Secretary Merrill: Ethics Commission undermined campaign finance law

December 6, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The law doesn’t matter if you try harder not to break it the next time, according to the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Earlier this week, the five-person commission voted 4-1 to dismiss fines levied by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office for the late filing of required campaign finance reports by six political action committees (PACs) and candidates.

In those cases, the fact that the reporting law had been violated was not in question — one had missed the deadline by more than a month, another took nearly a month. The PACs and candidates who appealed their fines to the Commission were clearly in violation of the reporting deadlines.

Read More

Entry to Alabama State Parks now free for all veterans

November 9, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Just a few days before Veterans Day, Gov. Kay Ivey announced that admission to Alabama State Parks for all veterans will now be free.

The program, launched along with the Alabama Legislature and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, began on Nov. 1. It will give veterans free access to state parks, park facilities, boat ramps and the Gulf State Park Pier.

“I am so proud that as a state we can stand up together and show our support of veterans,” Ivey said. “This new policy is just another mark in the long history of Alabama supporting our military men and women. More than 1 in 10 Alabamians are veterans and there is still so much that we can do to give them the respect they deserve. I hope this small token will show each distinguished member of our military family how appreciative we are of their service to our country.”

Read More

Alabama’s Silver Haired Legislature

November 1, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
By Steve Flowers

With all the changes and uncertainty surrounding Alabama government in recent months, including political appointments, high level resignations, special elections, runoff elections and a host of new candidates tossing their names into the 2018 election circus, Alabamians might be relieved to know one thing remains steady and solid and many may never have heard of it – Alabama’s Silver Haired Legislature is one of Alabama’s crown jewels.

Read More

Lawyer asks AG for documents related to Luther Strange, 35th Avenue Superfund site

October 17, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Attorney David A Ludder, who is representing the environmentalist group GASP, is asking Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) to hand over documents that then AG Luther Strange (R) may have written or received concerning the controversial 35th Avenue Superfund site in North Birmingham.

As Attorney General, Luther Strange actively opposed a proposed expansion and prioritization of the 35th Avenue site, by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read More

The real crooks are wearing suits

October 10, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Hispanic immigrants were the problem.

They were mooching off of the taxpayers, helping themselves to riches that they had no right pocketing.

At least, that was the viewpoint of GOP House majority leader Micky Hammon.

Ol’ Micky was so dadgum angry about the immigrants, he sponsored the most hateful, mean-spirited anti-immigration bill in the country.

So vile that it attempted to force public school workers to investigate the citizenship of children and report any illegal kids or parents. So vile that it prevented Hispanic families from receiving running water, electricity and shelter.

Read More

Arrangements for Rep. Jim Patterson

October 5, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The final arrangements for state Rep. Jim Patterson, R-Meridianville, were announced on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.

Visitation will be on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Meridianville First Baptist Church in Meridianville, Alabama.

A Celebration of Life will follow on Friday at 2 p.m. at Hazel Green High School Gymnasium in Hazel Green, Alabama.

“The Alabama Republican Party is deeply saddened to hear of Representative Jim Patterson’s sudden passing,”  Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan remembered Alabama GOP House member Jim Patterson in a statement. “A public servant, father, husband, colleague and friend, Representative Patterson was dearly loved. His presence will be sorely missed throughout our state and in the halls of the state house.”

Read More

Ross officially signs at ASU; Knight confirms Senate run

October 3, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

State Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, is officially Alabama State University’s president, and state Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, is officially running for Ross’s vacated Senate seat.

Ross, who has served in the Alabama Senate for the past 15 years was named ASU’s 15th president two weeks ago and the university’s board of trustees approved his $300,000 contract on Friday. Before he could sign it, however, Ross had to officially resign from the Senate.

Read More

More corruption indictments expected Thursday

September 27, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama on Wednesday announced a noon press conference for Thursday.

According to his defense counsel, charges are expected tomorrow against Joel Gilbert, a partner at Birmingham law firm Balch & Bingham LLP, in connection legal services he provided his client the Drummond Company.

Former State Rep. Oliver Robinson, D-Birmingham, has pleaded guilty to bribery, corruption, fraud, and tax evasion in connection to his efforts to try to block the expansion of a North Birmingham EPA Superfund  site to include the neighborhoods of Tarrant and Inglenook.

Read More

Birmingham passes Alabama’s first LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance

September 27, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama’s largest city has passed a housing and employment ordinance that will, first the first time in the Yellowhammer State, protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Birmingham City Council passed the ordinance Tuesday.

“It’s really taking this idea that all citizens of Birmingham are now able to bring their full selves into their job interviews, their full selves into applying for housing, and their full selves as they go and support their local communities in terms of the marketplace,” said Eva Kendrick, the director Human Rights Campaign Alabama.

Read More

Breaking down the lottery process

September 19, 2017

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The following article is part of APR’s on-going series on gaming and the lottery:

Polling on both sides of the political aisle indicates that the voters in Alabama support the right to vote on a lottery and legalized gaming — and overwhelmingly support a lottery and legalized gaming. By participating in lotteries across state lines in Georgia, Tennessee and Florida, Alabamians have paid millions of dollars to educate the children of those states. While some questioned the continued viability of state lotteries, several recent large jackpots and the continued popularity of scratch-off tickets demonstrate that lotteries are still sources of significant revenue for lottery states. The lottery debate in Alabama has been historically broken down in the Legislature over four issues:

Read More

© Copyright 2017 Alabama Political Reporter