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Push Card Hits Marsh with Hard Facts

Bill Britt

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—It seems campaign season came a little early in Senate District 12. Last week, an unflattering “push-card” concerning Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) was circulated in the Anniston area. There had been reports of such a card showing up at the State House Thursday, but efforts to obtain the card proved fruitless. The mailer we received was said to have been received in the Senate 12 District as well.

With over a year to go before the 2014 election heats up, someone is firing a big gun across Marsh’s bow. Cited in the mailer are stories concerning Marsh’s solicitation of $350,000 from the Poarch Creek Indians, as well as how the money flowed back in to Senate campaigns.

When reports of Marsh’s solicitation broke months ago, it was rumored that Marsh has begged the tribe to say he didn’t ask for the money. Not only did Marsh make the trips to Atmore to ask for the tribe’s money, he wanted the PCI to cover it up. Marsh must have believed that such a campaign would be forthcoming.

When the Alabama Political Reporterpublished the story, Marsh was given ample time to respond. However, the only response we received were in the form of threats from Phillip Bryan, Marsh’s Chief of Staff.

Marsh recently told a radio entertainer that gambling was not his issue. It would seem Marsh is trying to take the edge off the fact that he actively sought gambling money while the ALGOP was decrying the same activity by the Democrats.

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It has also been said that Marsh went to Atmore to ask for money at the behest of Mike Hubbard. Hubbard, at the time, was the head of the ALGOP and has bragged about his fundraising prowess in his book Storming the State House. Nowhere in the vanity publication did he or his co-writer, David Azbell, mention the money garnered from gambling interests, even though Hubbard has met with the tribe and given them instructions to “Keep working with Marsh.”

Recently Hubbard’s Chief of Staff, Josh Blades, confronted lobbyist for the Poarch Creek and wanted them to have the tribe pull their advertising from the Alabama Political Reporter/strong>site. His request has so far been denied.

Marsh and Hubbard are under grand jury investigations in three counties: Lee, Calhoun and Montgomery. The brazen threats by their staff have not gone unnoticed by law enforcement. The push-card appears to be an opening salvo in a long campaign to expose the facts about Marsh and Hubbard. All the usual suspects were contacted concerning the push-card, but no one has taken credit for the piece.

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The yellow colored card, features Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.

The bold black and red typeface on the front reads:

You know Del Marsh? Leader of the Senate? Righteous man? Master politician? LOSER when it cones to TRUTH and ETHICS.

The backside of the push-card features Marsh with a thought-bubble:

He Lobbied: “Please, oh, please give me lots of money!” Begged for $350,000 from the Poarch Indian Gambling Casinos to run his campaign.

He Lied: “I did not ask for money from the Indians.” Simple. He lied about doing it.

He Laundered: “Hey guys, what can we do with all this gambling money?”

He took the money and schemed to run it through other PACs just before the law was passed to make this type of action illegal.

It concludes by saying,

“Del marsh is over the edge when it comes to playing games with our money. He needs a lesson in truth.” The card then goes on to give Marsh’s office number in Montgomery asking people to call and tell Marsh to, ‘Get with it to get out of there.’”

The card says it is paid for by Foundation for Education Accountability, P.O. Box 1874, Carrollton, GA 30112.

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday to visit coast impacted by Hurricane Sally

Ivey is to fly by helicopter over Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, according to an announcement to media from Ivey’s office on Thursday.

Eddie Burkhalter

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Gov. Kay Ivey Held a post Hurricane Sally Press Conference at Alabama EMA headquarters in Clanton, Ala. Thursday September 17, 2020. (Governor's Office/Hal Yeager)

Gov. Kay Ivey plans to visit Alabama’s coastline on Friday to see for herself the damage caused by Hurricane Sally. 

Ivey is to fly by helicopter over Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, according to an announcement to media from Ivey’s office on Thursday.

Following the flyover Ivey will meet behind closed doors with Alabama Emergency Management Agency director Brian Hastings, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship, her staff, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Alabama, and local officials for a briefing. 

Ivey at noon on Friday is to hold a press conference at the Gulf State Park Lodge, followed by a flyover of Dauphin Island and another closed-door meeting before another press conference set for 3 p.m. at Dauphin Island City Hall to give an update on the state’s recovery efforts 

At least one person in Alabama died as a result of Hurricane Sally, the state’s EMA director Brian Hastings said earlier on Thursday.

More than 130,000 Alabama Power customers along the coast and Southeast Alabama were without power Thursday afternoon.

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Governor

Governor awards grant to expand court facility dog program

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded $1.17 million to continue and expand a statewide program that helps children and others who have been victims of crime feel more at ease when testifying in court or undergoing other crime-related interviews.

The grant to the Alabama Office of Prosecution Services will enable that state agency to continue its facility dog program.

The program uses specially trained dogs to calm traumatized victims when they are called into the courtroom or interview room to recount details of often horrific crimes committed against them.

“I cannot imagine what victims, especially children, have to go through when they are called before strangers to recall what is often a very personal and sensitive tragedy that they have difficulty even relaying to family members,” Ivey said. “This program has proven beyond successful and has been admired and modeled by other states. I am pleased to support its continuation and expansion here in Alabama.”

Facility dogs have been used more than 1,000 times including forensic interviews, court hearings, medical examinations and other case-related matters. The dogs are based in several counties, but according to the Office of Prosecution Services, are available for use throughout the state.   

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available to the state from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“The facility dog program has been vastly successful and well received throughout the state,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell. “Although we would prefer that there would be no reason for this program to even exist, ADECA joins with Gov. Ivey in assisting with its continued success.”

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Ivey notified Barry Matson, executive director of Prosecution Services, that the grant had been approved. 

ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.

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Elections

Secretary of State extends absentee voting for Senate District 26 special election

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Secretary of State John Merrill has officially extended the opportunity for anyone concerned about COVID-19 to apply for and cast an absentee ballot for the Senate District 26 special election.

The special primary election for Senate District 26 will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 17. If necessary, a runoff election will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 15. The general election will be held on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their polling place shall be eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application that is most applicable to that individual.

State law allows the secretary of state to issue absentee voting guidance during declared states of emergency, allowing Merrill to encourage voters to check the box which reads, “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]” unless another box applies.

For the Nov. 17 primary election, the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Thursday, Nov. 12. If delivered by hand, absentee ballots must be returned by Monday, Nov. 16. If delivered by mail, absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 16.

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National

Jones introduces bill to forgive CARES Act loans for small businesses impacted by hurricanes

Eddie Burkhalter

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Sen. Doug Jones speaks during a live-streamed press briefing. (VIA JONES CAMPAIGN)

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, and Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, on Thursday introduced legislation that would forgive small business loans made under the CARES Act in counties hard-hit by Hurricanes Sally and Laura. 

The Disaster Relief for Southeastern Small Businesses Act of 2020 would establish a process for businesses in counties with major disaster declarations from Hurricane Sally to seek forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans, according to a press release from Jones’s office. 

“As folks across South Alabama begin the work to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Sally, I believe Congress should be assisting them in any way we can,” Jones said in a statement. “That’s why I’m joining Senator Kennedy, from our neighbor Louisiana, to introduce bipartisan legislation that ensures small businesses impacted by Hurricanes Sally and Laura can benefit from loan forgiveness for COVID-19 relief programs.” 

“Alabama’s Main Street businesses have struggled already during the pandemic, and Hurricane Sally is yet another devastating hit. This legislation will cut through government red tape and allow forgiveness of business loans received as part of our CARES legislation as they continue to re-open and re-build. It is one way we can help them survive these compounding disasters and continue to serve our communities and create jobs,” Jones continued. 

To qualify under the program, impacted businesses would have to provide their lenders with a form stating they used the loans as intended in order to receive loan forgiveness. The Small Business Administration would have the authority to review and audit forgiven loans, according to the release. 

Alabama businesses received $6.2 billion in PPP loans, which closed at the end of Aug. 8. As of that time, there had been a total of 41,243 EIDL loans totaling $1.84 billion issued to small businesses in Alabama.

Jones in May called for increased guidance and loan forgiveness for small businesses that applied for PPP loans.

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In April, he supported legislation to replenish PPP funds and gave additional relief to Alabama’s small businesses. Jones also introduced legislation in May to fund payrolls of eligible businesses to help business owners cover workers’ wages during the pandemic.

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