Some are using a stalking horse to undermine ethics laws

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The greatest challenge before the Alabama State Legislature when it returns in February is not the budget, schools or Medicaid. It is the slight of hand chicanery used to undermine the State’s ethics laws.

Since the conviction of former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard on 12 felony ethics violations, a coordinated effort has been underway to weaken those laws, with particular focus on how they identify a “principal.” Read More

Hubris, secrecy and duplicity

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A Special Supreme Court of seven selected judges will hear the appeal of Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been suspended without pay for the remainder of his term.

The same Special Supreme Court on December 7, issued a cause order demanding the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) show cause as “to why the Motion to Intervene and Unseal filed by The Alabama Political Reporter on October 19, 2016, should not be granted.”
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Nixonian plots, half-wit schemes

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The scheme to defame the State’s former top law enforcement officer, Spencer Collier, is very similar to the New Jersey “Bridgegate” trial that has seen two of Governor Chris Christies’s allies convicted of using state resources and personnel for political retribution.

Now, an investigation by Senators Gerald Dial and Quintin Ross has discovered that a “dirty tricks” operation used State assets and employees to derail the election of Dr. Craig Pouncey as Alabama’s school superintendent in much the same way.
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Will Chief Justice Roy Moore Be Denied Equal Justice?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended for the rest of his term in office, which permanently removes him from the bench forever (Moore will be aged-out by a State statute that caps eligibility to run for a judgeship after 70).

The Alabama Supreme Court is refusing to unseal the records in his case, denying the public the right to know all the facts that led to his suspension.
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Email Shows Plan in Huntsville Race

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Political Reporter has obtained an email in which members of a special interest group appear to openly discuss how they hope to influence the Huntsville City Council in return for their organization’s campaign donations.

SEE EMAIL HERE

SEE EMAIL HEADER

In what looks to be an email from “The Committee of 100″ to the board of directors of BIZPAC, the Montgomery-based political action committee of Clark Richardson an unnamed author writes of its influence with members of the Huntsville City Council.
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Who Has the Moral Authority to Lead Ethics Reform?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Even before former Speaker Mike Hubbard’s conviction on 12 counts of public corruption, due to criminal ethics violations, his minions were spinning a narrative that the laws, under which he was indicted, were hastily prepared and passed without question (merely a deceptive plan to cast doubt on his indictment).

To say that the 2010 ethics laws passed rapidly and without the body’s full understanding may be right, but to believe they were not conceived without purpose and understanding by those wrote them, is a lie.
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A Gun or A Bitter Pill: The Test We Face

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

With only three days remaining in the 2016 Special Session, lawmaker’s willingness to come together for a Medicaid solution is waning, and hopes of letting the people vote on a lottery are faint; if not totally beyond reason.

If we believe that, “The sleep of reason produces monsters,” then we must acknowledge that reason has fallen into a somnolent haze these last few weeks.
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BCA’s Canary Cares About Next Superintendent of Education

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Business Council of Alabama CEO, Billy Canary, and former State Superintendent of Education and current leader of BCA’s education arm, Joe Morton, recently co-authored an Op-Ed in which they pose questions they want answered by the State Superintendent candidates.

Canary and Morton write, “no way are we trying to influence the vote or the final selection…[of State Superintendent]” This is like a hooker telling a John that hard cash will have no bearing on the outcome of their date.
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One of Alabama’s Richest Men has Died

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

One of Alabama’s richest residents, Garry Neil Drummond, died on Wednesday, July 13. The longtime Chairman and CEO of the Drummond Company was 78.

Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) wrote: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Garry Neil Drummond, who passed away today at the age of 78. Garry Neil’s life was an American success story, starting out working for his father in the coal mines of Walker County at age 15 and eventually becoming CEO of the Drummond Company. His extraordinary vision and leadership turned Drummond from a small company providing coal to homes and farms in Alabama into a world-wide leader in energy production. But more than that, Garry Neil devoted himself to his native Alabama, supporting a number of civic and community groups including the Big Oak Ranch, Inc., Boy Scouts of America Greater Alabama Council, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, and the Birmingham Rotary Club, as well as being a long-time member of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees where he was President Pro Tem of the Board. My heart goes out to his wife, Peggy, their four children and extended family. I know that Garry Neil’s influence and presence will be greatly missed.”
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Bentley, Canary, Riley Plan to Control Education’s Future

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—In June, Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) emailed members of the State Board of Education to encourage them to keep interim Superintendent Philip Cleveland, “a few more months to work on efficiency and effectiveness of the department and the programs.” But what Collins calls “efficiency and effectiveness of the department and the programs,” is part of a larger, darker plan to wrestle control of public education away from the State’s elected Board.
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