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Former Vice President of Alabama Policy Institute Endorses DeMarco

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In a stunning rebuke of his old boss Gary Palmer,  the former vice president of the Alabama Policy Institute Michael Ciamarra sent out an email endorsing Rep. Paul DeMarco for CD 6.

Dear Friends,

As the former vice president of the Alabama Policy Institute, I am very proud to endorse PAUL DEMARCO for Congress. I have worked with Paul for years, and know firsthand his energetic commitment to the hard working men, women and families he represented in the Legislature.

Paul deeply impressed me and so many others with his resolute dedication to conservative principles, real solutions and reforms. That is why legislators, mayors, every Shelby County commissioner, small business owners, and many Alabama groups representing thousands have also endorsed Paul.

What is Paul like as a person? He is absolutely honest, thoroughly above-board and results-oriented. Paul’s impeccable integrity and record is well known. Paul is an energetic, hardworking true public servant putting community first. He asks questions, seeks out the facts and builds a team when he tackles issues. Paul works well with all. His sincerity, common sense and trustworthy effectiveness are beyond reproach.

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Paul has remained a gentleman through all of the unbridled, preposterous attacks and smears hurled at him from the cynical political opposition.

I had been involved with Alabama public policy for many years. I served you as the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party’s resolutions committee. I was Governor Fob James’ policy director and an advisor to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and the local Mitt Romney campaign. Paul was one of the very first I would contact to discuss issues and policy ideas. Paul always wanted to obtain perspective and ideas from many different groups as he worked on his legislative proposals.

Paul constantly worked on legislation with his colleagues to create jobs and economic opportunities. He promoted policies that preserve and protect our families and seniors. He always looked for innovations in public policy and ideas to better serve Alabama, and he sought out leaders in the community and hardworking taxpayers for their ideas and input. He is steadfast in his commitment to a downsized, efficient government. He was incredibly vigilant that taxpayer dollars not be wasted by the bureaucracy or squandered by special interests.

Paul has had to actually VOTE on legislation. He has had to do the hard detailed work in researching issues, talking with stakeholders, being cheerfully persistent in negotiations with proponents and opponents, debating public policy, participating in long committee meetings, and working through the real world legislative process. 
When he first was elected to the Alabama Legislature, Paul hit the ground running and passed one of the very first state government transparency and accountability bills (Act 2006-630). The Republican Party was in the minority in the Legislature at that time, but Paul made such a compelling case for government transparency. It passed when the naysayers said it couldn’t be done. The result was one of first measures that paved the way for the inevitable passage a few years later of sweeping accountability and ethics reforms by the Republican majority elected in 2010.

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Paul along with just a handful of other state legislators laid out the framework early on for ethics reform and campaign finance reforms that would eventually pass by the new Republican legislative majority. One of the centerpieces of this package of reforms was Mandatory Ethics Training. Paul’s legislation (Act 2010-762) required ethics training for all elected officials, registered lobbyists and state and local government employees. He had introduced it earlier, and it finally became law when the Republicans won control of the Legislature.

Paul was one of the first legislators to press government bureaucrats for answers on Medicaid fraud and mismanagement. I was there when he did so. Paul was one of the first legislators to speak out on the need for strategic planning regarding costs and implications of Alzheimer’s disease (Act 2009-832). 
Paul and Senator Jabo Waggoner passed legislation to require important heavy trucking transportation safety rules (Act 2009-143) which, as a result, has saved lives. This year, Paul and Sen. Waggoner again teamed up and introduced legislation to bring transparency and accountability to the mismanaged, dysfunctional Birmingham Water Works Board. While the bill didn’t pass, they fought hard and didn’t back down against a legion of high paid lobbyists and special interests.

I saw Paul’s remarkable effectiveness from the first day when he was first elected, right down through the present time when, just recently, Governor Robert Bentley signed into law Paul’s legislation Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Paul assembled a great team that worked tirelessly for years on this bill and they never gave up. The new law ensures fairness to taxpayers and businesses who appeal unfair tax decisions or assessments without having to worry that the tax collector has an unfair advantage. (Act 2014-146)

There are dozens and dozens of other issues with which Paul has been involved: as chief sponsor of important pro-business bills, a co-sponsor of critical government accountability legislation and pro-family legislation or assisting his colleagues in the House with passage of their bills. Paul has been tireless in his advocacy of conservative reforms from the first moment he was elected to the Alabama Legislature, and he will do so the moment he enters Congress. Paul’s opponent has never had to vote on any bill, issue, education or general fund budgets – ever. We need someone that is tested, responsible and ready to handle the pressures that such an enormous job as Congress will be. And Paul DeMarco’s experience will be invaluable.
Campaign promises don’t mean anything unless they can be backed up by a ‘real world’ record of accomplishments and proven, verifiable actions. Paul’s record has earned him this solid trust by his legislative votes and the absolute confidence voters have placed in him to represent their interests time and time again. Indeed, both his words and his actions are real and sincere.

Our nation is facing serious times, and the decisions made in Washington can dramatically impact our future and our grandchildren’s future. Paul’s trustworthy character, his vast experience, and his deep abiding faith have truly prepared him well to honorably and confidently serve the people of Alabama’s Sixth District.
Electing our representative to the United States House of Representatives is an extraordinarily important responsibility, and we need someone who is well prepared, experienced in the real world and complexities of the legislative process, someone who understands the issues and is very successful at building goodwill, coalitions and positive comradeship with his legislative colleagues. I urge you to review Paul DeMarco’s record and respectfully ask for your vote for him.

Sincerely,

Michael Ciamarra

 

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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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

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(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. 

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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.

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“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.

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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

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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National

UAB cancels third game

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

Brandon Moseley

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(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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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