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Roy Moore officially qualifies for Senate race

Brandon Moseley

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Thursday, former Chief Justice Roy Moore officially qualified to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones (D).

Moore signed his qualifying papers at Republican state headquarters in Hoover.

“I know it is Halloween, and no I did not do this to scare the wits out of the people in Washington,” Moore said to reporters.

Moore said that, “The thing that has been on my mind is the two young girls, Anaiah Blanchard and Kamille McKinney, you know this is a terrible thing that is happening in our country and this is a sign of the immorality of our times. I think especially in this area all across the state we are seeing this happen. It is a sign that we have lost our bearings in our country.”

“Washington D.C. does not like me,” Moore said. “They don’t wan\t somebody that will not follow their agenda and will oppose the establishment.”

“I am tired seeing politics as usual in this state,” Moore said. “Of politicians saying one thing, then they go to office and doing quite another,” Moore said. “Take for example the gas tax that was passed recently. The people of Alabama did not want a gas tax. How many time have the people running for the Senate or the House asked about this gas tax that was passed by a Republican Administration in Alabama. We see the same thing in Washington. The people get elected. They go to Washington to do their jobs and they run on the basis that they oppose abortion; then they give Planned Parenthood $500 million a year, for abortion. It is wrong.”

“Gun rights is always at the top level of every Republican Administration,” Moore said. “What do we do? We pass red gun laws, Republicans and Democrats. They pass Red flag laws. That is simply a way to take away u\your guns.”

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Moore was asked how this race was going to be different than 2017.

“Getting to the issues. I had a hard time getting to the issues in the last campaign,” Moore answered. “People don’t want to talk about the issues and the differences between the candidates. I will be the only former military in the race I believe. That matters when you go to Washington and dealing with armed services. As far as law goes, I know the Constitution. That is what I worked in for years and I think that is very important. Every state and federal officer is sworn to follow the Constitution. It is important to know what the Constitution says.”

“We have seen the Obamacare fail in this state and this nation,” Moore said. “They say they are going to do something about it and they never do.”

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Moore said that Obamacare needs to be repealed. “It has hurt businesses. A lot of businesses have cancelled insurance for their people because of Obamacare.

“Costs are rising and the government is hurting because of this,” Moore added. “Republicans were in the past standing against Obamacare.”

Moore said that there are several cases before the courts arguing that Obamacare is unconstitutional. “It needs to go back before the United States Supreme Court and we are working on that.”

“The national debt is now $21 trillion,” Moore said. “We are doing exactly opposite what the first President said we should do about the national debt.”

“Gun rights is always at the top level of every Republican Administration,” Moore said. “What do we do? We pass red gun laws, Republicans and Democrats. They pass red flag laws. That is simply a way to take away your guns.”

“We have taken God out of everything we have done in our society and wonder why people are killing each other on the streets,” Moore said.

Moore said that religious liberty is under assault “thankfully they stalled the equality bill” but that was supported by even some Republicans. “Now we are forcing gender education on our kids in schools. Out in California, as young as four years old.”

Moore was asked how the allegations and complaints filed against him in 2017 would affect this campaign.

“It will not effect my campaign, they were false allegations,” Moore said. “The people of Alabama saw what they did to Kavanaugh. We are not concerned about this and I hope the press gets off these scandals and things that they have cooked up.”

Moore was asked how this campaign would be different from last time.

“We are out meeting people,” Moore said. “We are getting in touch with the people. I think they saw what happened in the last campaign. There were eleven candidates for about a year last time. It was just one forum after another after another and we attended all of them, basically all of them. This is going to be a much shorter campaign, so it is going to be a little different.”

Moore was asked how his campaign would be affected if Jeff Sessions enters the race.

“It won’t affect my campaign,” Moore said. “Jeff Sessions I have known for a long time. I consider him my friend.”

Moore said that Sessions was being encouraged to enter the race by some in Washington.

“I don’t know whether he will get in or not; but it won’t affect my campaign,” Moore emphasized.

The Alabama Political Reporter asked Moore if the allegations being made by House Democrats against President Trump rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors as demanded by the Constitution.

“I don’t think it does,” Moore said. I think we need to get off impeachment proceedings and get on with the business of the country. I think the President has every right to coordinate with foreign entities.”

“Dealing with ambassadors and things that affect foreign relations has always been the duties of the chief executive officer being the President,” Moore continued. “Inquiring into why a vice President’s son is sitting on a foreign gas board making $650,000 a year that is something that should be inquired into; but as far as impeaching procedures that is something that we should get off of and get back to the business of the country.”

“What is needed today is the knowledge that we are all equal in the eyes of God and we should love our fellow man and treat our fellow many with kindness and respect and virtue and reality are very important,” Moore said. “Immorality affects us all. It affects the law, the Church, it affects our political system.”

“I think we need to get back to an understanding that God is the basis for our morals,” Moore continued. “We are forgetting God and we are suffering the consequences.”

A reporter asked Moore if he would be able to get anything passed in the Senate given the status quo.

“The status quo and the way it is operating now is that nothing is getting passed anyway,” Moore said.

“They still don’t want me, and it has been voiced from the Washington establishment and I think that is exactly why people should vote for me,” Moore said. “If Washington does not want you there is a reason for it.”

“We need to address the United Nations,” Moore said. “We need to quit funding them. We are the major funders and yet China has more influence in the United Nations than we do.”

“We don’t need the United Nations,” Moore said. Thomas Massey of Kentucky has already introduced the bill in the House. I think the Senate needs to move on that. We need to get rid of it.”

APR asked Moore: The last time you won the majority of the White vote handily; but by some exit polls, you lost 96 percent of the Black vote. By some math, if you had just gotten nine percent support from the Black community you would be the Senator today. What are you going to do differently this time to try to reach out to Black Alabamians?

“I think just what I stand for. I think the things that I stand for benefit the Blacks as much as the Whites,” Moore said. “I have had more people come up to me from the Black community than I have the White community. I don’t understand why the vote came out differently, There were a lot of things that were done. We drew up a complaint against it; bit dropped it because we simply did not have the money to pursue it. I trust that Black people as well as White people understand what went on last time.”

Moore narrowly lost to Doug Jones in the 2017 special election to fill the seat which was vacated by Jeff Sessions (R) when Sessions was confirmed as Donald Trump’s Attorney General.

Moore joins a crowded GOP field that included: businessman Stanley Adair, Secretary of State John H. Merrill, Congressman Bradley Byrne, former Auburn football Coach Tommy Tuberville, and State Representative Arnold Mooney. There are media reports that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions may also qualify for his former Senate seat.

The Republican primary will be March 3.

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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Merrill gives guidance on straight party, write-in voting

Micah Danney

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill issued guidance Wednesday on straight party and write-in voting.

“Voters who wish to vote straight party for all of the Democratic or Republican candidates on their ballot may do so by filling in the bubble next to their party preference at the top of their ballot,” Merrill explained in a statement.

“If a voter wishes to vote for any candidate outside of the selected party, however, he or she may do so by filling in the bubble next to the preferred candidate’s name. In doing so, the candidate(s) voted on outside of the voter’s designated party ballot will receive the vote for that particular race.

In addition, if a voter wishes to write-in a candidate, he or she may do so by filling in the bubble next to the box marked ‘Write-in’ and then printing the name of the preferred candidate on the designated line.

Write-in votes must be hand-written and not stamped or otherwise artificially applied to the ballot.”

Sample ballots for the Nov. 3 general election are available online.

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Opinion | For Coach Tub, no thinking required

Joey Kennedy

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Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville (TUBERVILLE CAMPAIGN)

Has Tommy Tuberville ever had an original thought? It doesn’t sound like it. Coach Tub basically spews Republican talking points and keeps his mouth firmly locked onto Donald Trump. He disrespects Alabama voters so much that he thinks that’s all he needs to do to win a place in the U.S. Senate.

Tuberville recently addressed the St. Clair County Republican Party at its September meeting. As reported by APR, Tuberville is quoted as saying the following, and I’ll offer a short rebuttal. I’m doing this because Tuberville is clearly afraid to death to debate his opponent, U.S. Sen. Doug Jones.

So here goes:

Tuberville: America is about capitalism, not socialism. I think we are going to decide which direction we are going to go in the next few years.”

Me: We decided which way we were going to go years ago, when the federal government started subsidies for oil and gas companies, farmers and other big industry and business. That, coach, is your so-called “socialism.”

I’m not necessarily opposed to subsidies to boost business, depending on the cause, but I’m not going to let a dimwitted, know-nothing, mediocre, former football coach pretend we don’t already have “socialism” in this country.  

What Tuberville really means is that he’s against “socialism” like Medicare or Medicaid or Social Security or food assistance or health insurance. He’s a millionaire already, so there’s no need for him have empathy for or support a safety net for people who are less fortunate socially and economically. That’s Tuberville’s “socialism,” and the Republican Party’s “socialism,” and Trump’s “socialism.

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That’s a cruel, mean perspective that would cast aside the great majority of Americans for the rich (Tuberville, Trump) and connected and, where Trump is concerned, the fawning.

Tuberville: “I am not a Common Core guy. I believe in regular math. We need to get back to teaching history.”

Me: I would love to ask Coach Tubby, one-on-one, exactly what he thinks “Common Core” is. I’ll guarantee you he can’t explain more than he already has. “I believe in regular math?” There is no other math. It’s math. Does he think there’s a math where 1+1=3? There isn’t one. There are a variety of ways to teach math, but there’s only math, not a “fake” math or a “Republican” math or a “Democratic” math or, God forbid, a “Socialist” math.

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And when Coach Tommy said, “We need to get back to teaching history,” one wonders if he’s ever been into a classroom. We know more than a few of his former players weren’t in many classrooms, if reports are correct. But they always played the game under his uninspired coaching.

Of course schools teach history.

The history Coach T. is talking about is Donald Trump’s “white” history, the one we’ve been teaching in our schools forever. Not real history; you know, the one where the United States was founded as a slave-holding nation, where Native Americans were massacred and starved by the hundreds of thousands, where white supremacy was codified within our laws, where any color but white was subjugated. That history. The history that is finally fading away, so we can really see where we’ve been as a nation—so we know where, as a nation, we need to go.

Tuberville: Tuberville said he supports following the Constitution and appointing a replacement for Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday.

Me: Well, of course he does. Tuberville doesn’t have an independent thought in his body, and Donnie told him this is what he’s supposed to think. The big question: How much will a Senator Tuberville be able to function as a member of a minority party in the Senate — with no Papa Trump in the White House to tell him what to do?

Both scenarios are real possibilities, if not likelihoods.

There is no question that Doug Jones is far more qualified than Tuberville. Jones can work across the aisle, which will be vitally important if Democrats take control of the Senate. Jones has his own thoughts, which sometimes go against the Democratic Party’s wishes. Jones is independent, smart and represents Alabama well.

Tuberville is a failed football coach who lives in Florida. That’s about it.

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President Donald Trump endorses Barry Moore for Congress

Brandon Moseley

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President Trump and Barry Moore (OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO/JOYCE N. BOGHOSIAN)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed Republican 2nd Congressional District candidate Barry Moore, sharing his endorsement on Twitter.

In the tweet, the president wrote, “Barry Moore (@RepBarryMoore) will be a terrific Congressman for Alabama! An early supporter of our #MAGA agenda, he is Strong on Jobs, Life, the Wall, Law & Order, and the Second Amendment. Barry has my Complete and Total Endorsement! #AL02”

Moore met with the president in the White House on Wednesday.

“I’m truly honored to be endorsed for Congress by President Donald J. Trump,” Moore said. “I have never regretted being the first elected official in America to endorse him for president in 2015, and I’m looking forward to working with him in the next Congress during his second term.”

“President Trump has already accomplished so much and kept so many of his campaign promises despite all that the establishment and the Democrats have done to obstruct him, but he knows there’s still lots to be done,” Moore continued. “We must contain and control the COVID pandemic, restore our economy to the pre-pandemic level of growth and prosperity we enjoyed during his first three years in office. We must restore and maintain law and order on our streets and in our cities. We must finish building the wall, and then fix our broken immigration system.”

“We had great meetings at the White House with the president’s domestic policy team,” Moore said. “Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, was also there. We discussed a new health care plan being introduced, economic recovery, trade with China and expansion of opportunity zones in depressed areas. The president has a bright vision for America.”

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“I’m convinced that Donald J. Trump is the president we need to lead us for the next four years, and I hope the people of Alabama’s 2nd District see fit to elect me to work with President Trump as their congressman on Nov. 3,” Moore concluded.

Moore served two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives from 2010 to 2018. Moore is a graduate of Auburn University, a veteran, a small business owner, husband and father.

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Moore is running for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District in the Nov. 3 general election. Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Alabama, is not seeking another term. Moore faces Democratic candidate Phyllis Harvey-Hall.

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Jones introduces bill to encourage investments in minority-serving banks

“One of the biggest hurdles for minority entrepreneurs is access to capital,” Jones said.

Eddie Burkhalter

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U.S. Sen. Doug Jones

Alabama U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, on Tuesday introduced legislation that would encourage investments in banks that serve minority communities.

“One of the biggest hurdles for minority entrepreneurs is access to capital,” Jones said in a statement. “That’s why this bill is so important. Increasing access to capital at the banks that serve minority communities will help expand financial opportunities for individuals and business owners in those communities.”

Jones, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, in April urged the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury to support Community Development Financial Institutions and minority-owned banks disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and he threw his support behind more federal funding for small community banks, minority-owned banks and CDFIs during the recent Paycheck Protection Program replenishment.

According to a press release from Jones’s office, the bill would attract investments to those financial institutions by changing rules to allow “minority-owned banks, community banks with under $10 billion in deposits” and CDFIs to accept brokered deposits, or investments with high interest rates, thereby bolstering those institutions and encourage them to invest and lend in their communities.

It would also allow low-income and minority credit unions to access the National Credit Union Administration’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.

“Commonwealth National Bank would like to thank Senator Jones for his leadership in introducing the Minority Depository Institution and Community Bank Deposit Access Act. As a small Alabama home grown institution, this proposal will allow us to accept needed deposits without the current limitations that hinder our ability to better serve the historically underserved communities that our institutions were created to serve. We support your efforts and encourage you to keep fighting the good fight for all of America,” said Sidney King, president and CEO of Commonwealth National Bank, in a statement.

“The Minority Depository Institution and Community Bank Deposit Access Act is a welcomed first step in helping Minority Depository Institutions like our National Bankers Association member banks develop the kinds of national deposit networks that allow our institutions to compete for deposits with larger banks and to better meet the credit needs of the communities we serve. The National Bankers Association commends Senator Jones’ leadership on this issue, and we look forward to continuing to engage with him on the ultimate passage of this proposal,” said Kenneth Kelly, chairman of the National Bankers Association, in a statement.

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A recent report by the Brookings Institute highlighted problems minority-owned businesses had accessing federal COVID-19 relief aid from PPP loans. Researchers found that it took seven days longer for small businesses with paid employees in majority Black zip codes to receive PPP loans, compared to majority-white communities. That gap grew to three weeks for non-employer minority-owned small businesses, the report notes.

The report also states that while minority-owned small businesses, many of which are unbanked or under banked, get approximately 80 percent of their loans from financial technology companies and online lending companies, fintechs weren’t allowed under federal law to issue PPP loans until April 14.

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