Huntsville, Alabama
July 20, 2003



Dear Fellow Republican,

I have been receiving an increasing number of e-mails from correspondents, which is very good. Until now I have been able to publish practically all of them. But now I find that I have just to give a sampling, and that is what you will find below.

I have not left out any of the negative ones, not even the one from the inimitable Mr. Kretzahl Slagfish, so this will bias the proportion of negative-to-positive messages in favor of the negative.

In any event please keep your messages flowing. They are nurture to us all!

Regards,

Hugh

Letters From Correspondents


As we consider the fate of the Hubbert/Riley now $1.8 billion Tax Plan, let us also consider the principles for responsible government:

1) FREE PEOPLE ARE NOT EQUAL, AND EQUAL PEOPLE ARE NOT FREE. Differences in income result from people being themselves; confiscatory tax rates don't make people any more equal.

2) WHAT BELONGS TO YOU, YOU TEND TO TAKE CARE OF; WHAT BELONGS TO NO ONE OR EVERYONE TENDS TO FALL INTO DISREPAIR. This explains the failure of socialized economies.

3) SOUND POLICY REQUIRES THAT WE CONSIDER LONG-RUN EFFECTS AND ALL PEOPLE, NOT SIMPLY SHORT-RUN EFFECTS AND A FEW PEOPLE. Today is the tomorrow that yesterday's poor policy-makers ignored.

4) IF YOU ENCOURAGE SOMETHING, YOU GET MORE OF IT; IF YOU DISCOURAGE SOMETHING, YOU GET LESS OF IT. If we encourage a weak economy, we'll produce more jobs and more revenues.

5) NOBODY SPENDS SOMEBODY ELSE'S MONEY AS CAREFULLY AS HE SPENDS HIS OWN. The connection between the earner, the spender, and the recipient is the most remote and the potential for waste the greatest.

6) GOVERNMENT HAS NOTHING TO GIVE ANYBODY EXCEPT WHAT IT FIRST TAKES FROM SOMEBODY. A GOVERNMENT THAT'S BIG ENOUGH TO GIVE YOU EVERYTHING YOU WANT IS BIG ENOUGH TO TAKE AWAY EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT. George Washington said, "Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force. Like fire, it can be a dangerous servant or a fearful master."

7) LIBERTY MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD. Ben Franklin said, "He who gives up essential liberty for a little temporary security deserves neither liberty nor security." Jefferson said, "The natural tendency of things, it seems, is for government to grow and for liberty to retreat."

From The Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy, Lawrence Reed, Mackinac Center

May God give us wisdom and courage.


Please remove me from your list immediately. I do not wish to receive another e-mail from you.


Hugh, thanks for your service to the people of Alabama. If we had more people like you in the Legislature we would not have the run-away-government spending programs that I fought daily for eight years that I was in the Senate. God bless you!


Three cheers, Hugh!


Being a member of a school board, I have no confidence in Ed Richardson. He is using the usual Democratic scare tactics. If he can't run the schools on 4.3 Billion a year, why give him another 1.4 billion.


After listening to Congressman Bachus’ sales pitch for the proposed tax increase, I was left with this most perplexing and mystifying question that, perhaps should be posed to both him and Governor Riley: Why should radical “tax reform” cost the taxpayers an additional $1.3 billion (or, for that matter, any additional amount)? If, to summarize my perception of Congressman Bachus remarks (and assume these to be similar to those that might be espoused by Governor Riley) the wrong people are charged with the tax burden, and others are “getting away” with less than their “appropriate” burden, why must “tax reform” collect “more” money? If “reform” is the objective, then shouldn’t the amount of taxes collected be the same, and the sources of such collections be shifted? If the argument stated were valid, the plan would not be looking for “more money” but merely re-apportioning the tax burden. Perhaps, the truthful reason for the “reform” is not really “reform” but simply an expanding tax burden imposed by the insatiable appetite government has for my money and yours.


Gov. Riley managed to get himself into the National Review for his radical tax platform and Mayor Bloomberg (Of New York City) has continued to make headlines in papers across the Nation for his radical (and extreme) tax platforms. It has been said that “The Power to Tax is the power to Destroy” (Forgive me if I misquoted that) and it seems inevitable that Gov. Riley is doing more harm than he is doing good with this tax program. Pumping money into an institution that is beleaguered with problems will never solve anything and will simply exacerbate the problem as is evidenced by the fact that the United States has pumped enough funds into the Welfare system to raise everyone in the entire Country above the poverty rate and yet poverty seems to be an epidemic with unemployment rising.


Please use this letter that, I wrote previously during the Houston county tax push by the Dothan / Houston county school systems, as you see fit. This tax bill was voted on and defeated by 80 % of the county voters, I would say that screams that the citizens want fiscal responsibility no more government fraud


I think if you will check the record, Paul Hubbert has applied for retirement and will be leaving his state job ( I still have not figured that out) as president of AEA during Riley's term.


As far as the slovenly and liberal state GOP goes, we need to start our own Alabama Republicans' Party, just call it by a slightly different name, trademark it and start endorsing our own candidates. This way, the ALGOP won't have a lock on their people walking in.


Unfortunately, we have not heard much dissent from Republican Party leaders. The Madison County Republican Executive Committee has published a resolution opposing the "Tax Plan." But, they have left the door open for tax increases that do not "exceed current budgetary shortfalls." We all know that those "shortfalls" are the result of wasteful spending practices.

Unless you, and many other Republican leaders, work to defeat this tax increase, the Republican Party's future in Alabama, and Alabama's support for President Bush and other Republican candidates in 2004, will be in jeopardy.


These Republicans in name only (RINOs) are destroying our party. Those who truly ascribe to our letter of the law (Not raising taxes,etc. from the real platform) should be running things, not a bunch of liberals in Republican clothing.

Thanks for always writing back. We just need to get the real Republicans together and be the majority of our party. This Riley stuff is embarrassing.


Between sleep and awake this motning, I had a thought. You may publish this is you wish;

A lottery is State control of a productive enterprise with social objectives and it isolates that supported social objective of the State outside public control. With an established lottery, there is no tax, no vote, and no control. Whereas, a vote to raise taxes is a referendum of the People on the actions of the State.

John DeShazo


I could not disagree more. I am so glad that we now have a Governor in office that is willing to face the problem head on and is not afraid of the "status quo" of the Republican party. I consider myself a Republican, but I also know the financial crisis that that Alabama faces. I will vote "YES" and I will try to convince everyone I know to do the same.


Unlike many Republicans, I am not convinced that Riley's tax plan will not pass. Riley just met with 500 volunteers who are going to their communities to convince everyone of the goodness of his plan.


I simply can not support the governors tax package. To me it sounds like Socialism. My wife and I don't have a lot of money. We just have two properties: One of them is 2.5 acres with a mobile home. The other is our house located on Lake Mitchell. I am scared to death that we might have to sell one of our properties if this plan is approved by voters. I like Governor Riley, but I must tell what I think. This plan is terrible. There is too much the state has wasted and continues to waste.


My wife and I admire what you are doing? Like I said, I believe that Bob Riley is a sincere man, but this tax plan is not the answer. Yes, you may publish my response.

Alex Fox


I have found out today that I will have to pay the 4% sales tax on services in the governor's tax plan. This will cost my business (my customers) approximately $20,000 per year.

I have yet to find anyone (outside of some state employees) who thinks this is a good plan for Alabama. I feel that the governor has undermined everything that I, as a Republican, have believed and worked for since I became politically involved in 1994.


I think Riley has taken the road less traveled and is doing what is right for Alabama, long term. No one likes to pay taxes, especially me, but we Alabamians want all we can get for nothing. It's time to pay the piper and invest in things that will make us forward thinking instead of stuck in the past.

His call for reform or no deals is for real. If we reform the way we do business this thing can work. If not, it won't make any difference and the Roger Bedford's and Don Siegelman's will continue their ways.


Very nicely said, Hugh.


I have been discouraged about this tax plan. It has affected me in a manner that I never knew possible. And then last night it dawned on me...God is doing a work in our Party. All these things had to happen for God to bring us around to where He wanted us to be. I believe He wants each one of us to search our hearts and return to those principles which we once held so dear and from which we have strayed. Now I'm encouraged. Believing in God's promises, our faith in God's truth, gives me hope.


What are consequences of not supporting Governor Riley's package? (1) Alabama's tax system will remain one of the most regressive and unfair in the country; (2) The black hole of $675M will mean hundreds of thousands of seniors will lose Medicaid drug and nursing home benefits because we cannot pay our match for federal dollars; (3) thousands of prisoners and hundreds of prison employees will be turned out on the street; state troopers will be let go; (4) at least 25 school systems in Alabama will shut down because of bankruptcy; others will only scrape by because of loss of teachers and staff; (4) Alabama as a state will continue to rank at the bottom as usual in every statistical measure that counts for well-being; (5) Alabama's future workforce will not be competitive compared to other sister states. Huge incentives will no longer be a viable option because of balloon interest rates on past bond issues.


When you decide that our Governor and leader of the Alabama Republican Party is looking out for the best interest of our great state and are willing to support his initiatives I will consider re-subscribing.


My friend, it's 6:32am, I just sat down in my office to read my morning mail, and I read your letter. You just hit the nail on the head. The Republicans that voted for this tax increase should be held accountable and defeated, this tax increase is so far out, there can be no pass for anyone.

Keep up the great work, you got'um squirming.


Thanks for this great email newsletter. Thanks especially for stating that we should not invoke the 11th Commandment. If I hear someone say that one more time, I will scream! This just shows that many have fallen into that quagmire called "group think." I for one will not be suckered into going along with the lemmings particularly when I see that a grave injustice is being done to the citizens of the State of Alabama.


Thank you for all your efforts to defeat this outrageous tax proposal. My husband and I plan to vote against it.


It is time for this to end. What I mean by this is the attacks on those Republicans that believe in supporting the State of Alabama and the Republic over political expediency. I have sat too long listening to the tirades of individuals that do not now and never have been the leaders or even the prime movers within the Republican Party. They like their equally fanatic brothers within the Democrat Party are working very hard to make a mockery of this Grand Old Party.

The Republican Party is not now nor has it ever been against appropriate taxes for appropriate purposes with appropriate constraints.


The Greeks at least in legend overthrew Troy with their famous gift to the Trojans, the Trojan Horse. The constitutional republics of the West are more likely to be overthrown by sacred cows. I have often thought lately how much the very word "diversity" has become such a sacred cow.

The politically correct atmosphere of this generation teaches that neither discernment or challege to PC sacred cows will be tolerated. There is a sort of "libertarian" form of diversity that is positive, optional, discussable, and voluntary.

I am afraid, however, the most prevalent form is of the totalitarian variety, although its means are usually by shouting down dissent or social marginalization of dissenters rather than the point of bayonets. Anyway classical schools ought to teach discernment rather than unchallenged political correctness. It is my own opnion that various forms of political correctness, if not discerned and challenged pose a great threat to OMCS and to the church at large.


Found out yesterday that Jabo Waggoner voted yes to the "vote" on the tax bill. He could always say he didn't vote for the increase, just to let the people decide. What a great way for a politician to squeeze out of trouble. Steve French did vote against the bill being brought before the people as he should have, it would be taking from the very people who had worked so hard to inherit, I mean, work for all they have.

Anyhow, Jabo just sealed his death with the Jefferson County GOP.


As a life long Republican (47 years) I now officially quit the party. This tax and spend and tax some more game has to end. I will now attempt to be a part of the beginning of the end of both major parties in this state. To wit, I am gone to our country cousins .. the bright ones ... the Libertarian Party.

So Long.


Christians who recognize biblical limits on civil government and who seek to practice biblical stewardship should vote NO to the astronomical tax increase on September 9.

First, the increases are supporting actions of government that go far beyond the biblical mandate. Second, the tax increases will hurt the poor most. Sales taxes would be collected on services such as car and home repairs, but the Alabama legislature did not remove the regressive sales tax on groceries. The Suffolk University study insists that Alabama will lose more than 24,000 (undoubtedly lower paying) jobs in the first year as investment is hindered by the tax increases. Property taxes, especially on rental property, will dramatically increase. Only $110 million of the $1.2 billion is directed toward relieving the tax burden on the poor. The bulk of this proposal will increase the size and scope of state government.

Third, this tax will reward government at the expense of families, certainly a reversal of the proper priority of Christians. The teaching of Jesus and the practice of the early church was voluntary compassion and not government coercion.


Please remove me from this list. Mr. McInnish has NEVER been FOR anything!!! He has always found fault with people who truly want to show leadership. Right or wrong what we are doing in Alabama now does not work!!! There are certainly issues with this legislation but the effort is very noble...Mr. McInnish consistently is NEGATIVE toward every effort.even his own party leadership!!!! I don't want to hear anymore!!!! I may vote for this now that Mr. McInnish is against it!


I supported Bob Riley, and still believe I made the best choice considering the alternative. Bob and his folks went to Montgomery full of pride and thinking they knew a lot more than they did. He believed Seth Hammett and Paul Hubbert. The bones of former governors are bleaching in the sun for listening to these two. This whole mess is Bob's fault, but when we start passing out blame lets not forget the Dukes of Deciet, Seth and Paul. The're good ole' boys, just meaning us harm. The're not, but they should be in trouble with the law...that is if stealing is a crime in Alabama.


Since 1969, enrollment in public schools has declined 14%, and the number of schools in operation has declined 7.3%. However, the number of teachers has increased by 42%, and the budget has increased by 1,149%. Source: www.alabamaeagle.org And yet, the substance of our public schools continue to worsen.


I don't know for certain how I stand on this tax issue. I hate taxes! I support Governor Riley but most likely will vote against his tax plan. I do know that the shrill attacks against Riley are unwarranted. You tend to impugn his character when your concern should be over his tax plan. Is it valid? Will it work? Will the people vote for it? He has placed everything on the table for all to see an comment on.


I heard the radio ad today. IT IS WONDERFUL. Thanks for hard work and I hope you don't mind that I have forward your mails and Mo's mail all over this state.


I can't believe what you just sent out. Using ALFA to back your point of view is like asking the fox to guard the chicken house. Give me a break. You now as well anyone why ALFA took their stand. Are you also a big land owner in this state too? If so then I can see why you are backing no new taxes, or is it your kids are grown and you have no reason to support schools.

When a person is not smart enough to understand what the proposed amendment is about then maybe they don't need to vote. That's why we have the quality of people in state government now. I for one admire the Governor for standing up and doing the right thing and you should do the same.

Now lets see if you put this letter in your reply from correspondents.


This is in response to the various messages from "Alabama Republicans".

When you attack the character of an individual in order to make a political point you sound like a Democrat or a Liberal! Governor Riley is a good man he may be wrong (or is this some clever tactic) on this issue but aside from me, every one is wrong on occasion. I see no status of infalibility connected with any political office


Excellent letter. The time has come for statesmanship and courage. I truly hope the Alabama Republicans find a good measure of both.


I see you have spent lots of time on working on this letter, It names and blames no one by name, which is very good. We just want to move the issues as they are. Big YES votes will come South of Montgomery, and the low income workers. I personally know NO one who is voting for this. Gov. Bob has started going out working on the tax package. We have to work on this in a kind and gentle way, but a way people will understand that what they vote for isn't what they will get. It like take from the rich and give to the poor almost, so to speak. Kind and to the point is what we need and you letter has a good start. I LIKE THE LETTER.


Congratulations Hugh for your unwavering stand against this abominable, ill-conceived tax proposal. It is indeed unfortunate that our new governor elect has had the wool pulled over his eyes so early into his administration. Undoubtedly there were "offers made he couldn't refuse" by Hubbert and his stooges which certainly must've given him false feelings of invincibility. We all know the Democrat machine has no honor and very little loyalty to anyone who dares to openly oppose their maddening, liberal agenda.


Wonderful letter. Well said. As General Stonewall Jackson said, "Give them the bayonet!"


Hugh McInnnish is a small-minded, loud-mouthed southern politician with all the imagination typical of that set. In his spare time, he's an AM radio blowhole. My question is, what do you expect? He's obviously swallowed the Right's Christian dogma and smug righteousness at the same rate as he has cheeseburgers, thus insuring that he is as stupid and complascent as he is fat.

Kretzahl Slagfish


I validate your rebutal of Mr. Slagfish, as I can honestly state I have never personally witnessed you eating a cheeseburger.

Also, congratulations on being certified as dogmatic.


Were I Mr. Slagfish, I would not dare cast aspersions upon anyone especially with a name like "Slagfish." It is obvious that he has some deep-seated problems stemming from playground taunting because of his name. Is this the best he can do? As always, the left resorts to personal attacks when they can find no basis in logic for their arguments.

Thanks for the laugh Hugh!


A hale and hearty "Amen" to your letter from Monday. Monday night the Greater B'ham Young Republicans passed a resolution denouncing the tax plan. There were those timid souls who thought such action was tantamount to political suicide, however, the majority felt that not to take action on the issue would make our club of no effect.


Slagfish is offbase but not off message. Thinking Republicans must vote yes on Sept 9. Only a yes vote will allow our state to move forward and compete economically on a regional and national basis. For too long we have been shortsighted, shorting our state's opportunities for economic growth and advancement. We must allow our economy to grow and to grow our per capita personal incomes, making consumers more viable and more able to support Alabama businesses.


Thank you for saving the Republican Party today. We are the party of lower taxes and less government. I believe this will send a very strong message to our elected officials. I understand the vote was almost unanimous, short maybe one or two votes. The people of Alabama are taxed enough already and the Legislature needs to stop spending.


I am ashamed of the Alabama Republican Party. We finally have a governor who is doing a decent job and standing up for what he believes is the right thing. Although we may disagree, at least he is making a strong stand for what he believes is the best avenue for the state. THAT IS WHAT WE ELECTED HIM TO DO!! We campaigned for him, we helped get him elected on the basis that we believed he was the best for the job. Now, shut up and let him do his job

You are causing more harm to the Republican party than you are doing good!!! Don't you think the democrats are loving this battle.

If you have all the answers, I will expect to see your name on the ballot during the next primary.


The Steering Committee action is reassuring. I agree with the Committees recommendation for a no vote. I am pleased they were able to do so in a respectful manner in that they recognized Governor Riley's integrity. Either a no-comment on the governors character or an "off with his head" approach as has been recommended on this site.


Thank you for the good work you are doing in keeping us informed. It was a great victory Saturday for the Republic Party.