My final view of the Alabama political scene

Note: this article contains dead links, the url is still in the hover/alt text. Keep the web working, curate content well!
vulcanbutt.jpgAlabama Primary Election
I’ve been very critical of Republicans for the last few years, but Alabama Democrats have to take the booby prize for being the most whacked out people in the state. To be fair to Republicans, they had but two choices in the June 6 primary: To vote for tax loving Governor Bob Riley or to vote for graven image worshipping Judge Roy Moore. It’s almost ironic that Riley won by the same margin his billion dollar tax plan lost by in 2003.
Democrats had a lot more choice in their primary. In the governor’s race, Lt. Governor Lucy Baxley’s “duck the issues” strategy won, probably because she was facing former Governor Don Seigelman, who is still on trial for serious ethics violations. They also chose Nancy “Eddie Bauer” Worley over “Ethical Ed” Packard. However, the Attorney General race is what exposed what Alabama Democrats think about racial issues.
Larry Darby has been thoroughly exposed in the state and national media as being a racist. This clip from The Birmingham News should provide a clear enough picture:

Darby is running on a nine-point platform to restore state sovereignty. Under his plan, the state would gradually divest itself of the federal government, beginning with the National Guard, and strengthen the state militia.
He advocates declaring marshal law, then “ferreting out” illegal immigrants and treating them as prisoners of war. Darby would elevate county sheriffs to what he believes to be their full constitutional power, deputizing an armed civilian police force to balance the state’s power, he said.
He also would prosecute the Montgomery-based civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center for treason for advocating open borders.
“We are being invaded by a foreign nation,” he said. “Our social fabric is based on Western European values. It was a European Enlightenment that led to the Constitution, and we need to hold onto those great ideals.”
That same message, delivered earlier this month at a Newark, N.J., meeting of the National Vanguard, a pro-white group, brought condemnation from state and national party leaders. The state Democratic party challenged Darby’s candidacy for expressing doubt during a television interview that the Holocaust occurred and for voicing racial and social supremacist views.

After press like this, one might think that Darby would have been soundly thrashed in polling places across the state. Instead, he received 43.53% of the vote in a two-way race against John Tyson. Any thoughts I’ve ever briefly entertained about switching to the Democratic Party were strongly discouraged by Siegelman’s vote total, but they were totally nuked when almost half the state’s Democrats voted for Darby.
81.24% of Alabamians decided that homosexuals should not have the same legal rights everyone else has. I’m hoping that when Hank Irwin introduces his “final solution” bill for Alabama homosexuals, someone will introduce an amendment to strike the wording about “thoughts about deviant or homosexual behavior.” I’d prefer not to be executed for having normal male fantasies about sexual engagement with two hot females.
Loretta Nall and Ballot Access
Loretta Nall may not have collected enough signatures to meet Alabama’s egregious ballot access restrictions and U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson may have just decided against equal access to political office, but Thompson unwittingly just opened another door for Nall. Thompson wrote (emphasis added):

“Alabama does not restrict how many signatures can be submitted in an effort to meet the 3% requirement, and the state allows unlimited time to conduct the petitioning effort.”

I don’t know of any place in Alabama’s Title 17 which states that signatures can’t be used more than once, either. Nall tried a new legal twist and turned in photocopies of approximately 60,000 signatures which have already been verified by the Secretary of State from the 2002 petition drive. This is in addition to the ones she gathered this year. It will be interesting to see how they squirm on this one, as there appears to be no law which states these old signatures can’t be used and a federal judge just made half of Nall’s case for her.
Also, both Loretta Nall and state LP chair Dick Clark (more on him later) were on Alabama’s leading political news television program on election night. The video is here, and you can skip to 4:10 minute mark to catch Nall or the 6:32 minute mark to catch Clark.
Satire Sites and Bidding Wars
In March I wrote about a clever series of websites poking fun at the Birmingham City Council. The person behind these sites is still a big mystery, but it looks like he or she has removed all direct reference to me on the listing of lackeys and minions. Strangely enough, I learned that the references to me were removed around the same time the news broke that I was leaving town.
In what may or may not be a coincidence, the handle for the blogger on one of the sites is Flash Gordon — a name I’ve used for comments on websites for years and the basis for two previous sites of mine: FlashOfFreedom and LibertyFlash. It could also be for Gordon Gekko, who was credited with the quote below on this page:

“It’s not a question of enough, pal. It’s a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another.”

To make the record clear (again), I’m not behind these sites and I have nothing to do with them. Like Kyle Whitmire, I’m very curious to know who’s running these websites. A great deal of the information posted came from insiders, which means that I either know the site producer very well, or he/she has the ability to imbed and protect secret sources better than Bob Woodward and Doug Thompson combined.
It appears there is a new related site out there, but it looks like it is being done by some who, like me, wants to know who’s behind this series of websites. In his weekly column, Whitmire offered two beers and a sandwich at Birmingham’s Garage Café for the person who can prove who is behind these websites. As the Garage is (up and then) down the street from my former office and recently vacated apartment, I can’t let him outdo me in my favorite Alabama watering hole.
It’s full circle time. I’ve just moved to DC, but I used to live here in the 90s. The first time a reporter ever bought me food, my wife and I had won a neologism contest hosted by Bob Levey and The Washington Post (long before this site was established). The prize was lunch at the restaurant of our choice in the DC area. We ended up at the Jockey Club swilling Dom Perignon and eating multiple courses long before I’m accustomed to doing so, but it was on their dime.
Finding out who is behind those websites is worth more than two beers and a sandwich to me, but it’s not worth lamb and lobster chased with $500 a bottle bubbles. If you can provide me the proof about which Whitmire asked, I’ll happily double his offer, though.
A Personal Note
Because I’ve accepted the position of Communications Director for the national Libertarian Party, I’ve decided to step down as Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Alabama. This was a difficult decision for me, but one made easier by state party Chair Dick Clark. When he was nominated for for the position, he stated that he wouldn’t have enough time to devote to the responsibilities of being Chair while he was also running for public office. I’d told him I’d pick up the slack if he’d consider the position. He agreed and was elected Chair.
Because of my new job (mostly because I’ll be spending a considerable amount of time out of state), it will be more difficult for me to assist Clark.
Every since the announcement of my new position was leaked, I’ve been under fire for conflict of interest and other issues. One of the accusations I’ve already received is that I’m showing favoritism toward my home state (not that this makes sense, as I haven’t officially started the new job, yet).
For these reasons, I thought it might be best for me to step down as Vice Chair — and I discussed this option with Clark. While I offered to retain the position until after the November elections, Clark found a better solution. As the convention has passed, state LP bylaws allow for the Executive Committee to appoint a temporary officer position up to the time of the next state convention. Clark talked former Alabama LP gubernatorial candidate John Sophecleus into taking over the position. The Executive Committee confirmed his nomination.
I can’t think of a better person for the job. In addition to being a great activist, John is intelligent, well-spoken and a unifying force within the party and the movement. Congratulations, John.
In the few years I was active in Alabama politics, I’ve been engaged in a very wide array of political activities and there isn’t room to mention them all here. Some highlights include seeing several friends elected to public office, doing my part to kill a major tax plan, helping reunite a baby with his mother while forcing a state cabinet official to the unemployment line, helping start two (1, 2) non-profit organizations, making some good friends in the Alabama media, seeing some election reform bills passed and starting the process for a a key medical marijuana bill — which is well on the way to passage.
I’ll always have fond very memories of these issues and the wonderful people who dedicated so much time to them, but (to quote Led Zeppelin), “it’s time to ramble on.” While I’m a bit sad about leaving, I’m also very excited about the opportunity to pursue a strong passion of mine, which is to help tranform the Libertarian Party into an effective political entity. To make this point perfectly and unapologetically clear to my critics (as well as providing them some blog fodder), an effective political party actually becomes engaged in the non-libertarian community in order to influence public policy and win elections.
For the rest of you, I’ll still be posting material at HoT, so please be sure to stop by at the same bat time in the same bat place.