Birmingham Realtors PAC held FCPA reports for four years

July 11, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In his ongoing effort to ensure adherence to the Fair Campaign Practice Act (FCPA), Secretary of State John Merrill continues to crackdown on those who fail to report according to State law’s required guidelines. One such group, put on notice by the Secretary of State’s Office, is the Birmingham Association of Realtors (BARPAC) Political Action Committee.

According to the Secretary of State’s records, BARPAC did not file annual reports for four years, as required from 2013 through 2016, and made over $37,000 in political contributions to candidates, lobbyists, and others during those years.
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Instructional videos an excellent example of leadership

June 12, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It would not be a stretch to say that under the direction of Secretary of State John Merrill, the once sleepy office is now a bustling hub of information, innovation, and efficiency.

Beginning this month, State law will require all office holders, principal campaign committees, and political action committees that file with the Probate Judge’s Office, other than candidates for municipal office, to file campaign disclosure reports electronically with the Secretary of State.
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Strange’s possible campaign violations referred to Ethics Commission

May 8, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

On May 2, APR reported that the recently appointed Senator Luther Strange may have committed two major campaign finance violations; this, according to Secretary of State John Merrill. Merrill’s office has handed over its records to the Alabama Ethics Commission for investigation. The Commission it is believed will also be looking into the legality of payments made by Strange to two campaign workers.
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Alabamians have the right to elect their Senators, not Bentley, Washington insiders

April 17, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Within 72 hours of taking the oath of office, Governor Kay Ivey met with the press fielding questions and expressing her determination to restore Alabama’s reputation and bring back a rule of law based government. It was obvious to those of us who’ve watched her over the years that she was confident, well prepared, ready and able to “right the ship of State” as she has promised to do.
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Will the Ethic Commission’s political parlor tricks doom Bentley?

April 7, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

What the public learned from the Ethic Commission hearing surrounding accusations against Gov. Robert Bentley, is that he may have violated the Ethics Code and the Fair Campaign Practice Act (FCPA). What observant politicos witnessed was an Ethics Commission that is political, ineffectual, and has long outlived its sell-by-date.

Let’s take the cute little nod and wink between Commissioner Stewart Tankersley and Tom Albritton.
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Governor’s Derby

March 22, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

We are on the cusp of one of the best political years in modern political history in the Heart of Dixie. Prior to the 1970’s our constitution disallowed succession of office for our state constitutional offices. In other words, you could not run for two consecutive four year terms. That is why George Wallace ran his wife in his place in 1966. George and Lurleen campaigned side-by-side. George would wink at the crowds still drawn to courthouse squares by a country band and say, “I’m going to be her number one advisor.” By the way, she won in a landslide. She beat eight male opponents without a runoff, including two former governors, an agriculture commissioner, the sitting state attorney general and two powerful state senators.
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Lawsuit compelling US Senate Special Election before 2018 may assure that date sticks

March 21, 2017

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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Lawsuit filed over Bentley’s Senate Special Election date

March 6, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — State Auditor Jim Zeigler and a Democrat from Conecuh County have filed a lawsuit seeking a mandatory injunction requiring Gov. Robert Bentley to reschedule the special election for the US Senate seat vacated by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Zeigler and Tommy Chapman, chair of the Conecuh County Democratic Executive Committee and former district attorney for Conecuh and Monroe Counties, filed the lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit on Sunday.

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House bill would allow up to 6 days of early voting in Alabama

January 18, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—During the 2016 General Election, 37 states and the District of Columbia allowed for some type of early voting, giving voters the opportunity to cast their votes up to a month before Election Day arrived on Nov. 9.

House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, wants Alabama to become an Early Vote state.

Ford has prefiled two bills that would allow two different forms of early voting in the State. The bills will be debated in the upcoming Regular Legislative Session, which will begin on Feb. 7 in Montgomery. Long lines and record turnout prompted Ford to file the bills, Ford said in an interview with APR.

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Merrill Expedites Business Filing Process

September 9, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Secretary of State John Merrill’s Office has developed a new solution to shorten the window between when a new business filing is received and when the business’ information first appears on the SOS website.

“During my time working to earn the People of Alabama’s trust to serve as their 53rd Secretary of State, I was made aware that when someone wanted to form a new business in the State, it would take 5 to 7 months or longer from the time the Secretary of State’s Office received certain business filings for them to be placed in the online State business filings database available to the public, banks and the business community,” said Merrill.
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