Legislature passes prison bond bill

March 2, 2017

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, legislation issuing a bond to fund prisons passed the Alabama Legislature and was sent to the Governor for his signature. But, the Thursday I’m referring to was April 22, 2010. The Governor was Bob Riley, the Speaker of the House was Seth Hammett, and the sponsor of the bill was Lowell Baron.

On the last day of the 2010 Regular Session, SB473 was approved by both the House and the Senate and sent to Governor Riley for his signature. The bill approved a bond to raise $50 million in funds for the purchase and renovation of the Perry County Correctional Facility, as well as any additional facilities where increased beds space was needed.
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Experts testify on lottery, VictoryLand and downside of PCI’s tax-free monopoly

December 3, 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Governor Robert Bentley’s Gambling Advisory Committee received a crash course on Thursday on the detailed operation of a state lottery and learned the history and tax payments made by the state’s largest non-Indian casino, VictoryLand.

Louisiana Lottery president Rose Hudson and New Hampshire Lottery executive director Charlie McIntyre spent the better part of 90 minutes explaining to the committee the differences between lottery games, how Powerball and Mega Millions work together and the other various aspects of overseeing a statewide lottery.
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Ethics Commission: Not Subject to Ethics Laws

October 12, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Here’s a little-known fact: The Alabama Ethics Commission is not governed by the laws it is charged with enforcing.

That was made abundantly clear when Commissioner Judge Charles Price voted with a conflict of interest at an Oct. 5th Commission meeting. The conflict arose when he voted yes on an Advisory Opinion that permitted the City of Montgomery to give money to the local Chamber of Commerce. Price, a retired Montgomery Circuit Judge, is a board member of the chamber and will shortly become its president.
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Who Has the Moral Authority to Lead Ethics Reform?

September 19, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Even before former Speaker Mike Hubbard’s conviction on 12 counts of public corruption, due to criminal ethics violations, his minions were spinning a narrative that the laws, under which he was indicted, were hastily prepared and passed without question (merely a deceptive plan to cast doubt on his indictment).

To say that the 2010 ethics laws passed rapidly and without the body’s full understanding may be right, but to believe they were not conceived without purpose and understanding by those wrote them, is a lie.
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Lottery Wars Begin

August 15, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Later today, Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) will file two lottery bills: one coming from Governor Robert Bentley; the other, crafted by McClendon, with input from his Senate colleagues. Both bills will attract friends and enemies. As the Art of War instructs, “Know your enemy.”

The ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu teaches “If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can win numerous (literally, “a hundred”) of battles without jeopardy.”
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Dues Checks-Off Back On

August 4, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Now that the Republican supermajority has successfully brought the once powerful Alabama Education Association (AEA) to heel, it appears the organization will, once again, be allowed to deduct membership dues directly from employees paychecks. According to insiders AEA can still lobby and promote public education, but must “certify” that it won’t run “specific candidates” for office.

“Good News! AEA payroll deduction of dues is back by popular demand,” began a letter from AEA Executive Director Dr. Brenda Pike, informing members that beginning in September, dues may be directly paid via payroll deduction.
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Siegelman Says: Not This Lottery

August 3, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Seventeen years ago, one Alabama Governor proposed a lottery amendment to the Constitution. It sailed through the Alabama Legislature and went to the people of Alabama who decisively rejected the proposal. Now a new Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley (R), is proposing a new lottery amendment; but that former Governor, Don Siegelman (D), is urging that this new lottery proposal be rejected.

Gov. Siegelman said, “I had been asking the people of Alabama to establish a lottery since 1989. Over and over I pleaded “Every child, regardless of where they are born or to whom, deserve the right to quality education and every child should have the hope and dream of knowing that if they make their grades and stay out of trouble, they’ll be able to go to college free. In 1998 I was elected Governor again calling for an “Education Lottery”. A Georgia style lottery with 100% of the proceeds going into the “Alabama Education Trust Fund”.
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Faithful to the Mission

July 19, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Over the past 24 hours, I have received criticism and “atta boys” for my article “Greene County’s Burden.” Perhaps, I deserve both or neither, but at least people are talking.

Before we published the first page on Alabama Political Reporter, we determined our mission would be to inform, educate and alert our readers to the hard truth about State politics. While I am certain we have fallen short, we have worked hard, and continue to work with great purpose to fulfill that promise.
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No Honor Among Thieves

July 13, 2016

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

Former Speaker of the Alabama House Mike Hubbard just doesn’t get it.

Hubbard – sentenced last week to four years in a state prison, 16 years supervised probation, and more than $200,000 in fines for corruption – is vacant.

No remorse from Hubbard for the serious crimes he committed. “Serious” is how Judge Jacob Walker, III, described the 12 counts on which a Lee County jury convicted him.
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Senator Dial Calls on Board to Ignore Special Interests in Superintendent Selection

July 8, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— State Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) sent a letter on Wednesday, cautioning members of the State Board of Education to ignore the corrupting influence of special interest groups and legislators, who are working to influence the appointment of a new Superintendent of Education.

In his letter Dial wrote, “I have read the many comments concerning the process of selecting the next Superintendent of Education. Several stories and articles have surfaced, the fact that Specific individual members of the legislature are trying to discredit one specific candidate by being less than truthful about his qualifications is very troubling to me and others.”
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