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Ethics complaint alleges Democrat judicial candidate paid utility bills with campaign funds

Brandon Moseley

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The Jefferson County Republican Party announced that it has been advised that an ethics complaint was filed against Marshell Rena Jackson Hatcher. Hatcher is the Democrat candidate for Circuit Court Judge-Civil Division. The complaint alleges that Hatcher has used her campaign account to pay her utility bills.

According to required campaign finance reports, Ms. Hatcher lists multiple payments to Alabama Power and the Birmingham Water Works Board over a period of several months, most recently two weeks ago.

“Ms. Hatcher’s reports show she has raised a good bit of money, and the Republican Party wonders if those donors think paying her utility bills is proper use of their campaign contributions,” Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Sallie Bryant said. “Ms. Hatcher is a sole practitioner, having only filed three lawsuits in court over the last three years.”

“In addition to this troubling ethical issue, we question why anyone would elect a judge to the civil bench who has virtually no courtroom experience,” Chairman Bryant charged.

Hatcher faces Tracey Crisan McDonald. McDonald received her law degree from Cumberland School of Law in 2003, and has worked with defense and plaintiff law firms for 15 years.

It has been an interesting campaign season for Jefferson County Democrat judicial candidates.

Pamela Cousins, the Democratic candidate for the open seat on the Family Court, was ruled ineligible to run, because she failed to file the required ethics forms. A Democratic Circuit Judge however ruled that she should still be on the ballot because she had made a “good faith effort to comply with the law.” The state Democratic Executive Committee then replaced “her” with “her”.

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In mid-October, Criminal Court Judge and current candidate Tracie A. Todd was admonished by the Criminal Appeals Court for failure to abide by a Supreme Court ruling and was referred to the Judicial Inquiry Commission.

On October 22, 2018, Democrat Criminal Court candidate Linda Hall was ruled ineligible to run because she doesn’t even live in Jefferson County. She is also still on the ballot challenging incumbent Judge Teresa Pullium (R).

“Our judicial candidates file ethics reports on time; they actually meet residency requirements; and they don’t use their campaign accounts for personal expenditures,” Chairman Bryant said. “The Republican Party is proud of its judicial candidates and proud of their backgrounds, qualifications and experience.”

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Jefferson County has the largest population of any county in the state. In elections since 2008, Jefferson County has voted increasingly Democratic Party even as the rest of the state has grown more Republican on election day.

The Alabama Democratic Party has made turning Jefferson County entirely Democratic the heart pf their “blue wave” strategy. The Jefferson County Democratic Party is targeting Republican incumbents including: Sheriff Mike Hale, District Attorney Mike Anderton, GOP members of the Alabama legislature, and the last remaining Republican judges in Jefferson County.

This is an especially important election because the legislators elected on next Tuesday will redistrict the state following the 2020 Census and incumbent legislators have tremendous influence on how their districts are drawn.

The Jefferson County Republican Party has been running commercials urging their voters to vote straight Republican. In past elections the Jefferson County Democratic Party has done a better job at getting their voters to vote straight ticket and that has really helped in down ballot races like judicial races.

The general election will be Tuesday, November 6.

The Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. To participate in any Alabama election you must bring a valid photo ID to the polls with you. If you do not have a valid photo ID, you can get a free voter ID from your board of registrars.

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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Voter Protection Corps recruiting local organizers in Alabama

Micah Danney

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The national nonprofit March On is recruiting regional leaders for its Voter Protection Corps. (GRAPHIC VIA MARCH ON)

The national nonprofit March On is recruiting regional leaders for its Voter Protection Corps, a grassroots network of organizers who will be trained to spot and counteract voter suppression ahead of the 2020 election in 14 key states, of which Alabama is one.

“With closed polling places, broken machines, long lines and the assault on mail-in ballots, voter suppression efforts have reached dangerous new heights in 2020,” said Andi Pringle, March On’s director of strategic and political campaigns. “Coupled with a global pandemic, these efforts threaten our ability to hold a free, fair and safe election in November. March On is looking for young leaders who are fired up to turn out the vote and protect democracy.”

Selected recruits will function as captains who then recruit at least five volunteers to form a squad. There will be about 20 squads in each state, Pringle said.

Captains will be trained by lawyers to know the ins and outs of their local election laws. They will train their squads to help voters exercise their rights to mail-in voting and early voting and will establish relationships with local election protection initiatives, election officials and community leaders.

Voter suppression can take many forms, Pringle said, including misinformation about polling locations, voter ID laws and various legal and administrative obstacles that can prevent average people “who don’t live and breathe this stuff” from casting their vote. Fighting such tactics is generally talked about in terms of attorneys and happens on or after Election Day, but that doesn’t prevent bureaucratic disenfranchisement that occurs in the days and weeks before the election, Pringle said.

“So the vote is already suppressed before they even get to the polls,” she said.

March On is recruiting captains from the Divine 9 Black fraternities and sororities, as well as women, veterans, young professionals, college students and recent graduates. It plans to have more than 7,000 corps members nationally.

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Barry Moore “pleased” Trump is taking action to support America’s reopening

Brandon Moseley

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Congressional candidate Barry Moore (VIA BARRY MOORE CAMPAIGN)

Republican congressional candidate Barry Moore, a former state representative from Enterprise, released a statement expressing confidence in President Donald Trump’s leadership after recent remarks by the president.

“President Trump continues to show strong leadership during this crisis, and the most recent round of economic numbers shows this,” Moore said. “I’m pleased that he’s taking action to continue providing the relief Americans so desperately need with his executive orders while the Democrats in both the House and Senate are blocking this relief for their own political gain.”

“I was especially pleased to hear the President speak out so strongly in favor of school choice and ‘paying the student’, so that parents and students could be free to find the best education opportunities, whether that’s a public, private or a charter school,” Moore said. “President Trump and I both agree that the child should come first, and school choice is a strong part of that. The President wants us to reopen our schools safely, as I do, because sitting at home playing on the computer is not the same as being in school.”

At a press conference on Monday, Trump cited the recent upward trend in the stock market, economic numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics July report and a rise in homebuilder’s confidence. The president asserted that “the stock market rebound signals a V-shaped recovery” and that the U.S. has “the strongest performing economy in the world.”

Trump also noted that the U.S. economy was also performing significantly better than in Europe.

“We had to turn the economy off and now we’re turning it back on,” the president said.

The president went on to criticize Democrats including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Californi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, for wanting “radical left agenda items” and “ridiculous things that have nothing at all to do with the China virus” in the most recent relief bill, which is currently stalled in Congress.

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Trump used Democratic demands for $3.5 billion dollars for universal mail-in voting, which the president described as setting up “the greatest rigged election in history,” as just one example of Democratic obstruction.

Trump accused Democrats of holding up money for schools, state and local governments, and extending unemployment benefits and the moratorium on evictions. Trump said that this is what prompted him to sign a series of executive orders on Saturday addressing these issues.

“My hope is that, with the President’s continued leadership, we can continue to reopen our country and our economy, and I look forward to working on our complete recovery when I’m elected to Congress to represent District 2,” Moore concluded.

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Moore is the Republican nominee for Congress in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. Moore is an Auburn University graduate, a small businessman, veteran, husband and father of four. Moore served two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives for 2010 to 2018. He ran for Congress unsuccessfully in 2018. Moore credits that failed run for setting up the groundwork for his winning the Republican nomination in a crowded GOP field in 2020.

Moore faces Democratic nominee Phyllis Harvey-Hall in the Nov. 3 general election. Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Alabama, is retiring from Congress at the end of this term.

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Local government forums to be held in Baldwin County

Brandon Moseley

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The Common Sense Campaign TEA Party is hosting a series of forums for candidates running for mayor and city council in Baldwin County municipalities. CSC announced that these forums are public and part of CSC’s ongoing effort to give citizens the chance to meet and ask questions of candidates running for public office.

All candidates have been invited to participate. Municipal elections in Alabama are non-partisan. The forums will be live-streamed via the CSC Facebook page where citizens can submit questions. Citizens in attendance may also submit questions at the forum.

The governor’s directive regarding social distancing and face masks will be strictly followed. The first forum will be held in Daphne. CSC is also in the planning stage for forums in Gulf Shores and Fairhope. Information on those forums will be released to the public very soon.

The Daphne forum will be held Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Daphne Civic Center, 2603 US Highway 98, Daphne, AL 36526. The moderator will be Dr. Lou Campomenosi, the president of CSC. The forum will be broadcast live over 95.5 FM radio (with a very limited range).

The 2020 City of Daphne municipal elections will be held on Aug. 25, 2020, and if needed, a run-off election will be held on Oct. 6, 2020. The polls will be open on election day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their voting place due to the declared state of emergency due to the COVID-19 global pandemic may apply for an absentee ballot. When applying, you should check the box that reads “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.”

You can find the Application for Municipal Absentee Ballot here. Carefully follow the directions on the application and read the City of Daphne Absentee Voting Information carefully. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is Aug. 20, 2020.

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Steve Carey, Robin Lejeune and Selena Vaughn are running for mayor of Daphne. In city council district one, incumbent Tommie Conaway is unopposed. In district two, Steve Glen is unopposed. In district three, incumbent Joel Coleman is unopposed. In district four, incumbent Doug Goodfin is unopposed. In district five, incumbent Ron Scott is being challenged by Amber Smith. Benjamin Hughes and Wesley Wright are both running in district six. In district seven, incumbent Angela “Angie” Phillips is running unopposed.

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Alabama GOP chair says Harris “drags the Democrats’ ticket even further to the left”

Brandon Moseley

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U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris speaking with attendees at the 2019 National Forum on Wages and Working People. (VIA GAGE SKIDMORE/FLIKR)

Alabama Republican Party Chair Terry Lathan released a statement critical of presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s choice of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, as his running mate in the Nov. 3 general election. Biden announced the pick to supporters via text message.

“Joe Biden’s VP pick drags the Democrats’ ticket even further to the left,” Lathan charged. “Kamala Harris was the first proud co-sponsor Bernie’s Medicare for All government healthcare takeover. She’s applauded efforts to defund the police and even led the charge to block meaningful police reform in the Senate. She even wants to use the federal government to ban plastic straws and to control what we eat – a move that would devastate the U.S. dairy and beef industries – all in the name of ‘climate change.’”

“We look forward to the clear contrast in policies in the Vice Presidential debate with Mike Pence and Senator Harris,” Lathan concluded. “It will be a true mirror of the obtuse plans the Democrats want for our nation. This ticket does not represent the values of the American people. They will see through all bogus attempts by the Democrats who will pretend to move to the center. They will fail, as their policies have, and America will vote to re-elect President Trump on November 3rd.”

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel similarly blasted the decision.

“A hiding, diminished, & incoherent Biden didn’t just select a VP candidate, he chose the person who will actually be in charge if he were somehow able to win,” McDaniel said. “Harris’ radical policies may be popular among liberals, but they are well outside the mainstream for most Americans.”

“Kamala Harris’ extreme positions, from raising taxes to abolishing private health insurance to comparing law enforcement officials to the KKK, show that the left-wing mob is controlling Joe Biden’s candidacy, just like they would control him as president,” McDaniel concluded.

Harris is a U.S. senator, a former prosecutor, former 2020 presidential candidate and former California attorney general. Her father is an immigrant from Jamaica and her mother is an immigrant from India. She identifies as Black and is the first non-White woman to be on a major party presidential ticket.

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Harris is the fourth woman to appear on a major party presidential ticket. The previous nominees — 1984 Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — all lost in the general election.

Current Vice President Mike Pence is expected to return as Trump’s running mate.

Biden is expected to make a joint appearance with Harris on Wednesday in Delaware.

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Polls taken prior to the Harris pick show Biden with a significant lead in polling, both nationally and in several key swing states. Alabama is expected to support Trump by a large margin.

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