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Alabama Republicans praise Trump’s State of the Union Speech

Brandon Moseley

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President Donald Trump spoke 0ver 90 minutes to a joint session of Congress explaining his vision for the country in the 2019 State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan stated that Alabama is proud to support Trump.

“Alabama is proud to be a consistent and strong supporter of President Trump and his policies,” Chairman Lathan said. “His efforts to keep our nation safe, both internationally and at our borders are what America needs to remain secure. It is imperative that we build a wall to enforce our nation’s immigration laws and stop the flow of drugs, human traffickers and dangerous criminals from harming our citizens. It is American to embrace legal immigrants and the value they bring to America while simultaneously recognizing that our broken immigration system must be fixed.”

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, praised Trump’s State of the Union speech.

“Tonight, President Trump outlined a policy agenda that both parties can work together to achieve,” Senator Shelby said. “During his first two years in office, the president has delivered on many promises to the American people, including signing historic tax reform into law, creating one of the strongest economies I have seen in my lifetime and focusing on vital infrastructure projects.”

U.S. Representative Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, expressed his support for the president and his agenda.

“The President’s theme tonight of choosing greatness was what I think the nation needed to hear,” Congressman Palmer said. “He made it clear that we have a choice — we can choose to continue to pursue agendas that will weaken us, or we can choose an agenda that will unite us and ensure a bright and secure future for America. A strong economy, a strong value for life at all stages and strong border security are all things that should unite us. We are certainly better off now than we were two years ago. Under this administration, businesses have expanded, burdensome regulations have been eliminated, people are taking home bigger paychecks, and many businesses that had left the U.S. have returned. President Trump noted tonight: ‘The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast as when I took office, and we are considered by far and away the hottest economy in the world. … More people are working now than ever before in our history – 157 million people at work.’”

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“President Trump showed true leadership through his incredible State of the Union Address,” Lathan said. “In calling for a renewal of bipartisanship and cooperation, our president was the picture of strength and resolve. President Trump is right. America is and will continue to be great, but we are stronger if we decide to come together and work to find solutions that better our nation. To echo President Trump’s words, we must choose greatness. In putting aside our differences, we can make the seemingly impossible, possible.”

“While huge strides were made to address our nation’s most critical issues last Congress, I applaud President Trump’s dedication to solve the challenges still facing us today,” Shelby continued. “It is imperative that we work to put our political disagreements aside in order to secure our borders with a comprehensive solution. As Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground on this critical issue.”

Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, also praised the president’s speech.

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“In his second State of the Union address, President Trump highlighted the economic success hardworking Americans are experiencing thanks to the implementation of pro-growth policies, including the historic tax reform overhaul,” Rep. Roby said. “I was also pleased to hear more about his plan to work with Congress to reinvigorate our badly aging infrastructure, strengthen our military, bolster our national security efforts, improve care for veterans and defend the unborn.”

U.S. Representative Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, expressed his support for the Trump agenda.

“President Trump did an excellent job of explaining why we must secure America’s porous southern border,” Congressman Brooks said. “Too many Americans have lost their lives and their jobs. Too many Americans have had their wages suppressed. Too many Americans are being forced to pay higher taxes to support welfare for illegal alien families. In short, President Trump laid bare for all to see the betrayal of American families by Democrats who care more about illegal aliens than Americans.”

U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne, R-Alabama, also praised Trump’s speech in a statement.

“Tonight, President Trump’s message was clear: if we stop with the political games and focus on solutions, American Greatness knows no bounds,” Congressman Byrne said. “By supporting the President’s clear and bold agenda, the American people will be stronger, safer, and more prosperous.”

“Tonight, President Trump reaffirmed in his speech what makes our country great,” said U.S. Representative Mike Rogers, R-Saks. “His vision for America is attainable if we all work together and his eloquent call for unity will only make our nation stronger. I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump to build an even stronger economy, ensure our national security remains a top priority and secure our Southwest border with Mexico.”

“In addition, President Trump laid out his vision for our country’s future as it relates to enhancing border security and finally addressing our serious illegal immigration problem,” Roby added. “Now, with a divided Congress, I was encouraged by his remarks about the importance of bipartisanship and working together to get our job done. I am eager to continue working with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to deliver the results that the American people and Alabama’s Second District deserve.”

“By cooperating together, we will surely preserve our country for future generations,” Palmer stated. “I was glad to hear President Trump express value for those future generations by upholding the sanctity of life tonight. Recognition of the dignity of life at all stages and protection of the right to life are inherent to our nation’s ideals. We must continue defending this most basic right if we are to flourish as a country. We also must defend our country where it is vulnerable to outside harm. For many weeks now, the need for strong border security has been apparent. Between the gang violence, human trafficking, and illegal drug trading, there is undoubtedly a crisis at the southern border. President Trump has now provided a window of opportunity for Congress to fund all of its agencies while also ensuring a secure border. In years past, there has been bipartisan support for border security that includes a physical barrier.”

“Whether the focus was on economic prosperity, free enterprise versus socialism, international relations, health care, national security, or the promise of America, President Trump hit the game-winning grand slam, shot the game-winning three point shot, and scored the game-winning touchdown,” Brooks concluded. “In sum, President Trump reminded us of how great America is and how proud we should be to be Americans.”

“We deeply appreciate President Trump’s strong determination to end late-term abortions,” Lathan added. “All children are worthy of life. It is up to us to protect their innocence. We were also reminded of President Trump’s accomplishments during the last two years. From historically low unemployment and tax rates to nearly eradicating ISIS, to rolling back burdensome federal regulations, one thing is crystal clear – our president is getting things done and improving life for Americans.”

“Most notably, President Trump again outlined a commonsense strategy to secure our border,” Byrne continued. “After decades of inaction by both parties, it is time we finally fix our broken immigration system and keep the American people safe. President Trump also outlined many issues important to Alabama. From strengthening our military to expanding rural broadband to lowering prescription drug costs, under President Trump’s agenda the people of Alabama stand to benefit and our state will become even stronger.”

“As President Trump highlighted, we must strive to reach common sense solutions to pressing policy issues in the days ahead,” Shelby added. “I plan to continue working to promote safe and legal immigration, protect American workers, rebuild our infrastructure, lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and prioritize our national security. The President’s remarks this evening were inspiring, and I look forward to implementing policies that ensure the success and prosperity of the American people. As he said tonight, victory is not winning for our party, victory is winning for our country.”

The president spoke on bipartisanship and working together; while still emphasizing his “Make America Great Again” agenda, including building a wall on the U.S. southerner border with Mexico.

“I hope my Democratic colleagues will heed President Trump’s words tonight and return to this bipartisan approach that he has encouraged,” Palmer concluded. “He summed it up well tonight when he said, ‘Together, we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.’”

Trump is the 45th President of the United States. He was elected in the 2016 election and is expected to pursue a second term in 2020.

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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Elections

Coalition of attorneys general file opposition to Alabama attempt to ban curbside voting

The AGs argue that Alabama’s suggestion to the courts that curbside voting invites fraud is “unfounded.” 

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

A coalition of 17 state attorneys general have filed an opposition to Alabama’s attempt to get the U.S. Supreme Court to ban curbside voting. 

In a friend-of-the-court brief, led by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, the attorneys general argue to that curbside voting is safer for those at greatest risk from COVID-19, and that a ban on the practice would disproportionately impact the elderly, the disabled and Black Alabamians.

They also argue that Alabama’s suggestion to the courts that curbside voting invites fraud is “unfounded.” 

“The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, established by President Trump following the 2016 election, ‘uncovered no evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud,’” the brief states, adding that there is no evidence that curbside voting in the many states that allow it invites fraud. 

“The practice is longstanding and widespread—as noted, more than half of states have historically offered curbside voting in some form,” the brief continues. 

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Oct. 13 said the state will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a federal appeals court ruling allowing curbside voting in the Nov. 3 election. 

A panel of federal appeals court judges on Oct. 13 reversed parts of U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon’s Sept. 30 ordered ruling regarding absentee voting in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections, but the judges let the previous ruling allowing curbside voting to stand. 

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The lawsuit, filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Alabama and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, was brought on behalf of several Alabamians with underlying medical conditions. 

“Curbside voting is a longstanding, secure voting option that local jurisdictions have made available to protect the health of vulnerable voters, including elderly, disabled, and voters with underlying health issues,” Racine said in a statement. “Curbside voting minimizes the risk to persons who are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, and local jurisdictions should be able to offer this common-sense accommodation to voters. State Attorneys General will keep fighting to ensure that voters can safely make their voices heard at the ballot box this November.”

The brief filed by the coalition of state attorneys general comes as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations across Alabama has been ticking upward.

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Racine is joined in the brief by attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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Health

At least 248 COVID deaths reported in Alabama in October

The cumulative death toll in Alabama has risen by 248 to 2,788 in October and by 124 in the last week alone.

Brandon Moseley

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(STOCK PHOTO)

We’re a little more than halfway through the month of October and the Alabama Department of Public Health has already reported at least 248 deaths from COVID-19.

The cumulative death toll in Alabama has risen by 248 to 2,788 in October and by 124 in the last week alone.

At least 378 deaths were reported in the month of September, a rate of 12.6 deaths per day over the month. In the first 17 days of October, the rate has been 14.6 deaths per day, a 15.9 percent increase from September.

Deaths were higher in July and August. The cumulative death toll increased by 582 in August and 630 in July, the worst month of the pandemic for the state.

On Saturday, ADPH reported that 1,288 more people in the state were confirmed positive with the coronavirus, and on Sunday the count increased by 964. The number of confirmed cases in Alabama has risen to 172,626.

There have been 17,925 new cases Alabama in October alone. The state is averaging almost 996 cases per day in October, which is up from September.

The state had 28,643 new coronavirus cases in September, 38,335 cases new cases in August, and 49,678 cases in July. Public health officials credit Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s statewide mask order on July 15 with slowing the spread of the virus in the state, but the virus has not gone away.

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ADPH reported 823 hospitalizations for COVID-19 on October 17, the most recent day for which we have data. While hospitalizations for COVID-19 are down from the peaks in early August in Alabama have risen from Oct. 1 when 748 Alabamians were hospitalized, a 10 percent increase from the first of the month.

The state of Alabama is continuing to struggle to protect its most vulnerable citizens. At least 6,497 residents of long term care facilities in Alabama have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, 247 of them in October.

There have also been 3,362 cases among long term care workers in Alabama, including 197 in the month of October. Some 9,819 Alabama health care workers have also contracted the coronavirus.

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Most people who test positive for the novel strain of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, are asymptomatic or have only minor symptoms, but in about one out of five cases it can become much more severe.

For older people or people with underlying medical conditions like obesity, heart disease, asthma, cancer, diabetes or HIV, COVID-19 can turn deadly. COVID-19 is the abbreviated name for the medical condition caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Some 1,115,600 people worldwide have died from COVID-19 worldwide, including 224,284 Americans. There are 8,972,704 known active cases in the world today.

Public health officials warn citizens that coronavirus remains a present danger in our community. Social distancing is the best way to avoid spreading the virus. Avoid venues with large groups. Don’t shake hands or hug persons not living in your household.

Avoid leaving your home as much as possible and wear a mask or cloth face covering when you do go out. Avoid touching your face and wash your hands with soap frequently. Hand sanitizer is recommended.

A coronavirus vaccine may be available in the coming months, but we don’t yet know when or how effective it will be.

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National

Today is the last day to register to vote for the November 3 general election

The deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 3, 2020, general election is Oct. 19.

Brandon Moseley

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The secretary of state’s office on Sunday announced that its employees will be available until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, to assist with voter registration.

The deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 3, 2020, general election is Oct. 19.

Eligible Alabamians can register to vote online at AlabamaVotes.gov, through the mobile app “Vote for Alabama,” or by visiting their county board of registrars office.

To submit an application to register to vote, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a citizen of the United States.
  • You must live in the State of Alabama.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age on or before election day.
  • You must not be barred from voting by reason of a disqualifying felony conviction.
  • You must not have been judged “mentally incompetent” in a court of law.

Online registrations will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. and in-person registrations will be accepted until the close of business Monday, Oct. 19.

The office of the secretary of state will be available by phone to assist with any questions or concerns until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 19 and can be reached at 334-242-7200 and the elections division can be reached at 334-242-7210.

Secretary of State John Merrill said, “I want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

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You can still register after the deadline, but you won’t be able to vote in this general election. Voters must have a valid photo ID. If you do not have a valid photo ID you can get a free voter ID from your local board of registrars or from the secretary of state’s office.

Every voter must vote at the polling place that they are assigned. It is not too late to apply for an absentee ballot. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is five days before the election. A record number of people are expected to vote absentee.

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Elections

Tuberville, Sessions campaign together

The two former Republican primary opponents participated in a series of campaign events across the Tennessee Valley area.

Brandon Moseley

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Former Sen. Jeff Sessions, left, and Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, right.

The Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate campaign released a social media video Thursday featuring Tuberville alongside former U.S. Sen. and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The two former Republican primary opponents had participated in a series of campaign events across the Tennessee Valley area.

Tuberville and Sessions on Wednesday met with representatives of Huntsville’s defense and technology sectors, participated in an event sponsored by the Republican Women of Huntsville and headlined multiple campaign fundraising events.

Sessions said, “Tommy, I support you 100 percent. Alabama must send you to represent us in the Senate. We cannot allow a Chuck Schumer acolyte – Doug Jones – to represent Alabama in the Senate.”

“You see it on his vote on the judges and Kavanaugh and the way he’s behaved about the new nominee, so I think … it would be shocking that Alabama would reelect a Doug Jones,” Sessions continued. “I know you’re going to win. I feel really good about it, and I’m glad that you’re traveling the state hard and that you’re here in this important community.”

The night after Tuberville won the Republican primary runoff election, Sessions committed to doing his part to help defeat Jones and reclaim the Senate seat for the ALGOP.

“After we won the runoff, Jeff Sessions called and told me, ‘Coach, I’m all in,’ and today’s joint events certainly demonstrate that he is a man of his word,” Tuberville said following the video shoot. “Jeff Sessions understands that it’s time we once again had a U.S. senator whose votes reflect our conservative Alabama values, not the ultra-liberal Hollywood and New York values of Doug Jones’s high-dollar, out-of-state campaign donors.”

Tuberville faces a determined Jones, who is flooding the airwaves with ads. Democrats are desperate to hold on to Jones’ seat, believing that his seat could tip control of the Senate to the Democrats.

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Democrats hope to hold onto their control the U.S. House of Representatives and a recent poll by Rasmussen shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a five point lead over incumbent Donald Trump.

Sessions left the U.S. Senate to accept an appointment as Trump’s first attorney general.

Jones defeated former Chief Justice Roy Moore to win the seat in the special election.

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Sessions was fired by Trump in 2018 and announced his candidacy for Senate the day before qualifying ended. Tuberville had already spent ten months on the campaign trail at that point.

Tuberville defeated Sessions, Moore, Congressman Bradley Byrne, State Rep. Arnold Mooney and businessman Stanley Adair in the crowded Republican primary. Tuberville is a former Auburn University head football coach. He also coached Texas Tech, Cincinnati and Ole Miss. Tuberville won a national championship as the defensive coordinator at the University of Miami. Tuberville lives in Auburn.

The general election is Nov. 3.

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