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Last updateThu, 31 Jul 2014 7am

Sessions Calls on Congress to tell President Not To Move Forward With Illegal Executive Amnesty


By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

When we were all in school we were taught that the Legislative Branch of our government makes the laws, the Executive Branch carries out and enforces the laws made by the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch of government impartially interprets the laws written by the Congress and protects the public from laws or executive actions which violates the Constitution.

It is not really that simple. But, the system of checks and balances created by the founders has more or less worked for more than 220 years.

On Monday, July 28 U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama warned in a speech on the U.S. Senate floor that President’s announced intention to circumvent Congress by providing unilateral Executive amnesty to roughly half the current illegal alien population is a clear violation of the Constitutional order.

Senator Sessions stated, “We are entering a momentous week as Congress must face the reality that President Obama is moving towards a decision whereby he would issue Executive orders, in direct contravention of long-established American law, that would grant administrative amnesty and work permits for five to six million persons that are unlawfully in this country. This, after Congress has explicitly refused demands to change the law to his desire.”

Sen. Sessions continued, “Current law is plain. Those who enter this great nation by unlawful means or overstaying their visa are subject to removal and are ineligible to work. That is our law. Our law is right and it’s just and it comports with the laws of civilized nations the world over, and if followed will serve the honorable and legitimate interests of this nation and her people.  Now the National Journal, TIME magazine, and The Hill and others are reporting that President Obama, sore at Congress, and by implication the American people, plans, by the “end of summer,” by the stroke of a pen, to do that which the law explicitly forbids—provide amnesty and work permits for millions. This would be in contravention of his duty and his oath to see that the laws of the United States are faithfully enforced. And, it would be a direct challenge to the clear powers of Congress to make laws. Congress makes laws, the Executive Branch executes those laws. It’s that simple.”

Sen. Sessions continued, “The President’s actions are astonishing, and are taking our nation into exceedingly dangerous waters, colleagues. Such calculated action strains the constitutional structure of our republic. Such unlawful and unconstitutional action, if taken, cannot stand. No Congress, Republican or Democrat, can allow such action to occur or to be maintained. The people will not stand for it. They must not stand for it.  My petition, Mr. President, is that you pull back. It is utterly unacceptable for you to meet with special interest groups, La Raza and others, and then promise action that is contrary to law. Mr. President, such action would be wrong, and it would be an affront to the people of this country which they will never forget. It would be a permanent stain on your presidency. I urge you to make clear that you will not do this.”

Sen. Sessions said, “Now, I am not suggesting negotiations or any parley or any compromise.  There is no middle ground on nullifying immigration law by the President. Maybe some of your people, bright young staffers, think the President can intimidate Congress—that the Chief Executive can make such a threat and the lawmakers will just cower under their desks. That is wrong sir. You cannot intimidate Congress—or the American people who sent them here for that matter. Simply put, that which you desire is beyond your lawful reach.”

Sen. Sessions said, “Just as the unlawful DACA amnesty for young people created an unprecedented, unlawful flow of more young people, that initiative has now, it seems, encouraged the President to take even more unlawful action for millions of adults—a ten-fold increase the papers say. And, if millions are given amnesty by executive order, we can be sure that the result will be even more millions of adults in the future coming unlawfully. It will collapse any remaining moral authority of our immigration law, undermine the sovereignty, really, of our nation. If you don’t have a legitimate, lawful system of immigration that you can enforce and abide by, then you’ve undermined the very sovereignty of your nation. It amounts, in effect, to an open-borders policy that has never been the policy of any developed nation that I’m aware of. And it’s been rejected by Congress repeatedly.  In effect, the President is preparing to assume for himself the absolute power to set immigration law in America. The absolute power to determine who may enter and who may work—no matter what the law says—by the millions.”

Sessions warned that if President Obama is not stopped in this action and executes, “Such a massive amnesty contrary to law, the moral authority for any immigration enforcement henceforth will be eviscerated. Anyone, the world over, will get the message: Get into America by any method you can and you will never have to leave. We are almost there, but it is not too late.”

Sen. Sessions said that the people, “Have begged and pleaded for our Nation’s immigration laws to be enforced for 30 or 40 years. The politicians have refused. Refused, refused, refused. They have defeated amnesty after amnesty after amnesty, and they will not sit back and allow the President to implement through unlawful fiat what they have defeated through the democratic process. They must not yield to this.  There is one thing the powers in Washington fear—that is being voted out of office. Before a Member of Congress acquiesces to any action of this kind, they should consider their responsibility to their constituents.  No member, in either party, Republican or Democrat, should support any border legislation that moves through this Senate that does not expressly prohibit these planned executive actions by the President and that prohibits any expenditure of funds to implement them. There can be no retreat on this point, colleagues. We simply need to say that the chief executive of these United States cannot expend any money to execute this unlawful amnesty plan.  All of this is grim talk, but the situation is stark. Congressional action this week to bar unilateral, imperial action by the President is surely the best course to head off what could be a constitutional crisis.”

Sen. Sessions said that stopping the Executive amnesty will be good for the President, because it will stop him from taking a step that will mar permanently his presidency and the office of the President; will avoid a major governmental disruption; will protect the rule of law and the constitutional order; will help re-establish the constitutional power of Congress to make laws and perhaps mark the end of this Congress’ acquiescence to executive overreach; and will stop work authorizations for six million illegal aliens who will then be able to take any job in America at a time of high unemployment and falling wages, thereby protecting American workers.

Sen. Sessions said, “The Congress of the United States and the President of the United States are given only limited powers by our Constitution.  Mr. President, you work for the people, they do not work for you, and they will not accept nullification of their law passed by their elected representatives.  The American people are not going to accept it. They are going to fight this; I am confident that they will. They will resist.”

A defiant Senator Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III said, “So I am calling on the American people to ask their representatives: where do you stand, Senator? Where do you stand on this, Congressman?

All of us were elected by American citizens to serve them and to serve and honor their constitution that is our birthright. Will we answer that call? Where will history record each of us stood at this important time?”

The National anti-amnesty group, "Make Them Listen" has responded to Sen. Jeff Sessions request for action.  The group wrote, “Time magazine reports Obama ready to issue amnesty to millions. Sen. Sessions makes emergency request to citizens everywhere to demand their U.S. Rep. withhold all money from President until he is banned from any more unilateral amnesties WILL YOU PLEASE JOIN THE NATIONAL PHONE-IN CAMPAIGN TODAY?”  “Sen. Jeff Sessions says the danger of another unilateral mass amnesty from Pres. Obama is very high. This weekend, he has put out an urgent request of us:  We are paying for a toll-free number to the Capitol Switchboard to make it as easy as possible for all of you. Here it is:   Call toll-free: 1-855-827-2353 Even though most Democrats in the House are currently supporting any kind of amnesty they can get, Democrats as well as Republicans need to be called today. It is important for Democrats -- three months before elections -- to hear just how unpopular these amnesties are.”

The groups said in their written statement, “The reason we are focusing on the U.S. House of Representatives today is because that is where the main action is taking place right now on the President's request for billions of dollars to deal with the Border Surge in the Southwest U.S.”

The group quoted Sen. Sessions, "No Member -- House or Senate, Democrat or Republican -- should support any bill with respect to the border crisis that does not include language explicitly prohibiting the Administration from taking such action (issuing a unilateral amnesty). Congress must foreclose any possibility of these unlawful executive actions before congressional funding is granted. This is an essential precondition.”

They are asking callers to tell the congressional staffer who answers the phone: that you object to Pres. Obama by himself giving another mass amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. The news media are reporting that he plans to do it soon, and you are outraged and secondly that Congress should not give the President any of the money he wants for the Border Surge unless the bill prohibits the President from issuing any more work permits to illegal aliens without congressional approval; tell them to support H.R.5160 by Rep. Blackburn that blocks any more go-it-alone amnesties by a President; and to quote Sen. Sessions.

The group’s message is being promoted in Alabama by Deanna Frankowski and Jennifer Montrose who are organizing a protest on Saturday in front of the Hwy 280 Wal-Mart in Northern Shelby County.

Senator Jeff Sessions is running for a fourth term in the United States Senate this year and has no Republican or Democrat opponent.

 

McCuiston Running as Independent in Senate District 32


By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday, July 25, the Alabama Political Reporter had a long conversation with Independent candidate for Alabama State Senate District 32 Kimberly McCuiston about her views on many of the issues affecting both the state of Alabama and Senate District 32 in Baldwin County.

The Alabama Political Reporter asked Mrs. McCuiston about her views on Medicaid Expansion.  McCuiston said that she believe we are going to have to act on that.  There are 350,000 people in Alabama who can’t get insurance.  Kentucky accepted the expansion and people benefited. “We definitely have to do something. Republicans had the same reservations in 1965 about the Medicare Program.  Now try to take away someone’s Medicare. The opponents of the Affordable Care Act basically have the same argument with it then that they have now. Frankly, I think the public option should never have been taken off the table.”

On the Alabama Accountability Act McCuiston said, “I totally oppose that. There has been $25 million collected and only $24,000 given out.  Where is that money now? There are ways to fix the schools.  The Chicago Public Schools were a mess until Arne Duncan and a team of people came in there and turned it around, but we need to have the right people in place."

APR asked McCuiston if she supported teacher tenure.  The former teacher said no she does not.  I have always felt that teachers should be like every other professional and should be judged on their present performance.  McCuiston also opposes school vouchers.

McCuiston said that Alabama should fix the public schools so that when you move here the local schools here are at the same level as in other states having taught the same material.
On Common Core, McCuiston said, “I think we need something a little different.”  She said that she favors uniform standards across school district and state lines because we are a part of the United States, but is not for a lot of standardized testing.  She said, “We are going to have to do something,” and suggested taking the best elements from Common Core and the best from other sources, including the old standards.

APR asked McCuiston if she favored raising taxes on Alabama families?  McCuiston said, “No we can not raise the taxes on individuals.”  The state already collects $3 billion from the personal income tax, but collects only about $415 million from corporations that do business here.  “That is a big discrepancy.”

McCuiston said that the first thing we need to do is to clean up all the corruption in Montgomery.  There are too many people in Montgomery who are trying to make money off of the state.  All that needs to stop.

McCuiston said that the state needs leadership that that builds a consensus among the people.  The people also need to engage state government more.

McCuiston said the state’s prison crisis is, “Really a mess.”  We need to look at our laws and change things like mandatory minimums that are responsible for prison overcrowding. “As far as building more prisons that is not the answer.”  McCuiston also said that we do not want to privatize prisons because it adds to corruption and makes a commodity of people.
McCuiston also said, “We definitely don’t want to abolish the Auditor’s office.” On giving industries incentives to come to Alabama from the education fund, McCuiston said, “No you leave the education fund alone.”

McCuiston favors the state allowing medical marijuana.  She said that she knows of several elderly folks who would prefer marijuana over the pain medications that they are getting currently from their doctors.

Kimberly said that her district is a 3.5 billion service and tourism industry.  She is concerned about how that could be threatened by the proliferation of oil and gas pipelines.  “Oil and tourism don’t mix.”

APR asked McCuiston if she favored Gary Palmer’s plan to radically increase domestic oil and gas exploration.  She said, “Absolutely not.  Nobody wants to come to Orange Beach or Gulf Shores to stare at oil wells.  Nobody wants that.”

She said that corporations had too much influence on campaigns in the state and that many of Alabama’s elected officials, “Are doing the bidding of those corporations.”   Her campaign has not taken any PAC (Political Action Campaign) money.  ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ asked if she has taken any AEA money.  McCuiston said, “No.” and that she probably would not take any AEA money if it were offered.  She complained that the Alabama Ethics Commission does not do enough to fight corruption and is too weak.

McCuiston said that she has asked her opponent Sen. Trip Pittman if he is still under a gag order to discuss the oil boom scandal and the FBI investigation and he won’t answer.  If he is McCuiston speculated that he can’t talk about the allegations, because it is an ongoing investigation.  “Pittman says he had no ethics training, it does not take training to know the difference between right and wrong.”

On using toll roads to fund new highways, McCuiston said she has experience with that due to the Foley Express.  “They extended the beach express, but nobody uses it to avoid paying the $3.50 toll.  If you toll that bridge (the I-10 bridge that is to be built) people are going to find a way not to pay the tolls.”

On the home owner’s insurance problem for Baldwin and Mobile Counties, she said that if you look at where the claims are coming from, there are more claims from Central Alabama.  “Insurance companies will gouge you wherever they can.”  McCuiston said that homeowners south of I-10 would benefit from more competition in the insurance market.
Mrs. McCuiston said that she was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania and moved to Alabama at age 14.  She lived for years in Pelham and then moved to Chicago, Illinois where she worked as a nurse and then as a teacher in Hanover Park, IL.  She has lived in the District since 2008.

On the Red Snapper controversy, McCuiston said, “I am worried for our charter boat captains.” She said that Gov. Bentley’s answer to the shortened federal season of allowing private boats to fish for snapper on the July weekends in state waters hurt the over 400 charter boat captains because they weren’t able to go out during those days, making a bad situation for the boat captains even worse.  Kimberly supports efforts to extend Alabama’s State waters further out.

When asked why she chose to run as an independent rather than as a Republican or a Democrat, McCuiston said, “I don’t think inside a box.  Being an independent is a mindset.”  “I want the people to tell me what they want.  I listen.  I want to represent them not some corporation.”

On why she is running for our Alabama Senate seat District 32, she said in a prepared statement, “The reasons are many, but the most important reasons are these.   Democracy is not one person existing on a Ballot. That’s a no brainer, and unfortunately for Alabamians across this state November elections will be a lot of no choice.  I feel our Constitutional rights as human beings are currently sacrificed for profit and power by the status quo in Montgomery. I also see too much of that profit going into the hands of elected officials, and Lobbyists, and not to benefit the good citizens of Baldwin County. We have gotten to a place where the average person has no real voice in local or state Government, and they only pay attention to the highest bidder, while the rest of us are sold out for a few pieces of silver.”

McCuiston said, “I want common sense and ethical values to be the standard and returned to our State Capital, and the Constitution of Alabama and the United States upheld for everyone. Our rights are at stake no matter who you are, and what party you vote for. The loss of those rights will be disastrous for future generations.  I began a journey 4 years that has ultimately lead to my candidacy, The BP Oil Disaster. I learned as a resident of lower Baldwin County very quickly what I felt, or produced as fact held no weight with local or state officials from the top down. I had no choices and no value. I was speaking out at more Public forums, meetings, and workshops than anyone could fathom. I got no results, no answers, and felt totally placated by the people elected into office some I voted for. I decided to get bolder and louder and organized protests and rally’s thinking well maybe if we yell loud enough, they will pay attention. I define “They” as The Good Ole Boys. It’s a club and the rest of us are not in it. They pander only to those from who they can personally benefit from. The moral and ethical values of these guy’s is only apparent at campaign and election time eloquently telling people what they want to hear. They have no intention of paying attention to you.”

McCuiston continued, “I realized if I want to help my fellow citizens, do something to end the reign of those ethically and morally challenged I would have to go to Montgomery inside the belly of the beast. I am a strong citizen advocate for all. I hold no allegiance to either political party. We need to do what is practical and logical for the people and their business in District 32, and stop worrying about labels they are not important. There is way too much money and greed currently deciding the fate of thousand here to be fair. This is what happens when you have only 1 political party dominating everything. It breeds corruption.”

The General Election is on November 4.

 

Hidden Costs of Stagnant Minimum Wage


Dr. Jennifer Marsden

This past week I was speaking with a group of small business owners and professionals in Dothan. One business owner felt that an increase in the Alabama minimum wage will make them need to raise prices at least a little, but that prices for all goods were already going up even without a wage hike, so maybe minimum wage workers needed higher pay. Another noted that very few people in Alabama get only minimum wage: the men who do yard work or home repairs for these professionals are getting a lot more than $8/hour (even the neighbor boy who dog sits for us gets more than that).

Probably the only employers in Alabama paying minimum wage are larger companies like Wal-Mart or corporate franchises for fast food. With rising prices, minimum wage is not enough to take care of the costs of living, even in low cost Alabama. Despite inflation of 11% over the last 5 years, the minimum wage has not been increased since 2009. I look at it this way: when I last earned minimum wage, that $3.35 bought what is now worth $9.70, not the current minimum wage of $7.25. Many families with children supported by a minimum wage worker will qualify for food stamps and their children will qualify for Medicaid. Health insurance for the parents can cost 1/3 to 1/2 or more of the annual pay of a minimum wage worker so the parents have to go without if their company does not provide health insurance.

Alabama tax payers support these minimum wage workers (and their employers, who get a worker for less than they really cost to feed, house, and get medical and child care) with food stamps, public housing, child care assistance, Medicaid for the children, and unpaid emergency room costs when an uninsured worker has a serious medical problem. As many have pointed out, the profits from Alabama tax payers picking up the tab for these costs go directly to the owners of the companies which pay minimum wage because they do not have to bear the burden of higher wages.

An old economic maxim is this: give a rich man a raise and he'll probably put the money away for later; give a poor man (or woman) a raise and they'll buy Baby shoes! Every increase in minimum wage will come straight back into the Alabama economy; not the case for big businesses that continue to see skyrocketing corporate earnings. If we do not raise the minimum wage, we should consider asking employers to contribute a little more to the state funds that support those minimum wage employees who receive state benefits because of their lower wages. As it stands, those stingy employers are just forcing the rest of us to subsidize their profit margin.

We all recognize that raising the minimum wage may contribute a little bit to inflation, but maybe it's time for some wage inflation instead of just price inflation!

Dr. Jennifer Marsden, is a family physician and Army veteran from Newton, running on the Democratic ticket for the House District 93

 

Shelby and Roby Request that New VA Secretary Visit and Formulate a Plan to Fix Central Alabama VA


By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, Robert McDonald was confirmed as Secretary of the U.S. Veterans Administration. That same day U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R) sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery to new VA Secretary Robert McDonald requesting that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days which identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) and a timeline for implementation of a plan to correct those systemic problems.  The letter also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the CAVHCS facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Representative Roby to discuss the details of the plan.

In the letter Sen. Shelby and Rep. Roby wrote, “We write to express our concerns that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is failing veterans and their families across our nation and in Alabama.  It is unconscionable that veterans would be denied timely access to the healthcare services that they both need and have earned, and it is our hope that  the commitment and energy you offer to address these tremendous challenges will allow for the systemic problems to be corrected and also prevent further abuse.”  

The two members of the Alabama delegations continued, “Reports regarding the treatment of veterans in Alabama are dire and appalling.  While we have yet to see a comprehensive account of the allegations, it is our understanding that the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) has the eighth longest average wait times in the nation for veterans to receive care, even with its recorded manipulated recordkeeping.  Whistleblowers allege that veterans’ x-rays have been lost, which may have in turn led to cancer and other life-threatening conditions going untreated.  The leadership of the CAVHCS is alleged to have tolerated or encouraged whistleblower intimidation and retaliation, which possibly continued and exacerbated the abuse.  To date, we do not believe that proper action has been taken to mitigate these allegations.”

In the letter, Roby and Shelby wrote, “Instead of swiftly working to fix the serious problems at the CAVHCS, all reports suggest that its leaders are focused on dodging blame and personal cost rather than serving veterans and providing the care and treatment promised.  We have lost trust in the leadership at the CAVHCS.  We stand ready and willing to work with you to address the challenges facing the Department in any way appropriate.  Therefore, we respectfully request that you review the specific allegations and mismanagement at the VA in Alabama, and particularly at the CAVHCS.”

Congresswoman Roby and Senator Shelby concluded, “Within 60 days, we request a concise, straightforward plan from you that identifies the problems there, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation.  Upon receipt of your written recommendations, we request to meet with you at the CAVHCS facility in Montgomery in order to discuss the details of your plan.   We remain committed to keeping our promise to our nation’s veterans and will do all that we can to ensure they are provided with timely and effective health care services.  Again, we appreciate your willingness to serve our veterans and our country is this vital role and look forward to hearing back from you expeditiously in response to our requests.”

The revelations that at least dozens of the VA’s far flung empire of hospitals have been systematically falsifying their records to make it appear that they were doing a better job at serving America’s veterans than they were actually doing has rocked the Obama Administration’s second term and has brought into question the President’s laid back hands off management style.  According to some reports over 100 veterans have died while being placed on secret waiting lists for care…….care which never came.

Many reports of egregious allegations of misconduct have been levied at Montgomery’s troubled CAVHCS facility.

Representative Martha Roby wrote to constituents on Tuesday, Jul 29, “This week, a new audit from the Department of Veterans Affairs shows what we long suspected: that the rampant scheduling manipulation in Central Alabama wasn’t some misunderstanding, but rather a facility-led, standard operating procedure. As the Montgomery Advertiser is reporting, more than 57 percent of staff surveyed at the Central Alabama VA said they were instructed to manipulate patient scheduling records. That’s off the charts compared to other peer systems.”

Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District while Senator Shelby has represented the State of Alabama in the U.S. Senate since his election in 1986.

 

PSC To Testify To EPA In Atlanta


By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, 28, 2014, Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) President Twinkle A. Cavanaugh, PSC Commissioner Jeremy Oden, the Republican nominee for PSC Place 2, Chris "Chip" Beeker, and Republican National Committeeman Paul Reynolds held a joint news conference at the Alabama Coal Association headquarters in Mountain Brook.

The Alabama Political Reporter was present to report on the live event.

The foursome, along with Attorney General Luther Strange (R) and representatives from the Jobkeeper Alliance, will be participating in hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies on new Carbon Dioxide emissions rules which threaten to close most of the remaining coal powered electricity plants in the nation.  Where earlier rules applied to new power plants, these new, Draconian standards would apply retroactively to all of our earlier plants.  Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s hearings will be at Atlanta’s prestigious Omni Hotel.

President Twinkle Cavanaugh (R) said that she, “...will be testifying in Atlanta on behalf of all Alabamians to protect our way of life. You elected me to be your voice.  I will not back down.  We will not stand for what they are doing to our way of life in Alabama.”  Twinkle promised, “I will fight for affordable electricity.”  The impassioned PSC President warned that persons in Washington want to take our way of life and said that she believed that Washington should not put more burdens on families.

Cavanaugh said that Alabama Power has already spent $2.7 billion for mandates from Washington and now they are demanding that Alabama Power spend another $billion which will cost the average family in Alabama another $144 per year in electricity costs because of burdensome regulations put on us by people in Washington for benefits that of very debatable worth.

Cavanaugh said, that according to the Obama administration, Alabama's electricity rates will rise and jobs will be lost. But we already have an anemic economy.  President Cavanaugh asked that the Obama administration quit picking winners and losers in the economy.  Our future depends on affordable energy and if that best option is coal, then let it be coal.  Cavanaugh warned that the proposed new EPA rule will drive up costs of electricity in Alabama and will drive away jobs.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) said on Facebook, “Looking forward to testifying tomorrow in Atlanta against the Obama Administration's proposed new carbon rules which will raise electrical rates and kill Alabama energy jobs.”

The Place One member of the PSC, Commissioner Jeremy Oden (R) said that he wanted to speak face to face with EPA regulators because he believed that they have understated the cost of this ruling.  “We are concerned with their figures.”  Oden said that he believes that there true costs of compliance will cost four times what the EPA has predicted and they have underestimated the job losses.

Oden said that, "the EPA has rushed this rule.  Where normally something like this takes years this was put together in less than a year.  We don’t understand what exactly 11b will mean.  We have a lot of unclarity coming down.  Our biggest concern is EPA overreach.  Jeremy said that this is a states rights issue.  What kind of energy we use in Alabama and what our energy mix is should not be dictated by one or two people in Washington. To me this is a State issue and should be left at the state level.”

Oden warned, “If this regulation goes through, your electricity rates will go up and it will effect families’ pocket books.”  Oden vowed that he will go to Atlanta and fight for you as citizens and he is proud that we can work together as a team.

Chris “Chip” Beeker (R) is not a member of the PSC yet.  He challenged and defeated incumbent PSC Place 2 Commissioner Terry Dunn (R) in the Republican Primary Runoff on July 15, but since no Democrat qualified to run for PSC in the increasingly Republican leaning state of Alabama, barring tragedy, the Greene County catfish farmer and rancher appears to be the next PSC Commissioner for Place 2.

Beeker, the former Greene County Commission Chairman said, “It is my pleasure to serve with two like minded people.,” on the PSC.  Beeker said that when he ran he had three things he wanted to do: To protect the people and to protect our economy if it needed protecting; to create jobs and to create an improving economy; and to fight the overreach of the federal government.  Chip Beeker said, “We all believe that this is an overreach.”  The EPA is way out of line.  It is not fair.

Beeker said that the administration was using war as a codeword to vilify coal.  “Our natural resources are very special to me. They are god given.  Who has the right to tell a state that they can not use what God has given?”

Beeker said that he believe that his large margin of victory over Dunn was a mandate from the people of Alabama.  “I believe in the capitalistic system,” if natural gas is cheaper for electricity use gas, if coal is cheaper then use coal.

Alabama’s Republican National Committee man (each state GOP executive committee elects one man and one woman to represent them on the RNC) Paul Reynolds spoke next.

Reynolds said, that in his profession of radio, "I swim daily in a sea that is filled with bureaucrats.  We have seen what is happening. This is not new to me.  We have seen many burdensome regulations lately."

Part of the Republican platform is to take a stand against any part of the Obama administration’s executive overreach and its stranglehold on the economy.  Reynolds said that it is the goal of the ordinary working man to go to work so he can come home to an air conditioned house, have a nice TV to watch, and have a comfortable life.  Reynolds warned that the proposed EPA regulations will make the costs of those things all go up.  “I am talking about your standard of living if that goes into effect.”  Reynolds called the regulation, “Absolutely crazy....Coal produces clean cost effective energy....What we are talking about is government run amok."

Reynolds said there are16,000 coal related jobs in Alabama that are at stake here. Reynolds said that it in the Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals, the first thing you do is to vilify your opponent.  “I am in radio we have been vilified.  Television has been vilified now they are turning their guns on to the coal industry.”  With the events in the Ukraine and the Middle East, the Obama administration should be concerned about the potential of a World War instead of something dumb like a war on coal.

President Cavanaugh said, “A war on coal makes no sense.”  It drives up the cost of energy for a family and it keeps us from having good paying jobs in the state of Alabama.  The first thing than an employer moving to Alabama asks is what are their fixed costs going to be and the biggest part of that is the electricity costs.

As she prepares to face the EPA and ask them to stop all of their, “Absurd mandates,” Cavanaugh said that is her, “Hope that all citizens of Alabama will be in prayer.”

One member of the media asked is there would be a lawsuit if the EPA moves forward with this new ruling.

President Cavanaugh said, “Our goal today is to make sure that this rule does not go into effect.

The Alabama Political Reporter asked President Cavanaugh if they were not overstating the Alabama coal jobs lost because almost all of the coal mined in Alabama is of metallurgical quality and thus is used in the steel mills and iron plants not for burning in power plants?

Twinkle acknowledged that much of the coal mined in Alabama is metallurgical, but it will have an impact.  25 percent of the coal is burned for electricity.  “I don’t believe even one job should be lost because of what is a useless rule...Why are we are war against our most bountiful natural resource.  We need to be proud of coal.  We don’t need a war on our most abundant God given natural resource.”

A spokesmen for the Alabama Coal Association told the Alabama Political Reporter that the EPA is coming for the coal fired power plants first, then will write new rules which will be targeted at the steel mills and industrial plants.  The coal producers are making their fight now, rather than waiting for that next fight.

 

 

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