UPDATE: Sources say Gov. Kay Ivey to seek full-term next year

August 15, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Several high ranking lawmakers have confirmed to the Alabama Political Reporter that Gov. Kay Ivey will run for Governor in 2018. Ivey, who ascended to the Governor’s office after Robert Bentley fled the position under a cloud of scandal, is now poised to win the job in her own right.

Over the past few weeks, Ivey has reached out to influential lawmakers to inform them of her decision to run. She has received widespread support from Republican Legislators, especially Senators who have worked with her over the last six years. “She doing an excellent job as Governor and she has my support; which is what I told her,” said a long serving Senator who spoke with Ivey last week.

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BillyFeast ends with Canary hanging on

August 14, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It was a “subdued” gathering, noted individuals who attended to 2017 Business Council of Alabama (BCA) 2017, Governmental Affairs Conference. Others called it a “BillyFeast” or “Canary’s Canard.” But by all accounts, it was three days of BCA’s CEO Billy Canary trying to save his job.

Several Legislators did not attend the gathering this year. Some were uninvited, and other choose to sit it out rather than be associated with Canary. As one lawmaker said, “Billy’s a dead man walking.” But, there is concern that Canary has stacked the Board with Lackey’s who do not understand politics enough to show him the door.

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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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Speaker McCutcheon announces changes to House Committee assignments

August 2, 2017

By Staff Report
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, July 31, 2017, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) announced several changes in the House Committee structure.

Rep. McCutcheon said, “Committee assignments are often changed in order to bring new ideas, fresh perspectives, and renewed enthusiasm to the various legislative panels.  We work hard to pair each member with a committee assignment that reflects their particular skill set, district, and constituencies.”

The newly-announced committee assignments, which will be in effect for the remainder of the quadrennium are:
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Tankersley Exit Interview Part 2: No rules, no order

August 1, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

“Our State needs so much help. There is such a lack of confidence in our elected leaders. The Ethics Commission can help restore that lost confidence,” said Dr. Stewart Hill Tankersley in a recent interview with the Alabama Political Reporter.

Tankersley Exit Interview Part 1: Success, collusion, and dismay

While he sees the Ethics Commission’s Executive Director, Tom Albritton, as a champion for a more efficient organization, he worries that the Commission could undercut Albritton’s determination to run an honest shop.

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Tankersley Exit Interview Part 1: Success, collusion, and dismay

July 31, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

As a soldier, physician, and man of faith, Dr. Stewart Hill Tankersley holds firm to his beliefs on right and wrong. As he ends his five-year service on the State’s Ethics Commission, he’s convinced there has been progress, but there are still many obstacles to restoring public confidence in the State’s elected leaders. In just two years, the State has seen the fall of Mike Hubbard, the Speaker of the House, convicted on 12 felony counts of public corruption, and Governor Robert Bentley, resigning in disgrace after accepting a plea to campaign finance violations.
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What’s the going rate?

July 27, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

What are we to make of an Attorney General who takes campaign donations from a lawyer/lobbyist who would gut the State’s Ethics laws?

In the political world, friends give campaign donations, but political action committees, lawyers, lobbyists, and businesses invest; and they expect a return on their investment.

So, it is with our State’s Attorney General Steve Marshall. He has taken campaign contributions that can be linked to people and industries with a special interest in matters before the Attorney General’s Office. And now, he has taken two contributions from a PAC led by Edward “Ted” Hosp who has aggressively lobbied to roll back Ethics reform. Marshall received two contributions from Hosp’s GoodPac: one for $2,500 on June 12, and another one for $2500 on June 13.
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Government affairs or an orgy of greed and corruption?

July 24, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

How much food and booze does it take to wash away embarrassment and shame? Is money the seductive elixir that so easily chills honest introspection, that allows our State’s leaders to dine freely on the spoils of corruption?

In August, many of the State’s top leaders will embark on an annual pilgrimage to Point Clear for the Business Council of Alabama’s (BCA) Governmental Affairs Conference.
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A curious case of Canarys

July 19, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It has become common to hear lawmakers say “BCA is the new AEA.” This statement refers to the fact that, under the leadership of convicted felon, former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, the Business Council of Alabama has risen to control the State’s Legislative agenda, much like the Alabama Education Association did in years past.

So egregious is BCA’s CEO Billy Canary’s latest behavior that he is receiving widespread criticism not only in Montgomery but in Washington DC, as well. High-level operatives and agents say Canary is no longer welcome in some Senate and Congressional offices. Lawmaker’s in the Nation’s Capital, as well as Montgomery, are set on isolating him until the BCA Board sees the light.
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Attorney General opens “dark money” group

July 17, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Republican State’s Attorney General Steve Marshall launched a non-profit organization in May as part of his campaign plan to win the seat he now occupies, thanks to disgraced former Governor Robert Bentley, who appointed him. Bentley has the State’s most famous non-profit group, ACEGOV.

Under current law, candidates like Marshall can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money with limited restrictions using groups that operate in gray areas of the law, as noted by The Center for Public Integrity.
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