Wednesday, former Senator and GOP Senate candidate Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, said that Alabamians will not be intimidated by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Sessions was responding to a letter that the FFRF sent to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) demanding that she stop praying at press conferences and citing scriptures.
“This is RIDICULOUS,” Sessions said. “Alabamians will NOT be intimidated by Freedom From Religion Foundation atheists spouting constitutional heresies in their war on religion. My friend Governor Kay Ivey is completely within her God-given and constitutional rights to pray for Alabama, and I stand with her!”
“The FRFF atheists want to force Governor Ivey and all public officials to hide their deeply-held convictions,” Sessions continued. “THEY are trying to impose their views AGAINST religion on US! Gov. Ivey calling for prayer for our great state & country is NOT her forcing Christianity on anyone.”
“The Constitution guarantees EVERY American, even public officials, the right to freely exercise their religion,” Sessions stated. “It’s time this country REJECT the FRFF’s extreme and unconstitutional view of religious liberty in America.”
On Monday, the Wisconsin based Foundation chastised Gov. Ivey for, “Your use of your office to promote Christianity. FFRF’s purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church and to educate the public on matters relating to non-theism.”
The FFRF objected to Gov. Ivey’s speech during Friday’s press conference announcing that she was issuing a stay-at-home order for the State of Alabama to fight COVID-19.
“Multiple concerned Alabama residents reported that you used this official government event to promote your personal religious beliefs,” the FFRF wrote. “In the middle of your speech you suddenly started preaching,”
“The good Lord reminds us in Isaiah 43:1-3, and I quote, “Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God,” Ivey said drawing the ire of the FFRF. “I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous hand.”
They also objected to Ivey’s inviting Reverend Cromwell Handy from the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church to speak at this official state-sponsored event.”
“Reverend Handy delivered a 9-minute long sermon, during which he recited many different bible verses and referred to the pandemic as an opportunity given by God “to pause and reflect on His glory.”” The FFRF continued. “To end the press conference, you asked Reverend Handy “to lead a prayer to God Almighty asking for his blessings.. Reverend Handy then led all of the government officials present in a lengthy formal prayer “in Jesus’ name.””
The FFRF claimed that, “These actions amount to an endorsement of religion, specifically Christianity, in contravention of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”
“We urge you in the future to refrain from promoting religion in your official capacity as governor of Alabama,” the FFRF stated.e
Sessions faces former Auburn head football Coach Tommy Tuberville in the Republican primary runoff on July 14. The winner of the runoff will face U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) in the November general election.
Sessions served in the Senate from 1997 to 2017. He left the Senate after he was confirmed as President Donald J. Trump’s Attorney General and served in that role through November 2018. He was a late entry into the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police endorses Russell Bedsole
The Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Republican candidate Russell Bedsole in the special election in Alabama House of Representatives District 49. Bedsole is a Captain with the Shelby County sheriff’s Department and currently serves on the Alabaster City Council.
“There is no doubt that our country, state, and communities are facing extreme challenges,” said Everette Johnson, the president of the Alabama State FOP. “These challenges have caused stress, divisiveness, and concern for the future of our country. Now more than ever, we need strong, yet compassionate, leaders to guide us through these turbulent times. We need leaders who understand how important the safety of our communities should be and the willingness to work together for all. Russell Bedsole is that leader.”
Bedsole said it is an honor to be endorsed by the Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police.
“As a representative of District 49, I will work to protect law and order in our communities and stand up for our conservative Christian values in Montgomery,” he said.
Bedsole and competitor Mimi Penhale were the top two vote-getters in the Republican primary runoff. Chuck Martin, who came in third, has also endorsed Bedsole.
“I wanted to again thank those that voted for me, supported me by putting up signs and making phone calls,” Martin said in a statement on social media. “I also want to thank those who also made donations to fund my campaign. Since I came in third, Russell Bedsole and Mimi Penhale have both ask for my endorsement. I want to ask those that supported me to support Russell Bedsole. Both candidates are great people, but Debbie and I made the decision to support Russell.”
Bedsole has been elected twice by the citizens of Alabaster to represent the city’s fifth ward on the Alabaster City Council. Bedsole’s campaign said that during his time of service, Alabaster has benefited from positive economic growth, a first-class school system and a high quality of life. He has also received endorsements from the Shelby County Fraternal Order of Police, Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists and Conservation Alabama.
A runoff election for the District 49 seat will be held on Sept. 1.
“I humbly ask for your vote on September 1 to grant me the opportunity to serve District 49,” Bedsole said.
The special election is being held to fill the seat left vacant when Rep. April Weaver, R-Briarfield, joined President Donald Trump’s administration as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services. House District 49 includes portions of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby Counties. The eventual Republican nominee will face Democratic nominee Cheryl Patton in the Special General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The winner will serve the remainder of April Weaver’s term, which ends in late 2022.
Voter Protection Corps recruiting local organizers in Alabama
The national nonprofit March On is recruiting regional leaders for its Voter Protection Corps, a grassroots network of organizers who will be trained to spot and counteract voter suppression ahead of the 2020 election in 14 key states, of which Alabama is one.
“With closed polling places, broken machines, long lines and the assault on mail-in ballots, voter suppression efforts have reached dangerous new heights in 2020,” said Andi Pringle, March On’s director of strategic and political campaigns. “Coupled with a global pandemic, these efforts threaten our ability to hold a free, fair and safe election in November. March On is looking for young leaders who are fired up to turn out the vote and protect democracy.”
Selected recruits will function as captains who then recruit at least five volunteers to form a squad. There will be about 20 squads in each state, Pringle said.
Captains will be trained by lawyers to know the ins and outs of their local election laws. They will train their squads to help voters exercise their rights to mail-in voting and early voting and will establish relationships with local election protection initiatives, election officials and community leaders.
Voter suppression can take many forms, Pringle said, including misinformation about polling locations, voter ID laws and various legal and administrative obstacles that can prevent average people “who don’t live and breathe this stuff” from casting their vote. Fighting such tactics is generally talked about in terms of attorneys and happens on or after Election Day, but that doesn’t prevent bureaucratic disenfranchisement that occurs in the days and weeks before the election, Pringle said.
“So the vote is already suppressed before they even get to the polls,” she said.
March On is recruiting captains from the Divine 9 Black fraternities and sororities, as well as women, veterans, young professionals, college students and recent graduates. It plans to have more than 7,000 corps members nationally.
Barry Moore “pleased” Trump is taking action to support America’s reopening
Republican congressional candidate Barry Moore, a former state representative from Enterprise, released a statement expressing confidence in President Donald Trump’s leadership after recent remarks by the president.
“President Trump continues to show strong leadership during this crisis, and the most recent round of economic numbers shows this,” Moore said. “I’m pleased that he’s taking action to continue providing the relief Americans so desperately need with his executive orders while the Democrats in both the House and Senate are blocking this relief for their own political gain.”
“I was especially pleased to hear the President speak out so strongly in favor of school choice and ‘paying the student’, so that parents and students could be free to find the best education opportunities, whether that’s a public, private or a charter school,” Moore said. “President Trump and I both agree that the child should come first, and school choice is a strong part of that. The President wants us to reopen our schools safely, as I do, because sitting at home playing on the computer is not the same as being in school.”
At a press conference on Monday, Trump cited the recent upward trend in the stock market, economic numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics July report and a rise in homebuilder’s confidence. The president asserted that “the stock market rebound signals a V-shaped recovery” and that the U.S. has “the strongest performing economy in the world.”
Trump also noted that the U.S. economy was also performing significantly better than in Europe.
“We had to turn the economy off and now we’re turning it back on,” the president said.
The president went on to criticize Democrats including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Californi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, for wanting “radical left agenda items” and “ridiculous things that have nothing at all to do with the China virus” in the most recent relief bill, which is currently stalled in Congress.
Trump used Democratic demands for $3.5 billion dollars for universal mail-in voting, which the president described as setting up “the greatest rigged election in history,” as just one example of Democratic obstruction.
Trump accused Democrats of holding up money for schools, state and local governments, and extending unemployment benefits and the moratorium on evictions. Trump said that this is what prompted him to sign a series of executive orders on Saturday addressing these issues.
“My hope is that, with the President’s continued leadership, we can continue to reopen our country and our economy, and I look forward to working on our complete recovery when I’m elected to Congress to represent District 2,” Moore concluded.
Moore is the Republican nominee for Congress in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. Moore is an Auburn University graduate, a small businessman, veteran, husband and father of four. Moore served two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives for 2010 to 2018. He ran for Congress unsuccessfully in 2018. Moore credits that failed run for setting up the groundwork for his winning the Republican nomination in a crowded GOP field in 2020.
Moore faces Democratic nominee Phyllis Harvey-Hall in the Nov. 3 general election. Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Alabama, is retiring from Congress at the end of this term.
Local government forums to be held in Baldwin County
The Common Sense Campaign TEA Party is hosting a series of forums for candidates running for mayor and city council in Baldwin County municipalities. CSC announced that these forums are public and part of CSC’s ongoing effort to give citizens the chance to meet and ask questions of candidates running for public office.
All candidates have been invited to participate. Municipal elections in Alabama are non-partisan. The forums will be live-streamed via the CSC Facebook page where citizens can submit questions. Citizens in attendance may also submit questions at the forum.
The governor’s directive regarding social distancing and face masks will be strictly followed. The first forum will be held in Daphne. CSC is also in the planning stage for forums in Gulf Shores and Fairhope. Information on those forums will be released to the public very soon.
The Daphne forum will be held Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Daphne Civic Center, 2603 US Highway 98, Daphne, AL 36526. The moderator will be Dr. Lou Campomenosi, the president of CSC. The forum will be broadcast live over 95.5 FM radio (with a very limited range).
The 2020 City of Daphne municipal elections will be held on Aug. 25, 2020, and if needed, a run-off election will be held on Oct. 6, 2020. The polls will be open on election day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their voting place due to the declared state of emergency due to the COVID-19 global pandemic may apply for an absentee ballot. When applying, you should check the box that reads “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.”
You can find the Application for Municipal Absentee Ballot here. Carefully follow the directions on the application and read the City of Daphne Absentee Voting Information carefully. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is Aug. 20, 2020.
Steve Carey, Robin Lejeune and Selena Vaughn are running for mayor of Daphne. In city council district one, incumbent Tommie Conaway is unopposed. In district two, Steve Glen is unopposed. In district three, incumbent Joel Coleman is unopposed. In district four, incumbent Doug Goodfin is unopposed. In district five, incumbent Ron Scott is being challenged by Amber Smith. Benjamin Hughes and Wesley Wright are both running in district six. In district seven, incumbent Angela “Angie” Phillips is running unopposed.