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Bannon, Farage, Robertson headline a host of speakers for Moore

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley 
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, the Roy Moore for Senate campaign held a final Get Out The Vote (GOTV) rally in Fairhope, Alabama, with a special guests.

“It is a great honor, I am just a country boy from North Alabama, to have men like Steve Bannon, Nigel Farage, Siran Stacy, to come long distances,” Moore said.

Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon gave an impassioned plea for the voters of Alabama to vote for Moore.

“Tomorrow’s going to decide who has sovereignty in the United States of America,” Bannon said. “Is it the elites in D.C. with their money or is it the people in Alabama with their muscle?”

Bannon called the establishment elites, “The most corrupt and incompetent group of individuals in this country.”

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“They have raised $30 million versus Judge Moore’s $2 million,” Bannon said. “They think you’re a pack of morons, they think you’re nothing but rubes, they have no interest at all in what you have to say, in what you have to think or what you want to do. And tomorrow you’re going to get an opportunity to tell them what you think of the elites that run this country.”

“For Mitch McConnell and Ward Baker and Karl Rove and Steven Law — all the instruments to try and destroy Judge Moore and his family: Your day of reckoning is coming,” Bannon said. “The donors who put up the money, and the corporatists who put up the money: your day of reckoning is coming too.”

Bannon said those eilites, “Know the price of everything but the value of nothing and they know the price of Luther Strange, it’s $30 million.”

“It’s $30 million that bought him,” Bannon said. “These are the same people who have tried to destroy Donald Trump from the first day that he came into office.

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“Those in the media are he running dogs of the elites of this world.”

Bannon said that the Ten Commandments are the basis of the Judeo-Christian West was built on.

Bannon said that he, former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, former White House Adviser Sebastian Gorka, former UK Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage, right-wing radio host Mark Levin, etc. have all endorsed Moore.  Bannon said they had not come to undermine Trump.

“It is divine providence that helped us win,” Bannon said.

“This is Jeff Sessions seat we are trying to fill,” Bannon said. “Jeff Sessions is one of the finest men I have ever met. He can’t be bought there is no price. I am proud to call him my mentor. Jeff Sessions is the spiritual father of this movement. We owe him.  This seat it is Jeff Sessions’, One of the most unique men in our country.”

“Judge Roy Moore is a good man he is a courageous man and most importantly he is a righteous man,” Bannon said. “Judge Roy Moore represents your values.  He represents Alabama’s values.  When you walk in the voting booth tomorrow, a vote for Roy Moore is a vote for Donald Trump.”

Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson also spoke at the rally.

“Judge Moore asked me to talk to you,” Robertson said. “I started to wear my suit; but it occurred to me that I don’t have a suit or a cell phone and in my 71 years I have never cut on a computer. I did not have any kind of health insurance for 50 years.  What if something had happened? It didn’t. Healthcare is not going to keep you out of a six foot hole.  They can slow it down maybe but I am going to die. So why don’t you all invest in eternal healthcare.  It has already been paid for.  There will be a resurrection.  If I get some ailment, I will ask, ‘Lord help me with this ailment.’

“If you won’t and you take me now, then thank you for the resurrection.”

Robertson said that if people followed the Ten Commandments then they would be spending less time in the court room.

“Roy Moore is a Godly man or I wouldn’t be here,” Robertson said. “We are running out of Godly men.”

Nigel Farage, who organized the Brexit movement in the UK, also spoke for Moore. Farage said that he was mowing his grass and stepped inside to get some tea and there was a phone call.

“It was Steve Bannon on the phone and he asked Could you come to Alabama tomorrow because we would like to put your voice behind a true conservative in the shape of Roy Moore,” Farage said. “I had to think about it.  It took me a whole ten seconds.”

Farage said that this election is, “Important for the whole global movement across the west.”

“The liberal media hates anyone with conservative values in a way that we have never experienced before,” Farage said. “We have real problems and the establishment is trying to stop those success that we had in 2016. Our problem is that so many people who support the conservative movement are career politicians.”  \

Farage warned about the big banks and the multinational corporations.

Farage said that in Britain professional politicians in the Conservative party now seek to delay Brexit, to water it down, to pretend it never happened and in America the establishment elites are doing their damnedest to keep the president from implementing his agenda

Farage said that Moore is someone who always put principle before all else.

“People are supporting him because they want President Trump’s agenda to succeed and he is the best man to do it,” Farage said. “It is now up to you.  You have got to fill your motorcars tomorrow and get your friends and family to go and vote.”

Former University of Alabama football player and pastor Siran Stacy said, “God put Donald Trump in office.”

“He is the President and he is the person that I am supposed to pray for,” Stacy said.

“Who can tell God that a man can marry another man?” Stacy said. “Who can tell God that it is ok for a woman to abort a child?  Obey God and follow his Commandments.”

Former Senate candidate state Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Montrose, said that Moore is “a man who has stood for God’s law and natural law.We have a unique opportunity to elect a man who has led by example.”

Former gubernatorial candidate Tim James urged everyone who has not seen it to go to google and look up the Lincoln-Douglas style debate “between the Chief and Luther Strange.”

“It is the greatest example of political discourse I have seen in my life,” James said. “Go home tonight and take 45 minutes and watch it because it tells a true story.”

“We watched Washington dump $30 million in this race,” James said. “I am a Trump guy, but sometimes you have to show some tough love to your guys.”

Moore campaign manager Rich Hobson jokingly said of Strange was “not a social conservative but he plays one on TV.”

“We are tired of the leadership of the United States Senate obstructing the Trump Agenda,” state Auditor Jim Zeigler said. “Senator Roy Moore can take a simplified repeal it now plan with him to Washington. We can not tolerate a $20 trillion debt.”

The Republican runoff is today.

Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. You must have a valid photo ID in order to vote.

 

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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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.

Brandon Moseley

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Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville (TUBERVILLE CAMPAIGN)

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.

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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.

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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.

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House passes General Fund Budget

Brandon Moseley

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Day Care bill delayed for second time on Senate floor, may be back Thursday

Sam Mattison

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Fantasy sports bill fails on Senate floor

Sam Mattison

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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.

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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.

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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.

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