Our Friendly ReportersBy
We are fortunate to have the following first-hand report of a Riley speech in Dothan from one of our allies to the south. Our reporter is a prominent and patriotic citizen of the Wiregrass area.
Thought you might want to read the info below from the loyal opposition.
Today at Riley's double Rotary Club speech in Dothan he said twice that what "those two anti-tax groups" put out is "garbage." He also said something about the governor in 10 years being a "she." He sprinkled his speech with glowing references to NC, which was what I expected. He had plenty of Democrat-style horror stories and threats (let the prisoners and nursing home residents out, raise teacher/student ratios by one-third, no state troopers, etc.) The speech was pretty much completely previewed on AM radio station WWNT 1450 this morning in a phone interview. Only he didn't call us "garbage" pushers on the air.
Questions were written on index cards and read by one man at the end of the speech. I sensed some frustration in his answers and so did my friend. One person was overheard saying, on his way to the buffet line, that the cards were probably being used to "screen the questions." It appears many Dothan Rotarians are too smart for Gov. Bob.
The one priceless comment which more or less summed up the audience's reaction came near the end: "This is the most somber group I have spoken to, " Riley intoned. Not much hand clapping or laughing. I pulled myself up without enthusiasm to stand at the end of the speech out of respect for his office, and we left promptly with copies of his blue book.
Not unexpectedly , three people were interviewed on WTVY Channel 4 after the speech for tonight's news and all three were positive, especially Charles Nailen, new head of BCA and local owner of a chain of Taco Bells and KY Friend Chicken restaurants. He thought it was great. The son-in-law of the city school board's chairman spoke favorably (surprise!), and the owner of a black radio station also was favorable, which disappointed and slightly surprised me as I thought he and I were on the same wavelength.
Later the Governor went to nearby Ozark's Civic Center for another talk and it was also on TV. They showed some very polite protesters giving out some material to those entering the building. They said they were not associated with any anti-tax group. So I guess they were not giving out "garbage."
As strong as the media's blackout of information on our side is, a few gleams do occasionally get through. Two instances of recent vintage are of particular note.
On 5 August Elbert Peters, one of our most venerable Republicans, and a genuine conservative broke through the barrier and flashed out to the public an op-ed piece in The Huntsville Times. Elbert said something that cannot be too often said. The hallmark of a Republican is his support for small government and low taxes. It is a natural litmus that is used to distinguish conservative from liberal, and that is generally the same as distinguishing Republicans from the others.
Elbert points out that the proponents of the new tax are undertaking the daunting task of reversing the meaning of the test. They say that they who are for high taxes and more government are the ''real'' Republicans.
Read Elbert Peters entire column by clicking on the link in the blue area to the left.
Senator Bill Armistead has also broken through the barrier with an op-ed in The Birmingham News.
Bill points out that, not only does the Hubbert-Riley Tax Plan, propose the largest tax increase in our state's history, but it is six times any tax increase before. Further, nobody knows how it will be used. Not one farthing is earmarked for education, or anything else, but is to go into a big pot, there to be fought over by Montgomery politicians.
The infamous Senator Roger Bedford is the undisputed King of Pork, and Bill is only too happy to drive home his point by quoting Bedford's unabashed description of the pork tonnage he anticipates. "This is free money, unearmarked, and it can be spent on anything that the Legislature deems appropriate, whether the governor supports it or not." In other words, the governor has no voice, but must accede to whatever Bedford, and undoubtedly Paul Hubbert , say.