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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Senators vote nearly unanimously to do away with marriage licenses

January 17, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Marriage licenses and state-mandated marriage ceremonies may soon be a thing of the past if the Alabama Senate has anything to say about.

The Alabama Senate voted Tuesday to approve a bill that would abolish the requirement for marriage licenses and allow two people to enter into a marriage by signing an affidavit instead of through a ceremony.

The move comes after years of back and forth among some probate judges who have refused to issue licenses at all following the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling recognizing same-sex couples’ right to marry. The judges argued that they didn’t want to issue licenses to gay couples, so they just wouldn’t issue them at all.

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Candidate running to replace Mickey Hammon promises to sponsor lottery legislation “on day one”

December 6, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

District 4 Alabama House of Representatives candidate Tom Willis has promised to sponsor legislation that would authorize a lottery “on day one.” His legislation, he says, would allow the people of Alabama to vote for or against a lottery.

“This issue has dominated conversation and controversy in this state for nearly twenty years and it’s time that the people of Alabama had a chance to vote or against an Alabama lottery,” Willis said. “As I have traveled throughout this district I have heard people who are both pro-lottery and anti-lottery tell me that they want this debate to end and to see the lottery on a ballot. I promise that if I am elected, I will file a bill on my first day in office that will allow Alabamians to vote for or against a lottery in this state.”

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Does Governor Ivey support a vote on the lottery?

August 25, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

At a recent press gaggle,  a reporter asked Governor Kay Ivey what the chances of Alabama passing a lottery are? Alabama is one of only six states that does not have some form of lottery. Her statement while clear to those who understand Alabama’s 1901 Constitution was taken out of context to say that the Governor opposed letting the people vote on a lottery.

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The same will be a shame

August 9, 2017

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

This is one of those corny columns. Ready?

GET OUT AND VOTE ON TUESDAY! Take a couple of minutes, and do your duty.

Yep, it’s a “Go-Vote” column, and there’s a reason. On Tuesday, Alabama voters are supposed to go to the polls for the Democratic and Republican primaries to elect party representatives for the special election for U.S. Senate. That’s the Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions resigned to become President Donald Trump’s Attorney General.

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Deadline to register to vote is today

July 31, 2017

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming Special Senate Election Primaries is today.

Party Primaries for the Senate Election are on August 15 and a potential runoff may occur in September depending on how the vote is distributed. The General Election is set for December.

The Republican field is a packed one with former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, US Senator Luther Strange, US Representative Mo Brooks (R), former Christian Coalition Leader Randy Brinson, State Senator Trip Pittman(R-Montrose), Businessman Bryan Peeples, former Australian resident Mary Maxwell, Doctor James Beretta, and Air Force Chaplain Joseph Breault contending for the seat.
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Our judicial election climate requires a new litmus test for judges

June 9, 2017

By Win Johnson

One of the great benefits of living in Alabama is the ability to vote for our judges; one last bastion of our Democratic Republic. But how to vote? Here are some questions to ask a candidate for judge so you’ll know. Would you share this w/other friends, particularly those in Alabama?

Our Judicial Election Climate Requires a New Litmus Test for Judges:

With the recent appointment of a new Justice to the Alabama Supreme Court, the malicious disciplinary trial of Chief Justice Roy Moore, and the upcoming season for candidates to announce runs for judicial office, it seemed timely to give the people of Alabama some questions that they should ask candidates and judges. Also, I’m concerned about the rule of law because it has lost its plumb line, and certain judges impose their will, instead of the law, upon the rest of us. I’m concerned about the consciences of judges. How do they deal with this dilemma? The 6 questions below are a litmus test, a new, higher bar, if you will, offered in the hope that we can elect judges who will stand for the law – without compromise. Actually, they represent what should always define a judge.
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Vote “No” on Amendment 2: State Park Privatization

October 24, 2016

By Charley Grimsley
Alabama Political Reporter

Amendment 2 on State Parks has been advertised as a way to protect State Park revenues. If that were all it did, it would be good. But like a Trojan horse, hidden inside is something you probably didn’t know. Amendment 2 would allow STATE PARK PRIVATIZATION, and turning our State Parks over to private corporations is something we should never do.

Look at the following description of Amendment 2 from the website Ballotpedia (the privatization language is highlighted):
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Trump’s Support Trending Downward, “Rigged Election” Claims Tick Upwards

October 18, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll finds a large percentage of voters are expressing concerns that their vote will not be accurately counted on November 8. Pairing the “vote-rigging” accusation with Donald Trump’s falling numbers reveal how this election is trending toward a greater polarization of the American electorate.

Polling conducted from Oct. 13-15 surveyed 1,737 likely voters and 1,999 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus three and two percentage points, respectively found 81 percent of Trump supporters believe the election could be “stolen” from Trump as a result of widespread voter fraud.
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Felons Sue for Right to Vote

September 29, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, September 26, 2016, the Campaign Legal Center, the Voting Rights Institute, and the law firm of Jenner & Block filed a lawsuit in Alabama district court on behalf of US citizens with past felony convictions who have been denied the right to vote due to the State’s laws regarding the loss of voting privileges after a felony conviction.

Their lawsuit, Thompson versus Alabama, calls for the court to rule that current Alabama law is racially discriminatory, unconstitutional and a violation of the Voting Rights Act. The lawsuit also asserts a theory that they hope could sharply limit the scope of permissible felon disenfranchisement nationwide, arguing that the 14th Amendment does not allow the blanket disenfranchisement of citizens for what plaintiffs call, “minor non-violent offenses that are irrelevant to voting.”
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