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Elections

Rep. John Rogers considers run for U.S. Senate

Brandon Moseley

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Four Republicans are already challenging Doug Jones for his Senate seat.

Now he may be facing a Democratic challenger as well. On Tuesday, embattled state Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, said that he is considering running for Senate.

Rogers said in the Senate floor that he is seeking $1 million in pledges supporting his campaign and already has $500,000 of that.

“I’m running for real. I’m not backing down,” Rogers said. “If I get $500,000 more, I’ll be an official candidate.”

Rogers told the Alabama Political Reporter when the session ended, “I have to reach a certain threshold. Doug Jones already has over $2 million. It is hard to beat someone who has $3 million.”

Rogers has been widely criticized for his remarks last week defending abortion saying that ‘we either kill then now (in abortions) or we kill them later in the electric chair,’ and for his use of the word ‘retarded’ in remarks on the House floor as well as used as a pejorative against Donald Trump Jr. who had criticized Rogers for earlier remarks. Rogers also said that Trump Jr. should have been aborted by his mother.

In his floor speech Rogers implied that Senator Doug Jones had called him.

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“Nobody calls me on the phone and tells me to be quiet, not the President and not a Senator,” Rogers said. “You can take that and put it where the sun don’t shine.”

Rogers said, “I have not been chastised by anyone since my Mother and Father and I am not going to start now.”

Rogers apologized several times for his use of the word “retarded,” and said that he has a young intellectually challenged relative that he dearly loves. Rogers says that he stands by the rest of his comments and has been receiving calls from doctors who agree with him, “from all over the world.”

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Rogers said that when it is over we will hug, but, “While we are fighting I am going to try to knock your eyeballs out.” “I am going to put my combat boots on and my combat clothes and get ready for a fight.”

The National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) released a statement,

“Doug Jones and John Rogers share the same views on abortion, but Rogers is at least honest about it,” said NRSC spokesperson Nathan Brand. “Even Alabama Democrats are taking note of how dishonest Doug Jones is.”

Rogers told Birmingham talk radio host Matt Murphy that Doug Jones called him and agreed with him. “I know you’re right, but I got to come out against you,” Rogers claimed on the radio program.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said in response to the news that there could be a Rogers versus Jones Democratic Primary:

“As Jed Clampett use to say….Wellllll Doggies….,” Lathan said on social media.

Jones has asked Rogers to apologize for his comments last week.

“Nobody apologizes for me,” Rogers said on the House floor.

Jones has released two statements condemning Rogers remarks last week.

Jones calls on Rogers to apologize. Rogers says Trump Jr.’s mother should have aborted him

Rogers demanded on the floor that the Republican controlled state Senate amend HB314 to include a rape and incest exception to the abortion ban.

Rogers is serving his tenth term in the Alabama House of Representatives. He is 78 years old.

The Alabama party primaries for President, U.S. Senator, Congress and other offices is on March 3, 2020.

Congressman Bradley Byrne, state Auditor Jim Zeigler, state Representative Arnold Mooney, former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, and businessman and former televangelist Stanley Adair are all running for the Republican nomination for Senate.

Former Chief Justice Roy Moore has said that he is “prayerfully considering” a second run for the Senate. Jones defeated Moore in a special election in 2017.

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

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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Elections

Barry Moore: Trump is “doing what he can to counteract the Democrat’s stonewalling”

Brandon Moseley

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Congressional candidate Barry Moore.

Congressional candidate Barry Moore, a former Republican state representative from Enterprise, said that the president is “doing what he can to counteract the Democrat’s stonewalling,” referring to President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders extending unemployment payments, student loan relief, protection from eviction and a payroll tax deferral for persons making less than $100,000 a year.

“I’m glad that this President is once again showing his leadership during this crisis,” Moore said in a statement. “These executive orders show that he’s doing what he can to counteract the Democrat’s stonewalling. The American people need more relief from the effects of the ongoing pandemic, and it’s obvious that Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democrats in Congress care more about playing political games and funneling taxpayer money to their cronies than helping the people.”

“The Democrats keep insisting on extending the full $600 per week unemployment benefit despite the Congressional Budget Office saying it will only hurt the economy starting early next year,” Moore continued. “They also keep adding more and more of their progressive wish-list to the deal. Last week it came out that they’re insisting on solar, wind, and other green energy tax credits in the relief bill. What does that have to do with the COVID pandemic? Nothing, except to satisfy their liberal supporters and their anti-American agenda.”

The president signed four executive orders on Saturday granting a $400 per week extension in unemployment benefits as well as extending the initial 120-day protections from eviction for renters and homeowners that were initially part of the CARES Act passed in April. Additional orders set student loan interest rates to zero and suspended federal student loan payments through December 31, 2020, and defers payroll taxes for employees making less than $100K a year from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 of this year.

“I am so thankful that President Donald Trump is standing firm against Pelosi’s and Schumer’s attempt to hold the American people hostage, and I look forward to joining the next Congress to help him resist the Democrat’s agenda,” Moore concluded.

Moore is the Republican nominee in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. He faces Democratic nominee Phyllis Harvey-Hall in the Nov. 3 general election. Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, is not seeking re-election.

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Congress

AFL-CIO endorses Adia Winfrey for Congress

Brandon Moseley

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Congressional candidate Adia Winfrey. (VIA WINFREY CAMPAIGN)

Democratic congressional candidate Adia Winfrey’s campaign announced Monday that she has received the endorsement of the Alabama AFL-CIO in Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District.

At their annual convention last week, union leaders from across the state recognized Winfrey’s “passion, ability to lead and attentiveness to the issues affecting working men and women” as reasons to endorse the Democratic challenger against incumbent Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Alabama.

“Labor unions have long been a leading force in our nation’s economy,” Winfrey wrote. “Workplace safety standards, employee benefits, equal pay for women, non-discrimination policies and so much more can be attributed directly to union members who were willing to speak up for what is right. I look forward to being a voice for Alabama’s hard-working men and women in Congress.”

Winfrey is challenging Rogers, a nine-term incumbent, in the Nov. 3 general election. During his 18 years in Congress, Rogers has earned only a 16 percent lifetime rating by the AFL-CIO for his votes.

“For seven generations, my family has called Talladega, Alabama, home,” Winfrey said. “I am the mother of four amazing children, a doctor of psychology, author, founder of the H.Y.P.E. (Healing Young People thru Empowerment) Movement, and … I am running for Congress in Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District! I believe in the future of our beautiful state and nation. It is time for leadership with a new vision which is #FocusedOnAlabama.”

Winfrey has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wilberforce University and a doctorate of clinical psychology degree from the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology.

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Courts

Plaintiffs ask for panel of judges to reconsider ruling on Alabama voter ID law

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Plaintiffs suing Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill alleging the state’s voter ID law discriminates against minorities on Monday asked a panel of judges to reconsider an appeals court decision that affirmed the law. 

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund on Monday filed a petition Monday asking that all of the judges on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reconsider the July 21 decision by a panel of three judges that fell 2-1 in favor of the state’s voter ID law. 

The 2011 law requires voters in Alabama to show a valid, government-issued photo ID to vote. The NAACP, Greater Birmingham Ministries and several minority voters sued, arguing that lawmakers knowingly crafted the law to prevent Black people and other minorities, who are less likely to have such photo IDs, from voting. 

The three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in its July 21 opinion found that the burden of Alabama’s voter ID law is minimal, and does not“violate the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the Constitution, nor does it violate the Voting Rights Act.”

Merrill has argued that the state’s voter ID law is meant to deter in-person voting fraud and that the state makes available mobile photo ID units able to provide voters with the necessary IDs.

District Judge Darrin Gayles in his dissenting opinion wrote that voter fraud in Alabama is rare, and that “while there have been some limited cases of absentee voter fraud, in-person voter fraud is virtually non-existent.”

Gayles wrote that Merrill presented evidence of just two instances of in-person voter fraud in Alabama’s history.

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“Despite the lack of in-person voter fraud, Secretary Merrill claims Alabama enacted the Photo ID Law to combat voter fraud and to restore confidence in elections — a dubious position in light of the facts,” Gayles wrote.

Gayles noted that former State Sen. Larry Dixon, R-Montgomery, before his retirement in 2010, sponsored similar voter ID bills.

“During this time, Senator Dixon made repeated comments linking photo identification legislation to race, including ‘the fact you don’t have to show an ID is very beneficial to the Black power structure and the rest of the Democrats’ and that voting without photo identification ‘benefits Black elected leaders, and that’s why they’re opposed to it,'” Gayles wrote in his dissenting opinion.

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“It is clear from the statements of the legislators who enacted Alabama’s photo ID law that they passed it for the unconstitutional purpose of discriminating against voters of color,” said LDF senior counsel Natasha Merle in a statement Monday. “As long as this law is intact, Black and Latinx Alabamians will continue to be disproportionately excluded from the state’s electoral process.”

Attorneys in the filing Monday told the court that “roughly 118,000 Alabamians lack qualifying photo ID, and Black and Latinx voters are twice as likely to lack qualifying ID as compared to white voters. Given this evidence, a trial was required to determine whether HB19 violates the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.”

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