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Republican Senate candidates address forum in Muscle Shoals

Brandon Moseley

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Saturday, February 15 Republican U.S. Senate candidates were in Muscle Shoals for a candidates forum sponsored by the Conservative Leadership Conference.

Former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) was the moderator of the event.

Speaking on the recently failed impeachment effort against the President, Santorum said “All of this was a show and pumped up by the media.” Democrats understood that they would never have the 67 votes to remove the President, “It was all about taking the United States Senate.” 20 Republican seats are up for re-election and they, “Are targeting Maine, Colorado, North Carolina, and Iowa.”

Sen. Santorum said that vulnerable Republicans, “Stood up for the rule of the law and the Constitution but it is going to be tough. That is why Alabama is so important. We have to win back the Senate seat in Alabama. Alabama should have two Senators who support President Donald Trump. We have to have 51 votes.”

“We only have a three-seat majority and there are a number of states we could lose,” Santorum warned. The polling show that Alabama is squarely behind Donald Trump

“The Washington establishment does not want me,” former Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) said.

Moore emphasized a return to God and morality.

“We have got to have a strong military,” Moore added. “We have got to have someone who understands the constitution.

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State Representative Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) said that, “The left are attacking our first amendment right.”

“The truth of the matter is that we need to get a vote on term limits,” Mooney added. “We need people to go to serve and not be served.”

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) emphasized his efforts in defending the President against the Democrats impeachment attacks.

“Bradley Byrne from Alabama, what a great place, thank you Alabama,” Byrne quoted the President.

“I want a Senator who will fight for Alabama,” Byrne said promising to be that Senator if elected.

Businessman Stanley Adair urged voters to, “Vet the candidates, know the candidates, because if we send the wrong people to Washington we are going to keep getting the wrong results.”

“Everybody here wants their kids and grandkids to have better lives than they did,” Adair said. “This senate race is for six years not for two years.”

“I believe that we need jobs in Alabama,” Adair said emphasizing that Alabama needs more manufacturing. “Put Alabama first.”

“We are 49th in the states,” Adair said. “We are 46th in education and that is not good enough.”

“We need to be able to buy health insurance across state lines and have prescription drug prices low,” Adair said. “We will work on those issues when I go to Washington.”

Byrne said that an Alabama woman was recently killed by a 19-year old illegal immigrant from Guatemala. “We need to build the wall we need to make sure that they don’t get amnesty. Tommy Tuberville is for amnesty. “

“We need a Senator who will stand up for our interests on immigration,” Byrne said.

“Immigration is extremely important,” Mooney said but warned that “Debt is the one thing that is going to destroy this country” if we don’t get a handle on it.

“We have the greatest economy in our lifetime,” Mooney said.

Mooney said that we needed a, “Five year plan to balance the budget. We need to be about solving our problems.”

“We need to stop this illegal alien invasion,” Moore said.

Moore warned that if we don’t return to our moral Christian roots, “We will fall from within.”

“We have got to acknowledge God,” Moore stated. “We have got to stop this socialist movement.”

Byrne said, “My brother Dale died two weeks before my election in Congress.” Dale loved and served our country and he paid a price for that. I strive every day that I have been in Congress to serve to the best of my ability.

Moore said that he has been removed from the Alabama Supreme Court twice because he sought to acknowledge God. I could have just kept quiet and kept my position; but “What led me to become so fervent is when I realized that this nation was turning away from God .”

“None of us want Doug Jones,” Moore said.

“It was Richard Shelby that took away 22,000 votes from a fellow conservative Republican,” Moore said referring to the 2017 special election. “Why, because McConnell said that they did not want a conservative rebel in the Senate.”

Adair said, “I am a 41 year veteran of Business. I got in this because when I hold my grandbaby in my arms and I ask what kind of future you are going to have?”

Adair said that Congress has low approval, “My God, even my pool boy can do a better job than this.”

“I started a manufacturing company and They signed NAFTA and I had to lay off employees<’ Adair said.

“Obamacare has been catastrophic,” Mooney said. “Healthcare can not be micromanaged by the federal government.”

“Healthcare freedom is the only way to deal with the costs,” Mooney said. Patients and doctors should freely interface. Mooney added that he favored healthcare insurance being sold across state lines.

“The federal government has limited powers,” and healthcare is not one of them Moore said. There is a case out in Texas challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. “I am against healthcare nationally,” run. “Healthcare is not in the purview of the federal government.”

Moore said that businesses have not prospered because of Obamacare and that it has interfered with individual’s freedom of conscience. “We need to go back to the form of government we started with.”

“Democrats would love to have socialized medicine, but it will bankrupt the country,” Adair said. “I believe we need to take care of the people with pre-existing conditions.”

Adair said that that was a lie when Pres. Obama said, “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.”

“I call it the unaffordable care act,” Byrne said. “I voted for the bill to replace Obamacare.”

“Yes we are going to care for preexisting conditions,” Byrne said.

Byrne warned that with Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for all plan the government, “Will tell you when, where how and if you get your health insurance. That is not America.”

Byrne said, “I support what the President is doing in China,” with renegotiating the trade agreement.

“Our nation was put here three centuries ago to be a light of the world,” Mooney said. “We are faced with a great enemy, obviously in Russia, obviously in North Korea, but the greatest threat that we face is from China.”

Mooney said that the President is making sure that we have trade fairness.

“We are vastly spending too much money,” Adair warned.

“We are not going to stop spending for national defense, Medicare, and Medicaid,” Adair said. We need to take out a sharpie and find places to cut; because we are already $23 trillion in debt.

Byrne said that problem is mandatory spending. $1.2 trillion of that mandatory spending is not Medicare and Social Security. You can not balance the budget just through cuts to discretionary spending. Medicaid, welfare, housing assistance, focus on those programs.

“I am going to vote against any raise in the debt ceiling,” Mooney said. “Neither party has done anything to decrease spending.”

“Planned parenthood gets $50 million a year,” Moore said. Rand Paul has stood up, but not enough have. Right now the spending is going to exceed the national economy.

“You can’t find 51 men who have the courage to sign the Declaration of independence today,” Adair said. Some of these boys have been there for 36 years. We have a Senator who has been there for decades. He is 86 years old. Is he fit to drive a car anymore? and y’all keep re-electing him.”

Santorum chastised the candidates, “Nobody really answered my question. None of the candidates would commit to Santorum’s suggestion about raising the retirement age to 70 or higher to fix Social Security and get federal spending under control either.

“Government is not there to give us rights; but to secure those rights that God gave us,” Moore said.

“Socialism is a great danger,” Moore warned.

Adair said that the Senators, “Are there to serve us we are not here to serve them.”

“Right now, I am a lot more afraid of losing freedoms here than I am of losing freedom in other countries,” Byrne said warning of socialism

“Read the Old Testament,” Byrne said. “Look and see what happens when nations take God out of their lives. Good things don’t happen.”

“Socialism has failed in every country where that it has been tried in,” Mooney said. The only thing that works is how we are founded.”

Mooney said that we have got a decision to make whether to continue to follow our founding principles or not. “It is time for everybody to get in the fight.”

The Republican primary is on Tuesday. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

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DOJ defends Alabama absentee voting law

Josh Moon

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The U.S. Department of Justice isn’t using its vast powers to ensure the country’s most vulnerable people can exercise their right to vote, but is instead focusing its efforts on defending laws that clearly violate the spirit of the Voting Rights Act, an attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center said Tuesday. 

The comments, from SPLC senior staff attorney Caren Short, came in response to a DOJ filing in a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of several plaintiffs by SPLC, The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program. That lawsuit seeks to implement curbside voting for at-risk citizens during the current pandemic and also to remove requirements for certain voter IDs and that witnesses sign absentee ballot requests. 

The DOJ filed a brief on Tuesday stating that it is the agency’s position that Alabama’s law requiring witnesses for absentee ballots does not violate Section 201 of the Voting Rights Act, because it is not a test or device as referenced in the Act. 

“It is not a literacy test, it is not an educational requirement, and it is not a moral character requirement,” Jay Town, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, said in the brief. “Nor, contrary to Plaintiffs’ position, is it a voucher requirement prohibited by Section 201’s fourth and final provision.”

Plaintiffs in the case have argued that the requirement for a single person with a pre-existing condition could pose a grave risk and reasonably lead to them being unable to safely cast a vote. In fact, they point out in the lawsuit instances in which the DOJ, prior to the Trump administration, also had argued against states requiring witnesses. 

“Our complaint demonstrates how Alabama’s witness requirement violates Section 201 of the Voting Rights Act,” said Deuel Ross, senior counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. “In the past, the DOJ itself has objected to witness requirements, but since February 2017, it has brought zero new voting rights cases.”

The “voucher” requirement was one of many tactics utilized by whites to prevent black citizens from voting. In practice, it required that any black person wishing to vote must first obtain the signature of a white person. 

Towns argued in the brief that there were differences between voucher requirements and the witness signatures, including that the witness doesn’t have to be a registered voter and the witness is merely signing that he or she witnessed the absentee voter filling out the ballot.

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Sessions slams Tuberville for saying China has “a better military” than the U.S.

Brandon Moseley

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“On the day after Memorial Day, Tommy Tuberville is exalting the Chinese Communist Party’s military over our own,” GOP Senate candidate Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

This was in reaction to Tommy Tuberville’s Tuesday comments on the Jeff Poor Radio Show when he said China has a “better military” than the United States.

“We’ve got China that’s got a better military, and things, than we have,” Tuberville said.

Sessions responded with this statement:

“Mr. Tuberville should immediately apologize,” Sessions said. “His views further prove that he’s not fit to be a United States Senator. His comments are an affront to the thousands of American military members who constitute the best fighting force the world has ever known.”

“I have been to Afghanistan and Iraq and visited with our troops numerous times and have been to every one of Alabama’s military bases countless times, and let me tell you, there is no better friend and no worse enemy than the United States military,” Sessions stated. “This is personal to me. I served proudly in the armed forces as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve for over a decade. What Tommy Tuberville said is objectively wrong and reveals a lack of real understanding.”

Tuberville has said that he favors free trade.

Sessions has called China a threat to the United States and has suggested that Tuberville’s attitude is passive “appeasement” towards the Chinese Communist Party.

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In an April radio interview on the Matt & Aunie Radio Show, when asked what should be done about China’s cover-up of the details about the coronavirus, Tuberville said, “We can’t worry about China right now.”

The host then followed up: “You say you don’t need to worry about China, but this came from China and our economy depends on China. Specifically, how to overcome some of that dependence on Chinese goods and specifically in the pharmaceutical industry because right now we’re dependent on the country that covered this up.”

“Now we’re seeing firsthand the results of letting everything go to China,” Tuberville responded. “The good thing about this is we’ll have manufacturing come back and drugs and all those things….we’re headed in that direction, just the simple fact that we can’t control our own destiny. Everything’s controlled by China. But that’ll take care of itself.”

During the Matt & Aunie interview, Tuberville also characterized the Wuhan Virus as “just a virus.”

Sessions has suggested that Tuberville’s comments show that he lacks a depth of understanding of the issues and has challenged Tuberville to a series of five debates.

“Mr. Tuberville, It is time for you to stop running away, and face me and the voters of Alabama,” Sessions said. “No candidate who is scared to debate, or unable to defend our values, is worthy of support from the people of Alabama. I challenge you to a series of five debates before the voters of Alabama, one for each major media market in our state. This will allow us to discuss the unique issues of each geographic area, as well as national and international issues.”

“Being a United States Senator is more than just casting the occasional vote,” Sessions continued. “Effective senators must be ready to debate Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others on many issues and away from the safety of talking points scripted by Facebook’s chief open-borders lobbyist, who you’ve hired to help lead your Senate campaign. And anyone representing Alabama needs to be fully vetted before they are trusted to represent Alabama Republicans in a race against Doug Jones.”

Sessions also charged that Tuberville’s character would be exposed in a national campaign against Doug Jones, by Democrats.

“The Alabama voters need to hear you answer questions about the time you were sued for more than a million dollars in fraud at the failed hedge fund you started,” Sessions said.

Tuberville’s alleged partner went to prison for securities fraud and several prominent football coaches lost money investing in that hedge fund.

Sessions even attacked Tuberville’s football coaching prowess.

“They need to hear you answer questions about the suspicious circumstances of the unceremonious end to your Auburn coaching career—where you took millions of additional dollars beyond the buyout for which you weren’t even eligible,” Sessions charged. “They need to hear about the times you walked out on college recruits or quit jobs just days after promising you wouldn’t do so. They need to know everything. Because there is no question that the Democrats and Doug Jones already do, and they will spend millions using the skeletons in your closet against you.”

“If you won’t debate me now before the voters of Alabama, with two months to go until the election, there is no doubt that you would be eaten alive by Doug Jones, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer,” Sessions said. “You like to call me weak because I follow the law, and call yourself strong as you hide behind Silicon Valley’s talking points and clips from coaching jobs that you quit. Ok. Time to man up. Say it to my face. You are either strong enough to debate, or weak and scared.”

Tuberville maintains that he is endorsed by Donald Trump and that Sessions failed the President as Attorney General. As of this date, Tuberville has not agreed to any debates.

Sessions will face Tuberville in the July 14 Republican primary runoff. The winner will represent the Alabama Republican Party on November 3 against incumbent Sen. Doug Jones.

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Mimi Penhale is running as a Republican in State House District 49

Brandon Moseley

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Tuesday, Miriam “Mimi” Penhale announced today that she is seeking the Republican nomination for District 49 of the Alabama House of Representatives.

District 49 is vacant due to former Rep. April Weaver’s leaving to accept a position with the Trump administration. A special primary election scheduled for August 4, 2020, if needed.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to serve House District 49 in Montgomery,” Penhale stated. “In my role as Legislative Director of Shelby County, I’ve spent the last nine years working with Representative April Weaver and Senator Cam Ward, helping local governments, schools, businesses, and the people of our community to navigate the complexities of state government. I have been blessed to get to know and serve the people of this district.”

“I’ve talked to people all over Bibb, Chilton and Shelby counties,” Penhale said. “They want a representative in Montgomery who will promote conservative Republican principles. These hard-working families want better access to healthcare, quality schools for their children, and improved infrastructure to support our growing communities. I’ll fight to make sure we protect the high quality of life we already enjoy across central Alabama, and I’ll work with Legislative leaders to deliver on issues where we fall short.”

Penhale has a bachelor’s degree in Biology, and a Master’s in Public Health from UAB, with a focus on Healthcare Organization and Policy. Penhale serves as the Vice Chair of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs Work Group. She is a member of Shelby County’s Women’s Business Council, where she serves as a member of the Outreach Committee.

Penhale is a native of Troy, AL, where she was raised on her family’s bison ranch. She is married to Matt Penhale, of Alabaster. They have two daughters and are members of Kingwood Church.

Rep. Weaver was appointed by President Donald J. Trump (R) as the region IV director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

House District 49 consists of portions of Bibb, Shelby and Chilton Counties.

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The special primary election for House District 49 will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. If a runoff election is needed, it will be held on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

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Sessions, Tuberville build campaign war chests headed toward runoff

Brandon Moseley

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Former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) is running in the July 14 Republican Party primary runoff against former Auburn head football Coach Tommy Tuberville. Both turned in Federal Elections Commission reports showing campaign activity through the end of April when Alabamians were still under shelter in place orders to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Sessions was able to transfer over his previous campaign account and he has slightly more cash on hand than Tuberville, but Tuberville had the most votes in the March 3 Republican primary and has led throughout in most of the polling.

Former Auburn football Coach Tommy Tuberville in his filling with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) reports that the campaign has collected total contributions of $2,299,292.20. Tuberville has loaned his campaign $1,000,000. The campaign reports operating expenditures of $2,074,302.74 and has refunded $15,525 in contributions to individuals. Tuberville has repaid $750,000 of the loan that he made to himself. His campaign reports other disbursements of $1,000. .

The Tuberville campaign is reporting a cash balance of $458,819.40 with debts and loans owed by the committee of $393,043.23.

Tuberville’s largest contributors include: Terry Young of Birmingham, AL $10,000. He is the CEO of Southern Risk Services. Douglas Gowland of Gates Hills, Ohio $10,000. He is retired. Stiles Killett of Atlanta, Georgia $10,000. He is the Chairman of Killett Investment Corporation. Marcus Calloway of Atlanta, GA $10,000. He is self employed real estate attorney. Connie Neville of King’s Hill, Virginia $8,400. Connie is a self employed designer. William Neville of King’s Hill, VA $8,400. He is a manager with U.S. Viking. Sandra Hicks of Rainsville, AL $8,000. Sandra is a homemaker. Dennis Hicks of Rainsville, AL $8,000. Dennis is the CEO of Colormaster. M.S. Properties LLC of Wellington, AL $7500. Austin Brooks of Vestavia Hills, AL $6,400. Brooks is a senior associate with Highpoint Holdings.

Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III reported total receipts of just $1,740,194.28. Of that $1,619,657.39 came from contributions. Sessions’ total individual contributions were $1,237,923.39. Sessions also raised $381,73 from other campaign committees. Sessions reported other receipts of $114,759.89. Sessions had total disbursements of $3,815,148.56 of which $3,709,022.56 were operating expenses. The Sessions’ campaign reports ending cash on hand of $749,235.59.

Sessions has received a number of contributions through the WinRed platform. WinRed is an American Republican Party (GOP) fundraising platform endorsed by the Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump. It was launched to compete with Democrat’s success in online grassroots fundraising with their platform ActBlue. Contributors to the Sessions campaign include: Scott Forney of San Diego, California $5,600. He is the President of General Atomics. John Gearon Jr. of Atlanta, GA $2,800. John is an executive with the Gearson Foundation. Jean Penney $2,600 of Gurley, AL is retired. Steven Thornton $7,600 of Huntsville is the CEO of Monte Sano Research. Susan Braden of Washington D.C. $2 800 is retired. Betty Ann Stedman $5,600 of Houston, TX is an investor. Hans Luquire $5,000 of Montgomery, AL is self employed in the HVAC business. Dr. Carl Gessler Jr. $2600 of Huntsville, AL is a heart specialist. Samuel Zell $2,800 of Chicago, IL is the Chairman of Equity International. Leon Edwards $2,800 of Mountain Brook, AL is the owner of Edwards Chevrolet.

The Alabama Republican Party primary runoff was originally scheduled for March 31, but was moved to July 14 due to fears of the spread of the coronavirus.

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The winner of the Republican primary runoff will have just a few short months before going up against incumbent Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) in the November 3 general election.

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