Roby supports Sessions’ crackdown on Sanctuary Cities

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

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

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

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

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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Bentley congratulates Sessions on nomination, asks GOP Executive Committee for recommendations

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday, November 18, 2016, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) congratulated US Senator Jeff Sessions (R) on his appointment to a cabinet position with the Trump Administration as the next US Attorney General.

Governor Bentley said, “I wish to congratulate Senator Sessions on his appointment as United States Attorney General. I look forward to having conservative leadership in our Justice Department. Alabama enjoys strong representation in Congress and I want to ensure that continues upon the confirmation of Senator Sessions. He has served our state and our people with dignity and has been a bright example for conservative values.”
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Zeigler opposes $800 million no-bid contract to build prisons

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Politcal Reporter

Thursday, November 17, 2016, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) said that he opposes Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s (R) plan to borrow $800 million or more to build new prisons in an anticipated January special session.

Auditor Zeigler said, “Gov. Bentley is threatening a $400,000 special session to push his $800 million no-bid contract for four mega-prisons at sites he selects. It would indebt Alabama taxpayers for 30 years. I am almost finished with “Plan Z”, a common sense alternative that would cost 75% less and not allow the Bentley cronies to control this huge contract.”
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Justice Department Launches Investigation into Alabama Prison System

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, October 6, 2016, the US Justice Department opened an investigation into Alabama’s overcrowded and underfunded Department of Corrections. Governor Robert Bentley said that he welcomed the investigation.

Gov. Bentley said in a statement, “I welcome an investigation by the Department of Justice into Alabama’s prisons. We both share a common goal of wanting to improve the safety of the officers and inmates within the facilities. I have personally met with representatives from the Department of Justice, and following those meetings the Alabama Department of Corrections made several critical changes to Tutwiler Prison for Women. I have also had the opportunity to personally meet in Washington DC with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and discuss the issue of overcrowding in Alabama and across the country. I shared with Attorney General Lynch the Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative announced earlier this year. This plan includes modern prisons that will reduce overcrowding and improve safety conditions for inmates and corrections officers.”
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Shelby Supports DOJ Decision to Cut Funding for Sanctuary Cities

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, July 13, 2016, US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) released a statement supporting the new updated guidelines by the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding sanctuary cities receiving federal grant funding.

Senator Shelby wrote, “For more than a year I have urged Attorney General Lynch to put an end to funding for municipalities that deliberately obstruct policies to remove illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. After the tragic death of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco last July, it became even more critical for action to be taken against sanctuary cities that blatantly ignore federal immigration removal policies.”
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Shelby Letter to Lynch Demanding Clinton be Held to Same Standards as Other Americans

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, July 5, US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch after FBI Director James Comey’s press conference in which Director Comey announced that former Secretary of State and Democratic Party presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton would not be indicted for any crimes involving her private email server.

Senator Shelby wrote to AG Lynch, “The American people are rightly concerned about the direction of this country when they see senior government officials being treated differently than lower level officials without powerful, partisan friends. Even if there was no inappropriate discussion when you recently met with former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s husband in an exclusive section of the Sky Harbor International Airport, it is difficult to explain to American voters – who are purportedly equal under the law – just how they are supposed to exercise that equality should their spouse ever be accused of a crime.”
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