Tag Archives: Alabama

Alabama U.S. Senate election: the problem with not voting for Roy Moore

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The special election for an open U.S. Senate seat taking place in Alabama on December 12 is pivotal for a number of reasons.

One of those reasons is that Alabama residents need to be represented in the Senate by someone who will fight for the values held dear to the majority of the citizens of the state.

The second reason that this election is so vitally important is the continuance of Republican control of the Senate as a voting body.

There are 100 seats available in the Senate, two from each of the 50 states. Currently, the Republican Party enjoys a 54-44 edge with two Independent representatives. Those two, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, are “independent” in formal affiliation only. They are both reliable Democratic Party votes.

So the actual current working makeup of the United States Senate shows a 54-46 voting edge for the Republican Party. Since most important issues are settled by a simple majority these days, Democrats need to flip just five seats in order to take control.

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama sat in the Oval Office for 14 of the last 23 years. Control of the U.S. House of Representatives slipped into Democratic Party control three times during the Obama years.

For the majority of the last two decades, the U.S. Senate has been in Republican Party control. However, that control has usually been by a fairly slim margin. Republican senatorial control has been vital to keeping America from slipping down a Liberal Progressive slope

In Alabama, Richard Shelby was elected to one of the two senate seats as a Democrat all the way back in 1986. However, he switched over to the Republican Party in 1994 as part of the Republican Revolution. Now age 83, Shelby was elected just last year to a new six-year term.

The other Alabama seat was held since 1997 by Republican Jeff Sessions. He became the current U.S. Attorney General in the Trump administration, and Luther Strange was appointed as his temporary successor. Republicans have thus held both Alabama senate seats for over two decades.

Back in September in a hotly contested race, Strange lost a runoff to Roy Moore for the Party nomination to fully succeed Sessions. Moore is now set to face Democrat Doug Jones in the December 12 election. The winner will hold the senate seat formerly held by Sessions through 2020.

Under normal circumstances, Moore might be expected to win this election fairly easily. He is the far more conservative of the two candidates in a state that has gone Republican in Presidential elections for over nearly forty years.

However, these are not normal circumstances. Moore has recently been accused by a half-dozen women of either sexual assault or harassment decades ago. Moore has either denied the accusations, or stated that they were consensual with younger women who were past the age of legal consent.

Moore is a former state judge who served twice as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He has been a colorful, often controversial public figure for decades. His rulings have frequently come down on the side of protecting conservative values.

These accusations have raised questions among some, especially due to their surfacing at this time, with Moore running for such a powerful and influential seat in government.

Folks have had plenty of time to digest these accusations and Moore’s responses over the last few weeks. As I wrote this past weekend, people are going to believe what they want to believe on most of these situations.

Numerous liberal publications and commentators, and even some conservative Republican big names, have called for Moore to drop out of the race. They would prefer to have him step aside willingly, and then install a candidate with less baggage into the race. Moore has stated unequivocally that he will not step aside.

If Moore does indeed stay to the end, then Alabama is going to have a choice to make. No matter what you think of Moore’s conduct decades ago, voters will be left with a fairly simple thought process in making their choice for the December 12 election.

If you choose to vote for Jones, you are voting for a liberal Democrat. While Jones may not be an ideologue, his publicly stated positions are in line with the mainstream Democratic Party. He can be expected to reliably support the Party with his vote.

If you are a Republican who would have normally voted for the Party candidate, but now choose to not vote at all, then you are ostensibly casting a ballot for Jones. You can play semantics in your mind, justifying your position any way you want. But the fact is that you have made it one vote easier for Jones to get into office.

If you vote for Roy Moore, then you vote for his stated positions. Lower taxes, smaller government, less spending. You vote for a man who believes strongly in the U.S. Constitution, is against activist judges, and thus would support originalist nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you vote for Roy Moore, then you vote for a Vietnam veteran who would be a strong supporter of the U.S. military. He believes that open borders are a genuine threat to our national security and economy. Moore is also against socialized medicine such as Obamacare, which he says should be repealed immediately.

In short, it is Roy Moore who would support all of the values that the majority of the citizens of Alabama claim to hold dear. By not voting for him, they would be helping their state and their nation to head down a path counter to their beliefs.

That is the problem with not voting for Roy Moore. When Alabama residents go to the polls in December, that is what they need to be thinking about when they cast their ballot.

Which candidate, on taking office and heading to Washington, is actually going to represent their values, their positions on the issues most important to them and their families? The answer seems fairly obvious.

Believing what we want to believe

 

In case you don’t pay close attention to the news, perhaps you don’t yet know about Roy Moore.

Moore is a controversial 70-year old Alabama politician who is running for a seat in the United States Senate.

A former state judge, Moore has been the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Alabama twice. He has also been removed from that position twice, each time for standing up for conservative causes.

In the first incident, Moore was ordered by a federal court to have a monument to the Ten Commandments removed from the front of the Alabama Judicial Building. He refused, and the Alabama Court of the Judiciary removed him from his office.

In 2016, Moore was suspended by the same body after he ordered probate judges to enforce Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriages after those unions had been found to be constitutional. He appealed this time, was unsuccessful, and he resigned earlier this year.

When longtime Republican U.S. Senator from the state, Jeff Sessions, was appointed as the new Attorney General of the United States in the new administration of President Donald Trump, Moore announced that he would seek that office.

In September, Moore won a runoff election to become the Republican Party nominee for that Alabama Senate seat. He will oppose Democrat Doug Jones in a general election on December 12, 2017.

Moore is a strong, outspoken Christian who has made numerous public pronouncements against homosexuality, abortion, and radical Islam. He is characterized by many as “far right” in his political and social beliefs.

Those publicly spoken beliefs over decades, as well as his judicial rulings, have made him a major target of liberal critics in political circles and the news media.

All of this would be enough to make Moore’s candidacy in next month’s Senate election a major story. But at that point it would, for the most part, simply be partisan politics at play. Now there is even more controversy surrounding the candidate.

Moore has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault decades ago while he was a young prosecutor. These assaults came in the form of what have been described as sexual encounters with teenage girls.

Witnesses have come forward to support some of the women. Those witnesses are able to at least corroborate what they have described as sexual harassment.

For his part, Moore vehemently denies any sexual assault. But he has alluded to relationships with teenage girls who were over the legal age of consent while he was in his early 30’s.

A number of folks on both sides of the political aisle, both political office holders and media members, have called on Moore to provide some reliable information to back his refutations. That, or to withdraw from the race.

Moore continues to retain strong support among the Alabama electorate. Results of a reputable poll released today show him with a 49%-43% lead over Jones despite the allegations. Some politicians have said that if Moore does win, they will immediately call for his removal from office.

Moore is just one of many male public figures to face years or even decades-old sexual assault and/or harassment allegations in recent months.

Similar allegations have been made against such celebrity figures as entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein and directors Oliver Stone and Brett Ratner.

Actors Kevin Spacey, Steven Seagal, Jeremy Piven, Louis C.K., and Ed Westwick are among a number of other Hollywood figures facing accusations. For his part, Piven has vehemently denied the accusations.

Eerie questions have even been raised regarding the conduct of former Vice-President Joe Biden.

In the majority of these allegations, there is a “he-said, she-said” or in some cases a “he-said, he-said” aspect. No real proof. No witnesses who actually observed the conduct. In some cases there are supporting witnesses who claim to have known about relationships, or who had been told of incidents by the alleged victims.

All of this brings up the question: Who do you believe?

These are very serious allegations when made against anyone. They can ruin careers, and even change the course of American politics, as in the Moore situation. If the allegations are, in fact, lies aimed at some political or monetary goal, or made from out of some attempt at vengeance, that is a travesty.

However, in the cases where there are legitimate victims, then perpetrators should get whatever punishment the legal system, or public opinion and financial consequences, has coming to them.

In the American system of jurisprudence we are a nation that believes you are innocent until proven guilty. However, where scandalous allegations are concerned, that is not always how the court of public opinion works.

Frankly, without some firm evidence to accompany charges of old misconduct, many folks are simply going to believe what they want to believe. That goes for supporters of either the accused or the alleged/actual victims.

If there is one major positive that comes from all of this, perhaps it will be that those predators who do exist will now be stopped in their tracks more easily. Hopefully, true victims will feel empowered to stand up, presenting timely evidence and witnesses to derail these criminals.

As for that Alabama election, should Moore stay in the race, it will be fascinating to watch how it plays out. That goes for the political result, but also for how the public ultimately views him over the long haul.

Jersey cops and Alabama Hooters

A story broke today of the disbandment of the Hoboken, New Jersey SWAT team after a controversial incident.

Apparently the officers of the unit stopped by a Hooters restaurant in order to enjoy some of those great wings. Someone snapped some racy photos of the cops posing with the Hooters girls. So what, right? Boys will be boys, after all.

Problem is, the boys in these photos were in SWAT garb, had gone to the location in their fully-equiped SWAT van, and let the girls play and pose with their equipment. Pun fully intended.

The actual incident happened about two years ago. The SWAT team had gone on a road trip to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and stopped by the restaurant in Alabama while on their travels.

As you can see by viewing the photos available through some of the links supplied here, the Southern Belles seemed more than happy to meet these Yankee heroes.

The story was broken earlier this week by a local investigative news reporter, and Hoboken responded by naming a new Public Safety Director who was formerly the Chief of the Hoboken Fire Department.

After being sworn in on Friday, the Director immediately disbanded the unit. He also called home the unit’s head, a Lieutenant who had been away on vacation.

At his sit-down with the Director, the LT is reported to have claimed that the unit was off-duty at the time of the Hooters visit and photos, and that all of the weapons shown were privately owned. He claims that no city time or equipment was used in relation to the incident, and that the photos were going to be used as part of a calendar.

Of course this really isn’t the point, even if it is true, which strains credulity. A number of issues come into question here, but perhaps the most important is the integrity and intelligence of the unit members and it’s command.

Posing with scantily clad women while in your gear and traveling in your work van, and allowing those women to handle high-powered weapons is juvenile at least, dangerous at worst. Allowing yourselves to be photographed while doing so is just plain dumb.

Great looking young women handling high-powered weaponry in photos is nothing new. Cops and soldiers, and many others like both their guns and beautiful women. The combination of the two in photography has gone on forever.

But when a police unit is traveling representing their department and their community as a whole, this type of activity cannot take place. The leadership of the unit should be ensuring that it doesn’t take place, rather than participating in it themselves.

Want to make a calendar with Hooters gals? Be unquestionably off-duty, wear generic police garb without any reference to your community, and have documentation that the weapons were personally owned.

Here is to hoping that none of the guys represented in the photos is married, because that is going to open up an entirely different can of worms for those fellas and their families.

Innocent men’s road trip stuff? Perhaps. But try selling that to a wife who was left home handling the house and kids while you were away. I can tell you right now “that dog won’t hunt“.

I am not trying to play the prude here, having been around the block myself a time or two now, and having experienced similar events over the course of my own police career.

However, there is no legitimate argument that this is anything but a bad decision on the part of the cops involved. Every police officer at any level in any jurisdiction needs to really think about the intelligence of participating in anything like this during their career.