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Chip Drago
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The Political Round-Up

Grand jury charges Walker;
Lillian, where for art thou?;
Highest paid city employees;
James calls out Byrne;
Meanwhile back at the house ...;
On your Mark, DA's race big and Rich;
Cooper to roll with Tide again;
Common Sense & Pink Slips;
Folsom fundraiser at Felix's;
Here comes da' judge

By Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times
A Mobile County grand jury has returned a four-count indictment charging Mobile businessman Matt Walker with trafficking in stolen property.

According to the indictment, Walker:

Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Geoff Alexander is prosecuting the case for the state. Mobile attorney Buzz Jordan is defending Walker against the charges. Walker remains free on bonds totaling $300,000, although he was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle. Neither the trial judge nor the trial date are known just yet.

Lillian, where for art thou?
For the perusal of any number crunchers out there, we offer the following recent municipal budgets:

Top 20
The city of Mobile has 100 employees whose annual pay ranges from $161,333 to $63,127, according to documents developed in connection with the city's efforts to deal with a projected $18.5 million deficit in fiscal year 2010.

The top 20 are:

Some city workers also receive benefits such as favorable health insurance terms, take-home cars, food allowances and participation in the state's DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Program) among others.

The Finance Committee of the Mobile City Council will meet Monday, April 26 in the 9th Floor Conference Room at 4 p.m.

Stay dry, no fish fry
The Bradley Byrne for Governor campaign's community-wide fish fry in Homewood Park Saturday has been cancelled due to the threat of severe weather, campaign spokeswoman Marty Sullivan advises. For more information call 205-572-4411.

James: 'I'm calling you out, Bradley Byrne'
Tim James, a Greenville businessman and GOP hopeful in the race of governor, today challenged one of his Republican opponents, Bradley Byrne, to a series of public debates.

Critics of James have recently linked his campaign and the Alabama Education Association to ads against Byrne.

“It’s time to bring all of the attacks and allegations out in the open," said James. "Let’s take this beyond dueling press releases and talk show chatter."

James issued his challenge during a news conference at the State Capitol in Montgomery.

James said the public record differentiating him from Byrne was stark, pointing to Byrne's support for and James' opposition to Gov. Bob Riley's Amendment One proposal, "the largest proposed tax hike in Alabama history." James also claimed that in spite of Byrne's self-applied label as a conservative reformer, campaign finance records suggest he is a captive of special interests.

According to Byrne spokesperson Marty Sullivan, Byrne
has no qualms about engaging James on the issues. However, first James should clear the air about his lobbyist/fundraiser's role in funneling money through PACs "to help pay for dishonest smears against Bradley."

"And (James has) missed several golden opportunities to denounce AEA and the Democrat Party for pouring money through a bogus front group into the Republican primary," said Sullivan. "Tim says he's for ethics and against PAC transfers, but actions speak louder than words."

Meanwhile, down in ol' Mobile ...
Meanwhile, James was in Byrne's backyard (figuratively) Wednesday to open his campaign headquarters in Pinebrook Shopping Center at McGregor Ave. and Airport Blvd. and to accept and trumpet the endorsement of his campaign by several Mobile County mayors, including Satsuma's William Stewart, Citronelle's Loretta Presnall who couldn't attend the news conference, Bayou La Batre's Stan Wright and Chickasaw's Byron Pittman. County Commissioner Mike Dean was also on hand, as was former congressman Sonny Callahan who is James' state chairman. Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran attended the event though he has not publicly endorsed James.

On your Mark, DA's race big and Rich
Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Ashley Rich reportedly raised about $10,500 at a $25 a plate barbecue dinner fund raiser on Halls Mill Road Tuesday. Rich said 420 tickets were sold and 324 plates of barbecue pork with the trimmings were served.

With less than six weeks to go before the June 1 election, both Rich and Mark Erwin, her foe in the GOP primary, show sufficient cash reserves to contend energetically down the stretch.

Cooper rolls with Tide again
The state Senate this week confirmed the re-appointment of three University of Alabama board of trustee members to new terms, including Angus R. Cooper II of Mobile.

Cooper is chairman and chief executive officer of Cooper/T. Smith Corp., a ship docking, mooring, warehousing, and barge transfer company. Cooper graduated from the University of Alabama. In 2007, he was inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame.

The board of trustees governs the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Alabama at Huntsville, and the University of Alabama.

Their new terms will end in 2015.

Common Sense & Pink Slips
Common Sense Campaign will stage a Pink Slip Tea Party in Theodore Saturday, April 24 at 4 p.m. at Magnolia Springs Baptist Church (In the Gym—Follow the Signs), 6058 Theodore Dawes Rd.

The public is invited and welcomed to sign CSC's Giant Pink Slip, giving Congress one year's notice to stand up for the Constitution and U.S. sovereignty or step aside.

Speakers include:

For more information visit COMMONSENSECAMPAIGN.ORG or call 251-626-7808, 251-824-7502 or 251-653-7204.

Ivey, Gounares to address ACRW
Azalea City Republican Women will meet Tuesday, April 27 at 6 p.m. at Wintzell's Oyster House Downtown, 605 Dauphin Street, to hear speakers including Kay Ivey,
candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and Peter Gounares, candidate for U.S. Congress from District I.

Members are urged to attend and bring a guest or prospect. Interested visitors are welcome.

Dinner will be a choice of shrimp basket, catfish basket, or chicken basket for $15.00, payable to the restaurant at the door.

For more information, contact Donna Skipper at 251.689-3303 or Shirley Short at 251.344-1394.

An Evening with Karl Rove
"An Evening with Karl Rove" will be held Tuesday, April 27 at The Club in Birmingham, according to state GOP fundraiser Kate McCormick Anderson.

Tickets are $150 each and include a seat at the dinner and a copy of Rove's new book, "Courage and Consequence." Tables are $2,500 and include 10 seats at a priority table, an autographed copy of the book for each guest seated at the table, and entrance to the VIP
Reception with Rove at 6 p.m.

For more information contact Philip Bryan at

Folsom fundraiser at Felix's
A fundraising luncheon for Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom, Jr., who is seeking re-election this year, is set for Thursday April 29 at 12 noon at Felix’s Fish Camp Restaurant, 1530 Battleship Parkway.

Attendees are asked to contribute $150 per person or $250 per couple. The Folsom campaign asks that those planning to attend RSVP no later than April 23.

For more information call 540.239.1730 or email

James, Strange to visit local GOP
The Mobile County Republican Executive Committee will meet Monday, May 3 at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. Guest speakers include Tim James, candidate for Alabama governor, and Luther Strange, candidate for Alabama Attorney General. The public is invited to attend. The church is located at Sage Avenue and Airport Blvd.

Here come da' judge
GOP district attorney candidate Mark Erwin is now highlighting his
standing as
municipal judge
in his native
Saraland on
Erwin and
assistant county
Ashley Rich
are in a
heated contest
to claim the
nomination for a shot at Democrat Don Foster in November. Erwin and Rich will decide the issue in the party primary June 1. 


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