny making any of the posts.

Continue Reading

Elections

Poll shows Maddox pulling ahead in race for Democratic nomination

Chip Brownlee

Published

on

With endorsements from heavyweight Democratic groups like the New South Coalition’s campaign arm and the Alabama Democratic Conference, the Democratic party appears to be coalescing around Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox ahead of the June 5 primary.

A new poll released by the Maddox campaign Tuesday backs up what the endorsements hint: Maddox appears to be pulling ahead of challengers Sue Bell Cobb, a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and James Fields, a former state representative from Cullman County.

Former gubernatorial aide Doug “New Blue” Smith and Dothan activist Christopher Countryman are also seeking the nomination.

Advertisement

The poll — conducted by Mississippi-based Chism Strategies for the Maddox campaign — shows Maddox capturing 68 percent of likely voters surveyed ahead of the Democratic primary election.

Cobb and Fields trail behind Maddox in the poll by a 5.6-to-1 and 11-to-1 advantage among those who expressed support for a candidate, respectively, according to the poll results provided.

“Numbers don’t lie — Walt is on a fast track to a substantial victory in the primary,” said Chip Hill, a spokesman for the Maddox campaign. “The people of Alabama, especially younger voters, are finding Walt and his message very attractive.  He will most definitely be a force to be reckoned with in November.”

From May 15 to May 17, 13,601 likely Democratic voters were interviewed by live callers, according to the Chism Strategies results released.

The Alabama Democratic Conference — long considered one of the main gatekeepers in Alabama Democratic politics and one of the most powerful and active black political groups in the state— officially threw their support behind Maddox on Saturday.

Maddox has received a number of endorsements in the race for governor including from Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin last week.

A number of key Democratic lawmakers in the state — from State Sen. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, and State Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa — have also backed Maddox.

A Democrat hasn’t been elected governor in Alabama since former Gov. Don Siegelman’s victory in 1998. Democrats in Alabama are hoping that recent momentum from Sen. Doug Jones’ election last year could help a Democrat upend the GOP’s hold on most statewide elected positions.

While Maddox is a newcomer to state politics, Cobb has experience in statewide races. Her election as supreme court chief justice in 2006 cost millions and achieved national notoriety as a Democratic victory during a time of Republican takeovers in the South.

Cobb has had trouble getting traditional Democratic groups to back her campaign. Members of the Alabama New South Coalition and its political arm, the New South Alliance, expressed concern during their endorsement vote over Cobb’s resignation as chief justice and a letter she wrote backing President Donald Trump’s nomination of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

When Cobb resigned in 2011, she was the top statewide elected Democrat left. Only Public Service Commission President Lucy Baxley remained after Cobb quit.

Both the Alabama Democratic Conference and the New South Coalition have strong voter outreach and get-out-the-vote operations that could work to Maddox’s advantage in the June 5 primary.

Continue Reading

Elections

Manufacture Alabama makes endorsements

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Friday, Manufacture Alabama announced several endorsements for the upcoming primaries.

“Alabama’s Primary Election is June 5. Many Manufacture Alabama endorsed candidates have tough primary elections. It is crucial that you get out and vote on June 5. There have been many significant races over the years that have been decided in close primaries or run-offs,” the group said in a statement.

Manufacture Alabama Endorsed Candidates include:

Advertisement

Governor: Kay Ivey (R)
Lieutenant Governor: Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R)
Attorney General: Steve Marshall (R)
Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries: Gerald Dial (R)
Treasurer: John McMillan (R)
Alabama Public Service Commission, Place 1: Jeremy Oden (R)
Alabama Public Service Commission, Place 2: Chris “Chip” Beeker Jr. (R)

State Senate Races
Senate District 2: Tom Butler, R-Madison.
Senate District 3: Mike Sparks (R)
Senate District 7: Sam Givhan, R-Huntsville.
Senate District 8: incumbent Steve Livingston , R-Scottsboro.
Senate District 12: incumbent Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston.
Senate District 21: incumbent Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa.
Senate District 34: Jack W. Williams, R-Wilmer.

State House Races
House District 10: incumbent Mike Ball, R-Madison.
House District 12: incumbent Corey Harbison, R-Cullman.
House District 14: incumbent Tim Wadsworth, R-Arley.
House District 16: incumbent Kyle South, R-Fayette.
House District 22: incumbent Ritchie Whorton, R-Owens Crossroads.
House District 30: Rusty Jessup, R-Riverside.
House District 48: incumbent Jim Carns, R-Vestavia Hills.
House District 49: incumbent April Weaver, R-Alabaster.
House District 55: incumbent Rod Scott, D-Fairfield.
House District 64: incumbent Harry Shiver, R-Bay Minette.
House District 73: incumbent Matt Fridy, R-Montevallo.
House District 77: Malcolm Calhoun, D-Montgomery.
House District 102: Thomas Gray, R-Cintronelle.
House District 105: Chip Brown, R-Mobile.

Alabama Supreme Court
Chief Justice: Lyn Stuart (R)
Place 1: Brad Mendheim (R)
Place 4: Jay Mitchell (R)

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals:
Place 1: Christie Edwards (R)
Place 2: Terri Thomas (R)

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Place 1: Richard Minor (R)
Place 2: Chris McCool (R)
Place 3: Bill Cole (R)

State Board of Education
Place 8: Rich Adams (R)

Continue Reading

Authors

Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending

Patricia Todd, state’s first openly gay lawmaker, insinuates Gov. Ivey may be gay

by Chip Brownlee Read Time: 4 min
0