Rumor about Justice Glenn Murdock has hint of truth

October 16, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Rumors are part of the stock-in-trade of Montgomery politicos, and this past Friday it churned out buzz that Supreme Court Associate Justice Glenn Murdock was going to make a big announcement by day’s end.

In an attempt to run the gossip to ground, The Alabama Political Reporter called Murdock in the early afternoon. After leaving a voicemail, the clock ran out at 5 p.m. with no announcement – after 5 p.m. on a Friday, the only news from the political world are stories they want people to ignore.

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Doing our duty as free press

October 16, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

As is often the case, one country’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter; and likewise, one person’s anonymous source is a patriot and someone else’s traitor.

Like much in politics, traitor versus patriot largely depends on who’s blowing the whistle and who’s caught up in the malaise. The press who reported weekly on the so-called scandal against Gov. Don Siegelman’s administration were heroes, and their confidential informants were simply whistleblowers doing their duty, according to state Republicans. But when APR spent four years chronicling the wrongdoings of then Speaker Mike Hubbard, we were liars and worse, and our sources, well, they were false and dishonest. Of course, during the Siegelman era, the same was said by the Democrats.

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Forget it, Jake; it’s Alabama

October 10, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The National media, alt-right and even the left hope Judge Roy Moore’s win in the Republican primary signals a seismic movement toward more disruptive candidates in GOP primaries.

Those who hope to replicate Moore’s success in other states don’t seem to understand that Moore is not an insurgent candidate but a fixture of conservative politics in Alabama for decades.

While Moore appeals to the same base of conservatives as President Trump, the two couldn’t be more different.

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Does a pariah deserve even a Pyrrhic victory?

September 19, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A recent issue of “The Business Advocate,” a publication which is a part of the Business Council of Alabama, features a full-page photo of Chairman Billy Canary with a headline proclaiming, “Business Council Governmental Affairs Conference Best Ever.” The commanding picture with its fraudulent headline is an example of how a once important business organization has been co-opted for personal gain.

Canary has gained considerable wealth and power as BCA’s chieftain, but today, he finds himself under fire.
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Experts weigh-in on lottery

September 13, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Soon after taking office, Gov. Kay Ivey disbanded the Alabama Gaming Task Force along with other commissions authorized by former Gov. Robert Bentley. Ivey’s administration saw the gaming committee as another way to toss a thorny issue on an ever-growing trash heap of legislative avoidance. According to several members speaking on background, the task force was never going to offer a concrete recommendation but merely a laundry list of options. Over the next several months, The Alabama Political Reporter will publish a series of interviews with lottery experts to understand how to best implement a lottery.

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Always remember that’s the American Spirit

September 11, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s been 16 years since 19 hijackers flew jet airliners into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. We are told to “Never Forget.”

In the years since 9/11, I’ve asked myself if I should never forget or always remember? There is, at least in my mind, a difference.

My wife, Susan, and I were living in New York City on Sep. 11, 2001, and heard the first airplane fly over on its path toward death and destruction in our adopted city. Much has happened to our nation and to us since that bright fall morning.

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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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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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Marshall topped short list to replace Hubbard prosecutor

September 6, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A recently discovered “short list” of potential special prosecutors is shedding light on why former Gov. Robert Bentley may have appointed Steve Marshall as the state’s attorney general.

During Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard’s criminal investigation, his lawyers, political allies and donors repeatedly called for Bentley to replace Chief Prosecutor Matt Hart. Until recently, it was not publicly known that Bentley had considered removing Hart and even compiled a roll of potential replacements with Marshall topping the list.

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Why not white?

September 4, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Labor Day celebrations began at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s. It became a national holiday in 1884, a time of abject poverty for many and spectacular prosperity for a few. Over time, the holiday became the unofficial end of summer and also the date when wearing white clothing, especially for women, was seen as inappropriate.

What lies behind the tradition of “No white after Labor Day”?

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