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Brooks says Alabama will lose congressional representation if census counts immigrants

Brandon Moseley

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Friday morning, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a hearing at the urging of Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, on questions regarding the U.S. Census.

Attorney General Steve Marshall testified before the committee regarding the lawsuit filed by Alabama and Brooks challenging the constitutionality of the U.S. Census Bureau’s plan to count immigrants in the country illegally for purposes of apportionment.

Brooks said, “I’m pleased the subcommittee is examining and bringing attention to the negative implications of including illegal aliens in the 2020 Census apportionment count. Outrageously, Alabama will lose representation in the U.S. House and Electoral College while states that encourage open borders policies and flout federal immigration law stand to gain representation because the U.S. Census Bureau plans to count illegal aliens. This injustice flies in the face of the Rule of Law and encourages more illegal immigration to America. In the hearing today, Democrats shamelessly put the interests of illegal aliens over American citizens by continuously defending unlawful conduct that undermines and diminishes the political representation of legal immigrants and citizens. Democrats even went so far as to openly advocate for noncitizens to participate in our electoral process.”

“Alabama losing political representation will have severe negative consequences for the Tennessee valley and our state,” said Brooks. “The defense and space community in our region rely heavily on the clout that Alabama’s congressional delegation has established on the House Armed Services Committee, Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and Appropriations Committee. I urge Alabama residents to consider the impact of losing a seat in the House, a body where strength of numbers often determines which communities receive federal jobs and funding.”

“If illegal aliens are counted, not only does that undermine and dilute the ‘one man, one vote’ and equal protection rights of Alabama citizens, it also means Alabama will likely lose an appropriator or House Armed Services Committee member, either of which reduces Redstone Arsenal’s influence in Congress and puts our defense and space jobs at greater risk,” Brooks warned.

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In his testimony Attorney General Marshall said, “Last month the State of Alabama filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging our expected loss of representation in Congress and the Electoral College as a result of the Census Bureau’s counting of illegal aliens for purposes of apportionment. As stated in our complaint— and it’s is joined by Congressman Mo Brooks who is here with us today— Alabama is set to lose one of its seven congressional seats and one of its nine electoral votes, a seat and a vote it would not lose if illegal aliens were excluded from the apportionment base. Not only would this skewed result rob the State of Alabama and its legal residents of the rightful share of representation but it plainly undermines the rule of law. If an individual’s presence in our country is in violation of federal law, the question is why should the states in which they reside benefit from their illegal status.”

Brooks has been a vocal critic of illegal immigration in his term representing the 5th Congressional District. Most people expect Alabama to lose a congressional district after the 2020 census. Brooks’ district has shown the most growth in the state over the last decade.

Brooks recently won the Republican nomination for a fifth term.

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Shelby announces rural development investments in Alabama

Brandon Moseley

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Thursday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is granting $694,000 in federal funding for various energy-efficiency projects in rural Alabama. The grants are provided through the USDA Rural Energy for America program.

“It is vital that we continue investing in Alabama’s rural areas to promote economic development and growth,” said Senator Shelby. “These grants will allow farmers, ranchers, and small businesses to save on production costs while improving efficiency. I am proud that the USDA has awarded this funding to our state, and I look forward to continuing to help Alabama’s farmers and rural communities.”

The USDA’s Rural Energy for America program assists farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses in developing renewable energy systems and in making energy-efficient improvements to their operations.

The rural development grants range in value from $105,554 to $32,500,

The grants will be used for improvements in Baldwin, Calhoun, Conecuh, Cullman, Elmore, Escambia, and Marshall counties.

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Senator Shelby is the Chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Appropriations. The Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill in May.

The legislation was approved by the full Senate in early August as part of a four-bill appropriations package, H.R. 6147.

Senator Richard Shelby was first elected to the Senate in 1986. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Alabama State Senate prior to his Senate service.

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Peter Joffrion challenges Mo Brooks to debates

Brandon Moseley

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Thursday, Democratic Congressional candidate Peter Joffrion is challenging incumbent Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) to a series of debates across Alabama’s 5thCongressional District.

This is the second time that Joffrion has offered to discuss the terms of a debate with Brooks, to include location, ticketing, and security. Joffrion has proposed holding that first debate the week of September 10.

“Avoiding his constituents and only engaging like-minded voters in safe spaces has worked for my opponent in the past, but the threats to his incumbency are gaining traction,” Joffrion said. “This will be Brooks’ first run against an opponent who enjoys the support of many in the district who have new-found interest in politics since the 2016 elections. These constituents have used their newly engaged state to unleash massive activism for candidates they feel are listening to them.”
Joffrion’s campaign said that “Brooks’ weak showing in the June Republican primary illustrated that his own North Alabama voters are dissatisfied with their current representation and the manner in which Mr. Brooks conducts himself.”

The Joffrion campaign has proposed that debates be held in each of the counties that make up the Fifth Congressional District: Lauderdale, Limestone, Madison, Morgan and most of Jackson.

Peter Joffrion grew up in North Alabama. After graduating from law school at the University of Alabama, Joffrion went to work in the City Attorney’s office. He worked there for 22 years.

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His wife Kerry is an ordained minister and the founder and CEO of Turning Point Group, a company committed to the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of U.S. military veterans. Joffrion is retired from the city. Joffrion is active in his Church

Since retiring from his post as Huntsville’s City Attorney, Peter has been active in his church and has served for 11 years as a tutor and mentor at the Boys and Girls Club.

Mo Brooks is also an attorney. He was a prosecutor, a state legislator, and a county commissioner before running for Congress. In 2008, voters elected Parker Griffith (D) to Congress. Brooks announced that he was running as a Republican against Griffith in 2010. Before the election, Griffith switched to the Republican Party. Undeterred, Brooks ran for the office anyway, unseating Griffith in the 2010 GOP Primary. Brooks beat Griffith again in the 2012 Republican Primary. Griffith switched parties again and was the Democratic party nominee for governor in 2014.

Brooks defeated Republican primary opponent, Clayton Hinchman, 61.26 percent to 38.74.

Brooks is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and one of the most vocal supporters of the space program in the Congress.

The general election will be November 6.

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Jones expresses concerns over Trump Administration policies

Brandon Moseley

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Monday, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) held a town hall event at the historic A.H. Parker High School in Birmingham.

“It was because of the incredible work that you did that I am here representing as the first Democratic Senator to represent Alabama in 25 years,” Sen. Jones said.

“The first thing I did was co-sponsor a bill to re-authorize the CHIP (Child Health Insurance Program) program.” Jones said that CHIP’s renewal, “Was definitely related to what we did on December 12.”

“We are losing healthcare in our rural areas left and right,” Sen. Jones said. “I talk about the need for Alabama to expand Medicaid. The two things I have done is to introduce a bill to call a lot of folks hands on this Medicaid issue.” Jones said that his bill would require them to give a study every year on all the good things Medicaid expansion has done in other states as well as all of the dollars being lost in states that did not expand Medicaid. “I have introduced another bill with Senator Warner to roll back to where we would have been with the original Affordable Healthcare Act.”

Sen. Jones said that President Donald J. Trump’s (R) Administration has done a lot to “sabotage” the Affordable Care Act. “They are doing everything in their power to, as the President said, to just let it blow up. There is only so much we can do with a slim minority. Elections have consequences.”

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Jones said that Texas is suing to overturn the provision of the Affordable Care Act outlawing pre-existing conditions and the state of Alabama has joined the lawsuit. “The Department of Justice under Attorney General Sessions is no longer protecting the ACA.”

Jones said that Trump’s tariffs, “Were ill advised.”

“NAFTA really hurt Alabama, when it first passed.” Jones said. “Textiles moved overseas or shut down.” Trump instituted a tariff on automobiles, but also on automatic parts. “Mercedes changed the trajectory of Alabama’s economy. Alabama is the third highest producer of automobiles behind Michigan and South Carolina. The trade war that he is escalating with China is really hurting. I have been very outspoken about this.”

“Soybean prices have gone down and pork prices have gone down,” Jones said.

Jones said that he has cosponsored legislation with Senator Alexander from Tennessee to make the administration prove that tariffs are needed for national security.

“Those BMWs and Mercedes are not a national security threat,” Jones stated.

“I have co-sponsored about 90 bills, 80 of them are bipartisan,” Jones said. “There is more bipartisanship in Congress than you see on CSPAN. We passed an opioid bill unanimously out of committee that I hope will get to the floor of the Senate.”

“It is very important that EPA takes another look at that North Birmingham site,” Sen. Jones said. “Mayor Woodfin did the right thing,” when he asked the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider adding the 35th Avenue Superfund site to the National Prioritization List.

Jones said that both he and U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-Selma) have both sent letters the EPA asking them to reconsider the decision not to place the 35th Avenue site on the SuperFund prioritization list.

“The EPAs decision not to place the site on the NPL was understandable given the level of opposition,” Jones said. We now know however that that decision was undermined by an illegal misinformation campaign.
“Residents deserve better from their federal state and local government,” Jones said.

State Representative Mary Moore (D-Birmingham) said, “The people of North Birmingham are suffering and nobody has talked to us. Nobody has called a meeting with the citizens in the affected areas. I filed the original complaint in 1989, again in 2005 and again in 2009.”

Jones asked the crowd if they wanted to hear Mary speak on, “Or do you want to have a town hall?”

“I was not a U.S. Senator when all of that was going on,” Sen. Jones said.

Jones did acknowledge when asked that he was the attorney for disgraced state Representative Oliver Robinson (D-Birmingham) early on in that case. Jones said that there was a point in that process where Robinson went from defending to cooperating with the investigation to expose wider corruption; but that he could not go into details.

On Saturday, Doug Jones nominated Alvin “Peck” Fox to be Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party. The Alabama State Democratic Executive Committee rejected Jones’s nominee and instead re-elected incumbent Nancy Worley to another term.

“We have got to have a party that exercises leadership and we don’t have that now,” Jones told the people at the town hall. The state party needs to be sending field operatives out to the candidates to ask them what they need and needs to be active on social media. “We don’t have that. Our party is sitting on $850,000 and they have not done anything with that. There are only two people down there (at Democratic Party Headquarters in Montgomery).”

“Our party is fielding the best set of candidates it has fielded in 20 years,” Jones said. “This is not going to be a giant blue wave.” It is a gradual process. “We have not played a longball game. It starts with the efforts of the candidates. I have believed for many years, that we as a state can only progress if we have a viable two party system.”

An audience member asked if we were on the verge of a third world war.

“I don’t think we have been on the verge of a Third World War, but what has been happening with Russian interference in our election is putting this Democracy in great peril,” Jones said.

Jones said that the Russians had been working “To sow discord, to make sure that they promoted one part of society against another one. The ability of the Russian government to influence this coming election if frightening.”

“One of the problems is that the President is conflating the terms collusion with interference,” Jones said. “We do have some sanctions going on, but whatever we are doing is not enough.”

“They are also looking at interfering with the power grid,” Jones added.

Jones was critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and added, “When you see the President cozying up to him at Helsinki you should be concerned.”

Jones also addressed the North Korea situation.

“I was disappointed that the President cut out those military exercises in South Korea before seeing Kim Jung-un did what he said he was going to do and we are now seeing information that he is not doing what he sees he is doing,” Jones said.

Senator Jones also discussed the Robert Mueller investigation.

“The president calls this a hoax and that is dangerous,” Jones said. “The Russian interference is not a hoax and Robert Mueller need to finish his job no matter where the chips may fall.”

A constituent asked if he would vote to impeach Rod Rosenstein,

“That would be a constitutional crisis,” Jones said. “That is not going to happen. I have seen absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Rod Rosenstein has done anything to impeach him over.”

Jones also discussed the Farm Bill and the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation.

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Brewton has been awarded a $2.8 million EDA grant

Brandon Moseley

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Wednesday, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced that it has awarded $2,800,000 to fund infrastructure improvements for the City of Brewton. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R), Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) and U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) made statement praising the grant award.

“As a result of this grant, the South Alabama region will have the opportunity to foster future growth and economic advancements,” said Senator Shelby. “I am proud that the City of Brewton is receiving the funding to support necessary water infrastructure improvements, which will enhance the local business community, increase economic diversification, and drive current and future investments.”

“Great news for Brewton! The U.S. Department of Commerce is awarding a $2.8 million grant to help improve infrastructure,” Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said in a statement. “The project is expected to create 300 jobs and spur $5.9 million in private investment. Thank you to President Donald J. Trump, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration for their continued support of rural America. In order to thrive economically, our communities need safe, reliable, and modern infrastructure, and this grant will ensure that Brewton has the infrastructure necessary to attract and retain new industry.”

“As the President has said, countless towns and cities throughout the United States are in need of new and updated infrastructure,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Brewton’s water and sewer upgrades will aid the local commercial community, providing further growth and new jobs to the region.”

“I thank Secretary Ross and the Department of Commerce for making this grant possible,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R). “To the members of the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission and the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission, thank you for your work in submitting this grant request and all you do to improve the infrastructure and increase economic development possibilities in your area. This grant will surely mean more jobs and more investments in our great state. We are committed to improving the lives of Alabamians and the receiving of this grant is a huge leap forward.”

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The grant will fund the construction of new water and sewer facilities to serve the City of Brewton and outlying areas in the region. This will include the construction of water and sewer infrastructure that will adequately supply and benefit a new high tech business in the area. Additionally, it will upgrade and expand the existing services currently available to allow future growth and economic development.

EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the applicant’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funding.

Brewton is the County seat of Escambia County.

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Brooks says Alabama will lose congressional representation if census counts immigrants

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