TUSCALOOSA NEWS: PAC raises $125K for trust fund vote
A campaign is under way to convince voters to pass a constitutional amendment on Sept. 18 authorizing the withdrawal of $437 million from the Alabama Trust Fund to prop up the state General Fund.
Keep Alabama Working, a political action committee, was formed about two weeks ago and filed its first report Friday, indicating it had a $125,000 contribution from the Alabama Nursing Home Association.
The Legislature approved the amendment, which asks voters to OK withdrawing about $145 million a year from the oil and gas Alabama Trust Fund for three years to make up shortfalls in the 2012-13 General Fund, thus avoiding 17 percent proration or significant cuts in state services.
The $1.4 billion state Medicaid budget could take at least a $100 million hit next year if the amendment doesn’t pass, potentially forcing a special legislative session and a reallocation of spending, state Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson said.
He said Medicaid underpins the state’s health care system and that any cuts to it would affect every Alabamian’s access to health care.
Tuscaloosa certified public accountant Michael Echols is chairman of the PAC. He said Keep Alabama Working plans to unroll a campaign to educate voters on how important General Fund-supported services are.
SOUTH UNION STREET: Woman seeks to have 9 statewide court candidates disqualified
A Huntsville woman has filed complaints against nine statewide judicial candidates, including three members of the Alabama Supreme Court, seeking to have them disqualified before the November election because she believes they have failed to file the proper disclosure statements required by state law.
Those candidates include Harry Lyon, the Democratic nominee for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and eight Republican appellate judges who are running for reelection.
Those judges include Lyn Stuart, Jim Main, and Glenn Murdock of the Alabama Supreme Court; Craig Pittman, Terri Thomas, and Terry Moore of the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals; and Sam Welch and Michael Joiner of the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.
HUNTSVILLE TIMES: Congressman Mo Brooks says U.S. faces ‘pay the piper’ moment over runaway federal deficit
Speaking to a group of home health care workers on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks used a medical term to describe his approach to dealing with the ballooning federal deficit.
“We’re having to conduct triage to try to save the patient at the expense of losses elsewhere,” said Brooks, R-Huntsville. “So if you see me casting a lot of ‘no’ votes, it’s not because I don’t like the way the money is being spent.
“It’s because I have to balance how the money is being spent versus the risk of something much worse, which is an insolvency and bankruptcy.”
Alacare Home Health & Hospice invited Brooks to its office south of downtown to talk about home health issues, but the conversation quickly turned to one of the Congressman’s familiar topics: the $16 trillion federal deficit.
As things stand now, said Brooks, 36 cents of every dollar spent by the U.S. government comes from borrowed money.
Home health care companies couldn’t stay in business for long at that rate, he said, and Uncle Sam will also eventually face a “pay the piper” moment.
BIRMINGHAM BIZ JOURNAL: JeffCo committee votes to end Cooper Green inpatient care
A Jefferson County Commission committee voted today to close inpatient care at the county’s safety-net hospital.
Commissioners will vote on the closure at its regular meeting next week, according to the Birmingham News.
The vote comes as the county is in the midst of the bankruptcy process and facing several other financial challenges. Commissioners George Bowman and Sandra Little Brown opposed ending the services, while Commissioners David Carrington, Jimmie Stephens and Joe Knight voted for the closure.
Commissioners have said ending inpatient services would free up money for the 319-bed hospital to focus on outpatient services.
But opponents of the closure say the hospital’s inpatient services are needed in the community.
National & International Politics
DRUDGE: Obama Says Romney Wants VP Petraeus
President Obama whispered to a top fundraiser this week that he believes GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney wants to name Gen. David Petraeus to the VP slot!
“The president wasn’t joking,” the insider explains to the DRUDGE REPORT.
A Petraeus drama has been quietly building behind the scenes.
Romney is believed to have secretly met with the four-star general in New Hampshire.
The pick could be a shrewd Romney choice. A cross-party pull. The Obama administration hailed Petraeus as one of history’s greatest military strategists. Petraeus was unanimously confirmed as the Director of the CIA by the US Senate 94-0.
But Petraeus has categorically asserted that he has NO political ambitions. And Team Obama stands prepared to tie one of their own to “Bush wars.” A Petraeus pick could been seen as simply shuffling the decks of power in DC.
“He’s a serious man, for seriously dangerous times,” notes a top Republican.
A DRUDGE POLL on Tuesday morning showed readers split on if Romney should give it a go.
And the calendar is running out of days.
WASHINGTON POST: Five reasons why David Petraeus won’t be the VP
Speculation that Gen. David Petraeus may be under (super secret) consideration as former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s running mate — fueled by a report in the Drudge Report — is running wild in political Washington today.
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency General David Petraeus attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 12, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
While it’s an interesting distraction on a slow political news day, the Petraeus pick just ain’t happening. Here’s why — in five easy steps.
1. He’s the head of the CIA: Petraeus has been the head of the Central Intelligence Agency — a position to which he was nominated by President Obama — just over a year. To not only leave that job behind but also leave it behind for an incredibly high profile role in support of the man trying to unseat his current boss seems totally anti-Petraeus and extremely unlikely.
2. He’s ruled out a political career: In August 2010, NBC’s David Gregory put the question of a political career to Petraeus. “I am not a politician, and I will never be, and I say that with absolute conviction,” Petraeus said, quoting Ulysses S. Grant, who, of course, did eventually run for president. Pushed on that point by Gregory, Petraeus clarified. “I’ve said that I’ll adopt what Sherman said and go back and look at what has come to be known as a Shermanesque answer on that particular question,” he said. “No way, no how.”
3. Past performance=future results: You can usually tell what a person will do in the future by looking at what they have done in the past. Petraeus’ past has been filled with speculation about whether he might run for president (or some other office) — and not a single time has he even remotely flirted with the possibility. Petraeus’ situation is similar to that of Condoleezza Rice, another much speculated on VP possibility that isn’t going to happen. Rice has had umpteen chances to run for office and has always passed. That’s telling.
Paso Robles, CA — Their political party lines maybe different but one thing United States presidents could share is their family line.
A young girl in California has put together a Presidential Family Tree. Twelve-year-old BridgeAnne d’Avignon found that all the presidents but one are related to King John of England through a common ancestor.
“They are all cousins and all grandsons of John Lackland,” BridgeAnne told KCOY News. The girl searched more than a half million names for months. She started with George Washington, then traced both the male and female family lines to make the connection.
KCOY reports that before this, historians were only able to link 22 presidential family trees.
The teen also found out that she is the 18th cousin of President Barack Obama. She even wrote him a letter to let him know.
The only president not linked to King John: the eight president, Martin Van Buren.