Farmers and Families First launches public education campaign

December 15, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday Farmers and Families First, Inc. launched its initiative on behalf of the American farmer and consumer to advocate for free market-based policies in the agriculture industry. The organization announced that it hopes to “Play a lead role in advocating for policies that promote innovation, lower costs through competition, and fairness for farmers and families through relevant mergers and tax policy.”

“America’s farmers always put families first by producing the high-quality and affordable food we rely on,” said Dan Conston, chairman for Farmers and Families First. “Washington Policies should not burden farmers who are already experiencing consistently declining incomes, or hurt the average American family with increased prices on essential goods. We stand as an ally for farmers across the country and the customers they serve.”

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Fears arise that proposed merger of Bayer, Monsanto will result in higher cost of agricultural inputs

December 11, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Humans don’t really need cell phones, movies, TV, automobiles, insurance, even banking, and electricity.  These products make our lives better; but there is one industry that every person is a consumer of and is essential to human life — agriculture.  We all eat food.  Only 3.2 million Americans actually produce the food for all 325 million Americans.  While 3.2 million is still a substantial number, those farmers and ranchers depend increasingly on inputs like seeds, herbicides, and pesticides.  Only a handful of companies produce those inputs worldwide and two of the biggest seed giant Monsanto and global agrochemical powerhouse Bayer are in the process of merging.

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Sessions settles lawsuit, admits that IRS targeted the Tea Party during Obama administration

October 27, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice has entered into settlements, pending approval by the district courts, in two cases brought by groups whose tax-exempt status was significantly delayed by the Internal Revenue Service based on inappropriate criteria.

The first case, Linchpins of Liberty v. United States, comprised claims brought by 41 plaintiffs, and the second case, NorCal Tea Party Patriots v. Internal Revenue Service, was a class action suit that included 428 members. Attorney General Sessions released the following statement about the cases:

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National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville receives $2 million in DOJ grants

October 17, 2017

By Staff
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, U.S. Attorney Jay Town announced that the Department of Justice has awarded grants totaling $2.1 million to the National Children’s Advocacy Center for the 2017 fiscal year.

Town and NCAC Executive Director Chris Newlin said that the Huntsville Center is receiving the funding through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Victims of Child Abuse grant programs.

“I am so pleased to be able to announce that the Department of Justice has awarded grants totaling more than $2 million to the National Children’s Advocacy Center this year,” Town said. “This center is renowned for the training and support it provides the many professionals who work with child abuse victims and strive to improve the judicial system’s handling of their cases.”

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Sessions announces plan to fight violent crime

October 11, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) announced several Department of Justice actions to reduce the rising tide of violent crime in America. Foremost of those actions is the reinvigoration of “Project Safe Neighborhoods.”

“According to the FBI, the violent crime rate has risen by nearly seven percent over the past two years, and the homicide rate has risen by more than 20 percent. We cannot be complacent or hope that this is just an anomaly: we have a duty to take action,” Attorney General Sessions said in a statement.

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Roby supports Sessions’ crackdown on Sanctuary Cities

April 5, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Politcal Reporter

Monday, April 3, 2017, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) announced in an email that she supports Attorney General Jeff Sessions decision to deny Department of Justice grants to sanctuary cities. Rep. Roby called the decision by Sessions a, “Good move.”

Congresswoman Roby wrote, “Sanctuary cities are municipalities that have implemented policies designed to help illegal immigrants avoid deportation. For instance, the city of San Francisco prohibits its police force from complying with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents by denying them access to interview incarcerated immigrants to determine legal status. ICE depends on cooperation from state and local authorities, and sanctuary city policies greatly hinder their ability to enforce our immigration laws.
 
Sanctuary cities are magnets for illegal immigrants, including some dangerous people with criminal records. There are more than 140 jurisdictions and six states actively obstructing enforcement of federal immigration laws with sanctuary policies. This practice puts Americans at risk, and I believe the federal government should do all it can to discourage it.”
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AG Marshall names Robertson as Chief Counsel

March 30, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall (R) announced that he has named Katherine Green Robertson as his Chief Counsel. Robertson previously served as Senior Advisor to the Attorney General.

The Attorney General’s office announced that Robertson will continue to serve in an advisory capacity to the Attorney General, lending her policy expertise garnered at the state and federal levels, in addition to acting as his liaison in the Alabama State House and in Washington.
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Recent school shooting proves Montgomery’s fragility

March 27, 2017

By Josh Moon 
Alabama Political Reporter

For the city of Ferguson, Mo., it wasn’t the shooting of Michael Brown that caused widespread rioting and looting and brought scrutiny from the Department of Justice; Brown’s death Ferguson, Mo., it wasn’t the shooting of Michael  – later ruled a justifiable shooting – was simply the spark that set the city ablaze.

A report from the DOJ found that systemic Law Enforcement mistreatment of minorities, coupled with municipal policies that violated the rights of the city’s poorest citizens and a failing school system that left most young people with little hope of ever advancing from poverty, combined to drive an angry wedge between two sides of the town. And as that chasm grew over several years, Ferguson was left sitting in a pool of gas, just waiting on a spark.
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Alabama’s failed redistricting plan could bring back preclearance

February 17, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Preclearance could be making a return to Alabama.

Three years after the US Supreme Court struck down sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that required several states, including Alabama, to receive preclearance from the Department of Justice before making changes to State voting laws, Alabama Republicans might have inadvertently revived the requirement through their 2012 redistricting efforts.

Because a federal court (following directives from the US Supreme Court) ruled those newly drawn voting districts to be unconstitutional, several attorneys believe a clause in Section 3 of the VRA has been triggered. That clause states that when a “voting subdivision,” such as a state, city or county, commits one or more constitutional violations of voting laws, the Federal court “shall” subject that entity to having future voting laws preapproved by the court and the DOJ.
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Prison central item for upcoming session

December 14, 2016

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

While the presidential race played out this year, several things happened in Alabama politics that went under the radar.

First, a federal appeals court upheld the legislature’s banning PAC to PAC transfers. The new Republican legislative majority that marched into the Statehouse in 2011 set out to destroy and bury the last bastion of Democratic power in the state – the once omnipotent Alabama Education Association. They succeeded.
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