Connect with us

News

Rob McHugh Campaigning for House District 30 Seat

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Election campaigns are a lot of hard work.  Contested campaigns can be very demanding struggles.  Most people decide not to run for elected office because it is just too much of a struggle.  For Rob McHugh this election is far from the most difficult struggle that he has faced.

In 2003, the Steele Republican was the owner of his own electrical business but he was experiencing some muscle cramps and numbness in his hands which were interfering with his ability to do his job as an electrician. His doctors diagnosed him with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or simply ALS.  The most common of the motor neuron diseases is still considered a death sentence and McHugh’s doctor told him to get his affairs in order because he would be dead by 2005.

Rob McHugh would not accept the scientific fact that he had less than 24 months to live.  Slowly he lost use of both of his arms and eventually he lost the use of both his legs.  Typically that is followed by the loss of the ability to speak, the ability to swallow, difficulty breathing, which typically leads to death.  McHugh however is not typical.  Where most ALS patients wait in vain for a new drug that will cure the condition, McHugh took the bold alternative strategy of assuming personal responsibility for his own condition and fought to regain use of his limbs.  A herbalist and a chiropractor provided help.  Slowly, through a vigorous exercise and training effort he regained use of his arms and legs.  McHugh could no longer do his job as an electrician because he no longer had the fine motor skills necessary to perform at a high level so he went to work with his dad in the nursery business managing greenhouses on his family’s farm.  Eventually he was forced out of the nursery business because of repeated attacks on his greenhouses by metal thieves.  McHugh told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that they caught the last thief with $30,000 worth of greenhouse equipment at a metal yard where he had just received $900 for it.   McHugh has supplemented his income over the years as a singer/songwriter.

The Board member of the St. Clair County Farmer’s Federation knew he needed a job that he could perform at a high level despite his physical challenges.  To this day he has not restored all the strength in his hands but otherwise his health and full use of his limbs has been restored through hard work and either luck or divine assistance.  McHugh decided that he would become an ALFA agent and began the studies necessary to get his Alabama insurance license.  When he successfully finished all of his class work and passed the Alabama Insurance exam, ALFA (despite his long relationship with them) told him that he was not experienced enough to be an ALFA agent.  Undeterred, McHugh is now an agent for Farmer’s Insurance.

Rob McHugh told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that he is a longtime friend of former District 30 Representative Blaine Galiher and would never have run against the former Republican incumbent.  When Rep. Galiher resigned to become Governor Bentley’s Director of Legislative Affairs, many of McHugh’s friends urged the insurance agent to run for the vacant Alabama House District 30 seat.

ADVERTISEMENT

McHugh said that he talked with his family and made the decision to run as a Republican for the House District 30 seat.  Rob McHugh told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that, “I am good at helping people figuring out things.  I will do what I can to help.”

Mr. McHugh said that he is pro-life, pro-gun, and opposes raising the tax burden on Alabama families. McHugh said that the state should pay back the money that was raided from the Alabama trust fund.  McHugh said that all the revenues from the internet sales tax that Gov. Bentley is lobbying for should be used to pay off the trust fund diversion when that money comes in.  McHugh said that the internet sales tax should bring in $130 million.

McHugh told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ to save money, “We can streamline more programs” and that the state should, “quit spending what we don’t have.”  McHugh said that ending the DROP program will help the finances some.   McHugh said that he did favor Governor Bentley’s plan to offer incentives to coax veteran state employees to retire.  McHugh said that he is concerned about an Alabama Policy Iniative plan that would replace the state workers’ pensions with 401 (k)s. McHugh was concerned that the state would have a difficult time recruiting and retaining teachers and state workers when the economy turns around if surrounding states had a better benefits package.   Mr. McHugh said that he would need to get the opinions of the people in his district before making a big decision like that.

McHugh said, “I think we need to generate more revenues.”  McHugh however opposed the $2 a pack cigarette tax hike proposed by Rep. Joe Hubbard as being too large.  McHugh said that the state needed to be more careful with tax breaks and incentives packages.  He cited as an example the Sax distribution center built in Steele.  The company came for the incentives and then “just packed up and left” after just a few years costing tax payers millions.

Public Service Announcement

McHugh said that he represents the people on two state boards and serves on ten committees and boards throughout the district.   When state prison farms were selling produce at just $2 a box, McHugh said that the tomato farmers called him and he worked successfully to prevent the prison farms from competing with Alabama farmers.

Mr. McHugh said, “I will represent the people of the district” and said that he “wants to do what is right for people.”  McHugh said even though he lives in St. Clair County he has family and friends in Etowah County as well and he is, “not biased towards one county or the other.”

McHugh said that he has not been asking for campaign contributions because he doesn’t want to be beholden to anyone when he gets to Montgomery.  “I don’t want to owe any favors,”

McHugh’s wife is a PE teacher and they have two children a 9 year old and a 5 year old.

Rob McHugh faces former Etowah County School Board President Mack Butler in the special election Republican Primary on Tuesday, October 23.  House District 30 is composed of parts of Etowah and St. Clair Counties.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

Advertisement

Health

Vaccines should protect against mutated strains of coronavirus

Public health experts say it will be some time before vaccines are available to the wider public.

Eddie Burkhalter

Published

on

(STOCK PHOTO)

Multiple vaccines for COVID-19 are in clinical trials, and one has already applied for emergency use authorization, but how good will those vaccines be against a mutating coronavirus? A UAB doctor says they’ll do just fine. 

Dr. Rachael Lee, UAB’s hospital epidemiologist, told reporters earlier this week that there have been small genetic mutations in COVID-19. What researchers are seeing in the virus here is slightly different than what’s seen in the virus in China, she said. 

“But luckily the way that these vaccines have been created, specifically the mRNA vaccines, is an area that is the same for all of these viruses,” Lee said, referring to the new type of vaccine known as mRNA, which uses genetic material, rather than a weakened or inactive germ, to trigger an immune response. 

The U.S. Food And Drug Administration is to review the drug company Pfizer’s vaccine on Dec. 10. Pfizer’s vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, as is a vaccine produced by the drug maker Moderna, which is expected to also soon apply for emergency use approval. 

“I think that is incredibly good news, that even though we may see some slight mutations,  we should have a vaccine that should cover all of those different mutations,” Lee said. 

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found in a recent study, published in the journal Science, that COVID-19 has mutated in ways that make it spread much more easily, but the mutation may also make it more susceptible to vaccines. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In a separate study, researchers with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation found that while most vaccines were modeled after an earlier strain of COVID-19, they found no evidence that the vaccines wouldn’t provide the same immunity response for the new, more dominant strain. 

“This brings the world one step closer to a safe and effective vaccine to protect people and save lives,” said CSIRO chief executive Dr. Larry Marshall, according to Science Daily

While it may not be long before vaccines begin to be shipped to states, public health experts warn it will be some time before vaccines are available to the wider public. Scarce supplies at first will be allocated for those at greatest risk, including health care workers who are regularly exposed to coronavirus patients, and the elderly and ill. 

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, speaking to APR last week, urged the public to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing for many more months, as the department works to make the vaccines more widely available.

Public Service Announcement

“Just because the first shots are rolling out doesn’t mean it’s time to stop doing everything we’ve been trying to get people to do for months. It’s not going to be widely available for a little while,” Harris said.

Continue Reading

News

Tuberville looks forward to public service “probably for the rest of my life”

Tuberville’s term as senator will begin on Jan. 3 when the 117th Congress is sworn in.

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville during an interview with Sean Spicer on Newsmax.

U.S. Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, told Newsmax’s Sean Spicer that he looks forward to the opportunity to give back to this country.

“After winning this and after being up here a couple of weeks and seeing how much of a difference we have made just to this point in the Senate has been gratifying,” Tuberville said. “I look forward to doing public service probably for the rest of my life.”

Tuberville said that he was 18 years old when the Vietnam War was coming to a close and then got into coaching so never served in the military and looks forward to the opportunity to give back to the country.

“As I went around the state of Alabama for those two years though I learned the respect of the people and how much that they want this country to remain the United States of America that we know and grew up in to go by the Constitution and those things. As I went through the campaign I got more and more fond of that I want to give back,” Tuberville said.

“I never served, I never gave back, but God was so good to me and my wife my family,” Tuberville said. “Giving back means so much to me after I was given so much for many, many years.”

Tuberville said that education will be a priority for him, getting education back to fundamentals like reading, writing, history and math. Tuberville said that unless the country gets back to fundamentals in education, “This country is not going to make it. We have got to get back to fundamentals and we are getting farther and farther every day.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Tuberville was the only Republican on Nov. 3 to defeat an incumbent Senate Democrat when he unseated Sen. Doug Jones.

“I want to be the voice for the people of Alabama,” Tuberville explained. “The previous Senator was a voice for his party, the Democratic party.”

Tuberville, a career college football coach, reiterated his position that we should play sports and send kids back to school despite the coronavirus global pandemic.

“I think we are doing a lot better in sports than we are doing in a lot of other areas,” Tuberville said. “I was keeping my fingers crossed back in August that we would let our young kids go play high school sports, number one, and then we get into college sports. There are so many people throwing negatives on why we should not do that. But I can tell you, you can see many more positives if we go back to school and we play sports. It’s important that we attack this virus as it has been attacking us. If it gives us an inch, we gotta take it.”

Public Service Announcement

Tuberville reiterated his opposition to shutting down restaurants, schools and businesses to fight the virus.

“We have to get back to everyday life,” Tuberville said. “You can’t keep shutting people down. Freedom is a power that we have. A power that we have earned because of our forefathers. We can’t give that up.”

Tuberville is an Arkansas native. He was the head football coach at Auburn University where he won an SEC championship, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, and Cincinnati. Prior to that, he was a national championship defensive coordinator at the University of Miami. He was also the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M.

Tuberville’s term as senator will begin on Jan. 3 when the 117th Congress is sworn in.

Continue Reading

National

UAB cancels third game

The only remaining game on UAB’s schedule is a game at Rice on Dec. 12.

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

(STOCK PHOTO)

The UAB Department of Athletics on Thursday announced that it is canceling its final home game of the season. UAB was scheduled to play Southern Mississippi on Friday at Legion Field, but the game was canceled due to continuing problems with COVID-19.

UAB has said that it will “continue to work with Conference USA on the remaining regular-season schedule.”

The only remaining game on UAB’s schedule is a game at Rice on Dec. 12.

UAB currently has a record of just four wins and three losses.

A win at Rice would guarantee the Blazers a winning season, but in this COVID altered season, a four and three or four and four record is probably good enough to be bowl eligible.

Southern Miss has had a dreadful season. They are two and seven and have two remaining games, against UTEP and Florida Atlantic. Both of those games were postponed from earlier in the season.

ADVERTISEMENT

Unless the season is extended a week to the 19th, there is no way for UAB and Southern Miss to make up the canceled game.

Continue Reading

News

Official state Christmas tree was delivered

The approximately 35-foot tree will be displayed on the front steps of the state Capitol building.

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

The 2016 state Christmas tree in front of the state Capitol.

Alabama’s official Christmas Tree was delivered to the state Capitol this week.

This year’s tree was donated by Robbins Taylor Sr. It is an Eastern Red Cedar that was grown in Letohatchee, Alabama.

The approximately 35-foot tree will be displayed on the front steps of the state Capitol building.

The tree will be adorned with lights and decorations ahead of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 4. Gov. Ivey’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Capitol in Montgomery.

Alabama became the first state in the nation to make Christmas an official government holiday in 1836. Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement