Votelaw, Edward Still's blog on law and politics: January 2015 Archives

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January 16, 2015

"Why Obama Should Pardon Don Siegelman"

Jeffrey Toobin writes in the New Yorker: Since the midterm elections, President Barack Obama has been acting as if he feels liberated from parochial political concerns. After taking action on immigration, Cuba, and climate change, he should take on another risky, if less well-known, challenge by commuting the prison sentence of Don Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama. ...

Through six years in office, President Obama has been especially stingy in granting pardons and commutations. But the power to grant clemency is an important one; it should be wielded with care, but it should be used. Our prisons are nearly full. Not everyone who is there belongs there. Don Seigelman is one person who should not be incarcerated anymore, and the President can and should make sure that he is freed. -- Why Obama Should Pardon Don Siegelman - The New Yorker

January 12, 2015

The slow drip to one less Congressperson

AL.com reports: Alabama currently has seven Congressional districts, each represented by a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. It's had seven seats since 1973 after they were carved out based on data following the 1970 census. The number remain the same following the 2010 Census, but a new study by Election Data Services shows a possible change could be coming in 2020.

If Alabama's rate of population growth remains the same through 2010, EDS projects it would lose a House seat after the next census, dropping from seven to six. -- Alabama could have one less Congress member after 2020: Sunday's Wake Up Call | AL.com

January 8, 2015

"AP's Alabama political reporter Phillip Rawls retiring"

The Montgomery Advertiser reports: Associated Press reporter Phillip Rawls, the longest-serving member of Alabama's Capitol press corps and a recognized expert on state politics, is retiring after more than 35 years with the news cooperative.

Rawls, 63, developed a reputation for fairness and accuracy during a 40-year career in journalism, nearly all of it spent with the AP covering politics and government in Montgomery.

Rawls' tenure spanned seven Alabama governors, from George Wallace to Robert Bentley, and 35 regular sessions of the Legislature. His retirement takes effect later this month. -- AP's Alabama political reporter Phillip Rawls retiring

January 4, 2015

2014 Election is over, but fundraising goes on

The Decatur Daily reports: Alabama's 2014 elections are in the books, but fundraising is not over for some elected officials and those who had hoped to be elected.

State law gives candidates 120 days after elections to collect money from individuals and political action committees to cover debts, including repayment of loans to their campaigns. ...

Candidates can loan themselves money regardless of their account balances. Stewart said a confident candidate could use a loan knowing they're going to get the money back to get a jumpstart on fundraising in four years.

"Once one election is over, candidates are immediately thinking about the next one," Stewart said. "(Having additional money) would be the most desirable situation from the candidate's point of view." -- Fundraising for ?14 politicians ongoing - Decatur Daily: News