Saturday, Alabama Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate John Merrill addressed the Mid-Alabama Republican Club at their monthly meeting in Vestavia Hills.
“It is a pleasure to speak with the members of the Mid-Alabama Republican Club,” Merrill said. “Doug Jones does not represent Alabama values and Alabama thinking.”
Merrill said that when he was a state legislator the Sunlight Foundation recognized him as the most effective member of the Alabama House of Representatives.
Merrill said that while he has been Alabama’s Secretary of State, he has registered a state record 3,516,000 voters. “We have also removed over 800,000 people from the voter rolls because they have moved away, passed away, or been put away.” 96 percent of all eligible Black voters are registered to vote and 91 percent of all eligible White voters are registered.
Merrill said that when we began to implement Alabama’s photo ID law there was push back and criticism.
“They are entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts,” Merrill said. We have broken every record for voter registration and voter participation.
“All we want to do is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Merrill explained. “That did not stop the NAACP Legal Defense Fund from suing us.” A federal judge dismissed that with prejudice.
“We want to take that same message to Washington,” Merrill said.
Merrill said that what his office has done on implementing photo ID, while increasing voter registration and turnout, “Is why we have been invited to Washington twice.”
Merrill said that when he became Secretary of State there were 49 team members, today we have 36 team members and asked to zero the office out of the state general fund budget.
“We were told by the two previous Secretary of States, don’t worry about business services,” Merrill said. “We made some changes in philosophy.” For the past three years, we have been same day on business filings. It used to take six to nine months. “We are not operating at the speed of government, but the speed of business.”
As Alabama Secretary of State, I have saved you $2 million Merrill said. “How does all of this relate to the United States Senate. I am a demonstrated conservative reformer. I have proven that I will be an effective reformer.”
“We do need to build a border wall,” Merrill said. “We have got to get illegal immigration under control.”
Merrill said that we also needed comprehensive immigration reform. Employers in construction, infrastructure, hospitality, and agriculture need to have access to the workers that they need.
“We used to have seasonal workers that were available to pick the crops and produce,” Merrill explained. “Now those people are sitting on the couch eating potato chips and drinking Coca colas. Instead of being net producers they are net takers.”
“We need conservative judges that interpret the constitution and don’t make laws from the bench,” Merrill said.
“We have got to push back against that liberal out of control spending we are seeing from both liberal Democrats and Republicans,” Merrill said. “I have already done this.”
Merrill said that a friend of him asked him if it was worth it, to put up with all of the things that the media is going to say and the things that will come up. “I asked him: Is the Republic worth it? It is worth it to me.”
Merrill said that he grew up in rural Cleburne County and was there just last night staying with his Mother.
“We don’t need to become international policemen,” Merrill said. “Our mission is to protect those people within the borders of the United States who are American citizens, period.”
Merrill said that he wants everyone who wants to come to this country that are willing to work, pay taxes, and contribute to our country to be able to come; “But they need to come the right way.”
One member of the audience asked why our focus was on the southern border and not also n the Canadian border.
“They will come in wherever it is porous, but right now that is the southern border,” Merrill said.
“The conversations we are having on trade and tariffs are the same conversations we were having in the nineties, the eighteen nineties when Grover Cleveland was in his second term and William McKinley was Speaker of the House,” Merrill said.
The Chair of the College Federation of Republican Federation of Alabama, Janey Whitney also addressed MARC.
Chairman Whitney said that the one thousand members of the CFRA are committed to spreading conservative values across the state of Alabama and to get Republicans elected. Currently, the CRFA has chapters at 14 colleges and universities in Alabama and they are working with students from eight other schools to try to start chapters there.
Merrill told Whitney, “I appreciate all the wonderful things you have done for our state.”
MARC President former State Representative Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood) said, :It is important that we engage with college Republicans.”
To learn more about the CFRA.
The Mid-Alabama Republican Club meets at 8:30 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month at the Vestavia Hills Public Library.