Monday, July 31, 2006

Bob Riley & Bill Johnson

I have been remiss in covering the latest development in the staffing changes in Gov. Bob Riley's campaign. Of course, in the last week I have been in two meetings in Montgomery, three in Birmingham and had one speaking engagement in Birmingham also, which has made for a very busy girl with little time for blogging.

What has happened in Riley's campaign is that he has appointed Bill Johnson as his grassroots coordinator. What makes that particularly fascinating for me is Mr. Johnson's colorful past and his stances on legalizing drugs and prostitution. He sounds a great deal like a point. You see, Bill Johnson ran as an Independent for Senate against former Atty. General John Ashcroft in Missouri.

He also worked on Bob Riley's campaign for Congress going all the way back to 1996 and worked on his campaign for Governor of Alabama in 2002. In 2005 Riley placed Mr. Johnson in the position of Director of ADECA.

That seems incredibly contradictory because ADECA was responsible for handing out BYRNE Grants which were used to fund drug task forces.

The fact that the following article points out Mr. Johnson refused to pay his taxes for 14 years because he disagreeed with what government did with his money raises the following question.

If you refuse to pay your taxes because you hold a moral opposition to how that money is being spent then why would you take a position handing out government grants to law enforcement to form drug task forces when you say that you also disagree with the drug laws?

Mr. Johnson sounds like a hypocrite of the highest order and a political opportunist to me. Not that any of that is surprising. For any of you thinking that Riley's appointment of this guy as his grassroots coorinator and the media's decision to focus on his drug policy stance is an indication that Riley might wise up and fix the drug laws and prison crisis in this state....think again. This is simply the R's trying to steal back what Republican support I have (which is actually pretty impressive considering all of the things I support). DON'T BUY IT!

Vote Nall Y'all...It's Just Common Sense

Riley moves campaign staffers
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Capital Bureau
MONTGOMERY -- Bill Johnson has left his Cabinet post as head of the Alabama Department of Community and Economic Affairs to become the grass-roots coordinator for Gov. Bob Riley's re-election effort.

Johnson takes over for Don Fisher, who held the title "state team leader" and headed the governor's grass-roots efforts during the Republican primary campaign. Fisher, according to Riley campaign spokesman Josh Blades, remains with the campaign as Johnson's deputy. Blades said Fisher will also coordinate ballot security efforts and the wooing of veterans.

"Don did a fantastic job coordinating the state (grass-roots) team through the primary -- just look at the numbers," said Blades, referring to Riley's near 2-to-1 defeat of ousted state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in the June 6 GOP primary.

Johnson also ran Riley's grass-roots efforts in 2002, eight years after the Spring Hill College graduate's own unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid in Missouri. In that campaign, Johnson ran as an independent, advocating the legalization of drugs and prostitution and disclosing that he had failed to pay federal income taxes for 14 years because he refused to finance an "arrogant, unresponsive and corrupt" government.

He has since served as a Birmingham City Council member.

Johnson became ADECA director in May 2005. He succeeded John Harrison, who became the state banking superintendent.

Riley administration spokesman Jeff Emerson said that Doni Ingram is now acting director of ADECA, a clearinghouse for many federal and state grant programs for community development. Ingram had been assistant director since February. Johnson is officially on unpaid leave until Nov. 16, Emerson said.

Johnson initially linked with Riley in 1995, joining the first congressional campaign of the Ashland businessman who served three terms in Washington, D.C., before winning the governorship.

He ended up as campaign manager of Riley's 1996 campaign and was named chief of staff by the congressman-elect. Johnson ended up resigning, however, after press accounts and public pressure concerning the views he expressed in Missouri during his 1994 campaign. Johnson said in 1996 that he changed his views of the federal government after Republicans won congressional majorities in 1994.

After finishing at Spring Hill, Johnson dropped out of medical school before traveling the world for several years, which included stints as a volunteer medic for the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan and Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

As for his role in the 2006 Riley campaign, Johnson will effectively serve as the boss in the Montgomery office, which is the headquarters of the grass-roots operation, Blades said.

Riley's Birmingham office, Blades said, comprises his fund-raising operation. Riley's daughter, Minda Riley Campbell, often works in the Birmingham office, which is located near the law offices of Riley's son, Rob Riley. The governor's media strategy, meanwhile, is being coordinated by the Washington, D.C.-based Stevens & Schriefer Group, which worked for President Bush in 2004.

Blades said there is no individual with a title such as "campaign manager" or "campaign director." Riley essentially had both in 2002, as does his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, this year.

Asked who's running the governor's re-election effort, Blades responded, "Bob Riley."

Friday, July 28, 2006

Nall to Speak in Birmingham on Friday, July 28


Loretta Nall for Governor Campaign
2330 Highland Ave. S
Birmingham, AL 35205

Libertarian Party Gubernatorial Candidate, Loretta Nall, to Appear at Speakers Corner

Birmingham, AL – July 25, 2006 – On July 28, 2006 Libertarian Party Gubernatorial Candidate Loretta Nall will be the guest speaker at Speakers Corner in Birmingham, AL. This event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will consist of a 20-minute speech from Mrs. Nall about her platform for Governor and her ideas for Alabama and will be followed by a question and answer period from the audience.

The address is:

The Safari Cup Coffee House
300 Richard Arrington BLDV
Birmingham, AL 35203

All supporters and media are encouraged to attend. For more information please contact the Loretta Nall for Governor Campaign at 205-328-8683 or 256-625-9599 or you may email them by clicking here.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sit Down...Jeff Sessions Does Something Good

I often have pleasant dreams about Senator Jeff Sessions spontaneously combusting live on T.V. and I consider him an embarassment to the great state of Alabama in all ways. But, today I am going to say something good. Sit down and enjoy it because it is likely the only good thing you will ever hear me say about Sir Sessions.

For the record, this bill does not go far enough. People who simply use cocaine or crack cocaine and do not bother anyone while using do not belong in jail any more than pot smokers do. Jail and prison are not the solution to any sort of drug use issue.

Sessions revives plan to adjust cocaine sentencing
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
News Washington correspondent
WASHINGTON - Mandatory prison terms for crack and powder cocaine offenders, now vastly different, would be brought more in line in legislation that U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions revived Tuesday, five years after he first tried to pass it.

Under federal sentences prescribed by Congress, someone automatically goes to prison for 10 years for having 5,000 grams of powder cocaine; the same sentence is triggered at only 50 grams of crack. Similarly, 500 grams of powder brings five years, while it only takes 5 grams of crack. The 100:1 ratio has been labeled unjust, unfair and discriminatory.

"We've had lots of concerns and complaints about that, and I think they're legitimate," said Sessions, an Alabama Republican and former state and federal prosecutor.

Sessions' bill would increase the amount of crack and decrease the amount of powder that trigger the mandatory sentences, dropping it to a 20:1 disparity. For example, the legislation would lower the 10-year sentence for powder to 4,000 grams and increase the crack to 200 grams.

"I think it's the right balance. I believe it would improve the sentencing guidelines, create more integrity in the system and create more public confidence in the system," Sessions said in a news conference.

Sessions was joined by a bipartisan group of senators, all of whom are also former state attorneys general: Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark; John Cornyn, R-Texas; and Ken Salazar, D-Colo.

Pryor said the current system discriminates against minorities, who more often use the cheaper and more addictive crack form of the drug. In 2000, 84 percent of crack cases were against blacks, 9 percent Hispanics and 5 percent whites, while powder offenders were 30 percent black, 50 percent Hispanic and 17 percent white, he said.

"Our criminal justice system should be fair and consistent," Pryor said.

Sessions said it has been an unpopular bill. In 2001, the U.S. Department of Justice called the current crack sentences appropriate and would endorse only adjusting the trigger amounts for powder. Last year, the newly nominated U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told Sessions during his confirmation hearing only that he would consider the legislation.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Campaign Update

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you all so much for continuing to support me in so many different ways during this campaign. I could do none of this without you.

After the June 6 primary things got much slower than I ever care for them to be. Finances were very low and I worried a great deal about how I was going to keep this important campaign operating. However, the last two weeks have shown a renewed interest in my campaign for Governor of Alabama from the media, debate organizers, organizations needing public speakers and the general public. Here is what is currently on tap for me in the coming weeks and months as well as an update on things that have happened just recently.

Along with my campaign related duties I also work on the medical marijuana issue in Alabama. A few weeks ago I traveled to Choctaw County, Alabama to meet a cancer patient with stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (along with diabetes and neuropathy) and to accompany him to his first court appearance on marijuana related charges. Please read the story of Don and his fight to spend the remaining months of his life out of prison.

Another area of activism I am involved in is women’s rights. I am a new but active member of the Montgomery, AL chapter of NOW and I recently acted as an escort at an Alabama Women’s Clinic. It was quite an experience and I am happy to note that the article I penned on it was carried by some of the most popular blogs in the country.

On Monday of last week I was interviewed by The Anniston Star for a candidate profile. That profile was originally slated to run in the Thursday or Friday edition but I got word from the reporter on Friday that it would run in Sunday’s edition, which was good news indeed.

It is interesting to note how this article came about. About a month ago I began running some very unorthodox campaign radio ads in the Montgomery market. Tim Lennox who is anchor of Alabama Public Television’s ‘For the Record’ aired one of the ads in full on his Week in Review program. During the commentary the journalist from the Anniston Star mentioned that if people were elected on personality alone to remember that Minnesota had elected a professional wrestler. I was not sure at the time whether or not I should be at offended by that comment or not. I like Jesse Ventura a great deal and I do speak my mind in much the same fashion that he did….but I detest ‘rasslin’. I know that’s hard for y’all to believe…what with me being a proud Southerner and all…but I swear it’s true. Not being one to hold my tongue about such matters I fired off an email to Bob Martin at the Montgomery Independent. Y’all will remember that Mr. Martin had a hand in the whole boobie flap a few months back. He and I have since become friends and in the email I thanked him for being up to date on Alabama write-in campaign history. I also joked with him about being compared to a professional wrestler and stated that perhaps I should invite my gubernatorial opponents (Riley & Baxley) to engage in a Jell-O ‘rasslin’ match because it would be so much more entertaining than what we are currently witnessing. Mr. Martin apparently got a kick out of the email and shared it with Mr. Lyman, who made the comment, and he in turn called me for an interview.

This past Friday on For the Record Mr. Lyman was again a guest and he plugged the upcoming profile during the Wild Card segment. Tim Lennox noted that I am a big fan of the show and the show and that I watch every night. That's true. For the Record is the best news show in Alabama hands down and, in all honesty, one of the best that I have seen anywhere. Everything on the networks is made to entertain with an emphasis on NOT exercising the gray matter between ones ears, whereas FTR is educational, thought provoking and is generally very entertaining regardless of the topic. It's hard to find such a spectacular combination of journalistic talents all rolled into one. Tim Lennox could anchor any national news show but I hope he never leaves us here in Alabama. That would be tragic. The article titled Nall looks to Ride Colorful Campaign ran in yesterday’s edition.

I am not entirely sure how I feel about this article. When I first read it it seemed ok, but the more I look at it the less I like it. It seems more focused on the sensational aspects of my candidacy and even the activism that I do that is separate from the campaign. My message did not come through as well as I would have liked. It isn’t bad really, but I think the point was missed overall. Regardless, the article gained me more supporters in the Anniston Star coverage area, with a large number of them being those who identified themselves as Republicans, and one hate mail so riddled with misspelled words that it was almost impossible to translate into anything that even remotely made sense. After much effort I determined it had something to do with being a godless, dope smoking, baby killer and an invitation to do odd things with a strap-on. I tell you what, if believing in god, abstaining from marijuana consumption and being anti-choice makes people act like that then I think yours truly’ll pass if it’s all the same to you. I have noticed on the rare occasions when I do get hate mail that such things are common. It appears that people who are filled with bitterness and hate never bothered to learn how to communicate it in written form. Their ignorance is blinding and I am always reminded of the lyrics to Rush’s ‘Witch Hunt’

“Quick to anger, Quick to judge, Slow to understand, Ignorance and Prejudice go hand in hand.”

On Thursday of last week I traveled to Roanoke, AL to speak to a group of progressive thinkers known as “The Thursday Night Happy Hour Club” even though they live and meet in a dry county. I couldn’t wait to see what Happy Hour in a dry county would be like. Roanoke is a small town in East Alabama about 45 miles from where I live. They heard about me via BlueGal who sent them my article on Don, the cancer patient. I must say that being invited to Roanoke was very exciting to me because it is a small town. I have spoken in all of the major cities in Alabama and many major cities in the US but this was my first invite to rural Alabama. You know progress is being made when you begin to get invites like that.
A number of those in attendance were attorneys and there was one candidate for Judge there as well. A Republican, no less. We met in what used to be a cotton storage warehouse that had been turned into a progressive thinkers oasis at the hands of the owner. Beautiful artwork from local artists was on display throughout the building. There was also a library, bar/social area and a sunroom. If I ever decide to get my house remodeled I know who I am calling.

I gave a very relaxed presentation to those in attendance and there was much discussion to be had. They were most interested in my drug policy reform work. As I stated, two of them are attorneys and have first hand knowledge of just how bad things are. In the end I raised some money and made some wonderful new friends and supporters. I have an open invite to drop in anytime and I plan to use it whenever possible. It isn’t often that I run across progressive thinkers of that caliber in Alabama and I am most happy to know that they are so close by. Be sure to check out their blog.

On the upcoming events horizon I have the following.

Friday, July 28, 2006 I will be the guest speaker at Speakers Corner in Birmingham. This event will take place at;

Safari Cup Coffee House
300 Richard Arrington JR. Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35203

My speech begins at 6:30. It will last for about 20 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. If you are in or around the Birmingham area or have friends or relatives there please come out and hear me speak.

On Friday I received a call from The University of Alabama at Birmingham inviting me to participate in the gubernatorial debate being held on campus October 24, 2006. Needless to say I was more than a little surprised to be invited. In the 2002 election the Libertarians were not invited to the debates despite having ballot access. The excuse given them at that time was that they were not polling 5%. It mattered not that they were also being excluded from said polls. This go round we do not have ballot access and we certainly aren’t being included in any polling yet, I got an invite to participate. I have gladly accepted the invitation and am waiting for the official paperwork with the terms and conditions to arrive. This is a HUGE development for the campaign and a huge victory for the people of Alabama who desire alternatives to the current two-party system. It will no doubt play a critical role in the number of votes I am able to garner and it couldn’t be at a more crucial time a mere two weeks before the general election.

Between now and then I will be spending a great deal of time preparing and practicing for this monumental event. I love to argue but have never been in an actual debate with stringent rules and time limits. There is a great deal to learn between now and then. I vow to make all of you proud to have me as your candidate and to reaffirm to you that you have made a wise investment in our political future with your financial support of my campaign. Please see to it that I have travel funds for the upcoming weeks by making a contribution in any amount. This week alone I have to make two trips to Montgomery and three to Birmingham and with gas at over $3 a gallon that quickly adds up to over $100. Even $1 helps toward that end.

Those wishing to mail their contributions may mail them to:

Loretta Nall for Governor Campaign
C/O Alabama Libertarian Party
2330 Highland Ave. South
Birmingham, AL 35205

Please make payable to:
Loretta Nall for Governor Campaign

Thank you for helping move forward the most noble causes of liberty and freedom from an oppressive government. Please continue to help me fight for sanity in the South.

Loretta Nall
Libertarian Party Candidate for Governor of Alabama

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Nall looks to Ride Colorful Campaign

Nall looks to ride colorful campaign
By Brian Lyman
Star Capitol Correspondent

MONTGOMERY — Loretta Nall speaks frankly. She is an atheist, a marijuana smoker and, recently, an escort for women attempting to get abortions.
She's also a candidate for governor on the Libertarian Party ticket, and her positions don't seem to jibe with mainstream Alabama thinking.

So when Nall says getting 250,000 votes — equivalent to about 18 percent of the vote in the 2002 gubernatorial election — would be a good result, it sounds ambitious.

“It is,” she said over lunch at Davis CafĂ©, a soul food restaurant in Montgomery. “I'm an ambitious girl.”

Nall's platform addresses a wide range of issues; among other things, Nall supports gay marriage, tax credits for families with children in private schools and repealing annual property tax assessments.

She also accuses the major parties of ignoring Alabamians' daily needs, arguing — as a recent radio spot put it — that the Democrats and Republicans sacrifice the good of the state in an attempt to “out-Jesus and out-anti-gay” each other.

The drug war, however, is her biggest issue. Nall supports the legalization of marijuana for those 21 and older. Nall would regulate and tax its sale — which she says will bring in additional revenue and help reduce the state's 200 percent overcrowding in prison.

“I chose to run for governor because I need a statewide audience,” she said. “And with the present situation as it is in Alabama, I think a candidate needs the largest audience possible.”

Nall was convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession in 2004, a conviction she is appealing. A mother of a 14-year-old and 9-year-old, Nall said she smokes marijuana but claimed she does not smoke in front of her children and discourages them from doing it.

According to a study by the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance in 2005, drug and alcohol offenses make up more than 38 percent of prison admissions in Alabama. In 2004, more Alabamians were jailed for possession of marijuana than for first- and second-degree assaults combined.

Many sheriffs, including Calhoun County's Larry Amerson, have been pushing for greater rehabilitation services for prisoners in jail. But Amerson “strongly disagrees” with drug legalization and argues controlled substances, including alcohol, need to remain tightly controlled.

“The decline in many of society's standards is very apparent,” he said. “So anything we can do to improve or reduce those items that lead to problems I think would be a good thing.”

Philosophically, Nall describes herself as a “classic liberal” who wants as little government interference in private life as possible. Nall said a lot of “great things” are in the Bible but insists on a strict separation between church and state.

“As far as religion influencing politicians, I think it's an insult to both,” she said. “If you have the rule of God and the rule of man, one is eventually going to overtake the other.”

The candidate said she knows “zip” about politics but argues the Democratic and Republican parties have created a Montgomery power structure that has encouraged the erosion of personal liberties — one reason she supports initiative and referendum measures.

“The way we have it now, people are not involved in politics,” she said. “I think initiatives and referendums will get regular people interested in local government.”

Those who agree with Nall will have to take initiative and write her name on their November ballot. Nall's name won't appear on the ballot because the Libertarian Party failed to garner the 41,012 signatures needed in the state to place a candidate's name there.

“The state of Alabama basically says before we can dedicate resources to outreach and educating voters, we have to jump over this hurdle,” said Dick Clark, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Alabama and a state House candidate. “It's kind of like picking the biggest, strongest kids and giving them a 20-yard head start in a 100-yard race.”

Clark believes Nall can attract national attention to the party but said he doesn't agree with all of her positions. A born-again Christian, Clark said he believes Nall's abortion-rights stand will be “counterproductive” in her attempt to reach voters in Alabama. But he added most voters should realize her election would not affect the legal status of abortion.

“I don't think that's something weigh too much on people's minds because it's not something that's going to change if she is elected or is not elected,” Clark said.

The Libertarian Party may have played a role in the outcome of the 2002 gubernatorial election: Candidate John Sophocleus, who appeared on state ballots, received 23,000 votes — more than seven times the 3,120 votes that separated Gov. Bob Riley and the former governor, Don Siegelman.

But with Riley leading Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley by 10 points in the latest polls — and Nall relying on write-in status — a repeat of that performance may not be possible. Still, Clark said he would like to see Nall “build on Sophocleus' accomplishments.”

Nall's campaign has been colorful. In May, she placed an advertisement called “Stripping for Dollars” on her Web site, which garnered national attention. Nall said she's gotten requests to run for office in several states, including Alaska, New York and California. She said she's not interested.

“I think they have people like me in California,” she said. “There's tons of me out there.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Speaking in Roanoke, AL on Thursday

I have been invited to address the gathering at "Thursday Night Happy Hour" in Roanoke on Thursday, July 20 beginning at 7 pm. Any of you who are nearby and wish to attend may do so. Here are the directions that I have.

The meeting place is located in old cotton warehouse in front of The Randolph Leader and Cedarwood cemetery on Main Street in Roanoke. If you are traveling in on 22 take a right onto main and look for the above mentioned landmarks. Parking is in back.

Hope to see you there.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Welcome C&L Readers

Crooks and Liars has picked up my post on my day spent as an escort at an Alabama Womens clinic. So, welcome C&L readers. May I also suggest this one for your reading pleasure?

Many thanks also to my girl BlueGal for sending this post to C&L and for posting it for her readers as well. The last time BlueGal picked up one of my posts I wound up on the top of Technorati for two days and was covered on MSNBC.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Women's Rights & Jericho Horns

by Loretta Nall

I recently joined the Montgomery, AL chapter of NOW. I've never really considered myself a feminist but decided that my involvement was needed when our infamous, idiotic, dunderhead Senator Hank Erwin introduced an anti-abortion bill that replicated South Dakota's. Referring to the bill's ban on abortions where the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, Erwin said:

"I don't think you need to penalize the unborn child when something like that happens."

As if growing up a retarded, deformed, incest victim in Alabama isn't punishment of the most cruel variety. What planet are these goofy bastards from anyway?

I asked myself then "What business does this MAN have making decisions about a womans reproductive rights?" The answer of course is NONE WHATSOEVER. Even if he opened "Hank's Home for Alabama's Inbred" and funded the entire thing from his own deep Christian pockets he still would have NO SAY in the matter. So, being a girl of action, I signed up with NOW.

I attended my first monthly meeting last Saturday during which we discussed the escort service that NOW provides to the Womens Health Clinic. I volunteered for a turn and my first assignment was on Wed. July 12, 2006.

As always, I arrived early and no one was there yet. At first, I parked in the clinic lot but decided that was probably a bad idea for what should be obvious reasons. So, I cruised the block a few times and waited for someone else to show up then joined my fellow escorts on the grass in front of the clinic. They gave me a brief run down of how everything works and a sign to hold for shielding the patients. They said it was best not to speak to the anti-choice protesters other than perhaps to say good morning. I found that extrodinarily difficult to do as you will see.

We spread out and take our accustomed spots and wait. The air is charged with a weird kind of electricity and it dawns on me that this is serious stuff.

A few minutes later a most bizarre sound rents the peaceful morning air. I had heard about Jericho Horn woman at the last meeting...but nothing can fully prepare one for such a sight.

I look down at the corner and see an old woman, who looks like she might dance with snakes on Sunday morning, blowing a horn that looked like it was wrenched from a Satanic goat on steroids in some epic battle. It made a sound like a rutting bull elephant. Gawd what a racket!! It appears our protesters have arrived and their mission is to blow down the walls of the womens health clinic with that horn. This should be fun to watch.

Along with Jericho Horn Woman there is a young girl (teens) with a violin. They set up shop on the sidewalk in front of us (they aren't allowed on the grass where we are) and the young girl begins to play songs like 'Jesus Loves the Little Children' and 'Jesus Loves Me'. It was a very sad and mournful sound and part of me kept hoping she would crank up the tempo a few notches and make that violin into a fiddle. Would have been cool to hear the bluegrass versions of those old hymns. Anything sounds good in Bluegrass. Jericho horn woman just stands there and holds up a small red piece of cloth with the word JESUS in white.

Pretty soon a patient arrives and I decide to try out this escort thing. I walk out to the car and introduce myself. I tell them that I am with the clinic and that there are protesters here today so I will be escorting them to the door. I tell them that the protesters may try and hand them information and that they do not have to take it if they do not want to. I also tell them that for security measures no bags, purses or cell phones are allowed in the clinic. Then we make our way towards the door.

As soon as we get near the protesters one starts asking, "Are you here to have an abortion? I'd like to help. Jesus loves you. There's hope." I felt like telling the protesters, "Ya know if any of these ladies wanted your help then chances are they would have called you before they made an appointment here....did you receive such a call?"...but held my tounge...mainly because snake-dancer, Jericho Horn woman looked like she might be able to kick my ass if it came to blows....the goat she ripped that horn from probably didn't fare to well and the horn gave her a definite advantage.

If the patient was African-American the protesters would say "They kill more black babies than any other kind."

One patient made it to the door with her cell phone in her pocket. We told her she would have to leave it in the car due to security reasons. One of the protesters said in a sweet, soft voice full of righteous indignation "What kind of people are these...they don't even want you to be able to call for help." What the they have Karl Rove writing the one liners for anti-choice protesters in Alabama these days? I came very close to saying, " The reason they don't allow cell phones in is because freakazoids like you use them to blow up places like this." It was a very close call which resulted in a sore tongue.

These scenes repeated throughout the morning. One protester walked up and down the sidewalk. Perhaps she was the accompaniment to Jericho Horn and thought if she walked that sidewalk enough and Jericho Horn woman blew loudly enough that the walls would come tumbling down as they did in the bible story.

And they say I'm stoned! I'd really like to know what kind of drugs these people are taking so I can be sure to avoid them in the future.

A TV camera suddenly appears on the scene and sets up across the street. Our group leader goes over to inquire about this new development. When she comes back I ask her if the News usually covers this circus and she tells me no, that this is actually the first time and that she didn't know they were coming. The camera seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time aimed in my direction and when I saw the 5 pm News piece it appeared I was in every shot save the one where they interviewed the protesters. I had posted on my blog a few days before that I would be acting as an escort in MTGY on that day and, being who I am, I tend to think the News showed up to get footage of a Gubernatorial candidate escorting women at an abortion clinic. The camera man asked to interview me at one point but I deferred to the group leader because I am new to this group and not familiar enough with their policies to be doing interviews. The news never identified me as the LP candidate and since I was in a T-shirt, corduroys and sun glasses with my hair pulled back I am not sure any viewers picked up on the fact that it was me. I am in no way ashamed of helping at the clinic and it would be perfectly ok with me if they publicly identify me the next time around.

While our group leader was being interviewed I heard her asked the following question, "How do you feel personally about abortion?" What an odd question I thought. My answer to this question is this;

This is a medical procedure and the only people with any rights to feelings on the matter are the woman and her physician. Politicians and Christians who are against abortion do not ever have to have one if they choose not to and they have absolutely no right to prevent the rest of us from obtaining a medical procedure based on their personal feelings. I think it is also important to point out that these very same people protesting abortion are the same ones who vote Republican and bitch about "welfare n****** havin' babies one right after the other so they get bigger welfare checks" and one of their favorite and terribly unoriginal lines is "Well if they can't afford to feed'em then they shouldn't be a havin'em." DUH! That is what the abortion clinic is for you dumbass. Don't you just love their circular logic?

I felt very sorry for the patients who came that day...having to battle their way past the Jesus freaks yelling all that emotionally charged horseshit. I wondered what situations led them here. Were they raped by a stranger, a family member or were they just not at the point in their lives where they felt they could properly care for a child? I, being a mother, can't really imagine what it would be like to have to make that decision. It can't be easy...not by any stretch of the imagination. Such a personal decision should never be used as a political football. How traumatic and unnecessary.

Click here to support a candidate who supports a Womans Right to Choose

Monday, July 10, 2006

Busy Week

After a slight lull in activity over the last few weeks it is looking like this week will be much busier. YAY!

If you are in BHAM tonight (Monday, July 10) then drop by the LPHQ located at 2330 Highland Ave. South for some volunteer work and for discussion on our plans to hold gay weddings in spite of Alabama's 'law' prohibiting it. We believe it is a religious matter and therefore not something the state has any business interfering with. So, if you feel like thumbing your nose at the state then this is the place to be.

On Tuesday I will be traveling to Choctaw County to accompany a patient with cancer, diabetes and neuropathy to trial on marijuana charges. He has no attorney, is near death and has been shot at twice in recent months. He is obviously a medical marijuana patient and the fact that the state is prosecuting him for trying to ease his pain should piss everyone off....including, but not limited to, Jesus Christ.

On Wednesday I will be acting as an escort at the Reproductive Health Services location in Montgomery. This will be my first time as an escort and I am happy to be able to help.

If I manage to make it through the first three days without getting shot or strung up then I will likely acknowledge my good fortune and call it a week, lest I begin to tempt fate....but then again...who knows?

Let the festivities begin!


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Prison Medical Failures Seen in Suit

Sunday, July 09, 2006
News staff writer
When Frances Coleman visited her brother during his dying days at Limestone Correctional Facility, she was stunned by his condition.

Skeletal, struggling for breath, he hadn't eaten in weeks and blood dripped from his mouth.

"The worst feeling in the world was to leave him there. I felt helpless. I felt like there was nothing I could do about it," Coleman said, recalling the late 2002 visit.

Soon after, Russell Battiste died as a result of pneumonia and wasting syndrome, complications from AIDS.

Coleman's experiences prompted her to file a lawsuit on her brother's behalf. Recently released depositions in that case reveal how lawyers charged with cutting costs shaped the medical contract that governed care for Battiste and the rest of the state's 28,000 inmates from 2001 to mid-2003. In the end, the contract went to Birmingham-based Naphcare, which had never handled medical care for a state prison system but did have contracts with jails.

During its tenure in the job, Naphcare was cited by independent auditors as providing "dangerous and extremely poor quality health care" at Limestone, as well as deficient care at Tutwiler Prison for Women and at St. Clair Correctional Facility, where the state's chronically ill prisoners are housed.



Saturday, July 08, 2006

Darby Finds Jesus

Will wonders never cease? I was shocked to find out Mr. Darby's views on race and the Holocaust shortly before the primary. He was the attorney for my children back a few years ago when DHR and the local police were making a habit of showing up at school to question them without counsel or another unbiased adult present and without notifying us (the parents). He did what I hired him to do and the local government sanctioned kidnappers disappeared.

I endorsed him early on before his true views on race became widely known and then withdrew my endorsement when he showed up at my news conference and told a TV reporter very loudly that he was, in fact, a white-supremacist, Holocaust denier. Somehow that never jibed with being an Atheist, pot-smoker. I'm an Atheist I know.

Anyway, Larry claims to have found Jesus in this last election. I think Larry got hooked on the media attention, which I have found to be as addictive as any drug known to man, and that this story is a way for him to get back in the media for a few days and get his fix.

State's best-known atheist says he agrees with Jesus' teachings
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Times Montgomery Bureau,

MONTGOMERY - Alabama's most prominent atheist is no longer an atheist.

Larry Darby, a former candidate for attorney general who lost in the Democratic primary but won most of North Alabama, said he is embracing Jesus as he crusades against "Judeo-Marxism."

Darby, a Montgomery lawyer who received more votes in Huntsville than Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson, released a long written statement Friday saying that others in the atheist community had turned their backs on him.

"Contrary to expectation, many atheist member organizations or many groups that allegedly represent free thinkers were quick to jump on the Judeo-Marxist bandwagon and dis(a)ssociate themselves from me," Darby wrote.

Darby had fallen out of favor with many groups after he said he doubted the veracity of the Holocaust.

In his release, Darby said he believed "thousands" of Jews died in the Holocaust. The widely accepted number of deaths in the Holocaust in 6 million.

Along with questioning the Holocaust, Darby also embraced white supremacist groups and spoke at a white supremacist conference in May.

Despite such controversial views, Darby won Madison and Morgan counties along with a slew of others in the June 6 Democratic primary. Statewide Darby received more votes than Republican gubernatorial candidate Roy Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice. Political observers say Darby's showing in the election was likely more about ballot placement than his radical views. Neither Democratic candidate for attorney general was well known statewide, and Darby's name appeared first on the ballot.

In his announcement Darby also called the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, which often takes on racist or anti-Semitic groups, "agents of Judeo-Marxism."

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the law center in Montgomery, said the atheist community dropped Darby "like a hot rock" after they heard his views on race.

"I think he's a complete and utter joke," Potok said. "We don't take these attacks seriously."

Potok said Darby has been shopping for an ideology.

"Tell him we wish him the very best in his next ideology," Potok said.

In a short e-mail to The Times, Darby said he intended to run again for office and doesn't think media coverage of him will hurt his chances.

Darby said he changed his views on atheism "based on experiences or understanding of the world around me." He didn't respond directly when asked if he was renouncing atheism to position himself better politically.

"I agree with moral precepts put forth by Jesus of Nazareth and I am Christian in a sense that Jesus of Nazareth would approve," Darby wrote.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Loretta Nall on KFPT Tonight at 7 pm CDT

Tonight I will be giving a live interview on KFPT in Houston talking about my campaign and the campaigns of other drug policy reformers who have thrown their hats in the ring for the 2006 general election.
This will stream live from the link above.
Tune in if you can.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Man shot by Bessemer police in fair condition

A man shot by Bessemer police during the execution of a search warrant Wednesday night was in fair condition today. Police served a search warrant at the home of Willie Frank Collins at 433 First Ave. North.

When police knocked, identified themselves and entered the home, they were met by gunfire.

Officers returned fire, striking Collins. Collins, 67, was treated by paramedics and transported to the hospital.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting.

Robert K. Gordon

I have some serious doubts that things happened the way the police say they did.

1. Police on a drug raid rarely knock and announce themselves as police because that gives whoever they are after a chance to run for the toilet and flush whatever evidence there might be. The general rule is to kick in the door, charge into the domicile and scream like a wild mob out of control all at the same time...making it very hard to understand just exactly what is going on. This is done to throw everyone off guard in hopes that their surprise will be so great they will just freeze where they are. As this incident points out...not everyone freezes when they think they are about to be killed.

2. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 15 that police no longer have to knock when entering a dwelling. They can just charge in screaming like banshees, scaring the hell out of the occupants and doubling if not tripling their risk of getting shot. So why the hell knock and announce if you don't have to?

Think about it for a minute...whether you use drugs or not. Suppose the police have the wrong address like they did with Alberta Spurill in New York, and say you are in bed at three in the morning and you hear someone kicking in your door and yelling like mad, tossing flash-bang grenades and so forth. They have not identified themselves as police officers so you grab your gun and start shooting at these unidentified intruders in order to protect yourself and your family. You hit one and he/she dies. You go to prison. Think it can't happen to you? Check out this story of Corey Maye over in Mississippi. Look at this list of people both cops and innocent civilians, who were victims of the wrong address or a no-knock raid.

I hold that this decision by the Supreme Court will cost more innocent lives of both civilians and police officers in the line of duty.


Two Cops Resign After Shooting

2 police officers resign after shooting

Two Columbiana police officers involved in a shooting into a car on Saturday resigned today, Columbiana Police Chief Johnny Brown said.

The officers, whom Brown declined to identify, were pursuing a car along Alabama 25 Saturday.

After pulling over, the driver attempted to back over one of the officers with the car, prompting at least one of the officers to fire three to four shots into the vehicle, Brown said.

The driver, whom Brown declined to name, ran from the scene and has not been apprehended. No one was injured, Brown said.

He said he has not seen the suspect’s car but heard allegations in the community that the officers set it on fire. Brown declined to comment on whether he believed that is true.

Brown said he is asking the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department to take over the investigation.

Chief Deputy John Samaniego said he likely will assign detectives to the case Friday.

Jeremy Gray


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Born in the USA

It seems all classic rock radio stations are having a countdown this weekend and all of them are playing "Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen.

It's funny that people think that is a pro-US, patriotic song. When I see masses of faux-patriots rocking down to Born in the USA because they think it is a pro-America song I have to laugh. Have they have ever bothered to listen to or read the lyrics?
In the event that they have not I am going to post them here.

Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
'Til you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

I got in a little hometown jam
And so they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to Vietnam
To go and kill the yellow man


Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
I go down to see the V.A. man
He said "Son don't you understand"


I had a buddy at Khe Sahn
Fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a little girl in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years down the road
Nowhere to run, ain't got nowhere to go

I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

I used the second verse in my speech at the Wetumpka VFW back in January when talking about Douglas Lamar Gray.

This song is not about how great America is by any stretch of the imagination...but about how badly we treat our veterans. In this particular case it is about and young man sent to Vietnam who came home and could not get a job and wound up in prison looking at the factory that wouldn't hire him.

Happy Fourth of July.

Loretta Nall


Monday, July 03, 2006

An Email from a Cop

I got this a few days ago from a cop in Alabama in response to my " A Run In With The Law " article and thought with the recent shooting of an innocent man in North Alabama now would be a good time to publicly respond.

From JCinAlabama

I seriously doubt your political affiliation had any weight in the matter. I'm a police officer and find your remarks about the police pretty offensive. The "macho-machines" you were referring to are not selected by the officers but the city of Hoover. And all those oppressive tools you mention are also provided for their safety and yours. It's unfortunate someone as ignorant as yourself can't put yourself in their shoes and appreciate their sacrifice. But I do love that you parade your stupidity and don't hide it like most politicians. Thanks for all the help. Oh and the next time you're being assaulted or feel unsafe in any another liberal minded individual like yourself for backup and I'll speak at your Eulogy.

Please note that I am responding publicly because JCinAlabama did not leave his email address for me to respond privately.

We'll start from the top.

JCinALabama said, "I seriously doubt your political affiliation had any weight in the matter."

You'll notice that he does not offer any other possible explanation for the sudden release of me and my comrades. Also, it isn't as though I was the one who announced my political ties it was the police dispatch who pointed it out. So, JC, you being a cop and all, please tell us the reason for the sudden release. We're all real interested.

I'm a police officer and find your remarks about the police pretty offensive.

No big surprise there JC. Any challenge of police authority is strongly frowned upon in today's police state climate. Please remember that this is America and I can make remarks that you find offensive and it is not against the law. So many police officers seem to have conveniently forgotten that bothersome little fact.

I work in drug policy and prison reform so let me give you a little "Why People Don't like Cops 101."

Drug laws breed contempt for law enforcement for a variety of reasons like the following. The laws are not applied equally. They provide incentives for corruption. It is widely known that some who wear the blue uniform take drugs from one dealer and give them to another for a cut of the profits. And if your Byrne grant (or Vaterland grant) amount is based on how many drug arrests you make then all you have to do to meet your quota is grab some stash from the evidence room and plant it on some poor black or hispanic person and Viola' you get a guv-ment check. That means you don't really work for us (the people of your community) but for the feds in Washington D.C. and I, personally, find that pretty damn offensive.

The "macho-machines" you were referring to are not selected by the officers but the city of Hoover.

OK. But do you really need three with 'lights-a-blazin' for a routine traffic stop involving a non-moving violation? Would one or perhaps two not have sufficed for that purpose? And why all the flashing lights? One SUV with lights flashing would have been plenty.

And all those oppressive tools you mention are also provided for their safety and yours.

Now, I gotta laugh at that one. Their safety maybe..but certainly not mine. JC how safe did your oppressive tools keep these American citizens and police officers? No very safe, eh?

It's unfortunate someone as ignorant as yourself can't put yourself in their shoes and appreciate their sacrifice.

Well, I guess I am just not ignorant enough to step into those shoes. Thank (insert deity here). I want you to know JC that I do respect police officers and I know that they have a very difficult job. I find that when I am able to speak with them in person 9 times out of 10 they agree with what I have to say.

Just recently I spoke in Tuskegee at a candidates forum where the incumbent Sheriff and Police Chief AGREED with me on drug policy and prison reform. You might also check out LEAP which stands for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. I believe that the drug laws put police officers in more danger than is necessary and that scarce resources are wasted fighting a war that can only be waged and not won.

But I do love that you parade your stupidity and don't hide it like most politicians.

What you see as "stupidity" most others see as unvarnished truth. Of course, the truth sounds stupid to you because it threatens your job security.

Thanks for all the help. Oh and the next time you're being assaulted or feel unsafe in any another liberal minded individual like yourself for backup and I'll speak at your Eulogy.

The only time I have felt unsafe since I reached adulthood is when the cops kicked in my door and tried to haul off my kids because I wrote a letter to the editor of the Birmingham News disagreeing with marijuana laws. Quite frankly, JC , the cops are the only ones who make me feel really unsafe and that makes me angry. I do not pay your salary so that I can live in fear of you. Somehow, that is just UNAMERICAN.

Additionally, here is the definition of the word(s) 'liberal' and 'liberalism' for your future reference. It is painfully obvious that you have NO CLUE what they mean. So, don't say I never helped you.

Please remember that some liberals also carry guns and are quite capable of protecting themselves.

Have a nice day officer!


One of These Things is not Like the Other

The University of Michigan Health Systems and Partnership for a Drug Free America have released a new study warning all us dummies that kids sniffing glue, shoe polish, hair spray or air freshener might be a bad thing.


I believe most parents would come to that conclusion without a scientific study.
The most alarming thing though is the following swill which places marijuana in the same catergory with airplane glue. It reminds me of that little game I used to play in kindergarten where three or four different items were placed in the same group and us 5-year-olds had to try and pick out which one didn't belong.

Can you pick out the item that does not belong in the following statement?

But today children and teens are finding new, inexpensive and more convenient ways to get high by using products – found under the kitchen sink or in the bathroom of their homes – that are just as harmful and potentially deadly as drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroine. In fact, about 10 to 15 percent of youth have reported using inhalants at some point in their life to get high.