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Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

Rainy Day Funds tough to use in some states


While budget deficits threaten to cripple government services across the country, a handful of states with billions of dollars socked away in “rainy day” funds for troubled financial times are discovering they can’t use that money to offset their cuts.

Amid the worst financial crisis facing states in decades, stringent rules governing the use of reserve funds have tied the hands of lawmakers in nearly a dozen states even as they consider raising taxes, slashing health and social services and shuttering education programs.

About three-fourths of states have used rainy day funds in the past three years to alleviate budget cuts, but some have had difficulty accessing the money or have shied away from doing so. They would have to repay it quickly or were worried it would hurt their bond ratings.

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Republican Mike Hubbard Elected Speaker of the Alabama House


Republican Mike Hubbard of Auburn was this afternoon elected Alabama’s first Republican Speaker of the House in modern times.

Legislators voted 100-0 for Hubbard, the only nominee for the post, after the new Republican majority was sworn into office.

“You humble me with your trust and your confidence you’ve placed in me today,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard said he wanted to start the next four-year legislative term in a spirit of cooperation.

“Today is not about partisanship. It’s not about who won or lost the election,” Hubbard said.

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AL: Lt. Governor’s power will be limited

Following recent precedent, the new Republican Senate is aiming to keep most of the power within the Senate.


Republican Lt. Gov.-elect Kay Ivey won’t have the power of many of her Democratic predecessors even though she will preside over the first Republican majority in the Alabama Senate in 136 years.

Key Republican senators, including President Pro Tem-designate Del Marsh, said Monday the new Republican majority plans to keep the system used in recent years where most of the Senate’s power rests with senators, not with the lieutenant governor.

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Are Days Numbered for Alabama Democrats?


What do dinosaurs and Democrats have in common?

They once roamed Alabama.

That’s one of the jokes making the rounds after what was a triumphant election for Alabama Republicans and a disaster for state Democrats.

But behind the joke is a real question: In the wake of a historic election that saw Democrats lose every single statewide race and lose control of the Legislature for the first time in 136 years, is the Alabama Democratic Party, like the dinosaur, extinct?

“Obviously the Democrats were beaten badly in Alabama, more than ever before. But, the truth is the Democratic Party in Alabama has been on life support since 1986 and on Tuesday, Nov. 2, the Republicans pulled the plug,” said Natalie Davis, a longtime professor of political science at Birmingham-Southern College. Guy Hunt won the governor’s race in 1986, becoming the first Republican to hold that job since Reconstruction.

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Alabama: 11 Arrests in Bingo Corruption


In their offices and along bar stools after work, lobbyists and politicians speculated feverishly about what would become of it.

On Monday, they found out.

Four state senators, three lobbyists and two powerful and politically connected businessmen were among 11 people arrested and charged by federal investigators with being part of a wide-ranging conspiracy in which lawmakers were offered generous campaign contributions in exchange for pro-gambling votes. All are facing possible jail time.

At a hearing in Montgomery, Ala., on Monday afternoon, Terry Moorer, a United States magistrate judge, did not allow any of the defendants to enter a plea, though they were all let out on bail. The next hearing is set for Oct. 15.

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Corruption in Alabama; Arrests Made


MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Milton McGregor, the owner of Alabama’s largest casino; 4 state senators, including Harri Anne Smith; and several top lobbyists have been indicted on federal charges accusing them of vote buying on a bill to legalize electronic bingo.

Smith was arrested at her Slocomb home this morning by state police, then carried to the federal courthouse in Montgomery.

Also arrested on Monday were Milton McGregor, the owner of the VictoryLand bingo casino and one of the most power pro-gambling forces in the state; state senators Jim Preuitt, R-Talladega, Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, Larry Means, D-Attalla; and Montgomery lobbyist Jerrod Massey.

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AL: Democrat AG Candidate Takes Heat for Republican/Christian Comment


The Cherokee County Herald reports that Democrat nominee for Attorney General James Anderson questioned the faith of all Republicans during a recent luncheon in Centre. The paper quotes the holier-than-thou Anderson’s claim that you can not be a Christian and be a Republican:

“Well I don’t know how you can say you are a Christian and be a Republican.”(Cherokee Herald 9/27, full article found HERE

Rep. Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn), Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party blasted Anderson’s assertion as ignorance, arrogance and just one more reason James Anderson is wrong for Alabama.

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AL: Republican AG Candidate Calls Health Care Bill ‘Intrusion’


The Republican nominee for attorney general said Wednesday that the office has a role to play in preventing the federal government from intruding in the lives of citizens.

Luther Strange, speaking to local members of the Alabama chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors at Cypress Inn, cited the health care bill passed by Congress earlier this year as an example of what he called “intrusions.”

However, the Birmingham attorney said he would definitely join a lawsuit seeking to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if elected, a point on which he and his opponent disagree.

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New Ad: Alabama AG Candidate Luther Strange “Working Class Roots”

Alabama: Candidates Make Pitch for Attorney General


The Democrat and Republican candidates for state attorney general made their pitches to be the state’s chief attorney in separate speeches today before the Alabama Retired State Employees’ Association, stressing their differences and backgrounds.

”One issue that defines the difference between me and my opponent is Obamacare,” said Republican Luther Strange. He called the health care overhaul ”an intrusion on our private liberties, our ability to make our decisions for ourselves.”

Among other things, the law eventually will require most Americans to have health care coverage or face federal penalties.

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