US Sen. Shelby endorses Sen. Strange

September 18, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., endorsed appointed Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., in the Republican primary runoff on Sept. 26.  The endorsement is being promulgated in a statewide direct mail campaign paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their Alabama affiliate: the Business Council of Alabama (BCA).

“As has been reported, the U.S. Chamber is backing Luther Strange in the race for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat,” Megan Etten, a spokesperson for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said. “Today, the U.S. Chamber, in partnership with the Business Council of Alabama, will deliver a statewide mailer to Republican primary voters urging them to vote for Senator Luther Strange in the September 26 runoff election. The mailer features an endorsement from Senator Richard Shelby; it’s the first action he’s taken in this race.”

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House committee OKs bill to shorten death penalty appeal times

May 10, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — A House committee gave a favorable report to a Senate bill Tuesday that would shorten the time frame for death penalty appeals in an effort to reduce the number of years that can pass while an inmate stays on death row.

The bill would require death row inmates to argue all claims during their appeal. Death row inmates are currently allowed to first appeal trial errors in the Court of Criminal Appeals. Once the trial error appeal is finished, they can then appeal on other issues like ineffective counsel.

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Legislature a step away from abolishing marriage licenses

April 20, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama is one step closer to the elimination of marriage licenses.

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, voting straight down party lines, moved forward a bill that would abolish the licenses. The bill, which has already passed the Senate, now goes to the full House for approval.

It did not go without criticism.

Reps. Merika Coleman and Juandalynn Givan spent several minutes grilling the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Greg Albritton, and pointing out the flaws of the bill. Their primary complaint was easy to identify: the bill potentially creates a number of problems for State citizens while actually changing almost nothing.
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The End of Robert Bentley: Part III

April 14, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The end for Robert Bentley came several times in his final 48 hours as Governor.

Sources close to the Governor, including two who were present for portions of the negotiations that ultimately led to his resignation, said Bentley backed away from agreements to resign twice between mid-afternoon Saturday and early Monday morning. And those were in addition to stepping away from a near-resignation for health reasons two weeks earlier.
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Zeigler: “It’s Now or Never” on Bentley Impeachment

April 4, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Sunday, April 2017, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) suggested that the theme song for the investigation of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) should be: “It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley.

Zeigler said that, “The probes of Gov. Robert Bentley will come to a head in April and end in May – or else they never will. It’s now or never.”

Zeigler has been a long-time critic of Gov. Bentley. Zeigler also filed the initial ethics complaint against the governor on March 25 of last year. The ethics commission meets this Wednesday, April 5, and may or may not rule on the Bentley complaint. Zeigler said that if the commission finds probable cause of ethics violations, they refer the case to the State Attorney General for prosecution. If they do not, the ethics complaints are dead.
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Governor’s attorney seeks to stop release of Bentley investigation report

March 31, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Robert Bentley’s attorney is attempting to stop or delay hearings and the release of a written report from the special counsel of the House committee charged with making a recommendation the Governor’s impeachment.

Ross Garber, Bentley’s lawyer, filed an emergency request with the House Judiciary Committee Thursday requesting the committee reject the procedures proposed by the committee’s special counsel, Jackson Charman, which was delivered to the committee, the Governor and made public Tuesday.

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Tentative impeachment schedule would set House vote in early May

March 29, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama House Judiciary Committee announced a tentative impeachment schedule Tuesday that would set a vote by the full House on impeachment articles in early May, after almost of year of back and forth over the question.

In a letter to attorneys for Gov. Robert Bentley, Judiciary Committee Special Counsel Jack Sharman laid out a tentative schedule for the coming weeks that would include the release of a written report on the investigation into Bentley. The report on Sharman’s private investigation into Bentley’s should be made public as soon as April 7, according to the schedule.

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Alabama Legislature Week 5: Jesus would impeach them all

March 10, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s Friday, so you know that means: I’m going to get you high today.

Oops, no, wait, that’s Craig and Smokey.

I’m going to give you the weekly recap of what went down in Alabama’s Legislature.

After which, you’ll want to go get high.

So, roll ‘em up and prepare to puff, puff, give as we run through the mess that was Week 5.

Jesus Hates Sick Kids
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Impeachment stalls in the House over questions of double jeopardy

March 8, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — As more information has come out from the Attorney General’s Office on the criminal investigation of Governor Robert Bentley, the House impeachment investigation has hit a brick wall.

In late February, newly appointed Special Attorney General Ellen Brooks, who is overseeing the criminal investigation of Bentley, sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee asking them to review a 1933 case that could affect the relationship between the AGO’s criminal investigation and the House’s impeachment investigation.

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The rare, bipartisan push to end judicial override in Alabama

February 16, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There was a rare show of bipartisanship during Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee meeting, and even rarer step taken to end a long-outdated practice.

A bill that would bring an end to judicial override – the power that only Alabama now grants judges to overturn the decisions of juries and sentence a defendant to death – passed through the committee with bipartisan support.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) now goes to the floor for a vote.
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