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Newt Gingrich addresses Alabama Farmers

Brandon Moseley

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Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was in Montgomery to address the 97th meeting of the influential Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA) Monday. Nearly one thousand farmers and business people from supporting industries were in attendance.

ALFA President Jimmy Parnell said that he is a huge Fox News fan, and Gingrich always adds something to any of the Fox News shows when he is a contributor.

“I consider him an expert on political ideas and issues,” Parnell said.

Gingrich said that why the politics in Washington are so tense, “Goes back to election day in 2016. The left is still mad because of Trump’s victory.”

Gingrich said that special prosecutor Robert Mueller “Is a faithful representative of the old establishment.”

“Brett Kavanaugh is such a nice person, he coaches his daughter’s basketball team while working as an Appeals Judge, it is hard to get mad about him,” Gingrich said. “For the first time since Earl Warren was appointed, which Eisenhower said was his biggest mistake, we are going to have a center-right court. That is why they got so upset.”

The left has been using the court to implement social change that they could not pass through the Congress or the state legislatures, Gingrich said.

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“Congress passed 17 deregulation bills,” Gingrich said. “If it is repealed by the Congress you can’t restore them by executive order you have to change the law.”

“Trump has continued with deregulation,” Gingrich continued. “Then Trump did the worst thing he could have done and he went to the United Nations and said that being proud of your country is a good thing.” And the left went ballistic, Gingrich claimed.

The former speaker said that having been in Washington since 1978, the bipartisanship of the past “is greatly exaggerated, but now the tension is now real and very deep. The two parties represent radically different visions of America. The left sees tax cuts as terrible because it takes money out of Washington and puts it back in Alabama. Taking money out of Washington takes power away.

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“What we have now is the largest leftwing resistance since the Vietnam War,” Gingrich said.

The former Congressman from Georgia said that he is not going to defend everything Trump does and that once he told the president, “Ten percent less Trump would be more effective, and he said are you talking about my Tweets.”

Gingrich said that Trump had a good meeting with China on trade at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aries, but “It is impossible for CNN and the New York Times to say that Trump had success in Buenos Aries.”

Gingrich said that Trump only sleeps about four or five hours a night and gets up and goes on Twitter. By 7 or 7:30 a.m. he has put out ten tweets “And there are 40 to 45 million people in his network. His network is larger than any two of the TV networks.”

“Part of what is going on is personality-driven,” Gingrich said. “Ninety-two percent of the press coverage has been negative over the first two years.”

Despite this Trump has 48 percent approval in one poll and 44 percent approval in another poll. That is higher than Reagan was at the same point in his presidency.

“The New York Times likes (French President Emmanuel) Macron,” Gingrich said. “Macron is at 26 percent approval. Even though he is 20 percent lower he gets good coverage because the left like him. I lived in France and one thing about the French is that they don’t like change. In Paris, people are rioting because he raised the price of gasoline. The French will pay over $7 a gallon. The people are upset because the elites are so concerned about global warming that they don’t want the people to be able to drive anymore. In Italy, the two populist parties, one conservative and one liberal just destroyed the old ruling parties.”

“We had 17 candidates running for President in the Republican Party,” Gingrich said. “Why Trump won was that the Republican base was so angry at Washington they lost hope in regular reform. John Kasich is a good guy. He came in and said I was a good governor and they said we were afraid of that. Jeb Bush said he was an even better governor. Lindsey Graham said I was a good Senator and they weren’t interested.”

They voted for Trump because he was kicking over the table. Sixty-three percent of the voters wanted an outsider.

Gingrich said that Trump sat down with the Heritage Society and came up with a list of judges.

“Almost every social conservative in the country said that if he will do that I can support him,” Gingrich said. “In that one zone alone (appointing conservative judges) Trump will be a really historic President.

Gingrich said that in the election “We got two seats in the Senate and need to pick up more seats one of them could be in this state in 2020.” In the House, Obama lost more seats in 2010 and Clinton lost more seats in 1994. Both lost more seats in the first term than Trump. Both of them were re-elected.

“In 2016 we had more Republican legislators than ever in the history of the Republican party,” Gingrich said. In this election, “They had a net gain of 200 (state legislature seats). We have about 4000 state legislature seats. They have about 2000.”

Gingrich said that the Mueller investigation is an “Unconstitutional coup d’etat by a federal prosecutor. Ultimately, I think he will fail because there is nothing there.”

Gingrich acknowledged that it is “Probably true” that Trump discussed building a building in Moscow. “He is a businessman and people who build buildings like to build buildings. The Russians might have done something stupid. Some of the Trump people might have done some things that were stupid.” “It will be a political issue. Is that enough to defeat him? My hunch is that if the economy is good, he will get reelected.”

“It is too far out to predict what will happen in 2020,” Gingrich said. If I had stood here in 2014 and said that Donald Trump would be elected President you would think I was nuts. If I had said in 1990 that Bill Clinton would beat President Bush when he had 90 percent approval you would not have believed me. “You can’t tell this far out what is going to happen in two years. But it is going to be tumultuous because the left is bitter.”

“The Republican Party is increasingly a Trump Party,” Gingrich said. “The never Trumpers are going home.”

“I’m delighted at the number of people here,” Gingrich said. “I wish I could reach into each of your hearts and convince you how important it is to protect this country … and how big of a difference you can make.”

“What you have on the left is a deliberate amnesia,” Gingrich said. “Because they don’t want us to know our history.” That the liberals have control in all of our colleges and universities has gotten to be a huge problem. It has even spread down to the high schools. “Reagan said what they don’t know that is dangerous it is what they know that isn’t true.”

“If you really studied and understood the history of this country, then you would be a patriot and a nationalist,” Gingrich said.
President Parnell said of Gingrich’s comments, “I learned a lot. I have been a fan for a long time.”

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) told the group: “Friends, let me begin tonight, by saying thank you to each and every one of you. Thank you for the tremendous support you have given me. I am truly humbled and honored.”

Chris and Jordyn Upchurch who have 400 acres north of Lineville in Clay County were also honored. They have 3 chicken houses and a beef cattle herd of 130 brood cows that has grown from his start of just seven cows when he was a boy. They also harvest hay both on their farm and on farms of other farmers and they clean out chicken houses for other farmers. The Upchurch’s are fourth and fifth generations Alabama farmers. Jordyn and Chris and their infant son, Charlie, were chosen as the 2018 outstanding farm family of Alabama.

Agriculture and forestry are by far the largest industries in Alabama.

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Elections

Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels endorses Mike Bloomberg for president

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Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels announced his endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg today, 4 days ahead of Alabama’s primary election on Super Tuesday. Daniels joins State Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton and Black Caucus Chair Representative A.J. McCampbell in support of Mike. In his endorsement, Rep. Daniels cited Mike’s work taking on tough fights on health care, public education, and supporting small businesses.

“We need a president who has a proven record of bringing people together to tackle the tough challenges we face in this country, and I can’t think of anyone better to do that than Mike Bloomberg,” said Rep. Daniels. “Not only is Mike the best positioned to take on Trump, but he has also proven he can deliver on his promises to make this country better for all. Alabamians should know that when I head to the polls this Tuesday, I’ll be proudly casting my vote for Mike Bloomberg.”

Rep. Anthony Daniels represents the 53rd District in the Alabama State House of Representatives, where, since 2017, he has served as minority leader. Rep. Daniels received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Alabama A&M University. A former public school teacher and small business owner, Daniels is known for championing innovative education programs, like the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering, that prepare young people for promising careers, cultivate homegrown talent, and drive economic growth. Under his leadership, the House Democratic Caucus has made significant strides in addressing key issues like support for cradle-to-Pre-K programs, proven workforce development, and job readiness initiatives, and bringing broadband access to rural areas. They have also succeeded in preventing the passage of partisan legislation that hurts working families.

“Alabamians know how important this election is for the future of our country, and that’s why they’re supporting Mike Bloomberg, a doer and not a talker with a record of not shying away from tough fights,” said Bradley Davidson, Mike Bloomberg 2020 Alabama State Advisor. “We’re honored to have the support of Rep. Daniels, a respected leader in Alabama and beyond, and we look forward to working together with him to get Mike elected.”

Mike Bloomberg will return to Alabama on Sunday, March 1 to participate in the 55th annual Selma bridge crossing to commemorate Bloody Sunday. Additionally, Bloomberg visited Montgomery earlier this month for an organizing event and to speak at the 60th annual Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) Convention, the Alabama Democratic Party’s largest Black caucus. He later received the endorsement of the group.

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Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Warren to travel to Selma

Brandon Moseley

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Sunday, Presidential candidates former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesoata, will travel to Alabama where they will participate in the events commemorating the attempted crossing of the Edmund Pettus bridge by voting rights marchers during the Civil Rights movement;

Bloomberg will participate in the 55th annual Selma bridge crossing to commemorate Bloody Sunday. In the morning, Bloomberg will attend Brown Chapel AME Church for morning worship with congregants and deliver remarks before joining Civil Rights and community leaders to participate in the bridge crossing reenactment.

Elizabeth Warren will participate in the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee Pre-March Rally, the Annual Bloody Sunday March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and the Presidential Candidate Forum hosted by the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation and The Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

Mayor Buttigieg will participate in the bridge crossing reenactment. This is Buttigieg’s second visit to Alabama. He previously participated in a healthcare round table and visited with volunteers in Montgomery.

This is Mike’s third visit to Alabama since announcing his campaign for president. Mike was in Montgomery earlier this month for an organizing event and to speak at the 60th annual Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) Convention, the Alabama Democratic Party’s largest Black caucus. He received the endorsement of the group.

This will be Elizabeth’s second trip to Alabama. By Sunday, she will have traveled to 30 states and Puerto Rico since launching her presidential campaign.

Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden will attend Worship and Provide Brief Remarks at Brown Chapel AME Church at 10:00 a.m. CST. The Church is at: 410 Martin Luther King St, Selma, AL 36703.

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Elizabeth Warren will attend the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee Pre-March Rally will be at 1:30 p.m. at Brown Chapel AME Church; 410 Martin Luther King St., Selma, AL 36703.

The annual Bloody Sunday March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge will be at 2:30 p.m. CST beginning at Brown Chapel AME Church. Warren, Buttigieg, and Bloomberg are all committed to attend the bridge crossing reenactment.

Warren has committed to attend the Presidential Candidate Forum is hosted by the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation and The Bridge Crossing Jubilee. That event will be at 4:00 p.m. (estimated) and will be held at the George Corley Wallace State Community College; 3000 Earl Goodwin Pkwy, Selma, AL 36703.

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Organizers have confirmed that Amy Klobuchar is committed to attend; but were not sure which events she will participate in.

The crossing of the Edmund Pettus bridge and the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March were key events in the Civil Rights Movement that led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The Alabama Democratic Presidential primary will be on Tuesday, March 3. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

 

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Courts

Doug Jones praises end of state Democratic Party lawsuit

Eddie Burkhalter

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U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-Alabama, on Thursday applauded the end of a lawsuit over control of the state Democratic party. 

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Alabama Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Worley, which means that state Rep. Chris England, who was picked to lead the state Democratic party by a reform group championed by Jones, is the party’s chair. 

“This is a great day for Alabama and her Democratic Party. Throughout much of last year, countless Democrats in our state worked to create a more open and diverse state party, while recognizing and being true to the crucial and historic role held by African-American voters,” Jones said in a statement Thursday.

“The by-laws of the Alabama Democratic Party now reflect the growing diversity in our state — including representation for Hispanic voters, Native American voters, Asian voters, voters with disabilities and voters from the LGBTQ community. And most importantly, the Alabama Democratic Party has dramatically increased leadership opportunities for young voters. Around 70 new caucus members were added to the state party Executive Committee last year—many of them young people from diverse backgrounds throughout the state. I’m proud to continue to work alongside a more unified, diverse and inclusive state party. 

“With the dismissal of this lawsuit, it is time that all who have been involved in this challenge, resolution, and expansion of the Democratic Party come together for a common good. Our state benefits from the ideas and engagement of a competitive two-party system. We have now demonstrated that we have the ability to be inclusive within our own party while working to expand the number and experiences of people who play a role in moving it forward.  

“Chairman Chris England and First Vice Chair Patricia Todd have my complete support and I call on Democrats throughout the state to unite behind them as we move forward in modernizing, re-invigorating, and expanding the Alabama Democratic Party.,” Jones said.

 

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ACLU of Alabama condemns bill banning transgender treatment for minors

Jessa Reid Bolling

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alabama has condemned a recently approved bill to prevent doctors from providing hormone replacement therapy or puberty suppressing drugs to people younger than 19 who identify as transgender.

House Bill 303, the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, would make it a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for doctors to prescribe puberty-blocking medications or opposite gender hormones to minors. The legislation would also ban hysterectomy, mastectomy or castration surgeries from being performed on minors.

The Alabama House Health Committee and the Senate Health Committee approved the bill on Wednesday in separate hearings, both drawing overflow crowds. The committee approval moves the bill in line for consideration by the full House. 

The ACLU of Alabama said in a statement that the bill targets transgender youth and puts their academic success and health in danger. 

“Transgender girls are girls, and transgender boys are boys,” said Dillon Nettles, policy analyst at the ACLU of Alabama. “Alabama lawmakers are considering legislation that runs counter to medical science, prevailing standards for the treatment of transgender youth and basic human dignity.

“The government shouldn’t threaten medical providers with jail for treating transgender kids and schools shouldn’t discriminate against them when it comes to participation in school sports. HB303 and HB35 are dangerous, discriminatory and put kids at risk.”

Multiple women’s sports advocacy organizations, including The National Women’s Law Center, the Women’s Sports Foundation and Women Leaders in College Sports, support trans-inclusive policies and oppose efforts to exclude transgender students from participating in sports.

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A June 2019 report from the Trevor Project on mental health issues among LGBTQ youth across the United States found that 78 percent of transgender and non-binary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity in the past year. The report also found that 39 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered. 

The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization that focuses on suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth. 

This is the second bill in the State House this year dealing with transgender youth. 

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Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, is sponsoring House Bill 35, titled the Gender Is Real Legislative Act, or GIRL Act. It would require student athletes in K-12 schools to participate as the gender listed on their birth certificate, preventing transgender athletes from competing as the gender they identify as.

 

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