New billboards carry a “Public Service Message” from Milton McGregor

December 5, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Maybe you’ve seen the billboards.

There are 18 of them around Alabama, mostly concentrated in Montgomery and south Alabama. On them, in giant letters, is the word “EXPOSED!”

Just underneath are three photos: former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, former Gov. Bob Riley and former U.S. attorney Leura Canary.

Out to the side: “As seen in the documentary Atticus v. Architect.”

And below that, the signature: “A public service announcement by Milton McGregor.”

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There’s nothing left to matter

December 5, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Nothing matters anymore.

Evidence. Facts. Credible allegations. Actual arrests and guilty pleas.

Nope. Negative. Lies. Fake news.

This is America’s motto in 2017: We believe what we want to believe, and dammit, that’s our right.

Which is true, I guess.

Stupid, but true.

Over the last few weeks, I have appeared on countless national TV news shows, as outlets from around the globe seek to get a better understanding of this magical state. They want to understand our voting habits, our beliefs, our feelings.

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Final strange chapter: Fake cancer scam ends in jail time

December 1, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The strangest story I’ve ever covered is over.

A Shelby County Circuit Court judge on Thursday sentenced Jennifer Flynn Cataldo to serve two years for each of two counts of first-degree theft by deception after Cataldo admitted to soliciting tens of thousands of dollars from friends and family in a fake cancer scheme. The two-year terms will run concurrently.  

“Those who prey upon the charitable intentions of good Samaritans not only do a tremendous disservice to those truly in need but also betray the trust of the community,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall in a press release. “This sentence should send a strong signal to others who may harbor similar intentions of deceiving the public’s generosity that there will be a price to pay for breaking the law.”

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Roy Moore v. Doug Jones: A contrast in candidates

November 30, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday evening in Montgomery, U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones stepped out of a downtown restaurant, where he was meeting with a group of local educators and lawmakers about “education issues,” to speak with reporters.

It was endearingly uneventful.

There were no threats. No cameramen were shoved. No one screamed at reporters. No one disparaged large groups of Americans. No one poked fun at anyone else. And everyone seemed pleased, if a bit bored, with the entire thing.

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Alabama needs a new normal

November 29, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s funny to me who we shun in Alabama.

That thought crossed my mind Tuesday afternoon as I watched a bunch of the shunned hold a rally on the Capitol steps to speak out against Roy Moore — one of the biggest shunners on the planet.

The rally wasn’t hosted by your “normal Alabamians.”

There was lots of pink and purple hair. Jewelry was inserted into pretty much every spot on people’s heads except their ears. Collectively, there was probably more money spent on tattoos than I spent on my house.

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The return of intelligence

November 28, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It is time for intelligence to make a comeback.

Actually, let me rephrase that: It is time for America to again aspire to and value intelligence.

Somewhere along the way — and I think it was when Americans decided that “who’d you rather have a beer with” was a good way to choose a president — we lost our love and respect for intelligence and intelligent people.

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A very bad Roy Moore press event

November 22, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Roy Moore campaign held a press event on Tuesday afternoon.

It was dumb.

I could stop there and you would likely know all you need to know about that … I’m not sure what exactly took place on the capitol steps Tuesday afternoon. A lecture? A physical manifestation of a message board troll ranting?

It was something in that ballpark, and very little of it was helpful, informative or even bearable.

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Morally inferior Alabama

November 21, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Let’s have a conversation about morals.

That’s a big thing in Alabama — morals. Our people love to talk about them, love to pretend that “Alabama morals” — “Southern morals” — are superior. And boy, don’t even get them started on “Christian morals,” which obviously have no equal.

Last week, as I stood outside of the Alabama Capitol building listening to a group of “Women for Roy Moore” prattle on about the goodness and virtue of a man who stands accused of molesting a 14-year-old and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old — among other allegations of inappropriate behavior — I struck up a conversation with a couple of cameramen who were in town for major news outlets covering this dumpster fire of a U.S. Senate race.

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The Roy Moore debate is over

November 17, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Roy Moore saga has jumped the shark.

The exact moment this thing became too absurd for even Alabama is hard to pinpoint, but it definitely occurred during Thursday’s 20-person condescension-fest and press preachin’. Probably around the time they welcomed to the stage “The Activist Mommy blogger,” a middle-aged mother of 10 from Ohio whose expertise in Alabama political issues stems, apparently, from writing hateful things on a blog.

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Is Roy Moore’s growing scandal masking larger GOP plot?

November 16, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday morning, a candidate for U.S. Senate threatened to sue his state’s largest newspaper group.

By Wednesday evening, that news was so old, so inconsequential and so boring that it had been bumped entirely from news websites across Alabama.

Think about that.

Roy Moore threatened to sue al.com, took the initial legal steps to do so, and it barely registered.  

Because Wednesday, to use the proper journalistic description, was nuts.

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