A bill to block historic monuments from being altered or removed without state approval moved forward in the Alabama House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The House Committee on State Government in a voice vote gave its approval to the bill, one of several monument-protection proposals that have been introduced since former Governor Robert Bentley removed Confederate Flags from Capitol grounds in 2015.
The bill would require local governments to go to a State-appointed committee for permission any time they want to remove a monument. It would also require approval from a judge to change a monument of more than 20 years old.
In its original draft, the bill offered court protection only for monuments that had been in place more than 50 years. Senate critics of the bill pushed for the change to 20 years, in the hope the bill would also protect some monuments to “civil rights” leaders.
City and County officials still largely oppose the bill, which they say will tie the hands of local governments. Many black politicians also remain opposed. That includes Rep. Barbara Boyd, D-Anniston, who is on the State Government Committee.
The bill moves to the full House for consideration.
Lieutenant Governor Fights for Confederate Monuments
Lieutenant Governor “Billy” Nungesser wants intervention from the Louisiana Attorney General and President Donald Trump to prevent removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans.
The Lieutenant Governor is worried that three bills aimed at keeping New Orleans’ Confederate monuments in place will die a quick death in the Louisiana Legislature, he told WVUE Fox 8. So Nungesser says he’s asking President Donald Trump for some help outside the Capitol, and is also consulting with lawyers from the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, the TV station reported.
Nungesser’s comments come as New Orleans is trying to close a funding gap on the Confederate monument removal project the City Council approved in December 2015. The plan to remove the monuments is short some $430,000 after a single bid came in more than three times the cost of the city’s $170,000 budget. It’s not clear whether the city can accept a bid that is more than three times the size of the budget.
The bills Nungesser cites have not yet been referred to committee, but last year similar legislation was sent to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee chaired by New Orleans Democrat Karen Carter Peterson. That committee holds a Democratic majority, and the powerful Senate president, Republican John Alario of Westwego, often refers controversial bills there to die a quick death.
The bills would face an uphill battle in the Legislature but could gain traction if voters have their say, according to an LSU poll. So we are encouraging all of our subscribers to flood the Louisiana Statehouse switchboard with calls supporting Confederate Heritage.
In the meantime, the Lieutenant Governor has written a letter to the President, who can see a statue similar to the one of Andrew Jackson that was sculpted around the same as New Orleans’ and put up in Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the White House.
“I wrote him a letter and I asked him to look out your window, look at the statute of Jackson there at the White House because Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square is next in New Orleans if we don’t do something,” Nungesser said.
A CONFEDERATE GOVERNOR FOR VIRGINIA
A Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia, Corey Stewart, spoke at the Old South Ball in Danville on Saturday night. He was surrounded by several Confederate Flags. With a massive Flag hanging above him, and in period clothing, the Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors promised to protect Confederate monuments in the State with his life.
“Over my dead body when I’m Governor of Virginia are we ever going to take down the statue of Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson or any hero of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he said to respondent cheers.
“I’m proud to be next to the Confederate flag,” Stewart said. “That flag is not, it is not about racism folks. It’s not about hatred. It’s not about slavery. It’s about our heritage.”
When asked about Stewart’s support for Confederate Heritage, the Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck chastized Stewart for calling race frontrunner Ed Gillespie a “cuckservative. Gillespie’s campaign spokeswoman, Abbi Sigler, told reporters that “Corey Stewart is a flailing candidate desperately seeking attention.” State Senator Frank Wagner’s campaign declined comment.
“It’s time that we stop running away from our heritage,” Stewart said in his speech in Danville. “It’s time that we embrace our heritage and we take back Virginia.”
A CONFEDERATE VOICE FOR CONGRESS
South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District is in a special election and Dixie Heritage is endorsing candidate Sheri Few.
A social conservative activist whose candidacy has done far better than anyone expected, Sheri has very clearly stated that Speaker pro tempore Tommy Pope and former Rep. Ralph Norman started a “war on our history” when they voted to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from the grounds of the State House in July 2015.
Few says in a new thirty-second spot slated to start this week. “Now they’re renaming streets and colleges and destroying monuments to Confederate soldiers. And it started with Ralph Norman and Tommy Pope’s vote.”
Few adds that she’s running for Congress because she believes “it’s time for leaders to stand up and stop political correctness, and fight for what we believe.”
In addition to Few, Pope and Norman, three other “Republicans” are running for this seat: Indian Land attorney Kris Wampler, Camden businessman and State Guard leader Tom Mullikin and former SCGOP chairman Chad Connelly.
Three Democrats – Alexis Frank, Les Murphy and Archie Parnell – are also running, as are American party candidate Josh Thornton, Green party candidate David Kulma, Libertarian Nathaniel Cooper and fusion candidate Bill Bledsoe, who is campaigning as both a Constitution and Libertarian party candidate.
The fifth district covers the northern central portion of South Carolina – including the booming suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina. It has been reliably Republican since it was redrawn prior to the 2012 elections – although former State Rep. Mick Mulvaney won it from Democrat John Spratt during the Tea Party wave of 2010.
Mulvaney vacated this office when he was confirmed in February as the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
How do voters in this special election feel on the subject of our heritage? We’re about to find out. Partisan primary elections for the seat will be held on May 2 with runoffs scheduled for May 16 (in South Carolina’s partisan primaries, runoff elections are held in the event no candidate receives a majority of votes in the initial round of balloting)
The special election itself is scheduled for June 20 – with the leading vote-getter in that race becoming the next congressman.
NO COMPROMISE WITH TOWN COUNCIL
In follow-up to a story from last week, Representatives of the Sons of Confederate Veterans listened Thursday night as citizens expressed concerns about the organization’s plans to erect a Confederate Memorial Banner just outside of the Holly Hill, South Carolina town limits.
But at the end of the meeting in the Town Council chambers, the SCV members refused to reconsider its plans for a Flag display, or to even discuss a compromise.
“My thoughts about compromise is, basically there is no compromise anymore,” SCV Commander T. Leland Summers said. “However, we are willing to listen. If we weren’t willing to listen, we wouldn’t be here.”
The Ministerial Alliance of Eastern Orangeburg County had helped organize the meeting at the request of Holly Hill Mayor William Johnson.
After considering their options, Johnson and the council members passed a resolution on April 3 asking the Sons of Confederate Veterans to reconsider placing the Flag on the edge of town.
Commander Summers dismissed the notion that the Flag might adversely impact local businesses. “There is no compromise,” Summers repeated at the close of the meeting.
30+ STUDENTS SUSPENDED
A dispute among students over the Confederate Flag has resulted in students being suspended and a ban on displays of the flag in the Sherburne-Earlville (New York) school district.
Several students have been “disciplined” for defying the ban and refusing to comply with it, said Sherburne-Earlville Superintendent Eric Schnabl. The district of 1,300 students is in southern Madison County and northern Chenango counties.
A student and parent confirmed students had been suspended, possibly as many as 30. Schnabl wouldn’t confirm what type of disciplinary actions were taken and said it involved fewer than a dozen students.
High school sophomore Marissa Natoli, 15, said she was suspended Fridaymorning after she was told by an administrator to remove the Confederate Flag picture covering her student planner book.
Natoli said she was given a choice between removing the Flag picture, covering it up, giving it to administrators or be suspended. She chose suspension.
She said two other students also were suspended today – one wearing a Confederate Flag T-shirt and the other wearing the Flag as a cape.
Natoli’s mother, Ticia Strong, said she believes district officials are wrong. She said suspending her daughter from school is more of a disruption to her education than displaying a Confederate Flag in school.
“The people against it think it stands for something racist, but it’s really a symbol of wanting freedom,” said Ticia Strong, who is a bus driver for the district.
Students have started petitions on both sides of the issue. Strong said she and other parents plan to be at the April 24 school board meeting to voice their opinion.
CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY PROCLAIMED IN TEXAS
For more than 100 years, Brazos County, Texas has observed Confederate Memorial Day.
According to a proclamation approved at the April 4th County Commission meeting, April 26th is to give thanks for the unselfish service of those who fought during the War so that future generations might live free and prosper and never repeat the mistake of the past.
Bill Boyd of the Sul Ross Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans accepted the proclamation.
The Sul Ross Camp reported top the County Commissioners that they have discovered the graves of 14 more Confederate soldiers in the Steep Hollow cemetery. Two of the graves did not have markers, and Boyd says new gravestones from the Veterans Administration will be set in the near future. Boyd also told commissioners they have been cleaning up the Kizer Cemetery, which is off Highway 21 east of Coulter Field airport.