We strongly urge all of our readers to vote next Tuesday, August 15, 2017 in the Democratic Primary for Doug Jones for U. S. Senate. This is a special election to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he resigned to become Attorney General. This seat is currently held by Luther Strange, a Republican.
Doug Jones is a proven progressive candidate that can serve as a voice for all Alabama citizens in the U. S. Senate. Doug Jones when he served as U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, under President Bill Clinton, successfully prosecuted two of the Klu Klux Klansmen who bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.
Doug Jones is not afraid to stand up for a better multi-racial Alabama with fairness and justice for all. He wants to vote for quality, affordable health care, including a public option for all Alabamians. He supports an increase in the minimum wage to a livable wage. He wants to place college education within reach for all families without burdening students with overwhelming debt.
There are seven candidates running in the Democratic Primary, all are better than Luther Strange, Mo Brooks and Judge Roy Moore. Doug Jones was enthusiastically endorsed by Alabama New South Alliance, Alabama Democratic Conference, labor unions and civic groups. Doug Jones is the best, most experienced and electable of the candidates in the Democratic field.
We are placing our editorial supporting Doug Jones on the front page because of the importance of this election next Tuesday, August 15, to the future of Alabama. Please turnout to vote next week for Doug Jones in the Democratic Primary for U. S. Senate.
“There is a major special statewide election coming up in Alabama in less than two weeks that most voters don’t know about”, said Lorenzo French, Chair of the Greene County Democratic Executive Committee.
Every registered voter, in both parties – Democrat and Republican – can vote on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 – at your regular polling place, in the primary for the U. S. Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions resigned to become Attorney General. In most counties there will just be this one contest on the ballot.
There is a crowded field of candidates in both parties to fill this position. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the position by former Governor Robert Bentley, leads the Republican field, which also includes former and disgraced Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and Mo Brooks, Congressman representing the Huntsville area.
In the Democratic primary there are six candidates. Former U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Doug Jones of Birmingham, leads the race. Jones is best known for prosecuting and winning the conviction of two of the bombers of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, who killed four innocent young girls on a Sunday morning in 1963. Jones has been endorsed by the Alabama New South Alliance, Alabama Democratic Conference and other labor and civic groups.
If no candidate wins 50% plus one vote in this first primary, a second primary between the top two qualifiers will be held on September 26, 2017. If there is a second primary, Alabama law now requires you to vote in the same party you chose to vote in during the first primary. This was done to prevent crossover voting where voters from one party were trying to affect the choice of the other party to benefit their party’s candidate.The Special General Election for this United States Senate seat will be held on December 12, 2017. “Our voters must pay attention to these dates, or they will miss an important election,” said French.
The last day to register to vote in this special election was Monday, July 31. Voter registration will re-open from August 16 to September 15, 2017 for voters to participate in the second primary.
Absentee Ballots are available now from the Circuit Clerk’s office in the Courthouse. Persons who will be out of town, serving in the Armed Forces, attending college out of town or are sick and incapacitated may apply for an absentee ballot to vote. Thursday August 10, 2017 is the last day to apply for a regular absentee ballot.
Absentee ballots must be returned by mail or in person by Monday, August 14, 2017. More information on absentee voting is available from the Circuit Clerk’s office or call 205/372-3598 or 372-6907.
In its last session, the Alabama Legislature changed the conditions for convicted felons to restore their voting rights. The law has clarified which offenses involve moral turpitude and which do not.
Persons convicted of crimes not involving moral turpitude, who have served their time and paid all costs and fines will have an easier process to restore their voting rights. Former felons needing assistance in restoring their voting rights may contact Lorenzo French at 334/872-1355
(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Luther Strange has begun proceedings for the impeachment of Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark Sr. This morning, the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division filed an Information
* of Impeachment and Prayer for Ouster in the Alabama Supreme Court pursuant to Alabama Code § 36-11-4 through § 36-11-5. The Sumter County District Attorney initiated this matter, and the Sumter County Grand Jury issued a report of impeachment against the sheriff in April. That report was sent to the Office of Attorney General to review the referral and take appropriate action.
The document charges Clark with willful neglect of duty, specifying nine alleged violations, and with corruption in office, specifying three alleged violations.
The specifications of willful neglect of duty include:
· Willfully neglecting his duty to secure and supervise inmates under his custody, by making an inmate, who had an extensive criminal history for drug-related offenses, an inmate trustee, allowing him to freely move about the jail and administration buildings and to leave the jail, sometimes without law enforcement supervision;
· Willfully neglecting his duty to prevent the introduction of contraband into the jail and supervise the inmates housed there, by aiding the inmate trustee in bringing in contraband such as controlled substances, cell phones and cigarettes, ordering officers not to search him when he would return to the jail, and arranging for him to be free from oversight; ·Willfully neglecting his duty to supervise inmates and prevent them from possessing a deadly weapon, by allowing the inmate trustee to have access to firearms;
· Willfully neglecting his duty to preserve the process by which prisoners are committed to jail, by allowing the inmate trustee to process prisoners;
· Willfully neglecting his duty to maintain custody of another inmate, allowing a criminal convicted of a violent offense to leave the jail for extended periods;
· Willfully neglecting his duty to maintain custody of a third inmate by failing to swear out an arrest warrant, apprehend or arrest the inmate after he escaped from the jail;
· Willfully neglecting his duty to supervise inmates and secure the jail by giving the inmate trustee access to an unsecured room in which he had sexual intercourse with female visitors who were not searched or monitored; Willfully neglecting his duty to supervise inmates and secure the jail by providing an environment that allowed the trustee inmate to engage in second-degree human trafficking;
· Willfully neglecting his duty to properly appoint and supervise deputies by appointing a deputy sheriff who was allowed to patrol on his own but who had not been certified as a law enforcement officer.
The specifications of corruption in office include:
· Using his official position to benefit himself by employing inmates to work at his personal home;
· Using his official position to benefit himself by operating an undocumented work release program in which inmates worked for individuals or businesses on the condition that a portion of their wages be paid to the sheriff;
· While serving in his official capacity, attempting to use his position to coerce a female employee into having sexual intercourse with him.
No additional information about the charges or the evidence against Clark may be released at this time, other than what is contained in the information document.
Under the Alabama Constitution, the Alabama Supreme Court will consider the charges against Clark. By statute, both the State and Clark may present evidence and compel witnesses to testify before the Court at trial. If Clark is found guilty of the allegations, he will be removed from office. Any possible criminal proceedings must be brought separately.