Ethics Commission could pull back veil on BCA conference donations

February 7, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Ethics Commission will vote on an opinion Wednesday morning that will change the way multiple-sponsor events report gifts to lawmakers and state employees, a ruling that would close a loophole in Alabama’s ethics laws that has benefited the Business Council of Alabama.

For years now, the BCA has held an annual summer retreat at Point Clear, at which lawmakers are wined and dined and provided free rooms for themselves and their spouses. To cover the costs, the BCA solicits donations from a number of sponsors.

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Sentance keeping final report of smear campaign investigation locked up

June 19, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A final report on the scandal surrounding a smear campaign launched to torpedo the candidacy of Dr. Craig Pouncey, for State Superintendent of the Department of Education is hidden away in the office of the man who ultimately landed the job.

Superintendent Michael Sentance is holding the results of an internal investigation into the Pouncey matter, claiming it is a “draft copy” of the final report. However, according to well-placed sources within the system, the report was not delivered to Sentance as a draft but as a completed document. These sources, not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, say Sentance is stalling for time. An email from the State Superintendent’s Office to APR said the report might be ready for the next Board meeting to be held this Wednesday.
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Fake news, alternative facts

February 17, 2017

Education Matters
By Larry Lee

Just to prove they understand “alternative facts,” the Alabama Federation for Children sent out a news release and a study proclaiming that the Alabama Accountability Act is saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

The report, done by Auburn University Montgomery, contends that every time we divert money from the Education Trust Fund and give it to a scholarship granting organization to give a voucher to a private school student we save money. As best I can tell, their “logic” is that private schools educate students at less expense than public schools, so paying for scholarships in less expensive that paying for that child to go to a public school.
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Alabama receives failing grade on forfeiture transparency

January 18, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Property forfeiture accountability and transparency laws in Alabama are in bad shape, according to a new report from the Institute for Justice.

Forfeiture is the legal process by which law enforcement agencies often seize property across the country from people who are suspected of involvement with crime or other illegal activities. In many cases, the people who have their property seized may not necessarily be charged with a crime at the time, and often suspects who are later cleared have a hard time getting their property back once it has been seized.

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Alabama ranked 47th in the nation for health, report finds

December 27, 2016

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The Yellowhammer State has the second-highest rates of cardiovascular death and infant mortality, a new report ranking the 50 states on a number of health issues found.

Alabama has the third-highest rates of premature death and diabetes. It also comes in within the bottom-five for frequent physical distress, obesity and prevalence of infectious diseases like Chlamydia and Salmonella, according to the report.

The United Health Foundation, a not-for-profit established by UnitedHealth Group, recently ranked Alabama 47th out of 50 for overall health in its annual America’s Health Rankings report, which has been published since 1990.

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Roby Discusses the Report on Benghazi

June 29, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, June 28, 2016, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) discussed the Select Committee on Benghazi’s findings during a Capitol Hill news conference announcing the release of the committee report.

The Select Committee on Benghazi released its 800 page report on Tuesday. The report reveals a clearer picture about the government’s handling of the attacks and their aftermath including, Republicans claim, a coordinated effort to mislead the American public about the nature of the attacks.
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