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Elections

Ballot access reform is unlikely to get out of committee

Brandon Moseley

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Reports are that a bill to make it easier for minor party candidates and independents to get ballot access likely will not even get out of committee in its house of origin this session.

Senate Bill 336 is sponsored by State Senator Cam Ward, R-Alabaster.

According to the synopsis: “Under existing law, to gain ballot access, an independent candidate for office must file a written petition signed by at least three percent of the qualified electors who cast ballots for the office of Governor in the last general election. This bill would reduce the number of signatures of qualified electors required for political parties and independent candidates for statewide office to gain ballot access. This bill would alter the time frame in which a political party may submit signatures in order for a candidate for statewide office to gain ballot access.”

Joshua Cassity is the Chairman of the Alabama Constitution Party.

“We have heard from the Senate Sponsor of SB336 ballot access reform. A test vote was held and only 2 of the 13 senators voted for the bill.” Cassity said. “If the law is not changed you can almost be assured you will continue to have only 1 candidate in most of the state elections in 2022. Your support for ballot access is not requiring you to vote for a Constitution Party, Libertarian Party, or Green Party candidate, it is clearly stating as a voter you would like more choices on your ballot and a a citizen you believe independents have an equal right to appear on our election ballots. The number of signatures increased by over 20% after the last election and our senators currently have no interest in reducing this number even when we had NO statewide independents on our 2018 ballot.”

Cassity is urging the members of his party and ballot access reform supporters to call the Senators on the Judiciary Committee to urge them to support SB336 so that it can get to the Senate floor this session.

Richard Rutledge is the Chairman of the Alabama Conservative Party.

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“Yep the Republican Party did the same thing in Alabama that the Nazi party did in Germany when they took power,” Rutledge told the Alabama Political Reporter. “They immediately passed the most restrictive ballot access laws in the USA!! And folk wonder why we have the corruption issues here? We are not in a free state we live in a Facist State where the ruling class oligarchy has locked out all others voices from the process.”

“After this last Governors election the sig requirement for a minor Party or independent candidate has gone out the roof,” Rutledge continued. “Jefferson County alone for a single county wide candidate is now 7700 confirmed signatures of registered voters and State access is 55000!!”

“This is while taxpayers pay for the exclusively PARTY primary election for the Republicans and Democrats!” Rutledge continued. “All other voices are locked out here and close to 50 % of all Alabama legislative seats will never be elected in a real election in this state!! This MUST CHANGE!!”

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If the bill is approved by the Senate Justiciary Committee, it then would be available for consideration by the full Senate.

Alabama has two big tent political parties, one largely conservative to moderate: the Republican Party and the other progressive to moderate: the Democratic Party. The Republicans generally garner over two thirds of the White vote in the state and the Democrats generally take over ninety percent of the Black vote.

Neither party is eager to see a third party on the ballot and both parties are satisfied with the ballot access laws as they are. In a Legislature where everybody is a Republican or Democrat, it is difficult to find support for candidates challenging the two-party structure that we have now.

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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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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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Elections

11th-hour smear campaign against Byrne linked to opponent Tuberville, sources say

Bill Britt

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A story published February 24, on Gateway Pundit alleges, “Bradley Byrne kicked his brother’s widow off her land,” but the land was never owned by Byrne’s sister-in-law.

Whether the reporter at Gateway Pundit didn’t read all the court records or there were other motives, the erroneous accusations on the popular right-wing blog are now being used to smear Byrne in the final hours of a heated U.S. Senate race.

See complete records. 

Political consultants not tied to Byrne’s campaign say that operatives working for his rival, Tommy Tuberville, are promoting the story to damage Byrne. Random text messages are being sent to distribute the story as well as numerous calls to Alabama media outlets to report on the false claims. State political reporters have rejected the story due to its inaccuracies.

Several calls and voice messages to Tuberville’s campaign have gone unanswered.

The land in question was part of the estate of Byrne family matriarch, Elizabeth Patricia Langsdale Byrne.

In her original will signed July 23, 1996, Mrs. Byrne left her property in Baldwin County to her three children, Dale, Bradley and Patricia.

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However, on Feb. 25, 1999, she amended her will, removing her eldest son leaving the property to only Bradley and Patricia.

On Dec. 6, 2000, Mrs. Byrne again amended her will, leaving one-third to Bradley, one-third to Patricia and one-third as a “life estate” to Dale. According to the will, the life estate left to Dale would go back to Bradley and Patrica upon Dale’s death because a life estate means ownership of land is only for the duration of a person’s life.

Mrs. Byrne died in 2008; she was followed in death by her son Dale in 2014,  at which time the life estate bequeathed to him expired.

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Bradley, who his mother selected as executor of her estate, then filed the necessary paperwork with the Baldwin County probate office to address Dale’s death as stipulated in Mrs. Byrne’s will.

The Gateway Pundit story leaves out crucial details and in its interview with Dale’s fourth wife, Gloria, repeats claims she made that are not grounded in facts.

There is also a false claim that Byrne refused to leave the campaign trial when his brother died, but he did in fact cancel a scheduled event in the family’s time of morning.

The same reporter at Gateway Pundit wrote several stories praising Tuberville and trashing his other primary opponent, Jeff Sessions, calling him a skunk and a snake.

Court records clearly show Byrne acted in accordance with his mother’s wishes as they were detailed in her last will and testament.

 

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Elections

McCutcheon endorses Chris Lewis for Congress

Brandon Moseley

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Late Thursday night the Chris Lewis for U.S. Congress campaign announced that they were pleased that the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) has endorsed Lewis in the Fifth Congressional District.

Lewis is challenging conservative incumbent Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville).

Speaker McCutcheon represents House District 25 in Limestone and Madison counties.

“Many people and organizations across North Alabama have discussed with me that it is time to make a change in our Congressional seat,” McCutcheon said in a video that was released on the internet. “Chris has proven his commitment to our Nation through his military service.” “I believe Chris has the heart of a servant leader and would be a fine Congressman for North Alabama.”

Lewis’s campaign says that the endorsement highlights his understanding and commitment to our nation’s defense and advancements in space exploration technology. It follows previous endorsements of Lewis by the: Alabama Farmers Federation Farm PAC (ALFA), Bgen “Smokin” Joseph Stringham USA (ret), Combat Veterans for Congress, Dynetics, Professional Fire Fighters of Alabama, and the Home Builders Association of Alabama.

Lewis is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the U.S. Naval War College. He retired as a Commander from the United States Navy after 23 years of service. His experience includes multiple combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, service as a strategic analyst for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a decade of defense acquisition experience, and serving as Contract Transition Team Lead for Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold Air Force Base.

Brooks’ outspoken conservative views and his role as a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus has earned him criticism from some Republicans. Brooks has represented the Fifth Congressional District for five terms. He ran for U.S. Senate in the U.S. Senate special election in 2017; but finished third behind former Chief Justice Roy Moore and appointed Senator Luther Strange in the special Republican primary. Brooks was a staunch supporter of Sen. Ted Criz (R-Texas) in the 2016 presidential primary; but has been a strong supporter of Pres. Trump’s agenda in the House and a fierce opponent of efforts by House Democrats to impeach the President.

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President Donald J. Trump has endorsed Brooks.

The President said on Twitter: ”@MoInTheHouse Brooks is running for Congress in the Great State of Alabama. He is a huge supporter of the #MAGA Agenda. Mo fully supports Securing our Border w/the WALL, he Loves our Military & Vets, & is Strong on the #2A. Mo has my Complete Endorsement!”

The Fifth Congressional District had been in Democratic hands until Brooks challenged incumbent Congressman Parker Griffith (D-Huntsville) and Griffith responded by switching to the Republican Party. He was defeated by Brooks in the Republican primary in 2010.

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The Republican primary is on March 3. This is likely a winner take all primary as no Democrat qualified to run in the Fifth Congressional District.

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