The Hat Trick Of Government Corruption Is Now Complete In Alabama


Ah, today was yet another horrible and embarrassing black eye in the history of the Alabama government.  Ever since the state of Alabama became a state in 1819, and especially since the adoption of the constitution of 1901, the longest and most corrupt constitution in the world, Alabama has seen it’s share of politicians of both parties and from all branches of government get charged and convicted of corruption charges, or resign before they go to jail, the easy way out.

Today, Robert Bentley took the easy way out and resigned his governor post.  Before he resigned, he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges.  Sure, he will have to pay back his campaign funds, pay some fines, forgive his retirement money which is a HUGE blow, and serve some community service, but Robert Bentley took the easy way out.  He should have spent some time in our beautiful and well run state prison system.  I’m being sarcastic there, our state prisons are horrible!

He even had the guts to “thank” the people for being their leader of the state.  Glad you are outta here Bentley!

In the past year, the leaders of all three branches of state government have been removed from office.  It’s the hat trick of government corruption!  Some legislators were saying states like New York and New Jersey have had corruption governors removed before.  Yes, most states have had to remove a corrupt leader before, not every person is clean as they say when they were running for office.  But never before the speaker of the state house, the chief justice of the state supreme court, and the governor have all been removed because of corruption, in the same term, and all within a one year period.  It has never happened before in any state!

I’m sitting here watching the local news and I hear state leaders say things like “the future is bright in Alabama”, or “the worst is behind us.”  And I think to myself, what a horrible thing to say!  We continue to have leaders in our state government be corrupt or do things based on how much money they receive.  It was a big problem when the Democrats were in power in Montgomery, and now it’s a big problem with the Republicans in power now.  But hey, quit blaming the legislators, judges, and government officials for the problems in Montgomery, we need to start blaming ourselves.

Most people in Alabama will either vote via party lines or vote for the person who says they are for “family values”, or say they are a good “Christian person”, or say they will keep “government small” and “keep taxes low.”  You know what I mean, we see these people in every election cycle.  And these people who say these things are mostly the ones who always gets in trouble with the law and become corrupt inside state government.  Until we QUIT voting for these idiots, the cycle of corruption and wrongdoing will continue!  We can’t continue to keep voting for Darth Vader, right?

We can’t keep saying “thank God for Mississippi” anymore!  Alabama has the third highest unemployment rate in America.  We have a state prison system that is in shambles.  We have a Medicaid crisis where people can’t afford to see a doctor.  We have infrastructure that is crumbling with no funds to fix it.  We have schools that are rapidly declining with horrible math and reading scores.  We have hardly any mental health services or a good court system.  I can go on and on with the problems Alabama is facing, it’s not good!

Every year something stupid comes into the news from Montgomery, from the Luv Gov, to HB 56 which scared many people, to a current bill that would install “ransomware” onto all phones and computers to stop porn (who comes up with these things?)  The people in Montgomery continue to propose and pass stupid things that causes Alabama to be embarrassed in the worldwide media yet again, or yet another government official becomes corrupt, or we have to spend taxpayer money defending bills that are unconstitutional,  it’s a neverending cycle that seems like it never wants to end!  It’s like our leaders in Montgomery has money to burn baby!

How about doing something different for a change?  How about reforming our archaic 1901 tax structure?  How about maybe raising the property taxes from being dead last in America so we can properly fund education?  Yes, that means quit listening to those so called lobbyists from ALFA Insurance and Alabama Power.  How about allowing us to vote on a statewide lottery so we can quit seeing millions leave the state?  Yes, that means quit listening to the Business Council of Alabama for a change.  How about requiring insurance companies to pay for Autism therapy like 46 other states already do?  Yes, that means kicking the bums from Blue Cross / Blue Shield out of the state house.  I can go on and on about things to improve Alabama!

And how about something radical, like making marijuana legal?  Yet, you clowns in Montgomery will continue to listen to those churches who those attending have to listen to politics instead of preaching from the Bible.  Alabama will continue this cycle of being dead last in everything, having multiple government officials being corrupt, and being embarrassed almost every day in the national and worldwide media.  This has to stop, and soon!  We are now in a worldwide economy, and everyday this continues, Alabama loses!  It’s like Willy Wonka telling us “You Lose” every single day!

If you people living in Alabama wants to change this, there is only one thing to do, vote for someone else!  Vote for the person in the other party you don’t like, vote against the person who praises “family values”, or is a so-called “True Christian.”  Don’t believe the person who says they are for “small government” and “lower taxes.”  Those sayings means people are harmed and we have to rely on the federal government for funding.  I wonder how long that lasts with Trump in the White House?

Until we do that, we will continue to see self-centered, racist, greedy, corrupt, selfish, and bigot government leaders.  And in our world today, having people like that serving in our government means we lose!  I want to win!  We can’t keep welcoming people to Sweet Home Alabama for much longer if we stay corrupt and stupid!

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, The Alabama Second Special Session Will Be Nuts


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Right now as I am writing this, the legislatures clowns down in Montgomery are already back in a second special session.  Tonight is pretty much a come together, because starting tomorrow, the fireworks really begin!  Already, the fireworks have begun on social media with the hashtag #alpolitics.  I mean, the war of tweets between the two political sides are a hoot to watch!  Here are a few examples!

Let me add in my two cents to the Alabama political debate!

So, what will happen in this second special session?  I mean, there are already some major things happening with our political leaders in The Gump.  For starters, Governor Bentley is now dealing with a divorce of his wife, who have been married for over 50 years.  One website has reported the reason for the divorce is because of having a extramarital affair with a former communications director.  While I am not here saying that is the case, one thing really needs to happen here.  Governor Bentley needs to come clean!

What happened Mr. Bentley?  Did you misuse state taxpayers funds?  Did you have an affair?  Did you do something else that would break the law?  Sir, if you did something incredibly stupid, do the most honest thing you can do and resign!  But, I am sure you don’t have plans to do that.  Heck, if the Speaker of the House didn’t step down when he was indicted on those felony corruption charges, you are going to do the same thing most other politicians here in Alabama does when they get into trouble, hold onto power for as long as you can before you are handcuffed and forced out of office.  Is that right?

Other than the corrupt politicians down there, we also have some politicians who thinks having hardly any government at all is the right thing in Alabama.  Sure, let’s keep on cutting until the feds comes in and takes over!  Is that the ultimate plan Republicans?  Today, one of those keep cutting Rhinos named Sen. Phil Williams from Rainbow City wrote an op-ed to several news outlets in Alabama.  He actually compared the current General Fund crisis to the classic Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist.  He is comparing the state government to the scene where the boy holds up the bowl and says “Please sir, may I have some more?”

So it looks like Sen. Williams and others are wanting to raid the Education Trust Fund to bail out the General Fund.  That is the only thing the rhinos down in Montgomery are wanting to do, raid other sources of revenue to bail out trouble, instead of doing the thing that will ultimately must be done, reform and raise some taxes in Alabama.  I’m sorry Mr. Williams, but having a $400 million surplus by the end of fiscal year 2016 for the Education Trust Fund is wonderful news!  The trust fund has seen the second highest amount of cuts in the nation since 2008.  And many school systems are dealing with shortfalls, and are asking students to bring in simple things like toilet paper.  Something you should never have to ask students to bring in.

So, is the plan by the clowns down in Montgomery raid the Education Trust Fund, forcing it into proration, and causing more teachers to leave Alabama, and more schools to suffer in education quality?  I hope not!  The Legislature will not care about this. There is a complete lack of support for public education in Montgomery. Our schools rank some of the worst in America, and who cares, let’s just cut education past the bone!  And if you don’t believe me about the cuts to schools, take a look at this graph below.  And tell me again if you support more education cuts in Alabama again?

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At least not everyone in the state supports massive cuts to state government that would cause massive trouble inside Alabama.  A new group called Stand Tall Alabama got more than 200 Alabama groups, churches, health centers, hospitals, clinics, and organizations to tell members of the Alabama Legislature to STAND TALL and fully fund vital services that affect you and every Alabamian.  Here is that letter being sent to everyone in the legislature!

Dear Legislators:

Alabama is at a crossroads. The path you choose could define our state for a generation. As you consider the General Fund budget in a second special session, we, the undersigned organizations, urge you to stand tall and choose a path that will make Alabama stronger. We need $300 million in new revenue to protect vital services we all rely on, especially our children, seniors and most vulnerable neighbors. A strong budget also will let the state move forward on sensible and widely popular reforms.

Our tax dollars support the daily upkeep of our common good. Important services like Medicaid,mental health care and public safety make Alabama a better place for all of us to live and work. In recent years, these services have been cut to the bone. Further cuts will set our state’s health system and economy on a dangerous course. Hospitals in many rural areas will be forced to close their doors. Across the state, mental health patients and their families will have nowhere to turn. Thousands of working mothers will lose safe child care. Highways will become more dangerous as state troopers lose their jobs. Court layoffs will slow the legal process. Every Alabama community will see its quality of life decline.

A budget is more than a balance sheet. It’s a statement of our values. We can’t balance the budget on the backs of “the least of these.” Lives and livelihoods are at stake. We need a budget that makes Alabama stronger, not weaker.

Stop the cuts, approve $300 million in new General Fund tax revenue and stand tall for Alabama’s future.

If you want to see every person, business, or ogranization that has signed the letter, go to: http://www.standtallalabama.com/groups-tell-legislature.  You might want to include Geek Alabama on this list, because major cuts to the General Fund would be bad for Alabama!

One more thing the clowns down in Montgomery and the rhinos across Alabama needs to see!  Here is what would be closed down or affected from the Alabama Political Reporter.  Let’s hope it does not come down to this, or be even worse than this list below.  Man Alabama needs a major wake up call!

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency will: close all driver license offices except Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham and Huntsville, close 13 Trooper posts, shut down the Agriculture and Rural Crime Unit, layoff Aviation staff and Fleet Management Staff, layoff 1/3 of all non-sworn personnel, layoff 75 of 431 Highway Patrol Troopers, layoff 30 of 147 Special Agents, and layoff 8 of 31 Capitol Police Troopers.

The Alabama Department of Public Health will: close the Coosa County Health Department, reduce Licensures and Certifications, eliminate nicotine patch purchases, reduce disease control staff, reduce staff for restaurant health inspections, and reduce area and state support staff.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will: have some layoffs, lose Federal Funds for Marine Resources and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and close facilities including: several State Parks, Lands Division facilities, and Wildlife facilities. The size and scope is yet to be determined but the figure of 15 State parks has been used.

The Department of Forensic Sciences will close the Huntsville Morgue and eliminate fire debris (arson) analysis.

The Department of Youth Services will: lose diversion grants, layoff personnel and close detention facilities, and the juvenile commitment backlog will likely increase.

The Department of Agriculture and Industries will likely: close two diagnostic labs that test dead farm animals for diseases and the seed lab.

The Department of Senior Services is expected to lose $2.55 million in federal funds because the state won’t have the funds to provide matching dollars. Federal Funding is 69 percent of their funding versus 31 percent from the state. This could lead to an expanded waiting list beyond the current referral list of 7,100+ and increased costs by diverting clients from Medicaid Waiver program ($838 monthly) back into costly intuitional care ($5,900 monthly).

The Environmental Management Agency (ADEM) will have less money for inspections so the Bentley administration claim there could be an: increase in abandoned waste landfills and tire dump sites, an increase in illegal dumps, and deferred or eliminated cleanup of petroleum releases into soil and groundwater.

The Department of Commerce will eliminate project recruitment efforts.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is threatening to: eliminate the Alabama Rural Development Office, eliminate the Small Business Office, eliminate the Appalachian Regional Commission and warns that there will be a loss of federal funds for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG).

The Military Department warns that they may have to close up to 11 Armories (13 percent of Armories) in the State.

The Department of Labor will layoff two of seven positions (leaving only five employees in Mine Safety Division). This will lead to reduced and delayed mine safety inspections and the elimination of the training contract with Bevill State College for mine rescue teams.

Medicaid will have to make cuts to medical services for the poor and nursing home services for the elderly.

Sunday Discussion: The Fireworks Are About To Go Off Inside The Alabama Legislature


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The legislature down in Montgomery have taken the last few weeks off, after the governor called a special session.  Now with only 9 working days left, the legislature is coming back into session on Monday.  And I thought I needed to talk about what needs to happen down there, if it does happen.  I mean, you have a speaker of the house who is facing over 20+ felony corruption charges.  You have several powerful business lobbyists (cough, ALFA, cough), who is stopping Alabama from doing the right thing, which is to raise and reform the property taxes.  And you have several other legislators who are wanting to defy the feds when they come in to take over the prison system and other state agencies, good times!

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To urge the legislature to do something.  I mean, just cutting even more will mean a federal takeover, there have been two statewide polls conducted in the last few weeks.  The first poll commissioned by the Alabama Council for Excellent Government asked 500 Alabamians about how is the best way to solve the general fund crisis.  While most opposed cutting Medicaid and other state services, the people wanted lawmakers to vote on raising taxes on cigarettes, soft drinks, and closing the tax loopholes.  But, another poll from the Alabama Jobs Foundation paints a different picture.  Most of these Alabamians did not support any tax increases.  And they did not support major cuts, most pollsters supported the Del Marsh plan that would expand gambling in Alabama and start a lottery.

So which poll do you believe?  And will the legislators even pay attention to those two polls?  I don’t know!  I can tell you this for sure, the state has a desperate need for a leader!  Someone who will realize that the tax structure in this crazy state is so messed up that it needs a major fixing!  No amount of gambling, major cuts, or even combining the budgets are going to fix this problem.  This all stems from that 1901 constitution, the longest in the world, that gave power to white powerful landowners.  That constitution gave landowners way too cheap property taxes while making the poor suffer with sales and other taxes.

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Heck, there is even talk to raise the state sales tax.  How does a 10 1/2% or 11% sales tax in Alabama feel to you?  The biggest problem holding Alabama back is its old constitution. And by the way, Alabama is doing the worst in the southeast when it comes to job and economic growth.  Plus Alabama is second to last in job creation with Alaska being worse.  So crazy legislators down in Montgomery, how many special sessions is it going to take to get things right?  Because I don’t think you will solve this problem with the first special session.

Many on the right are calling the legislature to refuse any tax increases, and also refuse any gambling expansions, and rely on the “Republican values of limited government and lower taxes.”  Let me sum that up in simple terms for people who are a little more intelligent.  They really mean to cut back so much that it harms people who are poor and disabled while having the super rich hoard money and hardly pay any taxes.  Am I right Republicans and Tea Party Sweet Tea drinkers?

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So, what will really happen down in Montgomery in the next few weeks?  I don’t know, but I should probably tell you this.  Want to visit a Alabama State Park, do it before October 1st!  Need to get your driver’s license or car tag renewed, do it before October 1st!  On Medicaid and need to see a doctor, do it before October 1st!  Basically, if you need to do anything that involves the Alabama government, do it before October 1st!  Because after October 1st, all heck will break loose in Alabama.  The state will be embarrassed in the national newscycle once again, and most will be only caring about football.  As for me, I will be sitting back and eating some popcorn while enjoying the Alabama corruption show!

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What I Think About The Upcoming 2015 Alabama Special Session


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Governor Robert Bentley, what were you thinking when you thought calling a surprise special session and surprising all the legislators was a good idea? I mean, everyone thought a special session in mid-August was the plan. Some legislators were at conferences and some were on vacations, and pissing of those legislators to hear about a special session call at the end of the week for next Monday was a brilliant idea, yeah right! Governor Bentley got some egg on his face, because the legislators came in, met for under 30 minutes, and left to come back on August 3rd.

I mean, who on your staff thought calling a surprise mid-July special session was going to work? The legislators were not ready to fix the general fund crisis! They say they were still working on some ideas to fix the problems. So forcing the legislators to come back with no plan was going to be a HUGE waste of money for us the taxpayers. They did the right thing to temporary end the session and come back in early August. Now, will the legislators have a plan to fix the general fund crisis when they come back in early August? That is the million dollar question!

There are some plans already floating around, but some of these plans will probably make the state in worse shape than it already is. The biggest plan floating around from Sen. Del Marsh is to allow the people of Alabama to vote on allowing a lottery and gambling sites across the state. The plan would allow Alabama to start a lottery which is already going in Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida. Admit it, every time the Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot goes sky high, many people from all across Alabama will drive to the nearest state border to get a lottery ticket. I mean, it’s worth spending $2 for a chance to win a lot of money, and even if you don’t win, you know the funds are going to education in the neighboring states.

Marsh would set up a seven person gaming commission and the state would allow full style Vegas style gambling at certain sites like the Poarch Creek Indians casinos and the dog tracks across the state like Greenetrack and Victoryland. Here is the problem, Governor Bentley did not put a call in the proclamation for any gambling, but that does not stop the legislature! If 2/3rds of the legislators votes for it, a bill to allow the people of Alabama to vote on gambling and a lottery can be put in! Here is my opinion about this; there have been many polls done saying that people would rather allow a lottery and gambling than raising taxes. I mean, some people are against gambling because of “moral issues.” I think it’s time to get the moral issues thing past us, and it’s time to allow the people of Alabama to vote on gambling and a lottery.

People would not be forced to gamble or buy a lottery ticket. And for places like Birmingham, a good casino could bring in good shows, major conventions, and help make downtown Birmingham an even better destination than it’s now. Allowing gambling would create a lot of new jobs, and it would bring in a lot of new revenue to help solve the general fund crisis. So, why not legislators allow us to vote on this? Are you afraid that your “moral issues” have a bigger ego inside you? Seriously, it’s time for the “moral issue” argument to end, and allow a lottery and gambling in Alabama, it’s already happening! And it would make Alabama a better destination instead of driving through the state to go to Mississippi. At least Sen. Del Marsh is trying to solve this problem!

Now, who in the world thinks that the tax increases from Governor Bentley will even be considered in this special session? Some of tax increases being proposed include a tax increase on tobacco products, withholding a tax exemption for employers, amending the individual income tax deduction for taxes paid, amending the business privilege tax, and even imposing a tax on certain beverages and beverage products, including soft drinks and soft drink products. For starters, who would vote on another tax increase on tobacco products? And as for the tax increases on soda pop, the only way I support a tax increase on soft drinks is what they do in other states like Michigan, where they add a 10 cent fee to cans and bottles, and you get your money back when you redeem the cans and bottles at the stores. That way, the sides of the road can be a whole lot cleaner! And for people who do not redeem the fee, the money can go towards the general fund crisis.

And one other thing in the special session proclamation is to create an authority for financing improvements at the Gulf State Park and to authorize the Authority to issue bonds not to exceed fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) for the Gulf State Park Project. This is the stupidest thing in the whole special session proclamation! The state of Alabama is super broke, and who in the right mind wants to allow the state to borrow $50 million dollars to build a playground for the super rich on the gulf coast? If the state was in much better financial shape, this would not be a problem, but right now this should be avoided and the bill should be put through the shredder and burned on a wood pile, that’s how bad it is!

So let’s talk one other thing that is being floated around. Cullman has made the news in the past few weeks. For one, an attorney from there is suing the state to order the confederate flag to be raised again in the capital. Hey, if South Carolina can remove the flag from government grounds, and if Mississippi is moving to remove the flag from their state flag, let’s have Alabama move backwards again and re-install the confederate flag, and let’s slow down and stop economic growth, and have everyone around the world laugh at us and avoid us! Do us a favor, stop this lawsuit and keep the confederate flag off of public government grounds!

Now, that attorney from Cullman is not the only one who wants to take the state backwards over the confederate flag. Sen. Paul Bussman, who not only has opposed the low cost spay and neuter clinics, and wants them shut down to keep the greedy vets operating, now also wants to combine the general fund and education fund budgets, removing all earmarks that determine how revenues must be spent and capping spending on Medicaid and prisons. Nice going Sen. Bussman, not only you want to make animals suffer, you also want to make the children suffer as well because you want to shift money from schools and send it to prisons. You also want the poor to suffer by capping Medicaid, I guess if you are a child, animal, or poor in Alabama, screw you!

Even if this proposal does pass the legislature, thankfully the people of Alabama have to vote on this in an election because this is a constitutional amendment. And who in the right mind would vote yes to take money from schools and send it to prisons? I don’t think many would! Here is something else you need to consider! Most of the earmarked funds goes to education, mental health, and human resources. I guess some people don’t care about the mentally ill, mentally disabled, people who needs food stamps, kids who needs help, or kids who should get a good education. And another thing, capping prison funding would result in the feds coming in and taking over the prison system, I guess that might be the only solution to this problem. And if that happens, the state will have no choice but to raise some taxes, no matter if you like it or not.

At the end of the day, I don’t see the possibility of combining the budgets passing in the upcoming special session. I also see any tax increase not even being considered as well. So there are few options left. Yes, passing a lottery and gambling won’t solve the issues for the upcoming budget year, but it will help for the next budget year! Yes, you can move some funds from the education budget over, but it won’t solve all the problems. So, I guess we are about to see a lot of chaos in Alabama!

Who cares about the state parks, who cares about the state troopers, who cares about human resources, who cares about Medicaid, who cares about the prisons, and who cares about the state agencies. I guess we are about to enter a time where the state parks are closed, poor people can’t get the help they need, people who break down are left stranded, and if you are a child, animal, or poor in Alabama, screw you! Screw you for living in Alabama, the well off would rather see you suffer or leave this state behind. It’s almost like Nazi Germany; only instead they killed and burned the poor and people who were suffering. Alabama can be better than this!

Google’s Alabama Data Center Major Boost To State’s Rising Tech Sector


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UPDATE: This post is written by Michael Tomberlin from Alabama NewsCenter.  Learn more at: http://alabamanewscenter.com/

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks to a large crowd at an announcement that Google plans to build a $600 million data center in Alabama. (Governor's Office, Jamie Martin)

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks to a large crowd at an announcement that Google plans to build a $600 million data center in Alabama. (Governor’s Office/Jamie Martin)

Talk about search engine optimization!

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks at the Google announcement. (Governor's Office, Jamie Martin)
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks at the Google announcement. (Governor’s Office/Jamie Martin)

Google’s announced $600 million data center in Jackson County may not bring the investment and jobs of an automaker or airplane assembly plant, but economic developers believe the image boost for Alabama’s technology sector could be just as significant.

“Google is such a well-known world brand, having the data center in Alabama enhances our state’s brand,” said Bill Sisson, president and CEO of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. “Much like Mercedes and Airbus, having a global project like this helps showcase our diversified economy and proves that Alabama is an excellent place to do business.”

Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said Google is a company whose very name lends validity.

“There are few brands more powerful than Google’s, and the company’s investment in Jackson County sends the message that Alabama is primed for high-tech projects,” Canfield said. “Alabama has assembled a formidable auto industry with four top global brands, and we’re positioned to become a hub of aircraft production with Airbus. We want to raise Alabama’s profile in the tech sector, and we think Google’s stamp of approval will help us accomplish that.”

That’s not to say the tech sector is not already growing in the state.

Greg Knighton, vice president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, said Google may be the biggest name yet, but it is not the only big name doing business in the state.

“Many people are not aware that Alabama has a robust and rapidly growing information technology industry. There are literally hundreds of IT companies here – some homegrown, some multinational,” Knighton said.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield after Google announced plans to build a $600 million data center in Alabama. (Governor's Office, Jamie Martin)
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield after Google’s announcement. (Governor’s Office/Jamie Martin)

Google’s presence raises the game for the industry in Alabama, Knighton said.

“The Google announcement is just tremendous. Its brand recognition and corporate reputation bring attention to the fact that Alabama is a great place for knowledge-based companies across many sectors,” he said. “We could not be happier that Google has chosen Alabama for such significant investment.”

Google announced June 24 it will build a $600 million data center on 350 acres in a former coal-fired Tennessee Valley Authority power plant in Bridgeport, creating up to 100 jobs.

Dus Rogers, president and CEO of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority, said Google is a global presence in the state, but the major impact is going to be felt locally.

“Having an international company that has the name recognition of Google is obviously big for Jackson County,” Rogers said. “Our focus now is on working with them to be successful here so they can grow.”

The data center is being built in northeast Alabama, but the entire state will herald Google’s presence.

“This is great news for all of Alabama,” said Brian Hilson, CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance. “An internationally recognized brand name company like Google selecting Alabama for a major investment validates our state’s many advantages, including our new incentives that are specifically designed to attract data centers.”

Google officials said the state’s incentives that went into effect June 1 targeting industries like data centers were a factor in their decision.

Gov. Robert Bentley was a proponent of the new incentives, which were a radical change from the way Alabama did business in the past. Bentley was on hand to welcome Google at Wednesday’s press conference.

Gary Demasi, director of data center energy and location strategy for Google announced plans to build a $600 million data center in Jackson County.(Governor's Office, Jamie Martin)
Gary Demasi, director of data center energy and location strategy for Google, announced plans to build a $600 million data center in Alabama.(Governor’s Office/Jamie Martin)

“Google is one of the world’s most innovative companies that just about every Alabamian interacts with daily,” Bentley said. “Google’s decision to expand its data center network to Alabama is the start of a long-lasting state partnership that will provide a significant boost to our state’s high-tech sector, provide good jobs for our citizens and position the state for additional growth in this important industry. I appreciate Google’s significant investment in Alabama, and I am pleased to welcome them to Sweet Home Alabama.”

Armed with new incentives and with information technology, one of the state’s targeted industry sectors, officials believe Google’s presence could lure more industry giants the way Mercedes helped bring Honda, Hyundai and Toyota to the state.

“Google’s decision is so timely,” Knighton said. “EDPA and our allies are working to support and grow the IT industry and other knowledge-based sectors to further diversify Alabama’s economy. We know that Google will only help to propel Alabama’s IT growth and solidify the state as a key location for knowledge-based companies.”