VIDEO: Doug Jones addresses crowd in Fyffe
November 7, 2017
Southern Torch (3351 articles)

VIDEO: Doug Jones addresses crowd in Fyffe

PHOTO: Doug Jones (D – Birmingham) addressed Northeast Alabama Democrats at the Fyffe Senior Center on Tuesday night. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

FYFFE, Ala. — (Video at the Bottom) Candidate for U.S. Senate Doug Jones (D – Birmingham) made a campaign stop on Tuesday night (November 7, 2017) at the Fyffe Senior Center on Sand Mountain.

Citizens from across Northeast Alabama made the trip to hear Jones speak. Roughly 400 supporters from DeKalb, Jackson, Marshall, and Cherokee Counties filled the building. The meeting was opened up by DeKalb County Circuit Clerk Pam Simpson, and the national anthem was sung by former Fort Payne City Councilman Walter Watson. Boy Scout Troop #96 lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

“Everybody in this room is ready for change. We want to move this state forward. We want to take this state to where we know it can go. Not backwards. As we know it might go if the election goes a different way on December 12th,” said Jones, to begin his remarks.

Jones talked about his upbringing. He grew up in the steel mill town of Fairfield, Alabama, and one of his grandfathers was a steel worker and union organizer, while the other a coal miner. Jones’ father started in the Steel Mill and worked his way up to management after the company found out he had, “an aptitude for electronics.” Jones would go on to attend the University of Alabama and Cumberland Law School.

When talking about his professed mentor, U.S. Senator Howell Heflin (D – AL), Jones said, “He brought people in to find that common ground. That is a far cry from our federal government today. The big issues that we have facing us, like simplifying the tax code, healthcare, our infrastructure….. nothing I’ve seen right now suggests there is going to be a whole lot of success. Not until we can put somebody in that United States Senate seat who can talk a little Alabama commonsense.”

Jones also discussed his time as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. He expressed his support for law enforcement, but also, “not just simply arresting people and throwing away the key.”

He also explained his frustration with the discussion on the campaign trail: “I’ll be honest with you folks. I’m just tired of the damn speeches. I’m tired of people talking to me, I want to talk with people.”

“I believe the people of Alabama have more in common with each other. No matter where you are from. We have more in common than we have that divides us. People care about those, ‘kitchen table’ issues we’ve been talking about,” said Jones. “It’s clear that people want to talk about the issues that we have in common, and not the divisive, self interested things that Roy Moore likes to talk about all the time.”

Jones also discussed the importance of investing in education and job training to grow wages in the state. According to Jones’ it’s also time to raise the minimum wage.

“Everybody always quotes the CEO of McDonalds, saying, ‘Oh my God I can’t raise the minimum wage. Because if we raise the minimum wage I’ll have to go to automation, and it’s going to cost people jobs.’ I’m telling you I don’t buy it. So I decided to look something up, and the minimum wage hasn’t been raised since 2009. $7.25 and today, because of inflation, it’s worth 9.6 percent less than it was eight years ago. But let me tell you something, stock prices of McDonalds has increased $88 to $170 in the last five years. You can’t tell me you can’t do it for the people that’s pouring the coffee,” said Jones.

Jones also discussed infrastructure and climate change: “Our infrastructure is crumbling across the country. It’s not just roads and bridges. It’s schools, it’s broadband. It’s all of the things we can do to make our infrastructure how it needs to be,” Jones said, in part.

“We need to do it in a way that saves this planet. Back this summer, when the President pulled us out of the Paris Accords, I was the first Democrat to come out and criticize that… It’s not a perfect pact, but we’ve got to do something, and I said I believed in science. Well all the Republicans who played political football with climate change have decried all of that, for years and years,” said Jones. He then mentioned a climate report released by the White House earlier this week.

Jones also discussed fixing the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) instead of, “repealing and replacing.”

“The real driver right now folks is healthcare. There is probably not a single issue that there is a greater contrast between me and Roy Moore, well maybe except on honesty,” said Jones. “Healthcare is the big one. It’s the one issue that people have done this political reset button on.”

“We’ve got to look at what’s working and what’s not working. We’ve got to get rid of the slogans, like, ‘Repeal and Replace.’ That is nothing but a political football that people have used and used and used,” said Jones.

Jones also blamed the rise in insurance premiums due to the uncertainty in the market due to the political debate.

“Alabama is the sixth poorest state in the Union. We depend on Medicaid. We’re one of the most unhealthy states,” explained Jones.

“We’ve got to change that folks. Healthcare is a way that we can do it. We’ve got to make sure we protect Medicaid in this state. We’ve lost billions of dollars because the governor and the legislature refused to expand Medicare. The only reason they did that was because of politics,” said Jones.

Jones also contrasted himself from his opponent: “I want you to pay very close attention to what Roy Moore says about healthcare. Because every time he’s asked about it, he says ‘I want to repeal Obamacare;’ he doesn’t talk about replacing it. He chooses his words carefully and says he wants the federal government out of the healthcare business. I’m going to tell you folks; that’s not just medicaid, that’s medicare. Roy Moore wants to get rid of that.”

Jones also encouraged Moore to accept a debate: “He won’t debate. I think the people of Alabama deserve a debate between the two candidates.”

“Let’s have a more serious talk. He’s never been effective as a Judge or any kind of leader. Can he be effective? That’s what the people of Alabama are looking for. We can sit down at a table just like this, and we can find that common ground. That’s what we’ve got to do. It is impossible for Roy Moore to find common ground with anyone that disagrees with him. That is not going to be an effective senator,” said Jones.

“I think we are at a crossroads, and our campaign is on the right side of history…. we are on the right side of justice, we are on the right side of equality, we are on the right side of making sure that every man, woman, and child in this state has a voice and is heard,” said Jones.

“Let’s make the consequences of the December Election something you can all be proud of,” said Jones.

Watch the Full Video: 

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