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Conservatives defend Roy Moore

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, over 20 conservative thought leaders and conservative pastors were in Birmingham to endorse and defend Roy Moore in his bid for U.S. Senate.

The event was emceed by Janet Porter, the president of Faith Through Action. Porter presented a letter of support that over 200 pastors and faith leaders have signed. 20 speakers spoke defending Moore.

“The purpose of this press conference is not to address unsubstantiated claims that have no evidence and certainly no claims that have been substantiated. I will get off script and say just three words, ‘Release the book,'” Porter said.

“One of the reasons I am here is I am here is because that I have known Judge Roy Moore for a couple of decades,” Porter said. “I was national director of the Center for Reclaiming America nearly twenty years ago.” The evening before he was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court, Judge Moore prayed with a small group of interceptors around a piano and sang praises to God. “We are here because that is the true Judge Roy Moore that you have not seen in the media assassination in the last several weeks. That is the Judge Moore. Those who know him best stand with him the strongest. He has been tested. He has been found to be true. He has come through the fire and he has come out gold.”

“You have got ask yourself why do the enemies of life, liberty, and the Ten Commandments hate this man so much?” Porter asked. “I think there are two primary reasons. One is: he can not be bought and he can not be bullied and that is really the issue. When the establishment politicians when the establishment and the lynch mob media when they formed a circle and a firing squad to assassinate his character they insinuate that the Judge Moore that the people of Alabama have known all these years. The Judge Moore that we have known for all of these decades is somehow the false Judge Moore. You simply can not think that of a Godly, a trustworthy

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for forty years in all aspects of his life.  It just can not be done and that is why we stand with Judge Roy Moore.”

“By the way if the political left can assassinate the character of Judge Roy Moore then none of us is safe,” President Porter said. “The political process is not safe.  The people of Alabama their votes are not safe.  The good news is that this election is not decided by the enemies of life, liberty, and the Ten Commandments.  It is decided by the good people of Alabama and those who know Judge Moore the best stand with him the strongest.”

“When you weigh the options, do you trust the Washington Post, do you trust the Republican Establishment, do you trust the alt left movement the media mob? Do these folks hold our values? Or do you trust Roy Moore? The people of Alabama are going to say the most trustworthy the most honorable, probably the valiant leader running for office today is Judge Roy Moore and they are going to bring him to office,” said Porter.

Dr. Stephen Hotzi M.D., who heads the Restore our Godly Heritage PAC said that Moore went to the Military Academy at West Point, and there he embraced the virtues of ‘Duty, honor, country.’ He led men into battle against the Communists in Vietnam. To protect the right to have the Ten Commandment monuments in the Supreme Court; Judge Moore opposed that, and a group of unelected political appointees removed him from office. We need an uncompromised man. The swamp is inhabited by cowardly rhinos, communist Democrats, greedy lobbyists and the alt-left lackeys in the press.”

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“I stand with Judge Roy Moore because he never leaves God out. I must stand with Roy Moore because I stand on the Declaration (of Independence). We are creatures of God endowed with inalienable rights,” Ambassador Alan Keyes said. Keyes warned that if Moore is removed then “We are in danger of becoming Should stop being a government by and for the people and become a government by and for the most powerful people. The people are sovereign. They choose their ministers.”

Keyes denounced the “Scurrilous accusations” against Judge Moore and the media that “Tell us that the presumption of innocence has no place in our elections. They tell you that it is about Roy Moore. In fact it is about stripping you of the presumption of innocence. If we let them get away with this then the United States of America will become the United States of serfdom.”

Ambassador Keyes said that Moore understands that our rights come from God, and that, “When you come to take our rights you spit in the face of God that is why they hate him.”

“I stand with Roy Moore and my Mother Phyllis Schlafly would be here today if she were still with us,” Andy Schlafly with Eagle Forum said. Schlafly also said that whenever we get close to overturning Roe v. Wade, the Left pulls something like this in order to try to stop us.

Tom Brown, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Gallant, Ala., said that he is proud to have been Roy Moore’s pastor for 25 years. “I know the man and he is a man of character.”

Elizabeth Johnson denounced the, “Ludicrous charges organized by transgender activists.” Johnson said that Moore was being, “Unjustly lynched.”  “Doug Jones stands for the destruction of the family and abortion.”  “I have never known  a political couple to be more joined at the hip than Roy Moore and his wife Kayla.”  “As for me and my house we will stand with Judge Roy Moore.”

Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt (R), who is also the host of PJIN news, said, “I don’t know these ladies,” but suggested that Beverly Nelson has been lying in this case, and that Leah Corfman’s own mother has accused her of lying in this case. “Thou shall not bear false witness.”

“I stood with Judge Moore when they took away the Ten Commandments. He stands for the sanctity of human life, for the sanctity of marriage,… Roy Moore I stand with you and I stand against the communists the raunchy Rhinos and all of the rest,” Pastor Ernie Sanders said. Sanders said that one of the women has made several accusations against pastors and another of Moore’s accusers is a woman who has worked for the Clinton and Biden campaigns.

“I stand with Judge Moore. I wish the people of Alabama could come and see the media, their facial expressions and body language, the scowls on their faces. They have employed these tactics against Herman Cain and against the President. Vote your faith,” Pastor Stephen Borden said.

Rabbi Noson Leiter with Torah Jews for Decency said, “I am honored to stand with judge Roy Moore.” Leiter said that the flood resulted from the acceptance of same sex marriage and warned that so many are in open rebellion against God. Leiter said that Moore is being attacked by, “Democratic and Republican homosexualists.”  “We need Judge Moore to stand against the transgender/LGBT mafia.”

Porter said of Moore, “Thank you for being the candidate that we dream of.”

Judge Roy Moore said, “It is indeed an honor when I look at the group of people behind me. They all have one thing in common…..” “The one thing that we have in common is a concern for our country,” Moore said. “A concern for our future. They know that this country faces rough times ahead if we don’t go back to the One on upon on whom it is founded.”

“One thing I would like to see happen in our country is unity. On thing I have wanted is unity,” Moore said. “I wanted to see unity I never dreamed that I would succeed before I was even elected.  I have unified the Democrats and the Republicans in fighting against me because they don’t want me there. As you know the Washington Post has brought some scurrilous false charges, they aren’t even charges but accusations which I have emphatically denied time and time again. The Washington Post is certainly not evidence. What I want to do in this campaign is very simple and that is to get back to the issues which some have avoided addressing.”

“What is important is how we address the future of this country by cutting taxes, rebuilding our military, repealing Obamacare putting good justices and judges on the federal and Supreme Court of the United States,” Moore said.  “We have got to stop judicial supremacy or we are losing our form of government. Many of you have recognized that this is an effort by Mitch McConnell from the people of Alabama and they will not stand for it. They overcame $30 million and now they are trying a different tactic.”

“They asked me to step down from the campaign. I want to tell you who needs to step down and that is Mitch McConnell. There have been comments about me taking a stand. Yes I have taken a stand in the past and I will take a stand in the future and I will quit standing when they lay me in that box and put me in the ground. I am proud to stand with the people that I see behind me and the people of Alabama to Washington D.C. and the people of this country and that is an acknowledgement of God, an acknowledgement of the Constitution an acknowledgement that we need moral value back in our country and without God we can never succeed.”

Moore faces Clinton era U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in the special election on Dec. 12, 2017.

Porter would only allow questions about issues, and the reporters from the national media refused to ask anything but questions about the scandal, so the news conference ended abruptly.

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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