Search Results for: Doug Jones

Sen. Doug Jones Calls for Hearings to Investigate Veterans Affairs Nursing Home Performance

U.S. Senator Doug Jones said Thursday that he is cosponsoring a measure that would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to present Congress with detailed annual performance reports on the nursing homes it runs.

Jones was reacting to a recent news report in USA Today that cited poor quality at the homes in Alabama and nationwide. Read more.

Sen. Doug Jones Calls for Compromise to Lessen Gun Violence, Points to Youth Protests as the Tipping Point in the Debate

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones delivered his first speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, calling for a pragmatic conversation and compromise on the hot button issues surrounding gun control.

“We must acknowledge the deadly consequences that can follow when a gun is in the wrong hands, but also recognize and respect the freedom to own and enjoy guns by law-abiding citizens as guarantees by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Those two concepts are not mutually exclusive,” said Jones, who won a special election against Roy Moore in December to become the first Democratic U.S. senator from Alabama in more than 20 years.

Jones pointed to the youth-led outcry for an end to gun violence in schools, sparked by last month’s deadly shooting at a Parkland, Florida, school, as the catalyst that could move conversations forward. He compared the current movement to the Children’s March in Birmingham in 1963 — a protest that became a turning point in the fight for desegregation in Birmingham.

In his speech, the senator called for a ban on manufacturing or possessing bump stocks, which are devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly. He also called for passing legislation to close loopholes in the federal background check system currently in place, widen requirements for background checks and waiting periods to purchase guns, and raise the minimum age requirement for purchasing semi-automatic weapons. Read more.

Staking Out Common Ground: A Q&A With Sen. Doug Jones

It’s been almost two months since Doug Jones took office as Alabama’s first Democratic U.S. senator in more than 20 years, and the international spotlight that accompanied his surprising win has faded somewhat.

Jones’ December upset against far-right candidate Roy Moore, who had been the favorite to win before allegations of sexual misconduct derailed his campaign, was seen by many as a bellwether of America’s political future, both in 2018 and in 2020.

“If a Democrat can win in Alabama,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza said after Jones’ victory, “a Democrat can win just about anywhere in the country.”

Now, the novelty of his victory has worn off, and with it Jones has shifted from a political symbol to a centrist lawmaker. As he promised during his campaign, he doesn’t follow the party line. Instead, he’s aligned himself with a bipartisan group of moderate senators, the Common Sense Coalition, which some commentators have credited with ending last month’s government shutdown. A less successful effort by the coalition, on which Jones worked, was a bipartisan immigration bill that failed earlier this month.

But Jones remains optimistic that “common ground” — a favorite phrase of his — can be found on that issue and others. He believes agreements can be made even on hot-button issues such as gun laws, in the wake of Feb. 14’s Parkland, Florida, shooting.

“If we continue to have dialogues, not monologues, and continue to find common ground,” he said at a rally on Sunday, “we can help empower the kids of Parkland, Florida, to lead the next tipping point.”

Jones, who has been visiting Alabama during the congressional break, spoke with BirminghamWatch about his first weeks as a senator, the viability of centrism in a polarized political landscape, and Alabama’s possible future as a two-party state.

BirminghamWatch: Because your election received so much nationwide attention, when you entered the Senate last month, you were already one of its most famous members. How has that dynamic played out? How have you been received by your fellow senators?

Doug Jones: I’ve been received very well. It’s been very nice. Everybody has been very cordial, very helpful, on both sides of the aisle. … Obviously people in the media, they see me as kind of like the unicorn up there, the Democrat from Alabama. (We) do exist! But it’s been great. We tried to (be) low-key and not do too much. I think we played it really good, to try to get my feet wet, let me find my voice, get to know some people. But my Democratic and Republican colleagues have just been great. That’s why I enjoyed working on this bipartisan bill (with the) Common Sense Coalition. I got to know some folks, and it’s been very, very good. Read more.

Doug Jones Sworn-In to U.S. Senate, Becomes First Alabama Democrat in the Senate Since ’97

WASHINGTON – Doug Jones took the oath of office as Alabama’s first Democratic U.S. senator in a quarter-century Wednesday, narrowing the Republican majority in the Senate to 51-49.

“I am humbled and honored to stand here today, chosen by the people of Alabama to represent our state in this historic institution,” Jones said. “I will work every day to make sure I hear their voices and that their voices are heard in Washington. It is time to come together and rebuild the trust we need to find common ground and expand opportunity for all.”

Jones is widely seen as a Democrat who will challenge President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans in their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, fight increases in the minimum wage and oppose abortion rights.
With Jones in the Senate, GOP success in repealing Obamacare becomes much less likely, and if just two Republicans vote with Democrats, Trump nominees or budget measures would be defeated. Read more.

Doug Jones’ Search for Common Ground: Jones Talks About His Intentions, His Opponent and His Route to the U.S. Senate

In his first press conference since being elected senator, Doug Jones reiterated his desire to find “common ground” on both sides of the political aisle and dismissed his opponent’s refusal to concede the election.

Jones defeated the twice-deposed Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore by roughly 20,000 votes Tuesday night, a surprise Democratic win in a state that for decades has been considered a Republican stronghold. However, Moore has not conceded the race, telling supporters that “when the vote is this close … it’s not over.”

For the most part, Jones’ responses to reporters’ questions were conciliatory, stressing the need to find “common ground” — a phrase he repeated 12 times during the press conference — in the midst of a divisive political climate.

“I know I’m just sounding like a broken record (when I) talk about that,” Jones said, “but I just think it is so important that we try to sit down at a table and talk about issues and talk about the things that matter in the big picture … . I want to try to find those issues more and more that we can find common ground on, and let’s just agree to disagree on those issues that are so divisive that it’s hard to even talk to people about them.” Read more.

Is There Life After Doug Jones for Alabama Democrats?
God and Politics, 2017 Edition: Roy Moore Brings Religion to the Forefront Like Few Campaigns Before It

Doug Jones Wins. Democrats Land U.S. Senate Seat for First Time in 25 Years.

Doug Jones became the first Democrat to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama in 25 years Tuesday night when he beat Republican Roy Moore, initially presumed to be the frontrunner in the race, by a margin of 20,715 votes.

Jones’s campaign party morphed from hopeful to ecstatic in a matter of moments when vote returns suddenly turned in his favor and then the race was called on his behalf shortly before 10 p.m.

“Folks, I gotta tell you. I think that I have been waiting all my life and now I just don’t know what the hell to say,” Jones told jubilant supporters gathered at the Sheraton in Birmingham.

“At the end of the day, this entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign, this campaign has been about the rule of law,” he told the crowd.

It also was about winning over voters and getting them to the polls. Jones said in his speech that his campaign volunteers made 1.2 million phone calls and knocked on about 300,000 doors in the days and weeks before the election.

The scene at Moore’s party in Montgomery was much different. There, the night started off upbeat as results showed their candidate with a lead as high as 9 percentage points. But as later returns came in from heavily Democratic areas such as Jefferson County, supporters nervously watched their smartphones, seeing Moore’s lead slowly drift away.

And when the room’s video screen showed Jones taking over the lead, the music changed from jazz saxophone to old church hymns.

Moore made an appearance at about 10:40 p.m., refusing to concede the race with the margin for Jones so slim. He finished his brief remarks by telling supporters, “Let’s all go home and sleep on this.”

With 100 percent of the votes counted, according to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, Jones won the race 49.92 percent to Moore’s 48.38 percent. The rest were write-in votes. Read more.

The Doug Jones, Roy Moore Race: By the Numbers

The unofficial results of the Special Senate Election posted on the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office tell the dramatic, surprising story by the numbers:

Doug Jones, 671,151 votes, 49.92 percent; Roy S. Moore, 650,436 votes, 48.38 percent.

Total Ballots Cast, 1,346,147. Voter turnout, 40.46 percent, far more than the 25 percent that Secretary of State John Merrill forecast for the one-race, special election at Christmastime.

Within those numbers are results that fashioned a formula for the Democratic candidate to come out ahead in a Deep Red state that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump. Read more.

See results from each county.

Doug Jones Has Won the Race for the U.S. Senate

Democrat Doug Jones has won the Senate race against Republican Roy Moore, capping a campaign season that has been controversial from start to finish.

The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office reports that Jones won 48.95 percent of the vote, or 553, 931 votes, to Moore’s 49.49 percent, or 560,083 votes. There were 17,632 write in votes cast.

Just 6,152 votes cast by Alabama’s 3.3 million voters separated the candidates. Turnout for the day was 34.05 percent.

The atmosphere at the Doug Jones results party at the Sheraton was largely positive, with crowds gathering around the television behind the bar. It shifted from lukewarm to boiling in an instant. As soon as the first results came back that put Jones within a percentage point of Moore, the mood in the Sheraton entire place changed. People cheered. People in the crowd repeated said “I really cannot believe it!” Several people were crying at the bar.

At the Moore party in Montgomery, the atmosphere turned from lively to funereal as the big county results flipped the lead.

Moore spoke to the group gathered at his campaign party, but he did not concede the race.

Moore said that with such a tight race, any of a number of factors could flip the result, including any ballots cast by Alabama residents serving abroad in the military that have not yet been received. Also not counted are provisional votes.

Moore sent his supporters on their way with the words: “Let’s go home and sleep on it.”

However, Secretary of State John Merrill said that all of the absentee votes had been counted, and he did not think military votes would be enough to tip the scale. according to WBRC. He said 100 percent of the precincts had been counted.

In a press conference about 11 p.m., Merrill said that the race was close, but not close enough to trip the state’s automatic recount law. He said the candidates would have had to be separated by no more than .5 percent of the vote to have an automatic recount. He said Moore could request a recount at his own expense.

But that couldn’t be done until the vote had been certified. Which Merrill said would happen sometime between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3.
Read more.

Is There Life After Doug Jones for Alabama Democrats?

Win or lose, Doug Jones has done something few would have considered possible not long ago: given a candidate of the Alabama Democratic Party what appears to be a legitimate shot at winning a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Jones, who faces off against Republican Roy Moore on Tuesday for the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is mounting a challenge to the Republican monopoly on state political power in Alabama that the GOP has been forced to take seriously.

Polls suggest that Jones has a chance – a slim one, but a chance – to win. That is affirmed by most of the GOP faithful – from President Donald Trump to Steve Bannon to Gov. Kay Ivey – showing a united front for Moore, a candidate many Republicans had expressed doubts about.

As the high-profile Jones-Moore race concludes, however, a question remains: Is the state seeing an election tied distinctly to Jones, his campaign and his opponent, or is the Alabama Democratic Party being revived as a political force in the deep red state? Read more.