Wayne Reynolds launches campaign for State Board of Education

February 21, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wayne Reynolds, an Athens, Alabama, resident, officially launched his campaign for the Republican nomination for Alabama State Board of Education District 8.

“I am excited to announce that I am running for the District 8 seat on the Alabama State Board of Education,” Reynolds said. “I have served nearly 30 years of my work in public education including over ten years as a school superintendent. I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the children of Alabama again.”

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Democratic candidate for governor Walt Maddox announces statewide lottery plan

February 20, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The calls for a vote on a statewide education lottery are growing as another candidate for governor is promising to push for a vote if elected to the state’s highest office.

Gubernatorial candidate and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said Monday he would push for a referendum on a lottery — a proposal he says could generate up to $300 million for public education in Alabama.

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Dueling Republicans place Pike County probate judge’s office at epicenter of new gay marriage debate

February 20, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A storm is brewing over Pike County as Republican primary candidates battle over same-sex marriage licenses. One Republican wants to make Pike County a welcoming center for same-sex couples; the other wants to stay out of the marriage business.

Retiring Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen in February of 2015, ended the practice of granting marriage licenses to anyone in the county as a result of the hotly debated same-sex marriage ruling that put Alabama in the national spotlight.

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Statewide digital campaign launched by conservative group

February 19, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A new advocacy group aims to hold Republican politicians accountable when they stray from conservative principles.

Conservatives for Better Leadership is “dedicated to fostering a more competitive and prosperous Alabama,” according to the recently formed 501(c)4 headed by advocate and publisher Apryl Marie Fogel.

“We believe that conservative fiscal policies and a strong culture of ethics in state government will make Alabama a better place to live, work and raise a family, wrote Fogel in announcing the project. “When public officials fall short of these goals, we intend to hold them accountable.”
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Pew Report: Alabama tax revenue close to pre-Great Recession levels, growing slowly

February 19, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

A new report from the Pew Research Center found that Alabama’s tax revenue has slowly grown over the past two years, but has seen significant improvement since the late 2000s crash that almost derailed the global economy.

The report, which accounts for inflation, showed that while Alabama has grown considerably since 2008, it is still 5.3 percentage points shy from its peak tax revenue in the third quarter of 2007.

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After Parkland shooting, Alabama lawmaker wants to arm teachers in the classroom

February 16, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

An Alabama lawmaker wants to arm teachers in classrooms across the state.

Guntersville Republican Rep. Will Ainsworth plans to drop a bill that would allow teachers to carry concealed guns at schools if they are trained to a state standard.

The introduction of the bill would come after a mass shooting at a school in Florida Wednesday claimed the lives of 17 students and teachers. Sixteen others were injured.

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Proponents argue that juvenile justice reform will reduce youth crime

February 15, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, Americans for Tax Reform hosted a presentation on Juvenile Justice Reform. ATR’s Jorge Marin argues that out-of-home placements for youth in the juvenile justice system cost taxpayers up to $162,000 per youth per year. Jorge Marin and ATR argue that these kinds of expenditures could be better applied to situations that will keep communities safe and help kids avoid becoming career criminals.

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Analysis | Gov. Ivey’s campaign kick off solid, steady, shocking

February 14, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

When Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey took the stage at the Montgomery Renaissance Tuesday night to kick-off her campaign for governor, she was buoyant, charming and in command of the evening. Most attendees agreed that Gov. Ivey hit all the right notes in her 10-plus-minute speech.

But it was her introduction by the state’s most wealthy private business owner, Jimmy Rane, that left heads shaking and tongues wagging across the state’s political landscape.
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Sen. Slade Blackwell, last minute qualifier for governor, withdraws from race

February 13, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

State Sen. Slade Blackwell, R-Mountain Brook, who qualified Friday for the Republican gubernatorial primary, has withdrawn from the race.

Blackwell, a wealthy Birmingham businessman who has represented Alabama’s Senate District 15, withdrew from the race Monday just days after his last-minute qualification, the Alabama Political Reporter has confirmed. His name has been removed from the ALGOP’s list of qualified candidates.

Sources close to Blackwell say the Birmingham-area senator was upset about Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Correction’s plans to close a work release center in Childersburg. Childersburg, which is in Blackwell’s district, and several cities nearby benefit from the center’s 150 inmates that provide low-cost labor to areas Shelby and Talladega Counties.

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Opinion | Transparency and accountability in Congress

February 13, 2018
Bradley Byrne

By U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne

Last year, the country was shocked to learn terrible stories of sexual harassment taking place in the halls of Congress. The stories themselves were horrific, but even worse was the fact that some Members of Congress used taxpayer money to pay settlements.

Prior to coming to Congress, I worked for thirty years as a labor and employment attorney in Alabama, so I have a background in these issues. I advised clients on how to prevent sexual harassment and how to navigate the process if a harassment claim was made.

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