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Lathan calls on Doug Jones to “take a stand” on impeachment inquiry

Brandon Moseley

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via ALGOP

The Alabama Republican Party opened qualifying for the 2020 election at their Hoover headquarters Tuesday, but Sen. Doug Jones was the focus of a morning press conference.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan hosted a press conference with the Republican National Committee calling on U.S. Senator Doug Jones to side with the majority of his Alabama constituents and oppose the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Lathan was joined by: Shelby County Republican Party Chairman Joan Reynolds, Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Butch Zaragoza, Monroe County Republican Party Chairman Rebekah Cornelison, elected officials and candidates qualifying to run for office, and grassroots GOP activists.

“As our party starts our qualifying process today with very strong candidates, we find ourselves back again with the party of Senator Doug Jones trying to overthrow our president in a despicable display reminiscent of a 3rd world political coup – not at all what the founding fathers envisioned for our great nation, as the ballot box is the decision maker,” Lathan said. “It started with Russia, then Mueller and now Democrats have come up with another “Get Trump at all cost” scheme concerning Ukraine. They know they can’t beat President Trump at the ballot box and quite frankly, are seething in desperation. In fact, a Democrat Congressman said, “If we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected!” Let me interpret this: If the House Democrats who know better than all of the ill-informed American people don’t stop him, the deplorables, despicables and dregs of society will do it again! The Democrats refuse to accept the results of the 2016 election and are still on a never-ending mission to destroy President Trump.”

“The end goal has always been impeachment,” Lathan continued. “They’ve been openly saying this since his election in an electoral college landslide… and why? Because he won and they lost? Because he shattered their dreams and not their ceiling? Their liberal agenda was yanked away by the VOTERS of our nation and their national hissy fit is filling the airwaves as they waste time instead of doing the jobs they were sent to Congress to do. Their behavior and actions are insults to every American who gave the keys to the Oval Office to Donald Trump!”

“They are attempting to turn a Joe Biden scandal into a Trump problem,” Lathan stated. “Our president, in an unprecedented and transparent move, released the transcript that has sent them into hysterics. No reasonable person can read that three-page transcript and interpret in the same way as the Democrats who are trying to use to destroy President Trump. They wake up every day hating him and their loss.”

“Most Americans oppose impeachment,” Lathan stated. “Recently, a Monmouth poll found that nearly two thirds of Americans oppose beginning impeachment proceedings. The people are fired up and wanting to speak out against this poison pill that is impeachment. They care about their families’ healthcare, the illegal immigration crisis, their paychecks and their families. They clearly see this impeachment charade is another attempt to remove our president. Do we hear the Democrats cheering as American workers’ paychecks continue to rise? NO! Do we see the Democrats celebrating the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years? NO! Do we see the Democrats working on realistic solutions to healthcare issues? NO! Do we see the Democrats trying to secure our boarder and stop the flow of illegal drugs and human trafficking into our nation? NO!”

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“They are now the Party of obstruction in every sense of the word,” Lathan charged. “Where does Doug Jones stand? Time and again, Senator Jones has sided with the radical Democrats in his party, whether it’s obstructing President Trump’s policies or voting against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. He is a member of the Party that had a floor fight over removing the word “God” from their platform. He embraces the Party that just 2 months ago passed a resolution championing “religiously unaffiliated” voters. He knee jerk reacted to the Brett Kavanaugh debacle and voted NO when the majority of Alabamians wanted him to cast a YES vote. He voted NO on the wall funding. Alabamians wanted a YES vote. He voted NO on ending taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood. Our state wanted a YES vote. Senator Jones’ is not voting for the majority of Alabamians, and they will not forget his deafness to their wishes next year.”

Secretary of State John H. Merrill, businessman Stanley Adair, and State Representative Arnold Mooney all qualified on Tuesday for the Republican nomination for Senate. Former Chief Justice Roy Moore, former Auburn football Coach Tommy Tuberville, and Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) have all announced plans to run. GOP qualifying for Senate and other races will remain open through November 8.

The last two Democrats to win statewide races in Alabama were Doug Jones in 2017 and the late Lucy Baxley in 2008 running for Public Service Commission President. The last Democratic incumbent who won re-election was Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks in 2006. The last Democrat to win a state appellate court race in Alabama was Sue Bell Cobb who won the Chief Justice race in 2006. The last Democrat to win Lt. Gov. in Alabama was Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. in 2006. The last Democrat to be elected governor in Alabama was Don Siegelman in 1998. The last Democrat who was elected Alabama Attorney General was Jimmy Evans in 1990. The last time a Democratic incumbent was re-elected to the U.S. Senate in Alabama was Richard Shelby in 1992. The last three Democrats elected as governor of Alabama were Don Siegelman in 1998. George C. Wallace in 1982, and Forest “Fob” James in 1978.

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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

Coalition of attorneys general file opposition to Alabama attempt to ban curbside voting

The AGs argue that Alabama’s suggestion to the courts that curbside voting invites fraud is “unfounded.” 

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

A coalition of 17 state attorneys general have filed an opposition to Alabama’s attempt to get the U.S. Supreme Court to ban curbside voting. 

In a friend-of-the-court brief, led by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, the attorneys general argue to that curbside voting is safer for those at greatest risk from COVID-19, and that a ban on the practice would disproportionately impact the elderly, the disabled and Black Alabamians.

They also argue that Alabama’s suggestion to the courts that curbside voting invites fraud is “unfounded.” 

“The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, established by President Trump following the 2016 election, ‘uncovered no evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud,’” the brief states, adding that there is no evidence that curbside voting in the many states that allow it invites fraud. 

“The practice is longstanding and widespread—as noted, more than half of states have historically offered curbside voting in some form,” the brief continues. 

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Oct. 13 said the state will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a federal appeals court ruling allowing curbside voting in the Nov. 3 election. 

A panel of federal appeals court judges on Oct. 13 reversed parts of U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon’s Sept. 30 ordered ruling regarding absentee voting in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections, but the judges let the previous ruling allowing curbside voting to stand. 

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The lawsuit, filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Alabama and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, was brought on behalf of several Alabamians with underlying medical conditions. 

“Curbside voting is a longstanding, secure voting option that local jurisdictions have made available to protect the health of vulnerable voters, including elderly, disabled, and voters with underlying health issues,” Racine said in a statement. “Curbside voting minimizes the risk to persons who are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, and local jurisdictions should be able to offer this common-sense accommodation to voters. State Attorneys General will keep fighting to ensure that voters can safely make their voices heard at the ballot box this November.”

The brief filed by the coalition of state attorneys general comes as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations across Alabama has been ticking upward.

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Racine is joined in the brief by attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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Elections

Tuberville, Sessions campaign together

The two former Republican primary opponents participated in a series of campaign events across the Tennessee Valley area.

Brandon Moseley

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Former Sen. Jeff Sessions, left, and Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, right.

The Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate campaign released a social media video Thursday featuring Tuberville alongside former U.S. Sen. and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The two former Republican primary opponents had participated in a series of campaign events across the Tennessee Valley area.

Tuberville and Sessions on Wednesday met with representatives of Huntsville’s defense and technology sectors, participated in an event sponsored by the Republican Women of Huntsville and headlined multiple campaign fundraising events.

Sessions said, “Tommy, I support you 100 percent. Alabama must send you to represent us in the Senate. We cannot allow a Chuck Schumer acolyte – Doug Jones – to represent Alabama in the Senate.”

“You see it on his vote on the judges and Kavanaugh and the way he’s behaved about the new nominee, so I think … it would be shocking that Alabama would reelect a Doug Jones,” Sessions continued. “I know you’re going to win. I feel really good about it, and I’m glad that you’re traveling the state hard and that you’re here in this important community.”

The night after Tuberville won the Republican primary runoff election, Sessions committed to doing his part to help defeat Jones and reclaim the Senate seat for the ALGOP.

“After we won the runoff, Jeff Sessions called and told me, ‘Coach, I’m all in,’ and today’s joint events certainly demonstrate that he is a man of his word,” Tuberville said following the video shoot. “Jeff Sessions understands that it’s time we once again had a U.S. senator whose votes reflect our conservative Alabama values, not the ultra-liberal Hollywood and New York values of Doug Jones’s high-dollar, out-of-state campaign donors.”

Tuberville faces a determined Jones, who is flooding the airwaves with ads. Democrats are desperate to hold on to Jones’ seat, believing that his seat could tip control of the Senate to the Democrats.

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Democrats hope to hold onto their control the U.S. House of Representatives and a recent poll by Rasmussen shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a five point lead over incumbent Donald Trump.

Sessions left the U.S. Senate to accept an appointment as Trump’s first attorney general.

Jones defeated former Chief Justice Roy Moore to win the seat in the special election.

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Sessions was fired by Trump in 2018 and announced his candidacy for Senate the day before qualifying ended. Tuberville had already spent ten months on the campaign trail at that point.

Tuberville defeated Sessions, Moore, Congressman Bradley Byrne, State Rep. Arnold Mooney and businessman Stanley Adair in the crowded Republican primary. Tuberville is a former Auburn University head football coach. He also coached Texas Tech, Cincinnati and Ole Miss. Tuberville won a national championship as the defensive coordinator at the University of Miami. Tuberville lives in Auburn.

The general election is Nov. 3.

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Education

Report: Alabama is fourth-least politically engaged state in 2020

The study scored states based on 11 key indicators of political engagement. Those included things like voter turnout, political donations and voter accessibility policies.

Micah Danney

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Alabama was ranked fourth from last in political engagement in the country in 2020 in an analysis done by the personal finance website WalletHub.

The study scored states based on 11 key indicators of political engagement. Those included things like voter turnout, political donations and voter accessibility policies.

A record 137.5 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election, but that only accounts for 61.4 percent of citizens who are old enough to vote. The U.S. ranks 26 in voter turnout among the world’s 35 developed nations. 

“That’s no surprise, considering most states don’t emphasize civic education in their schools,” the report points out. “Large proportions of the public fail even simple knowledge tests such as knowing whether one’s state requires identification in order to vote.”

One of the study’s metrics where Alabama scored lowest was the percentage of the electorate that voted in the 2016 election, which was 57.4 percent. That number is low, said Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst, and is 4.5 percent lower than it was in the 2012 presidential election.

She said that other factors responsible for the state’s low rank were its preparedness for voting in a pandemic and the low percentage of residents who participate in local groups or organizations.

The report’s assessment of the state’s preparedness for voting in a pandemic included voting accessibility metrics.

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“Alabama actually received a negative score here because of the unnecessary obstacles created for voter access, such as: voters need a notary or two witnesses to complete an absentee ballot, voters are required to provide a copy of a photo ID for the mail application and/or ballot, and mail ballots are due before close of polling,” Gonzalez said in an email.

She said that states ranked at the top of the list, like first-place Maine, have higher engagement due to measures taken by state legislatures. 

“Making it easy for people to vote increases engagement,” Gonzalez said. “This can be done through things like automatic voter registration, early voting, or voting by mail. The existence of local civic organizations involved in voter mobilization also plays a part in this.”

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A federal judge ordered Alabama on Sept. 30 to do away with its witnesses or notary requirement for mail-in ballots, and to allow curbside voting for the Nov. 3 election. An appeals court reversed the former ruling on Tuesday, a decision which Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill applauded. It upheld the latter decision, about which Merrill said, “we intend to appeal to the Supreme Court to see that this fraudulent practice is banned in Alabama, as it is not currently allowed by state law.”

Metrics where Alabama ranked below average, with a score of one being best and 25 being average, were as follows:

  • 26th in percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election
  • 35th in voter accessibility policies
  • 37th in percentage of the electorate who voted in the 2018 midterm elections
  • 38th in total political contributions per adult population
  • 42nd in percentage of the electorate who voted in the 2016 presidential election
  • 45th is the change in the percentage of the electorate who actually voted in the 2016 elections versus the 2012 elections

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Elections

Alabama Retail Association endorses Mike Rogers

“Proud to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Retail Association’s PAC!” Rogers said.

Brandon Moseley

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Congressman Mike Rogers

Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, this week thanked the Alabama Retail Association for their recent endorsement. Rogers is seeking his tenth term representing the 3rd Congressional District.

“Proud to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Retail Association’s PAC!” Rogers said. “Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, the retailers’ 4,300 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living.”

Rogers was first elected in 2002 after previous service in the Alabama House of Representatives and the Calhoun County Commission. He currently serves as ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security and is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. Mike also serves as a member of the Strategic Forces subcommittee.

Rogers summarizes his conservative ideology with the old adage “the government that governs best, governs least.”

Rogers is a graduate of Saks High School and earned both his undergraduate degree in political science and masters of public administration at Jacksonville State University. He was a practicing attorney and is a small business owner in Calhoun County.

Rogers faces Democratic nominee Adia Winfrey in the Nov. 3 general election.

The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, the association’s 4,300 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living.

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Rogers is a sixth generation East Alabamian and native of Calhoun County. He has been married to his wife, Beth, for 35 years. They have three children. Mike grew up in the small mill village of Blue Mountain. His mother worked in the local textile mill and his father was a firefighter.

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