State school board meeting could be a wild one

July 25, 2017
Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

At 10 this morning, the State Board of Education will meet to go over important plans for complying with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and to set parameters for the board’s new legal counsel.

Few people will talk about either important topic when the board adjourns for the day.

That’s because at 11:30, the board will start a special called meeting at which members plan to go over an evaluation of state superintendent Michael Sentance – the first step in what many believe is an effort to fire him.
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The Great Alabama Dilemma: Trump or Sessions

July 25, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Luther Strange definitely loved Donald Trump first, most and hardest.

But Roy Moore loved him a lot, too.

Mo Brooks wanted to love him and he definitely loves him now, has been one of the biggest supporters of the president’s agenda.

Oh, and Jeff Sessions – boy, do they ever love Jeff Sessions.

Strange made it a point to shake Sessions’ hand following the U.S. Attorney General’s testimony before Congress a few weeks back – you know, that time when Sessions forgot about meeting with Russians, forgot about talking with Russians, forgot about what was said during talks with Russians.
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The downfall of Michael Sentance

July 23, 2017
Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

In the end, it was his inability to accurately assess the political landscape that will cost Michael Sentance his job as the State’s School Superintendent.

Yes, he made mistakes, such as consistently alienating teachers and local superintendents with poor communication. Yes, his department made serious gaffes, such as the too-early release of bad graduation rate info. Yes, he angered lawmakers with his decisions to enter the State Department of Education into costly consulting contracts. And yes, his uneven and inconsistent handling of the Montgomery intervention was a mess that has angered almost everyone on every side.
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Sources: State Board plans to fire Superintendent Michael Sentance

July 21, 2017
Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama State School Board plans to fire State Superintendent Michael Sentance, two source close to the board have told APR.

Those sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the board has not officially made a decision, said Tuesday’s meeting, at which board members will discuss an early evaluation of Sentance, is the first step in the process to terminate him.

On Thursday, al.com reported that the evaluation of Sentance – which comes at least three months before his scheduled annual evaluation – came as a surprise to some board members. Board Vice President Stephanie Bell sent the form this week and requested that all members fill out and return the evaluation form by the end of the day on Friday.
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Lawmakers “blackballed” over Autism bill

July 20, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The invitation list to the Business Council of Alabama’s annual summer party is four names shorter this year.

Sens. Dick Brewbaker, Cam Ward and Bill Holtzclaw, along with Rep. Jim Patterson, were all left off the list, Brewbaker said Wednesday. He called it being “blackballed” later on Twitter.

The party, which is actually dubbed the BCA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, is set to be held Aug. 11-13 at the its usual location – the Grand Hotel in Point Clear. It has become one of the largest gatherings of State Republicans – and a few Democrats – each year.
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A truly disgusting display

July 20, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Over the years, I have witnessed an incredible number of awful displays by elected or appointed public officials.

Pretty much any Roy Moore event qualifies. I was at a pep rally thrown by two dozen or so elected lawmakers for a guy who had just been indicted on 23 felonies. I also made it to Gov. Bentley’s last State of the State address – the one where his mistress sat in the balcony and cried while listening to the speech she not-so-secretly wrote.
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Montgomery residents “too stupid” for Siegelman documentary

July 19, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Capri Theater won’t be showing the documentary, “Atticus v. the Architect: The Political Assassination of Don Siegelman,” because its members and the surrounding community are just too stupid.

They’re too stupid to separate fact from fiction.

They’re too stupid to understand that any documentary should be taken as only one source of information on a complicated and complex subject matter.

And they’re just too stupid to figure out some other way to see the film.
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Alabama voters need the pain

July 18, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The next US Senator from Alabama is probably going to be either Luther Strange, the current (appointed) seat holder, Roy Moore, or Rep. Mo Brooks.

I wish that were not the case. But I’ve seen the polling numbers. This is the reality.

Voters in this State will go to the polls and vote for either a guy who sold them out and shirked his sworn duty in order to be appointed to the seat, or a guy who has grandstanded his way to being booted from the Alabama Supreme Court twice, or a guy who deserves to be named Mo from Alabama.
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AG Marshall’s campaign takes in questionable donations

July 14, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Attorney General Steve Marshall’s campaign has accepted donations from several Political Action Committees funded by a company currently involved in an AG’s office investigation and another company owned by a man who was a key witness in the Mike Hubbard trial.

In all, according to campaign finance reports, Marshall’s campaign took in $15,000 from six PACs managed by Fine Geddie & Associates, and all six were funded by the same four entities: Drummond Coal Company, Great Southern Wood, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Protective Life Insurance.
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ASU has two-week application window in president search

July 14, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The search for Alabama State University’s next president has shifted into top gear.

For weeks, university officials have maintained that they were in no rush to name a new president, following the firing of former president Gwendolyn Boyd last December. In April, the board decided to move forward with the search. Last month, the search committee was still putting together requirements for potential candidates.
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