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Zeigler Addresses Tuscaloosa Bamacarry

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, June 21 state Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) addressed an estimated 100 members of BamaCarry at Dreamland Barbecue in Northport.

Zeigler announced that he was nicknamed Jim “Wastecutter” Zeigler.  “Today is my 3 month anniversary as your auditor.  It seems like three years.”  “I call this a hysterical event because the powers that be get hysterical every time I do something.”

Zeigler told the Bamacarry members that he is an active card carrying member of Bamacarry and their watchdog in Montgomery to protect gun owners’ rights.  Zeigler said that he is also a concealed carry permit holder. I have paid money for years for my unconstitutional pistol permit and I have always resented it.  Why should I have to pay the local sheriff to do something that is my constitutional right and my God given right?

Zeigler said that as Auditor, “I have very little power and authority.”

He praised his assistant, Hope Curry.  “If you want to chit chat call me.  If you want to get something done call Hope Curry.”

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Zeigler said that the school board in Baldwin County spent $250,000 of taxpayers’ money on a recent tax increase referendum.  The law is perfectly clear: No state agency will spend public resources on any public money in a political activity.  I made the mistake of asking our attorney general to investigate it and take it to the Baldwin County Grand Jury.  The day before the referendum he said it was legal.  He (Republican Luther Strange) used a 2003 attorney general’s opinion to base his decision on.  The law was passed in 2010.  How can you use a 2003 opinion on a 2010 law?  The voters rejected the tax increases 68 percent to 32 percent.

Zeigler said that you would drive by a school and see 300 vote yes signs.  That attorney general’s opinion remains and there are more school tax referendums on April 28 and there could be a statewide referendum coming out of the legislature.

Zeigler said that he is taking the issue to court to get a ruling challenging the legality of using taxpayer resources for political activities.

Zeigler said that he may also expand that to include what the sheriffs have been doing (printing up no guns signs to distribute to businesses).  Zeigler said I would appreciate your help.  Scan in a copy of your initial complaint letter and the AG’s form letter opinion and email them to me.  “The attorney general is wrong and the constitution is right.  I am challenging the attorney general to everything except a basketball game.”

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State Auditor Zeigler said that God gave us the right to self-defense and the second amendment codified that right.  Cain would not have been able to kill Able with a rock if Able had been carrying his own rock.

Zeigler said, “I have a vision that is about two steps beyond constitutional carry and this is to privatize law enforcement.”  

Zeigler said that he did not mean turning over law enforcement to private companies.  “Those Barney Fife’s would be worse than what we have now.”  Zeigler said that society has gotten too dependent on calling 911.  “We can’t afford to have a cop on every street corner.”  “We need to gradually privatize public safety.”  We need to support the police as long as they are there but we don’t want to depend on them.  

Zeigler said that making public safety an agency of the government was a mistake.  “There are some things we have to have government for.  I don’t think we can fight wars with homegrown militias.”  

Government needs to defend the borders; but for public safety he envisions a super sized version Bamacarry and Neighborhood Watch where everyone is packing all the time.  “Crime is winning the war on crime.”  A giant neighborhood watch well-armed and well trained is what we should become.  If somebody is in your house and they are armed and you call 911 you don’t have time to wait for the police to get there.  All that you have then are the two Gs: God and your gun.”  Zeigler called this armed society: Minutemen.

A college student asked Zeigler about getting laws passed so students can carry their guns on campus.  Zeigler said I don’t think the legislature has the political will to stand up to the lobbying power of the University of Alabama and Auburn.

Zeigler joked you could carry your gun open carry and get yourself expelled.  Eddie (Fulmer of Bamacarry) will get you a good lawyer.  It will cost about a $1 million and ten years later you might get something done at the Supreme Court.

Zeigler said that we need an active core of 3000 patriots. If each of them will reach out to 100 friends we could swing the next election.  We could elect everything from the governor on down and we would not be having the problems we are having now.

Zeigler said, “I am the resident spy.  Not only are they not going to turn me they are afraid of me.”  They are afraid that if they try to do something shady I will find out and raise cain and they are right.

Zeigler said “Tomorrow at noon.  I am going to release my new plan to keep our state parks from closing.”  “My plan is to save our Alabama Parks with savings.”  The State Parks Director says they only need $11.5 million to keep the parks open and I have identified $13 million in savings.

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.

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Health

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. 

Eddie Burkhalter

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UAB Chief of Hospital Medicine Dr. Kierstin Kennedy.

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.” 

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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.

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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.

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Corruption

Judge reduces former Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard’s prison sentence

The trial court judge ordered his 48-month sentence reduced to 28 months.

Eddie Burkhalter

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Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was booked into jail to begin serving his four-year sentence for ethics violations in September. (VIA LEE COUNTY DETENTION CENTER)

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. 

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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.”

Hubbard was booked into the Lee County Jail on Sept. 11, more than four years after his conviction. On Nov. 5 he was taken into custody by the Department of Corrections.

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News

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.

Eddie Burkhalter

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University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban.

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.

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National

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.

Brandon Moseley

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Selma attorney and Civil Rights Movement leader Bruce Carver Boynton

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.

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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.

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