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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Federal Grand Jury probe may focus on EPA Superfund, BCA involvement

March 30, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The presence of a Federal Grand Jury meeting at the Vance Federal Building in Birmingham was revealed through tweets from al.com’s John Archibald and Kyle Whitmire. The duo also stated on Twitter that State Sen. J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) testified before the panel for around two hours. While the nature of the Federal probe isn’t clear, it is believed to have some connection to the Birmingham Water Works, the 35th Avenue Superfund site, and other Federal grant money flowing into the Magic City and surrounding county. There is also a focus on the Business Council of Alabama’s (BCA) role in a joint resolutions opposing the Superfund site.
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Systematic Venality Renders State Government Suspect

October 31, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not Guilty’.”

Corruption is a pervasive reality in all branches of our State government, and our lawmakers and media selectively look away far too often.

In the Executive Branch, Governor Robert Bentley is under investigation by both Federal and State law enforcement.

The Judicial Branch is refusing to unseal court records in the case against Chief Justice Roy Moore.
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Josh Moon Joins APR

October 11, 2016

Staff Report
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—This week, columnist and reporter Josh Moon joined the staff of The Alabama Political Reporter. “We are proud of Josh’s accomplishments both as a journalist and an opinion writer and are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead,” said Editor in Chief Bill Britt. “Josh’s dogged pursuit of truth and unwavering commitment to the highest standard of our profession is why I believe he is a natural fit for our publication and will enable us to offer more investigative reporting and political insight to our readers.”
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Hubbard: Defiant and Unrepentant

July 11, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Politcal Reporter

Michael G. Hubbard received a sentence of 96 years for his crimes.

However, because he was convicted under State ethics laws, Judge Jacob Walker, III, with advice from the State’s prosecution, gave him a split sentence of 4 years behind bars, with no “good time” or chance of parole, and 16 years probation.

There has been a cry of outrage over what is perceived as a light sentence for such a corrupt politician. But, this is actually a harsh sentence and a reasonable measure due to overcrowding in our State prison system. The State’s prosecution had recommended 5 years in prison and 12 years probation; very close to what Hubbard received.
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Rep. Says Lyin’ Bentley Should Come Clean

April 27, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Like a bulldog on his leg, or a thorn in his side, Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow (D-Red Bay) is once again asking Gov. Robert Bentley to “fess up.”

Taking a page from Republican Presidential front runner, Donald Trump, who has called his chief rival, “Lyin’ Ted,” Rep. Morrow calls Bentley, “Lyin’ Alabama Governor.” In a letter sent to Bentley on April 26, Morrow asks Bentley, “What lies have you told?” Morrow goes on to list at least 11 lies he believes Bentley has told including, “no new taxes,” “closing rural driver’s license offices,” “ABC stores,” and “parks,” just to name a few.
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Bentley Ordered Law Enforcement to Target Critics

March 28, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Gov. Robert Bentley pressured law enforcement officers to use federal and state resources to target those critical of his relationship with senior advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason, according to high ranking officers and staff.

In an effort to find potentially damaging information on those who spoke out against the couple, Bentley instructed top law enforcement agents to investigate private citizens, in direct conflict with the law, said those close to the matter (These individual spoke on background to alreporter.com because of a criminal investigation surrounding this and other matters).
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Senator Says Ethics Bill Not Related to Hubbard Case

March 2, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—A firestorm swept through the State after columnist John Archibald revealed that a proposed reform bill would gut existing State ethics laws. “It has begun. The systematic dismantling of the ethics law. It was bound to happen, when the seat of power became a hot seat. It was practically guaranteed,” wrote Archibald.

The bill was widely seen as an attempt to give indicted Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard, a reasonable doubt argument at his up coming trial on 23 felony counts of public corruption.
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Planting Flag for Freedom Everywhere 

January 25, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The latest motion filed by Speaker Mike Hubbard’s attorney Lance Bell in Hubbard’s felony criminal case indicates he will attempt to have me take the stand in Lee County in an effort to force me to reveal confidential sources referenced in my reporting. Any reporter worth his salt knows the identity of an anonymous source must be guarded at all costs. This reporter would face jail and more before revealing the name of any confidential source.
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