Let's clean out the notebook ...• Politico reports in passing that U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt would technically be considered to be the next chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, due to …
Let's clean out the notebook ...
• Politico reports in passing that U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt would technically be considered to be the next chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, due to seniority. However, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby got to be chairman of the Senate version of this committee first, and as Aderholt is from the same state, multiple sources and senior Republicans tell Politico it is unlikely for Aderholt to win - obviously too much power from one state. Meanwhile, the race to be the next chairman is getting ugly among other members, and, oh, by the way, the Republicans may lose its majority in the House, which negates the whole argument.
I have been telling you that the House is likely to flip, and that only seems to be intensifying, even with the Kavanaugh debate energizing some Republicans. However, many experts are now saying the Senate likely will stay in the Republican majority, and may even gain in seats. Several Democrats in Senate races have floundered, and even the one going against Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas, Rep. Beto O'Rourke (who had almost become a media darling) is behind in the polls. Having said that, remember turnout will be key and both sides may now be energized after the Supreme Court race.
• One interesting turnout question is going to make Republicans nervous in Florida. This may seem harsh to say at this time, but the Panhandle of that state is a Republican stronghold, and the devastating hurricane that has knocked out power and all but wiped out towns is going to make it incredibly challenging for election officials to get turnout on Nov. 6 - which is only weeks away. I wonder if many people have or will ever return except to pick up any belongings they find.
Having said that, let me remind people that organizations like the Salvation Army (salvationarmyusa.org) and the American Red Cross (redcross.org) are accepting donations, and Scott Crump Toyota is acting as a drop off and distribution center for victims of Hurricane Michael through today, Thursday, Oct. 18. Water, baby items, toiletries, adult and baby diapers, insect repellent, wipes, hand sanitizers, bleach and non-perishable foods are accepted.
• The community corrections debate at the Walker County Commission took much of the day Tuesday to write. It would seem on the surface that this appears to be an effort to better train officers. Sheriff Jim Underwood did a great job throwing out questions at the start of the meeting, leaving the commission to go in circles trying to figure out matters, sometimes asking and re-asking questions about whether this would lead to a new agency and would they have to go through the Legislature. Eddie Jackson, the county attorney, bought time to reword the resolution to a better document, but it also buys time for him to research some of these questions that Underwood raised, as I am sure he is not going to let the commission go blindly down the road without asking those questions himself. My understanding is they have his permission, but I think that goes without asking. Personally, I would think that unless there are some strictly legal reasons for not doing so, or for doing it in a different way, this would be a good idea. If no one else will do it or do it well, we should train those officers to be the best. And if we can't, we should make it easier, not harder.
• By the way, if you wonder why Walker County Commission coverage was delayed this week, keep in mind Monday's meeting was at night, and it took a while to get to adjournment. Then, after taking all day with writing about the community corrections, we had several breaking developments on Tuesday, including the shooting in Sumiton and the animal shelter's adoption freeze and the Parrish grant, so I proposed my stories be held up another day. There was only so much you could get in.
• The Ramp ministry in Hamilton reported its three summer conferences brought in 2,374 visitors to the are and gave the local economy there a boost of $427,320, according to the Journal Record in Hamilton. The visitors spend nearly $200 per person, while 1,500 visitors were baptized in a local creek there as part of the activities. The ministry's School of Ministry has enrolled 194 college-age students for the current year, coming from 18 states.
• Also in Marion County, the Jasper firm of Jackson, Fikes, Hood and Brakefield, which represented five Marion County towns in a suit against that county concerning redistribution of a 2-cent sales tax, has had a victory on appeal, according to the Journal Record. The Alabama Supreme Court upheld then-Circuit Judge John Bentley's ruling the Marion County Commission had to pay Winfield, Guin, Brilliant, Gu-Win and Twin $657,344.
• I was impressed at the lunch meeting in Jasper for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), where officials are trying to raise money and have a board and local leader for the organization. I heard tales from people who tell of how students even in the Jasper area are struggling against any number of challenges, including economic, and deal with all the emotions that go with burdens that would be hard on an adult. Certainly, FCA is a great venue that needs to be encouraged.
• Next week, I will be making my last regular visit to cover Carbon Hill City Council at a beat, as we are swapping around some of the coverage. Brian Hale will be helping out with coverage at the Parrish and Carbon Hill town councils, starting next month, which should free me to handle other needs. (Frankly, the political parties also meet on Thursday nights, which also caused me to miss some speeches and discussions.) Naturally, I will fill in from time to time and still cover some events in Carbon Hill, but I'll miss seeing my friends in Carbon Hill on a regular basis. Dad and I also used to meet before the meetings for a quick sandwich, as we met halfway, so I'll miss that, too.
• Keep in mind the Fall Fest that is in downtown Jasper, organized by local churches, from 3-6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. This is a major fall festival that attracts a good crowd and has many activities for families. Then keep in mind Parrish's edition will be on Oct. 25, followed by Carbon Hill's Hilloween on Oct. 27.