Local amendment gains support from community, opposition from former Trump operative
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
With the Nov. 3 election just days away, tensions are at an all-time high and political groups are making last-ditch efforts to secure undecided voters on the candidates and legislation they’re supporting. One group in particular, Take Back Our Republic, is working to voice its opposition of Amendment 382.
Montgomery residents will vote Tuesday on Amendment 382, a tax increase that supporters say will provide an additional $33 million in critical funding for Montgomery Public Schools. The measure has bipartisan support, including current Mayor Steven Reed and former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, local business owners, and teachers. Montgomery Invest PAC is leading support efforts and encouraging voters to select ‘FOR’ on the ballot.
In the first sign of opposition, Take Back Our Republic—a group led by Donald Trump’s former Alabama Campaign co-chair Perry Hooper Jr.—is sending mass texts and robocalls to registered voters encouraging them to vote NO on Amendment 382 (see below for texts).
Our 360 News called Take Back Our Republic for a comment about their text messages and robocalls, but received no response.
Here’s a breakdown of the amendment, the support, and the opposition.
What is Amendment 382?
Amendment 382, sponsored by Rep. Kirk Hatcher (D), is a proposed special ad valorem tax appearing on the back of the ballot in Montgomery that will increase funding for Montgomery Public Schools.
According to its CFO, Montgomery Public Schools has the least amount of local funding of any other large city school system in Alabama at $56.6 million. In comparison, Birmingham City Schools receives $99 million in local funding, Huntsville City Schools receives $104 million in local funding, and Baldwin County Schools receives $138 million in local funding.
Why are people supporting the amendment?
According to Montgomery Invest PAC, the increased funding provided through the tax will enable schools to expand course offerings, recruit and retain top educators, and address over $250 million dollars in deferred building maintenance.
Who is ‘Take Back Our Republic‘?
Per its website, Take Back Our Republic describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization educating the public. However, the group is led by Perry Hooper Jr. and focuses on conservative solutions for political reform.
Take Back Our Republic insists it is run by “individuals who understand the political process from the inside out.”
Why are they opposing the measure?
Reviewing the group’s key issues listed on their website—runoff elections, redistricting, and campaign finance and contributions—it’s unclear what concerns the group has about the amendment. According to the texts, the group opposed a secret fund. However, the proposed tax funds are set to go into the general fund and must, “annually submit [a] Strategic Plan and performance metrics to the Montgomery County Legislative Delegation for review prior to commencement of the next Regular Session,” according to Section 5 of the amendment.