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Trump rallies supporters in Pensacola

Trump was in Pensacola speaking to a large crowd of supporters in an effort to energize his base in the final days of the campaign.

Brandon Moseley

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President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Pensacola, Floriday. (VIA CSPAN)

President Donald Trump on Friday was in Pensacola, Florida, speaking to a large crowded of supporters in an effort to energize his base in the final days of the 2020 campaign.

Trump has a large lead in Alabama, but Florida is very tight. A recent Rasmussen poll had Trump up slightly, but a number of other polls have Biden up in Florida. The general election is Nov. 3.

Trump claimed that he did not want to be beholden to big money donors.

“I’d be the greatest of all time at raising money, but I don’t want to call up every guy on Wall Street and say, you got to give me $10 million, they’d all give it to me,” the president said. “I would have numbers … I don’t need the money. Last time, we did it with a very small fraction of the money that Crooked Hillary used, right? No, but they were saying he raised a lot of money. That means he’s making deals.”

Trump reiterated his claim that Biden has used his office for his own personal gain and to enrich his family. The president has produced little in the way of evidence to prove that assertion.

“Joe Biden uses his public office to enrich himself and his family,” Trump charged. “I use public office to bring jobs and wealth back to American workers and American families.”

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“The drug companies don’t exactly like me too much, lately, big pharma,” Trump said, claiming that he was lowering drug prices. “You know what, who cares, I’m doing the right thing. Favored nations, you’ll see numbers, 50, 60, 70% lower. This is the first time in 52 years, last year, where drug prices came down. Not much one percent, but you know what, first time they’ve ever come down. But now we’re going for the big one. We pay the most of any country in the world by far. We’re going for favored nations, where we pay the lowest price anywhere in the world to matched.”

“We support our police, our great law enforcement, our police,” Trump said. “We protect our Second Amendment, which is under siege but not with me it’s not. We defend our borders, maintain energy independence. Did you hear Joe last night made a big mistake? He made a big mistake. I said, “Oh, you’re against oil.” “Well, yes, sir, we would like to get …” “Oh,” I said, “thank you.” Texas, are you watching, right? Pennsylvania, are you watching? Ohio, are you watching? And then today they came, “Well, actually we’re not rarely against it. We don’t know.” They didn’t know what the hell happened.”

“We will deliver record prosperity, epic job growth, 11.4 million people over the last few months, it’s a record,” Trump promised. “A safe vaccine that quickly ends this horrible pandemic. And we’re rounding the turn, with or without the vaccine, we have the vaccines. They’re going to be great. But with or without it, we’re rounding the turn. Normal life, it’s all we want, fully resuming. We want normal life to fully resume and that’s happening.”

“We had the greatest year in the history of our country last year. And then we got hit with the China plague, right?” Trump said. “We got hit with the China plague. We signed a great trade deal with China. In fact, three weeks ago, they bought the largest amount of corn, the largest amount of soybeans, beef, everything, largest deal ever.”

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“I gave the largest tax cut and tax reform in American history. And we will cut taxes again for the middle class even more,” Trump added. “By contrast, Sleepy Joe Biden will give you the biggest tax hike in history. He’s looking to give you the biggest … think of it. Does anybody have a 401k? Because you can just throw it right out the window if that happens.”

Trump said that he got COVID-19; but then his doctors gave him treatment that made him better.

“I got to go back to work for the American people,” Trump said. “We got to get back, right? We got to get back to work for the American people. No, it was great. I mean, we’ve learned so much about this disease. And young people, Barron, my son, Barron, the doctor said, “Sir, Barron tested positive.” Like about 15 seconds later, he said, “Sir, he’s all cured. He just, I don’t know.” They’re young, they have a very strong immune system. What can I tell you? I said, “Barron, I’m jealous.” As you’ve heard from his own mouth last night, Joe Biden will delay the vaccine, prolong the pandemic, close your schools and shut down our country. We’re not doing that. We’re having a record comeback. And that’s despite the Democrat governors not wanting to open up.”

“Biden would bury you in regulations, dismantle your police departments, dissolve our borders,” Trump charged. “You don’t have borders, you don’t have a country, right? Confiscate your guns, want to get rid of your Second Amendment. I’m not here, if I’m not here, you don’t even have a Second Amendment, you wouldn’t have it. Eliminate private healthcare, 180 million people have incredible private healthcare. They want to end it. Terminate religious liberty, destroy the suburbs with regulations, where they want to put low-income housing projects into the suburbs. I don’t think so. That would be the end of the American dream. And they’ll abolish fracking.”

“If Biden wins, the flag burning rioters on the streets will be running your federal government,” Trump continued. “They will decide which businesses can exist and which will be outlawed. That’s what they want to do. They will decide which rights you can keep and which will be revoked. They will reeducate your children. They will cancel your culture. Although, we’re making it very hard on them, you saw the withdrawals, I’ve made them all over the country. They wanted to reeducate our people. They wanted to disrespect our people. It was racist. It was terrible what they were doing. They’ll order you to stay at home while letting rioters and MS-13 killers roam free. You saw that, stay home, don’t go to church. They don’t want you to go to church. But if you want to riot in the middle of a main street, you can do it.”

“We’re doing much better than we did last time,” Trump claimed. “In fact, we’re leading everywhere. I think we’re leading everywhere. I’ll tell you what, North Carolina doing great. We think in Pennsylvania, doing great. They’ve got to be very careful in Philadelphia. They play games in Philadelphia and they won’t let us watch the count in Philadelphia. Remember we had a certain Republican running a number of years ago, got almost no votes in Philadelphia? Doesn’t work that way. So we’re watching Philadelphia.”

“Alabama, by the way, your neighbor, in Alabama … Whoa. Whoa. Alabama,” Trump said. “Well, wait, how many people here are from Alabama? Whoa. Whoa. How many people here are from Florida? Alabama has been growing. I’m up so much in Alabama, right? You have a great candidate, the coach, a coach, another great coach. He’s won three national championships. Urban Meyer, I was talking to him. We’re talking about your coach/Senate candidate, which hopefully will be soon. And Urban said, “Not only is he a great guy, he’s a great coach.” He’s a great coach, and he’s going to be a fantastic Senator. So that’s good. So say hello to him, Alabama. I’m glad I knew about this whole deal in terms of your location. Can you imagine if I didn’t call out Alabama for being a great state? Could you imagine? I’d be in big trouble. I’d be in big trouble. No, we’re way up in Alabama. Alabama has been good for day one.”

“One of the reasons is they say I got elected was because I put out a list of 25 great conservative judges,” Trump said. “And a lot of people, they said 22% of the people voted for me. I never believed that. But the fact is, I guess it must be so. But Joe, he won’t even say whether or not he’s going to pack the court. You know why? Because he has no idea. Other people are telling him, “Joe, you’re going to pack the court.” “Okay. Yes, sir.” And Joe, he doesn’t know. You could have 16, 18, 19, 20, 21 judges. It’s crazy.”

“I couldn’t sit by and watch these horrible trade deals that are ripping off America all the time,” Trump said. “I couldn’t sit back and watch China year after year, after year, hundreds of billions of dollars they made, and we have a much different attitude towards China now, much different, they are coming after me, a lot of people in Washington. By the way, nobody’s ever gone through what I’ve gone through. Nobody. No President has ever gone through this.”

“Under Biden and Obama our veterans were neglected, mistreated, abused, and left on the secret wastelands,” the President said. “That’s what they were. It was just a wasteland. They were on waiting lists for forever. Nothing got done. They’d have to wait for doctors for two weeks, four weeks. The VA’s office of inspector general found that over 300,000 veterans died under the last administration waiting for care. When I came into office, I signed the VA accountability act. More than 11,500 VA workers who were not giving our veterans the kind of care and respect that they deserved. We said, “Get out, you’re fired. Get out.” You couldn’t fire anybody. They could be sadists, they could be thieves. You couldn’t fire anybody. We got it passed. It’s called VA accountability. It was a big deal. For 42 years they tried to get it done, we got it done. Then to help veterans get the care they need when they need it, we approved veteran’s choice and we made it permanent.”

“We will eradicate this pandemic and defeat the scourge from China once and for all,” Trump promised. “So we’re joined today by incredible people. Ron DeSantis, you said hello to and Casey, you said hello to, but I just want to tell you, you have a great governor and you have a great, great first lady. Thank you very much. He is a great governor.”

“Tonight I also want to express my love and support for all the families here on the panhandle who were affected by hurricane Sally and other recent storms,” Trump stated. “You’ve been hit a lot, but we’re there whenever you get hit, I’m right behind that storm. Right behind it and we take care of it. We take care of it. Last month I approved a major disaster declaration for the state of Florida. And together we will rebuild the panhandle stronger than ever before. We’re doing it right now, stronger and better. Rebuilt stronger. We do plenty of others, but I won’t tell you about everything. Because we don’t have enough time. I could be here all night about what we’re doing for Florida and for Alabama.”

“Under my leadership. We achieved the most secure border in US history and we are finishing the wall with nearly 400 miles already built,” Trump told supporters. “And this is the wall they wanted. This is the wall the border patrol want. And we now have just about the safest Southern border we’ve ever had, but we’ll be finished very soon with the wall.”

“Last night, Joe Biden vowed that his immigration policy will be catch and release,” Trump said. “He thinks it’s great. You catch a criminal, murderer, rapist, you catch the criminal and you release the criminal into our country. And you say, “In four years you have to be back for a court case.” Right? But they never came back. We had an argument. I turned out to be right. He said, “And then they come back.” I don’t know what he was thinking. I don’t think he had a clue.”

“If Joe and Kamala are elected, it will trigger a tsunami of illegal immigration the likes of which you’ve never seen,” Trump claimed. “Millions will come from scores of countries all over the world to take advantage of us. No community in the United States will be spared to serve his donors, Biden last night pledged mass amnesty within the first 100 days.”

“Biden is a candidate of endless war and needless death,” Trump said. “I did more in 47 months than Sleepy Joe Biden did in 47 years. A vote for Republicans is a vote for safe communities, great jobs, and a limitless future for all Americans. A vote for Republicans is a vote for the American dream, not the American nightmare.”

“Over the next four years, we will make America into the manufacturing superpower of the world.” Trump promised. “And we will end our reliance on China once and for all. It’s already started. We will hire more police, increase penalties for assaults or law enforcement. Do we love our police? Yes? I have the endorsement of almost every police organization in the country including New York’s finest.”

Trump also promised to: ban sanctuary cities, uphold religious liberty, free speech, the right to life and the right to keep and bear arms, and stand with “the people of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and their righteous struggle for freedom. We will stand with the people of Colombia. We’re working very closely with them in their fight against the narco terrorists. We will strike down terrorist who threaten our citizens, and we will keep America out of endless foreign Wars.”

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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Health

Alabama hospitals nearing COVID-19 summer surge levels

Wednesday was the 18th straight day with more than 1,000 people in hospitals in Alabama with COVID-19. 

Eddie Burkhalter

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UAB Chief of Hospital Medicine Dr. Kierstin Kennedy.

Alabama hospitals reported caring for 1,483 people infected with COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest number of patients since Aug. 11, when the state was enduring its summer surge. Wednesday was also the 18th straight day with more than 1,000 people in hospitals in Alabama with COVID-19. 

The seven-day average of hospitalizations was 1,370 on Wednesday, the 36th straight day of that average rising. The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 2,453 new cases Wednesday. The 14-day average of new cases was — for the eighth day in a row — at a record high of 2,192. 

Across the country, more than 80,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday, a record high and the 15th straight day of record hospitalizations nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project, a coronavirus tracking website.

The CDC this week recommended people not travel for Thanksgiving to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

“The only way for us to successfully get through this pandemic is if we work together,” said Dr. Kierstin Kennedy, UAB’s chief of hospital medicine, in a message Tuesday. “There’s no one subset of the community that’s going to be able to carry the weight of this pandemic and so we all have to take part in wearing our masks, keeping our distance, making sure that we’re washing our hands.” 

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Kennedy said the best way she can describe the current situation is “Russian Roulette.” 

“Not only in the form of, maybe you get it and you don’t get sick or maybe you get it and you end up in the ICU,” Kennedy said, “but if you do end up sick, are you going to get to the hospital at a time when we’ve got capacity, and we’ve got enough people to take care of you? And that is a scary thought.” 

The Alabama Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported an increase of 60 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. Deaths take time to confirm and the date a death is reported does not necessarily reflect the date on which the individual died. At least 23 of those deaths occurred in November, and 30 occurred in other months. Seven were undated. Data for the last two to three weeks are incomplete.

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As of Wednesday, at least 3,532 Alabamians have died of COVID-19, according to the Department of Public Health. During November, at least 195 people have died in Alabama from COVID-19. But ADPH is sure to add more to the month’s tally in the weeks to come as data becomes more complete.

ADPH on Wednesday announced a change that nearly doubled the department’s estimate of people who have recovered from COVID-19, bringing that figure up to 161,946. That change also alters APR’s estimates of how many cases are considered active.

ADPH’s Infectious Disease and Outbreak team “updated some parameters” in the department’s Alabama NEDSS Base Surveillance System, which resulted in the increase, the department said.

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Corruption

Judge reduces former Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard’s prison sentence

The trial court judge ordered his 48-month sentence reduced to 28 months.

Eddie Burkhalter

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Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was booked into jail to begin serving his four-year sentence for ethics violations in September. (VIA LEE COUNTY DETENTION CENTER)

Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker on Wednesday reduced former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s prison sentence from four years to just more than two. 

Walker in his order filed Wednesday noted that Hubbard was sentenced to fours years on Aug. 9, 2016, after being convicted of 12 felony ethics charges for misusing his office for personal gain, but that on Aug. 27, 2018, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals reversed convictions on five of those counts. The Alabama Supreme Court later struck down another count.

Hubbard’s attorneys on Sept. 18 filed a motion to revise his sentence, to which the state objected, according to court records, arguing that “Hubbard’s refusal to admit any guilt or express any remorse makes him wholly unfit to receive any leniency.”   

Walker in his order cited state code and wrote that the power of the courts to grant probation “is a matter of grace and lies entirely within the sound discretion of the trial court.” 

“Furthermore, the Court must consider the nature of the Defendant’s crimes. Acts of public corruption harm not just those directly involved, but harm society as a whole,” Walker wrote.

Walker ruled that because six of Hubbard’s original felony counts were later reversed, his entrance should be changed to reflect that, and ordered his 48-month sentence reduced to 28 months. 

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Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Wednesday said Walker’s decision to reduce Hubbard’s sentence was the wrong message to send.

“Mr. Hubbard was convicted of the intentional violation of Alabama’s ethics laws, the same laws he championed in the legislature only later to brazenly disregard for his personal enrichment,” Marshall said in a statement. “Even as he sits in state prison as a six-time felon, Mike Hubbard continues to deny any guilt or offer any remorse for his actions in violation of the law.  Reducing his original four-year sentence sends precisely the wrong message to would-be violators of Alabama’s ethics laws.”

Hubbard was booked into the Lee County Jail on Sept. 11, more than four years after his conviction. On Nov. 5 he was taken into custody by the Department of Corrections.

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News

Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19, has “mild symptoms”

It’s unlikely Saban will be able to coach in person during Saturday’s Iron Bowl against Auburn.

Eddie Burkhalter

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University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban.

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Iron Bowl and has mild symptoms, according to a statement from the university on Wednesday. 

“This morning we received notification that Coach Saban tested positive for COVID-19,” said Dr. Jimmy Robinson and Jeff Allan, associate athletic director, in the statement. “He has very mild symptoms, so this test will not be categorized as a false positive. He will follow all appropriate guidelines and isolate at home.” 

Saban had previously tested positive before Alabama’s game against Georgia but was asymptomatic and subsequently tested negative three times, a sign that the positive test could have been a false positive. He returned to coach that game. 

It’s unlikely Saban will be able to coach in person during Saturday’s Iron Bowl against Auburn, given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for quarantining after testing positive and with symptoms. Neither Saban nor the university had spoken about that possibility as of Wednesday morning.

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National

Civil rights leader Bruce Boynton dies at 83

The Dallas County Courthouse Annex will be renamed in honor of Boynton and fellow Civil Rights Movement leader J.L. Chestnut.

Brandon Moseley

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Selma attorney and Civil Rights Movement leader Bruce Carver Boynton

Selma attorney and Civil Rights Movement leader Bruce Carver Boynton died from cancer in a Montgomery hospital on Monday. He was 83. The Dallas County Courthouse Annex will be renamed in honor of Boynton and fellow Civil Rights Movement leader J.L. Chestnut.

“We’ve lost a giant of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Alabama. “Son of Amelia Boynton Robinson, Bruce Boynton was a Selma native whose refusal to leave a “whites-only” section of a bus station restaurant led to the landmark SCOTUS decision in Boynton v. Virginia overturning racial segregation in public transportation, sparking the Freedom Rides and end of Jim Crow. Let us be inspired by his commitment to keep striving and working toward a more perfect union.”

Boynton attended Howard University Law School in Washington D.C. He was arrested in Richmond, Virginia, in his senior year of law school for refusing to leave a “whites-only” section of a bus station restaurant. That arrest and conviction would be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where Boynton and civil rights advocates prevailed in the landmark case 1060 Boynton vs. Virginia.

Boynton’s case was handled by famed civil rights era attorney Thurgood Marshal, who would go on to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. The 1960 7-to-2 decision ruled that federal prohibitions barring segregation on interstate buses also applied to bus stations and other interstate travel facilities.

The decision inspired the “Freedom Rides” movement. Some Freedom Riders were attacked when they came to Alabama.

While Boynton received a high score on the Alabama Bar exam, the Alabama Bar prevented him from working in the state for years due to that 1958 trespassing conviction. Undeterred, Boynton worked in Tennessee during the years, bringing school desegregation lawsuits.

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Sherrilyn Ifill with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said on social media: “NAACP LDF represented Bruce Boynton, who was an unplanned Freedom Rider (he simply wanted to buy a sandwich in a Va bus station stop & when denied was willing to sue & his case went to the SCOTUS) and later Bruce’s mother Amelia Boynton (in Selma after Bloody Sunday).”

His mother, Amelia Boynton, was an early organizer of the voting rights movement. During the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March in 1965, she was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. She later co-founded the National Voting Rights Museum and annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma. His father S.W. Boynton was also active in the Civil Rights Movement.

Bruce Boynton worked for several years at a Washington D.C. law firm but spent most of his long, illustrious legal career in Selma, Alabama, with a focus on civil rights cases. He was the first Black special prosecutor in Alabama history and at one point he represented Stokely Carmichael.

This year has seen the passing of a number of prominent Civil Rights Movement leaders, including Troy native Georgia Congressman John Lewis.

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