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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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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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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Will Poarch Creek casino money return Hubbard to power?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

New information about a reported agreement between convicted felon Mike Hubbard and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) came to light over the weekend. The Tribe has is believed to have agreed to pay all of Hubbard’s legal fees past, present, and future if the once-powerful Speaker of the House helps them elect a majority of like-minded lawmakers who will grant a Compact, giving them Vegas-style casino gambling rights in Alabama.
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Will the Ethic Commission’s political parlor tricks doom Bentley?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

What the public learned from the Ethic Commission hearing surrounding accusations against Gov. Robert Bentley, is that he may have violated the Ethics Code and the Fair Campaign Practice Act (FCPA). What observant politicos witnessed was an Ethics Commission that is political, ineffectual, and has long outlived its sell-by-date.

Let’s take the cute little nod and wink between Commissioner Stewart Tankersley and Tom Albritton.
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GOP lawmakers become “36 percenters”

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

President Reagan once ominously remarked, “The nine most dangerous words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Rep. Bob Fincher (R-Woodland) is sponsoring a Constitutional Amendment in the House that would cap “certain” loans at 36 percent interest, which reads in part, “No person should be subject to unconscionable interest rates authorized by government regulation. No church, charity, or community foundation should bear the burden of providing financial assistance because government-approved loan products are proven to be exploitive.”
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BCA’s thoughts on Social Engendering: Sweet mimicry or demise?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In an op-ed published in several statewide media outlets on June 8, 2015, Business Council of Alabama (BCA) Chairman Billy Canary spoke out against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) North Birmingham 35th Avenue Superfund cleanup:

“It is obvious that the EPA is seeking to revitalize urban neighborhoods surrounding Birmingham’s 35th Avenue Superfund site by using dollars that are hijacked from the targeted industries, which seems to be less about environmental mitigation and more about engaging in a social engineering experiment.”
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