The Pronk Pops Show 1291, July 19, 2019, Part 1 of 2 — Story 1: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Big Tech Censorship of Conservative Content — Dennis Praeger Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee — Videos — Story 2: House of Representatives Bipartisan Vote of 332 to 94 Not To Impeach President Trump — Videos –Story 3: President Trump Rally in North Carolina — New Politically Correct Chant — Send Them All Home — Open Border or Citizenship for Illegal Alien Democrats, Republicans and All Illegal Aliens — All 30 to 60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — Videos

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Story 1: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Big Tech Censorship of Conservative Content — Dennis Praeger Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee — Videos —

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Ted Cruz Grills Top Google Exec on Censorship of PragerU

Dennis Prager Testifies Before the U.S. Senate on Big Tech Censorship

Big Tech Is Big Brother

The Ten Commandments: What You Should Know

What Happens When Google Disagrees With You?

Who Are the Racists?

Illegal Immigration: It’s About Power

Sen. Cruz Slams Google’s Monopoly, Calls It ‘Unprecedented’

Sen. Cruz Questions Victims of Censorship on Google’s Bias

Sen. Cruz Grills Google Executive on Alleged Censorship Bias

Behind PragerU’s fight against alleged Google censorship

Carolla and Prager ask: What if we all stopped apologizing?

GOOGLE CLASSIFIES CONSERVATIVE CONTENT AS PORNOGRAPHY, CLAIMS FOX NEWS GUEST DENNIS PRAGER

The founder of Prager University, an unaccredited conservative media organization, appeared on Fox & Friends Tuesday claiming Google equates conservative video content to pornography.

Right-wing radio host Dennis Prager appeared on Fox News Tuesday morning just hours before he is set to accuse Google of political bias in testimony before members of Congress in Washington. Prager claims the Silicon Valley tech giants, but specifically Google, are gaming their algorithms against conservative content. He said dozens of PragerU’s 5-minute videos on topics ranging from Abraham Lincoln to the founding of Israel have been banned by the search giant and YouTube parent company as “pornography.” Prager claimed the group’s 300-plus videos get more than one billion views annually, but that about 60 of the wide variety of right-wing, historical videos are on Google’s “restricted” list.

“That means, if you block pornography you cannot see a discussion of Lincoln’s address at Gettysburg,” Prager told the Fox & Friends hosts Tuesday morning as an example of a topic in which he will testify. “It’s beyond belief.”

“Google classifies that as porno?” co-host Steve Doocy asked.

“Yes, yes, that is correct,” Prager said. “Why?” replied a stunned Ainsley Earhardt.

“Because we’re conservative,” Prager replied.

Prager University is not an accredited academic institution and offers no diplomas or certifications. It is, despite its name, a non-profit organization that creates frequently provocative political videos and advertisements from a conservative viewpoint.

Prager said a video describing how “human beings are even more precious than animals” was also placed on Google’s restricted list. “If you block pornography in your home you can’t see my video on why human life is precious. I’m not even talking about abortion, although that obviously should be allowed as well,” he said.

Another video featuring Fox News contributor Alan Dershowitz on the founding of Israel is also on the restricted list, Prager added.

The 70-year-old Prager discussed freedom of speech more broadly, saying he is old enough to remember when “liberals were defending real Nazis,” citing the Supreme Court ruling between the heavily Jewish Illinois village of Skokie and the National Socialist Party of America in the 1970s. Prager said the U.S. is currently engaged in a “non-violent civil war … between the left and the rest of the country.”

“Liberals and the left have almost nothing in common but liberals are cowed by the left and that’s the tragedy,” he noted.

Fox & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade both predicted how they think this week’s Big Tech “conservative bias” hearings will go, with Kilmeade warning Prager they’re bringing out the “big guns” in terms of legal teams. Doocy predicted, “You know what they’re going to say: the algorithm.”

“That’s fine, then you have a terrible algorithm, I mean that is hilarious,” Prager replied. He then compared that defense to the driver of an automatic transmission vehicle running over children and blaming the car. “It’s an absurdity if they say it’s the algorithm, they created the algorithm let them reveal the algorithm to the public.”

dennis prager university google pornography
The founder of the conservative, unaccredited Prager University organization appeared on Fox & Friends Tuesday claiming Google equates conservative video content to pornography.SCREENSHOT: FOX NEWS

Ted Cruz Presses Executive on Why Google Disbanded Panel Rather Than Include Conservative Leader

vative Leader

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wants Google to explain why it disbanded an advisory council after Google employees objected to including the president of The Heritage Foundation. Pictured: Cruz speaks Tuesday during his subcommittee hearing on Google and censorship. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called out a Google vice president Tuesday afternoon for the tech giant’s decision to dissolve an advisory council on artificial intelligence after inviting Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James to join the panel.

Cruz asked Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president of government affairs and public policy, about the worldwide internet company’s disbanding of the advisory council after Google employees objected to including the head of the leading conservative think tank.

“You worked at The Heritage Foundation, I believe you said,” Cruz told Bhatia during a hearing held by the Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution. “Do you consider The Heritage Foundation to be some fringe organization?”

Bhatia replied that he considered Heritage to be a conservative organization.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

“So 2,500 Google employees signed a petition to have Ms. James removed from the council and they said, quote, ‘By appointing James to the ATEAC, Google elevates and endorses her views implying that hers is a valid perspective worthy of its inclusion in this decision making, this is unacceptable,’” Cruz said.

The formal name of Google’s short-lived panel was the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council.

The petition accused James of being “vocally anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-immigrant,” and said, “In selecting James, Google is making clear that its version of ‘ethics’ values proximity to power over the wellbeing of trans people, other LGBTQ people, and immigrants.”

“Google, in response to this, dissolved the entire committee,” Cruz said to Bhatia. “Do you understand when you see that kind of bias, saying, ‘A conservative African-American woman’s views are not valid and not worthy of inclusion,’ that the American people would say, ‘These guys are silencing voices they disagree with’?”

James, who is black, overcame racial discrimination in Virginia as a girl and eventually became an educator and top state and federal government official before being named president of The Heritage Foundation, where she had been a trustee for more than a decade.

Bhatia told Cruz, chairman of the subcommittee, that the 2,500 employees who objected to James did not make up a large percentage of the Google workforce.

“Senator, the 2,500 amounts to something around 2% of the Google employees,” Bhatia said.

“But Google acted on their recommendation. You dissolved the committee,” Cruz replied.

>>> Commentary: Google Caves to the Intolerant Left, Betraying Its Own Ideals

Bhatia disagreed.

“No, Senator, we did not,” he said. “What happened in that situation is that it’s a committee that consisted of a number of members; as time progressed, a number of members of the committee other than Ms. James decided to fall off the committee, to withdraw from the committee.”

Cruz continued to press the issue.

“Is this your testimony, Mr. Bhatia? Because I’m finding this difficult to credit. Is it your testimony that Google did not dissolve the committee because your employees were mad that anyone right of center was included?”

The Google vice president answered Cruz by saying the company pulled the plug on the advisory council because executives didn’t see it going anywhere.

“We dissolved the committee, Senator. I think we were clear at the end of the day that it was not going to be viable to continue the council given what we were seeing happen with other members of the committee,” Bhatia said.

Heritage’s James discussed the experience in an April op-ed for The Washington Post, writing that “the Google employees didn’t just attempt to remove me; they greeted the news of my appointment to the council with name-calling and character assassination.”

“They called me anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ and a bigot. That was an odd one, because I’m a 69-year-old black woman who grew up fighting segregation,” James added.

Referring to Google’s decision to end the panel, James wrote, “The company has given in to the mentality of a rage mob.”

Ted Cruz Presses Executive on Why Google Disbanded Panel Rather Than Include Conservative Leader

2 Senators Call for Investigation Into Big Tech’s Censorship

Two of the country’s staunchest big tech critics are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate social media companies’ perceived censorship practices.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter exercise lots of influence on Americans and they also use their tools to censor some content while amplifying others, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri wrote in a letter Monday to the Federal Trade Commission. They are asking the agency to open a public probe into the impact such policies have on people.

dailycallerlogo“Companies that are this big and that have the potential to threaten democracy this much should not be allowed to curate content entirely without any transparency,” they wrote. “These companies can greatly influence democratic outcomes, yet they have not accountability to voters.”

They added: “They are not even accountable to their own customers because nobody knows how these companies curate content.” Cruz and Hawley are two of the biggest Republican critics of Google and Facebook, both of which are consistently accused of discriminating against conservative content.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

Hawley, for his part, introduced the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act in June that aims to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives online companies immunity only if they can show they are politically neutral. Section 230 was passed in 1996, when the internet was in its infancy.

Other Republicans are taking a more critical stance against big tech companies as well. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, for one, is dinging Google for not doing enough to protect children.

“Things would change tomorrow if you could get sued,” Graham said during a congressional hearing on July 9 dealing with online dangers to kids. YouTube is under pressure to turn off its recommendation systems for videos featuring kids after reports showed potential predators were abusing the feature.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

 

Story 3: President Trump Rally in Greenville, North Carolina — New Improved Politically Correct Chant — “Send Them All Home” — Open Border or Citizenship for Illegal Alien Democrats, Republicans and All Illegal Aliens — All 30 to 60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — Videos

Speech: Donald Trump Holds a Political Rally in Greenville, North Carolina – July 17, 2019

FULL RALLY: President Trump Rally in Greenville, North Carolina

President Trump delivers remarks on immigration, “The Squad,” during campaign rally

President Trump Talks About Antifa & Andy Ngo at NC Rally

WATCH LIVE: Trump holds campaign rally in North Carolina amid racist tweets controversy

Trump disavows ‘send her back’ chant at North Carolina rally

Trump rally in Greenville comes amid controversy

[youtube3=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIDK7pwzTgE]

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 972, September 26, 2017: Story 1: Economy Slowing Down As Consumer Confidence and Spending Decline — Videos — Story 2: Latest Senate Repeal of Obamacare Fails — Time For Replacing Senate Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell With A New Conservative Leader — Videos — Story 3: Trump Supports Republican Establishment Candidate Luther Strange vs. Trump Supporters of Judge Roy Moore For Senator From Alabama– Who Will Win? — The Winner Is Moore! — Moore Out Trumps Trump — Videos

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Story 1: Economy Slowing Down As Consumer Confidence and Spending Decline — Videos

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Consumer confidence

08: CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX

 

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Consumer Confidence Survey®

The Consumer Confidence Survey® reflects prevailing business conditions and likely developments for the months ahead. This monthly report details consumer attitudes and buying intentions, with data available by age, income, and region.

Please visit the Consumer Measures page to learn more about detailed consumer confidence data and CEO confidence data.

Purchase Historical Data

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Declined Slightly in September

26 Sep. 2017

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had improved marginally in August, declined slightly in September. The Index now stands at 119.8 (1985=100), down from 120.4 in August. The Present Situation Index decreased from 148.4 to 146.1, while the Expectations Index rose marginally from 101.7 last month to 102.2.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was September 18.

“Consumer confidence decreased slightly in September after a marginal improvement in August,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Confidence in Texas and Florida, however, decreased considerably, as these two states were the most severely impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Despite the slight downtick in confidence, consumers’ assessment of current conditions remains quite favorable and their expectations for the short-term suggest the economy will continue expanding at its current pace.”

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions moderated in September. Those saying business conditions are “good” decreased slightly from 34.5 percent to 33.9 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” increased from 13.2 percent to 13.8 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also somewhat less upbeat. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” declined from 34.4 percent to 32.6 percent, however, those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased marginally from 18.4 percent to 18.1 percent.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook was somewhat better in September. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose slightly from 19.8 percent to 20.2 percent, but those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 8.0 percent to 9.9 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was more favorable than in August. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 16.8 percent to 19.5 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose marginally from 13.2 percent to 13.5 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement increased moderately from 19.9 percent to 20.5 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline was virtually unchanged at 8.3 percent.

Source: September 2017 Consumer Confidence Survey®

The Conference Board

The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index®, at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE BOARD

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. Winner of the Consensus Economics 2016 Forecast Accuracy Award (U.S.), The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

ABOUT NIELSEN

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm

US consumer confidence takes a hit from hurricanes

In this Wednesday, April 26, 2017, photo, pedestrians walk past a store on Miami Beach, Floridas Lincoln Road. American consumers feel a bit less confident in September 2017, their spirits pulled down by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, according to consThe Associated Press
In this Wednesday, April 26, 2017, photo, pedestrians walk past a store on Miami Beach, Florida’s Lincoln Road. American consumers feel a bit less confident in September 2017, their spirits pulled down by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, according to consumer confidence index information released Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, by the Conference Board. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

American consumers feel a bit less confident this month, their spirits pulled down by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index fell to 119.8 in September from 120.4 in August. Conference Board economist Lynn Franco says that confidence “decreased considerably” in hurricane-hit Florida and Texas.

The reading still shows that U.S. consumers are in a mostly sunny mood, suggesting that “the economy will continue expanding at its current pace,” said Franco, the Conference Board’s director of economic indicators. The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3 percent annual rate from April through June, lifted by healthy consumer spending.

Just 18.1 percent of respondents told that Conference Board that jobs were “hard to get” in September — the lowest share since August 2001.

The index takes into account Americans’ views of current economic conditions and their expectations for the next six months.

Their view of today’s economy slipped from August when the assessment was the sunniest in 16 years. Their outlook rose slightly in September.

The overall index hit bottom at 25.3 in February 2009 at the depths of the Great Recessionbefore rebounding as the U.S. economy recovered.

Economists pay close attention to the numbers because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

Michael Pearce, U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said the solid September reading “underlines just how resilient the household sector is” despite the North Korean nuclear threat, a string of natural disasters and the racial tensions arising from the violent protests last month in Charlottesville, Virginia.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/us-consumer-confidence-takes-hit-hurricanes-5010104

U.S. consumer confidence slips; new home sales hit eight-month low

Reuters

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer confidence fell in September and home sales dropped to an eight-month low in August due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, supporting the view that the storms would hurt economic growth in the third quarter.

Still, relatively high levels of consumer confidence together with continued strong gains in house prices should support consumer spending and keep the economy on solid ground. Rebuilding in the hurricane-ravaged Texas and Florida also is expected to deliver a boost in the fourth quarter.

“Though hurricane disruptions will make spending uneven geographically over the next few months, we expect consumers to remain a primary driver of U.S. economic growth in 2018,” said James Bohnaker, a U.S. economist at IHS Markit in Lexington, Massachusetts.

The Conference Board said on Tuesday its consumer confidence index declined to a reading of 119.8 this month from 120.4 in August, which was the highest reading in five months. It said confidence in Texas and Florida “decreased considerably.”

The survey’s so-called labor market differential, derived from data about respondents who think jobs are hard to get and those who think jobs are plentiful, slipped to 14.5 this month from 16.0 in August.

That measure, which closely correlates to the unemployment rate in the Labor Department’s employment report, still remains consistent with more absorption of labor market slack.

The number of consumers expecting an improvement in their incomes rose marginally to 20.5 percent in September from 19.9 percent last month. The share expecting a drop in income was little changed at 8.3 percent.

Despite being near full employment, the labor market has struggled to generate strong wage growth, frustrating both consumers and policymakers. But rising home prices should continue to underpin consumer spending, even though the housing market is slowing.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve is forecasting the economy to grow at a 2.2 percent annualized rate in the third quarter, slowing from the April-June period’s brisk 3.0 percent pace.

A second report on Tuesday showed the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller composite index of house prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose 5.8 percent in July on a year-on-year basis after increasing 5.6 percent in June.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data.

The dollar rose to a one-month high against the euro as investors worried that months of talks to form a coalition government in Germany could hurt the country’s economy and make closer euro zone integration difficult. Stocks on Wall street were little changed, while prices for U.S. Treasuries fell.

HOUSING SLOWING In a third report on Tuesday, the Commerce Department said new home sales decreased 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units last month, which was the lowest level since December 2016. Sales were down 1.2 percent on a year-on-year basis in August.

New home sales, which are drawn from permits, account for 9.5 percent of overall home sales. The Commerce Department suggested Harvey and Irma likely impacted new home sales data last month.

It said “information on the sales status at the end of August was collected for only 65 percent of cases in Texas and Florida counties” affected by the hurricanes. That compared to a normal response rate of 95 percent.

Harvey weighed on retail sales and industrial production in August.

Last month, new home sales fell 4.7 percent in the South, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the new homes market. Harvey hurt sales of previously owned homes in August and held back the completion of houses under construction.

With Irma slamming Florida in September, housing market activity could remain weak. The areas in Texas and Florida affected by the storms accounted for 14 percent of single-family home permits in 2016.

The housing market was softening even before the hurricanes struck, buffeted by headwinds including shortages of homes available for sale, skilled labor and suitable land for building. Rising prices for building materials are also undercutting the market.

In August, new single-family homes sales also fell in the Northeast and West. They were unchanged in the Midwest.

“The U.S. housing market entered a strange kind of twilight zone over the summer, in which home prices kept rising steadily, but actual home sales activity largely leveled off at fairly underwhelming levels,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen says economic outlook is highly uncertain

By Don Lee

In a speech Tuesday marked by large doses of both statistics and humility, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen said that the economic outlook is highly uncertain, suggesting that the central bank may move slowly in raising interest rates and scaling back easy-money policies.

The Fed has been moving to reduce monetary support for the economy based on an assessment that the labor market is strengthening and that inflation, which has been unusually low, will soon stabilize.

Last week, the Fed began unwinding the massive bond-buying effort it began after the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and signaled that another interest rate hike would come by the end of the year.

But Yellen suggested that the future policy course was uncertain.

“My colleagues and I may have misjudged the strength of the labor market,” she said at a conference of the National Assn. for Business Economics in Cleveland. She said the same about “the degree to which longer-run inflation expectations are consistent with our inflation objective, or even the fundamental forces driving inflation.”

Inflation has been running persistently below the Fed’s 2% target, puzzling economists and causing policymakers to be hesitant in raising rates. Yellen said that she still expected inflation to move up to the Fed’s desired goal in coming months, but she noted that the labor market, which historically has been a key factor in moving inflation, may not be as tight as the low unemployment rate suggests.

For much of this year, the jobless figure has been below 4.5%, which most Fed officials see as essentially full employment. While more employers have been reporting trouble finding workers, there’s been little indication of a pick-up in wage increases, which on average have remained relatively modest. The low rate of wage increases could indicate that the labor market has more slack than economists had believed.

Because of demographic and other structural changes, “the unemployment rate that is sustainable today may be lower than the rate that was sustainable in the past,” Yellen said.

Similarly, she said that inflation expectations, which are important in actual inflation outcomes as people make decisions on hiring and spending based on them, may also be uncertain. “There is a risk that inflation expectations may not be as well anchored as they appear and perhaps are not consistent with our 2% goal,” she said.

Several factors could be restraining inflation, Yellen said, including healthcare prices, which have not grown as fast as in the past, and the growing use of online shopping, which may be making it tough for businesses to raise prices.

“How should policy be formulated in the face of such significant uncertainties?” Yellen asked. “In my view, it strengthens the case for a gradual pace of adjustments.”

“It would be imprudent to keep monetary policy on hold until inflation is back to 2%,” she said, but, she added, “we should be wary of raising rates too gradually.”

In a question and answer session, Yellen said policymakers should be prepared for surprises and shocks.

“Nothing is set in stone,” she said.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-yellen-in-ohio-20170926-story.html

Yellen: Fed may have ‘misjudged’ inflation, keeping rates lower

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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen conceded Tuesday that inflation may be weaker than Fed officials have anticipated, a development that could lead to a more gradual rise in interest rates.

While several Fed policymakers have raised that possibility, Yellen’s remarks represent her most detailed and explicit acknowledgment that the Fed may have been too confident in its long-held view that inflation will soon pick up and move toward the Fed’s annual 2% target.

“My colleagues and I may have misjudged the strength of the labor market, the degree to which longer-run inflation expectations are consistent with our inflation objective, or even the fundamental forces driving inflation,” Yellen said in prepared remarks at a meeting of the National Association for Business Economics in Cleveland. She added that “downward pressures on inflation could prove to be unexpectedly persistent.”

More: Economists see slower growth for U.S. than Trump does

More: Consumer confidence takes a hit from hurricanes

If inflation remained sluggish, that “would naturally result in a policy path that is somewhat easier than that now anticipated.”

The Fed has raised its benchmark short-term interest rate three times since December to a range of 1% to1¼%. Last week, it maintained its forecast of three quarter-point rate hikes next year but cut its projection from three to two increases in 2019, lifting the rate to 2.9% by 2020.

The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation fell to 1.4% in July from nearly 2% early this year. Yellen said the Fed’s baseline outlook still calls for an acceleration and blamed the recent retreat on a drop in wireless service prices due to the rollout of unlimited data plans, among other temporary factors. But she also gave more weight to the view that wages and prices could continue to edge up slowly because of longer-term obstacles.

For example, although unemployment is at a low 4.4%, the share of Americans ages 25 to 54 who are working remains low and the portion of part-time workers who prefer full-time jobs is still above the prerecession levels, Yellen said. That could mean there’s more “slack” in the labor market, providing employers a shadow labor force that’s keeping wage growth contained.

And while Yellen acknowledged that several indicators have revealed tepid pay increases, she traced the development to meager gains in productivity, or worker output, that have curtailed profit margins. She added that the share of firms planning wage increases “has moved back up to its pre-recession level” and many employers are having trouble finding qualified workers — “possible harbingers of stronger wage gains to come.”

Yellen also said some measures of inflation expectations, such as a survey of consumers by the New York Fed, have been unusually low. Inflation expectations help determine actual wage and price increases because workers are less likely to ask for raises, for example, if they expect inflation to remain anemic.

Finally, Yellen said other longer-term trends could be suppressing inflation. Those include subdued growth in health care prices; the integration of China and other emerging markets into the global economy, which restrains both wages and prices; and the spread of low-price online shopping.

The risk that inflation stays low “strengthens the case for a gradual” increase in the Fed’s key short-term interest rate, Yellen said. If the rate rises too quickly, disrupting the recovery, the Fed “will have only limited scope” to cut the still-low rate “should the economy be hit with an adverse shock.”

At the same time, she said the Fed “should also be wary of moving too gradually.”

“Without further modest increases in the federal funds rate over time, there is a risk that the labor market could eventually become overheated, potentially creating inflationary problems down the road that might be difficult to overcome without triggering a recession,” Yellen said.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/09/26/yellen-fed-may-have-misjudged-inflation-keeping-rates-lower/703920001/

Consumer confidence index

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The U.S. consumer confidence index (CCI) is an indicator designed to measure consumer confidence, which is defined as the degree of optimism on the state of the economy that consumers are expressing through their activities of savings and spending. Global consumer confidence is not measured. Country by country analysis indicates huge variance around the globe. In an interconnected global economy, tracking international consumer confidence is a lead indicator of economic trends.[1]

In the United States consumer confidence is issued monthly by The Conference Board, an independent economic research organization, and is based on 5,000 households. Such measurement is indicative of consumption component level of the gross domestic productThe Federal Reserve looks at the CCI when determining interest rate changes, and it also affects stock market prices.

The consumer confidence index was started in 1967 and is benchmarked to 1985=100. This year was chosen because it was neither a peak nor a trough. The Index is calculated each month on the basis of a household survey of consumers’ opinions on current conditions and future expectations of the economy. Opinions on current conditions make up 40% of the index, with expectations of future conditions comprising the remaining 60%. In the glossary on its website, The Conference Board defines the Consumer Confidence Survey as “a monthly report detailing consumer attitudes and buying intentions, with data available by age, income and region”.

Another well-established index that measures consumer confidence is the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, run by University of Michigan‘s Institute for Social Research.

Calculation

In simple terms, increased consumer confidence indicates economic growth in which consumers are spending money, indicating higher consumption. Decreasing consumer confidence implies slowing economic growth, and so consumers are likely to decrease their spending. The idea is that the more confident people feel about the economy and their jobs and incomes, the more likely they are to make purchases. Declining consumer confidence is a sign of slowing economic growth and may indicate that the economy is headed into trouble.

Each month The Conference Board surveys 5,000 US households. The survey consists of five questions that ask the respondents’ opinions about the following:[2]

  1. Current business conditions
  2. Business conditions for the next six months
  3. Current employment conditions
  4. Employment conditions for the next six months
  5. Total family income for the next six months

Survey participants are asked to answer each question as “positive”, “negative” or “neutral”. The preliminary results from the consumer confidence survey are released on the last Tuesday of each month at 10am EST.

Once the data have been gathered, a proportion known as the “relative value” is calculated for each question separately. Each question’s positive responses are divided by the sum of its positive and negative responses. The relative value for each question is then compared against each relative value from 1985. This comparison of the relative values results in an “index value” for each question.

The index values for all five questions are then averaged together to form the consumer confidence index; the average of index values for questions one and three form the present situation index, and the average of index values for questions two, four and five form the expectations index. The data are calculated for the United States as a whole and for each of the country’s nine census regions.

Usage

Manufacturers, retailers, banks and the government monitor changes in the CCI in order to factor in the data in their decision-making processes. While index changes of less than 5% are often dismissed as inconsequential, moves of 5% or more often indicate a change in the direction of the economy.

A month-on-month decreasing trend suggests consumers have a negative outlook on their ability to secure and retain good jobs. Thus, manufacturers may expect consumers to avoid retail purchases, particularly large-ticket items that require financing. Manufacturers may pare down inventories to reduce overhead and/or delay investing in new projects and facilities. Likewise, banks can anticipate a decrease in lending activity, mortgage applications and credit card use. When faced with a down-trending index, the government has a variety of options, such as issuing a tax rebate or taking other fiscal or monetary action to stimulate the economy.

Conversely, a rising trend in consumer confidence indicates improvements in consumer buying patterns. Manufacturers can increase production and hiring. Banks can expect increased demand for credit. Builders can prepare for a rise in home construction and government can anticipate improved tax revenues based on the increase in consumer spending.

Consumer-demand surveys versus consumer-confidence and -sentiment surveys[edit]

Consumer-demand surveys are interview-based statistical surveys that measure the percentage of households that will buy a car, white goods, PCs, TVs, home furnishings, kitchenware or toys in, for example, the next three-month period. The surveys provide a percentage of those who will purchase more, less or the same amount of food and clothing in the next three months than in the corresponding period the year before. If you ask people about their purchasing behavior within the coming six or 12 months, there will be more of those who “hope to be able to buy”, than if consumers are asked about what they will purchase in the next three months. The shorter the time spans, the closer to actual behavior.

Consumer-confidence and -sentiment surveys measure how people are doing financially, how they look at the overall economy of the country or business conditions in the country, if they think that the government is doing a good or a poor job and if people think that it is a good or a bad time to buy a car or to buy or sell a house.

When the business cycle is fairly stable, consumer demand surveys and consumer confidence and sentiment indices will often correlate closely and indicate the same direction of the economy, but in times with a high degree of economic or political uncertainty or during a prolonged crisis, the two types of consumer surveys might differ significantly. In 2011 the confidence and sentiment surveys went up from March to April, while consumer demand surveys dropped significantly. In August 2011 the confidence and sentiment surveys dropped significantly and stayed low during September and October, while consumer demand surveys showed resilience, a development confirmed later by official statistics.

Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan and the Conference Board both publish a monthly consumer confidence and attitude survey. The Institute for Business Cycle Analysis publishes a monthly consumer demand survey known as US Consumer Demand Indices.

In the United States

US consumer confidence index 1966–2012

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index is the most widely accepted index among the United States media, businesspeople, and many consumers.[citation needed] The chart to the left shows the index over time from December 1966 to April 2012.

Other measures of consumer confidence in the United States

In addition to the Conference Board’s CCI, other survey-based indices attempt to track consumer confidence in the U.S.:

  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (MCSI) is a consumer confidence index published monthly by the University of Michigan. It uses an ongoing, nationally representative survey based on telephonic household interviews to gather information on consumer expectations regarding the overall economy.
  • The Washington Post-ABC News Consumer Comfort Index is a consumer confidence index based on telephone interviews with 1,000 randomly selected adults over the previous four-week period. It asks respondents “to rate the condition of the national economy, the state of their personal finances and whether now is a good time to buy things”.

[3]

Given the potential for sampling biases of individual survey reports, researchers and investors try sometimes to average the values of different index reports into a single aggregated measure of consumer confidence.

In India

The ZyFin India Consumer Outlook Index[4] is a monthly index of consumer sentiment in India. The COI is designed to provide reliable insights into the direction of the Indian national and regional economies. Released once a month, the index is computed from the results of a monthly survey of 4,000 consumers in 18 cities across India.

In the Republic of Ireland

KBC Bank Ireland (formerly IIB Bank) and the Economic and Social Research Institute (a think-tank) have published a monthly consumer sentiment index since January 1996.[5]

In Canada

The Conference Board of Canada’s index of consumer confidence has been ongoing since 1980. It is constructed from responses to four attitudinal questions posed to a random sample of Canadian households. Those surveyed are asked to give their views about their households’ current and expected financial positions and the short-term employment outlook. They are also asked to assess whether now is a good or a bad time to make a major purchase such as a house, car or other big-ticket items.

Consumer confidence index in Indonesia

Consumer Survey-Bank Indonesia (CS-BI) is a monthly survey that has been conducted since October 1999 by Bank Indonesia.[6] The survey represents the consumer confidence about the overall economic condition, general price level, household income, and consumption plans three and six months ahead. Since January 2007, the survey is conducted with approximately 4,600 household respondents (stratified random sampling) in 18 cities: Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya, Medan, Makassar, Bandar Lampung, Palembang, Banjarmasin, Padang, Pontianak, Samarinda, Manado, Denpasar, Mataram, Pangkal Pinang, Ambon, and Banten. At a significance level of 99%, the survey has a sampling error of 2%. Data canvassing run through interviews by phone and direct visits in particular cities that is based on rotational system. The Balance Score Method (net balance + 100) has been adopted to construct the index, where the index above 100 points indicates optimism (positive responses) and vice versa. The consumer confidence index (CCI), is an average of the current economic condition index (CECI) and consumer expectation index (CEI).

The CECI is made up of the average of current condition of several factors compared to six months ago

  1. Household income
  2. Right time to buy durable goods
  3. Unemployment

The CEI is made up from the average of future prospects of several factors

  1. Household income
  2. Overall economic condition
  3. Unemployment rate.

Other sources

Danareksa conducts a monthly consumer survey to produce the Consumer Confidence Index. [7]

References

  1. Jump up^ Benjamin, Colin (30 October 2008). “Consumer Confidence – Global Monitor of Consumer Sentiment Index Reports and Country Update on Consumer Confidence Changes”. Marshall Place Associates. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  2. Jump up^ “Consumer Confidence: An Online NewsHour Special Report”The NewsHour with Jim LehrerPBS. May 2001. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  3. Jump up^ Washington Post-ABC News Consumer Comfort Index Survey”. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  4. Jump up^ ZyFin India Consumer Outlook Index
  5. Jump up^ “Consumer Sentiment”Economic and Social Research Institute. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  6. Jump up^ Nurcahyo Heru Prasetyo, Ririn Yuliatiningsih. “BANK INDONESIA – CONSUMER SURVEY” (PDF). Bank Indonesia. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
  7. Jump up^ Danareksa, Research Institute. “Consumer Confidence Index”. Danareksa. Retrieved 26 February 2011.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_confidence_index

Story 2: Latest Senate Repeal of Obamacare Fails — Time For Replacing Senate Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell With A New Conservative Leader — Videos

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Obamacare overhaul efforts are dead for now. What does that mean if you’re an Obamacare consumer?

Maureen Groppe, USA TODAYPublished 4:26 p.m. ET Sept. 26, 2017 | Updated 6:27 p.m. ET Sept. 26, 2017

Republicans’ last-ditch effort to rewrite the Affordable Care Act collapsed Thursday after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledged it lacked the votes to pass.

It’s unclear whether the bipartisan attempts to fix some of Obamacare’s problems —which were derailed by the latest repeal bill — can now be successful.

Here’s what that means for you:

Who is affected?

Despite all the attention Obamacare has gotten this year, the lack of action by lawmakers won’t affect most Americans’ health care coverage. The problems are centered in the health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA for people who don’t get coverage through an employer or a government program like Medicare or Medicaid. Only about 7% of the population buys insurance on the individual market. An average of 10 million a month have been getting those plans through the subsidized marketplaces this year.

Will people still be able to buy Obamacare insurance?

As insurers filed their initial coverage plans for 2018 earlier this year, there were dozens of counties without an insurer. But other providers stepped in to fill those gaps. That could still change before 2018 enrollment begins in November. Wednesday is the deadline for insurers to finalize their contracts with the federal government. (States that run their own marketplaces have their own set of rules.)

Still, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected this month that, over the next decade, fewer than half of 1% of people live in areas where no insurers will want to participate.

Will people have a choice of insurers?

Nearly half of counties could have only one insurance provider, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said last week.  Because many of those counties are rural, the share of people using the exchanges would could lack choice is closer to one quarter. Still, participation by insurers has declined.

How much will the insurance cost?

Prices won’t become public until later this fall. But CBO projects the average premium for a benchmark plan — those used to determine a consumer’s subsidy — will be about 15% higher than this year. (The average benchmark premium for a 45-year-old is now about $4,800 a year.)

Most people are insulated from premium increases because of the premium subsidies available to those earning up to about $48,000.

People earning up to about $30,000 can also get help paying for deductibles, co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses. But the Trump administration has not said how long it will continue to reimburse insurers for providing these discounts. That’s a main reason premiums are going up and insurers’ participation is going down.

So will the subsidies continue?

The administration has been making the payments to insurers on a month-to-month basis. This doesn’t directly affect the customer, however, because the law requires insurers to provide the assistance. What remains to be determined is how long insurers will be compensated. A challenge to the payments brought by congressional Republicans after the ACA’s passage is pending in federal court.

How could a bipartisan bill help?

Most of the focus of bipartisan efforts to improve the individual insurance markets has been on funding and flexibility. Democrats want to continue the cost-sharing reduction payments and want to provide new funds to help offset the costs of the sickest customers. Republicans want to make it easier for states to change insurance regulations and to allow more people who either can’t afford or don’t want full insurance to buy plans that cover only about half of medical costs.

Could lawmakers still agree on a bipartisan set of fixes?

Maybe. Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and GOP Rep. Tom Reed of New York, co-chairmen of a bipartisan group called the House Problem Solvers Caucus, said Monday the only way to get something passed is if both sides come together. “Now is our moment,” Gottheimer said. But there’s still plenty of opposition. Many Republicans don’t want to look like they’re “bailing out” insurance companies or shoring up Obamacare. And Democrats are worried about changes they worry could undermine patient protections.

Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, who had been working with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on a bipartisan bill, said Tuesday he’ll resume trying to find a consensus on a limited plan that could help make insurance more available and affordable in 2018 and 2019.

What else could affect the Obamacare marketplaces?

The administration has shortened the open enrollment period to less than half the time people have had to sign up. Officials also significantly reducing spending on advertising and on paying “navigators” to help people enroll.

As a result, CBO projects that while participation will increase next year, it won’t go up as much as previously expected. And because the dropoff is likely to be heaviest among the young and healthy, insurers are likely to seek higher rates for 2019.

What about Medicaid?

The failure of the GOP repeal bills means the ACA’s funding for states to expand Medicaid eligibility continues. Of the 19 states which haven’t gone along, CBO expects many could still wait for more funding predictability. But within a decade, 70% of people made newly eligible by the ACA will live in states that have expanded Medicaid, CBO predicts.

Some states could be induced to expand by the Trump administration’s eagerness to waive some Medicaid rules. But advocates for the poor could challenge any actions like work requirements that they think go beyond what’s allowed without changing the law.

Read more:

RIP, repeal and replace: Republicans’ last-ditch effort on health care is dead

Senate Republicans pull Obamacare repeal bill as support falters in their own party

House Democrats tell Graham-Cassidy bill ‘Bye Bye Bye’

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/09/26/what-happens-now-obamacare-consumers/705229001/

 

Conservative Review Scorecard for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Liberty Score: Solid F at 42%

Party leaders of the United States Senate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Current Leaders
McConnell
Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell (R)
Cornyn
Majority Whip
John Cornyn (R)
Schumer
Minority Leader
Chuck Schumer (D)
Durbin
Minority Whip
Dick Durbin (D)
Party Leaders of the U.S. Senate

The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators and members of the party leadership of the United States Senate. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for the political partiesrespectively holding the majority and the minority in the United States Senate, and manage and schedule the legislative and executive business of the Senate. They are elected to their positions in the Senate by their respective party caucuses, the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Senate Republican Conference.

By rule, the Presiding Officer gives the Majority Leader priority in obtaining recognition to speak on the floor of the Senate. The Majority Leader customarily serves as the chief representative of their party in the Senate, and sometimes even in all of Congress if the House of Representatives and thus the office of Speaker of the House is controlled by the opposition party.

The Assistant Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate (commonly called Senate Majority and Minority Whips) are the second-ranking members of each party’s leadership. The main function of the Majority and Minority Whips is to gather votes on major issues. Because they are the second ranking members of the Senate, if there is no floor leader present, the whip may become acting floor leader. Before 1969, the official titles were Majority Whip and Minority Whip.

Contents

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Current floor leaders

The Senate is currently composed of 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 independents, both of whom caucus with the Democrats.

The current leaders are long-time Senators Mitch McConnell (R) from Kentucky and Chuck Schumer (D) from New York. The current Assistant Leaders/Whips are long-time Senators John Cornyn (R) from Texas and Dick Durbin(D) from Illinois.

History

The Democrats began the practice of electing floor leaders in 1920 while they were in the minority. John W. Kern was a Democratic Senator from Indiana. While the title was not official, he is considered[by whom?] to be the first Senate party leader from 1913 through 1917 (and in turn, the first Senate Democratic Leader), while serving concurrently as Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. In 1925 the majority (at the time) Republicans also adopted this language when Charles Curtis became the first (official) Majority Leader[citation needed], although his immediate predecessor Henry Cabot Lodge is considered the first (unofficial) Senate Majority Leader.

The Constitution designates the Vice President of the United States as President of the United States Senate. The Constitution also calls for a President pro tempore to serve as the leader of the body when the President of the Senate (the Vice President) is absent. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore—customarily the most senior (longest-serving) Senator in the majority party—actually presides over the Senate on a daily basis; that task is given to junior Senators of the majority party. Since the Vice President may be of a different party than the majority and is not a member subject to discipline, the rules of procedure of the Senate give the presiding officer very little power and none beyond the presiding role. For these reasons, it is the Majority Leader who, in practice, manages the Senate. This is in contrast to the House of Representatives where the elected Speaker of the House has a great deal of discretionary power and generally presides over votes on bills.[citation needed]

List of party leaders

The Democratic Party first selected a leader in 1920. The Republican Party first formally designated a leader in 1925.

Cong-
ress
Dates Democratic Whip Democratic Leader Majority Republican Leader Republican Whip
63rd March 4, 1913 –
March 4, 1915
J. Hamilton Lewis None Democratic
← Majority
None None
64th March 4, 1915 –
March 4, 1915
James Wadsworth, Jr.
March 4, 1915 –
March 4, 1917
Charles Curtis
65th March 4, 1917 –
March 4, 1919
66th March 4, 1919 –
March 4, 1921
Peter Gerry Oscar Underwood Republican
Majority →
Henry Cabot Lodge (unofficial)
67th March 4, 1921 –
March 4, 1923
68th March 4, 1923 –
November 9, 1924
Joseph Taylor Robinson
1925 Charles Curtis Wesley Jones
69th March 4, 1925 –
March 4, 1927
70th March 4, 1927 –
March 4, 1929
71st March 4, 1929 –
March 4, 1931
Morris Sheppard James E. Watson Simeon Fess
72nd March 4, 1931 –
March 4, 1933
73rd March 4, 1933 –
January 3, 1935
J. Hamilton Lewis Democratic
← Majority
Charles L. McNary Felix Hebert
74th January 3, 1935 –
January 3, 1937
None[Note 1]
75th January 3, 1937 –
July 14, 1937
July 22, 1937 –
January 3, 1939
Alben W. Barkley
76th January 3, 1939 –
?
Sherman Minton
1940 Warren Austin (acting)
77th January 3, 1941 –
January 3, 1943
J. Lister Hill Charles L. McNary
78th January 3, 1943 –
February 25, 1944
Kenneth Wherry
February 25, 1944 –
January 3, 1945
Wallace H. White Jr. (acting)
79th January 3, 1945 –
January 3, 1947
Wallace H. White Jr.
80th January 3, 1947 –
January 3, 1949
Scott W. Lucas Republican
Majority →
81st January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1951
Francis Myers Scott W. Lucas Democratic
← Majority
Kenneth S. Wherry Leverett Saltonstall
82nd January 3, 1951 –
January 3, 1952
Lyndon B. Johnson Ernest McFarland
January 3, 1952 –
January 3, 1953
Styles Bridges
83rd January 3, 1953 –
July 31, 1953
Earle Clements Lyndon B. Johnson Republican
Majority →
Robert A. Taft
August 3, 1953 –
January 3, 1955
William F. Knowland
84th January 3, 1955 –
January 3, 1957
Democratic
← Majority
85th January 3, 1957 –
January 3, 1959
Mike Mansfield Everett Dirksen
86th January 3, 1959 –
January 3, 1961
Everett Dirksen Thomas Kuchel
87th January 3, 1961 –
January 3, 1963
Hubert Humphrey Mike Mansfield
88th January 3, 1963 –
January 3, 1965
89th January 3, 1965 –
January 3, 1967
Russell B. Long
90th January 3, 1967 –
January 3, 1969
91st January 3, 1969 –
September 7, 1969
Ted Kennedy Hugh Scott
September 24, 1969 –
January 3, 1971
Hugh Scott Robert Griffin
92nd January 3, 1971 –
January 3, 1973
Robert Byrd
93rd January 3, 1973 –
January 3, 1975
94th January 3, 1975 –
January 3, 1977
95th January 3, 1977 –
January 3, 1979
Alan Cranston Robert Byrd Howard Baker Ted Stevens
96th January 3, 1979 –
January 3, 1981
97th January 3, 1981 –
January 3, 1983
Republican
Majority →
98th January 3, 1983 –
January 3, 1985
99th January 3, 1985 –
January 3, 1987
Bob Dole Alan Simpson
100th January 3, 1987 –
January 3, 1989
Democratic
← Majority
101st January 3, 1989 –
January 3, 1991
George Mitchell
102nd January 3, 1991 –
January 3, 1993
Wendell H. Ford
103rd January 3, 1993 –
January 3, 1995
104th January 3, 1995 –
June 12, 1996
Tom Daschle Republican
Majority →
Trent Lott
June 12, 1996 –
January 3, 1997
Trent Lott Don Nickles
105th January 3, 1997 –
January 3, 1999
106th January 3, 1999 –
January 3, 2001
Harry Reid
107th January 3, 2001 –
January 20, 2001
Democratic
← Majority
January 20, 2001 –
June 6, 2001
Republican
Majority →
June 6, 2001 –
January 3, 2003[Note 2]
Democratic
← Majority
108th January 3, 2003 –
January 3, 2005
Republican
Majority →
Bill Frist Mitch McConnell
109th January 3, 2005 –
January 3, 2007
Richard Durbin Harry Reid
110th January 3, 2007 –
December 18, 2007
Democratic
← Majority
Mitch McConnell Trent Lott
December 19, 2007 –
January 3, 2009
Jon Kyl
111th January 3, 2009 –
January 3, 2011
112th January 3, 2011 –
January 3, 2013
113th January 3, 2013 –
January 3, 2015
John Cornyn
114th January 3, 2015 –
January 3, 2017
Republican
Majority →
115th January 3, 2017 –
January 3, 2019
Chuck Schumer

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up^ No Republican whips were appointed from 1935 to 1944 since only 17 Republicans were in the Senate following the landslide reelection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936. Accordingly, the minutes of the Republican Conference for the period state: “On motion of Senator Hastings, duly seconded and carried, it was agreed that no Assistant Leader or Whip be elected but that the chairman be authorized to appoint Senators from time to time to assist him in taking charge of the interests of the minority.” A note attached to the conference minutes added: “The chairman of the conference, Senator McNary, apparently appointed Senator Austin of Vermont as assistant leader in 1943 and 1944, until the conference adopted Rules of Organization.” Source: Party Whips, via Senate.gov
  2. Jump up^ Democrats remained in control after November 25, 2002, despite a Republican majority resulting from Jim Talent‘s special election victory in Missouri. There was no reorganization as Senate was no longer in session. Party Division in the Senate, 1789–present, via Senate.gov

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_leaders_of_the_United_States_Senate

Mitch McConnell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell close-up.JPG
United States Senator
from Kentucky
Assumed office
January 3, 1985
Serving with Rand Paul
Preceded by Walter Huddleston
Senate Majority Leader
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Deputy John Cornyn
Preceded by Harry Reid
Senate Minority Leader
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2015
Deputy Trent Lott
Jon Kyl
John Cornyn
Preceded by Harry Reid
Succeeded by Harry Reid
Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Leader Bill Frist
Preceded by Harry Reid
Succeeded by Dick Durbin
Chair of the Senate Rules Committee
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by Chris Dodd
Succeeded by Chris Dodd
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by John Warner
Succeeded by Chris Dodd
Judge-Executive of Jefferson County
In office
1977–1984
Preceded by Todd Hollenbach III
Succeeded by Bremer Ehrler
United States Assistant Attorney Generalfor the Office of Legislative Affairs
Acting
In office
1975
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by Vincent Rakestraw
Succeeded by Michael Uhlmann
Personal details
Born Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr.
February 20, 1942 (age 75)
Sheffield, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sherrill Redmon (m. 1968;div. 1980)
Elaine Chao (m. 1993)
Children 3
Education University of Louisville(BA)
University of Kentucky(JD)
Net worth $22.5 million (estimate)[1]
Signature
Website Senate website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1967
Unit United States Army Reserve

Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. (born February 20, 1942) is an American politician and the seniorUnited States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he has been the Majority Leader of the Senate since January 3, 2015. He is the 15th Republican and the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the Senate.[2] McConnell is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history.[3]

During the administration of President Barack Obama, McConnell was known to the left as being an obstructionist,[4] while opinion on the right was sharply divided. Some on the right praised him for tenacity and courage,[5]while others criticized him for being part of the political establishment and not keeping his promises to conservatives.[6] McConnell has gained a reputation as a skilled political strategist and tactician.[7][8] However, this reputation dimmed after Republicans failed to pass a replacement for the Affordable Care Act in 2017.[9][10]

From early 2016, McConnell refused to schedule Senate hearings for Obama’s nominee to the Supreme CourtMerrick Garland, to replace Associate JusticeAntonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. Garland’s nominationremained before the Senate for 294 days, from March 16, 2016, until it expired on January 3, 2017, more than double the time of any other Supreme Court nomination.[11] Later, McConnell used the so-called “nuclear option” to lower the threshold for overriding filibusters for Supreme Court nominees to a simple majority, with the aim of confirming Neil Gorsuch to the Court.[12]

Contents

 [show

Early life and education

McConnell is of Scots-Irish and English descent, the son of Addison Mitchell McConnell, and his wife, Julia (née Shockley). McConnell was born on February 20, 1942, in Sheffield, Alabama, and raised as a young child in nearby Athens.[13]

As a youth, McConnell overcame polio,[14] which he was struck with at age 2.[15] He received treatment at the Warm Springs Institute in Georgia, which potentially saved him from being disabled for the rest of his life.[16] In 1990, McConnell said that his family “almost went broke” because of costs related to his illness.[17]

When he was eight, McConnell’s family moved to Georgia.[18] When he was a teenager, his family moved to Louisville, where he attended duPont Manual High School. He graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with a B.A. in political science in 1964. McConnell was president of the Student Council of the College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. He has maintained strong ties to his alma mater and “remains a rabid fan of its sports teams.”[19] In 1967, McConnell graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was president of the Student Bar Association.

In March 1967, shortly before graduating from law school, McConnell enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve at Louisville, Kentucky. In August 1967, after five weeks of military training at Fort Knox, he received an honorable discharge for medical reasons (optic neuritis).[20][21]

Early career

McConnell began interning for Senator John Sherman Cooper (R-KY) in 1964, and his time with Cooper inspired him to run for the Senate eventually himself.[22] Later, McConnell was an assistant to Senator Marlow Cook (R-KY) and was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General under PresidentGerald R. Ford, where he worked alongside future Justice Antonin Scalia.[23] In 1977, McConnell was elected the Jefferson County Judge/Executive, the former top political office in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He was re-elected in 1981.[22]

U.S. Senate

Elections

1984

In 1984, McConnell ran for the U.S. Senate against two-term Democratic incumbent Walter Dee Huddleston. The election race wasn’t decided until the last returns came in, and McConnell won by a thin margin—only 5,200 votes out of more than 1.8 million votes cast, just over 0.4%.[24] McConnell was the only Republican Senate challenger to win that year, despite Ronald Reagan‘s landslide victory in the presidential election. Part of McConnell’s success came from a series of television campaign spots called “Where’s Dee”, which featured a group of bloodhounds trying to find Huddleston,[25][26] implying that Huddleston’s attendance record in the Senate was less than stellar. His campaign bumper stickers and television ads asked voters to “Switch to Mitch”.[27]

1990

In 1990, McConnell faced a tough re-election contest against former Louisville Mayor Harvey I. Sloane, winning by 4.4%.

1996

In 1996, he defeated Steve Beshear by 12.6%, even as Bill Clintonnarrowly carried the state. In keeping with a tradition of humorous and effective television ads in his campaigns, McConnell’s campaign ran television ads that warned voters to not “Get BeSheared” and included images of sheep being sheared.[27]

2002

In 2002, he was re-elected against Lois Combs Weinberg by 29.4%, the largest majority by a statewide Republican candidate in Kentucky history.

2008

In 2008, McConnell faced his closest contest since 1990. He defeated Bruce Lunsford by 6%.[28]

2014

In 2014, McConnell faced Louisville businessman Matt Bevin in the Republican primary.[29] The 60.2% won by McConnell was the lowest voter support for a Kentucky U.S. Senator in a primary by either party since 1938.[30]He faced Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election. Although polls showed the race was very close, ultimately McConnell defeated Grimes by 56.2%–40.7%, resulting in a margin of victory of 15.5 percentage points – one of his largest margins of victory, second only to his 2002 margin.

Leadership

During the 1998 and 2000 election cycles, McConnell was chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Republicans maintained control of the Senate after both elections. He was first elected as Majority Whip in the 108th Congress and unanimously re-elected on November 17, 2004. Senator Bill Frist, the Majority Leader, did not seek re-election in the 2006 elections. In November 2006, after Republicans lost control of the Senate, they elected McConnell to replace Frist as Minority Leader. After Republicans took control of the Senate following the 2014 Senate elections, McConnell became the Senate Majority Leader.

Tenure

Senator Mitch McConnell in 1992

Reputation

According to The New York Times, in his early years as a politician in Kentucky, McConnell was “something of a centrist”. In recent years, however, McConnell has veered sharply to the right. He now opposed collective-bargaining rights and minimum-wage increases that he previously supported, and abandoned pork barrel projects he once delivered to the state of Kentucky. He believed that Reagan’s popularity made conservatism much more appealing.[22]

According to a profile in Politico, “While most politicians desperately want to be liked, McConnell has relished—and cultivated—his reputation as a villain.” The Politico profile also noted “For most of Obama‘s presidency, McConnell has been the face of Republican obstructionism.”[31] According to Salon, “Despite McConnell’s reputation as the man who said his No. 1 goal was to stop President Obama from winning a second term, it’s been McConnell at the table when the big deals—be they over threatened government shutdowns, debt defaults or fiscal cliffs—have been finalized.”[32]

Reporter Alec MacGillis wrote a book about Mitch McConnell, published by Simon & Schuster on December 23, 2014, titled The Cynic, which alludes to the author’s belief that McConnell mostly acts the way he does for political gains and not out of ideology.[33]

With a 49% disapproval rate in 2016, he had the highest disapproval rate out of all senators.[34] McConnell has repeatedly been found to have the lowest home state approval rating of any sitting senator.[35][36]

Foreign policy

After winning election to the U.S. Senate in 1984, McConnell backed anti-apartheid legislation with Chris Dodd.[37] McConnell went on to engineer new IMF funding to “faithfully protect aid to Egypt and Israel,” and “promote free elections and better treatment of Muslim refugees” in Myanmar, Cambodia and Macedonia. According to a March 2014 article in Politico, “McConnell was a ‘go-to guy’ for presidents of both parties seeking foreign aid,” but he has lost some of his idealism and has evolved to be more wary of foreign assistance.[38]

McConnell stands in front and directly to the right of President Obama as he signs tax cuts and unemployment insurance legislation on December 17, 2010.

In August 2007, McConnell introduced the Protect America Act of 2007, which allowed the National Security Agency to monitor telephone and electronic communications of suspected terrorists outside the United States without obtaining a warrant.[39] McConnell was the only party leader in Congress to oppose the resolution that would authorize military strikes against Syria in September 2013, citing a lack of national security risk.[40]

On March 27, 2014, McConnell introduced the United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions bill, which would provide additional funding and instructions to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in response to the 2014 Crimea crisis.[41][42]

In September 2016, the Senate voted 71 to 27 against the Chris Murphy–Rand Paul resolution to block the $1.15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.[43] The Saudi Arabian-led coalition in Yemen has been accused of war crimes.[43]Following the vote, McConnell said: “I think it’s important to the United States to maintain as good a relationship with Saudi Arabia as possible.”[44]

Campaign finance

McConnell argued that campaign finance regulations reduce participation in political campaigns and protect incumbents from competition.[45] He spearheaded the movement against the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (known since 1995 as the “McCain–Feingold bill” and from 1989 to 1994 as the “Boren–Mitchell bill”), calling it “neither fair, nor balanced, nor constitutional.”[46] His opposition to the bill culminated in the 2003 Supreme Court case McConnell v. Federal Election Commission and the 2009 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. McConnell has been an advocate for free speech at least as far back as the early 1970s when he was teaching night courses at the University of Louisville. “No issue has shaped his career more than the intersection of campaign financing and free speech,” political reporter Robert Costa wrote in 2012.[47] In a recording of a 2014 fundraiser McConnell expressed his disapproval of the McCain-Feingold law, saying, “The worst day of my political life was when President George W. Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law in the early part of his first Administration.”[48]

On January 2, 2013, the Public Campaign Action Fund, a liberal nonprofit group that backs stronger campaign finance regulation, released a report highlighting eight instances from McConnell’s political career in which a vote or a blocked vote (filibuster), coincided with an influx of campaign contributions to McConnell’s campaign.[49][50]Progress Kentucky, a SuperPAC focused on defeating McConnell in 2014, hosted a press conference in front of the Senator’s Louisville office to highlight the report’s findings.[51][52]

Flag Desecration Amendment

McConnell opposed the Flag Desecration Amendment in 2000. According to McConnell: “We must curb this reflexive practice of attempting to cure each and every political and social ill of our nation by tampering with the Constitution. The Constitution of this country was not a rough draft. It was not a rough draft and we should not treat it as such.” McConnell offered an amendment to the measure that would have made flag desecration a statutory crime, illegal without amending the Constitution.[53]

Health policy

In August 2001, McConnell introduced the Common Sense Medical Malpractice Reform Act of 2001. The bill would require that a health care liability action must be initiated within two years, non-economic damages may not exceed $250,000, and punitive damages may only be awarded in specified situations.[54]

McConnell voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act) in December 2009,[55] and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[56] In 2014, McConnell repeated his call for the full repeal of Obamacare and said that Kentucky should be allowed to keep the state’s health insurance exchange website, Kynect, or set up a similar system.[57] McConnell is part of the group of 13 Senators drafting the Senate version of the AHCA behind closed doors.[58][59][60][61] The Senator refused over 15 patient advocacy organization’s requests to meet with his congressional staff to discuss the legislation. This included groups like the American Heart AssociationMarch of DimesAmerican Lung Association. and the American Diabetes Association.[62]

McConnell received the Kentucky Life Science Champion Awards for his work in promoting innovation in the life science sector.[63]

In 2015, both houses of Congress passed a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.[64] It was vetoed by President Obama in January 2016.[65]

After President Trump took office in January 2017, Senate Republicans, under McConnell’s leadership, began to work on a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. They faced opposition from both Democrats and moderate Republicans, who claimed that the bill would leave too many people uninsured, and more conservative Republicans, who protested that the bill kept too many of the ACA’s regulation and spending increases, and was thus not a full repeal. Numerous attempts at repeal failed. On June 27, after a meeting with President Trump at the White House, McConnell signaled improvements for the repeal and replacement: “We’re not quite there. But I think we’ve got a really good chance of getting there. It’ll just take us a little bit longer.”[66] During a Rotary Club lunch on July 6, McConnell said, “If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur.”[67]

Economy

In July 2003, McConnell sponsored the Small Business Liability Reform Act of 2003. The bill would protect small businesses from litigation excesses and limit the liability of non-manufacturer product sellers.[68][69]

McConnell was the sponsor of the Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008. The bill, which did not pass, would have allowed states to engage in increased offshore and domestic oil exploration in an effort to curb rising gas prices.[70]

In June 2008, McConnell introduced the Alternative Minimum Tax and Extenders Tax Relief Act of 2008. The bill was intended to limit the impact of the Alternative Minimum Tax.[71]

McConnell with President Barack Obama, August 2010

In an interview with National Journal magazine published October 23, 2010, McConnell explained that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Asked whether this meant “endless, or at least frequent, confrontation with the president,” McConnell clarified that “if [Obama is] willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues, it’s not inappropriate for us to do business with him.”[72]

In September 2010, McConnell sponsored the Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010. The bill would have permanently extended the tax relief provisions of 2001 and 2003 and provided permanent Alternative Minimum Tax and estate tax relief.[73]

In 2010, McConnell requested earmarks for the defense contractor BAE Systems while the company was under investigation by the Department of Justice for alleged bribery of foreign officials.[74][unreliable source?][75]

In June 2011, McConnell introduced a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment. The amendment would require two-thirds votes in Congress to increase taxes or for federal spending to exceed the current year’s tax receipts or 18% of the prior year’s GDP. The amendment specifies situations when these requirements would be waived.[76][77]

In December 2012, McConnell called for a vote on giving the president unilateral authority to raise the federal debt ceiling. When Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) called for an up or down vote, McConnell objected to the vote and ended up filibustering it himself.[78] In 2014, McConnell voted to help break Ted Cruz‘s filibuster attempt against a debt limit increase and then against the bill itself.[79]

After two intersessions to get federal grants for Alltech, whose president T. Pearse Lyons made subsequent campaign contributions to McConnell, to build a plant in Kentucky for producing ethanol from algae, corncobs, and switchgrass, McConnell criticized President Obama in 2012 for twice mentioning biofuel production from algae in a speech touting his “all-of-the-above” energy policy.[80][81]

In April 2014, the United States Senate debated the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199; 113th Congress). It was a bill that “punishes employers for retaliating against workers who share wage information, puts the justification burden on employers as to why someone is paid less and allows workers to sue for punitive damages of wage discrimination.”[82] McConnell said that he opposed the legislation because it would “line the pockets of trial lawyers”, not help women.[82]

In July 2014, McConnell expressed opposition to a U.S. Senate bill that would limit the practice of corporate inversion by U.S. corporations seeking to limit U.S. tax liability.[83]

Environment

McConnell expressed skepticism that climate change is a problem, telling the Cincinnati Enquirer editorial board in 2014, “I’m not a scientist, I am interested in protecting Kentucky’s economy, I’m interested in having low cost electricity.” [84][85][86]

McConnell was one of 22 senators to sign a letter[87] to President Donald Trump urging the President to have the United States withdraw from the Paris Agreement. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McConnell has received over $1.5 million from the oil and gas industry since 2012.[88]

Gun rights

On the weekend of January 19–21, 2013, the McConnell for Senate campaign emailed and robo-called gun-rights supporters telling them that “President Obama and his team are doing everything in their power to restrict your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.” McConnell also said, “I’m doing everything in my power to protect your 2nd Amendment rights.”[89] On April 17, 2013, McConnell voted against expanding background checks for gun purchases.[90]

Iraq War

In October 2002, McConnell voted for the Iraq Resolution, which authorized military action against Iraq.[91] McConnell supported the Iraq War troop surge of 2007.[92] In 2010, McConnell “accused the White House of being more concerned about a messaging strategy than prosecuting a war against terrorism.”[93]

In 2006, McConnell publicly criticized Senate Democrats for urging that troops be brought back from Iraq.[94] According to Bush’s Decision Points memoir, however, McConnell was privately urging the then President to “bring some troops home from Iraq” to lessen the political risks. McConnell’s hometown paper, the Louisville Courier-Journal, in an editorial titled “McConnell’s True Colors”, criticized McConnell for his actions and asked him to “explain why the fortunes of the Republican Party are of greater importance than the safety of the United States.”[95]

Regarding the failure of the Iraqi government to make reforms, McConnell said the following on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer: “The Iraqi government is a huge disappointment. Republicans overwhelmingly feel disappointed about the Iraqi government. I read just this week that a significant number of the Iraqi parliament want to vote to ask us to leave. I want to assure you, Wolf, if they vote to ask us to leave, we’ll be glad to comply with their request.”[96]

On April 21, 2009, McConnell delivered a speech to the Senate criticizing President Obama’s plans to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, and questioned the additional 81 million dollar White House request for funds to transfer prisoners to the United States.[97][98]

Fundraising

From 2003 to 2008, the list of McConnell’s top 20 donors included five financial/investment firms: UBSFMR Corporation (Fidelity Investments), CitigroupBank of New York, and Merrill Lynch.[99]

In April 2010, while Congress was considering financial reform legislation, a reporter asked McConnell if he was “doing the bidding of the large banks.” McConnell has received more money in donations from the “Finance, Insurance and Real Estate” sector than any other sector according to the Center for Responsive Politics.[99][100] McConnell responded “I’d say that that’s inaccurate. You could talk to the community bankers in Kentucky.” The Democratic Party’s plan for financial reform is actually a way to institute “endless taxpayer funded bailouts for big Wall Street banks”, said McConnell. He expressed concern that the proposed $50 billion, bank-funded fund that would be used to liquidate financial firms that could collapse “would of course immediately signal to everyone that the government is ready to bail out large banks”.[99][100] In McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, the Lexington Herald-Leader ran an editorial saying: “We have read that the Republicans have a plan for financial reform, but McConnell isn’t talking up any solutions, just trashing the other side’s ideas with no respect for the truth.”[101] According to one tally, McConnell’s largest donor from the period from January 1, 2009, to September 30, 2015, was Bob McNair, contributing $1,502,500.[102]

2016 Supreme Court vacancy

In an August 2016 speech in Kentucky, McConnell, speaking of President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court (to fill the vacancy caused by Antonin Scalia‘s death in February 2016) said, “One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, ‘Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.'”[103][104][105]

2016 presidential election

McConnell initially endorsed fellow Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Following Paul’s withdrawal, McConnell stayed neutral for the remainder of the primary. On May 4, 2016, McConnell endorsed then presumptive nominee Donald Trump. “I have committed to supporting the nominee chosen by Republican voters, and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee, is now on the verge of clinching the nomination.” [106]

On multiple occasions, McConnell criticized Trump but continued to endorse Trump’s candidacy. On May 27, 2016, after Trump suggested that a Federal Judge, Gonzalo P. Curiel, was biased against Trump because of his Mexican heritage, McConnell responded, “I don’t agree with what he (Trump) had to say. This is a man who was born in Indiana. All of us came here from somewhere else.” On July 31, 2016, after Trump had criticized the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim soldier who was killed in Iraq, McConnell stated, “Captain Khan was an American hero, and like all Americans, I’m grateful for the sacrifices that selfless young men like Captain Khan and their families have made in the war on terror. All Americans should value the patriotic service of the patriots who volunteer to selflessly defend us in the armed services.” On October 7, 2016, following the Donald Trump Access Hollywood controversy, McConnell stated: “As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape.”[107]

With regards to the US response to intelligence findings that Russia was responsible for cyberattacks undertaken to influence the American election, after Trump won the election, Senator McConnell expressed “support for investigating American intelligence findings that Moscow intervened.”.[108] Prior to the election however, when FBI Director James Comey, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and other officials met with the leadership of both parties to make the case for a bipartisan statement warning Russia that such actions would not be tolerated “McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics,” The Washington Post reported,[109]citing accounts of several unnamed officials.[110][111]

On February 7, 2017, McConnell stopped Senator Elizabeth Warren who was reading out statements opposing Jeff Sessions‘s nomination as federal judge that had been made by Ted Kennedy and Coretta Scott King, on the grounds of Senate Rule XIX. He defended his decision by saying “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,”[112] a statement which was turned into a battle cry by Warren supporters.[113]

On April 2, McConnell denied knowing anything about potential wiretapping of Trump by the Obama administration, saying there was an ongoing investigation.[114]

Committee assignments

Electoral history

Elections are shown with a map depicting county-by-county information. McConnell is shown in red and Democratic opponents shown in blue.

Year  % McConnell Opponent(s) Party affiliation  % of vote County-by-county map
1984 49.9% Walter Huddleston (incumbent)Dave Welters DemocraticSocialist Workers 49.5% KY-USA 1984 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
1990 52.2% Harvey I. Sloane Democratic 47.8% KY-USA 1990 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
1996 55.5% Steve BeshearDennis Lacy

Patricia Jo Metten

Mac Elroy

DemocraticLibertarian

Natural Law

U.S. Taxpayers

42.8% KY-USA 1996 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
2002 64.7% Lois Combs Weinberg Democratic 35.3% KY-USA 2002 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
2008 53.0% Bruce Lunsford Democratic 47.0% KY-USA 2008 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
2014 56.2% Alison Lundergan GrimesDavid Patterson DemocraticLibertarian 40.7% KY-USA 2014 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
U.S. Senate Republican primary election in Kentucky, 1984
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Mitch McConnell 39,465 79.2%
Republican Roger Harker 3,798 7.6%
Republican Tommy Klein 3,352 6.7%
Republican Thurman Jerome Hamlin 3,202 6.4%
U.S. Senate Republican primary election in Kentucky, 1990
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Mitch McConnell (inc.) 64,063 88.5%
Republican Tommy Klein 8,310 11.5%
U.S. Senate Republican primary election in Kentucky, 1996
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Mitch McConnell (inc.) 88,620 88.6%
Republican Tommy Klein 11,410 11.4%
U.S. Senate Republican primary election in Kentucky, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Mitch McConnell (inc.) 168,127 86.1%
Republican Daniel Essek 27,170 13.9%
U.S. Senate Republican primary election in Kentucky, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Mitch McConnell (inc.) 213,753 60.2%
Republican Matt Bevin 125,787 35.4%
Republican Shawna Sterling 7,214 2.0%
Republican Chris Payne 5,338 1.5%
Republican Brad Copas 3,024 0.9%

Personal life

McConnell is a Southern Baptist.[115] He was married to his first wife, Sherrill Redmon, from 1968 to 1980, and had three children.[116] Following their divorce, she became a feminist scholar at Smith College and director of the Sophia Smith Collection.[117][118] His second wife, who married him in 1993, is Elaine Chao, the former Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush.[119] On November 29, 2016, incoming President Donald Trump nominated Chao to serve as the Secretary of Transportation. She was confirmed by the Senate on January 31, 2017, in a 93–6 vote.[119] McConnell himself voted “present” during the confirmation roll call.[120]

McConnell is on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service.[121]

In 1997, he founded the James Madison Center for Free Speech, a Washington, D.C.-based legal defense organization.[122][123] McConnell was inducted as a member of the Sons of the American Revolution on March 1, 2013.[124]

In 2010, the OpenSecrets website ranked McConnell one of the wealthiest members of the U.S. Senate, based on net household worth.[125] His personal wealth was increased after receiving a 2008 personal gift to him and his wife, given by his father-in-law James S. C. Chao after the death of McConnell’s mother-in-law, that ranged between $5 and $25 million.[126][127]

In popular culture

McConnell appears in the title sequence of seasons 1 and 2 of Alpha House making a speech with Matt Malloy‘s Senator Louis Laffer apparently standing just behind him.

Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart repeatedly mocked McConnell for his supposed resemblance to a turtle or tortoise.[128]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitch_McConnell

 

Story 3: Trump Supports Republican Establishment Candidate Luther Strange vs. Trump Supporters of Judge Roy Moore For Senator From Alabama– Who Will Win — Beats Me — The Winner Is … — Videos — Story 2: Economy Slowing Down As Consumer Confidence and Spending Decline — Videos

Image result for strange vs Moore senate race

Image result for trump supporters for roy moore

Judge Roy Moore’s Victory Speech in Alabama (Sweet Home)

Bill O’Reilly Interview and Roy Moore Wins!

O’Reilly Interview (part 2)

Judge Roy Moore Wins Big in Alabama!

Rep. Jim Jordan: Roy Moore Win Would Be Message To The Establishment | MTP Daily | MSNBC

Polls close in Alabama Senate runoff seen as test of Trump influence

Chuck Todd: Alabama Senate Runoff is “Trump vs. Trumpism”

Republican Party splintering over Luther Strange’s Senate race

[youtube4=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_d-TGB6VSw]

Steve Bannon At Roy Moore For Alabama Attorney General Rally 9/25/17

Nigel Farage speech in Alabama in support of Roy Moore

AMAZING: Judge Roy Moore Speech at Alabama will Leave you SPEECHLESS!!!

Roy Moore and Luther Strange!

Alabama’s Roy Moore Takes the Stage!

Gorka: A Roy Moore victory in Alabama strengthens Trump

Trump Admits He ‘May Have Made a Mistake Endorsing Luther Strange Over Roy Moore in Alabama

Sean Hannity Interview, Steve Bannon Rails Against McConnell and Paul Ryan (9/25/17)

Full Speeches by Sarah Palin and Sebastian Gorka for Roy Moore!

Judge Roy Moore on Yesterday’s Alabama Senate Race!

Full AL Senate Debate Between Swamp Creature Luther Strange and Judge Roy Moore

The Latest Alabama Senate Primary Runoff Results

Alabama Republicans on Tuesday voted decisively to nominate Roy Moore, a former state Supreme Court judge, for a U.S. Senate seat, delivering a rebuke to President Donald Trump and the GOP establishment that supported his rival.

Mr. Moore was declared the victor over Sen. Luther Strange by the Associated Press in a runoff primary election to choose a successor to Attorney General jeff Sessions.

Speaking to his supporters after conceding the race, Mr. Strange said the president wasn’t responsible for his defeat. “It’s not his fault,” he said.

The vote came after a bitter primary campaign that pitted Mr. Trump against many in his own political base—including former White House strategist Steve Bannon —who supported Mr. Moore.

Mr. Trump’s inability to deliver victory to Mr. Strange suggests he won’t be able to reliably harness the antiestablishment political movement that he unleashed within the GOP and rode to the White House in the 2016 campaign.

Many Republicans believed that Mr. Moore, an anti-incumbent outsider, was more in line with the spirit of the Trump 2016 campaign than Mr. Strange, who has close ties to the party hierarchy in Washington. The Moore win elevates a firebrand who, if he prevails in the general election, could make it more difficult for President Trump to advance his agenda and for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to manage his slim Senate majority.

Mr. Moore has taken some stands at odds with Mr. Trump, including his opposition to the latest GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which he believed didn’t go far enough, and he campaigned hard against Mr. McConnell, whom he portrayed as an exemplar of an out-of-touch Washington elite.

“Mitch McConnell needs to be replaced,” Mr. Moore said at his election-eve rally in Fairhope, Ala.

Mr. Moore’s victory could encourage other outsider candidates to challenge incumbent Republicans in the 2018 midterm election, and Mr. Bannon has made plain he wants to help them.

“We’re not going to hug out our differences,” he said at the Moore rally. “We’re going to fight at the ballot box.”

Mr. Moore now faces a Dec. 12 general election against Democrat Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney best known for his prosecution of Ku Klux Klan members involved in a 1963 church bombing that killed four African-American girls. Former Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to campaign with him on Oct. 3.

A key question is how effectively the GOP will unite behind Mr. Moore for the general election campaign. A key Strange backer sounded a conciliatory note Tuesday night, conceding defeat even before the race was officially called,based on early returns skewing heavily toward Mr. Moore.

“Judge Roy Moore won this nomination fair and square and he has our support, as it is vital that we keep this seat in Republican hands.” said Steven Law, president of the Senate Leadership, a super PAC allied with Mr. McConnell that invested heavily in supporting Mr. Strange.

In a state as Republican as Alabama—Mr. Trump won there with 62% of the vote—Democrats admit that Mr. Jones faces an uphill fight. But many believe he has more of a chance than if Mr. Strange had won because Mr. Moore is a controversial figure even among Republicans.

Mr. Moore gained notoriety as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, a post he twice lost: Once because he defied a court order to take down a Ten Commandments monument in a state building and a second time, after he was re-elected, because he refused to obey the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. He has blamed many of society’s ills and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the decline of religion in public life.

“Our foundation has been shaken,” he said in a debate with Mr. Strange. “Crime, corruption, immorality, abortion, sodomy, sexual perversion sweep our land.”

In a state where support for the president remains high, Mr. Strange built his entire campaign around the Trump endorsement. His supporters hoped his rally with the president in Huntsville last Friday would give him a burst of momentum.

But the president’s embrace wasn’t enough to help Mr. Strange, a former state attorney whose appointment as interim senator in February by Gov. Robert Bentley drew blowback after the governor was driven from office by personal and political scandal. Opponents used the connection in their attacks to portray Mr. Strange as a creature of corruption.

He was hurt, as well as helped, by the support of Mr. McConnell and other pillars of the GOP establishment. They gave Mr. Strange a huge financial advantage: His campaign and its outside supporters outspent Mr. Moore’s by about seven to one, according to an analysis by Issue One, a nonpartisan campaign finance group.

But that made it easy for Mr. Strange’s opponent to portray him as a creature of the McConnell party establishment. Mr. Bannon inveighed ominously against that establishment at the Moore rally. “Your day of reckoning is coming,” he said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/roy-moore-wins-alabamas-gop-senate-primary-1506475781

 

United States Senate special election in Alabama, 2017

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
United States Senate special election in Alabama, 2017
Alabama


← 2014 December 12, 2017 2020 →
No image.svg Doug Jones for Senate (cropped).jpg
Nominee TBD Doug Jones
Party Republican Democratic

Incumbent U.S. Senator
Luther Strange
Republican

special election for the United States Senate in Alabama is scheduled to be held on December 12, 2017, to choose SenatorJeff Sessions‘ successor for the Senate term through January 2021. Sessions was confirmed by the Senate to serve as U.S. Attorney General on February 8, 2017, and subsequently resigned from the Senate. GovernorRobert J. Bentley chose Luther Strange, the Attorney General of Alabama, to succeed Sessions, filling the seat until the special election takes place. Although he had the power to schedule an election in 2017, Bentley initially decided to align it with the 2018 general election,[1] before Kay Ivey, his successor, later moved the date up to December 12, 2017, scheduling the primary for August 15 and primary runoff for September 26.[2]

Doug Jones, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, won the Democratic primary, while Strange and Roy Moore, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, advanced to a Republican primary runoff.[3]

Background

Potential appointees

Following then-President-electDonald Trump‘s nomination of then-Senator Sessions to be U.S. Attorney General, Robert Aderholt, a member of the United States House of Representatives, had asked to be appointed to the seat.[4] Representative Mo Brooks had also expressed interest in the seat, while Strange had stated before being selected that he would run for the seat in the special election whether or not he was appointed.[5][6] Other potential choices Bentley interviewed for the appointment included Moore, Del Marsh, the President Pro Tem of the Alabama Senate, and Jim Byard, the director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.[7]

Republican primary

Candidates

Advanced to runoff

Eliminated in Primary

Withdrew

Declined

Endorsements

Polling

First round

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin
of error
James
Beretta
Joseph
Breault
Randy
Brinson
Mo
Brooks
Mary
Maxwell
Roy
Moore
Bryan
Peeples
Trip
Pittman
Luther
Strange
Undecided
Trafalgar Group[106] August 13–14, 2017 870 ± 3.3% 1% 1% 6% 17% 1% 38% 1% 6% 24% 5%
Emerson College[107] August 10–12, 2017 373 ± 5.0% 1% 0% 0% 15% 0% 29% 0% 10% 32% 11%
Trafalgar Group[108] August 8–10, 2017 1,439 ± 2.6% 1% 1% 4% 20% 2% 35% 1% 6% 23% 8%
Cygnal[109] August 8–9, 2017 502 ± 4.4% 2% 18% 31% 7% 23% 13%
Strategy Research[110] August 7, 2017 2,000 ± 2.0% 1% 1% 1% 19% 4% 35% 1% 9% 29% 0%
JMC Analytics[111] August 5–6, 2017 500 ± 4.4% 2% 19% 30% 6% 22% 17%
RRH Elections[112] July 31–August 3, 2017 426 ± 5.0% 2% 18% 31% 8% 29% 11%
Strategy Research[113] July 24, 2017 3,000 ± 2.0% 1% 1% 2% 16% 5% 33% 2% 5% 35%
Cygnal[114] July 20–21, 2017 500 ± 2.0% 16% 26% 33%

Runoff

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin
of error
Roy
Moore
Luther
Strange
Undecided
Cygnal[115] September 23–24, 2017 996 ± 3.1% 52% 41% 7%
Trafalgar Group[116] September 23–24, 2017 1,073 ± 3.0% 57% 41% 2%
Optimus[117] September 22–23, 2017 1,045 ± 2.9% 55% 45%
Emerson College[118] September 21–23, 2017 367 ± 5.1% 50% 40% 10%
Gravis Marketing[119] September 21–22, 2017 559 ± 4.1% 48% 40% 12%
Strategy Research[120] September 20, 2017 2,000 ± 3.0% 54% 46%
Strategy Research[121] September 18, 2017 2,930 ± 3.0% 53% 47%
JMC Analytics[122] September 16–17, 2017 500 ± 4.4% 47% 39% 14%
Time for Choosing[123] September 9–12, 2017 700 ± 3.7% 50% 37% 13%
Voter Consumer Research[124] September 9–10, 2017 604 ± 4.0% 41% 40% 19%
Emerson College[125] September 8–9, 2017 355 ± 5.2% 40% 26% 34%
Strategic National[126] September 6–7, 2017 800 ± 3.5% 51% 35% 14%
Southeast Research[127] August 29–31, 2017 401 ± 5.0% 52% 36% 12%
Harper Polling[128] August 24–26, 2017 600 ± 4.0% 47% 45% 8%
Voter Consumer Research[129] August 21–23, 2017 601 ± 4.0% 45% 41% 14%
Opinion Savvy[130] August 22, 2017 494 ± 4.4% 50% 32% 18%
JMC Analytics[131] August 17–19, 2017 515 ± 4.3% 51% 32% 17%
Cygnal[109] August 8–9, 2017 502 ± 4.4% 45% 34% 11%
RRH Elections[112] July 31–August 3, 2017 426 ± 5.0% 34% 32% 34%

Results

August 15, 2017 Republican primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Roy Moore 164,524 38.9%
Republican Luther Strange 138,971 32.8%
Republican Mo Brooks 83,287 19.7%
Republican Trip Pittman 29,124 6.9%
Republican Randy Brinson 2,621 0.6%
Republican Bryan Peeples 1,579 0.4%
Republican Mary Maxwell 1,543 0.4%
Republican James Beretta 1,078 0.3%
Republican Dom Gentile 303 0.1%
Republican Joseph Breault 252 0.1%
Total votes 423,282 100.0%
September 26, 2017 Republican primary runoff results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Roy Moore
Republican Luther Strange
Total votes

Democratic primary

Candidates

Nominated

Eliminated in Primary

Withdrew

  • Ron Crumpton, activist, nominee for the State Senate in 2014 and nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2016[139][37]
  • Brian McGee, retired teacher and Vietnam War veteran[10][140][141]

Declined

Endorsements

Polling

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin
of error
Will
Boyd
Vann
Caldwell
Jason
Fisher
Michael
Hansen
Doug
Jones
Robert
Kennedy Jr.
Charles
Nana
Undecided
Emerson College[107] August 10–12, 2017 164 ± 7.6% 8% 2% 1% 0% 40% 23% 1% 25%
Strategy Research[149] August 7, 2017 2,000 ± 2.0% 9% 5% 3% 7% 30% 40% 5%
Strategy Research[150] July 24, 2017 3,000 ± 2.0% 6% 4% 4% 4% 28% 49% 5%

Results

County results for the Democratic primary. Blue represents counties won by Doug Jones, purple indicates counties won by Will Boyd.

Democratic primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doug Jones 109,105 66.1%
Democratic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 29,215 17.7%
Democratic Michael Hansen 11,105 6.7%
Democratic Will Boyd 8,010 4.9%
Democratic Jason Fisher 3,478 2.1%
Democratic Brian McGee 1,450 0.9%
Democratic Charles Nana 1,404 0.9%
Democratic Vann Caldwell 1,239 0.8%
Total votes 165,006 100.0%

Independents

Candidates

Declared

Declined

General election

Endorsements

Polling

with Roy Moore
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin
of error
Roy
Moore (R)
Doug
Jones (D)
Undecided
Emerson College[118] September 21–23, 2017 519 ± 4.3% 52% 30% 18%
Emerson College[125] September 8–9, 2017 416 ± 4.8% 44% 40% 16%
with Luther Strange
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin
of error
Luther
Strange (R)
Doug
Jones (D)
Undecided
Emerson College[118] September 21–23, 2017 519 ± 4.3% 49% 36% 15%
Emerson College[125] September 8–9, 2017 416 ± 4.8% 43% 40% 17%

References

Luther Strange

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Luther Strange
Luther Strange official portrait.jpg
United States Senator
from Alabama
Assumed office
February 9, 2017
Serving with Richard Shelby
Appointed by Robert Bentley
Preceded by Jeff Sessions
47th Attorney General of Alabama
In office
January 17, 2011 – February 9, 2017
Governor Robert Bentley
Preceded by Troy King
Succeeded by Steve Marshall
Personal details
Born Luther Johnson Strange III
March 1, 1953 (age 64)
Birmingham, AlabamaU.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Melissa Strange
Children 2
Education Tulane University(BAJD)
Website Senate website

Luther Johnson Strange III (born March 1, 1953) is an American lawyer and politician currently serving as the juniorUnited States Senator from Alabama. He was appointed to fill that position after it was vacated by now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions upon Sessions’s confirmation.

He previously served as the 47th Attorney General of the U.S. state of Alabama from 2011 until 2017.[1] Strange was a candidate for public office in both 2006 and 2010.[2][3] In 2006, Strange ran for Lieutenant Governor of Alabama and defeated George Wallace, Jr. in the Republican primary. Strange then lost the general election to DemocratJim Folsom, Jr. In 2010, Strange defeated incumbent Attorney General Troy King in the Republican primary, before going on to win the general election against Democrat James Anderson.[4]

After President Donald Trump appointed Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to the office of Attorney General of the United States, then-Governor Robert J. Bentley appointed Strange to fill out the vacancy.[5] He subsequently advanced to the runoff in the 2017 special election to finish the term.

Early life and education

Luther Strange was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and lived in Sylacauga until the age of six, when his family moved to Homewood. Strange graduated from Shades Valley High School in 1971. He received his undergraduate degree from Tulane University, where he was a scholarship reserve basketball player nicknamed “The Big Bunny” (according to a former teammate posting to social media). He then graduated from Tulane University Law School. Strange was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1981.[6]

Early career

Strange’s first job after graduating law school was at Sonat Offshore, a subsidiary of Sonat Inc., a natural gas utility based in Birmingham, Alabama; he joined the company in 1980 as a lawyer. In 1985, Strange became head of Sonat’s Washington, D.C. office. He left the company in 1994. In the 1980s and 1990s, Strange was a registered lobbyist in Washington for Sonat and Transocean Offshore Drilling Co.[7]

Prior to being elected Attorney General, Strange was the founder of the law firm Strange LLC, a Birmingham, Alabama-based law firm. Before establishing his own law firm, Strange was a partner with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.[1]

Attorney General of Alabama

Luther Strange campaign sign, 2010

As Alabama Attorney General, Strange sued the federal government several times, over such issues as a U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education directive on the treatment of transgender students[8] and changes in the U.S. Department of the Interior‘s calculation of Gulf of Mexico offshore drilling royalties.[9] Strange also joined a suit brought by some states against the federal government that challenged the Obama administration‘s Clean Power Plan.[10] Along with other Republican state attorneys general, Strange “came to the defense of ExxonMobil when it fell under investigation by attorneys general from states seeking information about whether the oil giant failed to disclose material information about climate change” (see ExxonMobil climate change controversy).[11]

Strange is an opponent of same-sex marriage. He expressed disagreement with the U.S. Supreme Court‘s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges which found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.[12][13]

His tenure in office included the conviction and removal from office of the Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard in June 2016. However, Strange recused himself from that case, appointing Van Davis as Acting Attorney General to oversee it.[14]

As attorney general, Strange was the coordinating counsel for the Gulf Coast states in the litigation on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.[10]

In April 2014, Strange argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in Lane v. Franks. The case involved a whistleblower who reported corruption within the Alabama community college system. This was Strange’s first argument before the Court.[15][16]

In March 2014, Strange brought Alabama into a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster against California’s egg production standards as embodied in Prop 2. In October 2014, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, rejecting the states’ challenge to Proposition 2, California’s prohibition on the sale of eggs laid by caged hens kept in conditions more restrictive than those approved by California voters in a 2008 ballot initiative. Judge Kimberly Mueller ruled that Alabama and the other states lacked legal standing to sue on behalf of their residents and that the plaintiffs were representing solely the interests of egg farmers, not “a substantial statement of their populations.”[17][18][19][20][21]

Strange served as chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association in 2016 and 2017.

U.S. Senate

The appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions as United States Attorney General in November 2016 created an opening for a U.S. Senate seat that Governor Bentley would fill by appointment upon Sessions’ confirmation. Many aspirants publicly declared their interest in the appointive Senate seat, and in running for it even if not selected by Bentley.[22]

Appointment

Strange revealed his intention to seek the Senate seat to Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard on November 22, regardless of whether he was appointed by Bentley, calling a run “the right thing for me to do.”[23] Strange filed paperwork for the potential special election one week later and made a public announcement of his candidacy on December 6. “The voters will make the ultimate decision about who will represent them, and I look forward to making my case to the people of Alabama in the months to come as to why they can trust me to keep protecting and fighting for our conservative values.”[24] In January, the new Strange for Senate federal campaign committee reported raising more than $309,000 in the few weeks leading to the December 31st filing deadline.[25]

Bentley began interviewing candidates for the Senate appointment in mid-December.[26][27] On December 22, the Montgomery Advertiser reported a complete list of Alabamians who had been interviewed over a two-week period for the Senate seat (based on information released by the Governor’s office). They included: Chief Justice Roy Moore, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville); Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh (R-Anniston), Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), Sen. Bill Hightower (R-Mobile), Sen. Trip Pittman (R-Montrose), House Ways and Means Education chairman Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa), Associate Justice Glenn Murdock, St. Rep. Connie Rowe (R-Jasper), ex-St. Rep. Perry Hooper of Montgomery (also Trump 2016 Chair in Alabama).[28]

Strange was not interviewed until the following week, along with U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, U.S. Rep. Gary PalmerTim James (son of former Governor Fob James), St. Sen. Greg Reed (R-Jasper), St. Sen. Phil Williams (R-Rainbow City).[29] Three additional persons interviewed before January 6 were U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, Revenue Commissioner Julie P. Magee, and Department of Economic and Community Affairs Director Jim Byard. The total number of interviews was 20 (which represented the limit the Governor would go).[30]

In January, Gov. Bentley announced the special election for the remainder of Sessions’ term would not take place until 2018, giving the prospective new appointee a year of incumbency.[30] On February 2, Governor Bentley named six finalists for the appointment. The list included U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, Senate President pro tempore Del Marsh, Attorney General Strange; Bentley ACEA appointee Jim Byard, St. Rep. Connie Rowe, and ex-St. Rep. Perry Hooper Jr.[31]

Selection

Following the Sessions confirmation on February 8, Bentley announced Strange’s appointment on February 9. “Let me tell you why I chose Luther Strange,” Bentley said. “I truly believe Luther has the qualifications and has the qualities that will serve our people well and serve this state well.” Speaking with his wife Melissa by his side, Strange called the appointment “the honor of my life,” while citing his efforts with other Republican attorneys general to stop environmental, educational and labor regulations put forward by former President Barack Obama’s administration. “Now we have the chance to go on the offense,” he said. “Jeff Sessions as attorney general is the first step in that process.”[32]

Reaction

Strange’s appointment was welcomed by fellow Republicans, such as Arkansas Attorney GeneralLeslie Rutledge,[33] and Karl Rove.[34] Conservative activists, such as Chris W. Cox of the NRA, also hailed the appointment.[35]NPR Southern political analyst Debbie Elliottsaid that Strange’s conservative politics are “very much in the mold of Jeff Sessions.” She noted that as state attorney general: “He’s been very active in state-led fights against federal environmental regulations, against Obamacare, against transgender bathroom directives. He’s fought for Alabama’s strict abortion laws. He defended the state’s controversial immigration law. A good bit of it was struck down by federal courts.”[36]

There was negative reaction from other Republicans who expressed concern about Strange’s appointment. In early November 2016, prior to Election Day, he had requested that impeachment proceedings against Bentley be delayed.[37] Some saw a link between this and Strange’s appointment. “There’s going to be such an air of conspiracy hanging over our state and our new senator,” said state representative Ed Henry.[38] “It’s just one of those things where it appears there could have been collusion,” said state representative Allen Farley.[39] “The whole thing stinks,” said State Auditor Jim Zeigler. “It is outrageous. We have the potential for Gov. Blagojevich situation.”[40]

This interpretation was disputed by Mike Jones Jr., House Judiciary Committee Chairman, who said he believes the appointment was done in good faith. Jones noted that the hearings were stopped before the election and before the senate seat was available. “I made it clear in November when we were asked to pause that that did not mean this would not finish, that there would come a time when we would conclude this investigation and we would have a hearing. I still say that.”[41] Jones and House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said February 9 they would wait for word from the attorney general’s office before resuming the committee’s work. McCutcheon said he wanted the process to play out.[42]

Strange himself said February 10, “We have never said and I want to make this clear. We have never said in our office that we are investigating the governor. I think it’s unfair to him and unfair to the process that it’s been reported out there.[43] We have six years of a record of the highest caliber of conduct of people in our Attorney General’s office. That’s why we don’t comment on these things and why I don’t plan to comment on that anymore.”[42] Governor Bentley later resigned after being indicted on criminal charges.

2017 election

Strange finished second to Roy Moore, 38.87% to 32.83%, in the Republican primary on August 15, 2017. The primary run-off is scheduled to be held on September 26, 2017.[44] The general election date is December 12, 2017.

Tenure

In 2017, Strange was one of 22 senators to sign a letter[45] to President Donald Trump urging the President to have the United States withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Committee assignments

Source:[46]

Electoral history

Alabama Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Luther Strange 208,558 48.13
Republican George Wallace, Jr. 144,619 33.37
Republican Mo Brooks 67,773 15.64
Republican Hilbun “HA” Adams 12,413 2.86
Alabama Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Luther Strange 108,904 54.81
Republican George Wallace, Jr. 89,788 45.19
Alabama Lieutenant Governor Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jim Folsom, Jr. 629,268 50.61
Republican Luther Strange 610,982 49.14
Write-ins 3,029 0.24
Democratichold
Alabama Attorney General Republican Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Luther Strange 284,853 60.13
Republican Troy King (incumbent) 188,874 39.87
Alabama Attorney General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Luther Strange 868,520 58.84
Democratic James Anderson 606,270 41.07
Write-ins 1,285 0.09
Republicanhold
Alabama Attorney General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Luther Strange (incumbent) 681,973 58.39
Democratic Joe Hubbard 483,771 41.42
Write-ins 2,157 0.18
Republicanhold
United States Senate special election in Alabama, 2017 Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Roy Moore 164,524 38.87%
Republican Luther Strange (incumbent) 138,971 32.83%
Republican Mo Brooks 83,287 19.68%
Republican Trip Pittman 29,124 6.88%
Republican Randy Brinson 2,621 0.62%
Republican Bryan Peeples 1,579 0.37%
Republican Mary Maxwell 1,543 0.36%
Republican James Beretta 1,078 0.25%
Republican Dom Gentile 303 0.07%
Republican Joseph Breault 252 0.06%
Total votes 423,282 100.00%

Political positions

Strange has associated himself with Donald Trump, saying that he wants “his agenda passed” and that “couldn’t be more honored” to be given Trump’s endorsement.[47] As of August 2017, Strange voted in line with Trump’s position 91.7% of the time.[48][49]

Personal life

Strange is married to Melissa Strange[50] and resides in Homewood, Alabama.[51]

At 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m) tall, Strange is the tallest U.S. Senator in history and is currently the tallest member of Congress.[52]

Strange is a member of the Episcopal Church.

Strange holds a 16% share of Sunbelt EB-5 Regional Center, LLC, which helps broker deals between investors and U.S. projects that need capital. The company uses the EB-5 visa program which allows foreigners to earn permanent residency for themselves and their children, if they invest $500,000 or $1 million in an American business venture that creates at least 10 jobs. Strange earned over $150,000 for his role in helping a Birmingham Baptist hospital expansion.[53]

Awards and honors

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Strange

Roy Moore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Roy Moore
Chief Justice Roy Moore Official Portrait.png
30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama
In office
January 15, 2013 – April 26, 2017
Suspended: May 6, 2016 – April 26, 2017
Preceded by Chuck Malone
Succeeded by Lyn Stuart
In office
January 15, 2001 – November 13, 2003
Preceded by Perry O. Hooper Sr.
Succeeded by Gorman Houston (Acting)
Judge for the Sixteenth Circuit Court of Alabama
In office
1992–2000
Appointed by H. Guy Hunt
Preceded by Julius Swann
Succeeded by William Millican
Personal details
Born Roy Stewart Moore
February 11, 1947 (age 70)
Gadsden, AlabamaU.S.
Political party Democratic(Before 1992)
Republican(1992–present)
Spouse(s) Kayla Kisor
Children (1 adopted)
Education United States Military Academy(BS)
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa(JD)
Website Campaign website

Roy Stewart Moore (born February 11, 1947) is an American lawyer, politician, and former judge. Moore is running for the United States Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions upon Sessions’s confirmation as Attorney General of the United States.

Moore was elected to the position of Chief Justice of the AlabamaSupreme Court in 2001, but removed from his position in November 2003 by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments commissioned by him from the Alabama Judicial Building, despite orders to do so by a federal court. Moore sought the Republican nomination for the governorship of Alabama in 2006, but lost to incumbentBob Riley in the June primary by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. He sought the Republican nomination for the office again in 2010,[1] but placed fourth in the Republican primary.

Moore was again elected Chief Justice in 2013, but was suspended in May 2016, for directing probate judges to continue to enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriage despite the fact that it had been overturned. Following an unsuccessful appeal, Moore resigned in April 2017, and announced that he would be running for the United States Senate seat which was vacated by Jeff Sessions, upon his confirmation as Attorney General of the United States.[2][3] He qualified for the runoff in the Republican primary, which is set on September 26.

In the years preceding his first election to the state Supreme Court, Moore successfully resisted attempts to have a display of the Ten Commandments removed from the courtroom. The controversy around Moore generated national attention. Moore’s supporters regard his stand as a defense of “judicial rights” and the Constitution of Alabama. Moore contended that federal judges who ruled against his actions consider “obedience of a court order superior to all other concerns, even the suppression of belief in the sovereignty of God.”[4]

Early life

Education and military service

Moore was born in Gadsden, the seat of Etowah County, to Roy Baxter Moore (died 1967) and the former Evelyn Stewart. They had met and married after his discharge from the United States Army during World War II. Roy was the oldest of five children, three boys and two girls. Moore describes his father, a construction worker, as “a hardworking man who earned barely enough to make ends meet, but he taught me more than money could ever buy. From him I learned about honesty, integrity, perseverance, and never to be ashamed of who you are or what you believe in. Early on my dad shared with me the truth about God’s love and the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus.” Moore described his mother as a “homemaker who was always there to help me with my schoolwork, to care for me when I was sick, and to encourage me to do the best I could.”[4]

In 1954, the Moores relocated to Houston, Texas, site of a postwar building boom. After about four years, they returned to Alabama, next moved to Pennsylvania, and returned permanently to Alabama. Moore’s father worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority, first building dams and later the Anniston Army Depot. Roy Moore attended high school his freshman year at Gallant near Gadsden, but he transferred to Etowah County High School for his final three years, graduating in 1965.[4]

On the recommendation of outgoing DemocraticU.S. RepresentativeAlbert Rains, after confirmation by incoming Republican Representative James D. Martin of Gadsden, Moore was admitted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree. With the Vietnam War underway, Moore served in several posts as a military police officer, including Fort BenningGeorgia, and Illesheim, Germany before being sent to the Republic of Vietnam. Serving as company commander, Moore was known to be very strict. Some of his soldiers gave him the derogatory nickname “Captain America,” due to his attitude toward discipline. This role earned him enemies, and in his autobiography he recalls sleeping on sandbags to avoid a grenadeor bomb being tossed under his cot, as many of his men had threatened fragging.

Moore was discgarged from the United States Army as a captain in 1974, and was admitted to the University of Alabama School of Law that same year. He graduated in 1977 with a Juris Doctor degree and returned to Gadsden to begin private practice with a focus on personal injury and insurance cases.

Elections and travels

Moore soon moved to the district attorney’s office, working as the first full-time prosecutor in Etowah County. During his tenure there, Moore was investigated by the state bar for “suspect conduct” after convening a grand jury to discuss what he perceived to have been funding shortages in the sheriff‘s office. Several weeks after the state bar investigation was dismissed as unfounded, Moore quit his prosecuting position to run as a Democrat for the county’s circuit-court judge seat in 1982. The election was bitter, with Moore alleging that cases were being delayed in exchange for payoffs. The allegations were never substantiated, and Moore overwhelmingly lost the Democratic runoff primary to fellow attorney Donald Stewart, whom Moore described as “an honorable man for whom I have much respect, and he eventually became a close friend.”[4] A second bar complaint against Moore followed, and though this too was dismissed as unfounded, Moore left Gadsden shortly thereafter in great disappointment.

Moore’s travels eventually took him to Texas, where he spent a year training and fighting professionally as a kickboxer. After a brief return to Gadsden, Moore next travelled to the Australian Outback and, after meeting fellow Christian Colin Rolfe, worked for almost a year as a cowboy on Rolfe’s 42,000-acre (170 km2) cattle ranch. He remembered both careers fondly in his autobiography and subsequent interviews and was particularly proud of a kickboxing victory in the Greater Gadsden Tournament of Champions, a triumph he attributed to divine will.

Moore returned to Gadsden again in 1985. He ran in 1986 for Etowah County’s district attorney position against fellow Democrat Jimmy Hedgspeth. He lost that election as well, and Moore returned to private practice in the city. During this period, he married his wife Kayla, switched his affiliation to the GOP, and added to his office a wooden Ten Commandments plaque that he had personally carved in 1980.

Circuit Judge

Appointment

In 1992, Etowah County Circuit Judge Julius Swann died in office. Republican GovernorH. Guy Hunt was charged with making a temporary appointment until the next election. Moore’s name was floated by some of his associates, and a background check was initiated with several state and county agencies, including the Etowah County district attorney’s office. Moore’s former political opponent Jimmy Hedgspeth, who still helmed the D.A.’s office, recommended Moore despite personal reservations, and Moore was installed in the position he had failed to win in 1982. “The impossible had happened!” Moore wrote afterward. “God had given me something that I had not been able to obtain through my own efforts.”[5] Judge Moore ran as a Republican in the 1994 Etowah County election and was elected to the circuit judge seat (6 year term) with 62% of the vote. He was the first county-wide Republican to win since the Reconstruction.

Early prayer/Ten Commandments controversy

When Moore’s tenure as circuit judge began, he brought his wooden Ten Commandments plaque with him, hanging it on the walls of his courtroom behind his bench. Moore told the Montgomery Advertiser that his intention in hanging the plaque was to fill up the bare space on the courtroom walls and to indicate the importance of the Ten Commandments. He states that it was not his intention to generate controversy; still, as he told the Atlantic, he understood that the potential for controversy was there, but “I wanted to establish the moral foundation of our law.”

Soon after his appointment, when Moore presided over a case where two male strippers (known professionally as “Silk” and “Satin”) were charged with murdering a drug addict, the attorney for the defendants objected to the display. This drew the attention of critics, who also objected to Moore’s practice of opening court sessions with a prayer beseeching Divine Guidance for jurors in their deliberations. In at least one instance, Moore asked a clergyman to lead the court’s jury pool in prayer. Though such pre-session prayers were not uncommon in Alabama, having begun many years earlier by Democrat George C. Wallace, Jr. when he was a circuit judge, the local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a letter in June 1993 with the threat of a lawsuit if such prayers did not cease.

On June 20, 1994, the ACLU sent a representative to Moore’s courtroom to observe and record the pre-session prayer. Though the organization did not immediately file suit, Moore decried the action as an “act of intimidation” in a post-trial press conference. The incident drew additional attention to Moore just as he was campaigning to hold onto his circuit court seat. In that year’s election, Moore won the seat in a landslide victory over local attorney Keith Pitts, who had unsuccessfully prosecuted the “Silk and Satin” murder case.

Lawsuit

In March 1995, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Moore, stating that the pre-session prayers and the Ten Commandments display were both unconstitutional. This original lawsuit was eventually dismissed for technical reasons, but Governor Fob James instructed state Attorney General Bill Pryor to file suit in Montgomery County in support of Moore. The case ended up before state Circuit Judge Charles Price, who in 1996 declared the prayers unconstitutional but initially allowed the Ten Commandments plaque to remain on the courtroom walls.

Immediately after the ruling, Moore held a press conference vowing to defy the ruling against pre-session prayers and affirming a religious intent in displaying the plaque. Critics responded by asking Price to reconsider his previous ruling, and the judge issued a new ruling requiring the Ten Commandments plaque to be removed in ten days. Moore appealed Price’s decision and kept the plaque up; ten days later the Alabama Supreme Court issued a temporary stay against the ruling. The Court never ruled in the case, throwing it out for technical reasons in 1998.

On the day that the circuit court ruling was stayed, Moore appeared on the national morning program Today, praising the ruling and vowing to continue his practices. A poll released soon after found that 88 percent of Alabamians supported Moore. Though Moore was later investigated by the state Judicial Ethics Committee regarding the use of money raised by Coral Ridge Ministries in his defense, the investigation eventually ended with no charges being brought.

Chief Justice, Alabama Supreme Court

Campaign and election

In late 1999, the Christian Family Association began working to draft Moore into the race for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, when incumbent Republican Perry O. Hooper, Sr., of Montgomery announced that he would not seek reelection. Moore said that he was hesitant to make the statewide race because he had “absolutely no funds” and three other candidates, particularly Associate Justice Harold See, were well-financed.[4]

Nevertheless, on December 7, 1999, Moore announced from his Etowah County courtroom that he would enter the race with hope of returning “God to our public life and restore the moral foundation of our law.” His campaign, centered on religious issues, arguing that Christianity’s declining influence “corresponded directly with school violence, homosexuality, and crime.”[5]

Associate Justice Harold See was the heavy favorite to win the Republican nomination because of his support from the state business community and the party hierarchy, including Chief Justice Hooper. However, as Moore made headway in state polls, See elicited the help of Republican strategistKarl Rove, advisor to Texas Governor and future PresidentGeorge W. Bush. Despite Rove’s support and significantly more campaign funding, See lost the primary to Moore. Judge Moore also beat two other opponents, Criminal Appeals Judge Pam Baschab, and Jefferson County Presiding Circuit Judge Wayne Thorn, in the Republican Primary—without a runoff—garnering over 50% of the statewide primary vote. Judge Moore then easily defeated Democratic contender Sharon Yates in November’s general election with over 60% of the vote. Judge Moore won his election to Chief Justice with just over $200,000, compared to the over $2 million spent by his opponents.

Moore was sworn in as Chief Justice on January 15, 2001. Republican former U.S. Representative James D. Martin, who had appointed Moore to West Point years earlier, was among the dignitaries in attendance. On taking the position, Moore said that he had “come to realize the real meaning of the First Amendment and its relationship to the God on whom the oath was based. My mind had been opened to the spiritual war occurring in our state and our nation that was slowly removing the knowledge of that relationship between God and law.

I pledged to support not only the U.S. Constitution, but the Alabama Constitution as well, which provided in its preamble that the state ‘established justice’ by ‘invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God.’ The connection between God and our law could not be more clear …[4]

Case of D.H. vs. H.H.

In February 2002, as Alabama Chief Justice, Moore issued a controversial opinion that expressed his belief that the State should use its powers to punish “homosexual behavior”. The case, D.H. vs. H.H., was a custody dispute where a lesbian was petitioning for custody of her children, alleging abuse by her ex-husband. A circuit court in Alabama had ruled in favor of the father, but the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals overturned that verdict 4–1, saying that substantial evidence existed of abusive behavior by the father.[6]

The state Supreme Court overruled the appeals court because the appeals court ignored evidence disputing abusive behavior by the father; however, Moore issued a concurring opinion concluding that a parent’s sexual orientation (in this case, homosexuality) should be a deciding factor in refusing custody:

To disfavor practicing homosexuals in custody matters is not invidious discrimination, nor is it legislating personal morality. On the contrary, disfavoring practicing homosexuals in custody matters promotes the general welfare of the people of our State in accordance with our law, which is the duty of its public servants…

The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle…

Homosexual behavior is a ground for divorce, an act of sexual misconduct punishable as a crime in Alabama, a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it. That is enough under the law to allow a court to consider such activity harmful to a child. To declare that homosexuality is harmful is not to make new law but to reaffirm the old; to say that it is not harmful is to experiment with people’s lives, particularly the lives of children.[7]

Moore’s comments led to protests in front of the state judicial building and drew nationwide criticism from civil rights groups such as GLAAD, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Human Rights Campaign. An official complaint with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission was also filed by the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund.[8] A year following the case, the United States Supreme Court struck down statutes such as and including the one Moore referred to (prohibiting same-gender sexual relations) as being unconstitutional in the landmark civil rights case Lawrence v. Texas.

Ten Commandments monument controversy

The Ten Commandments monument

Construction and installationing plans for a larger monument to the Ten Commandments, reasoning that the Alabama Supreme Court building required something grander than a wooden plaque. His final design involved a 5,280 pound (2,400 kg) granite block, three feet wide by three feet deep by four feet tall, covered with quotes from the Declaration of Independence, the national anthem, and various founding fathers.[9] The crowning element would be two large carved tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. High-grade granite from Vermont was ordered and shipped, and Moore found benefactors and a sculptor to complete the job.

On the evening of July 31, 2001, despite some initial installation difficulties and concerns regarding structural support for the monument’s weight, Moore had the completed monument transported to the state judicial building and installed in the central rotunda. The installation was filmed, and videotapes of the event were sold by Coral Ridge Ministries, an evangelical media outlet in Fort LauderdaleFlorida, which later used proceeds from the sales of the film to underwrite Moore’s ensuing legal expenses. Coral Ridge was the operation of the late Reverend D. James Kennedy, a staunch Moore supporter.[10]

The next morning, Moore held a press conference in the central rotunda to officially unveil the monument. In a speech following the unveiling, Moore declared, “Today a cry has gone out across our land for the acknowledgment of that God upon whom this nation and our laws were founded. … May this day mark the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people and the return to the knowledge of God in our land.”

Federal lawsuit

On October 30, 2001, the ACLU of AlabamaAmericans United for Separation of Church and State and the Southern Poverty Law Center were among groups which filed suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, asking that the monument be removed because it “sends a message to all who enter the State Judicial Building that the government encourages and endorses the practice of religion in general and Judeo-Christianity in particular.”

The trial, titled Glassroth v. Moore, began on October 15, 2002. Evidence for the plaintiffs included testimony that lawyers of different religious beliefs had changed their work practices, including routinely avoiding visiting the court building to avoid passing by the monument, and testimony that the monument created a religious atmosphere, with many people using the area for prayer.

Moore argued that he would not remove the monument, as doing so would violate his oath of office:

[The monument] serves to remind the Appellate Courts and judges of the Circuit and District Court of this State and members of the bar who appear before them, as well as the people of Alabama who visit the Alabama Judicial Building, of the truth stated in the Preamble to the Alabama Constitution that in order to establish justice we must invoke ‘the favor and guidance of almighty God.’[9]

On this note, Moore said that the Ten Commandments are the “moral foundation” of U.S. law, stating that in order to restore this foundation, “we must first recognize the source from which all morality springs…[by] recogniz[ing] the sovereignty of God.” He added that the addition of the monument to the state judiciary building marked “the beginning of the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people” and “a return to the knowledge of God in our land.”[9]

Additionally, Moore acknowledged an explicit religious intent in placing the monument, agreeing that the monument “reflects the sovereignty of God over the affairs of men” and “acknowledge[s] God’s overruling power over the affairs of men.”[11] However, in Moore’s view this did not violate the doctrine of separation of church and state; as the presiding judge later summarized it, Moore argued that “the Judeo-Christian God reigned over both the church and the state in this country, and that both owed allegiance to that God”, although they must keep their affairs separate.[9]

Judgment and appeal

On November 18, 2002, federal U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued his ruling declaring that the monument violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and was thus unconstitutional:

If all Chief Justice Moore had done were to emphasize the Ten Commandments’ historical and educational importance… or their importance as a model code for good citizenship… this court would have a much different case before it. But the Chief Justice did not limit himself to this; he went far, far beyond. He installed a two-and-a-half ton monument in the most prominent place in a government building, managed with dollars from all state taxpayers, with the specific purpose and effect of establishing a permanent recognition of the ‘sovereignty of God,’ the Judeo-Christian God, over all citizens in this country, regardless of each taxpaying citizen’s individual personal beliefs or lack thereof. To this, the Establishment Clause says no.”[9]

Judge Thompson’s decision mandated that Moore remove the monument from the state judicial building by January 3, 2003, but stayed this order on December 23, 2002, after Moore appealed the decision to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. This appeal was argued on June 4, 2003, before a three-judge panel in AtlantaGeorgia. On July 1, 2003, the panel issued a ruling upholding the lower court’s decision, agreeing that “the monument fails two of Lemon’s three prongs. It violates the Establishment Clause.” Additionally, the court noted that different religious traditions assign different wordings of the Ten Commandments, meaning that “choosing which version of the Ten Commandments to display can have religious endorsement implications.”[11]

In response to the appeals court’s decision, Judge Thompson lifted his earlier stay on August 5, 2003, requiring Moore to have the monument removed from public areas of the state judicial building by August 20.[12]

Protests and monument removal

Rally before the Alabama State Capitol, August 16, 2003.

On August 14, Moore announced his intention to disobey Judge Thompson’s order to have the monument removed. Two days later, large rallies in support of Moore and the Ten Commandments monument began forming in front of the judicial building, featuring speakers such as Alan Keyes, the Reverend Jerry Falwell, and Moore himself. The crowd peaked at an estimated count of 4,000 that day,[13] and anywhere from several hundred to over a thousand protesters remained through the end of August.

The time limit for removal expired on August 20, with the monument still in place in the building’s rotunda. As specified in Judge Thompson’s order, the state of Alabama faced fines of $5,000 a day until the monument was removed. In response, the eight other members of the Alabama Supreme Court intervened on August 21, unanimously overruled Moore, and ordered the removal of the monument.[14]

Moore said that Thompson, “fearing that I would not obey his order, decided to threaten other state officials and force them to remove the monument if I did not do so. A threat of heavy fines was his way of coercing obedience to that order,” an action that Moore sees as a violation of the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution.[4]

On August 27, the monument was moved to a non-public side room in the judicial building.[15] The monument was not immediately removed from the building for several reasons—pending legal hearings, the monument’s weight, worries that the monument could break through the floor if it was taken outside intact, and a desire to avoid confrontation with protesters massed outside the structure. The monument was not actually removed from the state judicial building until July 19, 2004.[16]

Removal from office

On August 22, 2003, two days after the deadline for the Ten Commandments monument’s removal had passed, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) filed a complaint with the Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ), a panel of judges, lawyers and others appointed variously by judges, legal leaders, the governor and the lieutenant governor. The complaint effectively suspended Moore from the Chief Justice position pending a hearing by the COJ.[17]

The COJ ethics hearing was held on November 12, 2003. Moore repeated his earlier sentiment that “to acknowledge God cannot be a violation of the Canons of Ethics. Without God there can be no ethics.” He also acknowledged that he would repeat his defiance of the court order if given another opportunity to do so, and that if he returned to office, “I certainly wouldn’t leave [the monument] in a closet, shrouded from the public.” In closing arguments, the Assistant Attorney General said Moore’s defiance, left unchecked, “undercuts the entire workings of the judicial system…. What message does that send to the public, to other litigants? The message it sends is: If you don’t like a court order, you don’t have to follow it.”[18] Moore had previously stated his belief that the order was unlawful, and that compliance with such an order was not an enforceable mandate.

The next day, the COJ issued a unanimous opinion ruling that “Chief Justice Moore has violated the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics as alleged by the JIC in its complaint.” The COJ had several disciplinary options, including censure or suspension without pay, but because Moore’s responses had indicated he would defy any similar court orders in the future, the COJ concluded that “under these circumstances, there is no penalty short of removal from office that would resolve this issue.”[19] Moore was immediately removed from his post.

Moore appealed the COJ’s ruling to the Supreme Court of Alabama on December 10, 2003. A special panel of retired judges and justices was randomly selected to hear the case. Moore argued that the COJ did not consider the underlying legality of the federal courts’ order that the monument be removed from the courthouse. The Alabama Supreme Court rejected this argument, saying that the COJ did not have the authority to overrule the federal courts, only to determine whether Moore violated the Canons of Judicial Ethics. Therefore, the Court reasoned, it was enough to show that a procedurally-valid order was in place against Moore. Moore also argued that the COJ had imposed a religious test on him to hold his office, and that the COJ’s actions had violated his own rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.[20]

The Supreme Court of Alabama rejected each of these arguments as well, and ruled on April 30, 2004 that the COJ had acted properly. The court also upheld the sanction of removal as appropriate.[20]

Return to the bench

In 2011, Moore initially considered a bid for the Presidency, but instead Moore chose to enter the race for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court once again. He ran in the March 12, 2012 Republican Primary against two candidates. They were the sitting chief justice, Chuck Malone, who had been appointed to the office seven months earlier and former Democratic Attorney General Charles Graddick, who had become a Republican in 1994. Moore unexpectedly defeated both without a runoff (as he had done in 2000) despite being heavily outspent ($225,000 to $1.5 million).

Surprised Democrats had expected Chief Justice Malone to win and did not run a serious candidate and only had a perennial gadfly nominee. Democrats quickly disqualified him and hand-picked Jefferson County Circuit Judge Bob Vance as his replacement.

On November 6, 2012, Moore defeated Vance (who had outspent him). Vance raised and spent $1.8 million compared to Chief Justice Moore’s $275,000 during the General Election.[21][22]

In January 2012, the Montgomery Advertiser reported that the single-biggest donor to his campaign (having contributed $50,000 of the total $78,000 received by Moore until December 31, 2011) is Michael Peroutka, a longtime acquaintance of Moore’s who is associated with organizations such as the Constitution Party and the League of the South and is a frequent guest on The Political Cesspool. In response, Moore said he did not share the ideas of those organizations.[23]

This was the second time that Moore had beat out his opponents in the Republican Primary without a runoff, along with Democratic challengers in the General Election, all of whom were significantly more funded.

Same-sex marriage

On January 28, 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a judicial ethics complaint against Moore, stating that he had publicly commented on pending same-sex marriage cases and encouraged state officials and judges to ignore federal court rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage.[24][25]

Moore issued an order to probate judges and their employees on February 8, the day before a federal court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Alabama was set to take effect, ordering them to disregard the ruling and enforce the state’s ban under threat of legal action by the governor.[26] On February 9, after the United States Supreme Court allowed the federal court ruling to take effect, probate judges in Birmingham, Montgomery, and Huntsville disobeyed Moore and issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[27]

On January 6, 2016, after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges the previous June, Moore issued an administrative order to lower court judges stating that “until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”[28]

2016 charges in Alabama Court of the Judiciary

On May 6, 2016, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission forwarded a list of six charges of ethical violations by Moore to the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.[29] Moore was suspended from the Alabama Supreme Court pending trial and ruling. Moore faced removal from office over the charges, which were more serious than those which removed him from office in 2003.[30][31]

The list of charges included:[32]

  1. Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for disregarding a federal injunction.
  2. Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for demonstrated unwillingness to follow clear law.
  3. Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for abuse of administrative authority.
  4. Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for substituting his judgement for the judgement of the entire Alabama Supreme Court, including failure to abstain from public comment about a pending proceeding in his own court.
  5. Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for interference with legal process and remedies in the United States District Court and/or Alabama Supreme Court related to proceedings in which Alabama probate judges were involved.
  6. Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for failure to recuse himself from pending proceedings in the Alabama Supreme Court after making public comment and placing his impartiality into question.

Moore vs. Judicial Inquiry Commission (US District Court)

On May 27, Moore filed a federal lawsuit against the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, alleging that his automatic suspension was unconstitutional.[33][34] On August 4, the federal district court dismissed Moore’s suit, ruling that under the abstention doctrine, federal courts generally do not interfere with ongoing state court proceedings.[35][36][37]

JIC vs. Moore (Court of the Judiciary)

On June 22, Moore filed a motion to dismiss the JIC proceedings arguing, among other things, that the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission and the Alabama Court of the Judiciary did not have jurisdiction over review of Administrative Orders of the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and that the JIC had failed to adhere to its own rules regarding confidentiality of the proceedings. Moore also continued to assert in his motion to dismiss that the orders of the Alabama Supreme Court were still in effect from the Alabama Policy Institute proceedings prohibiting the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses by probate judges in Alabama, despite the rulings in Obergefell v. Hodges issued by the US Supreme CourtSearcy v. StrangeStrawser v. Strange, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals which held that the orders were “abrogated” by Obergefell.[29][38][39][40][41]

The Human Rights Campaign responded “It is clear that Roy Moore not only believes he is above the law, he believes he is above judicial ethics. … Moore was tasked with upholding the law of the land when marriage equality was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States, and he defied that task, in the process harming loving, committed same-sex couples across Alabama for his own personal, discriminatory reasons. We remain optimistic that the sanctions against Moore will be upheld”.[42]

On June 27, the Court of the Judiciary issued on order setting a hearing date on Moore’s Motion to Dismiss for August 8, and stated in their order that Moore’s Motion to Dismiss would be treated as a Motion for Summary judgment pertaining to the charges filed by the JIC.[43][44]

On July 15, the Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a response to Roy Moore’s motion to dismiss asking the Court of the Judiciary to issue summary judgment removing Moore from the bench. Attorneys for the JIC wrote in their response “Because the chief justice has proven—and promised—that he will not change his behavior, he has left this Court with no choice but to remove him from office to preserve the integrity, independence, impartiality of Alabama’s judiciary and the citizens who depend on it for justice”.[45][46][47][48]

On July 22, Alabama Court of the Judiciary member John V. Denson II recused himself from the proceedings, citing his prior involvement in the 2003 JIC case which removed Justice Roy Moore from the bench over the Ten Commandments Monument Controversy. Denson stated his reason for recusing himself was “to promote public confidence in the court and avoid the appearance of impropriety”.[49][50][51] On July 23, Chief Judge Michael Joiner of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary issued an order appointing Attorney W. N. “Rocky” Watson to replace John Denson on the Alabama Court of the Judiciary during the Moore case.[52]

On July 26, attorneys for Liberty Counsel, who represent Roy Moore in the JIC proceedings, filed a reply to the JIC Motion for Summary Judgment denying that Chief Justice Roy Moore had directed Alabama’s Probate Judges to disobey an injunction issued by the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Moore’s attorneys continued to assert that the orders of the Alabama Supreme Court, which required Alabama’s probate judges to deny same sex couples marriage licenses, were still in effect, and that Moore’s January 6 Administrative Order was mischaracterized by the JIC, despite the fact that Moore stated in his January 6 order, “… Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.” [53][54][55][56]

On August 8, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary held a hearing on Moore’s Motion to Dismiss and the JIC Motion for Summary Judgment related to the charges pending against Chief Justice Moore. Moore’s attorneys continued to assert in their arguments that Justice Moore did not order probate judges to disobey an injunction issued by the US District Court, or to disobey the U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding same-sex marriage. John Carroll, who represented the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, responded that this defense argument “defies common sense” based upon Justice Moore’s actions. Carroll argued that Moore was removed from office in 2003 for defying a federal court order and said Moore is again defying federal courts and their rulings supporting same-sex marriage, and should be immediately removed from office.[57][58] The Alabama Court of the Judiciary subsequently denied both Justice Moore’s motion for dismissal and the JIC motion for summary judgment and ordered the matter set for a trial scheduled for September 28, 2016 at 9:00 am in the Alabama Supreme Courtroom.[59]

On September 30, 2016, Moore was found guilty of all six charges against him and suspended for the remainder of his term, slated to end in 2019.[60] In its 50-page order, the Court of the Judiciary stated it did not find credible Moore’s claim that the purpose for the Jan. 6 order was “merely to provide a ‘status update’ to the state’s probate judges.”[60] He will not be paid for the remainder of his term, must pay court costs and the ruling effectively ends Moore’s Supreme Court career, as he will not be eligible for reelection in 2018.[61][62][63]

JIC vs. Moore Appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court

On October 3, 2016, Moore filed a Notice of Appeal with the Court of the Judiciary appealing his suspension and the final judgment to the Alabama Supreme Court, contending that neither the JIC nor the COJ had jurisdiction to investigate and punish Chief Justice Moore for issuing his Administrative Order of January 6, 2016. Moore contended that the JIC failed to prove any of its six charges with clear and convincing evidence, that the JIC violated its own rules and Alabama law by breaching confidentiality during its investigation, and that it prosecuted a charge (charge number 6) that was never included in a sworn complaint. Moore also contended that, by “suspending him” without pay for the remainder of his term, the COJ essentially removed him from office without unanimous agreement by the entire the COJ, as required under Alabama law.[64][65][66][67] Pending the appeal, Moore refused to clean out his office.[68]

On October 27, the Alabama Supreme Court randomly selected seven retired judges to review the appeal of Moore’s suspension.[69][70][71] On October 31, 2016, Robert Bentley, the Governor of Alabama, issued an executive order confirming the appointment of the seven retired justices to hear Moore’s appeal from the decision of the COJ that suspended him from the bench for the remainder of his term.[72]

On December 13, Moore filed his appeal brief with the special Alabama Supreme Court that had been appointed to hear his appeal. He argued, among other things, that the COJ did not have jurisdiction or authority to review administrative orders of the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and that the JIC had failed to prove by convincing evidence that he violated the Canons of Judicial Conduct. Moore also argued that his suspension from the bench for the remainder of his term was de facto removal from office, which required unanimous agreement of the members of the COJ, and therefore was improper under Alabama law.[73][74][75][76][77]

On December 14, eight current and retired Alabama Justices filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Moore, asserting in their filings that Moore’s suspension was, in fact, a removal from office and contrary to Alabama law since it required unanimous agreement of the COJ, despite the fact the COJ did unanimously agree in their final judgment to suspend Moore for the remainder of his term.[78][79]

On February 22, 2017, Moore filed a motion with the special Alabama Supreme Court, asking that it dispose of the appeal based on the merits contained in the parties’ briefs and cancel oral argument set for April 2017. Moore’s motion claimed he was suffering financially from the continued proceedings and the lengthy wait for scheduled oral arguments, as he was no longer being paid.[80]

On March 6, the special Alabama Supreme Court hearing Justice Roy Moore’s appeal granted his motion to cancel oral arguments originally scheduled for April and stated they would rule on the case based on the written briefs and motions submitted by the parties to the action.[81] The order was signed by James Harvey Reid, Jr., Special Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice. Special Justices Harris Edward McFerrin, Robert George Cahill, William Reddoch King, Lynn Clardy Bright, Ralph Alton Ferguson, Jr., and John David Coggin entered a concurring opinion granting the motion to cancel oral arguments in April.[82][83]

On April 20, the special Alabama Supreme Court upheld Moore’s suspension.[84] In its opinion, the special Alabama Supreme Court ruled that all of the Judicial Inquiry Commission charges against Moore were supported by clear and convincing evidence. Moore had argued that it required unanimous agreement of all the members of the JIC to remove a judge from the bench, but the special Alabama Supreme Court ruled that it did not have authority to rescind the sanctions imposed on Moore because the charges were amply supported by clear and convincing evidence, and that the JIC was unanimous in their decision to suspend Moore for the remainder of his term.[85]

On April 26, 2017 Roy Moore resigned from the Alabama Supreme Court and announced he would be running for the United States Senate.[86][2][3]

2017 Senate special election in Alabama

On April 26, 2017, Moore resigned from his judicial seat in order to run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated earlier by U.S. Attorney GeneralJeff Sessions and currently occupied by Luther Strange who was appointed to fill the vacancy and is also running in the special election to be held in 2017.[87]

Moore and Strange advanced to the primary runoff after Moore finished first with 38.87% of the vote to Strange’s 32.83%.[88] The primary runoff is to be held on September 26, 2017.

Campaign speech racial controversy

During a campaign speech, Moore made comments about racial division that have widely been regarded as controversial. Moore decried racial divisions plaguing the United States, and paraphrased children’s Sunday School Song “Jesus Loves the Little Children[89], stating: “Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.” Moore’s campaign responded to a request for comment about his remarks stating that the candidate was referencing a children’s song appealing for racial healing.[90][91][92]

Election issues and campaigns

2004

Moore considered running for the nomination of the Constitution Party in the 2004 presidential election.[93] Despite encouragement from several corners, Moore did not pursue the nomination.[94]

Moore was also a notable opponent of a proposed amendment to the Alabama constitution in 2004. Known as Amendment 2, the proposed legislation would have removed wording from the state constitution that referred to poll taxes and required separate schools for “white and colored children,” a practice already outlawed due to civil rights-era legislation during the Civil Rights Movement. Moore and other opponents of the measure argued that the amendment’s wording would have allowed federal judges to force the state to fund public school improvements with increased taxes. Voters in Alabama narrowly defeated the proposed amendment, with a margin of 1,850 votes out of 1.38 million cast.[95]

In 2004, along with Herb Titus, Moore was an original drafter of the Constitution Restoration Act[96] which sought to remove federal courts’ jurisdiction over a government official or entity’s “acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government,” and provided for the impeachment of judges who failed to do so. The bill was introduced in both houses of Congress in 2004 and then reintroduced in 2005, but languished in committee both times.

2006

On October 3, 2005, Moore announced that he would run against Governor Riley in the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary in Alabama. On the campaign trail, Moore referred to what he believed was the stand that the American founding fathers made for the biblical basis for law, including statements that he felt extolled the supremacy of God as the basis for successful government.

As with the 2000 Supreme Court election, Moore’s opponent maintained steady advantages over the Moore campaign, including almost four times as much funding and the support of the state Republican establishment. However, intra-party politics proved trickier this time around. Moore accused the chair of the state’s Republican Party of bias towards Riley and called on her to resign; he also criticized President Bush for his support of Riley in the race. His criticism of the state Republican machine was so harsh that he eventually had to call a press conference to quell rumors that he would run as an independent if he lost the Republican primary.[97]

Despite Moore’s predictions that his initial low polling numbers were inaccurate, Riley won the primary, 306,665 (66.6 percent) to 153,354 (33.34 percent). In his concession speech, Moore told supporters that “God’s will has been done.” Moore did not call Riley to concede and refused to support Riley in the general election because of Riley’s acceptance of campaign contributions from political action committees.[97] Despite losing the Republican primary Moore was endorsed as a write-in candidate in the general election by the Alabama Constitution Party.

2010

On June 1, 2009, Moore announced his campaign for the 2010 election for Governor of Alabama.[1] On April 17, 2010, former NASCAR driver Bobby Allison endorsed Moore for governor.[98][99] In the June 1, 2010 Republican primary election, Moore came in fourth place behind Bradley ByrneRobert J. Bentley, and Tim James (son of former Governor Fob James). Moore garnered 19 percent of the vote, behind Tim James with 25.11 percent, Robert Bentley with 25.15 percent, and Bradley Byrne with 27.89 percent.

2014

In a speech in Mississippi, Moore said that the Framers of the Declaration of Independence and the Founding Fathers attributed our rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as coming from a specific “Creator” God, stating “Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures.”[100] When he was accused of implying the First Amendment only protected Christians, he rejected that and stated his belief that the First Amendment protects all faiths: “It applies to the rights God gave us to be free in our modes of thinking, and as far as religious liberty to all people, regardless of what they believe.”[101]

2016

On May 6, 2016, Moore was again suspended by the state’s Court of the Judiciary.[30] On September 30, 2016. Moore was found guilty of all six charges against him and was suspended for the remainder of his term, which was to end in 2019.[60]

Columnist

Moore wrote weekly columns for the conservative conspiracy website WorldNetDailyfrom 2006 to 2009.[102][103] Speaking with WorldNetDaily, Moore promoted the debunked conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not a U.S. citizen.[104] In his debut column, Moore argued that God is the “sovereign source of our law”, echoing his language and reasoning used in the failed Constitution Restoration Act.[105]

In a column dated December 13, 2006, Moore wrote that Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim to have been elected to the United States House of Representatives in the 2006 election should be barred from sitting in Congress because in his view, a Muslim could not honestly take the oath of office. Moore said that the Qur’an did not allow for religions other than Islam to exist, and added that “common sense alone dictates that in the midst of a war with Islamic terrorists we should not place someone in a position of great power who shares their doctrine”.[106] Moore was criticized for his position because it suggested he believes in a “Christians only theocracy.”[107]

Birther controversy

Moore does not believe that Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen.[104] He has repeatedly promoted the debunked conspiracy that Obama is not a U.S. citizen since 2008 and through at least December 2016.[104][108] Asked if he still questioned Obama’s citizenship in August 2017, the Moore campaign declined to answer questions from the media.[104][108] As a justice on the Alabama Supreme Court, he even opined that Alabama’s Secretary of State should “investigate the qualifications of those candidates who appeared on the 2012 general-election ballot.”[104]

Britain First party video controversy

In a Facebook post from 2015, the Foundation for Moral Law posted a video titled “Obama the Muslim, His Own Words,” which was created by the British far-right[109]Britain First party, which states its goal is to “restore Christianity as the bedrock and foundation of our national life,” citing “the rapid growth of militant Islam.”[110]

Family life

Moore’s wife, Kayla, is the President of the Foundation for Moral Law, which Roy founded. His son Caleb works there as well, and was identified in 2012 tax returns as its Executive Director. Arrested for possession of Xanax and marijuana on March 15, 2015, Caleb paid a $900 fine and was granted pretrial diversion after promising to enter drug rehab, despite three prior drug convictions, and three Driving Under the Influence arrests since 2011, in Alabama and Florida. “I must admit, the things people are saying about me on social media are for the most part true. I do have a past that I’m not proud of. Thank God for salvation and changing my life,” he posted on Facebook. Blaming others after his arrest, Caleb wrote, “the media and crooked police officers and critics of my dad try to not only destroy his career for what he stands for but will go as far as trying to destroy his family.”[111][112][113] On November 25, 2016, he was arrested for the eighth time in five years, for hunting over bait and hunting without permission of the property owner.[114]

See also

References

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1-9

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