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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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Kay Ivey inaugural committee releases schedule of events

Brandon Moseley

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On Friday, the Kay Ivey Inaugural Committee announced a schedule of events for the 2019 Inauguration.

“The Inaugural Committee is honored to invite Alabamians to join us as we witness and celebrate this historic moment,” said Co-Chairs Jimmy Rane and Cathy Randall. “Before our state lawmakers begin their important work, we want to take a moment to acknowledge and ask the Lord for wisdom, reflect and commit to uphold the duties and ideals outlined in our Constitution and celebrate the progress yet to come. We are also excited to announce a special Gulf Coast Inaugural Celebration. We look forward to celebrating and looking ahead to a new era focused on growing opportunities for all Alabamians.”

On Saturday, January 12, 2019, there will be a Gulf Coast Inaugural Celebration.

Tickets cost $25 each and are available here.

The event will be from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Gulf Coast Inaugural Celebration at The Lodge at Gulf State Park.

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Inauguration Day will be on January 14, 2019.

Festivities begin at 8:15 a.m. with a prayer service at the First Baptist Church of Montgomery. This event will be by invitation only.

The formal swearing in ceremony will be held in from of the Alabama State Capitol steps at 10:00 a.m.

The will be followed by the traditional parade at the Alabama State Capitol. The parade will begin at 12:00 a.m.

At 7:00 p.m. that night the Inaugural Gala will be at The Montgomery Civic Center. This formal event is by invitation only.

The Kay Ivey Inaugural Committee, led by Cathy Randall and Jimmy Rane, have announced that the 2019 Inaugural theme is: Keep Alabama Growing.

“In less than a year and a half, Governor Ivey led Alabama to record job growth, improved education and set Alabama on a path of prosperity,” said Co-Chairs Jimmy Rane and Cathy Randall. “The 2019 Inaugural theme, Keep Alabama Growing, underscores Governor Ivey’s promise to build upon these successes and grow more opportunities for Alabamians. We’re inspired by Governor Ivey’s bold vision for Alabama and look forward to celebrating this exciting new era.”

In keeping with the theme, Keep Alabama Growing, the Kay Ivey Inaugural Committee has announced plans to promote children’s literacy throughout the 2019 Inaugural festivities.

“Investing in the next generation is critical to our ability to keep Alabama growing,” said Gov. Ivey. “As we prepare for four more years of growing opportunities for Alabamians, I can’t think of a better place to begin than with our children’s literacy, ensuring they get a strong start.”

As part of this effort, the Ivey Inaugural Committee will be hosting book drives at the Gulf Coast Inaugural Celebration on January 12 and the Inaugural Gala in Montgomery on January 14. The books collected will be donated to the Alabama Literacy Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to improving literacy in Alabama communities.

Tickets to the Gulf Coast Inaugural Celebration cost $25 but the ticket price will be waived for attendees who bring four children’s books to the celebration.

The Inaugural Committee has unveiled the Kay Ivey Inaugural website and officially opened the application process for any individuals or groups who wish to participate in the 2019 Inaugural Parade.

January 4 is the deadline to submit parade applications.

More details about the inauguration will be unveiled in the coming weeks. For more information and updates go to the Ivey inaugural celebration official website.

Ivey served two terms as state Treasurer and then two terms as Lieutenant Governor before being elevated to the officer of Governor in April 2017 when then Gov. Robert Bentley (R) resigned. Ivey easily bested both her Republican primary challengers and her Democratic general election challenger.

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Alabama secretary of state releases updates on crossover voting

Brandon Moseley

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The Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday that it has discovered 398 violations of Alabama’s new crossover voting rules in the 2018 election cycle.

At the conclusion of the 2017 United States Senate Special Election Run-off, the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office reviewed a formal, routine election report indicating that 140 individuals had been given credit for voting in the Democrat primary election on August 15th and then voting in the Republican run-off election on September 26. This action, termed crossover voting, is an action which would violate the State’s new crossover voting law (Act No. 2017-340).

After reviewing the report, Secretary of State John Merrill (R) identified the local chief election official – the Probate Judge, as the proper authority to determine whether those listed were willful in their intent, negligent, or whether these findings were listed in error in each county where the incident occurred. In each of the 41 counties, the probate judges determined it was not necessary to prosecute any of the 140 individuals found to have violated the crossover voting law.

Following the conclusion of the 2018 Run-Off Election, Secretary Merrill directed the Elections Division to review the list of 398 voters that were found to be in violation of the crossover voting law and compare that list with the list of 140 voters from the 2017 Senate Special Election. Once this review was completed, it was determined that only one voter was found to have potentially violated the law in both 2017 and 2018.
Secretary Merrill then personally visited with and interviewed the person found to have potentially violated the law. At the conclusion of that visit, it became clear to Secretary Merrill that either the poll workers or a county registrar improperly marked the wrong political party in processing the voters’ primary voter participation credit. Due to this information, Secretary Merrill determined further legal action was not necessary, at this time.

No one has been prosecuted for crossover voting, however, under Alabama law it is illegal to vote in both a party primary and then vote in another party’s primary runoff. In the general election, voters are allowed to vote for candidates from both parties and/or independent or minor party candidates. 66 percent of Alabamians straight party voted in the 2018 election. Alabama does not have party registration, so any voter is allowed to participate in the party primary of their choice.

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In the 2017 special election, former Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) faced appointed U.S. Senator Luther Strange for the U.S. Senate. In 2018, there were Republican runoffs for Lt. Governor, Attorney General and other offices.

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Secretary of State initiates legal action to recover unpaid campaign finance fines

Chip Brownlee

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The Secretary of State’s Office has begun legal action to recover unpaid campaign finance fines incurred by political action committees and candidate committees during the 2018 election cycle, Secretary of State John Merrill said Tuesday.

The Secretary’s office has issued 1,180 penalties over the course of the election cycle for a total amount of $201,893.28. About $106,000 has been collected so far, the secretary’s office said. Fines that have not yet been paid have either been waived by the Ethics Commission or the Secretary of State is still trying to collect those fines from committees.

Of the penalties that haven’t been paid, 20 committees have exceeded the statutory period in which they can pay the fine, which allowed for Merrill to begin legal action to recover the funds. That process has begun, Merrill said.

Any fines paid by committees are deposited into the state’s General Fund budget.

The Secretary of State’s Office did not release specific political action committees and campaign committees that are facing legal action for fine recovery.

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Updates to Alabama’s campaign finance laws were passed in the state Legislature in 2015 and went into effect with the start of the 2018 Election Cycle.

Those changes require the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office to issue penalties to Political Action Committees and Principle Campaign Committees, the latter more commonly known as candidates, that do not file monthly, weekly or daily campaign finance reports on time.

Fines are issued when a committee doesn’t file campaign finance reports by midnight on the date the report is due.

Generally, reports are due on the second business day of each month, but some campaigns are required to file weekly or daily reports depending on the amount raised during those periods.

Committees are required to report all contributions and expenditures incurred by their campaign during the specified time period.

Penalty amounts increase as the number of late reports increase from the committee.

When a committee files a report late, but within 48 hours of the date the report is due, the committee is issued a warning. That first late report does not count against them or require a fine be paid, and the campaign finance laws state that those warnings are not a violation of the law.

 

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Hyde-Smith wins Mississippi Senate race

Brandon Moseley

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Tuesday, appointed U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) easily won her own term in the U.S. Senate defeating Clinton era Secretary of Agriculture and former Congressman Mike Espy (D) 53.9 percent to 46.1 percent in the runoff for U.S. Senate there. The race results were not as close as some politicos had been predicting.

“I want everybody to know, no matter who you voted for today, I’m gonna always represent every Mississippian,” Hyde-Smith said at her victory party. “Being on that MAGA-wagon, the Make American Great Again bus, we have bonded, we have persevered.”

“She has my prayers as she goes to Washington to lead a very divided Mississippi,” Espy said in his speech to supporters conceding the race. “While this is not the result we were hoping for, I am proud of the historic campaign we ran and grateful for the support we received across Mississippi,” Espy said in a Tuesday night statement.”

Democrats went shockingly negative down the stretch of the campaign focusing on a comment by Hyde-Smith that she would attend public hangings if they were legal and footage of her wearing a Confederate hat while visiting a museum.

Hyde-Smith apologized for the comment.

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The attack strategy was similar to tactics used by Democrats to defeat Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate special election in 2017. Unlike the Alabama special election however where national Republicans distanced themselves from Moore, the Republican National Committee embraced Sen. Hyde-Smith and made a maximum effort sending over 100 political operatives and $3 million to the state to get out the Republic vote in the special election. Senator Roger Wicker (R) held rallies with Sen. Hyde Smith where Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said he would never vote for Judge Moore. Donald Trump and Senator Lindsey Graham both held rallies with Hyde-Smith in the days before the election.

Mississippi Governor Phillip Bryant (R) appointed Cindy Hyde-Smith, age 59, to the seat after longtime incumbent Thad Cochran retired in April citing his deteriorating health. Hyde-Smith fills the remainder of Cochran’s term and will have to run again in 2020. Since it was a special election there were no party primaries. Instead there was an open ballot. Conservative Senator Chris McDaniel (R) also ran for the seat finishing third in the November six general election, but pulling enough votes that a runoff between Hyde-Smith and Espy was needed.

The win in the deep south for Republicans make the GOP even more confident about their prospects of retaking the Alabama seat in 2020. Jones is the only Democrat to win a statewide election since 2008.

The Republican in the House suffered tremendous defeats in the 2018 midterms; but Senate Republicans grew their majority from 51 Republican Senators to 53.

(Original reporting by the Hill and Fox News contributed to this report.)

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

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