Judge Roy Moore in Presidential Race?

The Washington Wire blog at the Wall Street Journal reports that “according to multiple Iowa GOP officials,” former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is about to enter the Iowa presidential primary race.

You don’t have to go too far in Alabama to find folks who believe such campaigns are about keeping Moore’s name before the public and priming the pump for speaking engagements.

For what’s it worth, Judge Roy Moore’s Twitter and Facebook accounts posted links to the Washington Wire item, so he’s clearly not trying to downplay the idea.

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Who Would Appoint Main’s Successor?

Jim Main

The rumor is that Leura Canary would be Gov. Riley’s choice to replace Jim Main on the Court of Criminal Appeals if Main takes Champ Lyons’ spot on the Supreme Court before Monday. (Is George Beck on his way in to succeed Canary as U.S. Attorney?)

Questions…

Main was elected in November and his term ends Monday. If Riley appoints a replacement for Main today, is the appointment for three days?

Can Riley appoint someone to replace Main for a term that has not started yet and that was to begin on Monday when Robert Bentley will become Governor?

Or does Bentley make that appointment?

Though it is normally a six-year term, if an appointment is made to fill a vacancy then an election will be held for the seat at the next general election no less than a year later. In this case, the election would be in November 2012.

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Expect Main Appointment to Supreme Court

Change at the Supreme Court will allow outgoing Governor Bob Riley the opportunity to put his imprint on a 2012 election at the Court.

Parlor friends who keep a close eye on the Supreme Court tell me that we should look for Justice Champ Lyons to resign before Monday and for outgoing Governor Riley to appoint Jim Main to the position.

Lyons was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1998 by Governor Fob James and won re-election bids in 2000 and 2006. Lyons would not be able to run for re-election in 2012 because of age restrictions. Main will receive the obvious advantage of being able to run for re-election as an incumbent rather than having to run for an open seat.

Main served as Riley’s Finance Director before being appointed by Riley to fill the vacancy on the Court of Criminal Appeals that was created by the election of Greg Shaw to the Supreme Court in November 2008.

According to one readers who follows the Supreme Court, there is an “80-90% chance of this happening in the next 48 hours.”

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Election Day Notebook

Let’s try to clear out the notebook of some items I would like to have already posted. Some are not as fresh as others, I’m sorry to say.

  • Wade on Birmingham asks if Facebook can predict election outcomes of Alabama races.
  • BamaFactCheck.com was a good effort. Here’s a link to their biggest whoppers of 2010.
  • Another site looks to promote transparency: AlabamaRighttoKnow.org. I haven’t explored it so much but at least one reader is impressed with it. It comes from the Alabama Policy Institute.
  • State Sen. Paul Sanford was featured last month on Good Morning America, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and ABC Nightline speaking about vote-buying in the Alabama legislature. If you missed it, you can see the interview here. Worth seeing, imo.
  • I do have a fondness for campaign songs. The campaign of Supreme Court candidate Mac Parsons put together this “Ode to Tom Parker” to the tune of (or at least reminiscent of) the old folk song “Old Dan Tucker”.
  • In the “I was for him before I was against him” category:

    While Republican challenger Kay Ivey has been critical of Democratic Lt. Governor Jim Folsom, she once penned an appreciative hand-written note saying she salutes Folsom “effective leadership.”

    And Democratic state Senator Larry Means says in a TV and a radio spot that Bob Riley “tried to kill Goodyear” in SD 10. In contemporary accounts, Means was laudatory, saying, “I remember the governor stood on a flatbed truck in Rainbow City and said he’d do whatever it took for Goodyear. I appreciate everything he did,” (p. 9 of .pdf) and “…we worked with the governor… to ensure that this company stays in the area.” (p. 11) [Did something happen after these reports that led Means to say Riley broke his word?]

  • Readers have been calling my attention to negative websites aimed at Democratic state Senator Roger Bedford and Republican PSC challenger Twinkle Cavanaugh. (Did elections used to be about ideas?)
  • Did UA law professor Susan Pace Hamill run afoul of school policy on politics and employees (p. 39 of the .pdf) by having a University classroom in an ad for her HD 63 campaign?
  • Robocalls attacking Republican SBOE member Betty Peters are given 0 out of 5 stars on the truth scale. Peters faces Democrat Betty Letlow for the District 2 seat on the board.
  • Democrat incumbent Betty Carol Graham took aim at Republican challenger Mark Tuggle in HD 81 with a late ad.
  • Democratic state Senator Phil Poole‘s campaign takes a shot at Republican challenger Gerald Allen in this spot in SD 21.

Did I miss anything? Probably.

What are you seeing today?

Mac Parsons Ad in Supreme Court Race

Democratic Supreme Court candidate Mac Parsons is on the air in some parts of the state with this ad.

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FYI, Vision Forum is the group referenced in the ad that awarded Tom Parker a Man of the Year Award for 2005. The ad above draws some connections to a statement once on that group’s website that “God does not allow women the right to vote” and that by ignoring God’s law in this regard American Christians have “destroyed their own credibility.” While the statement appears to be removed from the website, according to the Internet Archive the statement was on their website from 2006 into 2008 (here, for example). You can also see the statement referenced here at another site.

Make of that what you will.

The Press-Register has an article on this ad here.

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Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker Radio Spot

In “The Conservative Minute”, a radio campaign spot for Tom Parker’s re-election to the Supreme Court, Parker says that it’s time to put “liberal, activist judges” with al-Qaeda on the list of America’s biggest security threats.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Republican Parker is challenged by Democrat Mac Parsons.

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'Meet Tom Parker' Ad from Mac Parsons

Democratic Supreme Court challenger Mac Parsons has been airing this TV spot that Republican incumbent Tom Parker calls “slanderous and defamatory.” (Parsons’ response? “I will meet Tom Parker at the Montgomery County Probate Office, where these liens are filed, and he can explain how these liens, in his name, at his address, aren’t really his.”)

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The Press-Register takes a good look at the story here.

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Mike Bolin Ad for Supreme Court Starts Today

Supreme Court Justice Mike Bolin begins airing this ad today.

The Republican faces a challenge from Democrat Tom Edwards.

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Ad: Think Like Lyons & Woodall in Court Races

This new ad builds on a story first introduced here at the Political Parlor – that Republicans on the Supreme Court (Champ Lyons and Tom Woodall) donated to Democrats running for the Supreme Court (Rhonda Chambers and Mac Parsons).

Rhonda Chambers and Republican Kelli Wise face-off for the seat on the bench being vacated by Republican Patti Smith. Mac Parsons is challenging Republican incumbent Tom Parker.

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No Mammon Yes Sir

Tom Edwards is running to replace incumbent Mike Bolin on the Alabama Supreme Court.  In this — Edwards’ first — broadcast ad, he begins with: “The moneychangers are back in the temple: on Wall Street, in Washington, and now our state Supreme Court.  I’m Tom Edwards, and I’m running for the Supreme Court because we’ve got to choose whether we serve God, or Mammon.”

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Edwards is on the air with this ad in Montgomery and, the campaign tells the Parlor, it is slated to go wider next week.

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High Court Releases Annual Statistics

The Alabama Supreme Court released its FY 2009-2010 Annual Statistics on Monday.  You can read the whole report here (.pdf).

On the plus side: total filings are down a little and overall dispositions are up a bit, leaving 755 pending cases on September 30.  A year before, there were 953 pending.  They label that a “throughput” of 111.07% — disposing of more cases than were filed for the year.

And some election-year nitty-gritty:  Associate Justice Tom Parker typically gets criticized for the number of days he takes to dispose of his cases. This year his raw data remains the high anomaly for the court: 214 days for certiorari petitions and 590 days for original decisions.  The court’s average is 98 and 171, respectively.

The Press-Register reported Wednesday that “Parker said obsession with productivity statistics assumes that voters evaluate judges as they would a factory assembly line, measuring the quantity of court opinions.” Parker is up for reelection this year and while his opponent, Judge Mac Parsons, has frequently touted that Parker’s work amounts to less than 5% of the court’s output, he will have to update that number.

Continue reading “High Court Releases Annual Statistics”

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Parsons Pokes Parker in Supreme Court Race

Mac Parsons is going to keep poking at Tom Parker’s lack of productivity on the Supreme Court and have fun with it along the way. The Democrat Parsons is challenging the incumbent Republican Parker in November.

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Plus, we probably don’t get enough of singer Leon Redbone anyway.

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Friday Bits

There always seem to be more items to write about than there is time for writing about them. Let’s run through a few that may be undeservedly overlooked.

  • Alabamian at Red State Diaries holds out for the belief that Alabama really can be good at everything, not just football. Football season is upon us and this is timely reading. I’d be interested to know what you think about it.
  • Internal polling for Republican Mo Brooks shows him with a double digit lead over Democrat Steve Raby in the race to succeed Congressman Parker Griffith (D turned R) in AL 05.
  • Democratic Supreme Court challenger Mac Parsons has received a second donation from a Republican Supreme Court Justice, this time Champ Lyons. Parsons is challenging Republican incumbent Tom Parker. (Lyons also gave to Democrat Rhonda Chambers’ campaign for the Supreme Court.)
  • Karl Rove has endorsed Republican PSC candidate Terry Dunn in his campaign against Democratic incumbent Susan Parker.

All for now…

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Another GOP Supreme Supports Another Democratic Candidate for Court

Supreme Court Justice Champ Lyons, a Republican, has contributed to the candidacy of Democrat Rhonda Chambers, according to a release from the Chambers campaign.

Chambers faces Republican Kelli Wise for the spot on the Supreme Court being vacated by Patti Smith.

Monday the Parlor broke the story for you of a similar contribution from Justice Tom Woodall, a Republican, to Democrat Mac Parsons. Parsons is challenging Woodall’s Republican colleague Tom Parker in November.

Here is the full text of the release from the Chambers campaign:

Continue reading “Another GOP Supreme Supports Another Democratic Candidate for Court”

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Supreme Court Justice Contributes to Colleague's Opponent

Supreme Court Justice Tom Woodall, a Republican, has made a $5000 campaign contribution to the Mac Parsons’ campaign for the Supreme Court. Parsons, a Democrat, is challenging Republican incumbent Tom Parker.

Given the opportunity to comment to the Political Parlor, Justice Woodall said, “The only comment I have to make about it is that the contribution speaks for itself. I don’t mean to interject myself into the campaign in any personal way.”

Woodall indicated that the money came from his own leftover campaign funds. When asked if his donation would alter the working dynamic in any way at the Supreme Court if Parker were re-elected, Woodall simply responded, “No.”

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The Parlor noted here last year that Justice Parker was slow enough in issuing decisions that the Court re-assigned some of his oldest cases to other Justices. Parker also agreed that his own staff would be reduced so that the Court could hire staff attorneys to deal with the backlog.

The Court Clerk even acknowledged publicly what the reassignment of cases and staff indicated internally, that Parker’s pace is a problem.

This is what prompted Democratic nominee Mac Parsons to call Parker “lazy” in his campaign kickoff last week.

Parsons said Tuesday in Montgomery that Parker issued less than 5 percent of the decisions by the nine-member court last year and that was the fewest of any justice. Parsons said if someone asked him how to spell lazy, he would say, “P-A-R-K-E-R.”

Does Woodall’s contribution indicate assent? It speaks for itself.

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Legislative Dispatch

A Look from the Rearview Mirror

This Thursday will mark the last day of the legislative Session.  For some, it was a Session that seemed would never end.  For others, it was one that ended much too quickly.  It may be early, yet, to write an obit on this Session, but as we approach the finish line, some perspective may be in order.

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Putting Students First

As you know, a very important piece of legislation will be presented for our consideration in the House tomorrow in Montgomery – Senate Bill 310 – the “Students First” tenure and fair dismissal reform bill. Like me, many House members have been inundated with phone calls and emails from opponents of this bill, and some have been [...]

Legislative Transparency

There are a lot of issues to debate before we begin the final days of this session. In fact, I am quite certain there will be some comments on this post debating many of them. Before we get into the last seven day of the session I wanted to bring up a topic that [...]


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