Last updateFri, 21 Nov 2014 6am

Sewell Disappointed In Brooks' Call For Legal Action Against Obama

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

BIRMINGHAM—On Wednesday, November 19, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D from Selma) responded to Congressman Mo Brooks' (R from Huntsville) bill to sue President Obama (D) over his Executive Action on Immigration, which will be announced on Thursday in a nationally televised address.

Representative Sewell said in a written statement, “I am deeply disappointed with my colleague from Alabama, Representative Mo Brooks, for introducing legislation to bring legal action against President Obama for acting within his existing executive authority to improve our nation’s broken immigration system. While legislative action is always preferable, House Republicans have refused to act on this urgent issue for far too long. Our families, communities, and national and local economies can no longer afford the steep price for this reckless inaction. Contrary to the allegations against our President, the legal authority for taking executive action is consistent with existing law and historical precedent. In fact, President Abraham Lincoln freed American slaves through an executive order, the Emancipation Proclamation. Likewise, President Harry Truman integrated our nations Armed Forces through the use of an executive order, and every Administration since President Dwight D. Eisenhower has used such authority to address similar issues pertaining to the national interest. Instead of wasting time and taxpayer dollars on this frivolous lawsuit, my colleague from North Alabama should abandon political grandstanding and work with those of us in Congress who are championing bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform.”

Congressman Mo Brooks said in a statement on Facebook, “In response to President Obama’s promised executive amnesty, Monday night I introduced a resolution that would authorize the House of Representatives to sue the President or other Executive Branch officials for actions that are inconsistent with their duties under the Constitution, with respect to immigration laws.”

Rep. Brooks said, “Seeking judicial guidance is not partisan, there is a bigger issue at stake. The overarching issue in this litigation is the delicate balance of power that our nation’s founders embodied in our Constitution. Embodied in that overarching issue is one question: Is America based on tyranny or democracy?”

According to media reports President Obama will unilaterally give legal status and work permits to an estimated five million illegal aliens.

There are 22 documented instances of President Obama telling immigrant groups that he did not have the power to grant Executive Amnesty.  In September 2011, President Obama stated that he lacked authority to unilaterally grant Executive Amnesty, "This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true.  ...  We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is, there are laws on the books that I have to enforce."

The Constitution has not changed, but President Obama’s opinion of his own powers has changed.

In response Congressman Brooks introduced House Resolution 757 to authorize the House of Representatives to seek a declaratory judgment action in federal court to determine whether President Obama’s amnesty executive order violates the Constitution and federal immigration law duties, and, if so, to obtain injunctive relief and a writ of mandamus to compel President Obama and the Executive Branch to obey immigration laws as passed by Congress, signed into law by presidents, and interpreted by Federal judges.

Congressman Brooks said, "As his own words reflect, President Obama knows he lacks legal authority to grant Executive Amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.  Yet, in response to special interest group pressures, President Obama says he will grant executive amnesty anyway. President Obama should be held to his own words and bound by the United States Constitution. Thankfully, our system of government grants courts the authority to resolve legal disputes. The Federal courts are best suited to determine if Obama is exceeding his authority, and, if so, how to reverse it. Under America’s Constitution, we elect presidents, not dictators or tyrants.  Under our system of government, legal disputes of this nature are for the courts to decide. My resolution empowers the U.S. House of Representatives to do that."

Congressman Mo Brooks represents Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.

Neither has a major party challenger in the November 4 General Election.


Palmer Makes Term Limits Pledge

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

BIRMINGHAM—On Tuesday, November 18, U.S. Term Limits (USTL), which calls itself the nation’s oldest and largest term limits advocacy group, announced today that at least 13 new signers of its congressional term limits amendment pledge have been elected to the 114th Congress. The group includes four new senators, eight new House members and one House incumbent who signed the pledge for the first time this cycle. Included in this group is Alabama’s Sixth District Congressional District Congressman elect Gary Palmer.

The group is asking Congress to co-sponsor and vote for a constitutional amendment limiting House members to three terms (six years) and Senators to two terms (12 years).

USTL President Philip Blumel said, “The American people are fed up with career politicians in Washington and strongly embracing term limits as a remedy. We applaud these pledge signers for putting the people’s choice ahead of their own personal ambitions.”

USTL said that once sworn in, the new signers will be reminded to co-sponsor the U.S. Term Limits Amendment, a bill that currently has 30 sponsors between its House and Senate versions. Introduced by David Vitter (R from Louisiana) in the Senate and Matt Salmon (R from Arizona) in the House, it will now have more than double the support of any other term limits legislation.

U.S. Term Limits hope that congressional leaders will take notice as support builds in both chambers.

On Thursday, June 19 in the Alabama’s Republican Sixth Congressional District Candidates debate, former Alabama Policy Institute President Gary Palmer said that political office should not be a job. He said that he is committed not to move up there (Washington). “Congressmen that do, they become part of the Washington culture.” Palmer pledged to hold a breakfast once a month to discuss issues with constituents and develop a farm team of leaders for the state, including his eventual replacement. Congressman elect Palmer has vowed that he will come home when his ten years are up whether term limits pass or not.

The debate at Birmingham’s Region Park was hosted by the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans (GBYR).

Blumel said, “Gallup polling shows that 75 percent of Americans support term limits, including big majorities with Republicans, Democrats and Independents. As their colleagues jump on board, leadership will not be able to get away with ignoring the issue much longer.”

In the 1990s, U.S. Term Limits assisted victorious initiative campaigns in 23 states to term limit their own members of Congress. In the 1995 case U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 to undo these limits and disallow any further action by states.

With the states forbidden from passing congressional term limits, USTL is pinning its hopes on the constitutional amendment.

Newly elected House Signers include: Gary Palmer (AL-6), Ken Buck (CO-4), Rick Allen (GA-12), Rod Blum (IA-1), Lee Zeldin (NY-1), John Ratcliffe (TX-4), Dave Brat (VA-7), Frank Guinta (NH-1), and Tom Rooney (FL-17).

Newly elected Senate Signers include Senator-elect: Ben Sasse from Nebraska, Thom Tillis from North Carolina, David Perdue from Georgia, and Steve Daines from Montana.

There is a possibility of picking up another signer in Louisiana, where Bill Cassidy (R) is participating in a Senate runoff on Dec. 6th with incumbent Mary Landrieu (D).


Hubbard Attorney Reacts To Davis Statements

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Speaker Hubbard’s team of PR specialists took nearly seven hours to respond to the press statement from Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis, concerning false allegations being made by Hubbard and his attorney J. Mark White.

Davis took Hubbard and White to task for their false accretions that the 23 felony charges against Hubbard are a politically motivated witch hunt with a rogue prosecution.

Davis, point-by-point, knocked down each one of the Hubbard spin machine’s outrageous accusations.

Not only did Davis catch Hubbard and White flat-footed, he landed a body blow that left White squealing like a little girl: "He's touching me," as one political consultant said.

White, who likes to try his cases in the media, responded by slinging a kitchen sink full of accusations back at Davis. His biggest argument boils down to Davis not putting a disclaimer on the statement saying that Hubbard was presumed innocent until proven guilty.

(See statement here.)

White also filed a motion with Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker, III, with regards to alleged  "media tape recording," which one Montgomery attorney characterized as, “when caught with your pants down, point at the audience and say look over there.”

(See motion here.)

White may very well try to sue the prosecution for talking to the media, as he seems to think he is the only person allowed to do so.

White once said he was having a difficult time convincing Hubbard that the word, "speaker" was a noun and not a verb.

It would seem that White wants Davis to shut up and stop touching him.

Davis Addresses False Allegations Made by Hubbard and His Attorney

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—In the boldest of terms, Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis let it be known that Speaker Mike Hubbard and his attorney J. Mark White have been making false and unfounded statements in the press about the investigation that lead to 23 Felony indictments  against Hubbard.

“The indictment of Mr. Hubbard was the result of a lengthy, thorough and lawfully conducted Grand Jury investigation – not a “political witch Hunt,”said Davis in a release to the media at 9am Tuesday morning.

Davis, who serves as the lead prosecutor in the investigation and prosecution Hubbard said, “false allegations” by Hubbard and White  “require[d]” that he “respond as Acting Attorney General.”

So extraordinarily brazen have Hubbard’s attacks been on Davis, Attorney General Luther Strange and Matt Hart, the Chief of the AG’s Public Corruption that prosecution felt a need to respond with the facts.

Prosecutors are limited by law as to what they can say about a case, however, under State law, they can respond to the types of unfounded allegations made by Hubbard, White and their surrogates.

Davis first reminds the press and public that it was a Grand Jury of 18 citizens in Lee County that found, “probable cause,” that Hubbard had committed the crimes and indicted him on 23 felony ethics charges,” not the prosecution.

Next he explained, that the timing of the indictments was the result of the “four-year statute of limitations,” and not an election, as Hubbard has stated.

Davis also revealed that the Grand Jury heard testimony for 46 days over a twelve month period, from October 2013 to October 2014, with hundreds of thousands of documents reviewed as well as the testimony of over 150 witnesses considered.

The sheer volume of documentation and witness testimony is enough to qualify this as one of the more complex and thorough investigations in State history.

Davis made it abundantly clear that, “the Grand Jury proceeded at a proper pace to conduct a thorough, fair, and complete investigation of all of the criminal acts alleged in this case.”

Davis, who has served for 18 years as a district attorney, made it clear that assigning a political motivation to the investigation that led to Hubbard’s arrest was simply a lie.

Davis last ran for office as a Republican and won in 1998. Since then, he has served as Supernumerary District Attorney, for the State in many cases.

Davis said that he had, “no political allegiance to anyone – including Attorney General Luther Strange – which would affect my role as the Acting Attorney General in the prosecution of Mr. Hubbard.”

Davis took exception with Hubbard’s repeated accusation that “rogue” prosecutors were out to get him, stating, “the prosecutors and investigators assigned to me are not “rogue” – to the contrary, they have conducted the investigation under my supervision, direction and control. The prosecutors and agents utilized standard, conservative methods and techniques in the investigation of this matter.”

Hubbard and White have also asserted that Davis had “smeared,” the name of leading business men in the State. Referring to the naming of Robert Abrams, James Holbrook, Robert Barton, Will Brooke and Jimmy Rane in the indictments, to this Davis said, “Anyone named in the indictment – other than Mr. Hubbard – has not been charged with a crime.” He referred to the other individuals named in the indictments as “witnesses to the alleged crimes and nothing more.”

Does Davis mean that former Gov. Bob Riley, Minda Riley Champbell, Billy Canary and the others will be witnesses against Hubbard?

Davis closed by stating that he, “intend[s] to try this case in a courtroom before a jury and not in the press.” However, Hubbard and White want to try this case in the court of public opinion and not a court of law.

Davis took a giant step forward by pointing out the false allegations made by Hubbard and White. It will be interesting to see how Hubbard responds. Will he “bring down holy hell or everlasting sh*t,” as he has promised to do in the past? Only time will tell.

After a seven hour lack, Hubbard’s attorney issued his press release.


ALGOP Steering Committee Member Warns Against “Gambling Crowd”

By Byron Shehee
Alabama Political Reporter 

MONTGOMERY — Nearly two weeks after a sweeping election, Republican Steering Committee Member Don Wallace (Tuscaloosa) asked fellow committee members not to support any future pro-gambling proposals after their gains on election night.

In an email to the committee earlier this week, Wallace specifically asked the other members to “express to the Governor that expanded gambling will not be met without opposition.” Wallace cited the large sum of money spent in the Attorney General’s race as reason for concern.

Wallace said, “We just fought back a blatant attempt by the corrupt gambling crowd to buy the Attorney General's office, now I read the Governor and Chairman Clouse (Tusc News) putting expanded casino gambling and a lottery on the table.”

The committee was also reminded that the public voted against a pro-gaming amendment pushed by former Governor Don Siegelman in 1999.

Wallace didn’t just call for caution; he called for action as well.

Following the alarm, Wallace put forth a series of positions that he thinks Republicans should use to govern effectively over the next four years.

Wallace called on the Republicans to "right-size" government, reduce bureaucracy and eliminate red tape in order to better grow jobs. He then explained how cutting waste in government would help the state. Wallace believes the state’s taxes could be better used if set aside for prison inmate education, providing insurance to children in need, or some other underfunded program.

Wallace also had the idea to cap the education budget. He said, “Cap the education budget where it is, cut the Administration part of the budget by 10% to give teachers/classrooms more money, then give any increase in revenues to the General Fund for prisons, etc.“

Wallace even pointed out how government agencies like Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) are levying fines against our State’s towns and cities. He indicated the agency’s size may need to be revisited.

Wallace’s last point called for giving the State Auditor, Jim Zeigler, the resources necessary to effectively do the job the voters elected him to do. Wallace wants to see a dedicated staff in place to audit and attack waste in State government. In turn, Wallace believes government could be further reduced by eliminating the Department of Examiners.

Wallace closed by asking everyone not to forget what the elections mean to the Republicans. He said, “Tell the Governor no, on throwing away a victory and giving the game to the gambling bosses. We have fought too hard to take a knee and give up!”



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