Author: Lee Hedgepeth

Learning from the Sessions Six

Alabama has had a long history of protest and civil disobedience. In fact, even today the city of Montgomery markets itself as the “cradle of the Confederacy” and the “birthplace of the civil rights movement,” all in one breath. Our state motto is “We dare defend our rights,” and while Alabamians from Huntsville to Mobile may disagree on which of those rights to fiercely defend and which to merely tolerate, there’s no doubt that the Heart of Dixie has a culture — at least in thought and theory — that recognizes the importance of political passion and protest. Today...

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Host of hopefuls seek Senate seat

Governor Robert Bentley has now interviewed 20 Republicans on his path to selecting a replacement for U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, who President-elect Donald Trump announced as his pick for Attorney General. Under Alabama law, Bentley has the right to appoint a temporary replacement if a U.S. Senate seat becomes vacant, although a special election must be held sometime before the next general election cycle in 2018. After Trump’s announcement, Gov. Bentley released a statement saying that he would seek to appoint someone to the seat who holds the same “conservative values” as Sessions. “I will choose an appointee who shares those values and will work to further the agenda of President-elect Trump, all while keeping Alabama first in his or her mind,” Bentley said in a statement released by his office. “This person must uphold the Constitution, value the rights of the Second Amendment, the rights of the states, support pro-life issues, implement a strong national security policy and support domestic job creation.” Bentley also said he’d reached out to some of the state’s top Republicans to hear their thoughts on who should replace Sessions. “I have already spoken today with ALGOP chairwoman Terry Lathan and told her that I will be asking members of the executive committee to submit names of those they feel are most qualified to serve as U.S. Senator,” Bentley said. Although those particular recommendations...

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From the Legislature to the liquor store

In the election of 2010 — the year of the GOP takeover of the Alabama Legislature — State Rep. Terry Spicer, an Elba Democrat, lost his seat to Barry Moore, a Republican closely aligned with then-GOP chairman Mike Hubbard. Unfortunately for Spicer, though, his seat in the Alabama House wasn’t even close to the only thing he lost with his electoral defeat in 2010. Spicer, who eventually pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges, would later admit to having lost much more than his position in the 2010 election. According to the Department of Justice, when Spicer lost his seat...

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A New Year’s resolution for Montgomery

Here’s a New Year’s resolution for the politicians in Montgomery. In 2017, let’s let common sense prevail, because with the new year comes Alabama’s annual circus. And no, I’m not talking about Barnum & Bailey. It’s the other annual showcase of our state’s misfits and malcontents: the regular legislative session in Montgomery, and the potential for another year of political mistakes and malfeasance. This year, though, Montgomery should drop the circus act, and instead focus on issues that really matter: problems that can be solved by common-sense solutions. One problem that everyone in Montgomery — even those political misfits...

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Sweet home America

President-elect Donald Trump’s rally in Mobile last weekend wasn’t just a display of national politics. The rally, the last stop on Trump’s post-election “thank you” tour, called national attention to Alabama’s state politics — which is something we should really just keep to ourselves. That’s because when it comes to “showcasing” Alabama politicians, no matter who you choose to put on a political pedestal it won’t be long before they fall off, if they haven’t tripped already. Let’s face it: When Montgomery sends us politicians, they’re not sending their best. Some, I assume, are good people. But before you...

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