Sessions Warns Fast-Track Passage Guarantees Three Mammoth Global Pacts

June 22, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

In 2010, Democrats held commanding majorities in both Houses of Congress.  Beginning with that election in November 2010 the GOP railed against the Presidency of Barack H. Obama (D).

Republican candidates for Congress denounced the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as “Obamacare” and vowed to repeal the unpopular legislation.  Time and time again GOP candidates railed against the government and the President himself seeking too much power.  The public largely agreed: control of the House of Representatives was given to Republicans in 2010 and the once filibuster proof Democratic majority in the Senate was severely weakened.  In 2014 Republicans were given control of the U.S. Senate as well.  None of this has led to a balanced budget, the repeal of Obamacare, more border security, or any rollback in Presidential power.    The President’s massive immigration amnesty program has been stymied; but that was due to the states suing and the federal courts shutting the program down; not because of any bold action by the U.S. Congress.
Read More

Ted Cruz Coming to Alabama in August

June 22, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

ted-cruzMore GOP Presidential candidates are starting to make their way through the state as politics gears up for that Alabama 2016 Presidential Primary on March 1.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill made the latest announcement on Facebook.  Sec. Merrill said, “I am very excited to announce that Republican Presidential hopeful United States Senator Ted Cruz from Texas will be the keynote speaker at the annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at The Zone in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, August 25!”
Read More

Palmer Supports Religious Liberty Legislation

June 22, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, June 18, Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) announced in a statement that he is an original co-sponsor of HR2802, The First Amendment Defense Act, which was introduced this week.  The bill’s sponsors claims that it preserves the right for all Americans to hold religious or moral beliefs about marriage without being threatened with legal consequences.

Congressman Palmer said in a statement, “The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion as our first right. Indeed, the freedom to live according to the dictates of one’s own conscience is the reason the pilgrims came to this country centuries ago.  It is a right given to us, not by government, but by God.”

U.S. Representative Palmer continued, “I oppose efforts to redefine Marriage.  However, should the courts or any state decide differently, the millions of Americans who believe Marriage is between one man and one woman should not be discriminated against or penalized.  The definition of marriage preexists government and for millions of Americans it is a religious union.”

According to information supplied by Rep. Palmer, this bill would ensure that people who affirm the faith based definition of marriage cannot be discriminated against, denied a benefit such as a license or certification, or otherwise penalized, for their beliefs about Marriage.

The First Amendment Defense Act was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho).  A companion bill, SB1598, was introduced in the US Senate by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Retired Judge, State Representative Jim Hill (R-Odenville) introduced legislation protecting State Judges and ministers from marrying persons, when that union is a violation of that officials closely held religious beliefs.  That legislation passed the House but got bogged down in the Senate during the last days of the 2015 legislative session.

The US Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether the states will be forced to marry same sex couples in defiance of thousands of years of historical and cultural norms or not as early as Monday.

In anticipation of the ruling on Wednesday, June 17, the living former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) presidents elected since 1980 issued a joint statement June 17 declaring, “The Scriptures’ teaching on marriage is not negotiable. We stake our lives upon the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. We will not accept, nor adhere to, any legal redefinition of marriage issued by any political or judicial body including the United States Supreme Court.”

On May 28, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) told ‘World Net Daily’s’ Rob Unruh that US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg and Elena Kagan could be impeached by Congress if they make a ruling on the case. Moore said that the two Justices conducted themselves inappropriately by officiating at same sex marriages while this issue was before the Court.  Moore said that both have a documented history of activism on this topic and that if they rule on the case it could, ““undermine the Supreme Court’s credibility.”

The Montgomery based Foundation for Moral Law has filed a motion asking that Kagan and Ginsburg recuse themselves.  The Am0erican Family Association, Vision America Action, National Organization for Marriage, the US Justice Foundation, the Louisiana House of Representatives and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) have all embraced the call for Kagan and Ginsburg to stand down on this case.

Congressman Gary Palmer represents Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District.

 

Roby Reports on Blumenthal Deposition

June 22, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, June 17, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) commented on what was learned after longtime Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal was questioned for eight hours by her and the Select Committee on Benghazi on his role in fact finding after the Benghazi attack in 2012.

US Representative Roby said in a statement, “Our deposition of Sid Blumenthal lasted eight hours yesterday, but that was how long it had to take to get through some of this complicated situation. One thing we learned was that he basically copied and pasted unverified information into multiple emails sent to former Secretary Clinton, which she then shared with senior State Department officials. This dubious information came from a source that had financial and political ties inside Libya.”

Rep. Roby continued, “As Chairman Gowdy pointed out, “You have an intelligence apparatus at your disposal. We have a CIA. Why would you not rely on your own vetted, source intelligence agency?”

Rep. Roby asked, “So how much and in what capacity did this information influence the decisions Clinton made before, during and after the horrific attack on our embassy in Benghazi?  This very question proves just how important it is for the State Department and Clinton to provide the emails that we have been seeking throughout the whole process. We’ll continue to push for the truth and won’t let up on the State Department until we get some answers.”

The big revelation of the hearing was that Blumenthal was not advising then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but was instead being used as a conduit for information about Libya and Benghazi for a third party who allegedly had business dealings inside Libya.

The Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, US Representative Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) said in a statement on Wednesday, “Sidney Blumenthal produced to the Committee nearly 60 new emails regarding Libya and Benghazi…These emails were not previously produced to the Committee or released to the public.” 

The Ranking Member on the Select Committee on Benghazi, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Georgia) said that the committee found “no smoking gun.”

Rep. Cummings and his fellow Democrats on the Committee have objected to the fact that the Committee has spent $3,528,000 to this point investigating the Benghazi incident.  They wrote, “Instead of taking concrete steps to enhance the safety and security of our diplomatic corps overseas, the Select Committee on Benghazi continues to squander millions of dollars and has nothing to show for it other than a partisan attack against Secretary Clinton and her campaign for president.”

Most analysts consider former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) to be the Democratic frontrunner in the race for the Presidency of the United States.

Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.  This is her third term in the United States Congress.

 

Jobs Foundation Founders Make Case for Marsh Plan

June 19, 2015

 

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—High-powered business people and sports figures join forces to solve the State’s Budget crisis.

In an effort to answer the State’s need for long-term financial stability, former Auburn University Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Pat Dye, retired CEO of Alabama Power, Charles McCrary, and Raymond Harbert, Chairman and CEO of Harbert Management Company, have come together to form the Alabama Jobs Foundation, to promote passage of a Constitutional Amendment that would create jobs, and increase revenue for the State, by bringing a lottery and casino gaming to Alabama.

The trio is committed to the passage of a Constitutional Amendment based on an omnibus gambling plan proposed by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston). The plan would allow Class III gaming at the four existing dog tracks: the Birmingham Race Course, Victoryland, Greene Track, and the Mobile Greyhound Track.  It would also include a statewide lottery and would urge Gov. Robert Bentley to negotiate a compact with the Poarch Creek Band of Indians (PCI) to allow the Indians to have Class III gaming. A study conducted by AUM says the plan would create 11,000 new jobs for Alabama families, have an economic impact of $1.28 billion on the  economy and generate more than $400 million annually in new State revenue.

At Thursday’s press conference Dye explained, “I have lived over 40 years in the State of Alabama and I have travelled it from one end unto the other. I love the State of Alabama and I love the people in it. Five years ago, we borrowed money from the Trust Fund and have no way to pay it back. Now we are talking about borrowing more money,” which he said was an unacceptable idea. “Sen. Marsh has come up with a plan—I have talked to all of the people involved in the bill. I can’t see anything out there that would keep me from wanting it to pass and go before the people and let the people of the State of Alabama vote for it.”

McCrary, who retired from Alabama Power after serving as CEO for 13 years, said the bottom line in the Marsh proposal is jobs. “I am here today because I see an opportunity. I see an opportunity in the Marsh plan. I see an opportunity to create 11,000 jobs,” said McCrary. “I spent the majority of my career as a business person working on economic development around the state, recruiting other industries and if years ago someone had told me we could create 11,000 jobs this room would be packed with people saying, ‘Yes, we need those 11,000 jobs.’”

The Foundation’s activities will include recruiting additional business leaders to the group, staffing and operating the Foundation, lobbying members of the Alabama Legislature, and funding advertising and public relations campaigns to educate voters.

McCrary says the Marsh plan would not only spur economic growth, but make Alabama a “Destination State” for more people. “Yes, it is a destination for the beaches and all of that, but this could make Alabama a Destination State where they come here instead of just drive through to go buy a lottery ticket in our surrounding states, or go to a casino in the surrounding states. We want to keep our money here.”

According to a report in the Mississippi Sun Herald, a third of those traveling to casinos in Mississippi come from Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

McCrary also points out that the State has already approved gambling in the location identified in Marsh’s plan, but the State is not seeing the potential benefits.

Both Dye and McCrary agree, that the upside of the gaming issue far outweighs the negatives.

“If you look at it realistically, the pluses outweigh the minuses,” said Dye. “The first thing that you hear from somebody that doesn’t agree with gambling is that it preys on the poor. That may be true to a certain extent, but the guy that it preys on that is going to gamble, anyway…People that gamble are going to gamble. They will find a place to do it, or go across the line to Mississippi, or go buy lottery tickets in Georgia, Tennessee, or Florida. They are going to gamble. But, you know if we’ve got gambling in the State of Alabama, and are getting revenue from it, his children will get to benefit from that and so will the children of his community.” 

McCrary echoes Dye’s sentiment, “I want to keep Alabama’s money here. There are a lot of people here, that drive to our border states [for gaming] and our money goes outside the State.”

He also points to the fact that Marsh’s plan lets the people decide, rather having politicians make the choice. “The Marsh Plan doesn’t establish anything. It simply says, ‘Let’s let the people vote.’ Don’t we have confidence in the people of the State of Alabama to let them vote and let them decide whether they see the same opportunity as I do, and Coach Dye does, and a host of other people do. If they don’t see it so be it.”

A passionate Dye said, “I have travelled this state from one end to the other as an assistant coach recruiting for Alabama in every kind of home, every kind of projects, every kind of community and small towns in the Black Belt and the big cities and to all kinds of families. The one thing that I have learned is that you can find good people everywhere.”

Dye has discussed his opinion with Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn), “I went to Mike [Hubbard] first and told him where I stood. I called Del and talked to him extensively and said that everything I can do Del, I will do. If you want to have Town Hall meetings I will travel all over this state.”

He says it is time to let the people decide, and for the politicians to let the people’s voice be heard.

Dye says he understands that Gov. Bentley has resisted letting the vote come before the people, but with a smile, said, “people can change there minds.”

To this end, the Foundation plans to raise awareness of the issue with the goal of seeing a Constitutional Amendment passed in a Special Session, and bringing it to a vote of the people as soon as possible.

Dye says, he is indebted to the people of the State for making his dreams come true, and that he wants to see all of the State’s children have an opportunity to live out their dreams, as well.

 

Carson to Speak in Alabama

June 19, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

ben carson doctorThe Presidential Primary Season is heating up in Alabama.  GOP Presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson will be in town for the Grid Iron Men’s Conference where he is one of the speakers.  Dr. Carson will be back on June 28, to speak at the Christianity in America Celebration at the Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

Dr. Carson issued a statement on Thursday following the slayings of the church members in South Carolina: “Last night evil walked the streets of Charleston. My heart aches for the families of the victims. I pray for the families left behind. I pray for the community scared and hurting. I also pray you and I can conquer hatred.  In my lifetime I have seen such great progress. Though racial based hate is still very much alive as last night so violently reminded us.”
Read More

Alabama Leaders React to Church Slayings in South Carolina

June 19, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter 

Thursday, June 18, the nation was shocked by the terror attack on a predominately Black Church in Charleston, South Carolina pastored by South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney.

Reverend Pinckney’s slaying, apparently by a racist White youth, brought up memories of the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by a racist White man.  The mass shooting at a prayer service at Emanuel AME Church also brought up memories of Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and other instances where Americans were gunned down by homicidal maniacs.

Throughout Thursday, a number of state leaders issued statements about the events in South Carolina.   Some of these statements were made before the assassin, Dylann Storm Roof was captured near Shelby, North Carolina.

US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said, “By now you’ve probably heard the news out of Charleston about the senseless, hate-filled murder that took place last night. I hope you’ll join me in praying that God bring special comfort to the families of those who were killed and His peace that passes all understanding to the Charleston community.”

US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) wrote in a statement, “The news out of Charleston, South Carolina, is truly heartbreaking. There is no place for that type of violence in our world today. Please join me in saying a prayer for all of those involved and ask that God may bring healing to the entire community.”

Alabama State Representative John Knight, Chairman of the House Black Caucus, issued a written statement in response to the deadly shootings in South Carolina: “The hearts of the members of the Black Caucus are heavy with sorrow, as we extend prayers to the family and friends of our colleague Sen. Clementa Pinckney and others whose lives were so tragically lost.  We mourn with the citizens of South Carolina, as our nation is again confronted with unimaginable violence bred and bolstered with hatred and intolerance.  This dastardly and heinous attack reminds us of the very real struggle of race in America.  Racism is as real today as it was fifty years ago.  We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the consequences of inaction.”

US Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) wrote, “Places of worship should be places of peace and safety. My prayers for this congregation, the people of Charleston and South Carolina.”

US Representative Terri Sewell wrote, “My thoughts are with those impacted by the shooting, and I pray that the perpetrator is brought to justice soon.”

State Representative Merika Coleman-Evans (D-Midfield) said on Facebook, “Praying for the family of Pastor/State Senator Clementa Pinckney and all of the families of those killed in South Carolina’s historic Mother Emmanuel AME Church last night while they were in bible study! Senator Pinckney has been described as the moral conscience of the South Carolina legislature. Lord, give these families comfort during this tragic time, and allow the perpetrator of this heiness hate crime to be brought to justice swiftly.”

Former Georgia Young Republicans Chairwoman, Alabama native, and candidate for National Young Republican Chair Meagan Myers said in a statement on Facebook, “Awful, awful news out of Charleston this morning. Prayers for the victims’ families and the Charleston community. I simply cannot fathom the evil in the shooter’s heart to commit such a heinous crime. I pray that this man be caught, and justice served.”

Rep. Knight wrote, “The Black Caucus stands together with President Obama and our legislative peers across the nation, committed to honor the lives lost by bringing an end to gun violence and the loose laws that have allowed it escalate.”

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R) said in a statement to reporters, “While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another.”

Knight said in his statement that he also plans to introduce legislation during the Special Session of the Alabama Legislature to require public schools to teach racial tolerance and cultural sensitivity as part of primary, secondary and high school curricula. The Black Caucus also plans to work with legislators across the country to develop stronger state laws to protect citizens from gun violence.

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is the First AME Church in the South and is often referred to as Mother Emanuel AME for it’s role in developing the denomination.  The Church was founded in 1816.

 

Zeigler Urges Churches to Arm Parishioners in Wake of Attack on South Carolina Church

June 19, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Around 9:00 pm on June 17, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof assassinated South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney (D) and eight parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, which was pastored by Sen. Pinckney. In response to the tragedy, State Auditor Zig Zeigler recommended on Facebook that people should go to Church armed.

Auditor Zeigler, a strong 2nd Amendment proponent said, “Church attendees should pack. Each church should have a vigilance committee of individuals who pack and who develop their own plans for defense from an attack. Calling 911 and waiting for government defense will not work. Without armed citizens in the church congregation, they are sitting ducks for criminals and terrorists.”

Roof attended an 8:00 pm Bible study with Pinckney and his parishioners. At the end of the Bible study he pulled out a weapon and began firing. The first 911 calls reached authorities at 9:05 pm.

South Carolina state legislators are shocked by the tragic loss of one of their own. A special session to deal with the budget on Thursday turned into an impromptu memorial service, as South Carolina lawmakers responded to the attack.

Longtime Pinckney family friend and community leader, Jerome Brown told WIST TV of Pinckney, “He was the kind of guy that if you could not get along with there was something wrong with you…He certainly will be missed…He loved his Church.  He loved his people.  He loved his family.  He loved his kids.”

Pinckney had been a pastor since he was 18 and a member of the state legislature since he was 23.

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1816 and is celebrated as the oldest Black Church in the South.

Sen. Pinckney is survived by his wife and two daughters, who reportedly were at the Church that night.

Roof has been apprehended in Shelby, North Carolina by authorities.

Roof is a 21-year-old White man.  Sen. Pinckney and the other victims are Black.  The slayings are being investigated as a hate crime by authorities.

Roof reportedly told a woman who he allowed to survive the attack so she could tell the world what happened, “I had to do it. You rape our women, and are taking over our country.”

Dylan Storm Roof dropped out of High School in the ninth grade, and had been arrested as recently as March for trespassing, and drugs.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) was one of the last people to see Pinckney alive as the Reverand had attended a presidential race fundraiser for Hillary Clinton hours earlier. Clinton said in a statement on Twitter, “Heartbreaking news from Charleston – my thoughts and prayers are with you all.”

South Carolina House Minority Leader, Todd Rutherford told the Associated Press that Pinckney, 41, served his flock as well as his constituents:

“He never had anything bad to say about anybody, even when I thought he should,” Rutherford (D-Columbia) said of Pinckney. “He was always out doing work either for his parishioners or his constituents. He touched everybody.”

Auditor Zeigler has been a vocal proponent of Second Amendment Rights for many years.

 

Original Reporting by WIST TV, WCSC TV, and Fox News contributed to this report.  

Two-Year College Pays Hundreds of Thousands for Professional Legal Services

June 18, 2015

 

By Bill Britt

Alabama Political Reporter

 

MONTGOMERY—For over a decade, The State Board of Education has prohibited, “any institution under its authority, direction, and control from paying with State funds for the services of a lobbyist on a contract or consulting basis,” according to its own Board policies.

 

This prohibition has included the Alabama two-year college system which, until recently, was under the direct control of the State Board of Education.

 

State records show that since 2014, the two-year college system has held a profession services contract with the law firm Hand Arendall, which has been paid $630,523.58 as of June 2015, for “legal professional services.”

 

SEE DOC

 

Hand Arendall’s Roger Bates, Jimmy Baker, and most recently, Monica Cooper are listed with the Secretary of State as lobbyists for the Alabama two-year college system.

 

In 2010, the firm received $31,857.45; in 2011, $23,302.40; in 2012 and 2013, they received nothing. However, in 2014, the firm was paid $411,075.29. And, as of June 5, 2015, $219,448.29.

 

Roger Bates serves as the Managing Lawyer for Hand Arendall, and is Chair of the firm’s Health Care Practice Group. He served as a lawyer for the two-year college system during legal wrangling over the double-dipping ban.

 

Jimmy Baker was Assistant Superintendent of Education, Deputy Superintendent of Education, and Finance Director for the State of Alabama under Fob James.

 

In 2013, shortly before his work with the two-year college system, Baker received $15,000 a month to serve as Interim Superintendent of Enterprise City Schools. At the same time, Bates received $1,500 per month as a retainer, to serve as the Enterprise City Schools interim attorney.

 

Monica Cooper came into the public eye when in 2010, she made a donation of $100,000 from her personal bank account to Mike Hubbard’s 136 Years PAC. Cooper, who was a Senate staffer at the time, was then reimbursed the $100,000 from Sen. Jabo Wagonner’s PAC, the New Alabama Leadership PAC.

 

Sen.Wagonner’s son Mark is an attorney with Hand Arendall.

 

In September, 2012, Dr. Mark A. Heinrich was selected as Chancellor of the two-year college system. According to those is the system, Heinrich had a difficult time navigating the political landscape during the 2013 legislative session, and as a result turned to Bates and Baker for help.

 

According to past and present employees, Baker has an office in close proximity to the Chancellor’s.

 

Baker is listed on the system’s website as, “Government Relations.” He has a private LLC email address @JHBLLC.net. The address doesn’t lead to a website, but is listed with the domain search, whois.it, which shows it as being registered to Stephanie Craft of the Montgomery-based Williford & Associates, LLC.

 

According to the companies website, Williford & Associates, led by Frank G. Williford, provides “high quality regulatory consulting services to healthcare providers and businesses.”

 

Craft is listed as manager of Williford & Associates, LLC. Both she and Williford are registered lobbyists.

 

Bates, Baker, and Cooper are listed as lobbyists for the Pharmacy Association and the Alabama Primary Health Care Association.

 

A June 5, 2015 email from Annette Funderburk, who, according to the college website, works in government relations, summarizes the System’s efforts during the 2015 legislative session; several organizations, government agency employees and lobbyists were included in the communication.   

 

Annette Funderburk is the wife of Ken Funderburk, whose company has handled around $135 million in bond issues for the two-year college system in the past. His sister is Debbie Funderburk-Dahl, who was a top financial officer under Roy Johnson, but was fired from her position in 2007 when Bradley Byrnes took over.

 

The email from Funderburk, reads in part, “Attached is the 2015 Legislative Session Update #2015-13 as well as the ACCS ETF Budget and Act No. 2015-340. Past legislative updates are on the website, please use this link: 

https://www.accs.cc/index.cfm/departments-services/government-relations/  This will be the last update until the Special Session.”

 

Bates, Baker and Cooper are recipients of this email.

 

Others included in the “Legislative Session Update” along with Bates, Baker and Cooper are, Hap Mahaffey, Director of Government Relations at Central Alabama Community College, and a former close associate of Roy Johnson; Jared White, Education Policy Advisor to Gov. Robert Bentley; Marilyn C. Beck, former President of Calhoun Community College; Tracey Meyer, Governmental Relations Coordinator for Alabama Department of Education; Rosemary Elebash, State Director of NFIB/Alabama; Leah Garner, Director of Governmental Affairs and Advocacy for the Business Council of Alabama; Molly Cagle, Director of External Affairs for Manufacture Alabama; and Tim Alford, former chairman of Alabama Workforce Investment Board.

 

The legislative update from Funderburk contains a spreadsheet showing the Alabama Community College System Education Trust Fund budget for 2015-2016, in which the System receives a $9,455,365 increase in funding, for a total of $343,100,519 million.

 

 

 

Jobs Foundation to Support Gaming Option

June 18, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley

Alabama Political Reporter 

 

On Thursday, June 18, legendary retired Auburn football Coach and Athletic Director Pat Dye, retired Alabama Power CEO Charles McCrary, and Chairman and the CEO of Harbert Management Company Raymond Harbert have announced that they have formed a foundation to push for passage of an amendment to the Alabama Constitution to bring a lottery and casino gaming to the state of Alabama.

 

The trio have formed what they are calling the “Alabama Jobs Foundation.” They will make their announcement on Thursday in Montgomery.  Dye, McCrary, and Harbert said in the foundation’s press announcement that a lottery and casinos would provide new revenues for the state and create jobs.

 

An omnibus gaming plan introduced by Senate President Del Marsh, (R from Anniston) would urge the Governor to negotiate a compact with the Poarch Creek Band of Indians (PCI) to allow the Indians to have Class III gaming in exchange for lawful status and paying taxes.  The Marsh plan would also allow Class III gaming at the four dog tracks: the Birmingham Race Course, Victoryland, Greene Track, and the Mobile Dog Track.  All funds from taxes off of gaming would go to the State General Fund.

 

Pat Dye, Charles McCrary, and Raymond Harbert have endorsed the Marsh plan,

 

They said on their website that, “The Marsh plan will create 11,000 new jobs for Alabama families, have an economic impact of $1.28 billion on our economy and generate more than $400 million annually in new state revenue, enough to solve the state of Alabama’s financial crisis.”

 

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is not impressed.  On Wednesday, June 17, he told WSFA’s Michael Doudna that gambling is a tax on the poor and gaming would not be part of the call for a Special Session.  A clearly agitated Gov. Bentley said that gaming is not the solution.

 

Sen. Marsh has told reporters on a number of occasions that he did not think the Senate would pass tax increases in the upcoming Special Session…….which is necessary to pass the 2016 SGF budget which Gov. Bentley vetoed after the Senate left town; because legislators would not give him his tax increases.

 

Passing the Marsh Plan would require a vote of the people, which would likely be on March 1…..well into the 2016 fiscal year.

 

According to their website, the Foundation’s activities will include recruiting additional business leaders to the group, staffing and operating the Foundation, lobbying members of the Alabama Legislature, and funding advertising and public relations campaigns to educate voters.

 

Gov. Bentley had been asking for business leaders to get behind efforts to pass his unpopular tax package.

 

 

© Copyright 2017 Alabama Political Reporter