Opinion | MLK statue long overdue at State Capitol

January 15, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

At a ceremony Monday at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in downtown Montgomery, Gov. Kay Ivey will announce Alabama’s inclusion in a 12-state Civil Rights Trail.

The Trail will feature historic landmarks in several cities, including 10 sites in Montgomery alone.

At none of those Montgomery sites will there be a statue of Martin Luther King Jr.

Because there isn’t a single statue of the man in Montgomery.

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Tankersley Exit Interview: Final 

August 7, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

“Somebody should do something.”

After nearly five years of being rebuffed for his common-sense stance on the Ethics Commission, Dr. Stewart Hill Tankersley is doing something significant: Exposing institutional corruption and the particular failings of the Commission, sworn to hold every public official to the letter of the law.

Tankersley’s interview with APR confirms what close observers of the Commission have seen over the years.  By peeling back the ugly mechanisms of an almost lawless Commission, Tankersley has exposed  members who routinely entertain ex parte meetings with those seeking favorable outcomes on advisory opinions. Will it stop?  Will these revelations curtail the practice of granting sweetheart rulings for lawyers, lobbyists and their well-heeled clients? Will the Legislature step in and follow through on the ethics reform package prepared by the Attorney General’s Office for last session?

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The Alabama Ethics Commission is failing us

August 1, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Ethics Commission has become a joke.

Let’s all stop pretending that this five-man panel, along with its Executive Director and legal counsel, are any sort of a defense against corrupt public servants or a means to punish public corruption.

They’re not.

Not consistently.

And not without an air of corruption and good-ol’-boy backroom dealing surrounding nearly everything they do.

Need examples?

Well, first off, read Bill and Susan Britt’s interview with outgoing commissioner Stewart Tankersley. Secondly, consider all of the problems this bunch has created when a simple, straightforward interpretation of law was all anyone expected.
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Legislators gear up for Session, State still far behind in LGBTQ protections

January 5, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The Alabama Legislature will convene in little more than a month. As lawmakers continue prefiling bills and preparing for the 2017 Legislative Session, a new report from the Human Rights Campaign shows Alabama still lagging behind in LGBTQ protections.

The State Equality Index, an annual comprehensive report released by HRC rating each state’s laws and policies that affect LGBTQ people and their families, recently placed Alabama in the “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality” category — the lowest category on the scorecard.

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The suits pick up another ethics win

December 8, 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s funny how many laws you can violate if you’re wearing a suit and tie.

There were lots of suits and ties in attendance Wednesday morning at the Alabama Ethics Commission’s regular meeting, where the five-man board was set to hear complaints from numerous charities about one of the Commission’s recent opinions.

That opinion, made in regards to a question from the Friends of McCalla charity – which was set up to raise money for a youth sports complex in Birmingham – placed broad restrictions on who could provide things of value to a lawmaker.
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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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Victoryland Reopens With Blowout Attendance

September 14, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

SHORTER—Starting before noon on Tuesday, people were lining up, along with the traffic, around Victoryland in Macon County, for its “Grand” reopening at 2:00 pm.

People poured through the doors and flooded the lobby, as they all rushed to get their chance to gamble at Victoryland, again.

At a press conference last month, Victoryland owner, Milton McGregor, announced the plan to reopen on September 13. The casino opened with 500 electronic bingo machines and had anticipated hiring 200 staff members.
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