Huntsville, Alabama
July 14, 2003

Dear Fellow Republican,

I wanted you to see the letter below which I am sending to Marty Conners. I believe that it is self-explanatory.


Hugh McInnish
Madison County, Place 1
Republican State Committee

(256) 650-6296
July 14, 2003

Hon. Marty Conners
Chairman of the Alabama GOP
Birmingham, Alabama

Dear Marty,

I have thought about you frequently in the past days. I can only imagine how tough your job as head of the Party has been as the issue of this tax vote has heated up, and the cleavage in the Party has widened. I thank you most heartily for your good work during this difficult time.

But so much for the amenities (which are sincere). The specific point of this message is to discuss the meeting of the Steering Committee which will be Saturday.

From press reports I see that you expect no endorsement of the tax proposal from the Committee. I was glad to hear it. I also infer that you expect there to be a move for the Committee to take a position. That is also good, assuming of course that it is the right position. What is right is judgmental, and opinions will vary, but with your indulgence I will give you mine.

I believe that we should be unmovable in our fundamental principles. And I believe that none of our principles is more fundamental than what we have hitherto always preached as our sine qua non: Less government and lower taxes. The present tax proposal is precisely the opposite of this principle, and we ought to be unstinting in our language opposing it.

I assume that there is to be a resolution. The resolution should name no names and assign no blame, nor should it offer any praise, but should be terse, clear, and unequivocal in its expression of disapproval of the proposed tax plan. I urge you and the Committee to approve such a resolution.

Most likely there will be proposals to soften any expression of disapproval. I hope that they will be turned aside. Inevitably such proposals for compromise result in equivocation or ambiguity, and cloud the real message that needs to be communicated. They may be put forward in the hope of garnering a greater number of votes from the timid, or to avoid "splitting the Party." But I say we should chose clarity and strength, even if they have to be purchased with the loss of some votes in the Committee or the alienation of halfhearted Party members.

There is a specific example that I would like to mention. I do not believe that we should concede that there is necessarily a fiscal crisis today, or that some increase in taxes may be needed. All too many people have already accepted the existence of a crisis as an implicit assumption. But this deserves further examination. All that is really certain is that there is a gap between expected revenue and what Paul Hubbert and his minions say they would like to have. Until truly serious cost-cutting measures have been exhausted, there is no justification for declaring a crisis.

As trying as this issue is, I see opportunity in it. Here is our opportunity to highlight the difference between our Party and the Democrats. However, the opportunity has hazard as its companion. If we blink in the face of great pressure we can easily obliterate the distinction between us and them.

Let's not blink. Let's stand shoulder-to-shoulder and march straight at them! I ask you and the Committee to condemn in no uncertain terms this proposal for the greatest tax increase in our state's history.