The real danger for small loan borrowers

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In this Legislative Session, the fight to further restrict payday and other small lending operations began with half-truths, false claims of support, and conservative lawmakers making common cause with the State’s most liberal organization.

Under the notion of protecting lower income families, single mothers, and minorities from themselves, a campaign called, Alabama’s Toxic Problem was launched featuring Dr. Neal Berte, President-Emeritus, Birmingham-Southern College. Dr. Berte solemnly recounts what he see as the horrors of payday lending. Perhaps the irony of a former banking board member and president of a private university who lives at a “tony” Mountain Brook address championing the cause of those who need a $500 loan is lost on the well-heeled who are paying for the ads, extolling the many pitfall of small borrowing for necessities. The irony is not lost on the individuals who need a small loan.
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Separating fact from fiction about “Gun Bill”

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Senate passed Senate Bill 24, which would allow Alabamians, who are lawfully permitted to own a firearm, to carry them concealed on their person without having to purchase a concealed carry permit (sometimes popularly called a “pistol permit”) from their Sheriff’s Office. However, the Alabama Sheriff’s Association is fighting hard against this bill claiming it will jeopardize the public’s safety.

Anyone who has attended public hearings or has heard arguments from lobbyists knows that separating fact from fiction can be a challenging task that requires doing research on the legislation.
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Politics, public opinion permeate Moore suspension

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

If there was any question that the removal of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was politically motivated, the ruling by the Special Supreme Court’s 45-minutes before his press conference last Wednesday should remove all doubt.

Mere minutes before Moore’s press conference where he intended to shame the Special Supreme Court for not deciding his case in a timely fashion, the Court blindsided the Chief Justice by upholding his suspension.
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Gov. Ivey’s chief legal counsel seeks gag order on media

By Bill Britt

Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced the appointment of Bryan Taylor as her chief legal counsel. The Governor’s spokesperson, Eileen Jones, told The Montgomery Advertiser that Taylor was appointed because the Governor feels “he is an excellent lawyer; excellent.”

The Alabama Political Reporter informed Jones early on Monday morning that Taylor, a former State Senator and chief counsel for the Department of Finance, was suing The Alabama Political Reporter and its owners, Bill and Susan Britt.
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Strange bedfellows huddle to “protect” lower income families, single mothers, and minorities

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A crusade of sorts will play out in committee meetings this week, as a select group of Republican lawmakers has joined in common cause with social reformers to pass legislation that will severely limit lower income families, single mothers, and minorities from borrowing small loans, under the banner of protecting these individuals from themselves.

Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) has championed the push to cap all loans in Alabama at a 36 percent interest rate.
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Timeline, cost for Special Election to let the people vote for US Senator

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In February, former Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, to fill the seat left vacant by Senator Jeff Sessions when he assumed the role of US Attorney General. Bentley also set the date of the Special Election to allow the people to vote on Sessions’ replacement some two years later, during the 2018 General Election. Bentley, calling for a Special Election two years hence, has received harsh criticism because it violates the will and intent of the State’s 1901 Constitution, according to Constitutional experts who have weighed in on the case.
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Alabamians have the right to elect their Senators, not Bentley, Washington insiders

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Within 72 hours of taking the oath of office, Governor Kay Ivey met with the press fielding questions and expressing her determination to restore Alabama’s reputation and bring back a rule of law based government. It was obvious to those of us who’ve watched her over the years that she was confident, well prepared, ready and able to “right the ship of State” as she has promised to do.
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Who’s afraid of Roy Moore?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Chief Justice Roy Moore has now served 11 months of his suspension—longer than any other judge in the history of the State of Alabama—without a ruling from the specially selected Supreme Court.

Moore waived his requests for oral arguments and asked for an expedited ruling in late February, 2017, and the Court granted these requests two weeks later. Despite these efforts to facilitate the process, Moore’s fate remains in limbo because the Special Supreme Court has failed to act.
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Behind the scenes of the Bentley resignation

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The fall of Governor Robert Bentley was a long time in the making, but the negotiations that led to his criminal plea bargain and resignation from office were direct and swift.

Beginning in earnest last Sunday, and into the wee hours of Monday morning, Bentley’s attorneys, Chuck Maloney and Cooper Shattuck, hammered out an agreement with Special Prosecutor Ellen Brooks (former Montgomery County District Attorney) and Matt Hart, Chief of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division. Bentley pleaded to two misdemeanor charges and resigned his office to avoid a lengthy and expensive criminal felony trial.
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Indian Casino owners interview potential governor Tuberville

 

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

While the Ethics Commission was interviewing witnesses on Union Street last Wednesday to determine if there was probable cause to refer felony charges against Gov. Robert Bentley, members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) were meeting on High Street to see if former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville was going to play ball with them. Tuberville wants to be the governor, and the Tribal Casino owners want to buy one.
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