Skip to comments.Alabama New GOP Legislature Has Turned Democrat
Posted on 09/13/2012 7:54:36 AM PDT by alancarpEdited on 09/13/2012 11:00:27 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
For the first time in 140 years, Alabama elected a Republican legislature in 2010 with promises to cure the ills created by generations of Democrat rule. Budgets would be fixed, ethics would be addressed, immigration issues would be resolved, and business would begin to move forward again.
Well some of that has indeed occurred. But now we have a defining moment coming that serves to undermine all of the good that had been done.
On Tuesday, September 18th, a stealth special election is happening. There is a single topic on the statewide ballot: Amendment 1 to the state constitution - placed on the ballot by the GOP legislature - and Dr. Bentley, our Governor.
I will explain Amendment 1 by paraphrasing a story I heard this morning on WVNN Radio (770AM, Huntsville/Athens/Decatur, wvnn.com) from Dr. Jess Brown of Athens State University:
Suppose a friend of yours is in a personal financial crisis, and comes to you for help. He asks for, and you give him $600. He promises to fix the problem that got him in this condition, and also promises to repay you over a 7-to-10 year period of time.
Four years later, the same friend comes back and asks for another $500. He explains that the prior problem hadn't been fixed, and moreover, he wants you to forgive the prior loan... while also not promising anything about paying back this new $500 request.
So do you give him the money the second time?
That is in essence what is going on today in Alabama... except convert the figures above to "millions" instead of "hundreds".
The State Legislature is required to pass a balanced budget every year. For the fiscal year about to begin, that law has been violated, and it was violated by Republicans. They are counting on the voters passing Amendment 1 to bail them out. But we have history here that can be called upon as a lesson:
In 2008, voters grudgingly yielded to the "crisis" at hand by passing Amendment 803, which allowed a temporary raid of the Education Trust Fund, which was to be re-paid over 7-10 years. Dr. Brown reports that this has resulted in a $600-ish million loss of capital in that fund. Now we're being asked to raid the Oil/Gas Revenue Trust Fund of $470 million ($145.8 million for each of 3 years, plus the loss of capital gains, interest). 3 years?? Clearly, the GOP doesn't even WANT to solve the real fiscal problems!
Furthermore, though the specific language on the ballot hides this information, the Amendment 803 requirement for repayment - as approved then by the voters - would be striken from the Constitution should this new Amendment 1 be passed next Wednesday. The full text of the proposed Amendment can be read here.
The usual suspects and tactics are even out in force on this:
1. The teachers' union is in favor of this. So are the lawyers.
2. The "crisis du jour" is Medicaid funding.
3. There are threats of cuts in state funding for Medicaid, for prisons, DA offices, other state agencies
4. Officials are expecting (counting on?) a low voter turnout. 4. Letters are being circulated among state and taxpayer-funded agencies (probably illegally) with both bribes and threats included. In the case of this letter from the Limestone County Superintendent of Schools, one has to wonder who promised money to the school system for Dr. Sisk to promise raises to the teachers in exchange for their votes.
The Republicans are acting exactly like Democrats... apparently having learned from them that scare tactics work. So while this is touted are $145 million, the real cost is staggering: to the tune of approximately $1.2 billion in total costs, including losses of capital gains and interest (counting the prior un-repaid Education Trust monies).
But to be fair, many Republicans are indeed on record against this measure (Sen. Paul Sanford, notably)... and some Democrats as well (Craig Ford). So it is indeed an odd coalition cobbled together for this vote. But this much is certain: this election has to be hung around the necks of the GOP, for it is happening ON their watch, and ONLY because they made it happen. Our Governor wants this passed. You cannot escape that: the Republicans have utterly failed to make the tough decisions, and this is their failure.
So what happens if this ballot measure fails? Well, a scramble: the law-break-...uh, law-MAKERS have to come back into emergency session to make the same cuts they should have made in the first place. Unfortunately, there's also a lot of noise being made about a $1/pack cigarette tax to raise the same amount of money (Bentley is against this - apparently a 'no new taxes' pledge is easier to keep when you can kick the can down the road). Obviously, I favor proper budget cuts instead of new taxes.
So the citizens of Alabama need to tell the GOP to go back and to show the resolve they supposedly had in 2010. FIX the mess - DON'T create a new one.
Vote NO on September 18th.
The Dale Jackson Show, 6-9am, WVNN 770AM, Huntsville
Sept 18th is a Tuesday.
Arrggg... you’re right, of course. Hopefully that’s the only gotcha in there.
Looks like Alabamians may suffer the same fate as South Carolinians. Being under the yoke of a so called conservative GOP controlled state legislature that has raised tax and spend to an art form.
The Republican Legislature can be controlled a lot better than the Democrat Legislatures in the past; however, I will be voting, and I will be voting “NO”.
BLECH. What a misleading headline.
Has an election happened? No. Then dont say something that didnt happen.
Obviously, I don’t believe it’s misleading at all: if Republicans are acting like Democrats, then they should be called out on it.
One of the fundamental distinctives between the parties - or so we’ve been led to believe - is budget responsibility. Now we have party leaders in Alabama (of all places!!) talking about needing more revenue while failing to obey the laws on balancing the budget.
If it walks like a duck...
Me too. All my household will vote no.
I heard that if this measure fails, they only have two days to cut the budget.
I think they better get busy now, because as people in this state hear about it, they get mad.
“if Republicans are acting like Democrats”
... then THAT should be your headline. That would be better.
I clicked the link expecting to read that Alabama now has a Democrat majority. I am grateful that its not true.
I too will be voting NO. We cannot keep kicking the can down the road - it is time to man up, put the big boy budget cutting pants on and do what we friggin elected you to do!
Me, too. I think he's trying to make a point, that barrel-chested Jack Armstrong Republicans can turn into oily 'Rat landsharks when the budget goes sideways and they have to ask for taxes or cut spending.
” Republicans can turn into oily ‘Rat landsharks”
LOL ... this is news?!? :-)
Seriously, I hope his effort to stop this succeeds but it was a terrible headline.