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Ivey speaks at announcement of Talladega Superspeedway Infield Transformation Project

Brandon Moseley



Thursday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) was in Talladega at the Motor Sports Hall of Fame to announce that the Talladega Superspeedway is going to spend $50 million to transform the infield at the iconic NASCAR track. The Talladega Speedway Corporation is promising that the changes will transform the infield and will offer a new, modern, one-of-a-kind experience that will enhance their current fans’ visit to this historic track and be more than ever a showcase tourist destination for new fans and entertainment seekers in the future.

“Alabama has been proud to be the home of the biggest and baddest race track in NASCAR,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “Both the track and this facility is world class and world renowned. In 2017 Talladega has a $437 million economic impact supporting over 8000 jobs.”

“Almost 50 years ago, Alabama became home to the Talladega Superspeedway,” Gov. Ivey said. “Today, I am thrilled to kick off the development of the Talladega Transformation Infield Project. This project will take this track into the next 50 years and give its loyal fans an even better experience.”

“26 million visitors came to Alabama last year and many of them were drawn by Talladega and the Motor Sports Hall of Fame,” Ivey said. “I am proud to lead a state that has this much to offer visitors.”

Alabama will celebrate its bicentennial as a state in 1969. The Talladega Super Speedway will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019 too. The new infield transformation will be complete by the time of the October race that year.

The Super Speedway’s management team says that the new interactive Garage Fan Zone Experience: will allow grandstand ticket holders and infield guests who purchase the Garage Fan Zone Experience admission close access to the teams, cars and inspection stations during race preparation via fan viewing walkways in the new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage; A new, modern 35,000-square-foot open air club (covered) with a 41-foot video board, 740-square-foot bar and views into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage; Wi-Fi in all areas of the Garage Fan Zone; Social and engagement areas with concessions/souvenirs/restroom facilities, along with a guest services center and first aid station; New opportunities for driver/personality appearances and entertainment programming; New tram routes to deliver fans to the Garage Fan Zone; New garage suites with views into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage stalls; 44 stalls in the new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage; A new Paddock Club to enhance the experience for fans and corporate guests; And a new Gatorade Victory Lane with up-close fan view as part of the Garage Fan Zone Experience.

The transformation will have new expanded, premium RV camping and amenities: Approximately 300 total new spots near the Alabama Gang Superstretch and front stretch by the start-finish line; The new spaces will all be equipped with power and water hookups; and new infield mobile shower options in Turns 1 and 2. There will also be a new Turn 3 infield vehicle tunnel that will be large enough for convenient RV, tram and team hauler access and will be open 24 hours a day beginning Wednesday of race week. The track will also build: new infield road infrastructure, premium parking and utilities; A new NASCAR race operations building and broadcast booths high above the tri-oval; And renovation of drivers meeting area and expansion/upgrades to the current media center.


Economic Developer Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter, “Since 1969, Talladega Superspeedway has been a part of Alabama societal and cultural history. The superspeedway generates an economic impact of approximately $400+ million per year for our state, and the venue boosts Alabama tourism and is part of the quality of life that locals expect,” Nicole Jones added, “The infield amenities aimed to enhance the fan experience will open in 2019, just in time for the Alabama Bicentennial and 50 years of Talladega Superspeedway.”

Childress is the all time winningest car owner in Talladega Super Speedway history.

“A lot of times when I speak, I say: Only in American. Only in America can a kid with $20 race car and a dream be here today,” Richard Childress said. “I raced here in 1969. Big Bill France gave me $400 to race in the Grand American. The Professional Drivers pulled out, so France gave us another $1000 to come race at Talladega. I towed my car here on the back of a big 1953 flatbed truck. I had to keep adding water because my car was losing fluids all day. When I left here, I had that $400 plus that $1000 in my pocket plus some winnings that I made that day. Afterwards Bill sent me a letter and said if you ever need anything from him and NASCAR show that letter. I still have that letter today. For RCR this will be our 50th anniversary as well.”


“The Talladega Superspeedway is where my career began and it holds a special place in my heart,” Childress said,

“Talladega creates millions of dollars in tax revenue from the thousands that attend events and the track provides employment for hundreds of Alabamians.” State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) said. “We are fortunate to have them in Alabama.”

Mike Helton is the Vice Chairman of NASCAR and was President of the Talladega Superspeedway from 1988 to 1993.  The Talladega Speedway Company is owned by the International Speedway Corporation (ISC).

“When it comes to Talladega I love coming back to Talladega,” Helton said. “It is just not because of the race track, but also the people some of the best friends I have ever had in my life

“What a great step by the ISC and the France family,” Helton said. “It not only helps this facility it helps our entire industry and is reflective of ISC’s commitment to deliver a NASCAR project in a modern consumers way.”

When asked by reporters about debating Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D), Gov. Kay Ivey told reporters that: “The only ones who want to see a debate are the media and my opponent.”

Birmingham based HOAR construction is the primary contractor on the project. The project’s architectural and engineering work is being done by the employee-owned DLR Group based in Omaha, Nebraska.


Aerospace and Defense

Jones criticized for voting to limit Trump’s war powers authority

Brandon Moseley



Thursday, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) voted in favor of S.J.Res.68, a resolution which directs the removal of United States military from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress. Jones have been criticized by Republicans for voting to limit President Donald J. Trump’s war powers on Iran.

“Before a President can lead us into war, he or she must first earn the support of the American people and also fulfill their solemn constitutional obligation to seek approval from Congress,” Sen. Jones said in a statement. “While the President has the power to protect Americans in the case of an imminent attack, that authority does not extend to committing our service members to long-term hostilities unilaterally. This resolution sends a strong message that we will follow the Constitution and we will not send our troops into harm’s way without the serious consideration and consent of the Congress.”

Trump Victory National Finance Committee member Perry O. Hooper Jr. released a statement in response.

“Senator Jones once again turned his back on Alabama and voted as the leftwing Democrats commanded. He has no regard for the values, opinions or views of Alabamians,” Hooper said. “He sees us as deplorables just like the elites of the Democratic party who have funded 80 percent of his doomed campaign for re-election.:

Hooper stated, “I whole heartily support the President who stated ‘We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness… If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party.’”

“The Commander-in-chief must be free to work with his staff and his military leaders to conduct covert operations like the one that eliminated Iran’s terrorist-in-chief General Soleimani,” Hooper added. “You can’t micromanage the war on terrorism. The Democrats in Congress are so filled with Trump Derangement Syndrome that no matter how much it would benefit our country and the world; they would never give Trump a “victory”. If it came down to it, they would leak everything to the media no matter what the consequences.”

Senator Jones is a cosponsor of the legislation and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Eight moderate Republicans voted with the Democrats on the resolution.


Senator Jones has also been criticized by Republicans for his comments that he was “appalled” by Pres. Trump’s actions following his acquittal on both Articles of Impeachment.

“Newsflash for Senator Doug Jones: Most Alabamians have been appalled by his actions his entire time in office,” former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “It’s about time we send Doug home, and replace him with someone who understands our values. Alabamians deserve a Senator they can be proud of again.”

Sessions is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Jones’ Senate seat.


The Republican primary will be on March 3.

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Moore says the Constitution is under God’s laws

Brandon Moseley



Saturday, Senate candidate former Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) presented his views on the Constitution and the sovereignty of God to attendees of the Conservative Leadership Conference in Florence.

“The form of government is both the Declaration and the Constitution,” Judge Moore said.

Moore argued that the rights granted to the citizens in the Bill of Rights do not come from the Constitution itself; but rather from God and the Constitution is there to protect those rights that God has ordained.

“The Constitution is the supreme law of the land; but the Constitution is under the rule of God,” Moore stated. “We as Americans, as Republicans as Democrats should go back to the Constitution.”

“Democrats are trying to move us toward a socialist government,” Moore warned. “The same people who want to take our guns away want to take prayer out of schools.”

“Most Christians do not understand the Ten Commandments,” Moore said. The first four are the duties that we owe to God and the last six are the duties that we owe to each other.

Moore quoted from Washington, Blackstone, and the 1954 legislation that inserted “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance.


Moore said that Project Birmingham used Russian style tactics to undermine the support for Roy Moore and build up support for Doug Jones. Moore also blamed Richard Shelby for his defeat.

Moore said that Democrats have used similar smears liked the ones used against him in 2017 against Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas.

“When you vote is stolen from you by tactics that is wrong,” Moore said/


Moore warned that the greatest threat to this nation is the decline in morality. “We are at a critical point in our history.”

Moore warned that no nation could take us down from without; but that we could fall from within and warned of the growing agenda of the LGBTQ community.

“We are starting to recognize transgender rights above the right of your rights,” Moore warned.

“We are five votes (in the Senate) away from overturning everything our country is founded upon,” Moore warned if the Equality Act is passed. The Equality Act, “Which sounds good is about to take away the most precious thing our country is founded upon: our freedom of conscious.”

Moore warned that the legislation would lead to men in girls’ bathrooms and in girls’ sports.

Moore said that when man invents rights that are not from God it leads to problems. The right to privacy was invented and from that came the right to abortion, which has resulted in the deaths of millions, the right to sodomy, and the right to gay marriage. Now we are about to create a right of transgenderism.

Moore said that marriage was ordained by God as between one man and one woman. “If you can make it between two men you could make it between five men and between a man and a horse.”

“How do you correct it?” Moore asked rhetorically. “You recognize the sovereignty of God.”

“I have been mocked and removed from office twice,” Moore said.

“I am sick of seeing politicians carrying Bibles and doing nothing,” Moore said. The national debt was $5 trillion in 2005 now it is $23 trillion. They say they are Pro-Life and yet Planned Parenthood continues to get taxpayer dollars.

“We keep quiet because we are afraid it is going to offend anybody,” Moore said. “I couldn’t keep quiet about Obergefell. I wrote an opinion in API.”

Moore is a candidate for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in the Republican primary on March 3.

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McCutcheon is in “wait and see mode” on medical marijuana bill

Brandon Moseley



Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) last Thursday was asked by reporters where he stood on pending medical marijuana legislation.

“I am in a wait and see mode,” McCutcheon told reporters. “The sponsor of the bill has done a lot of work.”

On Tuesday, State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence) introduced a bill to legalize tightly controlled medical cannabis. The Medical cannabis bill introduced on Tuesday is Senate Bill 165.

“We have a letter from the Attorney General,” recommending that the legislature reject the bill.

Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) is arguing that while marijuana remains a federally controlled substance the legislature should not pass a state law that would be noncompliant with federal law. Marshall believes that if medical marijuana has any medical benefit then the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be the appropriate authority to approve such legislation and the state should wait for FDA to act.

33 states already have legalized medical marijuana.

“It brings up a legal question when you get a legal opinion from the attorney general office,” McCutcheon explained. “It answers some of my questions and also on the pro and the con there were some questions raised in the legal community.”


McCutcheon said, “That is why we are in the mode that we are in.”

Melson introduced a medical marijuana bill last year during the 2019 regular session. That bill passed the Senate; but had difficulty getting out of committee in the Alabama House of Representatives. Instead of passing medical marijuana legislation the legislature passed a bill extending Leni’s Law and Carly’s law and establishing the Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission tasked with making a recommendation to the legislature.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission was chaired by Sen. Melson and met monthly from August to November. In December, the commission voted in favor of a draft proposal recommending that the state allow licensed medical providers to prescribe marijuana based medications to patients with a demonstrated need. The state would create the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to regulate medical cannabis in the state. Farmers, processors, transporters, and dispensaries would have to get a license from the Commission and product would be strictly regulated.


Despite the Commission’s recommendation, SB165 remains highly controversial in the legislature and there is expected to be considerable opposition to the bill. SB165 is 82 pages long.

SB165 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judiciary Committee Chairman Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) told the Alabama Political Reporter that there will be a public hearing on SB165 on Wednesday, at 8:30 a.m. in the Alabama Statehouse room 825. Opponents and proponents will both be given the opportunity to voice their opinions.

Thursday was the fourth day of the 2020 legislative session.

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Congressional candidates call on Sessions, Byrne to stand up for South Alabama





At a rare joint press conference, the Democratic Candidates for the First Congressional District called on Rep. Bradley Byrne and former Sen. Jeff Sessions to stand up for South Alabama following the Trump Administration’s proposal to cut nearly $300 million slated for projects awarded to Austal.

“The current administration’s decision to divert that funding from Austal to build the border wall is harmful to our community and will potentially put good jobs at risk,” said Dr. James Averhart, CW05, USMC retired. “This is nothing more than a political stunt on the backs of the hard-working men and women of South Alabama.”

Over the years, South Alabama has become a hub for shipbuilding and defense projects developing ships and planes for the United States military.

“While the President may be comfortable playing political games with our communities, our representatives must stand strong against this disastrous decision,” said Dr. Kiani Gardner, a scientist and professor. “We are grateful Senator Jones is speaking out against it and the devastating impacts it could have on our communities.”

This matter transcends partisan politics, our Republican representatives must stand with Senator Jones and tell President Trump to find a better way to protect our Southern border,” said Rick Collins, a longtime Mobile businessman.

This is only the latest Trump Administration proposals that could have devastating impacts for the local economy. Recently, the administration proposed new tariffs that would have a significant impact on Airbus’ local operation.

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