Alabama joins 21 states urging SCOTUS to keep prayer at public meetings

November 17, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall joined a coalition of 22 states that filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday calling on the court to uphold public prayer led by lawmakers at public meetings.

A federal court ruled in July that prayer led by public officials in North Carolina was unconstitutional in Lund v. Rowan County because a local commission only allowed elected officials, who all happened to be Christian, to lead the prayer.

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Attorney General OKs withholding millions from educators

September 10, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Quietly under cover of so-called attorney-client privilege, educators are being denied millions of dollars, and the state’s Open Meetings Act is in jeopardy.

The Alabama Education Association recently celebrated winning a lawsuit alleging the Retirement System of Alabama’s PEEHIP Board met illegally to improperly raise state employees’ health insurance rates – PEEHIP is short for Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Plan, which provides health coverage to education workers.
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State answer to Hubbard appeal leans on common sense

July 6, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

If Alabama’s ethics laws weren’t designed to prevent the actions of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard, then they’re essentially useless.

That was the opening of the State of Alabama’s response to Hubbard’s filing last month in his appeal of 12 felony counts. The 138-page response from Attorney General Steve Marshall picked apart the arguments in Hubbard’s appeal, focusing on the basics of the law and grinding the allegedly complicated laws down to common sense right and wrong.
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Politics continue to overrule ethics

May 15, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The State Legislature begins its four-day sprint to the finish this Tuesday. To-date, 1025 bills were introduced over the 27 days, and still, there is much more to be accomplished. The Legislative leadership hopes to sine die on Friday, ending a drama-filled Session that saw Governor Robert Bentley resign, Governor Ivey sworn in, topping the melee of competing interests that always seems to accompany a Legislative Session.
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Strange’s possible campaign violations referred to Ethics Commission

May 8, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

On May 2, APR reported that the recently appointed Senator Luther Strange may have committed two major campaign finance violations; this, according to Secretary of State John Merrill. Merrill’s office has handed over its records to the Alabama Ethics Commission for investigation. The Commission it is believed will also be looking into the legality of payments made by Strange to two campaign workers.
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The End of Robert Bentley: Part II

April 13, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It is fairly obvious by now that Robert Bentley was awful at concealing an affair.

He accidentally sent an “I love you Rebekah” text to his wife, Diane. He got caught on a recording make a phone call to his mistress – twice. He didn’t know his iPad was connected to his iPhone.

Bentley was no Don Draper, to say the least.

But when it comes to keeping criminal investigations quiet, the man’s a regular CIA spook.
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Lawsuit compelling US Senate Special Election before 2018 may assure that date sticks

March 21, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A cloud hangs over the Special Election to fill the vacancy of Senator Jeff Sessions, and it’s not just that Gov. Robert Bentley called for the election to concur with the 2018 General Election some 22 months later or Bentley’s appointment of his nemesis Luther Strange to fill the post. It goes beyond the question that could have been asked Attorney General Steve Marshall, and the lawsuit being pursued by State Auditor Jim Zeigler. While all of these things have led to questionable motives, varying legal interpretations, and general confusion, one thing remains constant: the number of days on the calendar to minimally meet the constitutional requirements for holding a Special Election.
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Lawsuit filed over Bentley’s Senate Special Election date

March 6, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — State Auditor Jim Zeigler and a Democrat from Conecuh County have filed a lawsuit seeking a mandatory injunction requiring Gov. Robert Bentley to reschedule the special election for the US Senate seat vacated by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Zeigler and Tommy Chapman, chair of the Conecuh County Democratic Executive Committee and former district attorney for Conecuh and Monroe Counties, filed the lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit on Sunday.

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AG declines to issue opinion on Bentley’s Senate Special Election

February 28, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Attorney General Steve Marshall has declined to issue an opinion on Gov. Robert Bentley’s Senate Special Election date — a request of State Auditor Jim Zeigler, an outspoken critic of the Governor.

Earlier this month, Zeigler requested an Attorney General’s Opinion on Bentley’s Special Election schedule. Marshall declined Zeigler’s request because he said the scheduling does not directly relate to Zeigler’s office.

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Bentley, Strange scandal continues to dog new AG Marshall

February 24, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

New Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is in a difficult spot, thanks to the circumstances that landed him his new role.

No matter where he goes, questions about investigations into Gov. Robert Bentley, more questions about decisions made by the former AG, Luther Strange, and even more questions about his decision to recuse from the Bentley’s investigation continue to hound him. And that’s on top of the day-to-day operation of one of Alabama’s most important offices.
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