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Sen. Doug Jones: “I am exhibit A of what can happen when people turn out and vote”

“That’s what I’m going to do in my next term as well. I’m going to continue to do what my friend, the late John Lewis said. Stand up. Speak out,” Jones said.

Eddie Burkhalter



Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, speaking during an online town hall Thursday, said people in Alabama have more in common than they have that divides them. 

“Unfortunately, what we have so much in common of is a lack of opportunities, lack of health care, lack of equality in terms of wages, lack of the ability to get broadband,” Jones said during the Poor People’s Campaign Senate town hall. 

Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr’s 1968 effort called the Poor People’s Campaign, a group of civil rights leader and impoverished workers and allies aimed at confronting poverty and human rights, today’s Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival started in 2018 and has chapters in more than 40 states. 

“We have so much in common where our educational system fails so many kids. We have so much in common, where we have one of the highest rates of poverty and low wealth of any state in the country,” Jones continued. “Those are not things to be proud of, but those are things to be working toward, and voting to try to change.” 

Bishop William Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, spoke during the town hall of systemic problems of poverty and a lack of access to health care for millions in the U.S. and especially in the South. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the suffering for so many, he said. 

Barber said the loss of life from COVID-19 in the U.S. “is like suffering the effects of 109 Hurricane Katrinas.”


“Think about that for a while. It’s like enduring the 911 attacks every day for 66 days,” Barber said. “We’ve lost more people from COVID-19 than in five of our most recent wars.” 

Tommy Tuberville, Jones’s opponent in the upcoming election, was invited but did not attend Thursday’s town hall. Tuberville has declined to debate Jones, and has largely avoided interviews with journalists from traditional newspapers, opting instead to speak on conservative radio programs. 

“Let me say I’m disappointed that my opponent is not here tonight,” Jones said. “But I’m not surprised. He doesn’t have any of these answers. He doesn’t have any plans, and he doesn’t want to talk about these issues. He just wants to hide behind his party affiliation and let it carry the day.” 

Jones explained that he’s spent his time in office fighting for the poor and disenfranchised, and had authored or co-signed on numerous bipartisan bills passed to do just that. Jones said he supports protecting Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, while his opponent wants to make cuts those programs. 

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Jessica Banks, a 35-year-old mother of two living in Mobile, joined the town hall to ask Jones a question. Banks said she’s lived in extreme poverty for 16 years, has debilitating and painful medical conditions and makes $400 a month. 

“In Alabama, in addition to the 2.1 million poor and low income people, there are 483,000 people who lack health insurance. 448,000 make less than $15 per hour,” Banks said. “How is your campaign specifically going to address these issues of poverty inequality, health care and living wages., and how will you challenge the myth of scarcity, that claims there’s not enough for everyone to thrive in our state?” 

Jones said he’s worked to address health care disparities, and fought to expand Medicaid in Alabama, which he said would ensure approximately 370,000 of those uninsured Alabamians, since his first day in office.

“And at the same time it literally would have brought in billions of dollars to the state of Alabama,” Jones said. 

Jones also discussed his concern over the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court, with Trump’s selection of Amy Coney Barrett, would destroy the Affordable Care Act. 

“Right now in Alabama we’ve got 957,000 people under the age of 65 that’s got a pre-existing condition like yours,” Jones told Banks. “They will all lose their health care.” 

Jones was also asked how he defines systemic racism and what policies are in his platform to address it. 

Jones said the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on our inequalities, which he said are based in large part on systemic racism. 

“And we know that. This has been what I’ve called a multi-generational failure on the part of folks and authors in our society to address these issues over the years,” Jones said. “Make no mistake. We have come a long way, and no one should deny that. No one should not acknowledge the progress that we’ve made in this country, but no one should also deny the fact that we’ve still got a ways to go.” 

Jones described systemic racism as a combination of racism and implicit bias, which impacts minority communities in a myriad of ways, including a lack of access to capital for minority business owner, which he’s worked to address through legislation and discussions with national leaders. 

“It’s why I’ve got a bill pending that addresses bias when it comes to maternal health and infant mortality, because we know that Black women die at greater rates,” Jones said. 

Jones said he was an early voice supporting of taking down Confederate monuments, but that “doesn’t do any good if we don’t remove the barriers and its little barriers in health care and housing and education or employment.” 

“That’s what I’m going to do in my next term as well. I’m going to continue to do what my friend, the late John Lewis said. Stand up. Speak out. Cause a little good trouble and make voices heard.” 

Jones encouraged the public to vote in the upcoming election to ensure the needed changes are made. 

“I am exhibit A of what can happen when people turn out and vote,” Jones said.

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.



Slow absentee voting in Tuscaloosa sparks outrage, possible legal action

Among the issues were incredibly long lines that left some voters waiting more than five hours and an inefficient process that managed to take in fewer than 100 absentee ballots in six hours. 

Josh Moon




Long lines and slow absentee ballot processing in Tuscaloosa County have left voters outraged and incumbent Sen. Doug Jones’s campaign threatening legal action. 

On Wednesday, Jones’s campaign attorney, Adam Plant, sent a letter to Tuscaloosa County Circuit Clerk Magaria Bobo, outlining a number of issues with ongoing absentee voting and promising to take legal action if Bobo doesn’t improve the process on the final day, Friday. Among the issues documented by Plant were incredibly long lines that left some voters waiting more than five hours and an inefficient process that managed to take in fewer than 100 absentee ballots in six hours. 

Additionally, Plant noted that Bobo has hired her family members to help process absentee ballots and at least one family member had made disparaging remarks on social media about voters. 

“You and those acting on your behalf are suppressing the vote of qualified Alabama voters,” Plant wrote in the letter. “If you are unable or unwilling to execute your duties competently, and allow Tuscaloosa voters to exercise their voting rights without undue burdens, we will take further action.”

In an interview with the Montgomery Advertiser on Wednesday, Bobo noted that her office had received more than 13,000 requests for absentee ballots — a remarkable uptick from the 3,000 or so her office usually receives — and there had been problems in managing that number of ballots while also adhering to social distancing guidelines within the office. 

However, as Plant’s letter notes, the massive increase in absentee ballots for this election shouldn’t have been a surprise. Also, Secretary of State John Merrill had made additional funds available to absentee managers to facilitate hiring extra staff, purchasing additional computers and staying open for longer hours to accommodate the anticipated increase. 


In a press release on Wednesday, the Alabama Democratic Party criticized Bobo and her family members, and the release included screenshots of Facebook posts from Bobo’s daughter lashing out at voters who complained about the long wait times. 

“No voter should have to wait in line for hours to exercise their rights,” said ADP executive director Wade Perry. “We should leverage every tool we have to make voting easier, not harder. Also, it should go without saying that election workers should not insult the very people they are employed to serve. If Ms. Bobo is incapable of processing voters quickly, someone else needs to do the job.”

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Jones campaign calls Tuberville a “coward” after no-show at Auburn forum

“Tuberville is hiding because he knows that on every front — policy, experience, character, competence — he loses to Doug Jones. Hands down,” Jones’s campaign said.

Brandon Moseley



Sen. Doug Jones, left, and Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, right.

There are only four days left before election day, and incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones’s re-election campaign is slamming Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville, accusing him of “hiding” and calling him a “coward.”

On Wednesday, Jones addressed an Auburn University forum. Tuberville did not attend.

“Tonight, the College Democrats and College Republicans at Auburn University co-hosted a debate between Doug Jones and Tommy Tuberville, offering students a chance to ask the candidates about the issues that matter most to Alabama,” the Jones campaign said in an email to supporters. “But Tuberville never showed up – he’s too scared to face Doug… even on his own home turf. Tuberville has repeatedly refused to debate Doug Jones. He’s consistently refused to be interviewed by the press. He’s refused to tell Alabama the truth about who and what they’re voting for – and it’s clear why.”

“Tuberville is hiding because he knows that on every front — policy, experience, character, competence — he loses to Doug Jones. Hands down,” the campaign continued. “If he won’t tell the truth, we will. Tuberville expects to win this race off of his blind allegiance to the President and his party affiliation. But Alabamians know better.”

“People deserve to know who they’re really voting for if they vote for Tuberville: someone who … won’t protect our health care, doesn’t believe in science, has no idea what the Voting Rights Act is, and doesn’t care about the lives and livelihoods of Alabamians,” the Jones campaign concluded. “Alabama will never elect a coward. Pitch in now and help us spread the truth about the man hiding behind the ballot.”

“I am disappointed that Tommy Tuberville is not here,” Jones said. “I think it is important that people see two candidates side by side answering the same questions.”


Tuberville meanwhile is canvassing the state, speaking to rallies and Republican groups to turn out the Republican vote for himself and President Donald Trump. Tuberville spoke at Freedom Fest in Madison County on Thursday and at the Trump Truck Parade rally in Phenix City.

“It’s time Alabama had a U.S. senator who represents our conservative beliefs and traditional values,” Tuberville said in Phenix City. “It’s time Alabama had a U.S. senator who supports the Second Amendment, the right to life, and putting God back in the classroom.”

Polling consistently shows Tuberville with a commanding lead over Jones. Real Clear Politics lists the race on their current board as a likely Republican win. FiveThirtyEight’s election model gives Tuberville a 79 percent chance of defeating Jones.

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Tuberville says election is about “the American dream”

“It is not about me. It is not about Biden or Jones. It is about the American dream. They are trying to take it away from us,” Tuberville claimed.

Brandon Moseley



Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville (TUBERVILLE CAMPAIGN)

Thursday, Tommy Tuberville spoke at Freedom Fest asking Madison County voters to support him and re-elect Donald J. Trump Tuesday.

The former Auburn University head football Coach told the estimated crowd of 350 that, “It is great to be here. This has been a lot of fun for me. Two years ago, my wife and I started to pray on whether or not to run. When we decided to run, she said don’t come back until you win.”

“This is a very serious election,” Tuberville said. “This is not about Donald Trump. It is not about me. It is not about Biden or Jones. It is about the American dream. They are trying to take it away from us.”

“I always told my players this: this country gives you the opportunity to fail and if you fail you get back up and try again,” Tuberville said. “When I was growing up in Arkansas I wanted to be a college football coach. People in high school laughed at me for it and people in college. It takes perseverance.”

Tuberville said that this country gives you the opportunity to succeed, more so than any other country in the world. Most of the rest of the world is socialist.

Tuberville warned that the other side is trying to turn America into a socialist country.


“We are not going to let them ruin this country,” Tuberville vowed.

The 2020 Madison County GOP Freedom Fest was held at the brand new Toyota Field, the new home of the Huntsville Trash Pandas minor league baseball team.

Tuberville praised President Trump whom “I have gotten to know through all of this and we have become friends. He never slows down; and he is sharp as a tack.”

Tuberville said that the President once called him at 2:30 in the morning, “He said sleep is overrated.”

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To protect the American dream we need to vote on Tuesday to keep the Senate and get Donald Trump re-elected.”

Tuberville said that he has spoken with, “A lot of people who as nervous as I am about Tuesday.” Coach Tuberville, who is being outspent, urged the crowd to ignore all of the television ads by his opponent, incumbent Senator Doug Jones (D).

Tuberville vowed to defend the Second Amendment if elected, “They ain’t getting my guns….or your guns.”

“We need to get God back in our schools and teach values again,” Tuberville stated. “The other side does not talk about values and morals.”

We are not going to allow them to tear down our country,” Tuberville said. “God will not allow them.”

“We are going to get God back in our country like it is supposed to be,” Tuberville said.

Coach Tuberville was introduced to the crowd by State Senator Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville).

Scofield said that he “is ready to send Doug Jones back to California.”

“Yes I know he is actually from here; but he sure votes like California. He certainly doesn’t vote like the vast majority of the people of Alabama want him to vote.”

Scofield called Tuberville is “A fighter” who will stand up for the values of the people of Alabama.

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said, “This is the most important election of my lifetime.”

“Do we believe in freedom and liberty or do we believe in socialism?” Brooks said. “We need to beat them like a drum.”

The general election is on Tuesday. You must bring a valid photo ID with you to your assigned polling place in order to participate.

Secretary of State John H. Merrill predicted that the state would have record participation on Tuesday.

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Aderholt receives prestigious Guardian of Small Business Award

The NFIB is the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization and the Guardian of Small Business Award is its most prestigious legislative recognition.

Brandon Moseley



Congressman Robert Aderholt accepts an NFIB award. (CONTRIBUTED)

Congressman Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, has been awarded the prestigious Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. While accepting the award, Aderholt said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy.”

The NFIB is the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization and the Guardian of Small Business Award is its most prestigious legislative recognition.

NFIB State Director Rosemary Elebash presented the award to Aderholt at a ceremony at NorthRidge Fitness, an NFIB member business in Northport owned by Mary Cartee.

“NFIB presents its Guardian of Small Business Award to lawmakers who small businesses can depend on,” Elebash said. “Congressman Aderholt has supported Alabama’s job creators on the issues that our members are concerned about and have proven themselves to be real champions for small business.”

NFIB Vice President of Federal Government Relations Kevin Kuhlman said, “Our policy positions are driven by our members, and we report NFIB Key Votes back to our membership. We are proud to recognize the elected officials from the 116th Congress who earned this distinction by taking pro-small business votes supporting financial assistance programs and tax relief and opposing increased labor costs.”

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy,” Aderholt said. “It’s where new innovations and ideas are developed and nurtured. In fact, almost every large business in America started out as a small business. It’s both my pleasure and my duty to work in Congress to protect small businesses. We depend on these entrepreneurs and that’s why I will always fight for them.”


The National Federation of Independent Business’s Guardian of Small Business Award is reserved for only those lawmakers who vote consistently with small business on the key issues identified by small business owners. Those who voted with small business on key issues 70 percent or more of the time during the 116th Congress earned the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award.

Alabama Congress members Bradley Byrne, Martha Roby, Mike Rogers, Gary Palmer, Mo Brooks and Sen. Richard Shelby were also NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award recipients from the 116th Congress.

NFIB informs lawmakers in advance what votes will be considered NFIB Key Votes and asks lawmakers to support the consensus views of its members. Congress members are also reminded that the results of how they vote will be reported back to the NFIB membership.

Aderholt is serving in his 12th term representing Alabama’s 4th Congressional District. He faces a challenge in Tuesday’s general election from Democratic candidate Rick Neighbors.

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The polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

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