Opinion | Alabama “corrupt?” Well, it does add up

January 25, 2018

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

Hello, from one of the most corrupt states in the nation. That’s according to a variety of studies – Harvard University among them — on both illegal corruption and legal corruption. Like the University of Alabama in college football, the state Alabama is a national Top 10 in corruption; Top 5 in some studies.

That sort of adds up, doesn’t it?

We’ve seen, in just the last few years, the state’s former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard convicted on 12 felony ethics charges. We saw Republican Chief Justice Roy Moore booted off the Supreme Court for the second time in his career, then Moore outed as a molester in his U.S. Senate race against Democrat Doug Jones, who beat Moore in a December special election. There’s Dr. Robert Bentley, the “Luv Guv,” who had some sort of relationship with a top aide, then got bogged down in other nefarious stuff and was forced to resign.

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Abortion is legal; Jones, Moore can’t change that

October 23, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

I am against abortion.

That’s a bit of an odd statement coming from me, given my rather extensive record of progressive beliefs. Around these parts, I’m a “lib’rul” on the political scale, and I make no apologies for such.

But I also don’t like the idea of abortion. I hate the idea of it, actually.

I hate more, however, the idea of forcing my feelings upon someone whose circumstances and perspectives, of whom, I have no comprehension.

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Alabama AG reignites “Bingo Wars”

October 5, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has reignited the electronic bingo fight.

Marshall on Wednesday announced five lawsuits filed in counties around the state – Macon, Morgan, Lowndes, Houston and Greene – aimed at stopping existing gambling operations in those counties. The filings also request injunctions against the casinos to force them to stop operations immediately.

“It is the responsibility of the Attorney General to ensure that Alabama’s laws are enforced, including those laws that prohibit illegal gambling,” a release from Marshall’s office said. “Through multiple rulings in recent years, the Alabama Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that electronic bingo and the use of slot machines are illegal in all Alabama counties.”
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Thanksgiving Day brings little to be thankful for in State government

November 24, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

For those who honestly care about the future of our State, there are few bright spots this Thanksgiving. Even as we engage in polite conversation over turkey and dressing or pecan pie, the subject will naturally turn to the state of the State.

While, “Who will replace Senator Jeff Sessions and the political dominos to follow” is a fun parlor game, it’s the nagging reality that Governor Robert Bentley used the tools of government to destroy political enemies, carry on an affair and deceive the public, that is the “Sword of Damocles” hanging over our State.
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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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Greene County’s Burden

July 18, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—What began as a war on bingo by former Gov. Bob Riley, was rooted in power, politics and greed, with both sides claiming legal and even moral authority over what constitutes legal or illegal bingo in the Alabama.

The latest episode in this much-sordid affair is the State Supreme Court’s intervention in a lower court’s ruling, concerning the legality of machines played at Greenetrack in Greene County.
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Zeigler Joins Gulf State Park Lawsuit

June 29, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—“Major developments at Gulf State Park that range from a beach environmental center, to a 350-room lodge for family reunions, are under construction and on schedule to open within two years,” Gov. Robert Bentley announced on Monday.

But is what Bentley doing, illegal? Where is the money coming from?

According to a lawsuit filed by former Alabama Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources Charley Grimsley, the money being used for the construction of the “350-room lodge for family reunions,” as Bentley put it, is unlawful.
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US Attorney Asks Bingo or Slots?

April 7, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Politcal Reporter

MONTGOMERY—A letter obtained by alreporter.com from the US Attorney for the middle district, George Beck, to Gov. Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange raises serious questions about the State’s inconsistency on the legality of bingo machines.

While the letter seeks clarification on what might appear to be a complex issue, it can be distilled down to a question: How can the machines played at VictoryLand be slot machines and the ones played at facilities owned by Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) not be slots? Or even more simply put, how can one be illegal and the other not?
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Letter Exchange Seems to Clear Opening for VictoryLand

December 14, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—A letter exchange between Gov. Robert Bentley, Macon County District Attorney E. Paul Jones, and Sheriff Andre’ Brunson seems to clear a path for the reopening of VictoryLand. It also serves as an assurance to those companies supplying bingo machines, that the State will not confiscate them as in the past.

The December 4 letter from Jones and Brunson began, “We appreciate the full faith and confidence you have expressed in us to enforce the  law in  our county. We assure you that every law will be enforced equally as it applies to each of our citizens and all those doing business in our county.” This is a direct acknowledgement of the Governor’s Executive Order returning the power to enforce State gaming laws to local law-enforcement.
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