Knight v. Burkette: A near riot, unpaid bills and a campaign manager calls it quits in the District 26 race

February 8, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

By almost all measures, the evening of Dec. 12 should have been a happy one for the David Burkette Campaign.

While the Montgomery City Councilman didn’t win his bid for the Senate District 26 seat, he had pulled off a surprising second-place finish and forced an even more surprising runoff with longtime state Rep. John Knight. Burkette had even managed to beat fellow councilman Fred Bell, who had the backing of the state’s Democratic Conference and was better funded.

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The daycare bill, part II: It’s all about the money

January 31, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Here we go again.

The daycare bill is back in the Alabama Legislature, and the hand-wringing has commenced.

Only, most of it has occurred behind closed doors, away from the watchful eyes of the public and the media, back in the crevices of the State House, where the real business gets handled.

That’s where state Rep. Pebblin Warren’s bill, which seeks to accomplish the apparently monumental change of forcing church-affiliated daycares to adhere to the same basic rules and standards as the other daycares, had to travel first — to the backroom.

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US House passes Budget

October 27, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter .

Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution, which contains the framework for the joint House, Senate, and White House tax reform plan.

“By passing this budget today, Congress is one step closer to enacting pro-growth tax reform that will offer much-needed relief to American families,” U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, said. “Our tax reform plan will grow the economy, create jobs here in the United States, and allow hardworking taxpayers to keep more of their money in their pocket. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to deliver on our promise and give the American people the results they deserve.”

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Montgomery judge orders mediation in Pouncey lawsuit

October 12, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Craig Pouncey lawsuit is headed for mediation.

Pouncey, the Jefferson County Schools superintendent, filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging various Alabama State Department of Education employees and a State School Board member conspired to block him from becoming the state school superintendent.

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Roman Shaul has now ordered the parties in that lawsuit into mediation and asked that they reach a settlement by Dec. 31.

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Main Super PAC that backed Strange won’t wade into Senate race for Moore just yet

October 11, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The main Republican Super PAC that bolstered Sen. Luther Strange’s primary bid won’t be wading into the competition between Chief Justice Roy Moore and his Democratic challenger, Doug Jones — at least, not just yet.

The Senate Leadership Fund — a PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, R-Ky., and Republican leadership in the Senate — is believed to have spent between $8 – 9 million in the Alabama primary over the past few months in an attempt to prop up Strange and his campaign.

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Cullman judge accused of funneling court business to son

October 6, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Ethics Commission, on Wednesday, found cause to believe that Cullman County District Court Judge Kim Chaney violated state ethics laws by using his position for personal and/or family gain.

Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton said Chaney stands accused of directing criminal appointments – assigning representation of criminal defendants – to his son and his son’s law firm.

The Commission has forwarded the allegations and its recommendation on to the Alabama attorney general’s office for possible prosecution.

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Great teachers make great students

September 14, 2017

By Sen. Cam Ward
Alabama State Senate

Over the past few years, I have made it a point to visit elementary and high school classrooms across Senate District 14. The passion of the teachers I meet never fails to inspire me. For many teachers, education is both a career and a calling to shape the lives of young people. Most educators work long hours, taking papers and tests home with them to grade after dinner with their own family.

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Executive Order prohibits taxpayer funded lobbyists

August 28, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

After Governor Ivey signed Executive Order 706 on July 13, preventing all officials of the executive branch from appointing a registered lobbyist to any related agency, The Alabama Political Reporter asked the Ivey Administration about Governor Fob James’ Executive Order forbidding any State entity from hiring lobbyists.

Governor James, on January 18, 1995, signed Executive Order 1 which prohibits the hiring or contracting lobbyists with State funds. Governor James explained in his Executive Order that agencies hiring lobbyists caused interagency fighting over scarce public resources, causing public money to be wasted.

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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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Federal charges for Shelby County woman who faked cancer

June 21, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

A Shelby County woman who faked a terminal cancer diagnosis to bilk her friends and family out of money now faces Federal charges and is in Federal custody.

Jennifer Cataldo, who APR exposed as a scam artist in May, now faces Federal wire fraud charges, according to an indictment unsealed earlier this month.

The complaint, filed in US District Court in the Northern District of Alabama, alleged Cataldo falsely claimed she had terminal brain cancer in order to bilk her family and friends out of more than $100,000 in personal donations and accepted payouts from two GoFundMe accounts totaling nearly $40,000.
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