December 2016 Group Watch: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

As we approach the close of this year, all of us here at The Bloom Group are already looking forward to representing and serving our clients in 2017. We hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful start to the New Year!

November 2016 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The role Alabama leaders may play on the national stage now that Donald Trump is president-elect and a suspension of the Governor Bentley impeachment hearings are the talk of the town this month.

AL Senator Jeff Sessions Joins Trump Transition Team
President-elect Donald Trump is shaking up his transition team as he plunges into the work of setting up his administration. The transition effort will be led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence and will include steadfast supporters like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. Sessions was an early supporter of Trump and a fierce defender of him and his candidacy.

Former AL AG Bill Pryor Among Contenders for Supreme Court
Among the names on a Trump list of 21 possible Supreme Court nominees is Mobile native Bill Pryor. Pryor served as Alabama’s Attorney General from 1997-2004, becoming the youngest state AG in the country. In 2005, Pryor was nominated by President George W. Bush as a U.S. Circuit Judge for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, a position to which he was confirmed by the United States Senate. Pryor has steadfastly opposed legalized abortion, ruled against gay marriage and ruled for for religious organizations fighting Obamacare contraceptive mandates. He is a practicing Catholic and a graduate of Tulane Law School.
House Judiciary Committee Suspends Impeachment Hearings
The House Judiciary committee has suspended its impeachment hearings against Governor Robert Bentley after receiving a request from the State’s Attorney General’s office expressing concerns that the hearings could jeopardize the AG’s criminal investigation into a separate criminal matter. Committee Chair Mike Jones said his decision to suspend the hearings is consistent with his commitment to work cooperatively with other investigating agencies. House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said that proceeding with impeachment hearings while there is an active criminal investigation would put a number of parties in a difficult position.

November 2016 Group Watch: AL House Speaker Adjusts to New Role

Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said at the time he took office in August that he felt like he was drinking from a fire hose. Months later, after working through a hectic special session focused on a state budget crisis, he is now settling into the job that became his after former Speaker Mike Hubbard was ousted in June after being convicted on ethics charges. Speaker McCutcheon said budgets will continue to be challenges, as members remain largely opposed to tax increases. He hopes the advisory committee on budgets will provide information to lawmakers if there are any earmarked dollars that can be used to address other needs.

November 2016 Group Watch: Thousands of AL Voters Didn’t Vote for President

More than 13,000 Alabama voters went to the polls last Tuesday and did not vote in the presidential race. According to the secretary of state’s office, 2.1 million ballots were cast and as expected, Alabama supported Donald Trump. The more than 13,000 ballots cast in the state that did not include a vote for president overwhelmed the last time the incumbent president was not on the ballot. In 2008, when President Obama defeated John McCain, 5,843 Alabama ballots did not include a vote for president. McCain carried Alabama by more than 450,000 votes over Obama.

November 2106 Group Watch: We’re Thankful for You

This Thanksgiving, as we pause to celebrate our blessings and the things we are thankful for, The Bloom Group would like to express our appreciation for all of our clients and friends. We hope each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of food, family and fun.

October 2016 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

New leadership in the judiciary and looking ahead to the issues that will most likely dominate the 2017 legislative session are just two of the subjects grabbing headlines in Alabama political news this month.

Lyn Stuart Assumes Leadership of State Judiciary
Justice Lynn Stuart has served as the state’s acting chief justice since May, when ethics charges against Chief Justice Roy Moore led to his suspension. The Court of the Judiciary recently suspended Judge Moore for the remainder of his term which ends in 2019. Justice Stuart, currently serving her third term on the state’s highest court, is the most senior justice. She won election as a district judge in Baldwin County in 1988. Governor Fob James appointed her a circuit judge in the county in 1997. Three years later, she was elected to the state’s highest court where she has served since that time. As the top administrator of the state courts, Stuart oversees day-to-day operations and will be tasked with addressing the perpetual struggle to adequately fund the court system.
Contract Review Committee Delays Contract
The Legislative Contract Review Committee recently met and agreed to delay a $1.3 million legal services contract after State Auditor Jim Zeigler presented objections to unbid contracts to provide legal services for the Alabama Medicaid to implement their RCO plan. Zeigler calls the RCO plan “fatally flawed and needs to be scrapped.” After the state did not expand Medicaid to include the poor, non-disabled and non-senior adults, most of the beneficiaries affected are children. The largest Medicaid provider to this segment is Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Children’s Hospital recently criticized the RCO plan saying it will place a further financial burden on the state’s beleaguered General Fund. The State Medicaid Agency will be able to present their case for approving the legal contract to the committee next month.

Prisons Big Issue for 2017
Next year, Alabama lawmakers could again face calls to build new prisons in order to reduce overcrowding. In a recent letter to Governor Bentley, The Department of Justice stated that it is launching an investigation into the 14 men’s prisons in Alabama. The investigation will focus on whether prisoners are adequately protected from physical harm and sexual abuse at the hands of other inmates or staff, and whether the prisons provide sanitary, secure and safe living conditions. The Department of Justice warns that the state could face a lawsuit if violations are found, and the state doesn’t work to correct them.

October 2016 Group Watch: Bloom Group Associate Honored

james-smallThe University of Alabama recently announced the 2016 inductees to the Alabama Social Work Hall Of Fame that honors the accomplishments of some of the state’s most distinguished leaders in the field of social work. One of the three inductees is The Bloom Group’s very own, James Dupree, Jr. who spent more than 25 years in juvenile justice and retired in 1998 as CEO of the Alabama Department of Youth Services. Since his retirement, he has worked as a professor, consultant and now, as an associate with The Bloom Group, Inc. He remains active in the community where he serves on several boards including the Alabama Youth Services Board.

October 2016 Group Watch: New Bloom Group Associate


We are proud to announce Garrett Jemison, former state director for Senator Richard Shelby, as the firm’s newest associate. For almost 30 years, we have been advocating for our clients and reaping real results. Now, with the addition of Jemison, our team of experienced professionals has gotten even stronger. Jemison, a Montgomery native, brings his strategic planning skills, his detailed understanding of the interface of business and government, expertise in campaign fundraising and messaging, and a long-standing relationship with Alabama’s Congressional Delegation to bear on behalf our clients.

After graduating from The University of Alabama with BA in Political Science with a minor in Public Relations in 2008, Jemison continued the association he formed with Senator Richard Shelby as an intern while still in school when Senator Shelby selected Jemison to serve in his personal office. Jemison next went to work at Mowery Consulting Group, a strategic communications, public relations and campaign consulting firm.

In 2011, Senator Shelby asked Jemison to serve as his State Director, where he oversaw in-state operations and set up events in all 67 counties for the senator’s annual state tour, giving him a first-hand look at the needs of everyday Alabamians across all regions of the state. He also spent a year working with Franklin Resources Group in Montgomery as an associate.

In 2014, Jemison formed Jemison Inc., and now, in addition to his work with The Bloom Group, he maintains a diverse portfolio of clients ranging from energy, defense and education, to associations, municipalities and counties.

According to The Bloom Group’s founder and principal Hal Bloom, Jemison will add considerable depth to the firm’s expertise. “The Bloom Group is honored to represent some of the finest businesses and trade organizations in Alabama and the nation and proud to announce Garrett as a new player on our team,” Bloom said.

Jemison is equally pleased with his new position. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to put the skills I’ve gained in my career to good use through The Bloom Group.”

Jemison and his wife Emily live in Montgomery.


October 2016 Group Watch: Political Trailblazer Lucy Baxley Passes

Noted Alabama public servant Lucy Baxley died peacefully on Friday, October 14, at age 78. After working in Birmingham real estate, Baxely entered politics and enjoyed much success. She was elected as state treasurer in 1994 and again in 1998. She made history by becoming the state’s first female lieutenant governor, serving from 2003-2007. While in that role, she ran as the Democratic nominee for governor in 2006 but lost in the general election. After suffering a stroke in 2006, she pushed on and became president of the Public Service Commission in 2008. Throughout her career, she was someone Alabama could be proud of, and all of us here at The Bloom Group offer our sympathy and prayers to her family and many friends.

October 2016 Group Watch: Central Alabama Community College Grants

Governor Robert Bentley recently announced the award of two Appalachian Regional Commission grants of nearly $1 million to Central Alabama Community College. The grants will allow the college to expand a classroom and purchase new equipment for students studying advanced manufacturing at its Alexander City campus. Governor Bentley said the community college system is extremely important in the workforce training program. The development of the advanced manufacturing course was funded by the state after firms started selecting east Alabama as a place to locate.

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