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Mo Brooks out-raises Chris Lewis 5-to-1

Brandon Moseley

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In Alabama’s 5th Congressional District incumbent Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, outraised challenger Chris Lewis by $179,761,81 in the first half of 2019. Lewis is challenging Brooks in the Republican primary on March 3.

Brooks reported receipts of $220,395.06 and expenditures of $42,106.84 for a final cash balance of $870,469.73 entering the month of July.

Chris Lewis reported receipts of $44,633.25 and expenditures of $9,173.97 for a cash balance of $35,459.28 coming into July.

Brooks reported total contributions of $219,409 during the first six months of 2019. $161,689 of that were in the form of individual donations. Brooks also had $57,720 in contributions from committees.

The Republican Party Committee has not contributed anything to Brooks at this point as the parties do not take sides in primaries. Brooks also reported offsets to operating expenditures of $661.53 and other receipts $324.53.

Brooks’ 120 itemized individual contributions are overwhelmingly from Alabama and range in size from $2800 to $200. William Taylor and Christy Taylor of New Market, Alabama each made two $2,800 contributions to Brooks. William Taylor is the owner of Hometown Lenders. Franklin Haney of Chattanooga, Tennessee made two contributions to Brooks of $2,800 and $2,600. He manages the Franklin L. Haney Company. FLH is a Washington-based, multi-faceted business with national investments in real estate and property development. They have built buildings for banks, the TVA, the IRS, Social Security, Holiday Inn, and more. Haney recently tried to buy and restart construction on a nuclear plant in Jackson County.

Brooks’ ten largest committee contributions came from the House Freedom Fund $5,000; the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry PAC $5,000; Torch Technologies Inc. PAC $2,700; Associated Builders and Contractors $2,500; American Society of Anesthesiologists $2,500; Southeast Cotton Committee Southern Cotton Growers Inc,/SE Cotton Ginners Assn. $2,500; NUCOR Corporation PAC $2,500; National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors PAC $2,000; Lockheed Martin Employees PAC $2,000; and Employees of Northrop Grumman PAC $1,500.

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Lewis reported total contributions of $44,133.25. All of his contributions were from individuals. Lewis had 49 itemized individual contributions from $2,800 to $5.50. Most of his contributions came from Alabama. His most significant contribution was from Harold Lewis of Florence $2,800. Cherion Crow of Florence also contributed $2,800. Crow owns Construction Personnel, Inc. Helmut Welker of Canal Winchester, Ohio contributed $2,500. Patricia Lewis of Florence contributed $2,500. Carolyn Eck of Florence contributed $2,144. Lewis also reported $500 in offsets to expenditures.

Lewis reported no committee contributions.

Neither Brooks nor Lewis report any outstanding campaign loans.

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North Alabama was a Democratic stronghold for over a century until then-incumbent Parker Griffith switched to the Republican Party late in 2009. He was subsequently defeated in the Republican primary by Brooks in 2010. Griffith challenged Brooks unsuccessfully in the 2012 Republican primary and then switched back to the Alabama Democratic Party in 2014, where he was the Democratic nominee for Governor. Griffith was defeated by then-incumbent Gov. Robert Bentley (R) in the 2014 general election.

Presently no Democrat has filed paperwork with the FEC to run for this seat in 2020.

The Federal Elections Commission is the regulatory body for federal races including Congressional races. The Alabama Secretary of State’s office is the regulatory agency for state and judicial races.

Brooks is presently serving in his fifth term representing the people of Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. Brooks previously served the people of North Alabama on the Madison County Commission and in the Alabama House of Representatives. Brooks is an attorney and former prosecutor.

Lewis is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan before retiring with 23 years of service.

The major party primaries will be March 3.

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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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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

Atlanta Mayor to campaign for Biden in Alabama

Brandon Moseley

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Thursday, the presidential campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden (D) announced that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will travel to Tennessee and Alabama to campaign on behalf of Joe Biden.

On Friday, Mayor Bottoms will travel to Tennessee, where she will host a Women for Biden event with State Senator Brenda Gilmore, moderate a health care roundtable, and host a meet and greet with State Representative Harold Love in Nashville. She was supposed to have hosted a GOTV kickoff event with Mayor Lee Harris and State Senator Raumesh Akbari in Memphis, Tennessee; but that event has been reportedly cancelled.

On Saturday, Mayor Bottoms will travel to Alabama, where she will host community events in Huntsville and Birmingham before speaking at the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors.

Biden has promised that his campaign will carry South Carolina, where he is leading in the polls. Biden hopes that he can win several southern states, including Alabama, on Super Tuesday to emerge as one of the leaders in the race for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

The Huntsville community Event with Keisha Lance Bottoms in Huntsville will be 9:30 a.m. at the Huntsville Country Club 2601 Oakwood Ave NW, Huntsville, AL 35810. Doors open at 9:00 a.m.

The Birmingham community Event with Keisha Lance Bottoms is somewhere in Birmingham at 12 noon; but the Biden campaign has not given us a location. We will update this story once the details are available.

UPDATED at 10:27 a.m. 2/28 The Biden event will be at Iron City Grill 2208 6th Ave S, Birmingham, AL.

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Mayor Bottoms will address the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors in Selma at 3:00 p.m. pm Saturday. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. C.S.T. at Browns Chapel A.M.E., 410 Martin Luther King Street, Selma, AL, 36703.

Biden has been endorsed by both Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-Selma) and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama).

Biden is the favorite to win both the South Carolina and Alabama Democratic Primaries. Biden however is trailing in most of the Super Tuesday states to frontrunner U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). Sanders carried 47 percent of the vote in the recent Nevada Caucus. Sanders won the New Hampshire primary and won the most votes in the Iowa Caucus; though South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg won the most number of Caucuses, and thus the most delegates in Iowa.

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Biden was the early front runner in the polls; but has been hurt by Republican charges of nepotism benefitting his son, Hunter Biden, while he was Vice President from 2009 to 2017.

The Alabama Democratic Conference has endorsed former New York City Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg was a late entry into the race, thus was not even on the ballot in Iowa, Nevada, or New Hampshire and won’t be on the ballot in South Carolina either. Bloomberg has spent over $350 million of his own money to buy TV and media ads. Bloomberg is a billionaire with a fortune estimated to be worth over $66 billion.

Moderate Democrats like James Carville have expressed fears that the Democratic Party will suffer tremendous losses in November if Sanders, a self-declared Socialist, wins the nomination.

The Alabama Democratic presidential primary will be on Tuesday.

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Elections

Bloomberg making final Alabama push

Josh Moon

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The Michael Bloomberg campaign is making Alabama one of its top Super Tuesday priorities — hoping that state Democratic voters will help catapult the former New York City mayor into the running for the party’s presidential nomination. 

Bloomberg has already spent more time in Alabama than most of the other candidates — including kicking off his presidential run by qualifying first on the Alabama ballot and speaking at an Alabama Democratic Conference meeting — and has flooded the state with workers and cash, buying advertising spots and building infrastructure the likes of which Alabama has rarely seen. 

With the primary less than a week away now, Bloomberg’s campaign is making a last push. 

That will be highlighted by the former mayor’s visit to the state over the weekend and a number of surrogates making their way around Alabama throughout the coming days. 

That starts in earnest on Thursday, when former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, one of the first mayors to endorse Bloomberg, travels to Miles College for a “community conversation” with students and others. 

The visit to a historically black college is no coincidence, as Bloomberg’s campaign looks to regain the support of black voters after his history as NYC mayor drew major fire from his Democratic primary opponents. Having the endorsement of the ADC, the state’s black caucus, will certainly help, but former Vice President Joe Biden maintains strong support among black voters and moderates in Alabama.  

Nutter will be joined at Miles by former Birmingham Mayor William Bell, who also has announced his support for Bloomberg. 

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Following the event at Miles, Nutter will travel to the Alabama State House in Montgomery for a meeting with the Alabama Baptist Association Leadership and then on to Selma, where he’ll attend a reception for the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors.

 

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