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Alabama Baptist Pastor Confessed to Relationships with Underage Boys – During Sunday Service

Westlake Legal Group mountain-church-3611548_1280-620x413 Alabama Baptist Pastor Confessed to Relationships with Underage Boys – During Sunday Service Uncategorized Sexual Assault religion lighthouse baptist church LGBT john martin homosexuality Front Page Stories florence Featured Story Culture & Faith Culture children angie hamilton Allow Media Exception Alabama

 

 

41-year-old John Martin had a confession to make.

So he did, from the pulpit of his church.

During Sunday service, the Alabama pastor admitted to the congregation of Lighthouse Baptist Church that he’d had an “affair” — with, purportedly, two underage boys.

He’d confessed the activity to his wife prior to telling the church.

John brought his sins to light on June 23rd. He was arrested July 1st on four charges of felony sexual abuse.

The booking came after members of the church contacted authorities.

Before being taken into custody, he’d turned over two guns and checked himself into a psychiatric center.

According to court records, he’d had sexual encounters with one boy at his home and on an out-of-state road trip. He’d also sent explicit texts.

Lauderdale County Assistant District Attorney Angie Hamilton told AL.com there could be much more to the story:

“We have identified several potential victims. We believe other charges are forthcoming.”

Before taking the lead role at the Florence house of worship in 2010, John had worked in other states.

Lighthouse Baptist isn’t exactly a bastion of liberalism: At the time of John’s arrest, the church website (which seems to have been taken down) requested that men “dress in shirts and ties, while [thier] ladies wear modest skirts and dresses.”

As for its position on gay relationships:

“We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex.”

As reported by the New York Daily News, a photo on the site in early July depicted “the pastor with what [appeared] to be his family: his wife, two young daughters and three sons.”

It read, “We are proud to have Pastor Martin and his family with us. Since Pastor Martin came to Lighthouse, we have seen a growth that can only come from God. Pastor and his family would love for you to visit Lighthouse Baptist Church very soon!”



 

John was also a bus driver for Florence City Schools.

From Alabama’s ABC 31:

The accuser claims he was on Martin’s school bus when Martin showed him nude photos of himself with a towel over his body. The victim also stated Martin would text him on various occasions and asked him if he had touched himself that day. The victim said he was always scared to come forward and would freeze up when Martin would touch him.

Court documents revealed that one boy said the sexual contact began when he was 12.

There aren’t many guarantees in life; you never know where your children are safe. But of those mysterious locations, church should be one of the most likely.

At Lighthouse House Baptist Church in Florence Alabama, sadly, that wasn’t the case.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

WATCH: A New Batwoman Is Coming To TV, And It’s Far More Woke Than The Superheroes Of Old

WATCH IN AWE: You Won’t Believe CNN’s Spotlight On A Violent Antifa Member & Its Vulgar Message To A Conservative Media Figure

Rob Schneider Reminds Us Again Of The Importance Of Liberty – And Why Hollywood Needs More Like Him

Find all my RedState work here.

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Police Department warning: Beware the coming of “meth-gators”

Westlake Legal Group 90430863-cf98-4d1a-bc5c-4e13c7db8d7b Police Department warning: Beware the coming of “meth-gators” The Blog Tennessee methamphetamine Loretto Police Department Drugs Alligators Alabama

Loretto Police Department in Tennessee posted an ominous warning on Facebook. “Don’t flush your drugs” is their message. If you thought that “Deeznutz” the attack squirrel was a wild story, how about meth-gators?

You may remember Deeznutz. Alabama police say they were warned about a man feeding his pet squirrel methamphetamines to make it an attack squirrel. The story goes that the squirrel was not tested for drugs when the man was arrested and it was released. If you think a meth-fueled rodent sounds bad, there is a more troubling development. Maybe.

Tennessee police arrested a suspected drug dealer Saturday. He was in the process of flushing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia down his toilet to get rid of the evidence.

Once police entered Perry’s home, officers found him trying to flush the meth and several items of paraphernalia down his toilet. Andy Perry was arrested after police found 12 grams of meth, 24 fluid ounces of liquid meth, and several paraphernalia items inside the house.

He was charged drug possession with intent for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence

The Loretto Police Department used its Facebook page to deliver a public service announcement after the drug bust on the dangers of contaminating the local water supply with drugs. No one wants methed-up animals.

“This Folks…please don’t flush your drugs m’kay (sic). When you send something down the sewer pipe it ends up in our retention ponds for processing before it is sent down stream. Now our sewer guys take great pride in releasing water that is cleaner than what is in the creek, but they are not really prepared for meth.”

“Ducks, Geese, and other fowl frequent our treatment ponds and we shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do. Furthermore, if it made it far enough we could create meth-gators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River down in North Alabama. They’ve had enough methed up animals the past few weeks without our help. So, if you need to dispose of your drugs just give us a call and we will make sure they are disposed of in the proper way.”

It is a light-hearted kind of warning but it appeals to common sense. Water in the sewer system ends up in retention ponds as a part of the purification process. Wildlife visits the retention ponds. You see the point. I don’t know the alligator population numbers for Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River but apparently, the police do. Hence, the tongue in cheek warning. The town is five miles from the state line with Alabama.

This was a good opportunity to remind residents of proper disposal of drugs. Loretto police asked residents to just bring in drugs, including prescription medications, to the police department and they can take care of it. Many communities, like my own, have yearly or semi-yearly collection days to help with the proper disposal of drugs. Flushed pharmaceuticals can end up in the drinking water supply.

You’ve been warned. No one wants meth-gators. Drugged up rodents are bad enough – looking at you, Deeznutz. Kudos to the Loretto police for taking a serious subject and bringing some levity to it. We can all use more humor in our lives.

You can listen to Police Chief Bobby Joe Killan in an interview talking about having fun with the story.

The post Police Department warning: Beware the coming of “meth-gators” appeared first on Hot Air.

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Manslaughter Charge Dropped Against Alabama Woman Who Was Shot While Pregnant

Prosecutors in Alabama said on Wednesday that they were dropping a manslaughter charge against Marshae Jones over the death of the fetus she was carrying when she was shot in the belly.

The case stirred outrage across the country in late June after a grand jury indicted Ms. Jones, who was accused of starting a fight that resulted in the shooting. The state recognizes a fetus at any stage of development as a “person” for criminal homicide or assaults.

The same grand jury declined to charge the woman who fired the shot, Ebony Jemison, finding that she had fired in self-defense during an altercation with Ms. Jones on Dec. 4. The police have said that Ms. Jones, 28, who was five months pregnant, started the fight and failed to remove herself and her fetus from harm’s way.

“We are gratified the district attorney evaluated the matter and chose not to proceed with a case that was neither reasonable nor just,” the law firm representing Ms. Jones, White Arnold & Dowd, said in a statement.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157264323_2feba37d-38ca-4cf6-9021-d2cf357f16d2-articleLarge Manslaughter Charge Dropped Against Alabama Woman Who Was Shot While Pregnant Pleasant Grove (Ala) Murders, Attempted Murders and Homicides Law and Legislation Jones, Marshae Jemison, Ebony Alabama Abortion

Marshae Jones in a photo provided by her family.

Abortion rights activists, already up in arms over Alabama’s recent adoption of the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country, assailed the indictment of Ms. Jones as a demonstration of the dangers of the “personhood” movement, which presses for laws like those in Alabama that give the rights of fetuses equal or greater weight than the rights of the women who carry them. An organization that supports abortion rights in Alabama, the Yellowhammer Fund, helped Ms. Jones post bail.

But the case provoked little outrage in Pleasant Grove, the city of 10,000 people on the western edge of Birmingham where Ms. Jones was shot.

[Why people in Alabama defended the arrest of Marshae Jones after her fetus died in a shooting.]

According to a law enforcement officer with direct knowledge of the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Ms. Jones and Ms. Jemison, 23, had been feuding over a man they both worked with. The officer said that Ms. Jones spotted Ms. Jemison in the parking lot of a Dollar General store in Pleasant Grove on Dec. 4 and started fighting with her.

Ms. Jones had hit Ms. Jemison several times and pinned her in her vehicle, the officer said, when Ms. Jemison reached for a gun and fired point blank into Ms. Jones’s stomach.

The uproar over the indictment of Ms. Jones is not the first time that the application of Alabama’s fetal rights laws has attracted criticism and concern.

Alabama has prosecuted hundreds of women for using controlled substances while they are pregnant, under a 2006 “chemical endangerment” law, according to an investigation by ProPublica and Al.com. Doctors have argued that such prosecutions discourage pregnant addicts from seeking the treatment that they and their fetuses need.

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Took a Swipe at Nikki Haley, but Donald Trump, Jr. Had the Last Laugh

Westlake Legal Group NikkiHaleyAPPhoto-620x317 MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Took a Swipe at Nikki Haley, but Donald Trump, Jr. Had the Last Laugh Social Media roy moore republicans Politics North Carolina Nikki Haley MSNBC Media journalism Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections donald trump jr democrats Congress Chris Hayes Campaigns Allow Media Exception Alabama 2020 Elections 2020

Former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley speaks at the 2019 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, at Washington Convention Center, in Washington, Monday, March 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Last month, not long after the news broke that failed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (AL) said he’d be taking another shot at the seat in 2020, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley weighed in on Twitter with her thoughts on the announcement:

As recent polling in Alabama indicates, Moore is pulling in a mere 13% of Republican voters. So he’s not exactly a top contender:

But inconvenient facts like that don’t matter to MSNBC‘s Chris Hayes, who (belatedly) took a swipe at Haley on Monday on the social media platform, suggesting that Moore was the face of the Republican party:

That didn’t sit well with a number of Twitter users, who pointed out that Hayes needed to work on cleaning his own backyard before he started casting stones over the fence:

Donald Trump, Jr. joined in, too, and hammered the Virginia point home:

It should be noted that Trump, Jr. opposes Moore’s candidacy like most Republicans do:

As of this writing, Hayes has not responded to Trump, Jr.’s tweet.

—————–
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

The post MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Took a Swipe at Nikki Haley, but Donald Trump, Jr. Had the Last Laugh appeared first on RedState.

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Prosecutors May Not Pursue Charges Against Alabama Woman Who Started a Fight That Killed Her Unborn Child – Should They?

Westlake Legal Group marshae-jones-SCREENSHOT-620x332 Prosecutors May Not Pursue Charges Against Alabama Woman Who Started a Fight That Killed Her Unborn Child – Should They? Uncategorized staci fox planned parenthood murder marshae jones manslaughter Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture crime andrew skier Allow Media Exception Alabama Abortion

[Screenshot from CBS Evening News, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H94umvT1Eco]

 

On Thursday, I covered the very political case of 27-year-old Alabama resident Marshae Jones, who started a fight last December which resulted in her getting shot in the stomach. Subsequently, her 5-months-along unborn child died. Marshae was charged for the baby’s death (here).

That’s quite a different attitude toward the unborn compared to, say, New York, where the citizenry’s been told it’s welcome to murder a baby only seconds before it’s born (here and here).

But now prosecutors are saying they may not go forward with the charges.

In a press release, District Attorney Lynneice Washington’s office announced they’ve not yet decided whether to pursue the manslaughter charge, reduce it, or drop the whole thing:

Foremost, it should be stated that this is a truly tragic case, resulting in the death of an unborn child,” the release stated. “We feel sympathy for the families involved, including Ms. Jones, who lost her unborn child. The fact that this tragedy was 100% avoidable makes this case even more disheartening.”

Plus, as reported by USA Today, there’s a little bit of shaky legal business at work:

[Marshae’s] charge appears to contradict a portion of Alabama’s Criminal Code. Though the code does include “fetal homicide” language, which defines an “unborn child in utero” as a human being, regardless of viability, the code also states that the prosecution of “any woman with respect to her unborn child” should not be permitted under criminal homicide charges like manslaughter.

“It’s the plain language of the statute,” said Andrew Skier, a Montgomery-based criminal defense attorney.

[A]fter reviewing the state code, Skier said he would file a motion to dismiss if he were involved in the case, “based on that statute” alone.

As would be expected, Planned Parenthood isn’t a fan of the case. That was made clear by Staci Fox, President and CEO of PP Southeast:

“The prosecution of Marshae Jones is absolutely reprehensible. It is more proof that Alabama will do everything in its power to criminalize pregnancy — especially for black women.”

Especially??

But there is precedent, in a way. More from USA Today, in this instance echoing what some of you pointed out in response to the initial story:

Though the indictment of a woman for her own pregnancy loss is unusual in Alabama, it is not unusual for prosecutors to charge people with murder even if they never killed anyone. Felony murder doctrine allows for murder prosecutions if someone dies in the course of an felony.

Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, what do you think the district attorney should do? In the last discussion, many of you remarked on the legal aspect. What about the moral one? What would be just?

I look forward to hearing from you all.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: herehere and here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

Woman Fearful For Her Life Turns Over Her Estranged Husband’s Guns To The Cops. She Gets Arrested For Grand Theft

Charlottesville’s ‘Unite The Right’ Killer Gets Sentenced. Take A Look With Me At What We’ve Become & What Might Save Us

Accused Burglar Throws Human Feces At The Judge In Court. Then The Jury Acquits Him

Find all my RedState work here.

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The post Prosecutors May Not Pursue Charges Against Alabama Woman Who Started a Fight That Killed Her Unborn Child – Should They? appeared first on RedState.

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Trump Consultant Is Trolling Democrats With Biden Site That Isn’t Biden’s

AUSTIN, Tex. — For much of the last three months, the most popular Joseph R. Biden Jr. website has been a slick little piece of disinformation that is designed to look like the former vice president’s official campaign page, yet is most definitely not pro-Biden.

From top to bottom, the website, JoeBiden.info, breezily mocks the candidate in terms that would warm the heart of any Bernie Sanders supporter: There are GIFs of Mr. Biden touching women and girls, and blurbs about his less-than-liberal policy positions, including his opposition to court-ordered busing in the 1970s and his support for the Iraq war. Pull quotes highlight some of his more famous verbal gaffes, like his description of his future boss, Barack Obama, as “articulate and bright and clean.” The introductory text declares, “Uncle Joe is back and ready to take a hands-on approach to America’s problems!”

All the site says about its creator is buried in the fine print at the bottom of the page. The site, it says, is a political parody built and paid for “BY AN American citizen FOR American citizens,” and not the work of any campaign or political action committee.

There is indeed an American behind the website — that much is unambiguously true. But he is very much a political player, and a Republican one at that. His name is Patrick Mauldin, and he makes videos and other digital content for President’s Trump’s re-election campaign. Together with his brother Ryan, Mr. Mauldin also runs Vici Media Group, a Republican political consulting firm in Austin whose website opens with the line “We Kick” followed by the image of a donkey — the Democratic Party symbol often known by another, three-letter, name.

The Biden website was intended to help Democrats “face facts,” Mr. Mauldin said in an interview. He kept his name off it because “people tend to dismiss things that they don’t like, especially if it comes from the opposite side,” he said.

Yet in anonymously trying to exploit the fissures within the Democratic ranks — fissures that ran through this past week’s debates — Mr. Mauldin’s website hews far closer to the disinformation spread by Russian trolls in 2016 than typical political messaging. With nothing to indicate its creator’s motives or employer, the website offers a preview of what election experts and national security officials say Americans can expect to be bombarded with for the next year and a half: anonymous and hard-to-trace digital messaging spread by sophisticated political operatives whose aim is to sow discord through deceit. Trolling, that is, as a political strategy.

Mr. Mauldin, who has not been previously identified as the creator of the website, said he had built and paid for it on his own, and not for the Trump campaign. But the campaign knows about the websites, raising the prospect that the president’s re-election effort condoned what is, in essence, a disinformation operation run by one of its own.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157161576_bb1f9034-33ea-4e1b-a125-ff255baf71a8-articleLarge Trump Consultant Is Trolling Democrats With Biden Site That Isn’t Biden’s washington dc Trump, Donald J San Antonio (Tex) Rumors and Misinformation Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) Moore, Roy S Longview (Tex) Jones, Doug (1954- ) Democratic Party Daily Caller, The CNET CNBC Clinton, Hillary Rodham Biden, Joseph R Jr Austin (Tex) Alabama

The fake website for Mr. Biden included GIFs of him interacting with women, and blurbs about past policy positions.Credit

Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director, did not directly address that issue, though he said it was “great that talented supporters of President Trump use their time to help his re-election.”

“We appreciate their efforts in their own time with parodies like this that help the cause,” he added.

Inside the campaign, Mr. Mauldin, 30, is seen as a rising star, prized for his mischievous sense of humor and digital know-how, according to two people familiar with the operation. He also appears to be very much on point in his choice of targets: Mr. Biden is the Democrat polling strongest against Mr. Trump and has been repeatedly singled out on Twitter by the president.

Mr. Biden’s campaign knew about the fake website for months, but had not been of aware of who was behind it, said T.J. Ducklo, a campaign spokesman. “Imagine our surprise that a site full of obvious disinformation,” he said, “is the handiwork of an operative tied to the Trump campaign.”

Mr. Ducklo sought to place the website firmly in the context of Mr. Trump’s own social media habits — such as tweeting doctored videos — and what he said was the president’s lack of interest in measures to ensure the integrity of American elections.

In addition to Mr. Biden, Mr. Mauldin has anonymously set up faux campaign websites for at least three other Democratic front-runners. “Millionaire Bernie” seeks to tar Mr. Sanders as a greedy socialist; “Elizabeth Warren for Chief” mocks her claim of Native American ancestry; and “Kamala Harris for Arresting the People” highlights her work as a prosecutor who, the site says, “put parents in jail for children skipping school — and laughed about it.”

None, though, has proved as successful as the Biden website. Mr. Mauldin boasted in the interview that he had fooled people into thinking his Biden website was the real campaign page. Some offered to donate money, he said, and others wanted to volunteer.

Mr. Mauldin insisted there was nothing duplicitous about it. “I don’t make any claims on the site to lean one way or the other,” he said, adding, “Facts are not partisan.”

It is buyer beware, and not just for unwitting Democrats. In 2017, a group of Democrats took a page out of the Russian playbook and posed as conservatives to try to divide Republicans in Alabama’s special Senate election, a race narrowly won by a Democrat. And as the 2020 campaign gets underway, election experts say they see signs that Americans from both sides of the political divide are getting ready to do the same. National security officials are also warning that Russia will again try to disrupt the election by spreading disinformation.

Meddling by foreigners is illegal. But trolling or disinformation spread by American citizens is protected by the First Amendment, and if Mr. Mauldin’s work is any guide, Americans may well do a far better job deceiving one another than any Russian troll could hope for.

Unlike much of the Russian disinformation, which often has been crude and off-key — remember the Facebook ad promoting Mr. Sanders as a gay-rights superhero? — the faux Biden site has been a viral hit. Mr. Mauldin even started selling mock Biden 2020 T-shirts through the website to capitalize on its success.

From mid-March, when Mr. Mauldin first began promoting the website on Reddit, through the end of May, it had more than 390,000 unique visitors, according to data compiled by SimilarWeb, a firm that analyzes web traffic. Mr. Biden’s official campaign website had about 310,000.

Of the people who found the websites through search engines, 83 percent landed on Mr. Mauldin’s page, according to SimilarWeb. None of it was paid traffic.

The website’s success was not accidental. Mr. Mauldin put it up well before Mr. Biden’s official website and aggressively pushed it out on Reddit, getting clicks and links and exposure. It had a big boost in May when a handful of media outlets — CNBC, The Daily Caller, CNET, among others — wrote stories about the fake page beating Mr. Biden’s, and all linked to it. Links from established media websites are weighted heavily by search engines. The New York Times is not linking to Mr. Mauldin’s websites to avoid further boosting them in search rankings.

The Trump consultant, Patrick Mauldin, has built websites featuring a number of candidates, including Senator Elizabeth Warren.Credit

In recent weeks, as search companies became aware that Mr. Mauldin’s website was fake, it has fallen below the real Biden page. But it remains among the top results, and it already appears to have fooled people.

“I know a lot of Biden supporters were furious when they saw that website,” said David Goldstein, the chief executive of Tovo Labs, a Democratic digital consulting firm in New York. “They suspected other Dem candidates were behind it.”

Then there were the less politically astute. In late April, Mr. Mauldin anonymously took to Reddit to boast that people were confusing his website for the real one. He posted in r/The_Donald, a popular spot for right-wing trolls to trade tips and show off, using the handle NPC_12345.

“How many Democrats can we red pill with my fake Joe Biden site?” Mr. Mauldin wrote in one post.

Another post included messages from duped Democrats. One person wanted Mr. Biden to speak at her son’s school. Another suggested the former vice president look to an old soul group, the Fifth Dimension, for his campaign song.

There were even messages asking Mr. Biden not to criticize other Democrats, Mr. Mauldin said in the interview. “They want it to be all ‘Kumbaya’ with the Democrats.”

He was not having it. “It’s important for everyone to realize aspects of their own side or candidate that maybe they don’t know about or don’t want to look at,” he said.

By “their own side,” Mr. Mauldin meant Democrats. He is not trolling any Republicans.

For decades, conventional wisdom in politics held that trying to undermine your opponent’s base would only motivate that group to vote against you. But in 2016, Russian disinformation and the Trump team’s own targeting of disenchanted Democrats led many campaign veterans on the left and the right to conclude that sowing dissent inside an opponent’s ranks could work. It worked especially well if the criticism appeared to come from their own side.

Mr. Mauldin posted on Reddit about his fake websites, helping to drive traffic to them.Credit

With websites like the faux Biden page, “essentially you’re trying to sow chaos and you’re trying to basically do voter suppression,” said Mr. Goldstein, the Democratic consultant.

“You want their supporters to get sad, to get angry, to get turned off from their chosen candidate,” he continued. “The way voters tend to work: They don’t turn off from a candidate and pick up someone else; they turn off from a candidate and turn off politics.”

Mr. Goldstein’s firm, Tovo, tried to prove as much during Alabama’s special Senate election in 2017. With targeted ads, Tovo led conservative Republicans to a website featuring articles by conservatives who opposed the far-right candidate, Roy Moore. Moderate Republicans were directed to a site that suggested they write in a different candidate. The effort relied only on genuine content from conservatives, and it was entirely separate from the Democrats who used Facebook to pose as conservatives.

Tovo later published its findings. It claimed to have driven down moderate Republican turnout by 2.5 percent, and conservative Republican turnout by 4.4 percent.

Unlike Tovo, Mr. Mauldin makes no claims of trying to prove any concepts, and he had no intention of outing himself. When approached by The Times, he argued that he should not be identified because he had not sought the spotlight, and because he feared threats and harassment. He preferred “to work behind the scenes,” he wrote in an email.

Mr. Maulden registered the Biden site privately so that his name and contact details would not appear in any public searches. But The Times was able to confirm Mr. Mauldin’s identity because the Biden page shared the same Google analytics tags with a number of other active and defunct websites, including the ones he has made for the three other Democratic candidates. Some of those sites that shared the Google tags were registered under Mr. Mauldin’s name.

Sipping a Crown Royal and Coke at a bar in downtown Austin, Mr. Mauldin bore little resemblance to the boasting troll he played on Reddit. He is slight, and has boyish features. He wore his shirt neatly tucked into jeans, and paused to consider questions before answering. When he did not want to answer, he quietly said, “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” — even when asked about things it was hard to imagine he had forgotten, like what he told the Trump campaign about his websites.

Mr. Mauldin works on President’s Trump’s re-election campaign, which kicked off this past month in Orlando, Fla.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Mr. Mauldin grew up in eastern Texas, and described his political views as “closest to libertarian.” He studied marketing at Texas A&M, and taught himself digital design skills, building on a childhood love of drawing.

He and his brother founded Vici after helping a family friend win a state representative race. Their big break came in June 2016, when the Trump campaign’s digital operation, short of manpower and scrambling, hired Vici.

Mr. Mauldin quickly impressed. His specialty was making the kind of viral videos that riffed on pop culture and were relentlessly pumped out on social media by the Trump campaign. One came after Hillary Clinton dropped a reference to the augmented-reality game Pokémon Go into a speech, urging voters to “Pokemon Go to the polls.” Mr. Mauldin responded with a video that featured Mrs. Clinton as a Pokemon creature players had to catch, providing the kind of tit for tat needed to feed a day of news stories.

In a testimonial on Vici’s website, Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump’s 2016 digital director and now his campaign manager, called Mr. Mauldin “an indispensable part of our digital operation” in the president’s first campaign.

People with ties to the re-election campaign, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of nondisclosure agreements, said that Mr. Mauldin was brought back on retainer for the 2020 race.

Mr. Mauldin would not discuss specifics of his role with the campaign, citing his own nondisclosure agreement. He was only slightly more talkative about his websites.

Pressed on whether he thought they were deceptive, Mr. Mauldin complained that people put too much emphasis on identity “instead of examining the facts themselves.” He brushed off a question about whether GIFs of Mr. Biden touching women, devoid of any context, represented facts.

The point, Mr. Mauldin said, was to help Democrats see their candidates for who they were — warts and all — and not try to pretend that they all agreed and were in lock step on every issue.

As he sees it now, “there’s a party line and you either toe it or you’re a traitor,” he said, adding that this applied to both Democrats and Republicans.

But weren’t his sites encouraging Democrats to look for traitors?

“I mean, they could do it themselves,” Mr. Mauldin said with a laugh. “But they’re not. That’s the problem.”

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A 5-Months-Pregnant Alabama Mother is Shot in the Stomach & Her Baby Dies. The Murder Charges Are Politically Stunning

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This story is as political as any you’ll read this week.

In Alabama, a pregnant woman was shot in the stomach during an altercation. Her unborn child died.

The state considers unborn babies to be people (please see “LANDMARK RULING: A Court In Alabama Declares Aborted Babies People With Human Rights“), ergo charges were brought for the murder of the child — against the mother, not the shooter.

Why? Because, apparently — in the view of the state — it’s a mother’s responsibility to protect her child.

27-year-old Marshae Jones was five months pregnant when she started a fight with 23-year-old Ebony Jemison over Marshae’s baby’s father. According to police, Ebony was defending herself when she shot Marshae.

Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid:

“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby. It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.”

The contrast between that outlook and the perspective of, for example, New York City — where government has conferred upon its citizenry the right to murder babies seconds before they are born (here and here) — is stunning.

How could there exist such different moral principles among people in the same society? Or any societies?

Such disparity clearly fits with the original idea of the United States — one increasingly devastated by our national Congress on both sides of the aisle — that each state should have the right to make its own laws, apart from those of other states.

More from Officer Reid, via the venerable Al.com:

“Let’s not lose sight that the unborn baby is the victim here. She had no choice in being brought unnecessarily into a fight where she was relying on her mother for protection.”

The pro-abortion Yellowhammer Fund is none too impressed with the charges, made clear by Executive Director Amanda Reyes, who for some unknown reason wanted to point out Marshae’s racial makeup, as well as the racial makeup of who she predicts will be shot and prosecuted tomorrow, too — or prosecuted for drinking alcohol or not acquiring proper medical care. She also accused Alabama of considering it a mother’s responsibility to produce a healthy baby:

“The state of Alabama has proven yet again that the moment a person becomes pregnant their sole responsibility is to produce a live, healthy baby and that it considers any action a pregnant person takes that might impede in that live birth to be a criminal act. Today, Marshae Jones is being charged with manslaughter for being pregnant and getting shot while engaging in an altercation with a person who had a gun. Tomorrow, it will be another black woman, maybe for having a drink while pregnant. And after that, another, for not obtaining adequate prenatal care.”

Why will it be “another black woman”? And what if it’s a Hungarian woman instead? A Salvadorean? A Cuban? An Icelander? Different?

Apart from viewing people according to their race, the slippery slope is certainly a legislative and judicial reality capable of wreaking havoc. And the Jefferson County grand jury made a bold move. Do you believe the charges are justified?

Please let us all know in the Comments section. I look forward to learning from you.

Oh — and Roll Tide.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: herehere and here.

Find all my RedState work here.

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The post A 5-Months-Pregnant Alabama Mother is Shot in the Stomach & Her Baby Dies. The Murder Charges Are Politically Stunning appeared first on RedState.

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Roy Moore Wants to Lose Another Senate Race

The only Republican who could lose a statewide race in Alabama these days is determined to try again. News broke today that Roy Moore, the former judge who lost the 2017 Alabama Senate special election to Doug Jones, was tossing his cowboy hat in the ring once again.

It takes a special level of talent to lose in deep-red Alabama to a pro-choice Democrat, and none of Moore’s baggage from his 2017 election — the series of women and corroborating witnesses who accused him of sexual misconduct and sexual assault, getting removed from his judicial offices twice for willfully failing to follow the law, countless comments that many viewed as racist, anti-Semitic, or homophobic — have dissipated, but Moore is determined to cause another round of chaos for Alabama Republicans.

The Washington Post report notes that President Donald Trump, who endorsed Moore in 2017, and top Republicans in his state all voiced concerns that Moore could not win.

“I will run for the U.S. Senate in 2020,” Moore said at a campaign launch event in Montgomery. “Can I win? Yes, I can win.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Alabama’s senior senator, told reporters a few days ago that he did not think Moore could win and he would not support him.

“There are a lot reasons known to you and everybody else,” Shelby said. “I think Alabama could do better. I think he would be a disrupter. I think we can win that seat back as the Republicans but I won’t support him.”

Moore joins multiple other Republicans who have already launched primary campaigns, including Rep. Bradley Byrne, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, State Rep. Arnold Mooney, and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville.

Former Sen. Jeff Sessions, who resigned his seat to temporarily become Trump’s Attorney General, is rumored to be considering running for his old seat, and is viewed as likely to clear the field.

Moore’s announcement drew swift condemnation from the Senate Leadership Fund, a PAC that supports GOP Senate candidates. They released a statement calling the idea of nominating Moore again “gift wrapping this Senate seat for Chuck Schumer.”

Read my RedState article archive here.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.

The post Roy Moore Wants to Lose Another Senate Race appeared first on RedState.

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Roy Moore: Who’s ready for Roy Moore 2.0?

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I was worried that Alabama Republicans might be left next year without the option on the ballot of a hugely unpopular populist saddled with scandal baggage involving underaged girls.

Thankfully my fears have now been eased.

The “Draft Jeff Sessions” movement begins today.

“I will run for the U.S. Senate in 2020,” Moore said at an event in Montgomery, Ala., “Can I win? Yes, I can win.”…

“Why is there such a fear, such an anger to somebody running. The mere mention of my name causes people to get up in arms in D.C. Is it because I’m a staunch conservative? Is it because I believe in God, marriage, morality? Is it because I believe in the right of the baby in the womb?” Moore, 72, told reporters and supporters in making his announcement…

Alabama’s senior Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R) echoed Trump’s concerns Wednesday, ahead of Moore’s campaign announcement and said he would not support him.

“There are a lot reasons known to you and everybody else,” Shelby said. “I think Alabama could do better. I think he would be a disrupter. I think we can win that seat back as the Republicans but I won’t support him.”

Hats off to a guy who blew a special election in one of the reddest states in the country for believing that Washington — including Trump — opposes him because he’s too “staunchly conservative.” But, as I’ve said before, I do think he’s right that he can win a general election next year with Trump at the top of the ballot. He barely lost to Doug Jones in 2017. Trump should be able to drag anyone, Moore included, across the finish line if he has to in a year with turnout at presidential-election levels.

But he and his family really, really, really don’t want to. And they haven’t been shy about saying so. Including again this afternoon:

I continue to believe that Moore can’t win another primary in a runoff state like Alabama. He can win a plurality in the first round and advance again to the runoff, but the nightmare of 2017 has to — has to — mean that 50.1 percent of Alabama Republicans will gamble on a different candidate if forced to choose between that candidate and Moore next year. They’re not going to throw good money after bad with a six-year term for Jones on the line this time. Especially with the Trumps campaigning for some alternative (Sessions?) in the primary.

Here he is this afternoon making his announcement. Exit question: Would McConnell attempt to expel Moore from the Senate on scandal grounds if he wins — and, if so, would he say that upfront during the primary, making it a campaign issue? That might backfire, after all, by handing the populist Moore another credential to tout how much the establishment hates him. McConnell declared Jones “not fit” to serve two years ago but conceded that, under Supreme Court precedent, the Senate couldn’t refuse to seat Moore if he had defeated Jones. But there’s always the possibility of an ethics investigation and expulsion from the chamber. If, that is, Trump didn’t vocally oppose it. Which he almost certainly would once the seat has been safely won, with Moore promising to be a loyal Trumpian soldier in the Senate.

The post Roy Moore: Who’s ready for Roy Moore 2.0? appeared first on Hot Air.

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Jeff Sessions thinking of running for his old Senate seat in Alabama?

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I think he’s running. Not because he’s said so — he’s noncommittal, per Richard Shelby — but because American politics is a television show now whose day-to-day developments are driven by drama. What would be the most dramatic thing that could happen in the Alabama race? Off the top of my head, it would be Roy Moore announcing his candidacy (which may come as soon as tomorrow), surging to an unexpectedly large lead in the primary, and forcing a desperate GOP to scramble to find someone who can beat him.

And who’s the likeliest candidate to do that? Why, former Trump advisor turned enemy Jeff Sessions, who abandoned the Senate to join the administration as AG only to be smacked publicly every day by the president for doing the ethical thing and recusing himself from Russiagate. Subplot one: Can a reluctant Sessions be talked into saving the seat for a party that treated him so badly?

Subplot two: Can Trump be persuaded to put aside his hatred and back Sessions if the alternative is another Senate nomination for Roy Moore?

It’d be the cheesiest of political melodrama, worthy of “House of Cards,” so of course it’s going to happen. Then, in the exciting season finale, newly elected Sen. Sessions will become the 67th vote for removal in the Senate after Democrats impeach Trump. What a twist.

“Sessions I don’t think has ruled it out,” Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) told reporters. “I’ve talked to him about it. I think if he ran he would be a formidable candidate, formidable. I’ve not encouraged him to run, but he’s a friend, and if he ran I think he’d probably clear the field.”…

Shelby said Wednesday that he would not support Moore, a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, for the Senate seat.

“There are a lot reasons known to you and everybody else,” Shelby said. “I think Alabama could do better. I think he would be a disrupter. I think we can win that seat back as the Republicans, but I won’t supporting him.”

Shelby suggested it would be difficult to beat Jones next year if Moore in the GOP nominee.

Eh, I don’t know that it’d be “difficult” to beat Jones even with Moore as nominee since Trump will be at the top of the ballot. It’d be more difficult than it would be with any other Republican, especially Sessions. I don’t think Sessions running would “clear the field” either. Certainly Moore would hang in there and try to turn the primary into a referendum on Russiagate, which would make things awkward for Trump. Would he endorse Sessions purely in the interest of flipping Doug Jones’s seat? Or would he stay neutral because his animosity towards Sessions allows him no other option?

If he did stay neutral, how much traction might Moore get from Russiagate in the primary? Not much, I’d bet. Sessions would likely win easily, partly out of residual goodwill from his years in the Senate, partly out of sympathy for how he was treated as AG. Even Trump endorsing Moore might not be enough to stop him. Trump endorsed Luther Strange over Moore in the 2017 runoff, remember, and Alabama Republicans nominated Moore anyway. This time, knowing that Moore’s lost once already to Jones, voters might lunge at the chance to nominate a sure winner like Sessions whether Trump likes it or not.

In fact, precisely because Sessions would be so hard to beat, Trump probably wouldn’t oppose him — and might even support him. POTUS loves to be seen as being on the side of winners. If he’s convinced that Sessions is unbeatable, he’ll endorse him grudgingly purely in the interest of taking some credit for his victory afterward.

Exit question: How long has Sessions been thinking about challenging Jones? Here’s a story from Politico published last November, just days after he was fired as AG, claiming that he was thinking about it. Maybe he’s been holding back, waiting for Moore to declare in the expectation that that’ll throw a scare into the GOP and make them more amenable to him riding to the rescue.

The post Jeff Sessions thinking of running for his old Senate seat in Alabama? appeared first on Hot Air.

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