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Gary Palmer holds town hall event in Vincent

Brandon Moseley

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Congressman Palmer holds a separate town hall in Coosa County (via Gary Palmer for House).

Monday Congressman Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, was in Vincent for a town hall with city leaders and residents.

Vincent Mayor Ray McAllister said, “It is our pleasure to have Gary Palmer and his staff with us today. He does a great job for us in Washington. I know it is a zoo.”

Palmer was introduced as, among other things, a former football player at the University of Alabama under legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

“I practiced football at Alabama, I was a little short on the playing side,” Palmer said. “I grew up in Hackleburg so I have a heart for rural Alabama.”

“One of the big deals is broadband,” Palmer said. “We really need it statewide. We are getting some things done there. I am really focused on economic development. One of the most important things is to finish the northern beltway. That will take some of the pressure off of (Highway) 280.”

Palmer said that we are a behand Nashville and Atlanta. The good part of that is that we can learn from their mistakes. “With broadband more people will be willing to settle in rural Alabama because of the quality of life.

Palmer said that development is going down Highway 280 to Vincent eventually. “It is all coming this way. The key is to manage that growth so that you don’t give up what you have.”

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A veteran asked Palmer about the Veterans Health Care System.

“We have a very good veterans hospital in Birmingham,” Palmer said. “Birmingham is fortunate. Montgomery is not.”

“We have given the administrator the ability to fire people,” Palmer said that will help some. “We have a number of places where veterans have died on waiting lists and they (the VA) tried to cover it up.”

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Vincent City Council Member Bridgette Jordan Smith said that seventy percent of the children in Vincent receive free and reduced lunch. Money is not something we have in abundance; but when we apply for grants we are often overlooked because we are in Shelby County. It is a challenge for us.

“The grant process is all we have because we no longer do earmarks, at least in the House,” Palmer said. “The senate still does because they hide them in the big omnibus bills. I don’t know if they will do that this year.”

Palmer said that for the Congress to pass a budget under regular order it has to pass out of both Houses, then it goes to a conference committee and what comes out of conference committee still has to pass both houses. If that does not happen there will be an omnibus. Committee chairmen can then slip earmarks into the omnibus as it goes through committee.

“I would recommend putting your grants in and then getting with Sen Shelby’s office,” Palmer said. “He is literally one of the most powerful people in Washington.”

Palmer said that he grew up skidding logs, looking at the back of a mule. I was in the Future Farmers of America. I learned a lot in ag class, carpentry, welding, electrical etc. “I am the first person in my family to go to college. We don’t have a lot of those things for young people now but that is about to change.” Congress is providing funding for craft training. Birmingham has a craft school. Graduates get a basic high school education, not college prep, but they learn carpentry, welding, masonry, etc. The mayor of Clay is an instructor there and teaches stonemasonry. “These kids that come out and weld are going to be making $50 to $60,000 a year.” I am talking in Washington about letting 18 year old drive semi trucks I am not for letting them drive a tandem truck. In the Navy kids who are barely 20 are driving nuclear aircraft carriers driving a truck I think they can handle it.

“Quit trying to put square peds in a round hole build an economy that works for everybody,” Palmer said. Hoover is building a craft school with the old Riverchase elementary and Leeds is looking at it.

Residents asked about improving school security.

“I have been meeting with superintendents in the district to talk about school safety,” Palmer said. Palmer said that he has been asked to help with a Congressional task force on school safety.

Palmer said that he asks school superintendents Do you have a school resource officer? And if you don’t what do you have if a shooter gets inside your school.

Palmer said that there is a developing profile on mass school shooters: They are White, males, they are adolescent to mid twenties, they are all on psychotropic drugs, they grow up in suburban households, only one shooter has been rural, often more affluent, and they are all either atheist, agnostic, or are hostile to religion.

Palmer said that he is not in favor of closing off schools with a wall or fencing. Palmer was on the field when the shooter attacked the baseball field. There was a fence around that and only one gate in or out. If the Capital Police had not been there to engage the shooter and keep him from entering the gate that would have become a killing zone.

Palmer says that he is for utilizing canines to form an outer layer of perimeter security. Technology like metal detectors can only tell you what went by the detector, dogs can track it down and find where it went up to thirty minutes after it went by there. Some people don’t want big German Shepherds in the schools but Beagles are being trained up in Anniston to do the same thing. “That gives you another layer of security. Palmer said that he has also been pushing for using dogs as an outer layer of security at airports.

“We are also looking at keep track of school buses.” Palmer said that psychotropic drugs are needed by some people; but they don’t work for everyone. Everyone is different. They have the ability to do genetic mapping to tell you what will work best for you and what will work best for me. Hudson Alpha is doing research so, “We are fast getting to the point where they can look at your genetic map and determine what drug works best for you.”

Arkansas is providing every school teacher with an ap for their phones where they can push a button and alerts the whole school system immediately for fire and another button for security threats. The NASA administrator said that they have developed a sensor that will tell you not only that a shot has been fired but what caliber bullet it is.

One resident asked Palmer if he could work with Democrats in Congress.

“I have got good friends on the Democratic side,” Palmer said. “If there is anything real significant their leadership will not let them vote for it. That is why there are 60 Democrats committed to voting against Nancy Pelosi. On my side of the aisle we are not as dependent on our leadership as they are we have more independence as a consequence we have factions.”

Palmer said that the Republican leadership wrote their Obamacare replacement bill and they were told that you either were for that bill or they were for the Affordable Care Act. Palmer opposed the bill and then contributed to developing replacement which did pass the House.

“I think I have a high level of respect on the other side of the aisle,” Palmer said. “I thought when we did the hearing on Peter Strzok and I though a bunch of people on the other side of the aisle and on my side were way out of line. I told him that I said a prayer for his family and his whole countenance changed.”

“Everything is a story,” Palmer said. “History is one huge narrative. There are no insignificant people. We are all part of the tapestry. If you take one thread out and it is not complete.”

“The millennials really struggle,” Palmer said. “They are just drawn here and drawn there they don’t have the purpose.”

“Don’t think about where you are, but where you want to be,” Palmer said. Think about what will be said at your funeral. They ae not going to talk about what kind of car you drive or how big a house you lived in.”

“What we are going through right now is so destructive,” Palmer warned. “This divisiveness will kill us as a nation.”

A resident asked if there was any money to get a medical clinic in Vincent.

Palmer suggested that they look at what they have done in Centerville in Bibb county. Centerville has a dentistry, optometry, chiropractor, doctor, office etc. in one clinic. The doctor have gone through a government program that pays for their medical education if they work in rural areas.

Palmer said that he liked doing town halls.

“When I was elected to this office, I made a commitment to not be an absentee representative. This is the part of the job,” Palmer said. There is no better place to live than small towns in Alabama.

Ray Melick, the District Director of Palmer’s office, said that in addition to the regular town halls Congressman Palmer tries to meet with the mayors of the district every quarter at a luncheon to hear the concerns of all the cities in the district.

Gary Palmer is seeking his third term representing the Sixth Congressional District. He faces Danner Kline (D) in the general election on November 6.

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Elections

Moore legal team files motion for Judge Rochester to recuse

Brandon Moseley

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Attorney Melissa Isaak filed Thursday on behalf of her client, Judge Roy Moore, a motion to recuse Judge John Rochester from further consideration of the legal case between Moore and his accuser, Leigh Corfman.

The Moore team said that is the case due to the following reasons: “Judge Rochester’s continued decision to preside over this case despite the fact that his appointment was “temporary” and expired on January 14, 2019 over a year ago, Judge Rochester’s untimely delay of approximately five months in ruling on dispositive motions in this case brought only to accuse Judge Moore of defamation for merely denying false allegations against him, which is not even a valid cause of action, Judge Rochester’s open friendship, support, and financial contributions for Doug Jones in his 2017 Senate campaign against Judge Moore, according to his own personal Facebook account, Open and virulent criticism of Judge Moore by Linda Rochester, wife of Judge John Rochester during the 2017 Senate campaign on her own personal Facebook page, Judge Rochester’s criticism and mocking of Christianity on his Facebook page with full knowledge of Judge Moore’s strong belief in God, Judge Rochester’s political animus against the Republican Party and President Donald Trump who supported Judge Moore in the 2017 general election, Judge Rochester’s obvious political bias in his quick response to set a trial date in this case, within two weeks of the upcoming Republican primary which will determine the opponent in the general election against Doug Jones.”

Moore claims, “As stated in Attorney Isaak’s motion, any individual would have a solid basis for questioning Judge John Rochester’s impartiality, political motivation, and bias in presiding over this case.”
Moore is claiming that Judge John Rochester’s friendship, support, and financial contribution to Doug Jones in combination with his wife’s open criticism of Judge Moore during the 2017 special election for US Senate in which Judge Moore was a candidate, mandates immediate recusal of Judge John Rochester in this frivolous action.

Moore has also objected in the past to this case being in Montgomery County court, when Corfman’s allegations of improper sexual conduct between her and Moore in 1976 allegedly occurred in Etowah County.

Corfman claims that Moore and her engaged in inappropriate touching through their underwear in 1976 when Corfman was just 15 years old. Under Alabama law, then as now, the age of consent for sexual activity is 16, not 15. Corfman’s allegation, along with allegations by women dating from decades ago were released in an article by the Washington Post after Moore had won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2017. The shocking allegations were trumpeted by the national press as well as by Democrats. Moore narrowly lost the December 2017 special election to Clinton era U.S. Attorney Doug Jones (D), the only time a Democrat has won any statewide election in Alabama since 2008.

Moore has steadfastly denied the allegations. Corfman sued Moore in Montgomery Court after the election for defamation of character. Moore has since sued Corfman, the other accusers, and the architects of the Reed Hoffman financed, illicit Russian style tactics, which Moore claims were largely responsible with depressing Republican turnout and increasing the efforts by GOP moderates to defeat Moore by writing in the name of some candidate other than Moore.

While many Republicans accepted the accusations against Moore as “credible” they rejected similar accusations against Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh.

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Moore was twice elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and is a current candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat, currently held by Jones.

The Republican primary is on March 3.

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Conservatives urge voters to vote “no” on Amendment One

Brandon Moseley

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On February 4 conservative thought leaders from across the State of Alabama spoke in front of the Alabama Statehouse urging voters to vote No on Amendment One.

Amendment one would strip Alabama voters of their ability to elect the state school board and replace the elected board with a commission appointed by the Governor.

Former state school board member Betty Peters (R) said that Amendment One amends the state constitution requiring schools to adopt nationwide standards.

“There are no nationally recognized standards other than the Common Core Standards,” Peters warned.

Lou Campomenosi with the Campaign for Common Sense said, “Voting No on Amendment one is absolutely essential”

“The Alabama Conservative Coalition has been working on this since August,” Campomenosi added. “We are tired of this and we are not going to take it any more.”

Peters called the wording of Amendment One “Deceptive.”

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“I served on the state school board for 16 years and I had a 100 percent record of opposing Common Core, also known as College and Career Ready Standards,” Peters said.

Peters blamed the implementation of Common Core and Alabama’s subsequent drop to last place nationally in education to: Bob Riley, Kay Ivey, Terri Collins and the Business Council of Alabama.

“We defeated Amendment One (in 2003) with a 70 percent vote and lets do it again,” Peters said.

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Dr. Joe Godfrey with the Alabama Citizens Action Patrol said, “We are opposed to amendment one and we are trying to encourage pastors to oppose it as well.”

“We are taking away that very right to elect people that our forefathers fought for,” Godfrey continued. “Church members need to go to their pastor and ask them to get involved in this.”

State Representative Bob Fincher (R-Woodland) said, “I voted against this amendment twice, in the education policy committee and on the floor.”

“I was not sent to Montgomery as a representative of the Governor’s office, the BCA, or the AEA,” Fincher continued. “It is not in the interests of the people of Alabama. The people of this state do not need to cede their right to Montgomery to elect a state school board.”

“A board appointed by the Governor will respond to whatever the governor tells them to do, not what the people tell them,” Fincher added. “That other party has adopted many proposals that are highly socialistic. This is a socialist program. It takes away from the people their power and their sovereignty and places it in the hands of government officials.”

“I am an old high school history teacher and I taught government,” Fincher said, “I hope that we avoid this with every ounce of energy that we possess.”

“Don’t take the bait,” Fincher warned.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) said, “March 3rd is one of the most important state elections in history.”

“Amendment One will take your right away to vote on state school board members and let Gov Ivey have the right to appoint all the state school board,” Zeigler said. “It puts the requirements of the common core into the state constitution.”

“My wife, Jackie Zeigler, ran against a gov Bentley appointee,” Zeigler added. “The young man had never been involved in public schools. He as an incumbent raised $216,000 in special interest money. Jackie Zeigler would never have been appointed even though she is the most qualified person to ever have served.”

Senate candidate State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) said, “It is about our children and grandchildren. The socialist left is attacking the very values that built this country.”

“This is too much concentration of authority in the executive branch,” Mooney warned. “I am not in favor of national standards.”

“We don’t need to be educating illegal immigrants at a cost $16,000 per person,” Mooney said.

Rep. Andrew Sorrell (R-Muscle Shoals) said, “I was one of three Republicans in the Alabama legislature to vote against this. In 1970, we had an appointed board.” We switched to an elected board because they at the time thought would work better not they want to switch to an appointed board again.

Sorrell said that the state had tried to build a toll bridge in Mobile without the support of the people. “Thank you to our State Auditor for putting the kobash on that.”

“I have seen the polling on this issue and we can win and we will win,” Sorrell said.

Voters go to the polls on Tuesday, March 3 to decide whether or not to surrender their powers to elect the school board.

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Sanders Wins Nevada

Brandon Moseley

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Saturday, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, appears to have followed his victory in the New Hampshire primary with a victory in the Nevada caucuses.

“First we won the popular vote in Iowa. Then we won the New Hampshire primary. And now we have won the Nevada caucus,” Sen. Sanders said. “Let me first thank the people of Nevada for their support. We put together a multi-racial, multi-generational coalition across the state that will win not only in Nevada, but all across this country. No other campaign has a grassroots movement like we do, which is a large reason why we’re gonna win this election.”

The Alabama primary is just one week away on Super Tuesday.

“We are going to win across the country because the American people are sick and tired of a corrupt administration that is undermining American democracy.” Sanders continued. “They are sick and tired of a government based on greed and lies. It is time for an administration which is based on the principles of economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice.”

Sanders received 47.1 percent of the vote. Former Vice President Joe Biden received 21 percent of the vote. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg received just 13.7 percent of the vote. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, continued to underperform with just 9.6 percent of the vote. Billionaire Tom Steyer of California received just 4.7 percent of the vote. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, failed to gain any momentum off of her strong third place finish in New Hampshire and received just 3.9 percent of the vote.

Sanders is clearly the frontrunner going into the South Carolina primary. The self -proclaimed socialist has won 34 delegates to this point. Buttigieg is in second with 23, and Biden and Warren are tied with eight. Klobuchar has seven delegates.

New York City Mayor billionaire Michael Bloomberg have foregone the early primaries. He participated in his first debate and according to most observers did not fare well. Moderate Democrats have expressed concern that the party may suffer in November if the socialist label is attached to its nominee. Republicans are taking enjoyment from the Democrats’ strife.

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“Michael Bloomberg maybe a Billionaire but when questioned by his fellow Socialist Democrats, he looked like a Deer in headlights!” Trump national finance committee chair Perry Hooper Jr. said. “Mini Mike was clear the Debate looser. It is very apparent that the National Democrat party today are controlled by the Left and they are very comfortable with Socialist Democrat, Bernie Sanders. But I think the real Looser is the Democrat Party! The Winner is and will continue to be heavy weight Champion, President Donald J. Trump.”

It takes 1,994 delegates to win the nomination. The next contest is the South Carolina Primary

The Alabama Democratic primary is March 3.

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Alabama Democratic Women to host first Women in Blue Day on March 10

Jessa Reid Bolling

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On March 10, the Alabama Democratic Women (ADW) organization will host their first annual Women in Blue Day, a day where state chapters of the National Federation of Democratic Women meet at their state capitols to speak with their legislators about issues that are of particular relevance to women and families. 

Attendees will gather at the Alabama State House at the Tunnels (11 S Union Street, Montgomery, AL 36130) and all attendees are encouraged to wear blue attire in a symbol of solidarity. Check-in/registration will begin at 9:45 AM.

The day will include a briefing with Democratic representatives, a Capitol tour, brunch, observance of the legislative meeting, and a State Party update at the Alabama Democratic Party headquarters from Alabama Democratic Party Chair, Rep. Chris England.

ADW is a nonprofit political organization dedicated to supporting the Democratic Party and Democratic Women in Alabama, according to their website. The mission of ADW is to “unite Democratic women across the state of Alabama to ensure that we have a seat at the table and that our voices are heard.”

 

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