Tuesday, August 23, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Many of the clergy in Alabama are not happy with the state’s new immigration law.

From me @OTB:  The Extremeness of Immigration Politics in Alabama

Filed under: Alabama Politics,OTB,Religion,immigration | Comments Off|
Monday, June 20, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Wearing a wire can come back to bite you.

From me @OTB:  Alabama State Senators Refers to Blacks as “Aborigines”

Filed under: Alabama Politics,OTB,US Politics | Comments Off|
Sunday, June 12, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

From me @OTB:

Filed under: Alabama Politics,OTB,US Politics,immigration | Comments Off|
Tuesday, April 26, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via WAKA:  Gov. Bentley Says He Will Sign Constitution Resolution.

Every step towards making this a mainstream topic of political discussion, the better, even if it is just appointing a committee.

Filed under: Alabama Politics | Comments Off|
Thursday, January 20, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

The newly sworn in Governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley (R) has been in office a few days now, but has already managed to garner some national attention.

Via the LATAlabama governor’s remarks on non-Christians raise eyebrows

Speaking to a large crowd Monday at Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church — where the Rev.Martin Luther King Jr. once preached — Bentley said that "if you’re a Christian and you’re saved … it makes you and me brother and sister," according to a report in the Birmingham News.

"Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters," he added, according to the paper. "So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother."

By Tuesday, the comments were reverberating beyond Alabama. David Silverman, president of Cranford, N.J.-based American Atheists, called the remarks "outrageous."

More from the Birmingham NewsGov.-elect Robert Bentley intends to be governor over all, but says only Christians are his ‘brothers and sisters’

Bentley is a Deacon at the First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa1 where he has taught Sunday School.  As such, these views are perfectly within the realm of basic Southern Baptist theology.

In the Governor’s defense, from his perspective he is saying something positive insofar as he was trying to say that he wants everyone to be in the family, so to speak because, being in the family means having been saved.

However, the Governor is going to have to learn that (as he said in his inaugural address) he is governor to all the people of the state and that means statements like that quoted above are going to cause division and difficulty.  Indeed, to have made such statements in the first few hours of his term underscores, I think, the fact that Bentley is still adjusting to statewide politics that also has a national component.

Bentley was at one point considered a longshot candidate and he managed to capitalize on a multi-candidate race for the GOP nomination.  As more polished and better-funded candidate knocked themselves out of the race, Bentley emerged as the winner of the nomination.  Indeed, my initial reaction to this situation is that it exposes that Bentley is likely to face s steep learning curve in terms of having moved from local politics (his previous electoral experience was in the state legislature) to a state level post that includes national spotlight. 

In short:  while one may well have deeply held views, one still have to mindful of how one presents them.  Saying things that one might say in one’s role as a Sunday School teacher are no appropriate when one is speaking as governor, even if one is speaking in a church.

A such, I have to agree with my OTB co-blogger, James Joyner:

Granted, this is Alabama we’re talking about and very public Christianity is the norm there. But he’s now the governor, not a preacher.  And he’s got a duty to give every appearance of equality under the law, especially on fundamental matters like freedom of religion.

Meanwhile, via the AP:  Ala. governor apologizes for remarks on Christians

  1. No, that’s not a euphemism for Bryant-Denny Stadium where the Crimson Tide play football, I am talking about an actual church.  However, having lived in Alabama for over a decade, I can attest that many people treat Bryant-Deny as something of a shrine of utmost consequence. []
Wednesday, December 22, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Coming in February to downtown Montgomery:  More Celebrations of Secession.

First reaction: yeesh (but not surprised).

Second reaction:  it might make for an intriguing photo-outing.

Filed under: Alabama Politics,OTB,US Politics | Comments Off|
Tuesday, November 23, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

In the aftermath of the 1994 “Republican Revolution” there were a further handful of Democrats in the Congress that decided that being in the minority stinks, so went on to switch parties (Senators Richard Shelby of AL and Ben Nighthorse Campbell of CO come to mind).  Now the same phenomenon is taking place in Alabama at the state level.  I noted a few weeks back that the GOP finally captured control of the state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.  That victory has now lead to some Democrats to jump to the Republican Party (again:  being in the minority stinks).

Via the Montgomery AdvertiserFormer Democrats bolster GOP power

The four Democrats in the Alabama House of Representatives who switched par ties Monday, give Republicans the necessary majorities in both chambers of the Legislature to vote as a bloc to bring up their agenda or to shut down delays from Democrats.

Alan Boothe of Troy, Mike Millican of Hamilton, Lesley Vance of Phenix City, and Steve Hurst of Munford announced their switch, which was reported by the Montgomery Advertiser on Friday.

The shift brings the number of Republicans in the House to 66, compared to 39 Democrats.

Filed under: 2010,Alabama Politics,elections | Comments Off|
Wednesday, November 3, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the Birmingham NewsGOP takes control of Alabama Legislature after 136 years:

Republicans on Tuesday appeared to take control of the Alabama Legislature, with top Republicans claiming to have close to 60 seats in the 105-member House of Representatives and perhaps 22 seats in the 35-member Senate.

In other words:  this is the first time since Reconstruction that the Republicans control the state legislature.  In many ways it is quite remarkable that in a states as conservative as Alabama has taken this long for the transition in the party system to filter down to the state legislative level.

Indeed, Republicans swept state-level offices:  Kay Ivey completes stunning GOP sweep in slim victory for lieutenant governor seat and also retook AL02 after one term under Democrat Bobby Bright.  Martha Roby is now the US Representative from that district.  Interestingly, Roby defeated a Tea Party backed candidate in the primary.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Earlier today, ABC News reported what might have been a “dry run” for a terror plot:  ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Two Men on United Flight from Chicago Arrested on ‘Preparation of a Terrorist Attack’ in Amsterdam.

It now looks like it may have all been a mistake.  From me @OTB:  Terrorism False Alarm?

A bit of trivia worth noting, given my state of residence:  one of the men in question started his day in Tuscaloosa, AL and flew the first leg of his flight from Birmingham.

Filed under: Alabama Politics,OTB,Terrorism,US Politics | Comments Off|
Friday, July 9, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via  Poll: Robert Bentley holds 20-point lead over Bradley Byrne

Public Strategy said the telephone surveys of about 1,000 registered Republican voters showed Bentley leading with 53 percent of the vote and Byrne at 33 percent.

My first response is to take the numbers with a grain of salt given the radically low turn-out for run-offs in Alabama (it is likely to be in the single digits), meaning that predicting who will turn-out to vote is tricky.  Still, I would rather be Bentley than Byrne with the numbers above.

The interesting thing is that Byrne won the first round (although, granted, narrowly) and for the longest time Bentley was considered quite the longshot to even make the run-off, let alone win the nomination.

Bentley is the more conservative of the two candidates, which clearly works to his advantage.   His pledge not to take a salary until Alabama is fully employed is likely playing quite well given the economic climate.

Byrne, meanwhile, has raised and spent far more money than has Bentley (see here:  Byrne’s donations 3 times Bentley’s).

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