It’s hot. In Mobile, Alabama, in June. Big surprise! But if you think June is hot, just wait until we get to August. We will be sweating by 9 a.m AND we have two political races guaranteed to make things even steamier around here. Time to get our ACs as well as our BS detectors serviced, y’all. It’s going to be a long, hot summer.

Strange times
The field is now set for the special election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was confirmed as our nation’s attorney general. The crowded field of eight Democrats and 11 Republicans will battle it out in their primaries on Aug. 15. If a runoff is necessary it will take place Sept. 26. The general will be on Dec. 12.

Though stranger things have happened in this world, conventional wisdom would suggest that whoever wins the Republican primary/runoff in a bright red state like Alabama will be our next senator.

The four Republican candidates with the most name recognition — and who probably have the best shot — are: former Alabama AG Luther Strange, who currently holds the spot; State Sen. Trip Pittman; U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks; and suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Of course, we all know now the Luv Guv took the opportunity to appoint the man whose office was investigating said Lovernor, but then conveniently was not necessarily investigating him, but then was investigating him after all. Keeping up? Good. I know it’s complicated.

That large man would, of course, be former Alabama Attorney General Big Luther Strange, who thought he would get to hold on to his super shady Bentley appointment for a little longer, but that dream was shattered when Gov. Kay Ivey moved the special election up from the date Bentley originally chose to save his own skin, I mean, save the state money in November 2018.

I never thought this would be possible, but Strange’s first TV ad is even more infuriating than listening to that horrible “fightin’ Obama/drivin’ the back roads” ad of Richard Shelby’s. And it’s just chock-full of lies, using fake headlines from a totally fictional newspaper. (And I don’t mean that in the sense of calling a real newspaper fake a la Trump style. It’s totally made up. When did that become acceptable? What a total fraud!)

Anyway, BL claims to have investigated Bentley, which he never confirmed while he was trying to get the gig he so desperately wanted from Bentley. He also takes credit for prosecuting Mike Hubbard, a case from which he recused himself.

BL seems really adept at peddling the BS.

While he was making up headlines for the “Valley Times” he might as well have taken credit for Alabama and Auburn’s national championships. That probably would have garnered him more votes than his other blatant misrepresentations.

Since he has the national Republican Party behind him he is probably still the odds-on favorite. But the unethical way in which he secured his appointment with Bentley coupled with this intentionally misleading ad leaves me having BIG problems with BIG Luther.

Roy Moore?

Just no. The man clearly has no respect for the principles our nation was founded on, particularly the ones about three branches of government and checks and balances. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, well then we should expect to get the government we deserve — one led by a professional kickboxing autocrat.

Tell me, Mo, where are Larry and Curly?

U.S. Rep Mo Brooks represents the 5th district of Alabama. This district is in the northern part of the state and includes Huntsville, Florence and Decatur. Brooks is not very well known down here in coastal Alabama and that could be his main problem … although he did make some statements recently that could pose an even bigger one.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper about changes to the Affordable Care Act, he said “people who lead good lives” don’t have to worry about dealing with pre-existing conditions.

He went on to say, “My understanding is that [the new health care proposal] will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool. That helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people — who’ve done things the right way — that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

I think it’s clear it was just clumsy wording. He didn’t mean people who go to church every Sunday don’t have to worry about getting asthma or arthritis, as the headlines suggested he did. He meant if you smoke five packs a day you may have to pay a little more than someone who doesn’t, the same way life insurance works.

He probably should have said people who don’t engage in behaviors that are known to cause long-term health problems, like smoking, can reduce their costs.

But in one of the unhealthiest states in the nation those clumsy words could still hurt him.

Just Trippin’
Known better around these parts, State Sen. Trip Pittman of Montrose may have a shot at capturing coastal Alabama’s vote, but getting his message across statewide, much like Brooks, may be a challenge.

Questions about his ethics were raised back during the BP oil spill after his company got a hefty chunk of funds ($639,000) for boom deployment. Though he was investigated, no criminal charges were ever brought. Pittman always maintained his company did nothing wrong and that the vast majority of that money was paid out to another company that actually did most of the work.

He is running on the popular “drain the swamp” platform. And he does have experience with swamps, as he survived a plane crash into a Florida one 10 years ago, which prompted him to run for office.

We still have time to get to know the other less-well-known candidates, so we shall see what happens. I am anxiously awaiting the first polling data obtained exclusively by The Valley Times.

Can we keep Mobile’s mayoral race on the high road?
Exactly one week after we head to the polls to vote in the Senate primary, Mobilians will return to vote for mayor on August 22. Right now, only current Mayor Sandy Stimpson has officially announced he is running. Though it has been rumored for months, it now seems almost certain former mayor Sam Jones will once again run against Stimpson. Stimpson bested Jones in the last mayoral election in 2013.

Political movers and shakers speculate Jones will wait and jump in at the end. The last day to qualify is July 19.

That would not give the former mayor much time to articulate his new vision for the city or for him to make the case that he should get his former job back, which would seem to suggest he will go negative.

The last race got very divisive along racial and class lines. It was not good for our city. I really hope this will not be a repeat performance.