Rev. Al Sharpton Coming to Birmingham
The Rev. Al Sharpton will be in Birmingham Friday to attend a forum and rally against the downsizing of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. But will Sharpton’s appearance pressure Jefferson County Commissioners into changing their minds? John Archibald and Tanya Ott discuss that, plus a city councilwoman’s criticism of a lesbian photo exhibit, the resignation of the school board president, and demands by the county attorney for a pay raise.
Alabama is full of big news stories. From the removal of the Confederate battle flag, to gay marriage, to Birmingham's increase in the minimum wage. It's a lot for journalists to keep up with and a lot of great materials for columnists like AL.com and The Birmingham News' John Archibald. He discusses the city, county and state politics in forums large and small.
Governor Robert Bentley warned there would be cuts to state services if lawmakers didn’t pass enough new revenue measures for the budget that goes into effect Thursday. The budget includes some new money but still cuts many agencies about 6-percent. As a result state law enforcement announced Wednesday examiners will no longer travel to 31 part-time satellite driver’s license offices. It’s a move that some worry could affect voting. We talk about it with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.
Political observers have been watching the lead up to Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s corruption trial in periodic salvos tossed from both sides. Hubbard is scheduled to go on trial next year accused of using his public office for personal gain. The latest bomb blast comes from prosecutors and they’re emails from Hubbard that Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald says paint the speaker as the worst kind of politician.
State lawmakers wrapped up a second special session Wednesday night, one that resolves a more than $200 million shortfall in the general fund budget. Despite the extra meeting time Alabama does have a part-time legislature and sometimes a lawmaker’s professional life conflicts with his or her public service. Governing bodies draft rules to mitigate those conflicts. But Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald says the way the state is apply some of those rules makes for open season on the very idea of ethics.
There are two big stories in state politics right now. There’s the special legislative session that started this week. Then there’s all the chatter around the governor’s divorce. Alabama’s First Lady Diane Bentley filed for divorce from Governor Robert Bentley last month after 50 years of marriage. That’s fueled rumors of an affair by the governor. He says this is a private matter and the legal filing has been sealed. Still the situation has drawn attention to happenings within the administration, particularly how a senior advisor is paid. We talk about that now with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says his divorce is private matter. They’re the first public comments he’s made since First Lady Diane Bentley filed for divorce Friday after 50 years of marriage. The divorce has helped fuel rumors of an extramarital affair. The personal turmoil comes as the governor prepares for a second special session aimed at resolving the state’s General Fund budget shortfall. We talk about the situation with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.