The Governor’s Race
Dr. Robert Bentley won the Governor’s race in Alabama with little difficulty. He survived some negative attacks that came late in the campaign and wound up winning by a landslide. At a point when few Alabamians knew very much about the two-term Legislator from Tuscaloosa, I asked my brother to tell me about Dr. Bentley. Billy, who had served with him in the House of Representatives, described him this way: “Robert is honest, straight-forward, a hard worker, keeps his word and is a good man. I really like him.” That would be a pretty good recommendation for anybody “looking for a job.” I trust my brother’s judgment and opinion of the Governor-elect.
I believe Dr. Bentley is a perfect choice to lead our state at this time. He inherits a state government that is flat broke and in deep financial trouble. It will take a chief executive who both cares for the people of Alabama and who also understands how the Legislature is supposed to operate in order for the Governor and Legislators to work through the massive problems facing our state. I can’t overemphasize how important it is for a Governor to fully understand how the Legislature really works. It will take both the governor and the legislative leaders being willing to work together in order for the governor’s programs to get through the process. Hopefully, full cooperation will become a reality during the next four years.
The Lt. Governor’s Race
I must admit that the outcome in the Lt. Governor’s race was a real surprise to me. I really believed that Jim Folsom’s record and his name recognition would keep him in office, even though he obviously was in a very close race. But considering that public opinion polls showed that at least one-third of potential voters planned to vote a straight Republican ticket, with only 15% pulling the Democratic lever, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised at the outcome. In any event, I wish for Kay Ivey, the winner, a successful term as Lt. Governor.
Other Alabama Races
The Republican landslide put another person with a solid record out of office when Susan Parker lost her race for reelection to the Alabama Public Service Commission. Her loss was to a candidate who reportedly spent less than $3,000 in his race. Susan had done an excellent job, but apparently that really didn’t matter to the voters. She became a victim of the voters’ overall discontent and as a result lost her race.
Luther Strange was elected Attorney General, a most important position in state government, by a large margin. I supported James Anderson, who I have known since 1978, because I felt he would have been an excellent Attorney General. But since James couldn’t raise any money, he really never had a chance. Folks who know Luther all say he’s a good man and they believe he will do a good job as Attorney General. I wish him well.
Supreme Court Races
The Republican candidates won all three Supreme Court races in Alabama with little difficulty. I never believed that any of the Democratic candidates were ever in the running and as it turned out I was correct. It was evident that Justices Mike Bolin and Tom Parker took full advantage of the GOP sweep and they will return to the Court. Judge Kelli Wise, who has been serving on the Criminal Court of Appeals, will join the High Court. Hopefully, all of the members of the Court realize that ordinary folks should be treated fairly when they have cases before the High Court. As I have stated on numerous occasions, all a party with a case before the Supreme Court is entitled to is a fair hearing where both the law and evidence really matter. Is that asking too much?
A Change In The Election Of The Lt. Governor
Governor-elect Bentley has said that in the future he wants to see the Governor and Lt. Governor run as a team. That would be like the President and Vice President do on the national level. This change really makes sense for a number of reasons, one being the problems that arise when the two top officials are from different parties. Another good reason for making the change is the tremendous cost of running separately. The Lt. Governor should be a person who shares the Governor’s political philosophy and is a person who will work with the Governor. I believe a change in the existing law would be good for Alabama citizens.
My Brother Wins His Race
My brother, Billy Beasley, was elected to the Alabama State Senate, winning his race with 70% of the vote. Billy ran a positive campaign, stayed on the issues important to his district and never went negative at anytime. In my opinion that was a good thing. I am proud of all that Billy has accomplished in his three terms in the House of Representatives and know that he will be a good Senator. He will represent the people in District 28 well and I can guarantee that Billy will never do anything to let them down.
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