By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Saturday, August 15, Alabama’s Republican National Committeeman Paul Reynolds spoke to the Republican Women of Shelby County at their regularly scheduled meeting in Pelham.
Vice-President Dawn Ray said that Paul Reynolds grew up on a peanut farm in Butler County. First got involved in Republican politics when he worked by Barry Goldwater’s Republican Presidential campaign in 1964. Reynolds has been a member of the Alabama Republican Executive Committee for 38 years, is in broadcast engineering and owns 97.7 FM. Reynolds presently his serving his second term on the Republican National Committee.
Reynolds said, “I had a good time talking to the Shelby County Party with my cohorts: Cliff Simms and Scott Beason (former State Senator from Gardendale). “My job is primarily to scare people to death. It is really easy.”
Reynolds said, “There is a fourth branch of government that operates outside of the Constitution,” Federal regulatory agencies. In 1844 Marx and Engels wanted a central government where the national (federal) government made all the decisions on everything.
Reynolds said that in 1890 a group of people got together with similar ideas got together but they didn’t want to do it by rebellion. These were the progressives. They began infiltrating both parties. Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive, so was Woodrow Wilson; but the Constitution gives them problems.
Reynolds said that Progressivism is steeped in elitism. They believe in an elite class of human beings. They become the social elites. Did everybody see the Hunger Games? Everything there is designed to go to Central City. For the last 8 to 10 years most of the income growth in this country has been in and around Washington DC. For years Progressives have plotted to infiltrate education. They had some setbacks and defeats. They couldn’t call Social Security Social in the 1930s because people were so scared of communism. Social ; socialism; communism. They called it FICA because there would have been a revolt by the use of the word social.
Reynolds said that it has been a gradual thing; but it set the stage for Obama to come in. 40 years ago the definition of marriage came before the Supreme Court and the Court rejected it as ridiculous today the Supreme Court passes same sex marriage.
Reynolds said that our embracing of pop culture is one thing we are fighting. Government is becoming a reflection of pop culture. Pop culture today is the exact opposite of what you grew up with.
The second thing is political correctness. Nobody wants to be ridiculed. Political candidates hold back the rhetoric to keep back from being politically incorrect. “We need somebody who can break the ice who can say this is what is wrong and this is what has to be done to address it.”
Reynolds said that there is a new regulation every two hours there are now over a million federal regulations and over 435 federal regulatory agencies. Regulations have the same weight as law. It is not a legislative problem. The executive agency has to put it into practice.
Reynolds warned there is one thing that is central to communism: there is always a central planning committee. One of the biggest problem they had in Russia in the Soviet era was a shortage of food. They could grow food but they could never plan well enough to get the truck where they needed to be to get the food to where the people needed it. Central planning just doesn’t work.
The conservative Republican National Committeeman said, “There needs to be no education department. They are the biggest proponent of common core. Do we need a transportation department? Block grant the money to the states. Reynolds said that he liked Gov. Perry’s message about state rights the last time he ran.
Reynolds warned that the news media decided in the Johnson Administration that they could really change the flavor of a story. Shading it in such a way as to lead the public to a predetermined position: the role of the gatekeeper. The New York Times pioneered that. We had an officer get beaten near to death here in Birmingham. NBC, CBS, ABC did not report on it because it did not fit their narrative. It was reported only online with conservative blogs and by And Fox News. A White Cop being beaten dd not fit their stereotype.
Reynolds said that the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946 created a system of regulatory agencies. It was opposed by Republicans because it would create a path for a dictator, a central planning committee, a fourth branch of government. To prevent that a separation between the White House and the government agency was created. Once an agency was appointed it was an independent agency. Then we got Obama and he said, “I am going to redo the way that America does business.” The FCC said there was a real problem with the internet. They said there was a problem and what we are going to do is regulate it as a utility so it is fair to everybody. What is wrong with the free market? Obama called FCC head Wheeler and they formulated net neutrality laws in the White House. That was blatantly illegal.
Reynolds said that he was in a conference call in 2008 with Dr. James Dobson (before he left Focus on the Family) and Dobson said, “Every national election we make this statement this is the most important election we have ever had. That is because it is the most important election we have ever had.”
Reynolds said that the RNC as far as I know there have been no deals and no plans behind the scenes for or against any candidate. “Reince did call Trump and ask him to hold back on some of his rhetoric. There is nothing wrong with that.”
Reynolds said that you can argue against Trump for his methods not his message. “His message by and large is good. He is bringing issues to the forefront that other candidates were afraid to address because of political correctness.” Reynolds said however, “I draw up every time he opens his mouth because I don’t know what is coming out of his mouth.” “He is making candidates I do like, like Scott walker and Ted Cruz speak up on issues.”
Reynolds warned that, “The way you bring a free enterprise system down is to overload it with more people on Medicare and more people on the dole slowing it down. That is where we are…This is the most important election ever.”
On Common Core Reynolds warned that it is all woven together in the Progressive Agenda. There are a lot of things that go under the category of common sense and common core does not fit under common sense.”
The RNC member said that Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have angered a lot of people, but that, “Two people are not the Republican Party. The party is the RNC, the NRCC, the NRSC, and the White House effort.” “The heart of the Republican party is the RNC. They didn’t do what they were elected to do,” referring to John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. We are not just the administrator we are the policy setter. Every four years we set the platform at the Republican convention.
Reynolds said that the way we select our members of the delegation that go to the convention is popular vote under the name of the presidential candidate. Alabama has 51 delegates to the convention and three super delegates. That group elects the man and the woman for rules and for the platform committee. That is very important.
Reynolds warned, “The battle this time will be to change the platform on traditional marriage and the role of gay and lesbians.”
Vice-President Dawn Ray said that the Rainy Day Patriots would meet on Thursday, August 20th at Hoover Tactical Firearms from 5:45 to 7:45. The guest speaker will be Dr. Hugh Cort, the author of America’s Hiroshima: Iran’s Plan for a Nuclear Attack on the United States.
Ray said that Dr. Cort is going to talk about ISIS and this deal with IRAN.
Paul Reynolds warned that at Saturday’s Summer Alabama Republican Party Meeting there would likely be an effort to remove the Alabama Federation of Republican Women (AFRW) vote from the state steering committee. The Shelby County Republican Women are a chapter of the AFRW. There is a good possibility that it is going to come from the floor.
Francis Taylor said that the effort was to remove four groups from the ALGOP Steering Committee: The Young Republican Federation of Alabama; The College Republican Federation of Alabama, The Alabama Minority GOP, and the AFRW.
Reynolds warned “There is a movement that is out there and you need to be aware of it.”
VP Ray said that the group had a new website:
President Dee Shirley said that the speaker at the August 22 summer luncheon would be Republican Presidential candidate Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. The Republican Women of Shelby County had been asked to provide volunteers to help the Alabama Republican Party at the event.
The group voted to contribute $25 to a scholarship fund honoring former AFRW President Elois Zeanah who recently died from cancer. President Shirley, “Was a very dear person.” She head the Tuscaloosa chapter. “Elois was just a dynamo.” She fought against Common Core and illegal immigration.
Tuberville calls for term limits, balanced budget and lobbying reform
Tuberville has also made a major media buy across the state to trumpet this message.
Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville’s campaign began emphasizing key structural reforms that the Republican nominee hopes to advance if elected to the U.S. Senate including congressional term limits, withholding lawmakers’ paychecks unless a balanced budget is passed and a ban on former officials becoming lobbyists.
“Only an outsider like me can help President Trump drain the Swamp, and any of the proposals outlined in this ad will begin the process of pulling the plug,” Tuberville said in a statement. “Doug Jones has had his chance, and he failed our state, so now it’s time to elect a senator who will work to fundamentally change the way that Washington operates.”
Tuberville has also made a major media buy across the state to trumpet this message.
“You know Washington politicians could learn a lot from the folks in small town Alabama, but Doug Jones … he’s too liberal to teach them,” Tuberville added.
Polls consistently show that term limits are popular with people across both political parties, but the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that imposing term limits would be adding a qualification to be a member of Congress and that can only be done by constitutional amendment.
It is an unspoken truth that when Americans send someone to Congress they never come back. They either keep getting re-elected like Alabama’s own Sen. Richard Shelby, who is in his sixth term in the Senate after four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. On the other hand, they may become lobbyists getting paid to influence their colleagues on behalf of corporations, foreign governments or some well funded non-government organization.
Tuberville said he would ban that practice.
A balanced budget amendment almost passed in the 1980s and again in the 1990s.
Since that failure, Congress has increasingly passed bigger and bigger budget deficits. The U.S. government borrowed more money during the eight years of President George W. Bush’s presidency than the government had borrowed in the first 224 years of the country combined.
President Barack Obama followed and the TARP program propped up the post-Great Recession economy. Rather than cutting the deficit, President Donald Trump invested billions in the military and a tax cut without cutting domestic spending. The 2020 coronavirus crisis has further grown the budget.
The government has borrowed trillions to prop up the economy and provide stimulus while investing billions into medical research and treating the virus victims. Congress is currently debating a fifth stimulus package that would add more to the deficit.
Both a balanced budget amendment and a term limits amendment would have to be ratified by the states if passed by Congress. Tuberville is challenging incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama.
House passes General Fund Budget
By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Alabama House of Representatives passed the state General Fund Budget on Tuesday.
The General Fund Budget for the 2019 fiscal year is Senate Bill 178. It is sponsored by Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Montrose. State Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, carried the budget on the House floor. Clouse chairs the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee.
Clouse said, “Last year we monetized the BP settlement money and held over $97 million to this year.”
Clouse said that the state is still trying to come up with a solution to the federal lawsuit over the state prisons. The Governor’s Office has made some progress after she took over from Gov. Robert Bentley. The supplemental we just passed added $30 million to prisons.
The budget adds $50 million to the Department of Corrections.
Clouse said that the budget increased the money for prisons by $55,680,000 and includes $4.8 million to buy the privately-owned prison facility in Perry County.
Clouse said that the budget raises funding for the judicial system and raises the appropriation for the Forensic Sciences to $11.7 million.
The House passed a committee substitute so the Senate is either going to have to concur with the changes made by the House or a conference committee will have to be appointed. Clouse told reporters that he hoped that it did not have to go to conference.
Clouse said that the budget had added $860,000 to hire more Juvenile Probation Officers. After talking to officials with the court system that was cut in half in the amendment. The amendment also includes some wording the arbiters in the court lawsuit think we need.
The state General Fund Budget, SB178, passed 98-1.
Both budgets have now passed the Alabama House of Representatives.
The 2019 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, 2018.
In addition to the SGF, the House also passed a supplemental appropriation for the current 2018 budget year. SB175 is also sponsored by Pittman and was carried by Clouse on the floor of the House.
SB175 includes $30 million in additional 2018 money for the Department of Corrections. The Departmental Emergency Fund, the Examiners of Public Accounts, the Insurance Department and Forensic Sciences received additional money.
Clouse said, “We knew dealing with the federal lawsuit was going to be expensive. We are adding $80 million to the Department of Corrections.”
State Representative Johnny Mack Morrow, R-Red Bay, said that state Department of Forensics was cut from $14 million to $9 million. “Why are we adding money for DA and courts if we don’t have money for forensics to provide evidence? if there is any agency in law enforcement or the court system that should be funded it is Forensics.”
The supplemental 2018 appropriation passed 80 to 1.
The House also passed SB203. It was sponsored by Pittman and was carried in the House by State Rep. Ken Johnson, R-Moulton. It raises securities and registration fees for agents and investment advisors. It increases the filing fees for certain management investment companies. Johnson said that those fees had not been adjusted since 2009.
The House also passed SB176, which is an annual appropriation for the Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The bill requires that the agency have an operations plan, audited financial statement, and quarterly and end of year reports. SB176 is sponsored by Pittman and was carried on the House floor by State Rep. Elaine Beech, D-Chatham.
The House passed Senate Bill 185 which gives state employees a cost of living increase in the 2019 budget beginning on October 1. It was sponsored by Sen. Clyde Chambliss, R-Prattville and was being carried on the House floor by state Rep. Dimitri Polizos, R-Montgomery.
Polizos said that this was the first raise for non-education state employees in nine years. It is a 3 percent raise.
SB185 passed 101-0.
Senate Bill 215 gives retired state employees a one time bonus check. SB215 is sponsored by Senator Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, and was carried on the House floor by state Rep. Kerry Rich, R-Guntersville.
Rich said that retired employees will get a bonus $1 for every month that they worked for the state. For employees who retired with 25 years of service that will be a $300 one time bonus. A 20-year retiree would get $240 and a 35-year employee would get $420.
SB215 passed the House 87-0.
The House passed Senate Bill 231, which is the appropriation bill increase amount to the Emergency Forest Fire and Insect and Disease Fund. SB231 is sponsored by Sen. Steve Livingston, R-Scottsboro, and was carried on the House floor by state Rep. Kyle South, R-Fayette.
State Rep. Elaine Beech, D-Chathom, said, “Thank you for bringing this bill my district is full of trees and you never know when a forest fire will hit.
SB231 passed 87-2.
The state of Alabama is unique among the states in that most of the money is earmarked for specific purposes allowing the Legislature little year-to-year flexibility in moving funds around.
The SGF includes appropriations for the Alabama Medicaid Agency, the courts, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Alabama Department of Corrections, mental health, and most state agencies that are no education related. The Alabama Department of Transportation gets their funding mostly from state fuel taxes.
The Legislature also gives ALEA a portion of the gas taxes. K-12 education, the two year college system, and all the universities get their state support from the education trust fund (ETF) budget. There are also billions of dollars in revenue that are earmarked for a variety of purposes that does not show up in the SGF or ETF budgets.
Examples of that include the Public Service Commission, which collects utility taxes from the industries that it regulates. The PSC is supported entirely by its own revenue streams and contributes $13 million to the SGF. The Secretary of State’s Office is entirely funded by its corporate filing and other fees and gets no SGF appropriation.
Clouse warned reporters that part of the reason this budget had so much money was due to the BP oil spill settlement that provided money for the 2018 budget and $97 million for the 2019 budget. Clouse said they elected to make a $13 million repayment to the Alabama Trust fund that was not due until 2020 but that is all that was held over for 2020.
Clouse predicted that the Legislature will have to make some hard decisions about revenue in next year’s session.
Day Care bill delayed for second time on Senate floor, may be back Thursday
By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
The day care bill, which would license certain day care centers in Alabama, was once again delayed on the state Senate floor after one lawmaker requested more information.
Its brief appearance Tuesday ended with state Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, saying a compromise had not yet been worked out with the bill’s detractors.
Alabama’s Senate has been hesitant to act on the legislation because of complaints of state Sen. Shay Shelnutt, R-Trussville, who has been an opponent of the bill since its introduction last year. The bill’s delay on Tuesday marks the second time its been taken off the Senate’s agenda.
The bill has had a rocky time in this year’s session, but the bill’s sponsor state Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, said she is still confident about its passage out of the Legislature.
Warren, D-Tuskegee, filed the bill this session with the support of influential lawmakers including Gov. Kay Ivey, who told reporters last year that she though all day cares should be licensed.
Mainly sparked by the death of 5-year-old boy in the care of a unlicensed day care worker, the bill had great momentum coming into this year’ session.
Despite the growing support from lawmakers, Religious groups had concerns that the bill would increase state-sponsored reach into religious day cares in churches and non-profit groups.
Spearheading the dissenters was Alabama Citizens Action Program, a conservative religious-based PAC.
Warren, proponents, and ALCAP announced a compromise to the bill while it was still in the Alabama House.
Announced by ALCAP originally, the new bill was a weaker version in that it did not require that all day cares in the state be regulated. Instead, religious-based day cares would only need to be registered if they received federal funds. At a Senate committee meeting in February, Warren said a similar requirement was about to come from federal law in Congress.
The bill moved through the House in a overwhelming vote in favor of the proposal and passed unanimously out of a Senate committee a few weeks ago.
Warren, speaking to reporters after its passage from the House, said she was unsure if the bill would encounter resistance in the upper chamber.
It was the Senate that killed the daycare bill last year amid a cramped last day where senators took the bill off the floor. The bill may face similar complications this year, as lawmakers seem to be preparing to adjourn within a few weeks.
Fantasy sports bill fails on Senate floor
By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
Would-be Fantasy Sports players in Alabama will have to wait to legally play in the state following a Senate vote on Tuesday.
The Alabama Senate decisively killed a bill to exempt fantasy sports from the state’s prohibition on gambling.
Not even entertaining a debate on the Senate floor, the proposal was killed during a vote for the Budget Isolation Resolution, which is usually a formality vote preluding a debate.
Fantasy sports are contests where participants select players from real teams to compete on fantasy teams using the real-world players’ stats.
Since 2016, the practice has been illegal in Alabama following a legal decision by the Attorney General’s Office that categorized it as gambling.
The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville, predicted the bill’s failure during a committee meeting two weeks ago, where the bill passed unanimously.
- Sen. Paul Sanford speaks to reporters after a Senate Committee meeting on Feb. 28, 2018. (Samuel Mattison/APR)
Speaking to reporter’s after the committee meeting, Sanford said the decision to file the bill was mainly a philosophical belief that the practice shouldn’t be illegal.
Sanford, a fantasy sports player before its ban, said that fantasy sports are a way to bring people closer together and not a means to win money. The Huntsville senator is not seeking re-election.
The bill’s failure in the Senate follows its trajectory last year too. A similar version of the bill, also sponsored by Sanford, failed in the Senate during the final days of the 2017 Legislative Session.
Since Sanford is retiring, it is unclear if the bill will even come back next session, or if it will even have a Senate sponsor.