Huntsville, Alabama
June 26, 2003

Dear Fellow Republican,

The humongous black cloud of the Hubbert-Riley Tax Plan is hanging heavily over all our heads. It is difficult not to become angry with our own party members who have aligned themselves with the ultra-liberal Paul Hubbert and his Democrat allies, and laid on us the burden of having to drop most everything else to defend our conservative principles and the integrity of our Party. It's a shock to find ourselves in this mess. Furthermore, this looks like an exception to the rule that every dark cloud has its silver lining. But is it?

No, I don't think that it is an exception. I believe that there is good news here. (And if I'm right, goodness knows that it's definitely news that we sorely need.)

Allow me a personal flashback to last summer, the summer of 02. It was hot. My grass and flowers were wilting and browning in the heat. I got tired of dragging all those hoses around watering everything, so I arranged to have an automatic sprinkler system installed.

At first it worked wondrously well. But then as the summer heat deepened several spots on the lawn began to show signs of damage. They were not getting enough water. As I toured my lawn with my contractor he said, "Well there's nothing like the stress of a drought to show up the weak spots in your system." He fixed the weak spots and all has been well since.

The analogy is manifest. As it was with my inanimate sprinkler system, so it is with us humans. In ordinary circumstances we may look alike, but stress will make our differences visible.

At Pearl Harbor it was not always predictable who would man the machine guns and fight the attackers, and who would take cover and wait for the attack to end. The stress of the emergency showed who the courageous were.

In the matter of religion the situation is similar. There are many church-goers, but the stress of the death of a loved one, or other tragedy, will show the depth of an individual's faith.

So here, finally, is the silver lining. It is the beneficial effect of the political stress induced by the leftists in our midst in their present tax campaign. Many of us have been concerned about the infiltration of our Party by RINOs, those who use our name but don't ascribe to our principles, those who are motivated purely by ambition and expediency. But who, exactly, are they? We have quietly observed them all along, but now they have done us the favor of stepping forward and publicly identifying themselves. Loudly and clearly. Under the stress from the pressure of the Hubbert-Riley Combine they have shown by their votes on the tax bills who they are.

And this can be very useful information indeed. It's a long time till the next election, but the record of each member of the House and Senate, and of course of the Governor, is written in indelible ink. We need to archive these records and use them to refresh our collective memory as the next election comes into view.

And I would hope that at that time we would hear nothing of the "eleventh commandment," the idea that no Republican should ever oppose another candidate running on the Republican ticket. This commandment did not come from Moses, and it deals with politics, not religion. It certainly is not appropriate for observance now or in the next election.

Hoping to see you in Montgomery Saturday!

Sincerely yours,

Hugh McInnish
Madison County, Place 1
State Executive Committee

Letters From Correspondents

I read with great interest your letter dated June 1, which was forwarded to me by Elaine Little. I am a 34 year old single white male attorney who has voted the straight Republican ticket in both state and national elections for the last 10 years. Suffice it to say the I feel the governor's tax hike targets me unfairly, taking away my tax deductions and raising my rates so that the Hubbert education mafia has more money to spend on itself and on other people's children. I am furious with "Billion Dollar Bob" and will never support him in another election even if the Democrats nominate the ghost of George Wallace to run against him.

With respect to your inquiry as to what the proper stance of the state Republican Party should be, I most certainly hope that it will be against the governor and the odious Hubbert tax plan. Any "Republican" who seeks to stick his hand so deep in my pocket in order to placate an outfit as corrupt as the AEA is not a true Republican. Not only should the party oppose this unprecedented money grab, it should begin deciding who will run against Billion Dollar Bob in the next primary! To do otherwise is to abandon the ideals that draw people like me to the party, leaving me with no choice other than to vote Libertarian and leave the liberal, government-loving Democrats and "Republicans" to decide among themselves how best to spend my hard-earned money.

Thank you for your consideration, and please do not give the governor a pass on this vital matter.

I, for one, will give no help in Paul Hubbert getting what he wants. He IS the problem with the state now , and because of him, we are in this fix. Being a Republican, in no good conscious could I vote for this plan. I realize we have financial problems in the state, but we must find another way to see this through.

A lottery is not the answer either. I play lotteries every now and then, but I do not want gamboling in Alabama and it would not ease the present situation. The lottery was only going to help in college scholorships, and do nothing for k-12.

The legislature needs to cut the pork, and if that won't do it, then start cutting whatever it takes. I think that they should pass resolutions and UNEARMARK the budget, so they could spend money where it is needed most. There are many things they can do before they should even consider this option. We, the people, must live within a budget or we go bankrupt. The state should also live within it's budget. If there's no money, they can't spend. Period.

The number one problem in the state of Alabama is PAUL HUBBERT! We must all work to get his clout reduced and him out of power. We elect a Governor and I don't remember ever electing him.

Hugh, Unfortunately you are 100% correct in your analysis of the current power structure in Montgomery. Paul Hubbert plays the music and everyone else dances. With absolutely no accountability provisions for the AEA, nor any governmental entity that I'm aware of, how is it possible for a conservative Republican to support this tax and spend "scheme"?

Show me a 100% accountability, iron clad, enacted law for the Alabama educational system, and for each governmental entity in the State, then I'll at least listen to the proposal for new taxes. Otherwise there'll be no support from me! And are you ever right about Republicans allowing the AEA to control the State. In critical elections they'll set on their duff, hold onto their money and let Mr. Hubbard's money and people elect Democrats. You've been there, I've been there. It is not a pretty sight to watch.

Thanks so much for your good work!!

We need a bumper sticker and sign message. What about: "Don't blame me--I didn't vote for Hubbert." and show a photo of Riley morphing into Hubbert. or "GOP not AEA" or "Read my lips, Bob"

Your latest email is a great summary of the sorry state of our state. I can't begin to express the frustration I feel as a conservative Republican who cheered as Governor Riley was elected. What are we to do? I WILL NOT abandon my core beliefs to suit the governor. He made a deal with the devil when he negotiated with Hubbert, with Alabama's citizens literally paying the price.

Most Alabamians don't realize the magnitude of increases both the General Fund and the Education Trust Fund have had over the last several years. They actually believe our education system has been operating with less money instead of the reality of large year-to-year increases in the state's education budgets.

The truth is our state legislators continue like hogs at the trough, continuously increasing spending without a shred of fiscal discipline. Now they want more to spend, without even giving up their pork funds. I am equally disappointed with some of my local Republican legislators that have voted for the tax packages.

What will be the principles of the Republican Party in Alabama? Are we to roll over as some appear to be doing in the Alabama Republican Party? I hope not. I hope enough Republicans will stand for our core beliefs and stand against policies that will likely crush economic growth in Alabama.

I will continue to work for the conservative values that are a foundation of the Republican Party. That is a promise.

Thanks for all the information that you send to me.

We are in terrible times for out party, and i see no out for us. I feel the need to get word to Gov. Riley of the disgust that most feel about Hubbert. The Gov. is a good man and if only he would tell Hubbert to get lost , then he would gain some support for the plan. I do not agree with all of the plan , but could live with some aspects.

It seems to me we should deal in substance rather than innuendo. If we want less government, fine. What state services do we think should be dropped? Or is it our position that millions are being wasted in the provisioning of ecessary services? I think there are likely some things we could do without and also quite a bit of wasted money. Unfortunately, the people responsible for fixing hese problems are the same people who created the problems and have a stake in the status quo.

That leads me to the conclusion that some independent citizens group must do both. A group that has no stake in the outcome other than better government would be really neat. Where to get such a group and how to finance it is not readily apparent to me. Such groups also have a difficult time selling their ideas because those in power are in a good position to sabotage the outcome if they don't like the answer.

Well stated.

I like the part of raising the level at which taxes would begin in Alabama ($17,000 or so), but most of the rest is give aways to big government and the AEA, along with Roger Bedford types too, as you said.

Cut the waste and stop corruption FIRST.

Excellent Article....Keep them coming!

every since I have been a Republican I have always encouraged those who complain about high taxes to vote for Republicans. We now have a Republican president who has just managed to get his tax cut plan through Congress and a Republican governor in Montgomery who has teamed up with the Democratic leader of the Alabama Education Association (AEA) to raise our taxes. I feel betrayed by the governor. He campaigned on the theme "It is time for a change". If I had wanted some of the same I could have voted for Siegelman.

Now comes the revelation that there is on the Alabama Republican Party's web page an icon that reads "Just say NO to TAXES, Vote Republican". All of this is enough to make a good Republican ____ !

As I have stated before, this problem is directly related to a lack of Party Loyalty, and Party Discipline. The pain that you refer to in the latest e-mail is both real and acute, but I believe that the Party has a way out of this mess. It will also be painful, but of a short duration. The Alabama State Republican Party should call upon the Governor to stand before its State Executive Committee and explain this breech of ideology. If these reasons are in conflict with the Republican philosophy of conservatism, then we should warn the Governor that we will expel him from the party if he continues to pursue this insane tax increase. If the Governor does not take heed, then we should expel him from the party completely. This should be done with openness and in public view. It will be an amputation of sorts, but the two party system will still exist, and any future candidates will think twice before they start entertaining such ridiculous ideas and go against the Party.