Some Post Primary Observations… what does it profit a candidate to win an election and lose their soul?
With another $3 million spent on our 2014 primary run-offs last month, I remain a steadfast advocate of abolishing further waste of our taxpayer dollars on all primary elections. Political parties can pay for their own primaries which have evolved into another money mill for the Republocrat duopoly as they continue to ‘progress’ into increasingly extremist results. Until poor jurists like Myron Thompson are finally out of the mix or we elect more legislators who support Sen. Cam Newton’s legislative attempts to bring more competitive ballots to Alabama it will take much more time and effort to remove extremists who’ve put us in the mess we currently suffer. An open general election ballot where candidates (regardless of affiliation) pay the marginal cost to be listed in their races will provide competitive results likely to increase participation and defray costs of providing elections; one of the few legitimate functions authorized to governments. No one has yet provided me a cogent explanation why parties receive 2% of the pay for the office a candidate is seeking to be placed on a primary ballot provided by Alabama taxpayers. Don’t expect this to change (except for the fee to increase from 2%) with big govt. conservatives like Mr. Hubbard in control of reforming this despicable practice in our State.
Some outcomes and skirmishes I found of interest may be worthy of readers’ time and consideration. One of the biggest ‘macro’ fights was headed by former Sen. John Rice’s (AFLG) Alabama Foundation for Limited Government. The Rice campaign to expose the folly of current Republocrat ‘ethics reform’ (so effective at protecting politburo incumbents in promoting the explosion of dark and now ‘double dark’ money) was unaddressed by the mainstream/extremist media. It reached fever pitch when Hubbard/Riley insider minions started to feel the heat from Rice’s anti-corruption efforts. This compelled the Hubbard machine to exert even more effort gaming the system than they’re accustomed. The funniest exchange was when Hubbard minions pressed Rice to disclose where AFLG money originated claiming it was just another ‘Obama liberal’ front. Rice replied, “I gotta rich Momma.” The more important and illuminating response came about a month later when the insiders were getting increasingly rabid and threatening. Rice promised to disclose his AFLG donors when the Hubbard/Riley machine disclosed theirs. This made the point clear enough to shut them down and sadly no effort to remove these extremist reforms has assembled and it appears Mr. Rice is out of money at this time. With govt. schools as the dominant provider of education, voter ability to think critically and understand how our representative republic is designed to operate has decayed to where citizens can not understand political combat even at the most fundamental levels. In the end, AFLG brought the Hubbard/Marsh (BCA) big govt. machine push for Common Core to fore using all the crony contracts tied to it as an example of one of the biggest nexus of corrupt wealth transfers looming on the horizon. It’ll be a little more difficult for Republocrats to slip it through even with election fears attenuating after November.
Moving from ‘macro’ to more ‘micro’ results of actual races it is time for the AFLG to make some sense on term limits - esp. at the Congressional level. There is a reason the framers did NOT put term limits in the document. If TEA party types want to impose term limits, amend federal and state constitutions. It will only serve to address the symptom. Congress approval ratings are in single digits because the body has become increasingly less representative after Hoover and the Republicans gave us the 435 limit in 1929 (also patently unconstitutional) decreasing real representation. If we had a more representative body this past century it is unlikely much of the big govt. programs imposed upon us could have been log-rolled and railroaded through the HoR. A more rational response would be to set congressional pay at median income and take away most of their $1.2 mil. per member staffing allowance to provide more representatives and get out of the hyper-gerrymandered, oligarchic result we’ve ‘progressed’ into; not that I sincerely think the Bush, Clinton, Dole, Gore, et al types really want representative government. Most incumbents deserve to be removed, term limits are not the answer; a more competitive, representative process is…
Irrational, anti-incumbent/term-limit fever backfired here in Lee County when aimed at Sen. Tom Whatley. Once again, those with short memories sabotage efforts to remove big govt. Republocrats. Seems some had forgotten how hard TEA party types worked to remove Sen. Ted Little, one on the worst on Goat Hill esp. on understanding the economy, property rights and tax policy. Little aided and abetted some of the most corrupt ‘public servants’ at Auburn. Sen. Whatley has been a breath of fresh air these past four years shaking up Lee County cronyism, most notably making a stand against Gov. Bentley’s attempt to reinstall Mr. Lowder on AU’s Board as all the decent/honest folks held their breath hoping his term would expire before more headlines of TARP fraud and malfeasance may surface. This immediately unleashed the Hubbard attack machine on Whatley inducing others to stand with him and work all the harder to remove those trying to destroy this newly minted State Senator. No doubt the Gazette having the courage to print the truth on this childish attack upon Sen. Whatley helped decrease the effectiveness of Speaker Hubbard’s big govt. thugs. Mr. Hubbard is beginning to witness his usual attack & destroy tactics are less effective as more non-Republocrat voters see through his venomous rhetoric.
Grass roots voters had vested interest in Tom’s reelection in spite of the Hubbard/Riley attack machine as he’s promised to work on civil rights legislation to prevent eminent domain abuse. Sen. Whatley is learning well and connecting with others on Goat Hill of similar good Spirit to possibly move positive legislation of this sort forward. Courage to stand against further waste of taxpayer dollars and deleterious land management from continuing Forever Wild is what convinced me Sen. Whatley is NOT another ‘business as usual’ member of our Senate. He also steered clear of the Hubbard special election theft of our trust fund claiming we were broke a few weeks before a general election vote to spend even more on Hubbard’s ‘socialized hunting’ via Forever Wild. Little surprise it wouldn’t take long for the big govt. modern Democrats to also attack Whatley and the AEA plowed almost $200,000 to stand up an opponent (Andy Carter) against him in the primary. Sadly, many in the Sandy Toomer campaign aligned with Carter (some claiming because Whatley was an incumbent tied to Hubbard) and hurt Toomer’s efforts with non-Republocrat voters who’d planned to vote Toomer who arguably was NOT funded by big govt. AEA thugs like the Carter campaign. Furthermore when the AEA minions descended upon the Hubbard v. Toomer race on June 3rd with pro-Carter signs, it was even more difficult to convince voters that Toomer wasn’t also a shill for the AEA. Those in the know and have wise memories understood Whatley is not a corrupt Hubbard crony and had just been elected to remove one of the worst on Goat Hill. The AEA deserved to lose both races, but now we’re stuck with more Hubbard corruption unless disciplined in the courts since voters couldn’t/didn’t do their job in the poor turn-out primary.
Sen. Whatley is one of the few on Goat Hill who earned being reelected to another term. He has a positive ‘soldier’s attitude’ about political combat and will continue attempts to move us forward out of the mess we’ve ‘progressed’ into. I was proud to attend LTC Whatley’s change of command ceremony for the Special Troops Battalion, 167th Theater Sustainment Command; many thanks for serving our State so well in the Alabama Guard these past 26 years! He seems happy with his new assignment to the 122nd. If he can continue to steer clear of being an AEA, BCA, type sycophant Sen. Whatley is one to watch as a potential gubernatorial candidate with focus on legislation non-Republocrat/independent voters will reward. Furthermore, I find it admirable Sen. Whatley remains open to talk with everyone, even the AEA when he knows it will be unpleasant and they’ll dislike hearing the hard fiscal reality our State must face.
Another ‘micro’ observation in Lee County on a statewide campaign was the Merrill v. McKinney Secretary of State run-off. It seemed close until the end when McKinney (who I think a decent/honest man) ads tried to paint Merrill as a ‘liberal.’ I could see McKinney support beginning to melt away - certainly one can make a case Merrill is a big govt. conservative and a BCA minion, but calling him a liberal turned away non-Republocrats who often determine the margin victory, esp. in low turnout run-offs of this sort. It was over when McKinney further painted himself as an establishment Republican reminding voters he’s been a life-long Party member. Enough voters are tired of the rah-rah Reagan rhetoric - mostly those who remember Reagan amnesty, raising the debt ceiling 18 times with his crony Tip O’Neil, exploding debt per capita threefold, etc. McKinney was indeed part of that naïve group who brought the corrupt Republican Party back into our State instead of removing/replacing the modern big govt. Democrats. McKinney would’ve been better served by saying he’s appalled at those who’ve taken control of the Party and wants to bring more competitive elections, contracting and business to our State and undo the damage done by the BCA Hubbard/Marsh/Riley machine. The last straw was touting our probate judge who’s been a poor ‘public servant’ on property rights/pro-Agenda 21, a Hubbard minion and despised by many businesspeople who’ve suffered his impediments to get things accomplished in our county. Merrill quickly became the easy choice for this non-Republocrat group looking for relief at the State level. This was a match up between two hard working, intelligent candidates which led one to think they had/exercised little input into their own ads, deferring to lauded pundits and Carl Rove types who are out of touch with the median voter trying to be productive under increasing federal, State and local govt. tyranny. I wonder if they realize how loud we laugh at the Hubbard “Storming the Statehouse” hype which drove all those insufferable ‘for the last 136 years’ childish campaign ads. When you hear the owner of your local body shop saying ENOUGH of that baloney, it may be time to put something of substance in campaign ads on your behalf.
On the subject of campaign TV advertisements, Clyde Chambliss wins the Lucifer Award with his negative ad about negative ads in the Dist. 30 Senate race. Perhaps along with the ‘136 years’ ad it was designed to reduce non-Republocrat turn-out so the big govt. minions could carry the day. It appeared the Chambliss ‘double negative’ ad was so bad it was pulled at the end to rerun the sappy ‘daddy won’t let me date’ ad. After the Garner ad showed video of Chambliss in his own words, the attack machine when into overdrive… sad the ‘turn-off’ strategy seemed to also work in this race. Harris Garner appeared to be genuine in not seeking power and money (a huge fear to Republocrat minions) simply wanting to give back to his district as a successful businessman instead of embarking upon another career. I’m glad Harris wasn’t willing to comprise his soul to win an election, and pleased they’re still candidates of this sort (like Sandy Toomer) who will give voters a decent choice.
Another poorly vetted amendment to our Constitution with a “yes” vote from only 5.4% of eligible voters is the most revealing ‘macro’ outcome of our 2014 primaries. Why was it placed on a run-off? Why do we allow ANY constitutional amendment votes in primaries or in special elections instead of general elections where turn-out is greater? It is clear the Hubbard machine has learned from the successful theft of our trust fund via amending the State Constitution. The rational forecast is our ‘Spender of the House’ will continue to advocate gaming the system to advance wealth transfers he’s well paid by special interest to promote over the general welfare of Alabama with poor turn-out amendments. This latest big govt. victory makes a per bale fee on cotton mandatory which over 90% of farmers paid voluntary. Smells a lot like Hubbard’s Obamacare for auto-insurance where once made mandatory, premiums hiked so high uninsured motorists on our roads approached 1 in 4. When you see the usual suspects backing this sort of monopoly power it all falls into place… buy stock in the cronies who will get contracts for cotton promotion and research if the ‘market’ has not already internalized the forthcoming wealth transfers.
I’d like to close with one of the more promising outcomes of the 2014 primary, the Buttram v. Harbison House District 12 race. Mr. Britt (Alabama Political Reporter) wrote Messrs Hubbard and Riley, “poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the race, only to come up embarrassed and empty-handed. Hubbard even employed a large force of current legislators to descend on Cullman County, in a vain attempt to recuse his handpicked man from disaster.” Once again, informed non-Republocrat voters could identify the big govt. candidate in the race and no amount of ‘double negative’ campaign ads could impede these voters from showing. They knew the Good Hope Mayor (Corey Harbison) well enough to show and support him and defeat incumbent Buttram who deserved to be removed from the Hubbard machine by a huge (10%) margin. Mr. Britt further touted, “the biggest loser of the day was Hubbard, who no longer has a fool-proof closure vote in the House. By contrast, the biggest winner was Dr. Henry Mabry and the Alabama Education Association (AEA), who added another pro-education republican to the State House. With the backing of educators and pro-education conservatives, Harbison’s victory was a major step toward balancing power between the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) and the AEA.” Of course AEA/BCA mouthpieces like to talk balance of power instead of REDUCTION of government power and abuse. The AEA is crowing at this result because they see the wealth transfers returning to them Hubbard redirected to his cronies. The pro-education/small govt. conservatives removed Buttram because they want to see the harmful spending and overpaid administrators in education END. It is easy to see Hubbard doesn’t stand for party (his backing of big govt. Democrats like Dial over small govt. Republicans like Sprayberry made it painfully clear this primary) nor principle; all that matters is to keep churning the graft he benefits from providing. The AEA’s strategy to win by supporting Republicans like Harbison may appear successful to them at this time - we’ll see if Mr. Harbison is indeed pro-education and curbs the crony contracts of common core AND the out of control spending on poor education in Alabama with equal vigor. The future will tell if this was just posturing to win an election to redistribute wealth from one special interest to another at the expense of the general welfare. The question remains the same at the close of any election: what does it profit a candidate (and their victorious voters) to win an election and lose their soul?