Bob Riley: An Absolute Example of GOP Hypocrisy

Here’s my latest post at the LP Alabama site:

Former U.S. congressman Bob Riley was part of the Republican revolution of the 1990s. Wiki provides:

Riley was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 defeating his Democratic opponent, State Senator T.D. “Ted” Little (Auburn, Ala.) and Libertarian John Sophocleus, and served from 1997 to 2003. He did not run for re-election to his seat in November 2002, instead running for governor and defeating the Democratic incumbent, Don Siegelman, by one of the narrowest margins in Alabama history and again defeating Libertarian candidate John Sophocleus.

While in Congress, Riley generally had a good voting record on economic issues. Considering that his district was comprised of an economically conservative base, he was fairly popular in that part of the state. Immediately after becoming elected, Riley suddenly shifted positions and proposed the largest tax increase in Alabama history. Here’s the current Wiki view:

Riley also proposed a sweeping reform of the state’s tax system, regarded as one of the most regressive in the United States. Riley intended to shift more of the burden to the rich in order to salvage the dismal state of Alabama’s state finances. He presented his plan in Christian terms, arguing that the existing system was unfair to the poor, but his plan was rejected by voters on September 9, 2003, with 68 percent opposed to it. This was largely due to massive negative advertising financed by opponents of the proposal.

While he did promote the tax plan in the name of Jesus, this plan would have increased the sales tax for small businesses in the state, as well as creating a new tax for services. This would have meant that every lawn care guy, handyman, back yard mechanic, nail painting business, hair weaving salon and house cleaner would have been significantly and disproportionately hurt by the plan — so much for the regressive tax argument.

Riley claimed that Alabamians would not have enough money to pay the state bills and they would actually go into a serious budget default problem. Alabamians didn’t buy this and soundly rejected the tax plan. It turns out that Alabamians were right, in the end.

Of the five major candidates for governor, Riley seems to have the greatest level of campaign organization and money. He’s taking credit for a surplus when he used this potential deficit as a fear factor to promote his tax increase. Hopefully, Alabamians will be able to see though the smoke and mirrors and see Riley for what he truly is — a liar and a hypocrite.

Riley just pushed for and won a tax cut. Right before the elections — how convenient of him, too. But we know his track record, and have every reason to expect more tax increases the moment he’s reelected.

Riley provides an individual look at Republicans as a whole, too. The great Republican revolution of the 90s of which Riley was a part has done pretty much the same thing Riley did in state office. They’ve managed to significantly outspend even Democrats since they assumed control of Congress. Every once in a while, some minor tax decrease is passed to sucker the voters into thinking that Republicans actually care about their constituents — while they increase the financial burden on our children at increasing rates. They’ve reneged on their Contract for America time and time again — much like Riley gave the appearance being a fiscal conservative when running for Governor, only to change his tune once in office.

It’s just meaningless election year politics, folks. Don’t get suckered by another round of GOP lies and hypocricy.

Most people in Alabama prefer lower taxes, increased responsibility in government spending and putting an end to the special interest games in Montgomery. Since Riley has long been ruled out as a viable choice, Alabama has but two options in this election.

Some of you don’t mind the government sharing your bedroom with you and your spouse. Some of you don’t mind the religious views of other people being forced down your throats. Some of you prefer to force your view of “compassionate conservatism” on other people. If you don’t care about civil rights and individual liberty, Roy Moore may be your man. However, if you’re like most people I know, there is but one logical choice for governor: Loretta Nall.

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. The only way to defeat a man like that is to assualt his values, since most folks that vote for such a creep are concerned with values first.

    I would love to make some web ads attacking his “values” comparing his values to what Jesus actually said about such things as homosexuality, marraige, etc. I could rip him a new gay asshole. :D

  2. Both Riley and Moore can be attacked for their less than Christian values, IMO. I agree, this should be the approach to use with them.

  3. To wit, Jesus didn’t actually say anything about homosexuality, the Jewish Law did and so did the apostle Paul. Also, unless Riley has had a divorce for a reason other than the infidelity of his wife, I dunno if the marriage attack will hold up well among conservative Christians.

    You’d have to go digging to see if the man has any vices that are easily exploitable. Theologically, it’s a wash to say that drinking, smoking and drug use are sins, because there’s only one verse that could be potentially construed to say it-but there are a lot of conservative Christians that hold low opinions of both. Attack him with the “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” verse if you can find anything, but have an unaffiliated 527 do it instead of your official campaign.

    Just do a hunt for his personal vices and I can give you chapter and verse if you find any.

  4. I feel ashamed. Mainly because back when Riley’s big tax hike was proposed I was so naive and foolish enough as to vote for it, actually believing it was a tax cut. It would be nice to go back in time and slap some sense into myself, luckily the thing didn’t pass.

    When I saw the last state of the state I let out a huge guffaw at his “triumphant” bragging about how well the state was doing and what great surpluses we’d developed, and then just remember him saying that if his plan wasn’t passed this state would fall into financial ruin. I’f love to get the two clips and play them back to back.

  5. My actions appear to be more in line with the teachings of Jesus than those of both Riley and Moore.

    Don’t you know it pisses them off to have a pot-smoking Atheist looking more Christlike than they, as seasoned bible thumpers, do?

    I love politics!

  6. Definitely do not hit him using a 527. It’s illegal. Moreover, it’s overly slick and appears so. If he doesn’t measure up to voters standards, a proper opponent will be one who says so, direct, and not using shady and banned means to do so. From what I’ve seen, Loretta Nall shoots straight.