Author: Virginia Martin

BirminghamWatch Recommends

BirminghamWatch Recommends Solar Power Facility Set for Full Operation in December (Associated Press) How Would the New Obamacare Repeal Bill Affect Alabama? ( Trump’s Big Gamble: Can He Pull Alabama Senator to Victory (New York Times) GOP Sen. Shelby: If Moore Wins, More People Like Bannon Will Follow (The Hill) How America’s Most Integrated School

Strange Out-Spends Moore in Senate Race 3-to1

Luther Strange has raised and spent almost three times as much campaign money as Roy Moore has as they approach Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff for the U.S. Senate.

But the amount of money Strange has collected in his effort to hold on to the Senate seat he was appointed to fill earlier this year is only part of the story. Much of the GOP establishment in Washington has coalesced around Strange and has contributed and spent additional millions of dollars on his behalf.

Reports filed by the candidates with the Federal Election Commission show Strange collected $3.87 million for the race through Sept. 15. Moore reported raising $1.41 million. Read more.

Strange Touts Trump Endorsement, Moore Slams DC Influence in Senate Runoff Debate

It was an unusual format for a political debate, at least for modern times. Two candidates on a stage with no moderator or questions from journalists, only a timekeeper. But there was plenty of old-fashioned political rhetoric.

In what was styled as a “Lincoln-Douglas debate,” incumbent U.S. Sen. Luther Strange and challenger Roy Moore, former chief justice of Alabama, battled for a little more than an hour before a crowd at the Retirement Systems of Alabama Activities Center in downtown Montgomery. Read more.

Birmingham’s Human Rights Law Set for Tuesday Public Hearing

Efforts to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance in Birmingham are once again underway.

The long-delayed measure, first introduced by City Council President Johnathan Austin in March 2013, will be the subject of a public hearing during the Sept. 26 meeting of the City Council – and now, for the first time, it has the backing of Mayor William Bell.

The City of Birmingham Non-Discrimination Ordinance, colloquially referred to as a human rights ordinance, would put into place protections against discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or familial status. Violators of the ordinance would face up to a $500 fine.

The ordinance also would establish an 11-member Human Rights Commission. Read more.

U.S. Senate Republican Runoff Voter Guide

Voters go to the polls Tuesday to choose between Roy Moore and Luther Strange to be the Republican candidate in the December special election for U.S. Senate. Find their profiles, links to campaign contributor lists and voting information in the BirminghamWatch Voter Guide.

Candidate profiles and campaign contributor lists:
Roy Moore
Luther Strange

Voter information
ID needed at the polls
Verify your registration and polling place
Research campaign financing
Problems at the polls

Read the full Voter Guide.

Questions About Protection of the Drinking Water Supply Dominate Debate On Northeast Birmingham Zoning Plan

Sep. 19, 2017 — The Birmingham City Council approved Tuesday a measure to change zoning district lines in parts of northeast Birmingham despite criticism that some of the changes could endanger water quality in Lake Purdy and the Cahaba River, both essential drinking water sources.

City officials said they are taking steps to protect the watershed and are preparing conservation easements for that land. Read more.

U.S. Senate GOP Runoff Voter Guide

The dueling polls, on-again off-again debate plans, strategically timed endorsements and ‘He said what?’ attack ads are coming to an end Tuesday when voters go to the polls to decide whether Roy Moore or Luther Strange should carry the Republican standard going into the special election in December.

Probably not quite coming to an end will be speculation by political pundits from across the country on what the outcome of the race and the December election between the GOP winner and Democratic nominee Doug Jones say about power in the Republican Party.

The race – which was needed to fill the Senate seat left open after President Trump appointed the previous senator, Jeff Sessions, to the attorney general’s job – has attracted national attention from the start. But it’s across Alabama that the question will be decided.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across the state.

In the primary race, Moore and Strange emerged as the favorites from a field of 10 candidates. Moore led in that balloting, 38.87 percent to Strange’s 32.83 percent. They are the only two candidates in the only race on the ballot.

In BirminghamWatch’s Voter Guide below, you’ll find their profiles, links to campaign contributor lists and voting information.

Candidate profiles and campaign contributor lists:

Roy Moore

Luther Strange

Voter information

Research campaign financing
ID needed at the polls
Verify your registration and polling place
Problems at the polls

Hate Is Alive and Well in America Today, Panelists Say

Uma Srivastava recalled when her sister was told at a traffic stop to “go back to your country. You don’t belong here.”
Except this is her country.

“She was born here. She went to high school here,” said Srivastava, who was representing the Indian-American community during a conference at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. “This is home for us. There’s no other country to go back to.”

It is said that love is what love does and, according to panelists at the conference, hate can be defined the same way.

Representatives of seven groups answered the question, ‘What is Hate in Your Community,’ on the second day of the Hate Crimes Conference, presented by BCRI and the Birmingham Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Read more.

Fact or Fiction?

MEDIA SAVVY: Smart Choices in a Changing Information Age

Join us for a media literacy discussion about recognizing what we’re consuming from today’s flood of information.

Thursday, September 28, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 520 16th Street North
Get more information and register here.

Thursday, October 5th, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Edge of Chaos, 1700 University Blvd., Lister Hill Library, 4th Floor
Get more information and register here.

Presented by BirminghamWatch and Alabama Humanities Foundation

Events are free but space is limited.

Jefferson County Paying Almost $1.5 Million in Incentives for Autocar Plant

Sept. 14, 2017 – With the cat having been let out of the bag, Jefferson County commissioners made the formal announcement Thursday about incentives for the creation of jobs related to Autocar’s moving into Jefferson County.

Gov. Kay Ivy took part in an announcement Wednesday that the Indiana-based trucking company will develop a plant in Center Point and Birmingham.
The county agreed to pay Autocar $1.492 million contingent on the company beginning manufacturing and meeting agreed-upon employment goals. Read more.