Commission for “Ethics Reform and Clarification” is pure fantasy

January 26, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A Senate joint resolution creating The Code of Ethics Reform and Clarification Commission sponsored by Republican Senators Arthur Orr, President Pro Tem. Del Marsh and Majority Leader Greg Reed has been submitted to the Rules Committee and could be making it’s way through the Senate soon.

Creating a commission to reform and clarify current ethics laws sounds like a reasonable undertaking until it’s understood that the underlying premise is to weaken much of existing laws.

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Poarch Creek have major legislative victory in Congress

January 22, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Land Reaffirmation Act by a voice vote.

The bill was sponsored by U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne.

This legislation would address a legal technicality that, in theory, could potentially have legally jeopardized the tribe’s reservation status.

This issue first came up in April 2013 when then state Senator Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville, while representing the Escambia County Commission as an attorney, launched a legal campaign to disenfranchise the PCI of their Tribal standing before the Federal government. Taylor, argued that the 2009 Supreme Court ruling in ‘Carcieri v. Salazar’ rendered the PCI’s Land Trust null and void.  Then Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange also brought up this issue in a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.  The Bureau, during the Obama Administration, rejected these arguments; but some think that if this were taken to federal court that the Tribe could lose their federally protected trust status.  The purpose of the lawsuit was to make the Tribe pay taxes to Escambia County; but at least in theory it could have closed the county’s leading employer.

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The fight over Michael Sentance

August 22, 2017
Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The fight to fire State School Superintendent Michael Sentance rages on.

For the past week, State Board of Education members, an attorney for the Board, the Governor’s office and Sentance have been trading passive-aggressive emails, as they argue over a meeting.

That’s right. A meeting.

There’s a special called State Board meeting on Wednesday, which everyone seemed cool with until one entry appeared on the agenda: “Superintendent’s contract.”

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Attorney General opens “dark money” group

July 17, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Republican State’s Attorney General Steve Marshall launched a non-profit organization in May as part of his campaign plan to win the seat he now occupies, thanks to disgraced former Governor Robert Bentley, who appointed him. Bentley has the State’s most famous non-profit group, ACEGOV.

Under current law, candidates like Marshall can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money with limited restrictions using groups that operate in gray areas of the law, as noted by The Center for Public Integrity.
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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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Gov. Ivey refuses to answer our questions about her health

May 22, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

At a bill signing ceremony on Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey told reporters, “My health is fine. I’ve never felt better,” adding: “What’s the old saying? There’s never a step too high for a high stepper.”

Despite the hyperbole, it’s good to know the Governor is feeling good. Here at APR, we hope and pray that Gov. Ivey will stay healthy and that her administration is successful.
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Gov. Kay Ivey promises she’s healthy: “I’ve never felt better”

May 19, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Facing reporters today in the Old House Chambers in the State Capitol, Gov. Kay Ivey promised she is healthy and capable of running the state, following a report from Alabama Political Reporter that Ivey and her staff tried to cover up a hospitalization for mini strokes in 2015.

“My health is fine. I’ve never felt better,” Ivey said. “What’s the old saying? There’s never a step too high for a high stepper.”

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Ivey’s Chief of Staff hid hospitalization after stroke-like symptoms

May 17, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In April 2015, then Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey was admitted to a hospital in Colorado due to a series of stroke-like attacks, according to two high-ranking former government officials. Ivey had flown to the Aerospace State Association Annual Meeting held in Colorado Springs that year. She was accompanied by Chief of Staff Steve Pelham and Security Officer Thomas Andrew “Drew” Brooks.

After several attacks, Ivey was taken to the hospital where she allegedly spent four days recovering, before returning to Alabama. According to reports, Pelham threatened Trooper Brooks, not to report the incident to anyone. However, under security protocol, Brooks was bound to tell his supervisor, Jack Clark. The event generated buzz around ALEA but was quashed according to those at the agency at the time of the incident. “We all knew what happened, but because she was scheduled to be out of town for the conference, it was easy for them [Ivey’s people] to keep a lid on it,” recalled a former Trooper.
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Fake news, a frivolous lawsuit, and the Ivey Administration’s unknown unknowns

May 16, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Recently, Governor Kay Ivey’s “chief” legal counsel Bryan Taylor took to social media to explain to his followers how to spot a fake news account. He also conducted a Twitter poll that asked if people believed Yellowhammer News, AL Today, or The Alabama Political Reporter were credible news sources.

The idea that any news report that doesn’t fit with a particular group’s or person’s pre-conceived narrative of a person, event, or thing is “fake news” is not new. It is perhaps just a bit more pervasive due to the proliferation of news outlets that carpet bomb the public 24-hours-a-day. But, blaming the messenger is always a line of defense for the scoundrel; because it works.
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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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