Alabama’s Race for Governor from the 50 Yard Line

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Of all the gubernatoral elections to be held this upcoming November, perhaps Alabama happens to have the most colorful contest. Even The New York Times ran this headline yesterday: “In Race to Lead Alabama, It’s Politics as Unusual”. The following key contenders showed at the starting gate:

  • Former Governor “the Don” Siegelman, currently under indictment for what may be politically based charges, seeks the Democratic nod. Despite a trial date of May 1, the criminal allegations may not impact the Don at the ballot box, as indictments and gubernatoral politics go hand in hand in the Heart of Dixie. His key platform item is the establishment of a state lottery.
  • Incumbent Governor “Billion Dollar Bob” Riley, the Republican who tried to significantly raise taxes in the name of Jesus. Riley is trying to overcome his stinging loss on that bill by taking credit for a budget surplus which he predicted would be a deficit — the very basis for his call for the largest tax increase in state history. Riley has Abramoff problems, but seems to have the state GOP Chairman, Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, on his side. Twinkle once opposed the Riley tax plan, then changed sides as she went to work for the governor as his appointments secretary and then deputy chief of staff. She left the governor’s office to chair the Alabama Republican Party just in time for the big GOP showdown in the state. She’s also under fire for taking special interest money.
  • Libertarian activist Loretta “No Panties” Nall, a key player in state, national, and international drug war and prison reform issues. Recently in the news because of her boobs and lack of undergarments, Nall is trying to overcome the public perception of being a single issue candidate (she isn’t) and knock down the barrier of egregious ballot access laws.
  • Current Lt. Governor “I Love Lucy” Baxley, a Democrat who ducked the issues by running on a platform of “We [heart symbol] Lucy” last election cycle. She started with the same platform this time, but has been under fire for copping out on the issues. It seems she may be trying to bury this reputation along with this website banner.
  • Former Judge Roy “Ten Commandments” Moore, who just squashed rumors of an independent or third-party bid and will run against Riley for the GOP nod. Moore is running in opposition to the former Riley tax increase plan (as opposed to the tax decrease plan Riley recently proposed — coincidentally while running for office, go figure). However, during the 2003 tax increase showdown, Moore remained conspiculously silent on the tax issue, instead focusing his efforts (and needed media attention) on an expensive rock at the state Supreme Court building.
  • I’m not actively working for any of these campaigns, but have contacts in all of them. It’s already been a lot of fun to watch this race from the sidelines, and I expect the last three quarters of the game to become even more exciting.

    Stephen Gordon

    I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

    1. If you had bothered to look at Lucy Baxley’s website just once, you would see that she does indeed have ideas. I’m not sure why those opposed to her use the lame excuse that she doesn’t take a stand on anything. It’s simply not true. Unfortunately for you and other Baxley bashers, it’s the only thing you can come up with. You have to make up faults because there simply aren’t any actual ones to report. Her 11 years so far in an elected statewide office have been extremely productive and her integrity has never been called into quesion. Please at least have a look at her website,, then click on “ISSUES.” Then if you have something to say, say it.

    2. Jordan,

      I stated that Baxley is “trying to bury this reputation” — by adding some lame issues and hiding her proposed web banner.

      It’s not just me who thinks his way. From Dateline Alabama:

      She wants to improve public schools, keep the economy strong, make healthcare available and affordable, and finally – this one’s the clincher – she wants to make sure senior citizens and veterans are taken care of. (Go to the web site and read it for yourself if you don’t believe me.)

      This may seem like a stupid question: Are there any gubernatorial candidates who want to destroy public schools, weaken the economy, reduce healthcare, or ignore senior citizens and veterans?

      (to be continued)

    3. That’s the biggest problem with Baxley’s campaign for governor: She hasn’t distinguished an issue as her own, and while those who vote in the treasurer and lieutenant governor races may not care about issues, the same certainly isn’t true for the governor’s race. In fact, voters really do care about issues and, so far, Baxley has none.

      In my opinion, she’s trying to run on her hubby’s name, her smile, and a bunch of red hearts scattered across the state.

      By the way, I bashed everyone equally. If anything, Baxley got off pretty light and Riley took the soundest thrashing.

    4. I’ve read the article on Dateline Alabama (I used to be a staff reporter for them and occasionally still contribute). I thought it was a joke as well. And to be fair, yes you did bash everyone equally. I think Lucy Baxley is the best choice for governor this year. She does have issues with substance that aren’t, as you called them, lame.

      If you have a moment, please read this article:

      It highlights what I think are some of the important issues she tackles, as well as shows the incompetence of three of her biggest challengers.

    5. Jordan,

      In your column, you stated:

      Baxley also says money is an important factor in education but that as a state we must also ensure our teachers are well qualified and well paid, and that students are disciplined properly through the help of parent involvement.

      Baxley states basically the same on her site. She uses the wording “fund” 4 times on her platform page, but only once suggests that businesses should volunteer (which you know they won’t) enough to provide for her demands.

      If she is proposing spending more money, it is also fair to state where that money is to come from. Barring this, she remains, IMO, without substance.

      It’s easy to state rosy pipe dreams, but the devil’s always in the details.

    6. Another example from your article:

      She has great ideas on how to get our state on the right track. If elected, she wants to create a Cabinet-level office to help small-business owners in Alabama. One of the benefits of this is to ensure that all Alabamians have proper health care.

      Once again, Baxley (on her issues page) does not explain who is to pay the bill for this.

    7. “”If elected, she wants to create a Cabinet-level office to help small-business owners in Alabama.””

      Oh goodie, goodie, gum-drops….another government jobs program to complicate the life of the small business-person…..that’s just what we need. My….that Lucy is such an original thinker.

      “”One of the benefits of this is to ensure that all Alabamians have proper health care.””

      How exactly is the creation of another “cabinet-level position” going to ensure that All Alabamians have healthcare insurance?

      Perhaps someone should tell Lucy that, if the Democrats would stop taking all the poor people’s money to create a program for them, because they don’t have money, because the government took it all… create a new program to help them…..then perhaps the poor people would be able to afford their own family healthcare coverage.

      Democrats and Republicans alike are swine. Neither of those parties is offering anything but four more years of the same old crap.

      Wake up Alabama.

    8. We were just talking about issues, not money. None of the other candidates list on their websites how they plan to pay for their suggestions either.

    9. From Nall’s website:

      INITIATIVE and REFERENDUM – no significant additional cost involved


      Money isn’t working. Repeated failure is NOT justification for continued or increased funding. Do NOT give these people more money to poison our kids with their alien political beliefs and Orwellian social experimentation programs.

      As Governor of Alabama I will support tax credits for Alabama families who send their children to a private school or teach them in a home-school setting. For our public schools I will advocate that we opt out of the federal government mandated No Child Left Behind. The federal government only gives us 6% of our education budget and they have NO RIGHT to control what or how we teach our children.

    10. Taxation –

      Speaking of taxes and that BILLION DOLLAR surplus we suddenly have .. If I recall correctly Governor Riley tried to increase our taxes by almost exactly that much with Amendment 1. [snip]

      If elected I will support the repeal of sales tax on food and the order mandating yearly reappraisals of property.

      Immigration –

      An important reason for the heavy influx of illegal immigrants is the Welcome Wagon waiting at the border – offering free education, free welfare, free healthcare and a free lunch. They also seem to be offering up a lot of our jobs. So lets cut that out by imposing hefty fines on businesses that employ illegal immigrants. If there are no jobs then there will be no illegal immigrants draining our social services and then we will see a dramatic drop in the influx of illegal aliens.

      Note – I don’t agree with all of these positions, but she’s actually explaining the financial side of her proposals.

    11. Religion and Government – no significant cost factor, but might provide less Mississippi gambling money to the CCAL

      Gambling – legalizing it would increase tax revenues os the short version

      Drug policy and prison reform – would save hundreds of millions, easily

      Bio-diesel –

      If I told you that there was a way we could Decrease Our Dependency on Foreign Oil, Boost the Agriculture Industry in Alabama, preserve our pristine hunting and fishing areas, which bring 2 BILLION tourism dollars into Alabama every year and Keep More Alabama Money in Alabama instead of sending it to the federal government would you believe me?

      Bio-diesel. It’s fuel from the fields. And we can do it here.

    12. Jordan,

      As much as I dislike Riley and Moore (whom I really trashed today), at least they’re addressing the economic issues — and will likely be engaged in heated debate over tax cuts over the next few months.

      Don’s lottery also addresses economic issues.

      Lucy’s the one ignoring the costs of her proposals.

    13. Well I dislike Riley and Moore a lot as well. As for Don, I think we both know his lottery would be defeated by the extreme religious right of Alabama once again. I’d love to see a lottery, but it won’t happen. I think Lucy has an economic plan, and I think we’ll be hearing that part later. I still think she’s the best choice for an improvement in Alabama.

    14. Former Governor “the Don” Siegelman, currently under indictment for what may be politically based charges, seeks the Democratic nod.

      My favorite Sieg-Heilmanism is when he claimed that his house was worth twice its appraisal value because it was historic (since he had lived there).

    15. Loretta nall is actually the only contender to offer changes and reform…She is the only one who seems to care about other thing then herself… “I love lucy”, what a joke!!! Loretta is the only one that seems to understand prison just don’t work…The USA is going down what ever you may think, alabama might be the first state to support the downfall and hopefully bring the whole country back up…Sorry for the written mistakes i did as i am still learning this language…Best regards.