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Madison County GOP holds rally in Huntsville

Brandon Moseley

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Tuesday, October 23 over 700 people attended the Republican rally and barbecue dinner in Huntsville. Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), Attorney General Steve Marshall, Lieutenant Governor candidate state Representative Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville), Chief Justice candidate Tom Parker, Secretary of State John Merrill, and Public Service Commissioner Jeremy Oden all addressed the overflow crowd.

“You are now witnessing one of the strongest economies that we have seen not only in America, but also in the Tennessee Valley,” Congressman Mo Brooks said. “Toyota Mazda will generate 10,000 jobs inside our facility and another 10,000 jobs in tier one and tier two suppliers.”

“How many of you remember the economic malaise of Jimmy Carter?” Brooks said. “The Democratic Party is now the Socialist Party of America. 56 percent of Democrats say that they prefer socialism over capitalism. If you know anything about history, you know that socialism never works anywhere that it is tried. They had their chance and the result was 8 years of economic anemia. Yes, we had 1 percent and 2 percent growth, but that is not enough to raise the living standards of American families. We have had a 3 percent increase in income in the last year. If we can continue that over time we can improve the lives of the American people substantially.”

Brooks said that when he first went to Congress he gave speech in which he spoke on, “how many socialists there are in Washington DC and there was an uproar so much so that they moved to strike my remarks from the record. Now with Bernie Sanders they are proudly declaring themselves to be socialists.”

Lt. Gov. candidate Will Ainsworth condemned Walt Maddox’s vicious attacks on Governor Kay Ivey and warned that there would be even more negative attacks on Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall between now and the election.

“They have moved so far left that our school children are actually having serious discussions on capitalism versus socialism,” Ainsworth said. “Doug Jones, what an embarrassment!”

Ainsworth urged everyone to vote straight ticket Republican on election day.

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AG Steve Marshall thanked the Republicans for giving him the greatest honor of his life by nominating him for AG.

“I have been a prosecutor for 20 years,” Marshall said that under Republican leadership. “We have the lowest unemployment in Alabama history.”

Marshall said that we have reduced the number of opioid prescriptions while he has been AG and has worked to confront violent crime.
“George Soros thinks he cam put $200,000 into this state and change it,” Marshall said.

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“Last Friday the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Jesse Livell,” Marsball said. Livell killed his wife and their unborn child. Judge Parker wrote a concurrent opinion upholding that verdict.

Marshall slammed his opponent, Joseph Siegelman (D), who is running an ad campaign claiming to be bringing government back home to the people. Marshall dismissed Siegelman and his people as liberals.
“His people voted for Hillary Clinton, his people want Chuck Schumer in charge of the Senate, and Nancy Pelosi to run the House of Representatives,” Marshall stated.
“We will continue to stand with the City of Pensacola and a cross that has stood for 49 years,” Marshall said,

Rep. Brooks said, “Justice Parker understand that in a Republic it is the elected representatives who make laws and no the judiciary. He is not the kind o judge who sees himself as a super king.”

Tom Parker said, “I am running for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.”  That with the confirmations of Brett Kavanaugh we have a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time in decades. To be effective they need rulings from state courts for them to act on and give conservative rulings. This is why the left is spending so much money in state judicial races.

“They want judges who refuse to prosecute crime on laws they disagree with,” Parker said. “The presumption of innocence until proven guilty is at stake. These guys have condoned violence. They are practicing anarchy. They are saying that a justice who rules on the Constitution as it is written is an activist. Our founding fathers gave us a system of government that is designed to make America great.”

“Soros is pouring in money, Planned Parenthood is pouring in money because they are afraid,” Parker said. “I have been attacked personally by George Soros. I have been attacked by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

“We are supposed to stand for truth and the American way,” Parker said. “Unfortunately, if you do it in this environment you will be attacked,”
“We want the restoration of the United States of America,” Justice

Parker stated. “Please vote Republican on November Sixth.”

Secretary of State John Merrill said that as Secretary of State he has registered over one million people to vote and, “We removed over 650,000 people from the rolls because they have moved away, they have passed away, or they have been put away.”

Merrill said that he has downsized the office from 49 employees down to 38 employees; but “for 121 consecutive weeks we have been same day on business filings and have saved you over $2 million. We asked to be zeroed out of the general fund because we no longer work at the speed of government but at the speed of business.”

“We need to join together, and we need to be fully committed,” Sec. Merrill said. “I need your vote on November Sixth.”

Public Service Commissioner Jeremy Oden said, “It is good to be a Republican. You have got the best candidates ever on our side in this election.”

“You mark that Republican and you take care of your state candidates, your congressional candidates, and your local candidates.”

Oden said that the old Democratic Party is gone and has been taken over now by socialists and communists. “They are marching on the border as we stand here today.”

Brooks said, “If we lose this election socialism will again take hold and we will see another anemic American economy.”

“The other side is just wrong,” Brooks stated. “They are wrong for the City of Huntsville, they are wrong for Madison County, they are wrong for the state of Alabama, they are wrong for the United States of America.”

“They don’t care about borders,” Brooks added. “They don’t care about the Americans who are killed by illegal aliens, they don’t care about the thousands of Americans who are killed by the poisons given to them by MS13 and other criminal gangs and cartels. They care more about importing a huge block of voters who they can put on welfare in perpetuity.”

“They are pushing to let non-citizens vote in our elections,” Brooks said. They are registering noncitizens to vote in municipal elections in Democrat controlled cities like San Francisco.

Brooks said that Democrats want non-citizens to vote, “Because they don’t trust Americans. They want to change our voter pool by allowing noncitizens to vote in our elections.”

Brooks thanked Steve Marshall for suing to prevent illegal immigrants from being counted in reapportionment and warned that Alabama is about to lose a congressional seat and an electoral college vote if the number of illegals is used in reapportionment. A recent study said that there are 20 million people here illegally.

“We are rewarding the lawlessness of sanctuary cities,” Brooks said. By taking those congressmen from those states that attempt to follow the law and giving them to places that refuse to follow the law. “I want to personally thank Steve Marshall our Attorney General for fighting that in federal court.”

“Our internal polling show that we are going to keep the Senate and pick up one to Senate seats,” Brooks said. “Polling on the House side is more of a tossup as to whether we can keep control of the House.”

Brooks said that Maxine Waters on TV said that if they take control of Congress they are going to impeach and remove Mike Pence at the same time that they impeach and remove President Trump. Who would be President then? Nancy Pelosi! That is a coup d’etat. “Maxine Waters is in line to be Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee if Democrats take over the House.”

Brooks said that two Democrats “have put in $200 million to help the Democrats take control of the Senate and the House of Representatives and that does not even include George Soros.”

The Chairman of the Madison County Republican Party Chairman is Sam Givhan. Givhan is also the GOP nominee for State Senate representing Madison County in the Alabama legislature.

Chairman Givhan said of the massive crowd, “This is our best turnout yet.”

The general election will be Tuesday, November 6.

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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Justice Ginsburg’s death will supercharge a heated 2020 campaign

The passing of one of the court’s most liberal justices so close to the Nov. 3 general election has set off a political firestorm as to what president should pick the next justice — President Donald Trump or Joe Biden, should he defeat Trump in November.

Brandon Moseley

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President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, right, are running for president in 2020. (STAFF SGT. TONY HARP/AIR NATIONAL GUARD AND GAGE SKIDMORE/FLIKR)

Just hours after the death of 87-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, conservatives, including the Alabama-based Foundation for Moral Law, said Ginsburg’s passing is an opportunity to reverse the ideological trend of the nation’s highest court.

The passing of one of the court’s most liberal justices so close to the Nov. 3 general election has set off a political firestorm as to what president should pick the next justice — President Donald Trump or Joe Biden, should he defeat Trump in November.

The controversy over when and how to confirm a new justice will likely supercharge an already heated 2020 election campaign. Trump was at a campaign rally on Friday night when he learned about the justice’s death from reporters.

“Just died? Wow, I did not know that,” Trump said. “She was an amazing woman. Whether you agreed or not she led an amazing life. She was an amazing woman. I am sad to hear that.”

Ginsburg, since her appointment by President Bill Clinton, has been bastion of the court’s more liberal wing. The court was divided with four “liberal” justices led by Ginsburg and four “conservative” justices led by Samuel Alito.

Chief Justice John Roberts, though appointed by President George W. Bush, has been the swing vote on a number of major issues since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018. Her death gives Trump the opportunity to appoint her replacement and potentially shape the direction of the court for decades to come.

Conservatives want Trump to select the nominee and the current GOP-controlled Senate to confirm the Trump appointee.

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The Foundation for Moral Law — a conservative legal group founded by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore — released a statement saying that Ginsburg’s passing is an opportunity to move the court in a more conservative direction.

“For many years United States Supreme Court has been a bastion for liberal anti-God ideology,” Moore said. “The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg will be an opportunity to reverse this trend. I’m hopeful that President Trump will immediately nominate a true conservative who understands that our rights come from God and no authority in this country can take those rights from us.”

“This is a very critical time for our country and our future and the future of our posterity depends upon our vigilance and direction,” Moore said.

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Judicial Watch, another conservative legal group, echoed Moore’s statement.

“Judicial Watch sends it condolences to the family of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She had a wonderful judicial temperament that will always be remembered,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “President Trump now has a historic opportunity to nominate yet another constitutional conservative who will honor the Constitution and the rule of law across the full spectrum of constitutional issues.”

“And the U.S. Senate should move quickly to work with President Trump to consider and approve a new justice who will faithfully apply the U.S. Constitution,” Fitton said. “There is no reason we cannot have a new justice by Election Day.”

Trump is expected to put forth a nominee to fill Ginsburg’s seat in the coming days, according to ABC News.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, wrote in a statement that, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

But Democratic senators and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, disagree.

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” Schumer wrote on social media Friday, parroting a similar quote McConnell used in 2016 when he refused to give then-President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, hearings and a vote for confirmation to the court. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

Republicans in the Senate blocked Obama from selecting Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement. Scalia was the most conservative jurist on the court.

Ginsburg was a staunch supporter of abortion rights and voter protections, and she played a major role in upholding Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision protecting abortion rights. She also voted in favor of same-sex marriage and to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

Most political observers expect Trump to appoint a woman to fill Ginsburg’s spot. Political insiders have suggested that Trump believes that appointing a woman to the court could help him with woman, a key swing demographic that will likely decide the next election.

Will the Senate confirm Trump’s appointment before the election or wait until after the public votes? If Republicans lose control of the Senate, could a lame duck GOP majority select the direction of the court on their way out?

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones has been widely criticized for his vote against the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. If the vote comes before the Nov. 3 election, Jones’s decision on whether to confirm Trump’s appointee will be heavily scrutinized.

The questions about the Supreme Court is likely to only further inflame passions on both sides this election cycle.

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Elections

Prisoners quarantined at formerly closed prison kept in unconstitutional conditions, groups say

Conditions are so bad that inmates have been forced to urinate and defacate on themselves because restrooms are not accessible, the complaint alleges.

Eddie Burkhalter

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The male intake area at an ADOC facility. (VIA ADOC)

The Alabama Department of Corrections is violating the constitutional rights of inmates being quarantined in deplorable conditions in the previously decommissioned Draper prison, several civil rights groups wrote in a letter to the state’s prison commissioner.

The ACLU of Alabama, the Southern Center for Human Rights, Alabama Appleseed and other groups in a letter to Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn on Thursday detail those conditions, which include no indoor toilets or running water, repeated power outages, deprivation of regular showers and the requirement of incarcerated men to urinate in “styrofoam cups and plastic water” bottles.

“These conditions fail to meet the most basic constitutional standards and present a substantial risk of serious harm to people already suffering from a potentially fatal disease,” the letter reads. “We therefore request that you immediately cease using Draper to house and/or quarantine COVID-19 patients, and instead house them in medically appropriate settings in accordance with Eighth Amendment standards.”

The groups note that Draper was closed after the U.S. Department of Justice, during its investigation of violence in Alabama prisons, noted Draper as exceptionally “dangerous and unsanitary” with “open sewage” near the entrance, rat and maggot infestations and “standing sewage water on the floors.”

In October 2017, the Justice Department informed ADOC of the department’s shock at the state of the facility and a month later ADOC’s engineer concluded that Draper was “no longer suitable to house inmates, or to be used as a correctional facility,” the letter states.

ADOC reopened a portion of Draper earlier this year to house incoming inmates from county jails being quarantined amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the civil rights groups note in the letter that ADOC failed to indicate plans to also use a classroom without bathrooms, running water or adequate medical care at Draper to house COVID-19 patients from other state prisons.

The groups allege in the letter that approximately 15 cots are located in the approximately 500 square feet former classroom, where at any given time between 5 and 15 inmates are being kept. The only restroom facilities the men can use are portable bathrooms outside, and the men have to “bang on the classroom windows to get officers’ attention.”

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“Though officers sometimes escort the men when asked, they decline at other times and fail to maintain a schedule; thus, the men do not have access to bathroom facilities when needed,” the letter reads, adding that the men aren’t allowed to use the outdoor restrooms between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

“We have further reason to believe that one man was permitted to use the bathroom only three times during a 13-day quarantine. Another man was not taken to the bathroom until his third day at Draper, while another was forced to urinate on himself on multiple occasions after being denied bathroom access,” according to the letter. “One man suffering from diarrhea was forced to wait hours to use the restroom to defecate. Many others could only relieve themselves into styrofoam cups, plastic bottles, portable urinal containers, or trash cans.”

“They had to hold onto urine-filled bottles for hours at a time until they were allowed to leave the classroom to empty them. It is also our understanding that some men held in these conditions did not receive bottles at all; correctional officers simply told these men that they were ‘out of luck,’” the letter continues.

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The letter also details instances of alleged inadequate medical care, including a man who was sent to a local hospital with heart attack symptoms after not receiving his heart medication for several days.

The groups are also unaware of any Inmates leaving Draper who were tested for COVID-19 before being returned to Elmore and Staton prisons, the letter also states.

“We also have reason to believe that many of the symptomatic men at Staton and Elmore have not reported their symptoms to prison staff for fear of being held at Draper in the deplorable conditions described above,” the letter continues.

APR has learned from several sources in recent weeks, who asked not to be identified because they have loved ones in Alabama prisons and are fearful of retributions for speaking out, that many inmates who have symptoms of COVID-19 aren’t reporting those symptoms to prison staff for fear of being quarantined. Those family members are concerned that the disease is spreading much more broadly in Alabama prisons than is known as a result, putting their loved ones at greater risk of contracting the deadly disease.

Many of the concerns expressed in the letter were first reported by AL.com reported on Sept. 13, which found that access to medical care in Draper is limited and the conditions unsanitary.

In a response to AL.com’s questions for that article, an ADOC spokeswoman wrote that inmates at Draper have access to “medical and mental health care, telephones, law library, mail services, and showers.”

“Please remember — Inmates remanded to our custody have been convicted of a crime and handed a sentence to serve time as determined by a court. The unfortunate reality is that he or she, as a result of the crime committed and subsequent conviction, loses his or her freedoms,” ADOC said in the responses.

“This response is unacceptable as a matter of principle, and inadequate as a matter of law,” the letter from the civil rights group states.

“As ADOC knows, the fact of a criminal conviction does not strip incarcerated people of their rights under the Eighth Amendment, nor does it relieve ADOC of its constitutional obligations to the people in its custody, which are to provide them with ‘humane conditions of confinement,’ ‘adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care,’ and ‘reasonable safety,’” the letter continues.

On Sept. 16, ADOC reported that there have been 403 confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates, 21 deaths of inmates after testing positive for COVID-19, and 375 cases among prison staff. Two prison workers have died from COVID-19, ADOC previously said.

As of Sept. 14, there had been 1,954 inmate tests for coronavirus, out of the approximately 22,000 state inmates, according to ADOC.

ADOC on Sept. 16 said that on Thursday the department was to begin rolling out a plan to provide free COVID-19 tests to ADOC staff and contracted healthcare staff using fixed and mobile testing sites.

“In addition, we will test all inmates in facilities that house large numbers of inmates with high risk factors as an enhancement to our current testing protocols,” ADOC said in a press release.

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Alabama Democrats: Tuberville doesn’t have a plan or experience

Brandon Moseley

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U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville (VIA TUBERVILlE CAMPAIGN)

The Alabama Democratic Party on Wednesday released a statement slamming Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville for not commenting on Hurricane Sally.

Tuberville is challenging U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, in the Nov. 3 general election.

“Tommy Tuberville said he didn’t have a clue how to address the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, so it isn’t surprising that he hasn’t offered a single word for the Gulf Coast in the face of a life-threatening storm,” said Wade Perry, the executive director of the Alabama Democratic Party. “He doesn’t have a plan or the experience to tackle an actual crisis. Unlike our own U.S. Senator Doug Jones.”

The Jones campaign has seized on the “Tommy Tuberville does not have a clue” narrative, trying to make the argument that Tuberville, a career football coach who has never held a public office before, lacks the experience necessary to represent the people of Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

Jones used that line several times at a Labor Day appearance in Leeds.

“Senator Jones was on the ground in Lee County after devastating tornadoes and worked across party lines to secure emergency relief for farmers and families in the Wiregrass,” Perry said. “He will always be there to help Alabamians navigate a crisis and save lives— he always has, and always will.”

The Tuberville campaign disputed the ADP narrative.

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Hurricane Sally devastated Dauphin Island in Mobile County as well as Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan in coastal Baldwin County when it came ashore as a category two hurricane with 105 miles per hour winds.

Sally then inundated South Alabama, West Florida and Georgia with heavy rain, leading to localized flooding. Several roads were closed on Thursday across South Alabama due to flooding including in Troy, Andalusia and Opp.

Almost 200,000 Alabama homes lost power due to the storm. Alabama Power crews are still working to restore power to customers who lost power.

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Jones defeated former Chief Justice Roy Moore in a 2017 special election. This was the only time that a Democratic candidate had won any statewide race in Alabama since 2008.

Jones and his allies led an effort to topple the then-existing leadership of the Alabama Democratic Party in 2019. The new chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, State Rep. Christopher England, D-Tuscaloosa, is trying to make the case that times have changed and the state has two viable political parties.

Republicans are targeting Jones, a Democratic senator representing a very red state. Democrats are hopeful that they can hold Jones’ seat and take control of the U.S. Senate.

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Elections

Secretary of State extends absentee voting for Senate District 26 special election

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Secretary of State John Merrill has officially extended the opportunity for anyone concerned about COVID-19 to apply for and cast an absentee ballot for the Senate District 26 special election.

The special primary election for Senate District 26 will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 17. If necessary, a runoff election will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 15. The general election will be held on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their polling place shall be eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application that is most applicable to that individual.

State law allows the secretary of state to issue absentee voting guidance during declared states of emergency, allowing Merrill to encourage voters to check the box which reads, “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]” unless another box applies.

For the Nov. 17 primary election, the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Thursday, Nov. 12. If delivered by hand, absentee ballots must be returned by Monday, Nov. 16. If delivered by mail, absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 16.

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