Votelaw, Edward Still's blog on law and politics: April 2011 Archives

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April 29, 2011

Alabama may change its primary schedule in presidential years

The Alabama House has passed and sent to the Senate a bill to move both the presidential primary (now in early February) and the non-presidential primary (now in June) to the second Tuesday in March. A copy of the bill is at the end of this entry.

Intended consequence #1: This change was adopted to bring Alabama into line with the schedule worked out by the DNC and RNC. According to the Washington Post,

Iowa and New Hampshire would retain their status as the nation's first contests, held in February, joined by South Carolina and Nevada.

Other contests would generally be held in April or later, although states would have the option of holding votes in March, provided convention delegates chosen at those elections were awarded to candidates in proportion to the percentage of the vote they received, rather than in a winner-take-all system.

Intended consequence #2: This schedule change will avoid the early February schedule's interference with Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.


April 27, 2011

Alabama: yours truly appointed to Alabama Advisory Committee to US Civil Rights Commission

From a press release: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has appointed 15 Alabama citizens to its Alabama State Advisory Committee.

Kimberly Tolhurst, Delegated the Authority of the Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, announced the appointment of Valerie Askew of Birmingham, Norman Baldwin of Tuscaloosa, David Beito of Northport, Lula Bridges of Notasulga, Margaret Brown of Birmingham, Jim Couch of Tuscumbia, Leida Javier-Ferrell of Mobile, Richard Finley of Birmingham, Randy Kelley of Gadsden, Shana Kluck of Vance, Raphael Maharaj of Mobile, Kevin Newsom of Vestavia Hills, Maurice Shevin of Birmingham, L'Tryce Slade of Birmingham, and Edward Still of Homewood. The Commission appointed Professor David Beito as Chairman. The appointments are for two years and members serve without compensation.
-- U.S. Civil Rights Commission Announces Appointments to the Alabama State Advisory Committee -- WASHINGTON, April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

April 14, 2011

Alabama: electronic, and more frequent, campaign-finance reports may be in the offing

The Birmingham News editorialized today in favor of more transparency in campaign finance:

  • Candidates would be required to file campaign-finance reports electronically starting in 2014.

  • While instantaneous disclosures of contributions would not be required, candidates would at least be forced to report more frequently on their fundraising and spending. Reports of financial activity would be required monthly during the year leading up to an election -- and weekly and daily as an election date approaches.

  • The secretary of state's office would have to keep those reports in a searchable database.

  • So-called 527 tax-exempt groups, which have played a behind-the-scenes role in recent political elections, would be forced to disclose their campaign fundraising and spending, too.
-- Read the whole editorial --> OUR VIEW: State lawmakers need to act on a bill to require electronic reporting of campaign finance reports |

The bill appears below:

SB136 Electronic, Frequent Filing