Did you not learn anything from Siegelman?

February 10, 2017

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

I’ve never hit the backspace key as many times when writing a column as I did while starting this one.

Anybody who knows me can testify that I’m never at a loss for words. Ever. I hardly shut up. Opinions? I have one on every topic ranging from health care policy to bread pudding.

But Luther Strange being appointed to the United States Senate? I’m at a loss for words. They aren’t even bothering to hide the corruption anymore. I’m so over it.
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Okay, campers, rise and shine! And don’t forget your booties because it’s cold out there today!

February 3, 2017

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s rare that a Groundhog Day really feels like Groundhog Day, but Thursday as I slapped my alarm clock and picked up my phone, I felt like I was trapped in a Bill Murray movie.

Babe. I got you, babe. I got you, babe.

The House Republican Caucus released their 2017 Legislative agenda, which looked remarkably like every Legislative agenda they’ve released since 2011.

Immigration. Abortion. Confederate monuments. Roll tide.
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Young Democrats Debate Watch

October 21, 2016

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

BIRMINGHAM—Young Democrats across Alabama hosted public watch parties for the last presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Wednesday night.

The Alabama Young Democrats, a statewide organization, along with members of their Birmingham, East Alabama and North-Central Alabama chapters, hosted a joint watch party with the Hillary Clinton campaign at the Historic Carver Theatre in downtown Birmingham. More than 250 attendees packed the theatre, booing and cheering together throughout the debate.
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Trump’s Most Presidential Moment?

September 27, 2016

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

Last night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took the stage in the first debate of the 2016 general election. The entire 90 minutes was essentially taking a RC Car to a Nascar race–it was clear Donald Trump simply couldn’t compete on a national stage.

Where Hillary Clinton was poised and prepared to defend her actions and positions, Donald Trump looked lost, became unwound and resorted to yelling and ad hominem attacks when his past missteps and ill-conceived policies came under attack.
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We Can’t Expect Change Without Voting For It, Too

September 15, 2016

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, Joe Lovvorn narrowly prevailed in a field of four candidates for the GOP nomination to fill former Speaker Mike Hubbard’s seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. Hubbard vacated his seat under State law when he was convicted of more felonies than you can count on both hands.

Campaign finance records show that Lovvorn was backed by many of the same high-dollar Montgomery brokers who rolled Hubbard into power.
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Why Alabama Missed The Boat On Medicaid… And Which Southern State Got It Right

September 6, 2016

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

In 2011, then-Governor Steve Beshear implemented Managed Care Organizations in Kentucky, taking a trial-model that had been in place since 1997 and expanding it into a full program. Moving half a million Medicaid recipients into Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) was estimated to save the commonwealth $1.3 billion over three years, $375 million of which would be saved in the general fund budget.

At the time, Governor Beshear opted for the MCO system rather than making rate cuts in order to close a $142.4 million shortfall in the biennial Medicaid budget. Under the MCOs, each of the three providers would be given an amount of money per Medicaid patient, shifting the risk for increasing costs from the state onto the MCO–if patients stay healthy, MCOs make money; if patients need more medical treatment, MCOs lose money. The goal behind the MCOs is for the providers to take a greater interest in prevention, thereby encouraging prophylactic procedures over treating sickness. For example, it’s more cost efficient for the MCO to cover a mammogram for early cancer detection than to pay for chemotherapy and an eventual mastectomy if breast cancer develops.
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Governor’s Emotional Appeals Aren’t Fooling Anyone

September 1, 2016

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

I usually follow the #ALpolitics hashtag on Twitter, and it’s usually good for up-to-date news and up-to-date laughs. Lately, those laughs have come from the Governor’s account–he’s taken to the Twittersphere multiple times in the last week to emphasize the growing need to fully fund Medicaid, highlighting faces of people–particularly children–whose coverage would be at risk without a state lottery.

Governor, don’t be ridiculous. Don’t play the pity card now, after you’ve spent the past two years denying Medicaid expansion that would save an estimated 600 lives every year.
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Hubbard’s “Friends” Defense is Wishful Thinking

June 8, 2016

By Beth Clayton

Last week, I sat in on part of the Mike Hubbard criminal trial and listened to witnesses gush about what a great friend they consider Hubbard, how they love him “like a brother,” and how would do anything for him. This theme is, no doubt, part of the defense’s strategy to utilize the “friends” loophole in the state ethics laws that have brought Hubbard before a jury of his peers on 23 felony counts.
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Sandy Stimpson Prepares to Take Office

August 29, 2013

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–Mayor-Elect Sandy Stimpson is preparing to take office in Mobile after defeating incumbent mayor Sam Jones in Tuesday’s election.

Stimpson must prioritize his agenda and resolve staffing issues before taking office.

Stimson has said that it should be a “seemless transition” and that he plans to remove the door to the mayor’s office on his first day.

He also plans to make developing the AirBus project a top concern of his administration. Jones and other Mobile city and county officials had been meeting with Airbus and suppliers and improving infrastructure around the site to ensure the $600 million facility is full equipped for success.
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Uncontested, Safe and Shocking: Municipal races across the state

August 28, 2013

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–Yesterday, voters in Mobile, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham
headed to the polls to cast ballots in their municipal elections for
mayor, city council and board of education.

The three mayors races ranged from uncontested to safe to shocking.

In Tuscaloosa, incumbent Mayor Walt Maddox headed unopposed into his third term.

In Birmingham, incumbent Mayor William Bell, who was heavily favored
in the five-candidate race, was declared the winner with 74 percent of
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