December 2017 Group Watch: Merry Christmas

While this time of year can be hectic, all of us here at The Bloom Group would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our clients and colleagues Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year! We hope you find some quality time among the shopping, parties and gatherings to truly enjoy the season and all it brings.

November 2017 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Governor approval ratings staying high and our state’s hospital infection rates being ranked low mark some good news for November.

  • Governor Ivey’s Approval Holds Steady: Governor Kay Ivey’s approval rating is holding high and steady as she finishes out her sixth month since taking office. A new poll shows that 62 percent of those polled said they approved of the job she is doing as governor. Her disapproval rating dropped 1 percentage point from 13 percent to 12 percent. Ivey’s popularity has her in the top 5 governors in terms their approval rating, moving up two spots since the last poll from sixth to fourth. Only the governors of Arkansas, Maryland and Massachusetts have higher approval ratings.
  • State Developing Master Plan for Prisons: The Alabama Department of Corrections (DOC) plans to hire a project management team to develop a master plan to build and renovate state prisons. The DOC expects to have the project management team in place by mid-December. The agency issued a request for qualification (RFQ) to identify companies that can do the work. Preference will be given Alabama companies. The goals of the project are construction of new men’s prison facilities, renovation of existing facilities and renovation of existing healthcare facilities for prisoners or construction of new ones.
  • AL Hospitals’ Infection Rates Low: Alabama hospitals performed better that the national average in four key measures of the rates of patient infections, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. The state’s acting state health officer Dr. Scott Harris announced the results from an annual report on infections patients acquire in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. Since 2011, Alabama hospitals have reported in four categories: catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections and surgical site infections from colon surgeries and abdominal hysterectomies. Prevention of healthcare-associated infections is important because they delay a patient’s recovery or cause death.
  • Rep. Richard Lindsey Retiring: State Representative Richard Linsey announced he will not run for another term in the House of Representatives, where he has served since 1983. During his tenure in the House, Lindsey served for 10 years as chair of the House Education Budget Committee. Lindsey said he has enjoyed serving the people of his district, and his colleagues say he will be missed.

November 2017 Group Watch: GOP Chair Issues Warning

Republican Party Chair Terry Latham recently warned GOP officials and candidates not to endorse Doug Jones or a write-in campaign for the U.S. Senate race against Roy Moore. She reminded party members that the party reserves the right to deny ballot access to a candidate for public office if in a prior election that person was a Republican office holder and either publicly participated in the primary election of another party or publicly supported a nominee of another party. The provisions of the rule shall apply for a period of six years after such person so participated.

November 2017 Group Watch: Thankful for You

At The Bloom Group, our “thankful” list is a pretty long one. We’re grateful that Alabama politics is always interesting. We’re appreciative of our many years in this business. But most of all, we remain thankful for our many public and private sector clients who trust us to help them reach their goals. We hope you have a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving holiday.

November 2017 Group Watch: Welcome John!

The Bloom Groupwelcomes its newest associate, John Guthrie Jr. He has decades of experience and a proven track record of successfully lobbying for more than 30 local government entities in Jefferson County—including the county and its largest city, Birmingham. Get to know him better here.

October 2017 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

More election news and personnel moves top the news in Alabama politics this month.

  • Walt Maddox Running for Governor: Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox confirmed what many have speculated for some time: He is running governor in 2018. Maddox, a Democrat who has led the state’s fifth largest city since 2005, has 319 individuals invested in his campaign. Along with Maddox, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb is running for the Democratic nomination. On the Republican side, Governor Kay has announced plans to seek a full term. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Birmingham Evangelist Scott Dawson, state corrections officer Stacy George, state Senator Bill Hightower of Mobile, Birmingham businessman Joshua Jones and Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan are also seeking the GOP nomination.
  • Republicans & Democrats Look to Fill Ross Seat: The appointment of Senator Quinton Ross to become president of Alabama State University has created a flurry of activity to fill his now vacant senate seat for District 26. Governor Ivey set the primary for Tuesday, December 12, with a runoff Tuesday, February 27, 2018, and the general election Tuesday, May 15, 2018. DJ Johnson has qualified to run as a Republican. Five Democrats qualified to run on the Democratic ticket: Deborah Anthony, Fred Bell, David Burkette, Tony Cobb and John Knight. Knight is currently serving in the House from Montgomery, and Burkette and Bell are currently serving on the Montgomery City Council.
  • Buskey Retiring: Representative James Buskey of Mobile announced he will not seek re-election in 2018, thus ending a legislative career of more than 40 years. Buskey is one of the longest current serving members of the legislature, second only to Alvin Holmes of Montgomery, who has served since 1976. When Buskey’s current term ends, he will have served 42 years in the House. Members young and not so young praise his acumen and leadership.

October 2017 Group Watch: Ivey Praises Pre-K

Governor Kay Ivey visited Auburn as part of her “Strong Start, Strong Finish” education initiative.  Ivey cut the ribbon at the Auburn Daycare Center-Moton to recognize a new First-Class Pre-K classroom and while there, praised the state’s Pre-K program. Eighteen children are enrolled at this site, which is located in the Auburn Housing Authority Complex. Pre-K is part of the Office of School Readiness within the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, and the program has received the highest quality rating from the National Institute for Early Education Research for the past 11 years.

October 2017 Group Watch: F-35 Decision Coming

For two years now, a partnership consisting of unit commanders, community and state leaders, local business leaders and Alabama’s congressional delegation have been working to bring the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the 187thFighter Wing at Dannelly Field in Montgomery. Congresswoman Martha Roby and others are making a final push as the decision should be made in the next few weeks. The 187th is one of five Air National Guard units on the short list being considered. On the line for Montgomery are $100 million annually and 2,400 jobs.

September 2017 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Governor Ivey’s election news and other announcements are hot topics in Alabama politics this month.

  • Gov. Ivey to Run: It’s official, Governor Kay Ivey, who for months deflected questions about her plans for 2018, formally announced she is seeking re-election next year. In recent weeks, she has put major effort into building up a campaign. The governor established a finance committee and began raking in money. It was recently announced the Ivey has raised more than $1 million so far for her campaign. In correspondence released by her campaign, Ivey, who became the state’s chief executive after Robert Bentley resigned in April, cited her efforts to improve ethics within state government, while hitting a traditional theme of economic development. Governor Ivey officially enters the campaign with a high approval rating and the power of incumbency.
  • Quinton Ross Named ASU President: The Alabama State University board of trustees named state Senator Quinton Ross as the university’s president. Ross, the Senate minority leader from Montgomery, is an ASU alum. It’s  where he earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership, policy and law. Ross has served in the Alabama Senate since 2002. He also served as director of adult education at Trenholm State Community College from 2004 to 2014 and since 2015, has been a consultant for the Alabama Education Association. ASU Board Chair Alfreda Green said Ross separated himself from the other candidates during his interview with the board and lauded him for his state connections and fundraising ability.
  • Sellers to Seek Full Term: Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Will Sellers, appointed to the court by Governor Kay Ivey, announced he will seek a full term in next year’s election. Sellers graduated from Hillsdale College in 1985 and received his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1988. Sellers was a lawyer with the Balch & Bingham firm in Montgomery until his appointment to the court. Sellers was an Electoral College elector for Alabama in each of the last four elections. He has received endorsements from the Business Council of Alabama’s political action committee and the Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee.

September 2017 Group Watch: GP Announces New Facility

Georgia-Pacific announced a new lumber facility in Talladega that will bring in 100 full time jobs. Construction on the new $100 million lumber production facility is expected to begin in late 2018. Georgia-Pacific will be using the former plywood plant that closed in 2008 as the location for the new facility. The construction period, set for 12 months, will provide for around 120 people a day. Officials from the company said the availability of talent and natural resources makes Talladega an ideal site for the new lumber-production facility. They go on to say that the City of Talladega, Talladega County and the State of Alabama have been supportive of this new venture. Gov. Ivey was present for the announcement.

The Bloom Group, Inc.

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