ForestPAC Endorsement- Senate District 12- Del Marsh

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The Board of Directors of the Alabama Forestry Association’s political action committee, ForestPAC, has endorsed current Senator and President Pro Tempore of the Alabama State Senate Del Marsh for the General Election in Senate District 12 which encompasses all of Calhoun and parts of Talladega and Clay counties.

Seeking his fifth term, Marsh is facing AEA backed Democrat Taylor Stewart. During his first term as Senate President Pro Tem, Senator Marsh significantly reduced spending by cutting the office’s budget 65 percent. He was able to save taxpayers roughly $100,000 a month in personnel costs by reducing a staff of more than 40 under former leadership down to four.

Perhaps most notably, Senator Marsh spearheaded an effort to streamline various state government functions, including law enforcement and information technology, which will result in a projected savings of $100 million a year in taxpayer resources.

In his former role as Finance Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Marsh helped Republicans win all statewide offices and gain control of the state House and Senate for the first time in 136 years.

A small businessman, Senator Marsh is the former owner of an Oxford, Alabama-based engineering services and aircraft part repair company that employs roughly 150 people in the Calhoun County area.

He knew at an early age that business was his passion. By the time he went to college at Auburn University, he had started his first business detailing cars for local car dealerships. When he graduated in 1980, he was able to sell the business he built for a profit.

With more than three decades of experience in running a business, he understands the importance of job creation as it relates to the state’s economy and ventured into politics to push for legislation that encourages economic growth and protects small businesses.

Just like families and businesses across Alabama have to do, he believes government should live within its means and not spend more than it takes in. Tough economic times require making tough decisions, but he views the state’s challenging budget shortfalls as an opportunity to make state government more efficient and accountable to taxpayers.

Marsh grew up in Birmingham, the son of a car salesman. While working toward a degree in industrial management, he met his wife, Ginger, an Auburn University Cheerleader who was born and raised in Calhoun County. He and Ginger have two children, Justin, a graduate of both Auburn University and the University of Tennessee, and Christine, a graduate of Auburn University.

ForestPAC Endorsement- Senate District 6- Dr. Larry Stutts

stuttsIn a special called meeting last week, The Board of Directors of the Alabama Forestry Association’s political action committee, ForestPAC, announced that it has endorsed Dr. Larry Stutts for the General Election in Senate District 6 which encompasses Colbert and Franklin counties and parts of Lauderdale, Lawrence and Marion counties.

Dr. Stutts is running against long-time incumbent Senator Roger Bedford (28 years in the Alabama Senate). This is a difficult challenge and to his credit, his hard work has made this a very close race.

To our knowledge, AFA is the only major Alabama association to go against the powerful incumbent and endorse Dr. Stutts.  The decision to endorse Stutts was based on the conclusion that he shares and advocates our core principles of (1) limited government, (2) protection of private property rights, (3) promotion of free markets and (4) adherence to the Rule of Law.

Larry Stutts was born at Colbert County Hospital (now Helen Keller Hospital) in Sheffield, Alabama in May, 1954. Growing up in Cherokee, Alabama, the son of an accountant and a registered nurse, Larry was instilled with the core values of honesty, hard work, belief in God, and respect for others. These core values define him today.  In high school Larry’s interest in government grew as he represented Cherokee Vocational High School at the American Legion’s Boys’State. He was also an avid athlete, playing basketball and running track for Cherokee.

Upon graduation, Larry left Cherokee and moved to Auburn to attend Auburn University. While at Auburn, he was active in numerous campus activities during the school year. In the summer months, he came back to Cherokee to help his family on their farm. His dedication to his studies was rewarded through early acceptance to Veterinary School. While attending veterinary school Larry served in Student Government, was elected Inter-Fraternity Council President and tapped into the Spade Honorary (top 10 men at Auburn). He was graduated from Veterinary School in May of 1979 and moved just across the Alabama state line to work as a veterinarian in Columbus, Georgia. Larry remained close to the Auburn campus to visit his future wife, an Auburn pharmacy student, Jackie, from Donalsonville, Georgia. Upon her graduation from Auburn University in August of 1980, the couple married and moved back to Larry’s hometown of Cherokee.

After opening and running a veterinary practice for three years, Dr. Stutts returned to college where he received a degree in obstetrics and gynecology from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Larry was elected class representative all four years of medical school and served as President of the Medical Student Body his senior year. In 1992, Larry opened Colbert OB/GYN. Today his practice has served over 18,000 patients. He has delivered more than 10,000 babies and performed over 7,000 gynecologic surgeries.

Dr. Stutts believes “the vision of our founding fathers was for citizen-legislators in public service, not career politicians.” Although he has never before run for office, as a member of the health care profession, he knows that his experience and knowledge will be an asset in the State House. Dr. Stutts stated that he is “ready, willing and able to fight the overreach of the federal government in forcing ObamaCare on our citizens. Local communities and local hospitals are struggling to meet basic needs. The system can be improved with less regulation and more free-enterprise principles.”

While he has never run for political office, Dr. Stutts has always been active in his community. He is president of the Quad-Cities Auburn Club, on the Board of Directors for the Colbert County Red Cross, on the Board of Directors and Membership Chairman of the Tuscumbia Kiwanis Club, President of the Colbert County Cattlemen’s Association, on the Board of Directors and former Chairman of Covenant Christian School, on the Board of Directors for the Northwest Alabama Healthcare Authority and an elder at First Presbyterian Church of Tuscumbia.

In addition to being a medical doctor, Dr. Stutts still owns and operates the farm that has been in his family for three generations. Larry and Jackie have four children: Elizabeth, Rebecca, Sarah and Collins.

ForestPAC Endorsement- Alabama Lieutenant Governor- Kay Ivey

ivey1The Board of Directors of the Alabama Forestry Association’s political action committee, ForestPAC, has endorsed Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey for the General Election.

We are all familiar with Kay’s accomplishments in public service.

She was elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor in the 2010, beating well known former Governor Democrat Jim Folsom in a close election. In doing so, she became the second woman and the first Republican woman in Alabama history, to be elected to the post of Lieutenant Governor.

Her public service also includes being appointed by three governors to various positions in state government, including Assistant Director of the Department of Commerce, formerly known as the Alabama Development Office.

In 2002, Kay became the first Republican elected State Treasurer since Reconstruction and was re-elected in 2006. As Treasurer, Kay Ivey proved her commitment to taxpayers by making the office more open, transparent, and efficient.

Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey is committed to job creation and preparing students for the 21st century workforce. This commitment has resulted in her service as Chairman of the Job Creation and Military Stability Commission, Vice Chairman of the Aerospace States Association and acting as an advocate for the Real World Design Challenge, in Alabama.

A Camden, Alabama, native and a 1967 graduate of Auburn University, she is a member of the First Baptist Church of Montgomery, the Montgomery Rotary Club, the Board of Directors of the Montgomery YMCA, and the Tukabatchee Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Lt. Governor Kay Ivey is also honored to be the first Alabama Girls State alumnus elected to an Alabama Constitutional Office.

She has worked as a high school teacher and a bank officer, Reading Clerk for the Alabama House of Representatives and as Assistant Director of the Alabama Development Office. She was Director of Government Affairs and Communications for the Alabama Commission on Higher Education from 1985 until 1998.

What you might not know about Kay, though, is her commitment to rural education and the timber industry. She serves as the spokeswoman for the Alabama Forestry Association’s Black Belt Initiative and has been honored by the Association with its prestigious Distinguished Member award (given only three times in the Association’s 65 year history).

She also leads Governor Bentley’s commission focused on streamlining state government and serves on the advisory committee that decides eligible road and bridge projects for the $1 billion Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP).

Through her leadership, as presiding officer of the Senate, the Alabama Legislature has identified and enacted measures that will result in over $1 billion in annual savings for the state, passed four consecutive budgets that were not prorated and accomplished all this with an office staff budget that is 32% less than her predecessor’s.

Please go to the polls next Tuesday and make sure capable leaders like Kay Ivey return to office.

Survey Indicates Attorney General Strange Looks Good Despite $1.8 Million Attack by Gambling Interests

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It appears that the gambling interests in the state have put all their chips on black….and got red.

A recent survey conducted on October 27-28th by OnMessage Inc. produced some good news today for the Luther Strange camp.  Based on 600 likely voters, Strange enjoys a sizable 20 point lead over his opponent, Democrat Joe Hubbard.

Incredibly, after spending nearly $2 million provided by the gambling industry, Hubbard has not been able to either bring down Luther’s favorable rating nor improve his own. Not sure how this is possible, but 31% of those surveyed had no opinion of Hubbard and 21% had not even heard of him.

See complete memo on survey results here.

Wow…what a waste of money.  But we could have told him that from the beginning.

Hubbard has raised $2.18 million for his campaign.  $1.83 million came from gaming interests, $50,000 from AEA and over $50,000 from unions.  Another $85,000 came from his House campaign fund and loans.

Regardless of this positive news, we still need to get the word out to get folks to show up and vote on next Tuesday.

No other public official has done more to assist timberland owners in Alabama than Luther Strange.  He deserves our support and we need him as Attorney General for another four years.

Please forward this post to everyone on your email list.  Let’s see what we can do to impact turnout!  Elections have consequences!

AFA to Host Election Eve Reception

afaThe Alabama Forestry Association will open its doors for an Election Eve Reception on Tuesday, November 4th at 6:00 pm.  The reception is open to all AFA members and their guests.

Our special guest, John McMillan, will host his friends and supporters at the reception as we watch the election returns come in and get an early look at the makeup of the next four years of Alabama’s governing officials.

Come join us for what, hopefully, will be an enjoyable evening.  We will have good food, cocktails and pleasant company.

Please RSVP to Liz at lchambers@alaforestry.org so that we can get a good headcount.

 

 

ForestPAC Endorsement- Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries- John McMillan

mcmillanThe Board of Directors of the Alabama Forestry Association’s political action committee, ForestPAC, has endorsed incumbent Commissioner John McMillan for the General Election.

On November 2, 2010, McMillan defeated Democrat Glen Zorn for the post of Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries. McMillan received 862,901 votes to Zorn’s 583,255. This time around, he ran unopposed in the Republican primary and faces Democrat Doug Smith in the General Election.

McMillan served as a Baldwin County Commissioner and as an Alabama state representative (elected in 1974 and 1978) representing Baldwin and Mobile counties. While in the Alabama state legislature McMillan chaired the Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Committee and was selected twice as the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s “Conservation Legislator of the Year.”

McMillan served as the Alabama State Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources in the first administration of Gov. Fob James (1980–1983). As Commissioner, McMillan won widespread praise for his part in the creation of the Alabama Trust Fund (originally called the Alabama Heritage Trust Fund), a plan to save the receipts from leases of offshore oil operations. Additionally, McMillan spearheaded the rebuilding of Gulf State Park after the widespread destruction of Hurricane Fredrick.

McMillan is the former executive vice president (1985–2006) of the Alabama Forestry Association where he was a leader in the successful fight to defeat the Amendment One Tax Increase of 2003 and became known as an advocate for the rights of property owners and a consistent opponent of property tax increases.

McMillan was named to the Alabama State Personnel Board by Governor James during the 1990s and reappointed to a second term by Governor Bob Riley. On the State Personnel Board McMillan has played a leading role in investigating alleged “kickbacks” to state employee union bosses.

John McMillan is a native of rural Stockton, Alabama, where he worked as a boy (and as a young man after returning from college) on his uncle’s farm and in his father’s sawmill. McMillan is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis.

McMillan and his wife Kathryn have two grown sons, Murphy and William, and two grandchildren. McMillan is an avid outdoorsman who won the Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt in 2006. He is known as a dedicated hunter of deer and wild turkey, and other Alabama game, and also enjoys fishing with his family.

ForestPAC Endorsement- House District 47- Jack Williams

williamsjThe Board of Directors of the Alabama Forestry Association’s political action committee, ForestPAC, has endorsed incumbent member of the House of Representatives Jack Williams for the General Election in House District 47 which is located in primarily in the Birmingham areas of Vestavia Hills and Hoover.

Williams defeated David Wheeler in the Republican primary and now faces Democrat challenger Salvatore Bambinelli in the General Election on November 4th.

Representative Williams was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2004 in a special election. Prior to that he served as the Jefferson County Tax Collector from 1995-2003.

Jack currently serves as the Chairman of the powerful House Commerce and Small Business committee. He is the former Chairman of the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans and former President of the National Conference of Republican County Officials.

In 2012, Williams sponsored and passed legislation that protected property owners from civil liability when defending themselves and their property from the criminal conduct of others (expanded Alabama’s “Castle Doctrine”).

Last year, Representative Williams was one of the few urban legislators that supported the AFA’s attempt to preclude discrimination against Alabama timber used in the construction of public buildings. Additionally, on the last possible legislative day for passage, his committee defeated legislation that would have extended limited home rule to counties.

He is definitely a supporter of Alabama’s timberland owners.

Earlier this year, Jack received the Legislator of the Year Award from the American Legislative Exchange Council, the country’s largest nonpartisan voluntary membership organization of state legislators. Each year a state legislator is recognized for their leadership and work within the organization to promote the Jeffersonian principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.

Williams lives in Vestavia Hills where he has raised his two sons. He received a B.A. from Southeastern Bible College.

ForestPAC Endorsement- House District 2- Lynn Greer

greerThe Board of Directors of the Alabama Forestry Association’s political action committee, ForestPAC, has endorsed incumbent member of the House of Representatives Lynn Greer for the General Election in House District 2 which is located in parts of Lauderdale and Limestone counties.

Greer is a veteran lawmaker having previously served in the House of Representatives from 1974-1981 and from 2002-2006. He was elected in 2010 as part of the “freshman class” that led to the change of leadership in the legislature. He also served as a member of the Alabama Public Service Commission form 1981-1990.

He defeated incumbent Democrat Mike Curtis in the 2010 election. Curtis is now seeking election to the Alabama Senate running against AFA endorsed candidate Tim Melson.

This time around, Greer is facing AEA supported Andy Betterton in the General Election on November 4th.

During this last legislative quadrennium, Greer served as Chairman of the Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee, Vice Chair of the Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee and also served on the important Rules and Ways & Means General Fund Committees. Even though he was considered a “freshman,” he clearly gained a prominent position of leadership.

Representative Greer earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University and has worked as an electrical engineer for NASA Space Programs, an owner/manager of a marine dealership and as a general contractor/developer. Lynn and his wife, Becky, have four children and ten grandchildren and they currently live in Rogersville.

AFA Bandwagon Visits Historic Eufaula

Last night, the AFA roadshow traveled to Eufaula for its Wiregrass District Meeting and Regional Reception. Special thanks goes out to ForestPAC’s Wiregrass District Chairman Bob Dixon for his help in rounding up the troops to have a great turn out.

eufaula chamberHeld in the Eufaula Chamber of Commerce’s unique building, the reception was well attended by AFA members and guests. The Chamber building is a renovated Central of Georgia Railway Depot named for former Alabama Speaker of the House and local Eufaula icon James E. Clark.

 

river city grillGreat food was provided by the River City Grille that included prime rib sandwiches, shrimp, and their famous potato skins.

 

DSC_0648Special guest Luther Strange, Alabama’s Attorney General provided an update on our recent major victory in the Lynch lawsuit.

DSC_0636Also in attendance was local House of Representatives member Berry Forte. Forte, a Democrat, was elected to the House in 2010 and is seeking re-election in November. Forte faces Republican Jerry McGilvary in the contest.

 

DSC_0627AFA’s President, Ben Smith (MeadWestvaco) and his wife Ashley (now working for AFA) were there to greet guests.

 

 

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ForestPAC Endorsement- House District 81- Mark Tuggle

tuggleThe Board of Directors of the Alabama Forestry Association’s political action committee, ForestPAC, has endorsed incumbent member of the House of Representatives Mark Tuggle for the General Election in House District 81 which is located in parts of Chilton, Coosa and Tallapoosa counties.

Mark was first elected to office in 2010 by winning the Republican primary against Shane Grimes and then beating long-time Democrat incumbent Betty Carol Graham in the General Election. This time around, he was unopposed in the primary, but now faces Dylan Oliver in November. Oliver is heavily supported by the powerful AEA and has mounted a vicious attack campaign.

Tuggle earned his A.S. from Alexander City State Junior College in 1986, his B.S. in Forest Management from Auburn University in 1988 and his M.S. in Management from Faulkner University in 2007.

Mark is the only practicing registered forester currently in the Alabama Legislature. Need we say more?

He currently serves on the Ways and Means Education Appropriations Committee (subcommittee on K-12 Appropriations), the State Government Committee and the Technology and Research Committee.

Mark was instrumental in assisting AFA pass bills on logging notification, limiting liability for landowners that lease their land for hunting and fishing and developing the ATRIP program to fund rural road and bridge infrastructure. He also was quite helpful in working on legislation to preclude discrimination of Alabama timber in public buildings.

When there is a timber related issue in the Legislature, Mark Tuggle is the legislator that AFA can count on to be there ready to assist. Mark also serves on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Forestry Association