BillyFeast ends with Canary hanging on

August 14, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It was a “subdued” gathering, noted individuals who attended to 2017 Business Council of Alabama (BCA) 2017, Governmental Affairs Conference. Others called it a “BillyFeast” or “Canary’s Canard.” But by all accounts, it was three days of BCA’s CEO Billy Canary trying to save his job.

Several Legislators did not attend the gathering this year. Some were uninvited, and other choose to sit it out rather than be associated with Canary. As one lawmaker said, “Billy’s a dead man walking.” But, there is concern that Canary has stacked the Board with Lackey’s who do not understand politics enough to show him the door.

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BCA excludes the Zeiglers from Annual Governmental Affairs Conference

August 11, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, August 10, 2017, both State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) and his wife, State Board of Education member Jackie Zeigler (R), were excluded from the Annual Governmental Affairs Conference of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA).  The couple were the only two statewide elected officials excluded from the plush event at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear.  17 members of the State Legislature were also excluded this year.

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What’s the going rate?

July 27, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

What are we to make of an Attorney General who takes campaign donations from a lawyer/lobbyist who would gut the State’s Ethics laws?

In the political world, friends give campaign donations, but political action committees, lawyers, lobbyists, and businesses invest; and they expect a return on their investment.

So, it is with our State’s Attorney General Steve Marshall. He has taken campaign contributions that can be linked to people and industries with a special interest in matters before the Attorney General’s Office. And now, he has taken two contributions from a PAC led by Edward “Ted” Hosp who has aggressively lobbied to roll back Ethics reform. Marshall received two contributions from Hosp’s GoodPac: one for $2,500 on June 12, and another one for $2500 on June 13.
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Government affairs or an orgy of greed and corruption?

July 24, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

How much food and booze does it take to wash away embarrassment and shame? Is money the seductive elixir that so easily chills honest introspection, that allows our State’s leaders to dine freely on the spoils of corruption?

In August, many of the State’s top leaders will embark on an annual pilgrimage to Point Clear for the Business Council of Alabama’s (BCA) Governmental Affairs Conference.
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What kind of change will come?

July 10, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

When the Alabama Republican Party swept into power during the November 2010 elections, they promised us change. In his book, Storming the State House, Mike Hubbard wrote of that November evening, “It would fundamentally change the direction of Alabama, and of my own life, forever.”

Republicans have controlled Alabama’s State government for nearly seven years, and the only justification they offer for their shortcomings is, “It would have been worse under the Democrats.”
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Government by default

June 12, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Currently, our State’s Governor, Chief Justice, and Attorney General were not elected to the positions they now hold.

These individuals obtained their current high status because of either scandal or corruption. Their ascendency by default is not meant to disparage these people in any way, but to highlight this unprecedented situation (As is the State’s junior U.S. Senator and an associate supreme court justice).
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The Session’s biggest loser

May 24, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The 2017 Legislative Session saw the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) fail to deliver on its stated agenda. The State’s so-called powerful business lobby is the Session’s biggest loser. Only Governor Kay Ivey can give them a win.

BCA’s push for an infrastructure package collapsed, as did the latest Triple-A education giveaway. Its team of lobbyists couldn’t stop the anti-gay adoption Legislation, or the Autism Bill from passage despite their best efforts (They did manage to kill the Gun Bill).
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Ivey Administration waylaid by privateers and scalawags

May 8, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Over the past 18 months, political upheaval in Alabama has ruined lives, shattered faith in our institutions and still the stench of corruption hangs around the neck of the body politic like a rotting corpse.

Russell Kirk, one of the founders of the traditional conservative movement in America in the late 20th Century believed, “A society in which men and women are governed by belief in an enduring moral order, by a strong sense of right and wrong, by personal convictions about justice and honor, will be a good society whatever political machinery it may utilize.” He also rightly surmised, “[A] society in which men and women are morally adrift, ignorant of norms, and intent chiefly upon gratification of appetites, will be a bad society.”
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Gas tax increase bill is effectively dead

April 14, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, April 13, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives rejected a bill supported by House leadership that would have raised fuel taxes on the people of Alabama by nine cents per gallon in three phases between September 1, 2017 and 2024.

Special interests including: the road builders, the trucking association, the County Commissioners Association, and BCA (the Business Council of Alabama) have been pushing massive new spending on road projects for months. Those efforts finally produced a much delayed bill on Thursday, April 6 in House Bill 487, sponsored by state Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa). House Leadership rushed the controversial bill through the Transportation, Utilities, and Infrastructure Committee before the press or the public had a chance to review the legislation. Instead of dealing with the Education Trust Fund budget, the leadership insisted on spending Thursday on this bill. It faced a buzz saw of opposition once on the floor of the House. Eventually it was carried over on the request of the sponsor before the BIR was even voted on.
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Will Poarch Creek casino money return Hubbard to power?

April 12, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

New information about a reported agreement between convicted felon Mike Hubbard and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) came to light over the weekend. The Tribe has is believed to have agreed to pay all of Hubbard’s legal fees past, present, and future if the once-powerful Speaker of the House helps them elect a majority of like-minded lawmakers who will grant a Compact, giving them Vegas-style casino gambling rights in Alabama.
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