As I have suggested to you, we are looking at one momentous 2018 election year, and it has begun. Get this folks, we have an open governor’s race. We have openings at Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Agriculture Commissioner, three seats on the Supreme Court including the Chief Justice position, all 35 state Senate seats, all 105 House seats, one hotly contested congressional seat, as well as 67 sheriffs. Folks, that’s the most political marquee year in my long political life. If media outlets do not make money next year, they ain’t ever gonna make any money.
This third year of the quadrennium Regular Session of the legislature has recently gotten a lot more complex. These next four months will be trying times for the Alabama legislature. They will not only have to deal with a beleaguered General Fund Budget that has to feed a money-eating monster named Medicaid, they have an overcrowding problem in the state prisons to deal with as well as major public school systems being taken over by the state because of mismanagement and underfunding.
As the third regular session of this quadrennium begins, the paramount focus once again will be on the budgets. Even more specifically, it will be about the General Fund Budget.
My first memory of Mother was when she once said I could walk by myself to play with two older girls who lived a few houses down from our home on Norwood Avenue. The trust she placed in me made me feel independent and free to pursue friendships. That pivotal moment started me on a path of feeling confident and of having friends.
Hillary Clinton’s failure to break the proverbial glass ceiling in American politics came up a little short. More than 100 men have been nominated for president by the nation’s political parties over the past 220 years. She was the first female to be the nominee of one of the two major parties.
After Hillary became the Democratic nominee last year, former Colorado Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, who ran for president in 1988, said it best, “It’s been the ultimate tree house with a no girls allowed sign posted on it.”
Alabama is going to fair well under President Trump. There is an old adage that says, “Those that bake the pie get to eat it.” We truly baked the pie for Trump. We overwhelmingly supported him in the GOP primary and helped him secure the nomination. We then gave him one of the largest mandates in the nation in the November General Election.
This past year in Alabama politics was surprisingly more interesting than was expected. The judicial inquiry commission removed Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore from the bench for telling the probate judges in the state to not perform marriage ceremonies for gay people. He said marriage should be between a man and a woman, as do most people in Alabama.
At the close of every year my tradition is to acknowledge the passing away of significant political players from the political stage in Alabama. We have lost some Icons from politics in the Heart of Dixie this year.
It is Christmas time, and since Alabama is one of the most charitable states in the nation, I would expect that many of us are in the giving mood and plan to help many worthy causes across our great state. Unfortunately, it appears that some recent rulings by the Alabama Ethics Commission are going to make it more difficult for charities across the state to raise the funds that they need to serve our communities.
Our Senior U.S. Senator Richard Shelby will begin his sixth six-year term in January. He is an Alabama treasure. Over the past 30 years as our Senator he has brought millions of federal dollars home to Alabama.
Donald J. Trump’s election to the presidency left the pollsters and pundits from every media outlet and news network with egg on their face. It also left them with their mouths ajar in shock.
Desmond Doss’s story, which has been made into the movie “Hacksaw Ridge,” is how he, a conscientious objector, rescued dozens of wounded soldiers during the worst battles of World War II.
Veterans Day is this Friday and, to some, the national holiday is simply a day off of work. While JSU faculty, staff and students are certainly looking forward to having Veterans Day off for the first time, we believe the holiday is so much more.
We will vote to select the 44th President Tuesday. The next President will be a New Yorker. Whomever is selected will enter the Oval office with the most unfavorable poll ratings of any President in recent memory. This election will epitomize the old adage that George Wallace once told and that is, “more folks vote against someone than for someone.”
Vietnam War veteran Robert Betz of Anniston has traveled near Washington, D.C., but he has never seen the Capitol Building or the Vietnam War Memorial. He learned a few years ago that there is now a memorial dedicated to those who served on submarines, as he did. Betz hopes to travel in May from the Anniston Airport to the nation’s Capital thanks to Honor Flight, a non-profit organization that is sponsoring the trip. Its mission is to honor veterans by transporting them to see their respective memorials.
Ole Bill Baxley has been in the news a lot this year. He was the lead defense counsel for former Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics conviction trial over in Opelika. Baxley practices law in Birmingham and is one of the state’s premier and most expensive criminal defense lawyers. Like a good many of the top defense attorneys, Baxley was first a prosecutor and a doggone good one.
Our junior U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions has risen to national prominence in this pivotal presidential year. His arch conservative senate voting record and impeccable pedigree as one of the most rock solid Republicans in the U.S. Senate has made him a marquee persona among right wing Fox News conservatives throughout the country.
During this election year I have watched all the politics on television. In order to judge the coverage I have perused all the channels. Over the years political observers have bemoaned the fact that certain networks are biased. Folks, I am here to tell you they are. There is no doubt Fox is a Republican channel and MSNBC and CNN are Democratic networks.
Alabama’s most famous political restaurant and watering hole for 50 years was Montgomery’s Elite Restaurant. Until it closed about 1995, the Elite (pronounced “E-light”) was the place to eat and be seen. Many a political deal was struck at its back tables.
As part of the initiative to stop sexual assault the Jacksonville State University Student Government Association joined the nationwide campaign “It’s On Us” with a week of activities that began on Sept. 12.
There is no truer adage in the political world than “all politics is local.” therefore, the best politics and the best governing in the state is at the local level. The mayors of cities and towns throughout Alabama are the real governors of the state.