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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.

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

Tommy Battle: 24 percent

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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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Parker: If leftists “take over our courts. All is lost”

Brandon Moseley

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Tuesday, Associate Justice Tom Parker (R) denounced the attacks on Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a “smear mob.” Parker also denounced Senator Doug Jones (D) for his efforts to stop the imminent confirmation of Kavanaugh.

“If they take over our courts, all is lost,” Justice Parker said. “That’s why I have been outspoken about efforts by billionaire George Soros and groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to remove and defeat conservative judges and stack the courts with leftist judges.”

Parker is the Republican nominee for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice in November’s general election.

Parker described Jones and other Democrats trying to delay this justice’s confirmation as a “smear mob” trying to bring down a distinguished jurist. Parker denounced Jones’ calls for a delay in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings because of allegations of sexual abuse while Kavanaugh was a teenager.

Parker pointed out that there are no witnesses supporting the accusers stories from the 1980s and that none of this ever came up during Kavanaugh’s FBI background check or the hearing process.

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“This is nothing more than a brazen last-ditch attempt by a left-wing smear mob to stop the President’s nomination through the politics of personal destruction, and people see right through what they’re trying to do,” Justice Parker said. “And to no one’s surprise, Doug Jones is right there with the rest of that mob. It’s sad.”

“Once there was a time when Alabama sent honorable Democrats to the Senate like Jim Allen, for whom I interned in college, who put principle ahead of party and did the right thing for Alabama and America,” Parker said. “But that Democratic Party exists no more.”

“Sadly, today’s Democratic Party has been taken over by radical extremists with masks on their faces and fists in the air — an angry bunch whose only agenda is to resist, delay and obstruct everything our president is doing to turn our nation around,” Parker continued. “Senator Jones’s partisan call for delaying a hearing that has already gone on long enough is just one more example of their obstructionism and gridlock.”

Parker said that Democrats are dividing America to advance their radical left “progressive” agenda.

On Thursday, Brett Kavanaugh will get to defend himself against the allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee. His first accuser, Christine Blausey Ford, is expected to also testify. Republicans hope to have a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation as soon as next week.

In 2016 Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) was suspended for the remainder of his term. Associate Justice Lyn Stuart (R) assumed the role of interim Chief Justice. When Moore retired to run for U.S. Senate in 2017, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) appointed Stuart as Chief Justice. Parker defeated Stuart in the June Republican primary despite being outspent.

Parker faces Jefferson County Judge Robert Vance III in the November general election.

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Jefferson County Police Chiefs Association endorses Anderton

Brandon Moseley

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Tuesday, the Jefferson County Police Chiefs Association announced that it is endorsing Republican DA Mike Anderton in the highly competitive Jefferson County District Attorney race.

Association President and Irondale Chief of Police Ken Atkinson announced the endorsement, stating that his organization had full confidence in Anderton’s ability to lead the District Attorney’s office.

“It’s very humbling to have the backing of an organization I’ve admired for a long, long time,” Anderton said. “I’ve worked with these officers for many years, and their dedication to their communities is outstanding. It’s tremendous to be appreciated by them with this endorsement.”
The Jefferson County Police Chiefs Association represents some 26 municipalities across the county.

Anderton is a career prosecutor who has worked in the Jefferson County DA’s office for 34 years.

Anderton has already been endorsed by the Alabama Citizens for Life, the oldest and largest Pro-Life group in Alabama, the Jefferson County Farmers Federation, and the Alabama Republican Assembly during the GOP primary season.

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Anderton was appointed Jefferson County District Attorney by Gov. Kay Ivey in 2017 when the post became vacant after the incumbent, Charles Todd Henderson (D), was convicted of perjury. Anderton has been working in the Birmingham DA’s office since 1984. He faces Danny Carr (D) who is also a career prosecutor. Carr was the interim DA after Henderson was indicted by a grand jury on the perjury charges and served until after Henderson’s conviction. The general election will be held on November 6.

Jefferson County has been trending Democratic in recent elections. Democrats hope that they can take control of all the countywide offices in Jefferson County as well as the legislative delegation in this election.

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Opinion | Walt Maddox has lost his mind

Josh Moon

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Walt Maddox is nuts.

That’s the only explanation I have for what the man’s doing — going around the state and trying to engage voters on the issues. Holding press conferences talking about health care and offering plans for increasing Medicaid coverage.

The guy’s got an infrastructure plan. He’s got an education plan.

He’s got details and costs and information on how we can do it all and actually pay for it.

And this nonsense is what he believes will get him elected governor.

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See? Nutty as a fruitcake, that Walt Maddox.

Because Alabama voters do not care about such trivial things as an improved quality of life, better education for their kids and increased job opportunities that actually pay you enough to live and eat.

They don’t care.

Trust me on this. I’ve been banging my head against this particular wall for all of my life.

I screamed and screamed and screamed some more over Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. I pointed out the benefits and the zero costs. And I pointed out the meticulous studies done that showed massive increases in jobs, revenue and health services if that expansion occurred.

You know what people cared about?

That it was named after the black president.

That’s right. This bunch of hillbillies would rather drive across two counties while suffering a heart attack than give the “libs” the pleasure of knowing that their health care plan wasn’t terrible.

Oh, but that’s not even the most mind-boggling conversation I’ve had with Alabama voters.

That honor goes to anyone opposing gambling.

This is inevitably the dumbest debate. Because it starts with a flawed premise — that any lottery or gambling bill passed in the state — like the one Maddox is proposing — would “bring gambling to Alabama.”

I was in one of the three legally operating casinos in this state a month ago. I’ve known people who place bets with bookies or on online gambling sites. I’ve attended cash bingo games where thousands of dollars changed hands. I’ve bet on both dogs and horses, legally. And I’ve stood in line just across the borders in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida to buy lottery tickets.

Gambling has been here for decades now. The only thing we don’t have are the tax revenues that are paying for other states’ kids to attend colleges, eliminating other states’ food taxes and helping fund thousands of classrooms in other states.

But the voters here, they don’t care.

That’s why they keep electing goobers who vote against even allowing Alabama citizens to vote on the issue. Because democracy is great unless the majority is going to agree on something you don’t like.

This is the reality facing Walt Maddox, as he travels around the state on a bus, trying to pretend that Alabama voters know that a governor can’t influence either abortion laws or gun laws, but can ensure their children get to see a doctor this year.

The voters in this state are so unconcerned with the issues that they don’t really care if Kay Ivey ever debates Maddox. Because, honestly, they’d rather not know that she has no ideas, can’t think on her feet and can’t lead in a crisis.

It’s much easier to not know. To just vote blindly for the GOP candidate, convinced that it’ll all work out eventually (even though it never, ever has).

Walt Maddox foolishly believes that he can reason with these people, that at some point their sense of self-preservation will kick in, that they’ll grow tired of remaining stuck living paycheck to paycheck, that the GOP corruption will finally chase them to at least consider another option.

Basically, what I’m saying, is that Walt Maddox is nuts.

 

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Alabama Hospital Association pushes for Medicaid expansion, backs candidates who do not

Bill Britt

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According to a recent AP report, the Alabama Hospital Association has launched a campaign to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. However, the organization is supporting Republican candidates who are either trying to kill the law altogether or refuse to expand its coverage in the state.

The association has so far this election cycle given nearly $20,000 each to appointed Attorney General Steve Marshall and Gov. Kay Ivey. Marshall and Ivy, both Republicans, owe their current offices to disgraced former Gov. Robert Bentley.

Marshall is actively using his office to abolish the law that provides health care for low-income Alabamians and is currently suing to overturn provisions that allow individuals with pre-existing conditions to not be denied health coverage.

Ivey for her part falls back on the standard line that the state can’t afford to expand Medicaid and has also signaled that she will not support the expansion sought by the Hospital Association.

Danne Howard, executive vice president and chief policy officer for the Alabama Hospital Association, told AP’s Kim Chandler, “One in every ten people who walk into a hospital doesn’t have insurance. At some point, those providers, those hospitals, are not going to be able to maintain operation. They are not going to be there, either closing their doors or cutting back services.”

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Howard expressed the need to expand Medicaid to AP but has failed to answer APR‘s question as to why the organization is supporting candidates who oppose expansion.

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Walt Maddox has promised to expand Medicaid if elected governor, likewise, Democrat attorney general nominee Joseph Siegelman vows to protect Alabamians with pre-existing conditions should he win in November. The Hospital Association isn’t supporting either candidate even though their campaign platforms align with the association’s stated goals.

Since Howard refuses to answer APR‘s request for information, there is no way to understand why the Hospital Association would back Ivey, who has said she would not support expanding Medicaid and Marshall who is actively working to end guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

According to The American Journal of Managed Care, “Medicaid expansion… was associated with increases in coverage, service use, quality of care, and Medicaid spending. Among those who benefitted the most are adults without a college degree, patients with cancer, and patients with diabetes.”

If Marshall prevails with his current lawsuit, Alabamians with cancer, diabetes and other pre-existing conditions would no longer have guaranteed access to health insurance.

Current law allows states to expand Medicaid eligibility to non-elderly adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Howard says that there is a real possibility that doctors and hospital care will not be available if Medicaid does not expand, yet, her association is financing candidates whose goals are to stop expansion and cut options for those who have persistent medical problems.

 

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

by Bill Britt Read Time: 3 min
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