Lawsuit compelling US Senate Special Election before 2018 may assure that date sticks

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A cloud hangs over the Special Election to fill the vacancy of Senator Jeff Sessions, and it’s not just that Gov. Robert Bentley called for the election to concur with the 2018 General Election some 22 months later or Bentley’s appointment of his nemesis Luther Strange to fill the post. It goes beyond the question that could have been asked Attorney General Steve Marshall, and the lawsuit being pursued by State Auditor Jim Zeigler. While all of these things have led to questionable motives, varying legal interpretations, and general confusion, one thing remains constant: the number of days on the calendar to minimally meet the constitutional requirements for holding a Special Election.
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Judge sets hearing on US Senate Special Election

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Montgomery County Circuit Judge J. R. Gaines on Tuesday set an injunction hearing arising from a lawsuit challenging the legality of Gov. Robert Bentley’s calling a Special Election to fill the US Senate for 2018, which will be nearly two years after it was vacated by Jeff Sessions who became the US Attorney General this year.

The suit, brought by State Auditor Jim Zeigler and Tommy Chapman, chair of the Conecuh County Democratic Executive Committee and former District Attorney for Conecuh and Monroe Counties, is seeking a mandatory injunction requiring Bentley to reschedule the Special Election.
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Sessions asks for remaining US Attorneys to resign

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, March 10, 2017, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for the resignations of 46 United States attorneys who were appointed by previous administrations. Among there were George Beck, who represents Alabama’s middle district and Kenyen Ray Brown who serves Alabama’s Southern District.
Joyce Vance, who was the US Attorney for Alabama’s Northern District, retired the same day that President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated.
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Dunn hopes Legislature is not just going through the motions on Impeachment

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

While Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) continues to push his ambitious $800 million prison building on credit scheme, most of the talk in the Montgomery Statehouse continues to center around whether or not the House of Representatives will impeach the Governor. No Alabama Governor has been impeached under the 1901 Constitution but there are more and more voices suggesting that could happen with Gov. Bentley. Former Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn (R).
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Marshall Said that Pardons and Paroles Board Made Right Decision in Reversing Pilati’s Pardons

By Brandon Moseley

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall (R) announced in a statement that he is pleased with the State Pardons and Paroles Board decision to reverse 2012 and 2015 pardons for convicted former Franklin County District Attorney John Frederick Pilati and require he be placed back on the sex offender registry.

AG Marshall said, “I am pleased that the Board of Pardons and Paroles followed our recommendation to deny his pardons.” “John Pilati violated a solemn oath to protect and defend the people when he violated the civil rights through sexual contact with five different young men while he was district attorney.”
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Trump signs bill repealing Obama Era coal regulations

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, February 16, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed a resolution of disapproval rolling back a series of Obama-era regulations passed by administrative rule in the last hours of the Obama Administration. The bill was passed by the Senate and House of Representative using special powers under the Congressional Review Act to reverse regulations.

US Senator Luther Strange (R-Alabama) said on social media, “This is such great news for our Alabama coal miners. Thank you President Trump for keeping your promises.”
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Strange and Shelby vote for Pruitt to head EPA

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, February 17, 2017, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) was confirmed by the Senate as the Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). US Senators Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) and Luther Strange (R-Alabama) both voted for Pruitt.

Senator Shelby said, “Throughout the past eight years, the EPA became an out-of-control bureaucracy focused on advancing the political priorities of the Obama Administration instead of its intended purpose. After reviewing his credentials and meeting with him personally, I am confident that Scott Pruitt will put the agency on a new path. I look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt in my role on the EPW Committee to ensure that we protect our environment responsibly, but in a manner that will not unnecessarily stifle job creation and our economy.”
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Crumpton announces he will challenge Luther Strange

By Brandon Moseley

It has been 20 years since Alabama had a new U.S. Senator, that was until Friday when Governor Robert Bentley appointed Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions (R) confirmation as U.S. Attorney General. Already one candidate has come forward to challenge Strange for the seat. Marijuana legalization activist, Ron Crumpton (D), who has already run for Senate in 2016, against Sen. Richard Shelby (R), has announced that he will run against Senator Strange.
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Senator Strange appoints former Chief Deputy as Chief of Staff

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Many questions surround the appointment of Luther Strange as US Senator, but Strange hiring Kevin Turner as his Chief of Staff is an unseen turn of events.

Turner served as Strange’s Chief Deputy until allegations of dubious actions in the criminal investigation of former Speaker Mike Hubbard surfaced. During the heat of the inquiry, sources from both within and outside of the Attorney General’s Office confirmed that Turner was orchestrating a plot to remove chief prosecutor Matt Hart from the Lee County Grand Jury investigation.
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Bentley Cites Third Party ballot access and cost as reasons why Special Election cannot be called this year

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

A number of State officials are questioning the legality of Governor Robert Bentley’s decision to postpone the Special Election until 2018 for the US Senate seat.

On Saturday Gov. Bentley responded to the criticism claiming that it would be too expensive to hold a Special Election and there would not be enough time for independent and minor party candidates to get the necessary signaturs for ballot access.
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