Mrs. Grant Goes to Montgomery - a.k.a. "Goat Hill"
Readers like me, a little ‘long in the tooth,’ will more easily make the connection to the Jimmy Stewart film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Considered controversial when released in 1939 yet so successful at the box office, this classic is oft cited as the film which made Stewart an undisputed movie star. Similar to another Frank Capra directed movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”  it would take many years to be recognized and appreciated. In 1989 the Library of Congress added Mr. Smith to the US National film registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
For younger readers unfamiliar with this Capra classic, the story begins with a governor’s decision to replace the remaining term of deceased Senator. The governor is pressured by his political boss and gaggle of pro-government thugs to install their sycophant certain to vote for the predetermined wealth transfers already in motion. The governor’s children, disinterested in political theft, champion selecting Jefferson Smith, leader of the ‘Boy Rangers’ played by Jimmy Stewart. Unable to decide between the political crony and the youth leader the governor flips a coin which lands on edge, fortuitously next to a newspaper article about Smith’s good deeds. The governor finally decides to go with Mr. Smith, forecasting his popular squeaky clean image will cloak the pro-government thugs’ avarice; his affable demeanor and inexperience of the real world workings inside DC would make him easy to control/use toward their ends.
The newly minted Junior Senator Smith is taken under the wing of long standing establishment Senator Joseph Paine (played by Claude Rains) well regarded by the mainstream media. Smith's naïve and honest way allows the unforgiving DC press corps to take advantage of him, quickly trashing Smith's reputation with absurd front page pictures and headlines labeling him a foolish bumpkin. To keep him busy, Senator Paine suggests Smith propose a bill. He drafts legislation to authorize federal loans to acquire land in his home State for a national boys' camp, which will be paid back by youth across America. Donations quickly follow, but Smith’s proposed campsite is part of a dam-building political theft project included in the appropriations bill submitted by Sen. Paine for his pro-government minions.
The establishment thugs go all out with their political machine accusing Smith of graft for himself via his national boys’ camp bill using fraudulent evidence showing Smith already owned the land in question. So shocked by Paine's betrayal and the ruthless political thug tactics Smith runs away instead of defending himself. Convinced to return, he is instructed on how to filibuster the pro-government thugs’ appropriations bill and prove his innocence on the Senate floor just before a vote to expel him. Smith’s filibuster lasts many hours, explaining the American ideals of freedom and exposing the true motives of the dam scheme; naturally his fellow Senators are unconvinced.
Smith’s constituents mount a formidable rally in support, but the establishment political machine is overpowering. The newspapers and non-print media in Smith's home state refuse to report what Smith has to say and further distort the truth against him. Efforts by the Boy Rangers to spread the facts and vindicate Smith result in vicious attacks on the children by pro-government thugs. All seems hopeless as the predicted outcome unfolds and Senators begin to pay attention to Smith’s final hoarse utterances in final collapse after vowing to continue until the people believe him. Crushed with guilt Paine leaves the Senate chamber and attempts suicide but stopped by fellow Senators. After the unsuccessful attempt, Sen. Paine bursts back into the Senate floor for a full confession claiming HE should be expelled from the Senate affirming Smith's innocence.
Why all this type about a 75 year old classic movie about politics? Federal projects in Alabama taking land to victimize owners and transfer wealth to the politically connected; Alabama legislature blocking ‘unfriendly’ press exposing their corruption; Gubernatorial appointments to cronies like Riley’s infamous episode in South Alabama or Siegelman’s appointing Scrushy to advance hospital monopolies; Grand jury investigating the Speaker of the House using his position to funnel business to his failing companies; a $1 million unsecured loan following a failed $1.7 million loan (according to one of in the ‘unfriendly’ press recently blocked) to a politician vulgar in his use of power to offset/continue his poor business practices and defend corruption in our State; etc… Sound familiar?
Now to the more refreshing title of Mrs. Grant goes to Montgomery - aka “Goat Hill”. This wonderful Southern lady encompasses all that is good about Alabama and has been a righteous force to expose/reduce corruption and hate in our State. Loretta Grant is unopposed in the Republican primary, so many may not have heard nor will see/hear much about her candidacy until after the June 3rd primary. Allow me to provide some facts on and observations of this exemplary candidate who WILL make a difference IF allowed in the Legislature.
Loretta Grant founded the Alabama Gazette in 2000 with a vision of a community newspaper to promote traditional Christian values which include small government conservative principles, in her understanding that resistance to tyranny is obedience to God. The Gazette has always recognised God as our source of power from where ALL blessings flow - not government(s). Furthermore, how well we follow God’s path (using Jesus as the perfect example) will be reflected in our lives and families at the micro-level and in our nation at the macro-level. It is His judgment that matters to Loretta in the end.
Her promise to God to champion the life of unborn children has been well kept. I was delighted Loretta understood how adamant I am about Roe v. Wade being unconstitutional (murder is not an issue authorised to the federal government) and further understood the despair of knowing my taxes are used to subsidise murder. If they want to allow murder of this sort in Massachusetts - they may, but don’t force me to aid and abet abominations of this magnitude which forces the blood on my hands.
When we first met, Mrs. Grant made it very clear to me her goal has always been to encourage her readers to “think” and question (esp. the established media) matters of great importance. As some readers may recall, Loretta determined the “Think” moniker for my page; I pray she and more importantly the Master we both love and serve may think I’ve lived up to the task. Loretta is very adept in her solid faith when applying God’s wisdom to problems of today. It is easy to see this from what is printed in the Gazette. She always encourages people to respond with editorials, even ones she may disagree with as long as it exhibits one may “think” in a reasonable/logical manner for themselves. Now co-owned with Samuel Adams (how’s that for a great namesake to accomplish this blessed task) the Gazette continues to grow and spread throughout the State. This wise and determined lady has turned down several buyout offers over these past dozen or so years, knowing ‘competitors’ wanted to remove this voice of reason and the people. No surprise this successful endeavour in Montgomery will beckon minions trying to dim and snuff out the righteous light the Gazette has shown on things Republocrats would prefer kept in the dark.
Loretta grew up in rural Montgomery County and is well rooted in the area. She married William H. Grant from Ramer and recently celebrated their 51st Anniversary. They have three ‘biological sons’ and God has further blessed them with other ‘special sons’ to love and share their lives with who’ve begat many grandchildren and great-grandchildren from all these sons as the circle of life continues. Loretta’s sound foundation forged in her belief in Jesus Christ has carried her through the joys and tribulations of a remarkable life including being kidnapped at age 19 and the loss of a 3 year old daughter to drowning. Sharing her faith with others through her church’s Women’s Bible Study group and conducting Women’s Conferences for these past dozen years are also among her many evangelistic callings. An accomplished public speaker, Loretta is very generous with her time and talents always willing and available to address all church and civic organizations.
If there’s anyone who doesn’t think starting a newspaper and keeping it functioning since 2000 under some difficult times for the industry and little money isn’t impressive enough, there are many more impressive business accomplishments to enumerate. A Realtor for over 35 years (licensed Broker) Loretta owned Grant Properties LLC for over seven years with a group of over a dozen seasoned agents. Real Estate was also a ministry to her. She embodies the entrepreneurial spirit owning many other businesses in the past; downtown Montgomery restaurant, rural variety store and co-owner of an upscale boutique and gallery to name a few. She’s been an integral part in making dreams come true for others; in full, humble knowledge God must be the emphasis of all endeavours. Mrs. Grant has recently started writing a book about her walk with God - I look forward to reading the final print.
At risk of over playing the Jimmy Stewart analogy - I’ve used his George Bailey character from “It’s a Wonderful Life” to explain Loretta Grant’s impact on Montgomery in a past column. Imagine how different the town would be without her (or someone like her) touching so many lives in a positive way. Now is the time to send Mrs. Grant to Montgomery - a.k.a. ‘Goat Hill,’ to remove some of the despotic waste and deleterious spirit of letting corruption abound in our state government. Loretta’s political instincts are much better than mine, she was the second (after James Hines) to impress upon me early on the Tea Party movement would become a force which would make a difference in America. Loretta is one of several tea party/small government conservative matches unfolding in our State. Establishment Republicans were truly scared by a recent survey which reported over a third within their own Party think the tea party is positive.
The more lawmakers we can get into the Legislature who respect and defend our civil rights to open press, firearms, not quartering people in our homes w/o permission, privacy and esp. our civil right to property, etc.; the more likely we’ll see recovery and less discrimination, poverty and despair for ALL to move our State forward out of the mess we’ve ‘progressed’ into.
Finally, I must disclose Mrs. Grant didn’t ask nor influence the text of this or ANY of my columns - she’s indeed that impressive. Of course, if/when elected to ‘Goat Hill,’ Mrs. Grant can depend on me to write on anything she’d thinks I’d do well on shining some Alabama Gazette light upon. It wouldn’t be the first time one of my columns addressed something NO other media outlet reported on to later be picked up by other media. I assure you the Goat Hill political machine does not want the sort of Light, Loretta Grant holds dear and promotes, brought even more brightly and shown more directly upon our legislators.
Republicans did not put a candidate in the primary to box out Mrs. Grant; it is doubtful she’ll get any establishment Republican Party support in the general election. Start saving a little these next few months to support Mrs. Grant’s campaign for the November general election. Think George Bailey’s wife Mary (Donna Reed) going through town at the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life to get donations from the common people to keep Bailey out of trouble from the politically connected Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) trying to destroy him. There is no other candidate on the ballot who can be elected to shine more righteous light on the despicable “Goat Hill” deals and quid pro quos.
I’ll put my support behind Mrs. Grant with confidence that she will at least propose/try to restore and show real concern about civil rights in our great State of Alabama.
Getting Mrs. Grant to Montgomery is a daunting task.