Another change is coming

 

 

Art Parker

BY: ART PARKER

There has been little movement to the political winds in quite some time due to the upcoming GOP runoff for U.S. Senate, which will be next Tuesday, September 26. Once that is behind us I believe you will see sails pop up on the water and the small breeze we now feel will turn into the gradual building of a storm that should make landfall next June.

In between that time we will go to the polls and decide between either sitting senator Luther Strange or Roy Moore to become the GOP nominee. That party’s nominee will face Democrat Doug Jones in December and the winner will claim the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, who was appointed U.S. Attorney General.

For what it’s worth, I’ve never been a fan of Roy Moore. On the other hand I wouldn’t trust Luther Strange as far as I can throw an overweight sumo wrestler. I’m voting for Moore next Tuesday and encourage you to do the same.

Moving past the calm before the storm, several races will see potential candidates enter and exit before qualification is over next year. It’s hard to tell what will happen but the biggest prize, other than U.S. Senator, is the race for the Governor’s mansion.

Governor Kay Ivey has entered the race and she automatically is the front runner. I think after the GOP Senate runoff is done she will come out swinging since she has shown little fight thus far. It is hard to imagine that she wouldn’t since she has raised over a million bucks before declaring herself a candidate. At this stage of the game she is far ahead of others that have declared their intentions.

We knew this was coming. The first sign was Twinkle Cavanaugh retreating from the Governor’s race and moving into the Lt. Governor’s contest. Cavanaugh is a soldier of Bob Riley. Shortly after taking office Ivey made a few moves that convinced me that Riley had a new set of keys to Governor’s mansion. The instant it looked like Ivey may run then Cavanaugh ran from the yard like a scalded dog. That told me plenty.

Supposedly Agriculture Commissioner and Industries John McMillan has been rumored to be out of the race. I was told late last week that wasn’t true. I was also led to believe that Ivey’s staff was circulating that rumor. Over the weekend I heard from other sources that McMillan was definitely out and looking at other options. The speculation on McMillian should end soon.  Other than McMillan certain candidates that are noteworthy are Tommy Battle, Mayor of Huntsville and Bill Hightower, State Senator.

I believe Battle to be a potentially formidable candidate and he has done well on raising money thus far. There is another way to say this. If Ivey falters in the campaign I believe Battle can become the GOP frontrunner.

Right now, it looks like Ivey holds the best cards and is the dealer.

Candidates for Lt. Governor there are Mary Scott Hunter, State Sen. Rusty Glover, State Rep. Will Ainsworth and Cavanaugh, Alabama Public Service Commission Chairwoman.

I can’t help but believe that this will get down to Ainsworth and Cavanaugh and if it does, I will be pulling for Ainsworth because of Cavanaugh’s connections. I also believe you will see Ainsworth as an effective fund raiser.

While there are more races out there with an undetermined field it appears like the last biggie will be for Attorney General. Current Attorney General Steve Marshall is in the race and should be facing former U.S. Attorney Alice Martin in a finale. But there is a wild card in the deck and that is former Attorney General Troy King. I think King can win if he gets in because the others have little name recognition. Over the weekend there was a strong rumor that King was lining up huge campaign contributions.

So hang on. Before too long the political winds will be blowing much harder.

 

Don’t laugh at little Jeffey

 

Art Parker

By ART PARKER

W  hen U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee as President Trump’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General in January, a woman in attendance was arrested during remarks made by Senator Richard Shelby. Shelby was introducing and praising Sessions. The woman, Desiree Fairooz, was manhandled by police and was arrested for laughing at Shelby’s comments when he pronounced Sessions as one who treated everyone equally under the law.

The U.S. Capitol Police officer who arrested Fairooz is a rookie cop who had never arrested anyone nor worked at a congressional hearing before. I wonder if the officer would have arrested Fairooz if she didn’t laugh when Sessions tried his hand at humor.

It is important to note that Shelby never missed a beat with his remarks during the laughter, and kept right on going. How disruptive could Fairooz’s laughter had been if even the speaker didn’t seem to notice.

Once she was arrested, she understandably vocalized against the police actions, which were far more disruptive than the initial chuckle.

Fast forward from January to May. A jury convicted her but later the judge tossed the conviction because laughter is not a strong enough reason for conviction. I agree with the judge. In the closing argument Sessions’ prosecutors clearly stated that her laughing was enough for her to be convicted and sent to jail.

Remind me to never let Sessions see me snicker.

After the judge dismissed the verdict, the Sessions’ lawyers came back and said that interviews with the jury revealed that Fairooz was convicted for her action after being arrested. Of course, the judge reminded the government that such information was inadmissible. Again, I agree with the judge.

It brings up the question of why the Sessions’ led Justice Department  brings one set of charges but wants a conviction based upon another actions.

The judge scheduled a new trial but in the meantime Sessions’ Justice Department tried to make a deal to stop all of this foolishness by offering a “plea” bargain to Fairooz. Had the plea been accepted by her, she would be free with punishment limited to time served.

Fairooz declined what is obviously a “cover your ass” offer and there will be a new trial. After all of this, I can’t help but ask, why would the Sessions’ Justice Department offer her a ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ after they failed to make a case that upheld the arrest? Sounds like the Session’s Justice Department  has little conviction about its attempted conviction. Fairooz was arrested by the officer for laughing in the hearing. Afterwards, the government wants to make the case for resisting arrest. An additional point that I find disturbing about this is that the government attempted to bolster its case by saying Fairooz wasn’t just merely responding to her arrest, she was voicing an opinion. My, My. What a shameful thing for an American to have, an opinion. To me it sounds like the Sessions wants to convict this person for having an opinion in addition to laughing aloud.

Make no mistake about it, Fairooz had been arrested before and demonstrated before. She does not play the role of a silent citizen. Yes, she may be called a troublemaker, and she is…for those that want her to keep her mouth shut.

The problem with all of this is that the government continues to take strides to silence its citizens. If Sessions continues to prosecute this woman it will, in my opinion, be an effort to display power for speaking one’s mind-something our government should never do to a citizen. And I am convinced it will be to personally show her his power, and spend tons of tax money in doing so.  Whenever I see those in power attempting to silence critics, it makes me lose all respect for them. It also reminds me of one of Thomas Jefferson’s more memorable quotes: “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

We should never forget those words. Never.

Irreversibly compromised

Art Parker

BY: ART PARKER

This is really quite simple. I read of an analysis by a reputable outfit that easily frames the U.S. Senate race between Luther Strange and Roy Moore.
    The analysis claims that Strange, the incumbent, and his supporters spent $30.24 per vote in the primary and Moore spent only $1.77.
   That’s about 15-1.
   I like those odds when I bet on a horse, but I do not like it when it comes to someone trying to buy a political office. And that is exactly what’s happening in this Senate race.
   You may recall a few weeks ago, I talked about Strange receiving boatloads of support from the Washington establishment, K Street lobbyists and some super PACs controlled by heavyweight Republicans. It’s true. The question was, after Moore whipped Strange by several points if the big money would run away from Luther or double down.
    Apparently the bet is double down.
  Supposedly the one PAC controlled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky injected over $4 million into the Strange campaign, just in the primary. I now understand that the same PAC has already injected about $2.5 million into the Strange campaign to aid in the upcoming September 26 runoff.
   It goes without saying that Strange can outspend Moore by 10-1 or another 15-1 before the runoff. Too bad that money is not coming from Alabama citizens.
   Let me say this in a way to make it crystal clear. Special interests and those outside of Alabama are attempting to control OUR senate seat. These interests want to disregard the wishes of Alabama citizens and will do anything to control our representation. There is no way, especially since Strange will be knee deep in political IOUs, that he will put the interests of his constituents first. His debt will be so great, to not only the folks who dole out the cash, but also to Senate leadership. That means the untrustworthy little squirrel, McConnell, will actually be representing us and making decisions for us.
   In political circles it is no secret that Luther Strange has always wanted to be where he is right now-a U.S. Senator. He wanted this so bad he would take an appointment while his AG office was investigating the very person appointing him. He couldn’t do the right thing and walk away. He should have said that he couldn’t accept the appointment under the circumstances, which would have been the ethical, moral and really, the correct legal thing to do. No, he would throw anything and everything into the river to get what he wants.
   Strange’s situation has worsened because he, as the incumbent, should have been the leader after the primary. Didn’t happen. So, now what will Luther do to keep his Senate seat? It looks like he will sell his soul, or, by the looks of all the money he has taken from the aforementioned interests, he has already sold it.
   Truthfully, Strange is of no use to us now. He cannot win our trust, so it looks like he will try and buy the seat. But what good will it do us if he wins? He will be following marching orders every day, and the commands will not be coming from the people from Alabama. Strange can do us no good at all.
   When you see the forthcoming mountain of ads that will mention, or more likely create, a negative perception of Roy Moore just remember where the advertising money is coming from. The reason Strange will do this is because negative ads is the only thing that will work for Luther now. He cannot win us over with his past-it is not appealing. And the best way to use negative advertising is to drown the public with it. That takes money and we know where Luther gets his.
    Despite my past problems with Moore I trust him far more than Strange. With Moore, we know what we will get. We don’t know what we will get with Strange because he has is owned, lock, stock and barrel by interests outside of our state. He has been irreversibly compromised.
Survey says… Only 19% say they can trust the government always or most of the time, among the lowest levels in the past half-century. Only 20% would describe government programs as being well-run. And elected officials are held in such low regard that 55% of the public says “ordinary Americans” would do a better job of solving national problems.
   -Pew Research