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Opinion | The new Alabama Democratic Party could be a louder voice for state’s black voters

Josh Moon

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I am not African American. 

This will not be a particularly surprising revelation for the people who know me or those who have watched me on TV or simply seen a picture of me at some point. It’s fairly obvious. 

And so, since I’m not a black person living in this state, I have no business telling black people what to do. Or who to vote for. Or who to trust. 

But I can tell black voters in this state, who make up about 70 percent of Alabama’s Democratic Party, what I see. 

You’re getting hosed. 

Your loyalty and reliability have been used by the former leadership of ADP and longtime leadership of the ADC to secure and maintain their positions. And they have squandered your loyalty and donations. 

Saturday’s ridiculous meeting of … I don’t even know what to call the group of Dems who are still supporting Nancy Worley and Joe Reed. 

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The national party has made it clear that it recognizes the new leadership headed by Rep. Chris England and former Rep. Patricia Todd. And the attendance at Saturday’s meeting made it clear that the Worley/Reed faction is a decidedly minority faction. (There were less than 100 members present, short of a quorum and way short of a majority of the 250 SDEC members on the rolls prior to the split.)

So, what does that make the group — the Holdout Caucus? We’ll go with that. 

Anyway, at the meeting of the Holdout Caucus on Saturday, a not-so-small amount of time was spent by Reed and others soliciting donations to pay for legal fees. Future legal fees. So they can continue to fight the DNC in a war they’ve quite clearly lost. 

You can dispute that if you like, but I’d be interested to hear your legal theories on a successful lawsuit challenging what is clearly a majority of the SDEC and the DNC. 

Save yourself some time. It doesn’t exist. 

But that doesn’t matter to Reed, who is apparently perfectly willing to burn this thing to the ground and have you donate to a lost legal cause instead of to Democratic campaigns. 

 And that, in a nutshell, is how you’ve been getting absolutely screwed for the past decade or more. 

Joe Reed’s petty fights and personal vendettas have become far more important to him than winning elections and creating a workable Democratic Party in Alabama. And it shows. 

Look around us. Democrats in every other state are making huge gains. Kentucky just elected a Democratic governor. Louisiana did too. Virginia went totally blue. Polls in Georgia and Florida show Trump trailing in those states. Mississippi had a competitive governor’s race. Tennessee is included in most forecasters’ “trending blue” maps, and is expected — thanks to gains in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis — to be a blue state within two election cycles. 

And then, there’s Alabama. 

Where in 2018, during a massive blue wave nationally, Democrats lost seats to what was already a Republican supermajority. 

Up and down the ballot, good Democratic candidates were smoked. And in a state with arguably more Republican public corruption than any other and in a state that is constantly broke and poorly run, that’s a helluva embarrassment. 

In the meantime, Reed was spending donated money to fight … a Democrat. His longtime nemesis, John Knight, a solid Dem for his entire political life, lost in the primary to a guy funded in part by a Reed-backed political action committee (PAC). 

That’s money — precious money that the ADP/ADC doesn’t have — wasted on a secure seat. 

That’s how you wind up with one embarrassing election loss after another. And Reed and the ADP have a decade of them now. 

Make no mistake about it, every loss for an ADP candidate is a loss for the black citizens of Alabama. 

It’s one less lawmaker fighting for equal funding of schools, one less lawmaker fighting gerrymandered voting maps, one less lawmaker pushing for appropriately funded higher education, one less lawmaker fighting every obstacle imaginable for black voters at the voting booth. 

Look, I get that Reed is a hero to the black community. He should be. That guy was fighting racism and racists in city hall way before it was cool to do so. He took a ton of heat, and probably a few death threats, to make gains for African Americans in this state. 

That’s a legacy that should never be forgotten and should always be respected. 

But you can both respect Reed and determine that it’s in the best interest of black voters in this state for him to step aside. For a new group of young, black men and women to take over the party, to move it into the current century and to begin slicing into this Republican control. 

Ultimately, of course, it’s up to you.

The ADP has failed the black voters of this state for a long, long time now. It seems like a good time to give some new folks a shot.

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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Gary Bauer endorses Hightower for Congress

Brandon Moseley

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Congressional candidate Bill Hightower’s campaign announced Wednesday that he has received the endorsement of national social conservative leader Gary Bauer.

“I am proud to endorse Bill Hightower for Congress,” Bauer said. “Bill is a man of God who is an unapologetic voice for faith, family and freedom. He has worked to defend the unborn both in public and private life for 40 years and there has been no stronger advocate for protecting our religious liberties.”

“Bill Hightower has a proven pro-family, pro-life record that the voters of south Alabama can count on,” Bauer said. “As their congressman, I know Bill Hightower will stand with President Trump to defend our values, protect our constitutional rights, secure the border and put hard-workings America first.”

“Susan and I have followed Gary Bauer since his service to President Reagan, and his later work on the Family Research Council,” Hightower said. “Because of our personal support of James Dobson’s, Focus on the Family, with whom Gary worked, we have for at least 30 years leaned heavily upon his conservative, family-oriented commentary on culture. It is an honor to be endorsed by Gary, because like him, I am a staunch supporter of Israel and deem our religious freedoms as core to who we are as Americans.”

Bauer currently serves as president of American Values, a public policy think tank, and was Washington director of Christians United for Israel Action Fund. Bauer has held several positions in the administration of former President Ronald Reagan including deputy under-secretary of education from 1982 to 1985 and under-secretary of education from 1985 to 1987.

Bauer was then appointed assistant to the president for policy development, a position he held until January 1989. He later served as a senior vice president of Focus on the Family and as president of the Family Research Council.

In 2000, Bauer sought the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush won the nomination and went on to win the 2000 election.

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Hightower is running in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District in the July 14 Republican Primary runoff against former State Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise.

Incumbent Congressman Bradley Byrne is not running for re-election.

Hightower has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama and a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University. Hightower has worked for several Fortune 500 companies around the world before moving back to South Alabama in 2002. He has started and run several small businesses in the Mobile area. Hightower is a husband, father and grandfather.

The winner of the Republican nomination will face the winner of the Democratic primary runoff in the Nov. 3 general election. On the Democratic side, James Averhart is running against Kiani Gardner.

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Tallassee mayor endorses Jeff Coleman

Brandon Moseley

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Republican Congressional candidate Jeff Coleman has received the endorsement of Tallassee Mayor Johnny Hammock. Coleman is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the July 14 Republican primary runoff.

“Alabama needs a strong conservative candidate who will not back down from a challenge, and will represent the voice, people, and values of those who live in Alabama and District 2,” Hammock said. “Jeff Coleman has my full support and endorsement.”

Coleman thanked Hammock for the endorsement.

“Mayor Hammock’s leadership is evident by the respect the community has for him,” Coleman said. “He is a leader not just for Tallassee but for the surrounding area as a whole. It is an honor to have the support and endorsement of Mayor Hammock and many more in the Tallassee community!”

Tallassee is on the Tallapoosa River and is in both Elmore and Tallapoosa Counties. The city has a population of 4,581 in 2018, which is down from its peak in 1999 of 5,858.

Coleman now has the endorsements of the mayors of Luverne, Dothan, Millbrook, Geneva, and Florala.

Coleman is a native of Dothan. He is the fifth generation of his family to head the family business, Coleman Worldwide Moving, based in Dothan. He recently stepped down as President and CEO in order to run for Congress. Coleman is a former Chairman of the Business Council of Alabama. Coleman is one of the wealthiest people in Alabama.

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Coleman has been endorsed by BCA and the Alabama Farmers Federation, as well as the Alabama Realtors Association, Alabama Home Builders Association, Alabama Retail Association, Alabama Trucking Association, Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Coleman is a graduate from Northview High School where he was a member of the 1981 Football team that won the Alabama High School Football State Championship. He has a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama and a Master’s in Business Administration from Troy University in Dothan. He is an Eagle Scout, a 2011 Graduate of Leadership Alabama and a 2015 Graduate of the Air War College National Security Forum. Coleman served two terms as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Alabama.

Coleman is running in the Republican primary runoff against former State Rep. Barry Moore on July 14. The eventual Republican nominee for the open 2nd Congressional District seat will face Democrat Phyllis Harvey-Hall in the November general election.

 

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Alabama Republican Assembly endorses Barry Moore

Brandon Moseley

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Congressional candidates Barry Moore’s campaign on Wednesday said the Alabama Republican Assembly has endorsed him for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District.

Jennifer Montrose is the President of the Alabama Republican Assembly.

“We must have elected leaders who are committed to governing honestly and ethically and believe Barry Moore can best help our state and nation move forward in the November election,” Montrose said. “We hope you will agree with us and vote for this outstanding individual who we believe is committed to Life, Liberty and Family.”

Moore thanked the group in a statement.

“I want to thank the Alabama Republican Assembly for the vote of confidence this endorsement represents,” Moore said. “It’s an honor to be recognized in this way by this fine group of Conservatives.”

“I’ve always been committed to the conservative values I share with the ARA, and I’ll continue to fight for our Constitution, our rights, and our freedoms when I’m in Congress,” Moore continued. “I’ll do this not only to justify the faith groups like the ARA have in me but because it’s what I believe is right. The ARA knows I have a proven conservative voting record and I will always protect our 2nd amendment, take a pro-life stance, support term limits, and stand with President Trump.”

The Alabama Republican Assembly calls itself “the Republican Wing of the Republican Party.”

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Moore continues to receive endorsements from prominent Alabama politicians and groups from across the state in his bid to go to the United States Congress.

Moore faces Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman in the Republican primary runoff on July 14. Moore served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 2010 until 2018 and has been endorsed by both current and former members who served with him there.

Rep. Mike Holmes (R-Wetumpka) said, “I have served in the Alabama House with Rep. Barry Moore; and found him to be one of our Top Five Conservatives every year. I served with him at the RNC Convention in 2016 when Rep. Moore was one of the first to endorse Trump. He is still strongly aligned with Trump. I enthusiastically endorse Barry Moore for Congressional District 2!.”

Rep. Charlotte Meadows (R-Montgomery) said, “When Rep. Barry Moore served in the State House he chaired the Military and Veterans Affairs committee. He was instrumental in bringing the F-35 to Montgomery and he well understands the needs of our Veterans and the importance of our military bases to Alabama. He will always work to support both. I am proud to support Barry Moore for our next Congressman.”

Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur)said, “Barry Moore is a man of integrity and honor. He will represent Alabama well.”

Former Rep. Barry Mask (R-Alexander City) said, “Barry Moore is a fighting conservative who has been through the fire. As a veteran, he stands with our country and will fight to preserve it. He was a Trump man early on and has earned our trust.”

“It’s humbling to have so many leading Alabama Republicans endorse me in this race,” Moore said. “These are the people I served within the Alabama House, and they know me and what I stand for. I appreciate their endorsements, and I will do everything I can to honor their trust by continuing to represent the people of our District and our conservative values in Congress. I thank everyone who’s endorsed me, and those who have supported me in this race. I look forward to serving the people of Alabama and District 2 as their next Congressman.”

Moore has been endorsed by the Eagle Forum, Conservative Christians of Alabama, the American Workers Coalition, the Club for Growth, and the House Freedom Fund. He is a former member of the Alabama Legislature, a small businessman, a veteran, a husband, and a father of four from Enterprise.

Moore and his wife Heather own a waste disposal company. Moore is a small businessman, a veteran, a husband, and a father of four from Enterprise. He has a degree from Auburn University.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorses Jerry Carl

Brandon Moseley

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl in the race for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.

The U.S. Chamber said in a statement that it is proud to endorse Carl, in an effort to promote free enterprise and job-creating policies for businesses across all regions and sectors.

“In difficult times, we are reminded of the importance of having leaders that understand the genius of the American system of government and free enterprise and who are willing to tackle the hard problems that confront our nation,” said U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “As our country faces many challenges and is collectively working to not just reopen our economy, but return to growth and expanded opportunities for all Americans, we need leaders like Jerry Carl. He has a proven track record of leading responsibly and standing up for good policies. The U.S. Chamber is proud to endorse Jerry and looks forward to partnering with him in the future.”

“THANK YOU, U.S. Chamber for the endorsement!” Carl wrote on social media. “I’m proud to be endorsed by the U.S. Chamber! I look forward to working with President Trump and the Chamber to get our economy roaring again!”

The United States Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business advocacy organization and represents more than three million business interests. The Chamber has been leading the business community for 108 years.

The Chamber’s Alabama affiliate, the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) endorsed Carl last month.

BCA had endorsed State Rep. Chris Pringle in the March 3 Republican primary; but Pringle finished third and did not advance to the runoff.

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Commissioner Carl faces former State Senator Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) in the Republican primary runoff on July 14. The eventual Republican nominee will face the winner of the Democratic party runoff between Kiani Gardner and James Averhart.

Incumbent Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) is not seeking re-election. Byrne has endorsed Carl.

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