Bill removing pistol permits passes out of committee, angers Sheriffs

March 2, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Near the end of a public hearing on a bill, brought by Sen. Gerald Allen, that would eliminate a requirement for a permit to conceal carry a firearm, a past president of the NRA strolled to the lectern.

He was, of course, in favor of the bill, because it helped further the notion that guns make everyone safer – except for when they kill 30,000 of us each year – which would in turn increase sales.
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Requiring all daycares to be licensed is common sense

March 2, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There are things you come to expect in life.

That the Alabama Legislature would serve us all much better by not meeting — ever. That an elderly person’s ability to shut off a ringing cell phone is determined by the number of people in the room. That strip mall stores with double doors will inexplicably keep one of them locked.

And that the daycare center where you send your children each morning is licensed by the State and someone somewhere drops by every now and then to at least make sure they’re not keeping the space heaters burning by the curtains.
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The absurd world of politics

March 1, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Let me tell you about politics.

Early Tuesday afternoon, as the Alabama Legislature was about to start up its fourth week of work, there was the usual mishmash of people milling around inside and outside of the State House.

Conservative and Liberal groups. Lobbyists by the dozen. There was a pro-life rally. Arise Alabama was having its Legislative Day, with members walking the halls and speaking to lawmakers.
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Selma bridge dispute continues on

March 1, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There will be a bridge crossing celebration in Selma this weekend – marking the 52nd anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march that helped ignite a movement in America that led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act – but a beef between organizers and city officials has prompted significant changes.

The Bridge Crossing Jubilee – a street festival of sorts that is held in conjunction with the annual bridge crossing – will move to the Montgomery side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, taking the events outside of downtown Selma for the first time.
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Town Halls are important, ducking them is cowardly

February 28, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Town Halls aren’t exactly a new thing.

Neither is anger at Town Halls.

In fact, both stretch back to before the founding of America, and helped to shape the country’s formation. Many have been quite contentious, even some of the earliest.

But they all also had one thing in common: they were viewed as a way for politicians to formally recognize that power in this country rests with people.
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Alabama Legislature Week 3: Take the gun, leave the backpack

February 24, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s hard to believe that we’re already through Week 3 in the 2017 Regular Session.

Actually, wait, no it’s not. It’s very believable, since these folks work like four hours per day. They showed up at 1 on Tuesday and bounced by early afternoon on Thursday. And somewhere in the middle they found time to criticize other people for taking state money and not doing enough work.
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Bentley, Strange scandal continues to dog new AG Marshall

February 24, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

New Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is in a difficult spot, thanks to the circumstances that landed him his new role.

No matter where he goes, questions about investigations into Gov. Robert Bentley, more questions about decisions made by the former AG, Luther Strange, and even more questions about his decision to recuse from the Bentley’s investigation continue to hound him. And that’s on top of the day-to-day operation of one of Alabama’s most important offices.
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The hypocrisy isn’t even surprising anymore

February 23, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

If you have dealt in politics for any length of time, you have come to expect hypocrisy.

It’s as natural as breathing.

You come to expect politicians to complain about certain groups out of one side of their mouths, then use the other side of their mouths to beg those same groups for money.

You expect righteous indignation from some politicians at the mere suggestion that they’re secretly in bed with certain groups, and you know full well that the louder the protest, the more likely it is that that politician is so deep in bed with that group, he’s underneath the fitted sheet.
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Bill allowing adoption agencies to discriminate is all that’s wrong with Alabama government

February 23, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

In order to prevent discrimination, we need to discriminate.

That seemed to be the message Wednesday morning in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee meeting, as Sen. Bill Hightower pushed a bill that would purportedly protect religiously-affiliated adoption agencies from discrimination by the State.

Or to put that another way – a way Hightower repeatedly refused to say out loud – the bill allows Christian adoption agencies that don’t want to place children with gay couples to do so without facing a loss of their State licenses for discrimination.
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Ticketmaster v. StubHub in a House committee meeting

February 23, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The fight for the secondary ticket market – between household names such as Ticketmaster and StubHub – has moved to Alabama’s Legislature.

At a House public hearing on Wednesday, attorneys and lobbyists representing both of those companies were on hand to make their pitches for and against a bill sponsored by Rep. Paul Lee. That bill would seemingly make one minor change in the way tickets to concerts, sporting events and other entertainment acts are sold – it would require the tickets be transferrable.
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