By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, May 13 the Dr. Chad Mathis for Congress campaign announced that United States Senator Mike Lee (R) from Utah had taped a radio ad endorsing the Indian Springs orthopedist. The Dr. Chad Mathis’ campaign unveiled its latest radio ad, in which Constitutional conservative, United States Senator Mike Lee, endorsed Dr. Mathis as the conservative he recommends that Alabama Sixth District voters send to Washington.
In the ad, Senator Lee calls Dr. Mathis a successful surgeon, small business owner, husband, and father who will stand up for life and religious freedom.
Dr. Chad Mathis released a written statement: “United States Senator Mike Lee is a leader of conservative causes both in Washington and around our nation. His endorsement of my conservative credentials speaks volumes of the trust he has in me to help him continue fighting against President Obama and the liberal elite. I look forward to joining him, and other movement conservatives fighting to repeal Obamacare, rein in spending, defend life, and protect our 2nd Amendment rights.”
On Tuesday, October 14 the Mathis Campaign announced that the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund (TPPCF) has endorsed Dr. Chad Mathis (R) in the Republican primary election for Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District. The Campaign also announced that the Young American’s Liberty Fund Action PAC and Congressman Burgess were also weighing in for Dr. Mathis.
TPPCF Chairman Jenny Beth Martin said, “Dr. Mathis brings a lot to the table. First and foremost, as a physician, he’ll make the repeal of Obamacare his top priority. In addition, he’s committed to the values of personal freedom, economic freedom and a debt-free future.”
Martin said, “After seeing the bailouts of 2008 and the passage of Obamacare in 2010, Chad went to Texas to volunteer for Ted Cruz and like Sen. Cruz, he’s committed to the Constitution. He’ll fight to reduce spending, cut out burdensome regulations and let hard working American families keep more of their own money. He’s the true conservative candidate.”
Martin said, “It’s important for all Alabamians in the Sixth District who believe in limited government and fiscal responsibility to rally behind Dr. Mathis. We’re proud to endorse him and urge everyone who wants a piece of the American Dream to give him their vote and support.”
The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund is committed to equipping grassroots activists at the state and local level with the tools and resources needed to hold elected officials and government accountable and elect new and qualified candidates.
The Young Americans for Liberty’s PAC, Liberty Action Fund, endorsed Dr. Chad Mathis’ candidacy in the race for Alabama’s sixth congressional seat.
Jeff Frazee, the Chairman of Young Americans for Liberty’s Liberty Action Fund released a written statement: “Young people have a voice in the election through Liberty Action Fund, and we are proud to place our full support behind Dr. Chad Mathis. During his time as a medical doctor and small business owner, Dr. Mathis has seen our country suffer from the big-government, big-spending policies implemented by the political establishment in both parties. And most importantly, he will fight for the issues that matter to young people, such as protecting our privacy from government spying, cutting down the national debt, and ending Obamacare.”
Dr. Chad Mathis said, “Liberty Action Fund knows I will stand on principle when elected to represent the people of Alabama’s Sixth District. As your congressman, I will work to limit the size and scope of government, defend our liberties, repeal Obamacare and above all else, uphold the Constitution. I am honored that an organization dedicated to teaching and defending the Constitution is willing to invest in my candidacy to bring bold, new, conservative leadership to Washington. ”
On Wednesday, May 1 Congressman Michael Burgess (R) from Texas endorsed Dr. Chad Mathis in the race for Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District. On Friday, May 2 Club For Growth announced that they were also endorsing the Indian Springs orthopedist.
Like Mathis, U.S. Representative Burgess is a medical doctor. The doctor/Congressman from North Texas is the Vice Chairman of the House Energy Committee, the Vice Chairman of the Commerce Committee’s Sub-Committee on Health, and is a member of the Congressional Doctors Caucus.
U.S. Representative Burgess joins fellow Doctor’s Caucus members Congressmen Andy Harris, and Phil Roe in calling for the people of Alabama to send another doctor to Washington to help put health care back in the hands of patients, rather than the government. Dr. Mathis worked alongside Doctors Caucus members to help introduce his Twelve-Point Plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Congressman Burgess said, “As a surgeon and small business owner, Dr. Chad Mathis will bring a unique skill set to Washington that will help put in place the patient centered, market driven reforms our health care system so desperately needs. With pride, I support Dr. Mathis and the conservative leadership his candidacy will bring to the next Congress.”
The Club for Growth PAC has also thrown their weight into endorsing Dr. Chad Mathis’ candidacy in Alabama’s 6th Congressional District. The Club for Growth PAC’s primary mission is to support candidates for Congress who believe in pro-growth policies, limited government, low taxes, and economic freedom.
The Mathis Campaign claims that their entry into such a hotly contested Republican primary shows not only the strength of Dr. Mathis’ candidacy, but their belief that Dr. Mathis is the sole candidate with the backbone to stand by the free market principles the Club for Growth espouses.
Club for Growth President, Chris Chocola said in a written statement: “The choice is clear: Dr. Chad Mathis is the constitutional conservative running in Alabama’s sixth Congressional district who will fight to repeal ObamaCare and stand up to the big-government liberals in Congress. Dr. Mathis will do everything he can to cut spending, oppose burdensome regulations, and he’s not afraid to stand on principle to do what’s right for America. Club members are enthusiastically behind Dr. Chad Mathis for Congress, and the Club for Growth PAC strongly endorses his candidacy.”
Dr. Mathis said, “I am honored to be receiving the endorsement of a group that champions the economic freedoms this country needs to get back on a path to prosperity. The Club for Growth is the preeminent voice behind the principles and policies that favor the individual over government, and I will be a steadfast advocate of their agenda to bring a pro-growth, limited style government to the forefront.”
Dr. Chad Mathis has garnered a number of prominent endorsements. To this point Dr. Mathis has been endorsed by: U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R) from Utah, the National Association for Gun Rights, Gun Owners of America, the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Honorable Ken Blackwell, FreedomWorks PAC, the Madison Project, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, RedState, Club for Growth, the Alabama Orthopedic Society, Young Americans for Liberty’s PAC, Liberty Action Fund, the Alabama State Society of Anesthesiologists, Congressman Andy Harris (M.D.), the Club for Growth, the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, Congressman Phil Roe (M.D.), Congressman Michael Burgess (M.D.), and Commander Kirk Lippold, U.S. Navy (Ret.).
Dr. Mathis has unveiled a twelve point plan to repeal and replace Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010) and to reform the tax code. Dr. Chad Mathis said recently, “My substantive solutions to the problems facing Alabamians are refreshing compared to the tiresome, drone-like talking points consistent with the career politician and political insiders I’m up against.”
Dr. Mathis is running in a crowded District Six field that includes: state Representative Paul DeMarco (R) from Homewood, prominent longtime Harbert executive Will Brooke, state Senator Scott Beason (R) from Gardendale, the owner of Royal Mattress Manufacturing in Pelham mattress Tom Vigneulle, retired attorney Rob Shattuck, and Alabama Policy Institute co-founder and longtime President Gary Palmer.
Dr. Chad Mathis is an Indian Springs orthopedist.
Longtime Sixth Congressional District incumbent Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia is not seeking re-election. Rep. Bachus has served the Sixth District for 11 terms in the U.S. Congress.
The Republican Primary is June 3.
The eventual Republican Party nominee will still have to face Democrat Avery Vice in the November General Election.
Alabama hospitals nearing COVID-19 summer surge levels
Wednesday was the 18th straight day with more than 1,000 people in hospitals in Alabama with COVID-19.
Alabama hospitals reported caring for 1,483 people infected with COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest number of patients since Aug. 11, when the state was enduring its summer surge. Wednesday was also the 18th straight day with more than 1,000 people in hospitals in Alabama with COVID-19.
The seven-day average of hospitalizations was 1,370 on Wednesday, the 36th straight day of that average rising. The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 2,453 new cases Wednesday. The 14-day average of new cases was — for the eighth day in a row — at a record high of 2,192.
Across the country, more than 80,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday, a record high and the 15th straight day of record hospitalizations nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project, a coronavirus tracking website.
The CDC this week recommended people not travel for Thanksgiving to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“The only way for us to successfully get through this pandemic is if we work together,” said Dr. Kierstin Kennedy, UAB’s chief of hospital medicine, in a message Tuesday. “There’s no one subset of the community that’s going to be able to carry the weight of this pandemic and so we all have to take part in wearing our masks, keeping our distance, making sure that we’re washing our hands.”
Kennedy said the best way she can describe the current situation is “Russian Roulette.”
“Not only in the form of, maybe you get it and you don’t get sick or maybe you get it and you end up in the ICU,” Kennedy said, “but if you do end up sick, are you going to get to the hospital at a time when we’ve got capacity, and we’ve got enough people to take care of you? And that is a scary thought.”
The Alabama Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported an increase of 60 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. Deaths take time to confirm and the date a death is reported does not necessarily reflect the date on which the individual died. At least 23 of those deaths occurred in November, and 30 occurred in other months. Seven were undated. Data for the last two to three weeks are incomplete.
As of Wednesday, at least 3,532 Alabamians have died of COVID-19, according to the Department of Public Health. During November, at least 195 people have died in Alabama from COVID-19. But ADPH is sure to add more to the month’s tally in the weeks to come as data becomes more complete.
ADPH on Wednesday announced a change that nearly doubled the department’s estimate of people who have recovered from COVID-19, bringing that figure up to 161,946. That change also alters APR’s estimates of how many cases are considered active.
ADPH’s Infectious Disease and Outbreak team “updated some parameters” in the department’s Alabama NEDSS Base Surveillance System, which resulted in the increase, the department said.
Judge reduces former Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard’s prison sentence
The trial court judge ordered his 48-month sentence reduced to 28 months.
Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker on Wednesday reduced former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s prison sentence from four years to just more than two.
Walker in his order filed Wednesday noted that Hubbard was sentenced to fours years on Aug. 9, 2016, after being convicted of 12 felony ethics charges for misusing his office for personal gain, but that on Aug. 27, 2018, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals reversed convictions on five of those counts. The Alabama Supreme Court later struck down another count.
Hubbard’s attorneys on Sept. 18 filed a motion to revise his sentence, to which the state objected, according to court records, arguing that “Hubbard’s refusal to admit any guilt or express any remorse makes him wholly unfit to receive any leniency.”
Walker in his order cited state code and wrote that the power of the courts to grant probation “is a matter of grace and lies entirely within the sound discretion of the trial court.”
“Furthermore, the Court must consider the nature of the Defendant’s crimes. Acts of public corruption harm not just those directly involved, but harm society as a whole,” Walker wrote.
Walker ruled that because six of Hubbard’s original felony counts were later reversed, his entrance should be changed to reflect that, and ordered his 48-month sentence reduced to 28 months.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Wednesday said Walker’s decision to reduce Hubbard’s sentence was the wrong message to send.
“Mr. Hubbard was convicted of the intentional violation of Alabama’s ethics laws, the same laws he championed in the legislature only later to brazenly disregard for his personal enrichment,” Marshall said in a statement. “Even as he sits in state prison as a six-time felon, Mike Hubbard continues to deny any guilt or offer any remorse for his actions in violation of the law. Reducing his original four-year sentence sends precisely the wrong message to would-be violators of Alabama’s ethics laws.”
Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19, has “mild symptoms”
It’s unlikely Saban will be able to coach in person during Saturday’s Iron Bowl against Auburn.
University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Iron Bowl and has mild symptoms, according to a statement from the university on Wednesday.
“This morning we received notification that Coach Saban tested positive for COVID-19,” said Dr. Jimmy Robinson and Jeff Allan, associate athletic director, in the statement. “He has very mild symptoms, so this test will not be categorized as a false positive. He will follow all appropriate guidelines and isolate at home.”
Saban had previously tested positive before Alabama’s game against Georgia but was asymptomatic and subsequently tested negative three times, a sign that the positive test could have been a false positive. He returned to coach that game.
It’s unlikely Saban will be able to coach in person during Saturday’s Iron Bowl against Auburn, given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for quarantining after testing positive and with symptoms. Neither Saban nor the university had spoken about that possibility as of Wednesday morning.
Civil rights leader Bruce Boynton dies at 83
The Dallas County Courthouse Annex will be renamed in honor of Boynton and fellow Civil Rights Movement leader J.L. Chestnut.
Selma attorney and Civil Rights Movement leader Bruce Carver Boynton died from cancer in a Montgomery hospital on Monday. He was 83. The Dallas County Courthouse Annex will be renamed in honor of Boynton and fellow Civil Rights Movement leader J.L. Chestnut.
“We’ve lost a giant of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Alabama. “Son of Amelia Boynton Robinson, Bruce Boynton was a Selma native whose refusal to leave a “whites-only” section of a bus station restaurant led to the landmark SCOTUS decision in Boynton v. Virginia overturning racial segregation in public transportation, sparking the Freedom Rides and end of Jim Crow. Let us be inspired by his commitment to keep striving and working toward a more perfect union.”
Boynton attended Howard University Law School in Washington D.C. He was arrested in Richmond, Virginia, in his senior year of law school for refusing to leave a “whites-only” section of a bus station restaurant. That arrest and conviction would be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where Boynton and civil rights advocates prevailed in the landmark case 1060 Boynton vs. Virginia.
Boynton’s case was handled by famed civil rights era attorney Thurgood Marshal, who would go on to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. The 1960 7-to-2 decision ruled that federal prohibitions barring segregation on interstate buses also applied to bus stations and other interstate travel facilities.
The decision inspired the “Freedom Rides” movement. Some Freedom Riders were attacked when they came to Alabama.
While Boynton received a high score on the Alabama Bar exam, the Alabama Bar prevented him from working in the state for years due to that 1958 trespassing conviction. Undeterred, Boynton worked in Tennessee during the years, bringing school desegregation lawsuits.
Sherrilyn Ifill with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said on social media: “NAACP LDF represented Bruce Boynton, who was an unplanned Freedom Rider (he simply wanted to buy a sandwich in a Va bus station stop & when denied was willing to sue & his case went to the SCOTUS) and later Bruce’s mother Amelia Boynton (in Selma after Bloody Sunday).”
His mother, Amelia Boynton, was an early organizer of the voting rights movement. During the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March in 1965, she was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. She later co-founded the National Voting Rights Museum and annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma. His father S.W. Boynton was also active in the Civil Rights Movement.
Bruce Boynton worked for several years at a Washington D.C. law firm but spent most of his long, illustrious legal career in Selma, Alabama, with a focus on civil rights cases. He was the first Black special prosecutor in Alabama history and at one point he represented Stokely Carmichael.
This year has seen the passing of a number of prominent Civil Rights Movement leaders, including Troy native Georgia Congressman John Lewis.