Joan Stoykovich Nelson

Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee
George W. Bush Presidential Center
Republican National Committee
American Legion Auxiliary
Fox News Contributor
Tulsa Republican Club
Heritage Foundation
John Birch Society
Freedom Alliance



 2014 election season shaping up much different than four years ago

The Alabama Republican Party's

Bill Armistead welcomes the audience

MONTGOMERY, AlabamaAlabama's 2014 election is shaping up to be much different than 2010, when statewide races were crowded with candidates and Republicans were fighting to end 136 years of Democratic control of the Legislature.

For 2014, Republicans incumbents in statewide offices face little opposition in either their own party or from Democrats.

State Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said he's concerned more about people who aren't true Republicans running against incumbents than he is about the Democratic Party mounting a big challenge to the GOP's dominance.

"It's chaos over there and that's fine with me," he said of the Democrats.

For Republican incumbents in the Legislature who are facing strong opponents, it is often from within their own party primary as traditionally Democratic-leaning groups like the state teachers' organization contribute more to Republican candidates.

In 2010, Republicans won every statewide office they sought and captured 60 percent of the seats in the Legislature. With that election, Republicans controlled all three branches of state government for the first time since the 1870s.

Since then, the Democratic Party's chairman has resigned to start a new group, and former Secretary of State Nancy Worley, who lost to a Republican in 2006, is trying to rebuild the party as the new chairman.

Worley said several well-known Democrats are considering seeking statewide office, and she expects to surprise people with the candidates that step forward before the qualifying deadline April 4.

"I'm not pessimistic at all," she said.

A Democrat who is pessimistic is Perry County Commissioner Albert Turner Jr., who is known for turning out Democratic votes in west Alabama.

"The state Democratic Party is in shambles, and the Republicans have cut off the Democrats' source of money," he said.

He said donations from gambling interests have dropped off dramatically because of the state's crackdown on privately operated casinos. Plaintiff lawyers don't contribute as much to Democrats as they once did because the state has placed limits on jury verdicts. The Republican-controlled Legislature has passed laws to stop public employee groups from using payroll deductions to collect money for their political action committees, and that has reduced the amount the traditionally Democratic-leaning groups have to give, he said.

The teachers' organization, the Alabama Education Association, is still a major campaign donor. But its biggest donation so far — $150,000 — has gone to former Republican Rep. Garreth Moore of Enterpirse, who is challenging GOP Sen. Jimmy Holley of Elba. It also gave $30,000 to Republican Tim Sprayberry, who is running against GOP Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville.

AEA says it is contributing to candidates from both parties that support public education, but the Republican Party chairman says it's a sign that the organization knows Democrats can't win in those legislative districts.

"We are not going to let them bring down our incumbent candidates," Armistead said.

In 2010, Gov. Robert Bentley was one of seven Republicans and two Democrats seeking the governor's office. This time, he has one Democratic challenger and one primary opponent.

The Republican challenger, former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George, has reported raising $1,716 dollars. Bentley has collected $2.2 million. The Democratic candidate is former professional baseball player Kevin Bass, who lost a bid for mayor of Fayette last year.

Republican Kay Ivey knocked off Democratic incumbent Jim Folsom Jr. in a big budget campaign for lieutenant governor in 2010. This time she has one Republican challenger and one Democratic opponent, but neither has raised much money. Republican Stan Cooke, a minister from Kimberly, reports $20,250. Democrat James Fields, one of the Democratic representatives who got defeated in 2010, has not reported any fundraising. Ivey has $382,764.

Republican Attorney General Luther Strange, who knocked off Republican incumbent Troy King in 2010, has no opposition from either party so far. He has more than $1 million in campaign cash on hand to help scare off opposition.

Bentley said the Republicans officeholders in Montgomery have worked well together for the last three years and that bodes well for all of them in the 2014 election.

William Stewart, retired chairman of the political science department at the University of Alabama, said the most campaign excitement in 2014 may be generated over the two second-tier offices where no incumbents are running — secretary of state and state auditor.

"This is one of the most lackluster general election years coming up I can remember. Most incumbents will be re-elected," he predicted.

05.12RNC Chairman Reince Priebus

The Republican National Committee held its spring meeting last week in Memphis, TN.  Alabama’s three representatives on the RNC – National Committeewoman Vicki Drummond, National Committeeman Paul Reynolds and I – attended for what proved to be a jam-packed agenda.

As we approach the midway point of Obama’s last term, Republicans are beginning to focus on the election of 2016. Much of the attention at the RNC meeting last week was focused on the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary and election.

We also learned from the 2012 Presidential election that we cannot expect to win the presidency if we wait until the year of the election to begin our campaign. Therefore, the RNC has implemented our Victory 365 Program. Our goal is not only to engage with voters during an election cycle, but also engage non-stop, 365 days a year. The RNC currently has 90 percent of its political staff working outside the RNC offices and in the field.

>>> Another lesson learned from 2012 was that it was a mistake to hold our national convention at the end of the summer leaving only two months for our ticket to campaign. Therefore, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus instituted a Commission on Convention Planning which recommended that the 2016 Republican National Convention should begin no earlier than June 27, 2016 and no later than July 18, 2016.

We learned from the 2012 experience that we do not need 22 Republican presidential debates that begin over a year in advance of the election. And, we should no longer have our candidates participate in a debate where the moderator is clearly supporting the Democrat candidate. Remember Candy Crowley telling President Obama that he was right and Gov. Romney was wrong regarding Benghazi being a terrorist attack?

 Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Up until now, the RNC has deferred to the individual presidential campaigns to set the criteria for the debates and determine how many debates will be held, but due to the 2012 experience, the RNC is now going to take the lead in making many of these decisions.

The RNC created a Committee on Presidential Primary Debates to oversee Presidential debates. This committee will have the authority to put the RNC “stamp of approval” on debates which will be know as RNC Sanctioned Debates. Debates will be sanctioned based on input from presidential campaigns and criteria which will include debate timing, frequency, format, moderators and the media outlet to host the debate.

Any presidential candidate who participates in a debate that is not an RNC Sanctioned Debate will not be eligible to participate in any further Sanctioned Debates. Several potential presidential candidates have been briefed on the RNC’s position and they welcomed the RNC’s plan to bring sanity to the debate process which has been designed by the liberal media to inflict damage to our candidates.

The RNC took the first step last year in sending a message to the major networks and media outlets that the RNC will be a player in the debate process. CNN and NBC announced last year that they planned a documentary on Hillary Clinton. The RNC took a stand against CNN and NBC and notified them that if they released this documentary they would not host a presidential debate in 2016. Shortly after being notified of our position both networks cancelled the documentary.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)


Sen. Rubio took a jab at former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a likely candidate for president in 2016. “They’re threatening to nominate someone now who wants to take us to the past — to an era that’s gone and never coming back,” Rubio said. “The road we’re on right now is a road that will rob us of the American dream.”

Senator Rand Paul joined us for lunch on Friday where he discussed the importance of minority engagement and strategic outreach on behalf of the Republican Party. He also took a shot at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton based on her handling of the attack at Benghazi.

“My opinion is that Hillary Clinton has precluded herself from ever being considered for that position,” Paul said.  “This is about judgment…should we as a country have a commander-in-chief who didn’t provide adequate security in Libya, didn’t send reinforcements and then gave us nothing but spin?”

ALGOP will have another potential presidential candidate – Indiana Governor Mike Pence – as the keynote speaker for our Summer Dinner on June 20.  Click here to get more information or tickets.





Alabama Court Rules Unborn Children Deserve Legal Protection

 judgepic10 A ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court today makes the argument that unborn children deserve legal protection under the law.

The case involves the consolidation of two cases, which address the question of whether Alabama’s law against chemical endangerment of children can be applied to unborn children who are exposed to illegal drugs in utero. Courts of appeal in Alabama upheld convictions of mothers who were charged under the chemical endangerment law, when their children tested positive for illegal drugs at birth.

The state court issued a ruling saying the state’s chemical endangerment of a child law also includes protection for unborn children. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange issued a statement calling the decision a victory.

Strange said the court ruled that “the plain meaning of the word ‘child’ in the chemical endangerment statute includes unborn children.”

“The Court has ratified our argument that the public policy of our state is to protect life, both born and unborn,” Strange stated. “It is a tremendous victory that the Alabama Supreme Court has affirmed the value of all life, including those of unborn children whose lives are among the most vulnerable of all.”

The Court upheld the convictions of two women whose use of illegal drugs while they were pregnant caused their unborn children to suffer exposure to those drugs. The Court’s ruling was a consolidation of two cases—Ankrom v. State, arising from Coffee County, and Kimbrough v. State, from Colbert County.  In both cases, the defendants were charged with chemically endangering their children under an Alabama law that makes it a crime to endanger a child by exposing him or her to a controlled substance, a chemical substance such as precursors for manufacturing drugs, or drug paraphernalia.

 Hope Ankrom and her newborn son both tested positive for cocaine when the child was born on January 31, 2000. Medical records documented Ankrom’s substance abuse during her pregnancy. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, which was suspended, and placed on probation for one year.


  Fox Nationlogo

Daily Update


Featured Story

Alabama Votes To Ignore New Federal Gun Laws That Violate Second Amendment
Alabama Votes To Ignore New Federal Gun Laws That Violate Second Amendment

Alabama Senate Votes To Ignore Federal Gun Laws That Infringe On Second Amendment Rights...Red AlertIng the wake of the U.S. Senate's failed background...


Alabama Senate Votes To Ignore Federal Gun Laws That Infringe On Second Amendment Rights…

Red Alert

In the wake of the U.S. Senate’s failed background check legislation, the Alabama legislature is one step closer to passing its own gun bill — to prevent any new federal gun control laws from infringing on Alabamians’ right to bear arms.

The Alabama state Senate voted, 24-6, on Tuesday to approve a piece of legislation that would prohibit federal gun control laws from being upheld in the state if those laws are deemed a “violation of the Second Amendment.”

Read more: