Huntsville, Alabama
July 30, 2003

However many words I may paste upon this page, they all come to this: "What could these people possibly be thinking"? Who are "these people"? Presently you will know.

Bill Cabaniss is a longtime prominent Republican, a former Alabama senator who once ran for the Senate against Howell Heflin. I, along with many others, have received a letter from him as the Chairman of "Republicans for Education and Accountability." In this letter he strongly endorses the Hubbert-Riley Plan, the plan to foist on us the largest tax increase in Alabama history, and to expand the size of government. What could Bill Cabaniss possibly be thinking?

Listed on the letterhead Cabaniss used are numerous other well-known Republicans. Among them is Winton Blount, former state GOP chairman and former candidate for Governor. His father was a member of the Nixon cabinet. Responding to comments attributed to me in the Mobile Register, in which I explained the inadvisability of the Hubbert-Riley Plan, Winton said that those who think like I do are "more Libertarian" than Republican. Persons such as this, he said, "Ought to join the Libertarian Party."

Amazing! I state my support for the bedrock Republican principle of low taxes and small government, and Winton invites me out of the Party. What could Winton Blount possibly be thinking?

Also on the letterhead endorsing the Riley-Hubbert Plan is the name of Jim Martin, former U. S. congressman and the man who nearly unseated Lister Hill in the early 60s. This was in the days when a Republican primary was only an unrealistic dream. I was a delegate to the state convention which nominated Jim in lieu of a primary. Jim has been a magnificent stalwart for the Party. What could Jim Martin possibly be thinking?

And the list goes on. Twinkle Andress' name is there. She is a former executive director of the Party. And, in a monumental irony, until recently was the state director of Citizens for a Sound Economy. CSE is the very organization famous for opposing increased taxes, and that has joined in the fight to stop the largest tax increase in Alabama history. What can Twinkle Andress possibly be thinking?

Alias! There is Will Sellers' name. He is endorsing the Hubbert-Riley Plan. At the convention in Philadelphia Will recruited me to work in the last week before the presidential election in a swing state to be assigned. The state that later was assigned was the premier swing state of them all, Florida. And to Florida I went. Will worked tirelessly and effectively to elect George Bush. What could Will Sellers possibly be thinking?

Congressman Spencer Bachus and former Lt. Governor Steve Windom are listed as co-chairmen of Cabaniss' group. What could these two possibly be thinking?

Finally, Attorney General Bill Pryor is also on the list. In a separate mail out from a group calling themselves "Real Republicans" he gives his personal testimony: "As a longtime supporter of limited government and low taxes, [emphasis added] I strongly support Governor Riley's plan [ related to the criminal justice system]. As though this part of the Hubbert-Riley Plan could be separated from the rest of this, the largest tax increase in state history. What could Bill Pryor possibly be thinking?

Now you know who "these people" are. But do you know what they could possibly be thinking? If so please let us all know.

I think that both sides in this tax fight are astonished at the other. We who are against it are astonished that "these people" stand revealed as not meaning what they have been saying, and they are astonished that we do mean what we have been saying. If nothing else, this controversy has compelled Republicans to show their true colors.

Sincerely yours,

Hugh McInnish
Madison County, Place 1
State Executive Committee