By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, July 17, 2017, three challengers to US Senator Luther Strange debated at Billy’s Grill in Northport before a full crowd of 150. Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R), Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and state Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose) all participated in the forum. The forum was co-sponsored by BamaCarry and the Alabama Republican Assembly.
Sen. Trip Pittman said, “I am a businessman. I have a tractor and equipment business in Baldwin County. My Grandfather, JD Pittman, had a tractor business here in the 50s.”
Sen. Pittman said that Alabama has not had a businessman since 1907. “I support our military and believe in peace through strength; but if we go to war it should be a declared war. We have problems in North Korea today that could have been resolved 65 years ago. In recent years we have fought some wars without a plan and have become trapped in those regions too long.”
Pittman said that in addition to his business experience, “I have been in government, in the State Senate. In 2007 I was in a friend’s plane and there was an electrical fire we missed the field and came down in the trees. I spent nine days recovering. The good Lord kept me around for a reason so I ran in a special election for State Senate. I was in the minority for the first three years. After the Republican takeover I have been budget chairman. We have balanced every budget for the last ten years. We passed drug testing for welfare recipients.”
Pittman told the gun rights group, “I supported SB24, which would have given Alabamian the right to concealed carry without a permit. In the Senate I would support a federal bill requiring that all states honor the concealed carry permits of every other states. The Constitution gives us all the right to keep and bear arms. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
Pittman said that he believes in the free enterprise system and in term limits.
Pittman warned that the environmental rules and regulations are all an agenda to hurt the South. Alabama needs a strong leader, someone who has experience. “I am not running for state Senate again because I believe in term limits. Donald Trump is a businessman. He needs another businessman to help him in Washington. I speak his language. Alabama needs to elect the next Senator, not the disgraced Governor or the Washington DC crowd.”
Chief Justice Roy Moore said, “It is an honor to be here. I went to school here and my wife did too. I used to live down by the river when I was a student here. “I am not good at talking about myself.” What I believe in is what Alabama believes in. I served in the military. I went to Vietnam. I fought in the war. Right now we have got a military that is more interested in social experiments that in winning wars.”
Moore said, “I want to stop illegal immigration. I want to build the wall; but we have got a military we can use to help stop illegal immigration too. Why are we stopping states like Arizona from enforcing their immigration laws. Every sovereign has the right to control who crosses their border.”
Moore said to make America great we need to make America a free enterprise zone. “We don’t need to replace Obamacare we need to repeal Obamacare. Socialized medicine never achieves a good end….look at the Veterans Administration hospitals. It is a fallacy…We need to also repeal the McCarren Ferguson act which allowed the states to declare monopolies.”
Judge Moore said, “I know the Constitution. It restrains politicians because the framers understood the fallen nature of man. With politicians in DC it is not about what is good for the country but what is good about them. We need term limits. We need to uphold and support the Constitution of the United States. The pledge of allegiance says one nation under God. We have forgotten where morality comes from. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Cars will kill if you drive them into a crowd.”
Moore said, Obergefell versus Hodges was an illegal ruling. Congress could impeach these people and one impeachment would change the culture of the entire judiciary.
Judge Moore concluded: “McConnell has said that he does not want a conservative rebel in a caucus that is already difficult to control. I don’t plan to be managed. He won’t be able to control me. We need to get back to acknowledgement of God. If we don’t understand God we will never be goo and if we are not good we will never be great again.”
US Representative Mo Brooks (R from Huntsville) said, “Mitch McConnell won’t be able to control him either. I agree with Roy. Roy should be the one that they are coming after instead of me. I have been married for 41 years to my wife Martha. She got an accounting degree and she got to work on the Bear’s tax returns. I was a prosecutor in the County DA’s office. When I was first elected as a Republican to the State legislature in 1982 we were outnumbered 136 to 4. Throughout my career I was one of the points of the spear as Republicans worked to take over the state. When I was first elected to Congress I was running in a district that Republicans had not won in over 130 years. The incumbent switched parties. My two opponents outspent me $2.5 million to $165,000 and I won without a runoff.”
Brooks said, “The Alabama people are my employers. I have faced nine reelections. Not one has of my opponents got within 30 percentage points. The people of North Alabama have similar values to you. Let me do for Alabama what I did for my home district.”
Brooks said that the incumbent (Strange) has put his personal interests over his duties to the people of Alabama. “I was a prosecutor. He violated the ethical standards of his office. You do not negotiate for personal favors from people whom you are investigating. Governor Kay Ivey looked at this and said it is bad and that there is an ethical cloud hanging over the Senate seat so moved the election up.”
Brooks said that Washington DC special interests are spending $15 million against him and for the current place holder. “I believe in placing states interests over self-interests. I have a proven record of conservative leadership. Senator is arguably third most important position in the government.”
Brooks explained his opposition to Trump in the primary season: “I pledged my support to Ted Cruz and I keep my world and I used every tool to try to defeat Trump and elect Cruz. The Donald Trump steamroller turned me into a pancake. However, once Trump won the nomination, a day or two after the Access Hollywood tape came out I was writing a check for the Alabama Strike force to go to Florida. The incumbent ignores the President’s plea to change the Senate rules and sent a letter to Chuck Schumer saying we want to leave the filibuster rule in place. I am opposed to that rule and that is a harp contract between me and the incumbent.”
Brooks said, “We need to start electing better congressmen and Senators. I am a staunch defender of the Second Amendment. I have a Glock, a..22 rifle, and a 16 gauge shotgun.”
Moore promised to help pass bill allowing gun owners to carry across state lines.
Pittman: “I support SB24 through all parts of the process in the Legislature. I shot a timber rattler with my .22 and I shot a rattlesnake with my 9 mm handgun.”
Moore said that he favored the fair tax, but would vote in favor of that or a flat tax or anything other than the current tax system. “I will make the tax code much simpler and will do away with the IRS. The more income taxes you give the more Congress spends.”
Pittman said we have got to simplify the tax codes. “It is longer than four King James bibles. I would support a simplification of taxes. 20 percent is all that people will pay. You raise it higher than that that and then people figure out how to avoid them instead of going about their business. Everyone should have to pay in something. Pittman said that we need to require people to work. We have got to get the economy growing.”
Brooks said that the fair tax is an extraordinarily good way to raise revenue for government. Brooks said that the establishment politicians like the tax code the way it is because they are the ones who get all the special interests that are funding campaigns.
Moore said that what the Supreme Court did in Obergefell versus Hodges was unconstitutional. “That is not just my opinion, Justice Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas stated it in their dissenting opinion. Moore said that as a former Judge and Chief Justice I will be able to vent those judiciary and supreme court nominees.”
Moore said the he would support a complete repeal of NAFTA and healthcare. Healthcare is not in the Constitution. The NAFTA treaty is unfair and needs to be repealed.
Pittman be careful with just repealing trade agreements: “I believe in free trade, but it has to be fair.”
Pittman said, “Communism and socialism is a race to the bottom. The only way you can enforce it is with the barrel of a gun. A loaf of bread may be 5 cents but there is none in the stores.”
The Major Party Primaries are on August 15.