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Opinion | ALGOP’s biggest fear: Roy Moore running again

Josh Moon

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Roy Moore speaks to reporters and supporters

It’s such a shame to see racist pandering go wasted.

But such is life for Tommy Tuberville and Bradley Byrne, it appears.

Two reasonable, educated men, who chose not to raise the level of discourse in their bids for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat but instead sank quickly to the bottom of the scum-filled swamp to wallow with President Donald Trump and his band of non-white-hating Neanderthals, blowing racist dog whistles and aligning themselves with ignorance, the likes of which this country hasn’t seen since Jim Crow.

All of that pandering. All of that fear mongering. All of that pathetic racism.

All of it up in smoke in an instant with one headline: Roy Moore is running again.

That’s not official, of course, but Moore announced on Tuesday that he’ll hold an event on Thursday to announce his official decision on the Senate race. He’s invited his friends and special guests, and it certainly looks like the Roy Moore Traveling Circus of Carnival Barkers and Con Men is revving back to life and headed for a mall near you.

To make matters worse for the other fellas in the race, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said on social media on Tuesday that he’s also filed paperwork to run, and he’s going to announce his intentions on Thursday.

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So, bye bye, Tubs and Byrne. We hardly knew ya.

Because let’s be real here: None of y’all can beat Ol’ Roy.

And those of you who could mount enough of a challenge to maybe force a runoff couldn’t beat Merrill.

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I’ve seen the internal GOP polling. Roy still leads.

You know who’s second in a couple of those polls?

Robert Bentley.

That’s right. Ol’ Mr. Burns himself, coming up from behind, holding the state close, feeling our breasts. He loves that.

And so do Alabama Republican voters, apparently.

But should we blame them at this point? The ridiculous rhetoric of hate, bigotry and dogma is all they’re ever fed by the ALGOP. Even by candidates who know better, who have degrees and who have traveled this state talking with all sorts of people.

Take Tuberville, for example.

Here’s a guy who has been in some of the most backwoods areas of Alabama, visiting with dirt poor families, as he recruited for his football teams at Auburn. He’s spoken with all sorts of people, and he should have a unique and valuable insight into the issues that plague all Alabamians.

But does he build his campaign around that insight? Does he base his campaign on an uplifting message, telling people of all races and income levels how he is uniquely qualified to address their problems and make their lives better?

Nope. He spends his time screaming “TRUMP!” and blowing racist dog whistles about immigrants “taking over.”

Same for Byrne, who is probably one of the most level-headed and reasonable Republicans in the state. But he’s spent the last two years trying to convince everyone that he’s nothing more than a screaming madman who loves Dim Donald and wants to personally help build the wall.

You know what several years of that sort of pandering and ignorance gets you?

Roy Moore.

Instead of conditioning GOP voters to be educated and well versed on the issues and candidates, Alabama Republicans, who routinely lack a plan to do anything, have gone straight for the heart strings. They’ve built campaigns on fear — of other religions, of black people, of brown people, of books, of abortion, of anything that makes them the least bit uncomfortable.

No one candidate in this state — hell, maybe in all of America — embodies that fear mongering and pandering better than Roy Moore.

He is truly a monster of their own creation. And if he announces his candidacy for Senate on Thursday, you can prepare for ALGOP’s Pander Monster to once again wipe out the pretenders.

 

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police endorses Russell Bedsole

Brandon Moseley

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Alabama House District 49 Republican candidate Russell Bedsole.

The Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Republican candidate Russell Bedsole in the special election in Alabama House of Representatives District 49. Bedsole is a Captain with the Shelby County sheriff’s Department and currently serves on the Alabaster City Council.

“There is no doubt that our country, state, and communities are facing extreme challenges,” said Everette Johnson, the president of the Alabama State FOP. “These challenges have caused stress, divisiveness, and concern for the future of our country. Now more than ever, we need strong, yet compassionate, leaders to guide us through these turbulent times. We need leaders who understand how important the safety of our communities should be and the willingness to work together for all. Russell Bedsole is that leader.”

Bedsole said it is an honor to be endorsed by the Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police.

“As a representative of District 49, I will work to protect law and order in our communities and stand up for our conservative Christian values in Montgomery,” he said.

Bedsole and competitor Mimi Penhale were the top two vote-getters in the Republican primary runoff. Chuck Martin, who came in third, has also endorsed Bedsole.

“I wanted to again thank those that voted for me, supported me by putting up signs and making phone calls,” Martin said in a statement on social media. “I also want to thank those who also made donations to fund my campaign. Since I came in third, Russell Bedsole and Mimi Penhale have both ask for my endorsement. I want to ask those that supported me to support Russell Bedsole. Both candidates are great people, but Debbie and I made the decision to support Russell.”

Bedsole has been elected twice by the citizens of Alabaster to represent the city’s fifth ward on the Alabaster City Council. Bedsole’s campaign said that during his time of service, Alabaster has benefited from positive economic growth, a first-class school system and a high quality of life. He has also received endorsements from the Shelby County Fraternal Order of Police, Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists and Conservation Alabama.

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A runoff election for the District 49 seat will be held on Sept. 1.

“I humbly ask for your vote on September 1 to grant me the opportunity to serve District 49,” Bedsole said.

The special election is being held to fill the seat left vacant when Rep. April Weaver, R-Briarfield, joined President Donald Trump’s administration as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services. House District 49 includes portions of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby Counties. The eventual Republican nominee will face Democratic nominee Cheryl Patton in the Special General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The winner will serve the remainder of April Weaver’s term, which ends in late 2022.

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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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