Proposed bill would have prevented US Senate Special Election

October 31, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Special elections are costly and turnout is often dismal but giving an appointee the time to settle in Washington can afford them the protective status of incumbency. That was the paradox that Gov. Kay Ivey and her predecessor grappled with in trying to decide what to do about Jeff Sessions’ vacated Senate seat.

A bill pre-filed by Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, and State Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, would have preempted that decision and directed the governor to set the election to coincide with the next general election. In the case of Sessions’ seat, Sen. Luther Strange would have gotten 18 months in Washington before facing election.

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A villain still at large

October 30, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

October 21 of this year marked the third anniversary of former Republican Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard’s indictment on 23 counts of felony public corruption. The day passed without notice except to wonder about his legacy and to question, “Why is he not in jail?”

Hubbard was found guilty of 12 of the 23 indictments and was sentenced on July 8, 2016, to four years in state prison, eight years probation and ordered to pay a $210,000 fine.

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Moore wins GOP nomination for Senate

September 26, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Roy Moore is the Republican nominee for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat.

His convincing and remarkably easy victory over Luther Strange Tuesday night was equally expected – with the results matching closely to recent polling results – and surprising – completing a stunning fall from grace for Strange and meteoric rise for Moore.

Less than a year ago, then-Attorney General Strange, fresh off of his office’s conviction over the summer of Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, was one of the most popular politicians in the state.
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Turf wars, out-of-control spending, lack of oversight plagues OIT

September 7, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Legislation making the Office of Information Technology a stand-alone agency will go into effect on October 1, 2017, but nothing in SB219 as proposed by retiring State Senator Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City, will mitigate the failures of the office, or stem the flood of red-ink coming from the agency.

More money, bigger salaries under new legislation for OIT

Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, along with Finance Director Clinton Carter, are working to clean up the shambles left by former Gov. Robert Bentley and OIT’s leadership. But replacing Agency Chief Dr. Joanne Hale nor the retirement of her assistant, Cheri Martin, is slowing the agency’s spending, or the crippling in-fighting that has led to hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds squandered on high-priced personnel, incompatible software and rank incompetence.

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Tuscaloosa millionaire developer files Ethics Complaint against Luther Strange

August 10, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Millionaire Tuscaloosa real-estate developer Stan Pate has filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Luther Strange alleging his acceptance of an appointment to the US Senate was improper and violated the State’s ethics laws, APR has confirmed.

The ethics complaint, filed Wednesday with the Alabama Ethics Commission, alleges that Strange violated state ethics laws in three different instances: by announcing his desire to be appointed to the Senate, by accepting an interview with former Gov. Robert Bentley during an active criminal investigation his office was overseeing, and by suspending the House’s impeachment investigation into Bentley.

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A year after his felony conviction Hubbard remains free, ethics laws in jeopardy

June 13, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

As the word “guilty” rang out twelve times in a Lee County courtroom on the evening of June 10, 2016, Alabama’s political world was rendered breathless as if dropped to the canvas by a body blow to the liver.

The conviction of Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, who led Alabama’s Republican party from the backwoods of political power to an overwhelming supermajority in the State House and Senate, was a singularly dark moment in the State’s history. Yet, the date marking one year since he was found guilty of felony public corruption charges passed, seemly without notice.
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The Legislature needs to pass the Lottery in the Special Session

June 8, 2017

Guest Editorial from Rep. Craig Ford

The Alabama Legislature is quickly running out of excuses for failing to let the people vote on a State Lottery.

Last summer, Gov. Bentley called a Special Session specifically for the purpose of passing a Lottery. After passing out of the State Senate, the Lottery went to the House where it passed on its second vote after a few changes had been made. Those changes meant the bill had to go back to the Senate, and the Senators didn’t agree with the changes the House had made. So, the Lottery once again died without getting a chance to go before the people.
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Alabama voters need to prove they want change

May 16, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Prove it.

That should be the State motto for the US Senate Special Election and the upcoming midterm election in 2018.

For the voters. Not the candidates.

It’s time to prove that you mean what you say. Or for you all to just shut up and accept that you’re OK living in a State led by corrupt, embarrassing, incompetent, racist lawmakers.

This little charade has gone on long enough – the one where you whine and complain, talk about how much of an embarrassment our politicians are, and then … vote the same bunch of goobers back into office.
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Here’s a closer look at Robert Bentley’s plea agreement, sentence

April 11, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — The scene was set: Alabama’s Legislature was ready to conduct its first impeachment hearings since 1915. The House’s special counsel had released his bombshell report. He had begun presenting his case. But then it turned out all to be for nothing.

Or was it?

Instead of being impeached, Gov. Robert Bentley decided to bow out on his own accord, on his own terms. Well, kind of. Instead of being impeached, Bentley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor campaign finance violations and submitted his resignation, allowing Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey to become governor.

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Sources: Bentley negotiating resignation

April 10, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Gov. Robert Bentley is on the verge of stepping down, having spent much of Sunday negotiating terms of a resignation with State lawmakers and Law Enforcement, numerous sources told APR.

Those sources – elected officials and Law Enforcement – said Bentley, beleaguered from the past 48 hours, had all but consented to stepping down, but the sides had not yet reached an agreeable deal that would halt not only the impeachment process but also weigh favorably for the Governor in the ongoing criminal investigations by State and Federal officials.
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