Opinion | Why doesn’t it hurt to be wrong anymore?

January 12, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Do conservatives never feel dumb?

Maybe “dumb” is too harsh. Embarrassed? Ashamed?

Any of those? Any feeling resembling some level of remorse for loudly holding a belief that is 100 percent wrong?

Because, I hate to be the bearer of tough news here, but you guys are wrong a lot.

A whole lot.

On some pretty basic things.

I suppose that happens when your every belief eschews facts in favor of feels. But still, I wonder if you feel badly when your long-held beliefs — particularly those that are hurtful to your fellow Americans — prove to be untrue?

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Senate Votes Not to Repay the Trust Fund

April 18, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, April 13, the Alabama Senate passed Senate Bill 267 sponsored by State Senator Bill Hightower, which is a constitutional amendment which diverts most of the BP oil spill settlement money to new road construction.

In 2012 voters were asked to go to the polls and approve borrowing $437 million from the Alabama Trust Fund (ATF) to prop up the state’s troubled general fund (SGF) to avoid cuts to programs like State parks, prisons, mental health, and the struggling Alabama Medicaid Agency. The economy would be booming by 2016 and the State would be able to avoid deep cuts to the services by raiding $146 million a year from our investments. When conservatives appeared to be winning the debate, arguing instead that the State should down size its agencies and services rather than plundering the trust fund, supporters of the plan said that the state would pay the ATF back.
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Bussman Responds to Punishment

March 18, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 17, Alabama State Senator Paul Bussman (R-Cullman) spoke on the Senate floor addressing his punishment by the Senate leadership for not having supported Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh’s (R-Anniston) controversial tenure reform bill, the PREP Act.

Senator Bussman said, “As most of you know, last week I was removed as the Vice Chairman of Rules by leadership. You would have to go back to November 15, 2011 to find the only other time that such a harsh punishment was applied by leadership. That Senator wore a wire and secretly recorded other members of the Senate (former Senator Scott Beason, R-Gardendale who was working with the FBI on a Senate corruption probe). That Senator then made derogatory and racial comments about an entire race of Alabamians. That senator was even allowed to apologize and keep his position by leadership. It was not until the senate minority demanded that he be removed was he removed by leadership.”
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Anti-Tax Groups Feel Betrayed by Republican Lawmakers

September 15, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, September 14, conservative anti-tax groups rallied on the Capitol steps in Montgomery, urging legislators not to balance the budget on the backs of the working people of Alabama.

The event was organized by the Alabama Constitution Party and supported by the Tennessee Valley Constitutionalist Society, Constitution Clothing Company, Tea Party TIME Network, and the Alabama Conservative Group.

The President of the Alabama Republican Assembly Jennifer Montrose said, “The Republican Party has long stood as a strong opponent to higher taxes and bigger government.  We were proud to support Governor Robert Bentley in his reelection campaign under his motto of “No New Taxes.”  However, we stand here today regretting that decision.  It seems he has forgotten this pledge to the voters.  Recently, Governor Bentley presented a massive tax increase proposal to the public and to the Alabama State Legislature, for which he has begun to campaign across the State, using the same liberal rhetoric that we have seen from Washington DC for the past 7 years.  Bentley’s recent prediction that two thirds of the State parks would close if his proposal does not pass is an example of this rhetoric. The leaders of our State park system themselves insist that they are 80-90 percent self-funded. If this is true, how can we see a two-thirds reduction under state budget cuts? This is the type of scare tactic that we have seen from the Democratic Party for decades. They use threats and grandstanding in order to expand government and increase the tax burden on the voters. The Alabama Republican Assembly urges the State legislature to stand firm on the platform in which they campaigned and oppose this unprecedented expansion of government.”
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Tea Party Groups to Rally Today Against New Taxes

September 14, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, September 14, the Senate will consider controversial proposals by the Alabama House of Representatives to raise taxes on nursing home beds, prescription drugs, cigarettes, car titles, car rentals/leases, etc.  The House is still considering controversial proposals to raise taxes on fuel, businesses, porn, and businesses that are engaged in nude/topless dancing and massage, though all of these proposals were not in the budget that passed out of the House on Friday afternoon.  Tea Party and conservative groups are opposed to new taxes, and are holding a rally to voice their opposition on Monday.
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Pro-Life Forces Gather In Birmingham for Abortion Protest

August 21, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

While Planned Parenthood continues to enjoy official favor and millions of federal dollars, a series of undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress have shown the nation’s largest abortion provider in a negative light and re-energized Pro-Life groups and their decades old crusade to ultimately eliminate legal abortions in this country.

Alabama Citizens for Life Spokeswoman Cheryl Ciamarra announced that On Saturday, August 22nd, Birmingham will join over 280 cities in a nationwide protest of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.  The groups will protest directly in front of Planned Parenthood (1211 27th Pl S), for one hour of prayer and peaceful, legal protest with leading voices from the pro-life community and hundreds of citizens from the around the state.
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Beason Warns of Moral Future and Runaway Government Spending

June 15, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter 

On Thursday, June 11, Former State Senator Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) spoke to the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans (GBYRs) at their regularly scheduled meeting on Birmingham’s Southside.

The Chairwoman of the Great Birmingham Young Republicans, Jackie Curtiss, introduced Sen. Beason saying that we really missed him in Montgomery this session.

Sen. Beason asked, “What kind of future or place you want to live in in the future?”  Beason said that the gathered Young Republicans, “Are in the minority because you are politically involved,” but asked them what direction do we want to take the country and the culture.  “We can decide if we want to live by the rules that served European successfully for over a thousand years or do we want to live by the rules made up by some professors at Berkeley.” 

Sen. Beason attacked the US Supreme Court asking why have we, “Decided that they get to decide everything while the other 317 million of us just take it.”  Beason said that was never the intent of the Founders.

On the pending trade agreements (TAA, TPA, & TPP), Beason asked, “Why in the world would Republicans want to give more authority to Barack Hussain Obama?”

Sen. Beason said that for years, “I just hoped that the YRS, the State party, the grassroots would all get motivated and get a Republican supermajority elected to both Houses of the Alabama State Legislature so we won’t have to worry about tax increases ever again in the state of Alabama.”  Beason asked, “what happened?  As I tour the state talking to conservative and Republican groups their numbers are off, people are becoming more apathetic.”  Beason blamed tax increase talk in Montgomery for more people believing that their actions don’t matter.

Sen. Beason said, “Republican means conservative.  I had a conversation with a legislator in Montgomery.  I asked him, did you tell your people that you wouldn’t raise their taxes and grow government?  He said ‘No.’ I asked: ‘Did you run as a Republican?’ He answered ‘Yes.’ That is a part of the deal.  If you vote for a Republican, people expect you not to raise taxes.”

Sen. Beason said, this is the first year I have not been in the legislature since 1998.  We always said we would limit government if elected.  We can’t privatize the ABC board. Why not? Donors own those leases is the answer they give.  So we are going to raise taxes, because raising taxes are easier. Are we going to pass one budget?  No we want to raise taxes because that is easier. So far we have done a good job of convincing ourselves not to do anything that we said we were going to do.  “Do what you promised the people that we would do.”

Beason said, “often we say, I would pay a little more taxes; if it would help my kids.  I would pay more taxes; if it would provide good roads.  I would pay more taxes; if it would build more prisons. Don’t say that again. If is not coming. Whatever dollar you are giving government it will blow it.”

Beason said that he supports something like the barebones budget that passed the legislature in the regular session.  He also voiced support for combining the two budgets.  “Only in Alabama and two other states do we have two budgets.” 

Beason urged Republican lawmakers to show more backbone.  “We have got to keep right sizing government.”

Sen. Beason asked, “Do you remember when I was responsible for killing Jefferson County? How many had to stand in line to get car tags?” Several hands raised. “The car tag line was done to make the people mad so that they would put pressure on legislators. It didn’t work and now Jefferson County is out of bankruptcy after making the necessary cuts.”

“You don’t go out and shut down State parks to punish people to make them support your tax increases.” Beason said that we need a new mindset in state government. That new mindset is that this is all the money we have, what can we do with it? They have this list of things they want to do and ask: where do we get the money to pay for that?  Make them use the money they have.”

Sen. Beason said, “We have to be much bolder in talking about what we believe in.” The liberals and the progressives like to tell everybody what they believe in. We need to speak up. Cuba is not a great place. Be bold. Say it. You are telling them the truth.”

When asked about what he learned in his unsuccessful run for Congress, Beason replied, “I learned that I am an even worse fundraiser than I thought.”

Beason said that fundraising rules make Congress stacked against the little guy. “I can’t find one rich guy who can give me a $million to run, because campaign finance law limits individual contributions to just $2600. Instead I need to find hundreds of people who will give me $2600. Now they sit in the county club with their buddies and they decide who are we going to be for. Fifty guys each chip in $2600 then call their wives and business partners and ask them to chip in $2600 each; while I am out there asking you for $50 or $100, whatever you can afford. You can’t raise it quick enough. The campaign laws mean that it is either the establishment candidate or the person who can fund it themselves gets to be the nominee for Congress.”

Beason said that Congress proposed having one universal conceal carry permit that you can use anywhere in the country, but that means the creation of a big giant database so they can keep up with everybody with a concealed carry permit.

On immigration, Scott Beason said that, “people who thought that I was mean when we passed HB56 are realizing now that unbridled immigration is not good for America. The problem we have in the State and across the country is that things the Federal authorities are required to do by law they quit doing that.  There is no Federal enforcement left anywhere in the country.”

Sen. Beason said that Senate President Pro Tem, “Del Marsh is a strong fiscal conservative.”  On the social issues: not so much.

Beason said that he likes the Governor but he has some differences with Gov. Bentley. “He loves pre-K. It is taxpayer funded daycare. I hate pre-K.”

Beason said that the State could same millions of dollars by abolishing the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) Board. We are not broke, if we have millions of dollars that we waste each year.”

Sen. Beason warned, “The country is beginning to realize that it is unraveling.”  If anyone of you have predicted all this five years ago, we would have thought that you were crazy people.  What is happening in Baltimore shows the country is destabilizing.  The adults are going to eventually takeover.”

Senator Scott Beason is now the senior policy adviser for the Alabama Free Market Alliance.

Joel Blankenship announced to the membership of the GBYRs that Curtiss has been elected Chair of the Young Republican Federation of Alabama as well as GBYR Chair.  As YRFA Chair Curtiss holds a voting seat on the influential Alabama Republican Party State Steering Committee.

 

Alabama Free Market Alliance Opposes $150 million House GOP Tax Increase

May 12, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, May 11, the Founder of the Alabama Free Market Alliance Paul Reynolds released a statement opposing the tax package being promoted by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Alabama) and his House GOP leadership team.

Reynolds wrote that, “Smaller government should be aspirational, not a fear tactic.”

Reynolds called the assertion that the state needs to raise taxes to match the growth in government spending, “An astounding – and baffling – assertion.”
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Conservative Opposition to Gaming and Tax Plans (Opinion)

May 11, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

GOP candidate after GOP candidate running for office in 2014 said that they were for limited government, rightsizing government, and no new taxes, yet here we are a few months later and now GOP leaders are telling us that we need new revenues.  Nobody much talked about the revenue issue during last year’s election that has dominated this year’s legislative session.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) is pushing a plan that would take an additional $541 million a year in from the private sector. Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R from Auburn) is proposing over $100 million in new taxes and giving the Poarch Creek Indians a statewide gaming monopoly in exchange for a $250 million one-time windfall payment to balance the general fund.  Even Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R from Anniston) has gotten on the new revenue bus proposing: a state lottery, opening up casinos at Victoryland, Greenetrack, the Birmingham Race Course, and the Mobile Dog Track to Class III gaming as well as the Governor  signing a compact with the Poarch Creek Indians.
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Black Legislative Caucus Prepares Their Own Redistricting Plan

April 20, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, April 16, State Representative John Rogers (D-Birmingham) speaking on the floor of the Alabama House of Representatives predicted that there will be new special elections ordered by the federal courts during the Presidential elections in 2016.

Rep. Rogers said, “The Presidential elections are when my people come out to vote.”

Rep. Rogers also complained about legislators outside of Jefferson County being districted small portions of Jefferson.  Rogers is concerned that the increased numbers of Senate and House Districts with portions of the districts in Jefferson County was done to dilute the votes of legislators in the largely urban county.
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