By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama State Representative Jim McClendon (R) from Springville addressed the St. Clair County Republicans on Thursday, January 16, 2014.
Rep. McClendon said that President Obama (D) has not done much for Alabama Republicans but he did help the Republican super-majority with this DOJ demand that Alabama make the qualification deadline end sooner.
Rep. McClendon said, “The big unions have been stomping around looking for candidates to run against our incumbents.” Moving the deadline up to February 7th limits the amount of time that candidates have to decide whether to run or not. McClendon said that this was beneficial for Republican incumbents. “There is the one thing that Obama has done that is beneficial.”
Rep. McClendon announced to the gathered Republican activists and office holders, “I did qualify for Senate District 11.” The move that has been widely reported by ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ likely means that McClendon will face incumbent state Senator Jerry Fielding (R) from Sylacauga. District 11 has been redrawn by the legislature so that beginning with the June 3, 2014 primary it will include voters in St. Clair, Shelby, and part of Talladega counties.
Rep. McClendon announced that retired St. Clair County Presiding Judge Jim Hill was running for Rep. McClendon’s House District 50, which is entirely contained within St. Clair County.
The conservative Republican State legislator said that if he is elected it would be the first time that St. Clair County had a resident State Senator since Ray Wyatt 50 years ago.
When Ashville Mayor and House District 30 candidate Robert McKay said that he did not understand the new redistricted Senate Districts, Rep. McClendon said that as Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Reapportionment, “I was involved in the creation of those maps. I can get you a map of any particular House or Senate district. I can get you a copy in a variety of sizes.” McClendon said there is a cost for the Reapportionment office to print off the maps.
Rep. McClendon expressed confidence that the Republican Super-Majority will prevail in the 2014 election. He predicted that the Republicans will pick up a couple of additional House seats and two seats in the Senate. “This helps us get along with the program.”
McClendon said the Republicans began with the ethics special sessions and since the 2010 election there has been more positive change in the last three years than in the previous 100 years.
A good example of that is the package of bills that passed the House on that Thursday. Pro-Business and tax bills were passed.
McClendon said that the super-majority the House can do a bill in 3 days and send it to the Senate. Rep. McClendon said that the Alabama House is not fooling around. “The house is not slowing down.” The Thursday bills included a business tax relief bill, a business personal property tax relief form, and a taxpayer relief bill
“Today when you appeal your issue the hearing is held by an employee of the department of revenue we are trying to get that moved out,” Rep. McClendon said.
In the coming week, the House is going to try to pass the Healthcare Conscience Act. This would protect health care workers from having to perform procedures that violate their moral or religious views. These would include actions like: stem cells, abortion, or cloning. Today they can be fired. “We want to let our healthcare providers be led by their hearts and conscience,” Rep. McClendon said.
Rep. McClendon said that the legislature will compact the session this year so legislators can have more time to get out and campaign before the primary in June. Normally the session takes 15 weeks. This year they plan on meeting in session three days a week, three days a week, two days a week, three days a week, three days week, two days a week, etc. to conclude business quicker versus the normal Tuesday and Thursday sessions with Wednesday simply reserved for committee meetings.
McClendon said that this has been a tremendous quadrinium for Republicans and this session the focus will be on passing their Commonsense Conservative Legislative Agenda. McClendon said that no one in this room will have any issues with any of the positions taken in that agenda.
Rep. Jim McClendon was first elected in 2002. Before retiring McClendon owned an optometry practice in Leeds and Moody.