Daily Presidential Update
Swing State Polls from the Last 2 Days:
Thursday, Oct. 18:
Ohio (Rasmussen) – Obama 49, Romney 48
Ohio (SurveyUSA) – Obama 45, Romney 42
Wednesday, Oct. 17:
Wisconsin (Marquette University) – Obama 48, Romney 48
New Hampshire (Rasmussen) – Obama 50, Romney 49
Nevada (LVRJ/SurveyUSA) – Obama 48, Romney 45
Nevada (Rasmussen) – Obama 50, Romney 47
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER: Baxley, Cavanaugh meet in PSC presidency rematch
TUSCALOOSA NEWS: EDITORIAL: Amendment 4 will eliminate racist language
It is time for Alabama residents to remove racist language from the state constitution. Amendment 4, appearing on the ballot in November will do that. The amendment allows Alabama residents to eliminate what should not be in the constitution while retaining what should be there.
This year’s amendment is a clean effort with no ulterior motive. That wasn’t the case eight years ago. In 2004, when Alabama voters rejected an amendment to the Alabama constitution that would have eliminated racist language, some might have construed it to mean that a majority of the voters were still just as racist as they were in 1901, when the original document was written. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth was that the 2004 amendment was being used as a Trojan horse to make education a constitutional right. Public education provides many benefits to the people receiving it and to society. That’s why the state already provides it. But making education a constitutional right had more to do with the money that flows into the public education system than educating the state’s children.
The current constitution, for all of its flaws, prevents elected officials from increasing property taxes without allowing the people to vote. That is a good thing. Yes, it makes it difficult when public officials feel like they need more money for schools or other government functions. That’s a good thing.
There have been many efforts throughout the years to bypass the requirement for a referendum to increase property taxes. All of these backdoor efforts have failed.
AL.COM: Armed in Alabama: Permits show guns increasingly prominent
Nearly 160,000 men and women are licensed to carry concealed handguns in Alabama’s largest metropolitan areas today, according to the sheriffs who issue the annual permits and rely on the fees they generate to keep their deputies equipped and rolling.
But the same decentralized system that gives Alabama sheriffs discretion on who gets a carry permit also means no central record of how many permits exist in the state and no central record of who has them or has been denied a permit. Last year, Alabama was one of only three states that could not provide the number of current concealed-carry permits for a study by the federal Government Accountability Office. The other two were New Hampshire and North Dakota. That study found 8 million current and valid concealed-carry permits in America today.
Here’s how permits add up in Alabama’s largest metro areas based on figures provided by the sheriffs. Jefferson County has 50,247 current and valid permits. Mobile County is second with 34,254. Madison County could not provide a precise number, but Sheriff Blake Dorning said it has issued 17,589 so far this year and estimated 28,000 valid permits based on the county’s pistol permit account balance last year.
Montgomery County also had no precise number, but sheriff’s officials there estimated 18,000. Shelby County has 15,369 permits, and Baldwin County has 11,590. That’s at least 157,000 permits in Alabama, a number does not include the Tri-Cities of Florence, Tuscumbia and Sheffield; the Gadsden area or Tuscaloosa County and others. Some sheriffs have precise numbers broken down by gender and race because of the varying software packages used to track permits, Dorning said.
AL.COM: If money counts, no competitive congressional races in Alabama this fall
The odds are long for most Democrats in Alabama come November. So lopsided are congressional tilts across the state this year, Congressman Mo Brooks isn’t even buying ads. And his race, financially speaking, is by far the closest congressional contest in Alabama.
Brooks’ race with Charlie Holley, a minister turned first-time candidate, is the only race where a challenger has made headway in terms of financial support.
It’s not that Holley is closing the gap. Brooks reported $800,000 by the end of September, roughly 17 times as much as Holley raised.
Instead, their race is the closest because across Alabama’s 7 congressional districts, no Democratic challenger other than Holley has raised even a hundredth of the campaign support of the GOP incumbent.
Democrats challenging U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, and U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, have not reported raising a single cent.
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, has raised $916,000 to just $3,000 for Democratic challenger John Andrew Harris. And Harris put up most of that money himself.
U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, has no opponent in November, although he raised $1.1 million and already spent most of it.
On the Republican side, that leaves U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills. Democrat Penny “Colonel” Bailey, had raised over $24,000 as of the end of June. But Bachus gathered more than 100 times as much, reporting $2.6 million this election cycle. He still has $304,000 on hand.
National & International Politics
“In recent weeks the president’s negatives have risen and Romney, particularly after this debate, has moved into a lead. You saw it in the Gallup poll that you talked about, a 6-point lead, 51-45. Yesterday it was 50-46. This is the first time that Romney has hit 50% in the Gallup likely voter poll and the president has never hit 50% in the likely voter poll. And no candidate who has led in mid-October with 50% or more in the likely voter poll has gone on to lose. Every one of them has gone on to win,” Karl Rove said on Fox News on Wednesday.
American Crossroads – “Act of Terror”
American Crossroads today released the above ad exposing how President Barack Obama misled the American people in Tuesday night’s debate over whether the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi were terrorism.
The video juxtaposes Obama’s claim in the debate against multiple televised statements by White House and Administration officials in subsequent days. It clearly shows that while the president now claims his Rose Garden speech called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror,” neither the White House press office nor Administration officials viewed that speech as an affirmation of terrorism in Benghazi.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice repeatedly referred to the “video” as cause of the attack in subsequent administration statements – with Carney specifically affirming that the White House HAD NOT called the Benghazi attack “terrorism” on September 20.
The Rice and Carney statements unambiguously show that Obama’s claim is misleading.
President Obama misled the American people on Tuesday night, and the new American Crossroads video gets to the bottom of it – piece by ugly piece.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS CAPITOL INSIDER BLOG: Show me the money, please!
I just read on an Alabama news website that there’s no greater fun than checking facts after a presidential debate. So I did. It wasn’t fun.
In last night’s debate, President Barack Obama said he lowered taxes an average of $3,600 for the middle class over the last four years. Since there’s no greater fact than your own personal information, I pulled out my tax returns and learned that what the president said was flatly not true, at least not for me. I’ve got to figure that I’m a member of the middle class so until it’s clarified, the president’s statement included me.
I don’t know if the president meant my taxes have gone down by $900 once and that continued for four years for a total of $3,600 or they went down by $3,600 once and that continued each tax year for four years. Either way it didn’t happen. My federal taxes dropped and went back up and dropped again between 2008 and 2011, the last tax filing year.
To be fair, because Obama hasn’t been president four tax years and the 2012 tax year isn’t over yet, I used three tax years. But I don’t think the actual tax rate has changed since 2008 and won’t change for 2012. Anyway, my federal taxes dropped $355 from 2008 (a Bush tax year) to 2009. From 2009 to 2010 they went up $111 and then dropped $219 from 2010 to 2011. My tax dropped in 2009 because my income went down not because the president lowered my taxes as he claimed.
If he meant $3,600 a year that would have been a 50 percent tax cut from my taxes paid in either 2008 or 2009. If he meant $3,600 over four years, or $900 a year, that would be about a 12 percent tax cut, which didn’t happen. Mr. President, did you tell a whopper?
The Gregory Brothers “Songify” the Debate