There’s no law to prohibit cops from having sex with detainees in Alabama

February 9, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

When 18-year-old Anna was handcuffed and arrested by two on-duty undercover police officers, little did she realize that for the next few hours she would repeatedly be raped by the two men, according to her statements. The officers’ defense, for engaging in sex with a handcuffed detainee was, it was consensual.

Alabama is one of 35 states that allows on-duty police officers to engage in sex with a detainee as long as there is consent. According to an attorney for the state, there isn’t a specific statute that addresses the issue of detainee consent. Alabama does have a statute forbidding sex with inmates in state prisons.

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There is already a fix to clarify and strengthen the ethics laws

February 1, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Before then Attorney General Luther Strange took his ill-fated appointment to the U.S. Senate, his office prepared legislation to clarify and strengthen existing ethics laws.

Amidst all the nascent posturing about a dire need to, “Reform and Clarify” current ethics laws, there seems to be a pretense that no such clarification exists and, therefore, the Legislature needs to do something.

One proposal is to establish a committee to make recommendations for ethics reforms before the 2019 Session is currently the preferred solution thereby stalling any reform measures while giving special interests groups sufficient time to work to muddy laws that hinder their businesses.

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Commission for “Ethics Reform and Clarification” is pure fantasy

January 26, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A Senate joint resolution creating The Code of Ethics Reform and Clarification Commission sponsored by Republican Senators Arthur Orr, President Pro Tem. Del Marsh and Majority Leader Greg Reed has been submitted to the Rules Committee and could be making it’s way through the Senate soon.

Creating a commission to reform and clarify current ethics laws sounds like a reasonable undertaking until it’s understood that the underlying premise is to weaken much of existing laws.

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Opinion | Alabama “corrupt?” Well, it does add up

January 25, 2018

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

Hello, from one of the most corrupt states in the nation. That’s according to a variety of studies – Harvard University among them — on both illegal corruption and legal corruption. Like the University of Alabama in college football, the state Alabama is a national Top 10 in corruption; Top 5 in some studies.

That sort of adds up, doesn’t it?

We’ve seen, in just the last few years, the state’s former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard convicted on 12 felony ethics charges. We saw Republican Chief Justice Roy Moore booted off the Supreme Court for the second time in his career, then Moore outed as a molester in his U.S. Senate race against Democrat Doug Jones, who beat Moore in a December special election. There’s Dr. Robert Bentley, the “Luv Guv,” who had some sort of relationship with a top aide, then got bogged down in other nefarious stuff and was forced to resign.

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After woman’s “horrific” sexual assault, what did Steve Marshall do?

January 16, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Steve Marshall, who currently serves as the state’s attorney general, in the early 2000s used the power of his office to protect a man who, according to court records, sexually assaulted a co-worker in an act that a U.S. district judge described as “horrific.”

“He had me pinned with my back against the wall … I kept saying stop, stop, get off me, stop. Stop it. He was trying to put his mouth on me. I could still feel his hot breath on my neck. I felt like I absolutely was going to die. I couldn’t move him because he was so heavy. He kept pushing his hands — he had one hand on my breast underneath the top part of my bra. I could feel his fingers on my nipples. The other hand, again, I could feel he was at the top of my pubic area. And I knew I had to stop him.”

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Judge dismisses NAACP lawsuit challenging state’s photo ID law

January 11, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

U.S. District Judge L. Scott  Coogler issued a 69-page ruling Wednesday dismissing a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s Photo ID Law. This ruling came as a result of a lawsuit that was filed by the Alabama NAACP and the Greater Birmingham Ministries which charged that the Photo ID Law was created with a racially discriminatory purpose and violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.

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AG candidate Alice Martin addresses conservative groups

January 10, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Republican candidate for Attorney General Alice Martin on Tuesday addressed conservative groups at their legislative session preview meeting in the Alabama Statehouse.

Martin is a former U.S. Attorney under President George W. Bush and is a former Alabama Deputy Attorney General under then Attorney General  Luther Strange.

Martin said that as U.S. Attorney she got over 140 federal convictions of elected and appointed public officials.  As Deputy Alabama Attorney General she was a part of over 20 state public corruption convictions.  Martin said that while she was state Deputy Attorney General they tried to pass ethics reform through the Alabama Legislature but could not because of then Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard.  Martin said that the three bills the AG wanted, “Passed quickly out of the Senate but in the House we could not even get a committee meeting.  We learned that the Committee Chairmen were told by Hubbard if they even had a hearing they would be stripped of their committee chair.”

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Troy King making up ground in AG race fundraising

January 4, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Troy King might be late to the attorney general’s race, but he’s closing the fundraising gap quickly.

Campaign finance reports dropped Wednesday, and King reported raising more than $120,000 in December. That figure was nearly twice what current AG Steve Marshall raised ($64,050) and brings King’s six-week fundraising total to just over $250,000.

He still trails Marshall in total campaign cash by nearly $250,000.

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Merrill refuses to delay Canvassing Board Meeting, insists on certifying Jones today

December 28, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) says that he will not delay today’s state canvassing board meeting and will certify that Clinton era U.S. Attorney Doug Jones (D) is the winner of the December 12 special election for U.S. Senate.

Late Wednesday, Republican Candidate Judge Roy Moore had filed a challenge of the election alleging that voter fraud cost him the election and asked the state canvassing board to delay certification of the election.
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2018 Races to Watch

December 28, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The major party primaries are on June 5, 2018.  Formal major party candidate qualifying opens on January 9; but already politicos are looking ahead to these 2018 races.

In 2014 it was a question if Democrats were even going to find a candidate willing to run against the then very popular incumbent Governor, Robert Bentley; now the Republicans have a new incumbent and there are a host of Democrats who have already declared their candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Governor.  Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb is running.  So is former state Representative James Fields, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, LGBTQ activist Chris Countryman, and Center of Progress founder Jason Childs.

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