K. Alex Lane is a student at the University of Alabama and she is making some waves due to a certain wardrobe choice she made on Monday.
Lane wore a black t-shirt bearing the words “Fuck Donald” above an American flag.
The Donald in question obviously being Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump.
On Facebook, Lane explained the reason she wore the provocative shirt:
“[I] walked around The University of Alabama’s campus with this shirt on cus it was only right after last night’s debate.”
The University of Alabama campus has been rocked in recent weeks by racially charged comments posted to social media by students.
Lane claims that some students called her racially charged names on campus Monday.
“[I] got called the n-word by a white male and a “stupid bitch” by a white female. couldn’t help by laugh right in their faces.”
RISE NEWS is not able to independently confirm Lane’s claims. We will update this story when she responds to questions we sent her.
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In politics, matters of morality shouldn’t be adjudicated in the public sphere unless they are connected to illicit rule breaking or are egregious in nature.
And the same should be true in Alabama as well.
Spencer Collier, the freshly fired chief of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency made some pretty explosive public claims to AL.com this week about Gov. Robert Bentley‘s alleged extramarital affair with a senior political aide named Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
There have been rumors of an affair for over a year but Collier is the most high profile official to speak out about it on the record.
Bentley has always maintained that the rumors are untrue.
Yellowhammer News followed up today with a tawdry report that outlined an audio recording that the conservative news organization was given access to.
From the Yellowhammer report:
“In the recordings, the Governor calls Mrs. Mason “baby” and discusses how much he enjoys standing behind her and touching her breasts. He also references a past encounter and says if they are going to do “that” again, they will need to start locking the door and also consider moving “Wanda’s” desk further away, presumably referencing executive assistant Wanda Kelly, whose Capitol office is just outside of the Governor’s.”
Then Collier held a press conference today where he confirmed that he believed Bentley conducted a long-lasting affair with Mason.
Collier was fired from his post as the top cop in the state yesterday after an internal Alabama Law Enforcement Agency investigation “uncovered possible wrong doing under Collier’s time as its leader,” according to AL.com.
“Spencer Collier and I have served together a long time, dating back to my time in the Alabama House of Representatives,” Bentley said in a statement announcing Collier’s ouster. “I am disappointed to learn these facts, and today I relieve Spencer Collier of his duties as ALEA secretary.”
From 30,000 feet, Collier’s claims do seem to have a few problems.
First off, Collier is an aggrieved former employee.
Also, the man who Collier alleges first discovered evidence of the affair has said that he doesn’t support Collier’s allegations against Bentley.
“The allegation and implication from Mr. Collier is completely false and without merit,” Stan Stabler, the new ALEA head said in a statement obtained by AL.com. “ALEA is focused on the future and my priority remains the same – to carry out the mission of the agency and ensure our law enforcement officers and support staff honorably provide service, protection, and safety for all of our citizens.”
Of course, it could be equally argued that Stabler had a lot to gain by not backing up Collier.
In any event, not much is clear based on the current “evidence” available in the public sphere.
And that is the point.
Yes, it may be interesting, juicy, scandalous even.
But an affair, even one between a governor and his top political aide is not illegal on its face.
And the affair should not be the focus, especially not in 2016.
What does matter is whether Bentley used taxpayer money or state resources to hide his affair.
Collier said in the press conference that he advised Bentley against doing that when he found out about the affair, but he also hasn’t supplied evidence that the governor has broken the law.
Of course, this should be investigated further.
Collier also claims that Mason has an outsized amount of influence and power in the Bentley administration. That is concerning to be sure, but is it illegal?
What also matters is who or what is behind the shady group that pays for Mason’s salary.
The secret 501(c)(4) that pays for Mason’s salary is called the Alabama Council for Excellent Government. Under Alabama law, the group is under no obligation to disclose who donates to it or where most of its money goes to.
That’s the real scandal.
Have a tip about this developing situation? Send it to email@example.com.
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By Staff Report
Students at the largely hispanic Florida International University are planning to walk out of class Wednesday afternoon to protest the election of Donald Trump.
The action is in conjunction with a national movement that wants college campuses to declare themselves a #SanctuaryCampus in order to fight against Trump’s promises to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
The protest will start at 3 PM and run until 6 PM according to the Facebook page that has been set up to organize it.
After walking out of class, students are planning at meeting at a free speech zone located at the GC Lawns outside of Einstein Bagels on the FIU main campus.
Here’s more from the organizers:
“On November 16th, we are calling on all students to join the movement to declare their campuses a #SanctuaryCampus and commit to putting our bodies between Trump and undocumented students.
We are already seeing students rise up on our own– but we must create national solidarity to create a massive resistance against Donald Trump and to demand permanent protection, dignity, and respect for all immigrants.
It’s time that we unite to protect our most vulnerable people– including undocumented immigrants, Black people, Muslims, Queer people, and all people of color.
We must amplify each other and rise up together in the face of Trump.”
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The Anniston Star, one of Alabama’s largest newspapers has called for President Obama to free former Gov. Don Siegelman from federal prison.
Siegelman is currently serving a 78 month prison sentence for bribery, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice charges stemming from a controversial arrangement made during his term as governor in the early part of the century.
His case is a complicated one to be sure.
But for the sake of a summation, AL.com does a pretty good job:
Siegelman was convicted by a federal court in 2006, “after being accused of appointing former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to a health planning board in return for a $500,000 donation to the governor’s campaign for a statewide lottery.”
Was it corruption or just politics?
Depending on which side of the political aisle you sat at the time would determine how you felt.
But with the Supreme Court overturning the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in a somewhat similar case as Siegelman, some believe that Obama should take action for the sake of justice.
The Anniston Star is leading the charge.
In an editorial, the paper cited the oft whispered idea that Siegelman’s conviction was a politically driven witch hunt.
“There’s no undoing the years of legal harassment waged against Don Siegelman,” The Anniston Star wrote in their editorial last week. “This court ruling and its narrowed definition of public corruption are an opportunity for President Barack Obama to use his presidential powers to make the former Alabama governor a free man.”
A few years back, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Siegelman’s son Joe.
At the time, Joe Siegelman was a student at the University of Alabama School of Law and was all a father could ask for in a son.
He was steadfast in his father’s defense, taking little time to sip his Starbucks coffee as that would have taken away from his time to convince me.
Indeed, many in his family were willing to try to convince anyone, anywhere of their father’s innocence.
Imagine what that must be like.
Your family used to be on top of the state with nothing but promise ahead.
Then a combination of bad decisions, confusion and a broken justice system breaks your family apart, soiling your name.
We’ll probably never know if Don Siegelman is totally innocent of the crimes he has been convicted of.
But a few things are certain.
One is that the US Supreme Court doesn’t feel like those crimes are that important anymore. Just politics as usual they say.
And two, is that Don Siegelman has certainly lost enough of his life already.
He is currently in solitary confinement in a Louisiana prison with another two and a half years to serve on his sentence.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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