Alabama Mornings’ ShowPrep for February 25th, 2016…

As Alabama takes center stage Saturday with a good number of events for Presidential candidates, Cruz drops out of Alabama…


Shut up, Mitt

Donald Trump is leaving the door open to not releasing his tax returns, just hours after Mitt Romney warned Wednesday that the billionaire’s tax documents could contain a “bombshell.”

The GOP front-runner said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he will “make a determination over the next couple of months” as to whether he will release his tax returns.

Trump rejected Romney’s accusation out of hand, saying “there is no bombshell at all other than I pay a lot of tax and the government wastes the money.”

And Trump also slammed Romney, whom the real estate mogul endorsed in the 2012 GOP presidential nominating contest, as “yesterday’s news.”

Romney’s biting attack hinted at clear signs of alarm in the Republican establishment at the billionaire’s tightening grip on the party’s presidential race.

“We have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes,” Romney told Fox News, and also called on the top anti-Trump contenders Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to disclose their tax information as well.

Why is Romney even doing this?

It was also an attack steeped in irony, since Romney was on the receiving end of similar claims by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, when Democrats eviscerated him over his fortune and business record during the 2012 campaign. Reid zeroed in on his taxes, saying he hadn’t paid any in a decade without offering any evidence to support the claim.

Want to hurt Trump?

Do this.

Senator Sessions is not endorsing Donald Trump but it’s pretty close…

I told you yesterday that Alabama screwed up the ballot wording for Amendment 1, seems I am not the only one that thinks so

Amendment One on Tuesday’s statewide ballot says that it authorizes the Alabama legislature to provide a “retirement program” for new District Attorneys and Circuit Clerks. The text of statewide Amendment One will appear on the ballot as:i

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to authorize the legislature to provide a retirement program for district attorneys and circuit clerks of the state who are first elected or appointed on or after November 8, 2016.

But State Auditor Jim Zeigler says that description is incredibly misleading.

Zeigler says that, in reality, Amendment One would abolish a pension program the officials already have, to which they make no contributions from their pay. It would replace that “supernumerary” system with a retirement structure similar to other state employees by requiring them to make contributions from their paychecks.

In a press release, Zeigler said “the inaccurate wording is likely to get Amendment One defeated when it would actually save millions for Alabama taxpayers.” The auditor says his figures show Amendment One would save taxpayers $291,000 a year, starting immediately. That figure would grow to $8.4 million a year in 30 years.

To Zeigler, the wording is critical, as he understands the willingness of state voters to oppose any new government benefits program when budgets already cause the legislature to go to special sessions.

“Citizens are against giving a new pension or any other benefit to politicians at this time. Because the wording says that a retirement is ‘provided’ to these officials, it could draw a no vote. This is the fault of the so-called ‘Fair Ballot Commission’ that writes the language appearing on ballots in proposed constitutional amendments.”

Bentley is now considering a veto of a budget

Gov. Robert Bentley said today he will not sign the proposed General Fund budget that was approved in a Senate committee this morning.

“They know I’m not going to sign it,” Bentley said of lawmakers drafting the budget. “They’ve told me that this is a vehicle that they’re going to try to pass out, pass it to the House.

“This is not going to be the final budget that will come out. If it is, it’s unacceptable and I certainly will veto it and they know it.”

The budget approved in committee basically level-funds state agencies, including Medicaid. It nixes Bentley’s planned transfer of about $181 million from the state education budget to the General Fund.

“I thought it was important to get a budget moving that reflected where we are,” said Senate General Fund budget chairman Trip Pittman, R-Daphne, about the state’s fiscal situation.

The budget is about $104 million less than the $1.9 billion Bentley pitched. Medicaid would get about $100 million less than Bentley wanted, receiving the same amount in 2017 as this year, $685 million.

Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar said that would “cripple” the agency.

Bentley said Medicaid really needs about $157 million more in 2017.

“If it’s less than a $100 million increase, it’s totally unacceptable,” he said. “We would not be able to institute our (regional care organizations), which (lawmakers) passed and I signed.”

The regional care organizations have been in the works for several years and later this year are supposed to switch Medicaid from a fee-for-service model to a less costly managed-care model.

The Senate version of the budget does not include a raise for state employees. It could be voted on in the full Senate as early as Thursday.

Bentley said the Legislature is in the same position with the budget now that it was in last year.

“They’re going to have to come up with a way to fund this,” Bentley.


Override his veto.

When your former CEO and founder dies of cancer, maybe this analogy is a poor one…

Apparently, going to the ethics committee and acting off what they say is OK is wrong

Alabama Sen. Gerald Dial, a Republican from Lineville who has been in the Legislature long enough to not care what any of us think, has filed a bill – SB279 – that would make indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard gurgle happily in his sleep.

It is stunning.

First, it would allow politicians or public workers to go to the Ethics Commission director or its lawyers and ask for an informal opinion about an ethics question. Like, say, “Can I take bags of money from a guy who wants a law passed about pharmaceuticals.”

Under the bill those “informal” opinions would give actual immunity to the person who asked.

So if a lawyer at the Ethics Commission decides, say, that lobbying the governor is not illegal, even though the law says it is, the person who lobbied the governor gets a Don’t Go to Jail card.

Thanks for asking. And go in peace.

On the other hand…

It says the Attorney General’s office and county district attorneys’ offices can no longer step up and step in to investigate violations of the ethics law.

That’s right. It’s not really the Mark Twain Bill, but the Free Mike Hubbard Bill. It says the AG, which investigated Hubbard , and the DAs, who investigate most of the other corruption when it gets investigated at all, can only get involved after the Ethics Commission determines a violation of the ethics law has occurred.

Dear Lord. It’s the highway to corruption hell, in a state that really ought to know better.

The Ethics Commission is already far too dependent on the Legislature. It is weak-kneed and weak-willed and motivated to make peace. This is a body that had to force one of its own commissioners to resign last year because she refused to fill out the financial disclosure form the law requires of all public officials.

It’s the body that told Rep. Patricia Todd, a Democrat from Birmingham, that she could serve as a legislator and the head of a lobbying organization at the same time. It’s the bunch that informally opined that Mike Hubbard could step real close to the flames.


Minimum wage bill signed in Birmingham….

Birmingham Mayor William Bell on Wednesday signed an ordinance implementing a $10.10 minimum wage in the city.

In order to take effect, the ordinance must be advertised in a local newspaper. That notice will appear Sunday, said April Odom, a spokeswoman for the mayor.

It still doesn’t matter.

Meanwhile, a bill intended to block Birmingham and other cities from passing their own minimum wagesis making its way through the state Senate. It won approval in a committee today and could get final passage as early as Thursday.

Alabama does not have a minimum wage, so employers follow the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

Rep. David Faulkner, R-Mountain Brook, sponsor of the state bill, said Alabama needs to keep a uniform minimum. He said Birmingham’s new minimum would force businesses to choose between raising prices, eliminating jobs or cutting back on employees’ hours.

Other dumb stuff…

Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, has filed a bill that proposes a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum to $10 an hour statewide in three increments, the last on Jan. 1, 2018, and adjusting the minimum according to the consumer price index beginning in 2021.

Coleman-Madison called on other lawmakers to either support her proposal or let Birmingham and other cities make their own decisions about minimum wages.

The Birmingham City Council voted last year to raise the minimum wage in two steps to $10.10 an hour by July 2017. But the council has twice moved the dates up, and on Tuesday voted to implement the $10.10 an hour requirement effective today.

The media continues to pretend Barack Obama is the smartest man in politics



Serial killers on Tinder?

We all know to be cautious when using online dating sites, but some of us still aren’t being careful enough—as evidenced by a few individuals’ willingness to swipe right on serial killers Charles Manson and Aileen Wuornos.

Actress and prankster Natalie Walker created the sham Tinder profiles after noting how Charles Manson’s 1960s look was reminiscent of a lot of the shaggy young men she’d see out on the town. “There’s a Lifetime series about Charles Manson going on right now,” Walker said, “and the hottest guy is playing Charles Manson….And I was like, ‘Oh, Charles Manson in his prime looks like every dude that I see at music shows in Brooklyn.’”

Murderous women have a better run…

To see if men would respond differently to similar bait, Walker then made a profile for Aileen Wuornos, who killed seven Florida men in the space of a year (1989-1990). Wuornos’ horrific childhood influenced her psychopathy as well as a homicidal hatred of men, and Walker was sure to include “I want to kill white men” in Aileen’s bio.

While it took Charlie three days to get one match, Aileen got 12 in eight minutes. And Walker didn’t have to reach out to her matches first—they were all too happy to get in touch with her, one telling her he got “hard” looking at her pictures.










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