Here’s why the Georgia runoffs matter.

first_imgAs the dust settles from the presidential race, the eyes of the political world have already shifted to Georgia, where two runoff elections set for early January will almost certainly determine which party has control of the Senate.The outcome of the contests, which will play out two weeks before President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration, will either swing the majority to Democrats, handing the new president broad power to carry out his policy agenda and push through nominations as he sees fit, or leave Republicans in charge, allowing them to influence his plans.- Advertisement – In the weeks ahead, tens of millions of dollars in campaign cash are expected to pour into the state to fund a marathon of political advertising, while party leaders and interest groups on both sides train their attention on the races.Click here to read more about how it will work. – Advertisement –last_img read more

US$10,000 Haunts Alex Tyler

first_imgFrom all indications House Speaker J. Alex Tyler’s involvement in the US$25,000 controversy under investigation by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) is causing him (Tyler) bad press, serious embarrassment and most importantly, his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives.Since LACC announced the launch of an investigation into a US$25,000 scandal linking Speaker Tyler and Representative Adolf Lawrence, the Capitol Building has been very uneasy for Speaker Tyler particularly upon hearing news of a plot to remove him.Both lawmakers are under probe for their alleged role in a consultancy contract awarded to a Liberia consultant, Michael Allison, which according to Rep. Lawrence was pre-financed with US$12,500 by Speaker Tyler with the expectation of being reimbursed when the contract was fully completed.Representative Lawrence admitted to the Speaker’s involvement in the transaction noting that his (Lawrence) role was to take delivery of the US$12,500 intended for the Speaker.Based on these claims and counter claims, over 48 members of the House of Representatives are resolved to dismiss their first amongst equals.According to sources at the Capitol Building, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday meetings at Bell Dunbar Farm and RLJ Kendeja Resort, Montserrado County, respectively have all been directed to the Speaker’s removal.“The Speaker of the House cannot be presiding while undergoing investigation by a graft commission. We’re demanding that he recluse himself from the presiding role and submit to either an internal investigation or openly submit to LACC.“The House is as well interested in probing Speaker Tyler for several reasons.“The issue of the US$12,500 is one part of the story and we’re demanding other information such as the full amount released by the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) for the entire Nationwide Oil and Gas Consultation.“US$1.2 million was released by NOCAL to the Legislature for the consultation. US$200,000 was disbursed to the 30 senators while US$1M was intended for the 73 members of the House. Interestingly, Speaker Tyler was able to convince us that the only money received was US$900,000 thereby pocketing the rest.“Regrettably, the entire money used for the consultation was disbursed before the start of the consultation so I don’t understand when Rep. Lawrence says the Speaker acted based on expediency. Money was not in short supply so how could the Speaker dig in his own pocket to fund government’s project,” our sources asserted.Another reason lawmakers are citing for his removal include an act of “double standard,” the ruling Unity partisans accused him (Tyler) of, against the party of which he is executive member.According to some UP Legislative Caucus members, Speaker Tyler has been successful in recruiting several of his colleagues to his new political establishment while at the same time collecting compulsory US$200 from their salary monthly as dues to his party while holding allegiance to the ruling party.By his actions, a stalwart of UP in the House disclosed; “Many UP lawmakers are supporting the removal action and consider his action as a betrayal to the party.”However, our sources disclosed that Speaker Tyler has admitted to these allegations and has requested for forgiveness.During Sunday’s meeting at RLJ, our sources explained: “Speaker Tyler admitted to pocketing the US$100,000 from NOCAL and agreed that he used his position to collect money from colleagues as dues for his new political establishment.”“He attempted using existing rivalry between him and Representative Emmanuel Nequay to evade the issue but we told him that was not the forum for that.“We demand a probe into the report that he (Tyler) gave US$15,000 to Amb. George Weah to ensure that one of the ringleaders behind his removal, Rep. Acarous Gray is sent out of Liberia until the political tension can reduce,” our source declared.When contacted, Speaker Tyler, via mobile phone, refuted the report, stating: “There are no plans to remove me.”He confirmed the meetings involving fellow lawmakers, but denied the assertion that his removal was ever discussed.“The meetings were held to discuss our private matters. I don’t know about any money from NOCAL because I was not directly involved.  You know who was in charge of the nationwide consultation,” Speaker Tyler declared.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Alliance Airlines will

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterAlliance Airlines will offer seasonal scheduled services between Melbourne and Kununurra in the heart of Western Australia’s Kimberley region between May and August 2020.The thrice-weekly operation was announced by Alliance Airlines in partnership with Wyndham East Kimberley and the East Kimberley Marketing Group. Four years in the making, the venture aims to lure visitors from the Victorian capital to the northern region of Western Australia.Flights will be operated by Alliance Airlines’ Foker 70 aircraft, seating 80 passengers.Tourism Stakeholders at an event in Kununurra to celebrate the partnership – From left: Mollie Hill, Tourism WA; Alex Ananian-Cooper, National Charter Sales Manager, Alliance Airlines; The Hon Alannah MacTiernan, WA Minister for Regional Development ; Cr David Menzel, President of the Shire of Wyndham/East Kimberley; Michael McConachy, Chair East Kimberley Marketing Group and Angus Tandy, APT.The air service is supported by luxury tour and cruise operator, APT, who have committed to the pre-purchase of a substantial number of the available seats, providing greater access to their guests, the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley said.“Alliance Airlines is pleased to be able to offer Victorian and south-eastern states travellers the ability to flydirectly to the famous Kimberley region, as well as providing direct and affordable air services for residents ofthe East Kimberley region to travel to Melbourne and other cities on the East Coast of Australia via ourpartnership with Virgin Australia,” said the regional airline’s CEO Lee Schofield.Paul Scurrah, CEO and Managing Director of Virgin Australia Group said: “We look forward to codesharingwith Alliance Airlines on this new route, allowing eligible guests to earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points andStatus Credits. The Melbourne-Kununurra flight will also connect onto our extensive domestic andinternational network out of Melbourne.”Flights between Melbourne and Kununurra are expected to go on sale in the coming months through localtravel agents and via www.virginaustralia.comLead image: Lee Schofield, Alliance Airlines CEOGo back to the enewsletterlast_img read more