Aug 282014
 
By Ron Crumpton
Candidate for Alabama Senate District 11

 

Part 4: Corruption in the Courts and Attorney General’s Office

 

Left to Right: Chief Justice Roy Moore and Attorney General Luther Strange

Left to Right: Chief Justice Roy Moore and Attorney General Luther Strange

While it is the job of the courts and the Alabama Attorney General’s office to investigate and prosecute corruption in this state, they are often at the center of the controversy, accusations and crimes.

It is their responsibility to apply the law in a fair and objective manner. Instead, they twist the law to support a political agenda, use their position to protect party leaders, or use the law to enrich themselves.

When members of the judicial system become part of the corruption, instead of being a deterrent to corruption, then the state ceases to be a free society. It is not the government that makes us free, it is our laws that make us free, and when the judicial system allows our laws to be corrupted by our government then freedom is an illusion.

Roy Moore: the road to religious oligarchy

Most of us know about Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and his crusade to display the Ten Commandments at the Supreme Court building, but his support for denying Alabamians their First Amendment rights does not end there.

In his comments to the Pastors for Life luncheon in Jackson, Mississippi, Moore made the argument that the First Amendment only applied to Christians. He argued that the word religion implies a creator god and said, “Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures.”

There are many in the Republican supermajority that would like to turn Alabama into a religious oligarchy where state law is based on the laws of the bible. However, for the highest-ranking court member in the state to make a religious argument to defeat the religious freedoms and protections that the constitution guarantees to all Americans would be downright funny, if it were not so dangerous.

This is the type of ludicrous argument is why we have the First Amendment to protect us. It is to insure that everyone is free to express his or her religious beliefs, but it is also to guarantee that you do not have someone else’s religion forced upon you.

For the state’s highest-ranking member of the judiciary to make this kind of ludicrous argument tells you just how much trouble this state is facing.

The Alabama Supreme Court: rubberstamp for the Supermajority

I once hinted to a member of the Republican Supermajority that a piece of legislation was unconstitutional, to which he replied, “The legislation may be unconstitutional, but the Alabama State Supreme Court is Republican.”

The simple fact is that Republicans believe that the Supreme Court will support the legislation they pass regardless of the law, and a string of State Supreme Court decisions, including one decision that deemed it okay for the Senate to violate their own rules in passing the Accountability Act, appears to support that conclusion.

Luther Strange: casinos, corruption and a lack of stones

Like the Alabama Supreme Court, the current job of the Attorney General’s office appears to be to support the Republican Supermajority’s legislative and social agenda in Alabama.

Luther Strange has been on a crusade to end gambling at casinos run by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI). This action violates the will of the majority of Alabamians as well as federal law.

In a case filed in state court, and later moved to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Federal Judge W. Keith Watkins, ruled that the state has no standing in the case. Watkins went on to say that the National Indian Gaming Commission has confirmed that PCI operates Class II electronic bingo machines, which can be offered without state approval.

That decision did not dissuade Strange from continuing his errant campaign against the casinos.

On July 7, Strange filed a new case in Federal Court; the case largely argues many of the same facts previously ruled on by the courts.

Rather than accepting the decision of the court, Strange has decided to continue his crusade against the PCI, which will cost the taxpayers of Alabama millions of dollars, while squandering the resources of his office, and it has literally no chance of success.

One of the key responsibilities of the Attorney General’s office is investigating corruption in this state, but when an elected official wastes taxpayer money on a lost cause due to his personal political beliefs, or the fact that he is receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from anti-gambling concerns, then the official is committing a corrupt act.

Speaking of corruption, and the Attorney General’s responsibilities, this attorney general is apparently incapable of performing the duties of his office.

It seems that every time a matter of corruption comes to the Attorney General’s office, Strange recuses himself from the case.

When questions arose about the possible illegal actions of Speaker Mike Hubbard and members of the Alabama legislature… Strange recused himself.

When questions arose about the donations of a PAC formed by former Governor Bob Riley… Strange recused himself.

If you are the Attorney General of Alabama and you do not have the ability, or the stones, to investigate and prosecute the state’s political elite for corruption then you should recuse yourself from being the Attorney General because you are not doing the job that your constituents elected you to do.

Our judicial system is greatly to blame for the state of corruption in Alabama.

When the judicial systems primary function is to give a clean bill of health to the actions of our leaders, regardless of the legality of those actions, then the system is not only allowing corruption to exist, it is endorsing that corruption, which is a corrupt act in itself.

This must stop!

On Monday, I will be releasing part five on corruption within the parties, corruption which many believe to be the root of all evil in Alabama politics. Please read each of these installments that focus on different areas in which the political system in Alabama is corrupt.

Part 1: How Corruption Affects You

Part 2: Corruption in the Governor’s Office

Part 3:  Corruption in the House and Senate

Part 4: Corruption in the Courts and Attorney General’s Office

Part 5: Party Corruption

 

Corruption is everywhere in Alabama Politics, make sure you know where it comes from, how it affects you and what you can do to fight it.

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Ron Crumpton will stand up, he will shine a light on wrongdoing, no matter what the source, but he needs your help.

With your contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more to his campaign, you can ensure that our voices are represented in the election and then in the Senate.

Aug 252014
 
By Ron Crumpton
Candidate for Alabama Senate District 11
 

Part 3: Corruption in the House and Senate

 

Corruption is kingThere is always an easy way to tell that is an election year in Alabama, someone has either plead guilty to, is in court for, has been indicted or is being investigated for charges of corruption in the Alabama House and Senate.

In 2006, it was the two-year college scandal, in 2010, it was the computer bingo scandal, and this year it is Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, and other members in the leadership of the Republican supermajority.

Now let me preface this by saying that there are good and able people from both parties representing the people of Alabama in the House and Senate, but there are some people who are without honor, and are nothing more than a horde of feckless thugs.

Mike Hubbard: the focus of grand the jury investigation in Lee County

So far, the Lee County grand jury on public corruption in Alabama has netted prosecutors with one legislator, Representative Greg Wren, R-Montgomery, pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of using his office for personal gain, he has agreed to testify against Hubbard, and four felony indictments against another, Representative Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, for saying that he did not make threats to kill projects in his area that would have created jobs and benefited the local community college if his opponent in the Republican primary did not withdraw when the conversation had been recorded by his challenger. Continue reading »

Aug 212014
 
By Ron Crumpton 
Candidate Alabama State Senate District 11

 

Part 2: Corruption in the Governor’s Office

 

Riley and Hubbard split

Left to Right: Former Governor Bob Riley and Governor Robert Bentley

In state government, the governor has an enormous amount of authority, which can sometimes be a good thing, but that amount of authority makes it that much easier for someone to abuse the office for their own personal benefit.

One of the biggest problems in politics at the state level is the lack of oversight.

On the federal level, the legislature has the power to conduct extensive investigations into the actions of the president or its own membership. In Alabama, our legislature is only permitted to meet 30 days a year, and while it does form commissions that meet during the rest of the year, membership in a “citizen legislature” is widely regarded as a part time job. Therefore, serious legislative oversight is not a deterrent to gubernatorial or legislative misconduct (this will be a reoccurring theme in this series).

This power imbalance often allows a sitting governor to hide wrongdoing until after he has left office, which brings us to former Alabama Governor Bob Riley.

Since leaving office, there has been a steady stream of reported improprieties in the actions of the former governor and his top lieutenant Representative Mike Hubbard. Continue reading »

Aug 192014
 
 
By Ron Crumpton 
Candidate Alabama State Senate District 11
 

Part 1: How Corruption Affects You

 

Hand shake with moneyIf there is one thing that I have learned over the last 5 years as a political activist, and a candidate for the last 15 months, it is that politics in Alabama is corrupt from the top down.

Corruption comes in many forms, many guises and it lurks in every corner of politics in the Yellowhammer state. Whether it is in the executive, legislative or judicial branch, or in the party system, it effects the education of our children, the safety of our families and our ability to put food on the table.

While there is some debate, by legal experts, on what actually constitutes political corruption, for use in this series, political corruption is the abuse of power by those in a position of power, within the political system, to sustain or increase their status, wealth or power.

A recent study ranks Alabama as the sixth most politically corrupt state in the U.S. based on past convictions and spending patterns. Continue reading »

Aug 062014
 
 
By Ron Crumpton 
Candidate Alabama State Senate District 11

 

Labor-UnionsLast Thursday, I had the privilege of speaking to the Alabama AFL-CIO’s biennial COPE Convention at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery.

I was pleased and proud to be invited to address the convention because we share the common belief that Alabama’s greatest commodity is the Alabama worker.

The simple fact is that without the working class men and women of Alabama there would be no industry or government because there would be no one to produce, transport or distribute the products created by industry and there would be no tax revenue to fund the government.

The Alabama AFL-CIO and its member organizations stand with the working class, which represents the majority of Alabamians, and I stand with them.

The Republican supermajority has pushed bills and constitutional amendments that would limit their ability to organize workers, without providing any protections for those workers that want to join a union.

Jim McClendon, my opponent in the upcoming election, sponsored legislation in the 2012 session that would have allowed the Alabama Department of Corrections to sell prison labor to private industry. The Alabama AFL-CIO opposed this legislation because it would have created unfair competition for jobs between prisoners and Alabamians who are trying to raise a family.

Our legislature needs to advance legislation that will provide benefit to all Alabamians and not legislation that seeks to make business rich at the expense of workers.

An Example: when elected I plan to offer two pieces of legislation. One that would create a state lottery and one that would allow a limited amount of casino gaming in resort facilities.

In this “resort bill”, there would be a scoring system that gives points for the number of hotel rooms, restaurant seating capacity and other amenities such as golf courses, music venues, etc. If a high enough score is achieved, the facility would be allowed to conduct casino gaming on the premises.

These two bills would create an estimated $800 million a year in revenue for education, which would be distributed as follows:

  • Fifty percent, or $400 million, would go to grants and scholarships for college or vocational training. (Available to graduating high school students and displaced workers.)
  • Twenty-five percent, or $200 million, would go to repair or replace dilapidated schools. (The average high school costs about $20 million, therefore, we would be able to build 10 new high schools every year.)
  • Twenty-five percent, or $200 million, would go to provide teachers with the materials and technology that is necessary to educate our children.

In addition to providing our children with a better education, which is a win for everyone, it would create 35,000 new jobs in the hotel and restaurant industry, more than 1 billion in construction contracts to build the resorts and new companion businesses (hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that will pop up around these resorts) and $200 million per year in construction contracts to repair or replace schools.

That means new jobs for workers, new opportunities for business and new revenue for government in addition to providing a better education for our children without giving away millions in tax incentives.

Currently, 43 states and Washington DC have the lottery and 18 states have commercial gaming… The reason that Alabama is always last in everything is that we refuse to move forward.

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I will fight to bring new jobs and new opportunities to the people of Alabama, but to do this I need your support.

My opponent has vast financial resources at his disposal. With your contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more to my campaign, you can ensure that our voices are represented in the election and then in the Senate.

25579 Ron Crumpton1 Donate

 

Jul 232014
 

 

Publication1Tomorrow (7/24/14), Ron will be a guest on WDNG 1450 AM’s “Model City AM” from 9:05 until 9:30 a.m.

In one-half the interview, Ron will be discussing the hijacking of his campaign event by Stephanie Engle, Chair of the Talladega Democratic Party. He intends to be at the event tomorrow evening and will be asking supporters to join him at the Ritz Theatre and demand that he participate in the event.

The other half will focus on the issues facing Alabama Senate District 11 and real world solutions for solving those problems.

I urge you to listen in and then join me in Talladega!

If you are not in the Anniston listening market, live streaming is available here!

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Ron Crumpton will stand up, he will shine a light on wrongdoing, no matter what the source, but he needs your help.

With your contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more to his campaign, you can ensure that our voices are represented in the election and then in the Senate.

25579 Ron Crumpton1 Donate

Jul 142014
 
 
By Ron Crumpton
Candidate Alabama State Senate District 11
 

lets talk about healthcare HIJACKEDWhen I came up for the original idea to hold a series of town hall meetings across the state, I looked at it as an opportunity to discuss the issues important to the people of district 11.

Many people thought the idea had little chance of coming to fruition, including Stephanie Engle, Chair of the Talladega County Democrats, who showed little interest in the idea when I mentioned it to her initially.

Nevertheless, I was determined.

The events were to be a series of tightly focused discussions about the issues that the campaign feels are of the greatest concern to the people. The plan was to do three events one in each of the counties that are in district 11. One would be on Education: Policy and Funding, the Economy: Job Creation and Funding the Essentials, and Healthcare: Healthcare and Medicaid expansion. I did not want this to be one of the typical town halls where the discussion can range from a wide range of issues and is essentially a series of sound bites. I wanted it be a comprehensive conversation.

On June 7, Pell City held their annual Block Party and several of the candidates that I wanted to see participate in the events were in attendance. After the initial discussion and follow up meeting, the political participants were in place. Continue reading »

Jul 022014
 
By Ron Crumpton
Candidate Alabama State Senate District 11

 

-72052520ea4011caLast week, Kyle Whitmire of AL.com posted a survey asking readers where they stand on the issue of marijuana legalization. Not only did it show that 78 % of respondents support ending prohibition of the plant, it showed overwhelming support for legalization across party lines.

Of those responding: 91% of Democrats (with an additional 6% supporting the medical use) and 70% of Republicans (with an additional 13% supporting the medical use) support the legalization of Marijuana.

support

While this survey is not scientific, it is significant.

Since the citizens of Colorado and Washington State voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, AL.com has conducted several polls and surveys on the subject. All have showed vast support for a sensible approach to marijuana policy.

The cost of enforcing current policies is staggering.

On average, the act of arresting and processing someone for marijuana offenses is about three hours. The state arrests more than 12,500 people annually. That is more than 37,500 person-hours per year, which is the equivalent of having more than 930 officers, or about 5% of all law enforcement officers in the state, doing nothing but arresting and processing people for marijuana offenses.

Right now enforcing marijuana law costs the state around 95 million dollars per year. Taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol would produce more than $400 million in tax revenue for the state. Together that would be a positive revenue adjustment of over a half a billion dollars.

That is just the financial aspect, what about the effects of enforcing these laws on the citizenry?

-ac8bb7ab9a3f4927According to the survey, 74% 0f Alabamians have used marijuana at some point in their lives and 21 % of Alabamians use marijuana regularly. In other words, technically, current marijuana policy makes criminals out of more than 3.5 million Alabamians that have not committed a criminal act.

Committing a criminal act requires that you cause some type of harm to others. Sitting in the privacy of your own home and smoking a joint harms no one. Therefore, the only reason that these people are criminals is that they are being subjected to laws that are unjust… The law makes these people criminal, not their actions.

Those who have been arrested due to the unjust law not only bear the burden of criminal prosecution, but it also causes them a myriad of problems in future life. It affects their ability to get a job, receive financial aid for college, adopt a child, etc… The list is long and it goes on and on and on.

Furthermore, the prohibition of marijuana requires that these “criminals” do business with drug dealers, which increases the availability of hard drugs to the public.

Then you have the medical aspect of prohibition. Currently, hundreds of thousands of Alabamians are forced to take prescription drugs that are less effective and more dangerous. I just cannot understand the logic of forcing patients to take drugs that are highly addictive and deadly when there is a more effective and less dangerous option.

It is past time for the legalization of marijuana and the people of Alabama realize that. Unfortunately, many of those in the legislature prefer to hold on to the spurious propaganda of the past, as opposed to moving Alabama into the future.

As long as that is the case, Alabamians will continue to endure the injustice of unfair prosecution, our economy will continue to suffer and drug dealers will continue to count their money and laugh at our ignorance.

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My opponent has vast financial resources at his disposal. With your contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more to my campaign, you can ensure that our voices are represented in the election and then in the Senate.

25579 Ron Crumpton1 Donate

 

Jul 012014
 
By Ron Crumpton
Candidate Alabama State Senate District 11

 

Healthcare inviteI am pleased to announce that my campaign will be hosting “Let’s Talk About Healthcare: a town hall forum on healthcare and Medicaid expansion, and other  issues, in Talladega on July 24.

Due to the governor’s failure to implement Medicaid Expansion, 191,000 people in Alabama do not qualify for health coverage under Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act. According to a study released by the Kaiser Foundation, Alabama ranks second in the nation for the number of people falling into this “coverage gap.”

When you consider that Alabama is at the bottom of the list in terms of diabetes incidence and obesity; infant mortality and premature death rate; and cardiovascular health, it is easy to see that turning down healthcare for 191,000 Alabamians is just not practical.

The simple fact is that Governor Bentley and the Republican Supermajority in Montgomery have misled and outright lied to the people of Alabama about Medicaid expansion. The people of this state need to know the truth about this issue; they need to know who is standing for them and who is not.

The event will be held at the historic Ritz Theater on the Square in Talladega.

The scheduled speakers are:

Ron Crumpton, Patient’s Rights Advocate: Democratic Nominee Senate District 11

It is time for our elected leaders in Alabama to realize that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, it is not going anywhere and to deny Alabamians the benefits that the Medicaid expansion creates because of personal ideological objections is just bad leadership and bad for the majority of Alabamians.

Parker Griffith, Oncologist: Democratic Nominee for Governor

“People’s lives are on the line. Parents and children in hard-working families are being denied health insurance because of Governor Bentley, and hundreds—literally hundreds—will die needlessly every year because of his cowardice,”

Jesse “J.T.” Smith, Democratic Nominee 3rd Congressional District: Jesse is an advocate for veterans and the health issues they face.

Dr. David Becker (Ph.D. and B.A., Economics, University of California, Berkeley) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy in the UAB School of Public Health.

In 2012, he co-authored An Economic Evaluation of Medicaid Expansion in Alabama under the Affordable Care Act, which stated that the state could see $1.7 billion in additional tax revenue if it expanded Medicaid to include those in the in the coverage gap.

Mr. Joel Taylor, CEO Citizens’ Baptist Health Medical Center: Taylor received a master of science in health administration and a master of business administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Birmingham-Southern College.

There are many issues facing the citizens of this state and this is the first in a series of town halls planned in Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega Counties by my campaign.

Facebook Event Page

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My opponent has vast financial resources at his disposal. With your contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more to my campaign, you can ensure that our voices are represented in the election and then in the Senate.

25579 Ron Crumpton1 Donate

Jun 042014
 
 
By Ron Crumpton
Candidate Alabama State Senate District 11

 

Representative Jim McClendon

Representative Jim McClendon

On Tuesday, Rep. Jim McClendon crushed Sen. Jerry Fielding in the Republican primary for Alabama Senate District 11.

This is no surprise. No one expected Fielding, who changed parties in 2012 after district 11 was dramatically changed by reapportionment, to win in a district that was drawn specifically for Jim McClendon who was co-chair of the committee that drew the new districts.

Prior to reapportionment, Senate District 11 included parts of Calhoun, Coosa, Elmore, Talladega Counties, but was changed and is now made up of parts of Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega Counties.

Representative McClendon had three goals in reforming the district.

  1. Make sure that the district contains as much of the house district that he has held for the last 12 years.
  2. Make sure to keep Sen. Fielding in the District.
  3. Make sure that the district contained a substantial part of Shelby County.

Making it McClendon’s District

Rep. McClendon currently holds the District 50 seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. That district contains parts of St. Clair and Shelby Counties. The entire St. Clair County area in House District 50 is now in Senate District 11. Even though it was not previously in the district, St. Clair County now makes up more than half the district.

McClendon has owned that district since his election to the house in 2002. In fact, this is the first time McClendon has been opposed in an election since taking office.

By making St. Clair County the majority of the district, he increased his chances of moving up to the Senate because he is the only sitting state legislator in St. Clair County, it gave him a considerable advantage, and he won St. Clair County with more than 70% of the vote.

Keep Fielding in the District

When Jerry Fielding left the Democratic Party and joined the Republican Party, he was promptly branded a RINO by Republicans.

Regardless of the courtship between Fielding and the Republican Party, it was never their intention to take him into the fold, they wanted to weaken Fielding and take him out. If that had not been the case, they would not have run a Riley/Hubbard Republican against him.

Giving McClendon a weakened incumbent opponent increased his chances of taking the seat.

Keeping a Piece of Shelby County

Every Republican in Alabama would like to have a piece of Shelby County. It is one of the Republican Parties richest fundraising “honey holes” in the state.

It is also home to a strong Riley/Hubbard faction within the party.

With Shelby and St. Clair Counties in the district, it made Talladega County, Fielding’s home county, almost insignificant in a Republican Primary.

It is simple, the primary for District 11 was not won on the campaign trail; it was won in the legislature by drawing lines on a map, lines that made Jim McClendon the heir apparent for the seat.

If that is not using your position for personal political gain, I do not know what you would call it. It is another example that those who represent us believe that it is okay to gain personal benefit through their position.

The new district is tailor made for Jim McClendon and he was co-chair of the committee that drew the lines, but he expects you to believe that he had nothing to do with drawing the lines for District 11… So much for honesty in politics.

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The Race for Senate District 11 Starts Today!!!

My opponent has vast financial resources at his disposal. With your contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more to my campaign, you can ensure that our voices are represented in the election and then in the Senate.

25579 Ron Crumpton1 Donate